Arcus Inimicus (Arch Enemy)



Kylie Maxwell


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Shoutout to Astrid Piepshieck for her mad pinning skillz on my wonky bod, to my “cheer squad” who buoyed me and kept me going when I felt overwhelmed, and to my partner Trevor for his unending support.

Outline the story …

Latin, the language of philosophers and the pretentious, is the perfect foil for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes’ arch enemy, Moriarty.
Ah, Moriarty! Vainglorious, decadent, meticulous and Machiavellian … a worthy opponent, indeed … and “the game is afoot”!
I have always wanted a “High Victorian Goth” costume, and this character gave me ample opportunity to push myself in ways I have not done before.
My first step was to scour “La Mode Illustree” for a style that suited the character. For easy access I used an eBay store, Au Fil Du Temps, because the seller has a considerable library of magazines that are scanned well and legible and made browsing a little easier.
It took eight solid hours to find the perfect inspiration from No 33, Sunday 16 August, 1891. Nestled in a bottom left corner was an artists’ impression of a reception gown. There was no actual pattern for the bodice, as the bridal ensemble was the “base” for the changes required to make the different outfit.
As I had only sewed one item since my first entry into the FR comp in 2018, I decided to take things in stages starting with making the pattern – a process of trial and error. I am an enthusiastic amateur sewist with no formal training. Let the games begin!

Outline the construction…

The combinations and petticoat were made from cotton bedsheets, the corset from 100% stash, and the fabric for the bodice and skirt were from ebay.
• Tracing the complex pattern pieces and sizing up from 24” waist to 31 5” I went slowly using many paper printouts. The bodice pattern was complicated with pleating around the neckline and a large inverted chevron at the waist.
• Using many vintage Singer sewing attachments including the Hemstitcher, for the tiny holes in the petticoat frill.
• I could not find any information on the “Medici” collar so I winged it.
• The petticoat pattern came with zero instruction.
• The Symington 31300 corset sized up extensively. My torso is asymmetrical and I needed TWO patterns drafted.
• Using leather and satin coutil was tricky. The satin wanted to show every pin hole and scratch which was painful, but the contrast looks dramatic and it was worth the slow sew.
Lambskin is very soft I will be flossing all ends to hold the bones in place, using the existing needle holes.
The bodice will be lined and beaded over the next few weeks. I could probably have completed more of the outfit if the underpinnings were not included. Sorry not sorry!




  1. Avatar Milady Ranzetta on March 12, 2021 at 2:59 am

    You had me at “High Victorian Goth”. Beautiful flow and back lines. I love it!

  2. Avatar VictoriaReynard on March 12, 2021 at 7:01 am


  3. Avatar Trevor Baret on March 12, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Watching the detail that went into this, I was seriously impressed.

    And not just a costume… The corset is amazing – perfect fit, amazing detail. There are so many steel bones in there, I refer to it as the bullet-proof vest (which is most suitable for Moriarty).

    Then there is the costume over the top. (Over the Top is right.) For a lot of that, there was no pattern, so she had o draft that from scratch. I was seriously impressed the night I arrived home from work and there was a half-size model of the jacket sitting on the table made of paper!

    There is a photo taken in that window, without any light other than the window, and you would swear that the costume would double as Malificent from a Disney Movie… (That photo is on her website – )

    The sewing room is still a mess, and I don’t dare touch anything to help tidy up. But it is worth it to see this amazing result

  4. Nikki Swift Nikki Swift on March 13, 2021 at 10:08 am

    I spent some time (virtually) with Kylie in the latter stages of this creation and I can say that her dedication and attention to detail has me wow’d! Many of the things she attempted for this outfit were new to her and , coupled with the intense amount of hours she put in, means this is more than just an outfit.. its a labor of love.
    There were setbacks, and late nights (5am), but throughout it all she rallied magnificently and overcame the issues. The whole ensemble is perfect from the underwear to the outerwear and the precise stitching on the corset made me drool! Working from extant patterns can be a real challenge, especially when they are in a different language and missing half the bits, but Kylie powered through and used a wonderful mix of well established sewing techniques, modern technology and imagination to create an amazing set of garments that give off a powerful vibe!
    To sum up, I would be beyond pleased to wear this creation, and terrified if she walked in the room wearing it! Give her your love, she really deserves it.

  5. Avatar Carol Hughey on March 14, 2021 at 6:29 am

    This is absolutely amazing! Her under garments are alluring and luxuriously finished. The corset is perfectly powerful— a fabulous underpinning for this dastardly diva. The gown and petticoats are just amazing. The fabric choice is so rich and evocative. The shaping is cruelly curvaceous! This is a villain to reckon with. Wow! Just WOW!

  6. Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:51 am

    AMAZING! The fabric is incredible and the corset is perfection!

  7. Avatar Wainoni Sands on March 16, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Absolutely stunning!!! This costume is ‘menacingly mesmerising’ and the detail is wonderful! I would think twice about taking on such a beautiful villain.
    Well done Kylie!

  8. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 21, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    The dark fabric with the feather print is a wonderful choice. It pairs so well with the style of your outfit. Such an effective outfit and such clean work!

    • Avatar Kylie ~ ePrintDesign on March 26, 2021 at 12:36 am

      thank you! Am planning to bead the panels at the front, following and filling the feathers all the way up! This fabric is the most money I have ever spent! lol mostly because I needed 12 yards…

  9. Avatar Thomasa Pridgen on March 29, 2021 at 2:16 am

    I aspire to this level of awesome! fantastic

  10. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 29, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    This is BEAUTIFUL! *_* And the fit of the corset is bang on, well done!

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