FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Arcus Inimicus (Arch Enemy)
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!