Mother Nature



Angharad Gamble


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

This costume was originally created to attend the Elemental Ball of Enchantment, a 30th birthday event, thirteen years ago.
I was able to achieve much of my design with the time I had then but have always wanted to elevate the decoration. Sadly this project didn't get to be a priority however when I saw the theme for this year's competition I thought it would be the perfect and totally legitimate justification for finally revisiting the costume.
We could take inspiration from any of the elements for our costumes and I chose to encompass them all by being Mother Nature.
With skirts representing Earth,the sky bodice for Air, sunrays for Fire and far more vaguely a nod to Water/rain with the vintage dotted tulle used for the sleeves.
Night and Day are also incorporated with the bodice's Sun decoration and the Moon and Stars tiara.
Late Victorian fashions are amongst my favourite and are usually my go to style if there isn't an era specified. The bodice decoration was inspired by the Worth dress c1894 from the Kyoto Costume Institute's collection and for the floral appliqués of the over skirt I indulged my love of Art Nouveau.
As well as enhancing the decoration in returning to the costume I knew alterations would be required as I have changed shape significantly in the intervening years.
The costume is to be worn over a corset and is comprised of the bodice, over skirt,under skirt and tiara.

Outline the construction…

For the skirts I had used Butterick 3418. These were refitted at the seams and the crinkled taffeta frills attached to the lining fabric underskirt were re-hemmed,overlocker roll-hem and sprinkled with hotfix diamantes. Hand sewing the sequins to the over skirt's flowers was my favourite part of the whole project and the thing I had most wanted to do.
The original bodice pattern was taken from a garment I was copying at the time for a work project and happened to fit me and worked for the design. My hope was to salvage the bodice fabric, with sleeves and decoration removed it survived the wash. I made a new toile to match the bodice to see if it could be reworked. Happily with some extensive modifications the old bodice could be reused, panels changed shape and it was shortened to sit at the waist rather than the hip. The back became lace up with original concealed zip moved to the side, I could now dress myself however as the side seam sits towards the back it's not easy to do.
The bodice and over skirt were made of a sateen type fabric and the floral appliqués made of an assortment of purple fabric scraps and velvets, each plant has its own colour scheme of purples.



1 Comment

  1. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 9, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    I love how all the elements of the dress comes together – the colours, the appliqués – all really fit with your theme!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.