On September 15th, Mark and I headed out on another gaming adventure, the Grand Masquerade in New Orleans. But before we left, I had something else I needed to worry about:
What was I going to wear???
Valkyrie’s chainmaille dress was unfortunately not yet complete. I tried on what I’d gotten done before we left, and there were, well, problems. The strap idea put far too much weight on my neck at this stage, and the neckline gaped way too far. It was just going to take too much adjusting to be ready on time.
Then, there was the fact that my red and black corset for steampunk Harley Quinn had finally made it through the mail, and was officially the most comfortable corset I have ever worn. (Really, it’s awesome. If you need a corset, I totally recommend Battie Clothing.) I really, really wanted to wear it. So, I got the idea as I was falling asleep that with a long tulle skirt it would make an awesome, funky formal outfit. Plus, if I got some red and black hairfalls I could have another version of Harley for Dragon*Con next year!
Which is how, two days before we were leaving, I ended up in JoAnn fabrics buying tulle and elastic.
The style I made was a very simple, nearly no-sew “strip” tutu skirt.
- First, I sewed a loop of elastic to be the waistband, in the size that I wanted.
- Second, cut the tulle into strips measuring slightly over twice what the completed lengths would be.
- To make attaching the strips easier, I stretched the elastic loop around a box and put the box in a swivel office chair, then raised the chair to a good working height.
- I folded each strip in half. The fold is inserted behind the elastic, folded down, and then the ends are tucked through the loop. Pull tight enough to make it neat, but not so tight as to scrunch the waist band.
- Because I had a lot more black tulle than red, I started with black, then added red evenly spaced out later so these strips would be on the top.
All in all, the majority of the work on this skirt was done in two hours while watching Supernatural.
The next night, all that was left to do was a little straightening. I put the skirt on my dress dummy and raised it up to my height. Then, I trimmed the bottoms like a hairdresser trimming hair – I pulled the strips straight between my fingers and chopped off the uneven ends. It cleaned up nicely.
Finally, fold gently and into the suitcase! Between this and my boots, I probably had the biggest suitcase for a long weekend ever. Well, at least ever for me.
First night in New Orleans was time to get Valkyrie into her formal wear. For the game event, the Regent had asked us all to celebrate his first year in charge, and it’s only appropriate that Valkyrie would have an interesting but respectful outfit. But when I first put on the skirt, corset, and heels, it just didn’t feel quite right for the character, even with the wig. The solution turned out to be simple – once I put her beaten up leather jacket over the top, there she was, and the costume felt just right.
Those who already knew Valkyrie were very amused by the dress. Those who just saw me on the street and had no idea loved it. New Orleans at night is definitely a unique place.