Tuesday, September 2, 2014

18th ACG Ball

Last weekend, I made the trip down for the Annual ACG Costume Ball in Adelaide. This year, it was more than just me who travelled interstate. There was 1 from Canberra, 1 from Melbourne, 5 from Sydney and 4 from Brisbane. One, of them being my mum. It was her first time coming down to the ball.

The ball is held on Saturday night. I spent Saturday at fabric shops and visiting with family before heading down to the afternoon preparations - judging of the workmanship competition and rehearsal for the parade. It all ran very smoothly and we were done with our practice in no time, so I headed back to the hotel and did up mum's hair before heading back to the venue to get ready myself. The parade entrants are kept out of sight until the reveal.

For the event, I had finally made my next steampunk ensemble - The Black Widow. I've had this costume planned for a number of years and finally decided to get it done in time to enter the ACG ball competitions. The premise of my character is that she is a widow assassin for hire who uses her pet mechanical spider to take out her marks. As for the costume, I had made the skirts a couple of years ago when I made my Steampunk Geisha, but the idea had always been to be able to do the Black Widow - giving me multi-use skirts. All I needed to make in time to take to the ball was a bodice, hat, wig and spider.

And this is where I aimed to get the spider element coming through in my costume. I was being quite literal with the Black Widow theme and going with the class of venomous spiders as my influence. In particular that my outfit is black but with a red stripe running down the back of my bodice. The bodice is designed with a pointed neckline and hem to reflect the angles that you see in spider webs. I also added silver embroidery floss done as spiderwebs over the outfit and tiny beaded spiders.

In the end, I brought home the Master Parade award, the Master Workmanship award and The People's Choice award. It was quite a surprise and a huge confidence boost. In the past I was competing in the Journeymen category, but after a couple of wins in previous years, I was boosted up into the Master category. I was quite nervous.

And I had a brilliant time there. I'm hoping that I am able to go back again next year. I didn't get many shots of my outfit on my own camera, however, I will share a few that friends have shared with me.


  1. OH WOW! Congratulations on all the awards Mel! They are well deserved - the costume was a great idea, well made with heaps of detail and with a fantastic prop!

    1. Aw thanks. I'm in love with the costume. I really can't wait to wear it again. And considering it's been in the back of my mind for a few years, I'm so pleased that the reality has lived up to my idea.

  2. Wow what a fabulous costume!! All of the details - the dress, silver spider webs, hat and, of course, your mechanical friend - love so much! Congrats on all three of your awards - I'd say you are definitely a master at all things costume! Thanks for sharing and inspiring us all!
    Anneliese :)

    1. Thanks. :) I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The character is one that has been in the back of my mind for a number of years and I was so happy to finally finish it. I think the awards just prove to me how far I have come in my sewing and push me to go further.