But what I did have to do, was whip up something for each of my parents to wear. I promised my mum that I would finish her 1850s ballgown. It’s one that I had started back in November last year for an event that was later cancelled. Without a deadline, I put it aside. But the ACG ball just seemed the perfect opportunity to finish it for her to wear. And she loves it. It’s made from a purple/black shot silk taffeta that I gifted to her for her Birthday last year. I kept the design quite simple with a straight skirt (with massive hem) and a bodice featuring black silk piping, handsewn lacing eyelets and lace trimmed pleated sleeves. We learnt quite a while ago that anything too fussy made her look top heavy and bulked out her shoulders too much, so simple is better. I also quickly whipped up a simple reticule with the leftover taffeta and lace to complete her outfit.
As for my father, we decided to add to his pirate costume. I had previously made him black linen pants, a Georigan vest and sash. And paired with his Regency shirt, this was great for New Year a few years back. But the ball is in Adelaide where it is freezing this time of year. So, I decided to add a few accessories, a wig and a frock coat. The accessories were easy – purchased boot covers, baldric, leather pouch, plastic sword, gun (mine), hat (mine again), and telescope. For the wig, I picked up a long grey lace front from ebay. I would have liked a curly one to start with, but alas, there was only straight in the correct colour. So, I took to it with perm rollers, foam rollers and hot water. What I got in the end was a very messy curl that works rather well for his pirate character. Then there was the jacket. I picked up a beautiful green linen. It’s made from a commercial pirate costume pattern, but I wasn’t really going for period accuracy here. I trimmed the edges with brown braid that I found in my stash and gold metal buttons. All put together, I love how it looks. And best of all, I know there are opportunities for this to be worn again soon.
But, the ball itself was a blast. We arrived early to claim a table as our base, and were soon joined by the remaining Queensland and New South Wales contingent. This year, the ball was run a little different with two competitions – an informal cosplay comp and the master of the guild competition. I entered the masters competition which included pre-judging on workmanship. There is nothing more nerve-wracking than explaining your costuming decisions to a panel of judges, except maybe the 45seconds of performance that we must do. There were only three of us entered, and Teri in her amazing bustle gown took out the prize. But I am planning to enter next year!
The evening rounded out with the usual dancing and socialising. I didn’t realise how much dancing I did until I tried to stand up the next day. But again, I had a blast of a time and cannot wait until next year.