Previously: I’m attempting to make a Claire Fraiser cosplay with basic previous sewing experience, and trying not to lose my mind as I do it.
As my sewing patterns still haven’t arrived and I haven’t braved the rag market yet for fabric, I thought today I’d remake my pocket bags into something a little more…elegant. I rewatched the deleted scene of Claire getting dressed and realised that not only were her pocket bags much simpler than mine, but they were also larger.
I had a metre of stiff white cotton that I’d bought a while back to line a dress that never got made and it seemed perfect for the project. I lay my old ones down, drew around them larger and cut out the pieces. The only problem now was that this fabric was just too white.
I know no one would see them but I just wanted them to look a little bit unbleached and natural. So I took to YouTube and followed this video on Cosplay 101 (skip to 2:36), and boiled my fabric in tea on the stove for five minutes (I wanted them natural-looking rather than weathered so kept a close eye on it). In the video, she dries it in the oven, to give it a browned look, but that’s not what I’m after. Instead I lay each piece flat on my coffee table and dried them with a hairdryer (in art class this was how we dried EVERYTHING). Now they looked much more natural. (scrap in centre shows previous colour).
As you can see, their boiling frayed the edges a fair bit, so next came my least favourite thing in the world: hemming. I decided to go seriously slow this time to try and avoid any accidents, and honestly, there are people in the world who could hand-sew faster, but there’s just something about hemming that always makes me mess up.
After this, I was left with two very plain-looking pocket bags. According to Pinterest, pocket bags of the time were usually embroidered, but I still have flashbacks from the last time I attempted embroidery, so I kept looking for an alternative. I wanted these to look elegant, not like they’ve been attacked by a cat with embroidery floss caught in it’s claws.
I watched this video about the costume design of Outlander, and in it Annette Badland shows the camera her character’s pocket bags.
I noticed that hers were wider (I presume because she’s a cook/lady’s maid and requires lots of things at a moments notice). But I loved the crochet ribbon decorating it.
Now I didn’t have any crochet ribbon, and I could’ve waited and bought some, but I have a box of lace (you see where this is going?). I thought to google it afterwards, and the first machine-made lace was produced around forty to fifty years AFTER Outlander is set, but hey! My aim here is semi-historically accurate. Actually my real aim here is just to get the bastard done.
So here’s the finished thing next to my previous attempt, and I think you’ll agree, it’s a massive improvement.
I may later darken the white lace because I’m not so keen on just HOW white it is, but for now, I think it’s fine. The bottom isn’t even because HEMS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL. But I like it. It’s also easier to get my hand in and out of which is an added plus (damn you Dad for giving me your man hands!).
- How the hell do I find out how much fabric I need?
- Where am I going to find wool material that doesn’t bankrupt me for how much I need?
- Where am I going to find wool material in natural dye colours?
- How does the gown skirt do up? Is it the same as the petticoat?
- Should I get a wig?
- Why are all the affordable wigs so crappy-looking?