You know those candies that come two to a pack and you tell yourself – just one and save the other for later – but end up eating both at once?
Does a Reese’s Cup attract you with that smooth chocolate shell or soothe you with the soft yummy inside?
Do you grab it for the peanut butter? The chocolate? Or the combination of both? Your costume projects are more like this tempting candy than you think. And it they’re not, they should be. Here’s why…
You see, the Reese’s Cup is simply peanut butter surrounded by chocolate. Two completely different things that complement each other but make a wonderful whole. Same with a costume.
A Victorian gown lures you to take a closer look. The pleats, yards of fabric and hand-painted buttons call to you. It’s well done on the outside. It entices women to dream of yesteryear and the wearing of such a creation. It seduces men to appreciate a woman in beautiful clothes, considering how sexy she appears despite the lack of visible skin.
For your period wear to charm others to your excitement of the past it must be well presented and complete. The fit – very fine. The fabrics – touchable, but yet not, for fear the illusion will be broken.
A perfectly round little Cup is so good it’s a shame to sink your teeth into it, but you can’t help it. Are you afraid your historical costume will be the same? It pulls people in but you’re not sure you want them to get too close?
How do you eat a Reese’s cup? Me? I eat around the solid edges first then the creamy center. That middle part is altogether separate than the shell and could stand on its own. What about the inside construction of your period garment?
The inside of 19th C. clothes speaks volumes about the maker and the wearer. Proper foundations such as underlining, seam finishing and boning tell much about the dressmaker. The owner is given a boost of confidence that her gown is one of the best made at the ball. Even if no one ever sees. A high-quality piece will be high-quality on the inside as well. Sloppiness will show through.
Where would that attractive outer silhouette be without the inside support? What would the chocolate shell do without its close partner, peanut butter? The two are entirely dependent on each other to produce the best result – something that comforts the consumer and captivates the competition.
Chocolate can enhance or hide. Not everything covered in chocolate is good. (I’m thinking of the drugstore Valentine candy.) But sometimes it conceals heaven (as in Godiva Champagne truffles – yum!). And even the chocolate can leave much to be desired no matter what’s on the inside.
So how do you make your costume like a Reese Cup?
- Be wrapped up in sumptuous chocolate. This is only if you want to be admired in your getup. Choose the best materials you can within your budget.
- Your surface should be nearly perfectly round with fluted edges to tease and reveal texture in the hand. Take the time to FIT your bodice. Produce your design in 3-D (not as if you’re working on a flat surface).
- The inside should surprise with its consistent quality. Use period and modern techniques to apply boning and finish ALL the raw edges showing that you spent as much time on the inside as the outside. Use appropriate underlinings and linings in cotton or linen. Acetate and polyester will degrade the creamy center goodness.
- Support the neatly formed circle with a peanut butter that sticks together. Your outer shape is formed entirely on the correct support garments. The corset, bustle or hoopskirt, and petticoats create the silhouette of the fluted cup. They’re the foundation of the design. Start with these to make the chocolate coating irresistible.
Take charge in your candy making! Create something memorable.
Inspire others to follow.