Some days ago, the prompt for CostumeBlogWritingMonth was "Pro tip". I definitly am not a pro in costuming, but if I was to share a tip, the first half of it would be to not be afraid to change or add to your existing costumes. That ties in closely with the second half, "if possible, wear a new costume to a smaller event before The Big Event". My idea is that having a smaller occation to wear a new costume forces you to finish it well ahead of the big one. Also, you get a chance to wear and try the new costume in a setting that is more relaxed, and have time to change those things you did not like, in order to look the best at The Big Event. Details that looked good in the sewing room can feel like they look a bit odd on photos, or maybe you just realize you would prefer a different look.
Here, I do not talk about fixing a dress that turned out wrong, when the fabric was wrong or the fit way off - in those cases I prefer to just go on to new projects that I feel more entusiastic about. Here I talk about the cases where you feel like the dress is just ok or feel like "meh, good I guess", but you feel that it could become great if it looked a bit different. You like it, just not as much as you could do. In those later cases, I think it is well worth the effort of redoing the thing you are not happy with, or remodelling an older dress.
The first picture is of my first 1880's dress. Over time, it became too small, and I found it a bit on the boring side, being so plain. THerefor I added lots more decoration to the hat, and inserted a fake vest and blouse.
|Before and after remaking.|
This over-skirt in the next example looked good on the draping stand, but I was not happy with how it looked in the real World Pictures. Adding red and gold detailing and using with for the "uniform " bodices worked better.
|Over-skirt, Before and after.|
This steampunk dress have been blogged quite a lot, as it is this year's Big Project for me. Here, I knew already before the event that I was not happy with the brown half of the bodice, but convinced myself that it was okay and that I should just get it finished, not be a perfectionist. After the event I liked the dress but still not the brown half, so I decied to spend some hours remaking the dress. I am much happier now. I am also adding and changing the trim on the hat a bit, and have added a small collar to the bolero, as I thought it would be more flattering to my long neck (especially when wearing a tall hat).
|Steampunk dress and bolero- Before and after|
The next dress is not really adapted or added to, but has to do with not being too sentimental about m costumes. It is my first "medieval" dress, and I loved it. In, like 2004. Now I would never wear it since I have become more interested in historical accuracy, but the fabric is a very nice wool. I picked it apart and made a dress from The Tudor Tailor. Which is turn is in the process of being remade again, as the front had a tendncy to buckle in a very non-flattering and uncomfortable way. (An example of lying pictures, as the front looks perfectly smooth in this picture - believe me, this in not how it looked most of the time!).
|"Medieval" dress - fabric reused for a Tudor dress.|
Probably, adapting or changing part of a costume is easier for fashions like women's 1880's dress, which is often heavily decorated and made of separate bodice, skirt and over-skirt, than for a menswear suit, or a more plain gown, but I believe there are often some things that can be changed if you are not happy.
This was some example of the costumes I have changed or remade. Have you remade /part of / a costume after wearing it? Did you like the outcome? Please comment and tell!