You know me, (or, maybe you don’t, but just so you know…) I like to make a big deal about halloween. I love it. Its fun. I go all out. Luckily, I work for a fabric company, and my coworkers also love to go all out. This year, we well ALL OUT. We picked a theme: Phantom Circus. We designed a whole collection of fabrics, so that our costumes would naturally match each other. We sewed, and bedazzled (my hat, my spats and my corset are all bedazzled. I’ll post closeups if I get a chance), and be-feathered, and be-corseted just about everything and everyone. It was fantastically epic. Several days in advance of halloween, our graphic designer (The lovely snake-charmer) whipped up some posters and we put them up around the building. I will probably never pull off anything this epic ever again. But it was so worth it.
(In order of personal photos) I was The Lion Tamer, obviously the best job at the circus.
Then we have The Bearded Lady (yes, thats a real beard), The Fortune Teller, and the Snake Charmer.
The Jester, The Tall Man (we thought about putting him on stilts, then we realized we didn’t need to), The Tightrope Walker.
The Sword Swallower (yes, she can swallow that) and The Ring Leader (who was totally the ring leader of the project in real life, she designed half the fabrics and kept the whole thing going and sewed half the costumes up there too!)
And last, but probably my favorite costume, the Tattooed Lady (she designed her own tattoo fabric, in which her dog Ruby makes numerous appearances.)
To see the fabric on Spoonflower, follow these handy links:
- The damask patterns were designed by Beth, and you can buy them in a variety of colors: Phantom Circus Collection
- The stripes were “designed” by me. I can design and damn good strip, y’all. Halloween Circus Coordinates.
- The Tattooed Lady designed her own Tattoo Fabric, if you want some tattoo leggings for your very own.
Photographs were taken by our lovely graphic designer and spoonflower photographer Caroline Okun. She also made adorable retro posters:
I managed to get a few decent closeups of the halloween Lion Tamer costume. (Granted, these were taken with my cellphone in my dining room, and not by the lovely professional photographer who took the others.)
The jacket was an altered pattern from Butterick #4954. I removed the high collar, and gave it lapels and turn-backs instead of the straight buttoned front that was pictured. I lined it with bold stripes to give it that true circus look.
I reviewed the pattern I used for this jacket here: Butterick Jacket B4954 ★★★★
The corset was from Butterick #5662. I removed the lacings from the front, for simplicity’s sake, and added some large brass brads. I wrote a review of this pattern here: Butterick Corset B5662 ★★★
You can also see the truly ridiculous number of crystal rhinestones that I added to the corset, the hat, and the spats. I was going for a sparkly flame effect, and if I’d had more time I would have covered the whole jacket in flames as well.
While the whole costume went off fantastically, I think my favorite part of this project was designing the fabric designs themselves (with the help from my fantastic coworker.) I enjoyed creating the metallic gold effect in the printed designs. Spoonflower cannot print with metallic inks, but you can simulate the effect with some fancy photoshop gradients, and a little bit of work. I think it turned out fantastically! You can also see in some of the pictures that we added some fake distressing, dirt smudges, dirty cracks, frayed threads. We wanted the costumes to look well worn. This is also my excuse for not ironing them well, by the way. We’re a phantom circus, a ghostly dead circus, clean unwrinkled clothing is beyond our cares.