Dec 2011

Fantasy Project – The Christmas Vixen

   Posted by Atra Materia in Fantasy, Neo-Victorian

(Click to embiggen!)

Entry for the Dixie Stables winter 2011 costume contest + the 2011 Hinesville Christmas parade.

Another double-duty holiday costume! This year, Jens got to model it at the barn, too.

Rather than leaving costume choice up to the riders, as in the previous two years, the parade set an overall theme of “The Night Before Christmas, and our trainer, Lynn, decided that we’d dress the horses as Santa’s reindeer. They’re not in the photos above, but during the parade, all the horses wore felt reindeer antlers with tiny lights!

I was assigned “Vixen”. Initially, I thought the use of the term “vixen” to describe a seductive lady might be inappropriate for a family event, so I planned to try and work with the meaning of “a female fox” (as in, the actual animal, since ladies can be foxes too!). When I mentioned being unsure how to best go about it, though, Lynn said I should just go right ahead and vamp it up, because she didn’t know how many people these days would even know it once referred to animals, and anyway, my vamp is still pretty classy.

Ultimately, I decided on a combination of both handmade and repurposed items. While the green skirt uses the same costume satin and six-panel layout as the Sugarplum Princess skirt, it’s somewhat more full and has been further flounced with the addition of a black ruffle. And that ruffle, oh my god. I purchased an extra yard of fabric specifically for that, but because I can’t cut a straight line any better than I can sew a straight line, I ended up with mismatched, unusuable strips. That particular shade of satin came from out of town, and as I don’t drive and my mother didn’t want to make another trip down there… There’s actually a much, much longer story here, but it’s so upsetting and involves so many levels of mistakes (on both our parts) and further reluctance and procrastination (on hers), that I don’t even want to go into it anywhere but my private diary. >_> It winds through a rotary cutter failure, more fabric failures, settling for black satin under the thought that I could always replace it later (update: it has never been replaced), a late-night walk to Wal-Mart to buy an iron, and, finally, ruffle-gathering failures. It was the absolute last part of the costume to be completed, and because of my mother taking her sweet time with the help she offered to give, knowing there was a deadline, I was still working the night before it needed to debut. On top of that, I cut the waistband at the wrong size and had to pick out a thousand tiny stitches and do that all over again.

The rest of the ensemble, fortunately, was much easier – the corset is one I already own (it’s from Hot Topic and boned with rigilene, which I loathe, but it saved me having to make anything else on top of the doom skirt). It’s strapped but sleevelevess, and since I didn’t want to freeze during a sundown parade, I made a Goodwill run to see what I might be able to come up with. As luck would have it, there was a black velvet jacket just waiting for me to find it. As it was a little girl’s garment, the sleeves were a touch too short, but I was able to more-or-less match the velvet to a pair of gloves in my stash, which I cut up to add a ruffle to each cuff.

The right side of the skirt is bustled up to flash an oversized lace-and-goldwork garter that I picked up on clearance just after Halloween. Heavy black leggings kept the cold off my…well…leg! I don’t remember quite where I got the silver-and-black headpiece from, but it was also something already in my collection.

In addition to the light-up antlers, Jens did wear the horse half of the costume as seen hereh during the parade, though he also had a nameplate (as did the other horses) in case the audience couldn’t tell immediately who was who. His breastcollar and saddle blanket are both constructed from felt tablecloths or tree skirts and trimmed with metallic red and green garland. The breastcollar has a self-casing through whisi is slipped a nylon strap, and the strap is hooked to rings on the saddle. The blanket is accented with red and green bells. Other than the strap and its hooks, all materials for his costume were purchased at Dollar Tree.

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  1. […] is wearing the holly-leaf/garland ensemble first debuted with Jens in the Christmas Vixen costume. Don’t let the sidewall-eyes fool you – he’s actually been pretty chill […]