When Grace was added to our merry band of Gallifrey Goers, she also got roped into the masquerade entry that we were putting together. We did “The Doctor Presents His Fall Collection,” which was a fashion collection inspired by his time travels. So we had an Elizabethan Dalek, a Saxon Tardis, an 18th century French 5th Doctor, an 1890’s River Song and Grace.
I had previously thought about making an 18th century Weeping Angel costume and had the fabric that I had bought in the garment district in San Francisco ready to be used. ($1.00 a yard!) It was a slate metal color, very similar to the verdigris of the Statue of Liberty, and thus a good color for a Weeping Angel. I started thinking about styles from the early part of the 20th century, and decided on a Robe de Style dress.
My inspiration was this 1927 Lanvin Robe de Style dress:
Luckily I had 8 yards of the very wide fabric, so I knew I had enough to make the dress. I started with a sleeveless bodice pattern I had used before, which has princess seams. I know that from the amount of these dresses I have seen that princess seams were not the norm, but I was under a time crunch and it worked.
I originally made 3 tiers of fabric in the skirt, and the front of the skirt does in fact dip down to the back. The tiers were ruffled on my sewing machine and attached at the waist to the bodice. A zipper was put in the back. Then I tried it on Grace and we both decided the 3rd tier HAD TO GO. It was not flattering. Due to not having any time, I simply cut the third tier off at the waist (as closely as possible) and turned it into a very long sash to cover up the raw edges. This worked out really well.
Since we were “suggesting” a Weeping Angel rather than actually recreating one, I bought some opera length gloves online that turned out to be a dead perfect match to the fabric, instead of painting Grace gray/green. I also bought a complimentary colored feather boa from Amazon to go around the neckline to represent the wings.
The shoes are her shoes from her USO Girl costume, and she wore them with fish-net stockings. Underneath she wore my White Christmas bright blue crinoline to give the skirt some volume as I didn’t have time to make a new one. She wore diamond earrings and what I like to call my “Crawley Family Tiara” that I got from eBay and that looks very similar to Lady Mary’s wedding tiara from Downton Abbey. The wig is from Lacey Wigs and was PERFECT with the outfit, and WAY better than the original wig which Grace deemed the “Stripper Wig.” It almost looked like her own hair it worked so well. The feather pad worn under the tiara was found in the L.A. Garment district at an amazing feather store, and it matched the feather boa pretty closely.
Grace didn’t initially like the dress until she saw pictures of herself in it. It was also very comfortable to wear, and she wound up changing out of her Reinette dress the next day and wearing this dress around instead.
I wasn’t sure the outfit would translate well until we had her next to a recreated Weeping Angel and had her cover her eyes.
Then I knew it would work. She did the same mannerisms on stage, and people got the joke.
She did a great job for her first masquerade, and we won several awards, including one for performance.
Ultimately I was very happy with the outfit, as was Grace. I am not sure when she might ever wear it again, and I have a lot to fix on it, but for an outfit that cost very little to make and turned out so well, I am very happy with it.