Every year one of our local landmarks, Historic Oakland Cemetery, hosts a Victorian themed event called Sunday in the Park. More than just a great excuse to dress up in Victorian finery, it’s an opportunity to spend the day exploring and learning about a fascinating Victorian garden cemetery (essentially a cemetery that is designed to be a pleasant place to visit and walk around), all while drinking cider and listening to talented local musicians.
Last week I began work on a Victorian walking suit based on Vanessa Ives’ black walking suit from Penny Dreadful (a bit of an unplanned addition to my project lineup, but there will be a twist to this one!). I haven’t started the suit jacket or blouse yet, but I finished the petticoats and the 9-gored skirt (tutorial will be forthcoming!) in time for this weekend. I managed to pull together a loose Penny Dreadful inspired look, not historically accurate at all, but I was more interested in being comfortable and having fun at this event. I had a frilly black blouse with mother-of-pearl buttons laying around (which I did not make), so I made it even frillier with some black lace from my sewing stash. I do wish I had been able to wear this with an S-line corset (as opposed to my mid-Victorian corset), but it is on the project-list for this year’s costumes.
It was also a fun excuse to try out a new Victorian hairstyle. I went for an asymetrical hairstyle similiar to Vanessa’s in some episodes of Penny Dreadful. I achieved it through basically doing your standard Gibson tuck (as seen in a million Pinterest tutorials), but with the bulk of the hair rolled up on the side under the ear as opposed to the back. It was pretty easy to achieve with hairspray and a ton of pins, and while my hair is past hip length, I think you could probably do this with less length (especially if you have wavy or curly hair).
I’m so glad I was able to fashion a costume together in time for this. It really is one of my favorite events of the year, so being able to dress up for it made it all the more fun. Can’t wait till next year!