Being realistic

Realistically, can you incorporate a historical piece into your everyday wear? When does it become costuming or a Cosplay outfit?

The pic and drawing above are from Outlander. Ignore the reference if you’ve not read the books or seen the TV series as yet. 

This dress idea is the first of three dresses I’m developing with aspects from these their costumes that have blown me away. This first dress uses my block patterns.
Here’s my line drawing and basic bodice block.

My dress
The skirt I’ve added isn’t the same as the costume dress. I’m a bit too short to carry off a full gathered skirt and not have this dress look like a costume piece.  

A close up of the dress bodice. It’s fully lined

The bodice style and fabrics used reflect Claire’s surgery dress.

This skirt has pockets in the side seams using a Kwik Sew pocket pattern piece. The pocket is sewn into the side seam and joins into the waistline.
I left the bodice darts and concentrated on getting the bodice angles and neckline to work

Initially I thought the sleeves were part of the dress but when I looked closely at the pictures above, they’re separate pieces.

Here’s a close up of the shoulders/neckline

The dress fabric is made of $2/m shirting bought at Cabramatta. I’ve used piping from my stash on the neckline and armholes of the dress.

Bodice back view using self covered buttons and an invisible zip.

My zipper wasn’t long enough for the full dress length so I added three self-covered buttons so this zipper length worked on this dress.

The blouse fabric is made from reused curtain lining I bought at a local Vinnies shop. I’ve used my basic no-dart block pattern for the blouse.

Mustard poly poplin skirt lining just in case…

Now if I want to be a bit Vivienne Westwood/Steampunk, I can hitch up one side of the skirt and reveal the skirt lining.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this works as an everyday dress.

There are two more dress ideas are being made up as we ‘speak’.

One of these dresses will look like a costume but it won’t have anywhere near the detailing on the original dress.


  1. Great dress!
    I love the books, actually got to meet Diana in Melbourne a few years ago when an echo in the bone was released and she is as awesome in real life as you could imagine!


  2. Your dress is such a cool interpretation of costume – it's so wearable when the inspiration piece obviously is not. And that skirt hitchy-up-bit is fabulous, you must wear it like that out 🙂


  3. The dress is great Maria. I love the directional stripes on the bodice, and the skirt ruching is a lovely touch. For me, I think I'd prefer the dress without the blouse underneath.


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