Making a Jane Porter cosplay: the details

So it’s the final post about this costume! Yay! I had started making this with the intention to wear it to the London MCM Expo in May. The weekend is coming up and I can’t wait to debut this costume! (Also a relief to wear a skirt that can’t be stepped on). I’ll link the other posts about this cosplay below. I am overall very pleased with it. The bodice/sleeves are my only issue with it. The fit could be better, I think, and the way I worked the chemisette into it. But I do enjoy the overall look and how ‘complete’ it feels, with all the details and accessories! So onto them.

Making a Jane Porter cosplay: plans and undergarments

Making a Jane Porter cosplay: the bodice

Making a Jane Porter cosplay: the skirt and overskirts

I had quite a few elements as far as accessories went for this costume. I wanted to get Jane’s complete look! Plus, this is for London MCM so an umbrella is always handy. First, I started by making the scallop trim that goes on the hem of the skirt and on the umbrella.

I bought gorgeous white duchess satin for this. It was a bit more expensive than I wanted it to be, since it was just for trim, but it was so gorgeous I didn’t mind. First, I figured out how long and wide I wanted the individual scallops to be. Once that was figured out, I folded a piece of paper in half and drew half the scallop, and cut it out. This was to ensure it was symmetrical (because I really can’t draw). Then I outlined this individual scallop on a piece of paper and repeated it a few times. This gave me the pattern for the scallop trim. I made it as long as the width of my fabric.

Then I pinned it onto the fabric and cut it out from the duchess satin and from plain cotton (which was going to act as a lining, as I’d rather waste the cotton than the satin).

Then the strips were sewn together on the side seams. After that, I pinned the cotton and the satin layers together, right sides facing each other. Then I sewed them together on my machine. I went very slowly to try and get a clear shape. Some of them still look very wonky. I clipped all the round seams and turned it the right way out.

Then I carefully ironed each scallop to better the shape. And ta-da! I had to make about six meters of this, three for the hem of the skirt and three for the umbrella.

I sewed it on the skirt by machine, by actually just sewing it to the horsehair tape so that there was no visible top stitching. It was much quicker than sewing it by hand.

I bought the umbrella off ebay. It was cheap and bright yellow, so I bought some acrylic paint and painted it ‘Antique Gold’ which was much closer to the yellow of my dress.

Then I let that dry. I should have thinned the acrylic paint, but I didn’t know at the time, so the paint is cracking a bit in certain places. Then I sprayed it with a sealer and hot glued the scallop trim around the edges and the top.

Jane also has these adorable little gloves. I found the gloves I’m wearing for this costume before I’d even started it. I found them accidentally at a vintage shop in Angel, and bought them on a whim. They are from the 1920s and they were a steal for £8 or something like that, probably because they had a little whole in between the fingers, which I quickly mended. My original plan was to trim them to be wrist length, as they are a bit longer than what Jane wears in the film – but I think it would break my heart to cut them so… I might not.

Next up is the collar. So even though I made a nice little collar for my chemisette, I decided to add Jane’s iconic pointy collar too. I stared at some photos of it and then draped it onto my dressform.

I actually had to do this a couple of times because I couldn’t make it fit properly. I used the same method for the scallop trim: I transferred it onto paper and then cut that pattern out of the duchess satin and plain cotton. Then I sewed them together, right sides together, clipped the seams and turned it right way out.

I left one of the sides open to turn it to the right side, and then folded the raw edges inwards and sewed them down by hand. I added two snaps to the back and it was done!

However, at this point, I was staring at the empty neckline and remembered I had originally bought some lace to add to it. I completely forgot about it. The right time to have added it would have been before lining the bodice, so that the insides were tucked between the bodice and the lining… but oh well. I gathered down a pretty lace flouff and hand-sewed it to the bodice.

Then I turned it over the neckline edge and hand-sewed, with tiny little running stitches, so that it stayed down.

The last accessory is the cravat! Jane has this nice little purple cravat that looks adorable. Originally I bought this strong purple fabric for it. It’s not the same colour as the one in the film, it’s a lot darker but I really enjoyed the contrast with the other fabrics so I decided to go on ahead with it. I read a few online tutorials about how to make a cravat. I then flat drafted a pattern for it and cut it out of the purple fabric. I turned all edges inwards twice and sewed them down by hand.

Lastly, Jane also has a safari hat. I bought one off ebay and made a purple sash out of the same fabric as the cravat.

And then it was done! Wooooo!

Actually there is one more detail. Jane has amazing Victorian looking boots. My original plan was to find some plain brown pumps and make some spats. But then I got reckless and instead finally made a dream come true and bought some American Duchess shoes! SO EXCITING.  And here they are, my amazing ‘Manhattan boots’!

Oh and one more! I’ll be wearing it with a plain brown belt, but I don’t have photos of it on my mannequin, so here is a quick photo of my fitting with the complete costume:


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