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Sarah's Ballgown

June 2022

Appearances and Awards:

Finalist - Crown Championships of Cosplay UK Qualifier - MCM Birmingham, November 2022


Originally started as a lockdown project, this costume became a labour of love over 3 years. This fantasy gown draws from multiple historical periods and was an exercise in building for both scale and proportion. It features a 1770’s inspired skirt, an 1860’s bodice (with 1980’s wing seams!) and the iconic gigot sleeves. The sleeves themselves were re-drafted 4 times, each time inflating in size. Beneath everything, it is supported by a steel hooped grand pannier and a custom graded 1890’s corset.


In an attempt to build on a budget and to recreate long-discontinued textiles, a total of 7 metres across multiple fabrics were decorated with paint markers and embellished with thousands of individually-glued rhinestone for the ultimate sparkle. For this project, I taught myself to make jewellery, paint leather shoes, ventilate wigs, attach a scattering of beads and work with varying weights of modelling wire. 


As of November 2022, I have appeared on stage at the UK Qualifier for the Crown Championships of Cosplay; a global competition judged on craftsmanship skill. I will be taking the judges’ feedback to make improvements and continue in my efforts to represent the country. 

Below is my 'build book', a document handed to the judges to explain my working process as a part of the prejudging criteria where my craftsmanship is assessed before appearing onstage to be marked on stage presentation:

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