Elizabeth Swann (Burgundy gown) - Pirates of the Caribbean (Curse of the Black Pearl)




Basically, Pirates if my favourite saga and I’ve wanted to be Elizabeth Swann since, like, forever. I already own the pirate medallion, bought on one of my first trips to Disney World, so what better start to a costume?! Aside from the half-failure that was Morgana, I’ve never made a proper gown before, so this should be interesting – Leaving myself loads of time, but this is hopefully going to be finished for WLFCC or MCM Expo in October :D



* Hair – Long, curly, either loose and dishevelled or possibly with some high fancy styling going on. I’m going to use my own hair, rather than a wig, as this is cosplay on a budget, and I think mine’s close enough!
* Make-Up – Natural enough, I suppose. Going to have to experiment a bit.
* Underdress – Cream shift with slight paisley pattern. Three-quarter laced up sleeves, also laced front. Shows above the top of the dress bodice, and between the slit of the full-length black skirt.
* Overdress – Burgundy/wine/plum – The colour changes in every light possible – Probably silk. Pointed front and back bodice, trimmed in gold and fastened with a black frog, with contrast 'flaps' at bust, and black lace-trimmed lining beneath. Cartridge-pleated sleeves with lace cuffs and gold trim and buttons. Gown skirt has a short train and is bustled at the back, probably with some sort of crinoline. Will experiment with butt pillows (Technical term) and whathaveyou, depending on movement and comfort.
* Footwear – Black, heeled shoes, made of suede or fabric rather than leather, with trim in same plum fabric as dress, each with a gold buckle on the top of the foot, at the base of the tongue.
* Accessories – Pirate medallion, and I don’t care how historically inaccurate it is (Because srsly when has POTC ever been in the same timezone as historically accurate) but I want a pistol tucked into my stocking.


Sephirayne posted on 19 August, 2013 - 06:20
Looking forward to seeing this.

Clockwork Fairy posted on 27 September, 2013 - 13:01
Can't wait to see this!

CaptainAmelia posted on 27 September, 2013 - 19:57
Thanks, guys :') This is my most ambitious costume to date, so I hope it lives up to expectation~!

ArcaneArchery posted on 6 October, 2013 - 21:10
Fantastic costume and I’m amazed at how quickly you made this. It’s good to see a costume with a detailed journal too.

Clockwork Fairy posted on 6 October, 2013 - 21:17
This is fantastic!

flamewizo posted on 21 October, 2013 - 18:54
I was at WLFCC :\ was this on saturday? love the costume

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Progress Journal

6th October 2013

Future modifications.

I wore this costume on Sunday of WLFCC, and absolutely adored it from the off! Still, even the practice of wearing it brings up problems I hadn't even considered, and unless I make a list of them here and now, I'll only go and forget before Expo!

* Still have four black satin buttons to sew on, on the sleeve cuffs.
* Mofidy shoes. Maybe find more SA buckles.
* Sew lace panels more securely to inside of bodice. Lower one side slightly.
* Attach skirt to bodice - Double-thickness of thread? Snaps? Hooks-and-eyes?
* Re-jig bumroll - The knot at the front made it difficult for the front 'v'-shape to sit flat!

5th October 2013

24 hours and counting...

Hideous shift in lighting, but I've finished attaching all the skirt trim, and have made good headway on the bodice! My fingers feel like they've been gnawed at by small animals, but it's totally worth it (Y)

3rd October 2013


Eyelets added to shift! I, along with every other sane human, completely hate eyelets, so I literally only set the ones you'll see underneath the front split of the bodice. If I have the time/inclination, I'll set them all the way down the front, and on the sleeves. I really love the fit of this dress, though, even if you'll never see it underneath the skirt!

3rd October 2013

Ridiculous sleeves.

I have genuinely never made anything more ridiculous than these sleeves in my LIFE. Took the black panel out to add the lace, and am experimenting with the cuff pleating on the left-hand sleeve, which is why it looks so sassy! Really loving the progress on this one~

2nd October 2013

More bodice progress.

The burgundy and black brocade panels are all stitched on - Just need to add the lace to the top of the black panels, and work out how to have them stand up. I'm thinking either interfacing again, or some wire???

1st October 2013

Looking a little shifty...

Those were the FIRST SLEEVES I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE and I actually don’t think they look too bad. Okay, so they did cut off my circulation to begin with, and the range of movement still isn’t great, but I’m really pleased. The shift still needs eyelets all the way down the front, and down the sleeves, but I’m definitely not going to deal with them this evening (Y)

25th September 2013


It still needs lining with the burgundy satin - Thought I might use the wrong side of the fabric, because I hate costume satin with a passion - And the brocade, as well as gathering at the waist and somehow fastening to the bodice, but the overskirt is getting there!

23rd September 2013

Made a skirt this evening~

It’s hardly the swankiest of things, and I haven’t hemmed it because I don’t have the right shoes yet, and there’s a dusty white mark on the front that I really, really hope scrubs out, but, aside from that, I’m super happy!

It’s just a simple gathered rectangle skirt with a waistband and a hook-and-bar fastening on the front to form the split, as there’s another layer to go underneath, but it's the first time I've made any type of skirt other than a full circle on my own, and I love how it turned out :D

22nd September 2013


Pinned the bodice it to my skin, and it doesn’t look too bad! I think the interfacing was thicker than I needed, so I don’t think I’ll be boning it??? Idk, I might. Depends. Still got to work out if I’m lining it. ARGH.

(Billionth journal update without actually achieving anything, but it makes me feel accomplished okay.)

20th September 2013

Evade responsibilities - Go fabric shopping.

Lovely little stash~ I was lucky enough to find the burgundy fabric for the dress on sale for the grand total of £1 per metre(!!!1) so I snapped up, like, six metres of that, and I’m probably going back for more. The lace is for the sleeve cuffs, and the black fabric is for the underskirt. It’s got a little bit of a pattern to it, not quite as prominent as hers, and I really like it. On the left are some of the buttons, the gold one you can barely see, and two of the many satin-covered black ones. These, and some black frog fastenings I haven’t got my hands on yet, are on the shoulders, cuffs and centre of the bodice. There's a whole pile more of lining and interfacing and notions, but they're DULL.

20th September 2013

Does my bum look big in this???

Made a totally ghetto bumroll out of a pair of tights and some scrap fabric, which works surprisingly well. It’s totally inaccurate for the time period (1570s, not 1750s, history student), but it gives the same effect as Elizabeth’s bustle. Tried it out on a random skirt, and I think it looks great! Best of all, cost = £0 :D

17th September 2013

Bodice progress!

Cutting it perilously fine for WLFCC, but I'm determined to get there - Doesn't look too tricky... Brand new pattern, so I whipped up a mock-up bodice to get the fit right, and I think it looks really good. Most of the seams are in the right place anyway; I just had to replace the back fastening with a front one. Excuse the pyjama bottoms - And welcome to my new university room! My mirror need a good clean...