I finished my 1910’s era circus costume. Well….almost. I haven’t done the hat yet.
Below are the two photos I used for inspiration for this costume.
From RETRONAUT. Visit the link to see more beautiful vintage circus photographs.
I love the winsome expression on this clown’s face. I think he is quite handsome.
If I lived during those days I would have run away to join the circus.
I got the idea to applique the polka dots on my costume from this photograph.
In researching vintage circus costumes from the early 1900’s I learned that the costumes weren’t nearly as colorful as they are today. They were made from natural fabrics and the hats were much smaller. I haven’t finished the hat and I will post another picture on the actor it was made for when we have our dress rehearsal in late June. He will have some big shoes and a hat and a white skullcap. Clowns didn’t wear wigs in the old days. They covered their heads with white skullcaps.
Thank you to my mom for being such a good sport to pose in this outfit!
I used an old sheet from the thrift shop to make the costume and I backed it with muslin to give the costume a weightier feeling. Most professional costumes for the theatre are backed with muslin. It makes them more durable and long lasting and gives body to vintage styles which often had a lot of layers.
The buttons are some vintage velvet ones I bought at the flea market last week.
I appliqued the polka dots to the fabric.
I used up the commercial pattern below for this costume .
I cut the jumpsuit in two creating a pant and jacket. I added an extension for the top to make button plackets.
If you live in another coutry have you ever been to the circus?
Do they still have small circuses where you live and how do you feel about them?
Here in the US we have a big, mega circus called Ringling Brothers. They perform in giant arenas and I feel the charm of the old circus is lost in such a huge venue.
And of course we can’t forget, Cirque De Soleil which is amazing but far too expensive to take the average family.
And many people are against the circus now because of animal cruelty issues that have been discovered in some circuses.
The circus seems almost like a relic from long ago.
However, there is a smaller one called Circus Vargas . It doesn’t have any animals and passes through our town every year. We like to go to it because it’s small, inexpensive, and we can get good seats.
The acrobats are fantastic.
Our visit to Circus Vargas last summer….
Political issues aside, children will always love the circus !