AKA, my costuming group at Norwescon, and how that happened.
Once upon a time I made a friend who was so fabulous that when she was told a specific dinner we were going to was fancy dress, the only thing in my closet that was fancy enough to go with the thing she was wearing was my wedding dress.
Sadly, she is allergic to man made materials, and had to admit after wearing that dress for an evening that she needed some new costumes.
At the same time, her daughter convinced her it would be a good idea to make two new costumes for the next Norwescon, and I thought it sounded like fun and wanted in. And then our friend, Sika, who was in the Peace Corps was planning on sneaking back into the country just for the con, so Pearl made 6 costumes in one year. We were witches.
We all agreed that was fun, but, um, Pearl and Sika were both allergic to parts of the new costumes, and I hated my faerie, and Mirella kept growing... So we all agreed we should do it again.
We didn't though. I had a new baby, Sika was just back from the Peace Corps, Pearl had school, and we just weren't organized. Pearl did make the 4 of us coordinating shirts in our favorite colors, which we wore together, although this is the closest we have to a group photo. In about 30 minutes of standing together, no less than 4 people shouted, "Skittles!" at us, which reminded us how much fun it was to walk around together all coordinated and silly.
So the next year, we did. We agreed that we would all take turns picking a costume, and that we would all be as colorful and bright and fun as possible. We made/let Pearl pick first since she had done so much sewing at the start of this. She picked "Marie Antoinette in the countryside." With the caveat that we would all use a similar pattern, and have crinkle cotton for our base fabric.
The next year, it was Sika's turn to pick again, because I already knew what I wanted to do, and it didn't work with my need to carry a baby around that year's convention. We were "Chinoiserie Gypsies" and we were joined by Davis, Kimberly, and her baby Audrey. We all had black fabric bases, and each used a little of every one's brocade in our costumes.
Then it was my turn to pick, and the theme was "Harlequinade." We were joined by Angela and her husband Matt. I made costumes for the kids too, but we didn't try and get them in the group shot. The rules were to use diamonds somewhere in our costumes, have a silly, small hat, and use elements of 18th century underwear. I think this one took the longest to put on at the convention, but everyone seemed very happy with their costumes. Plus, someone suggested we walk around in rainbow order, and that was pretty cool.
I am frequently asked what book or movie a specific costume is from. We aren't doing cosplay, we are taking a theme and doing our own interpretations of them. It's possible that in the future someone might pick a book or movie to be our theme, but we are not ever going to be a group that makes exact replicas of already created costumes. Among the ideas we have for future projects are "Capitol citizens from the Hunger Games" and "Historically accurate Disney Villans, but we also have things like "Flowers," "Birds," and "Planets" on our list. Thank you to Michael Hanscom, Pearl Young, and Jessica Holman for the photos.