Drum Roll!

The winners of my Virtual Halloween Costume Contest are :

3rd place – Corbyjane

Well, this year I am dressing up as Giselle from Enchanted. Two years ago I made the turquoise dress she makes from the curtains, and it’s my favourite costume I’ve ever made. Unfortunately, when I moved from Minnesota to California, I left it in a storage unit, so I can’t wear it this year.

However, I’m making the second dress she makes from the bedspread. So my fantasy Halloween costume would be to have the old dress, cuz it was pretty doggone lovely. See it here: http://turquoiseandsparkly.blogspot.com/search/label/giselle%20dress

2nd Place – Sarah

My dream Halloween costume: Steampunk Mary Poppins!

I love Mary Poppins, and my friends always tease me I’m just like her (I work with kids and I’m usually very cheerful), and I loooove steampunk.

-small black hat, with the brim adorned with a mix of “real” silk flowers and cherries, and those made of small brass gears and such
-a mechanical parasol, that would “operate” somewhat like a hot air balloon (with a “gas burner”)
-brass-rimmed goggles! for flying. very ladylike
-high-necked white/off-white blouse, 1/2 length sleeves
-tailored dark brown vest
-full, tea-length burgundy skirt, with adjustable suspenders to raise/lower hemline as the situation calls for
-black knee-high lace-up boots, with a flat or short heel
-petticoat for under skirt (probably 1/2 length)
-carpet bag! full of odds and ends and various bits of technology
-pocket-watch style necklace (at throat)
-vertically striped stockings
-brown suede gloves, longer length

-thin, natural looking black eyeliner, enough mascara to make eyelashes look long and thick
-shimmery nude eyeshadow (to look bright-eyed and busy tailed)
-pretty rosy cheeks and lips
-small random bits of “ashy” black smudges (tip of nose, jawline, etc.) from “going down the chimney”
-hair pulled into proper ladylike bun, with little bits of hair pulled down to frame face/be just a touch on the messy side.

1st place – Anastasia

Man, this contest made me feel like a complete dork. A happy dork, though.
In my household, my parents, who are extremely right-wing extremist Christian, decided that Halloween was evil, worshipping the Devil, and we would be allowed no part in it. We had signs up on the house every year telling trick-or-treaters this, and were never allowed to celebrate.

It’s been a really long-time ambition of mine to take part, but I feel like now I’m too old, since in England it’s not as big or celebrated as it is in the US, and dressing up at 23 feels like pushing my luck. I still hope to though, I know in some places they do adult Halloween parties, so perhaps one day I’ll get invited to one of those and be able to go all out.

Because of that, I kinda really ran with this idea, since Halloween is already a fantasy for me, so designing my perfect, fantasy costume, was awesome. I spent the last 5 days working on something to post, I’m an RPer (i.e. huger dork) so creating characters and getting into their head and designing tiny details about them is something I enjoy. There aren’t any existing characters that I feel strongly enough about, but rather ideas of ones, styles, and stories that inspired me to create my own original character based on who I would most want to be for an evening.

My fantasy Halloween costume is~ Quinn von Heltz, sky-pirate and badass extraordinaire!

Quinn, simply referred to in the media by her first name, out of respect for her family’s reputation, is a baroness, descended from an infamous line of German aristocracy, the von Heltz. She quickly rejected the customary female traits of the day and rebelled in excellent form; ditching her primping and petticoats for tailored rough-hewn pants, her piano-lessons for marksmanship, and her stifling existence being moulded into a proper young lady, by hi-jacking one of her Father’s airships and taking off with it, determined to seek her own adventures. After news of her exploits spread across the globe, her family distanced themselves from her both publicly and politically, and Quinn went from rogue daughter and runaway, to notorious sky pirate. Her ship, Our Mutual Friend, has become a symbol of terror and panic looming out of the clouds, and a symbol of power and status for all who sail under her.

Quinn exists in an alternate reality, similar but with a differing world history to ours. This way, I neither have to know anything about history, and am unencumbered by pesky reality in design.


My imaginary anti-hero has an a-symmetric bob in a striking combination of natural platinum-blonde, sun-bleached to almost-white, striped with bright and dark blue chunky streaks. Her makeup features simple, clear pale skin, deep burgundy lips which lean a matte brown hue, and eyes a carefully blended mixture of metals; burnished copper, antiqued golds and silvers. The eyeshadow is inspired by this gorgeous mixture by Jangsara, just sans false lashes.

Her outfit is all business. The jaunty tri-cornered hat, a new take on an eye-patch which combines elements of the traditional highwayman’s mask, with an eye-patch and gives it a steampunk twist. The lens is perforated to allow vision, whilst protecting the wearer from airborne debris or insects. A spyglass hangs from a chain around her neck, lest it be dropped overboard, and able to compress and be squirrelled away into an inner jacket pocket.

The jacket itself, like much of her ensemble, is a worn brown leather, weather-tested and warm, and with many pockets and hidey-holes lacing its interior. Beneath it, a soft cotton waistcoat, a brown so dark it’s almost black, and attached is an ageing, tarnished silver pocket-watch; which, while it no longer gleams, still keeps perfect time.
Hidden below this layer is a leather harness, holstering a secondary pistol, and small collection of blades, lockpicks, and various other knick-knacks generally associated with persons who are up to no good. This network of straps rests against a soft cotton shirt, a grubby ivory, with ruffles spilling from the neckline.

Below that; although accounts vary on this hazy subject, a cream and black panelled bustier, laced tight but unboned, provides ‘support’ for the woman of action. Long-line, it flares over rough-hewn, figure-hugging pants, faded and spotted tan, and overlapped by the primary holster. This one immediately apparent to onlookers, it holds her favourite side-arm, a modified revolver with an unusually large barrel, altered to accommodate more rounds (reloading on a moving surface is a bitch) and with a few tinkers added to minimise recoil.
She wears sensible boots; to the knee, brown leather with black panelling secured by buckled straps, and a low, flat heel. Stilettos might look glamorous in films, but are utterly impractical for dashing about on deck, or landing from swinging rigging without tripping and going headlong overboard. Infinitely practical, she shuns jewellery and accessorises with what appears to be a set of bangles; in actuality a thin leather cord wrapped around itself into a coil, which has come in handy more than once when some crucial line broke.


Quinn likes to keep things minimal, aside from the utterly necessary weapons and various tools of the trade, she also carried a leather-bound journal, used for charting destinations and laying out villainous plans. In addition, her final accoutrement of note is a small compass, encased in a little brass tin, its purpose obvious.
If it can to be grouped into anything, Our Mutual Friend falls under this category. The huge airship is based on a traditional rigid model, elongated and using a metal framework, its ‘balloon’ filled with hydrogen gas. Our Mutual Friend, however, rather than using an internal combustion engine, relies on a miniature nuclear reactor* designed and patented by Heltz Industries. The sails and rigging surrounding the rigid airship provide a greater manoeuvrability as well as a way to continue travelling in the event of loss of power.

Since this is a fantasy costume, I would have a scale model of Our Mutual Friend constructed, designed to fit over a bicycle and obscure both it and rider, who would be employed to follow me around looking impressive and airshippy.


The image I’ve created began from this simple Polyvore, but I didn’t want to leave it at that or be satisfied with what reality provided for me, since this was a fantasy project, and kinda encompassing 20 years’ of watching other kids troop down the street getting free candy without me. I took a screenshot of the polyvore items and dumped them into Photoshop, where I edited the living hell out of them until I could get everything exactly how I imagined it and construct an outfit in layers to give a better idea of what I wanted. The finished Photoshop document has 33 layers and took about 5 days to finish. It included a lot of zooming in to 1300x and just editing pixel-by-pixel to get stuff right.
You can see all the original items in the polyvore, except for (I think) the mask, which was custom made and I found here and cut out manually to use. The fonts were downloaded from some free font site, the photo of the woman was from a quick google search to find someone with the haircut I wanted, and the cool parchment thing and all its effects I made myself (I’m quite proud of that, too – I learned what layer masks do!).

It probably seems like an insane amount of time to spend on an online contest, but as I’ve never celebrated Halloween and am big into fantasy, I just got so excited about the idea of being an airship pirate that I wanted to make it all perfect, fit what I imagined and be able to explain it properly.

*Totally a shout-out to the Songs To Wear Pants To song “Robot pirates”.

Congratulations! I’ll be dropping you an email in the next day or so!



12 Responses to “Drum Roll!”

  1. OMG Awesome! Ana’s was amazing! I loved reading everyone’s entries 🙂 Congrats to the winners!

  2. I couldn’t think of anything! But those are so amazing! Loved it!

  3. Whooooo! Kickass! Thank you =D Now I can terrify Becca more by tormenting her about a review.

    I loved that steampunk Mary Poppins idea when I saw it, too, there were so many great ones.

  4. Congrats to all the winners- and to all the non-winners, too- you guys made it *so* hard to pick!!

    I’d like to offer all those who entered 10% off their next OHWTO order in my Etsy shop- just let me know you entered, and what your name here is if it’s different from your Etsy username. I wish I could afford to send prizes to all of you, you guys came up with some wicked cool costume ideas and descriptions!! I’m closed up till Halloween or so, but this offer’s good till you use it, whenever that is 🙂

    • Ooooh, Becca! That is awesome.

      Will you be offering the Sugar Skulls fragrance for sale in the shop when you reopen, by any chance?

      Congrats to all of the entrants… and the winners especially!

  5. The whole time while I was reading Anastasia’s post, this song was on repeat in my mind:

    Abney Park – Airship Pirate

  6. lol “My hat: It has 3 corners” I smiled yo! I needed that, I have friggin rain coming through my bedroom window frame. NEEDZ TEH HAPPIES

  7. w00t to all the awesome winners! Good contest. 🙂

  8. I think there should be a costume fashion show because I’d totally love to see these costumes! If money grew on trees and we all had as much time as we needed, blah blah. Yeah. But it would be awesome.