A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.

Make: Halloween – The Black Widow



I am a total Halloweenie hence my second costume post of the month! I had two days before my first event of my season, which was this past weekend and hadn’t really given it much thought when I found some reat inspiration on Pinterest! I found a picture of a model channeling a 19th century veiled woman who I decided was a Black Widow and the decision was made. I was to become Mrs. Black!


Realizing I did not have a long black skirt that wasn’t completely straight or made out of jersey, I decided to make one! Being a very DIY Kind of Girl I decided to make a couple of key pieces for my costume that I could wear in “real life.”  In my fabric stash I had a beautiful four way stretch woven cotton poly blend.

I found the fabric at Michael Levine’s LOFT store in Downtown Los Angeles, which houses their dead-stock, castoffs, & remainder pieces/rolls of fabric that are out of season or considered hard to sale. The fabrics at the Loft are sold by the pound at a remarkable price. SCORE! Even better, purchasing out of season castoffs saves the fabric from being shipped out of the country to landfills around the world. Bigger Score! I ended up with 5 yards of this gorgeous fabric in jet black and had already made a shirt with it.

photo 2I used the remaining 3 + yards to make a floor length 3/4 circle skirt. I improvised a pattern making the waist about 4 inches larger than necessary and created two pleats at center back creating a small train that could potentially house a bustle. Next, I made a lace crop top/tank. I had been eyeing a few fabulous crop tops in lace and this was the perfect excuse to make one. I intended to wear it over a blousen woven top to mimic an Edwardian look. In the end, it was  a bit warm so I opted to just wear the tank alone and the period is just inferred.
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In my wardrobe is an amazing silk hooded capelette that I invested in about 4 years ago. It is made by local designer Stella Dottir, who makes custom clothing for men and women. I love all that she creates: simple, timeless, dramatic, feminine pieces with an edge. The capelette is something I plan to wear a lot more of, as for the costume, it  did the work of transforming my pieces into feeling period. The sheer silk along with the lace also added another layer and texture to all of that black.

Finally, I made the veil. What’s a Creepy 19th Century Widow without her massive, face-obscuring and by default, disturbing veil!? Some tulle and vintage netting I scored by deconstructing a full skirted size 6 vintage dress (that I will reuse later in my own dress design) – did the trick!

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Click on the Widow to see the Short Film!

Voila! My Black Widow Check out the petite silent film on my Facebook Page!  What will you be doing for Halloween? What’s your inspiration? Who, or WHAT, will you be!?

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Author: sweetvanessaleigh

I am Vanessa Leigh, maker, writer and witchy goddess in training.

10 thoughts on “Make: Halloween – The Black Widow

  1. Lady, you are insanely talented!!! That’s gorgeous!! We unfortunately don’t really do Halloween in Australia, but I am finally going to my very first Halloween party this year, which I’m a bit excited about!! How many amazing parties will you be attending?!

    • Awwwww thanks Jess! Only one more planned and I will definitely be writing up the one on the 31st! 😀 But honestly the older I get the more interested in becoming an eccentric fashionista gypsy. I’ll take any opportunity that comes to glam it up! LOL I’m so excited about your Halloween party though! Please do a post on what you decide to do! xoxo

      • Ohh I can’t wait for that post!! I love the whole concept of it, and I agree – any excuse to glam up!!! And no doubt there’ll be lots of photos appearing on Instagram when my friends and I finally find costumes!!

  2. You are SO TALENTED!!!!!!! I love this!

  3. AWESOOOOOOME!!! I love how crafty you are! I’m currently in the midst of crafting up my costume!! Here’s a hint, it’s a very similar colour palette & era! 😉

  4. Pingback: ReFashion2015: Minimal Glam | S w e e t L e i g h

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