This one is a real treat! Rococo costumes for kids!
Bastien und Bastienne is an early Mozart opera written by a child (Mozart) for children to perform. It is adorable, and when illustrating it, I decided to cast children as the models and make Rococo costumes for children. A brother and sister portrayed the two characters in my final photo.
Being one of my early forays into costuming, my mother helped me out with these while she was teaching me to sew, and she actually made the boy’s outfit entirely. I made the girl’s outfit entirely, and did the embroidery on both.
I hope you will check out my mom’s Etsy store Sewing With Twila. She specializes in making things for infants and children.
Making a Rococo gown in the style of Marie Antoinette for a little girl was a fun experience. I wanted every costume piece to look cute and pastoral, because the opera is about shepherds, but rococo shepherds, so I wanted it to have that ornate, over-the-top Rococo shepherd feel. The outfits are made out of pink and ivory silk. The ribbon details and flower-embroidery is done with polyester, however.
I used stiff interfacing instead of boning (or, heaven forbid, nothing) in the bodice. They used to corset children, but I wasn’t playing on that level, then, and I’m still pretty sure I wouldn’t want to corset a child for a photo.
I made Ribbon flowers for the bodice using the techniques described in Elegant Ribbonwork by Helen Gibb. Ribbon flowers were one of my earliest interests, but after some intense work with them, I am physically unable to work on them anymore, as my eyesight always fails when I do. I lose my sight for days after any embroidery work, and I have had to come up with alternate embellishing techniques.
The gown laces up the back. The costume is actually being worn with an adult size pannier hoop.
I made a little hat out of flower basket for Bastienne. I think it turned out pretty cute.
The boy’s outfit is matched in every detail to the girl’s. It has the same silk colors, the same ribbon embroidery and reflects the title of the opera “Bastien und Bastienne” which is just the masculine and feminine versions of the same name. Similar to Joseph and Josephina.
My young cousin, Olivia, modeled these two costumes for Etsy when she was 8 years old.
I embroidered up the entire sides of this little coat, and it turned out very prettily.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my costumes for Bastien und Bastienne!
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