Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser from “Outlander”

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As soon as I saw this dress on my television, I knew I wanted to make it.  I knew I HAD to make it.  I admire Claire as a character – her fire, her drive, her sexuality, her intelligence, and her fearless use of curse words are all things that I identify with.  That, and I’m always looking for characters I can be without changing my hair.

At the time I was working on this costume, I was dating someone who was excited to try out different costuming opportunities, so I easily talked him into being Jamie.  (IRL, he’s more of an Angus, but that’s neither here nor there. :D )


The Girl in the Dress:

  • I managed to find some plaid wool online that was quite close to Claire’s dress.  It was too grey, so I dyed it to be a little bit more green.
  • I knew that the construction of the bodice was very similar to one I’ve made before – so, of course, I made the same mistakes this time as well, but I’m learning.  The bodice itself is three layers – the green plaid outer, a green liner, and a brown inner layer that I sewed the boning to to act as structure.
  • I’d never in my life made a cartridge pleated skirt!  It was DAUNTING to look at all of that fabric and think, you know, at some point, this has to be a dress.  I really need to get on that.  Eventually I did, taking advice from friends to use curtain tape to pleat the fabric.  I then hand-sewed it, and left an opening on either side for inner pockets.
  • The dress is sitting on a borrowed bum roll and a pair of inner pockets, similar to the pockets of the time.  I was worried about ruining the look of the cartridge pleats if I tried hanging a pocket from it!

The Boy in the Kilt:

  • That shirt.  You can’t see it completely, but it might be the thing that I’m the most proud of.  No buttons, no frills, simple unbleached muslin, long enough to tuck into the kilt… just wonderful.  I used some spare muslin for the tie/cravat/ascot thing at the neck.
  • I’m incredibly proud of the vest as well.  It’s a very simple design, but I was ecstatic to find faux bone buttons in the trough at SR Harris, and they really complete the look.  I also gave the back a “weathered” look with a little shoe polish, just like they did on the show.
  • I’ve never in my life made a kilt.  Ever.  And at the time, I wasn’t working, and couldn’t afford the yardage for the official Outlander tartan from Celtic Croft.  The wool I ended up using is wool coating material from SR Harris, overdyed with brown dye to really get close to the right coloring.  Then the trick was actually folding it.  I managed to do so on the boy’s dining room floor, and then painstakingly stitched each of the pleats into a waistband made of paracord so we wouldn’t have to worry about folding it again.  At that point, it was all about figuring out how Jamie folded his on the show, and I think we got it pretty close.  It’s about 6 yards of wool.  For my first ever kilt?  I call it a win.  Bonus: video of it swooshing: https://instagram.com/p/4sdj0NmXuK/?taken-by=bodicegoddess

The Details:

  • Claire, in one episode, attempts an escape by drugging a bottle of port and offering it to anyone she came in contact with.  I didn’t drug mine, but I certainly walked around with it.  It was delicious.
  • I threw my hair up quickly and let it be wild and frizzy where I couldn’t, which worked perfectly for the character.
  • The shawl.  I know.  I don’t have it.  We’re still figuring out how to make it on my mother’s knitting machine, but it is in the works!


All in all, I’m incredibly proud of this costume.  I was shocked that people knew who I was, since Outlander airs on Starz, but I was approached by a girl in the Artist Alley who started tearing up when she saw us.  I’ve never gotten that kind of a response from a fellow fan before, so it was really touching.

It’s garnered me an Honorable Mention on the Shear Madness blog as well!


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