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Hustle bustle to get ready

red hat-made by Theresa Diaz GrayThe Time Travelers’ Ball is this weekend. Today is the last day to get tickets.Tuesday, I went out in my underwear to see if I could sell some tickets to the general public. Not that I would have gotten arrested for indecent exposure. I had on a pair of old bloomers and petticoat from my Dickens’ Fair days and my princess line slip, right side out this time, underneath my 1860s corset. Generally my corsets are pretty plain, since I wanted to attract some attention, I decorated it so it would match my hat. This hat used to be black, but I recovered it in red.  The pattern is from Denise Dreher’s excellent book, From the Neck Up.

It’s being worn by a tiny lamp in the photo. Having  lent it to a friend for a hat contest, I can’t take a  photo of it on my head.1860s corset made by Theresa Diaz Gray Anyway, it looked good with the red and black stripes I put on the corset.

Feeling a bit busy, I decided not to go all out on my costume. In fact, I was originally going to just drape some silver knit fabric into a sort of Egyptian/toga inspired sarong.

While cleaning out my closet, I came across my garden party/tea gown that I made to wear to the IWC Fashion Show, four years ago.
self drafted tea dress-Theresa Diaz GrayThat’s the same fabric which I used to make my first attempt at the Princess Line Slip.

Trying on the dress, I didn’t like how it fit. The underdress just needed a little taking in. I removed the beaded trim and bottom part of the over tunic because I thought that I could still use them.

Then one thing led to another. I bustled the fabric but decided it I wanted a real bustle.

Fortunately, I found this bustle pillow pattern on the web. I added some boning to make a cross between the bustle pillow and a small traveling bustle. Looks like a little duck tail to me. However, it really brings the back of the dress out.

traveling bustle-made by Theresa Diaz Gray


Orb of Tesla




I also cannibalized a necklace that I had made, which I used to kiddingly call The Orb of Tesla, sounds like just the piece of jewelry a good time traveler would have.

Here is the finished dress. I have to do a little repair on the necklace and decide if I want a hat. bustle dress 2012 002bustle dress 2012 004

bustle dress 2012 011

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. silentgypsymoon, love that name, I never come up with interesting nom-de-plume, Theresa in Mérida was the best that I could do.

    I adore steampunk! It would be so cool if there were people here into it!

    As to hats, I just finished the one for my costume and it’s totally cute. All gold and burgundy jewel tones.

    thanks for stopping by.


  2. Theresa, fabulous!!! I’m a big fan of the NOB “steampunk” movement, glad to see some time-travel SOB!!! you rock that bonnet, btw.

  3. Barbara, no, that hat has gone elsewhere for the day, besides it doesn’t match. I wore it with my corset and Victorian underpinnings. I like it a lot too. I am making a Glengarry style cap to wear.

    Barb,I am looking at airfare to California and want to plan around an event, but the price difference really doesn’t make it worth while. I am hoping we can make the Time Travelers’ Ball an annual event.


  4. Oh my gosh I love this! If that’s the hat you’re thinking of wearing I say DO!

    Love it all! You are so talented! (Love your paintings, too.)


  5. Oh, I knew about the event and would have dragged Senor B to it, but we’re leaving tomorrow.

  6. Barb, I live here full time and often find out about stuff after the fact because I don’t pay a lot of attention.
    However if you check Yucatan Living, Yucatan Today and the IWC calendars you can usually get an idea of what is coming up. Some things don’t make it to the calendars all that early, but a lot do that might help in planning your activities when you visit.


  7. Very nice! I hope you sell out. Can’t wait until we’re here all winter. We always seem to miss out on all the cool events.

  8. Teresa, I went to the open mic night, so no one even blinked an eye, but it did the trick, tickets were bought.
    If it had been any night other than Tuesday, it would have helped a lot more. The idea was to get people to ask me what I was doing.Next year, we’ll do more stunts like that. We used to do pub crawls in costume for Dickens’ Fair and it was a great way to get people interested in the fair,
    I was probably more covered up than the average person, long bloomers, long petticoat, long slip. it was more of a steam punk look with the gears.

  9. very interesting dress. now did going out in your bloomers help you sell some tickets? have a great time at the ball.

    teresa in nagoya

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