Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stilt Walking Costumes

For all the years I have been creating costumes it was not until last year that I had the pleasure to venture into the world of Stilt-Walking!  I began researching and gathering images - take a look at my "Stilt Walker" Pinterest Board.

After talking with the talented performers I would be making the costumes for, we decided on a Victorian-isc Theme!  I was so excited!  The Victorian Era is one of my all-time favorite Eras!! Click on Victorian to see my reasearch.  I briefly spoke of it here.  After narrowing it down to a couple of designs for each person, and deciding upon a colour palette, I began!!

I would be building a Crinoline Bustle undergarment.  Here is the finished item:

 After a fitting I had to reduce the weight by creating some openings:
I actually loved how you can peak in see the mechanics of the performer on her stilts!

 She actually decided to perform also with only this understructure with a corset, other armpieces, and a headpiece I later created for her!
Here are her wrist pieces:

The layers of skirts can be removed or additional light-weight fabrics can be used for other layers which can always be added or removed.

I was pretty excited with the outcome!  What I learned about this first experience:

- A stilt-walker costume take so much more fabric!
-Use slightly stiff but light fabrics!
-You do not know what it will look like until you see it on the performer with their stilts!!

The men's coat contains a detachable shawl collar and cuffs- he can switch out to match the women's costume with another fabric.  

Men's Stilt Pants
I was so lucky to find the perfect fabric for the men's Stilt Pants.  They were a light wool blend which contain a light layer of interfacing which gave it the perfect body and hang!  You can purchase a pair here or a fancy Tuxedo style here

For variation of the women's costume, I also made an underbust corset to be worn with the sleeveless cotton button down I had made.  This is an option to wear rather than the vest in the above photo.

 Her hats!  His is the only item I did not make- a nice black classic top hat!

I really enjoyed making these costumes, this was this first!  My second- a Venetian Couple was my second!  I will post photos later of this beautiful project!! 

Note:  The above three performer photos were not taken by me- please contact me for information.


  1. WOW I love the Victorian theme! Incredibly well done!

    1. Thank you! I always love a challenge!! And thanks for your comment!

  2. This is very lovely and it is sweet style.I am looking for good quality leather jackets, have found some good on cwmalls.com, I will keep a watchful eye on them and get myself the perfect one later.