It started innocently enough, just a few lines of text.
Then this happened!
This bodice will have a huge number of gears and clockfaces and chain attached.
The wire’s been added to the hem of the outer skirt. The way it moves when Willa’s walking around looks pretty cool.
The zipper will be either blackened, or covered. (the buckles are purely decorative)
The outer skirt. The lip on this piece will have stiff wiring sewn in to freeze motion, and better simulate the look of the dress on the cover.
The wig: napkin sketch to straightened.
Two Willa impersonator’s means two pairs of boots. C is a good bit taller than J. So, one pair of short heels (above) . . . and one pair high (below).
Once we decided to attend Balticon 52, it was a pretty short jump to: Let’s make Willa’s Clockwerk dress!
Well, as luck would have it, we have a costume designer in the family. In fact, Meredith was there from the beginning. After reading an early draft, and after pincushioning me with questions, she dashed off—within minutes—the first design sketch of the dress. She then sat at my side, answering my questions, as I converted her sketch back into words. (Meredith was 14 at the time she drew this sketch. She’s now in her second year at Rutger’s University, pursing a BFA in costume design.)
Years later, working from a newer draft, Carolyn Arcabascio created a quick napkin sketch, in color, to see if she was on the right track. (She was.)
The dress appears twice in Carolyn’s many illustrations for the book. Once in black and white:
And once in color, on the cover:
At this exact second, Meredith is ordering all manner of supplies for the dress, which will be modeled at Balticon this May by two Willa Snap impersonators.
My plan over the next few months is to document Meredith’s progress as she brings Willa Snap’s Clockwerk dress to life. Consider this installment #1. Watch this space.
*All of the above is, of course, complete nonsense. The simple truth is that CeeCee da Vinci swiped the original dress pattern from Clockwerk Couture in the Clockwerk burg, Nimet relayed the pattern to me, and I delivered it to Meredith. There’s a longer version (as you might imagine), involving a midnight burgling, a dozen of Aunt Mila’s Clockwerk cats, a defective Smith & Blazooski mini stun cannon, and the careful deployment of ten balls of yarn (work with what you have). And if Willa ever figures out what we’ve all been up to . . . well, as Nimet would say, “Tanrı yardımcımız olsun” (Heaven help us).