My costume is an early 1860s hoop gown, designed to look like one of the female ballroom dancers at Disney's Haunted Mansion attractions. I created the whole costume, including ribbon rose decorations and my handheld mask, myself! Prep Time: 25 hours
These pieces can be quite intricate, and take lots of time to complete, but the results are impressive!
Period costumes are very personal; there are a number of patterns, resources, and techniques you can use to make them. There are many good, relatively easy commercial patterns available to help you make an 1860s skirt and bodice (the ones I used were from Past Patterns).
Ready-made hoop crinolines are available online.
You can purchase a period-correct corset to wear under your gown, make one yourself from a commercial pattern, or simply opt not to wear a corset at all.
Once you have found a pattern you like, follow the instructions to purchase your materials and make the garment.