A ball gown fit for a pirate captain Item in Red Sunrise | World Anvil

A ball gown fit for a pirate captain

How to show you are a pirate while being honoured by the Navy that hunts you in its spare time.

After the crew of the Sunset Dawn forbade their Captain to go to the Victory Ball in a denim mini skirt and t-shirt. They make Rose a ball gown fit for an unsubdued pirate captain.

General look

A white floor-length skirt topped with a blue uniform style jacket.


The jacket is a waist-length type known as a double-breasted mess jacket. It is made of dark blue wool cloth and has long full-length sleeves. The collar is folded down and forms standard notched lapels. The front parts do not overlap. There are four buttons on each side vertically aligned, and the two front parts of the jacket are held close together with a small gap by two buttons connected by a small length of chain, located across the belly.

The jacket has gold cord piping around the edge of the sleeves, around the bottom edge going all around the lapels and collar. Also, the epaulettes are gold cord piped. The epaulettes are held closed by the same type of gold buttons and are further empty of any rank or insignia.

For contrast, and to hide the unavoidable rude sewing, the jacket is lined with red cloth on the inside. The lapels and collar are not red, as one might expect from a folded open design, but the same dark blue as the jacket.

On the lapels the jacket is decorated with an embroidered pirate insignia based on the Pirate flag of Rosalind Abigail Oak. The skull and sabre in gold wire superimposed over the red rose.

The piping forms a decorative pattern on the two front lower corners of the jacket, imitating the loops in the rank insignia on the cuffs. On the tips of the loops and on the intersection four brilliant-cut diamonds are placed.

Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Current Holder
Read this story here:
XIV The Victory Ball
Prose | Dec 8, 2023

Rose and Bobby visit a party, the crew makes a dress, Rose get a medal, and in a fight.

Rank insignia Captain as worn on the Victory Ball by Rose by Jacob-W
Rose felt a bit awkward standing on the stool while Michael was measuring her body with a metal tape measure he normally used for carpeting. They didn't have another on the ship


Normally a Captain's rank would be represented by four parallel gold bands across the sleeves, sometimes topped with a star other times topped with a loop on the top band. On other occasions, the middle two bands cross over to form a diamond. For Rose, the crew decided on something different, because a pirate is not a normal captain, and they wanted her to show off some of their successes by adding more bling and flair.

Drawing inspiration from historical uniforms and something called the Austrian knot they folded all four lines into a loop like pattern, creating three lancet leaves, (left, right and up) all four bands have this pattern overlapping creating an intricate lacework. For the icing on the cake they fastened small brilliant-cut diamonds from their smuggling run to Sperrgebiet. The diamonds were placed on each centre crossing and each of the lancet leaf-shaped points, placing a total of sixteen diamonds on each sleeve.


Michael didn't have much fabric choice designing the skirt, they only found two yards of tulle. So he took two cotton bed sheets as a base layer and topped the tulle over that. Both the underlayer and the tulle are pleated from the sides towards the back, the pleats facing backwards. The fabric is also cut to form a full circle skirt, giving it natural pleats in the front. The waist is simple and the skirt closes with a drawstring. The hem is straight and simply folded over for the inner layer, the tulle and cotton underskirt are cut straight off, ending just above the deck.

The waist will be hidden by a golden cummerbund so the finish doesn't quite matter. In the pleats a slit is hidden so Rose can reach her pistol she carries in a thigh holster under the skirt.


The shirt came from Rose her own clothing locker, something she had leftover from her time as a Stewardess. It was a plain long-sleeved white cotton shirt, without any chest pockets, with simple small black buttons and a regular collar.

Neck decoration

During the Victory Ball Rose is awarded the rank of commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for her actions during the Battle at Klein Curaçao. Due to a mistake from the organizers of the Ball only a male version of this decoration is available. This consists of a Nassau blue ribbon with two orange lines, tied around the neck. From the ribbon hangs a gold and white medal in the shape of a Maltese cross.



Rose carries the sabre she inherited from Peter James Jacobson hanging from a black leather belt which is worn under the gold cummerbund. Just for the occasion she polished the brass parts of the sheath and touched up the leather with some shoe polish. The blade itself was sharp, clean and well-oiled as usual.


On her jacket Rose gets to carry the second part of her Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion decoration, the design is the same as the medal on the neck ribbon, but slightly larger and is designed as a brooch. The brooch is pinned just above the waist on the left side jacket front.


To give her outfit just that bit of an extra status look, Rose wears a pair of white cotton gloves. Which also nicely hides the four black and blue bruised fingers on her left hand. Which she got last week when her hand got struck by a hatch cover that slammed close when the Sunset Dawn rolled unexpectedly.

Hat or no hat

All other navy peoples will probably be wearing a headcover of some sorts with their uniform, but as the pirates do not have the resources on the ship to make such an item. Nor are they part of a navy obviously, they just want to show off their captain. Rose ties her long brown hair back, so that it is out of her face, with a simple black ribbon tied in a bow. On the ends of the ribbon, two more small diamonds are placed, just to catch that sparkle.

"Michael! I'm NOT going to wear pumps. Do you know how hard it is to walk on those? I'm not an elf, I'm a pirate!. Have you ever tried?"
- "I don't think elves have pumps cap., and no, they don't exist in my size."
"Oh they go quit big Bosun." Said Rose with an evil grin.
"I wear the black sneakers."
- "Yes captain."
A sketch found on the back of a beer coaster by an unknown person. by Jacob-W
Rose was slightly nervous when she passed through the metal detector. They hadn't foreseen that, who is going to lead a whole group of uniformed people through a scanner? People full of medals, sabres, buttons, and whatnot. Of course, it went off when she passed through.
"Mam, could you lay off your sabre and jacket and pass again." The security guard asked.
Rose did as he asked and passed through the scanner again, it went off again.
"Mam, do you carry anything metal on you? Could you please take that off?"
-"I'm wearing a corset, do you want me to strip naked?"
"Uhm" The guard visibly uncomfortable. "No, you can pass, thank you, mam."
Later inside, Bobby asked: "Are you? Wearing a corset?"
-"Nope, but I did get my Стриж inside."

Acquiring fabrics

Three uniform jackets stolen from the magazine of the Parera Royal Netherlands Navy base gives more then enough dark blue cloth for Rose her jacket. In addition, the white cotton gloves come from this warehouse raid.

Unbeknownst to Rose three of her crew members had sneaked onto the navy base at night to find the jackets. She scolded them for it, because they were there as guests of the navy, and robbing the place was not in their best interest at the moment. They could've done that the last day and leave with a nice loot a.s.a.p.

The gold ribbon they find in a arts and craft store. And they pay for this one honestly.

The tulle they find in an overpriced posh fabrics boutique, where they have an argument with a very arrogant owner within seconds. They bought the tulle together with the red and gold cloth, but to balance things out they shoplift the red and gold string they use for the sewing and embroidery. And also the domed golden buttons which looked like the flower of a rose seen from above find their way out of the store via the pockets of the pirates without involving any payment.


The design was in the hands of the boatswain Michael who grew up in his parent's clothing repair shop. After thinking up a plan of what he wanted he send some of the sailors ashore to find the desired fabrics. The blue cloth for the jacket became troublesome and with the help of the 1st mate Jan they planned a small robbery from the navy.

After taking the sizes, Michael plundered the chart collection of the second mate Marshmallow, he may have used some that were still valid but mostly they were expired, he used those to make patterns and then set the crew to work in cutting out the fabrics.

Most of the crew know how to sew, to repair the sails, or to close that rip in your shirt, or to put that button back on your pants that definitely did not pop off because of a gain in weight.

So there were needles and thread going about, but very soon they found out they hadn’t enough. So for the jacket, they had to be creative and they decided to split the rough sewing rope normally used to repair sails, and make tarpaulins. It took quite some trickery to get all the stitches to hide, but the end result was something they were proud of.

"NO no nooo! Jack you have to cut it with the warp not with the weft, that'll look horrible!" Michael shouted across the deck.
Jack looked utterly confused as the bosun pulled the cloth out of his hands.

Cover image: by Johannes Plenio


Author's Notes

This article was written for the Costume Challenge.

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May 18, 2021 07:27 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Great start for the article! I really like what you have so far and how you’ve designed the outfit. The little details that shows that this is a pirate crew are great, and I like how the quotes give an insight into their group dynamic and what life on board is like :D   " A white floor length skirt topped with a blue uniform style jacket." I like the idea, I think this fits well a navy captain/pirate.   " the two front pieces are hold together with two buttons connected by a small lenght of chain." I'm not sure where this chain is located, would that be near the top of the jacket in the front? Though I'm sure a drawing of the outfit would clarify things.   You have a few typos here and there but you can look at that once you're done with the writing.   I like the insignia for the captain – you can also add a short explanation of why the crew thought the normal insignia was not good enough for their captain.   " the tulle is cut straight off, ending just above the deck." Is it longer than the cotton under skirt? You didn't mention the length of that one.   I really love the details that they use bedsheet to get the cloth necessary because they didn't have access to anything else :D And the pocket is A+ XD   I like the other quotes too, with the corset, the shoes and the sewing :D – the one with the shoes should be reformatted slightly as you're missing some of the "-". Using the bold text and not bold text to differentiate spoken text is interesting. It helps make clear what's going on, though this looks strange and as if quotation marks are missing in the last quote.

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
May 18, 2021 15:17 by Bart Weergang

Thank you :)
I've seen to the spelling errors, copying back and forth to MSWord, created more red wavy lines then I expected.
A drawing of the jacket, oof, yeah maybe. I've tried to clarify in the text. The chained buttons go across the belly.
Although I do have a tiny sketch of the full set sitting there in a corner.
I'm always struggling how to show spoken conversation. Do I use "" everywhere? and add, said by x, said by y, said by x all over. That looks odd to me, but that may be necessary as nobody else already heard this conversation a dozen times in his head before it's written down.
You liked the corset part? I'm really on the fence about it, hence the strike trough.

May 18, 2021 17:19 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

I think the corset part is funny and show the character. I wonder about there being metal detector if corset are a common undergarment in your world, but then there is no reason it has to be - and that would also justify the guard not realising she is not in fact wearing one, because according to all historical fashion specialist you can always tell when a woman is not wearing one because the clothes don't fall the same way.   Ok for the way you've clarified about the chain.   I personally chose to use the "" everywhere just for clarity even if it's not a proper novel - like you have in the corset extract. So that would give something like that:   "Michael! I'm NOT going to wear pumps. Do you know how hard it is to walk on those? I'm not an elf, I'm a pirate!. Have you ever tried?" "I don't think elves have pumps cap., and no, they don't exist in my size." "Oh they go quit big Bosun." Rose gave him an evil grin. "I wear the black sneakers." "Yes captain."

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
May 19, 2021 06:43 by Bart Weergang

Red Sunrise is set in our own real world, in the 'now' (although I don't want to hang a specific date on it) So corsets are not a common thing. And besides that under modern clothes they are easily hidden, if you want to. You may tell about how someone moves, if you know what to look for. Under historically accurate clothing designed to be worn with a corset, yes you can tell with/without.
Conclusion, corsets not common.
I think I'll put the "" everywhere for consistency and clarity.

May 18, 2021 11:57

Nice read already! You describe every part of the outfit quite well and in detail. The insignia image looks pretty neat as well! The quotes throughout are a fun addition as well. There are some spelling errors here and there but that is logical in a WIP :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
May 18, 2021 15:18 by Bart Weergang

I spend quit some time on the drawing, so I'm really glad you like it.
I think I've seen to all/most spelling errors currently. Most likely I'll create a few new ones soon ;)

May 18, 2021 15:48

Great start - looking forward to a sketch, though I think I have the general look down from your beautiful description. I like the strike-out text, the narrative bits are so fun! Hope you can keep it or something similar.

May 19, 2021 02:37 by Bart Weergang

Thank you for the comment.
Okay okay, enough with the peer pressure :P I'll be working on a full costume sketch. soon.
I think that if I have some more 'regular text' I can keep the narrative boxes, it looked to much at first.

May 18, 2021 22:02 by Time Bender

Very good work in progress you've got already! I can imagine this will be even better as you add onto it. I love that Rose managed to get her pistol inside, she's clearly very clever and also seems quite sassy!

May 19, 2021 02:39 by Bart Weergang

gotta be sassy if you are a pirate right? :)

May 20, 2021 20:57 by Morgan Biscup

Oh, this article is quite fun. I love how you focus on how they pulled it all together, and how Rose felt the whole time. It definitely adds a lot of character and makes it quite a fun read!

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
May 20, 2021 21:05 by Bart Weergang

Thank you very much!
I didn't realize I created character :).

May 20, 2021 21:33 by Morgan Biscup

Oh you absolutely did. I feel like I know these people, it's great. <3

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
May 20, 2021 21:42

So much character in here! I feel like I know Rose and the gang :D My favorite part is 10/10 the part where Rose claims she's wearing a corset to get through the metal detector, love that kind of quick thinking and deception! Plus the concept is super fun.

In Gormhan, an ancient magic-using nobility clings to its power in a high-tech 1950s-inspired world. There are dragons too!
May 21, 2021 02:08 by Bart Weergang

Thank you!
I'm glad you like it so much. Happy to have kept the corset part.

May 22, 2021 00:08

Very good concept, well thought out and well executed. All in all a damn good start.

May 22, 2021 16:37 by Bart Weergang

Thank you very much for the nice comment Rocky!

May 23, 2021 22:16 by Laria

Interesting article. I specially like the bit, with the metal detector. And the pumps. Nobody should be forced to wear those...

May 24, 2021 02:18 by Bart Weergang

Thank you :)
The metal detector seems to be very popular, I didn't expect that.
PS. your costume entry link leads to your world home page.

May 24, 2021 17:41 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I really love the way the outfit was pieced together from different things. I especially love the bedsheets! The quotes really add a lot of character to the article.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
May 25, 2021 02:12 by Bart Weergang

Thank you, Emy. I'm glad my ideas come across so well.

May 24, 2021 23:52

Jacob, your articles have come such a long way since the last worldember! I loved this one, it was very interesting to read, and it was truly great to read how they managed a gala outfit out of whatever they had at hand, ending up with both repurposed bedsheets AND diamonds as materials. Rose seems like she has a great crew :)   I caught a little hiccup in the Gloves section that may have got unnoticed when you rewrote the sentence: "Which she got [I]when she last week when her hand got struck". You just need to remove the "when she", and it should be "stuck" instead of struck :)   Great work, and it's great to see you're adding pictures to the articles!

May 25, 2021 02:19 by Bart Weergang

Thank you, I've indeed learned a lot (about how to use WorldAnvil and how to write articles both) since WorldEmber. I'm working on the story of how they got the diamonds :D.
Oh thanks for pointing that sentence out in the Gloves part, that is indeed quite an odd sentence I've going on there. But I do ment to use 'struck', as in; hit forcibly by the hatch cover.

May 25, 2021 12:17

Ah, I see, I get it now :) In that case, it would be "her hand struck" (without the "got")

May 26, 2021 22:53

Very entertaining! I love the story in the design of this outfit, and it makes me want to know more about Rose and her crew.

If you're seeing this, I may have used your article for my 2023 Reading Challenge.
May 27, 2021 04:33 by Bart Weergang

Thank you :)
This whole world is about Rose and the pirate crew. so feel free to follow ;p

May 28, 2021 03:40 by Jared

Really nice concept, pirates are quite cool and this really leans into some very interesting things for pirates. I think the idea of a pirate captain dressing in a similar manner to a naval captain is interesting, of course with their own pirate-y spin on it. I also loved how they stole the fabric from the navy, truly typical pirates in a good way. This is a lovely outfit.

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
May 28, 2021 05:01 by Bart Weergang

Thank you Jared.
How they got the blue fabric was a very last-minute idea, to be honest. So glad you liked that!

May 28, 2021 13:36 by Bob O'Brien

The image of a pirate crew arguing over the finer points of dressmaking was really amusing. And bonus points for a sly reference to Elven Shoes!!!

Check out my latest efforts:
Laurels & Loot is a new, lightweight TTRPG rules system that hearkens back to the early days.
The Forgotten Academy is a mega-dungeon being created for the #Dungeon23 Challenge
May 28, 2021 15:20 by Bart Weergang

Thank you Bob!
You're the first one to notice the reference! :p

May 28, 2021 16:51 by O4

"and robbing the place was not in their best interest at the moment. "   Ugh never trust a pirate!   Not sure why but the whole concept of the article is really funny to me. It's all very detailed but it's the idea of murderous thieves being overly interested in gowns that gets me.   Great work!

Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
May 28, 2021 18:13 by Bart Weergang

Thank you for the nice comment!
It's funny how three words I added without much care, stand out to another so much they write a comment about it. I'm glad you like it tho.

May 29, 2021 11:55 by Michael Chandra

The bickering and managing to scrape things together really is adorable!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
May 29, 2021 16:20 by Bart Weergang

Thank you, Michael! This article is really a mix of 'factual information' and 'story' and I'm really glad and surprised it is so well received.

May 31, 2021 09:23

You hooked me with the first story bit. I can imagen the crew scolding the captain:
"No capt'n, ya can't go to this pompus party night with n'thing but ya olde scraps! Ya need something great an pompus yaself! Ta show ya status, like all the other guys there!"
  Also great discription of the not so normal process of acquiring and manufacturing!

Have a look at my Worldember 2023 articles.
May 31, 2021 10:12 by Bart Weergang

Danke! :)
You got the right vibe there! Glad I got you hooked, and that you stayed all the way to the end!

Jun 3, 2021 00:50 by Brianna Siobhan Healey

I like the thought you have placed in the article. I really like how the ship's supplies were incorporated.

Check out Corrigenda and 2275 earth
Jun 3, 2021 04:25 by Bart Weergang

Thank you! I'm happy you like it :)

Jun 9, 2021 23:52 by E. Christopher Clark

I left a "like" on this article, but I didn't leave a comment yet? Bad me!   This is great work. I really enjoy the descriptiveness of the text. By carefully describing each aspect of the outfit, you really paint a picture in my mind. And the visual art just adds to that. Bravo!

Check out my progress on WorldEmber 2023
Jun 10, 2021 04:52 by Bart Weergang

Thank you so much :) I'm really happy this article is so well-liked by a lot of people. I honestly never expected that. And then all the amazing comments too. I woke up to yours, can't have a better start of the day :).