1890’s Day Dress, the “Pumpkin” Gown, Photos

Today I have some photos of my completed Orange Taffeta Dress to share! We photographed it in it’s natural habitat – a pumpkin patch!

These aren’t my favorite costume photos (I probably prefer last years) but I’m just happy we got some that were usable. The day we photographed this it was insanely windy to the point where the dress wouldn’t lay out properly. And since it was so difficult to control the dress I wasn’t comfortable walking in the dusty or potentially muddy areas, which left us with limited background options.

Luckily we managed to get a few I really like – though I would like to get more photos of it in calmer weather in the future, it has a lovely silhouette when it isn’t being battered by wind!

Construction notes about this dress and hat can be found here, here, and here. It was worn over a steel boned 1880’s style corset which was made from a pattern from “Corsets & Crinolines” by Norah Waugh. The skirt is supported by two petticoats that were taken up by three inches the night before this shoot so they would sit properly underneath the skirt. I also wore it with these boots* – you can’t see them in the photos, but they made me feel more authentic which has to count for something.

Now onto the photos!

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This one is my favorite. I love how the light catches the feather, and the waistline makes me feel better about how uncomfortable the stupid corset was!

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The abundance of “looking off into the distance” shots has to do with it being really sunny and that being the only way I could fully open my eyes.

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And that’s it! Thanks for reading – a new “Making of” post should be up tomorrow!

Making a Sybil Inspired Edwardian Ensemble, Part Two

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This week I have the second (and final) post to share about making my embellished edwardian ensemble! Part one can be read here, and talks about making the bodice and starting the sleeves.

The bodice was almost finished, but still needed a bit more sparkle. I accomplished this by covering the stitching that attached the bodice together with tiny sequins and beads.

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I think the end result is very pretty, there is so much texture and sparkle!

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Then I folded the back edges inward and added a piece of boning to the lower portion of the bodice. The boning supports six eyelets that are embroidered onto each side of the back of the bodice. The top portion of the bodice closes with hooks and eyes for a clean finish.

I chose to make the back lace up since I wanted the bodice to be as fitted as possible, and because laces allow me to get the bodice on and off without help.

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Now back to the sleeves! I sewed organza backed lace trim onto the hem of each sleeve.

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Then I covered the top edge with sequins so it wouldn’t fray.

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With that done I pinned the back seam closed so I could do a quick fitting. Unfortunately the sleeves were a bit too small – I could get them on, but it wasn’t easy. So I decided to sew the seam up with a half inch allowance, instead of the french seam I had planned, giving me an inch of additional room in each sleeve.

I finished all the edges of the sleeves with lace tape.

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The only downside to the smaller seam allowance is that it means the stitching used to secure the chiffon to the lace is visible. It falls underneath my arm, and matches the fabric, so it isn’t too noticeable, but it annoys me nonetheless!

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I sewed the sleeves onto the bodice by machine with a half inch seam allowance, and then the bodice was complete! I’m really happy with this, I love all the detail work and how all the different fabrics and textures work together. It’s well constructed too, which i’m proud of since this was made in a relatively short amount of time.

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But I wasn’t happy for long because I had to work on the pants. The chiffon pants. I don’t like pants, or chiffon so the combination didn’t seem like much fun (and it wasn’t). It was however, very confusing. So I’m sorry if my explanations are confusing, but I’m not sure how to avoid that since I’m still confused and I’m the one who made them!

At first I thought these would be easy to make – a typical drop crotch pant with an asymmetric draped panel at the front, no problem! Then I realized the draped portion is actually sewn into the inseam somehow and that the back is asymmetrical too.

Before even trying to figure out how that would work I made the base pattern. Which is just a longer version of the pattern I made for my cycling bloomers. I made the crotch lower too, but that was the only big change aside from length.

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I cut two of each pattern piece out from my “base” fabric – which is a gold chiffon. Then I cut the front left panel out again, this time from a orange chiffon, and I extended the panel to be thirty inches wider at the side seam. Then I did the same thing with the back right panel and pink chiffon.

The pieces looked like this.

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Now for the confusing part. I basted the wider panels to the matching pieces (front left was basted to the front left cut from base fabric, and same process for the back panels) at the crotch seam and inseam.

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Then I sewed the crotch seam for the front and back panels AND I sewed the side seams of the base layer together with french seams. Once I put it on my dress form and loosely pinned the waistline it looked like this.

I can practically hear your skepticism but have faith!

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The thirty inches of fabric I added to the overlay panels wrap around the body and create the draped front and back. It’s kind of confusing because the front panel wraps around the back of the pants, and the back panel wraps around the front. But it totally worked!

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I gathered the top edges of the overlay panels down so they were the same width as the base layer of fabric.

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I tucked the front edges inward twice, by around two inches so a raw edge wouldn’t be visible. Then sewed it onto the waistline of the base panels so it hangs asymmetrically.

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I cut a slit into the back of the base panel, then covered it with ribbon so the edges wouldn’t fray. I mounted four hooks and bars onto the ribbon, which is how I get the pants on and off. This slit is covered by the overlay once the waistband is done up.

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After a bit more gathering the waist of the pants was twenty eight inches, exactly what I wanted! As you can see I left the very front of the draped panels ungathered since I thought that looked nicer.

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Now the waistband could be sewn on. I used a rectangle of interfaced brocade for this. It was sewn on with the right sides facing each other, then tucked over the raw edge and sewn down once again.

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This is the finished waistband from the front side. It doesn’t look too pretty, but it isn’t visible when the ensemble is worn so i’m not too bothered by it!

It also closes with hooks and bars.

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Here you can see it on my dress form. It still doesn’t look too promising, but I was pretty happy with this!

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At this point I pinned the overlay portions to the inseam of the base layer. Which looked like this!

Then I did the inseam up with french seams.

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I hung the pants up, then used my scissors to level the hem to make sure the overlay was the same length as the base.

I cut an inch of length off since I thought they were too long, then gathered the hem down by hand. I gathered this edge to be large enough to get over my foot, which left them significantly larger than my ankle.

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After a quick try on I realized a few issues. The first was that they were still too long. But I didn’t want to raise them from the hem, and it was too late to take them up at the waistline.

The second was that I had no idea how I would get them over my feet after attaching the cuffs. I would have to cut a slash into them, but I knew that would look awful.

But they needed cuffs. So I made some. And after pinning them on the length looked even worse since the cuffs caused them to sit higher on my leg.

So I took the cuffs off and decided to bind the bottom edges with bias tape. It isn’t ideal, but the bottom edge is mostly covered by the volume of the pants. And this also means I don’t have to worry about adding a slash/closure method since they are large enough to fit over my feet. Also, since the bound edge is loose, they hang lower on my leg and the length looks more natural.

For some stupid reason I used chiffon to bind the edges. I should have used a sturdier fabric or at least interfaced the chiffon first but clearly I was in a daze of frustration so I didn’t bother.

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End result: PANTS! I think these are the most unflattering thing I’ve ever made. I don’t mind shapeless garments if they have a nice shape but these are…difficult to pull off, to say the least? I think they look nice in a very specific pose (shown on the right) and when they are moving, but from the front it’s pretty rough.

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But that’s it! Here they are laid flat.

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Close up of the waistline.

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And the back – you can see how the overlay hides the slash!

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I made a little headpiece to go along with this costume. I didn’t love the crown it was paired with on the show, and I didn’t have enough trim left for anything really exciting. I ended up gluing some scraps of beaded trim onto a strip of lace, along with some glass montees and a few bits of an ostrich feather.

The end result is more 1920s than edwardian, but I think it’s super pretty and fits with the rebellious nature of this ensemble.

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Now for the worn photos! I paired it with a blonde wig, some shoes from DSW, and knee length spanx since the pants were a bit more sheer than I had intended (an opaque lining would have been smart). I also wore some earrings from the Downton Abbey collection, but you can’t really tell.

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I wish I had a necklace to go with this ensemble, I think the collar area is a bit bare. I was really tempted to get this this one*but figured I wouldn’t wear the costume often enough to justify it. But it matches so nicely…I might crack and get it anyway!

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Sorry for all the similar poses, as I said the pants are most flattering from that one specific angle! I think this was the first time I’ve been grateful for my height while wearing historical costumes as I think they would be even more of a challenge the shorter you are.

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And that’s it! I’m quite pleased with how this turned out. Even though the pants were a pain, I love the bodice and how all the fabrics work together. It’s very different from anything i’ve made recently, and only took a week to complete! I really want to do more of these week long projects, I always end up really enjoying them.

Thanks for reading!

 

Making a Cinderella Inspired Dress, Part Two

DSC_4281RESIZEThis is part two about making my Cinderella inspired dress! It feels a bit weird to be blogging about this now, because I actually finished this several weeks ago. I need to up my blogging game, I’m so behind!

Anyway! This is part two and will focus on making the skirt. Part one can be read here, and it shows the process of making the bodice.

I’m actually using a piece of an old costume as the skirt for this one. Last year I made a medieval inspired suit based off of one worn in the show “Game of Thrones” I love the design of this piece but while making it pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong.

The end result was too small at the shoulder, way too narrow in the sleeves, and landed a couple inches above my waistline. It looks okay on a dress form but is completely unwearable. You can see a picture of that here.

I decided to disassemble it and use the skirt as a base for this dress. Luckily the sleeves had enough fabric in them to make the bodice and matching headband!

Though I never posted the “Making of” post about this project, I do have a few progress photos of how I did it. These photos are less than a year old which seems so crazy, my progress photo quality has increased so much. Vacuuming regularly and seeking out natural lighting has done wonders for them.

The skirt is a basic circle skirt. I cut this pattern out on the fold, twice, so I had a full circle skirt.

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The skirt was hemmed with two inch wide horsehair braid, which was turned over and hand stitched into place. The seams were sewn normally, but bound with blue quilters cotton.

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And that was pretty much it! There was a six inch slash down the back to allow me to take it on and off…and I don’t have anything else to say about it!

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It was sewn onto the bodice of that costume, so I had to use a seam ripper to detach it for this project. Then I draped it over my petticoat (which I talk about making here) and the results weren’t so great. It was too long in the front and too short in the back, which was bad.

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To fix it I opened up the back seam and lowered the back half by a couple inches. I added a panel to the waist so it would sit this way permanently. I lifted the front by an inch and a half, then sewed a gored panel into the center back.

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It wasn’t too pretty at the top but the hem rested evenly!

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That meant I could move onto making the overlay. I bought a glitter organza with this in mind. Unfortunately it wasn’t the right fabric for an overlay, despite the sheerness. The organza had so much volume, it wanted to stick straight out like a tutu instead of draping over the skirt. I tried steaming it but that didn’t help at all.

I decided to stitch the organza to the underside of the circle skirt hem. It wasn’t the look I wanted, but it’s better than a tutu!

The overlay pattern is really basic, it’s made up of several rectangles.

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Those got french seamed together because this fabric frays horribly. It also sheds a lot, I tried hairspraying it at several stages and it didn’t help at all. You can’t touch it without being covered in glitter and when I walk around in the finished dress there is a little “Fairy Trail” of glitter that gets left behind.

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I pinned the lower edge of organza to the underside of the circle skirts hem.

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I used something resembling a whip stitch to hold it down. In this photo you can see how fancily I finished the circle skirts hem! I remember this taking me ages at the time, because it was one of my first cross stitch hem attempts. I think I watched like two seasons of American Pickers during the process haha.

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The top of the organza got gathered down to twenty seven ish inches. Then it was sewn onto the waistline of the circle skirt.

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I cut a slit down the back of the skirt to allow me to get in and out of it. Then I basted the layer of organza around it.

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I stitched bias tape around the edges, and turned it under.

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I had cut my overlay a little long, to correct this I gathered it over an inch away from the edge. Once it was attached to the skirt I decided to trim it down.

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And I had a functional, really pretty skirt!

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Even though this glitter pattern is a pain in the ass it’s so pretty.

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Now it was time to make the panniers! I used the same method for making these as I used with my Halloween Inspired dress which means they are made from rectangles.

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One of the longer edges gets hemmed, then the other three edges are gathered down. Mine were gathered down to twelve inches, and the end result looks like this!

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I sewed these onto a piece of ribbon, to keep them separated by the correct amount.

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The ribbon got pinned onto the skirt, then sewn. I tacked the panniers down in a few spots to make them lay nicely, and that was it! The skirt is complete! I love how it looks.

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But I wasn’t done yet. The skirt got sewn onto the bodice, then a zipper was added up the back. Both of these things went well, it was the whole trying it on part that went badly. By that I mean, I couldn’t really get it on. I decided to take out the zipper and do a lace up back. No problem!

Okay there was a little problem. I measured wrong. My eyelets were marked incorrectly and this fabric did not take eyelets well. I couldn’t heat my iron to a high enough temperature to attach interfacing (thicker fabric = easier to make smooth eyelets) without burning through the organza. So I was either going to have uneven, ugly, eyelets, or a bodice that didn’t fit.

Then my dad jokingly said “You should cover it with lace” which was brilliant. 

I let the dress out by and inch with folded strips of fabric.

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Then zipper got sewn in again. I tried on the bodice and it fit! So I covered up the failed attempts at eyelets with silver lace.

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It looks a little odd. Not ideal at all, but it totally worked.

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I stitched the lining in, which covered the raw edges of the skirt waist and the raw edges from letting the bodice out.

And with that my dress was done!

Back:

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Front:

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And here is how it looks worn! The headband is a plastic one I got from walmart. I covered it with two layers of quilt batting, then stitched the satin backed metallic fabric over it. The underside was pretty ugly so I lined it with more of that fabric.

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I have some final thoughts about this project which I would like to share. This may sound a bit negative, but I think it’s important to mention.

I wish I had stuck to my original plan. In the first blog post about this project I shared a sketch of what I had planned for this dress. I wanted to make a dress using the colors of the animated gown, and was going to style it to look like Cinderella (the headband and silver shoes). It would have a very full skirt and “Princessy” qualities, but the similarities would end there.

Somewhere along the way I changed my mind and ended up with something that is more than a Cinderella inspired dress, it’s really just a shorter version of the dress in the film but with more sparkle.  I LIKE the dress and I love the fabrics, but I wish I had committed to my original design – which was a lot more original and way more flattering.

Anyway! That’s all I wanted to say about that. There is a video about making this skirt too, which can be watched here if you are interested!

Thanks for reading!

Silvery Blue Dress, Photos

I finally got around to editing all of these! So here they are, finished photos of my silver/galavant/renaissance inspired fantasy dress! I really need to think up a better title for this dress, but i’m the worst at naming things.

This dress was inspired by Madalena’s wedding dress in the show “Galavant” and has a few qualities to it that remind me of early Renaissance gowns. I made it from materials I had around, which included five yards of a shiny “mystery” fabric and a matching brocade. I made it in about two weeks, and it was a really enjoyable project! More information about the inspiration and construction process is posted under this tag.

These photos were taken during one of the many snowstorms we got this year – which are quite inconvenient, but make for some pretty pictures!

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I mentioned in the last post about making this dress that I would like to add a liner to better support the skirt, because the flowy fabric doesn’t hold its shape. I’d also like to make a better petticoat to pair with my renaissance dresses, since I have many dresses with this shape and no specific petti to support them.

But aside from that, i’m really pleased with this dress and how the photos turned out!

Elsa The Snow Queen – Photos

I’m absolutely blown away at the amount of feedback I’ve gotten on this costume – though I make costumes because I enjoy it, It always thrills me to know that other people like my work.

Today I had planned to post the first installment in a new project, but since there seems to be so much interest surrounding Elsa, I will post these instead!

I had been rushing the final bits of this costume with hopes of photographing it in the snow….which didn’t really work out. All the snow ended up melting, but a week later Long Island got yet another snowstorm, which provided excellent Frozen photoshoot conditions!

Though the snow was beautiful, and reminded me very much of scenes from “Frozen” it didn’t end up being the best for taking photos in. Since it was a storm, it was very overcast, and without sunlight there was nothing to reflect light onto the hundred thousand rhinestones. The details I worked so hard on are almost invisible.

I did take photos the next day, this time with sunlight, that show the details off a little better. Those are still unedited, but should be posted in a week or two. I posted a little preview on DA here.

Although these don’t show my hard work, I think these are really gorgeous photos, and I wanted to share them.

For detail shots of this costume I would suggest checking out my forth the making of post here.

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The Making of Elsa – Frozen – Part Five

I’m currently babying my dog who just had her teeth cleaned – she looks so pathetic I can’t bear to leave her, so instead of being productive I’m going to write the final post this series with her on my lap.

This post will cover making the mesh top, the wig, and talk a bit about my corset and makeup. If you are curious about any other part of the costume I would suggest you check out the other four posts I have on this costume, which can all be found here!

Weirdly enough, this was one of the first things I made for this costume, and it’s the last i’m blogging about. This was honestly one of the easiest costume pieces I have ever drafted, it took ten minutes and the alterations were super easy.

I started by putting the mock up of the corset onto my dress form.

(please ignore the episode of say yes to the dress in the background, ha!)

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Then I used yarn and a line of pins to mark the neckline and the arm holes.

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 I draped mesh overtop of that and cut it to the right size, I had to be careful not to stretch it as I went. Which was the most difficult part, since this material really wants to stretch.

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I did a real quick draft for the sleeves and made a mock up, which ended up being successful.

I turned my mock up into a paper pattern, but instead of using regular paper I used poster board. Then I drew out the design I wanted onto the poster board and covered it with wax paper.

Much like with the snowflakes on the cape, I could lay material on top of this and use the drawing as a guide.

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Then I put rhinestones on top of that…

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I did the same thing with the bodice

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I sewed all the pieces together and it was finished!

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At this point I wasn’t super happy with the corset (honestly i’m still not) so I decided to repaint it with iridescent paints. Then I slathered the thing in glitter glue…and you can’t tell at all. It still photographs very matte, which I find upsetting. If I were to wear this costume somewhere important, I would remake the corset entirely.

I embellished it with lot’s of little rhinestones and declared it done…at least for now.

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Moving on from that, and onto the wig! I ended up purchasing two “lace front” wigs on ebay with plans to sew them together. But when they arrived there were two problems – I was only sent one wig, and it did not have a lace front.

So I spent several frantic hours trying to find something usable, and eventually stumbled upon a nawomi wig on amazon in the right color, and it had a lace front. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on a wig before, but I think it was worth it!

Styling this scared me since i’m not very good with wigs – I can curl them and detangle them, but I suck at everything else. I ended up decided to jump in and hope for the best, other wise I knew I would stress about it for weeks and never actually style it.

I started by separating out the bangs from the braid.

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Then I sectioned off all the spiky bangs and cut them as I went. I teased the roots for volume, and used an eyebrow razor to thin out the points. I set them in place with got2be glued hairspray and used pins to hold them in place while the dried.

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I braided it and it was mostly done! Later on I used a small hot roller to tighten up the front curl, and trimmed the sideburns.

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Then I tried everything on together! I noticed some changes I had to make, but overall I was pretty pleased.

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The last thing to do was figure out makeup. I think makeup is important regardless of who you are cosplaying since it will make you look nicer in photographs, and overall more put together. But with Elsa it’s especially important, since she is very clearly wearing makeup, and it’s very specific in shape and color

I’m not someone who wears bright colors on a regular basis, so this was slightly tricky for me. I ended up making use of a freebie from clinique, some cheap fake lashes from ebay, and eye glitter from ulta.

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And that was it! Elsa is finished, and i’m looking forward to sharing the photos of the complete project. I thought I would feel disappointed or relieved or sad or something when I finished this, but i’m sort of indifferent. I enjoyed this project, but was completely ready for it to be over, and i’m looking forward to working on other things!

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Thank you for joining me throughout the making of this project! I hope you will stick around for the next one.

The Making of Elsa – Frozen – Part Three

Time sort of slipped away from me and I didn’t quite realize how long it had been since my last post, oops!

I’ve been busy with projects throughout the past few weeks. My primary focus has been Elsa but I’ve also been working on a bunch of mock ups and original designs, some of which are historical based and others that are somewhat casual. I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t worked on something for at least an hour – it’s been great.

Most of my precious hours of productivity have been eaten by Elsa. This costume has been such a huge undertaking, even more challenging and time consuming then I had originally expected! But I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to make something really detailed. It’s always been a dream of mine.

So that’s what I’m going to talk about today. I originally planned on only having three posts about the making of Elsa, but I’ve given up on that and will be happy if I end up with five. I have tons of photos and information to share about this, and I don’t want to scrunch it down.

You can read my previous posts about this project, here and here.

This particular post is on the drafting process for the cape/train. I will talk all about embellishing it in a later post (I actually hope to make a video on the process but I haven’t gotten to it yet)

For Elsa’s shirt and cape (or as some people have been calling it, her train) I chose to use stretch mesh. It’s a material that looks like tulle, but feels much softer and stretches in all directions. Sadly it doesn’t drape as nicely as chiffon or organza, but since it’s stretchy it will work better for the shirt.

I won’t even have to worry about adding a zipper, or hemming anything since it doesn’t fray!

I purchased eleven yards of stretch mesh, one yard for the bodice, and ten yards for the cape.

I cut the ten yards into three chunks, two that were three yards long and one that was four yards long. Then I pinned them very roughly onto my dress form to make sure I had enough length.

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It doesn’t look like much, but I was actually really happy with it haha. I had plenty of length, and I could tell I had enough fabric for the volume I wanted as well.

I knew I wanted my cape to be six panels, with a seam down the back. So my next task was cutting each length of fabric in half, so they could create two panels. Instead of cutting them in half the way you would expect, I cut them diagonally so I could save the length.

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Then I pinned the longest panels onto my dress form. I made sure to adjust my dress form so it stands at my height, plus a few inches to account for the heels that go with this costume.

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I repeated this with my other pieces of  fabric, and then I had something that looked a little like this:

DSC_3030Now I was ready to start shaping it! I pinned all the panels together and trimmed one side down until I liked the shape. Then I took it off my dress form and used the side I had trimmed as a pattern for the other half. In the end, it looked like this.

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(sorry for the messy background)

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The whole thing got sewn together, and then I was ready to start figuring out the snowflake pattern! I must admit that I took some artistic liberties here. I really loved how the cape looked in the movie, but when I began sketching out the snowflake pattern in real life, I realized if I made it accurate, the pattern would be very blocky.

And I don’t think of Elsa as a blocky character. She’s all smooth and shiny and sleek. So, for obvious reasons, I wanted it to look smooth and shiny and sleek. I tried to keep the shape of the snowflakes similar to the way they are shown in the movie, but softer and with more detail.

I laid the cape flat on a giant sheet of paper, then traced around it and marked out all the seams.

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 I used a ruler and french curves to draw out the giant snowflake.

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Once I was finished, I taped wax paper over the entire design, and pinned the cape over top of it. Since the fabric is sheer, the design is easy to see through the cape. This way I have a guide for embellishments.

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Now moving on to getting the smaller snowflakes onto the cape!

I started by going into photoshop and figuring out (roughly) where the snowflakes should go, and what size they should be.

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I decided to conquer these panel by panel so I wouldn’t get to overwhelmed – right now I’ve just started, so I only have one panel complete. Luckily that’s enough to make an example out of.

I laid my cape piece over paper and traced out the area I needed to add snowflakes to. Then I used my guide to draw out circles in the rough areas where snowflakes needed to go.

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I measured the size of each circle and marked them clearly. Now I knew exactly what size of snowflake patterns I needed to print.

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When it came to printing I went into photoshop and did this:

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I ended up needed to print off four pieces of paper for this particular panel.

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Then I cut them out and taped them into the right places.

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I ran out of wax paper, so I improvised and used a layer of plastic wrap taped over the designs.

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Then I pinned my cape over top of that and was ready to embellish! During the embellishing process it looks a bit like this

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I hope you enjoyed!

~

The Making of Elsa – Frozen – Part One

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you probably know I really like pretty dresses. And if there is one thing I like more then pretty dresses, it’s challenging pretty dresses. So it’s probably no big surprise that I fell in love with this design and had to cosplay it.

This post will be about the skirt, the next will talk about the bodice, then the cape.  The shoes and wig stuffed somewhere in between.

I started by draping the pattern on my dress form. I purchased silk for the skirt, so I knew it would be very flowy, but the material I used for my mock up was not, which made it tricky to visualize. The process did go very smoothly, though. And after a few minutes I had something that looked like this:

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I turned this into a mock up and I was actually surprising pleased with the result! The volume was exactly what I wanted, I just had to add an extra half inch on each side for ease, and lengthen the hem.

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When it came to fabric choices I had originally planned on purchasing some sort of printed spandex, but after looking in several stores none of them were “quite right” and I eventually gave up and figured I could purchase a silk or linen of some sort and weave metallic threads into it.

Well, not long after I had given up, I found the perfect material stuck in a bin of silk organza. I really don’t have the slightest idea what type of material this is, but I know it’s silk, it doesn’t stretch, it feels like a mix between chiffon and organza, and I bought the very last of it.

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It’s also quite sheer, so I bought three yards of peachskin to line it with. I picked a peachskin in a completely different color, instead of teal I bought a blue that matches the material I bought for the cape. One of my biggest peeves in Elsa’s design are the color differences, which i’m afraid might look unintentional and mismatched in real life. Hopefully this will help tie the dress and the cape together.

I made my alterations to the pattern directly onto the peachskin, and it looked like this!

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As you can see it’s a seven piece pattern, cut once  from peachskin and again from the silk.

Although I bought four yards of the silk I really wish they had another half yard. I didn’t quite account for the fact that silks are only forty inches wide.

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Once I finished cutting everything I sewed together both layers separately, leaving the side seams open. Instead of attaching the lining and top fabric together at the back, I wanted to do it at the sides and finish them with french seams.

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Once I was confident everything was right, I lined up the slit of my top material and my lining. I turned over both edges so they faced each other, and pressed them quite thoroughly before pinning them together. Then I stitched them together by hand, since the material is so delicate.

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After that I did up the side seams, and began work on the hem.

For the hem I did the same method that I used for the slit, i’m not sure if there is actually a name for this?

Here you can see the top fabric turned under and pinned down, I repeated the process on the inside with the lining material so there were no raw edges.

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And after that, all it needed was a way of closing and a waistband! I actually woke up and it was snowing, which was the perfect inspiration to finish this.

I simply made a waistband with finished edges, then sewed it onto the top of the skirt. I finished the raw edge with bias tape…and i’m really super proud! I think this is the first garment I’ve really attempted to finish nicely, and I hope it shows.

 I had left six inches open in the back of the skirt, finished the way the hem and slit were, so I could easily add the grommets. I debated between grommets and a zipper, a zipper would have been more subtle…but I feel like if Elsa actually existed, her bodice would lace up. And if her bodice laces up, it looks nicer to have the skirt lace up too. So that was my logic there.

I added a bit of lacing and it was done!

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It took around ten hours, and was by far the easiest piece of this costume. Let’s just hope the rest goes as well as this did.

Thanks for reading!

Merida – Brave – Fall photos

Tonight I saw the most recent disney princess film, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot more then Ithought I would. So much so that I see another princess (or should I say, Queen) cosplay in my near future.

This post isn’t really related to that, but it was the film that reminded me of these photos of Merida. Photos I should have posted a long time ago, since they were taken a month ago!

The leaves were the colors of Meridas hair and I thought it would make for some lovely pictures. Sadly by the time we got around to taking these a lot of the leaves had fallen, but the pictures themselves still have that orange glow to them which I like a lot.

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The Making of A Fighter (School Look)

So much for two blog posts a week, huh? Well in my defense I HAVE been productive these last few weeks – i’ve also been stressed and worried like crazy about getting things finished on time. Overall it hasn’t been too much fun. But at least I have something to show for my efforts, and I would like to share it with you guys.

This costume is a female Fighter from Granado Espada.  Wearing the Ivory School Look. 

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I saw this design ages ago and fell in love. Sometime last month I decided  I wanted to create for Otakon and began work immediately. But things went very poorly and I lost all confidence in the costume…it wasn’t until last week that I felt a burst of energy and resumed work on it. Getting it from 30% to 95% in five days.

This is easily the most complicated project I have ever done – it wasn’t difficult, but it was very tedious and more challenging then I had expected.

Overall it was really messy to make and I didn’t take very many photos. Because of that this post will be quite vague and far less detailed then my past “the making of” projects, sorry!

I started out with a sketch. Since this costume has a lot of pieces (skirt, undershirt, collar, tie, vest, corset, and socks) that layer atop each other, I had to do quite a bit of planning out. 

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I decided to start by drafting the undershirt, since it was the lowest layer. I wanted it to be super loose and gathered, like a tunic. This way it could be pullover without any sort of closure and super comfy. I draped it on my dressform, then added several inches to each piece so it would be loose.

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Then  I turned that into a mock up, which didn’t go too well,. I don’t have photos of it, but it was pretty awful.

The second attempt looked MUCH better!

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The real one was made from satin with an overlay of off-white chiffon. The neckline was made from a lovely light gold stretch knit, which was lined with non-stretch satin so it would hold the shape.

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The sleeve covers are made from suede.

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Each one is decorated with 1 and 2 mm gold leather cording. This stuff was a huge pain to sew on but I really love it!

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Each sleeve is stuffed with cotton fluff. Attached to the neckline I have six little tabs, each one is edged in 1mm cord and shaded with ink to give them more depth.

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And that was that! Later on it got hemmed and I added a ruffle, but nothing too exciting.

Moving onto the fake fronted corset.

I took my measurements and flat drafted this the same way I did my RMT corset.

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I thought a lot about closures – originally I wanted lacing, then  I though a zipper would work better. I ended up going with snaps, but for my mockup I used a zipper.

I made it out of fish fabric because of reasons…

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It fit perfectly so I turned it into a pattern and cut it from heavy, fake suede. The front and back panels all have golden detailing on them, which I wasn’t sure how to recreate. I thought about embroidery, but my skills in that area are quite tragic – so I decided to paint them on.

I used a marker to sketch out the design, then I went over it with tacky glue, and lastly several layers of gold paint.

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They really lacked depth, so I went in with copic markers to create shadows and such.

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Then it was assembled…

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Still needs some work, but that will come later, it’s time to talk about the skirt.

The skirt was probably the most challenging part of all. It has so many pieces and they all had to be sized and laid out just right. It was very tricky to get right!

I made a mock up and drew on the designs.

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Then I transferred that onto proper paper and added room for seams, the hem, and stuff like that.

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The skirt required six pleated bits, which were all made from the two way stretch knit. Not the easiest fabric to pleat properly!

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everything else was made from heavyweight fake suede.

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I went ahead and tried on what I had made so far, and it looked like this:

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The skirt was very short and didn’t stay up right. Luckily I fixed both of these things quite easily, the skirt got a waistband (which closes with snaps – but is pinned in these photos), and an underskirt which added 2 inches of length.

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Then I resumed work on my corset. I ended up sewing down the laces, which seemed really silly but looked good.

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I sewed up one side of the front and adding 14 snaps to the other side, which keeps it closed.

With that finished (or just about) I  moved onto the vest. I draped this on my dress form and it looked very silly.

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Luckily it looked a lot less silly once made from proper materials!

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And put all together, just missing trim, buttons, and topstitching.

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Once worn all together it looked like so!

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Sadly I do not have photos detailing the making of the collar and socks, but those were pretty simple. 

I also added buttons, and then it was done!

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Full body photos will be posted soon. Thanks for reading!