The making of a Glass Angel Costume, Part Three

Here we are with part three, all about the ruffly skirt! Ruffly skirts are the best skirts, I feel passionately about this and had quite a bit of fun creating this one!

I put up a “tutorial” for this on tumblr, with the bare minimum of required information on how to make it. It ended up being surprisingly popular, gathering 5000someodd notes which is a new record for me! If  you would like to see the short, tutorial version of this project click here.

Otherwise I hope you enjoy my rambles and unnecessary photos (it’s my specialty after all)~

To be honest I didn’t start out with a big plan in mind. For the petticoat I decided to go with my usual method – the one that involves making tons of ruffles and then hoping for the best. In total this petticoat has more (yes, more) ruffles then my RMT bustle has! I was slightly shocked by this, especially since this was so easy/fast to make compared to the bustle.

(In total there are over 25yds of ruffles on the underskirt, which required over 150yds of hemming.)

I made the ruffles with my usual string method, which you can find more info on here! I really do not want to explain it again, since it’s very boring stuff. But, in case you had forgotten, it involves a lot of hemming. I began the hemming process on my Singer Heavy Duty 4423, my main machine that I got seven months ago (give or take a bit). Sadly half way through the project it began making a very load squeaking noise, overheating, and having tension troubles.

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The machine was replaced a week later with a Singer Industrial 161D-30, which is a HUGE upgrade. In addition to being larger and sturdier it also sews ten times faster then the baby machine I was using before. Which makes hemming massive amounts of ruffles a much faster, simpler task. Can’t say i’ll miss my three hour hemming marathons.

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Anyway, once the ruffles were made I sewed them onto 4″ rectangles of netting.

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Then the rectangles of netting were gathered and sewn onto a 1/2 circle skirt, which looks like so!  Looking back I wish it was a 3/4 skirt..but eh, that would be a lot more work. This skirt is made out of heavy canvas, if you plan on creating this you’ll want to use a sturdy material that does not stretch.

If you are unaware of how circle skirts are created an awesome tutorial exists here.

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Though I was quite pleased with this, the shape was all wrong – so I created more ruffles and sewed them onto very long panels of netting which were pinned to the waist, giving a cupcake shape.

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I was very unimpressed by the poof factor this created. So I made even MORE ruffles and did a second layer of gathered netting, this time I used 8″ tulle which was sewn four inches above my first layer

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Finally I was pleased with it, but the ruffles were kind of all over the place.

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See how messy they are? This bothered me. DSC_9444

I used a very large needle and loosely sewed through all the layers, just enough to keep all the layers pressed against each other. Sadly this made the skirt a little less poofy, but it looks much better.

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Skipping over a few steps, since I didn’t take pictures of this part, here is the overskirt! It’s made up of 1 1/2 circle skirts which I gathered down by hand and hand sewed into place. Then a ruffle was hand made, and sewn onto the edge. I think it’s all pretty self explanatory.

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Then it came time to add stripes to my wonderfully poofy skirt. These looked like so and eventually had the sides turned over and stitched down.

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Then they were placed onto the skirt.

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When worn it looked like so.

DSC_9647But it was still missing something! And since it was decked out in ruffles that can only mean one thing – it needs sparkles.

I quickly remedied the lack of shine by added little white plastic diamonds on each stripe.

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Which STILL wasn’t enough, so I created a double sided ruffle and glued the diamonds down the center.

My skirt also got a waistband.

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At this point something was still off – it wasn’t poofy enough. So I decided to sew in hoopskirt boning which instantly made it puffier and rufflier!

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Marvelous. 

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I also added a 6″ zipper down the back and two snaps for secure closure. I don’t have photos of that bit, but I DO have pictures of the bodice and skirt together.

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And that’s about everything for now! The end is in sight!

Thank you for reading!

The making of a Glass Angel Costume, Part Two

I swear sometimes this blog writes itself – but on the rare occasion putting together a post can only be compared to pulling teeth!

This post is the latter. 

I’m not sure why, but this costume has been absolutely torturous to work on. I really love the design, and though a few bits were challenging, there isn’t anything very difficult about this costume. Despite all this, I haven’t really enjoyed this project…which is sad. It’s also one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging about it, I haven’t wanted to work on the costume, much less write about it.

But now it’s almost complete – and my deadline is only a week away, which means it’s time to get some progress updates. If all goes according to plan another post about this costume should be up within days, then the final post will follow a week or so later.

Anyway – onwards! The first post about this costume focuses on the pattern and lining, if you missed this post, it can be found here!

So my fabric arrived! This was very exciting, three of the four colors were gorgeous and looked lovely together…sadly the sleeve color didn’t look so good, but I decided it would work (I really, REALLY wanted it to work).

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This should have been a sign that the sleeves were not going to work out so well.

 I decided instead of quilting the sleeves I would make them pintucked, which ended up being very time consuming but was easy enough to do.

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So fast forward a few steps and here is what the “finished” sleeve looked like.

It was really awful. It looked really, flat, tacky, lifeless, and CHEAP! In addition to all that it looked awful with the blue I was using for the bodice. I knew right away it wouldn’t do, so I got working on a new set.

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Well, before I could start on a new set, I ordered more material – this time in a lighter shade of blue. I had high hopes this lighter shade would look better with my other materials.

Sadly the blue was too light and very green toned.

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So I said goodbye to accuracy and decided to make the sleeves match the bodice.

This time I made the pintucked squares smaller, which I figured out make the completed sleeves look “daintier”

Here is how the pintucks looked all marked out.

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For the grey center bits I used a rectangle of fabric which was gathered down at the top, bottom, and middle so it looked poofy.

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I made the sleeve “keyholes” a little smaller. They were also sewn down around the edges so they can’t flare up and show the sleeve base.

DSC_9844This time I was much, MUCH happier with how the sleeves looked! They looked fancy an lovely. But we have to move away from that for a second to focus on the bodice.

There actually isn’t much to this, if you’ve seen the previous post on this you’ll already know the shape and pattern of the top. The only “interesting” part of this was making the front ruffle, which consists of several strips of material.

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The dark blue ones were double hemmed and gathered by setting the stitch length for 5.0 and the tension at 9.

Aren’t they cute little ruffles~

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Those got pinned onto the medium blue center piece

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And then the silver piece got sewn into the center of that.

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That got sewn onto the bodice.

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Some time later I cut the bottom into a point and bound the edges with home made bias tape.

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All this required was some sparkly buttons, which I picked up in a NYC trim shop!

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Perfect. 

The sleeves got hand gathered and sewn into place, which is pretty self explanatory.

I have to add scalloped trim to the collar,  finish sewing on buttons, add a zipper, and maybe add a dart in the shoulder so it fits better; But currently it looks like this!

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There we go. Only two more posts about this costume to write and i’m done. 

Anndd as per usual, thank you for reading! I shall have another post up soon.