|Add details to dress||High||Complete|
|Make up test||Low||Planned|
|Buy make up||Low||Planned|
|Make or buy shoes||Low||Planned|
|Make belt and bangles||Low||Planned|
|Green stretch lace||£10.00||Bought|
Maggie Murdoch almost done ^^ (Posted 26th February 2011)
I have been pretty busy since my last journal entry as my costume is eighty percent finished. It took about three weeks (working a few hours each evening, days off and Sundays) to completely cover the bodice in fabric. It took a while to pin and then hand sew each piece in place and I took the bodice in as it wasn’t as close fitting as when I first started to add the details.
Bum pillows and detailing (Posted 16th January 2011)
The next thing I needed to do was make a ‘bum pillow’ to give the back of the gown a bustled effect. The gown isn’t as highly bustled as a Victorian dress but I wanted to give the costume a bustled feel so I decided to try out a soft pad rather than a metal framework. I started to create the ‘bum pillow’ by trying out several different shapes with a newspaper pattern. After a couple of attempts with scraps of fabric that were left over from making the skirt I came up with a shape I wanted. I stuffed the pillow with wading which I had torn into little pieces. I decided to use wading as it is stiffer than the stuffing used in making a soft toy and buying it by the metre is cheaper than a bag of stuffing. Once the pillow was stuffed enough for the shape and firmness I wanted the next thing was for me to sew up the opening. I cut a strip of fabric from the same scraps I made the ‘bum pillow’ and sewed it into a thin, neat lace which I then attached to the opening seam of the pillow so that I could tie the whole thing about my waist. I may once I have added the detail to the skirt and tried the ‘bum pillow’ on under the completed skirt add another lace if I feel it needs to be held in place better. Or if I do make the bloomers I may be able to add ties to the back of the bloomers and the underside of the ‘bum pillow’ so I can secure the item in place better. I know in Victorian and other historical gowns the ‘bum pillow’ quite often rested upon the underskirt which was very often shaped with metalwork but I do not want this for my costume as this is too formal and structured. Now that I had my ‘bum pillow’ I could finally pinned the hem of the skirt while wearing the bustle pad (I briefly pinned while wearing the skirt and then pinned it more accurately with the skirt and ‘bum pillow’ on my duct tape dummy) once I had pinned the hem to a length I was happy with then I cut off the excess fabric. I rolled the hem over twice and hand sewed it to neat the raw edges ready to add the detailing to the skirt.
More gown progress (Posted 27th November 2010)
The next part of the process was pretty much trial and error as I need to change the shape of the bodice neck from the one in the pattern to one more like my reference picture, which is a scoop rather than a square neckline. I pinned the bodice to the duct tape dummy and then cut several patterns from newspaper starting with panels at the front and back to raise the height of the neckline and then pieces to alter the neckline and better shape the tops of the sleeves. Once I was happy with the paper patterns I then cut them out in fabric, pinned them to the bodice and tacked them. Then I adjusted the fit of the garment by wearing it to check sizing and neckline and finally hand sewed the pieces to the bodice. As I was raising the height of the back of the bodice to match the neckline at the front I had to add more Velcro to ensure that the back fastened all the way up to the neckline. Once all the extra pieces were sown to the bodice I neatened up the hems on the inside by hand sewing small rolled hems to tidy up the raw edges and strengthen the seams. The last thing I did was to hem the top and bottom of the bodice ready for the next stage which will be adding the first row of detailing and the fabric to the neckline.
The Bodice (Posted 11th November 2010)
In the initial stages of making the bodice part of the gown I followed the pattern. First I tacked the front centre panel to the two front side pieces. I machine stitched the panels together and then hand sewed tiny roll hems to neaten the raw edges and strengthen the seams. I repeated the process by joining the two sets of back panels together and then finally I joined the two back panels to the front piece.
Start of gown (Posted 8th November 2010)
As this costume is taken from an illustration in a manga, unfortunately there are no colour references. So I decided to treat this costume almost as if it was an original design. I have always pictured Maggie Murdoch as being dressed in shades of brown and green as if she is a part of the forest that she dwells in. My main inspiration for the shading and textures of this costume will be the forest, trees, underground and such like.
Maggie Murdoch (Posted 12th October 2010)
I love the Bizenghast manga, there are so many strange and interesting characters all with beautiful costumes that I knew it wouldn't be long before I cosplayed someone from it.