Costume :Sarah Williams
Variant :Ball Gown - (Custom bead design)
Source :Labyrinth
Progress :In Progress
Worn At :London MCM Expo May 2013

Costume Photos

Even more beads!

Beads, beads and more beads!

3/4 shot of full dress.

Bodice WIP



Costume Information

Cost : £60
Time Taken : 6 hours

I never usually write much in these descriptions, but today is the exception! Having fallen in love with Labyrinth a very long time ago I've been toying with the idea of cosplaying Sarah for years. Mostly I usually lean towards her waistcoat heroine ensemble, but an opportunity presented itself to give the Ballgown a whirl, and here I am.

It actually started out as a vintage wedding dress from Australia that was two sizes too small, but it just looked so perfect! The back had to be colour matched and gored, and the lacework fiddled with a little, but I'm really proud of the beading! Some is original, some is mine - mostly the differentiation seems to be more evident with the colour difference of the beads and sequins, but I think that adds to the charm of the outfit.

The sleeves still need some serious altering. I don't actually like the monstrous ones Sarah had since they look like some of the cellophane contraptions I used to wrap my Barbie dolls in for improvised teddy bear fashion shoes, so I've settled for mutton leg sleeves, but beaded as opposed to merely giant poofs. They'll be stuffed either way to make them as big as possible, but hopefully the lack of shine will assail me enough.

I also need to finish beading everything, but with the right hair and the little headdress of silver leafy wire I hope it's at least recognisable in the long run!


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Oh wow! I cannot wait to see this finished! Looking good so far :D
I'm hoping to do Jareth's ball version one day :)

by WhiteWraith on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012 - 20:29
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If it helps, I think the dress it also help up by invisible straps. In the image, there is something shiny over her shoulder.

Your progress it absolutely beautiful though.

And, you know, I think it looks nicer than the original.

by NixieThePixie on Wednesday, 25 July, 2012 - 12:33
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Thankyou, thankyou, and thankyou! I've never actually noticed the straps before, but that would certainly make life a lot easier and stop me inadvertently flashing some poor soul! :)

I'm glad someone else approves of it though! I was a bit wary of it not being accurate, but there's only so much cellophaney goodness a girl can take. At least this way it follows the general idea without looking quite so dated. n_n

by Nymphie on Wednesday, 25 July, 2012 - 13:02
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So jealous! This is such a lovely dress and I can't wait to see it finished. (Yay Labyrinth!) As for holding it up, perhaps you could work with a corset/bodice type laced up back to it, then take it in with some darts to make sure its pretty darn solid when you wear it? I've used this technique a lot and I haven't had a problem with it yet!

by Monkey on Wednesday, 25 July, 2012 - 18:32
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I took your advice! A lace up back does seem to have made things considerably easier, plus the ability to slacken it off at the drop of a hat is definitely comforting to know, in case it gets a bit too restrictive after a while. :]

by Nymphie on Thursday, 16 August, 2012 - 18:43
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Wow, this is looking great!
I'd love to cosplay Jareth's ball outfit with you :3

by WhiteWraith on Saturday, 18 August, 2012 - 11:48
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Ooooh! I promise to fear you, love you and do as you say! It's the least I can do after being an idiot and missing you last weekend. :] There can never be enough Jareth!

by Nymphie on Saturday, 18 August, 2012 - 15:27
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Haha yes ;)
Aww no, don't worry about it hon, I was so busy, hardly met up with anyone :/
I agree, never enough Jareth!

by WhiteWraith on Sunday, 19 August, 2012 - 14:23
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Looks gorgeous!!

by InfiniteJester on Sunday, 19 August, 2012 - 14:52
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Your work on this is Outstanding! So much patience. I hope it gets rewarded like it should, I will look out for you too. ^_^

by Ranma1-2 on Thursday, 23 August, 2012 - 17:45
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oh amazing :D

I'll be there as Jareth for the weekend as well :D


by Methos on Friday, 16 November, 2012 - 17:17
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How beautiful! cant wait to see it all done :D

by MissAriel on Saturday, 24 November, 2012 - 16:44

Wow that looks amazing, I would love a picture with you!

by Shajyla on Wednesday, 20 February, 2013 - 21:38

Looks gorgeous, dude, you need to get pictures with Methos in his Jareth ball outfit, it would be so amazing! I hope I manage to catch a glimpse of you at Expo for some photos. Gorgeous work so far. :)

by Pudding on Friday, 10 May, 2013 - 22:43


The problematic, but mildly amusing fitting... (Posted 28th August 2012)

I tried the fully beaded dress on today - and then fell about laughing because after all of this, it now no longer fits. It's the hysterical kind of laughter, the 'oh-dear-god-WHY?!' moment actually, but it can be resolved. I've got an exact fabric match, which is pretty epic considering it was a vintage dress to begin with from the other side of the world, so I'm going to have to add another couple of gores on either side to make room for Bumpy and then hope it's enough for the bodice to sit a little lower and not ride up like it's currently doing. Also, the bust needs shaping again. Which is a pain in the bum, but a necessary evil I'm afraid.

All this of course, would be for the goal of wearing it in October - but on the other hand I could just hold off until May and avoid having to alter anything at all. I need a couple of days to think it over - me thinks. :]

Sleeve beads (Posted 16th August 2012)

I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to fit into this dress in October, but the sheer volume of the skirt is making me think it's a viable option at the moment. Needless to say, with the goal of Expo in mind, more beading needed to be done! So the sleeves have had a little more added. :]

Beads! (Posted 24th July 2012)

3000 down, 7000 to go! I'm mostly following the lace overlay pattern already existing on the dress since it looks remarkably Labyrinth-esque. I know it's not going to be an exact copy due to the difference in cut and fabric, but I like to think it'll be suitably recognisable by the time it's finished. I also much prefer these giant sleeves, since there's more to them than the original.

I should probably be focusing on Toph right now, but I like tinkering with this dress so very, very much. Finishing it for the Ame ball is indeed pushing my luck, but it might be done before Christmas if I learn to pace myself properly!