Sister Evelyn (Lilac Flower lace Dress) - The Fall


Grand Cosplay Ball 2010

"Most Detailed" Judges Choice award at London MCM Expo (October 2011)

Showcased 4th May 2015 What is this?


Ended up seeing this movie, fell in love with the movie, Its settings, the designs everything. This Dress immediately went on the " I MUST do that, Even it it kills me list"

Realistically I could not do this dress until I bought the embroidery machine I currently own. Which I could only afford once I started working full time.

This probably turned out to be one of the most labour intensive costumes I have created to date.

Most of the work went into the corset. Its fully steel boned with a concealled eyelet closure at the back. Two types of hand dyed guipure lace, hand dyed embroidered motifs and braids were hand sewn onto the corset base to mimic the original lace.
I created embroidered flowers using my embroidery machine and hand sewed strips of organza fabric to create smaller organza flowers. These decrorate the front of the corset and the straps.

The skirts were made using gradient dyed chiffon.

The final touches were a styled curly wig, gold heart locket and hand decorated shoes to match!

I also created the Bandits costume, which was modelled by my boyfriend, Alan.

In all this turned out to be a very expensive costume, as I made it out of lace and silks, But I'm very happy with the results.

I definetly plan to wear it again in the future for a proper shoot!

Ninodog posted on 29 August, 2010 - 13:06
Madam you are a crazy crazy something something! :o Really hope this doesn't kill you or else we'll never get to see it

Ashe posted on 2 September, 2010 - 14:46

Sillabub posted on 2 September, 2010 - 19:08
Ahhhhhhh!! I'm planning a Sister Evelyn too, but the red dress with the crazy headgear. Awesome! Can't wait to see yours! :D

MadameLapin posted on 5 September, 2010 - 21:28
That costume is so pretty, best of luck with it ^^

Sephirayne posted on 19 September, 2010 - 03:37
Beautiful. I can't wait to see this.

KhaosKreator posted on 3 October, 2010 - 17:59
Love the look of this. I won't be at the ball this year so it will be a shame not to see it in person, so I shall be following your progress pictures like a stalker instead.

Uni posted on 15 November, 2010 - 11:50
This is so epic! Really cannot wait to have a gander at you~ ; D

Sephirayne posted on 23 December, 2010 - 11:55
Oh my,,,,, *thud*! This is so incredible. I'm so in love with the corset. So beautiful. I love how you've designed it and made it. The lace overlay and flowers really make it amazing. I can't wait to see pics of it on you. I'm sure you'll look stunning

j_mercuryuk posted on 23 December, 2010 - 13:27
So beautiful! The corset is simply beautiful and it's ust...spot on. You look beautiful as well. A great costume.

Sephirayne posted on 23 December, 2010 - 13:30
I so had to comment again. The photos are lovely. The completed outfit is so stunning. I love it.

Mighty Odango posted on 23 December, 2010 - 14:29
Labour intensive maybe but a piece to be extraordinarily proud of. Not many would go to such lengths and it really paid off!

MadameLapin posted on 23 December, 2010 - 14:35
This is abseloutly beautiful! Such a stunning piece of work! Well done <3

Ranma1-2 posted on 23 December, 2010 - 18:13
Beautiful, Amazing work, thanks for the great journal entries too, I love to see costumes in progress, it is a fascinating insight into the whole complex process. It is a stunning costume and you look fabulous in it. :)

Amy-Lou posted on 31 May, 2011 - 11:40
New photos! Beautiful costume, all the layered lace was such a good idea. I want an embroidery machine so badly, if my old faithful ever packs in I won't be able to resist now you've done such a good advertising job :D

Sephirayne posted on 12 July, 2011 - 16:26
Love the new photos. So stunning.

Siouxsie James posted on 18 March, 2013 - 22:12
WOW! that is a beautiful costume!

InfiniteJester posted on 4 May, 2015 - 09:17
This outfit is so gorgeous!

Gold heart Locket - Ebay
Guipure Lace - half meter - MacCulloch and Wallis
Guipure lace - 1 Yard - American Ebay seller
Silk Dupion - Peach - 1 meter - Cheapfabrics.co.uk
Acrylic Inks x3 - Online art shop.
Shoes - Peach peep toe shoes for base - Ebay
Soluble stabliser - 1x1 meter - Ebay
Gradient dyed silk geogette (4 meters)
Two tone chiffon - 2 meters & 1 meter - two colours
Corsetry Supplies (Spiral wire, Bull demin & Eyelets)
Lilac Silk Dupion - Flowers - 1 meter
Silk Dupion - peach - Skirt - 1 meter
Auburn Curly Wig - Ebay

Total cost: £0.00

23rd December 2010

Costume - Skirt

I was very lucky to be able to find gradient dyed silk chiffon fabric in shepards bush. This saved alot of pain when it came to making the skirt. I played around with the fabric on my dress form, until I was happy with the shape, gathering and drape. The top edges were encased in bias binding and the skirts sections (there are two) were stitched to the corset itself, making it a dress. The fabirc was hemmed using my overlocker! I made a quick pair of peach silk shorts to wear underneath the skirt, as it is of a see through nature!

23rd December 2010

Corset - Part 5 - Flowers

I hand stitched straps onto the corset, these were made from interfaced purple raw silk. The straps were then covered in chiffon to provide a base for all of the flowers. As I created the flowers I pinned them onto the corset and straps using the reference picture as a guide. I also added extra strips of chiffon and silk to bulk the design out, as well as a few other lace motifs I picked up from barnett and lawson (again dyed with inks) Once I was happy with the placement (there was lots of rearranging!), I removed the corset from the dress from and hand stitched all of the flowers down. It was then FINALLY COMPLETE!

23rd December 2010

Flower construction.

The Flowers that decorate the neckline of this costume were one of the main reasons as to why I couldn't have made this costume without my embroidery machine. (without going clinically insane) I designed three different shapes ( 5 petal, 4 petal and 3 petal) using embroidery software. This consists of sketching out the intial deisgn in pencil on paper, once I was happy with it, I then created a black line drawing of the deisgn. This was scanned into my computer and digitised using my embroidery software. I used a satin stich fill around the edges and a running stitch pattern in center of each petal. Designing embroidery pattern is fiddly and always takes longer than expected, but you are rewarded in the end with something that can be repeated at a push of a button. I could stitch 5 flowers at a time using my largest embroidery hoop. I layered two tone chiffon on top of purlpe raw silk and one again used dissolvable stabilizer to stabilise the design on the bottom. Once the flowers were stitched, they were cut out, Soaked overnight and dried. I gathered the flower at the center by hand to give it a 3D shape and finaly stitched on the embroidered centre section. I made 25 in all (as I ran out of fabric!) I also made around 30 organza flowers (not pictured here), these were created by gathering and twisting strips of overlocked two tone organza. The Flowers were then finished off by sticthing a piece of lace into the centre to conceal the gathering.

22nd December 2010

Lace - Motifs

Here is a quick picture showing some of the motifs deisgned by me and embroidered using my embroidering machine. I deisgned 6 motifs in total, a leaf, daisy, tulip, alluim, swirly thing and daffodill (at a best guess!) They were all stitched onto organza and dissolvable stabilizer. Each motif was then cut out and soaked in water to remove the stabilizer over night. (First motif on the left). I initally tried to make them without the organza, which was a total failure as the designed then proceeded to unravel! They were then dyed lilac with acrylic inks (Middle motif) and finally highlighted using acyrlic ink with a paintbrush (Last motif on the right)

22nd December 2010

Lace - Dying

I took a gamble and dyed all of the lace using acrylic inks (FW artists inks), something I had never tried before. The results turned out well. The technique mostly consisted of me mixing up a base dye of ink and water in a bowl. Using Rubber gloves I then dropped the lace into the bowl, lifted it out and squeezed out the excess. I layed the lace onto a protected table (A PVC table cloth worked fine) and used kitchen towel to remove the excess dye to achieve the colour I wanted. I then left the lace to dye, usually overnight. Any addition colour acents were added using paintbrush and more dye, this time less watered down. I haven't tested it fully, but I believe that the lace is relatively water resistant. But I will not be risking this costume out in the rain!

22nd December 2010

Corset - Part 4 - Complete

Here is a picture of the corset completed. Now I need to add the straps, the the lace and flowers that travels from the bottom, up around the neckline and across the straps to the back. Overall I am very pleased with how the corset has worked out!

22nd December 2010

Corset - Part 4 - Decorative lace

After adding the base lace, I then proceeded to stitch on sections of the other "ebay" guipure lace and my own designed motifs based of the reference picture. These motifs were designed on my laptop and then embroidered by my embroidery machine. I will describe this process later using the flowers as an examples. All of the lace and motifs were dyed again using acrylic inks. I posistioned the lace sections and motifs onto the corset whilst it was on my dress form and pinning to secure. Once I was happy with the layout, I took the corset off the dress form and hand stitched all of the lace down. I was careful to make sure that my stitching was not visable on the inside of the corset. I worked the pattern in sections, using the reference picture to mimic the original lace as closely as possible. I used dyed russia braid for the stems and pieces of the "ebay" lace for the leaves.

22nd December 2010

Corset - Part 3 - Base Lace

I covered the entire corset in a layer of the MacCollouch and Wallis lace, which I had dyed Lilac with acrylic ink. (I will explain this more in another journal post) Although the lace was not designed to stretch, it had some give in it. I positioned it over the corset whilst it was on my dress form, pinned it and cut off the excess. I then hand stitched the lace onto the corset at the edges.

16th September 2010

Corset - Part 2 - Base

After the mock up was completed I could continue on to make the corset. There are 4 layers to the corset, cotton lining, Bull denim interlining, Iron on interlining and Silk dupion. I mentioned in an earlier journal that I did not want any eyelets to be visable at the back of the corset. Since most of the Structure is in the lining, the lining does up with eyelets, this provides the corset structure and shape. The Silk layer is connected to the lining at the edges with bias binding and does up at the back with lacing through concealed loops. There is slso a modestly panel to conceal any potental gap (Added after the picture was taken) The system is a bit hard to describe, hopefully it is easier to see in the picture! Its now ready to be covered in lace!

16th September 2010

Corset - Part 1 - Mocking up

I've been making corsets for years, however this is the first time that I have drafted my own pattern for one based off my measurements. You can see a print out of the original pattern in the picture. I copied this onto squared pattern paper and altered the bust, underbust, waist and hips to my measurements. To ensure that the corset fitted I constructed a mock up using the bull demin, I imitated the boning in the seams with some spare rigilene plastic boning. One I was hapy with the fit (It still require adjustment) I used a fabric pen to mark the seams and ripped the thing apart to provide me with a pattern for the final corset.

16th September 2010

Shoes Part 2

Shoes arrived! and Fitted! (First win!) I managed to remove the decoration on the front with ease (second win!) I then stitched some of the ink dyed lace over the fabric areas. I'm pleased with the outcome. (Third Win!) I will finally finish them off with some hand made organza flowers that I will be making for the corset.

16th September 2010

Shoes Part 1

In the movie the actress is bare footed. Whilst this is very comfortable, it is not ideal for a busy ball! The Hem on the skirt is also floor length, Which is also not idea for a busy ball! So I have decided that I will buy a nomal pair of high heels but hem the skirt to allow me to wear the costume with no shoes. After searching all of ebay, I decided on a basic pair of peach peep toes shows with an ankle strap. This is so that I can decorate them in a similar way to the corset. (i.e ripping off whatever it is stuck on the front of them)

2nd September 2010

The base guipure laces

Guipure or Venise laces are thick embroidered style of lace. I'm guessing that the manufactures embroider them onto a soluble stablizer to create the look. I've choosen two laces with a wide netted background them. Both are flower and swirl based. I'm planning on using one as a base and cutting the other out and stitching it on top. The lace of the left was bought from Ebay (it is yet to arrive from america!) at £40 for 1 meter. The lace on the right was bought from MacCulloch and wallis. A very expensive designer fabric shop in london last year. I bought half a metre for £30. Nice guipure laces are not cheap (my bank balance is crying!) I do think the money is worth it, Since I'm never making lace from scratch again after making padmes skirt. NEVER!

2nd September 2010

The Corset

Even at first look, the corset construction was pretty simple (in theory!). The structure of the corset is made out of a peachy skin coloured fabric, with a lilac lace overlay on top. The Flowers and neckline lace are then connected to straps, which are purely decorative. I have chosen to make the corset out of peach dupion silk from cheapfabrics.co.uk. The fabric is very thick and strong, which is important for corsetry and I've worked with it many times before. (its the same fabric that I made kozue out of) The corset will be lined with a co-ordinating cotton and interlined with bull denim. You can purchase bull denim from venacavadesigns.co.uk, along with other corsetry components. Its an incredibly thick corset interlining and has the bonus of being pretty cheap. I'm planning on boning the corset with spiral wire, i used the material many times before and prefer it over other types of steel boning as it flexes in three directions. The actual lace on this costume was no doubt; rare, expensive and not obtainable over the internet for love nor money. I have opted to buy 2 similar style laces and to embroider any additional applique motifs using my machine at home. Since Laces rarely ever come in purlpe, I'm going to attempt to dye them using acrylic inks. My logic being that I paint fabric with acrylic paint, so can must be able to dye it with acrylic ink! I have yet to decide how the corset will fasten up, I'm thinking that eyelets at the back will ruin the delicate lace look. I might try a consealed eyelet system at the back, or have it fasten at the front underneath the flowers.

2nd September 2010

The costume

On first pass this costume looks like a corset, with attached straps (though they don't seem to hold the top up) and a skirt. There is mabye one reference for this costume on the internet, I was luckly enough to stumble across hi-resolution picture someone had taken of the costume when it was on display at an exhibit in LA. This does not seem to be the costume that everyone thinks of when you mention the fall, but in my opinion its the most beautiful out of all of them. I ended up buying the DVD of the movie (tbh its an amazing movie to own) and using the computer to take several screen shots of the costume. I managed to get some good close ups of the neckline, as well as other factors like hair and jewelery.

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