26th May 2012: The making of Frau Bow So having gotten over my US-related jetlag, I was left with four days to make Frau Bow and finish styling the wig. Challenge accepted! Unfortunately I was so busy making the blimmin' thing that I forgot to take progress pics so a description will have to do!
The first thing I did was to make her dress - it's an all-in-one thing, so I took an existing all-in-one dress that I had and patterned the dress from that. Although the dress I was patterning from was made from jersey stretch fabric, so I had to add some extra seam allowance to account for that. As it turned out I added far too much seam allowance and had to take it in by over an inch on each side, but heydeho, such is the way of things! The dress I was patterning from didn't have a zip down the front, unlike Frau Bow's, so I had to add a bit extra in the middle to account for the seam from that.
I then whizzed all the side seams and fitted the front zip - I just pinned the zip, for before I was to sew that in I needed to put yellow bias tape down either side of the zip opening. This is because I only had a 40cm zip that wasn't open-ended. So I put yellow bias tape right down each side, and where the zip finished I just sewed the two bias tape edges together. So the dress only opens part of the way down, but still enough for me to actually get into it which is the main thing XD
For the sleeves I used my trusty Ladybrooke sleeve tutorial, although sadly the site has been deleted so I can only access it via the Internet archive which won't show the pictures. I was still able to figure it out, though. Then I just needed to use some stiff interfacing and leftover red drill to make the collar and the cuffs. Dress done! Making a yellow neck scarf only took half an hour of whizzing on the machine, and then that was all done too.
The belt I made with some leftover black poly/twill mix (bad choice, the seams rolled around like anything and it wouldn't iron flat!) and then put a piece of gold-painted funky foam on for the gold belt detail. I'd like to make something a bit nicer than this if I were to rewear the costume, such as scoring an emblem in it, or something.
And having actually finished the costume the day before Expo, I then rushed into town to buy a pair of boots! Fortunately the shops still had some winter boots on sale so I got a pair for £18 from Shoe Zone that were suitably knee high and not too detailed.
The wig I then styled at Expo in the few hours we had before the hall opened - I pinned the hair into some curlers and blasted it with a hairdryer, and then sprayed it with hairspray on the underside so that the top side was fluffy and natural while the bottom side was stiff and keeping the curled shape. This simple explanation completely belies the amount of time it took me, honestly, it took about three hours! I've never curled hair on a wig before so I was very timid with it and not giving enough heat on the hair dryer, so the curls weren't staying in that well. With some help from miiol I managed to get going a bit more successfully on it as the morning went on, and eventually the best tactic turned out to be to just pin up the whole lot in one go and do it all in a oner. This was the best way to do it because every time I tried to curl it in sections I'd end up heat-blasting one curl out to put another one in!
I think if I were to rewear the costume I will probably wash the wig and have another go at curling it, but I was pretty happy with it for this wear. There was one bit at the front which kept curling the wrong way but I tamed it eventually to a level I was happy with.
Overall I was really chuffed with this costume given the short amount of time I had to make it. It was really fun and comfy to wear, too!
I then wore the costume to Expo and got some photos taken in the funky space station diorama. Looking forward to seeing those!