Tinkerbell
Tinkerbell Movie / Peter Pan / Disney Parks

Cosplayer: Angelphie

Variant: inspired by the face character design

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

25th August 2009: Wings Here’s the basic wing frame before I covered it. I used a more flexible wire to wrap round and connect the thicker wire, and also duct taped around it a lot, as you can see, which also protected any sharp ends.

I made newspaper patterns for the wing shapes, which let me test out the shape and size (ensuring the final wings would fit in my suitcase!) then I bent the wire to match the pattern pieces. The patterns were also helpful for getting both wings to match, and they also had the vein designs drawn on, which let me trace them on to the wings and have each wing end up identical. I used silver glitter glue for this.

The important bit is that U-shaped connector. That’s the bit that slots down the back of my dress (and bra) and stabilises the wings too. The band of my strapless bra is what’s supporting the wings and holding them up, but the black elastic strap in the picture also ties around my torso, and stops the wings shifting from side-to-side at all. I later covered that U shape in felt to pad it out and make sure it would be comfy against my skin.

To complete the wings, I got 2 pairs of sheer coloured tights, and stretched them over the wing frame. The disadvantage of this technique is that the tights limited the width I could make the wings, as they would only stretch so far.

Where the wings are narrower than the tights at the tips, I hand sewed a seam and chopped off the excess fabric (also sealing the edges with clear nail polish in case they ran) then turned the tights the other way out to leave the seam on the inside. With the seam resting along the wire, it’s not very obvious when viewing the wing from either side.

For my first wings, I tried using organza to cover them. I think with more patience and practice I could have got it neater, but when covering the large wing segment, it was very difficult to keep a piece of organza that size taunt, so it’s perhaps also that the nature of the wings made them more awkward to cover. I certainly didn’t have the same problem covering the small sections. The tights worked out nicely and were suitably idiot-proof for me, so I’m pleased with my new wings!

25th August 2009: Painting - Back Back of the dress

In a way, it looked good at this point too, since the glue lines were still showing up. Unfortunately, too much of the fine detail was lost, so I still had to wash the glue out... This was a weird costume to work on, because at almost every stage, it felt complete, and I could have stopped work. Then I’d be second-guessing myself, wondering if I should continue with the decoration...

25th August 2009: Painting - Front Next was spray paint time, as in, the poor person’s airbrush. I got a couple of shades of paint, and went nuts in the back garden, aiming for a spirally effect with the two colours, roughly following the curved panels of the dress. Every bit of fabric had to be covered, otherwise the glue-veins I’d drawn wouldn’t have a darker background to show up against.

The dress has safety pins in the lining and string tied to them to suspend it over the washing line. I was ensuring every area of the dress was free to be coated in paint!

When dry, the glue scraped off after being soaked in water, with the aid of a kitchen knife and my nails (which turned very green). The spray paint mostly stayed in place, as intended, but the scraping also softened up the paint and freed the pile of the velveteen again, it’s not all stiff and nasty with the paint. I’m pleased with the result, since it’s still quite velvety, but no longer so horribly shiny!

25th August 2009: The Results I really like how it looked when it dried. If the base fabric wasn’t so nasty, I might have stopped at this point!

It was quite hard to do the lines as I could only do the front of the dress, wait for it to dry, then do the back. In reality, the designs wrap right round the dress, following the curved panels, so a line I was drawing would start on the front, but end up on the back. That meant it wasn’t ideal to do it in front/back sections.

25th August 2009: Decorating Result: horrible shiny green dress (if you look closely, you can see the curved seams). And I made it even prettier by dribbling glue all over it.

This was my cheat’s batik method. More sensibly, I could have painted the dress, then painted the veins on afterwards in a paler colour. But I liked the sound of this technique, and the colour of fabric I had was perfect for the veins. I also dislike painting since I’m useless at getting it neat, and drawing with a glue bottle nozzle was definitely easier for me!

I did a few swatch tests in several glues, then when they were dry, also tested out a few different paints over the glue doodles (originally I was hoping I could make my own spray paint by using fabric paint and water in a spray bottle, but it turned out too dilute). Then the real test was how well the various glues and paints would hold up when washed and the glue removed. The idea was to have the paint stick, and the glue wash out, leaving the vein designs in a paler shade. What ended up working best was tacky glue, and acrylic paint.

So this photo is the leaf veins drawn out in the tacky glue. I mostly followed references for the lines, but not entirely since it seemed pointless to be so accurate. I also didn’t have many photos showing the back! I made the lines quite thick, so they photograph well.

25th August 2009: Sewing When I finally got a reasonable fit, the pieces for the dress and its lining could be cut out of the velveteen with seam allowance added, and sewn along all those fiddly curved seams with my sewing machine’s overlocking stitch, which helpfully finished the edges quite well as I went along. The velveteen loved to shed everywhere and practically dissolve where cut.

My lining was identical. I wasn’t too sure about having the fuzzy velveteen facing against my skin, but I decided I’d better have the lining the same since it would show on the interior of the zigzags.

25th August 2009: Patterning 2 With things satisfactorily doodled out (I fail so hard at proper sewing, don’t I?) I could cut apart the mock-up along the new seam lines, and that gave me a pattern for the real deal.

I was careful to test my pattern - actually making a mock-up dress in more spare fabric, using the curved pattern pieces I’d created. Just as well I did this, since I had to go through a few more mock-ups to adjust the pattern. As pretty as those curved panels are, in practice they were just a nuisance! It was very hard to adjust the fit of mock-ups with those curved seams. It’s all very well determining that it needs to be taken in at the waist, but a lot hard to do when the seams are all over the place.

25th August 2009: Patterning 1 So this is retrospective, but seeing as I have the progress photos, I might as well upload them to document it all.

Step 1 was my mock-up. The final fabric for the dress is a horrific stretch velveteen, so I needed to make the mock-up stretchy too. At least it’s easy to fit stretch fabrics. I had a heap of spare orange lycra, for which there are limited uses, so it went into this pattern-making exercise.

I made a simple tube dress to fit me, which just had side seams. I then cut in the sweetheart neckline and zigzag hem, but most importantly, marked (with some trial and error) where I wanted the new seams to go. The face characters’ dresses are made up of curved panels, which I really liked (determining their existence involved lots of examining of high-res photos on Flickr!), and I also thought they’d be helpful because I could later follow the seam lines to mark out my leaf vein designs.


Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 23rd July 2009
Attack of the Tinkerbells or what on Wendy?! XD

Very very awesome! I love the act you made the dress more leaf like X3 And that Photoshop with you on Peter's hand is just fantastic XD

Amazing~

Angelphie avatar

Angelphie - 23rd July 2009
Thanks! That photo’s only partially shopped; it's a perspective shot!

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Anonymous - 23rd July 2009
Ah, really? XD That's just more amazing! Tricked my eyes!

MoonLily avatar

MoonLily - 23rd July 2009
This is just so adorable. I also adore that perspective/photoshopped photo! XD

Sephirayne avatar

Sephirayne - 23rd July 2009
So cute. Love the wig and the wigs. The dress looks ace as well. Love the photos too.

Uni avatar

Uni - 23rd July 2009
eeeee so adourable!!! <3 <3 <3 You look beautifuls!

ThisIsLisaB avatar

ThisIsLisaB - 23rd July 2009
Brianna Garcia reference picture! 8D

Brilliant cosplay! I love the dress!

Angelphie avatar

Angelphie - 23rd July 2009
Yup! We met her on our recent trip to Disneyland ^_^ Was kind of awesome to be able to ask permission to use her photos in person!

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Anonymous - 24th July 2009
adorable! I dunno how to say, but you have just the right look for her.

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CrystalNeko - 24th July 2009
I LOVE the photo of the Tink army attacking Wendy xDDD I also love the perspective photo~
You make an amazing Tink <333

Leadmill avatar

Leadmill - 18th August 2009
Your Tink is fantastic, you look really pretty!

JakeX avatar

JakeX - 19th August 2009
all together a well put together tink outfit! :P
look rather cute in it

Lozzie avatar

Lozzie - 19th August 2009
this is beautiful!!!

Mangamad avatar

Mangamad - 25th August 2009
Ooh...you was the Tinkerbell cosplayer I saw from the bar window. Awesome. ^o^

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Amy-Lou - 25th August 2009
Such a lovely Tink! The wig strangely suits you, but more importantly I love the details you got on the dress and it's really interesting how you got the effect.

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KhaosKreator - 7th September 2009
The magic photo is so cute!

-Tab

nert avatar

nert - 7th September 2009
...okay I'm making Eli do all my post processing from now on XD I was going to try and redo the 3d one with sparkles but haven't managed it yet

Thanks for once again being my guinea pig with the new lens! I am glad I caught you in time ;)

And yes, those wings are indeed made of magic and gravity defiance.

Ashe avatar

Ashe - 30th October 2009
"Cos fairies have friends and princesses don't"
http://newyorkkids.timeout.com/articles/staying-in/68613/cinderella-who

XD Never stops being funny...

Uni avatar

Uni - 1st November 2009
It was great to see this costume up close! The detail is amazing! <3 You look great!

MangaChild avatar

MangaChild - 1st November 2009
love the revamped wings :D

i actually prefer you costume to the Disney Mascot XD

Lozzie avatar

Lozzie - 23rd August 2011
im so glad i got to see this in real life, its absolutely stunning <3