3rd January 2015: Fabric The sticking point initially was the fabric. I could never find anything in my local shops, would go through phases of searching online, but every swatch I ordered online turned out to be dark navy or too bright a blue. It needed to be two-tone, so I was always looking at shot taffeta and dupioni, and in the realm of silk, prices were often prohibitive even if I did spot the perfect colour. I had a look for fabric when I visited New York and LA without any luck. Finally, I went fabric shopping in London before the Grand Cosplay Ball 2010. First shop on Goldhawk Road that I went into had silk in a suitable colour and I came away with 8m. I’ve attempted to show it in the photo but it varies significantly with lighting.
Once I finally started work on the costume, I realised I could have done with far more fabric, but at the time I couldn’t have justified spending more. Even now that I could afford it, there’s still the compelling argument that if you can find a decent compromise to make a costume more cheaply, then it’s worth doing so. I’m therefore glad in a way that the limited fabric I had made me carefully think about how to best use it all (although my solution of mixing in polycotton with silk might be some kind of sewing crime).
I’d been thinking more seriously about starting this costume all year and in July 2014 when was back in London for LFCC I bought some navy velvet which just about completed all the materials I needed. Over time I’d collected most other things I needed for the costume – black coutil to line the bodice, chiffon for the sleeves and even thread.