Osanpo - Elisabeth - 14th July 2012
Conclusion type thing
Thought I'd make a little journal about this with any hints or advice that I think maybe useful that I haven't put into the other journal entries.
Hint 1: Dresses of this type take up a lot of fabric
Looking at the dress it's a given considering the size of it. This dress was made up of at least 50 mtrs worth of fabric maybe a bit more due to what was used to make decoration. Dresses of this size do take up a lot of fabric whether people believe it or not. This was made to fit someone between a size 6-8 and it still took all that fabric. Most of it goes into the skirt (duh!) especially to provide a lot more volume at the back and to make sure it doesn't "drag" and falls nicely over the crinoline.
Hint 2: Can't afford all that fabric or find the right colour?
It maybe scary but a great way to reduce costs on a project is to dye up the fabric yourself! Dying can be fun and easy as long as you follow the directions that are given with the dye. White fabrics can be a lot cheaper than buying straight coloured ones, a good place to get fabrics ready to dye is http://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/
Tip for when dyeing large amounts of fabric or dyeing stuff in pieces on different days is to always and I mean ALWAYS make up a large batch in one go. When you try to mix up another batch no matter how accurate you measure it the colour and shade will differ and sometimes by quite a lot!
Hint 3: You don't always need expensive fabric to make a pretty dress!
This dress is made purely out of printing cotton, the roses and leaves made out of cheap polyester lining and the overlaying skirt is cheap polyester chiffon. I have made other detailed costumes that were made entirely out of calico and had fooled many to believe it was cream silk (until you saw it right up close of course). If you take enough time and effort you can create beautiful things! Don't spend £5 on that one silk rose! Spend £2 on polyester lining and make 15 instead that are just as effective! There are plenty of tutorials out there on sewing techniques and decoration, many of what I've learnt have been from tutorials I've found online and from cosplay forums. All it takes is practice!
Hint 4: Don't be afraid to ask for samples and create a little book of samples and textile work.
Never be afraid to ask sellers for a swatch or sample online or in stores. You can waste a lot of money if that lovely fabric you saw online came to you and it turned out it was horrible or just wasn't the right colour or didn't go very well. Swatches can also help you to see if the fabric flows and folds right for the effect that you desire for your chosen cosplay. Even if the swatch doesn't seem right you can put it in a sketchbook or folder with the name of the place you got it for any future costumes.
Besides what I've done for my uni course I keep a little book of samples of techniques I've tried out, whether it be a pocket I've had a go at making, dying and embroidery or fabrics. Samples from previous projects are also placed within the book in case I can use similar techniques on future stuff too.
That's all the hints I can come up with so far I hope it doesn't seem like I'm a know it all or anything, there is still many things I don't know yet about costume making or not so great at myself. I hope these journals were useful to people thanks for taking the time to read what I've put and look at my page!