Progress Journals

What do we love? Costumes! But what do we love even more? Seeing people making them! Here are the most recent progress updates from those working away on their costumes.


Shoes

1000014

I got to try using shoe dye for these and it worked wonders

Belt

White Tigress

Used my old Ladybug belt and took all the pearls off and replaced them with Pearly Worbla coins. Earring is also made in the process but will need some gold spraypaint for the finish :)

It's happening!!!!

White Tigress

The scarf fabric arrived yesterday and has already been prewashed but I realised today that despite my huge hoards of thread accumulated other the years I don't have any that is dark enough purple >.> Kinda annoyed as that was the plan today. The suit arrived today and I am quite happy with it considering it was the cheapest and due to be the quickest to arrive. It is a scoop neck with no zipper (thank god!!!! :O) but its loose on the shoulders and the neckline is lower than I wish so some minor alterations are needed. Thankfully these parts will be covered by the scarf and armor anyway so any cock ups should be hidden :D The legs are long so depending now I feel I might make it footed so shoes wont ruin the effects and get in the way of the leg armor :)

Sash

Angelphie

Badly in need of ironing, but complete!

The lilac fabric is cotton from Minerva Crafts as it happened to be the right colour, it’s not really the ideal weight but other lilac fabrics I found which draped better weren’t opaque enough (and dyeing the silk scarf was enough, I wasn't keen enough to dye the lilac too!) I only had a metre of it which was just enough so I experimented with some spare fabric first to drape the sash and figure out how I was going to make the bow. The bow is assembled from a bunch of separate pieces which I gathered to create the right effect and also padded out with some wadding. It all took a lot of hand sewing. I sewed on one end of the pink scarf I’d dyed to form the tail of the bow and sewed the rest of the scarf along the hem of the sash. It attaches to the dress with snaps.

I bought the gold chain on Etsy, it’s partially hand sewn in place, but isn’t behaving quite how I’d like so I may need to revisit it. Finding the red bicone beads was challenging (another Etsy find). They’re strung together using head pins and some thin gold chain and jump rings I had spare. I also used masking tape and gold acrylic to carefully paint the lines on them. The round green beads were more readily available (on Amazon) along with end caps for them (Ebay)

Sash

Angelphie

My starting point was the fringed sash since I knew I’d have to find an existing scarf or dye fringe to match fabric. I found Dharma Trading sold affordable plain silk scarves with fringe so I ordered one along with some of their magenta acid dye. It was all cheap enough that I wasn’t in danger of customs charges so I didn’t mind ordering from the US. Being able to dye it myself was actually ideal too since it let me attempt a gradient.

Dress

Angelphie

I ironed most of the HTV on while the dress was still flat (although it wasn't exactly flat around the bust so that was trickier) then inserted the invisible zip and sewed up the centre back seam. I left the gold designs on the back until after I'd inserted the zip since the designs go across the centre back seam – I ironed them on with the zip closed and sliced through the vinyl with a scalpel.

The photo also shows more snaps for the pauldrons and a couple at the hip to secure the sash. You can also see more armour-induced design aspects: it turned out that while the dress fits nicely and doesn’t need straps; the pauldrons do. So I made the most of them and the clear straps are secured to both my bra and the dress lining.

Dress

Angelphie

It improved once I added the gold designs. I also used the mock-up to help me sketch out the gold designs and confirm where they should be placed. I then made paper templates of the designs and after refining those, traced around them on to the heat transfer vinyl and cut them out.

(the snaps you see in the photo are for attaching the shoulder armour)

Dress

Angelphie

I also used the mock-up as the pattern for the outer red satin dress. I had marked where the white trim should go so cut up the mock-up to form those pieces, added seam allowance and cut them from some spare white sateen. I made the white section for the hem twice as long as it needed to be so it could be folded in half as a neat solution to hemming the dress. It was totally a sexy Mrs Claus dress at this stage!

Dress

Angelphie

The dress is a drastically shortened Kwik Sew 3516. I made a mock-up to check the fit and length and adjust the neckline’s shape a little. I then took it apart and traced off the pattern for the lining (pictured) which ends at the hips. I’d decided on just a supportive bodice lining to which the boning channels could be sewn, especially since all the raw edges on the outer dress are overlocked so there was no need to fully line it. You can just make out the edge of the lining where it ends but that’s hidden by the sash over the dress. The lining fabric is coutil, because I had some spare, and I was also able to use spiral steel boning that I already had. I sewed boning casings on each seam.

Boots

Angelphie

Done! Definitely not completely happy with them, but it's probably the best I can manage with the satin. This was the first time I’ve made a full cover including the sole and I think it's worked out ok so I might try it again to make removeable covers for other projects in future.

Boots

Angelphie

The downside of these particular boots is that the heels have a suedette finish so I didn’t want to paint them and the soles. To get a nicer finish, I drafted the fabric cover to include the heel and sole. I used spare black stretch fabric with stick-on soles to protect it.

I applied the gold designs to the covers while they were flat, sewed up all the seams except the centre back which needed to be left open to slot the boot in, then sewed it closed by hand. The top edges have a facing that extends a little way down the inside of the boots for a neat finish and this is glued in place to ensure the cover stays up.

Boots

Angelphie

The gold designs on Terra’s boots seem to be raised shapes. I was reluctant to try to imitate this since it makes things more difficult - I knew if I stuck foam on around the toe area it would only get creased as the shoe flexed when I walked. So I continued with heat transfer vinyl which keeps it consistent with the rest of the costume. There is a bird-type shape further up the boot which I might revisit and add on in 3D form though, but I’m not sure how silly it’d look.

I covered both boots in clingfilm and masking tape to make a pattern. On one boot I drew on the seam lines for a cover then I used the other boot to mark out the gold designs. I ensured that the seams would avoid the designs as far as possible – disadvantage of the HTV is it doesn’t look good over a seam. While this meant I couldn’t have a simple centre front seam, I was able to draft a shape for the toe area which worked out ok. It was challenging since the red satin fabric I was using has zero stretch and was not forgiving, so I made a mock-up to test and refine my pattern first. I also used some heavy interfacing here so the covers hold their own shape and it’s not so obvious that they’re a bit loose and don’t fit the boot underneath precisely.

Boots

Angelphie

I was on the lookout for a pair of boots with a suitable heel and pointed toe and was lucky on eBay to get a pair of ex-display boots from Office. Other than the heel and shape, it didn’t matter what the shoes looked like since I’d be covering them entirely, so I was very happy to bid on super-cheap brand new boots that just happened to be a bit scuffed! They didn’t have a zip which I always find useful when it comes to covering and adapting shoes and I was able to cut them down to the right shape easily.

Bracers

Angelphie

The lining is the spare cotton I'd used for my mock-up with some interfacing. The pieces were cut shorter so they cause the gold edges to fold over and there was no need to topstitch (I tested it out and found sewing over the vinyl would have been fine, but I like the invisible finish). Pressing was a little scary since I didn’t want to melt or dislodge the vinyl, but I got away with it using a low heat and press cloth.

Bracers

Angelphie

I bought red duchess satin from Edinburgh Fabrics and gold heat transfer vinyl from CosCraft and tried making the bracers first as proof of concept.

I first made one in spare fabric to check the fit (this was later recycling as the lining), which was important since I wanted to use a close-ended invisible zip for the closure. I was hoping I could get away with this but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get the bracers over my hands without them unfastening entirely. Thankfully it turned out to be fine.

I sketched out the gold designs on paper first. I used some artistic licence since I was struggling to figure them out exactly (I lost patience with trying to take screenshots and scrutinise them) and I didn’t want to make the designs too complicated so I ensured that they don’t cross the seam where the zip is. Each bracer has the same design, albeit mirrored.

When I was happy with my design, I cut it out, taped it down and traced around it on to the HTV’s backing. I then cut out the vinyl with a scalpel, cutting inside the lines I’d drawn. It was a bit fiddly, but the designs aren’t too difficult to cut by hand and it adhered to the satin fine. I also used the HTV for the trim, so it was all cut as one continuous piece which made aligning it all much easier.

Bow revisited

Angelphie

After snapping it at Minami, I outsourced fixing the bow to my dad (who is far too nice to me). Originally it was one whole big piece of foamboard. To keep it compact enough to fit in my suitcase, it needed to come apart into 3 pieces: a central handle connecting two long parts. He made a handle by sandwiching some wood around a steel ruler. The ruler slides into slots in the foamboard. There are also perpendicular lengths attached to brace the bow, so that when I pull back the string it can't bend too far. I replaced the bowstring with a looser length of elastic as well so I'm unlikely to cause any damage. Finally, my dad also made an arrow from a dowel rod, silver card and a swan feather.