Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cosplay Adventure!

So - I got asked to make a dress for cosplay.  In return, I got to go spend a weekend at Emerald City ComiCon with my friends from Times Past Entertainment.

The new group cosplay they were putting together was from Maleficent.  I was making Aurora's blue dress.  Since I don't own the images and... well... Disney.... I'll link you out to the better of the reference images here.

I was given a budget of $60.  I said to myself,  "I can make this for $60 and anything I already have in my sewing stash."  That turned out to be exactly right - my trip to Jo-Anns ran me $61 and change.  That included the pattern, which I'd bought on sale ages ago.  And then I paired that up a whole bunch of trim I'd gotten a while back, which would have been the expensive part.  Keeping the cost that low was hard for me - I am accustomed to spending many hundreds of dollars on projects.  It was good.

I'm pretty pleased with my results - see the finished product and further notes on its making behind the cut!

Here it is!

It was largely made off of Butterick B4827, with some modifications to give the look of the movie costume.
It is, in theory, supposed to have the same trim from the cuffs at the neckline - but the old vintage trim from my stash is very stiff and it's difficult to get it to shape around any curve.

I apologize for the blurry picture.  It was late.  I was tired enough that my actual vision looked about like that.
3/4 view - the arm details came out nice!
Blurry again.  Sorry.  Back view.
This dress will be worn by two people with similar measurements - so I retained the pattern's lace-up back.  That will give it a little flexibility.

It takes a darning needle to get the ribbon through the tiny buttonholes.  I remade those facings - gold eyelets looked atrocious (and I don't have any nickel ones right now).

There should really be a chemise - there was, in the film, a gathered neckline of cream or tan material and narrow undersleeves.  I couldn't be assed to make one.
I reshaped the neck facing and added the front lacing detail - AND I used external facings to achieve the lines of the source material.  If you've never done this, it feels super weird because you put the right side of the facing to the wrong side of the garment, sew, and then turn to the outside.  Topstitch it down and you're golden.  It does, by the way, help a lot to press the outside edge under before you sew.  It give the needed stability of a facing with zero loose edges or flappy bits.

The sleeves aren't really quite right - I centered the point facings and pleats, when they should have been rotated to be towards the front.  Doesn't matter, it looks fine.
I wish I'd had about another three yards of that narrow trim, I'd have added it at the outside edges of the neck and cuff facings.
While I was at the fabric store, I priced beaded mesh trim similar to what is on the sleeves.  It ran from $18 to $30 a yard.  Good thing I already had that.  I have a whole lot more of it too - it was worth using it just to get some experience handling it.

Here's a better view of the back.
After taking these pictures, I added a modesty panel under the back opening to prevent gapping.  It should have had a hook and eye at the top, but I didn't get around to it.  The folks the dress went to are more than capable of adding one if they feel it's necessary!

I wasn't very happy with my fitting, but it's adequate.  Pretty much I forgot that storebought patterns include WAY too much ease, and graded the pattern based on what was on the envelope.  I should have taken more time to compare the measurements of the garment against the body measurements provided for me. 

The Times Past crew - Martin Hunger as King Stefan, Christina Carr as Maleficent, Ed Appleby as Diaval, Melissa Housser as Aurora, and Kathleen Thompson as a fairy (Knotgrass?  not sure).
I didn't get many pictures myself - the Times Past crew kept me pretty busy at the convention - but I did get this great group shot.  It was so much fun!

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