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Lady Tremaine’s Bodice

Costume College is in 2 days! I finished my bodice a few days ago but today was the first time I tried on all the pieces of my Lady Tremaine outfit: bodice, underskirt, overskirt, chemise, bra, waist cincher, bum pad, stockings, shoes, gloves, hat, veil, earrings, scarf, pin, and bracelet. I hope the AC is turned on at the hotel! I’m busy packing and doing other preparations so after CoCo I will make a full post about the outfit and other details.

So sparkly! (The bodice is hand-sewn because of the sequins).image

The back closes with a separating zipper. I was worried about having hooks and eyes snag on the sequins, so a friend had the genius idea of using a jacket zipper that pulls apart! The waist has some extra room in it because the two velvet waistbands for the skirts are rather thick. (The outer skirt has 2 layers of organza and 2 layers of satin pleated into the waistband, which makes it extra bulky).image

And an in-progress shot:image

See you at Costume College!

Lady Tremaine’s Hat

Today I finished my Lady Tremaine hat!

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The hat is made of two layers of sinamay with one layer of organza sandwiched inside. My friend Lynne, who made my beautiful 1840s bonnet, helped greatly with the patterning of the brim and loaned me a wooden hat block.

Behold, awkward bathroom selfies!imageimage

The hat brim is bound with bias trim I made from velveteen. The same fabric is used for a band around the bottom of the crown. I upcycled the crown from a wool felt hat I no longer wanted.image

I took some liberties when it came to the exact placement of the flowers and birds, and the type of flowers. The flowers are made from heat-transfer flocking, like the flowers on my skirt.image

The only black birds I could find in the craft store were large Halloween ravens, so I bought smaller birds and spray-painted them black using Krylon Hobby/Craft paint in gloss black.

I don’t have pictures of the process, but the general steps were:

  1. Make a cardboard pattern for the brim.
  2. Cut out 2 layers of sinamay and 1 layer organza according to the brim and pin together.
  3. Sew rayon-covered millinery wire to the edge of the brim.
  4. Bind the edge of the brim with velveteen bias.
  5. Cut and apply floral appliques.
  6. Cut out center head opening and make tabs.
  7. Sew the crown to the tabs.
  8. Add grosgrain hat band to inside crown.
  9. Add velvet band outside crown.
  10. Trim with birds and feathers.

Supply costs (including Amazon affiliate links):

Total: $77.56

It’s not exactly an inexpensive hat, but much nicer than the plain black straw hats I was considering at first, and much cheaper than the $300 Kentucky Derby hats I kept seeing when searching for large sinamay hats!

I look forward to wearing this hat with the rest of my Lady Tremaine ensemble at Costume College this year.

Lady Tremaine’s Bodice (Mockup Process)

This past week I started the mockup process for making Lady Tremaine’s bodice. Since the sequined fabric is very precious and I won’t have time to make another special order for it before Costume College I definitely wanted to take my time with the patterning.

I am using the Vintage Pattern Lending Library Ladies’ Basque pattern. I picked it because it had the shape I wanted, but cutting out the pattern pieces made me realize it had many more seams than I wanted. (Less seams = less trouble when dealing with sequins, and more screen-accurate).

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My goal was to eliminate the center front seam, the two side back seams, and change the four front darts into two. I can do this because I’m not very curvy, I don’t plan to wear this with a corset, and it is a fantasy costume. If this was meant to be a properly fitted historical costume bodice worn over a corset, I would not recommend removing seams.

I started by tracing the paper pattern pieces without modification onto some fabric leftover with another fabric. It was navy blue and I used a silver pen so it ended up looking like architectural plans.

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Mockup #1 was not sewn together; it was placed on the dress form to determine general fit, and I was able to see that there was too much fabric in the front. IMG_8350

To make adjustments I turned the mockup inside out, and then started pinching out extra fabric and pinning. I also made one giant dart out of the two darts on each side. When satisfied with the general fit I made more notes directly on the fabric with the pen, then disassembled the pieces for my pattern.IMG_8356IMG_8359

The final pattern pieces:IMG_8362

I then made mockup #2, which is wrinkly because I was too lazy to iron the fabric beforehand. =)IMG_8367IMG_8368

Then finally I cut out my sequined fabric! The sequins are on a sheer georgette, so I had to flat-line it with satin so that any raw seams tucked under would not show. The edges were serged because the satin was fraying and the sequins were falling off.IMG_8383

A note about sequins: The “right” way to sew sequined fabric is to unpick the sequins next to your seam allowance to avoid a bulky seam, or having some of the sequins be punctured or bent by your sewing machine needle. I skipped this step for several reasons: 1) I am working with very small sequins which will hide much better in the seam than large ones. 2) I am hand-sewing the bodice pieces together so that I can feel any resistance in my needle that I wouldn’t be able to tell by machine. 3) I am lazy and short on time to unpick so many tiny sequins and sew them back on.

Here is the current bodice. I still need to add sleeves, trim the neckline and bottom, add closures, and start the scary process of flocking!IMG_8413

 

Matching “LJUSÖGA” 18th Century Dresses at the NorCal Pirate Festival

Recently a group of us noticed that Ikea has some “LJUSÖGA” duvet covers in an pretty floral print with a pattern, scale, and colors appropriate for 18th century cotton dresses.

We each bought a king size set, which included a duvet cover and 2 pillow cases, to make matching dresses with. We estimate there’s about 11 yards of 40 inch fabric, which is an incredible bargain for $30! (The price has now gone up to $40 on the website).

I decided to make an anglaise, and originally planned to start on it after Costume College, but just a few weeks ago we decided to go to the Pirate Festival together, and having nice cotton dresses would be perfect for the weather. (There will be more of us at the next event; some ladies are still working on their dresses).

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Due to the short time frame my dress is not quite finished, but was wearable, with some things I’d like to improve for next time:

  • I did not have time to put a flounce on my petticoat; it’s a bit shorter than I intended (although it shows off my American Duchess stockings and shoes!)
  • The neckline and front of the bodice has ruffled trim instead of box pleats to save time. Now that it’s on I might be too lazy to replace it, but it was originally meant to be temporary.
  • My sleeves are untrimmed. I would like to add some ruffling or pleating and some button detail.
  • My fichu should be pinned down. I just tied it with a ribbon and it kept riding up until it looked more like a bandana than a fichu.
  • I didn’t have time to get a new plain bergere hat to trim, so I reused the small one I wore with my silk francaise.
  • My hair is not done in a historically accurate style; I just curled it, made a bun, and then hid the mess with flowers.
  • And scandalously, I am not wearing stays(!), so there is a little wrinkling in the bodice. I do own stays, but the festival was outdoors in 90 degree heat, so I decided one less layer was preferable.

Since this is still a work in progress I will do a full post with detail photos, construction notes, and cost breakdown another time, but meanwhile here are a few pictures. The dress consists of a bodice with a front closure, trimmed with ruffles, attached to a pleated overskirt. The petticoat is made of matching fabric. I am wearing those over a bum pad and another petticoat, along with two pockets.

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The back of the skirt can be lifted with cords and looped around covered buttons to be worn as a robe à l’Anglaise retroussée. I’m still thinking about adjusting the length of the cords or the distribution of the fabric because this wasn’t quite the look I was aiming for.

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I did have a mishap with the buttons. I couldn’t locate my button-covering kit so the night before the festival I just wrapped some fabric around some domed plastic buttons until I could buy more of the right buttons. After I laundered the skirt the dye from the black plastic buttons actually bled through two layers of fabric and onto other parts of my skirt!IMG_8262

After several rounds of OxiClean, and a final careful swabbing of diluted bleach, I have the stains out and I’ve learned my lesson about mystery buttons from the stash. I will stick to my usual metal buttons, like this redcoat who was wearing lots of shiny buttons.

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1940s Star Trek TNG (Film Noir Costumes)

Last Saturday was the 1940s PEERS Ball, and my “crew” and I wore our 1940s Star Trek mashup outfits! (From left to right: Riker, Data, Troi, Red Shirt, Dixon Hill, Wesley, Dr. Crusher, and Geordi).IMG_8018

I was very worried that I couldn’t get the hair right, but with some tips from friends, a lot of foam curlers, and the magic setting lotion Lottabody I felt fabulous!IMG_8058

My hair was so fluffy you can’t see the vintage Bakelite dome earrings I’m wearing. They are mustard-colored and match the ring.IMG_8010IMG_8011

Here we are all so serious! IMG_8021

I had enough leftover fabric to give to Breanna so we could match! Her use of silver netting for Geordi’s visor was so clever!IMG_8038

Dr. Crusher made a dress and a coat!IMG_7997

Although Wesley was not so impressed by Mom.IMG_8029

Troi and sexy Riker got a little frisky!IMG_8055

Riker had to do the signature weird chair leaping!IMG_8067

And every away mission needs a Red Shirt!IMG_7993

All the ladies in our group made their own dresses from vintage or altered patterns. We had a wonderful time and I definitely want to wear my outfit again to Costume College!

See the rest of the photos on my Flickr account.

You can read about how I made my dress: Part 1, 2, 3.

1940s Star Trek Dress (Part 3) Finished

My 1940s style Star Trek dress is finished!  I am looking forward to wearing it to a 1940s party this weekend. (I will post pictures of the event next week).IMG_7949To summarize, the dress is made from 2 layers of rayon challis. The neckline is piped and has several gold buttons for “pips.” IMG_7939

I modified the Dahlia blouse pattern from Wearing History. I added in the extra seams in the front and back to create color-blocking and drafted the skirt myself.IMG_7944

The front is gathered at the shoulders with a puffed sleeve head.IMG_7945

The elbow is gathered, like many 1940s dresses, and the sleeves are extra long.IMG_7946

There is a curved seam where the bodice meets the skirt.IMG_7951

The rayon makes for a very nice, drapey dress. It is very form-fitting, especially around the hips. I’m afraid the construction shows off every bump and lump so proper vintage undergarments are required: a Rago girdle and a slip.IMG_7952

The dress closes on the side with a side-lapped zipper, hand-stitched in. (Originally I used invisible zippers, but this is more accurate to the time period).

I actually thought I completed it a few weeks ago, but when I put it on I wasn’t completely pleased with the way it hung, so I redid it – twice. Originally I made this as a 2-piece outfit, with a somewhat A-line skirt. I decided to change to a pencil skirt, which I felt would work better with the top. Also, I converted the outfit to a one piece, thinking the skirt would weigh down the bodice and keep the edges from flipping up. This meant I had to completely dismantle and recut the skirt, and remove 2 zippers.

Originally I prick-stitched the bodice to the skirt, which made the peplum front stand out, but the back looked a little odd. I took the dress and zipper apart again, and stitched everything together. There’s still little things I’m not 100% happy about, but overall I am very pleased with how it came together!

Final cost $87.93:

  • From Fabric.com: 3 yards black rayon challis, 2 yards mustard rayon challis, 1 spool black thread ($41.10 including tax and free shipping)
  • From Wearing History: a digital pattern bought on sale (I highly recommend you pay to get a paper pattern instead; I bought mine digitally because I needed it right away, but the paper ones are worth it!)
  • From the stash: gold buttons and zipper
  • From Thinkgeek: TNG communicator pin ($19.99 plus $6.95 shipping)
  • From Amazon: TNG phaser ($10.89 plus free Prime shipping)

I especially pleased with the communicator. It’s a quality reproduction that is on a strong magnet so I won’t get pin holes in my dress. The communicator is now available on Amazon (affiliate link) so if you have Prime you can even save on the shipping:

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I bought a TNG phaser just because it was fun and cheap. (It makes noise!): IMG_7953

I purchased some incredible Miss L Fire shoes, but sadly they are a bit big for me. I might see if I can get some inserts that won’t show in the peep toe, but for now I’ll have to wear plain black pumps with the dress.

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I also own these Capezios, which are very comfortable dance shoes, so they might be better for the event I have in mind this weekend anyway.

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Read Parts 1 and 2.

Next step is to figure out how to do hair and make-up, which are not things I excel at. Wish me luck!

1940s Star Trek Dress (Part 2)

I’ve made some progress on my 1940s Star Trek dress. I still need to do some finishing touches, but the major parts are done. (The skirt, sleeves, and bodice bottom need to be hemmed, the zippers need finishing, and I need to make piping for the neckline. I’d like to fuss a bit with the front gathers as well).IMG_7809

Obviously it will need a good ironing once it’s done!IMG_7811

I am also trying to decide whether to buy official TNG pips or to use these fancy buttons I have from my stash.IMG_7813

You can read about Part 1 here.

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