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Costume College 2018 – The Big Post!

I shared pictures of my own costume line-up in my previous post, so here are some of the many clever, beautiful, and wonderful costumes I saw at Costume College this year! (For those of you that don’t know, CoCo is a 4-day costuming conference filled with classes of all types for various skill levels, with social events in the evening. It takes place in a hotel in Woodland Hills, California). There were 650 attendees, so this is only a small fraction of what I saw.

THURSDAY

The first day (evening) of CoCo kicks of with picking up our registration packets, then heading to the pool party.  I’m afraid the lighting around the pool is not conducive to photos, but the quality of my pictures does improve over the weekend. =) This year’s theme was “In the Realm of the Goblin King.” Here I am with Gloria as the DC Bombshells Catwoman.IMG_0405.JPG

I was amazed by the details in these Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala costumes from “Hellboy: The Golden Army.”IMG_0425

I loved this rendition of the Paper Bag Princess by Carolyn. IMG_0368.JPG

Terri as a mouse from Cinderella was absolutely adorable!IMG_0370.JPG

Tanya wore a lovely monarch butterfly ensemble.IMG_0446.JPG

This Medusa with the light-up eyes was amazing!IMG_0422.JPG

The rest of my Thursday night photos are on this Flickr album.

FRIDAY DAYTIME

The ever-lovely Merja in her 18th century!IMG_0632

Amanda was sporting a pretty ensemble, complete with a Burnley and Trowbridge handkerchief. IMG_0648

Rebecca was perfect in 1890s.IMG_0651

I spotted Mena in vintage and Gina in sailor!IMG_0590

Nicole, Lauren, and Natalie were having a great time! (I have a series of not-so-serious photos of these ladies).IMG_0580

Sherry looked so relaxed in her tropical outfit. I adored her necklace.IMG_0557.JPG

And our brave adventurers! (Photo by Gloria of In the Long Run).29122203937_6343cbca72_o

FRIDAY EVENING

The Friday night social brought out a lot of fancy outfits!

Here’s Abby looking sassy.IMG_0698

Vanessa looked so regal.IMG_0727

Jez did an amazing Gamagori cosplay!IMG_0764

Ginger had a beautiful Regency ensemble with a diadem.IMG_0770

Jennifer did one of those crazy English regency court gowns!IMG_0768

A showstopper from Emily.IMG_0765.JPG

Breanna hand-painted this gown to recreate the famous Schiaparelli lobster dress!IMG_0775.JPG

I finally got to see Adria’s Her Universe fashion show entry “Rebellion Reborn” as well! Definitely check out her Instagram for better pictures of this amazing beaded and feathered ensemble!IMG_0690.JPG

Kelsey is always a vision in pastels.IMG_1290

Elizabeth’s Crimson Peak dress had so many beautiful details!

And Adrienne was appropriately creepy as well, with her hand-formed leaf details.

I have a detailed breakdown of my Crimson Peak costume for a future post.IMG_0732

The rest of my Friday photos are in this Flickr album.

SATURDAY DAYTIME

I didn’t take a lot of Saturday daytime photos because I was busy with classes and my Maid Brigade meet up (photos by Gloria of In the Long Run).29171653207_38c272ae40_o

Since we have been called each other’s names repeatedly throughout the years at CoCo and other costume events on both the West and East coasts, for your reference from left to right, with links to our Instagram and blog names: Vivien of Fresh Frippery, Christine of Sewstine, A.J. of Confused Kitty, Ashley of Evil Sewing, Adrienne of Wax Sealed Costumes, and Gloria of In the Long Run.29171655517_4eebc81c1e_o43390886044_c2d000176a_o29171651157_676e89fc80_o.jpg43390881224_8bc0636c97_o

SATURDAY EVENING

The theme was “Royals” so there were plenty of people pulling out all the stops! (Please keep in mind not everyone attends the gala, and plenty of people dress casually and watch the red carpet as paparazzi, and the royals theme encouraged over-the-top costumes. These outfits are not representative of everyone or every year, so don’t think you have to “costume at a certain level” to attend Costume College!)

First up, my friend Kelsey in her amazing Queen Amidala! She spent so much time on all these details, hand-beading her gown!IMG_0934

Natalie’s court presentation gown was absolutely gorgeous.IMG_0958IMG_0954

Lauren and Emily had fun with the bourdaloue.IMG_1010.JPG

Karen’s Alien Queen was so creative and wonderful.IMG_1001.JPG

Katherine’s 1920s Cersei was lovely!IMG_0911.JPG

Aimee’s Grandmaster was a hoot.IMG_1069

There were some amazing queens.IMG_1046

Stephanie, Jessie, and Kim made a beautiful trio.IMG_1051

I loved Maria’s Mayan wedding ensemble and her detailed explanation of it!IMG_1066

Check out all the details of Twila’s 1924 Viola Dana costume!IMG_1077

Beth looked gorgeous!IMG_1084

Behold some impressive royalty from Atlantis!IMG_0851

The Homemade Historian and Seamingly Vintage were 1950s beauties!IMG_0862

Ashley’s dress reminded me of candy!IMG_0863

The rest of my Saturday photos are in this Flickr album.

SUNDAY

The last day of CoCo started out with a line to get into the bargain basement! It’s a can’t-miss for me each year; I always find something interesting to take home and the proceeds from the donated items go to the Costume College scholarship fund.IMG_1117

I skipped the tea this year but there were many delightfully dressed attendees. I thought Val’s chess costume was very clever.IMG_1237

Tanya’s dragonfly suit and clever lilypad fascinator made up a chic ensemble.IMG_1238.JPG

There were some ladies who decided to do a “Dress of Wrong” theme, using non-historically correct fabrics to make a historically correct silhouette. These 18th century outfits by Gretchen (Strawberry Shortcake) and by Taylor (Beauty and the Beast) were part of this group.IMG_1191IMG_1195

Some people opted for stylish comfort during Sunday. Kelsey sported a glamorous vintage PJ ensemble.IMG_1218

Natalie’s robe volante was a big fluffy pink sack of silk!IMG_1173

The rest of my Sunday photos are in this Flickr album.

Thanks for reading; that was a lot of photos! I’m looking forward to the fabulous fun of next year!

If you are interested in attending Costume College next year, take a look at their website. You can also ask questions on the Facebook forum. The classes change every year and will be announced later. Don’t worry about being “good enough.” Many people do not dress up for the classes and not everyone attends the evening costume socials. There are attendees of every skill level and interests vary from cosplay to historical costume to vintage to steampunk! Come join us and have a wonderful time!

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Costume College 2018 Outfit Recap

I went a little overboard at Costume College this year and brought 8 costumes. Originally I thought I’d just dress up for the evening events and then bring some vintage dresses for casual daywear. Then I got recruited into various group costumes and things snowballed from there . . . I’ll be following up this post with more featuring the costumes worn by the other talented individuals at Costume College, but for now, here is my parade!

At the Thursday Night Pool Party the theme was “In the Realm of the Goblin King,” so of course I had to dress as Jareth! Elizabeth was my baby Toby.IMG_0366

The boots are American Duchess Tavistocks and the blouse is a vintage Gunne Sax. Everything else was cobbled together from modern clothes.IMG_0476

On Friday I  wore my Victorian bicycling outfit with the “Adventurer’s” group of sporting ladies.IMG_0639IMG_0643IMG_0613

Friday night I wore my Crimson Peak Edith picnic outfit, along with my Elizabeth as another version of Edith, and Adrienne as our “sister-in-law” Lucille. I’ve worn this outfit before but it wasn’t fully finished then. I’ve made a number of upgrades and will be making a more detailed construction post on the blog.IMG_0674IMG_0737IMG_0735

It was a delightful surprise to even get some kudos on Instagram from Kate Hawley, costume designer for Crimson Peak!IMG_E1265

On Saturday I was a member of a surprise group of Downton Abbey maids. It was decided I was the “head maid” since I had the most lace, and our pregnant friend Christine played the part of “the fallen maid” that got a little too friendly with the young master of the house.IMG_0790IMG_0797

We passed out buttons as prizes to people who could identify us correctly. (As Asian costumers we’ve experienced people calling us by each others names at conventions for years, so we thought it’d be fun to dress alike this year). Christine also made embroidered patches for us to wear with this same design.IMG_0823

Saturday night was the grand gala! I have so many wonderful pictures for a future post, but here I am in my Vice Admiral Holdo, along with my brilliant friend Kelsey in her Queen Amidala.IMG_1017IMG_1022

On Sunday I wore a vintage peignoir with feather trim over a black nightgown, and joined other ladies wearing their glamorous “Sunday undies.” IMG_1136IMG_1139IMG_1169

For the rest of the day on Sunday I rewore my vintage-style Star Wars First Order uniform, with a new purse and re-tailored collar. I had the privilege of a photoshoot with Gloria of In the Long Run, and here is a preview image I received. I can’t wait to see the final photos!38122893_551589561924580_164237582304018432_o.jpg

Adrienne also took this slow-motion villain cape action video. (Click on the link, not the photo). https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl2G7-vDvse/?taken-by=freshfripperyScreen Shot 2018-08-10 at 10.17.34 AM.png

For those of you keeping track, outfit #8 was a fuzzy Totoro kigurumi (which I forgot to photograph).  It was very useful during the evenings when I wanted to feel cozy. (FYI, for anyone feeling a little unease, I am an outlier that brings more costumes than average. You are absolutely not required to dress all day, every day for CoCo. Many people attend classes in jeans, and not every attends the evening social events).

I had an incredible time at Costume College! Stay tuned for more posts featuring other costumers.

Medieval Princess Dress

I recently made a medieval princess dress that isn’t historically correct (although inspired by 14th century cotehardies), but was fun to make, and a gift for teenage me. When I was in high school I wanted to have a medieval princess dress for prom but had neither the sewing skills to make one or the money to buy one, so this is a fulfillment of a dream! IMG_9966

Yeah, it was a bit breezy that day.IMG_9980

This dress was also a reminder that costuming and sewing is supposed to be fun, even if the details are “wrong.”  This dress has inexpensive polyester velvet, a zipper down the back, shiny jacquard trim, polyester sleeve tippets and a wrap belt made from curtain fabric, an impractical train, and princess seams! To someone concerned about historical accuracy these might be a bunch of no-nos, but this gown, despite all its anachronisms, is something I would have loved and felt pretty in back in high school. This dress is a gift for little former me.IMG_9969

I used Butterick B4827 as my pattern base. I skipped the back eyelet lacing and used an invisible zipper instead. The tippets and belt were drafted by me.  My goal was to machine-sew as much as possible, so the hem, neckline, and cuffs were machine-stitched and then covered with jacquard trim.MJNT1739.JPG

The tippets are T-shaped pieces of fabric sewn together and then turned inside-out to hide the raw edges. The tops of the Ts are then overlapped to make the cuffs.

The hair consists of 2 fake braided buns on a headband:

  1. Cover a headband in fabric matching your hair; I used black velvet.
  2. Make a short braid and cover in a hair net to help control flyaways.
  3. Wire the braid to the headband using gold wire, and insert pearls as you go.
  4. Make 2 long braids and coil each one into a bun shape.
  5. Use bobby pins to secure the bun shape.
  6. Glue pearls to each bun.
  7. Cover each bun with a hair net to control flyaways.
  8. Glue the bun to each end of the headband.

Project materials:

  • 7 yards micro-velvet from Fabric Wholesale Direct: $62.93 (I had some leftover; if you are petite and cut carefully you might be able to get a dress out of 5-6 yards).
  • 1 yard gold jacquard damask 118″ wide from FWD: $10.99
  • 6 yards jacquard trim from eBay: $12.62 (including tax and shipping)
  • Thread, buttons, pearls, wire, etc. from stash: ~$5
  • 2-3 packages of fake braiding hair and headband from stash: ~$10

Total cost: All of the fabric was a gift from my friends at Fabric Wholesale Direct, so my out of pocket cost was about $27.62 (instead of ~$101.54 plus tax and shipping). Thanks FWD!

If you’d like to make a medieval dress of your own, check out this tutorial I made. Happy sewing!EJIY8518

The Lilac Petticoat (Upcyling an Old Bridesmaid’s Dress)

My last project was all about taking a 70s bridesmaid’s dress and giving it new life as a petticoat and bum pad for a late Victorian or Edwardian costume.C18CCFD1-8D0C-4032-9873-C16C3C447BA4

There was so much lace, taffeta, and chiffon that I couldn’t resist. (The striped fabric is a scrap from another project).IMG_0155

I love upcycling and repurposing, but it has to be from something that is modern and mass-produced, really damaged vintage, or ugly and unwearable as-is. I was on the fence about this dress because it’s not entirely bad looking, and there might be someone out there who likes to wear 70s bridesmaid’s dresses. Might be. This is what the dress looked like before. 91758DB7-052D-4B41-8F10-616F530AD3AB

In the end I decided there were enough issues with it that it would be better to repurpose it. The dress had some stains and tears, it was meant for an unusual figure (slim and super tall), and the lace was scratchy. I figured super models who like itchy clothing are hard to come by, so out came the seam ripper. (Can you guess what movie I was watching?)IMG_0130

A list of my modifications:

  • I separated the bodice and skirt and removed the back zipper.
  • I put a new waistband at the top of the skirt and added a hook/eye closure.
  • I hemmed up the bottom of the skirt lining and enclosed a strip of horsehair braid for structure.
  • I removed the bottom flounce of lace because it was too long.
  • To make a bum pad out of the bodice I sewed up the openings, stuffed it using parts of a lumpy pillow I was about to throw out, and added some ribbon ties.

 

There was nearly no cutting, so aside from the loss of a zipper, some lace, and some hooks and eyes, some intrepid fashion archaeologist could conceivably remake this dress in the future.

Note: I don’t condone cutting up nice vintage! Please don’t cut up nice old wedding dresses unless they are really trashed. There are plenty of neglected polyester prom dresses that you can use for your own petticoat project.

This dress was thrifted, and most everything else was leftover from another project, so this cost me about $20-25 total! I don’t think I could have bought all that lace new for that price.

Vintage-Inspired Star Wars First Order/General Hux Costume

Recently I went to a themed party wearing a General Hux First Order costume with vintage styling. I had a lot of fun putting together this outfit and pretending to be sinister. Want this look? I’ve got links to all the accessories and base dress in this post.YAFE4962

General Hux wears a tunic and greatcoat with First order emblems and armbands signifying his rank, as well as a funny little hat with a metal emblem.IMG_8926IMG_8927IMG_8928

I substituted a dress for his tunic and a cape for his greatcoat. My gloves are vintage kid leather with lots of little cut outs, and my shoes are the 1940s Nita ankle strap heels from Royal Vintage Shoes.IMG_9632

I didn’t have time to make it all from scratch (except the cape) so I purchased an “Audrey Hepburn” dress on Amazon (affiliate link). The dress has a keyhole neckline and some cute button details. It has some stretch, and I would definitely size down if you are between sizes. I had to exchange the first dress I bought for a smaller size. The sleeves were a little wide on me, but I have skinny arms, so you may not have to tailor them like I did.IMG_E8909

The dress comes with a matching fabric belt with a pleather backing. I flipped the belt around, cut off the buckle, and added this metal buckle blank (Amazon affiliate link) to make it look more like a leather First Order belt. You can also buy it at your local Tandy Leather store.
IMG_9489

I bought the medium sized (3″ wide) shoulder patch from Mirror Universe on Etsy.IMG_E8911

You can buy the arm bands online, but I made my own using white soutache trim (Amazon affiliate link). At first I tried to sew the soutache directly on the sleeve, but it was a little difficult getting everything to stay straight. In the end, I sewed the white soutache trim onto some matte black ribbon, put Misty Fuse on the back, and ironed the ribbon strips onto the sleeve. A few tips:

  • Misty Fuse is like Wonder Under or Stitch Witchery, except it’s black and very light. It doesn’t add bulk, and is dark so even if you mess up a little it won’t show up like white iron-on adhesive.
  • Use matte ribbon, not a shiny satin ribbon, to keep your ribbon backing from being too obvious.
  • Open up the sleeve seam so that you can tuck the raw ends of your ribbon and soutache inside before sewing it closed again for a clean finish.

IMG_9634

My “stewardess pillbox” hat was purchased from Amazon (affiliate link). I added some vintage veiling, and added a nice metal pin that I purchased from The Empires New Clothes on Etsy.

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IMG_E8914

Just for fun, I wore a “Thirst Order” pin from Dahlia Bunny on my dress.Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 9.28.44 PM

The cape is self-drafted, but not difficult to make. I used a soft, low-pile velvet that I draped on my dress form. Originally, I made it floor length and super full so I started with 4 yards of fabric that became significantly less in the end. A last minute addition was a red lining to make my dress stand out, which meant more last minute shopping online with Prime to get this faux dupioni (Amazon affiliate link).IMG_9619

A trick for when you have an item that is two colors (or you’re just lazy) and you can’t topstitch without the wrong color thread showing on one of the sides: sew some Misty Fuse or Stitch Witchery onto the wrong side of the fabric. When you flip it over and iron the edges your cape and lining will fuse together.IMG_9527.JPG

Since it is somewhat off the shoulder I added snaps to the dress and cape to hold them together. This was done right before the party, so it’s not lined up perfectly. Next time I think I will add more snaps or hooks and bar so the collar will hug my neck better.

Final project cost tally:

  • Dress: $29.99 from Amazon
  • Hat: $13.99 from Amazon
  • Patch: $11.74 ($7.99 + $3.75 shipping) from Etsy
  • Hat pin: $13.45 ($9.95 + $3.50 shipping) from Etsy
  • Dress pin: $9 from Etsy
  • Cape fabric: $30 from Facebook
  • Cape lining: $8.72 from Amazon
  • Belt buckle: $4.17 from Amazon
  • Soutach: $4.99 from Amazon
  • Thread and misc from stash: ~$3

Total: $129.05

The shoes, gloves, and seamed stockings are part of my regular vintage wardrobe.

I had so much fun with this outfit! I am looking forward to wearing it again! (Sorry for the slightly blurry photos; the event had really dim lighting!)

IMG_9554

 

How to Make Your Own DIY Mermaid Tail Tutorial

Happy Mermay! I recently completed a shiny sequined mermaid tail, and decorated a shell bra bikini top to go with it. I am not sure yet where I will wear this, but it was fun being a mermaid for a little while!IMG_9098.JPG

The shell bra was purchased from Aliexpress, and then I added hot-fix rhinestones and sewed on faux pearls.pic13

I used the mermaid sequin scale fabric and power mesh lining from Fabric Wholesale Direct for the tail, which has a swim mono fin inside.pic12

This is actually a pretty easy project, and a simple pattern.pic2

The complete tutorial with a materials list and illustrated instructions can be found on the FWD website.  Thanks Fabric Wholesale Direct for the fabrics and the chance to play mermaid for a day!IMG_9048.JPG

(All the fabrics for this project were provided to me by FWD, but I was not paid for this post).

Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo Costume DIY: Patterns and Materials For Your Cosplay

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My last post showed pictures of me having a fun time dressed as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo from Star Wars the Last Jedi, at Silicon Valley Comic Con. As promised, here’s a compilation of my research and some tips and tricks to help you with your own costume. This is a long post; it covers fabric and colors, pattern, shoes, wig, jewelry, makeup, and more. (Please note, this is how I personally made my own Admiral Holdo cosplay; I can’t guarantee yours will be Rebel-Legion approvable).9N6A30909N6A3096

There are a lot of reference photos online, especially now that the DVD of the movie is out. I have a few important ones here in this post, but Google is your friend! The Official Rebel Legion has an excellent list of Holdo’s costume elements, so even if you are not going for RL approval, take a look at the list and the descriptions. To summarize:

  • Dress made of puce jersey or stretch fabric that drapes well
  • Fitted neck with draped front and exposed collarbones
  • Dramatic draped hood
  • Long, floor-length fabric on left shoulder
  • Long, fitted sleeves
  • Round-toe boots with chunky heel
  • Purple curly hair
  • Silver tiara
  • 2 silver cuff bracelets
  • Earrings with purple stones
  • Cluster ring
  • Ring with marbled stone

Yes, it looks like a lot, but is doable and I’ll tell you in this post where to buy all the materials you need.

FABRIC AND COLORS

Keep in mind, the Vanity Fair photo of Holdo’s costume released before the movie does a wonderful job of showing the draping, but this was styled for a photo shoot and it does not show screen accurate color or hair.IMG_6163

On screen, you can see that her hair has much looser waves in the front, and the color of the dress is much less purple. Depending on the scene and lighting, it appears to change color, ranging from brown to mauve. The director has said that the dress is puce, and you’ll see on the Admirals in Purple Facebook group a lot of discussion on what the color actually is and what fabrics would work. I recommend checking out that FB group regardless; it’s got a lot of great posts and advice, including a pinned post with shopping links.amilyn-holdo

My advice is to get some fabric swatches and see what looks good on your skin. If you want to be screen accurate, go puce, but not everyone can carry it off. This is my swatch card from Stylish Fabrics.  IMG_7986

My personal opinion is that “mauve pale” looks the most like the dress on screen, “mauve DK” looks most like the Vanity Fair photo, and “mauve 2017” is a compromise between the two. I looked like death in mauve pale so I used mauve 2017 for my own costume, and you can see that depending on the light it looks very different.

The fabric I bought is a rayon jersey, which is soft and stretchy, and has a nice drape. You do not need to buy rayon jersey, but your fabric cannot be stiff. It must be soft enough to give the waterfall effect on the back of the dress. The Stylish Fabrics rayon comes in several weights. I got swatches of the #406 (200 GSM), #409 (180 GSM), and #13390 (160 GSM). I purchased the 200 GSM, which is the thickest, for my entire dress and lining. Some other cosplayers have bought a thicker fabric for the main dress, and a thinner one for the hood to keep it lighter.

How much fabric to buy? I bought 11 yards, and had 2 full yards and some huge scraps left over, so 9 yards is plenty. I also self-lined the body of the dress, so if you skip that you can save a few yards.  I am 5’6″ and if you are shorter than me you can also use the width, instead of the length of the fabric and save even more. So depending on your height and whether you want a lining, you will use 6-10 yards of a 55″ fabric.

DRESS PATTERN

Given the nature of the construction of this dress, you will have to drape it, either on yourself or a dress form. This is not a project I recommend for a beginner because there’s no ready made pattern, and knits sometimes stretch and sag in unexpected ways. I having enough sewing experience to drape mine on a dress form, but if you need help getting started, Simplicity 1716 is a cowl-neck dress pattern that you can adapt by lengthening. (I haven’t used it so I can’t vouch for it, but it appears to me to be a decent base).

The hood is one giant trapezoid with pleated edges. These are the dimensions I used; if you are taller than me you will want to increase the width of the base. You can figure this out by having a friend hold a tape measure in a U shape on your back, with the ends on each shoulder and the bottom of the U just below your butt.  I am 5’6″ and a 60″ trapezoid base is perfect for me. (There’s no need to change the 12″ measurement; that creates the smallest U in the series of drapes on the hood).
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The easiest way to cut a large trapezoid is to fold your fabric in half like this and cut at the diagonal.IMG_E7594

Please note, this makes for a REALLY FULL and heavy hood, and A LOT OF PLEATING. I think if I remade the dress I would not use the full width of the fabric, and have shorter diagonals. The hood would still look fine. If you are shorter than 5’6″, definitely use smaller smaller measurements than what I have diagrammed above.

I cartridge-pleated my hood. I think this makes it look neater and more even than gathering. It is time-consuming, but a good way to get a lot of fabric into a small space.IMG_7603.JPG

Have I mentioned this hood is heavy? It will want to drag and dip in weird ways, so be sure to put a strip of boning across the top to keep a nice straight line. I used a plastic cable-tie, cut to size.

The other thing you’ll want to consider to keep the hood where it should be is to have some type of internal harness. I’ve seen a few options:

  • Backpack-style straps. Run a thick piece of elastic across the top of the hood (where you have your boning), and then make loops that will go across your armpits like a backpack (but is hidden inside the dress). This is the approach used by Anachronism in Action. (You can pad the straps to make them more comfortable).
  • A front harness that is hidden below the neck drape. I haven’t tried this myself, but this is explained on Jen Eyre’s blog.
  • My own approach was to build a harness based on a T-back racerback bra. That way the weight was not only around my arms, but distributed across my chest. I got a bra with a front closure, and reinforced the elastic with a thicker kind. I also had another strip of elastic with its own closure running along the bottom of the bra for extra security. Now you’ll have support from the elastic running along the top of the hood, the elastic straps that come over your shoulders, the elastic T strap that goes down your back, and the elastic that goes around your ribcage below your bust. (Don’t pick a sports bra or a bra with wide straps; they will show because of the exposed shoulder blades on the dress).

The floor-length drape on the left shoulder is just a long rectangle, also pleated with the hood. The length will depend on your height and how much of a train you want. My width was 24.”

The sleeves are long and fitted, with a seam down the inside of the arm. If you look at this photo you will see they are actually gathered on the lower halves. nGLN19F.jpg

I constructed mine by cutting extra long sleeves and putting elastic on the inside seam of the sleeves. Stretch the elastic as you stitch it onto the lower sleeves, and when you release the elastic the sleeves will be gathered. IMG_7543.JPG

For the neck of Holdo’s gown you have a gathered high-necked collar with a long draped portion in the front. The back of the neck has 2 flat areas that are not gathered. I used a long invisible zipper down the back of the collar. The zipper was extra long so that I could pull the collar over my head after I put the dress on, and the extra length is tucked into the dress. The bottom of the front drape is attached to the dress, but the bottom of the back collar is attached to the hood using heavy-duty hooks and eyes, which are the last thing you attach when putting on the dress. (The jersey of the dress is stretchy enough that you don’t need a zipper all the way down the back of the dress, although you should still have a center back seam if you want screen accuracy). Use more hooks than you think you need! I’m going to add more for the next time I wear it so it doesn’t shift off-center again.9N6A3121.JPG

I highly recommend looking at how Anachronism In Action did her collar so you can see what the pattern shapes are. You will need to bone and/or interface the collar so that it is stiff enough to stay up.

Some other tips:

  • When you sew together the long side seams of the dress, add some twill tape, ribbon, or other similar materials to help control the fabric from stretching too much. I used 6mm Mobilon tape, a semi-transparent elastic, because I wanted a bit of stretch to remain.
  • Jersey fabric stretches enough on the straight grain; don’t cut your dress on the bias.
  • Your jersey may have a subtle direction to the weave that looks like parallel lines. If you care about having everything in the same direction, that will use more fabric than if you don’t care. (My 9 yards did include keeping everything in the same direction).

SHOES

Holdo wears boots with a chunky heel and a round toe that are a similar color to her dress. This style is not hard to find, and can be painted or dyed to match. I used the “Refresh Footwear Women’s Closed Toe Chunky Stacked Block Heel Ankle Bootie” in mauve from Amazon (affiliate link), however, there are other similar boots you can find that will work just as well.

I found the toes tight, and was able to stretch them out by putting in a shoe stretcher while using a hair dryer to warm up and soften the synthetic material. (If you get real leather shoes you don’t need to use the dryer trick to soften them before stretching).

I painted my shoes with a transparent spray paint called Tint It in plum (Amazon affiliate link). You can also get this at Michael’s, but my local store was sold out. It dries very quickly and a couple coats was good enough to turn my shoes from a pinky mauve color to a nice purple matching my fabric.IMG_8626

Use the Tint It in a well-ventilated area. Lay down newspaper and wear disposable gloves. Tape off the sole of your shoe using painter’s tape, and use a bristle brush or old toothbrush to brush the suede to distribute the color after spraying. Do this immediately, because Tint It dries fast!

WIG

I used the Arda Wigs Josephine in Dusty Rose. I’ve also seen other cosplayers use the Lavender color. Personally, I think Holdo’s hair is in between the two, and on my next wearing I might darken my wig. One way to do this is with “the Sharpie trick.” Put a purple Sharpie marker into some alcohol, let the ink dissolve, and spray it on.Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 6.37.46 PM

The Josephine wig is finger-waved with tighter curls than you need. I relaxed the hair (especially in the front) by using a garment steamer and combing through while the wig was hot. (If you are coloring your wig, do it on a cool wig after you’re done with the steaming!) IMG_7667

If you prefer a lacefront wig, I’ve also seen the Arda Wigs Bucky Classic used with a Holdo cosplay, but it is $68 vs. $30 for the Josephine. However, you won’t have to steam out the curls.

JEWELRY

Admiral Holdo wears a lot of space jewelry. This page from the Star Wars Visual Dictionary shows her tiara, cuffs, earrings, and rings. 25587749_669110460143724_3186790248120470175_o.jpg

SILVER CUFFS

Holdo’s silver cuffs can be purchased from various vendors on eBay and Aliexpress for a few dollars each. I bought a pair each from these 2 vendors and they were exactly the same. I would recommend sanding them a bit, or lining them with some extra dress material. At the end of the day, my dress sleeves looked fuzzy from all the rubbing of the sharp edges.IMG_6153.JPG

HALO

You have several options for a halo: buy a 3D printed one from Etsy, bribe a friend with metalworking skills, solder your own, or make a decent-looking one with $3, thirty minutes, some pliers, and wire! I picked the last option. I may upgrade to a soldered one later, to be a little more screen-accurate, but the wired ends of my halo are hidden inside my wig so it doesn’t matter much.IMG_7950

I originally planned to use 1/4 inch armature wire for a thicker halo, but my local store didn’t have any, so these are the materials I ended up using: 12 gauge floral wire, 26 gauge paddle wire, and a metal hair comb. I bought the wire at Michael’s and I used one of these combs from Amazon (affiliate link), cut in half with tin snips.IMG_7951

I can’t draw, so please don’t laugh too hard, but here’s a diagram of how it was done:IMG_8814.JPG

RINGS AND EARRINGS

Holdo has a silver ring with a cluster of stones, and a gold oval ring with a marbled stone. (I don’t know why one ring is gold when all of her other accessories are silver. If the non-matching bothers your OCD self, go silver for both like I did). I haven’t found anyone selling exact reproductions, but this Google Doc from the Admirals in Purple FB page has links to a number of Amazon and eBay rings that could work.

For the oval ring you can either purchase a cats’ eye stone ring, or paint a plain stone with nail polish. Mine is painted. A tip if your rings are too big: you can put some hot glue on the inside bottom. It’s not obvious when it’s worn and it keeps your ring from slipping off.IMG_7672.JPG

The earrings are a bit trickier to find. The Rebel Legion standard is a semi-circular silver earring with dangling purple stones. I haven’t found a super close match and people seem to be modding their own earrings by adding stones to silver findings. I am using these lever back earrings (custom ordered in silver) from Etsy, because they work for both Holdo and my 18th century costumes.

BLASTER

Holdo favors a classic blaster, the DDC Defender-5. There are some nice replicas for sale, but if you are on a budget, I would get a plastic replica of Princess Leia’s blaster, Dremel off the extra length in the barrel (the skinniest part), glue the ends back together, and paint it yourself. You can get one on Amazon for about $10 (affiliate link). It’s not exactly the same, but close enough.

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MAKEUP AND MISC

Holdo wears lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, shaped brows, and nail polish. The exact products will depend on your skin tone, but here’s a few tips.

  • She has dark purple polish. I used Essie’s Smokin’ hot (Amazon affiliate link).Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 2.23.43 PM
  • I can’t tell what color Holdo’s eyebrows are, so I’m not sure they match her hair. However, Laura Dern is a blonde with brown eyebrowns. My eyebrows are black, and I found them too stark compared to my purple wig, so I colored my brows purple. This is optional, but may be helpful to you if you are in the same situation. I covered my eyebrows with eyelid primer, filled in some spots with purple eye liner pencil, and covered the rest with purple eyeshadow. It’s subtle, but made a difference.IMG_7740.JPG

In the future, people don’t have to carry out money or keys, but in real life sometimes you need a way to carry your phone! I couldn’t add pockets to this clingy dress so I made a little drawstring bag to use at the convention. (Line yours with a non-stretchy material). I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve also heard of others using a ladies’ stretchy lace thigh holster to hold your stuff.IMG_7682

Let’s talk storage! There are a lot of pieces associated with this costume, and I didn’t want to go hunting for all of them right before a con. I’ve found that a 23″ long (28 quart Sterilite bin) is just the right size to hold the dress, boots, wig, bag, cuffs, backup cuffs, halo, earrings, and rings. The bins are about $5 at Target and absolutely worth it to keep your stuff together. IMG_E8838.JPG

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?

Depending on what you buy, where you get it from, and what you already have in your stash, your costs are going to vary. However, here is what I spent to give you a general idea. (I like coupons and bargains).

  • 11 yards rayon jersey + tax + shipping, with a coupon: $63.44 from Stylish Fabrics
  • Swatch card + tax + shipping: $8.32 from Stylish Fabrics
  • Purple thread + tax, with a coupon: $3.26 from Joann Fabrics
  • Invisible zipper + shipping: $5.50 from eBay (since I couldn’t find a color match at Joann)
  • 20 yards Mobilon tape: $6 from eBay (I have a lot left over!)
  • Elastic: ~$2, from stash
  • Racerback bra: ~$15 from Target
  • Wig + tax + shipping: $35.50 from Arda Wigs
  • Silver cluster ring + shipping: $13.29 from eBay
  • Metal oval ring + shipping: $1.99 from eBay
  • Earrings + shipping: $16.94 from Etsy
  • Bracers + shipping: $5.56 from eBay
  • Shoes: $14.46 from Amazon
  • Tint-It spray: $12.08 from Amazon
  • Aluminum floral wire + tax, with coupon: $3.92 from Michael’s (I have plenty left)
  • Silver paddle wire + tax, with coupon: $2.19 from Michael’s (this will last me forever)
  • Metal comb: $1.40 from Amazon ($6.99 for a 5-pack)
  • Purple nail polish, with coupon: $3.99 from Amazon

TOTAL COST: $214.84

The fabric is relatively inexpensive, but all the extra accessories do add up! The jewelry was a chunk of my cost (~$40) because I did get some better quality items I could wear with other outfits. If you are on a budget, you may be able to get some costume pieces for less money, or find things in your stash.

If you’ve managed to read all the way to the end, thank you and congratulations! This was a long post, but I hope it will be useful to you when making your own Admiral Holdo costume. Good luck and Godspeed Rebels!amilyn-holdo

(If you’re wondering what are these affiliate links, it means I get a small percentage of any purchase you make from Amazon through these links, which I have to disclose. I don’t get any of the money from the ads WordPress runs on this site, and I’m happy to provide all my tutorials for free. The affiliate fees go towards my domain registration and hosting. Thanks!)