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Cosplay - Sleeping Beauty

Net Petticoat

In this blog post I’m going to be talking about a new petticoat I’ve made. Since I want to make a Sleeping Beauty dress more true to the cartoon I decided to make a petticoat to go underneath it, just to give it a bit of shape and movement. I based it off a basic petticoat pattern from Simplicity but added all of the netting myself. It’s not perfect, and to be honest, I’m not sure how it will sit under the dress, or if I will even use it, but its nice to have.

 

To start I overlocked all of the panels except from the back seam together so that I had a nearly finished skirt. This one was actually one that I had used before so I’m cheating a bit. Along the width of the skirt I drew the lines for the ruffles, these guidelines just helped me to keep everything straight. They were spaced 5 inches apart, except from the one on the bottom, where there wasn’t enough fabric. Then there is an extra line 3.5 inches from the top for an extra ruffle. This is to be added later, it’s going to be a full length piece of fabric to go over the net to protect the dress when it’s sitting on top of the petticoat. At the moment I just haven’t decided what to make it from.

I used a really stiff net to make the ruffles. For projects like this it’s definitely worth having an overlocker as it makes the gathering project so much easier. Make sure that your tension is really tight, my overlocker has a wheel at the side which you adjust to tighten the stitch especially for things like this. Then I also changed the needle tensions. As with any project using a bit of scrap and just testing your stitch first can help to get things right.

Once I had the ruffles made I lined them up along the petticoat, a lot of them were a little bit short but it’s easy enough to just cut some more net and add it on. Always buy a little more than you need for projects like this!

Once that was done, I had the challenge of sewing the ruffles on! So much fabric, I’m half dreading, half looking forward to Cinderella. When I pined the ruffles on I had left the back seam open, so I continued with the skirt like that as it made it a bit easier to handle. Then once I had finished it was a simple matter of closing the back seam and pulling the extra ruffles over to cover the gap. I knew that this was how I was going to finish the skirt so I had left extra on the net just for this.

That done I gathered all of the skirt into the waistband. For this I went back to the pattern and simply cut a strip of fabric instead of using ribbon. This petticoat isn’t going to be seen and it isn’t going to be sold so I wasn’t too careful with it. That’s why the topstitching it pretty ugly. Normally to close your waistband up you would sew with the front facing up on the machine and do a ‘stitch-in-the-ditch’ however I did the opposite and sewed it with the wrong side facing up. This way I could follow the overlocking stitch and make sure I had all of the gathering straight and caught in. After that I simply threaded some woven ribbon through. It’s cut long enough to give me some good ties but I haven’t spent any time straightening it out or securing it as I might swap it out for some nice ribbon later.

 

As you’ll notice this skirt also doesn’t have a finished hem, it’s simply been overlocked. Since it’s just to add a bit of extra flare to the skirt and won’t be seen I really didn’t spent too much time on it. Overall it took me about a day and a half, the most of this was spent cutting netting.

 

Cosplay - Elsa

OFA Elsa Bodice

Recently I have been working on refining the fit for my Elsa bodice. The first pictures show the plain cotton mock-up. I’ve already made one version before and ended up modifying just one side, so this time I took the side that hadn’t been changed. I think my problems had been caused by trying to shrink the bodice to fit the skirt panels too much, so this time I was working on just trying to get a nice fit for the bodice. Once I made the mock-up in the red I found I had some how shrunk the pattern!

In the pictures you’ll be able to see that there is a lot of pulling across the front of the dummy. Then the side panel is slightly warped, while the back doesn’tclose properly. This is all signs that it was too big.

The last pictures are of the final bodice mock-up, which I will be using as the lining. At the moment it is slightly too big, as after the fiasco with the first bodice I wanted it to be too big and then pull it in at the seams. This will have all of the boning on it and add strength to the dress. I wanted something that was stronger than the velvet I am using for the main dress, to stop streatching and support the fur.

costumes

Pannier Pattern

For the panniers I used the Simplicity 4092 historical costume pattern. I thought I would share this to you all because it’s my first time at making them and it could be useful! Sometimes I find it difficult to make out what the illustrations are trying to convey, and it’s just so much easier if you can look at one you made before, (or that someone else made), and see it all in real fabric. As far as I’m aware these panniers will do pretty good for what they are intended for, a historical costume, but not something that you wish to be historically accurate. If you do buy the pattern hoping to achieve accuracy I would suggest buying a thicker fabric with maybe a metal or stiff plastic boning. In this post I used a basic dress/corset boning which is actually quite thin and flexible, so it won’t hold much weight.

There are more pictures to come soon! I just need to spend some time getting them on the dummy or a model to show them off properly.

I’d also just like to make a note about the dart, I was so bad at it! The dart ended up being curved at the tip, and I really don’t think it’s supposed to be like that. So a note to all readers, practice your darts! I know I don’t practice them enough, they’re my worst enemy.

Sorry for the bad quality pictures, I didn’t have my camera with me today. These are the finished panniers. No doubt you’ll see them in use for other patterns over time. I’m already thinking of how to improve them, mainly by getting a stronger boning and a thicker fabric, these ones are all a little flimsy. However, I’m really proud of them for a first attempt.

Cosplay - Elsa

Elsa – Olaf’s Frozen Adventure – Part 1

This is part 1 of the making of Elsa’s new dress from Olaf’s Frozen adventure. It will be covering the making of the first practice dress, and all the alterations that went with it.

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So typically, I come to write this blog post only to find that actually, I didn’t take very many progress shots! I was so sure I have been documenting the whole process, which is why I wanted to write the blog post about it, especially since it’s the first time in a while that I’ve really tried my hand at drafting my own pattern.

What I do have is pictures of the underbodice/corset. In these you can see the darts that I was making in the sides. This was all to pull the strap across towards my shoulder so that it would be hidden under the dress. I know that Elsa’s dress is an off the shoulder type, but I’m really not that confident about my shoulders, plus I wanted something that would have some stability for all that heavy fur and not drag the dress down.

I believed that a really structured bodice hidden inside the dress would be the best way to do this. However now that I’ve actually made the mock-up I’m having second thoughts. Isn’t that typical? So now I think I’ll just add boning to the lining of the dress. Hopefully I’ll have pictures of that!

 

Cosplay - Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty Bloomers

The tutorial for Sleeping Beauty bloomers. I made these for Halloween 2017. We went to the Disneyland Paris Halloween Party, and I knew that it was going to be freezing! These were made from pink and blue cotton flannel that I had lying around, then finished with a zip up the back and a hook and eye. During this tutorial I used both an overlocker and a domestic machine. For flannel I would suggest finishing the edge in some way as it frays quite badly.

 

Step 1. (Picture 1) So for these bloomers I used a pretty old pattern that my mam had lying around. It was actually a daytime trouser pattern for holiday wear, and I just modified it slightly. I knew early on that I wanted it to be pink and blue as I had already picked out a rainbow fabric for my dress. So instead of folding the fabric I cut one front and one back of each colour. That included the matching bows. (Picture 2)

Step 2. (Picture 3) I made the waistband from the blue fleece simply because I had more of it and couldn’t be bothered to cut the waistband in half to make it from the two colours. I then used an iron on interfacing to add some strength and stiffness, it also helps to stop the fleece from stretching as it was sewn. Make sure to transfer all your markings across! (Picture 4)

Step 3. (Picture 5) As a point of personal preference I overlocked all of the edges except the top and gusset (the seam that runs between your legs). You can overlock every pattern peice before you do anything or overlock the seams after sewing. The reason I choose to do part was because I knew I would want to press the seams open instead of pushing them to one side (normally the back).

Step 4. (Picture 6) There are two darts in each panel, front and back, this is to provide a tailored shape. I always have trouble with darts and getting the point right, and one of the most helpful things my mam has taught me is to draw a line in tailors chalk from your markings at the edge of the fabric to the point where the dart should end. It sounds basic but it’s so helpful!

Step 5. (Picture 7) For the front seam you can add stay stitching, which is a simple line of stitching within your seam allowance to stop any stretching. Make sure to match up all of your notches and markings, then sew your seam.

Step 6. (Picture 8) If you are following the pattern instructions you will notice that it tells you to ‘press’ your clothing. This is a technical term for ironing the seams, as it ‘presses’ them open. I like to do this as it keeps your garment presentable and makes it easier to finish off.

Step 7. (Picture 9) By sewing a 1.5 cm seam in the back of the trousers I made it easier to get an overlap that covered the zip once the trousers were finished. I added the zip as normal, sewing with a basic zipper foot. Starting about 1cm down, I sewed down the left side catching both the main fabric and the seam allowance, then across the bottom to secure the zip and seam, and back up the right. I pressed the zipper again just to make sure the fabric would cover the zip and lie flat. (Picture 10) Finally I unpicked the seam so that the zip could open!

Step 8. (Picture 11) When you sew the gusset seam from the end of the zip be sure to leave a 3 cm approximate gap for the side seams. Then sew the side seams, this means matching blue front to blue back ECT. I did the outside seams first as they stop about 6 cm from the bottom to have a little slit and the bows. These have already been overlocked so I just used a simple lockstitch. Then the inside seam is sewn all the way, top to bottom. (Picture 12) Repeat this on the other side.

Step 9. (Picture 13) Finish the gusset from the front to the back, opening the seams out so they lie flat and aren’t pushed one way or another as this helps to reduce bulk against you when sat down or moving. As always reinforce these joins with backstitches. I have also added a line of reinforcement stitching about 1 mm from the main stitching inside the seam allowance, this goes the length of the gusset. This is because this seam will see the most movement and wear and tear when wearing.

Step 10. (Picture 14) I then pressed everything. For the gusset just do as best you can for the curve and get it as flat as possible so that everything will lie flat. At this point I spent a few moments checking the zip as I was ironing to make sure there was no puckering where the seam joined the end of the zip. (Picture 15)

Step 11. (Picture 16) Start the waistband from whichever end you want to be the shortest or the underneath for the hook and eye closure. I started on the right side, matching ends and notches.

Step 12. (Picture 17) At the other end there should be an overlap of a few centimetres. Once you get to the end continue stitching so that the waistband is sealed. Sew up the side as well so that you can’t get into the waistband. Then cut the corners, this helps reduce bulk when the waistband is turned. (Picture 18) The pictures also show how I ironed the waistband to help me to follow the 1 cm seam.

Step 13. (Picture 19) Return to the unfinished seam at the bottom of the legs. First sew the seam allowance left at the bottom of the outside seam. I did this by simply folding it over and making a ‘U’ seam. As the fabric was overlocked I didn’t have to worry about finishing the fabric. After that sew the hem. I just folded mine over once and pressed it.