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Making A Costume: Deanna Troi’s “Green Dress” (Part 2)

Sorry for the long silence!  Life has been very busy, but now I can get back to updating this section of my blog.  I’ve since finished this costume for my friend, but I want to continue with this series and finish before I move on to my current project.

So continuing from my last post, I said I would talk about the bodice and skirt.  My bodice pieces were exactly what I needed them to be, so I continued onward to the neck pieces.  Because of the odd shape of the neckline, it wasn’t going to work out for me to cut  once piece on the fold of my fabric and cut it out.  I had to make four pieces, which I sewed together with a basting stitch, and then ran through my serger.

 

At the corner of the neck piece, I made sure to leave seam allowance space to that it could be sewn on properly to the the bodice, seen here:

Troi Neck 2

The next part to tackle was the skirt, which was pretty straightforward.  I cut out all of my pieces, and then modified each one to mimic the asymmetrical waist line of the bodice.  I didn’t make pattern pieces for this, as my medical paper wasn’t wide enough.  It didn’t occur to me until later that I could have combined pieces to make it wide enough (whoops), I’ll blame that on lack of sleep or something, lol.  The skirt had five pieces, which I sewed into two “halves.”  One “half was comprised of the side front and side back pieces, and the other was the front, side back, and back pieces.  I left them that way for a bit so that I could figure out how much to cut off for the asymmetrical look.  I ended up cutting off about 3 inches, and I replaced it with 4- 3” pieces (plus seam allowance) for the waist band that separates the bodice and skirt.

Troi skirt 1

One half of the skirt, with the waistband

After basting and serging all of my seams, this was the look of the skirt at this point.  (I also did make sure to accommodate for the split in her skirt, but drape of the fabric is masking it.)

Troi skirt 2

And after that, I put the pieces together!  I think I mentioned it earlier, but my friend decided that she wanted to keep the sleeves a little shorter than they should have been, so they stop just past the elbow.  I added a cuff to each of them to finish them.  The cuff was 6″ wide (plus seam allowance), and folded in half to 3″, basted on to the sleeve, and serged.

I used a blind hem stitch on my serger, to hem the skirt.  I think it’s really cool that my machine has that function.  I still plan on saving up for a cover stitch machine, but until then, the blind hem stitch is pretty close. 😀

The difference between a blind hem and a cover stitch, is that a blind hem looks basically invisible on the outside, and overlocked on the inside, while a cover stitch is the type of stitch you see on most commercial clothing where there is a double straight stitch visible on the outside, and overlocked on the inside.  I’ll include some photos from Google to show the difference.

And here was the finished dress on my friend! 🙂

Sara Troi Dress

Thanks for reading!! ❤

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Making A Costume: Deanna Troi’s “Green Dress” (Part One)

A friend of mine is going to Dragon Con (sadly I can’t go this year), and commissioned me to make her a costume.  The actress who played Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation (Marina Sirtis), is going to be a guest this year, so my friend wanted her green dress made.  The funny thing about this dress as I was looking up reference photos, is depending on several factors, the dress either looked green, teal, or turquoise.  I did my best to find fabrics that looked close and consulted with my friend.  The fabric we ended up with is probably darker than the actual color, but she  loved it and that’s what mattered to me. 🙂

Somewhere online, there is an actual pattern for this dress that someone came up with, but it’s rather pricey.  So I went through the plethora of patterns that I have, and found one to modify.  I went with Simplicity 1045, specifically View B for the bodice of the dress.  Stretch knit fabrics aren’t on the list of recommended fabrics for this pattern, but I’ve had no problems with using it for this.

Pattern

View B highlighted in pink.  Also, coffee is an essential part of costume making. 😛

First, I cut out the pieces I needed, and traced them out on medical paper, and increased the sizing.  This pattern went up to a size 20, and I needed it to be a few sizes larger.  (*Sewing tip:  You can increase the size of a pattern by measuring the distance between the sizes that are printed on the pattern.  You don’t need to worry about adding seam allowance if you are going by the pattern’s sizing because that is already figured in.*)  The main pattern pieces for the dress are all one piece, but I needed to only make bodice pieces for the time being, so I traced the pattern to be longer than what I needed, and then determined where I needed them to stop, which looked to be just above the hips, according to the reference photos.  So I patterned the bottom of the bodice to the asymmetrical shape of the dress.

The top of this gave me some issues.  After some trial and error, what ended up working for me was sewing the two side front pieces and the front pieces to each other (using some scrap fabric), UNMODIFIED, and then cutting the neck line into that same asymmetrical shape.  When I did that, these were the resulting pieces I got when I took them apart:

Pattern pieces 1

The lowest point of the neckline stops about at the very tip of the bust point, but I raised it a little bit higher, as my friend has a bigger bust.  I made a mock-up of the bodice using some performance fabric I had bought a while back and never did anything with, and tried it on myself.  My friend and I are around the same size in dresses, so I figured that if it fit me, it would fit her.  I had her come try on the mock-up a few days later, and it was a success. 🙂

The sleeve for view B of this pattern is about a 3/4″ sleeve, and has a bell piece that attaches around it.  Obviously, I didn’t need that part of the pattern, but my friend decided that she liked a shorter sleeve, so we decided not to lengthen it to a full sleeve. However, the bottom of the sleeve will be taken in to be more fitted to her arm

Next time, I’ll talk about the neck band pieces and the skirt!  The design of this dress overall, actually is not very hard, but the asymmetrical neckline has been interesting to work with.  Thanks for reading! ❤

 

 

Lunar Fairy: Moon Circlet

I feel like every fairy should have a cute headpiece.  I’d only made a circlet one other time, a very simple leaf circlet for my first photoshoot as a Greek goddess, when I first got into cosplay.  Jewelry making isn’t something that I’ve done a lot of, I have a lot to learn.  When I started on this project in 2015, I spent hours and hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration and different headpieces so that I could figure out what kind of style I was going for.  It was kind of overwhelming, because there is a LOT!!  The only thing I was sure of, was that I wanted a crescent moon to be on my forehead.  After starting to get some ideas, I then spent hours on ebay, and I ordered a bunch of stuff that I thought was pretty, and I’d figure out what I wanted to do once it got here.  When I picked this project back up last year, I went ham on buying beads and pearls and rhinestones, and other odds and ends.

I found that once I really got started, I was able to envision as I went along, what I wanted.  And I’m really proud of the end result.  I finished it up yesterday, and I seriously can’t wait to wear this beauty!

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The full circlet, finished!

This was honestly a lot of fun to make, and I’m SO happy with the result.  Let’s get close-up and I’ll talk a little bit about the details.

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The large filigrees were square-shaped when I first got them.  All of the filigrees are the same, but I modified them.  The metal was thin enough to cut, so i took wire cutters and cut all of the corners off of 4 of the filigrees, and then left two of the corners on the one I wanted to use for the center (pictured above).  I ordered some cameo settings and glued on the rhinestones.  The small rhinestones are Swaorvski Elements, and the large ones came from a site called Jan’s Jewels.  I had ordered some other stones from ebay, but they were taking a while, and I started to worry that they’d gotten lost, so I ordered these.  The other rhinestones finally showed up not long after I got the ones from Jan’s, so I compared them to see which ones I wanted to end up using.  I went with the ones from Jan’s as I felt they had more of the look I wanted coupled with the Swarovskis.  Then I glued the cameos to the filigrees.

The crescent moon at the front of the circlet also has Swarovskis glued to it.

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The wig in these photos is also the one that I bought to wear for this costume.  I’m currently trying to figure out how I’ll end up styling it, and I’ll talk about it in a future post. 😀  Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time! ❤

Costume Progress: Princess Tiana

My biggest current costume project is Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.  I started this costume back in 2014, and it kind of got put on the back burner until sometime last year.  What I love about Tiana is how much of a hard worker she is, and how she dedicates herself to reaching her goals.  I do the same thing when I’m really passionate about something I want to do.  That might be why I finally made myself pick this project back up again, because I really want to challenge myself.  My other blog has some of my progress, but I decided to go ahead and have it accessible here, as well.

There’s a line of special edition dolls that Disney released some time ago, called the Fairy Tale dolls.  I don’t think you can get them anymore.  They consisted of the princesses and princes in more elaborate versions of their iconic outfits from their films.  When I saw the artwork for Tiana, I was immediately in love with it.se-princess-tiana

I’ve come a LONG way with this costume.  I’ve learned a lot about sewing techniques, and things that have inspired me and caught my eye, have changed how I originally planned for it to look when I first started.  The skirt started off as a single layer of upholstery brocade, and the leaves were just going to be sewn on to the skirt, with a separate bodice. I knew I wanted a brocade because of the artwork showing that there was a floral pattern on the skirt.  It has since evolved into a three layer skirt.  I was really inspired by the 2015 live action Cinderella dress, and I wanted to make Tiana a little more magical.  In addition to the brocade, I also added a layer of glitter tulle, and then organza.  I’m also a big fan of lettuce hems, so I took fishing line and sewed it into the hem of the organza. Horsehair braid was added to the hem of the brocade layer.  When you get up close to the skirt, you can see subtle sparkle from the glitter tulle underneath.  The lettuce hem also makes the dress have a more flower-like feel and appearance.  I also didn’t have a standing dressmaker dummy when I started this.  I had a duct tape dummy that my friend Adrienne helped me make.  My dad bought a dummy for me that he happened to come across at Goodwill.  It’s made life SO much easier!  I’ve also since moved and now have an actual craft room.

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Another addition is a three-layer petticoat that I made for extra fullness, as well as obscuring the bones of the hoop skirt.  The petticoat still needs to have the yoke and waistband added and also needs to be hemmed, even though you can’t tell in the photos.  But I wanted to see how full the skirt would look with everything on, and it’s beautiful!

The bodice has undergone some changes, too.  Initially, I was going to just have the two bodice panels, and sew them together with the petals.  But then I decided to take extra precaution and add an extra center lining panel to make sure I’d be keeping my cleavage in check. A green cotton base skirt has been added, and my plan for that is to sew all of the leaves on to that base skirt, and then sew the bodice so that it’s like a separate leaf dress that will be worn over the skirt, etc.  The bodice and leaves are made out of a faux-suede fabric.  The petals are made out of the same brocade as the skirt, with a layer of beaded lace fabric laid over top.  I put a stiffer interfacing in the petals for structure, and there is a piece of white steel boning behind the center panel.  The bodice will also have white steel and spiral steel boning.

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I’m currently working on hand embroidering about 26 individual leaves to go on the base skirt.  This is my first time doing any kind of embroidery.  I have a machine, but I haven’t sat down with it enough to be able to know what I’m doing.  I’m also not sure that I can program the machine to do the pattern, so I’ve resigned myself to doing all of these by hand.  I’m finishing up the second leaf, and then I’ll be starting on the third one.  If I get it the machine figured out, I will probably switch to that.  But for the time being, I’m using the puff paint method of outlining the design in puff paint, and then embroidering over it with metallic gold thread.

In one of my next blog posts, I’ll talk about the shoes for this costume.  That’s all for now!

 

Lunar Fairy: Moondust Wings

Welcome to my first entry!  For the last few weeks, I’ve been leisurely working on a set of wings for my first original cosplay, a lunar fairy.  I have a name for her, Yvana, and I’ve been trying to give her a little backstory, too.  I think that once I’ve got everything done and can look at it all, I might be inspired to come up with something. 🙂  I’ve always had a fascination with the moon and the stars, space, and wings, and flying.  Maybe because I’m a Gemini and it’s an air sign, I don’t know, lol.  One of my favorite designers to follow is Firefly Path, seeing their beautiful creations really had me itching to come up with a fairy of my own to make a costume for, so I did and I came up with a Lunar/Moon fairy.

I have another blog on Blogger where I started talking about this costume, you can take a look at it to see some of the other work I’ve been putting into this costume and others, here.  I wanted to give WordPress a try after seeing how nice my friend Moonkitty’s blog looked and thinking I might want to give mine a face lift. If you want to follow her adventures, you can find her right here.   She’s seriously awesome!  Anyway, for the past two weeks I really got to work on these wings, and they are pretty much done, save a couple of things I need to add to them.  I have a WIP album of photos as well as a short video of their epic sparkly-ness on my Facebook page.

And without further adieu, here they are!

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I had a lot of fun making these and I learned a lot, too!  The wings are made of iridescent cellophane and organza, which I have never used  a fabric in making wings before.  I had some help from my friend Tj with covering the first half of the wings, as I needed them to be as smooth as possible.  Thanks to him I’ve got a more efficient way to do this stage in the future.  In certain light, the green in the cellophane really comes out, and they almost look like the Aurora Borealis.  I designed these myself, and having them go from concept to reality is honestly really rewarding. ^.^  They are hand painted, glittered, and bedazzled.  My craft room STILL smells like E6000, and I have no doubt that I’ve been tracking glitter all over the house. 😛

Depending on how you look at the wings, they may be falling stars, or shooting stars.  I was envisioning the infinite number of stars in space, and trails of stardust left behind them as they travel through space.  Though they are pictured here stuck down the back of a corset, I intend to add straps.  I usually wear them down the back of a corset but the costume I’m doing will call for straps this time around.  The main frame (ha ha) is made of 12 gauge wire.  I usually use 9, but because of the scalloping, I needed something easier to manipulate.  Overall, I’m extremely happy to have these (mostly) done, and I can’t wait to have the entire costume completed and do a shoot!!  Now it’s on to the fun task of figuring out where on Earth I’m going to put them until then. XD  Until next time! ❤