In the recesses of my mind, I recall something about blogging regularly….and yet, here I find myself, documenting post production through timestamps. Thank heavens for timestamps. And the fact that progress photos are the only regular documentation that I make.
Mostly because I snap them to compare differences and then put them to jury.
Timestamp from January 17th.
Peplum layer was a success and was followed by disappointment in the form of layer two. At the time, I was foolishly following a pattern as I figured this would save me time and sanity.
Oh, but crazy isn’t available yet in commercial patterns.
First attempt just came out…normal. It lacked all of the fullness that the peplum had and I was just, frankly, underwhelmed.
Round two, I ended up cutting layer two shorter and adding another panel, bringing it to two tight circle skirts. The result was better in the fullness but a total miss for length.
Thus at attempt three, I figured the length and fullness was adequate to move on to layer three.
As I said before, I was foolishly using a pattern and it was confusing me to death. The pattern was to be an A-line skirt with ruffle tiers sewn to it. This cut down on fabric waste and seemed to fit what I wanted. Until it was 3 am and it was looking, rather, flat.
As I got looking at it, the ruffles were beginning to droop under the weight as the A-line became longer and rather burdened down by the ruffles. This displeased me greatly and I was faced with the horrible thought that it was going to end up being individual layers piled on top of each other.
And that’s just crazy. Good bye commercial pattern!
Bed time happened after that.
Timestamp from January 25th
After a good amount away from the project, I reassessed. As you can better see from another angle, the peplum and layer one are adequate, however, layer three stands out oddly due to the fact that there is absolutely nothing to fluff it up or add to it. It just kind of hangs there. And I don’t like it.
After putting out to jury to a few close friends and seamstresses, I brooded for roughly three hours before I cut another circle skirt and shoved it under the aforementioned layers.
And damn skippy, it did the trick.
In retrospect, I am certain that the first method would have been okay and probably closer to the reference photo. But at the same time, I rather enjoy the end result that it grew into. So in the end, there is no final “right” answer for cosplay. Interpretation is what makes this game so fun.
Various lengths were tested out and I believe it was at this point that I decided each layer was to be finished at 5” below the previous tier.
Timestamp January 28th
A wedding happened between this and that, thus progress didn’t happen. However, when it did, I did something dumb. “How brilliant,” I thought, “I should just recut everything, scrap my whole mockup and make every layer exactly the same.” Oh how clever I thought I was….
Little did I know that I was in for the most face-palming move in this build.
However, that realization wouldn’t come until later. Much later…..
Timestamp February 1st
Ruffles, ruffles, everywhere and not a drop of direction for this nonsense.
The bottom layer fell flat on its face and it wasn’t until I got a good look at the figure, which is different than the drawn version, that I realized I needed to gather more circle ruffles and sew them in a ridiculous amount.
I then pinned them to the skirt with the help of my two dressforms and the forsaken excersice equipment that stands in the room. Let me tell you, it was NOT fun trying to do that alone. Once all the ruffles were secured in place, I was quite pleased with the bottom.
And then we zoom out.
Then I had a fit.
If you look at the skirt now, since the layers are settled, the stupid thing looks like one giant panel. Because the layers are exactly the same, the ruffles just assimilate into the same frikken fold.
Oh, and then I shoved a petticoat under it in hopes of fixing it. And it didn’t, let me tell you.
After about five more shots and some rather miffed texts to friends, I threw up my hands and went upstairs to bed.
Timestamp from that day confirmed my suspicions. After taking the peplum layer off, recutting it and returning it to the dress, I realized I had made a huge dumb by cutting them at the same curve.
An hour later, layer two was offset with another panel and it too, sprung to life. And that’s when I realized, this thing was just going to EAT fabric.
I recut and offset for hours until I finally got something I wasn’t going to burn outright. 30 yards in, and I finally have something I am okay with. With everything cut and more circle skirts on top of circle skirts than I want to count, I took my final mockup photo.
The 7th was met with accessories. Cause with the deadline right around the corner, I choose to screw around with side quests rather than focusing on the problem of being naked. Priorities, you know?
I was going to buy some $45 fancy kit and pattern, until my dear friend convinced me to be smart and go cheap with something already made. So I did. $5 later, thank you Walmart, I had a desecrated umbrella, no plan and some cheap fabric to make something with.
Let me tell you. I totally didn’t expect it to work out. But it did.
Vinyl eyes appeared as did the rest of the hangy thingies…my friends all insisted on actual googly eyes, but I really want this to shut and hard plastic would stop it from doing so.
So here, enjoy pictures of my creepy, weird, umbrella thing.
I think, besides the wedding, the fact that I was babysitting my cousin through her first quilt was a huge part of why this build went so flipping slow. Oh yeah, and something about trying to work two jobs. Cause I CLEARLY don’t have ANYTHING to do.
Using the glorious Babylock Imagine’s rolled hem, I chose to go that route for finishing my dress. Cause I was NOT about to do tiny rolled hems on a curve and I couldn’t find a foot that would help me either. And something about time. Yeah.
Have you ever used “wooly” thread? This creation happens to be my new favorite thing. Replace your upper looper on the serger and it turns okay rolled hems into something drool worthy.
Exibit A and B
A – uses the magical wooly thread and creates a fuller, more filled finish.
B – is the traditional 3-thread that is okay but not amazing.
Wooly thread RULES. Moving on.
Unfortunately, at this point, the universe happened to take time out of its schedule to serve me a huge “IN YOUR DREAMS” as I was originally going to be a slacker and turn my mock up into the actual cosplay. But nooooooooo…..
The white of the mock up and the white of the thread ARE NOT THE SAME. I think I flipped a table Thor style. Especially when I sulked over to grab the expensive white and it matched perfectly.
Not only do I get to recut this, I get to recut it out of the expensive stuff. Cause why not?
I then figured, if I was going to be forced to do this right, I was going to do this right. Which meant starch. Ironing and starching.
My first exposure to starch was with Yu-Gi-Oh! Cosplay. Those creases and ability to defy gravity doesn’t just happen. There is SO MUCH starch in the cosplay and even more hairspray in that wig. It is amazing what a .99 cent can of starch and five minutes of ironing make.
And with starch.
It looks like a mini petticoat was added. I love that stuff.
Much starching occurred and then it was on to a good solid time with the serger for the rolled hems.
The result makes me quite happy. The thread almost acts as a soft horse hair, giving the S-Curve ruffles structure and height. It also makes them more prominent.
Much debate also happened over shape and in the end, a petticoat was deemed needed.
February 24th – 25th
Hiatus happened again as my cousin’s quilt had to be finished. Not my ideal plan, but it was a thing.
I realized that once the ruffles were in place, I seriously needed the bodice to sew them to. Thus, bodice pieces!
Debate happened over the white stripes and originally I was going to make them into boning channels.
Unfortunately, once I started to sketch the cross with frog hands on to it and then put the second stripe, it just looked funny.
Moving and messing with the lines happened and then I appliqued the cross thingy on. In retrospect, I probably should have used Floriani to make it nicer, but I’m to the wire here and I didn’t have access to it anyways.
The bulk of the skirts to the bodice wasn’t as bad as I originally thought. Though, the death trap of needles as I pinned it all together was quite intense, my arms and hands got so scratched up in the process.
All it needs now is a zipper!
And with that, my lovelies, I sign off to bed!