Always a fun production!! Rose of Athens revisited Winnie the Pooh for the holidays in 2013 with their performance of “A Holiday Tail”. Some of the previous costumes were still around, with some minor repairs and alterations needed, but I still had to make Tigger, Rabbit, and a few missing heads :) Since I had patterned out the costumes before, and had an intern for this show, it was pretty easy. The family and I even helped make a few of the 700 snowflakes that adorned the set!
That’s me and my littlest on the front row, right. The girls were more than willing to attend dress rehearsals and fittings with me for this show :) Here is a mini piglet version I made for my now 9 year old back when I did Pooh the first time around…
My Rapunzel customer had a special request for the winter of 2013. She was attending Disney on Ice in costume and needed a special jacket or cape to wear. We came up with a gorgeous design, found the perfect matching velveteen/velour, lined it with purple and a special lace trim. It ties at the neck with a velvet ribbon and has a huge hood. It ended up being super thick and warm and a great accessory for the Rapunzel Dress.
Here is the original costume, above ….. and my recreation , below.
I had been wanting to do Rachael for years! ( Like 10 years!). This was finally the year, and I got to wear it for 3 different Halloween events. I am now a pro at the 1940′s style rolls. This was a quick costume, so it is not as fully movie accurate as I will make one day.
I am not going to do a tutorial for this costume, because it was really just a quick remake/ alteration. Here is the basic way I made this:
1. Buy Black Suit
2. Make the rest of the costume
1. buy Black Suit. Longer skirt. Make sure when you flip up the collar, it comes close to closing at your neck.
2. open collar out to make a high neckline (press)
3. tailor jacket to be very fitted through the waist and lower arms
4. add two sets of shoulder pads to the jacket
5. redo buttons
6. add black leather/pleather patches. These are supposed to be some kind of reptile skin. I did the collar, the shoulders, the neck, either side of the waist, and one on each arm. The neck diamond needs to be removable. ( I used double sided sticky velcro !!!) To be movie accurate, there should be 3 on each side of the waist, and three on each arm, and only one shoulder..the left.
7. the OWL. I bought a black halloween prop that had green light up eyes, and painted it with acrylics
7. hair and makeup. (THE KICKER)
For the hair, I would search you tube for pompadour roll, 1940′s victory rolls, hair rolls, etc. I actually used a stuffed “roll” under the front roll since my hair is very thin.
THIS page has lots of snapshots of the hair and makeup on set.
THIS thread has some amazing details of the jacket construction and medallions someone did a few years ago. Better than most others found online. I will be using this when I remake this costume.
And finally, I LOVE this artist rendition of Rachael by Paul X Johnson.
My customer sent me this comic cover image by Brian Bolland as inspiration for a new costume:
She did want it with a little more coverage, boy shorts and shoes and accessories.
I started out with a basic sweetheart neckline corset pattern and extended it to the low hips.
I used 2 layers of liner to make sure where I attached all the leaves to the outer layer would not be uncomfortable. The outer layer was a viney printed green woven cotton. I sewed boning in the seams of the liner, and at the back edges. Next step was attaching ALL the leaves to the outer layer! You can see here that the liner is not attached to the outer layer yet, but I have covered up to about an inch away from the edges of the outer layer in layers of leaves. I started at the top and worked down. This took about 2 huge sprigs of leaves from Michael’s! The ones that are poking out above the raw edge are loose, so I could stick them inside when I sewed it right sides together to the liner. So, next step was to sew the outer to the liner, right sides together, along the side and upper edges (tucking the leaves inside as I went). Leaving the bottom open was an easy way to get it turned right side out without crushing the leaves.
While working on this, I ordered from an awesome site called welovecolors.com. They have 51? colors, I believe and make all kinds of tights, briefs, gloves, etc that match! We ordered boy briefs, tights and opera gloves.
Next step was to topstitch the bottom edge of the corset and stitch on all the leaves around the edges and along the bottom. I added grommets, privacy panel and matching ribbon and the top is done!!
I definitely multitask, so while I was waiting for the we love colors order and finishing the top, I started on the wire necklace. This was twisted wire, rubber clay, paint and fabric flowers.
Once the accessories arrived, ( a perfect match), I cut the fingers off of the gloves (and secured seams), hemmed down to below the elbow, and added as many leaves as I could. These are super stretchy, so the sewing of the leaves proved *challenging* (aka never gonna do THIS again).
After the chore of the gloves, I just had to sew leaves onto thick leather boots, (OMG and OUCH). Here are a couple of shots of the whole costume minus the tights. I wish you could see the hairpiece better. I sewed leaves and white flowers onto twine and attached to a clip. (Disregard the black wig… it was the best I had at the time).
And here is the pretty back, and a closer shot of the hairpiece and gloves(still doesn’t show much, sorry).
I hope to add some customer shots soon, if she is willing to share :)
This is my next project and I realize I have done an awful job of doing instructions in the past. I have prettied up the blog a little, and will start this one in a detailed and nice looking manner. It will be a post that will be updated, so hopefully I can keep it up.
First steps were to get customer measurements, gather lots of reference photos, and do a basic sketch. I decided to do two pieces; a bodice with attached sleeves and an elastic waist skirt with white slip underneath.
Second step was to order the custom printed fabric from Spoonflower here
There is a lighter colored print for the bodice and a darker one for the center panel of the skirt.
Since I did not make it to the store to purchase matching materials yesterday, I made a stencil last night. Using some close up photos of the embroidery on the skirt, I did about a 2 foot by 4″ sketch. This embroidery goes up both sides of the front panel, as well as around the whole circumference of the skirt, so there is no way I am going to embroider all of that by hand! I could use an applique lace or spend a year trying to program my embroidery machine to do this, but I decided on painting it with my stencil. I like to use what I have handy often times, so I cut the thick clear plastic covering on a binder off to use as my template. I traced over my paper template onto the clear plastic and cut it out with an exacto knife. I did not need to cut the pieces out of the paper template, but did not realize this until I realized a paper template would not work with the paint.
BecauseISaidSew.blogspot.com has a good image of the embroidery sketch uploaded
Made it to the store today and found matching the purple in the darker print for the skirt was super hard. Luckily, I had an old formal dress that I had forgotten about and it was the perfect shade. I also picked up my lilac for the sleeves, pink ribbon for the stripes and corset lacing, fabric paint and brushes. I had the whole evening to work (minus dinner and bedtime for kiddo)
First, I drafted a pattern using McCalls 4107. This is a pattern designed to end at the high waist, so I had to extend it down about 3-4″. I just slightly flared the bottoms..more is better because I ended up trimming to what was shown after fitting it on my mannequin. You can also see a few other changes I made. I cut the strap back edge and taped it to the front strap and added some more length ( add more next time!) I also curved the front edge at the top so it will look more like hers (at the red block). You will also see where I did not place the back piece on the fold, rather, I placed a cut there and even added more onto the back edge.
I had some fabric of the dark pink polka dot variety, so I did my first try with this. It only needed minor adjustments on my mannequin, so decided to use it as my liner rather than make a new liner. I left the back seam open for final adjustments unlike the pattern which had a one piece back panel. I made bone casings with my pink ribbon on the RIGHT side of the liner. Just because. I normally do them on the wrong side, but this was just too cute. I order my steel bones from corsetmakingsupplies.com and always have a good variety in stock, so found some to fit leaving at least 5/8″ at each end. You don’t want your bones extending into your seam allowances because then you can’t turn it! After sewing the seams, I had two pieces: front side back right, and front side back left.
I then cut the same pieces from my printed fabric using the adjusted pattern, sewed them together the same. Now, I had four separate pieces. With right sides together, one liner and one outer, 5/8″ SA, I sewed full neck seam down the front edge and around the bottom. Trimmed, clipped, and turned right side out! Repeat for left side. Shown below is the front edge. The piece is still totally open on the back edge, so I reached in with a long bone and placed it at the front edge to keep it from bunching. Just a running stitch on the other side of the bone made a channel to keep it in place.
Once both pieces were done, I pinned it on my mannequin with a few inches open in the front where the laces and panel will go. Here is the photo of how the back overlapped and the straps met. I adjusted and marked where the straps should be attached.
Before I took it off the mannequin to sew the straps, I also pinned the back seam as shown below.
Then I took it back off and sewed the back seam and straps as I had marked them. Finally it is in one piece! I then trimmed the neck/back seam with little white lace and the bottom edge with a dark pink/white layered lace.
That is it for the bodice for today. Tomorrow I add sleeves, grommets and center panel.
I also got a lot done on the skirt today. The liner from my formal was PERFECT. I did not have to alter it at all. I cut it 36″ long, the hem measured 52″ and the waist was around 38-40″, plenty large enough to gather into an elastic waistband. Hopefully you can see in the following photo that I drew lines on the skirt. I marked centers at top and bottom, then marked 5″ out on each side of the top center, then 9″ out from the center of the bottom hem. I cut the exact same shape out of the darker printed material. 10″ X 36′ X 18″ X 36″ plus a small seam allowance for turning under the edges. Then I just laid it on top of the skirt and turned under the edges along the sides and bottom and topstitched right to the skirt! You can see the left side sewed down and the right side laying next to the white line I had drawn. I also decided to stitch down the bottom edge instead of letting it flow free.
That is enough for today, but have another free afternoon tomorrow to work on the stencil, petticoat and more!
Each portion of the stencil has to dry before I can move the skirt around and do another, so I started with doing one portion. It turned out pretty well for my first try at painting a stenciled pattern onto fabric. Words of advice, tape down the slippery stencil and place cardboard underneath to catch the bleed through. This is light pink, but shows up white in the photo. I will go back after it is done and touch up with lavender.
While that was drying, I made the petticoat and put a lace ruffle around the bottom. I made this about an inch longer than the skirt, so that it will be sure to peek out. I can’t finish the skirt until the paint is dry, so petticoat is on hold for now.
In between portions of the stencil, it is back to the bodice. I had a huge puffy sleeve pattern that I knew would be to big, so I trimmed it down to about 19″ X 11″ and cut my pieces of lavender satin out. I marked lines and attached my pink ribbon stripes. Unfortunately, in the second photo, you can see I put them on the shiny side of the satin, where I wanted to use the back/duller side! No problem, I just turned it over and put new ones over the old stitch lines. :)
I am still waiting to find the best sheer pink fabric for the bottom of the arm, so the sleeves are on hold, but I pinned one on, and the new pattern seems to look about right. The bottom part of the arm needs to be attached before sewing the seam, so until I find that, the sleeves are the last thing to do!
I made a simple topstitched rectangle to act as the modesty panel for the front of the bodice, having finished edges even with 1/2″ below/above edges. This one was about 6″ wide and 12.5″ long. Knowing my customer was close to/ my mannequin, this left lots to spare. I sewed it to one side leaving the other side free to lay flat underneath as the top was cinched.
Before attaching the panel, I had to put on the grommets, as the panel needs to be attached not on the front edge but on the other side of the grommets so it does not interfere with the lacing. In other words, it is “behind” the lacing (towards the side seam). I eyeball all eyelets/grommets, but it was appx 1.5″ – 2″ between them.
The stencil paint in light pink on the skirt did not come out as great as I had hoped, and to go back and do another layer would have been hard and messy. I had wanted to do certain points in lavender to tie in the sleeves, but I ended up doing just an artistic touch up in lavender to all the lightly painted areas and I like it more than just an occasional touch of lavender!
I was hoping to do a natural light shot today to show the actual colors of the costume, but it is rain, AGAIN!!!
In leiu of a true color shot, I will give you a field test. My first sample of the paint on the fabric after a rain storm. The fabric is drenched and dark, but the paint is not running. Good to know. Anita’s it is for future fabric painting. I did no ironing, nor steaming and it is holding up perfectly!
The bottom sheer part of the sleeve was last, and it was basically a square sized piece of sheer pink material edged in lace and sewn to the bottom of the sleeve pouf, gathering in the pouf as it went around. Finished. Beautiful!
And another happy customer, above.
Oh…plus, I also got to make Flynn’s leather satchel! :)
(The close up on the bottom is PRE bone toggle)
This play was so much fun to design, especially with my own “outsoken” 8 year old to offer input.
With double casting for the kids, there we a lot of outfits to put together, but it came together great and the cast was amazingly nice, smart and hilarious. Just a couple of shots here: