Fun Times in Fantasy Worlds~*~ from Sci-fi to DIY

Category Archives: How-To Tutorials

This is my favorite Leia outfit and have been wanting to make it for years.  Unfortunately, I never could find a vintage white snowsuit, so had to start from scratch! Here are a few of my favorite reference photos that I used (as well as the Padawan’s Guide).  It is basically a white suit with belt and quilted panels with a cream vest and grey boots.  As of now, the costume is not complete because I had to  wanted to wear it before the vest was finished!  I will update the bottom of the post once the whole thing is complete and I have more photos 🙂

hoth leiatumblr_m52frr24XI1rxbrabo1_500leia smile

I had made a pattern for a one piece suit when I did the Dune still suit  that was about my size, so this is what I started with. It took many alterations once pieced together, but was easy to do since it was for me! It was a vintage pattern from the 80’s merged with the “Elvis style” zip front suit pattern.

The wrist communicator and the ID for the vest were made out of sculpy and hand painted with acrylics. I used reference photos found online for these and just made sure to make my pockets for them fit the areas on my patterns. I glued them onto fabric squares that were smaller than the outlying edges of the pieces, then sewed the fabric onto the correct places on the suit.

The taupe/grey boots were a score on ebay.  It was hard to find ones that were leather, with a wedge heel, and in my size, but I got lucky one week.  I made simple grey vinyl covers that were open up the front and added velcro strips around to hold them in place.

To make her hairstyle, I just made two long braids behind the ears and wrapped and tucked them around.  I had ordered a “braid headband” that did not arrive on time, but my hair was just long enough to look ok without it.

The scuply pieces were finished weeks before these shots, but had to do the suit in just one day!  I sort of want to go back and redo a few things.. finish it nicer, but think it will probably have to do.  Here are some of the shots

leia communicator - Miala costumes DIY

leia half lightest

leia close side b and Wleia hoth full dag

More to come shortly!

Here is a photo of the finished vest… Later this year I will be able to add more pictures of the completed suit.

hoth vest


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So, I fell in love with this character after randomly coming across this drawing.  I am not a huge “vampire story” fan (never read nor saw Twilight.) I don’t think I have ever read ANY vampire story, actually!  This ^^ inspired me to pick up both a manga and novel of Trinity Blood.  I ended up liking a LOT of the characters and their amazing wardrobes 🙂 Having never done any sort of vampire or armor of anything besides leather, my long term project was chosen!

First, came my favorite part…sketching!

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Then, since I knew the fabric part would be easier for me, I started some simple and cheap armor.  No worbla for me yet…investing that much money in an experiment was too scary! I just used a tee shirt and duck tape on my mannequin for the breast plate.  I also had mod-podge handy, so did many coats of that over the tape to even out the ridges and ugly lines.  It was not fun and only did a coat or so a week.  This is why this costume ended up being so drawn out!!!  UGH.

duck tape female breast plate armor

Then, months later, I had more time and a renewed interest in the costume.  I left the “armor” alone and started patterning the eyelet underdress and velvet jacket.  This was much easier for me and much more fun.

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Jacket and over corset pattern

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Simple “eyeballed” underdress from a basic corset pattern, strapless with a zip back

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Once I got rolling on the jacket and gathered up ALL of my spare gold braided trim, I didn’t stop to take many photos!

Above is the back of the jacket and under bust corset.

astha in progress 2

This shows the underdress and starting work on the design at the bottom of the jacket.  I was going to hand embroider the whole panel, but switched to trim and paint since I wanted to actually complete this thing!

back

astha embroidery

I WAS able to do some embroidery on the sleeves:)

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This is gold metallic leather, and is the upper portion of the puff sleeve.

Astharoshe asran armor chest plate , shoulders, and arm

While I was working on the arm bands, I got inspired to finish up the armor.  Here are the two shoulder pieces and the front pieces with the leather arm bands.  I tried some foam for the shoulders and torso parts of the armor and they worked out to be sturdy enough once doubled up and duck taped!  I used puffy paint to make the designs mostly!  The torso pieces are only attached at the top edges, so the armor bends with motion.  I used a lightweight chain and studs to attach the front armor to the shoulder pieces and then to the back to meet at the center point of the corset where they attach with a clip!  I finished it all up with a little silver paint over the bronze and her gems.

armorastha

Lastly, I painted the decorations down the sides of a pair of red tights, gathered some of the eyelet for a neck ruffle, added some lace and buttons to some thigh high flat white boots, made a red sash/little wallet and made the hat.  I don’t have a picture of the hat in progress because I was trying to finish it quickly in time for DragonCon…I used a vintage cap, and pieces of plastic mesh covered in my blue velvet to construct a simpler/smaller version of her huge one.  My daughter dyed a strip of the white wig red for the signature stripe and we are done!!  The last minute things really added up, haha!!

astha hat

Hat, wig, and ruffle.

WIP

Armor on without the final armor touches

astharoshe asran, Trinity Blood, DragonCon 2014

At the convention, very happy after 10 hours in FLAT boots and no armor!  ….Next time 🙂


This was a fun project to embark on, and took some major research before even starting to pattern!

dune

 

The stillsuit is a full body suit worn in the open desert that was designed to preserve the body’s moisture. It consisted of various layers that would absorb the body’s moisture through sweating and urination, and then filter the impurities so that drinkable water would be circulated to catchpockets. The individual could then drink the reclaimed water from a tube attached to the neck. A stillsuit, kept in working order and maintained properly, permitted the wearer to survive for weeks in the open desert.

Since this was for a woman customer, we used the screen used one found on propstore for reference:

It was worn by the Character Chani

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After thinking and looking into several different materials and patterns, and a couple of good prop store pics, along with great input from my customer, I came up with a plan.  A merged jumpsuit pattern, celery Moire fabric, grommets, and parachute cord!

dune pieces

I used a basic 80’s vintage jumpsuit pattern and altered it to include the high neckline with collar.  We found the perfect fabric on ebay called a Moire which has the patterned grains in it, but it would not bleach, so I used acrylic fabric paint to give the pieces the look of the sun bleached sweat marks. (they show up pretty yellow in these pics, sorry)

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I luckily remembered that all of the grommet holes for the “veins/tubes” had to be set BEFORE I sewed the pieces together!  I also added the ruched knee and shoulder pads a front zip and the flap before sewing.

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Almost finished.  I added pale blue (distressed) paracord through the grommet holes, the logo pocket, and webbing straps at one shoulder and the upper waist.  It also had a ruched waistband.  Not shown in these photos is the webbing belt that is the third belt of sorts on this suit!

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Close up of the front flap

me in dune

I couldn’t get the thing on my mannequin that has a head, so had to fit the wrap around facemask/cap on myself!

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And FINALLY, my customer (with the hood hanging back).  It was a treat to run into her at DragonCon and see the suit on her 🙂


Ninetails cosplay

 The main part of this costume was a vintage lace layered corset with the tails sewn on the back.  She helped stuff and paint the tails and ears as well as tell me exactly what she wanted for the rest, which was all hand made, as well, except for the tank top she wore under the cape.   We had to do laces in the back as well as the front to let the extra center tail be centered!  ( worn on an elastic waistband)  The front being adjustable as well makes it possible for someone other than this tiny 9 year old to wear it in the future as well!!  😉 She was worn out at the end of the day.  I would say it added between 5-10 lbs!

I really respect both pokemon girls’ decisions to re-create these characters in an age appropriate way, because they have seen a lot of the other interpretations online and most of them were not necessarily kid friendly!  They guided me in making their own visions of how a human version of these great characters would look.

Here is one more shot that shows the tails and pretty corset on the adult mannequin:

ninetails on mannequin

We are pretty new to the Pokemon world, so I am excited to keep this one around for a long time while we learn more.

I put this into tutorials because I do have patterns for the tails and ears if anyone wants them. (just send me a message) I just used the free images I saw online and drew my version.  I bought simple fabric store fur and we painted it using a base color of a rusty red/orange and adding pale yellow till we blended in with the cream fur.


My customer sent me this comic cover image by Brian Bolland as inspiration for a new costume:

Poison Ivy Batman 15

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.

MiaLa basic corset pattern

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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And here is the pretty back, and a closer shot of the hairpiece and gloves(still doesn’t show much, sorry).

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I hope to add some customer shots soon, if she is willing to share 🙂


tangled-rapunzel

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.

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7-24-2013

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.

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BecauseISaidSew.blogspot.com has a good image of the embroidery sketch uploaded

7-26-2013

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)

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Before I took it off the mannequin to sew the straps, I also pinned the back seam as shown below.

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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.

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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.

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That is enough for today, but have another free afternoon tomorrow to work on the stencil, petticoat and more!

7-26-2012

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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

Custom Rapunzel of Tangled Renaissance Costume by MiaLa photo (37)

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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)

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Custom Flynn leather satchel from Tangled


This is a custom job for a happy repeat customer.  We have lots of time to work on it, so every detail is being studied and recreated….it looks simple, but is more time consuming and fickle than even the Leia gold bikini!!

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My customer, Megan, is making the brooch herself along with the draped pearls, so all I have to do is make a loose dress that will fit a faux preggo lady, right?  then attach her brooch?  ….NOT SO EASY… this is the tutorial for the dress only…

MATERIALS:

10+ yards silk or silky satin with a good drape to be used on the bias

5+ packages of nude binding tape

several spools of matching or slightly different thread for embroidery

sewing machine thread to match fabric

binding tape to match dress fabric

dress form stuffed to be pregnant and at your measurements

Matching zipper

elastic

snaps and or hook eyes (not sure how it is all going to come together yet….)

MONTHS

This outfit is so detailed that each seam took me about 2 hours to finish. …

STEP 1:  Build out your mannequins belly with a pillow..stuffing, anything under a tight wrapping.  Panty hose work great.  A tiny tank top is what I used.  This is doable without a mannequin, but is hard to get the drape right on yourself with a belly.

 STEP 2:  Pattern using muslin or large scraps.   I use the padawans guide as a reference for almost all of my SW costumes. There you find that there is a center seam with 4 panels radiating out and then the side seams.   The back panels have a zipper which is hidden by the waterfall cape.  Here are most of my front panels on the mannequin.  I really wanted a full look, like the original, which I had not really seen redone.).  I used large triangles of muslin, then draped and pinned them till I was satisfied.

amidala steel nightgown how to

How to make padme amidala’s steel lavender nightgown

Step 3:  Cut your panels.  On the bias, this took me the full 10 yards of fabric I had ordered!  To get this great drape, you have to place each pattern piece not up and down, but at a 45 degree angle. Leave extra at the back piece …this is where you can alter easily.

Step 4.  Cut the waterfall cape.  I chose to do it double sided.  60″ crepe satin and 60″ long.  This should be altered for the height of the wearer.  It was the max of their wrist to wrist….

Step 5:  Begin to assemble the front pieces.  Make sure your patterns are correct because you have 7 full length seams to either join together  by pressing seams and hand faggotting a loose hand stitched seam or pressing seams and spending only a few less hours doing it by a machine that will do it for you …but you have to feed it perfectly correctly….sometimes I might rather spend that hour sewing by hand…..What I did was press the seams, then sew the nude binding to one side, then to the other, then went down with the blue embroidery over, giving the look of a nude undergarment with the overlaying embroidery.  I have heard that to do the separate nude lining and do a true faggoting hand stitch on the exterior results in alot of unwanted movement, so I avoided this.

faggoting stitch by pfatt

Step 6:  Once it was pieced together, I draped it again on the stuffed mannequin to make the back zip and strap placement.  The back zip was easy, but with the straps, the padawan’s guide REALLY helped.    Here is a pic of mine, based on the diagram on the site:

Step 7:  From here, it was fit, so all I needed to do was face the top, hem the bottom and attach the brooch and pearl strands.

Step 8:  Then the final piece was the cape.  I tried hook and loops, but ended up using snaps to attach it to the neck piece.  To make the waterfall drape with hanging beads, I pulled it together at around or below the hip, and attached matching silverish pearls, then again near the calf.  With the shape I started from and this combo, I think I got pretty close to the original…

Sorry it won’t let me turn my images right now.

Finally, here it is …I still have to tack up the pearls along the breast, but for this blog, it’s done!!!

I will try to get back to this and fix the pictures, but really mean this to be an aid for people wanting to make it themselves.   For anyone interested in purchasing one, please email me directly at miala.net ( at) gmail.com, it is available by custom order and will run 350-400$.

Happy sewing and hope I was a help!!!!!

Here is the update, with the customer wearing it!

Custom made Blue Pregnant Nightgown by miala.net

Custom made Blue Pregnant Nightgown by miala.net



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