Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Costume Progress: 36 Hours to Go

Work on my daughter's Otakon costume was interrupted by a weekend of volunteer work at StarGazing Farm in Boyds, which was participating in the annual Montgomery County Farm Tour. I spent Saturday and Sunday sitting at the Welcome table (which was, thankfully, under a tent), making lavender wands to be sold at the farm's gift shop. I had planned on coming home Sunday afternoon and diving right back into the costume work. However, working on the Mother Nature costume was interrupted by... Mother Nature.
The DC area was hit by one of the most powerful storms we've ever seen. It actually started while I was still at the farm, and led to a mad scramble to get the animals safely inside and the tents taken down, while being pelted by drenching rain and enduring 50mph winds. Quite an adventure!!When I finally made it home (dodging fallen trees and debris all the way), our house was without power (along with more than a quarter million other customers).
We got our electricity back late Monday evening, so Tuesday I got right to work to make up for the lost days. This really has turned out to be one of the more involved projects I've done for Diana, mostly because the fit of the corset is so critical. But we were able to figure things out and I made some modifications, and now we have the base costume completed!!
The costume consists of three parts: an underskirt with a grass fringe, a sleeveless chemise underdress, and the corset top. We'll also be adding a wreath headpiece, which we're working on this evening.
Here's the pieces all put together:
The fabric is batik from our local quilting shop. I used suede lacing for the corset, and blue lambskin for the wrist pieces.
Back view:
Here you can clearly see the grass peeking out from under the chemise. The corset has lacing in the front and back; in the front it goes through eyelets, and in the back it goes through fabric loops. The front lacing has to be completely removed to get the corset off.
Detail shot of the corset, with its ribbon "sleeves" connecting the corset to the wrist pieces. These ribbons will have silk leaves and flowers attached to them.
A construction note: I used Pellon DecorBond to stiffen the outer fabric of the corset, and sewed the boning to the lining (which was also a quilting cotton). Diana says it really is quite comfortable to wear.
The chemise skirt has godets in the seams, so it flares out wonderfully when Diana twirls.
This evening we'll start embellishing the whole outfit with silk leaves and flowers. I also need to make her a small leather pouch to hold her wallet/camera/cell phone.
We will be leaving very early Friday morning for Baltimore, so I'm heading back to the sewing room!


  1. Lovely work! She's a lucky young lady!

  2. Fabulous costume! Please do some close-up pics when it's done so we can oogle the details. Thanks for sharing midways.

  3. I was wondering if the power outages had hit you at a critical sewing point in this costume... But as usual, when backed up against a deadline, you did wonderfully! Lynn B.

  4. This is very cool. Can't wait to see it with the embellishments!

  5. I've been searching for ideas for a Mother Nature costume. Love yours...but why can't my potential projects ever be simple? Thanks for taking all the great pictures!


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