The kids and I are going as Disney villains again, since we had so much fun doing them last year. Although I liked my Maleficent costume, I wanted to do something different. And after working on The Little Mermaid for Northwest High School last year, I was inspired to go as Ursula, the Sea Witch.
Un peu d'histoire*When I went up to New Haven for my 35th high school reunion, I took a detour and visited Fabric Mart in Sinking Springs, PA. They were having a please-take-this-stuff-off-our-hands sale: $1 per yard on anything in the middle of the store. One of the finds was a bolt of brown-black Neoprene, about a dozen yards. I had no idea what I might want to do with it, but at a buck a yard, who could resist?
Once I decided on Ursula, the question was then, what to make the costume out of? I shared my quandary at my monthly PatternMaster Users Group, and one of the members (thank you Lynn!!) suggested using the Neoprene.
Uncharted TerritoryI had never sewn with Neoprene before, and had no idea of its properties or how finicky it would be to work with. So I tested three different seam types: overlapped, serged, and regular. And to my surprise, the regular seam worked the best. I will have to glue the seam allowances down when it's all done, but that's minor.
The pattern was drafted with PatternMaster, of course. It started out as a sundress sheath and was heavily modified in Pattern Editor.
Here's the front view:
One of the quandaries was what to use to fill out the tentacles. I wanted them to be full, but not so heavy that they would drag down the entire costume! Again, serendipity played a role.
Now I need to complete the lining, make seven more tentacle fillers, and figure out how to make the "suckers" on the tentacles. I also need to resign myself to slathering body paint or powder on me to get the right skin tone. I was hoping to avoid lots of body paint by making a dyed bodysuit to go under the dress, but it ended up looking really terrible. Not because the bodysuit didn't fit, but because it really didn't look anything like proper skin. This raises another big issue: since we drive to Baltimore rather than staying in a hotel, I need to do all my makeup at home, and it needs to survive the hour-long car trip to the city. I'm going to go shopping for makeup today and tomorrow; hope I find something that will be durable. Suggestions welcomed!!
*(A reference from the movie "Diva" -- it means "A little history")