Friday, June 29, 2012

Otakon 2012: At long last, progress!

Work on the Otakon costumes has been slow. Most of it has been happening inside my head, as I try to work my brain around how I'm going to achieve certain effects. It's kind of hard to blog about virtual sewing. I don't even have sketches. But trust me, things ARE happening.
One of them is Diana's Cruella de Vil dress. It's probably the easiest in terms of logistics and style to create, as it really is just a simple LBD (little black dress). But sewing anything for Diana means lots of fine tuning and discussions about fine points in the design (and she'll be the first to agree with me about this). Fortunately, this particular costume hasn't caused too much friction between us... yet.
After determining that the original concept of the shoulder pleats simply wasn't going to work, I decided to take a different tack. I drafted a straight-bodice sundress in PatternMaster, and then used Pattern Editor to add wide, tapered shoulder straps. I figured that this way I could pleat the straps without them affecting the darting of the bodice.
And it did look better; here's the second muslin after we did a lot of pinning and futzing with the shoulder straps.

And the back view:

The straps are just pinned in place on the back bodice; for the final version they would be cut on.
Her main complaint about this version was that the straps dug into the front of her armscye; she wanted to have more freedom of motion.
 The dress hangs a little funny because it's made out of black drapery lining, my usual muslin material. And yes, that's a little godet/fishtail at the bottom. It will be topped by a bow when everything is done.

So, back to work. This time I decided we were close enough that I could make the next dress out of the fashion fabric (a black raw silk from my stash that's been aging there for at least six or seven years). And after just a few minor tweaks, the dress has been pronounced a success.

Front view:
Sorry about the fuzzy pictures... there will be better ones when we get everything done in the next few weeks. Back view:
Those are the red shoes she'll be wearing with the dress; we found them at a flea market for all of one dollar!!
The last finishing touches to be made are to the back fishtail: I'm going to iron it into a series of fan pleats, and then top it with a removable snap-on bow. One bow will be black, the other red to match the shoes.
Now that the dress is pretty much done, I can turn to the coat. She found a faux fur coat that is passable; I just need to changed out the lining from cream to red. Still trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to accomplish that without completely dismantling the coat.
Stay tuned for further progress!


  1. She looks wonderful in the dress, which fits her beautifully. I really like the idea of fan pleats topped with a bow.

  2. the dress looks great. why not, since the coat is probably going to be a one-time thing, just stitch a red lining over what's in there? (since i'm a beginner-intermediate, I may be out of my mind) but?????


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