Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sakizo's Juliet: Part 4: The Skirt

Making the skirt for this dress was not fun. I should have interfaced all the velvet, because it kept shifting when I tried to cut it. Even the lining material was difficult to cut properly. I intended to fully lining this dress, and cut out the bodice and skirt from lining material. 
I even added side pockets. 
 Lining the dress was a disaster. The lining and the velvet were not the same size, and it would not lie flat. I scrapped the lining on the skirt and only lined the bodice. Luckily I could salvage the velvet. The best option seemed to be ironing on interfacing to stop the fabric slipping about, then hem and decorate the skirt as I had originally planned. The hidden pockets would have to go on the white under-dress.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sakizo's Juliet: Part 3: Bodice and Beading

So, the bodice. Oh boy, the bodice. Just to remind you what it looks like . . . 
Yeah, it's super detailed, with beads everywhere.
The first step was making the stripes. I first made the bodice out of interfaced stretch velvet. The interfacing stops the velvet from stretching. I measured out where I wanted the stripes, then interfaced some gold satin. I then sewed the gold strips to the wrong side of the velvet. This is a bit live reverse applique: you sew it to the wrong side, then trim off the fabric on the other side, revealing your applique.

You can see how I trimmed off the excess velvet to reveal the gold stripes. I also added two extra stripes on the sides.

 Already looks pretty neat. Using this method was a lot easier than sewing gold stripes on top. I actually tried that and the stripes looked very crumpled and ugly. This technique looks much smoother,
Next step was adding embellishments. I basted on some lace to the neckline. When I add the lining the lace will look a lot better. I also began adding the pearls. I actually cheated a bit and order pearl strings, which have a continuous length of beads. This saves a lot of time and effort, since I don't like beading much (all the beading I did with my flapper dress!)
 I also began experimenting with the oval decorations on the bodice. I make these by cutting up duck-shaped sequins (what exactly would you need duck-shaped sequins for? I am genuinely curious). I then glued thin satin on top of each oval, coated it with PVa, and painted them white.
 While the white ovals were drying, I added the ivory pearls. Next I sewed on the gold waistband. It's actually a bit too narrow. I also stitched on the gold flower on the shoulders.

 Time to sew on the ovals. The pattern was drawn with a black permanent marker. I also began decorating the waistband with gold flowers, and adding white pearl strings.

 That took a while. Once that was done, i started making the little flowers for the waistband. The petals are cut from polyester material, the edges scorched with a candle, then stuck together. 
 I sewed on each little flower, then sewed a pearl bead on top.
 Result! I also stuck rhinestones on to the white ovals and gold flowers (shoulders)

Next i added the little fabric pieces on the waistline. I sort of botched the proportions of the bodice, so the bodice now looks a bit too long. Oh well. First step was ironing strips of interfacing on to the velvet, then making piping.
Here's all the bias tape I made. I actually made too much. to make piping, I folded the tape in half over a length of wool, and sewed it, making sure to sew close to the edge of the wool. Then I tacked the piping on to the velvet, and serged to raw gold edge. I folded under the serged edges and topstitched to keep everything in place.

I then cut 10cm pieces, tacked them to the bodice, and sewed them on, before turning everything to the right side.

Update 28/3/2015
So I've been working sporadically on this bodice. 
I added a lining to the bodice to hide all the interfacing and bits of thread. I was going to line the whole dress but it didn't work out. To line this dress, first I had to attach the skirt to the bodice and sew in an invisible zip. Then I placed the lining and bodice right sides together and sewed around the neckline, clipped the curves, under-stitched the neckline, then turned it inside out. It looked very neat. I hand sewed the lining to the zip, then hand sewed the lining closed at the bottom of the bodice. 
 The fit was good, but the lace at the neck looked too small, and it was missing the white puffy material along the neckline. I bought a metre of lace, painted the edge gold, and sewed it over the lace on the neckline. To create the white puff of material, I sewed a tube of white fabric, and turned in right side out. I closed one end shut and sewed it to one side of the dress, then began to stuff it (I used scraps of organza, but proper stuffing material might be a better choice). I cut the material to size and sewed it down at the other side. Next I took a length of pearl chain and sewed it down on one side, then began wrapping in round the white puff, tacking it down at the top and bottom. 
I will talk about the sleeves and skirt in a separate post, as this one is already really long.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sakizo's Juliet Part 2: Masquerade Mask

More Sakizo progress. i wanted a break from sewing, so I started working on the mask. I had to do this twice,because I messed up my first attempt.
 This is my base mask. The original idea was to cover it with a non stick substance and layer paper mache over it, then pull it off. This would make a copy of the mask.
 So I covered it with chocolate wrappers and layers of loo roll and glue.
 And it looked hideous. I don't think loo roll is a good medium for this kind of paper mache, because it looks hideous, like burnt skin. Luckily I still had the base mask, so I decided to use that instead.
I cut the eyes to make them the right shape, refreshed the coat of white paint, then began adding the purple paint on the right side of the mask. I used a sponge to paint the gradient, and used brushes to touch up the edges.
 I used brushes to add more details, such as the gold details and purple swirl shapes.
I dried the paint with a hair dryer, then moved on to the left side. I mixed gold and white to make the parchment colour, and dabbed it on. I used markers to draw the lines of the music sheet, then I used a bit of white paint to fade the lines and make them less harsh. I used a sepia marker to draw the music notes. 
I needed to add braid/lace on the edges, and a stick to support the mask. 
 I used E6000 to stick the lace and braid on. I had just enough gold braid, and more than enough lace. It's not exactly like to artwork because I have no Venice lace, but I think it looks pretty.

The next step was to add a stick and some roses to the sides of the mask. The roses were easy to make. You take a strip of poly-satin (or similar), and burn the edges to seal it. Then you roll and fold and twist it until you have a rose shape, and sew or glue it in place. I made 5 fabric roses and glued them to the sides of the mask. i also added some rhinestones to the petals.
The stick was made from an old paintbrush. I removed the metal and bristles, and sanded and primed the stick with acrylic paint. I used hot glue to add some details to the stick, then sprayed it gold. I made a hole in the chin of the mask, and hot glued the stick in there.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sakizo's Juliet: Part 1: Mock ups and under dress

Sakizo's Juliet. Also known as: ARRGHwhydidIchoosethiscostumewwwwwhhhhyyyyy?! This costume is super detailed, and I have no idea whether I can get it all in there, but I love the design and want to give it a go. I've bought some string pearls, cord, lace, paint, and trims. I already have polymer clay, a mask,gold satin, and some red stretch velvet. I've also got scraps of white organza and poly-dupioni, and some white silky material. I still need like a zillion costume pearls for this costume, and to make a bunch of hot glue gems.   
First thing's first: mock ups. I tried out two patterns. One was Burda 2493 (left), and the other was Burda Danielle (right). I probably would have used Burda 2493 if not for the stripes on the bodice. I didn't really want to pattern match stripes, so I went with Danielle.

I decided that the next step would be making the under dress. I've only seen two people online who have made this costume: Angela Clayton and Lilie Mohiril. I think that both of them made a one piece dress, but I'm worried about it being too bulky. It's also a bit more practical for washing. 
To start, I adjusted the Danielle pattern to make it strapless (though I am adding thin straps to the dress). I made the lining from poly-linen. Not sure if that was a good idea, because it tends to stretch a bit. I added boning: just ordinary plastic boning; to the front and sides for extra support. 

Adjusted the shape a bit, and it was good to go. I cut the same pattern from the silk (the sales assistant said it was silk. I have no clue. I found it in the furnishing section, and it was 10 Euro for a metre but it was about 2.8 metres wide, and it seemed too good a deal to pass. Also, the material is perfect for Godoka). 
Sewed the bodice pieces together along the top and understitched it to make it neater. Also, I should mention how much I love the overlock machine at this point. I overlocked all the polylinen and "silk", and it saved me a lot of hassle. No messy fraying. The only mistake I made was accidentally unthreading part of it, but luckily I had the instruction book and could re-thread it.
Here's the skirt. It's based on the Burda 2493 underdress. I only traced the lower part of the dress, then gathered it to fit the white bodice, and sewed it on the silk layer of the bodice.
I added an invisible zip to the back. Argh, i hate sewing these. They never align properly for me! I sewed up the back and hemmed the dress, then hand sewed on the gold trim. I was very lazy and spray painted the trim gold. I did try using acrylic paint and fabric medium, but I didn't get good coverage - possibly because the trim was originally purple. Also, metallic thread is very annoying to use. I didn't have good luck with any thread when handsewing. All of it kept snapping and tangling. But finally the dress is done.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mockups and Alterations

Remember the aristocrat black dress?
It did not fit very well, nor did it look very nice. So I thought I would separate the skirt and shirt and see if it looked better.

 Here's the shirt on its own. I serged the bottom (I got a secondhand overlock machine and am finding it very useful) and them turned up the hem and sewed it with a straight stitch. Look better to me. Then I cut open a section of the skirt, added a waistband, and sewed in a zip.
Much improved. Sadly it still doesn't suit me much. If I make it shorter it looks nicer, but then it's too short for me. This one will probably be up for sale in my etsy shop.

In other news, I'm making mockups for THIS
 Cos damn it, I want a sparkly super detailed princessy outfit too!
The mockup on the left is based on a Burdastyle regency pattern, the other is a Burdastyle pattern "Danielle", which I have used before. If not for the stripes, I might used the one of the left, but pattern matching the stripes with the princess seam will be difficult. I had to pattern match for my Striped Steampunk dress, and it was a hassle. I think, for my sanity (what's left of it :) ) I'll use the one of the right for the bodice, but incorporate the train of the pattern on the left. 

I'm planning my costumes for Sci Fi Con in July. Female Titan is confirmed, just need to get makeup and repaint the legs. I will probably wear Lady Loki too. 
I want to make Asuka Langley Soryuu, but I think the cotton lycra I order isn't stretch enough. I may need to replace it, and lycra is a bit expensive (maybe it will be cheaper during or after Carnival?). I'm also tempted to do Madoka (Madokami version), Princess Serenity, Queen Isabel (The Fountain, but making it would take AGES and it's JULY, so hot!), Big Sisters (Bioshock 2), or maybe Xena.