Sunday, June 22, 2014

Madame Vastra: Part 1: Skirt and Waistcoat

One of my planned cosplays for Expo in October is Madame Vastra from Doctor Who. This costume will be very tricky to make, the makeup trickier still, but I liked her a lot (The Crimson Horror is the best episode of season 7, hands down. The rest of the season is so very "meh"), and want to see if I can pull off the Silurian makeup.

 The first step was the skirt, which was a very simple half circle skirt. I just followed an internet tutorial for this, then made some adjustments. I added pockets on the sides, and the back of the waistband is partly elasticated to make it more comfortable. I also sewed horsehair braid to the hem: I have a lot of braid left over from making the Black Aristocrat dress, and I think it improved the look of the skirt, giving it more structure and volume.

 Madame Vastra's skirt is a weird colour: it's not exactly brown, nor is it grey or blue. I dyed tan brown cotton grey, and got a weird brown/grey mix colour.

 The next step was the waistcoat. I had a Burda pattern which I altered beyond recognition: it started out as a double breasted waistcoat with a stand collar! Once I got the desired look, I traced the pieces on to my paisley fabric, then basted the green mock-up pieces to the paisley pieces. This was to make the paisley material less flimsy. 
 Next I started sewing the pieces together, starting with the back, sides and front, then basting on the collar and finally the facing.
 I also sewed bias tape around the arm holes to prevent fraying. Once the front and facing had been understitched, I added buttons and button holes. the buttons are gorgeous, but you can't see them very well here. I bought a pack of metal buttons on ebay, and they all have this lovely pewter look to them.
 Above is the finished waistcoat. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, especially since i was worried about the collar. The collar was a bit tricky to sew on because I had to sew through many layers of cloth on the sewing machine, but it actually sits very nicely. The waistcoat looks really smart; I'm tempted to wear it to work.
Slightly blurry photo of the skirt and waistcoat together. Looks pretty good to me.

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