The idea of finally making a Princess Serenity costume started with a chance sighting of a Sailor Moon wig at Value Village. I snatched it up, because I had only ever seen these available online, and was still reluctant to order one of the many I had seen on ebay and other sites.
We bought our tickets. We prepped our costumes. Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo was just a few days away.
I have decided to revive my Wraith Queen. I wore that outfit once, and the biggest reason I haven’t worn her again is the make up. With almost no prep, and using what I had on hand, my make up was horrible. This time, I have decided to plan ahead (ok, I picked up the make up two weeks ago, and am finally doing test trials on it three days before we leave…).
I hated the eyebrows last time. Wraith don’t really have much hair on their faces. A handful of males sport moustaches or beards, but the females have hair only on their heads. My attempts to cover my eyebrows with make up last year didn’t work. At all.
At the store, they suggested I use wax to cover the hair, and apply make up over the wax. I picked some up, since I was there. A woman I met recently suggested spirit gum, if I don’t have really bushy eyebrows. I decided to test both.
This is my first attempt at hiding my eyebrows with spirit gum under the make up:
I am taking belly dancing, and it is a lot of fun! Our recital is coming up, and the theme has been established: Super Heroes.
At the beginning of the class, we were asked to purchase veils, as we would need them for the choreography. I found a white silk one that looks great! About half way through the course we were told about the super hero theme. For the rest of the rehearsal, all I could think of was how much my white veil looked like Storm’s cape.
Thus, my concept of Storm as a belly dance outfit was conceived! I found some white velvet-like fabric in my collection, and made a belt that I could attach my coin belt to. Keeping things versatile here!
But to make this a Storm outfit, it would need some X-Men accessories! I made a design out of fimo that I could attach to pin backs and attach temporarily to my outfit.
I made what is called a “cane”. The image goes all the way through the cane, and you slice off pieces that you can either attach to another piece of fimo, or use them as is.
I have to roll it down a little to compress all the fimo into a solid shape. There were gaps of air in it between the layers of colour, and that needed to be squished out. Once I had it rolled down to the size I needed, I cut slices off, like you would with a cinnamon bun. You want to roll it as you cut so you don’t end up with a flat side.
Last time, I had pinned all the layers together, and stitched them into what will now be treated as one piece. So, each pattern piece has a layer of fashion fabric and a layer of coutil that have been carefully sandwiched together. Because my markings were made in white pencil on the coutil layer, I can still see my stitch lines and identification on each piece.
So I put it on a pillow to see how it was coming. There are no bones yet, so it does pucker and squish, but I am happy with it so far!
I have mentioned Lucy’s Corsetry many times in my corset making posts, and she has been a huge source of inspiration to me. Her mentor, a woman who not only nurtured her love of corsets, but also encouraged her to make her wonderful videos, is in need of help.
Sidney Eileen has suffered from Lyme disease for 6 years before finally being diagnosed, and in that time it has robbed her of her well being and ability to work. It has reached an advanced stage that requires many months of intravenous treatment.
A Call to Action has been put forward in the blogging/corseting/costume community to help. Any donation, no matter how small, will mean everything to Sidney. I can’t afford to offer much myself, but I am giving what I can, and hope that by sharing this at least one other person might do the same. Here is the campaign website where she shares her story, and there are links to other sites for information on Lyme.
Sidney, I wish you the best of luck with your treatment, and a swift and full recovery. Brightest blessings to you.
With shorter office hours over Christmas, I thought I would take the opportunity to catch up on my corset making… nope. I enjoyed the time with family, several of whom were visiting from out of town and are seen twice a year. I am thankful for the time I have with them… the corset took a back seat. And it waited oh so patiently for me!
I finally stopped talking myself out of cutting the expensive stuff. I don’t remember how much I paid for the pinstripe, but I didn’t buy heaps of it, so it couldn’t have been that cheap. And of course, the coutil, which costs more than any other fabric I have ever purchased… But yeah, I finally did it. I quit making mock ups and went in for the real deal.
99.9% of the instructions came from Lucy’s Corsetry videos. She has fantastic explanations of putting everything together, inserting the busk and waist tape, grommets, bones, everything. I have learned some wonderful lessons from her videos.
I had planned to do an instructional entry on how I put this together, but I don’t feel that I am comfortable enough or familiar enough with the process to properly explain anything that I did. But, here are some photos and brief descriptions of my personal journey building my first real corset.
Here are my pattern pieces. I have labelled them with their number (1 is the front panel, 6 is the back panel). These are the stitch line pieces.
I have two versions of each piece. The blue ones include my seam allowance. This allows me to trace everything out as close as possible to reduce waste. I traced these out first, and then placed the stitch line pieces inside and traced them.
My pieces are all nice and snug. I kept the waist line perpendicular to the stripes on each piece so that my pin stripes will be nicely vertical on the finished corset, and not at funny angles. My pieces also alternate direction to reduce twisting. I did the same with all my layers. Because the pattern on this fabric doesn’t have an “up and down”, I can do this with the fashion layer too. Obviously, if your fashion layer has an image with a definite “up and down”, you can’t do this with that layer! But doing so with the interior layers will still prevent twisting in the finished corset.
Here is my pinstripe. I tried really hard to make sure that my pieces were straight with the stripes. I did tidy this up, as I noticed that my front edge on this piece was a little off. My chalk made a huge mess all over my table… white dust everywhere. I used the chalk on the fashion layer so it will disappear like a ninja… without a trace (that one is for you, Char!). White pencil crayon was used on the coutil layer, because that is going to be hidden by the lining, and I don’t want to lose my lines after I have manhandled the fabric.
A bunch of the pieces pinned. I carefully pinned exactly on the line, matching the waist line and stitch lines on both layers.
I labelled every piece. How ever you label it, as long as it makes sense to you the next day, next week, or whenever you come back to it next, have at ‘er. For me, an arrow pointing to the top, and two numbers worked well.
The first number is where the piece fits in sequence. I have 6 pieces per side, with 1 being at the front, 6 being at the back. The second number indicates if the piece is on the left or right side. I didn’t want to fuss with “is right when I am wearing it or looking at it?” or any other ambiguity, I decided that one side would be “1” and the other side “2”. So, my pieces are all numbered 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, etc for one side, and 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, etc for the other side. My lining pieces will be marked the same way, but with and “L” added so I know that those are lining pieces. That is important for the front and back panels, as they will have the same pinstripe fabric as the outer layer and I don’t want to confuse the two. This method worked well for me. Find what ever works for you. But do label them. If you remember one thing, let it be that. Label your pieces so you know what side and what sequence and what direction. I have sewn pieces in upside down or in the wrong order before. It was awful.
So, everything is cut, pinned, and ready to sew. That will be next time! We don’t need 30 photos of black blobs in one post… lets split them into two! Tee hee!
Its official. I am starting work on my Princess Serenity costume. I have started buying the bits and pieces for it.
I decided that the wigs at The Five Wits were worth checking out. I just ordered my “Serene Crystal Tokyo Queen” wig and hope to see it in the next couple of weeks. They say that their wigs are made of Hiperlon. From the homework that I have done, this appears to be the material that most of the higher quality cosplay wigs are made from, and it is heat resistant and washable. Nice! Once I get it, and have a chance to wear it around, I will give my non-expert opinion on it.
The craft and dollar stores abound with the little pieces that will make the details of the costume. I found a bag of “crystals” at the dollar store that will make a perfect “Legendary Silver Crystal” to wear on a dainty silver chain around my neck. Still looking for a nice bale to attach the pendant to the chain, but so far, it looks much like the one from the manga! Yay!
Even before I decided to buy the wig, and I had that crappy yellow one, I still wanted to go for the manga style princess. The circles around the bust would be silver. Well, lucky me, I went to the craft store and found (on sale and still able to use my coupon for further discounts!! Bonus!!) these silver circle pieces. I bought a whole bunch of them.
For the waist band, I plan to use a variety of beads, pearls, crystals, etc. Each row around her waist seems have a different material. I am still keeping an eye out for good deals on pearls and crystals. The fabric store has chain and lace with crystals already on it, so they will be evenly spaced and I just have to stitch a string of these things onto the dress instead of individually sewing them on. Another bonus! I will keep an eye out for sales on these babies, because they are expensive! I don’t have them yet, so no pics.
I did pick up craft foam. I plan on using this in layers to sculpt the shoulder pieces. I should be able to shape this reasonably well, and make a shell to go over the fabric sleeve.
I also have lace left over from a previous project (this lace trim has appeared on two different outfits already), and if it isn’t too creamy I might use it somewhere in the bodice.
I am trying to really bump up my cosplay to more than just a simple reproduction. I don’t just want to be recognisable from across the room. As you walk closer, I want more details to jump out. I want you to be able to stand next to me, and see another layer to the character. There needs to be more depth. More life. This should be a living, breathing entity, with a story told with every choice of beading, fabric, colour, texture… This year, I am anticipating a huge increase in Sailor Moon related costumes, to celebrate the new Sailor Moon. I want this to be one to remember.