Making Historically Accurate Megara part 1

Welcome to a new blog on making Historically Accurate Megara from Hercules. I made this costume in three weeks leading up to Momocon so I take a lot of short cuts and don’t exactly do things historically accurate but this design has been on my list for over a year now so what better time to make it then now.

To start off, I used silk instead of linen because I had never used silk shantung before and I really wanted to, I know now that it doesn’t give the drape that I need from the image but the color of the fabric was still stunning so I stand by my choice.

I purchased three yards of silk shantung from mood, three yards of silk habotai and three yards of silk shantung from Silk Baron. I used embroidery thread from Robison Anton in 24k Gold, as well as sewing thread from Intressa for sewing the garments.

The embroidery design was already programmed in my Husqvana embroidery machine in the exact size I wanted it so I chose to go the easy but inaccurate route vs digging for something more appropriate.

This blog is going to cover the shirt and skirt, while the next blog will cover the accessories and wig styling.

To start out I draped the chiton over my dress form by gathering the sleeves and neckline by hand, I did this on stream so naturally I forgot to take photo’s of it. There’s only two a bodice front and back to this piece so it goes together rather simply.

Once I had the shapes I wanted I cut out my fabric and serged all the edges to minimize the fraying.

Now I went in with my embroidery machine and stitched out the design, over and over and over again.

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I’m aware this is not a historically accurate choice but this is the choice I made so after 6 hours of placing, pressing go, stitching, and starting all over again I finally had this design all over my costume.

So now it was time to gather down the sleeves and neckline and then sew the pieces together.

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Next I made a strip of fabric out of the Mulberry silk shantung the length of the hem by 3 inches. I folded over the edges and baste the strip down.

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Then using my embroidery machine I satin stitched the edges. This greatly worked against the drape but still looks good. If I were to redo this, I would not fold the edges inside and I would not do such a wide satin stitch.

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Then I made a belt out of the Mulberry silk shantung, I cut a piece of it 5” by 30” added interfacing to it and then sewed snaps on the back.

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Now it’s time to make the skirt, this part was really easy and basically mimics what I did for my Jafar skirt. So I took my 3 yards of habotai and created the 5” strip at the bottom just like I did on the hem of the shirt.

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Then, creating a french seam I stitched the two edges together in the back leaving a 6 inch gap from the top. I gathered down the 110” to 28” made a waistband, and attached the skirt to the waistband.

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That’s the skirt, it took longer to stitch out the embroidery than it did to sew both the top and bottom of this costume. I would say about 15 hours have been put in so far.

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The next blog will cover the accessories and wig styling.

For those that want to help support my creations you can always join my Patreon or donate to my Ko-fi.

Using Laughing Moons Victorian Corset Pattern

Welcome to my blog, I often get asked about what corset pattern I use and I’m finally making a blog post about it. I love the Laughing Moon Pattern #100 I’ve used it for myself and my customers multiple times.

Like every pattern you should always start with a mock up, since I’ve used this pattern on several occasions I am going to skip that part for the purpose of this blog and get right into cutting my fabric.

I used a cotton print for the lining, a cotton blend for the interling and a light weight satin for the fashion fabric all of these fabrics were pulled from my stash.

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I also cut a layer of fusible interfacing and ironed it onto the cotton lining.

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Then I basted the interlining fabric to the satin on all of the sides to make it stronger.

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At this point I marked the darts on each panel with a water soluble marker.

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Now it’s time to sew the panels together with right sides together and on a 5/8th inch seam allowance.

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Then I press all the seams open in order for the corset to lay flat.

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I pinned the seams on the fashion fabric down to make boning channels and added three pieces of bias tape for the extra boning channels.

I sew them down.

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Next I started making bias binding by cutting 1 3/4in strips on the bias of the cotton blend fabric.

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Then I pressed the binding in half and in quarters.

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Now for the boning, I measure each piece and cut it an inch smaller than the channel. Then I did the ends of the spiral steel into plastidip, allow it to sit for 30 minutes and dip it a second time. Two times are good but 3-4 are even better.

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Now I installed the busk, I did this before I added the boning into their channel because that’s just easier for me. So I started by marking the busk on the inside of the lining fabric with right sides together.

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I stitched the pieced together on the line and added the busk, pinning super close to the metal bar of the busk.

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Now I sew the busk into place with my zipper foot.

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I marked the second half.

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Use an awl to poke the holes for the busk piece.

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Once all the holes are punched then I pinned along the busk line and using the zipper foot I sewed the busk in place.

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Now I can add the steel boning and bast along all the edges.

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Now it’s time to add the bias binding.

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Then I stitched in the ditch to stich down the bias binding, I normally hand stitch it in the back but I know stitching in the ditch is faster. My major issue with it was that I was going way too fast and not catching the back part of the binding. Needless to say this was my BEST busk installation and my worst bias application making it overall a mediocre corset.

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Now time for the grommet installation.

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Measure and Mark the grommet placement. I start 1 inch from the top and then do them 1.5 inches in between each.

I hole punch, use the awl and then set the grommet with the tool and a hammer (a mallet works better but I misplaced mine so for the purpose of this corset I used a hammer).

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Adding grommets is the final step to making the corset but I realized after I was done that there should have been a piece of boning put in the back seam between the edge of the fabric and the grommets to help stabilize the grommets.

It’s not the worst thing in the world but it will definitely help to have it there.

Here’s the completed corset.

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Thank you again for reading!

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Red Dress

After a couple larger projects I really wanted to tackle something that was easy enough to finish in a weekend. Back in December I binge watched all of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and after seeing her Red Dress I knew I wanted to make it. I initially planned on just buying a dress off of Amazon and calling it a day but I really liked the buttons and collar in particular so I just decided to make it.

I bought a wig off Amazon, it’s no longer available at the time but it only cost $16 and the headband is the same one I made for my Alice in Wonderland wig.

I bought 2.5 yards of red suiting fabric from Joann Fabrics, 3 buttons and a pre-made lace collar off of Amazon. This exact collar is no longer available on Amazon but here’s a link to some that could work. Please note that all Amazon links in this blog are affiliate links and using them helps me buy materials for future projects. With coupons I was able to get all the materials and wig for less than $50.

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I started with draping a pattern on my dress form for the bodice and skirt, I didn’t get any pics of this but I basically put the pre-made collar piece on my dress form and then started draping fabric from there. I lined up the neck with the collar and the shoulder where the shoulder collar piece was sewn. Then from there I chose where I wanted the gathered section to be on the bust. I put darts in the back panel and planned for a zipper.

For the skirt, I decided to use the end of the gather line for the front side seam of the skirt, then I followed the side seam for the side pieces. From there I just repeated the pieces for the back half of the dress.

I actually used a pattern for the sleeve because I am still very bad at draping fitted sleeve patterns and I was trying to make this in a weekend.

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After cutting out this sleeve I realized it would have been faster/easier to use this pattern and just shorten the hem but whatever I’m glad I at least made an attempt at patterning this dress.

I didn’t really take the time to clean up the fabric pieces I draped on my dress form but they still look decent to me.

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From there I detached the collar part from the fake shirt, I didn’t want the fake shirt to be seen and I thought it would just be easier to add the collar to the dress.

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Then I cut out the skirt pieces and over locked all the edges of the dress pieces. (Not pictured)

I started with the front bodice construction by folding the front center piece over, pressed and stitched.

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Then I added the buttons and button holes, as well as the gathers.

From there I moved onto the back and stitched the darts, I pressed them away from the zipper.

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Now it’s time to sew the front to the back at the shoulders and sides.

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From here I moved onto the sleeves, I started with the bottom of the sleeve and folded it up by an inch, stitched and pressed.

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Then I stitched the sleeves right sides together.

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The last thing I did for the bodice was sew on the collar and sleeves. Patterning to this point only took five hours which was way quicker than I expected.

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Starting with the middle front piece I stitched the side panels on working my way to the back of the dress. It’s very important to press each seam open as you add the skirt panels or else you will create extra bulk in the skirt.

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After sewing the back seam up leaving enough room for the zipper, I folded up the hem an inch and stitched it down. Finally I added the skirt to the top, installed the zipper which I forgot to buy so I had to baste in a hot pink separating zipped in order to take photos in the dress.

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A few changes I would make differently in the future is lengthen the sleeves, I always forget my arms are way longer than most sleeve patterns. I’d also lengthen the bodice by about an inch and a half, make the buttons a half inch closer to the middle and then make the shoulder about 3/4” wider on each side. My arm movement was not very good in this dress so for the future I will have to make adjustments but I think it looks cute.

Here’s a few photos’s from my photo shoot in the dress. I think this is going to be a great “casual” cosplay for me.

If you liked this blog and would like to help me fund my D23 costume head on over to ko-fi and I will put your name in the costume.

Thank you all for reading!

Project Ebon Blade Part 2: Stellagosa Skirt

Welcome to part two of my Stellagosa construction blog. I have decided to only cover the sewing bits of this costume since the other pieces didn’t quite turn out how I planned and aside from the 3D printed pieces from Hoku Props the other pieces are just not as good looking.

So let’s jump into the skirt, if you missed the blog about the bodice, necklace and sleeves you can find that here. Up until this point I was not sure if I was going to make a bodice and skirt or a full dress, I went with making a full dress because it just made sense in the long run.

I started by draping trapezoid like shapes on my dress form to be the dragon scale underskirt as well as the main skirt sections that will have all the details. I use basic cotton to drape, and typically start by just pinning stuff to my dress form, marking it with sharpie and then cutting it out.

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Once I was happy with how this looked I transferred it over to my silk taffeta, silk habotai for the hip cut outs and then some cotton broadcloth for the skirt interlining. I chose to interline the skirt because I was afraid the lighter weight fabric would not hold up with the heavier details.

I then copied my front pattern piece onto pattern paper and began to sketch out the design that was on the front of the skirt. There was no back image of the costume so I just repeated the design on the back to make it so it didn’t look like I forgot or didn’t put thought into how the back of the costume looks.

From there I cut the piece out of the paper and began cutting all the applique pieces out on the cotton fabric.

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All of the gray cotton in the costume are left over from my Slytherin Bustle dress.

Next I sprayed the back of the applique pieces with 505 spray then pinned the pieces to baste them to the silk taffeta.

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After basting it was time for my new favorite step, satin stitching.

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I used Robison Anton embroidery thread in Saturn Gray for the satin stitch on the setting pictured below on my Husqvana Viking Topaz 50 machine.

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Next it was time to embellish, as many of you know this is basically me signature style. I love adding beads, sequins rhinestones you name it.

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Once the applique were done I moved onto the runes. These vector files were given to me by my friend Arielle who used them in her very own World of Warcraft Paladin. They look great with the costume and I stitched them out with Robison Anton thread as well. I started off with tension issues and it took me a few tries to get it right but I am also still very new to using my embroidery machine so I’m not stressing out too much on how perfect these stitches are just yet.

I will say the texture Arielle designed for these runes are out of this world, I can’t wait for everyone to see it with their own eyes. From here I cute the strip of fabric the size I needed.

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Then with the right side of the runes to the wrong side of the skirt I sewed the runes on, flipped them, pressed the front seam and then satin stitched the visible edge on.

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From there I did a little bit more of embellishments by adding bugle beads to the outer side of the stitch, I lined everything up to sew the skirt pieces together. Not pictured I rhinestones and added the silk habotai cut outs at the hip.

The final step was to add the bottom rune strip in the same manor as the top, bugle bead applied and then this part was done.

More not pictured parts was draping the silk habotai “ripped” pieces, as well as the silk shantung “ruffle” and “sashes” that draped down.

However, I do have a fun close up of soldering the edges of the silk habotai to make it look singed. This was a rather fun part of the costume. There isn’t a ton of distressing involved in this costume but this part was distressed and so much fun making it look so.

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For the purple shantung “apron” I just draped a trapezoid section to fit onto the cotton trapezoid base. I have zero proper draping training so I just pin, baste, take out, and repeat.

Let’s move onto the dragon scale section really quick. So I designed a basic dragon scale cut design on my cricut maker. I cut out about 60 of them on vinyl. I added the names of my patrons and ko-fi supporters on the back of them.

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I individually painted each scale using Deco Art Acrylic Paints.

Then I glued them onto the cotton, I tried sewing them on but no matter where I stitched there was a potential to see the stitching so hot glue FTW.

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Then I stitched the apron piece to fall low enough to cover the top row of scales.

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Finally, it was time to sew all these pieces onto the bodice. I did this by lining up the hip habotai piece with the side habotai piece with the right sides together.

I added a 22 inch long zipper into the back so the entire thing could get on in one go. I’m so glad I did it this way.

The last thing I did just to make the layered effect stay in place was whip stitched the dragon scale “underskirt” panel behind the rune, this will keep it all in place when I walk and really allow for the multi skirt illusion to happen.

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That’s all for the sewing of Stellagosa.

I made an official announcement over on Patreon earlier this month that I will be writing and releasing my first eBook costume build. I will be documenting the entire process of a costume (the costume is a Patreon secret that I will debut at Momocon). I will be releasing WIP, video and write up content over there and finally once the costume is done I will be releasing an eBook in the $10 tier that will later be available to purchase here on my website for $12.

The goal with the eBook is to better document costume construction as well as answer some of the major questions that are asked over and over.

Thank you all for reading, the next blog post will be on my The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Red Dress.

Project Ebon Blade Stellagosa: Part 1 Sleeve, Bodice and Necklace

New Costume time! This one is a little different than I am used to, it is not historical, Disney or spooky but it does have a bit of sewing and it is very beautiful.

This blog will cover how I made the sleeves, necklace and bodice for Project Ebon Blade Stellagosa artwork by Zach Fischer This entry will be covering just the sewing parts but I will do an entire entry on all the sculpting and thermoplastic parts. My intention is to make this costume light up but it might not get done for C2E2 (now less than 3 weeks away) so if I get it done for Dragoncon there will be an entire blog or video on that at a later date.

There will be either 2 or 3 more parts to this blog which I will link at the end as I complete them. But lets jump in.

I started the entire process with the sleeves, I made a duct tape and clear wrap sleeve around my arm (like people do with their duct tape dress forms) and cut it open where I wanted my seam. I don’t have photo’s of this process but I transferred that onto fabric.

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From there I refined my sleeve design and then began to draw the separate panels onto the sleeve. I found it very hard to draw and erase on the fabric so I quickly switched to pattern paper and accepted that this was my design.

Once I had moved to the paper I was also able to start drawing on the stitching design I was going to attempt.

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Now that I basically had the plan for the design it was time to do a test of it. I made an entire sleeve design test before working on the official sleeves because I wanted to make sure the design read as the design from the image as well as I wanted to get good at doing it on my machine.

So to create the curved design I used two design stitches in my Embroider/Sewing Machine. I have a Husqvarna Viking Topaz 50 and I am still very new at using it.

Using Rayon Embroidery Thread from Robison Anton in Saturn Gray I used the curved stitch at a 26mm length and a 42mm length to create the design, I stitched it out on the slowest speed and stopped after one curve was stitched. I use this same design, stitch length and method on both the necklace and the bodice.

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Then I used a satin stitch (which is pre loaded in my machine) to attached the grey cotton but also to attach the silk taffeta to the silk habotai.

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As you can see there was some spacing issues and a lot of control issues with both the design and the satin stitch so it was actually really beneficial to make the practice sleeve.

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At this point I repeated the entire process but for the real sleeves. Then I cut out the habotai and satin stitched the taffeta piece onto the habotai.

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From there I over locked all the edges, applied rhinestones to give it the sparkly look and at this time I had no intention of adding further embellishments. So I stitched the seams together, folded in the top seam, added elastic to help hold it on my arm, folded the bottom seam and that was that.

But later on I decided I did want to apply embellishments so here they are. Note the diamond cut out at the tip of the sleeve is for gem placement once I have made those.

Next up is the necklace. I did some basic drafting of the necklace and the bodice on my dress form. I didn’t take a ton of photos of the draping or necklace making process but it was fairly easy.

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So from my pattern above, I cut that out on taffeta and cotton as well as made some bias tape out of the cotton. I drew the design onto the fabric with fabric colored pencil. Then I did the curved design stitch over it.

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Then I cleaned it all up with bias, added hooks in the back and that was that. Later on I added beads and sequins to the necklace as well.

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Finally the bodice, which was kind of all over the place but I will try to make sense of it all. So I started with the piece that had the curved design on it. I cut that out on taffeta and cotton, made binding for it and I also left the stabilizer on the taffeta when I stitched the cotton on to help give it structure. This bodice has no boning and very little interfacing due to the nature of the see through habotai that is true to the drawing.

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I had some issues with the bias in the “V” part of the piece, I have since figured out how to do it right but since at this point I already knew I was going to spend several hours adding embellishments I just let it stay this way.

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Now it was time to work on the purple shantung and I couldn’t find any embroidery designs in my machine that looked like the image so I kind of did my own thing with it. This is probably my least favorite part of the costume and probably my least favorite thing I have made in a really long time but I chose a swirl design and just repeated it in a fashion that “made sense”. However, I am not very good at my embroidery machine yet and I was incredibly impatient so the design does not line up very well and it really looks horrible in my opinion.

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But I moved forward and just did what I could to make everything else look better to make up for my mistakes.

I serged all the seams I could since I opted out of lining the bodice because of the see through nature of the art. I really wanted to recreate that but also while staying in my comfort zone. I made sure that the top piece lined up before finishing the garment, I didn’t want to add embellishments to it while being attached to the rest of the piece.

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I interfaced and “lined” the top taffeta piece and the side taffeta piece for structure and also since I plan to add grommets when the skirts are finished and attached. In the middle of making this piece I decided it would be better as a dress then a top and bottom.

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Finally it was time to embellish and I couldn’t do that without my assistant Eva to sniff and make sure I was using the good beads.

Once embellishments were done I hand stitched the design piece onto the bodice.

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Overall, despite some bad embroidery line up, some bad sewing and lack of boning I think this piece looks pretty good. There will be straps added from the bodice to the necklace, I will most likely talk about those in one of my last blogs about this costume.

The next blog will be about the skirt portions of this costume. It will include the dragon scale underskirt as well as the skirts that get attached to this bodice.

Thank you all for reading, I release blogs every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month and you can catch video content on my Youtube on the 2nd Friday of the month.

If you would like your name in my current project then you can become a Patron for $1 a month you get early access to blogs, WIP and costume tests!

Alice in Wonderland: A 24-Hour Challenge

“We’re all mad here.”

Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself to justify the 24-Hour madness that was our Alice in Wonderland build!

The goal was to create the dress, the chibi, the set, do the photoshoot and edit the photo from the shoot in 24 hours live on Twitch.

We slayed that goal and completed it in 19 Hours ending with this beautiful image by Alexandra Lee Studios.

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I didn’t take as many photo’s during the process as I normally do and I cut many corners but let’s just dive right into making this costume.

To start I made a calf length petticoat that I covered in a video here. It was a four layer, three tier petticoat made out of a combination of tulle and organza.

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The first thing I made was the headband. I made it out of black cotton, interfacing and black elastic. I used this blog and pattern on my Cricut Maker to cut the fabric and interfacing. I personally don’t like hard head bands because they give me a head ache but this one was soft and didn’t annoy me at all.

Also, since I had so many questions during the stream here is the link to the wig.

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Now it’s time for the dress. I did this in basically two parts, the bodice with sleeves and collar which I used the pattern pictured below and a circle skirt.

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Specifically I used the bodice and sleeves exactly like the pattern suggests and I modified the collar to look more like Alice’s but I also made a split collar so it was two separate pieces.

I made the bodice exactly like the pattern with the intention of over locking the seams but I ran out of white thread for my over lock machine and the black thread was noticeable through the fabric so I had to whip up a lining as well.

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I made the lining exactly like the bodice and then set it aside to add the sleeves.

This required gathering the top and bottom of the sleeve and adding 5/8 inch elastic at the bottom of the sleeve to keep it fitted on my arm.

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Next I made the collar. I used the inner curve of the “B” pattern collar to create the inner curve of my collar and then I just eye balled the outer edge of it and I thought it worked. Once the pattern piece was made I cut it out 4 times on my fabric and twice on my interfacing (my collar was two separate pieces). I attached it to the bodice and then I was ready to add my circle skirt.

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Next, I added my circle skirt. I made this using my waist measurement and the length from my waist to the end of my petticoat plus 2.5 inches. I had to cut mine in two pieces halves and I really wanted to add pockets but it just didn’t happen since I thought we were running out of time.

I cut my fabric all the way to the salvage so I didn’t have to worry about the skirt being clean on the inside. For the hem, I marked 1/2 inch and 2 inches from the bottom of the skirt, then I ironed it and hand stitched it down. I probably should have used the bling hem stitch on my new sewing machine but I was on hour 13 and getting tired so I just hand stitched it.

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From here I stitched the lining in at the neck and back through the zipper, flipped and pressed. From there I hand stitched the arms and bodice where the skirt attaches. Then I applied the zipper. It was supposed to be an invisible zipper but again we were close to 11pm and I still needed to make the apron so I said YOLO.

This is also where I stopped taking photos. So instead of going super into detail about the apron, I will just state the it was draped over the dress out of Quilters Cotton from Joann fabrics. I essentially made two trapezoids that I connected with a 4” by 60” strip of fabric with two 4” by 45” strips that tie at the top.

Now it was time to get into makeup and costume. Alex had spent this time making the chibi and the set as well as drawing all the amazing art for the White Board Wars.

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Here’s a few BTS photo’s:

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Finally, here’s the clip from when Alex did the before and after.

That’s a wrap on the 24 Hour Challenge.

The next blog will be a series on Stellagosa, I’m not sure if it will be a 3,4 or 5 part series for the costume but see ya in 2 weeks for the first blog on her which will be about sewing the sleeves, necklace, and bodice for her focusing on the detail stitches and what I did using my new Husqvana Viking Topaz 50 Sewing and Embroidery machine.

As always, if you live my content and want to support it further you can do so on ko-fi, patreon, or join me on Twitch Tues, Wed, and Thurs at 12pm EST.

White Christmas, Red Dress pt 3

Welcome to part 3 and the final part of making my White Christmas Red Dress. In this blog I will go over how I made my full dress with the rhinestone details on it.

If you’re interested in learning how I made my petticoat you can find that here or how I made the skirt and cape-let with the fur trim you can read that here.

Full disclosure I did not drape the bodice pattern for this costume, that work was done by Sarah who was Betty to my Judy!

I started by making a mock-up with some of the scraps left over from the skirt and cape-let.

The mock-up fit literally like a glove so I made no adjustments to it and then went ahead to cut it out and make it again but this time with lining and sleeves.

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I didn’t take any pictures of this process but essentially I sewed the darts in first, then the panels together, then added the sleeves and actually over locked those at the seam in order to keep them clean.

Next I whipped up a quick collar for the neck to make it a turtle neck, I interfaced it and once again serged the edges to keep it clean.

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For the skirt addition, I just cut out a second circle skirt but 6” shorter and draped it over my current skirt. From there I marked with pins where I wanted to cut the slit and I actually cut it too high for the fur but I just hid that with the fur application. It wasn’t the cleanest way to do it but it worked. Then I over locked the hem to prepare it for the fur.

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For the fur addition I used the exact same technique described in part two, because I hand stitched the fur down it took about 6 hours to apply but looked lovely once it was done.

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Finally it was time to apply the invisible zipper. This was my first time ever attempting to do an invisible zipper and I wont lie it was way easier than I had ever imaged. I don’t own an invisible zipper foot but I’m considering buying one for the future.

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As per usual I over locked my seam before adding the zipper to “keep it clean”. I’m not going to go over step by step how to add an invisible zipper but I’m willing to make a video tutorial if that’s something people want from me in the future. So above is sewing the first side.

Below is sewing the second side.

It was so easy and look how good it turned out.

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Alright now the sewing was complete! It’s time for rhinestones!

Sarah created a template for us to go off of and a general idea of where the placement should have been.

We used the hot fix tool and 3mm/10ss and 5mm/20ss to make the snowflake design on the dresses. Hot fix is not my favorite method to apply rhinestones but it definitely is a great way to apply stones! I’ll actually be writing an entire blog after this about my favorite choices of rhinestones and techniques so if you like this blog then stay tuned.

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I applied the stones all over the dress, cape-let and ever on the bodice and sleeves and we were good to go. The red stones were very tricky to see on the red fabric but I knew they were there and that’s all that really matters.

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That was it, the dress was done and I was ready to for epic amounts of twirling.

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Thank you all for reading my blog.

I’ll be posting blogs every first and third Friday of the month so stay tuned!

Rhinestone Kings and Queens

2018 was the year of the rhinestone for me and if you thought that was going to change in 2019 then guess again. Over the last few months I’ve had several questions about where I buy my rhinestones, how to apply them, etc and I have been planning this blog since the beginning of the year. However, after sharing my most recent batch of stones on Instagram last night I realized that this write-up can’t wait until March.

So, in this write-up I will break down the types/brands of stones, quality, adhesives, price and how long it takes for the stones to get to you and to apply them. If you just want links to where I have bought mine, scroll to the bottom and pick and choose whichever works best for you. Full disclosure all amazon links are affiliate links, so I do make a commission if you purchase from them.

Getting that sweet sweet sparkle.

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A common misconception about rhinestones is that you need Swarovski Crystals to get the best sparkle but that’s just false. Pictured above are Bohemian, Swarovski and the cheap eBay stones. Can you guess which is which? Probably not unless you look at the facet of the stone and these stones range in price from $1.40 to $55.60 per 10 gross (1440 crystals).

So, there’s really no need to drop over $100 o Swarovski Crystals (like I did initially on Sakizou) for cosplay. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for Swarovski but I just don’t think they are necessary for cosplay.

With that being said all the crystals I will link at the end of the blog meet my quality standard and that standard is, if I’m walking on a stage or in a well light room will I turn into a disco ball?

Personally in quality I look for sparkle, I look for how reflective the stones are and overall how much impact they will have when walking around. I prefer not to use filters when I post rhinestones, so you will never see that fake like sparkle where there is no stone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those filters, I love seeing them used by others I just personally stay away from them.

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Don’t be afraid of colors! They are awesome and can really add dimension to a costume. I prefer to use color when I am trying to create a design on a gown or to highlight a design that is already in a gown.

Here’s my White Christmas red dress with the snowflake design I added in rhinestones:

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Then this is how I took the flames on my Jafar costume and used rhinestones to accent pieces of it:

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You can also use colored rhinestones to create extra sparkle, I used Black AB rhinestones on my Sakizou dress to add extra sparkle and it was awesome:

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AB rhinestones have an iridescent coating to give extra shimmer, named after the Aurora Borealis. They are typically half coated and AB 2x are fully coated. I almost always buy massive amounts of AB crystals because you can use them on everything. On both Belle and Sakizou there were over 10k each.

Does size matter?

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Yes!

Okay, maybe because it all depends on what you’re using them for.

If you’re using them as a means to lightly cover an entire piece of clothing, like I did with Sakizou’s skirts, then I would recommend smaller but closer together.

If you want to create a cascading effect that draws attention to certain areas of a costume or just emphasize a silhouette then I suggest using multiple sizes.

If you want to make a design then multiple sizes is the way to go.

I personally have 3 different size AB Crystals in my stash at all times. I use small stones (3mm) when I am covering a sleeve or skirt. I use small and medium (2mm, 3mm or 4mm) when I am creating a design. I will typically use larger ones (5mm and 6mm) when I just want a pop of sparkle but don’t need it to cover an entire piece.

But honestly, the best part about crystals is you can use them whatever the heckin way you want to!

Finally, I’ve been using this chart to help with sizing since every website seems to use one of these two ways of sizing and I always forget which ss corresponds with which mm.

Chart from  Creative Crystal

Chart from Creative Crystal

How to apply crystals.

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There’s two basic methods I use to apply crystals.

The first and most commonly used on my stream is the Hotfix tool. Now this is a good method of adding rhinestones, its affordable, you can get rhinestones for this on Amazon Prime and they apply quickly.

BUT, they have been known to fall off if you don’t allow the glue to completely warm up AND it can take longer if you are using large stones.

I use this method on stream all the time and I have very little issues with it but I have also learned from experience that this is probably not the say all end all to applying crystals.

You can purchase the tool here.

The best rhinestones I have found for this tool are here.

Please for the love of god DO NOT purchase the stones that come with 1 gross of 15 different colors, I have bought 2 of those kits and they are trash. I also have heard that the rhinestones that come in a kit with the tool are also trash. Save yourself the frustration and buy the tool and then the Threadart stones separately.

I have purchased 10k AB rhinestones for $40 and the one issue I had with those was that each batch seemed to be slightly different quality. By that I mean the adhesive for some are better than others and how well the tool picks up the stone varies.

Also note that for hotfix you need electricity and if you’re planning to rhinestone on your 12 hour car ride to Katsucon then you’re out of luck.

Ultimately, hotfix is not the cheapest method of stone/application but its the quickest method to get to you.

Now, lets talk about gem-tac. I know people have done blogs stating E6000 is king and only use that but here’s the tea, E6000 used on 4k-5k-20k stones per costume will kill you. Also, it doesn’t actually adhere to a wide variety of fabrics. I used it on all my Lady Gaga rhinestone covered costumes and on ALL of them I have lost lots of stones.

So you can buy gem-tac here. 1oz covered about 2k crystals and that’s while streaming where I had quite a bit of glue waste due to talking and having it dry. The cure time is probably 30 minutes, probably less and even though its white, it dries clear. I used it on silk dupioni and had ZERO problems with it distorting my fabric. Also, note that this can be used with literally EVERY stone you purchase, you can even use it with your hotfix stones.

Now, applying stones with gem-tac can be tedious although we are talking about applying stones so I guess that’s just tedious all together. My advice is to use toothpicks or those cheap chopsticks you get at take out places to dot your fabric with glue and then tweezers to pick up and place the stones. These tweezers are really good for both beads and rhinestones.

Don’t Break the bank on crystals, unless you want to I guess.

Now it’s time to discuss the best price rhinestones for the best quality. This is where I will start giving you links to where I buy my crystals but please note that some of these can take upward of 2 months to get to you. So plan accordingly.

Let’s start with my favorite stones to date, these are the ones a lot of you probably saw on Instagram last night. My friend Eveille Cosplay sent me this link and she really deserves all the credit for this find, so go follow her.

Ebay

I bought, 4mm gold, 4mm dark purple, 4mm light green, 4mm purple, 4mm Iridescent A/B, 4mm Emerald green, 4mm blue, 4mm peacock blue, 4mm light blue, 4mm black and 6mm iridescent A/B stones for about $25 and it took 2.5 weeks to get to me. Those stones are my absolute favorite and I plan to buy one of every color after I finish this blog.

My second choice would be hot-fix but ONLY because I can get it all on Amazon Prime and the price per gross is the second cheapest. So if you want the links to all that jump back to ‘How to apply‘ and just note that all those links are affiliate links so if you purchase there you just feed into my rhinestone addiction and I appreciate you.

My next favorite option would be from Beads Factory. They are not very cheap UNLESS you get them on hella sale like I did on black Friday. I purchased Bohemian Crystals for 70% off and the quality is just a step up from the eBay option and IMO are just as good as Swarovski. You can also purchase Swarovski and Perciosa from Beads Factory. I have not used Perciosa but I’ve had it recommended a dozen times so if you try them out let me know.

Finally, I bought my Swarovski from Fire Mountain Gems. I buy a ton of beads from them but keep in mind to pre-plan because every unit you buy can make the entire total go down. I typically only like to purchase from them when I know I need 50 units or more total (you can mix and match between items and that rocks) because it will save money in the long run.

There are TONS of other places to get crystals but these are the places I have purchased from, I am not listing any I have not purchased because well I don’t want to screw anyone over so if you purchase elsewhere leave a comment with a link.

If this guide was helpful to you at all and you’re feeling extra generous please consider buying me a coffee. Everyone that does so will get their name inside my Stellagosa costume that I am starting on Tuesday.

If you can’t help out I totally get it because those precious doll hairs could be used to purchase crystals BUT sharing this blog helps too and using my Amazon Affiliate link is also a way to help.

Last but not least, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tag me on IG, FB or Twitter if you use any of these suggested crystals or if you just want to share your work with me.

Thank you to all of my Patrons and Twitch supporters, you guys make it possible for me to grow not only as an artist but as a human. I love you all.