Hey guys, guess who remembered to take some in progress shots of a costume she's working on? Correct! It's this gal ^__^
In less than two weeks, Castlefest 2017 is taking place, and I've been working on this costume on and off since, oh, December? No, earlier, because it wasn't yet winter when I bought the base dresses I'm Frankensteining this out of. So, October or something.
Sadly, I did not take photos of the before dresses, so let me paint a picture with words instead:
I got two dresses from the thrift store - actually, from two different thrift stores. The first one was a dark blue chiffon monstrosity, where the skirt was lovely and flowy, but the sleeves were this... cape kind of thing that completely hid my upper arms and my waist. The silhouette was... not
good, guys. Not good at all. But the chiffon was lovely, and there was lots of it, so I almost bought it then and there. Only, I didn't.
Dress two I found a week or so later, in another thrift store, and is a very basic blue polyester satin prom dress with spaghetti straps. Sort of like this
, but in blue, without the ruched layer and with a sweetheart neckline. It fit me perfectly, and the colour immediately got me thinking that it would look good combined with the chiffon dress - which I had not bought.
Should I buy the prom dress in the hopes the chiffon dress would still be there? I hesitated for a bit but eventually decided that if with everything I was envisioning for the chiffon dress, I didn't buy it, chances were slim anyone else would beat me to it so soon. Luckily, I was right, and the chiffon dress was still there.
The salesperson went on a spiel on how lovely they thought it would look on me, but I was like oh hell no, this thing looks awful, I'm gonna pull it apart and use the fabric for something completely different. At which they were... hesitant, but also curious. I'm kinda tempted to walk in there wearing the end result, but what are the chances the same salesperson will be working then, and remember me?
The idea I came up with was to use the prom dress as the base, since it already fit, and add the chiffon in layers. I pulled out some turqoise organza and shinies in various hues of blue and silver from my stash, and totally by accident found these lovely blue table runners in the same dark blue as the chiffon dress, and got to work.
And that gets me to where I am now! Here's some pictures of me figuring this dress out:
I put the prom dress on Josephine, and then started pinning all the materials I had until I was happy with the general arrangement.
To be sure, I put the dress on, at which point I realised I wanted to replace the lining with something less synthetic (it wasn't even warm and my skin was sticking to the polyester lining that was in the dress). Also, I don't have pictures of the back yet, but it was straight across and I've since cut out a v-shape so that I can do a lace-up back. That means replacing the spaghetti straps with longer cord, going from the points of the sweetheart neckline, to the lacing at the back.
I had already embellished the table runners with more organza and shinies at that point. The next step was to embellish the top of the dress and the chiffon overskirt!
I might add more shinies, actually, but I'm fairly happy with it at this point and decided I'd wait until I have everything assembled to see if I want to add any sparkles anywhere.
And where I am now! The overskirts are embellished and sewed on, as well as the table runner tabard in the back. The front tabard and the wrap are just pinned for this picture; next move is to attach those to the outer layer of the prom dress. After that, I have to attach the cord and the loops for the lacing, and then the lining can be put it.
For the lining, I just put a jersey tank top on Josephine and put the prom dress on over it, then marked the top edge of the dress on the jersey, and the length of the jersey on the dress, and replaced the top half of the lining with the jersey. It is much
more comfortable this way, especially as it will still be the height of summer at Castlefest!
Only thing is - I am going to have to wash this dress right before Castlefest and right after I come home, because while I washed both dresses before I started, just handling it and putting it on now and then is already causing the chiffon to smell. The polyester satin and the organza less so, but the chiffon picks up stank like you wouldn't believe. I... might have to wear perfume at Castlefest.
Sigh. This is why I prefer to work in medieval styles, because you get to work with linnen and cotton and much more natural materials. However, I simply could not resist the vision in my head these two dresses gave me, and I am still very excited to wear their Frankensteined lovebaby in two weeks.
I would also still like to make something to wear on my head, but I'll focus on getting the dress done first. I'll post more pictures when it's complete!