Jill Valentine Resident Evil Part 1 Corset

Before I start let me tell you that I made this corset twice. Not through my fault. My sewing machine got some oil on the front panel of the corset. Now, I know this isn’t normal, but there isn’t anything wrong with my machine. I’ve checked. It just sometimes does this. (By sometimes I mean three times now since I have started.) And I can usually get it out of the material just fine. But since the fabric was fused with interfacing when I went to wash it the interfacing peeled away from the corset fabric. I have never had this happen before. I was shocked. With that knowledge now, I realize I should have just unstitched that panel and sew a new one in its place, but I didn’t.

Here are images of the failed corset for you to see.

Here are my supplies and my pattern.

As you can see the fabric is already stiffened with the interfacing, and prior to interfacing I needed to dye the fabric a darker shade. The blue wasn’t dark enough, and nor did they have any fabric besides a broadcloth that was the color I needed.

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The small swatch of fabric sitting on the top of the dyed fabric shows the original color of the fabric I used.

(Make a mockup if you have not used the pattern before. On all new patterns I use a mockup, I reduced the waist in this one a little bit more than usual to give myself some leeway. But I also accidentally reduced the bust and the hips. So this corset doesn’t fit well. unfortunately. So this corset isn’t ideal for me. Which is a shame because she is a really nice corset, well made.)

After you cut out all the pieces from the fashion outside and the strength layer you need to baste them together. Instead of basting I just serged the edges together. What isn’t pictured below is the second back panel. I cut out two back panels to give the grommets and bones something to grip onto. You can skip this step if you plan on lining your corset. But since this corset isn’t something I would wear to every con I feel like it doesn’t need a lining. If this was a base corset for a gown I would give it a lining. If I had the time for a lining.

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Then sew the center panels together, and then the outer bust panels to the center. Just keep going outwards until you get the grommet panel. The pictures show each stage of this, and of course to make it easier for myself I used the seam allowances as the boning channels by stitching a straight stitch the correct width away from the seam. Do this after sewing each panel so you won’t have to cram a lot of fabric under the foot at once.

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Now in the picture below the two panels on the corset are the second set of back panels that we cut out twice out of each layer of fabric.

Sew this to the back panel, then fold that spare back panel under. Stitch a straight stitch for that bone that supports the grommets. Then stitch a straight stitch wide enough to fit the grommets. And following that stitch line do another straight stitch wide enough to fit the bone on the other side of the grommets. For grommets to be really secure, in my opinion, you need a set of spring steel bones on either set of grommets.

Cut the boning out of spiral steel and spring steel boning. When I cut and tip the bones I lay them out where they are supposed to go in the channel. This way you only cut the bones for one side and then duplicate those bones for the other side. I tipped these bones a couple times, with nail enamel. If you would like to use tape you can. I do have bone caps for both sets, just they are tricky to get into the corset and not have too much room for the bone to twist. I find nail enamel to be a better fit. Even with the spiral steel bones because the caps those come with if you need to take the bone out you can’t always do that. The cap gets caught on the fibers of the corset and can damage the boning channel trying to pull it through or it can slide off the bone and get stuck in the corset. Neither of which will is good.

(Sorry for the color switch of the fabric. This is where I noticed the oil on the front panel and decided to start over. The fabric I used here was in my stash. I was hoping to save all the fabric for an upcoming costume, but I over bought for that costume and figured I could spare 20 inches.)

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Once I inserted the bones the corset had a better shape to it. With the bones in you have two choices at this point. Bind the edges or add the grommets. I opted to bind the edges first. And then changed my mind after only sewing the front of the binding on.

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Then I switched to adding the grommets, which pictured below is the holes for the grommets. I punch a hole into the fibers and then push the hole bigger with an awl. otherwise I feel the awl tends to damage the corset by forcing the fibers apart. And with just the punch it might not set the grommets in without having them tear out easily. So punch a hole, then insert awl to correct grommet/eyelet width, and add the eyelet.

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I still prefer the hammer method for eyelets. Even with the expensive press I have. Maybe one day I will actually learn to use the press with results I like. But until then the hammer is my go to. You are supposed to use a wooden or rubber mallet, but I just opt for my metal hammer. I can pound the grommet or eyelet in with one hit.

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Now you are almost done. The last task is to fold over the outer edge of the bias binding and hand sew in place. I use the ladder stitch. At least I am fairly certain that is what it is called.

Don’t forget a modesty panel.

I did. Woops. But since it is middle of January and roughly -10 outside I will be wearing the vest she usually has tied around her waist. As well as a camisole underneath the corset to protect the corset from body oils. It is easier to wash the camisole than it is a corset. Try to use one without straps or you will need to tuck them under the corset.

Also, if your corset closes or you don’t mind the look it has without a modesty panel you don’t need to have one. I find them finicky at times, but I do like to have them in case I need it. I also try to make all my corsets have at least an inch or two gap in the back. As I have been losing weight, not too noticeable, but enough that I cannot wear some of my corsets from two years ago that I made to fit perfect.

I will post a couple finished pictures next weekend to my Instagram. The final post will be on the skirt, which should have been super easy. But wasn’t. More on that next weekend.

As always, thank you for reading. I hope this has helped you in some way. If you are interested for a more in-depth process let me know in the comments below.

Jill Valentine Resident Evil Concept and Materials

This project shouldn’t require many materials. There isn’t much to her outfit anyways. I am a fan of the games, although I have only really played from 4 and onwards. I do own the other ones on my gamecube, but they rarely get played these days. The gameplay is a little off for me. I prefer the styles of the newer ones.

With the new movie, and supposed to be the final movie, I decided it was time to make my costume. Jill has always been a favorite character of mine throughout the games and movies. I originally wanted to wait to make this until I was more fit, as Jill is in great shape being a STARS member. But alas, I couldn’t give up this opportunity to portray her for the final film.

I chose her costume from Resident Evil Apocalypse, although she wears it in one of the games as well, I have watched the movie more than I played that game. I know she has a shoulder holster, I purchased one online almost two months before the movie, but it didn’t arrive in time. My thigh holster and utility belt did though. I didn’t wear it to the theater. Wouldn’t have been comfortable. And not sure if my theater would approve. Also, due to the weather, I did wear tights, as it was below freezing, and I also wore the cardigan instead of having it tied around my waist.

For materials you will need:

Corset-1 yard of blue fabric, if not blue a bottle of blue dye as well. Black twill, interfacing. Spring steel bones and spiral steel bones. Grommets, lacing. And all the rest of your corseting supplies you could need.

Skirt-3/4 yard of black sateen. 5 inches of grey sateen. 1 zipper about 7 inches. Interfacing for the waistband.

Odds and Ends- Almost knee-high black boots, thigh holster, utility belt, shoulder holster, fake guns, and a wig. I bought a cardigan for this costume, I could have made one if I had the time, but I figured that would be the easiest piece to find. (I don’t have a wig and I find it very unlikely that I will purchase one for this cosplay. As it is pretty low-cost costume, maybe that will change if I wear it to GamesCon. I’m just not a fan of wigs and the comfort they have.)

I would like to apologize for the long wait in my posts. I had a work trip to go to. And I have started the most in-depth costume I have ever made. It will definitely be a labor of love. I need to finish it in time. Most of the posts that are coming up will be posts from the past. No new material. Technically new posts as they have ye to be discussed. But the pieces will be all made within the past year. Also, I won’t share much about the big upcoming project. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Anastasia Ending Ball Gown Pictures

Here are the pictures of my Anastasia gown. This was my first photo shoot, taken by my talented sister. The mosquitos were out, as well as bees, and all kinds of bugs. I’m not a bug person. Or a hot weather person. But it was lovely. These were taken at the Garden of Reflection: In Remembrance Of Those We Love. A beautiful and well-kept garden park. There were a lot of pictures to go through and they were all pretty great. These are a few of my favorite ones.

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Let me know what you think. Next post will be up within this week. I’ll have a poll up on my instagram for what you guys want me to post next.

Anastasia Ending Ball Gown Part 5 Crown and Circles

The crown was going to be the last piece I worked on, but other than the corset patterning, this was the first thing I worked on. My thought process on this involved purchasing fabric and sequins and gemstones and wire and paint. I already owned foam and buckram and liquid leaf. I figured I would make one and see how it goes. And if that one didn’t turn out I could make another one. I didn’t start photographing this process until I was about half way done.

My first approach to the crown was foam and wire. I wasn’t sure how well foam would look, especially for a crown that I wanted to look like it was real. I’m not sure how that will work with just the materials I have. My sequins are on the way; I should get them by the 25th. The rest of the bits I already own.

Starting out with the foam. I drew a set shape I wanted the crown to be and drew it on my foam. I only have two pieces of white foam. Not ideal for what I need, but I am hoping it will work. The size is 12 by 18 I believe; I didn’t measure it before I cut it. After cutting out and attaching the ends of the crown with a tiny amount of hot glue. Be very careful, I recommend E6000, but since this is just a practice crown I am okay with the hot glue method. Just so you are aware when you press firmly on the glued pieces there will be air bubbles that pop.

The first template wasn’t curved enough at the bottom. It just ended up looking all circular at the top. Not what I wanted. So I laid my pattern piece back down on the paper and drew the top edge on the foam and left a guideline at the bottom of where my marks were currently located. And then from the center mark I drew the pattern more rounded at the bottom. I want the top to curve outwards a little bit. Cut out your piece and glue the ends together a tiny bit. You need to be able to remove the glue when you have the correct shape you want.

The shape worked perfectly well. From here I should have drawn out the shape on another piece of foam for all the detail work on the front of the crown. That would have been easier. But instead I measured out where I want the crown to sit and decided I would attach the small rectangle at the back to keep the crown together. I grabbed the wire and wrapped the wire on the inside of the crown to get the correct length I would need. After wrapping the wire around itself a few times to be extra sturdy I thought now would be the best time to glue the wire on and get started on the details on the front.

Nope. Do this portion after the crown is traced out a second time on the foam, otherwise you will have to maneuver the crown on the foam to get the correct shape and the size of everything you need.

Follow the before steps for making the base metal work for the crowns sturdiness. With careful tracing out of the crown onto the foam I was able to get all the templates I needed for the crown details. I cut out two of each piece besides the front piece. And then proceeded to hot glue all the strips of detail work down. Make sure to press firmly, if you need to add more glue to make sure it is secure, go ahead and do so. If you added too much glue you need to wipe it off. Obviously my crown isn’t perfect. But I am very happy with it. I feel like it looks good for being my first crown.

If the glue is in one of the cracks you cannot reach then you can use the handle of a spoon to get the glue out, a metal spoon, not plastic. It will peel off of the metal spoon, but the heat may burn the plastic spoon.

I tested out my liquid leaf on a scratch piece of foam I had lying around, it sunk in and stiffened and became porous. I decided that I would need to lay down a base coat of something so I won’t waste the liquid leaf. I don’t own wood glue yet, or gesso or any other filler you could use. And considering it was eleven or twelve at night when I was working on this I couldn’t just head to the store to get what I needed. I did have Aleene’s original tacky glue in my stash for other projects I was working on and figured what would be the harm in trying it out.

The best way to do this is to add some water to the glue, it is very tacky and doesn’t spread easily like I thought it would. The first thing I did was pour some glue straight onto the centerpiece of the crown. Big mistake, I couldn’t get it to brush flat. So I took my brush and got a cup (pin cup, not a drinking cup) filled it with a tablespoon of water. Dip the end of the brush in the water and brush the glue, you may need to repeat several times to get the glue to smooth out. For the rest of the crown I poured glue into the water diluting it. I would rather brush on glue a few times for a smooth look than have to thin down the glue on the crown.

After the first coat, I went to bed and took a look at it in the morning before work. Low and behold it was pretty decent looking. Here is a picture of it.

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Not bad for my first crown. Of course when I got back home from work I needed to add more glue to the front to make a good base for the liquid leaf. I used about 4 layers of thinned down glue to get the base that felt smooth enough.

The liquid leaf should be used in a ventilated area, if you are a minor you should consult an adult, and by adult I mean your parents or guardian. After you add one coat of liquid lead you will need to dry it. Let it air dry. It shouldn’t take long, mine took about ten to fifteen minutes before I added the second coat of liquid leaf. Let it dry again. This time I waited thirty minutes. Even though it was dry much sooner, I still waited.

The next step, the easy one, I used a glitter paint, after painting a test area I didn’t like the coverage of the glitter and decided I would add some loose glitter into it. I didn’t have any silver glitter available. But I did own holographic glitter. So mixing the two together gave me better coverage. Not the kind I wanted, so I may go back and add some more to the back of the crown.

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After the glitter paint was dry I could add some gemstone/rhinestones. I just used the leftover rhinestones from my Evil Queen Costume. This was a strenuous part. Having to individually glue each stone on. It took a total of 8 hours I believe. I didn’t have a strip of stones I could use. And I didn’t want to risk using the heat setter on the foam or liquid leaf. That could have been bad. So I sat there and put each stone on by hand.

The quickest way to do this is to plop down a pea sized amount of glue onto the crown, spread it out with a tooth pick and then add the gemstones as quick as possible. The glue dries fast so if you use any more than a pea sized amount you won’t have enough time to add the stones before you need to add more glue down. This is a very arduous process. The glue I used is E6000, like the liquid leaf you will need mask or some form of protection from the fumes. I should have used my mask more, but I didn’t. I don’t have an exact amount of gems that I used for this crown, I didn’t keep count. I do know that there were 6000+ in the bag, and the bag still has plenty left. I didn’t even use half of the amount I owned, so, plenty for future purposes. Here is a finished look at the crown.

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Now onto the circles. These were fairly easier. Be warned I used my machine embroidery to make the circles. You can totally do this by hand, but it went by much faster using my machine. I had 18 circles total. The first step was to map out where I wanted the pearls to be. I realized I should have added fifteen or seventeen onto one, instead of thirteen. It would have looked much nicer.  I used pale pink pearls.

Here is the picture of what the circles look like.

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The next step was to add the seed beads linking the pearls to one another. This was a little slow in the process, but I knew it would be worth it in the end. The linking seed beads I used were a cream pearl color.

The last step was to add 3 seed beads to each pearl on the inside. The seed beads I chose for this step was gold. And that finished the process for me.

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I stitched them on by machine. I should have hand sewn them down, the result would have been much neater. And less stitchy. I can’t explain it, but hopefully the final pictures can show what I mean. There will need to be 4 circles on the bodice total, and the rest on the overskirt. Even on each side. And also even markings on both sides.

I have yet to add the cording for this costume, not sure when I will have the time as I am in the process of making the most challenging costume I have ever made. When I finish that costume and my other costume for SenshiCon I will hopefully get back to this.

That’s the end for this post. My next post will be about the pictures for Anastasia. Once I take better ones. I will get on that this week. Before one of the final pieces I need come in the mail for my upcoming costume. Until next time, bye,

Anastasia Ending Ball Gown Part 4 Bodice and Sleeves

I first want to start by saying sorry for such a long delay in posting. There was a renaissance fair here two weekends in a row and I was finishing up my costumes for both weekends. But enough about excuses, I am back. And I should have another post up on Wednesday about the crown and the circles for the bodice and the overskirt.

Patterning the bodice was fairly easy. I took my standard corset pattern and modified it. I made this pattern based on my measurements and my mannequin. If you have seen my Evil Queen/Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time than this corset pattern will be familiar to you. It is the best pattern I have made corset wise. Fits perfectly, or as close to perfect as I have been able to make. I do wish the waist was a little more reduced, but when I lose weight I will make another pattern. And then I can show you how I made mine.

Fair warning, I don’t have very many pictures showing the process of this construction. I am sorry about that. But as I explained before, I didn’t have very much time to complete this section as I would have liked.

Since you have already seen what my pieces look like laid out I won’t post a picture of it. On my modified pattern I added lots of space at the top to make sure I can get the silhouette just right. I am aware that it looks a little ridiculous. Just keep in mind that I will have to take it in at some areas at the top or bottom. Which will happen in the mock-up phase.

Cut out all the pieces twice for the mockup. Sew the panels together. To save myself some time in the mockup portion I only pin the top, and just hold and sew as I go for the rest of the corset. It works and I feel like I have pretty good control over the sewing machine for this part. But if you don’t feel confident than you can go ahead and pin the pieces. (To clarify I did pin the actual corset together. I wanted the neatest of edges as possible for the real thing.)

Here is what my mockup looks like.

I pinned my mockup to the mannequin and drew out what looked like the correct shape to me. Keep in mind that the original costume is straight on the top edge. Mine will be slightly curved in the front because I feel that shape would look best on me. I think it will work fairly well for my intended purpose.

Here is an image of the corrected pattern.

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But before I begin with any pattern cutting of the fabric I will need to wash the fabric according to the instructions on the bolt, or with my go to fabric washing method. (That would be using a light detergent, some softener and put it on the delicate cycle with a light dirt level, warm heat, medium spin. The dryer is on delicate, low heat and medium to extra dry.).

After washing your fabric, I recommend interfacing if you are using a satin. You don’t want the threads to pull apart at the seams and interfacing will help with that. When you have the satin interfaced you are now able to lay out your pattern pieces to cut out of the fabric. As you can see I did interface my fabric on the shiny side, as I thought the inside looked prettier than the outside. Just be careful interfacing the shiny side. It doesn’t adhere as well as it should. But I don’t mind.

Pretty simple. You need all the pieces of the corset on the goldish yellow fabric minus the center front which will have to be on a cream satin. The fabric and color scheme seem off if you haven’t had the opportunity to see the cartoon or see any pictures of the dress. The white satin also has the shiny side facing inward with the interfacing.

Once the fabric is cut out of the satin you need to cut out another section of each piece in a twill or coutil. Because of my location I opt for twill 90% of the time. I have tried canvas, but don’t have luck when it comes time to washing the garment because the garment shrinks and warps. (It could just be lack of experience from my end).

Flat line the interfaced satin and the twill together. That means to baste the layers together. If you would like to roll pin your layers while doing this you can. If you would like an in-depth video of how to do this I can post one in the comments below, it is by Lucy Corsetry. The benefits of doing this is it helps lessen the ripples you have a chance of getting when you lace your corset tightly.

After all layers are basted together you need to pin panels together. After pinning sew them together. And make sure to sew your boning channels now. Cut bias tape from the remaining gold satin fabric. You can interface the satin if you need it to be more sturdy. Or you can leave it, I left it alone. The interfacing needs to be roughly an inch and a half wide. At this part of the bodice you only need to bias bind the bottom edge. The top edge will come later.

Cut the boning a half-inch shorter to make room for the bias binding at the top to be added. I did not add bones to the center front or the front side seams at the bust. I would have if I had the correct spiral steel bones, but I have run out and have not had the chance to purchase more. And using just the flat steel bones wasn’t working because it compressed the bust in an unflattering way. Tip the bones now, so you have time to let it dry while you work on the eyelets. I made hand sewn eyelets. The brass and nickel eyelets I own do not match the color of the fabric.

Hand Sewn Eyelets-require buttonhole thread if you want it extra sturdy. I used just regular embroidery thread and beeswax. I tried the white beeswax in a plastic disk, didn’t like that one. It was grainy and just kept shedding bits of beeswax. Instead I used the beeswax block from Michaels and had no issues with things fraying or falling off. You don’t have to use beeswax, you can also use a thread conditioner. I didn’t have any though. The ideal way to make a hole for the eyelet is to use an awl. I didn’t. I couldn’t get the fabric to not pucker when I used the awl that I just went ahead with my punch. That does make the fabric more prone to fraying or the eyelets ripping out. But since I won’t be wearing this frequently I think I will be just fine.  You will also need some jump rings.

To make the hand sewn eyelets you need to mark out the placement on where the eyelets will be. I made my eyelets ¾” apart. I felt like that would be enough. That meant I had to sew 32 eyelets into the back of this bodice. 16 on each side. Insert the bones in the back before you start sewing eyelets. Punch holes in the mark of each eyelet. Lock a stitch in place, then add the jump ring to keep the hole from warping after continued use, the stitch you need to use is called an eyelet stitch. Fairly simple. The more you do, the better you get and the faster they are to do. Hint, start at the bottom. You get better with time. And you want the nicest looking ones at the top.

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Here is the sleeve mock-up.

Sleeves should be patterned at this point. The top will be straight, while the bottom will have a curve leading to a point. I made mine a little wide at the top because I wanted mini gathers. Cut the sleeves out of the white satin like the front of the gown as well as the pink scrollwork that was used in the skirt.

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This is the last picture I have of this bodice. I will take more pictures of the finished bodice and then add them in later.

Place right sides together sew around all edges leaving a mini gap to fit your hand. Turn inside out encasing the edges inside. Topstitch the outside to make it look neat. Before I placed it on my dress form I made sure to already sew a line of basting stitches at the top so when it was time to gather I could do so easily without having to run back to my machine.

I cut the fabric arm band that goes across the whole top bodice and around the back the width of my shoulders. If I lose too much weight, unlikely in that area, I won’t be able to take it in any further because I didn’t leave enough room for my arms. The band should be using the fabrics for the underskirt, since we want the same color scheme and not a new color for just one part.

The arm band is just a straight rectangle of fabric wide enough to fit your arms in and be able to hold the sleeves up. With right sides facing together on the rectangles, sew around all edges minus one to pull the fabric through. Once that s complete fold over one edge a bit and hand sew this down so stitching will not be visible from the outside. (Insert all bones at this point if you have not already done so.) Attach this to the front of the bodice on the first three panels, the center front and the side fronts on both side. Then you will attach the outer edges of the band to the back starting at the side back and ending at the back.

The only other steps at this point are attaching the circles and the cording as well as a modesty panel. Modesty panels are easy. It’s just two rectangles of matching fabric sewn together. Whether you bone the modesty panel or not is up to you. I left mine alone and didn’t add any boning to it. I can bone it later if I need to, but I think it will be just fine.

That is all for now, feel free to ask me any questions you have. And thank you for taking the time to read this. Until then I bid you adieu.

Anastasia Ending Ball Gown Part 3 Overskirt

The reason this has a separate blog piece about it is because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make this. I wasn’t sure if it would have a waistband on its own? Hooked to the bodice? Or quite possibly sewn into the bodice at the bottom. So, being unsure, I decided to draft the base of it first. Then I will figure out how to add it later. I may just attach it to the bodice, but there is a flaw in that plan.

If I attach it straight to the bodice, then the corset method is out and I have to have the opening in the front. Which I do not want to have that.

While researching Court dresses from that era I have come to the conclusion that they are indeed laced up the back. And that the train piece is a type of skirt. I couldn’t find out if it is separate from the underskirt or if they are both attached. For the sake of this piece I am treating them as separate. Because the waistband for the other piece is already finished and I would hate to have to unstitch the seams to just add the golden overskirt.

With that notion in mind the hardest part will be determining the method of closure. Whether I go the same route as the underskirt and use buttons or if I chose the easy method of skirt hooks or ties. I am leaning towards the skirt hooks or ties. Lease likely the ties because they will have to be tucked under the bodice and that will add unnecessary bulk under the bodice.

We already have the waistband of two petticoats (and I may add a third to it), the underskirt, and this skirt. Oh, and the bum roll. Can’t forget about the bum roll. Just because the crinoline was too big for this dress didn’t mean I couldn’t add an extra layer of fluff by a mini bum roll. And by mini bum roll I added half the amount of stuffing in that was supposed to go into the bum roll.

Leave all the layers you plan to have underneath your underskirt on the dress form, I will add the petticoat I plan to replace because I have yet to replace the petticoat and I need the added fluff. I pinned some leftover muslin, a large piece of leftover muslin, onto my mannequin at the waist in the back. Since the back has the train I need to save the longest piece for the back. The dresses from that time looked like they had nice box pleats in the back. One on either end. I have not seen paintings or other works from this time to know for sure. And since I liked the look of box pleats and a train I decided to stick with it.

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Determine the length of the box pleats you want to have. Drape the fabric on how you want it to look like. This will help determine the outcome of your project. Make sure to take into consideration the length and width of your fabric. Mine is sixty inches wide with a length of about four or 5 yards. So I can have mine as long as four yards. I won’t because that would be a little difficult to maneuver in. I will probably stick with a forty-inch train at the most. I feel like that would be plenty and I would have the leeway to take it in if I wanted.  Curve the edge at the bottom. You don’t want it to be boxy unless you are going for that look.

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I had all the intentions of making a mockup and testing the fit and all these things to it. But let’s be honest. I ran out of time and decided to not make a mockup. I did buy some satin that I was using for the mockup, but gave up on it and put that into storage.

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I grabbed my fabric, put a pin at the center of the fabric and at the center of my dress form, matched pins and placed the fabric there. I marked out my box pleats where I wanted them to be and folded the fabric at that point. I had the giant pleats on the inside, didn’t like that. The pleats facing outward looked better and I placed a mark with an erasable pen.

I rounded out the edge at the bottom on one side. Then I took it off of my mannequin. Folded the piece in half and matched the sides together to cut out the pieces. I placed this piece back on my dress form to double check the fit and placement of the pieces. It looked great. Don’t forget to round out the top edge. If the top edge is straight, then the fabric will ripple at the bum. Unsightly and that’s not how you want it to look. You want it to be sleek with a slight curve at the bottom.

Use the outer piece to get the pattern transferred to the lining piece. If you’re like me and bought a fabric you assumed was sixty-inches and was only 58”, this is the time where you shave off the sides at the bottom. I had to keep cutting as I went to get the correct width of the lining at the bottom. It wasn’t pleasant at all, but I managed to do it. After shaving it down I pinned the fabric right sides together and sewed all the edges shut but a five-inch gap.

Clip the curves and corners to help your fabric lie flat while you sew it. Unfold the fabric and pin the edges to do the top stitching and sealing the edge. Pin this back to your mannequin and take a spare bit of muslin and pattern the front pieces. Make the front pieces longer than the pink under layer.

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Cut the fabric from the gold satin. If you want the matte look of this gown, and by matte the gown I made I used the inside because the outside looked ridiculously shiny.

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Fold all the edges inward by a quarter inch. And then again inward by a quarter inch. If you are confident not sewing it down, you can just double fold the edge like I did. It is much faster.

Sew the front pieces to the back of the gown, right sides together. All edges are encased and not showing. And less prone to fraying unless you are very heavy on your gowns; like you’re constantly stepping and tugging and you damage them easily. I usually do not.

The only thing that remains is the cut out 2 five inch wide white strips by two yards long, again using the inside of the fabric as your outside. We don’t want this shiny and the gold not. Interface the white fabric because this will be fragile and needs to have the ability to hold all the embroidered and beaded circles.

To sew down the white fabric strip you need to put the right side facing the fabric, two inches from the edge of the fabric. Sew down the edge facing the edge of the fabric. When you fold over this part you will have a two in white strip. Then fold over the other edge encasing the golden fabric between this piece and over the back of the fabric. Sew down.

The white strip of the fabric is finished and you only have to sew down the circles and the cording. I managed to have time to sew the circles down with a straight stitch and a zipper foot. I do have a cording foot I can use to sew on the cord I bought for this project. I will sew the cording on before the next time that I wear this. I think.

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 I am sorry that there aren’t very many pictures of this piece of the project or the bodice. I got in a bit of a time crunch to get everything finished. I hope I managed to describe this to the best of my abilities. As always, if you have any questions please let me know. Until next time, bye.

Anastasia Ending Ball Gown Part 2 Underskirt

The underskirt is a fairly simple piece to make. It is similar to other skirts I have made in the past. Still different than the one used for Inara Serra white/Gold Gown. I went a little off script for this piece. The dress in the movie is based on a Russian Court dress from the era that the Grand Duchess Anastasia has lived in. This style has been seen throughout the 1890-1910 range of court dresses.

In the movie, the underskirt is just seen as a pink/fuchsia color of satin I am assuming. I liked that idea, but when I went to my local JoAnn’s and saw this beautiful scrollwork chiffon I had to have it. I picked up eight yards total, even though I knew I wouldn’t need it all, but I got it for a future use as well. It has no purpose as of yet, but I am sure I can think of something later on to use it for. In addition to the chiffon, I picked up this fuchsia satin, four yards of it. I am hoping to use all of it, because I will say this now it is not my best color. However, it is accurate to the show.

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If you want to make the underskirt completely accurate, you can forgo the scrollwork chiffon on top. You may need to find another pink matte satin fabric, because the Casa I picked up is discontinued, which is a bummer. It is not the best pink I have ever found, but I would have liked a little more leeway with my sewing projects. Especially when I have not designed the piece yet.

Now that we can go ahead and get started. I took a muslin sheet and brought it to my mannequin who is currently wearing three petticoats I have made, I may decide to remove one of them later on, but for right now I like the look with three of them. (Also, I may make a new one in place of the one on top currently, only because I made that for another person, and I am sure she will want it back at some point.)

Onto officially starting on the overskirt. To start have all your petticoats, if you are having any, and lay your muslin on top of them, lying flat at the waist. Pull it down to the bottom. Make sure the straight edge is in the front. Mark out where you want the underskirt to start and where you want it to end. I let mine go a little past the floor, just a couple inches. I needed a bit of room available to make sure I could hem the skirt where I wanted it to end.

142Leave this piece pinned here, but carefully cut around the edge. Pin the other piece of muslin to the back of the mannequin, the same way as the first, except with the straight edge at the center back. Pull flat and mark out where you want this length to end and where the edges meet up at the side. I made sure to leave a little room to err on the side of caution.

Transfer the muslin pattern to wrapping paper. Make sure to add seam allowances at this point. I failed to do this because of the size of the wrapping paper, but I added seam allowances onto my fabric as I cut it out. I first cut out all the satin pieces on the fold and then used the satin pieces unfolded to cut out of the scrollwork chiffon.

A little heads up; I am nowhere near a professional status when it comes to working with chiffon. I do not know how to hem it and it slips about. I do have a knife that is heated that should cut and heat the edges for a professional look. But I cannot get my knife to get hot enough. Therefore, I researched online and most people I saw used a special hem foot for their regular machine, I don’t have one of those. And I tried to use my serger to have a narrow hem, but I cannot figure out how to do that with my machine. (If you know, please let me know in the comments below.)

Onto the construction portion of this blog post, I pinned the fabric right sides together. Satin to satin. And chiffon to chiffon. I sewed down the edges of both sides. Leaving an 8-inch gap at the top of the left side of the skirt. Maybe it would be easier if I had the opening on the right side, because I am right handed, but oh well. That should not be a huge issue. At least not to my knowledge.

Fold inward the edge twice encasing the raw edge inside as to avoid fraying and sew this done. Use lots of pins. I am hoping to get a narrow hem foot myself for a maybe easier task or to learn how to use my serger for this process instead.

I followed the same steps for hemming the satin.  The satin layer turned out much better than the chiffon layer did, but I knew it would be like that, because chiffon likes to slip under the foot sometimes if you are not careful. Staystitch the tops of the skirts together so you can treat this as one piece for when you add the waistband.

The waistband was a bit of a tricky one, as I have mentioned before I was unsure if I was going to use an elastic, drawstring, or hook and eyes, buttons. I wasn’t sure until the time came to add the waistband. I went with buttons. It meant I needed to cut the waistband slightly larger than I needed it to be, so the end could overlap the other side for better closing. You will need to interface the satin for it to stiffen and sit nicely at the waistband. If you don’t, be aware that the waistband can warp over time. Albeit I won’t be wearing this costume every day. Maybe only a handful of times total. Nevertheless, it will remain in my collection for future use if I need to wear it again.

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Interface the fabric according to the instructions. (My ironing board is currently now my bench. Sturdy and made of wood. I covered it in pretty in pink hot air balloon fabric. Sandwiched the batting in the middle, two layers for protection. The reason I needed a sturdy ironing board is because my expensive ironing board that was only really used these past two years warped and became unusable. It was badly warped from ironing on the interfacing. It required a damp towel to iron over the fabric until the towel was dry. Which made the metal bow in certain areas. I have yet to purchase a new one, considering the places I have stopped at were poor quality.)

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After you interface the back of the satin band, staystitch the chiffon to the outside. You will need two pieces of satin the same length and one piece of chiffon. Interface the backs for both satin pieces. Staystitch the chiffon to one side around all edges. Then pin the satin with right sides together and sew along the top and side edges. Fold one side inward a half inch and iron it to keep it out of the way. I recommend the back piece without chiffon, because when you sew the piece to the skirt you will sew the outside down first so you can hand sew the inside in place.

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Pin the chiffon piece right sides together with the chiffon skirt. Pin the ironed portion up and out of the way from the machines needle. The last thing you want to do is have to unstitch this portion to resew it correctly. Sew a narrow straight or zigzag stitch along the top. Unpin the ironed piece out of the way and lay flat against one side. Here is where you can either stitch in the ditch or do a ladder stitch inside, even a slipstitch, or a whipstitch.  Any way of sealing up the edge inside the channel. As long as it isn’t noticeable on the outside of the garment.

The hardest part for me was the buttons and buttonhole. I have a machine that does an automatic buttonhole. So that part fairly easy. It was deciding what buttons to use with this project. I scoured my JoAnn’s store and wasn’t sure what I wanted to use. The choice was limited to the color palette of the fabric, which is a light pink with iridescent shimmers to it. I bought pink buttons, but misplaced them in a safe place. (Probably that safe place that I lose everything in.) I instead used a purple button.

After you do the automatic buttonhole on the flap that hangs off the waistband, find the spot on your body where you want the waistband to close at and sew the button on that spot. There were two options for buttons, shank and regular. Obviously I want with the regular choice, as the shank buttons would be too much of a nuisance on a skirt that is supposed to be under the corset/bodice. It would add too much bulk underneath.

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That is the end for this post. I hope the instructions along with the pictures were easy to follow. As always, if you have any questions leave them in the comments below. Thank you for reading this long piece about the simple process of the underskirt. The underskirt took less time than the petticoat although this post is longer.

Sorry for the fabric just thrown onto the pile, that pile is labeled the What I Plan To Work On Next Bin. Now replaced with a pretty bin. And I almost never work on what is in there. Because I am always sewing for the next event or con. Although I do manage to sew some every day kind of clothes here and there. If that is something you are interested in reading about, please let me know.

Until next time, bye.