Friday, December 7, 2012

Steampunk Irene Adler -- Construction

This is post number two about the construction of my 2012 Halloween costume, when I dressed up as Irene Adler.  To see all three posts, click the label for "Steampunk Irene Adler".

First up, my fabric and trim for my dress (I say dress, but I mean jacket and skirt): synthetic purple fabric, and super-synthetic green fabric).

Lots and lots of purple fabric. I think I got something like 8 yards. . .   of 60" fabric.
I also decided at some point that I really needed an underdress/petticoat, so I got a few yards of off-white cotton too.  Here are some complete pics of the underdress, which is from Butterick's B3906.  It was super easy to whip up so the few in-progress pictures I took aren't that interesting.  The most notable thing about making this was that it was the first thing I made with my sewing table...  The dress looks like a nightgown on its own or a rather froo-froo pirate with the corset (and a poodle).

That black thing attached to me is my puppy.
 Skipping ahead to the jacket.  Here I am, modeling my jacket.  I would like to note that this is the first jacket and the first pair of long sleeves I have ever made.

Wrinkles in the back because someone is too lazy to line her jacket with anything substantial, add boning, or at the very least wear a corset whilst trying her jacker on.

Testing sleeve length because I thought I was all that jazz.

Yay!  Two sleeves and it's actually starting to look like a real jacket!

My other dog, who is ridiculously photogenic and absolutely the sweetest most gorgeous thing ever.
Skipping ahead to the weekend before Halloween!  The jacket has just been finished and the skirt is not done yet.  I decided to add a panel of pleats made with leftover fabric from the jacket lining because I thought the whole outfit would look overwhelmingly purple otherwise.  This was not the best decision I've made, but it was not a total failure.

I insisted I needed a dress form to drape the bustle on so I borrowed a toddler-sized one from my mom's friend, who makes stuff for her grandchildren.  I tied two pillows around it to add girth and then put my corset on over the pillows to give it a bit of shape.  It worked well enough for my needs, since I just wanted something to hold the skirt whilst I pinned and sewed the bustle.  The makeshift dress form most definitely made it infinitely easier to pin up 3 yards of 60" fabric!

And here's a picture of the completed jacket and skirt on the makeshift dress form, which is barely even a human figure!

As for props, this is the only in-progress picture I took, and I think I took it mainly to capture the difference between the "aged" goggle piece on the left and the "freshly-painted" one on the right.  You can read a bit more about it on my Tumblr blog.

I would just like to note that a lot of the disparaging comments I made about my costume are not what I felt at the time I made it.  I was so proud to show it off at school on Halloween and I had a blast wearing it.  It is only now, over a month later -- a month which I have spent learning more about sewing -- that I am realizing things I should have done differently.  It's a little bit painful to show everyone pictures of this dress because I know that there are much nicer things out there, and this is by no means impressive, but it is the first real costume I have ever made for myself.   

Up next -- the complete costume! (link to come)

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