Final Episode concert dress/Lion OP dress
Last Updated: 03-04-2009
Okay, I'll be adding to this periodically as there's lots to write.
Wig and ankle boots are the only things I bought for the costume. Everything else was made from scratch and believe me, finding all these shades of purple was interesting, after studying the Lion OP animation and the final episode. Certain pieces were supposed to match in color, and I found there to be roughly 3 main shades of purple/lavender, so I'll group the parts together that used the same material.
Gloves & Thigh-highs: I used a dark purple lycra that I've had for years in my bins. Glad to finally use it! For the glove pattern, I used the dismantled remains of a pair of satin-stretch gloves. I had to make these twice as I really hate sewing gloves on the sewing machine, but my attempt to backstitch the seams by hand just wasn't coming out nicely. So after wasting many hours, I scrapped the first attempt and made sure to stay patient with my sewing machine while sewing the finger piping in... But I'm happy with how they came out!
Anyway, the leggings are off the same self-made pattern I've used before, basically lying down and making a trace of my leg and adding seam allowance. They are actually stirrups on the bottom, so the boots cover that nicely. The smaller one was just the same pattern but trimmed about mid-shin. The inner seams are serged, then the stirrups are top-stitched back with a zigzag. The upper thigh one has wide elastic sewn into the top portion to help hold up the legging. I made a mock-elastic topstitch on the smaller legging as it's meant to droop. The little red "ribbon"along the thigh is a stretch suiting material that I made with a strip cut length-wise with the stretch. I serged one edge, ironed it over, trimmed the other side with my pinking shears and ironed that part over the serged side. I flipped it over and ran a wide zigzag along the top and made a smaller bit to make the bow, tacking that on top of the thigh loop. Since it's not as stretchy as the legging, but has give, I just tacked it in four spots with doubled thread. As yet, I'm using a garter belt to hold it up, but plan to experiment with some ideas my bf gave me.
Lavender dress: I actually had two other material choices (and purchases...) before settling with this dull lavender moleskin. I wasn't thrilled with the prior purchases, but was looking for something either flashy (fabric #1 crinkled satin) or stretchy (fabric #2 polyester knit). I hit up my local JoAnn Fabrics which was conveniently moving to a new location and was liquidating it's store. So I dropped a small chunk on fabrics, but with lovely 60-70% discounts, especially when I just bought what remained on the bolts. Hence, I fell in love with the moleskin as it was one-way stretch, soft, and amazingly priced. Now comes the pattern hassle... Hah! I had this costume bulk pattern that included a tutu that looked like it would work for both the top of the dress and the crinoline underneath. I've never dealt with a more STUPID pattern in my life with weird darting and terrible sizing! Luckily, I had so much fabric so the first cut pieces became my mock-up and eventual pattern. So the top is lined, with the waist up high, ending in a circle skirt. I serged the edge of the skirt and used a blind-hem stitch to finish off that. The dress zips up the back, from halfway up the skirt.
Bow & Crinoline: The bow is actually 8 layers of two differents colors of purple tulle: a metallic purple and bright lavender. The layer order is 2 Lavender/4 Metallic/2 Lavender. The extra long tails unfortunately comprise of 4 tulle layers, as was running out of the tulle at that point. But both parts ended with shades that came out pretty close to the moleskin, so I'm happy with the way it turned out. To make the bow and extra tails, I ended up doing lots and lots of ironing and guesswork. I started with cutting the tulle into roughly 15 in wide strips and ending around 3.5 ft long. After ironing and pinning the layers together (many tedious hours!!), I used wide zigzag stitch to sew a very thin lavender ribbon to merge the layers. Since tulle shifts like crazy, the ribbon also gave me a way to have STRAIGHT edges, so I was able to trim off the excess along the ribbon's edge. Repeated on both sides of all ribbon pieces and then got to the wiring. In the end, the main bow is roughly 3 ft. long, with 22 guage floral wire run under the ribbon layer, between the zigzag stitching. The ribbon trim side is on the inside and the bow is tied so the ribbon also shows on the underside of the bow tails. The extra tails have no wire, and are slightly longer in length overall. I also rolled over the ribbon edge and stitched it down a second time as the ribbon just seemed to show a lot lighter than on the main bow. The extra tails are just slipped through the underside of the bow know, along with a large hair clip so the entire accessory just clips onto the back lacing of the corset.
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