For a while now, I really wanted to make something big, something where I spend all of my time, money and skills into one cosplay, just one for 2009. Last year I rewatched the Anastasia movie, and I immediately was like "I MUST DO THAT", and totally fangirled out. So of course for my big project, I wanted to make a gown, and Anastasia's never-the-less. I am an anime con rebel for wanting to do and compete with these non-anime/manga/Japanese culture!! Muaha-ha!
Made the dress out of bridal satin for most, with another fabric that I cannot name off of my head for the sash, and crepe-backed for the sleeves. Let me tell you, the fabric alone cost my $300!!
This was my first time ever-ever making a gown, and a lot of the things I had to do, beading, lining, petticoats, heming, etc. was my first time. I learned SO MUCH from this project, I am just surprised it turned out so well.
Started the dress from a pattern and with help from my sewing mentor, aka the woman with a serger, aka my best friend. But I had to make alterations because of the front slits and sleeves. I had a muslin made from my Belle dress last year, and so I was able to reuse that.
The boning and lining was a pain, I was going to kill the sleeve straps, the petticoat was horrible to work with, and attaching the bodice and skirt was difficult because of the weight and pulling. I sew like a drunkard and I was so nervous in topstitching the front panels (which turned out to be alright), and adding the hem was RIDICULOUS!
But if I must say, the inside and out is BEAUTI-FUL! Everything is serged and finished nicely, the underlining on the bodice looks surprisingly well, I added extra panels on the dress to make the dress look larger, I am such a perfectionist with this dress, and it makes everything so nice!
My favorite aspect of the whole dress is my 20 (or more hours) of beading. All of the 14 circles on top and bottom were hand beaded by myself. First time beading too. At the beginning I was just so excited about the whole dress but 15 hours later I was getting ready to throw the dress into a fire (like the many times I wished before). I got A LOT of beads, and they are a mix of gold and pink. The pink discontinued and I ran out, so I had to call 4 other Michaels and travel an hour each way for the beads. So you'll never see anything like it. The swirls are made with iron on sequincing which was later glued in place for support or sewed over. Funny how after this project the sequince doesn't stick on!
The tirara was a total trial-and-error thing. I was planning to glue on individual iron-on sequencing but when I bought the jewels and set it out, I realized my crown looked like it took $5 to make it, and truthfully it literally cost me $5. It was cheap and it looked like a disco ball for the rave. In the end I glued a mass of glitter mixed with beads on embroidery stablizer with poster as support. Sounds last minute, but it looked fantastic and matched my $70 spot on jewelry I bought from a boutique (tried buying from Claires but their jewelry was CRAP and when I did buy one it was too small because it was ment for little kids) I was planning on buying the crown and just giving up on accuracy, but I am so glad I stuck with it.
The wig was a pain too. I SUCK AT WIGS. I have ruined so many wigs it's not funny. I bought a short wig and added a clip-on extension on top it was full and large just the way I wanted it. Anastasia's hairstyle is CRAZY so I simply tried my best while adding my own twist to it. I wish I could redo the redo bangs, and make the whole thing look cleaner. When I was getting prejudged I woke up an hour late and had to get ready in the car, Throughout the con it caused me problems, with one jerk the tiara weighed down along with the extension and it would start to slip off. Stupid wig. This maybe a stupid wig, but it's my best yet!
For this costume, I was so worried about not looking "in character enough". So with the help of cos.com and their forums I learned all new makeup tricks, and eyebrow tricks and purchased myself $70 of makeup for this. I also got blue contacts for this cosplay. I have been told by A LOT of people I look like Mulan, and while wearing this I was told by a couple I looked like Anastasia, so I guess I did alright.
I met so many nice people and amazing cosplayers it's not even funny. I also won Best Journeyman, and as a novice. I am still so SHOCKED!! I am at loss of how awesome everything is. I didn't realize how awesome that is until I went home and looked on the categories online. I nearly choked on my soda.
This project took roughly 65 hours
14 yards of fabric
and cost me $500, I saved all of my birthday and Christmas money, skimped and saved for this dang dress!!
This is really the first thing I am proud about. I LOVE THIS COSTUME! IT WAS SO WORTH IT!
Best Journeyman @ Metrocon 2009