inspired by the face character design
Last Updated: 10-30-2009
Iíd made a Tink costume based on her appearance in Disneyís Peter Pan before, but decided on something different after seeing the new Tinkerbell Movie. My inspiration was the Disney theme park face charactersí costumes. They used such wonderful fabric, that I really wanted to copy the style. However, I didnít want to stay entirely accurate to the precise design, especially when itís all so intricate and I didnít feel capable of copying it well (if I had an airbrush, that might have helped!) I also wanted to take aspects from other references, such as her pointy ears, and blue wings. Mainly, I just wanted to create a leafy effect (like in the movie) and the general idea of the face character design. I rushed to finish this costume for AX 2009 when a wee Peter Pan group was proposed, and later took the time to improve it for AyaCon and London Expo in October. Hopefully I can get a full Disney Fairy group together some day!
After failing to find any leafy or mottled fabric to save me some work, I settled on a plain green fabric and decided to detail it and colour it myself. I chose a horrific green stretch crushed velveteen for the dress, because it was cheap and the right sort of colour and texture I was going for. Since I would later be painting it, I hoped that would reduce the horror. My pattern was made from scratch, working with spare stretch fabric as a mock-up. I made a basic dress with just side seams, then doodled all over the mock to mark out the curved seams I wanted, the neckline and zigzag hem, then chopped it up to use as my final pattern. It took several tries to get it right and was decidedly not easy fitting it correctly with the curved panels. The completed dress is fully lined to deal with the zigzag hem, and due to the stretch fabric, it just pulls on and off. Initially I used clear straps, primarily to support the wings, but I later found a more secure way to wear the wings, so could leave everything strapless. It doesnít stay up perfectly, being just a stretchy dress, but itís worth the awkwardness to avoid straps! I put bendy wire in the hem around the sweetheart neckline, and also use some tape, which keeps it all in place.
With my dress finished, I was able to work on the fabric to have it match the designs. I used a simplified batik method - drawing out the leaf veins in tacky glue, then painting the dress darker in a couple of shades of acrylic spray paint. The glue scraped off after being soaked in water, and the paint mostly didnít, leaving behind the veins in a paler shade. I think the lines could be better and my final colour paler, but Iím still very happy with the effect. Iím glad I made the lines quite thick, since they photograph clearly. Finally, I glued on loads of rhinestones, as on the wings. As an amusing addition, I pinned bells to the inside of the dress around the hem, so I could jingle wherever I went!
My wings are made from 2mm steel wire, which I bent to form the outline. For AX, I had wire prongs which slotted into channels sewn to the lining of my dress. Although itís a nice secure attachment method, unfortunately, as the dress itself isnít capable of supporting much, I still needed straps to hold everything up. For my second set of wings, I used my strapless bra (lol) to secure the wings along with an elastic strap around my torso, which avoided shoulder straps. My first set of wings were covered in organza, but I found it very hard to get it neat on the larger wing shape. I decided to remake them, and hit upon stretching tights over the wire frame. I got hold of sheer pale blue tights which were perfect, and this method is idiot-proof enough for even me to get it neat! The swirl patterns were drawn on with glitter glue, and I also glued on the same rhinestones like on the dress. I later used watered down fabric paint to spray on a green gradient, like the park costumes have. The paint was actually left over from my experiments in choosing a paint to spray the dress, so it was good to find a use for it.
I really like how my wig turned out, and it was also very easy style. I bought two identical short wigs cheaply on Ebay. One was the base, the other was used for the bun. Buying two wigs ensured the colours matched, handily meant everything was all conveniently wefted for me, rather than dealing with loose extensions. The base wig was parted, had the fringe cut in and was trimmed to suit. I decided to wear the pointy ears from Hightower Crafts which I originally bought for my Peter Pan costume, and cut the wig to ensure it somewhat covers the join on my ears. For the bun, I initially hacked up a styrofoam ball to the right size and hollowed it out. I then wrapped the second wig around it, hairsprayed it in place, and sewed it to the base wig using a curved needle. Some organza ribbon completes it. I later redid the bun to alter its shape and size, this time wrapping the wig around a cylinder of cardboard, and safety pinning it in position.
The shoes are ballet flats from Primark, which had their leathery surface sanded off (never again) then were painted with acrylic to match the dress. I couldnít find pompoms large enough, and didnít want to make my own from wool, so I ended up using fur fabric, which turned out ok.
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