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Unread 01-11-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
Chaobunny-san
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Anchoring "wire" to a dress

I'm making a Princess Yue cosplay. Here is a picture of the cosplay from NYCC: http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psff35bd51.jpg

Basically, I'm trying to redo the "floaty" part that drapes around the lower part of her dress. Ordinary wire (I tried 2 different types, one of which is in the above picture) just wasn't strong enough, and I had to hold it up in several places with safety pins throughout the convention and still the wire drooped. After trying some thick heavier-duty copper wire from Home Depot earlier today, I was at a loss where to get better wire. I remember that at NYCC some guy recommended coat hangers, which I didn't give much thought to at the time, but I rooted through my closet and found a few wire coat hangers. Not ideal, since they aren't long enough so I'll have to use a few, but I did a quick test run and they certainly support the weight of the fabric when I hold the wire frame around the dress just so.

My main issue here is really securing the wire-lined fabric to the dress at the right angle, so that the weight of the wire doesn't cause it to fall over. I plan on doing this in a sideways "U" shape on either side of the dress--secured in the mid-back and the mid-front of the dress and "floating" outwards in a curved shape. The fabric of the dress is fragile (a layer of chiffon over a layer of satin) so I have to be careful not to rip it. Any advice on going about this?
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Unread 01-11-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
FeyMeggan
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A reference image for the outfit would be helpful. It makes it a bit easier to see the problem than just a shot of what you've made.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 08:21 AM   #4
Penlowe
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A coat hanger is usually 12-18 gauge wire (depending on the variety). The bigger the number the smaller the wire. Those wimpy white hangars from the dry cleaners are 20 gauge, the suit variety are closer to 12.
Ok, go back to Home Depot, look in the same aisle where screws & small fixtures are. They will have a variety of wire in coiled packages, mostly OOK brand. I prefer 14-16 for most projects where the wire needs to support something. (I can still cut this size easily with wire nippers by hand).

You want the wire one continuous piece all the way around the dress. That is the key to it both looking good and not jabbing you in the butt with sharp pokey ends when you sit.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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Okay I just checked and the wire that I got before (that didn't work) was Southwire coated copper wire (the kind of stuff you normally use for wiring to TVs and stuff). There was a 12 on the package so I thought that meant it was 12 gauge wire but I really doubt it because of how easily it bent under the weight of the fabric, which is nowhere near the strength of the white coat hangers I found in my closet, which you say are around 20 gauge.

I'll try and go back tomorrow--so OOK is the brand I should look for? I'm just bummed I can't return the other stuff since I already cut it but at least now I know for the future.

So I just found this online--something like this? http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/1002009....U PIjnWfNmSo
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Unread 01-13-2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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YES! That's exactly it!
The wire you bought is electrical, the 12 was it's rating for type of appliance it can be used in (lamps, clocks etc). That is actually multiple hair fine wires coated in plastic, thus the wimpy factor.
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Unread 01-13-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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Thank you so much for your help! I finally got it working! =D

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...pse2819c9f.jpg

One last thing--would you recommend sewing it to the dress so it stays secure (it is currently held on with safety pins) or would it be best for traveling purposes to just pin it on so it can easily be removed?
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:57 AM   #8
Penlowe
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Neither. I'd sew a tiny tab with heavy duty snaps to the dress where you want the wire to attach and either loop it around or have a matching tab on the wired section. Snaps are more reliable than velcro when you want a very small area of attaching. If your pins are in more than one area, so will you need snaps & tabs in more than one area.

Pins will pull & tear your dress with movement. Sewing makes it difficult to pack, travel & wash.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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I'm not the most experienced, so I'm kind of embarrassed to ask what you mean by a tab--do you mean attach a small piece of fabric to the dress where the wire will attach?

Also, would snaps be the only thing that would work? I have a few hooks and eyes on hand that I thought might do the trick, if I'm understanding what you recommended. That would save me a trip to the store but I'll get the snaps if that is best.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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Yeah, you get the idea, something belt loop sized (actually, shorter if you go with the tab-to-wire version), but only anchored to the dress at one point, the other end either looping around the wire & hooking/ snapping to itself or to a mate on the wire.

Pant type hooks & eyes will work, the tiny ones meant for the tops of zippers on dresses won't be strong enough.
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