Black Lady – part one

I did say I was going to make a post about a costume I’d worked on this week.  It’s just not the one I intended to work on!

I was feeling inspired by all my planning for Anime-Zap! and the presence of a bunch of JoAnn Fabrics coupons in my wallet, so I decided to start working on my Black Lady gown, which is definitely the easiest part of all the costumes I’ve chosen for the con.  the gown is simple in design and construction, but I did hit a roadblock when it came to fabrics.

ever since I read the Sailor Moon manga as a kid, Black Lady’s character design had always been one of my favorites, even though she was a short-lived character.  so when I started thinking about how I was going to make this costume, I found that the image I had in my head of what it was going to look like was the same image I had first developed as a kid, and I was really particular about it.  in the art book, there is a comment that says her gown is made of black satin and organdy.  the problem is that I loathe satin almost with a passion – I’m hugely picky about satin and I hardly ever use it (in fact I don’t like fabrics that shine or shimmer in general.)  I went with black peach skin for the gown, which has a really luxurious look and feel to it and drapes more nicely than satin.  I did use pink casa satin for the lining, partly because it was on sale for $3 a yard, and partly because I couldn’t find anything I liked better in a color I could tolerate (although the satin is in a glaringly bubblegum-ish hue, it doesn’t bother me too much because you hardly see it.

I chose pink organza in the same shade of pink as the lining for the bodice and sleeves of the dress.  I would have preferred something a little darker pink (and not shimmery) but it actually looks better than I expected in combination with the dark dress, and it complements the lining.


I was lazy and I didn’t take any pictures of construction, but there wasn’t much too it.  I drafted the patterns for both the dress and the bodice on my dress form.  the gown is fully lined in pink casa satin.  it also has a gore in the back of the skirt and a very slight train.  the sheer bodice is a separate piece which goes to the waist – kind of inspired by 18th and early 19th century chemisettes.  it is open in the back.

there’s a little more to do here – after scouring the internet for days, I found the exact perfect jewels to go on the collar and cuffs of the gown, so once those arrive they’ve got to be sewn on.  I also ordered some pretty black lace to fancy the gown up a bit, which will arrive in a month or so.  and there is a chiffon panel that goes on the inside of the skirt, but it needs to be hemmed on all four sides and that’s some work that I’ll save for another day.

as for the rest of this costume, I still need to make the jewelry and the shoes, and of course the wig, which will be an adventure.  so look forward to a few more posts before Black Lady is finished.


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