I’ve officially hit that point where I am way the heck behind on my sister’s and my convention costumes. I have three to make for each of us; as of the start of this week, I had one of them started, and nothing else. So it’s time to get my butt in gear with these things.
On Saturday of the convention, we’re planning to do sort-of matching Vocaloid costumes.
My sister wanted to do Megpoid (the green one) and she picked out Meiko (in red) for me. These are costumes I love. Big and fluffy and ruffly. Immediately I knew what I wanted: yards and yards… and yards… of tulle.
I knew these skirts were going to be a pain so I decided to get them out of the way first this week. I went out and got a few bolts worth of tulle, and some matching colored broadcloth for the skirts. I began with a simple circle skirt pattern:
Then, before cutting into my tulle, I sat down with a calculator, a pen and paper, and a stumped expression, and did some math. and some calculating. and some more math. and still more math.
The truth is, I almost never measure or calculate anything when I sew, and that does fairly often come back to bite me in the ass. Even when I do, I somehow always get things wrong. For instance, I figured that I needed nineteen pieces of 10″ by 28″ to make the ruffle that would go at the hem of the skirt, and I ended up using fifteen. That might have been due to under-gathering in some spots, but that’s still a lot of extra yardage to waste. So anyway, after that, I went back to my usual method of doing things: eyeballing it.
I made a makeshift cutting board out of some other fabric I had at hand, because no way can I cut nineteen straight lines in tulle. I can maybe do it in regular fabric.
Four little piles of tulle strips. I sewed them together, end t0 end. I was so happy when I was finished because it seemed like I had not screwed it up and gotten some of the seams on the wrong side… when it turned out that I had, in fact, somehow flipped it over halfway through, so half of my seams went one way and half went the other. Not that you can tell, it’s tulle.
I folded the entire long as hell strip in half, pressed it (carefully) so it would hold a crease, and then I sewed a loooong piece of cord down one side for gathering. I’m really fond of cord gathering, rather than doing it on a thread. Then I sewed the whole mess to the hem of the skirt.
Here it is with one tier of ruffles, just the one at the hem.
Here it is with two. The second tier was two inches longer than the first, and sewn on right above it. But already I knew that if I kept going like this, not only would I need a gajillion yards of tulle, but the shape wasn’t what I wanted. So for the next layer, I went back to 5″ wide ruffles, and sewed them to a long piece of green broadcloth, which was then gathered and stitched down two inches under the waistline.
The inside of the skirt, with the “yoke”. Not the easiest thing to assemble – I kind of went about the whole skirt backwards, I think.
It was still not quite enough poof. I took my remaining tulle and cut it into four 18″ wide strips, which were joined together, and folded in half to make 9″. This I gathered and stitched down on the underside of the yoke, to give the hip part of the skirt a little more oomph.
The completed skirt, laying flat(ish), and a view of the poof.
And here it is on my dress form – complete with an underskirt view ;D
Tomorrow, I tackle the red version of this poofy mess, which is going to have twice as many ruffles! We’ll see if I can finish it in a day; this green one took me two afternoons, but I probably could have finished it in one day if I’d gotten out of bed earlier.