Katherine Pierce – bodice, part two

I had to put this project on the shelf for a little while because of the convention and making costumes for that.  The last time I blogged about this costume, I had finished constructing the bodice and was getting started on the skirt.  I’m still a little frustrated with the skirt and it’s taking some time to work through the issues I’m having with it, but today I took some time to (almost) finish trimming the bodice.

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I ordered this lace from Lacebeauty on Etsy; I have ordered a few things from that shop before, and have been pleased with the lace I got every time.  I ordered six yards of this double-layer crocheted lace, intending to cut it apart to end up with twelve yards of trim.  I didn’t expect there to be so much room between the layers of lace, which left me with plenty of space to cut it apart and not lose any width.  All in all, I’m very happy with this lace! I spent a lot of time scouring both Etsy and Ebay to find the perfect lace for this costume.  The lace on Katherine’s dress looks like it’s actually eyelet lace (I can’t find any close-up shots of the dress to get enough detail) but the lace I bought is the same width and length, and has the same amount of pointiness (which was the deciding factor for me.)  Also, I’m not that fond of eyelet lace, so I was fine with compromising.

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I gave my lace a dye job with some Rit apple green liquid dye.  The piece on the right was my first test piece; much too dark.  The piece on the left was my second try after watering it down a bit, and was still rather darker than the lace on Katherine’s dress but very close to what I had in mind.  However, my whole batch turned out to be a bit darker than the left piece – somewhere in between the two.  Katherine’s lace is actually lighter in color than her dress – almost as lime-green as the mesh part of my lace – but I wanted the lace on mine to match the beads I bought, which were a bit darker than the dress fabric.

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One of the snags I ran into with the skirt was a shortage of fabric, which resulted in some major piecing to get everything there.  This left me nothing to make more trim with, so I switched to satin ribbon in an almost-perfectly-matching shade of green.  I used the dull side outward, rushed it, pressed it flat, and stitched int in place with the beads.  I bought two different sizes of beads in a dark iridescent green, and they stand out more than the ones on Katherine’s dress, so I used rather more of them.  I’m very happy with the way the trim turned out.

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After the beaded trim went on, I added lace to the waistline, sleeves, and neckline of the bodice.  I wasn’t crazy about the contrast of the dark lace and the light fabric at first – wishing I had been a little more light-handed with the Rit dye – but I’ve come to really like it now.  I think it adds a bit more interest to the costume than there is on the one in the show.  I still have to add ribbon and beads to the neckline, but for that I need to find my other spool of ribbon, which seems to have escaped the bag where I was keeping all the stuff for this project and wandered off somewhere.  I’m aiming to get that finished tomorrow, and maybe work a little on the skirt, although I don’t plan to get the skirt finished this week – I’m taking a break from the hardcore sewing this week.

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