Chobits cosplay – part one

Well, I’m going to be quite busy with work stuff over the next few weeks, and most likely won’t be doing much sewing.  I should pick it up again sometime after February.  In the meantime, though, I did get a bit of a start on my cosplays!

I went to Vogue Fabrics on Sunday to shop for fabric for the Chobits dresses, and I came back with matching pink and black rayon mystery fabric – it’s lightweight and really drapey, and had a similar feel to some silk that I was eyeing at the store, which would have cost three times as much.  I was so excited to start working on these gowns that I got started right away when I got home.

The first thing I did was to design an underskirt, to act as a base for all those giant poofs and ruffles.  For the pink dress, I used some white shantung as a base, which I happened to have laying around (see, I’m already sticking to my stash-busting!)  The skirt is hi-low, with a very slight train.

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I marked out lines where I wanted to attach my poofs.  The plan was to gather and stitch each section on by hand, to ensure everything “poofed” exactly how I wanted it to.  The bottom two areas are where two tiers of wide ruffles would go, the two uneven tiers above that were for poofs, and the top of the skirt would have one giant poof going all the way around.  There would also be a smaller ruffle around the entire hem of the skirt.  I knew this was going to be a lot of finicky hand sewing, but I was still eager to get to it (nothing gets my motivation going more than a pretty poofy dress.)

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I figured it would be easiest to start from the bottom, so I did my two ruffles at the train, and added the hem ruffle.  You can see how much weight just those ruffles added, as it’s dragging the skirt down already.  Even though my fabric was really lightweight, it’s still going to be a lot of fabric on this skirt in the end.

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I used some tulle underneath where I marked my first poof to go, to add a little oomph – I didn’t want to end up with a saggy, sad pouch of fabric where there should be a glorious fluff.

I got as far as pinning my first poof on before I called it quits for this week.  You can see that it’s quite heavy (the weight of the skirt dragged my dress form down; it shouldn’t be quite that long on me when I’m wearing it.  Only an inch or two will touch the floor.)  All of this work so far has taken me about… 8 or 9 hours, I’d say.  I did all the ruffles on the machine, but everything was attached to the skirt by hand.  So I’ve got quite a bit more ahead of me.  Unfortunately, this dress is going to have to wait a few more weeks to get touched again!

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