the “Kiki” Dress

My sister and I are going to be hitting up Anime Central for three days this year – and since time is short, I figured I could make one new costume for each of us and we could reuse some of the ones from the last convention (my Black Lady cosplay is something I definitely want to wear again.)  However, since none of my other projects are going right at the moment, I was feeling frustrated today and I wanted to do something else, something easy to get me out of my funk.  Well, there’s a super-easy cosplay that I’ve always wanted to do – Kiki, from Kiki’s Delivery Service, one of my favorite movies.  So, I thought about what I wanted my cosplay to look like, made a run to the fabric store, and started and finished this cosplay today.

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Katherine Pierce’s green gown from The Vampire Diaries

Have you ever just seen a costume – in a picture, a movie, or read in a book – and knew at that first look that you were someday going to have that costume?  Of course, there are tons of fabulous movie and TV show costumes that I would love to be able to make, but I definitely don’t have the time or resources to ever get to everything on my dream costume list.  But this costume would not let itself not be made.

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The Borgias, take two – first photos

I don’t know why Halloween makes me long for Renaissance fashion.  I did a Borgias-inspired gown last year, and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with it – for one thing, it wasn’t very Halloween-y; it was pink and blue.  I tried really hard to resist temptation to even make a Halloween costume this year, because I’m really behind on other projects as it is, but I gave in and started on one this week.  Here are some preemptive pics of the almost-finished product.

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I’ll cover the construction in the next post, but it basically went the same as my costume from last year.  The first two pics are before the sleeves went on, and I threw on my Ever After chemise underneath just to see how it looked (it was a tight squeeze, too.)  I’ve got some finishing touches to get done tonight – more trim and more pearls on the sleeves – but it’s essentially finished!  Not bad for ~3 days of work.

Capes!

Seems like fall is the perfect time to think about capes.

I know I’ve been lax in updating lately; I haven’t had much going on.  I got kicked in the teeth by Real Life the past few weeks so costuming is on hold (which reeeeally pains me to say because the months are ticking away toward January so quickly!)  recently, I sold my first custom order through my Etsy store, which I feel is a big step!  I meant to dedicate a lot more time to beefing up my store over the summer, but what with one thing and another, it got put on the back burner.  I’d like to start putting more effort into it now that things have calmed down a (very) little bit.

anyhow, my first sale was an 18th century wool cloak, which turned out quite beautifully!  then, at a department store the other day, I was wandering around the accessories area when I happened upon racks and racks of capes for fall!  capes everywhere!  I tried on a bunch for fun, and remembered how much I love a good cape.  of course, when I checked the price tags, my enthusiasm popped like a balloon.  who’s gonna pay $150 for a fleece cape?!  and naturally, I thought: why not make my own?

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this was the cape I liked and used as my inspiration.  what was the price on this cape, you ask?  $120.  I headed over to the fabric store, grabbed some rolls of fleece and faux fur out of the remnants bin, and got to work.

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a fairly unflattering picture of me wearing the finished product.

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this thing took me maybe a whole hour to whip together, and only that long because I hand-finished the edges where the fur is attached.  It’s basically a circle cloak, slightly stretched and gathered at the back neckline (inspired by 18th century cloaks, just because I like the look of it.)  It’s made of thick gray fleece and some shaggy faux fur.  it closes with a hook at the neckline.  it’s sort of an oblong circle, I suppose, because the center front and back are longer than the sides.  if I did it again, I’d make the sides longer.

gray fleece remnant: $3

faux fur remnant: $4

total cost: $7

can you even beat that?  huh?

blue taffeta round gown, part one

A few pictures to prove that the costume that I’ve mentioned twice now and have not yet posted about actually does exist!

I began this project earlier in the summer and was actually nearly finished with it before I got distracted with other things. my mum wanted to undertake her first 18th century gown and the best way I know to teach is to show, so I made one as well.

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and a few mirror shots of the first fully-constructed fitting I did:

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the construction was a little peculiar because my mum wanted to be able to wear her gown without stays or all the underpinnings of that era… the solution to that is, build the stays into the gown, a la the previous century.  I did it in mine as well even though I have a few pairs of stays.  I’m actually really pleased with the fit and the way it looks.  it laces up the front and has a placket to hide the lacing.  you can see that the underneath peeks out a little; if adding the trim doesn’t help to cover that, I’ll have to put some hooks there.

the bodice is made of two layers of heavy canvas with partial boning; the outer layer is blue taffeta (polyester, but it was on sale for $1.50 a yard, what was I to do?!) and lined in cotton from my mum’s stash with the most adorable pattern of teacups and teapots.  not quite period but certainly cute!  the skirt is essentially a separate piece and is tacked into the bodice at the waistline to make it “round gown-ish” but I’m not sure exactly what this style of gown would properly be called.

in my next post I’ll cover the trimming, which I’m working on at this moment, and I’ll maybe have some more pictures of the construction because I’m certain I took a bunch, I just can’t figure out which of my devices they’re on.