Linden + Jamie

Linden

Linden
1: top: Linden sweatshirt // shorts: American Eagle
2: top: Linden sweatshirt // pants: Jamie Jeans

Check out my review of the Linden over at the Dress Up Party!

In other news, I’ve been a bit of a Jamie Jeans factory lately. I realized that I’ve had exactly two pairs of jeans for the past year (or however long it’s been since I discovered I could make jeans and got rid of all my RTW pants) and that this is probably problematic. I made these a few weeks ago as a summery pair and I’ve been wearing the crap out of them. I used an 11oz denim with a tiny bit of stretch from Fabric.com.

These were almost a disaster. I forgot that I hadn’t thrown the fabric in the dryer when I pre-washed, and accidentally machine dried them after washing the sewn jeans for the first time. Suddenly tiiiny pants. Luckily I had had to take them in on the sides so my seam allowances were more than 3/8″ so I was able to take out the seams a bit and now they fit great! I also shortened them to more of an ankle length and they’re great with sandals and summery shoes.

Now I should probably invest in some summery shoes.

The cold bothers me a bit

ElsaJust a disclaimer, this is going to be a long post with a ton of photos! You’ve been warned. :]

Frozen came out in 2013 and I spent the better part of the next year hearing “You haven’t seen Frozen?? Why not? It’s so good, you’ll love it! You should watch it immediately.” Why not? Because of this post. I get a bit, shall we say cuckoo in the head with certain films/tv shows and develop an urgent need to run to the nearest fabric store to recreate 1-5 costumes. In 2013 I was in a place of definitely not having the time or funds to do so and even without having seen the movie I could tell Frozen was going to be one of those films. So I held off for about a year.

You guys, it was immediate. Within two days of seeing the movie I had a long list of things to buy and was spending 3-4 hours a day pricing fabrics and craft supplies and reading up on different techniques of creating the bodice and different fabric combinations for the whole outfit.

From start to finish I think this took about six months, although I wasn’t working on it continuously.

BODICE

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The bodice was definitely the most fun so it’s what I started with. I started off with Butterick 4254 View C and made a corset, complete with plastic boning. I used old cotton twill Ikea curtains for the outside, interfacing, and some turquoise rayon challis for lining. Once the corset was put together, it was time to figure out how to get the scaly rectangular effect of the bodice.

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There seemed to be two main techniques that were popular, which was using custom cut rectangle sequins and using glitter craft foam. I didn’t love the effect of the sequins so I went with the craft foam. I ordered eight sheets of turquoise glitter craft foam from this eBay seller (I ended up only using about five sheets). I experimented with rectangle sizes and ended up decided to cut them primarily in two sizes, bigger ones for the bottom layer and then smaller ones for a second layer to fill in any cracks where the white of the corset showed through. I used craft glue which worked pretty well, although I did notice when wearing the corset that some of the rectangles came off where there was a lot of motion, such as underarm areas and the bottom edge around my hips. I’ll have to do some maintenance and will probably look into a stronger adhesive for that.

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Once the glitter foam was glued on I used a combination of seed beads and square rhinestones as embellishment. Using reference photos, I concentrated most of them on the bottom edge. After that, I used spray glue and iridescent glitter to try to ombre the whole thing to be more screen accurate. I don’t think it made that much of a different, to be honest.

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For the closure, I used six silver grommets on either side and white cording for lacing. It’s not turquoise but it doesn’t show through the cape so I was fine with the effect. The only thing I don’t love is that it doesn’t look so good without the cape on since you can clearly see white laces and white where the turquoise rectangles stop.

SKIRT

Elsa

The skirt was easy to draft but kind of a pain to find fabric for. I was shopping for skirt fabric online right before my Taiwan trip and found this fabric, which seemed perfect except there was no way to touch it and make sure the color matched and it was a little more than I wanted to spend on just the skirt. I ended up holding off and then finding the most perfect fabric at a random fabric store that we wandered into on our first day there.

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It’s kind of a light sweater knit with gorgeous silver strands woven in and the color works beautifully with all of the other turquoise shades. I decided to line it with a mysterious Sewfisticated fabric that looks like a cross between rayon challis and some kind of crepe. Then I used ribbon to close the seam and to add extra shaping to the bottom edge of the skirt, kind of like a faux horsehair braid effect.

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Drafting the skirt was pretty simple. I basically just cut one piece for the front and two identical pieces for the back, allowing for a bit of a train. I made the skirt a little fuller than Elsa’s actual dress but it feels a little more princessy so I’m ok with it.

UNDERSHIRT

Elsa

The undershirt was a hilarious endeavor. I needed a raglan top made of mesh so it could be skin-tight and sheer so I bought some cream colored mesh and dyed it turquoise. Then I needed a raglan top and the Linden pattern I had just bought happened to be sitting next to me so I just decided to use that. I had to size down a lot and ended up taking in the sleeves an extra inch at the end but it worked really well. I omitted all of the bands and sewed a row of silver seed beads around the neckline. I also left the sleeve edges raw and cut them at an angle to be pointy.

I also did some last minute attempts to create the sleeve patterns with glitter and spray glue but ran out of time so I may have to go back and finish that someday.

CAPE

Elsa

The cape was so stressful but also so much fun! I started off with 5-6 yards of 60″ wide sheer curtain fabric from Sewfisticated.

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I cut out a super long cape and while it was gorgeous it still felt like it was missing something. I ended up getting two more yards and adding “wings” on either side so the edge of the cape hangs around the knees and doesn’t actually hit the ground. Much better. I used French seams and burned the open edges (yay polys!) to finish. In total the cape has five separate panels.

Elsa

Then came the hard part. Elsa’s cape has a giant pattern in it that’s super hard to see because of all the folds and super hard to recreate because of how massive my cape was. I used painter’s tape to tape the edges of the larger designs, and then used glitter and spray glue for the actual designs.

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I used a mix of iridescent glitter and glow in the dark glitter from Michael’s and I love the semi-glowy effect in the photos.

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The snowflakes were easier since it was just a matter of spacing them out evenly. I chose about 5-6 different snowflake designs and traced them onto sticky paper, then “laminated” them with packing tape.

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Then I cut them out and used/reused them as sticky templates with glitter and spray glue to make snowflakes all over the cape. The large center snowflake was harder because I had to sketch it out from a screen shot and make a special template for it that was much bigger. I love the effect though!

ACCESSORIES

Elsa

I spent a TON of time researching wigs because I’d never worn one before and it seemed like a lot of fun. I was originally going to go with a platinum blonde wavy one from one of the many reputable eBay wig sellers (like this one and this one) but then discovered Arda wigs.

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Arda actually released a wig specially designed for Elsa cosplayers that is almost perfect for recreating Elsa’s hairstyle. It’s super long and has layers cut into the front. It’s super nice quality and the Titanium Blonde color is so perfect for Elsa.

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For styling, I trimmed the layers a bit and used Got2B Glued hairspray (that stuff is no joke) to spray everything into place. I used a little bit of the Got2Bglued spiking gel that came with the spray to style the spikes above the braid too. I also trimmed about 3″ off the end of the braid because it was a bit too long. I ended up deciding the braid wasn’t thick enough and I bought a second crappy $10 Amazon wig to cut up and sew into the Arda wig, but the color was off and I ran out of time to find one that wasn’t orange. If I were to do it over I’d get some extra wefts in the same color from Arda and sew those in to make the braid more substantial.

I also bought these snowflake hair pins to decorate the braid.

For colored contacts, I bought a few different options because I had no idea what I was doing. These ones were probably the most natural. The diameter is the same as normal contacts and the blue is a pretty natural shade. I also picked up a pair of these for funsies (I’m wearing them a few photos up and in the photoshoot). They’re a larger lens and give you a bit more of a cartoon-ish (or “alien”, according to Boyfriend) look. Both pairs are good for a year upon opening the package. I also bought some single use disposable ones in Taiwan but never actually tried them out. Whoops.

Someday I might make Elsa’s shoes but since this was for PAX I wanted to make sure I could actually walk around all day. I ended up snagging a pair of athletic-looking silver flats that did the job nicely.

PHEW! The end.

Elsa

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Elsa
This pose is for Jenny.

I finally managed to go through the endless photos of Elsa and edit them and here they are. I’ve been so excited to share these!

These were taken at a lake in Plymouth, MA which somehow magically froze to 14″ this winter, making this photoshoot possible. Photo credit goes to some combination of my roomie, her dad, and her friend. This is such a fun costume to wear, especially when running into tiny humans at PAX and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Next up will be the process and materials used, so look for that in a few days.

Lady velvet

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IMG_3822dress: self-made, pattern here // shoes: Seychelles

*The fabric for this project was provided by Funki Fabrics and all opinions, anecdotes, and messy hand-stitching are my own.

I feel like a lot of my project posts start off as “So Katie from Skunkboy posted this awesome outfit and I ran off and copied it.” This is not dissimilar from those. At least it’s not Dear Creatures for the umpteenth time!

This dress was inspired by a Black Swan dress that I decided needed to be made in navy velvet with black mesh detailing. Funki Fabrics had just reached out to me about doing a collaboration and their navy stretch velvet sample was everything I was looking for for this project.

I started off with a lady skater and didn’t change too much. I omitted the neckband and arm bands to start. I also hacked off about 1″ from the bodice and 1/2″ from the top of the skirt. I cut a 1.5″ rectangle of black stretch net and sewed it between the bodice and skirt, and then top-stitched to keep it in place. Easy peasy. For the diamond cutouts, I drew up the shape I wanted, cut it out of the dress, and sewed mesh bits in by hand. They’re a bit messier than I would have liked; sadly my Bernina is sick and I’ve been using the back-up Brother which is just not up to working with difficult fabrics.

I think if I were to do this project again I would either leave out the diamond mesh cutouts or use a more stable knit. Or you know, have a decent working sewing machine. Hah.

Galactic

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bra: self-drafted // leggings: pattern here //top: random brand

*Fabric for this project was provided by Funki Fabrics. All opinions, day-glo predilections, and strapping adventures are my own.

Funki Fabrics was generous enough to send me fabrics for three separate “outfits” (as much as you can call a neon bra/panty set an “outfit”) and this is the second one I came up with. As mentioned earlier, within minutes of perusing the Funki Fabrics site, I had galaxy leggings all over my brain. These were pretty easy to put together. I used this gorgeous fabric and Megan Nielsen’s Virginia leggings pattern with the minor adjustment of making the waistband 3″ tall (instead of 1″ as in the original pattern) and  then using 3″ elastic.

I was a little wary of the fabric being too thin and turning white when stretched out (particularly after a disastrous Girl Charlee order) so I was extremely pleased to find that this stuff is lightweight, has nice stretch, and is totally opaque. I can do my squats without worrying about wardrobe malfunctions!

The bra was so much fun to draft and has been such fun to wear as well. I got the idea from a Free People bra my roommate owns that I’ve been coveting for months. The problem with the original bra is there is absolutely no support and when I tried hers on I was falling out of it in every direction. I wanted it to be something supportive enough that I could wear as a sports bra but with delicate enough straps that I could also wear it as a fun undergarment for a few backless shirts I own (but haven’ t been able to wear due to not having the right kind of bra).

I used this black supplex which I absolutely adore. I want to make all my workout clothes out of this stuff. It’s much less shiny than it appears in the product photo, kind of like cotton-y swimsuit material with great stretch. I started off by tracing a soft sports bra from Target (basically this one) and went from there. I lowered the neckline and made a more pronounced V shape, and extended the sides a bit on either side for extra bewb room. I recommend putting the sports bra on and marking where your side boob hits. I cut two layers of this and sewed the top seams but left the bottom open. I added a strip of 3/4″ elastic for underbewb support and zigzagged the bottom seam closed.

Then it was just a matter of making a bunch of straps and playing with strap placement. I used 1/4″ elastic and Ada Spragg’s Bombshell strap method to make five straps, about 22″ long each. I played with placement on the mannequin, then used safety pins to pin each strap in place so I could try it on. It only took about two tries to get the placement right. Then I just trimmed where necessary and stitched them on. I also added a few stitches to where the straps all meet in the center back to help keep everything in place.

I think my summer uniform this year is going to be strappy bras and flowy backless tops and dresses. Basically my inspiration is everything on this page.

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