Tag Archives: costume replica

Now I’m craving a cupcake

Kaylee layer cake dress

I’ve taken a bit of a break from my Layer Cake dress but with only 90-something days to PAX, it’s probably time to dive back in. Although the skirt was pretty simple (just a bunch of math and ruffles), I was a bit terrified of starting the bodice since I have yet to run into a pattern that would work for it, which means self-drafting.

Kaylee layer cake dress

I was able to visit The Black Hole of Endless Fabrics, also known as Fabrics ‘R Us while I was at home and found this lovely organza (or is it organdy? I feel like I should know the difference) that is pretty similar to the original pattern. I needed it in white for the bodice and pink for the sleeves, and I’m assuming this stuff is polyester so I bought some iDye on Amazon.

Kaylee layer cake dress

I also picked up some pink ribbon to make a ribbony hair clip and half a yard of a tassel trim. I wish I had taken a picture of the look on the lady’s face when I told her I wanted half a yard of the trim. She was very skeptical and kept holding it up and double-checking that I, in fact, only wanted a measly 18″ of the stuff. I tried to explain that it was for a sleeve trim but I don’t think it helped.

Kaylee layer cake dress

Anyway, I had kind of given up on finding a trim with the right sized tassels but then I came across this one! It has both pale cream tassels and slightly olivey gold ones. I’m thinking of dipping the cream ones in the iDye as well to make them a little pinker. I have 33 tassels and I’m thinking I’ll put 16 on each sleeve puff with one spare. Perfect!

Ok, enough stalling. I’m going to start the bodice today. I swear.

Things I still need:
-Hoop skirt stuff
-Organza(dy) ribbon for bodice seams
-Pink lace for neckline (or ribbon?)
-Chainette fringe (tutorial here)
-Satin covered buttons

We’re getting there!!

Layer cake

I’ve been a little absent lately, as I’ve spent the past week being distracted by this gorgeous monstrosity (which you may have already seen if you follow me on Instagram).

Those of you who have seen Firefly will recognize Kaylee’s layer cake dress from the episode Shindig. This dress has been on my to-do list for absolutely AGES (according to my sketchbook swatches, since 2007 at least!) and it feels amazing to finally be doing it. I’m planning to wear it to PAX East in April, which gives me a good six months to figure out that damn mandarin collar.

For those of you who’ve not had the immense pleasure of watching this show, go do it now. And this is what the dress looks like.


Yes, it’s massive. Eight layers of fluff on the skirt plus a peplum on the top. And puffed sleeves!

I’ve started with the skirt, since it’s a lot of work but actually really easy other than the math. It’s been my break from the traumatizing experience of learning to match plaids. More on that later.

I bought 45″ poly chiffon in pink (5 yards), peachy pink (4 yards), and super pale pink (2 yards). I think technically it’s supposed to be white but it just looks too contrasty so I’m going with a pale pink. I also got 7 yards of tulle and 4 yards of some kind of super lightweight cotton/poly blend for the skirt base. Most people’s versions that I’ve seen have made an entirely separate ruffled skirt to wear under the chiffon skirt, but realistically, I don’t see wearing two ruffle skirts plus a hoopskirt being all that much fun so I’m going to see if I can get away with just the one skirt, hence the tulle.

The base skirt is made up of five panels, 36″ wide at the bottom and 45″ long, French seamed. Currently, I’ve sewn down the three layers of pink and one of the peachy ruffles, as well as the four layers of tulle that go under them. Four more to go, and then onto the top!

And yes, I’m definitely bringing a little bag of strawberries with me to PAX as a prop.