Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Apple, anyone?

I've been a very bad girl this year.

I think I might have hit a little burn out this winter. Directly after D*C last year (which, as we all know involved lots of last minute sewing), I hauled ass to finish a new costume for Halloween (Myrtle, and failed) and after that, nothing. I probably burnt myself out. That, and I was extremely cold and tired this winter. I also realized that the past couple years I had my costumes to the point of tedious hand work by the time winter came around, so I was at least then being productive while curled up under a blanket all winter with the cats, not so much this year. I lost a lot of time and feel so guilty about that. I probably mentally needed the break though, so now I will have to work diligently to get all of the costumes I want to get done for this D*C. I restructured my list, and added this new one after I saw OZ, the Great and Powerful. Of course, I fell in love with the most difficult one ;)

And finally, I will have a villain costume! I am working on Evanora from Oz.

Thankfully, for this movie they've put the costumes on display in Hollywood and several costumers have taken great reference pictures of it. The dress was meant to be inspired by Emerald City itself, sort of a 40's Art Deco kinda thing. It's a mixture of chiffon, habotai, and mesh netting, and looooots of feathers and beads.

Here's my sketch of the bodice along with an exhibit pic. The "T" shaped design on the top, the darker portion, I counted 3... stripes or levels for lack of a term, on the exhibit, but later realized they added the third one just for the exhibit (it's a different fabric even), probably for modesty because rigid dummies don't display corset shapes well.

Now, I did make the bodice once and start beading before I got all my info, and didn't like either my fabric or beads, so I re-did it based on better info. In the movie, the fabric looks straight black. They upped the contrast in the movie to look like Technicolor, so it looks darker than it actually is. The real costume is a charcoal gray. The bodice, based on pics I have, looks to have a layer of a soft mesh over it, and two layers over the decorative shape along the top and center. It's hard to capture colors on camera, and I'm told it's a charcoal gray with a  kind of purple cast to it. It took 3 dye baths to get a color I liked. Also? This is what happens when you run out of gloves and are too lazy to go to the store to get some.

Now, I took a few creative liberties with this. The real bodice was more of a corset shape so it was flatter and boostier in the front, which doesn't always look the most flattering on me, so I decided to shape it more like the poster (we all know how they like to, erm, "reshape" women in posters). The top portion has 3 seams on each side to get it to curve back, and I draped the double mesh layer over it to hide them. The beading has a checkerboard pattern of seed and bugle beads, and inside those are a meandering pattern of beads and sequins, with black Swarovski crystals in the blank spaces. Since the bodice isn't flat, I had to drape my checkerboard pattern with twill tape.

On the real thing the checkerboard pattern is a little more haphazard (maybe they bought pre-beaded fabric and that happened when they added darts?) but being sort of OCD and perfectionist, I made mine as straight as I could, and started stitching it so it is kinda "woven". I found this wonderful hoop stand at Michael's and I learned about a tambour hook (or kantan bead embroidery tool) from a friend. It's meant for thin, loosely woven fabrics so it'll be great for the skirt, but it's a little harder to get through the bodice fabric, so I'm applying the beads by backstitch and using the tool for the bugle beads.

Aaaaand that's where I'm currently at :) I promise I'll start taking pictures with a real camera and not my cellphone. I have so much to post about, I went to C2E2 in Chicago a couple weeks ago, I got to see some of the REAL costumes from Hunger Games, including the yellow dress I'm going to be making. I also met Felicia Day!


  1. I've been getting over my burn out.. I haven't sewn anything worth a damn since...last halloween I think. Oh wait... I didn't even sew that, I thrifted it ( I did sew my sister costume, so that counts). Really needed the break though. Now, I'm trying to make this for Halloween. http://alice.wikia.com/wiki/Silk_Maiden

    I hear the outfits in that a lovely, but I haven't bothered to see it (I have kinda a traumatic relationship with Wizard of Oz in general) Are you going to style your hair or get a wig?

  2. Hello there. I'm Larry and I was referred to you from a friend of yours named Becca Lis Stephen. Would you like to be part of our 'OZ The Great and Powerful' cosplay group for DragonCon 2013? Becca was gonna be our Evanora', but unfortunately she can't join us now. We need her and she told us you're making a costume of her. Can you please contact me at: vorex@yahoo.com with subject 'Envanora' Cosplay Group' so I know it's you and what's your FB profile? If you like to join us, I'll add you to our list. I'm gonna be one of your 'Flying Baboons'. >;-) Hope to read from you and you'll join our group(?)! <;-)