Costuming, Disney Princess Series

Effie Trinket & Caesar Flickerman, Fan Expo Vancouver!

About 6 weeks before Fan Expo, as I was putting the finishing touches on Elsa, husband and I were watching Catching Fire. Partway through the movie he turned to me and asked if there was a chance in hell that I’d be able to put together Caesar and Effie costumes in time for Fan Expo. I don’t admit this often, but occasionally he has really amazing ideas, and this was definitely one of them. I knew it’d be a LOT of work and he’d need to help me, but it was a fun challenge and I figured why not? Wigs came first, these are actually re-purposed wigs from previous costumes. K’s old silver wig from her Storm costume was cut and re-wefted, then dyed with a very small amount of iDye poly in red to get a super pale pink. My blonde Rose Tyler wig got a bit of a trim and then was dyed with purple iDye poly. A bit of heat styling for both (sponge rollers and a blow dryer for Effie, just a blow dryer for Caesar) and loads of teasing completed the looks. Caesar has two wig clips sewn into it to keep it on crazy husband’s head, as he doesn’t have enough hair to pin it down!

I’d purchased loads of ivory poplin, satin and chiffon back in the fall with the intent of re-making my original wedding dress for a vow renewal trip to Cancun that ended up getting cancelled. This roll of fabric had been sitting in my closet for months with no new purpose, so after ordering loads of pink iDye poly (can you tell I love this stuff?) it all got dyed and turned into Effie! I did a stupid amount of math for circle skirts and ended up with three satin circles for the overskirt and one big poplin circle for lining. The bodice started as a plain sweetheart neckline with a circle the same size as the top skirt layer, which was later hand-sewn to the bodice to create the ruffled look.

Then came the chiffon. It’s been almost two months since I started this dress and I’m still finding little chiffon strings EVERYWHERE. After plenty of math I started ripping strips of chiffon to gather in rows onto each skirt circle. So much ripping. So many chiffon bits everywhere. So many rows. I did a couple of rows of red along the bottom of each circle and then the rest was done in hot pink. Each circle was also stabilized with a layer of crinoline, as I knew the chiffon would weigh down the satin. Honestly, a good majority of the work that went into this was hand gathering the chiffon strips onto each circle and then stitching them down slightly uneven to try and match the look of the original dress. I feel like I was on the verge of insanity doing this.

By the end of it I’d completely lost track of just how many yards of chiffon I’d sewn down. My rough guess is just under 200, but I honestly have no idea anymore. All three skirt layers were covered in chiffon, as well as the top circle. IMG_20140414_195809 It took a lot of effort but eventually I got all the layers stitched together and somehow managed to get a zipper into this badboy. I can’t even tell you what a fight that was, but I was quite relieved when it was done! I wear my white petticoat under this dress but I also borrowed a couple of steel hoops from my triple hoopskirt to help support the weight of all the chiffon and make sure the skirt was as poofy as the original. You’ll get photos of me in it by the end of this post, as I was with Caesar in pretty much all of them it makes sense to write about him first! The shoes were also quite interesting.. after much hunting I managed to find the correct style on eBay but I needed to put the chiffon on them myself. Husband was recruited to cut hundreds of circles of tulle for me, and cut all the chiffon circles. After about 8 hours and many glue gun burns to my fingers they were finished and looked fabulous! IMG_20140415_202713 (1) There was also her ridiculous accessories, the black cuffs and ruffled wristbands as well as hot pink gloves. Weirdly enough I couldn’t find any hot pink gloves, so I bought light pink and dyed them. The black cuffs I opted to embroider the mockingjay on them (the originals have what looks like big metal arrows, but I figured why not do the mockingjay?), and the ruffled cuffs were purple grosgrain ribbon with hot pink satin ribbon stitched on the ends. Those were gathered into the ruffle like an Elizabethan collar, and it was all done by hand. IMG-20140416-WA0001 The rings I lucked into on eBay, same with the earrings. Necklace was acquired at Forever21 Metrotown by best friend K as they didn’t have it in Victoria! And now Caesar. Caesar will be brief, as I really hate making menswear and didn’t photograph much of it. This is the same blazer style I made for husband’s 11th Doctor blazer last year, and this time we did matching pants. I’m still quite proud of how it turned out, everyone at Fan Expo couldn’t believe I was insane enough to make a suit, but good lord do I ever hate the process of making them.

We found some incredible fabric at Fabricland for the Caesar suit which is what really sold Devin on the overall idea. It was really a maybe until we came across this stuff. There were quite a few fittings for husband to make sure it was all sitting properly, as well as some modifications as he really hates shoulder pads. I mean really, it’s a suit, there’s not much more I can tell you aside from find a pattern and follow the directions. Be prepared to want to pull out your hair, and acquire a tailor’s ham if you don’t already have one. I still need one, I did this without and really wished I hadn’t. Without further blabbing, here’s a whole bunch of photos that I’ve tracked down online from the expo! We went as Caesar & Effie on Saturday, and then Elsa and Castiel on Sunday. If your photo is on here and you didn’t watermark it I sincerely apologize as I’ve lost track of where they all came from, please let me know which is yours and I’m happy to add credit. 🙂

Aaaaaand my favourite album of photos! I have to link to the entire album as Flickr no longer supports album embedding on WordPress, but I’ve added a few of my favourites below! A good friend of mine is an excellent photographer, and he also conveniently happens to be Hugh Laurie’s doppelganger. He spent the weekend dressed as House and the number of people who thought he was the real thing was just amazing. There’s some great photos of him in this album and he caught some of my absolute favourite moments as Elsa. There’s also more of adorable tiny Anna in this one, so if you love her as much as I do this is where you want to look! Sorry that these are not center aligned; honestly I’ve tried so many times but the Flickr individual image embedding ONLY wants to work when they’re left aligned.. so yeah. Weird. But sorry.

Also, the Jelsa pictures.. well, you’re welcome, Tumblr. lol

R2D2 Meets Dr. House at Fan Expo Vancouver

Elsa the Snow Queen

Elsa the Snow Queen

Elsa the Snow Queen

Elsa the Snow Queen and House

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The Jack Frost on the left of this photo can be found here!

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Lord Vader bows down before Queen Elsa

But seriously go to Mark’s Flickr album, because there’s more than these and they are awesome! He’s updating it whenever he gets a chance to process photos so more will be coming. 🙂

 

Costuming, Disney Princess Series

Disney Princess Series Part 8 – Ariel, The Little Mermaid (actual mermaid version!)

I accidentally a mermaid.

I had no plans to create the mermaid version of Ariel until the summer when the weather and ocean water is warmer here in Victoria, but then an opportunity for amazing photos came along and there was no way I could resist. Husband and I were to attend my company’s annual conference in the Dominican but it was cancelled last minute, so we opted to plan our own trip to Cuba. We booked it on a Monday with plans to fly out that Saturday, and it didn’t occur to me until Wednesday that since the trip was no longer work-sponsored I could be as weird as I wanted. I had contemplated making mermaid!Ariel and taking it to the conference to get beach photos, but this would also have been the first time I met everyone else in the company nationwide and figured introducing myself while wearing a mermaid fin might be awkward.

So along came Wednesday and I realized I had everything sitting in various bins at home to put together the mermaid version of Ariel, and enough room in my suitcase to fit the fin. I am nothing if not determined, and by the time I got home from work that day I had already started drafting up my tail. Since I was working quickly I didn’t take many photos, but what I do have I will post!

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With Devin’s help I stuck a giant piece of tape from my waist down to my ankles along the side of my leg, and than had him measure around my body every two inches and mark it on the tape. The tape was then put in the middle of some brown craft paper and I drew out the measurements til I had a passable shape that would fit my body snugly. At the bottom by my ankle measurement I placed my mermaid fin over the paper and traced around it to get the complete shape.

The mermaid fin! Last summer, after a few beers, I ended up purchasing a monofin on eBay. My monofin came from FinFunMermaid and it’s the adult sized ‘pro’ version. It’s actually surprisingly easy to swim with, but when maneuvering in a full tail across sand it gets a bit awkward. Also holy crap does it accumulate sand when in the ocean.

Once I had my complete shape, I drew a little V by my ankles to separate the colours, with the emerald green spandex being the majority of my legs and then lime green for the tail. Everything got cut out and then assembled with a straight stretch stitch and serged on the inside. The waist was a bit looser than I’d intended, so I ended up putting it on inside out to re-mark where I’d prefer the seams and then stitching it up again.

Ariel tail test fit Fin over monofin

 

I should point out that the blue monofin showing was irritating me, but that gap needs to be open for water to flow through and not weigh down the tail. I ended up stitching some lime green spandex straight onto the monofin so that it would blend in. You’ll be able to see later when the tail is wet! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be getting this together, so I set the tail aside to get started on the shells for the bra. I still had padded hip fins to do, but the shell paint would need time to dry and then cure in the oven.

I picked up some porcelain acrylic paint at Michaels and started painting my shells. I did a few coats of light purple on the inner parts, then used a darker purple along the outside to blend into the lighter center. Once I was happy with the colour I brushed on some lilac AB glitter and then popped them in the oven to cure as per the directions on the paint.IMG_20140326_200831 IMG_20140326_202759

 

After baking and cooling, I decided the shells needed to be more sparkly. I have more rhinestones laying around my house than I know what to do with, so I used some E6000 glue and added crystal AB, turquoise AB and tiny pearls all over the shells.

The bra was an easy thing to do as well, I took purple lycra and stretched it over the cups til it sat like the bra fabric did and then hand stitched them over the cups. I found this way preferable to machine stitching as I didn’t have to worry about the underwire, and it didn’t leave a visible seam on the cups. The sides were just covered with more lycra and then zig-zagged on. The straps are done like a spaghetti strap, but I left the tubes wide enough to feed the actual bra straps through.

The padded hip fins were a bit of a chore and I sadly didn’t photograph that part, but I am very happy with how they came out. I made two long ovals for each side and then sewed them together at a point for the front. They were stuffed with ripped up strips and pieces of tulle I had laying around, and then straight stretch stitched along the waistband. I also zig zagged some bathing suit elastic right underneath it to help keep it upright.

Because I am not entirely sane, I packed up the tail, shell bra, starfish hair combs and my Ariel wig and took them to Cuba like it’s a totally normal thing to bring a mermaid costume on vacation.

On our last night at the resort I got all Ariel’d up and marched down to the beach with my fin in tow. It’s a bit awkward to wiggle into as I have to put the fabric tail on first, followed by stuffing my feet into the monofin and then stretching the fin fabric over it. People were definitely staring at me like I was a bit nuts, but it was totally worth it. Once I had the fin on I kinda shuffled my butt down into the water, and then a couple of little girls came over to see me. Very cute!

Awesome husband took several photos while I rolled around along the shoreline, and we had a blast. Totally worth the weird looks on the way to the beach.