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