Costuming, Disney Princess Series

Disney Princess Series Part 9 – Princess Anna (Frozen)

As promised, I am posting about Anna from Frozen now that she’s finished! Thanks to J I’ve found the most amazing Anna I could possibly ask for in new friend D; not only is she just as nuts as I am but she makes an absolutely perfect Anna. We had our first costumed outing yesterday which led to quite the photoshoot afterwards, and for those of you who were looking for photos we took with you and/or your kids, they’re all going to be at the end of this post.

I bought Anna fabric back in early May and didn’t know when I’d get around to it, but a friend of Devin’s asked if I could stop by his daughter’s birthday party and I just knew I had to have both Anna and Elsa there. I started the corset embroidery one Saturday morning and nearly drove myself crazy with it. The design had a lot of unexpected jump stitches in it that resulted in a few broken needles, so after the third try I finally knew where to run over and pause the machine to keep it from snapping more needles in half. The corset was sadly the easy part.

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The skirt was INSANELY tedious. The scalloped hem was done with a cardboard template after a bunch of math to figure out how to make it even. The seam joining the light blue to the royal blue is just inside the edge of the hem, and a 4mm wide satin stitch attaches it to the rest of the skirt. There’s something like 30 embroidery designs total on it, and it took at least 25 hours to do them all. I had the same problem with jump stitches and snapped needles (I think about 16 needles were sacrificed to the skirt), but finally managed to figure out where things were snapping and then broke up the design into blocks so I could manage it manually. The smaller designs were around 30-40 mins each, and they were the first ones I did.

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The bigger designs on the skirt each took about an hour, and were the bane of my existence. While they were running on the embroidery machine, I put together the shirt and bound the edges of the corset in gold satin bias tape. The shirt was drafted up from an old button down shirt that’s too small for me, so I had to size it up to fit better. I didn’t like how the shoulders sat afterwards so they were adjusted. While I’m aware Anna has a covered button placket, I sadly did not have the patience to make the shirt that way. I was running out of time with two projects due at the same time, so I made it like a normal placket and added decorative stitching.

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Finally the skirt embroidery was done late Saturday, and I sat on my couch for a couple of hours snipping all the stabilizer off the back of the fabric. Sunday I rushed to make a waistband and put a zipper into the skirt so it’d be ready for our birthday party visit!

I don’t have birthday party photos, but below is a Flickr slideshow of the entire photoshoot! People who are looking for photos we took with you, they will be in here. You can also view them directly on Flickr where they’re downloadable in high res. 🙂

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Costuming, Sewing Projects

Spring & Summer Projects – The Pirate and the Princess (Princesses?!)

Believe it or not, I am not dead. There is life after Fan Expo, and it’s been filled with ridiculous quantities of fabric, steel boning, and pirate gear. This sounds weird, I know, as I normally handle princess stuff and not pirates, but bear with me.

Back in May, darling husband and I decided to join a local LARPing group. After spending most of last year and the early part of 2014 doing the whole prince/princess volunteer thing, I figured it was only fair that I go along with what he wanted to do this summer.. especially since it still meant I got to make costumes! Shortly after we decided this I didn’t want to let all of my princess gowns just hang in my closet taking up space and collecting dust, so I opted to sell them.

I know. You’re probably shocked.

I kept Elsa, but every other costume I still had has moved on to Victoria Costumes, which is a costume rental shop up in Brentwood Bay. The owner and I came to an agreement that worked for both of us, and I believe we found a new friend in each other as well. I can still visit any of the costumes any time I want, and still occasionally make appearances in costume for her!

Of course I can’t completely let go of princessing, and am in the midst of having Anna ready to go by late June for a joint appearance with Elsa. There will be a post on her soon, but in the mean time let me tell you about pirate insanity.

I started with a pirate shirt and vest for the husband, and whipped up an underbust corset and pirate shirt for myself. We wore these up to our first afternoon with the larping group where we observed how things go. At that point we also had fabric at home for a fabulous pirate jacket for Devin and some more corsets for me, but I only have so much free time outside of my regular 9-5 job! Just before that first adventure we also found out that husband was to be shipped off for a new training course out in Halifax for the majority of the summer, so I put his pirate stuff on hold and went to work on my own.

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This glorious jacket happened, and it’s officially one of my favourite costume pieces to date. It’s an ivory/pearl/gold upholstery fabric with the coordinating red/gold fabric as an underbust corset. The jacket is lined with an ivory cotton sateen and just absolutely plastered in buttons. It’s a modified version of the Simplicity Pirates of the Caribbean pattern; I bought the mens version AGES ago for husband should he ever feel the need to turn pirate, and since Fabricland no longer carries Simplicity I opted to mess around with the men’s version til I was happy with how it fit me. They also don’t have a collar on theirs but I feel that any pirate captain (or pirate queen, in my case) worth their salt would have an epic collar, so that had to be added. This jacket is comfortable as hell, I feel positively regal in it, and it just makes me stupidly happy. Before husband returns from training I’ll be making his jacket from a sturdy brown twill, and will likely embroider the crap out of it.

I also put together a corseted tailcoat for myself recently. I do a lot of Pinterest browsing for ideas and kept seeing this gorgeous corset/coat combos coming up whenever I searched for pirate corsets, and decided what the hell I might as well make one. After a bit of experimentation this is what I came up with:

In addition to Anna there’s a couple of small projects I’m working on; it’s pretty much guaranteed that at any point I have some sort of corset on the go at the very least. There’s one big project I have coming up, my first fabric order arrived yesterday and another should be coming in before the end of the week. I’m very fortunate in that I have an amazing group of friends who enjoy dressing up as much as I do, and they’ve all agreed to do Once Upon a Time costumes for the masquerade at the Fairmont Empress this October.

Our group is fairly large (there’s 6 right now but we may get more between now and October!) and as I’m costuming for all of us I know I’m going to be downright swamped this summer. Awesome husband is 100% on board as the dashing Killian Jones/Captain Hook, I will be Emma Swan, and awesome friends K, J, D and L are going as Regina, Cora, Snow White and Belle. I am stupidly excited for this as I am really looking forward to making these gowns, but so far my best find for this has been the fabric for the jacket Killian wears in the finale. Husband and I are opting for the ‘Prince Charles/Princess Leia’ outfits from King Midas’ ball, so the big red long sleeved dress for Emma and the brown/black jacket for Killian. I was lucky enough to track down the exact same fabric that the show costumers used for Killian’s jacket, which has basically had me giddy for a full week.

I’ve got my work cut out for me, and I can’t wait. I have Emma and Cora’s fabric already, Regina’s should be here by Friday, and Belle and Snow are ordering next month.

Like I said, I’m not too good at getting away from princesses. Gowns and corsets are what I do best, but sometimes it’s nice to be a pirate as well!

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.

Costuming, Disney Princess Series

Disney Princess (Queen!!) Series Part 7 – Queen Elsa, Frozen

The night Frozen opened in theatres, I was anxiously waiting in line at the movie theatre with husband and popcorn in tow. I’d been waiting for the release since it was announced and though darling husband wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of going to an opening night of a new Disney Princess flick, he agreed to it when I said I didn’t care if he slept through it as long as I got to see it ASAP.

He didn’t sleep at all, and enjoyed it a LOT more than he expected to.

I’ve known since before the movie came out that I’d likely be making costumes from it, but I had no idea just how quickly I was going to fall in love with Frozen. There was no time to even get started until January; with Christmas coming and presents to be made as well as my New Year’s Eve dress, I accepted that I wouldn’t even be able to look for fabric til the new year. After scrounging my way through nearly every fabric store in both Victoria and Vancouver, I relented and ordered a massive quantity of sequined fabric online as well as a gorgeous lace front wig, and then (im)patiently waited for everything to arrive. I also gathered up a ridiculous quantity of sequins and rhinestones and started planning ways to make my Cinderella rhinestoned shoes convertible into Elsa’s snowflaked shoes. The shoes have actually be in progress since last summer and kept getting pushed aside as other Princesses went out to volunteer events.


This was just the gathering of supplies.

I started with the mesh undershirt and was fairly lazy about creating it. The fabric is a light stretch mesh picked up from a local fabric store. I patterned the shirt by using an old stretchy long sleeved shirt that I don’t wear anymore. It had regular sleeves instead of raglan, so I drew the seam lines on that I wanted and then cut the shirt apart to make the pattern. The whole thing was serged together and finished the night I started.

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Please pardon the bra cups.. the dress form is quite flat chested no matter how I adjust it so it requires some extra padding to be properly fitted.

My first major dilemma was deciding just how to put the corset together. The choices were either a boned bodice with minimal seams, as sequins and seams are a royal pain, or to go with my faithful favourite corset pattern and hope the seams didn’t hate me too much. As luck would have it the favourite corset worked out quite well with the seams, and everything laid flat when it was pressed. I was so excited after putting the sequined fabric together that I started sewing on the larger rectangular rhinestones before moving onto the lining. Below is a collection of pictures from assembling the corset.

Of course Elsa isn’t complete without sparkle, so I then spent something like 20 hours attaching rhinestones all over the corset.

I set the rhinestoning aside for a while and then whipped the skirt up quickly. It’s an outer layer of sequined satin fabric with an inner layer of a slightly darker blue. This was originally a simple a-line skirt that I extended along the sides and back to create the train. It came together fairly quickly and easily, so I ended up not taking any photos of it. The corset lining went in quickly and was comprised of cotton twill and spiral steel boning with straight steel bones along the lacing at the back. I decided to relax on the couch for a bit as well and hand-sewed some sequin trim and Swarovski crystal beads across the neckline of the mesh shirt. I was pretty giddy once that was all together, and even though I still had the cape to work on I threw it all on the dress form to get an idea of what it’d look like when completely finished.

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Then the cape began. Before I even started drafting the pattern for it I was nervous that I hadn’t ordered enough fabric and would have to buy all new stuff to make it the appropriate length. I am incredibly stubborn, however, and persisted with drafting up the pattern (basically some really weird measurements and just drawing it out on butcher paper) in the hopes that it would work out. I had to lay the pieces out a bit stranger than I normally would,but fortunately it all fit. I cut out all of the cape panels and then started drawing the glitter design onto the paper.

The glitter I painted on was a mix of Martha Stewart glitter acrylic paint and her fabric medium, which worked out surprisingly better than I expected. The first panel I painted I just laid the fabric over the butcher paper where I’d drawn the design, and then I began to severely regret that decision. Awesome husband is awesome, as he voluntarily went out to the store at 10:30pm to get me wax paper to lay over the butcher paper so I could paint without my fabric getting brown paper all stuck over the back.

It took a very late Thursday and Friday night as well as an entire Saturday, but I managed to get the entire design painted on as well as a bunch of little snowflakes. Once each panel had dried I serged them together and then did a rolled hem around the entire edge.

The cape has velcro along the top to attach to the corset, and is the last thing that I put on with this costume.

Overall it took about 50 hours of work spread over about 10 days. I’m still not done, but it’s publicly presentable. The Sunday I finished, I wore it to see the sing along version in theatres with friend J, which was awesome. It was her first time seeing me in costume in person, and experiencing the craziness that comes with it. We waltzed into that theatre like we owned the place, and pretty much got swarmed by kids. It was amazing.

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I’ll be wearing this to Fan Expo Vancouver in April, and by then will hopefully have finished my fine-tuning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’ll still be snow on the North Shore mountains then, so we can drive up for a photoshoot! I still have loads of rhinestones to attach to the shirt and cape but most of them are still in the mail on the way here. I also want to finish the snowflake parts of the shoes and re-style the wig. Somehow I have to make time for that, though, as crazy husband decided on our other costumes for Fan Expo and they’re pretty time consuming.. but more on that in another post!

Costuming, Sewing Projects

December is Crazy

The last month or so has been absolutely crazy. Between holiday Princess appearances, sewing Christmas presents for friends and family and putting together a dress for New Years Eve, time has just absolutely flown by.

The crazy kicked off with the Christmas parade on November 23rd. Devin and I had already arranged with the DVBA to visit Centennial Square in costume and hand out candy canes. Best friend K was coming over for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode, so she planned to come with us. We then had a request from Ballet Victoria to join them on their parade float, which was an absolute dream come true! Since I won their Halloween costume contest we’ve worked with them quite a bit, but the parade was just the beginning.

Of course it was cold out, so with the DVBA Centennial Square visit I had already picked up a ridiculous quantity of fleece to make hooded cloaks for K and I. Putting them together was quite easy until I ran out of ribbon about 85% of the way through K’s.. poor Devin had to brave Michael’s on a Saturday afternoon to try and find me more, hours before we were due downtown, and ended up convincing another customer to part with her roll of ribbon. Brave husband! It all worked out perfectly with the parade, so after handing out quite a bit of candy in Centennial Square we made our way over to the start of the parade and spent the next hour or so waving at the crowds from atop Ballet Victoria’s float promoting their Christmas show, The Gift.

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After the parade came loads of Christmas presents. Those I didn’t take photos of, mainly because it was the same concept over and over with different variations. Everyone got pajama pants this year with some form of embroidery. Side pockets either had monograms or custom designs like Hello Kitty, a vintage Singer sewing machine, and various tattoo concept ideas for my parents. I made a plaid onesie for Devin’s best friend, and have a snowflake patterned one on the go for best friend K.

In between getting Christmas presents ready there were rehearsals for The Gift, which was on December 28th and 29th. Every week Devin and I attended rehearsals, partly to attempt to learn choreography (we are both painfully aware we are not dancers by any means) and partly to ensure that we could make our way around the stage and interact with the dancers without getting in anyone’s way. It was an amazing behind the scenes experience that culminated in the actual performances this past weekend.

Having done musical theatre quite a bit in school when I was younger, I was fully prepared to be a basket case prior to the curtain going up. You can imagine my surprise when I realized just how full the Royal Theatre was (with a 1416 seat capacity!) and the panic didn’t set in. It was the first time I’ve been on stage in ages, the largest crowd I’ve ever been in front of, and I was fine. Devin and I were wandering the theatre before the show and during intermission to take photos with guests, and adding that to actually being a part of the first act made for an amazing experience overall. I am so thankful to Ballet Victoria for including us, and am hoping to work with them more in the future.

This video also shows you a bit more about the ballet and cast, it’s worth watching!

To make things even crazier, I fell in love with some fabric and a dress concept, and ended up express shipping the fabric in from Thailand when I couldn’t find any local substitutes that weren’t three times the cost! I wanted something amazing for New Years Eve. Last year Devin was deployed so I went out with best friend K, and our choice of venue was a bar so I wore a short black sequin and rhinestone dress I threw together. This year we’re attending a black tie party being thrown at the Victoria Public Market by Brink Events, so given Devin’s and my shared love of all things retro I went with something 50’s inspired. I worked quickly on this one so there aren’t any progress photos to share, but I am 100% thrilled with the final product. I have yet to photograph this fabric and have it show up as it does in real life, but I will keep trying until I am successful!

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Tonight is the actual NYE event and I am beyond excited. Any chance to get dressed up is fun, and to do it in a dress of my own creation is even better.

Costuming, Doctor Who, Sewing Projects

The TARDIS Ballgown and the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who

Back in September I was contacted by a lovely lady named Amanda, who was interested in acquiring a TARDIS ballgown for a very special event. After talking with her about where and why she wanted to wear the gown, I knew that I had to help make her dreams come true.

Amanda and Brandon have quite the incredible story about how they ended up together, which I highly recommend reading on their blog. They’re still newlyweds, but between their absolute love of each other and Doctor Who, the 50th Anniversary Wedding/Vow Renewal was too good of an opportunity to pass up. With Amanda being the co-founder of the Doctor Who Society of Canada, the show itself playing a huge role in both their lives, and their Doctor Who themed wedding earlier this year, it’s no surprise that their dream honeymoon in England will turn into a vow renewal.

They are the only couple attending from Canada, so being Canadian myself I understood the desire to have a Canadian made dress for the ceremony. We hammered out the details, got measurements, and got to work. While we’re both in the same country we’re almost as far from each other as you can get; Amanda is in Ontario and I am in British Columbia, so I am highly impressed that we managed to coordinate this all via email. Once the supplies had arrived it was time to get to work!

There were many late nights but in the end, it’s all been gloriously worth it. Everything I learned from making my first TARDIS gown was put into this one to ensure it was perfect from the start. Straighter windows, better quality lining materials, nicer lacing and a hoopskirt as a foundation garment vs a bulky crinoline. The hoopskirt itself came about as I wear one with all of my princess gowns, and find it considerably easier to maneuver in as opposed to a petticoat without hoops. The corset part of the gown took the longest, but once it was all put together I was incredibly proud and anxious to get it shipped out.

tardisanniversary

 

With the gown taken care of, now the only challenge is fundraising. I had heard about the 50th Anniversary/Wedding celebration months ago, and was quite surprised to find that there’s a hefty entrance fee. It’s entirely understandable, I had just been under the impression that, as it’s to be broadcast worldwide, the event might be a bit less pricey to be part of as it would be sponsored. Oh how wrong I was!

Amanda and Brandon still have quite a ways to go in terms of fundraising, and with their departure date looming every little bit helps. You can click here to visit their GoFundMe page where they are accepting donations, as well as visit their Facebook page. Amanda’s also been running a blog about their experience trying to get to the celebration. All three pages will also lead you to interviews they have done with local media.

They have their costumes and each other, now they just need your help to make it to England! Please consider donating to help make their dreams come true, or at least spread the word.