Okay, a little later than promised, but this will be a two part update. Because there’s just that much shit that I’ve done over the last week and a half. So without further ado, time to jump into it.
So this is Wendy.
I posted this pic last update as a teaser with the link to the artist. So I think we can agree that her design is kinda mega-awesome. She has this great pirate jacket, and a kickass bowler hat and a super plunging dress for which I will likely buy out a store’s full supply of double-sided tape.
So jackets are a bitch to sew. I figured that I would make it first, so that I wouldn’t fall into that trap of ‘rush to finish’ and waste all the fabric. I’ve sewn dresses before, and the boots don’t look terribly hard, but jackets? I definitely needed a pattern.
So off I went to the fabric store and low and behold they had patterns on sale. Yeaaah bitcheeez!
I hadn’t really decided to start on this cosplay yet, but I mean when the fabric gods give you the gift of two bucks a pattern, you don’t really say ‘no thanks man’, you try to think of anything you’ll want to sew in the next year.
In short: I found the patterns I wanted.
So I could use the example of that ugly grey-brown-green jacket on the far left of the examples.
It would need some ajustments but I figured ‘hey just lengthen the sleeves and shorten the front. Then you add those tail thingies at the back and BOOM! awesome!
I need to stop listening to myself.
But I went ahead anyways, and picked up some material and buttons and then some cheap plastic table cloth for the pattern. This is a trick I picked up from my mom (thanks mom!) and holy effing shit it saved my ass on this project. Instead of cutting out the pattern proper, lay out the full pattern sheet, and then one of those dollar-store plastic table cloths on top. You’ll be able to see through it and trace your pattern with a sharpie. Then you can adjust it how you like and see how it fits together before sewing anything.
Kinda. Anyhow, you can see by my shitty mouse-drawing skills on the left what kind of alterations I would need to make. Crop the front of the jacket, lengthen the sleeves, and add a longer back.
Easy peasy. Right? Wrong.
But for today, while I was picking up the pattern for the jacket I found a pattern that would help with the dress.
The graphic designer was even nice enough to paint the long version the colour of Wendy’s dress! (Bottom Left)
Also, I couldn’t help but think of Kudrel‘s Danaerys dress when I saw it. Only hers is all hand pleated and if you dont’ know how I am with dangerous things you probably didn’t ready the Demon Hunter Post with the flying needle.
You should read that soon, if you haven’t already. Or that bit with the beads and the needles jamming into hands…
Probably going to be subject to a third post so I’ll just itemize and list how far along they are.
- Boots – base boots purchased – 20%
- Belt – belts purchased – 40%
- Goggles – 0%
- Hat – 100%
- Hook – 0%
- Necklace – 100%
- Ring – 0%
- Stockings – 0%
- Teddy (bear) – 70%
- Wig – 0%
So I got kind of excited and forgot to take pictures of the struggles at the start. But basically I forgot to include seam allowance in the length of the tails, so once the side seams were sewn, they didn’t match up. This was a pretty easy fix though, just by trimming off the excess.
So it looked good so far. I ended up doing some fitting of the jacket before this photo.So I took it in at the waist, bust and arms to create those fitted sleeves she has in the pic. You can see the tails in the rear pic, and they look alright there but came back to bite me in the ass later. Because you know, tails… alright, sorry. No more puns. I am pretty proud of the sleeves and the shoulders, though.
Next step, once I was happy enough with the way it fit then it was time for some Sergery. Sergery? Sergery! (Repo: The Genetic Opera) The red twill that I picked up had been on sale for 3$/m which was awesome. What was not so awesome was the way it kind of… shredded. Not cool, twill. Not cool at all. The solution was to serge every last seam.
The problem inherent with this was that I had to fit the thing first. So I serged as close to some of the compound seams near the shoulders, but couldn’t go all the way in. (har, har I’m such a perv). But you can see how neat and awesome the seams look after a pass with the serger. It also helps cut out some of the bulk of the large seam allowances from the pattern which helped when I got to lining the damn thing.
What, you say? Didn’t I think that making a pirate jacket would be complicated enough? Phsaw I say, (or would). In the reference pic (see top of this obscenely long post), you can see that Wendy’s jacket is lined with black. So back to the store I go, and luckily it’s close to Hallowe’en because black lining is on sale! Hooray! While I”m there I do some number crunching and realise I’m going to need 6m of trim. Trim is also on sale, so double Hooray!
Then I get to the whole ‘remake the jacket from the inside out. Joy. Let’s skip forward a couple of hours.
Today’s lesson learned:
Do not think you are smarter than the pattern. You are NOT.
So I thought that I would put the sleeves together while the jacket was still inside out, and then when I pulled it out, the sleeves were sure attached… only at the cuff, each side coming outfrom it’s own jacket to attach on the outside, like a lovely heart of stitches that I was going to have to rip out.
So I did, grudgingly. Then I slept because I hit the ‘fuck that’ wall. I got back at it tonight and finished the majority of the sewing off. I feel accomplished, but I don’t think yelling ‘yeah bitch! Take that!’ at inanimate objects is a sign of good mental health, so I refrained and sat back and gloated silently instead.
Oh yeah, I sewed on the arm bands by hand before putting in the lining.The rest of the trim will be tomorrow I think unless I decide not to sleep tonight. But before I finished lining I also decided that the tails looked a little wonky, so I chopped ’em off and made them shorter:
Now it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a circus coat so much. I also had to tack in the lining at certain points by ‘stitching in the ditch’, (Sewing in a pre-existing seam so it doesn’t show) to keep everything in place.
Lastly I edged everything with a tiny little seam so it would hold flat, pressed the sleeves and then finished them off. I think they look damn good. The gold braiding will also be covering all the edging seams, but I’m still pretty happy with them.
Up next: How to dye fabric without dying yourself!