Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sewing for me! Captain America USO Dancing Girl.

I was nearly finished with my fireside gown when an idea struck me and I couldn't push it aside.  Stan Lee himself was going to be at MCCC this year (2013), so I knew that many things would be Marvel themed.  I thought it would be fun to have a Marvel costume, but I wasn't inspired by any of the female hero characters.  Then, I came across the Captain America Dancing Girls Costuming Group and knew that was the perfect thing!  This costume was surprisingly quick to make, and it was tons of fun!

I did get my USO Dancing Girl costume and my Fireside Padmé costume finished and taken to Motor City Comic Con.  However,  with Stan Lee there it was super crazy (I've NEVER seen MCCC that busy!) so I didn't put on my Fireside Padmé costume because I was afraid someone would step on the train.  I hated the thought of it being ruined after so much work was put into it.  The USO Dancing Girl costume proved to be perfect for the busy crowds because it was so easy to wear (with the exception of the peep-toe shoes which my feet are not used to wearing!).

Reference Image
My fabric

Bodice sewn

Skirt process.

I decided to hem my skirt panels before sewing them together.  Also, from reference images, it seemed to me that the center of each panel had a bit of top stitching that was done after the hem was put in.

I thought that sewing together all the skirt panels would be tedious and take forever.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the process wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

The skirt sections all sewn together.

Skirt sewn to bodice.

Bodice top stitched.

Zipper in

Buckram body of the hat.

My "sit on the couch and watch TV" hand work: sewing stars to lapels, and working on the hat.  (Though most of the hat hand work got done at my kids' swimming lessons!)

Cutting out the petticoat.
Petticoat with red bias tape sewn to the edge and elastic sewn in the waistline.

Preparing to add ruffles.
Ruffles added to petticoat.  If I were to do this again, I would make one layer of the ruffles longer, so they didn't attach at the same point.  (After this picture was taken, I ended up removing quite a bit of the waistline elastic, it was too loose.)

The finished costume.

Me as a Captain America USO Dancing girl (complete with 48 star flag, to follow with the WWII theme of the movie).

USO Dancing girl and Captain America.  The Star Spangled Man With a Plan!

Marvel group: USO Girl, Iron Man, and Cap. America.

Sewing for me! Pamé Fireside Gown

Occasionally, I have to put aside my commissions to work on things for myself so I don't get too burned out.  I decided to try and finish up my Padmé fireside gown that I had been collecting fabric and things for (a big factor in being able to finish, was the gift card I got from my FIL for 2012 Christmas to Hobby Lobby!  I was able to buy the silvery grey fabric for the underskirt).   I started collecting pieces for this costume after my husband suggested I make this one.  I don't need much convincing! ;)  My finish goal was May 2013 so I could wear it to Motor City Comic Con.

(Not all of the pictures are captioned, for some reason Blogspot's editor is having fits...)

Reference Pictures

Beginning the beading for the necklace broach.

Broach beading and necklace beading.

I created my own capelet pattern.  From what I read, the capelet had a burgundy lining.  I chose black for the outside so it would blend with the feathers.

Caplet before ironing and feathers.

I purchased my coque feathers from a seller on eBay.

Sewing on rows of feathers.

The bias tape (the original had velvet, I used a fleece bias tape because it fit my budget better!)

Necklace progress.

Broach beading done.  I cut a piece of milk jug plastic a little smaller than the size of the broach, and cut a backing fabric the same size as the fabric around the beading.

I placed the milk jug fabric in the center of the backing fabric and gathered the edges in.  I gathered the edges of the beading fabric around the stabilizer that I had beaded into.  Then, I hand sewed the two together, creating one broach.  I added large sized snaps.

Necklace beading process.

Part of my necklace beading with my reference images.

Necklace beading.

(Sorry for the blurry image)  Attaching the large beads to the bead dangles.  This is a nice feature because it keeps everything from flying all over the place when I walk.  I had seen some fashion show images where the necklace was flying out as the model was walking and it was obvious the necklace dangles were attached with the larger round beads.

Necklace done!

Corset lining.

Faux leather outer corset.

The faux leather and cotton portions sewn together.
I added seam tape to the faux leather seams on the inside to help the seams lie flat.
Seam tape on the inside of the corset.
Inserting the steel boning.
Adding eyelets on the inner corset.
The inside of the corset.
Outside of the corset before I finished the faux leather closure.
Back of corset.

Corset with lacing.
Testing the necklace with the corset closure.

Corset faux leather closure finished.
I painted the lower portions of the cotton lining with black fabric paint so it wouldn't show through on the outside.
Sleeve gauntlets ready for buttons.
Sleeve gauntlets with buttons.

Working on hair wraps.

Skirt train.

Skirt sections: two of lace, one of silver grey.

Trimming the tulle inside the skirt train.

Skirt train with tulle.

Sewing the skirt hem.

Borrowing a page from my Civil War re-enacting sewing, I used bias tape on the hem.



Wearing the costume for the first time at Maker Faire Detroit 2013.

Detail of hair.  The braid and braid wrap are extensions I created.
My costuming friend Thomas Spanos took a couple of nice pictures of me in costume at Maker Faire 2013.

Another of Thomas' pictures of me.