go here! If you want to see how I made the under layers, go here!
Thanks to Elemental Photography for the great photoshoot! Credit for the original costume design goes to Cowslip!
One thing I loved about this design was the way that the tail was incorporated into this wrap skirt.
The "tail" was made from the same blue silk as the bolero jacket. It has a really nice shine to it--without being overly shiny. The fabric itself actually has a salmon-y pinkish colour woven in, which you can see in the shine. It helps to break up a bit of the blue overload.
The tail itself ended up being over 5ft long. It was a bit cumbersome, so I pinned it up to walk about the con.
The next step was to finish off the edges. I neatly rolled them over and top stitched it. I wanted to make sure it looked neat from both sides, as the inside would be quite visible. Also, this fabric frayed like nobody's business. I wanted to make sure the edges wouldn't get destroyed.
Splatoon Inkling harness rig. This reinforcement was necessary, as later the leg wrapping rigging would be sewn into the waistband.
The tail fin pieces and decorative waistband ruffle were sewn right sides together, clipped, turned right way out and then top stitched to finished them off.
I pinned the tail fin to the end of the tail, arranging the ruffled look how I wanted it and then tacked it on with my most invisible hand-stitching. It's basically like a giant bow.
It was around this point that I realized I would not be meeting my original deadline (AN 2014) and gracefully admitted defeat. I took a year-long break from this costume.
The next step was to attach the decorative waistband ruffle. I arranged it and pinned it in place until I was satisfied with the look then tacked it on with hand stitching.
Then I went about creating the brooch that attaches to the waistband, covering the clasp. It was all made of scrap materials--leftover cording, fabric, beads, etc. I used some of the yellow silk from the hairpiece flowers to create a matching kanzashi style detail for the petals (I will go into more detail on my wig and hairpiece post for this costume.). The entire thing was sewn to a felt backing that was glued to a brooch pin.
Extra cording was used to decorate the waistband and create more dangling bits near the opening at the front.
Then I had my friend Harriet (the official Bead-Dazzler) sew on tons of beads. Props to her for her hours of hard work (in exchange for food)--I certainly have the skills to sew beads myself, but I definitely lacked the time.
The detailing is what really makes the design. There is such richness and embellishments, and I had a lot of fun realizing those little details.
Next I had to create the leaf detail that sticks up from the waistband of the skirt. The problem was, it need to be rigid, but also sheer. The fabric I had was nice and sheer, but super flimsy.
On the Splatoon project I was introduced to this magical stuff called "heat n bond". I essentially used it to fuse my fabrics together around a central support structure made of leftover corset bones. I have to say--I had no idea if my crazy idea would work, but it did, so YAY!
First I traced out the shape I wanted on the paper side of the heat n bond. I cut this out and then ironed it to my first layer of silk. Then I used fray check and applied it all around the outline of the leaf shape and let it dry before cutting it out--this way, when I cut it out it would not fray.
Then I laid the leaf shape heat n bond side down on the second layer of silk. I carefully lined up my corset bones where I wanted them and pinned them in place. I carefully sewed around them using the machine's zipper foot. The bones were now sandwiched between the two layers of silk.
Then I ironed the whole thing, fusing my layers together.
The next step was to apply more fray check, around the edge of layer two, allow that to dry and then cut it out.
The finished leaf feels completely different than the fabric I started with.
To create the veins on the leaf I used a similar process.
First I traced out the desired shape in heat n bond. I then cut that out and used an iron to apply it to the first layer.
Then I fused it to the second side. I fray checked the outline, allowed it to dry and then cut it out.
This was then tacked on the leaf by hand in a few key spots.
The leaf was simply tucked into the waistband when I wore the costume.