Monday, November 24, 2014


Promised I'd be back, and here I am!

Its been a crazy few months. In just over a weeks time we'll be packing up house again and moving back to my home town. I'm glad I was able to finish this costume before then!


On my list of Disney-related costumes, I always wanted to attempt this cute fairy. I thought* it would be a simple, cute costume to make in between big projects.
*I was wrong.

I do enjoy challenges, no matter how much I swear and roar and sulk. I wanted Tink's dress to be boned for support, with embroidered leaf details and a corset back to give room of sizing. I loved the rhinestone and leaf-wrapped look of the Disney parks dress, but I also wanted something a little more 'cheeky' as I always imagined the original Tink to have a bit of sexy sass. (If you read that too fast the 's' in front of sass seems to vanish... lol)

The first and only place to start was a pattern. But I couldn't find any I liked: nothing seemed to look right to me.
Luckily, my good friend Tamara came to the rescue. She's the corset-making queen who helped me make my first corset! In two-seconds flat she had a corset pattern for me that I could alter into a dress pattern. (Thank you Tamara!!)

So I started altering the pattern. Which took a lot longer than I anticipated. In the end I did 4 mock-ups, changing the pattern each time. First mock-up was too small, second was too long, third still didn't sit right, and fourth finally (appeared) to have the elements I liked. It was also about getting the dress 'points' at the bottom to look correct and sit at the height I desired. I estimate in the end it was about 6 hours of pattern-making, mock-ups and altering! It wasn't a pleasant (or patient) experience, but it was a great way to learn.
The basic mock-up which I was happy with!

So now it was time for the lining. I found a cotton in dark green with no stretch, as I wanted it to be strong to support the boning. The pattern had a half-inch seam allowance which would be folded over to create boning channels in the lining, so the lining itself had to be tough! I tossed up adding interfacing to the lining but in the end decided against it- for both time constraints and laziness were factors. In the end it help up fine so I'm not fussed that I didn't add it.

The lining pieces were sewn together, and I used an iron to help fold over the seam-allowances. The pattern allowed for a seam down the centre front, which I didn't add to the outer layer for aesthetics, but it meant the lining could have boning down the centre!
Here you can see all the boning channels after they were ironed and pinned in place ready for sewing.

With the help of Mikey (I hate cutting the boning...) we cut out and capped a bunch of spiral steal bones. I had measured their lengths previously to guarantee they would sit just on my hips- not above or below- when they were inserted into the channels.

I closed the top of the boning channels, slid the coordinating boning into their places and sewed the bottom of the channels closed.
And that was the lining completed!

Next was the fun part: the outer fabric. I had found a velvet in the fabric store that was a dappled green- it reminded me of sunlight through a tree. It was a darker green than Tink's usual dress, but I just fell in love with this fabric and HAD to use it. It was on the expensive-side, but the quality was amazing.

I started by making up a new pattern. Ugh. The new pattern had the half-an-inch seam allowance removed. But it had to be done because I didn't trust myself with the old pattern: just 'guessing' where the half-an-inch allowance was while sewing the new fabric could lead to disaster, and I didn't want to risk it. Better to be meticulous.

With the new pattern, I cut the outer fabric (with no seam on the centre front), and sewed it all together. I had previously borrowed an overlocker from a friend but had to return it, so I went over the seams with a zig-zag stitch on my machine. Velvet sheds A LOT in the seams, so I wanted to make sure it was sturdy. I have millions of tiny green balls around my house now from the fabric clinging to my clothes.

After a quick check: pinning the layers together to make sure they sit ok- it was all about the embroidery! I unpinned the layers and got the outer fabric ready.
I had done some quick sketches of where I basically wanted the embroidery to go (following a rough guideline of Disney's park dress) but toward the end of the embroidery I just went free hand and put the details where I liked.
Initially I thought I would have to hand-embroider it all. The thread I had found was a iridescent polyester- I could break it easily if I stretched it- so I didn't think it would hold up under the tension of a sewing machine. A part of me regrets choosing this thread, but it was SO pretty I couldn't stop myself...

In the middle of embroidering!

Despite my hesitation, I gave the thread a go in the sewing machine. And it managed ok! It did break a few frustratingly-consecutive times, at which point I would just get up and walk away so I wouldn't pull out my hair. Re-threading it was a pain in the behind, as the polyester curled and made it super difficult to hook into my machine.
Somehow, though, I managed to embroider the whole outer dress on the machine. It did take me a while (and I dont have an embroidery machine so I just used zig-zag stitch and straight stitches, haha!) but I was really happy with the result. The iridescent thread reflected the green beneath but sparkled an array of colours. Some of the smaller threads were harder to see from a distance, but the thick 'leaf' threads looked great!

Finally, I could attach the two fabric layers together. I pinned them across the top and sewed them together; making sure when they were right-side-out the boning channels/seams would be between the layers and not on my skin. I flipped them open, pressing the seams toward the lining and then stay-stitched across the top.

At this point, I figured I should do some fitting tests (as currently I had just been draping it onto my model) because the next step was adding the white steal bones and eyelets to the back of the dress. I'm glad I checked, because somehow (like usual!) I had made the dress too big.

I cut out an inch from each side of the back of the dress, then sewed them together from the top of the dress to half-way. I left the bottom open for the moment, as I wanted room to slide the last bones in.
I sewed the first boning channels close to the seams on both sides, then left a 2.5cm gap and sewed the second one. I slid the bones in to check there was enough room (lol) and then got Mikey to cut them to the right length. We made sure to curve the edges as the white steal can be quite sharp!
Before I added the final bones, I spent an evening putting eyelets into the gap between the back-boning channels. I'm getting better at putting them in! Well, maybe not better, but faster! Haha!
Eyelets getting put in...

Finally I slid the white bones in, and closed the ends of the boning channels. I made a small modesty-panel and added that to the right side of the dress, hiding the seams in the boning's seams.

Agh, so close to being finished!
I sewed the dress closed at the back, and then hemmed the pointed skirts. At first I considered hand-sewing the hem to hide the thread, but gave up the thought because I'm lazy. Instead I turned over the seams- so the velvet curled over the lining- and did a simple straight stitch. It turned out quite well because the velvet does a good job at hiding the green thread!
The back finished (with wings for effect!)

I had a finished dress! But it wasn't entirely completed...
I spent a whole day adding rhinestones! I thought it would be quick and easy to add them- boy was I wrong. Being so careful to not get glue on any other part of the dress, I added them one-by-one. I had a variety of sizes so I tried to add interesting clusters at points of the embroidery, especially at the embroidery that was harder to see from a distance.
Adding rhinestones.

Once that was dry (I left it for 24 hours as the glue suggested, but it dries in a few hours) I laced the dress with some olive-coloured cord and it was FINISHED!

But, Tink isn't Tink without her iconic puff-ball shoes.
Luckily I had some old round-toe shoes with a small wedge heal. They were tan in colour with fake suede material- so I covered them with scraps of my green velvet. I used PVA glue- which I was a little worried about, as although they (in theory) would stick well together as they were both fabric, I didn't know how long it would hold up. I did sneak some super glue into the seams around the top and bottom of the shoe, just in case. And I used the same super glue to stick two big white puff-balls to the front of each shoe! Then I scattered some rhinestones on the shoes to help cover the seams and tie them in with the dress. And they were done!
Puff-ball shoes!

Lastly I styled the wig. I made a little hair tie out of scrap velvet- like Tink has the the Disney Fairies books (which I love!) and sewed it loosely to the bun so it wouldn't slide around.

My wings I purchased from Fancy Fairy Wings- I really recommend her for amazing, one-of-a-kind (and replicas of famous fairies!) beautiful wings! I got size Medium for Tinkerbell, and although I was tossing up getting the Large, I'm glad I got the Medium. They are the perfect size!

And finally, here are some finished photos:

 Photo courtesy of JatsTV

 Photo courtesy of Charlie from I Got Superpowers

(And the back just because I didn't get any photos of it that day...)

Like I said, I was going for a more 'cheeky' Tinkerbell- and I underestimated how big my boobs would look in the dress. Eep. But I shouldn't complain because the dress looked wonderful!

Time to Complete:
It took me about 3 weeks to make- but there were many many distractions which prevented me from working on it consecutively each night. The pattern took the longest! I'd say, if I was working on it all day with no distractions, it probably would've taken me 5 days to complete the whole costume.

In total I would say this costume was about $350, but only because the wings bring the price up! Haha! The fabric and threads were $60 altogether, and the boning was some I already had stashed away for future projects. The rhinestones cost me $15 with shipping and I still have a ton left over. The wig and wig-bun were $60 with shipping from Arda, and the shoe-puffs were $4. All the glues (rhinestone and pva) I had already in my stash.

Final Thoughts:
I am really happy with this costume! I got a lot of compliments, and nobody was a creeper. Haha! There are little bits on the dress I would like to fix up- such as some dodgy seams and one or two rhinestones which need to be glued down more securely- but overall I'm proud of it. The dress ended up still being a little too big across the chest- in some photos I can see it sticking out even though the corset lacing was done up all the way.
I've still got a good amount of velvet left-over, so I am going to make a little cardigan to wear over the dress should I ever get any Tink parties. This will make it a little more modest! Regardless, I still had parents and their children coming up to me all day for photos.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Snow Queen Wig

Hi lovelies!
Back, this time with something a little different.

The Snow Queen Wig

Long story; as most of you know I not only run my own mermaid business, I'm also contracted out by an amazing local company doing princess/fairy parties. And for the last few months I'd done my best to avoid being the Snow Queen. 
Its not that she's not a wonderful character, I'm just not a huge fan of playing her. haha! And at the moment, children are crazy over her. Absolutely insane-jumping-off-the-walls-screaming-'omg-the-Snow-Queen-is-here' crazy.
My usual characters are the Snow Princess and the Mermaid Princess. So as the Snow Princess, I get to see a lot of the insanity that happens at kids parties with the Snow Queen. Plus, as the Snow Queen you have to be regal and a little reserved- the Snow Princess its far more relaxed and goofy. I'm naturally attuned to the second one. haha!

It was finally time for me to accept my fate. We had more Snow Queen bookings than actors.

And so, I decided it was probably a good idea to invest in a nice Snow Queen wig. I dont know what it is with kids, but they will always ask if you're wearing a wig. Every. Time. Maybe its just me? But the easiest way to avoid the persistent pulling of wigs to prove their point, is to have a realistic one, as you can simply go 'oh yes of course its my real hair' and move on. If there is a STRAND of different hair colour peaking through, they wont drop it, and you'll be defending your hair-do for the rest of the party. Somehow, I've found it's 3x worse as the Snow Queen- perhaps its because her hair is so iconic?

Anyways, after some searching around I discovered that most long, lace-front wigs in white or platinum blonde were sold out.
With two weeks til my next Snow Queen party, I needed a solution. This is what I came up with:

This lovely pile of hair is one wig and two wefts.

I've not had much luck with lace-front wigs until I purchased from Arda. My head is a strange shape; everything is too big around the front. But with Arda its not so noticeable- so I decided to go with them again!
Arda also has the advantage of stocking wefts in every single colour to match their wigs.

Unfortunately, they were sold out of EVERY long lace-front wig in Titanium or Platinum blonde.
But, they did have this fella:

It was too short, but it was lace-front and had nice choppy layers around the face. I decided it would only take a packet or so of wefts to bulk up the length.
This is the Morpheous from the side.

And one very impressive weft. I think it is about 90cm long!

The process of adding wefts to a wig is pretty simple. There are tons of tutorials online about how to do it! Its just time consuming, lol!
But basically, you part the wig around (I start at the bottom and work my way up) and sew the wefts onto the elastic supports:
Here is my super-dodgy photo of one weft sewn in. lol.

You do this to as many layers as you like, working your way up the wig. In the end I used one whole packet of wefts, and about 60cm length of another just for good measure.

I ended up with this:
Please excuse the super messy room.

Now the fun part! (Not...) de-tangling the lovely mess of a wig. You'll find wig-wefts are quite wispy and easily tangle. Its annoying but I spent about half an hour brushing it out! lol! Always use a wig-comb, and if you have some on hand (I didn't, silly me) some de-tangling spray is a miracle worker.

Finally, its about styling the wig. I have no photos of this, as plating a 90cm wig requires two hands ...and feet to hold the wig-head.
I separated the front layers from the rest of the wig before plating, but the layers are all quite wispy so many fell out of the plat- it didn't look too bad, so I just went with it. I trimmed the front layers a fair bit, and sprayed the heck out of them with hairspray.

In the end, this was the final wig:
Its really not perfect. haha! But I was pleased with it. I ended up trimming about 25cm off the plat itself, as it was far too long.

And here it is on:
Taken in the car before the party, haha!
The final touches before the party is a generous spraying of glitter hairspray. Very generous.

Time to Complete:
This wig took about 4 nights to do, as I just worked on it in the evenings in front of the tv. haha!

It was $95 all up for the wig and two wefts, not including shipping. White thread was from my stash.

Final Thoughts:
Although I would've preferred a longer-based wig to start off with, I'm pleased that this one kind of resembles the Snow Queen! lol! I had planned to hand-sew some more hair into the lace at the front of the wig to create a widows-peak, but decided against it as time wasn't on my side.
I'm going to find super strong hair gel to re-do the front wisps, as after one party the hairspray had completely worn out and the layers were everywhere! Also need to find some snow-flake hair pins, but the children dont notice they are missing (the glitter must distract them... haha!)

Thanks for Reading!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mizuko Website

Hi everyone!

I've had a nice little break from costuming, but I'm back into it again in preparation for SupaNova in November.

In the mean time, I finally published my Mizuko business website!

Really excited to have it up and running finally. I also have new business cards to match the site, as well as Instagram!
Follow Mermaid Mizuko here: It's a bit of a mix of my mermaid, everyday and costuming life :)

Until next time!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Belle Once Upon A Time Costume

My second costume I made for AVCon :)

Once Upon A Time

This costume was probably the fastest costume I'd ever made. I started it the Saturday before AVCon, had a princess gig in the afternoon, continued it Saturday night, and finished it Sunday morning... I was really proud that everything I've been learning along the way came into effect!

Because of this, however, there is literally 1 progress photo...

Like any good project, I started with finding a pattern for the bodice.
Simplicity came to the rescue again with pattern 5582!
It was the perfect shape, all I needed to do was add boning to give a nice fit.

The blue fabric I found for the dress and skirt was an upholstery fabric- it was lovely and thick and had the texture similar to the costume in the show. Because of this, I only cut out one lining fabric from coutil, and used sew-on boning channels.

I added 2 spiral steel bones in the bust, 4 on the sides (2 each side) and 3 in the back.
4 white steel bones were added to the front where the lacing needed support.

The trim was some polyester suede I cut up from a 30 cm width piece, and sewn on once the bodice front was attached to the lining (no bones added). The hardest part was sewing the trim to the front area- I needed to make sure there would be room to slide the white steel stays through the trim/bodice stitching!

Before I added the trim along the bottom, I added the eyelets for the lacing (the pattern only asks for 6 but Belle's dress has 10) and slid in the boning, hand-sewing the boning channels closed behind them so they wouldn't slip around! 

Here is the only progress photo, haha:

Next was the skirt.

Belle has a lot of pleating around the waist, and wears some small hip-rumps to give the skirt shape. I decided to avoid the hip-rumps purely because my hips are big enough as it is! lol!

To make the skirt I took a long rectangular piece of the blue fabric, the shorter length cut to the length I wanted it to sit at my calves, and hemmed one side. I then proceeded to hand-pleat the other side. I put a running-stitch through the pleats to hold them.
The underskirt was a circle skirt of cotton with lace sewn to the hem, and I pinned it to the pleated top of the skirt.
The waistband was then added, as well as a zipper (which I didn't make invisible but the pleats happen to hide it perfectly! Yay!) and after sewing the last seam of the skirts I hand-sewed a hook-and-eye to the waistband above the zipper.

The white undershirt was one I found at a second-hand shop, lol. I cut the sleeves shorter, added extra material to them to make them puffy, and sewed the lace onto it.

And that was it! (For now!)

Photo by TiMarsh Digital Imaging

I wore it on the 19th of July, the Saturday of AVCon. It was super comfortable. haha!

I do, however, want to finish the costume completely, and make Belle's cloak:
So you'll be seeing more pictures of this in the future, on my Facebook page! :)

Time to Complete:
This costume took me a day and a half!

In total it was probably about $80-$100 in materials, including boning.

Final Thoughts:
For a thrown-together costume, I am rather proud of it! Its far from perfect, and it really was 'thrown together' when I compare it to the hours and slow progress I did making Ariel's gown. lol!
My only regret is the skirt- I wish I had done a large circle skirt, making the waist very big so I could pleat it like usual, because it would've made the skirt fuller. I love big skirts. Other than that I am happy with this quick costume!
It wont be complete until I finish the cloak, though, so stay tuned for updates on the cloak :) Just trying to find the perfect material for it (that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars a yard...) but I've got the exact clasp used to hold it together, woo!


Ariel The Little Mermaid - Pink Gown Part 2

Part 2 of making my cosplay!
Part 1 is here

Ariel The Little Mermaid
Pink Gown

Part 2.

The sleeves were the next step!
I made a mock-up from some scrap fabric first, as I wasn't sure how big or nice-looking the diamonds on the sleeve puffs would be!
I was pretty happy with this first attempt.

So it was onto the fashion fabric!
I made this picture super-big so the details are easier to see.
I cut out diamond shapes in the outer fashion fabric, pinned the corners down for a smooth finish, and then backed it with the white bridal satin.
There is also a cotton lining but it wasn't added until after the next step!

Ah, beading, I don't know whether I love you or hate you.

This was my first attempt EVER at hand-beading. I purchased an embroidery ring, which helped a lot. In total it took 3 nights on-and-off to bead around each diamond. I love the result! Using AB glass beads and white pearls means that in the light it really glitters, and also some AB shell sequins to tie it together.

I added the cotton lining and hand-gathered/pleated the sleeves. Before sewing they looked like this:

And I hand-sewed them to the bodice!
Yay! It looks the way its supposed to look! Haha!

Next was the simple long-sleeves, I made my own pattern for this because its super easy. I added white piping to the pointed sleeve ends, as well as two button loops so I could have it tight around my wrists.
No photos of this process, sorry! >.< 

Next step was the decorations! (Wee!)
This was a long and interesting process.

I had purchased a huge roll of wide lace (I think it was 15 meters!) and dyed it pink. Unfortunately, even though the dye was 'rose pink' (a lovely soft, subtle pink) the lace turned out hot-pink. I have no idea why. As I was dying it, I literally blinked and it had gone from white to hot pink. After 4 attempts at washing it with clothes powder and soaking it for hours, it had faded a little- but not enough. So that was scrapped!
In my enthusiasm I had also purchased 10 meters of a thin white lace, which I'd intended to add to the hem of the pink overskirt. But once it was pinned in place... I hated it. It was too much!

Luckily, I had a third option, which was a beautiful pearl-drop trim I'd purchased in bulk. I pinned it on, and yes, it was perfect! 
This is with the pearl-trim pinned on. Its subtle, right?
...But it needed more sparkle...
So I spent the next 4 days hand-sewing the pearl trim on, with extra AB and pink beads, and the AB shell sequins.
My hands were raw from stabbing myself with pins, but it was worth it! haha!
(No close-up photos of this as of yet, I will do more detail shots once I do a final photoshoot)

The evening before AVCon I threw together a simple bow to cover the back of the dress, as it wasn't 100% completed. (Sorry no photos again...)

It's still not entirely finished- I would like to add some more pearls and maybe some rhinestones to make it more sparkly! hehe! But I debuted it at AVCon as-is, and I was very happy to finally wear it! :)

The wig was interesting; I'd purchased two different coloured red wigs, and had planned to join them together to create a lovely mix. But after 3 wefts were sewn in, I changed my mind. lol. So I pulled the wefts out and used just the base wig!

But anyways, here are some photos taken at AVCon:

I am really happy with my first gown! I cant wait to add more sparkly things to it and have a proper photoshoot, perhaps at a beautiful garden somewhere :)
Once I do, I will post the photos on my costuming page on Facebook:

Time to Complete:
I started this project at the end of June, and it was worn at AVCon on July the 20th, so it was just under a months work!

I hadn't actually thought about this... lol.
A rough estimate would be about $350-$400, including the crinoline petticoat, all the fabric, trims, etc.  

Final Thoughts:
This was my first big gown ever, and I am thrilled with it!! I really felt like a princess wearing this!
Like I've mentioned above, there are more things I would like to add to it, such as pearls and rhinestones. I would also like to alter the sleeves- they are slightly too long. I discovered later that the dress was worn too high on my shoulders (getting dressed in a rush was to blame) as it was meant to be more off-the-shoulder; the bum-rump I wore beneath the dress might've helped lift the bodice higher, pushing it up on my shoulders. But the way it sits, even on the shoulders, is just beautiful!

This was my biggest sewing project to-date, and I am so happy it turned out well!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Facebook Page

Hi everyone!

Just a little update, I will be finishing the Ariel Pink Dress write-up soon (maybe tomorrow...)
But for now I wanted to share with you my new Facebook Page:

(Yes, a silly name I know. lol.)

I decided to start a Facebook page as its so much easier to share progress photos and photoshoots! Of course, I will still be updating this blog with more in-depth descriptions of my costume making, but Facebook is a great 'instant' updater!
I haven't posted on there much as of yet, but it'll be updated with a lot of things within a week :)


Its been a week since AVCon, and since then I've only sewn a little (fixed up a skirt that popped a button, lol) so I'm getting the itch again! Already have my next cosplay decided and will start on it soon.

Anyways, if you'd like, please follow my new costuming page! (And for that matter, my mermaid business page too! Lol! > Mermaid Mizuko <)


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ariel The Little Mermaid- Pink Gown Part 1

Its no secret I love all things mermaid- and like most people, Ariel is certainly my favourite one. I've already made her town outfit (write-up here) and I've been working on her tail on-and-off for the last few months. I fell IN LOVE with her re-design dress (the turquoise/green one) and decided instantly I was going to make it! The issue was: I'd never made a ball gown before. I was honestly worried I'd ruin it purely from insufficient knowledge!
So, I put in on my list of 'dream costumes' and left it there.

Fast forward a year. I began staring at Ariel's pink gown.
It wasn't my favourite (pink with red hair?!) but before I knew it, I was singing a different tune. I actually fell in love with it! And I realised, it was probably a great place to start with learning how to make a gown.
And so, this project was started!

Ariel The Little Mermaid
Pink Gown

Part 1.

I decided around April I wanted to make this dress, and to wear it to AVCon the third weekend of July. But construction didn't actually start until the middle of June! Which meant I had a month to make it... (Yes, I seem to put myself in these situations.)

(Please ignore the backgrounds in my pictures, my sewing room got progressively messier as the weeks went on because I didn't want to spend time cleaning it when I could be sewing! haha!)

The design I wanted to change, too, as I wanted a slightly-unique gown that was still recognizable as Ariel. I loved the pocket-hoop look that FireFlyPath did for Tracy Hine's dress- especially after drooling over all the dresses in Marie Antoinette- so I was going to incorporate similar into my own dress. The sleeves I wanted to keep closer to the movie, but the skirts I decided to change. I drew up a sketch and I realised it looked like a giant pink marshmallow. haha! (Not that I mind, I use to wear lolita, haha!) I've decided not to share the sketch because like most things, the design changed during construction!

First step, I did my usual find-a-pattern-I-can-alter search. Which came out easier than I thought!

Ah, Simplicity, like a paper knight coming to the rescue.
Pattern 1728 fit the general shape of the bodice and sleeve puff I was after. The only things I would have to make without a pattern would be the skirts (simple circle skirts) and the bottom half of the sleeves.

I wanted a different material for Ariel's pink bodice/over skirt. I decided on a pretty metallic brocade from Ebay International. The only issue was I didn't think there would be enough for the entire over skirt: luckily my initial design sketch incorporated a second chiffon over skirt, which should compensate for the length! (You will see later in this post!)

My petticoats were both from overseas- a small hoop skirt and a giant tulle petticoat. I wanted lots of fluff. I then added a third petticoat made from chiffon, so it could peak out while in motion.
(Before hemming)
Thankfully my friend Eden lent me her overlocker! Ah, it saved SO much time! I love chiffon but its horrible to work with if you dont have an overlocker.

Next step was cutting out the bodice patterns.
I made a mockup, which amazingly fit great first go! So it was straight into cutting out the bodice layers. I cut a coutil inner-layer, the fashion (outer fabric), a light cotton lining and some interfacing.
The fashion (outer) fabric panels.
I ironed the interfacing to the cotton lining, then sewed all the individual panels together. I pinned the lining to the coutil inner layer, right sides out, and marked where the boning channels would go. I sewed the channels, stopping about 1 to 1.5cm from the top of the bodice.

Mikey used the dremel to cut the right length spiral steel bones for me, as well as 4 white steel bones. (I hate the sparks it makes, so he's only happy to do it for me, haha!). I doubled up the spiral steels (7mm) for extra support.

I pinned the outer fashion fabric to the two inner ones, right-sides together, and sewed along the top. I didn't sew the inner-sleeves together, nor the back panels (yet). I then opened it out and sewed the seam allowance to the inner fabric.

Finally, I inserted the bones, and hand-stitched their channels closed so they wouldn't fall out!
(What the lining looks like with the boning inside)
Would you believe this is my first boned bodice? Its not perfect, but I am pretty happy with it!

Eventually I had to actually take a fair bit of material out of the back panels- as I tried it on and discovered it was rather big. The boning really gives a good corseted waist, so the extra material wasn't needed.

I did however add a modesty panel, just to be safe, and sewed the final white steel boning channels into the back. The eyelets were inserted first, then finally the last 4 white steel bones.

I made some white piping using old cord and scraps of satin from the under skirt, and sewed it along the bodice waist. And the bodice was complete!

Next was the white underskirt. I found a super lovely bridal satin, which just so happened to be only $9 a meter at the time (instead of $19! Bargain!) and I also had a voucher, so it really only cost me $5 a meter in the end.
To make the skirt I just cut a basic circle skirt (two halfs).
Here's the white skirt pinned onto the bodice.
Hemming would be a challenge. But I wasn't thinking of that at the time! haha!

Next step was making the pink over skirts.
I decided to do a chiffon layer first, then add a shorter fashion-fabric layer on top. The chiffon was a rectangular off-cut that I gathered into the waist and basted onto the white underskirt.

I spent a little while pinning the top layer on- just to see what it looked like. When a gathered rectangle the over skirt created the lovely hip-puffs I was desiring for the start! Perfect! But I wasn't sure how well they would hold up without any support- I didn't have time or the materials to make proper pocket hoops. So I found an old petticoat, cut it up, and created two hip-puffs to support the shape:
Improvisation for the win!

And finally, I added the last skirt layer:
Yay! Its starting to look like the way I imagined!

I pleated the over skirt layer, which helped fit it into the waist-size, but it still required a bit of squishing to get it that small. The end result was perfect! I was really happy!

Next it was onto hemming all the skirt layers.
No photos of this, as I spent one whole evening doing a rolled hem on the white underskirt, burning myself in the same spot at least 6 times with the iron. Ugh. Then I discovered the hem was super wonky. Luckily it was just really long, so I had to cut a new hem. Its still a little long (and most likely wonky) but it'll do for now! Haha! The chiffon layers were super easy with the over locker (gosh I love over lockers, I really have got to get myself one soon!) and the pink over skirt was a simple hem, as it would be decorated later anyway.

And that's it for Part 1!

Part 2 will show the sleeves, decorations, wig-sewing and hopefully some finished photos at AVCon! I'm still working on it, so fingers crossed I dont mess up in the next few days! haha!