Friday, May 30, 2014

Lady Amalthea- The Last Unicorn

Straight into a project I finished last November!

Lady Amalthea- The Last Unicorn

My sewing skills are not fantastic: besides basic skirts, a cloak and (of course) mermaid tails, the only dress I had sewn was my medieval one from this post HERE.
But, I really do enjoy sewing, so I am determined to get better!

Middle of last year I finally saw The Last Unicorn and I fell in love with the character Lady Amalthea. Her dress was lovely and simple, but pretty! I decided I would like to attempt to make her dress.

The first thing I did was search for patterns I could alter. I do not know how to make my own patterns- its on my 'to learn' list, but for now I'm comfortable altering store patterns. lol.
I found this by Butterick:
Butterick B4827
Its a very simple medieval style dress with a slight train and corset back. All I had to do was alter the pattern to be off-the-shoulder, and the sleeves to have a slight puff.
I wish I had a very clever way of altering patterns, but really all I do is trace out the pattern pieces I want to alter onto paper and cut out the paper in the way I'd like it to be altered (that way I dont destroy the store-bought pattern).

The next thing I needed (obviously) was the materials.
Lady Amalthea's dress- to me at first- looked very light blue/silver, but its actually a very pale purple. Most cosplayers seem to go the purple-route, but I'd seen a few using silvery blue.
Luckily for me I found a very silvery purple satin from my local Spotlight:

It was called 'lilac' so that was good! haha!
However, in most photos it came out more silvery. I dont mind so much :)

So, I began cutting out the material using the altered pattern.
This only took about 2 hours to get to this point:
(Yes my craft room is actually always that messy)
This is with all the front and back panels sewn together.
I use my cheep mannequin as a base for my shape, but I've learnt (as you shall see) that I should make it fit firm on it, as I have a habit of overestimating my measurements and everything ends up too big. :P

Next it was the sleeves!
I'd never done 'puff' sleeves before, so this was very new to me.
In the end I decided to make the puff out of a large rectangular piece of fabric, and just gathered it around the top and bottom. The rest of the sleeves I made the usual way. (Sorry for not taking photos of this part!)
With sleeves attached and neckline hemmed.
I actually thread very thin elastic through the top of the puff sleeves, so they would sit tight around my arms and not slide down!
For a first time altering sleeves, I was quite proud of myself. Haha!

Next was the corseted back- I actually have NO pictures of this! Argh! lol! I dont know why I forget to take photos of the back!
To be honest, its quite awful, but I was just happy to have a dress that did up. lol.
For the corset lacing I used silver eyelets and a heavy interfacing on the material to keep it from tearing. I used white cording to lace it up- on the theory that the white wig would cover most of it anyway, haha!

Now it was onto the trims.

Lady Amalthea's dress has dark purple 'clasps' or something similar running down the front of her dress, as well as the same colour trim on her pockets.
I... was extremely lazy and decided to just use lace trim for all these. haha!

I found a thick trim with a simple design, and dyed it using purple fabric dye.
This was my first time dying anything, so I was nervous I'd make a mistake and somehow destroy all the pots and pans in the kitchen, lol. But it was very easy and the colour turned out very rich!
With all the final trims pinned on, ready to be sewn.

And once all the trims were sewn, the dress was complete!

Luckily for me, I had a white wig stashed away in my growing wig collection, so all I needed was the 'star' scar on my head!

I wore this costume to SupaNova in November.
Here are some of the finished pictures:

Considering it was the second dress I'd ever sewn in my whole life, I was very happy with the results!

Time to Complete:
I worked on this on-and-off for about a week after work. Altogether I'd say it would be a day or two's work for someone more skilled. lol.

I wish I could remember how much I spent here (it was almost a year ago now...). But I believe I purchased 5.5 meters of the fabric, and 1.5 meters of trim, and 1.5 meters of white floral lace (for the neckline). I only used 22 eyelets and I purchased 1 yard of interfacing. All-in-all it was around $80, maybe more with the pattern, with scraps of trim and lace left over. :P

It may not be obvious in these photos, but the dress is too big. lol. I would've liked it a little tighter around the bust and waist- as it was it had a habit of gaping open around the bust! My first dress was also too big, so I've had to re-think how I estimate my sizing. lol.

Changing Tides

Long time no post!

Its been a couple of months since posting, and if you've read my last few updates you'd know I've been having doubts about continuing this blog.

Truth is, I do love blogging. But I'm such an irregular blogger: when I have rare spare time I seem to find myself doing nothing, and when I'm busy... well, I'm very busy!

I had to contemplate on what I loved about blogging.

And in the end, I've discovered what I love writing about most is my projects. Be it tail making, sewing, cosplay or random things. They aren't as personal as a diary, but they still help me remember times in my life that I enjoyed or learnt new things. And I really do love learning new things!

So with that enlightenment, I've decided to change the premise of my blog.

It will now be mainly my projects: past and present.
It means I can write about things I've sewn, mermaid tails and accessories, costume ideas, etc.
(Regardless, its still my blog, so you may see some fashion inspiration posts or mermaid information fluttering about on occasion...)
This relieves a lot of pressure for me. I can write when I have time and when I want to- not because I feel like my blog has been empty for too long.

Eventually I'll update my banner and what-not, and even update with a project post! (I have about 4 projects in the works at the moment, both mermaid and sewing, and I've finished 3 since my last update) But currently I am still, you guessed it, super busy!

If you want to keep up to date with my mermaid business, please follow my Mermaid Mizuko page on Facebook:

For everything else, watch this space! :)