It has begun. With less than 3 months until DragonCon, I am beginning my costumes for the event. While to me it seems a bit scary to begin costume work this late in the year, I did make a statement after last DragonCon that while I wanted to sew more costumes, I did not want to spend 6 months working on costumes. In fact, I said I would “wait until 6 months out” before starting costumes. And now we are three months out. So apparently I am following that request I made of myself, hah.
I mentioned not too long ago that I’m making two costumes for this year – Lady Amalthea and Hades. With the end of my Spacey Summer Sewing Series (which was super fun, and themed sewing months will be returning post Dragon-Con for sure!), it was time to begin one of the costumes, and I am choosing to work on Lady Amalthea first. So this will be the first of my Last Unicorn costume posts 🙂
Step 1: Draft a Dress Pattern
I determined after spelunking through the pattern at Hancock last week that none of the options were worth spending full pattern prices for since I would have to modify them slightly anyway. So it was time to draft one.
I got out my tape measure, multiple rulers, pens, and the roll of tracing paper I bought on Amazon and got to work. And can’t forget the really classy envelope for taking measurements. I knew I wanted five dress pieces – the middle front piece, two side front pieces, and two back pieces. The way I decided to go about drawing the pattern pieces was based on a single question: Is the seam going to fall straight to the floor or not? At least for the top of the dress, this mattered – the two front seams and the center back seam would be straight. The side seams would be curved. The bottom of the dress would slope outward so that part of each piece would be angled. The top of the sleeves would be chopped off and hug my arms rather than a standard, full shoulder sleeve. As you can see on the envelope above, I took a bunch of measurements to aid my drafting. And by the time I was done, I wound up with 4 pattern pieces. Three for the main part of the dress, shown below.
And a single pattern piece for the sleeves. I drew it like normal, but marked a line for the top of the sleeve, where I’d need to cut the fabric to make it match the neckline for the rest of the dress.
Step 2: Cut fabric
I am using a very light lavender crushed panne velvet for this dress. It’s exactly like what I used for my Elizabeth costume. I bought a bunch of the fabric online, though I was still paranoid I wouldn’t have enough to cut the dress. Turned out, I could probably cut a whole second dress. I did my cutting on the floor this time, since the dress is so very long. And of course, my dogs helped. Apparently, Zedd will make a nest in anything that resembles a blanket.
Step 3: Sew!
I began with the center front piece, and attached eight small pieces of darker lavender bias tape in a purposely messy, somewhat angled pattern down the center front. I marked appropriate spots for “pockets” and placed appropriately sized bias tape pieces on the two side front pieces as well. Then I stitched the two side front pieces to the center front piece. That done, I marked the bottom of the zipper location on the center back seam, and stitched from he bottom up to that line. Then I installed the invisible zipper on the back piece.
I tried very hard to make the bottom of the zipper sit nicely against the seam in the back of the dress. Careful pinning and opening the seam allowance helped me make the zipper lay quite nicely when done. Then I stitched the side seams of the front to the side seams of the back and tried it on. It fits well, but I will probably take it in a bit along the seams before attaching the sleeves.
That’s where I am at the moment. But I think I will probably be finished with the dress this week, which would easily make it the fastest costume I have made yet. We’ll wait and see, but there’s not much left to do! Lady Amalthea, here I come!
P.S. I know I watched The Last Unicorn recently on Amazon Prime for free … but now it has a cost to rent it! WTF? Sad face! Oh well, probably worth purchasing anyway…