Fabric: 1.5 yds of blue cotton sateen (stash), 1/2 yd red cotton sateen, 1/2 yd gold charmeuse (stash), 1 yd of cotton muslin
Alterations: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Lots.
Notions: Zipper. Cording for piping, harvested from pre-purchased piping in my stash (because I hate myself).
Make it again?: Not likely. I love it and will definitely make more character-themed dresses, but not this one. Likely. I don’t know. Who wants one?
Favorite parts: All of it. The bodice came out exactly like I hoped it would, which makes me super, super happy.
Process: This dress is totally inspired by Contagious Costuming’s beautiful Captain Marvel dress. As soon as I saw it, I wanted it. I thought it was a perfect “frosting” project for this month’s theme, since I’ll probably only wear it out to geeky events. Fortunately, I had a fair amount of fabric in my stash that was perfect for the project.
I knew off the bat that I wanted the Cambie skirt. It’s flattering and has pockets! What’s not to love? Figuring out which bodice I wanted was a little more difficult. My initial inclination was to go with Simplicity 1699, and in hindsight, that may have been a better option since the neckline is drafted higher. I opted to go with Simplicity 1606 instead since I had it in my stash and I wanted a little hand holding to perfect the fit of the bodice. For my first muslin (yes, first), I made size 22 since it corresponded to my full bust, but I was swimming in it. Then I went back and made size 16, which corresponds to my high bust. Much better fit, though I still had to adjust for pooling under the bust. This tutorial was a great help in that department.
Once I had the fit figured out, I drew out the design and used my muslin as a pattern. I didn’t want to destroy my good fabric, so I made up a third muslin to test the fit. I went back and forth on adding the faux raglan sleeves, and ultimately decided to include them. I’m very glad I did, because I really like the look of them.
After getting muslin #3 made up, I was ready to make the real deal. It honestly came together pretty quickly and easily since I’d already “made” it so many times. I did underestimate how much blue I needed, so I had to cut the length short by 2 inches. I also had to do some clever folding to get the skirt to work out. Oops.
I assembled everything a little counter-intuitively. In a typical dress, you’d make the bodice, make the skirt, then attach the two. I took Contagious Costuming’s advice and assembled the full front then the full back. This made satin stitching the star and installing the zipper much easier than if I went the standard way.
I opted to reuse my first muslin for the lining. I just lined the bodice since I wanted this to be comfy for summer cons. Yay cotton. I attached the lining to the zipper and then finished off the sleeves using this snazzy technique from Colette.
At this point, I thought that I’d just be able to add the collar and be done. HA. No. After drafting and creating a collar that I was oh-so-proud-of, I basted it in place… and felt like my head was swimming in it. Despite being large in stature, I have a tiny head. Much sadness (especially after making my own bias tape and piping. Grrr). So I decided to sacrifice the collar (though my lovely fellow Monthly Stitchers suggested making a jacket, so that’s happening). Still, that left me with the issue of how to finish the neck without seam ripping. I opted to press my seam allowances under and top stitch it down. I also top stitched the edges of the arm holes for matchiness.
Other thoughts: Even with all that work, I’m super proud of this dress. It’s hella comfy and I absolutely love how it turned out. I didn’t get finished with it in time for Fan Appreciation Day (I actually bailed since didn’t want the temptation to spend money), but I did wear it to Friday of A-fest and styled my hair after Captain Marvel’s fabulous faux-hawk from the 2012 run. I also nearly died when Kelly Sue complimented my dress.
And now for some obligatory dress form pictures.
I’d really love to make more geeky character-themed dresses in the future. I always forget how comfortable they are, and they’re just as much fun as cosplay. Rogue and Wonder Woman dresses are definitely in my future!