Finished Pictures 10/22/10

I wore the costume to work today for our “Literary Characters” Fun Day.  I was surprised at how many people thought I was Queen Elizabeth I.  One lady who thought so complimented me on how accurate everything was – I assumed that meant she’d seen Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, not realizing until later in the conversation who she thought I was!  Heh.  Who knew QE I was into hearts and blue eyeshadow?    The cutest reaction was a teeny baby who stared at me with REALLY wide eyes for several long moments, then burst into a huge smile!

The boots lasted pretty well all day, although toward the end, I started shedding little doily pieces.    Oh well.  They looked good while they lasted!  The paint also cracked around the ankles, but that doesn’t look too terrible, as the boot’s original color is brown.  It sort of looks like the wrinkles well-worn leather gets, so that part isn’t too bad.  If I wear them again, I’ll probably just strip the doilies off and let them be simply gold.

Here’s the Red Queen with “Jane Roland”, a character from Naomi Novik’s wonderful series about English dragons and the Napoleonic War.  If you haven’t read that series, btw, give it a try.  It’s really, really good – and so is Sara’s costume!

Gold Boots 10/21/10

I finished these awhile ago, but am just now posting pics.  On my facebook page, I was stressing a little over how to create the Red Queen boots.  The gold spray paint was easy; I just couldn’t quite figure out an easy way to the do the black patterns.  Cathie commented that I should try decoupaging the designs on, using black-painted sections cut from paper doilies.  I would never have thought of that, but it seemed like a brilliant idea.  Thanks, Cathie! 🙂

It turned out the hardest part was finding doilies with a good design locally. Finally I found ones with a good pattern in the cake decorating section of Michaels. 

You’ll notice the patterns are not very similar to the actual Red Queen boots.  I *could* have covered the boots more densely, but when I laid it out, I actually liked the sparse look better.  And I like how the patterns are sort of gear-like, making them the perfect accessory to a steampunk outfit, should I make one that requires gold boots!

I did put a leather heart over the toe:

To make them, I cut the doilies apart into the sections I wanted, then painted them black.  When the paint had dried, I glued them to the boots using Mod Podge.  I then painted over the entire boot with several layers of Mod Podge.  I *hope* they will stand up the stress of being worn.  We’ll see whether the paint starts cracking, or the doilies peeling off!  Right now everything seems good.

Tomorrow is the Big Day when I  wear this outfit to work.  I’ve done a test run of the hair and makeup, and Things Look Good.  🙂

Finished, but for Accessories! 9/18/10

All that’s left is styling the wig, making the crown, and finishing the boots!

Corset & Boots – 9/9/10

I woke up really inspired to work on the Red Queen today!  First, I finished sewing the corset/bodice together:

Then, I added gold rick-rack trim along the edges of the gold silk, and also the black netting.  Now, it’s all fun!  I glued on the red gems, and have set it aside to dry.  If you notice, the gems I used are heart-shaped, rather than the actual squares used in on the film costume. The reason is that I can’t find square ones ANYWHERE locally, and rather than mail-order them, I decided to use oval ones instead.  And then, on my way out of the jewelry section, I found these hearts.  So perfect in concept!  I’m quite pleased with these as an acceptable substitution.

While I was doing this, I was also painting my Red Queen boots. I started with these:

They are brown pleather boots I got on clearance for $5.  I spray painted them black first, using my fab Krylon paint that bonds to plastic brilliantly!

Then, after they had dried, I put on a second layer of gold paint.

Next, I need to put on the decorative black patterns, like below:

I’m thinking perhaps if I get a stencil, in a similar pattern?  This is the only part of the process that concerns me.

Underskirt – 8/5/10

Today I cut out a zillion little heart (black hearts, gold hearts, and two layers of fusible stuff for each heart) and then fused them onto my red underskirt fabric using an iron.  Kind of fun, and it turned out well:

blouse + sleeves + done  8/4/10

Or mostly done. I still have to sew the trim on the cuff of one sleeve, but that’s easy stuff!

Note that it fits *me* better through the shoulders. This dummy has very narrow shoulders!

I’m particularly pleased with the lace I found. It has the look of the “paper cut out” lace on the original – and I only needed to order it from Asia! (Ebay is a marvelous thing!)

Next up: finishing the corset!

Gold Sleeves 7/31/10

I’ve been busy dollmaking and being a mother to six baby chickens, so I haven’t had time to sew like I’d like.  Now I’m determined, though, and I am going to be devoting some serious time to this costume!

I’ve been working on the sleeves, and I mostly have the lower parts done.  Once I figured out what I was doing, it’s been fun.  I like sewing the beads on the red ribbon!

Previously, I’d done the pin-tucking on the blouse’s front. I’ve also got the white collar mostly sewn, but I didn’t get a picture yet.

Beginning 6/13/10

I started cutting the bodice/corset for the Red Queen today. I’m using two layers of duck with boning between, and then a top layer of my pretty fabric.  So far I mostly sewed boning channels, but I did get the gold from of the bodice planned and cut out. Then, to get an idea for how it will look, I pinning on some red ribbons, black lace, and jewels. None of these (except for the gold fabric) are the actual materials I’m using. I haven’t yet purchased the black netting or the jewels I’m going to use.

I also played around with the white collar. This is the only part of the costume that scared me, because I’ve never done anything like it, and I’m not sure how. But after playing around for a bit, I think I’ve got a handle on how it needs to go together. Whew!

NEW overskirt fabric 6/9/10

Isn’t it a law of the universe?  Stop looking, and you find it?  It’s not a metallic brocade, but I like it. It matches the gold silk dupioni perfectly (better in real life than in the pic, actually).

I might try experimenting with some fabric paint, and see if I can “color” the designs inside the diamonds.   Any day now, I’m going to start cutting on this costume!

The Red Queen

I’ve been wanting to do a film dress reproduction again for quite some time now, but I keep getting distracted (usually by something steampunk).  Well, after I saw Tim Burton’s gorgeous Alice in Wonderland, I saw the dress I’m going to make: the Red Queen.  It’s gaudy, it’s over-the-top, it’s colorful, and it’s got tons of interesting things going on.  Plus, I THINK I can make it fairly cheaply.

The stockings are the first thing I bought, because I found the exact pair at Sock Dreams.

I also have a stuffed pig that actually twitches and snores.  The hardest part has been finding the fabric for the overskirt.  It does not exist, apparently, online or in any store local to me.  Finally, I found this at JoAnn Fabric for $2.50 a yard.  It’s red velvet, with gold metallic diamonds.  It’s not perfect – and I am sadly a perfectionist when it comes to this sort of thing – but it’s fine.  I can also replace it, if I stumble across the ‘real’ fabric later on – at $2.50 a yard, it’s certainly cheap enough!


The Seamstress of Avalon has the most helpful breakdown of this costume I’ve seen.

As of this moment, I have the white fabric for the collar, the red velvet for the overskirt, and some black taffeta for the shirt.  In the photographs, it appears to be a blue/black shot taffeta, but in the film it looks solid black.  After some internal debate, I decided to go with solid black because I personally like it best – and since it looks black in the film, I think I’m justified!