Posted 20 hours ago

UK Wishing bodice is *almost* finished.

I just need to cut any loose threads, etc, and make sure everything is how it’s supposed to be.

Once I do that, I’ll take some photos with my good camera and post them on my Enchanted Sea blog.  

I’ll also try to write up a larger blog post about how I made it and some challenges, etc. Challenge is the key word on this project!  I ran into a lot of little issues that I had to resolve (whether it be trying to find materials, or hand-sewing certain things, etc) and it taught me a lot. It was definitely one of the most [fun] challenging things I’ve ever created, and a labor of love. I’m excited to share the photos of the final project.

Due to a lottttttt of unforeseen hand-sewing, I clocked in at a whopping 66.75 hours for this bodice O_O (originally planned for about 35 to 40).  But I watched a lottttt of documentaries while I was hand-sewing and man, did I expand my brain quite a bit :D … Win-win ::thumbs up::

Posted 1 day ago

I think I’ll be able to resume sewing again tomorrow:

the tassels finally arrived (*furiously bats at them*) so I can resume the Wishing bodice and I’m very close to finishing the slavegirl.  I think I have 5 to 10 hours on each costume.
I’m definitely still open for commissions, feel free to read all the details about how it works and what to contact me with at enchantedsea.wordpress.com :)
Posted 1 week ago

I’d love opinions on this :)

I’m quite satisfied with the fabric I found for Red’s corset (a VERY similar one to the original) and finding the exact fabric for her cloak.  But I’m flip-flopping on the skirt fabric.

It’s a vertically-crushed velvet, in scarlet, which I had a VERY hard time finding online.  I found regularly crushed velvet (like crinkle velvet) and all the polyester / cheap / (horrible) panne velvet that I won’t use.  I actually had to order a swatch of something all the way from India, as it was the only thing remotely close to what I could find.

But, the color isn’t exact.  I need a deep scarlet. (Red with an orange-y tone/hint)  This is close, but it’s more of a crimson or wine color that’s very brownish, with notes of plum in it.  However, the weight and feel of it is divine - I think it’s pure silk, and it’s the most luxurious thing ever.  The crinkle is vertical and just how I wanted it, too.

Here’s some reference photos from my OUAT book.

(Ignore the other draped fabrics for now)

I realize color will differ on monitors, but here’s some photos of the fabric.  It appears much browner and darker in real life; for some reason, it photographs a lot better than it appears, color-wise.  (That’s strange!)

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And here’s some detail of the depth & texture of the crinkle.

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Should I go with this?  Or wait until I come across something better?  (Like I said, it photographs a lot closer to what the original looks like, but doesn’t look very close in real life)  … I really don’t think I’m going to get any closer than this.  Unless I’ve been searching with the wrong search terms.  (Is there a specific name for this type of velvet?).  It’d be like a $70-$90 investment for just skirt fabric.  I’m like, 75% happy with it.  But if you have an opinion I’d love to hear it?

Posted 1 week ago

Oww

It appears 4 hours of rope cutting and sealing, as well as 5 hours of hand sewing yesterday have rendered my hands quite useless today.  My fingertips are in a lot of pain and I pulled or irritated a tendon in my wrist.

I’m convinced it’s from pulling the trigger of the lighter I was using repeatedly for 4 hours, and cutting through dense rope, is what hurt my wrist.  But the hand sewing - 5 hours is nothing.  I think it’s because I’m sewing through some tough material (rope & faux leather).

I’m going to try a few more hours of hand-sewing today (I’m sure I’ll have to quit after about an hour) and then switch to something else.  I don’t have much machine sewing left on the slavegirl; it’s all like 80% hand-sewing.  Can’t move forward yet on the Wishing bodice until the tassels arrive (which are coming from Thailand rather than China, I was wrong).  I think they might have just left the country, so it’ll be a while.

In the meantime, I’m debating on whether I should start Red’s cloak or not.  I got the sample for the skirt fabric from India today (I had to drive all the way to my post office, 20 minutes away, just to pick it up, which sucked big time for a swatch of fabric, haha) and I’m not sure about it.  I think I want advice, so I’m going to make a separate post about it with a photo :)

Posted 1 week ago

Finishing Off Rope: My Solution

Another technique post :)

I’m not sure what blog I posted it on, but back when I was planning for the UK Slavegirl I asked about methods of finishing off Nylon rope.

Well, I finally got around to cutting all the rope today and attempting to finish the ends. (I’ve been putting it off, as it’s the most tedious part of the costume).  

Before I cut all the rope, though, I experimented with a few different ways of finishing it off.

My original plan was to dip the ends in hot glue.  I even bought a small little ‘pot’ specifically made for melting hot glue and dipping stuff into it.  Well, I got around to opening it today.  Plugged it in, waited a good 30 minutes, and it didn’t melt anything.  It didn’t get hot.  Read the instructions, and there’s no switch or anything - just supposed to be plugged in.  Defective…  So, that option was out.

So, I tried burning the ends.  I wanted to see if I could do it neatly and without charring it too much.  After cutting the end of the rope with scissors, the nylon frays; and I was able to melt it to where it looked halfway decent.  Yet, it was still bulky at the end.

But then I took a look at how the company I ordered from finished off the ends of the rope.  The ends were melted, but there was also tape on them.

So, I tried wrapping tape (I used clear packaging tape) around a section of rope.  After I cut it in the center, I used a flame to melt the end of the rope.  It melted it well and the packaging tape slightly pulled back from the end (curled back from the heat).  I then removed the tape, and it was a much cleaner melted end.  It only took about 1-2 more seconds of a flame on the end to make sure the edges were really sealed off.

Tedious, so tedious, but it actually worked and gave me a neatly sealed edge. It wasn’t bulky like the first time I tried it - the end was the same circumference as the rope itself.

I ended up going through two full lighters (I had a lot of rope).  I used the lighters with the extended tube, not like a basic cigarette lighter.  Tip: get one that’s comfortable to use.  I just used the ones around my house, and one had a really awful safety mechanism.  They all have those - where you must hold two things down at once (index finger on the trigger, thumb on the safety), but not all of them are comfortable.  Some are a lot easier to hold down than others, and it’ll save your skin.  Although I should probably be thankful I even had those lying around the house, because if I had to use my regular hand lighter, I’d be bleeding at this point.

So there you go.  An entire blog post on finishing off Nylon rope.  I suddenly feel I’ve reached the level of boring that Sherlock did when he analyzed 243 types of tobacco ash.  But maybe it’ll help someone, somewhere, using nylon rope… whether it be for costuming, crafting, boating, or bondage ;D

Posted 1 week ago

enchantedseacostumery:

Just some of the things you can get made-to-order in my Etsy shop now!

  • Premium B’way Dressing Gowns
  • Deluxe B’way Dressing Gowns
  • Basic B’way Dressing Gowns
  • Wishing-inspired Appliques
  • Don Juan Cloaks
  • Star Princess-inspired Beaded Appliques
  • Star Princess Tiaras

Check out each one individually in the shop for full descriptions :)

As always, I offer payment plans if you can’t pay everything up front; we just have to deal with it individually through PayPal :) 

Posted 2 weeks ago

Favorite Sewing Techniques / Effects / Materials

Here’s some of my favorite techniques, effects, and materials used on/in costumes.  Note: I may like the effect of certain techniques, but not necessarily creating them - they often require a lot of tedious labor!!

Not  in any particular order.

1.

Ombre. Anything.

An ombre effect is my favorite thing in the world.  I wish I had it on everything.  And it appears a LOT in the Phantom masquerade costumes, which I always appreciated.

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2.

Pleating

It’s so crisp and neat, compared to a more “sloppy” look of gathering.  Note: I don’t think gathering looks bad! I just like the effect of pleats more.

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3. 

Iridescent Elements

Give me iridescence over silver or diamond or pearl any day.  I love it - it’s like pearlized pastel rainbow!  But cameras just never do justice when taking photos of iridescent stuff :/

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4.

Embroidery & Beading

Oh, how I love embroidery & beading!  The average person would never understand how much time it takes to do both.  It’s such a rich, royal, intricate addition to any costume.

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5.

Appliques & Gems

I love bling-ing things up with shiny sequined or beaded appliques and rhinestone/crystal gems!

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6. 

TASSELS!

Maybe it’s my inner-cat, but I literally have an obsession with tassels, and I will use them wherever I can (I’ll sneak them in, like on dressing gown #3 below).  They’re just FUN and they move and they are fascinating *bats them*

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7.

Sheer and/or Lacy Drapery

I love how delicate the effect is.  And sometimes ghostly :)

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8. 

Burnout Effects

Especially on satins and charmeuse, and sometimes velvet.

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9. 

Tulle Edging/Trim

I love a sheer edging made from tulle.  I don’t get to utilize it a lot in replicas but I used it in my custom evening gown :)

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10.

Metal Findings

I love mixing metal with soft fabrics, or decorating something and giving it an armor-esque and ornate look.

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11. 

Ribbon Flowers

I don’t know why I love these things but I just DO!  I’ve loved decorating costumes and accessories with them ever since I started sewing.  Perhaps it’s a kind of woodland-fairy-esque element of wearing something natural like flowers.  They’re just kind of magical.  

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12.

Lacing & Mock Lacing

I like this element because it adds intricacy and a… historical element into a garment.  Whether it’s for function or fashion, I love the sense of the past and the historical look it gives.

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13.

Jacquard Trim

This woven trim reminds me of embroidery that I love so much.

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14.

Feathers

Another thing I don’t get to utilize very often unless I’m doing a hat!!  Another cat-like interest :)

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15.

Intricate Lace

Embroidered, beaded, colored… especially ones that combine all these techniques!  I love just staring at embroidered tulle lace on eBay.  It’s so pretty.

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Photos are all from costumes I’ve made, or stuff I’ve stashed away for new costumes :)  From top to bottom: Star Princess #3, Wishing Gown #2, Movie-Version Dressing Gown [abandoned], Mandarin Robe, Star Princess #2, Hannibal #4, Wishing Gown #1, Dressing Gown #3, Blue Striped Victorian Gown, Elvira Gown, Black Evening Gown, Dressing Gown #11, Red Evening Gown, Triton #1, Hannibal #2, Serafimo Maid, Red Death Bear, Aminta #2, Serafimo Maid, Wandering Child Hat, Countess [not started], Aminta #2.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Wishing Trim

I dyed the trim to a decent light china-blue type color, because I found a dye that was exactly the color I wanted.  It came out nice, but I was hoping for a more “cerulean” tint rather than something that had hints of lavender.  (And you wouldn’t even notice this kind of thing unless you’re a painter/artist and studied a lot of color, lol!  But you know how picky I get).

As much as I want to jump on sewing the trim on the costume to finish it, I think I better wait until I receive the tassels.  I want the tassels to match well, and I can’t be sure of that until I have them in person.  

I have a suspicion I’m going to have to tint / do a wash of watered-down cerulean dye.  [Dyeing is so tedious to me, so I’m hoping it matches well enough, but I’m about 60% thinking it’s going to have to be tinted just a bit… ever since I went through the Star Princess #1 dyeing fiasco, I never much liked dyeing unless I needed exactly the color on the box - because that’s foolproof.  Trying to achieve a lighter color, or mixing colors, or ombre dying, and doing it over and over and over just drives me nuts!!] [[Note: the Star Princess #1 dyeing fiasco was very similar, but not quite as bad, as Wishing Gown #1’s stenciling nightmare]].

So that’s on hold until the tassels arrive from China.  Although, international shipping has been pretty damn fast as of late; like, I’ve been getting things within a week of ordering them, or about 6-7 business days… it used to be a lot slower, like 3 weeks.  Everything’s been showing up fast - and it’s so much appreciated.

I really hope these tassels get here soon, so I can resume work and finish the bodice, and also because… tassels. *bats at imaginary tassels*

Posted 2 weeks ago

Fabrics

Swatches arrived today from Spoonflower for my Sherlock-related project :D :D once I get the fabric, I’ll reveal what I’ll be selling in my Etsy shop ;)

Ruby’s cloak & corset fabric arrived too.  I didn’t realize when you order home decor fabric, even if just one yard (like for the corset), they ship it on a home dec fabric roll.  They don’t fold it.  No wonder shipping’s outrageous!  I had big-ass tubes on my porch, the poor mail people… no wonder UPS hates me… (The roll of velvet was SUPA HEAVY)

Posted 2 weeks ago

enchantedseacostumery:

Random progress pic. Been working many hours on the collar and faux vest pieces and decorations.  Progress has been slow due to hand-sewing the appliqués; I originally thought I’d machine sew them, but the velvet on velvet was too slippery and they really needed hand-sewn.  Added a lot more hours but I think it’s turning out great :)  I’ve also been spending time on sewing snaps & closures at the front.

Next up is sleeve work & hem work. I already have the pleated cuffs created, as well as the velvet pieces that go on top, and appliqués sewn on them… but they need all the layers of trim, and the engageante lace - which I’m waiting to arrive in the mail.  I’ll also be working on the trimmings that go on the hem of the bodice.  I never realized how much trim is on this version until studying it closer!!  Love it.

The silver/blue trim was custom made because we couldn’t find anything remotely similar to the original.  It looks a lot cooler in real life, my phone camera doesn’t do it justice and makes the color look wonky.  Blame my poor basement lighting!!  There are three trims that go along the bodice hem and on the sleeves: a layer of the white trim (seen on the collar), layer of blue velvet ribbon (just arrived in the mail!), another layer of white, and then the intricate light blue looped-trim with tassels.  

We couldn’t find anything similar to the tassel trim, so I’m going to custom-make that too.  I’ll be dying white looped fringe home decor trim to the shade of blue I need, and sewing tiny tassels on.  Taking a closer peek at some reference photos, I’m almost convinced that the real deal might also add tassels on to a more basic trim.  I could be wrong, but it looks very custom to me!

More evidence of my theory is that some wishing gowns have the same, or similar looped trim, but different tassel arrangements…

 Tiered version

 A plainer arrangement

Because I can’t sew on the white & velvet trims until I stitch on the home decor trim, I have to wait until I dye the trim.  (These trims need to cover the top of the looped fringe trim, which is about 3/4” wide.  You can see in the reference photos that you just sort of see the looped part).  I just got some proper dye tonight so that’ll be my next step.  The tassels can be sewn on at any point, so I don’t have to wait for those (they just got ordered today, so it’ll be a week or two before I get them).

And if you guys know me, I freaking love tassels; I am like a cat.  Fascinated by them.  And the mini ones are going to be so cute.  It took a while to find them online!  Only one seller had something remotely similar to what I needed.  But anyhow, tassels make everything cooler.  So I’m excited about that!

Posted 2 weeks ago

[Sticking this on this blog since it’s kind of a learning & technique type of thing.]

I’m not even showing my first attempt at this trim! (It was with different ribbon and just bad). The second attempt at this trim was a more 3D effect, which looked good up close, but started to flatten in a strange pattern if it got pressed down. I immediately knew I did something incorrect, so I though about it and re-studied the reference photos.

I tried a similar but different weaving technique that was much tighter. I also came up with a better method of doing it, and making it almost perfectly even. (But I can’t give ALL my secrets out!! So I’m keeping that one to myself ;) I will, however, recommend using a wired ribbon, which can be hard to find in 1/4” width but not impossible. Because it was flatter this time, I was able to machine stitch it down. I’m in love with how well the third attempt turned out.

Did a lot of work on the wishing sleeves too (trimming them, hemming, adding lace, finishing cuffs), and reached a standstill where I literally MUST get that trim dyed before I can proceed with anything else. So, I dyed that tonight too after getting better dye. (Finally!) Letting it dry over night and I’ll resume work tomorrow. Then come friday/sat/sun I’ve got a LOT of hours at work so I’ll have to wait until Monday for more sewing adventures.

Open to new commissions, by the way! Read all the details about how to request a quote for clothing/costumes at enchantedsea.wordpress.com … or view ALL my artsy stuff at my portfolio kaedralynn.com :)

Posted 2 weeks ago

enchantedseacostumery:

Share on Facebook to enter!  Get an extra entry by sharing the contest photo on Instagram and tagging enchantedsea in the comments.  I’ll ship for free worldwide.  Contest ends August 30th :)

Headband is inspired by the golden angel proscenium of Phantom.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Future project

I’ve got a really cool project I’m going to do involving Sherlock & custom fabric from Spoonflower, but I’m going to leave it at that and keep the rest a secret :) It’s something that’ll be added to my Etsy shop in probably a month (2 weeks to get the darn proofs/swatches of the fabric, and another 2 to get my choice printed).

Posted 4 weeks ago

enchantedseacostumery:

See all of the photos over at my Enchanted Sea FB page in the Dressing Gown Album!

Thank you again, Shelby, for letting me create this for you and for helping me do what I love to do! <3

Costume originally designed by Maria Björnson; based off of the Broadway version of the gown. Visit my website if you’d like to ask about a commission for yourself!

Posted 1 month ago

enchantedseacostumery:

Progress, Wishing Gown. Only the back half of the bodice is constructed (and in need of boning & ironing). I need to purchase more navy cotton for lining; I thought 4 yards would do, but I could only line 8 of the 12 bodice pieces. (Each piece had 4 layers of cotton). However all 12 pieces of the fashion fabric are cut; I could just only work on 8 of them at the moment!

And, the appliques I custom made. (Top two are finished. Bottom appliques need the “+” cross in the middle, which I have to add manually after they’re embroidered, due to limitations/fussiness of my autopunch software. I could give a more technical explanation but it’s boring). Those appliques took 6 hours… WITH the help of a machine!

As usual, everything took twice as long as I thought it would! But I love a challenging costume! And now I know better for the future :)

#phantomcostumes #potocostumes #poto #phantomoftheopera #phantomuk #ChristineDaae #wishing #wishinggown #UK #westend #Victorian #fabric #patterns #costumes #commissions #custom #appliques #embroidery

Follow enchanted sea for more progress!!