Costume Wrap Up 2011-2013

One of the reasons I was willing to give sewing a try a few years ago was seeing the amazing costumes my friends at work would pull together for Halloween. Two Halloweens, one steampunk convention, and one anime conventions later, I have several costumes of my own to be proud of.  Costumes are much more interesting than everyday clothes, not because they are more flamboyant, but because they usually significantly more difficult to pull off. I spend more time designing the costume and breaking it down to it’s individual pieces than I do actually assembling those individual pieces. The following post covers the three costumes I worked on in the past year. Enjoy! 😉

The Facts (Star Trek TOS Uhura Costume)

I went with something straightforward for my first costume, however it was a challenge since I decided to make about a week before Halloween. I wanted to make something cheap so all the parts came from either the remnant or clearance bin.

Difficulty Intermediate
Completed October 2011
Pattern Kwik Sew 2223 with modified collar
Fabric Red and black polyester fabric (remnant bin at Jo-Ann Fabrics)
Gold costume satin (remnant bin at Jo-Ann Fabrics)
Notions Gold rickrack
20 in. red zipper
Liquid thread (fabric glue)
Total cost $20
Lesson learned Fabric glue is very messy if you incorrectly position or accidently move whatever you are trying to glue. If I were to do this project again, I would get an official patch rather than try to make and glue my own.

Follow the grain line instructions on your pattern! If you don’t then you’ll end up with pieces that don’t quite match up at the seams. The side panels were about 1/2″ longer than the front and back panels.


The Facts (Sari Steampunk)
My friends convinced me to take a corset making class with them in preparation for Steam-Con. The class consisted of three 2.5-hour classes over the course of 3 weeks with a great instructor, Lori Edwards. Each week, I hauled my sewing machine to the office and then crammed into a sedan with three other ladies and machines so that we could beat rush hour traffic after work. The final product was beautiful and the class was a fantastic experience! The fabric I picked out lent itself to a sari-inspired costume with the addition of a pleated skirt and a chiffon shawl. You can see the mock-up I drew of the outfit on the left.

Difficulty Advanced
Completed October 2012
Pattern Corset: Custom drafted pattern – based on Past Patterns PP213
Skirt: McCall’s 6433 modified to include contrast pleats
Fabric Corset:
0.5 yard Jo-Ann Fabrics black duck cloth
0.75 yards Egyptian Legacy Henna quilting cotton (Pacific Fabrics)Skirt and Shawl:
0.33 yards Egyptian Legacy Henna quilting cotton (Pacific Fabrics)
1.5 yards Jo-Ann Fabrics biking red costume satin
2 yards Jo-Ann Fabrics biking red costume sheer
Notions Corset:
27 Large (0.25/6m) eyelets
1 package Black wide bias tape
5 yards 1/8″ gold metallic cord
1 12in. Busk corset closure
6 11in. White steel boning (½” wide)
2 10in. White steel boning (½” wide)
4 9in. White steel boning (½” wide)
4 8in. White steel boning (½” wide)Skirt:
1 Invisible barber red zipper
Total cost $123 (+$60 for corset making class)
Lesson learned Corset construction

The Facts (Nyan Cat aka Poptart Cat)
This costume was inspired by Nyan Cat Girl by EKG-The-Stampede on DeviantArt. I created it with the intention of wearing at Sakura-Con 2013. Fabric selection was the biggest challenge here because I was concerned about how the outfit would move as I walked around. The knit material was soft enough to move around with me but heavy enough to maintain the ruffle of the skirt when I stood still for pictures. The peplum and apron ties were made of lighter materials to float behind me as I walked through the convention center.

Difficulty Intermediate
Completed March 2013
Pattern Dress: Simplicity 1881
Peplum: Butterick 5811
Apron: Self-drafted
Fabric Dress:
2.25 yards Jo-Ann Fabrics pink pique knit
2 yards Jo-Ann Fabrics sapphire tie-dyed chiffon
1 yard Jo-Ann Fabrics pink ombre chiffon
1 yard Jo-Ann Fabrics tan Kona cotton
1 yard VIP Fabrics rainbow jungle stripe cotton
Notions 12in. 1″ elastic
2 sets of eye hook fasteners
Total cost $69 (+ $10 for furry grey ears and fingerless gloves)
Lesson learned If you want rainbow fabric that runs along the length of the fabric, Walmart is pretty much the only place. (Also, Walmart has a fabric section?!)

Sewing with chiffon involves a few tricks and sharp needles.
easy rolled hem
French seams

– Amani


One thought on “Costume Wrap Up 2011-2013

  1. Pingback: Sewing Machine Servicing | (The) Geek Hobbyist

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