Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cancan ensemble

I thought that I would do a bit of a backlog of costumes that I have made in the past. I am starting with the costume from my 21st Birthday party. I made a cancan outfit. (And learnt quite a few things in the process).

The first thing I had to decide was what costume I wanted to make for my party. And since it was my birthday, I wanted something elaborate and fancy. Hence the cancan dancer costume. I used a mccalls pattern. The fabric I managed to pick up a delustered satin on sale at Spotlight for $5 / metre.
It was quite a huge undertaking for one of my very first costumes, but it was what I wanted to make. So, I made the bodice first, adding boning into it. In hindsight, I probably should have left the boning out of the bodice and instead worn a corset underneath, as it was uncomfortable and did not really do much for the line of the garment. The next time I wear the dress, I will make note to wear a proper corset underneath, remove the boning from the bodice and just have it as a piece over the top. Though I must say that at that stage, I was not making full boned corsets for cinching like I am now. Another problem that I had with the bodice was that the straps drove me up the wall all night, as they kept falling off my shoulders. A bit of body tape will solve the problem for next time, but it something that I should think about in the future with my costumes – test run wearing.

The skirt turned out beautifully. It was really simple to pull together and didn’t require much in the way of work – just a bit of gathering into the waistband. The petticoat underneath was a whole other story. It took a long time to gather all the fabric onto the base skirt. But I was so happy with how it turned out and the way that it looked on. Next time that I make a cancan petticoat, I will however try using a different fabric for the ruffles. I used polycotton, as it was cheap and you need quite a bit for the skirt. But I think that a lace or tulle would work and look pretty cool too. However, I must say that you really do need a good waistband on the skirt as it weighs a tonne. I did change the pattern here, in that I used a button and hole to do up the petticoat, so that it was strong enough to hold up, and adjustable for future use.

I also did not anticipate how hot you can get in that dress. Not only did I have the dress layers, I also had stockings with round toe t-bar shoes and bloomers on underneath. However, it did look good. The bloomers was more for my comfort under the skirt, but for next time I intend to make a pair of ruffled panties to wear. I have also changed the shoes – probably boots next time as the high heels were uncomfortable for a long period and a little too big for me. It would also probably be a lot cooler if I changed the stockings to very large fishnet as it would be cooler than the dense thick tights.

But I look at it as an experience time. You only learn more from your mistakes. Though storing the dress is interesting. The petticoat takes up a heap of space and I have since bought a space bad to try to flatten it. I must get out the costume and did some more fixing on it for another occasion. I think that I will also add some more embellishment to the bodice. Maybe a contrasting colour fringing would look good. If I make some more changes, I will certainly get up new photos.

1 comment:

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