After all my had work and time consuming hand sewing, I finally have something to show for it. Today I have managed to finish three pieces of my White Queen costume. I am so happy that it is coming along as I need it completely done so that I can wear it next Saturday.
The first piece I finished was the skirt. This was a bit of a time consuming and patience sort of project. It is pretty simple in design, however since I was unable to purchase white organza with a snowflake print, I had to find a way to do this myself. I turned to dimensional fabric paint. My first intention was to sponge the design on over a stencil. Unfortunately the very nature of organza is that it is very light and has an open weave, so this really didn't accomplish anything. It ended up with me painting with dimensional paint straight onto the fabric. And it actually worked. Then came the front apron which is made of white bridal tulle with star sequins handsewn on and taffeta ribbon pulled apart at the edges to give the frayed edging. It took a little bit of experimentation to get the idea of the fraying working, but I ended up buying around 10 metres of taffeta ribbon. (I only have 70cm left). The base skirt is made of delustered satin pleated in at the waistband so that it does not add too much bulk in gathering. It also has a blind hem (I discovered the stitch on my sewing machine today, mind you I have had the machine for 5 years now and this is the first I have actually thought to look in the manual for a blind stitch feature). I like that the bulk of the fabric over my petticoats gives a large shape that is very close to what is worn in the film.
The next piece is the necklace. It is very simple. Just two layers of organza ribbon that is decorated. I decided to add a strip of bias to the centre of the layers to strengthen the fabric under the beads. The necklace itself is made of a bracelet that I found in diva and pulled apart and a couple of faux pearl beads hand sewn on either side. It also has the previously mentioned taffeta ribbon on either side.
And finally, the most time consuming piece of all - the bodice. As I mentioned in another post, my first attempt at making a bodice that fit over my existing stays was a complete failure. So instead, I decided that I would make a bodice with a set of stays incorporated into it. It also meant that I could customise the shape of the stays in the front. This was actually the easy part - making the bodice. The base layer is made of three layers of cotton and it is only half-boned (ie, one in each second casing) so that it is a little more comfortable but will still give the required shape. I the attached the outer layer of the bodice with a bias strip that is tacked in place. The only place that there are two pieces is at the back where the underneath back panel can be tightly laced (it's stronger) and the outer layer can be decoratively laced.
Before I attached the outer layer, I made the base lace on the front by back stitching in silver satin embroidery thread onto a bridal tulle backing. I also applied all the heat set diamontes. After attaching the outer layer, it was time to start the painful decoration process. I first pinned in place the diagonal strips of lace (they are painted with a champange coloured paint to match my research images) then I added the "fringing" by using white satin embroidery thread knotted into clips and hand sewn in place. The next layer was the petal shapes over this. They are made from painted gerbra petals, cut into 3 and 4 petals and sewn in place. I then stitched down the lace and then added the taffeta ribbon on the front.
Talk about layers, I then had to make the petals that are attached along the side hems of the bodice. They are made from silver embroidery thread onto a layer of the netting backed by organza. I then cut them out and tacked them in place. I then added the taffeta ribbon in place over the petal tops. Then came the pearl beads on the hem. The last step was attaching the pearl strand to the top of the bodice. This slips in place over the arms and sits on top of the sleeves.
No wonder it took me so long. Now I just need to finish the undershirt, sleeves and style the wig. Good thing it is still a public holiday tomorrow.