Giselle from Enchanted

This whole costume started out with me buying an old wedding dress in a 2nd hand shop. There was a big box full of tulle and fluff and white goodness, and curious as I am (and unable to resist such things), I just had to see what it was. What I fished out of the box was an old, beautiful wedding dress with many, many layers of tulle and a long trail.

Thrilled that anyone paid attention to the dress, the sales people at the shop encouraged me to try it on. I did, and it fit me pretty well! I was a bit hesitant to buying it, since I’m not planning on getting married  at the moment, but, well, it was just such an awesome dress. When they told me the price of silly 100 kr (Around 14 euro), I promptly took out my purse and gave them the money. I think they were quite surprise.

Of course, since it was old (and had probably been used for a costume or something), it was dirty and it smelled a bit like old attic, smoke and sweat. A bit gross, but hey – what do you expect for the price?

I needed to wash it, but the sheer size of it made that pretty impossible – it hardly even fit in my old bathroom, let alone in the sink or a bucket! My solution was to bring it to my parents and soak it in their tub. The dress consists of the actual dress and a thick, many-layered petticoat. I had to soak them seperately, because they just didn’t fit in the tub at once.

After several soaks with resulting dark waters, my dress came out prestinely white. Yay!

Now, what to do with this fluffy goodness? No wedding planned in near future, and I wanted to use it! So, cosplayer as I am, I went in search of a character that might fit the bill, and found – Giselle from Enchanted. I watched this movie a few years back, and secretly liked it – Giselle is so embarassing at first, but she ends up to be a really awesome person, and I so envy her career as a dressmaker with helping critters at the end. So, dress was chosen!

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Left: My dress, right: Giselle from Enchanted.

I wanted to make this as cheap as possible a project. No specific reason, just thought it  would be cool for a change to not spend several thousand (aka 250+ euro) on a costume.

My mom had a roll of white bridal satin (bought cheap at a flea market, I think), and I had a pattern for a corsage – http://stof2000.dk/shop/moenstre/homemade-voksne/nicole-corsagekjole-bolero this one.

So far, I’ve only bought the boning. Everything else was in stock!

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After I sewed the top-part according to the pattern, I started making the bottom. How? Well… I just sort of draped fabric onto the mannequin and cut it to fit. Once I had all parts (skirt is 5 x width of fabric), I drew cut mirrored doubles – the entire skirt will be of two layers of fabrics to make it fall nicer (with the added weight) and to make the hem look good – no folded up hem, all stitches are between two layers of fabric.

Once done cutting, I sewed the skirt-parts together to make 2 skirts. I then attached the skirts to the corsage and draped it again on the mannequin (with the inside out). Then I cut the hems of the dress so the back and front would be the same, and pinned the parts to each other. I sewed all along the hemline, then turned it, so the outside showed.

My version has a long train, as I couldn’t bring myself to cut it off. I am usually a fan of staying as true to the original as possible and make it as accurately as I can, but with this particular costume, I feel that there is room for a little improvisation. I’m still not sure I’ll even be able to get the right hair colour, since I can’t really fit wigs on my hair. But this is going to be a costume that is just really FUN to wear, and I can’t wait to finish it! 🙂

I originally added laces as method of closing, but it didn’t look so good, and the dress was too big. Instead, I went to my mom to help me fit a zipper, which is also more true to the original. After much swearing and cursing, we succeeded! It looks much better now that it actually fits, though I am going to attach transparent straps also, because I just can’t hold up the weight of this dress without them.

Next step was the puffy sleeves. I couldn’t use a pattern for regular sleeves, since they are counting on the fact that you have somewhere on the dress to attach them, which I do not. Originally, I took square pieces of layered fabric and pulled together to make them poofy, but it ended up looking like those swimming wings children wear to not drown. Not the style I was looking for! Instead, I made my own pattern.

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I cut 4 layers of fabric of the same shape – two of the silk layers, one layer of tulle and one layer of shiny taffeta to give it a shiny, glittery feel.

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I layered the fabrics like a sandwhich – satin (the front side down), tulle, satin (front side up) and taffeta. I then serged/overlocked the rounded edges, folded it so the taffeta was against taffeta and serged the sides together.

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I folded the edges down to the inside and sewed to make a little drawstring (not sure it’s the right word). I then pulled elastic through both at the top and bottom, and pulled it tight to fit around my arm (one end) and shoulder (other end). Repeat for 2nd sleeve and done! 

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Sleeves done, bead-design started.

 

I couldn’t find white shoes (they’re not really in fashion during winter) so I bought an old, used pair of shoes and painted them with acrylic mixed with water:

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Bought a tiara online:

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After a couple of hours of curling my hair and getting ready, the final result (as worn at Koyocon):

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