I just wanted to dress up as a fairy

In all honesty, dear readers, I must give you a fair warning: it’s very likely this blog will take a turn towards cosplay and creative sewing for the time being, rather than regular garment sewing. I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I hope you’ll still come by and visit from time to time!

That being said, let me tell you about the time I really just wanted to dress up as a fairy. There was this folk music festival happening nearby, and I knew from friends who attended in the past that people were dressing up Renaissance Faire style (with loads of gothic and steampunk costumes too). The setting is the grounds and the gardens of a beautiful castle. And I really wanted to go, just to wear a costume! The thing was, I didn’t have an appropriate costume — yet. I have a huge list of future costumes I want to make the coming months, but I’m still gathering the materials.

Cue Simplicity 1550, which I bought on a whim earlier this summer. I had a look at my fabric stash, found some fabric I could use, bought some metal wire at the hardware store for the wings, and I was ready to start! I was going to be a fairy!

I made view A, with the long skirt, but I used the corset of View B, with the front lacing.

I like how quick this pattern was to put together. A weekend of sewing, and that was it. It’s a whimsical fairy design, I like the pointy hem and edges. Using lightweight fabric, you get a nice effect when it’s windy!

I hated my fabric choice, however. I hate sewing chiffon, my serger was throwing a fit at me so I left the edges unhemmed (as recommended by the pattern instructions – either unhemmed, or finished with a serger). I used this chiffon because I ordered it for another project (where it would have been more suitable), but it was just not the color I wanted. I was stuck with this fabric in my stash and figured I might as well use it for something!

My only design change is regarding the wings. The pattern asks you to make 3 pairs of wings, and to mount them on a set of purchased wings. I didn’t want to spend money on a pair of wings in order to add 3 other pairs of wings to it (WHY?), so I constructed a wire frame that would be inserted inside my costume to hold it in place. Basically, the back band of my bra is the device that held it all in place ;) The wings were very light and they stayed put the whole time, without moving or coming out of my costume. And I thought 2 pairs of wings were enough.

Oh the things you can do with duct tape!

And a tip regarding the wings: before inserting the metal wire to shape the wings, I wrapped the ends with a bit of tape to make it less sharp and less likely to pierce the organza.

For the flower crown, I first made a circle out of metal wire, and I wrapped ivy around it. I glued flowers at random. My wand is a curtain rod (!), I wrapped a ribbon around it, and glued ivy/flowers at the end.

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I was definitely standing out of the crowd with my light blue costume, compared to the more humble peasant-like costumes, or the darker gothic or steampunk outfits I saw. I haven’t been cosplaying for a long time, but I can say this costume is my most ‘popular’, with several photo requests from strangers. Always a nice boost for my ego! But what made my day is a little girl looking at me with large eyes and saying “Ohhhhh!! Nice costume!!!”

You can see more pictures on my FB page Couturlututu, and my full pattern review can be found here.

I’m currently busy with 3 other cosplays, they are advancing quite smoothly. My deadline is in less than 3 weeks now, and I’m confident I’ll finish everything on time! (*knock on wood…*)

The Eighth Doctor meets the Eighth Doctor

It’s a long overdue post! And even though it’s pure geekiness, it is sewing-related.

A few weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to meet Paul McGann, who plays the Eighth Doctor, my inspiration for my first ever cosplay. (I detailed how I made my costume in this post, this post, and this post.) The location was the London Film & Comic Con, my first ever comic con of epic proportions… but that’s beyond the scope of this blog!

I put my costume on in the morning before entering the venue, dreading how warm it could become. And oh boy, did my fears become reality! By noon, I was literally sitting in a puddle of sweat. Literally. I too my frock coat off and sat on the floor to take a small break and eat a sandwich, and when I got up a half hour later, my trousers were wet. At first, I thought I sat on a wet floor but nope. That was me sweating. So you can imagine how wet my shirt was… Thank goodness I had a long & covering frock-coat to hide it all!

Finally, my moment came: my photo shoot with Paul! My fangirl heart was racing, and I think I was sweating some more from being so nervous. It was a very quick encounter, but hearing him say “Look at you, you’re me!” made it all worth it. All of it. The sweat up in my attic. The tears when I thought I’d never finish this costume. The blood from all that hand sewing.

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Ahhhhh… I’ll never forget the shoulder squeeze and the pat on the back!

My next meeting with Paul McGann is now in less than a month, for another convention in the UK. I will probably bring my outfit, but I’d love to have another cosplay for the day when I’m supposed to have the photo shoot and the meet & greet. Unfortunately, there is just not enough time to work on my Fem!Eight cosplay (I have to finish my husband’s Fourth Doctor cosplay!), so it’ll have to be something quick. So I picked Clara and her look from ‘Asylum of the Daleks’. Not related to the Eighth Doctor whatsoever, but I thought it could be fun. To be continued :)

Time for some “me sewing”

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I’m still working on my gazillions of cosplay projects. But with the London Film & Comic Con date approaching faster and faster, where I wanted to wear some of my projects, I started to get overwhelmed by the sheer size of them. And I kinda panicked. I started to drag my feet, procrastinated a lot, fell […]

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Eighth Doctor costume – Part III

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The frock coat was by far the most challenging piece of my costume. Not only because of all time I spent on it, but also because it was my first piece of menswear and it required quite a bit of tailoring. Prior to this project, I didn’t even know what a sleeve head was. And I […]

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Eighth Doctor costume – Part II

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Here is the second post detailing my Eighth Doctor cosplay project! The Vest The original vest seemed to have a shawl collar and single-breasted front closure. My first intention was to use Simplicity 2895‘s view A, but several weeks after ordering the pattern, it still wasn’t in my mailbox and time was running out. I looked […]

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Eighth Doctor costume – Part I

I promised I would give more details about my costume — here is Part I: the shirt, the pants and the ascot, and a quick look at my accessories. Here is again my original inspiration: The shirt This shirt was a last minute decision. I was planning on entering the cosplay competition of the Antwerp Convention […]

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Adventures in cosplay

Eighth Doctor Cosplay

I’m approaching 40, but lately I started to let my inner geek show. I’m attending comic cons. I’m buying geeky t-shirts — and lots of them. I’m spending more time on Tumblr more than on Facebook. Mid-life crisis? I have no idea. But who cares, really? I also have to make a confession: I’m a […]

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. Click here to […]

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Oops, I think I did it again…

There’s a new image widget on the left sidebar. Yep, I’ve entered a new contest :lol: I really don’t need another cocktail outfit, but I just want to have some fun sewing!

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