Thursday, November 6, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #20

Late post because I was so busy finishing one of the outfits. Current status of the project is two costumes done, two wearable (no boning and the seams aren't whipped down, but not obvious). The fifth bodice mock-up has been stitched (except sleeves, which I will do tomorrow), and I have just about a week to make it. Since I won't actually be able to see Gabriel until Saturday, tomorrow will be spent finishing all the bits I can on the other costumes before putting my nose to the grindstone on the last bodice.

The challenge is the easiest for me since all of the costumes I've been working on qualify. Taking the characters and outfits from the show Supernatural and turning them into late bustle era costumes falls pretty solidly under the header of "Alternative Universe." This particular one is the most recently finished in the line of five costumes: Samifer.

In the show, Lucifer escapes the cage that he has been locked in and starts running amok. Angels don't have a physical form humans can see (and survive), so they possess humans that are strong enough to endure it. One of the main characters, Sam Winchester, is the chosen vessel of Lucifer, and when Lucifer finally gets a hold of him, he is dubbed Samifer (as opposed to the other vessel he was running around in which is just generally called Lucifer). In an episode that takes place in an alternative future we meet Samifer, and he looks like this:
Wearing a white suit in a rose garden, making him the biggest show off in the series. So when it came to making this outfit, it needed to be over the top. Lots of trims, lots of details, and a train. This is someone who knows how to make an entrance. So the skirt is white crepe suiting with cream colored pleats and two different ribbons stacked on top.

And red roses underneath that looks like the flames of hell. The bodice continues the look.
The boob-framing look comes from image I found of a woman who I assume to be an actress wearing a bodice with a similar cut. The sleeves have similar trim to the skirt, cream pleats with a two ribbons sewn on top. The inside edge of the cuff was bias bound with the red rose fabric, to keep up with the rimmed in hellfire look.
Close-up of the bottom. The center fabric has a herringbone weave, and the entire front is trimmed in a box-pleated ribbon with a bit of white and gold cording tucked inside. The bottom cording is off-white and gorgeous.
The false shirt is the same cream as the pleats, and trimmed in one of the ribbons from the skirt along with another trim I had kicking around.
The train is cut as one piece with the back and side back pieces of the bodice using the full width of the fabric. The extra was pleated into inverse box pleats and stitched down, with a decorative antique gold metal rose on top.
The train laid out.
The edges of the train are trimmed with off-white rose lace, and the two ribbons that were used on the skirt. The ribbon hides the selvages, and is box pleated along the bottom to make is easier to curve with the cut of the train. I actually didn't have enough lace for the full train, but I did have the same pattern in a proper white, so I used about 6 inches of that to cover gap left at the very bottom of the train.
I don't have any images of the outfit being worn after the sleeves were finished and the neckline changed, but here's how it looked at the nearly done stages.
Back view, with train down. This was before all the trimming was applied to the train.
Side view, with all the bustle-y goodness. The mock-up sleeve was slit open because it was too tight and I needed to figure out how much to add for movement.
Back view, train up. Since we're going to be at a convention with lots of people walking around, we figured it'd be safer if their was a way to pick the train up at times so it wouldn't get stepped on. The interior has two sets of ties that can to tied together to bustle up the back of the train and prevent it from dragging.

The Breakdown:

The Challenge: #20 Alternative Universe

Fabric: White polyester crepe suiting, muslin, white herringbone suiting, cream cotton sateen, rose printed quilting cotton.

Pattern: Self made

Year: Mid-1880s

Notions: Cotton thread, hooks and eyes for closures, white satin ribbon, white and gold brocade ribbon, lace, white and gold cording, white fringe-y trim, thick off-white twisting piping.

How historically accurate is it? The design is based off of elements I've seen in dresses dating from 1884 to 1888, but this outfit has a lot of polyester elements. 75%, maybe?

Hours to complete: Lots. The pleats on the skirt alone took close to 18 hours, and because Samifer has interesting shoulders I had to do more mock-ups for this outfit than for any other. I'm going to put it in the realm of 50-70 hours.

First worn: Not yet, but the convention begins November 14. Squee!

Total cost: Again, lots. $55 for the suiting, and probably another $20 just for the muslin for mock-ups and flat-lining. At least $40 for ribbons and lace and notions. I'd put it around $150 total, which really isn't that much all things considered.

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