So here we are at the first fitting stages. The skirt was fairly simple - it's essentially just a big rectangle. Instead of doing actual math and drafting to determine how long the rectangle needed to be, I made a rectangle far bigger than I thought it had to be and decided to drape it by pleating it on my dress form at home and then trying it on it on. I cut it to the appropriate width, including a 1/2" seam allowance (which is my preferred width) at the waist and side seams and 1-1/4" at the bottom so I can do a nice hem.. The waistband is in 4 pieces to emulate the seaming found on the original. It is slightly shaped with the help of a hip curve ruler.
The shirt....I don't even want to talk about it. That was just a hot mess, however I promised you the truth and I already told you that some times the truth ain't pretty. I think the first thing that needs to happen is that I need to quit being so G.D. lazy and create my own sloper/block. A sloper or a block is essentially a close fitting pattern piece generally of a close fitting bodice and a narrow A-line skirt that is made to a clients exact measurements. The idea is that using the principles of pattern drafting you can turn the basic block into just about anything. There are of course other types of basic blocks and slopers, like pants, blouses, etc but these are the most basic. I of course that it would be easy to use my basic sloper from class which is a size 8. I am just about a size 8 and I thought it would create a roomy top. Unfortunately, I am finding that me and the Alva dress form have different cup sizes, waist shapes, and torso lengths. I am also a little bit bigger than her in the shoulders (*sigh* my linebacker shoulders are a constant thorn in my side). So we are for sure going back to the drawing board with the shirt. This time I will try to take some pictures as I'm working so you can see what goes into drafting a pattern (if you don't already know).
I was over drafting, so for the time being, I moved on to the skirt. I was once again lazy and didn't bother to transfer my drape to paper so that is going to back fire on me in the long run since I still have a second skirt to do in whatever fabric I decide to use for the second baby doll costume. *sigh* It's been a long quarter. I promise to not be so lazy in the near future, and do things appropriately so you can see what's going on.
Anyhow a little photo feed of how the skirt went together...
After cutting my ridiculously long denim rectangle, I made a super long bias strip out of the white denim fabric. I can't tell you how much my fingers hurt after prepping the bias strip with the iron to be sewn down. *tears* I think too my poor burned fingers and spent the next 20 minutes pinning it down. I used a ruler every step of the way to ensure that it didn't go on crooked...nothing is worse than when you look across the con-hall to a great costume only to find on closure inspection that something went on lopsided and they couldn't be bothered to fix it...or worse they didn't even notice! I decided to sew on the bias strips one at a time instead of pinning them both down, I think that was the right choice.
I took a break from working at this point and went SOMEWHERE and continued. It's been a little bit of time and the whirlwind of the quarter renders my mind useless. I cannot for the life of me remember where I took this picture! All L.A. apartment carpeting and doors look the same. XD Anyhow, I spent some more time with the iron and the ruler (could it have been Kat's house - no she definitely had cement floors...) and created my pleats. I'm going to stop here and say, that if I were you, I would not create my pleats in this same manner when using a medium weight denim - it doesn't lay quite right. As you can see below, there is very little movement in the skirt when changing positions - that doesn't seem right at all. I'm going to ignore this fact for a little while and commence with my distressing which does include washing it a bunch of times and see if, when the fabric softens, it will drape better, if not, I'll have to seam rip the waistband and reset the pleats.
From this angle the skirt looks a smidge to long, but I assure you, if it were any shorter - well, I'd probably get a lot more pictures taken that's for sure.
More updates soon! Give me about a week or so, it's finals and I'm exhausted. After that, stay tuned often as I make the mad dash for Anime Expo 2012 - 3 costumes to go and only 1/2 of one done!