Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Elsa Skirt!

Honestly, the skirts were (surprisingly) the easiest part of this project (outside of all the designs on them, but we'll get to that later).  I have never used a pattern before and had NO CLUE how to read one which made starting daunting and difficult.

I first decided to take measurements, as you should obviously always do when creating a costume.  For the skirts I measured:

Waist to floor (belly button-ish to floor)

Waist to floor in the back (only because I made the back a little longer so it flowed)

Then I looked up patterns and the ways other people did it!  They were pretty confusing so let's be real....I definitely winged a lot of it.  Thus, the adventure began.

This is a site that I found super helpful though:


And FINALLY here is how I ended up doing it!

1. I took a long piece of fabric and I lined it up vertically in front of me.
2. I folded it in half "hotdog style" (remember that from elementary school) so that the "ugly" side of the fabric was on the outside.
3. From there I drew on MY pattern using the following measurements:
  • a = 1/4 the waist measurement plus an inch. (So if they had a 40in waist you would draw a 11in line) 
  • b = the measurement from the waist to the floor plus an inch. (So if they had a measurement of 47in then b would be 48in)
  • c = this isn't really a measurement you took.  It is more a decision as to how flared you want your skirt to be.  If you want it to be super flared then c will be bigger.  If you want it to be narrower then make c smaller.  You get the picture. :)  I curve this line so that it bells out a little.

The extra inches are so that you have room to sew them together :)  It is always better to go too big than too small.  Trust me.

4. Do this two times so you have two of them! Once you unfold them they should look like pic 4!

Putting it together!

1. First I put the pieces together with the "ugly" side facing the outside.  Then I pinned along the edges about 1/2 an inch in. Then I took my handy-dandy sewing machine and sewed it on up! Suuuuper easy.
2. I pinned up the hem on the bottom about 1/2 an inch and also sewed it.  If you happen to have a friend handy (or one that you can bribe with cookies) try on the skirt and have them pin it up to the right length! Keep in mind though you still have to sew the top, so don't hem it toooo short!
3. Kind of like you did to the bottom, fold over, pin, and sew the hem at the waist about 1/2 an inch for a nice clean look.  Technically it will be under a corset, but I like pretty things.
4. Turn it inside out and voila! A skirt!!!!

*For a pretty/reinforced hem you can fold it again after the initial fold and sew.  That's called double hemming and it gives it a clean line.  Keep in mind though....this will use more fabric....so watch out that you add more in your initial measurements to make up for it, or else your skirt will be wayyyy too short!

IF you plan on adding a side zipper don't sew all the way up on one side.  You can still do everything else.  You can also add a back zipper instead which can be added after!  More zipper info in a later post.  :)

Well... now I have an Elsa skirt for a doll!   ....Maybe I should make doll outfits... hmmmm...

Next time (which will come sooner than 2 months :p) Anna's skirt!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Picking Fabrics...Organza what?

Lots of questions about how the Anna and Elsa costumes were made!  So here are the answers (in parts)!

So my first step on my cosplaying expedition was to the fabric store.  Now.... I don't know how many of you have walked through a fabric store, but to my ADHD brain it was the most overwhelming place in the world.  I had no idea what the difference was between all the fabrics, and even less of an idea as to which ones I needed for the Anna and Elsa costumes.  I spent probably two hours in there to come out with two pieces of fabric.  That's when I thought maybe I should research this a little bit....

What I learned from talking with the people at the store and from the internet is that FABRIC DOES MATTER! Don't settle! Your costume will NEVER look or hang right if you don't pick the right fabric. 

Things I considered when picking fabric for these costumes:

-What is this piece of fabric for?
-Does it need to stretch/be at all flexible?
-Does it need to drape/hang well?
-Does it need to be light or heavy?
-Does the fabric for this part need to be good or can I get by with the super cheap stuff?
-How much is it? How much do I need? Is it worth it or can I get it cheaper?
-Color, color, color.

What I ended up getting was this!


Silk Gazar - 3 yards (skirt and bodice) - JoAnn's Fabric - Moderate (about $12 a yd)

Linen - 3.5 yards (cape) - Pacific Fabrics - Cheap (about $5 a yd)


Faux Suede - 1 yard (bodice) - JoAnn's Fabric - Cheap (about $7 a yd)

Cotton Upholstery Fabric - 3.5 yards (skirt) - Ebay - Moderate ($35)

Linen - 3.5 yards (pleat of skirt and arm bands on bodice) - Pacific Fabrics - Cheap (about $5 a yd)

The fabric stores I used were Pacific Fabrics, JoAnn's Fabric, and Ebay.  

TIP: You won't always get all of your fabric at the same time, and phone photos don't show exact colors because of lighting.  So, what I did was I cut a tiny 4in x 4in square out of each piece of fabric and stapled those squares together.  That way I could keep it in my car and take it into the store with me to compare colors each time!

Next time - Skirt Patterns and Sewing Machines!


If you are confused about types of fabrics never fear!  I put a link to a super helpful website and a mini-glossary of types of fabrics and what they're usually used for! (If you are unsure of a look google image search the type of fabric! It'll give you an awesome visual.)


Batiste -  woven of cotton or linen and sheer (though it can be made of fine wool, silk, polyester, or cotton blend fabrics). Used for blouses dresses and lingerie. Think sheer, but not super flow-y.

Canvas - strong, plain-woven cotton used as a home decorating fabric. Stiff!

Chenille - fur-like textured fabric made of cotton, silk, rayon, or wool. Used as upholstery and clothing. 

Corduroy - made of durable cotton or rayon velvet and has wide or narrow cords, or ribs.

Denim - JEANS! It is actually a woven cotton fabric. It may also be cotton blended with rayon, polyester, or spandex. 

Eyelet - fabric that has little holes with stitching around the edges.  Think super cute-sy summer dresses! 

Flannel - usually 100% cotton but may also be made of wool. The front of the fabric is brushed to create a soft, plush feel. Usually used for underwear, jackets, dresses, skirts, trousers, and pajamas. 

Jersey - a soft, stretchy knitted fabric of cotton, nylon, rayon, wool, or other synthetic fibers. Like hoodie material.

Terrycloth - just think towels!  The cotton is woven with uncut loops on one side giving it that rough, fuzzy feeling.

Voile - is a fine, sheer plain weave fabric made of cotton, silk, wool or manufactured fibers. Super light!


Linen - a stiffer, courser material often used as a base.  It wrinkles easily, but is easily manipulated with an iron.  It is usually light and sheer.


Tulle - originally made of silk. It is often used for party dresses and with bridal gowns. 


Eyelash - is lightweight polyester knit with a hairy face. It is used for sweaters, stoles, and scarves. 

Faux Fur - kind of self-explanatory.  It comes in two weights: a silky low-pile rayon or polyester, and stiffer, long-pile polyester. The fabric may be used to make capes or craft items. 

Silky Polyester - it is just what it sounds like…silky polyester. Used for blouses, dresses, and nightwear. 


Gabardine - it is a twill weave fabric made of rayon, cotton, or silk. Used in suits, coats, dresses, and pants. 

Rayon Viscose - this is the most common type of rayon made. This fabric is used to make full pants, full or A-line skirts, and dresses. 

Suaded Rayon - is brushed and has a silk-like hand. It is used to make full pants, skirts, shorts, and unstructured tops. 


Brocade - is a stiffer silk fabric with gold or silver woven into it to create a raised design. It is often used in fancy evening wear and period pieces. 

Charmeuse - is a satin weave fabric of silk, cotton, polyester, or rayon. It may be 
used for blouses, pants, lingerie or piping. 

Chiffon - is made of silk, rayon, or polyester. Silk Chiffon has the best drape and is used to make full pants, loose tops, and flowing dresses. 

China Silk - is a plain weave silk. It is lightweight and suitable for garment linings (the inside part of a garnet that basically hides any mistakes you made on the back of your costume). 

Damask - is a durable, lustrous, rougher reversible fabric. It is commonly used to make tablecloths and napkins.  

Satin - is made of silk, polyester, or rayon and is usually characterized by the fact that it's shiny and smooth. It is Satin used for evening or special-occasion wear. 

Silk Dupion - is thick, crisp, and nubby (irregular). Silk Dupion It is suitable for tailored pants, jackets, fitted dresses, straight skirts, or vests. 

Silk Gazar - is a crisp, medium weight silk suitable for blouses and and loose evening coats. The fabric has a “gauzy” appearance. 

Silk Noil - "raw silk". It is made of short waste fibers and should be super affordable. The fabric has a dull finish and ravels easily, but is really great for dying. It is great for making/testing patterns.

Silk Organza - organza may be made of rayon and polyester, but silk is preferred because it's easier to handle. It is stiff, plain, thin and nearly transparent. Lightweight organza is used for interfacing and underling of silk garments. Heavyweight silk organza may be used as a top. It should probably not be used for clothing that you want to drape though. 

Silk Tweed - is suitable for jackets and vests. This fabric snags easily.  Think old-school professor.

Taffeta - it may be made of real or artificial silk. Commonly used in special occasion dresses.

Velvet - velvet was originally made from silk, though now it can be made of a blend of fabrics.  Most often used in evening or special occasion clothing.


Alpaca - woven or knit.  It is commonly used for outerwear.

Angora - made from rabbit hair.  It does not dye well and usually it is blended with other wools.

Cashmere - made from the hair of a kasmir goat.  It is usually used for dresses, scarves, and sweaters.  It may be blended with other types of fiber.

Lamb's Wool - it's super soft!

Mohair - this hair is woven with cotton, silk, or wool to produce a fuzzy texture.

Wool Challis - lightweight, plain woven wool.  Used for shirts and dresses.

Wool Creme - woven wool fabric with crinkled texture.  Good for pants, skirts, and jackets.

Wool Gauze - sheer!  Usually used for loose tops.

Wool Jersey - knitted fabric that drapes well and is good for tops, dresses, pants, and skirts.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


So I have FINALLY decided what I am going to do with this blog, and it is not at all what I expected.  As some of you might know a weekend or two ago I cosplayed for the very first time at Emerald City Comicon.  This meant that I created costumes for the very first time.... AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

This whole journey started out with me promising to make Kristina an Elsa costume as a birthday present so that we could cosplay at ECCC (I'd make an Anna one for myself, too, because that should be easy, right?).  Of course, when I said this I was thinking, "How hard can this be?" I realized quickly, however, that learning to sew, pattern, and manipulate fabric was much harder than I thought, especially since I had never sewn before (at least not on a sewing machine).  I turned to the internet for help and realized that the instructions for what to do were basically in another language!  I don't speak "sewing"!

Somehow, after much trial and error, I muddled through and pieced together bits of information found from all over.  It took a while, but I think the ending product was SOOOO worth it! Along the way I used some unconventional methods that ended up working really well.  That's when I realized what I should use my blog for!  COSPLAY ADVICE AND 'HOW TO'!  Cosplay instructions and ideas for those that don't speak costumer!

So stay tuned to read about my adventures down this rabbit hole!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Does Eia Blog?

Apparently, now she does!

Does she know how to blog?

No, so this should be fun.

What will she put on her blog?

Probably funny pictures of things, rants, stuff I like, and theater reviews/commentary.

Here we go!