Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Part I: Wonder Woman Costume

Here's my first draft of the Wonder Woman costume once I decided to built it.

WW Idea

A rudimentary sketch.

My initial thought was to use a store bought strapless leotard. And I found a place where I could purchase one. The problem was that they were custom orders, so once I ordered it, I owned it. There were no returns. And literally as I was getting ready to place the order, I remembered that very few people look good in a leotard. And I am certainly not one of them. And if the fun is in the sewing, then why take the easier way out?

The problem is there is no commercially available Wonder Woman (or similar) costume pattern. So, I tried to think about the shapes separately.

For the bodice, I used a formal dress pattern. Simplicity 4070

Simplicity 4070

The bodice is comprised of 7 pieces with a zipper back.

When I posted a picture of the first draft of the bodice, Andrea asked a prophetic question:

"Are you boning that top?"

Prophetic because it came back to haunt me. When I saw the pattern called for boning, I ignored it thinking that a heavyweight interfacing between the top and lining should take care of that. I was wrong. Apparently, multiple layers of fabric cannot, in fact, defy gravity. My first attempt to solve this was to glue boning into the finished piece.

Wonder Woman Costume - false start 1 - afterthought boning

And honestly (and amazingly) it worked. Had I not scrapped the entire first draft for other fatal errors, this would have been a good solution.

I had to start over due to issues with placing the details, so I made the lining out of red scrap flannel with a layer of interfacing and then sewed the boning channels. Rykert helped by inserting the boning strips. For the outer layer, I attached ribbon loops to create a lazy girl's corset back. The goal was to to help with the ultimate fit and make the whole thing feel more secure.

Wonder Woman Costume - lining - in progress

Once the outer layer was ironed, I set to work on the details. I used gold pvc fabric (purchased here) for the detail. This was tricky, because I don't have a dress form (hint, hint, Christmas is coming). Because I drew the pattern in 2D, but the actual finished product is (a little) more 3D, I had to basically get into the costume, and then stand in front of a mirror and painstakingly place and tape the details (note, you do not want to pin pvc as it will leave permanent holes). I then sewed the gold on by hand (my sewing machine skills failed me here, which I found out on my second attempt which was also scrapped).

Wonder Woman Costume - in progress

If I was to do this all over again, I think I could solve this problem with some other options: (1) by sewing darts into the detail or (2) by making the detail into individual pieces and sewing each on individually.

To hide the hand sewing, I had intended to add beading around the entire detail. But, the thought of individually beading the whole thing, makes me nauseous. So instead, I need your help. I want to use some sort of trim, but can't decide which. What do you all think?

Trim #1?

Trim #1

Trim #2?

Trim #2

Or Trim #3?

Trim #3a

The whole thing is put together now, and I added satin trim to the bottom to avoid a hem. I crossed my fingers hoping that it would fit, and then tried it on. And it did. Basically. And it defies gravity all on its own.

Wonder Woman Costume - back - in progress

I did have a plan to add a modesty panel and remove the zipper in the back in the event I couldn't cinch up the corset enough to cover all the skin. But it looks like that won't be necessary.

I'm not 100% happy with the details (more palm tree-esque than eagle), but feel that it was a pretty good for my first try. Someday I may remake the entire top just to perfect it. The flaws in the back with the fit will hopefully be well-hidden by the cape (to come). And I still need to glue on the trim, but again... I need your help.

9 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Kris said...

Oh how fun! Love it...and I'd go with Trim 1.

Abby said...

Trim 3. Definitely.

the Provident Woman said...

That sure is some talent you've got there.

Emily said...

Trim #2.

Emily said...

Ok I reconsidered. I think #3

Knittripps said...

I like Trim 2. Looks like everyone has a different opinion!

Mandy said...

Definitely Trim 3. Without a doubt. You are such a bad-ass.

amy said...

I say trim number 2 and I also say that you amaze me. period.

AndreaLea said...

You won't regret the time spent on boning. =D Many years ago, for a Halloween costume, I used an old pair of jeans and a wire hanger (we were in college and completely broke) to make a boned corset. I firmly believe a corset must have boning! Ok, this is starting to sound weird.

Anyway, Definitely trim 3.

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