Monday, May 9, 2016

Jasmine Purple Dress Tutorial

I originally didn't plan on making a tutorial for this dress, but I had a request through Pinterest from Grace, who collects Disney princess dress tutorials for "not-so-grownups" (which can be found here: Of course I can relate! It has taken me FOREVER to make this tutorial, but here it is!

 I don't wear low necklines, short hemlines, or exposed shoulders for religious and personal reasons, but I LOVE Princess Jasmine.  So I decided to make a slightly altered version of her purple/betrothal dress to fulfill my dreams of being Jasmine while still adhering to my rather strict dress standards.  I also wanted to add details and elements (trims, sequins, etc.) similar to those that you see on Jasmine's at Disney Parks.

I actually originally made this dress over 10 years ago when I was a junior in high school.  I decided to revamp it for Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2015.  The base dress was pretty much the same, but all the details were pretty much re-done.

1. Base Dress

The base dress was made using the Butterick 3552 renaissance dress pattern. I already had it from an Elven princess dress I made the year before.

I removed the extra "bell" section from the bottom of the sleeves, but still kept the whole sleeve a little baggy.  I also removed the train from the back of the dress pattern.

The finished "base dress"

2. Skirt Overlay
Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of this process.  I don't own a dress form, but luckily have an awesome friend who let me borrow hers (Thanks Kaitlyn!!!).  I can't emphasize how helpful this was!  Basically, I got the sheer overlay fabric and draped it over the dress while it was on the dress form.  I pinned it into place when it looked right. Then I marked where I wanted to cut, and voila! I added the sequin trim and beading onto the bottom. 

Then I pinned and basted the overlay in place  and tried on the dress to make sure everything looked and fit right.  I stitched everything onto the dress, then created a pattern for the waistband using cotton muslim.  Again, I draped the fabric onto the dressform, pinned, and cut.

I made sure to add a slit in the back of the waistband and overlay for the zipper.  This made the dress much easier to get into!

3. Shoulder poof/overlay

Is there an official name for this part? I used the same fabric as the skirt overlay.  I had a long rectangle--I think it was about 60 in. wide and 14 in. tall.  I sewed the sequin trim onto the longest parts (top and bottom), then draped onto the dress using the dressform.  This part was a little bit trickier.  I pinched the rectangle down the middle (where it sits above the bust) and tied a knot.  Then I used a LOT of pins to achieve the look that I wanted.
Everything is pinned in place on the neckline and shoulders
This piece was completely attached by hand.  Anywhere there was a pin, I sewed it down.  This took a lot of time but was a good activity while binge-watching Netflix!

4. Rhinestones

I attached all the rhinestones using Aleene's Jewel-It glue. Most of the rhinestones were purchased from JoAnn Fabric & Craft, but the larger triangle shaped ones were purchased online.  Triangle shaped rhinestones are so hard to find! I eventually found these ones as part of a bracelet on that was a only few dollars.  I popped them off the bracelet and used them on the waistband and headband instead.  They turned out great.

5. Zipper & Sleeves

I finished up by adding a hidden zipper.  Unfortunately I didn't completely line up the sequin trim, but it still turned out okay.  Getting in and out of the dress is a breeze, so that's nice.
I also added elastic to the cuffs of the sleeves.  When I wear the dress, I flip the cuffs to the inside so you don't see the elastic band and get that poofy cuff look that Jasmine has.

And there you have it!  I hope this gives you some ideas and things were explained in a way that makes sense. If you have any questions or comments, let me know!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jasmine Wig Tutorial

Hey everyone!  I made this Jasmine costume for the 2015 FanX convention in Salt Lake City.  Someone on Pinterest asked if I could post a tutorial on how I styled the wig, so here it is!

1. Background Wig Styling Research

So I did a lot of research & checked out some tutorials from other cosplayers on wig styling.  Here are some links that I found helpful before and during styling:

2. Materials

  • Jasmine wig from Arda Wigs
  • Short Wefts from Arda Wigs
  • Styrofoam mannequin head
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair Clips
  • Combs
  • got2b - Glued - Freeze Spray & Styling Spiking Glue
  • Aleene's Jewel-It glue (You can also use "Tacky Glue" which is also an "Aleene's" brand)
  • Hooked Needle
  • Wefting Thread
  • Hair nets
  • Synthetic Braid (Sally Beauty Supply)
  • Black rubber/foam self-seal pipe insulation (Home Depot)
  • Batting/Fiber Fill
  • Black tights

I braided the front & back of the wig before I started working on each section in order to prevent tangles.

3. Front
I styled the front by basically ratting the hair to give volume.  The wig was already parted in the middle, I used those long sections to add volume in the front.  I placed the headband on the wig as I was styling to get an idea of how to place the hair in relation to the headband.  I think this part is pretty straight forward...and definitely one of the easier parts of styling this wig.

4. Sides

This is where things got a little trickier.  I used the pipe insulation to give volume and shape without adding too much weight.  I chose the rubberized kind because it is more flexible than the full Styrofoam. First I glued the hair from the synthetic braid (from Sally's) onto the insulation.  The synthetic hair braids are really cheap (around $2/package) compared to the wefts.  So I put it on the insulation in case the other hair moved or showed through, you would just see more hair underneath.  I used the Jewel It glue as my adhesive.

Next, I sewed wefts onto the INSIDES of the left & right sides of the wig.  Each weft started just in front of the ear and ended at the back of the wig.  I wish I had more pictures of this--but I forgot to take photos until it was too late!

Once the wefts were sewn on, I rolled sections of them around the hair-covered pipe insulation so that it was pretty snug against the side of the wig.  I poked bobby pins through the pipe insulation so that I could pin it to the wig.  I then used the Jewel-It glue to keep the rolls attached to the wig.

Here's a tutorial I found that gives a better visual on how to do this:
By MauserGirl on Deviant Art
Here are some photos that I took after finishing the sides of the wig:

Notice that a little bit of the foam pipe insulation is visible in the center back of the wig.  This was later trimmed.

5. Ponytail

I created the volume in the ponytail sections by stuffing black pantyhose with polyester fiber fill (a.k.a. plush animal stuffing)  until it was the size I wanted.  I then tied a knot on each end.  I made sure the hair was evenly covering this piece, then added a ponytail holder.  Each knot of my pantyhose was pulled into the ponytail holder to keep it in place.  I wrapped each ponytail section in a hair net.  I would recommend double-wrapping this to keep it together.

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of this process either :( But here is a photo of a wig made by Malindachan on Deviant Art with the basic idea:
I did have to add a weft on the lower section of the ponytail to make sure everything was fully covered.  However, I just glued it rather than sewing it in (EDIT: I regret this!!). Both ponytail puffs were wrapped in hairnets.

6. Final Touches

Once the styling was complete, I glued the headband to the wig using Jewel-It glue.  I used hot glue to attach my gold sequin trim to the ponytail holders.

You can curl the bottom of the wig if you choose (I used a roller & hair dryer)

EDIT: I ended up re-styling this wig after learning a lot more about wig styling. Maybe when I get the chance, I'll update this post. I was able to make the wig much more durable and easy to restyle (If the need arises)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Little Aurora Costume

I had the opportunity to make this beautiful, tiny, Princess Aurora dress for my niece's 3rd birthday.  When I make costumes, my goal is always to make a high-quality and screen-accurate product.


I'll share some tips & techniques I used to make this cute little gown...


I used the Simplicity 2569 pattern as a base pattern for the dress, although I made quite a few modifications.

 I ALWAYS make a Pinterest board with reference photos & pins that link to tutorials that might help me to make the best costume.  Here's the board I used for this project:


I changed the waistline from going straight across to more of a v-shape like Aurora's dress.  I also divided bodice front into 4 pattern pieces in order to make the 3 seams you see on the front.  I traced the original pattern onto tissue paper and made modifications on there.  I tried out the pieces using cheap fabric (formerly curtains) to make sure everything would work, before I cut out the real fabric.

I made some bias tape using this sparkly pink satin, then used that to make some piping. (I used this tutorial for the bias tape and this tutorial for the piping).  The piping was sewn on the the 3 diagonal seams, then I used my curtain fabric to make boning casing and basted the 2 bodice pieces together.  When I finished the bodice, I added piping to the bottom, v-shaped edge.  I attached the skirt to the bodice lining (which didn't have the v-shaped waist) and laid the bodice (outside) on top.  I stitched in the ditch (between the piping & bodice) to attach the bottom of the bodice to the skirt.


I made the skirt & lining according to the pattern directions.  However, when I attached the skirt to the bodice (after basting on the peplum), I sewed the front bodice lining to the skirt.  I wanted the bodice front to lay on top of the skirt to show off the v-shape.

I created the peplum from scratch.  I used a bowl to draw a rounded waist edge, then drew the shape I estimated that the peplum should be.  I (again) tested my pattern on the cheap curtain fabric and by some miracle was successful on the first try! So I cut the fabric & lining, sewed them together, then attached to the skirt.


I bought a stretchy mesh fabric similar to that worn by Aurora in Disney Parks for the sleeves.  However, I used a darker pink to match the bodice & skirt which is more like what you see Aurora wear in the Sleeping Beauty movie.  Usually this fabric is found with the swim/dance fabrics.  It's more durable than most netting-type fabrics and has a lot of stretch.  This allows you to make a tighter-fitting sleeve without restricting movement.

Because this fabric is stretchy, be sure to use a ziz-zag or other stretch stitch to allow stretch without breaking the thread.  I added a little v-shape to the cuff of the sleeve, and sewed a thin elastic to the point so it would fit like Disney Parks' Aurora.  After attaching the sleeve to the bodice, I didn't want the seam allowance to show through the sheer sleeve.  So I used some bias tape as binding around the seam allowance.  Hopefully this will give more strength to the seam as well.


Again, I used the (new) Disney Parks Aurora dress as a reference for the should detail.  I used the same fabric that I used for the peplum.  I cut a long rectangle, then pressed horizontal folds into the fabric.  I used lightweight fusible interfacing to give structure to the piece, then sewed the long edges together.

I folded at a diagonal near the center of this strip, then pressed.  I placed this section at the center-front neckline, then hand-stitched along the fold.  I hand-tacked the rest of the shoulder detail in place about every 2 inches around the shoulder and back neckline.


 I had some excess gold spandex fabric from a Princess Jasmine costume that I made.  I used this, some craft foam, and a headband to made a little tiara.  I drew out the shape of the crown, then traced this onto the fabric & craft foam.  I sewed the gold fabric, right-sides together.  Then I slipped the fabric over the craft foam & glued this to the headband.  I used hot glue & a gold sequin trim (also extra from my Jasmine costume) to cover the rest of the headband, although I probably would've preferred ribbon.

The hours working on this really paid off! The birthday girl LOVED it and I learned a lot too!  Any questions?  Leave them in the comments below!