Introduction: Jem Costume - Halloween 2008
This year I went all out for Halloween and chose to do Jem from the classic 80's cartoon.
I started out by purchasing the wig and signature Jem earrings on ebay. Yup, I found a couple people on ebay who made replicas of those star-like pink earrings.
Next I set about making the dress and belt. I went to the local fabric store and bought a pink lame with silver accents to use for the dress and a white vinyl fabric for the belt with a checkered hologram pattern to it (see the pictures). I also got some loose seed beads that matched some beaded fringe I had left over from another costume.
I purchased a vintage 70's wrap dress pattern on ebay, again. It was a super simple one that was only two pieces; you can't make it easier than that. After I had the basic dress sewn together (using my simple Singer machine) I started adding darts to tailor the dress more to my body. Patterns are a great place to start but, more often than not, I find I need to augment them to fit my form.
After the dress was done I started in on the belt. I cut a basic form and then wrapped it around my waist, pinning it into place so I could stitch it. The belt was a little tricky because the belt tapers down to a point and that part is supposed to sit on the hip. I didn't want to have a seam along that area but in the end it was the only way the fabric would fit the way I wanted it too. After the form was done I added Velcro to the ends and began work on the beaded details.
I hand stitched the beaded fringe onto the under side of the belt, where it comes down to a point over the hip. Then I used my reference art to cut the shapes of the accents for the belt. I started by using scrap vinyl fabric to cut the 4 curved triangles I needed. Then I covered the fabric with glue and poured the seed beads over the glue. I used tweezers to pull away any odd beads that didn't stick all the way and allowed them to dry for a couple hours.
After they had dried for a while, I pinned the pieces into place on the belt and began to hand stitch them. The glue was just tacky enough to hold the beads in place but still malleable enough to allow me to sew through it and bend the fabric without loosing too many beads (only 3 beads fell off).
Once the accents were on I put the costume together on my body form and allowed the accents to completely dry. The costume was finished. I am ready to be truly, truly, truly outrageous this Halloween.