Introduction: Bioshock Infinite: Elizabeth Costume Breakdown
*Photo Credit! Alex Bruce and Michelle Flannigan respectively
As the skirt is the most complicated part of the costume, that is where i will be starting. As mentioned in the previous step, Elizabeth wears a 1/2 circle skirt with 7 pleats on the left side. Here we go!
Making a 1/2 circle skirt is fairly simple, because it only requires a few measurements. You need to measure your waist and the desired length of the skirt.
Waist Radius ---> waist + 2 = ___/3.14
With those measurements figured out, lay out your pattern paper. Here i used drafting paper, but you can use newsprint, tissue paper etc. what ever paper type you choose doesn't matter. As long as you can draft it.
The method i use to get the initial lines is fairly simple. It only requires a nail and a measuring tape. Stab the corner of the paper you have chosen to start at with the nail. Puncture the one inch mark on the measuring tape with the nail. This method enables the measuring tape to swivel, therefore making the drawing of the lines easier.
Remember that the measuring tape was punctured at the one inch line? When you go to measure out the lines, add an inch to whatever the measurement was, because we lost an inch to secure the tape to the paper. Start by determining how long you want the skirt to be, i want mine to be 30" long (Seam Allowance has been taken into account - I have a 1" SA.) On your paper, draw a line that is longer than your desired length.This will give you plenty of room to draw in the waist and then the hem of your skirt. Then from the area where the two lines intersect, mark out your waist measurements. With that done, move down and draw out the line with your desired skirt length.
Cut out the basic shape. And you're done the base pattern!
When making the actual skirt, you will need to cut out fabric, using the pattern, twice. Because this pattern only uses 2 panels. The image above, from sewnews.com, is what the finished product will look like, without the pleats, which we are adding them next.
Step 1: Adding the Pleats
First of all, you need to decide how big you want to make the pleats. For example, 3 inches. Take another piece of the drafting paper and fold it into knife pleats of your desired size. Stop when you have 7. Attach the pleated paper to a part of your skirt pattern. The pleats are incorporated instead of part of the pattern. To maintain the waist size on the skirt, pleats have to be on an angle (as if pleats weren't bad enough). For my pleats, i made them 1/2" at the top and 2" at the bottom, make sure you fold it properly. Again, depending on the size of your waist, the measurements for the pleats will change to keep it proportioned to you.
Step 2: Sew It Up
After incorporating the pleats into the pattern piece, lay out the fabric of choice on a hard surface. Lay out the pattern piece and pin it down to hold it down. Trace around the pattern and add a half inch seam allowance. For the second half of the skirt, open up the pleats and trace around the extended pattern, again, add half an inch seam allowance.Baste the pleats, pin them together and sew along the basted line. I only sewed to the midpoint of the skirt to allow the bottom to flow after ironing it down.
After the pleats have been sewn together and hemmed, you can hem the other half of the skirt and sew the two halves together. Before closing the gap between the two sides, it is advisable to insert a zipper or some buttons, unless you are using an elastic waistband method.
Next I added the darker blue around the bottom, around five inches in height (personal preference is also required here) hemming this separately.
Step 3: Details on the Skirt
Create a pattern for the 'buckles.' Cut it out of your fabric and sew on the buttons. Attach to the skirt.
The buttons are located on either side of the buckle piece, you will need 8 buttons (4 buckles x 2 buttons each). Hand sew the buttons on either side of the strips.
Attach the Triangle Strips to the skirt. The two smaller ones at the top, and the two larger ones at the bottom.
Step 4: Bird or Cage?
I started making the cameo with a metal base that i picked up at a local jewelry store. I printed out a picture of the bird design and started to make a rounded shape to act as a base for the cameo with black Sculpey.
After you have made a shape that fits into the base and is rounded enough at the top, put a little Bake and Bond on the flat part of the clay and on the cameo back. Lightly push it in place. After you bake the clay place the bird in the middle and lather Mod Podge all over it.
For the necklace, I found some blue denim and light canvas. I cut two rectangular strips of each, the blue being slightly thinner than the white. I added a centimetre seam allowance and iron that part back to make sewing it down easier. I the. Sewed down the hem and sewed the blue part onto the white. I wrapped the piece around my neck and marked where I wanted to place my snaps. I then sewed on the snaps, and placed the cameo in the middle to make sure it all fit well.
Step 5: Blouse
I got a button down blouse at a second hand store. I used a seam ripper to pick the collar off. Elizabeth's collar is much larger than a regular one, so i put the original on top of some drafting paper and traced around it, modified the shape and incorporated a seam allowance.
Step 6: The Extra Stuff
To finish up, pull on some black pantyhose and those leather boots, style your hair and go out and open up some tears!