As per usual I started my renaissance prep a few months early. I decided this year to sew a dress instead of making armor for the fest because August is the one month in Minnesota where heat is actually a problem. I decided to make a dress inspired by fairy craft. I wanted my character to be a cheap jack who takes items she likes and collects them, so I decided to sew a bunch of random objects into my dress.
This dress was made out of only two yards of fabric I bought at Joann's, and recycled lace/fabric/trinkets that I found at thrift stores or family members gave to me.
Surprisingly this build only took 2 days to make, and cost me only $25
Step 1: Materials
-2 yards of a base fabric for the skirt and bodice
-A hell of a lot of scrap lace/fabric
-Random trinkets...I.E. glass, books, buttons, feathers, keys, gloves etc.
-Iron on lining
-Rivets/gramets/whatever they are called.
-Duct tape and aluminum foil for patterning.
Step 2: The Bodice
To make the bodice, I covered my mannequin in foil and duct taped over the foil, then drew out the pattern I wanted (I only patterned half of the mannequin because it is symmetrical). If you don't have a mannequin, you can wrap yourself in tin foil and duct tape, it works just as great.
I cut out 4 pieces of each pattern from my white fabric ( I'm making a lining out of the fabric as well). I sewed together the pieces so I had 4 half bodices. Then I ironed on a strip to either side of the half bodice (this is where the graments/rivets/whatever they are called, for the corset's back and front will go)
Step 3: Bodice Continued
I folded the edges over of each half bodice, then pinned and sewed the lining half bodice to the decorative half bodices (they were interchangeable really because they were made from the same material).
Step 4: Look Away Now Booklovers
Because my fairy is kind of a hoarder, I decided to sew a book spine onto the bodice. I bought an old copy of Arabians Nights from the flea market, and carefully removed the cover from the pages using an exacto knife. I peeled the cardboard off the fabric cover, and genitally rinsed it in hot water. I let it dry then sewed it onto my bodice.
I also sewed a bunch of lace strings onto my dress. I found a huge bag of lace at my local thrift store for $7 dollars which saved me from breaking the bank. I had no pattern to sew the lace on other that just randomly pinning and sewing. It didn't have be perfect because I wanted my dress to have a lot of character.
Step 5: Corseting
This dress has a corset tie up the front and up the back. I made this by using my grament machine (thanks grandma). I poked holes in the fabric with a seam ripper, and gramented over them. I laced the bodice up with gold ribbon. To give it an antique broken ballerina look, I sewed more lace around the top and bottom of the bodice.
Step 6: Skirt
The skirt was way easier to make than the bodice. I used a cheap sheet and made 2 inch pleats in it for the base of the skirt. Then I pinned a bunch of lace and random fabrics/scarfs/whatever I could find, to the skirt, and sewed it to the base skirt. Be careful sewing this because after a while it's hard to see the needles. I broke a couple of needles on my machine sewing the skirt.
Step 7: Bobbles and Trinkets
Next I sewed a few strips of lace for one of the shoulder straps to the dress. A strip of fabric I used to make the base bodice made up the other strap.
I sewed 3 old opera gloves onto my dress. Two on the straps (1 black, 1 white), and one black glove went around half of my bodice. I sewed a swirl of buttons on the other half of my bodice, buttons on the straps, and just buttons everywhere.
I sewed some feathers and buttons onto the skirt as well.
Step 8: Back
I sewed the bodice onto the skirt. I had a few extra inches of skirt so I sewed some snaps into the fabric, to attach the back.
Step 9: ALL DONE
And the dress is finished. I was so surprised how easy it was to make, and I'm super pleased with how it turned out especially because it was made from recycled materials!
If you would like to see how I made my fairy masquerade mask click here
If you would like to see how I made my wings click here
If you have any question feel free to message me or comment below :)