Introduction: Rococo Period Apparition
As a costume designer for a full scale haunted attraction this fall I was in charge of a twenty five person cast. I was also one of the performers. This is the costume I made for myself. I Apologize about the quality of the photos, I was scrambling and making multiple characters at once. The makeup is a full facial prosthetic done by the fabulous special effects and makeup artist Sandra Adams.
heavy weight interfacing
cotton duck for lining
Shantung for dress
Step 1: Building the Corset
First step: Using the Butterick 4254 pattern I traced out corset onto lining, interfacing, and cotton fabric. Cut out and sew together. Trace boning channels onto lining. Heres a pic of corset partially sewn with drawn channels. The next step was (no pictures sorry) cut the boning to macth the channels in the corset. I used zip ties because they are a bit sturdier than the boning you can buy in the stores, and I didn't have time to wait for steel boning to come in the mail. After all bones were cut they are shoved into the channels and the the cprset is finished around the seams.
Step 2: Finished Corset
Here's the finished corset. I estimated about 22 hours of work.
Step 3: Fiber Dye Test
The first step in making a dress is doing a swatch test with the dyes to see which one will distress the best. I bought samples and mixed a small amount of RIT dye in a spray bottle, and spraying each sample. The pink fabric was the winner, taking the most dye. This will be important later on when the dress is distressed.
Step 4: Bloomers and Chemise
After the corset comes the rest of the underclothes: a long white sleeveless gown called a chemise and a set of baggy pants called bloomers.
Step 5: The Dress
Now that I have my fabric I can start on the dress. I used Simplicity 4092, but ended up draft most of the dress of my dress form. This is what the dress looked like mostly finished, but still missing its sleeve.
Step 6: Airbrushing and Distressing
After the dress is complete I took a razor, some scissors, sandpaper, and bottles of dye in different shades of brown. I slashed the hems and skirt, the dyed the areas which would age when worn (armpits, waistline, seams in bodice, etc.) With the help of our airbrush artist the dye job is accentuated and darkened. No pics here sorry!
Step 7: The Wig and the Makeup
After the wig goes on the makeup artist gets to work on my face. Just to stress the change here's a before and after picture:
Step 8: The Finished Costume
There's the finished project! All in all it was probably about 50 hours of work. It was work for three weekends as a character in the haunted attraction at Fightmare Farm in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It's so much fun making people scream!