This year for Halloween I wanted to dress up like Sally from the nightmare before Christmas.
I didn't want to spend money on a pre-fab costume (student budget), so made my own from an old dress I had lying around.
It isn't an exact copy of the original dress (also because I messed up in the planning) but I am hoping that it will get some good reactions.
Step 1: Components
As I mentioned, I used an old denim dress
I also purchased some fabric to complete the "patches". I got 1m of purple, yellow, black and turquoise respectively. i went for a jersey blend as it was stretchy, relatively cheap and didn't fray.
I also used some purple and orange fabric paint to create the "printed" designs.
Tools ofcourse are scissors, a sewing machine, thread for the machine, fabric marker, a clean and smooth surface, etc. The usual stuff you need when sewing.
Step 2: The Pattern
I have recently become more and more aware of the value of planning. I started this project trying to "eye-ball" it, but that went horribly wrong. So I started over, with proper planning this time.
On the inside of the dress, I marked out how I wanted the final dress to look. Where I wanted which colors etc.
I also worked with the cut of the dress. As you can see it has a few panels, i wanted the dress to keep its "cut" so decided to break up the color blocks into different "patches" which would fit the panels.
I know it sounds complicated, and that's probably because i don't know how to explain it properly; because it was really quite straight forward. I hope the pictures explains better then I can.
Note: I marked the dress without taking into account that I had to do a mirror image. That's why, so you will see in the final product the colors are on the wrong sides. Oops :S
Step 3: Sewing
This step is fairly straight forward. I transferred the blocks I made to the respective fabric using tracing paper.
Then pin to the fabric and sew together.
I left the edges raw to give it more of a rag-doll look. That's why I wanted fabric that doesn't fray.
I also used white cotton because I liked the way it made the seams stand out. In hind-sight I should have used black because it is more morbid, but ah well.
I did this step over a few days. But with moderate knowledge of a sewing machine and a free afternoon, you could definitely finish it in one day.
My dress has pockets in the waist wich i left open so I can use them on the night and don't need to carry a purse.
Step 4: Details & Done
Some of the panels on Sally's dress have swirls and stripes on them. I used fabric paint to create a swirling pattern on the purple and the lines and dots on the yellow. I used a dark purple paint for the swirls and orange for the dots and grid. I didn't want to use all black as I thought it might be too harsh.
I had quite some spare black fabric so used taht to make the 2 large dots on the turquoise piece and the thick black stipes on the purple piece.
Lastly, I also added a stuffed Jack Skellington head I had lying around. This way no one can pretend not to know who I am supposed to be.
!!! DONE !!!
I am very happy with how the dress came out.
It was reasonably cheap since I didn't have to buy a dress and managed to get the fabric at a steal.
Since I used a dress which used to be one of my favourites, i know I will be comfortable and look good.
All in all, I would definitely chose this more free interpretation over a mass-produced one; even if I had the money.
My hair is already red, so that's not a problem. I am still deciding how to do my make-up. I'll post pictures after the fact.