Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Marie - Skullgirls

Commissioned work of Bloody Marie from the video game Skullgirls. The client is taller than the standard dressform measurements so the vertical proportions on the dressform are a little off. The dress has a lined bodice and skirt, with the pleated ruffle attached to the lining. The dress is made of woven cotton, the apron a cotton twill bottomweight. The outfit is drawn with really pronounced pleats that are not sharply creased and pop up, so I went with a heavier fabric to replicate that. (The heavier fabric also blocks more of the annoying seam allowance show-through you get from putting a light color on top of black.) I steamed the pleats in but didn't permanently press them. The fabric has enough body and stiffness that the pleats stand out on their own.

The apron is fixed waist and closes with buttons and hooks, with the waist tie threaded through the back of the removable bow. The apron portion and tie tails are lined in white cotton, straps are self-lined.

 The skirt is a gathered flare with a hem circumference of about 125". I cut the skirt on the cross grain so it wouldn't have extra seams from gores. The lining was cut in six gores to avoid having the side seams on the bias, where the weight of the ruffle would pull it completely out of shape. When I do skirt linings with attached ruffles like this I put the lining in "backward" (seam allowances facing in toward the legs rather than facing out, with a french seam finishing the seam at the zipper) because the outward-facing side of the lining tends to show a bit with movement.

(There are 525 inches of pleated ruffle in this dress and apron. And since it's box pleated, I couldn't just fork pleat it. I hunkered down at the coffee table with my ruler, pins, and chalk and some Poldark and did some intensive pleating.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

The UPS man brought me new toys! I'd been waffling over whether I wanted to get an embroidery machine for literal years and I finally decided to just go for it. Not knowing how much I'd like it or use it, I couldn't really justify buying a nicer one with a bigger field right out of the gate, but this has a 5x7 field and I think it will be big enough for most of what I'd want to use it for. I played around with the software a bit and digitized the Grey Warden insignia. There's a bit of a learning curve to the software but it doesn't seem too bad. I'm actually a pleasantly surprised the stitch pattern came out pretty decently for a first try, though the embroidery itself would look better if I either added the white portions as stitching and/or used a better stabilizer for this fabric. The fabric I put this design on has 2% spandex and it stretched a bit during embroidery.  (And naturally I'm now gripped with the urge to embroider stuff on everything.)