Saturday, February 27, 2010

The making of a stash buster

Back in March of 2009 I realized that I had collected enough stuff in my sewing stash to create a new costume. These items were mostly impulsive purchases, things that I bought on clearance, or left over items from other projects. Inspired by costume maker Ozma and her stash projects, I decided to start one of my own. This is what I discovered in my stash:

Click the pictures to enlarge or view the album here.

Oh but wait, there's more! I remembered some chainette fringe that I had purchased at the Scrap Exchange!

Construction did not begin until Nov 2009. I realized that I needed to buy more fabric. Thank goodness it was still in stock at JoAnns. I'm also pretty sure I picked up some extra pieces that day. I made a belt base using only felt (two layers), which was a first for me. I used the Sugar Petals belt form (with some tweaking) as the pattern:

After covering it with fabric I was ready to bead:

I started to trim the belt with some turquoise beads leftover from extra straps from a costume that I had sold. I forgot to include them with the sale of the costume and so I harvested. I didn't have enough and had to buy more...twice actually. I also started to play with the placement of the appliques and buttons.

I got this much done during my Thanksgiving break in Florida. I got to bead on an airplane and I enjoyed the stares. Some appliques have been sewn down and beaded.

I beaded on and around the appliques to keep them from looking so fakey and store bought:

Then came the fringe:

But something was missing....Crystals! I pulled out some hot fix crystals that I had bought for another project that never came into fruition. They were perfect!

Now, originally this was just going to be a belt, and only a belt. I was going to use it for a more fusiony look. But then I decided that I really needed a matching bra to pull it off. This is what it looks like without the bra (before crystals too, I think):

So the bra was tricky. I went through two cup bases before finding the right one. And actually it was a little too big for me, but it's better to pad than to have it be too small. Unfortunately, after covering a too-small bra I realized my error and had to take it apart. Ugh! Then, the fabric for the smaller cups did not fit the new larger cups. Double ugh! Of course, since this was a stash buster there was no fabric to spare. And guess what? The fabric was completely sold out at all the JoAnn's in my area. I turned to Bhuz for help. One dancer came through with a "close enough" fabric that would have to do. Construction of the bra continued...

Everything is fortified with felt. The straps use a canvas base. (Both materials are from the stash):


You can see the slight difference in fabric...

Construction complete!

I didn't take any bra embellishment photos, but you get the picture. I thought about adding more stash to the cups, but honestly I was out of stash. I got to the point where I just wanted to finish it. And I couldn't really find matching appliques the few times I went to the craft stores to re-up supplies. Here's an after of the bra, but it's not finished yet!

I added fringe and padding to finish. I also found a super awesome way to pad bras. I took some old pantyhose and stuffed them with poly-fill. It makes a nice little shelf. Oh and I know it's practically a sin, but you can see how I glued the stitching down where the cups are connected to the straps and middle bit.
Panty hose padding!

Add a little lining (leftover cotton from another project)...and we're done!

All in all this was a good project for me. I don't think this costume will be in the regular rotation, but it was great experience for costume design. I did end up having to buy more fabric, beads and crystals...but it was less expensive than most home-made costumes. And at least I got to whittle down my stash!


Rassi said...

Oh, my Gosh! I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with the pictures and text of the process.

Andalee said...

You're welcome! Anytime. Let me know if yu have any questions about it. I have some other costume construction blogs throughout this site. Check them out!