Anna Costume, The Shirt

I’m still working on my Anna costume and it’s slow going at best. I have the muslin for the bodice done and I have all the supplies I need to finish the costume, sorta. I’ll explain in a bit, but for now lets focus on the shirt. I bought this shirt from Amazon.

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I picked the Aqua color and it’s a bit paler in real life. It looks very much like the color Anna wears in the film. The only problems this shirt had were the collar and sleeves. Anna’s collar is more of a mandarin or Nehru collar, this one has your typical spread collar. To remedy that I simply took a seam ripper to it and pulled the top part of the collar out. It created the perfect shape. The only downside is this was not the best made shirt. So the fabric wasn’t placed with care when it was sewn originally and it’s impossible to get it to lay flat now (unless I want to dismantle the entire collar, but I’ll still have issues cause of the button hole). I’m not going to fret too much over it though. It’s a costume and not something I plan to wear out and about.

The sleeves were also an issue. They feature a double cuff, Anna does not have a double cuff. Now for some people this might just be a slight annoyance, but for me it was ideal. I have very long arms and as usual the shirt fit me everywhere but the sleeves, which were literally two inches too short. So I measured and cut off the excess, turned the cut ends under, and stitched it back up. It did leave me with the issue of too much cuff, not enough button- if you know what I mean. So I took the extra button, and one from the bottom of the shirt, and put on two new button holes and stitched the buttons in place. 

I did do a bit of decorative stitching just to make it a bit more reminiscent of Anna’s shirt. It went okay on the collar but it could not be done well on the cuffs or at all near the buttons down the front. The fabric is not the best of quality and even adding a bit of stabilizer wasn’t going to help much. Besides I wasn’t interested in wasting stabilizer on this shirt, at least not at this time.

All in all I’m happy with this, despite the $22 price tag. It saves me a lot of work and it’s the right color. I’ve been keeping track of my supplies and I’m still way under what some of the eBay costumes are going for, and light years away from the better ones on Etsy. It’ll probably cost about $100-$120 when all is said and done, but that’s really not that bad for a custom outfit. 

Here’s some shots of what I did with this shirt. 

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I alluded to some supply issues in the beginning of this post. Sadly they’re with my skirt fabric. It in no way resembles the images shown on the Spoonflower website, color wise. After much issue trying to contact the company I was finally able to talk to someone via chat (you cannot talk to someone on the phone, it’s just a voicemail that hangs up). The woman was nice and said that my fabric did look much different than what the designer shared. So she looked up what the designer bought, it was the same exact fabric I bought. Yet they’re very different colors. The designers fabric is bright and beautiful, mine borders on navy and the details are difficult to see, some are almost impossible unless you’re under direct light. Here’s the picture of my fabric next to an image of the designers fabric.

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Mine is on the left, the designers is on the right. Supposedly they’re both Kona cotton.

The Spoonflower lady told me they would get the fabric reprinted and she was sure there would be no issues. Well she emailed me today and told me that it printed out super dark again. And she said she talked to the design team and they told her the colors in the original file were dark so it’ll probably keep happening even if they try and print onto a different base. They also said the designer must have used a flash when she took her photo. Well, I did my best to recreate the image the designer posted. I turned on the flash on my camera and even got out our torches. Basically they’re these huge flashlights that when I shine them out my second story window they illuminate the entire parking lot below. Yet, even with all that light, I could not make my fabric look like the designers sample. So either she photoshopped it (which would be insane and highly unlikely) or the issue is with Spoonflower’s system. I spent $60 total on three yards of Kona cotton. A sum I’d have been happy to pay, if I’d gotten what I wanted. Instead what I received is something I’m embarrassed to use and a “Oh well, it must be someone else’s fault. Soooo, do you want something different?” from the company. I’ve bought swatches from this company before and they were absolutely lovely. They were actually from the same designer as this most recent purchase. Yet I don’t know if I’d ever shop with them again. When I emailed them to tell them I had a problem they didn’t get back to me. Their phone number leads to a recording that hangs up on you. Then when I went to use their online chat during the four hours a day they’re available it said chat was offline. Only after I wrote an angry little message on their Facebook wall did chat magically pop back up. What are the odds…

So I’m pretty disappointed in this company. I feel like they should be doing more. I’m not asking them to change blue to red, or add flowers, or anything stupid. All I want is what they say they can deliver. You’d think I’d be safe buying the same fabric the designer bought and shared (and I loved) but I guess not. And I think it’s fair to warn all potential customers. Think twice before using Spoonflower. It’s expensive and you may end up with something you can’t use. And the company really isn’t any help.

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