Anna Costume, Sewing The Bodice

After spending all last night on this, my Anna bodice is almost complete. As I mentioned in my last post I shared the embroidery, this one will talk about assembly.


The first step was to transfer all my pattern markings to my fabric. I had already completed this on the lining, I did it while my machine was embroidering. So I really only had to do the velveteen and it went quickly. Once I did that I pinned the darts and sewed them down.


I did the same with the lining. The next step had the potential to be very tricky. I had to press my seams. Now if you’re at all familiar with velvet or velveteen you’ll know they can’t really be ironed. You usually need what’s called a needle board and even then you can still crush the pile if you’re not careful. Velveteen can be a little easier to work with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mess that up too. The method I used is slightly dangerous and not something I recommend anyone without health insurance try. I stood my iron and passed the fabric over the plate.

I couldn’t exactly take photos of this process. That would have been really stupid and reckless. So I’ll have to try and describe exactly what I mean. I turned my iron to a medium setting, and let it heat up. I found having the steam on made it easier, you may wish to experiment. To be sure it wouldn’t be too hot I ran the iron over the board a few times and touched the fabric. If it was too hot to touch I turned it down until I found something manageable. I stood the iron up facing 4 o’clock and held it by the handle so it wouldn’t boggle. Then I laid the fabric over my hand (right side against my palm) and held it to the plate. My fabric was thick enough and my temperature setting low enough that it didn’t get too hot. When I had to apply a bit more pressure or press close to the edge, I used a scrap piece (right sides together!) to be sure my hand would stay safe. It worked phenomenally well. Just see for yourself!


After I finished all my pressing I serged the shoulders and side seams of both the velveteen and lining separately. Then I put them together (wrong sides together to hide the seams) and started pinning. I pinned both layers together and machine basted them together. In hindsight I probably should have just hand basted, it probably would have taken me less time. Either way, it came out fine. I then popped it on the serger. The entire perimeter will be covered with gold trim, so I didn’t even have to do that, but I don’t want to ever have to worry about things unraveling so I finished them. Besides, it’s nice to have a well made garment.

Here are my two separate pieces waiting to be serged together.


And here they are serged together and with the zipper installed just waiting for trim.


My shoulders are a bit more broad than the dress form so it looks a bit off here. But this is it! All it needs now is the trim. I am a bit concerned about installing that. The stuff I bought is really cool, but I’m worried it will be really difficult to work with. If it is I’ll have to get something different and I really don’t want to. Not just because it’ll cost me even more (I can’t return this trim), but because I can’t think of anything else that’ll look as good. So I really need it to work.

With any luck my next post will be in the next day or so, and will be showcasing my completed bodice!

I do still have the crummy Spoonflower fabric, they haven’t asked for it back. So I’m thinking of using it to practice pleating, just to get an idea of what works. Anna’s skirt looks to have four huge pleats which wouldn’t be difficult. I just hope it translates well  to real life.

On the subject of skirt and Spoonflower they contacted me again. The woman I’ve been talking to said she made a mistake with what she told me and had the fabric reprinted on a different base. It supposedly looks much better and will go out as soon as Monday. All I can say is it better look good. If it doesn’t I’m going to be stuck making a skirt in the wrong colors. After all the work I’m putting into this I’d like it to look how I’d envisioned. But with the base color of this skirt so dark and it so difficult to see many of the details it may as well be a different pattern, not just a different color. So it’s disappointing. I’m not saying making this costume has been especially taxing, but it does take effort and it has cost me a bit. I’d like to be really happy and proud of the end result. I know my son won’t really care, he’ll just be happy that his Mama is Anna (or Nana as he calls her). But I’ll care.


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