replica

Vintage Mego Wonder Woman – Dive Suit – Start to Finish!

I have set about creating a 12 inch version of Wonder Woman’s dive suit for underwater crimefighting! It’s a form fitting blue unitard with gloves and heelless boots, a hood, wrist guards, belt and lasso (of course!). Since I have already finished this outfit, I will recount the whole thing in a single post πŸ™‚

I started with the unitard as it’s the basis for all things πŸ™‚ Here is the actual real life costume…

WonderWomanDiveSuitWebpic

 

I had some fabric troubles here and there. I was using a two way stretch fabric and altered my four way stretch pattern, but alas not enough, so it took a couple of tries to get it just right. Sadly, my sewing machine was in a long winded and sometimes violent argument with my sewing machine! What I mean is, my machine hated to sew this fabric! New needle, no help, top tension adjustment, pfft, nothing, bottom tension adjustment, a most minor of improvements, stabilizer….. Yes, with the reinforcements in the ranks by way of stabilizer I was able to successfully sew this up. Then, calamity of calamity, the delightful blue shiny fabric of which I was so proud and excited to have found, wore. I mean wore down, shiny all gone! Right on the bust points, and the hips. Well, that;s not going to do is it?

Here’s that one…

MegoWWDiveSuit1wip1w

I mean sure it’s a little light, but I could live with that. I couldn’t live with it wearing out before I’d even finished the project!

After all of that, I had to find a different fabric. My original fabric seller was most helpful, but didn’t have what I needed. Sigh. Just as well probably as time was of the essence and I am closer to the east coast and they are closer to the west coast…. Next time. (Cali FabricsΒ Check them out!)

Luckily, my local had liquid metal! And in the right colour! So off to work again! From the beginning, and yes, new fabric, more pattern tweaks. My machine like this fabric only a little better. But we soldiered on and made it happen.

Here’s the new fabric beside her wearing the original version. You really can’t see that the finish has worn off the bust because of the flash glare, but trust me, wear off it did.

DiveSuitNewFabricw

This new blue is backed in black and your doll peeps know about that! For those who don’t though, black (or other dark or strong colours) can leach onto the vinyl, plastic or resin of your doll staining her. Most dark or strong fashions have a light, neutral lining and I have planned that here. The other reason for lining in this case is the impossibility of getting this unitard onto the dolls’ impossibly long semi soft vinyl legs! It’s like they grab onto the unitard and will not budge! So I nade the lining and put it on the doll and it’s great! So then I put the unitard on and it slips right onto her and I’m singing and it’s fabulous!

Silly me, then I attach the two together, and we’re back to an impossible tug of war trying to put it on her. Back we go, separate the two, and all is well again. So that’s how it will stay, thank you very much!

Tired of mediating the fight between the fabric and my machine, I moved on the gold bits for a bit of a break. (That blue hood is trashbound – wrong blue!)

WWdiveSuit2wip2w

 

A little glue, a little support, and some “clamps” πŸ™‚

 

WWdiveSuit3wip2w

Proportion check…. The belt is good, but the gold cuffs are too wide. Ew. We’ll fix that.

WWdiveSuit1wip2w

With that finally all sorted out, it was on to the hood, which I also lined. I left the back of the head open to faciltate putting it on and will add fasteners. It will need some gold bands and a red star.

wwdivesuitHood1w

Then her red boots…. I looked at an episode I found online where she’s diving in this suit and her boots are heelless, so that’s what I’ll do as well. I toyed with the idea of incorporating them as one piece with the unitard, but decided against it. Realism (such as it is in this context) won out and I made them separate so they can be removed if desired. They’re stretchy and have the sewn on white tops and front stripe as they should. The soles and insoles are a series of fabric and card and glue and paint and stitching πŸ™‚

WWdivesuitBootswipw

Next the gloves. These are always a challenge, but especially on this doll because of the shape of her hands. She is in a perpetual semi grip hand formation that makes it quite tricky to apply gloves. They too are separate from the unitard and need patience to put on! They are lined as well. I don’t want the doll’s hands turning black.

Her golden wrist guards need a tiny perfect red star each. I’ve done pearl shaped beads and stretchy thread loops for fasteners so they’ll fit over the glove and sleeve ends.

Last but not least, the embellishments on the upper chest of the untiard. Stars, stars and more stars!

DiveSuitStars1w

Big stars and little ones and one red band and one gold. Cutting out all of those tiny stars was a challenge as was placing them just so. Then they all got a single stitch each.

DiveSuitStars2w

DiveSuitStarsCU1w

Separately stitched, to preserve the stretchiness, and the fasteners down the back and it was finished πŸ™‚

WWdivesuitdone1w

WWdiveSuitHalf1w

WWdivesuitdone6w

WWdivesuitdone5w

I’ll be making a dress for someone next and then I’ll finish Pompadour’s shoes (finally) Phew!

Thanks for reading this long winded, entire project in a single post!

~awsumgal

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in awsumgal outfit, doll clothes, doll outfit, Mego, replica, Uncategorized, Wonder Woman 2 Comments »

7 Year Itch Dress for 19 Inch Marilyn – Done :)

As promised last time, the dress is complete!

Waist size was confirmed, yay! Zipper inserted, this baby is done πŸ™‚

Here are some final photos. Again, this is going on a sculpture so my American Model lady is just showing it off for me πŸ˜‰

19marilyn1w

19marilyn2w

19marilyn3w

One more with the removable underwire πŸ™‚

19marilyn5w

Well, there you have it! All finished and off to it’s new home.

Thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in awsumgal outfit, doll, doll clothes, doll outfit, Marilyn Monroe, replica, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

7 Year Itch Dress for 19 Inch Marilyn Wip2

Good morning!

I’m almost finished with this project. I hope to put the finishing touches on it today.

When I last posted, I left you all with the pleating, looking unshaped and purposeless. Now things have taken shape πŸ™‚
19Marilyn7wip2w

Some of the bits are done and partially put together….

Here it is on my doll. Caveat here, my doll, although she’s 19 inches tall is not the girl who will be wearing this dress. My doll is smaller in the waist and bust than the sculpture is supposed to be, so it hangs off her a little in places πŸ™ We can’t all be Marilyn!

19Marilyn5wip2wThe pleats looks a little odd in front because I’m trying out the wire structure I made to make the dress look like it’s blowing up around her. Like this:

19Marilyn4wip2wOr this:

19Marilyn3wip2w

The point here is that it can be posed to the owners desire. Within reason of course, nothing is infinite!

The wire contraption is just flexible wire (strong enough to hold the weight of the skirt) sewn onto a piece of canvas. It fastens with a simple snap and is a separate piece from the dress.

When bent upward, the wire holds the skirt up and hides nicely in the pleats πŸ™‚

The finishing parts are left to do, the strapping across the front and the bow tie (not to be confused with a bowtie – different thing entirely, lol) I’ve begun the tie…

19Marilyn2wip1w

 

Still have to insert the zipper. The sculpture will be standing with legs apart, but I don’t know how far apart, so a long zipper should accommodate that. I’m still waiting on a confirmation of the waist size of this sculpture, and I don’t want to sew the zip into the back until I have that….

Except for the zipper, everything is hand sewing, so off I go to get that done. Next time you see this dress, it will be complete πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

~awsumgal

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in awsumgal outfit, Historical Fashion, Marilyn Monroe, OOAK, replica, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

7 Year Itch Dress for 19″ Marilyn Sculpture

Happy Saturday morning folks! Hope you’ve got great plans for the day. The summer is winding down around here, so get out and do something fun, (right after you bookmark this blog, lol!)

Today I’ll be working an a Marilyn Monroe 7 Year Itch dress. You know the one, the subway grate scene on that hot night in the film? The pleated one? Yup, that one…..

marilyn-monroe-seven-year-itch-176608-11

I have made doll versions of this dress before, but this time is a little different. This time it will be for a sculpture, not a doll. My client is having a sculpture made. She’ll be 19 inches tall and will be proportional to Marilyn’s actual measurements.

I researched Marilyn’s measurements and although they changed over the years a little, and there seems to be a tiny discrepancy with regard to her actual height, I was able to find them online in a couple of different places. I also have a few books about Marilyn and the her designers. There is a lot of literature on that “silly little dress” as Travilla (the designer) called it.

images

His dress, he can call it whatever he wants!

As a point of interest, the dress isn’t even white, it’s bone, or cream. White didn’t really appear white so well on film. Apparently, white looked grey and dingy, so the bone coloured dress gave a more pleasing white on film, which is what they were going for. This version is white, but not bright white, just a soft neutral white.Β  I have chosen a silk/cotton light semi sheer fabric for this as it will pleat beautifully. (I discovered that the designer had fabric specially made for this dress. He specifically wanted some man-made fiber content, which he didn’t normally use much, so that the pleats would stay.)

So, I’ve begun the work on pure math and numbers to this point because I don’t have the sculpture in hand, she may not be finished yet even. New size, so new pattern. The sculptor is crafting the figure to have Marilyn’s real proportions. So I’ve taken her actual height and the height of the sculpture and gotten a percentage which I then applied to her bust, waist and hip measurements. Because this dress has the pleated flared skirt, the hip measurement isn’t all that critical. The most important is the waist because that’s where the dress fits closely. Even the bust cups have ore leeway in terms of size because they will be gathered along the bottom edge and the tied at the back neck, so that affords some size flexibility as well.

All of this is important because I don’t yet have confirmation of the position, theΒ stance, of the sculpture. Are her hands down? or up? Are her legs together? or apart? This will have an impact on how much of the dress can be closed at the back and how it fastens. So I will do what can be done without that knowledge and go from there.

So here is the pleated skirt section in process. I’m doing it by hand with my trusty iron. Note that I have already hemmed this. prior to pleating πŸ™‚

19Marilyn1wip1w

I have done this pleated skirt in an arc before, but it’s tricky that way because the grainline doesn’t arc (of course) so parts of the pleating are more difficult to pleat perfectly. I’m going with a straighter pattern piece here for a better pleat. The fabric is semi sheer and I don’t want to line it, as that would interfere with the pleated look (even if I pleated the lining), so I want a fair amount of pleat overlap. The real dress is three layers everywhere, except the skirt, which is two. My version will be lined everywhere except the skirt and have an extra layer in the pleated bust to waist section.

Here it is all pleated….

19Marilyn2wip1w

The other little gotcha is that the client wants the hem to appear to be blowing up around her as if she’s on that subway grate. But we’ll get to that when the time is right. I have a couple of ideas πŸ™‚

I’ve gone ahead and pleated a piece for the bodice between bust and waist as well.

19Marilyn3wip1w

I have also drafted and cut the bust pieces and the back bodice bits. There is a little more that I can do before the final size confirmation, so I’ll go and do those things while I’m waiting. (Gathering the bust cups and lining, prepping the waist tie…)

That is all for now. I’ll get back to work so there’s more to show next time!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

~awsumgal

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Marilyn Monroe, OOAK, replica, Uncategorized No Comments »

J-Lo 2000 Grammy Dress

It is said that J-Lo lit up the internet after she appeared at the 2000 Grammy Awards wearing this gravity defying bare almost all little number because so many people were searching for her image in the dress.

I’ve been asked to recreate it on a small scale for a 17 inch tall Tonner Antoinette doll. This dress is what I like to call a “fabric dependent” piece. The fabric is a unique printed silk chiffon, that even if I could find the real fabric somehow, would be in the wrong scale for the doll and wouldn’t look right anyway. Without a suitable fabric to work in, the project will ultimately fail. So I’m careful what I promise when agreeing to this kind of project. I certainly don’t want to disappoint my commissioner!

Here’s the dress (in case you’ve had your eyes closed for 15 to 20…)

J-LoGrammyFL

Apparently, there was a little double sided tape involved, but I digress!

It’s a beautiful Versace dress that helped launch Donatella’s career after the death of her brother Gianni.

The search was on for fabric. It took a while of scouring the web and my local fabric stores and anyway else I could think of. Buying pieces like this online is problematic. Many stores/sellers don’t give you an accurate representation of scale which is so important when working small and you often can’t tell what kind of hand, or drape the piece will have. Sometimes I take the risk that the piece will be wrong and sometimes it is. I try to be mindful of that, otherwise I wind up storing a lot of fabric that’s wrong for me.

But, joy of joys I found two that were plausible, not perfect mind you, but one of them was pretty close in feel. It was a tropical abstract leaf pattern in a chiffon. A little less blue than the original, but I knew I could help that along by strategically overpainting the material.

I draped the two over a doll – my Sybarite rescue, as it happens πŸ™‚ In this first example, the colour is pretty good, but the abstract dots are wrong. There’s nothing really tropical about this, but did I say the colour’s good?

JloDresspossible2w

The second example is the abstract tropical. In this example, the print is better, but the colour is a little washed out and it’s not blue enough. Since I can’t do anything about the print of the first example, but I can help the colour of the second example, this is the better choice IMHO.Β My savvy commissioner picked the second fabric.

JloDresspossible1w

With a fabric found and decided upon, I set to drafting the pattern for this dress. It remarkably tricky to achieve a tight fitting dress with so few places on the body where it actually comes together!Β Not to mention, the skirt has to be flowy πŸ™‚

With the fabric being scarce and this being a new pattern, I made a muslin first, to test fit.

J-LoPatternTest1w

It has some merit. It’s a reasonable start point. The neckline is altogether too high of course, but more importantly, the hang at the front is wrong. The hips need more space. Also, the skirt is too short at the back and doesn’t quite have enough sweep either. So back to the pattern paper for refinements!

When I was happy with the pattern, it was time to work with the final fabric. I decided that the easiest way to over paint successfully would be to cut the pieces out and overpaint before I sew. That way, I don’t waste a lot of time painting parts that won’t be used and presew keeps my doll clean and paint free, and it keeps the pieces flat, making them easier to paint.

J-LoGrammy1Wip1

I tested three different products to overpaint. Drawing ink, fabric paint and artist acrylic. The drawing ink bled quite a bit, so no, probably not. On to the fabric paint which by the name one would think it would be the best choice, but this particular type is quite thick, it wants to be 3D (it’s probably quite good at that) but it doesn’t thin well, and I don’t want 3D here… So last test, artist acrylic: it thins, it can be built up, mixed almost infinitely. It doesn’t bleed, will never transfer to the doll. Yup, this is the one πŸ™‚

The differences are pretty subtle, especially in photos, but, I’m happy with the shift towards blue of the overall look. So much so that I punchd up the greens in many places too. I spent about three days just painting the various bits. I’d get into a zone and think, just a little more here, just a bit more blue there…

J-LoGrammy1Wip2

The piece on the left is overpainted and the bit on the right is not. It needs more, you can see how it would be tough to stop, lol!

Now it’s looking more pleasing πŸ™‚

J-LoGrammy1Wip4

After it’s all painted it’s time to sew. Construction mapping on this piece was fun! There is an order of operations at play for best results. This order of operations type stuff tends to run through my mind as I’m waking up. In that hazy pre-awake state where all the great ideas come from. When I’m working on something, that’s where the answers lie. If I’m in between projects, it’s where the best ideas for the next one make themselves known…..

Anyway, back to J-Lo

J-Lo-Grammy-Front-1w

J-Lo-GrammySide1w

J-Lo-Grammy-Dress-back1w

It’s coming along. Some refinements and tidying need to happen and it needs another pressing. You’ll notice that she’s wearing a blue panty underneath. When I researched the dress, it seems that Vercsace designed this gown to have a nude panty with a jewelled crotch underneath as well as the jewelled brooch fastener. J-Lo apparently opted not to wear the nude panty with the jewelled crotch. Good call J-Lo! I like the blue panty better too πŸ™‚

After much hand work, the dress is finished. Here are some final studio pics for you.

J-LoFinal5w

J-LoFinal3w

Don’t want to forget to mention the should sparkle and of course the strategically placed jewelled brooch πŸ™‚

J-LoFinal6w

J-LoFinal7w

Well, that’s it for now! The J-Lo dress is on it’s way to it’s owner and I’m on to another project,

Watch this space πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading,

~awsumgal

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Antoinette, Custom Fabric, doll clothes, doll outfit, OOAK, replica, Tonner, Uncategorized 2 Comments »