13 April 2014

Elsa the Glitter Queen (Part 2)

This is part two of the Elsa progress post I promised you a few days ago!  If you haven't read part one and are interested in doing so, here it is:  Elsa the Glitter Queen (Part 1)

For the most part this post is going to cover the work I've done on my wig, corset bodice, and cloak.  While I have made a great deal of progress since taking these photos, I am going to save that stuff for a future post!

So I don't have photos of the base wig before I started styling it,  but I am working with Arda Wigs' Suzi in ash blonde.  It's a lacefront wig with a widow's peak, so it works beautifully for Elsa.

Because of Elsa's pulled back hairstyle, I had to add wefts inside the sides of the wig to cover any wefts that would be exposed when I pulled the wig back.  This also served to beef up the braid, which is quite bulky.  Briefly I considered adding another pack of wefts to fill it out even more, but this wig already weighs a ton more than I want to be carrying around on my head, heh.

The wig comes with two really distinct layers: shorter hair radiating from the scalp, and much longer hair underneath.  I sectioned off the shorter hair for styling the messy hair on top of Elsa's head.  It won't be part of the braid.  The rest of the hair I sectioned off for French braiding.

Here she is with the braid finished:

It's a little lumpier and messier than I might like.  Ideally I'd like to rebraid the whole thing, but I really don't want to have to face all that hair again x3
We will see.  For now I'm leaving the shorter layer of hair alone.  I don't want to style that until I am sure that this wig won't have to travel flat, and in all likelihood, it's going to have to.

Moving on!

Elsa's bodice is kind of mirage-y.

My original vision was to do it all in dragonscale with some fabric paint or something to take care of the gradient look, but fate seemed to have had other plans.  I fell in love with the idea of overlaying blue netting over blue silk brocade, and that meant I really had to change my decoration approach.  So, embroidery.

Believe me, the silver is extremely difficult to photograph because of its reflectivity.  I built up with wing motif with silver embroidery thread, then added silver leaves and jump rings as accents.

I also wanted something snowflake-y for the center front.  For this one I decided to do the bulk of the work on an embroidery hoop.

Sketching out the design.


Finished product.  I used three different embroidery threads in this one: matte silver for the outline, antique silver for the fill, and pearlescent for the accents.  It make an interesting, subtle gradient effect.  Then I added some beadwork and jump rings (not pictured above).

Here's what it looks like attached to the corset:

I added a little mother of pearl ring at the top of the embroidery.  At some point I envision ribbons of embroidery attaching to either side of the ring.

Now then, my cloak.

The main issue with this thing is that it's huge, amorphous, and transparent despite having at least semi-opaque snowflake patterns on it.  I knew pretty early on that I wanted to use this glittery blue netting that I found it New York City, because of its drape and lack of a grain.  That meant I could cobble together pieces of it without worrying about obvious differences in grain direction showing.  I bought four yards of the fabric, to be used jointly by the cloak and bodice overlay.

I wasn't entirely sure what the outcome would be, but I set out using EZ-Steam 2 Lite for the snowflake patterns, which are basically applique, except that I'm applying them to the underside of the cloak.

The pattern pieces are quite large.  First I drew them out on scrap paper, then I traced them onto the EZ-Steam in pieces.  The piece pictured above is actually the EZ-Steam after it has already been applied to the fabric I am appliqueing to the blue netting.  I wish I could give you a better idea of just how MASSIVE these pieces are.  It's about five feet long from top to bottom.

EZ-Steam is wonderful because you just iron it and you've got a permanent bond between the applique and the fabric you are appliqueing it to.  For this application, however, the iron would have come in direct contact with the EZ-Steam through the holes in the netting, so I used pieces of wax paper left over after I peeled the EZ-Steam off it's backing to prevent the applique from getting melted to the iron.

The result:

That took three packs of EZ-Steam, or about fifteen sheets.  I'm completely out of the stuff now, so before I finish up the applique I'm going to need to make a trip to the store.

Here's what we have so far!:

You may notice that the left side of the cloak seems bigger than the right side, and it absolutely is.  I added a gore to that side to help with the amorphous appearance.  The cloak also drapes better on the floor and does NOT look like a bolt of fabric tacked to my back.  I'll be adding a gore to the right side as well.


Without the cloak.  I'll be buying corset lacing later on, the ribbon I'm using here is temporary.

Aaaaaand from the front!  You can see how much nicer the left side of the cloak (with its gore) looks compared to the right side.

Well, that's all I have for today.  Check back later for more!

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