I'm an experienced seamstress with a blog dedicated to providing resources for fellow costumers and fans. This blog is a peek into the world of a seamstress and how someone who creates clothing perceives fashion and costume choices in the media. Blog by Elizabeth Hajek.
Well, it has been a long time since I updated this blog. Welcome back! If you follow my personal blog or my sewing instagram, you'll be aware that in February I had surgery for endometriosis. Recovery has been ongoing. In addition, I've had to be on different meds that have really affected my ability to function creatively.
However my love of fabric and fashion continues unabated! I've been
Because it isn't strictly sewing (or even very much about sewing, although there is a quilt), I posted about my recent bedroom redecorating project over on my personal blog. If you're interested in such things, you may enjoy checking it out!
More photos and notes at elenatintil.blogspot.com.
Here we are! The final photos of the finished corset (which I like to call the 'Slytherin Green Corset'). It was quite an adventure stitching this creation, but I'm very happy with how it turned out!
(Missed parts 1 and 2? Start reading here)
It's quite difficult to sew creations like this and then send them off. I took a bajillion photos of this one.
Here you can see the
Corset-making is an intense process, but it is so cool to see the finished piece come together. Part 1 covered the initial construction and busk insertion. Part 2 will chronicle the rest of the process.
Having completed two fittings and established the proper fittings of the corset, I now needed to cover the inside seams. I made bias tape out of black satin and stitched them down.
Corset-making is an art of its own. One can be a fabulous costumer, and yet know nothing about crafting corsets. I am still very much a novice in this area, but I did complete a project for a friend this past year that I am pretty proud of.
This corset is loosely Victorian in design, although I'll admit to giving it plenty of modern flare in order to make finishing the project on time
Several years ago I was given a length of textured brown fabric that struck me as being perfect for a replica of Eowyn's brown coat from "The Two Towers." I got a coat zipper and a bit of cheap brown fur and whipped the coat together. It was a little tricky to piece out all the necessary pattern sections, but I managed to pull it off! And, if I recall correctly, this was my first time working
If you are a seamstress who wants to boost your profile on social media, you need good content--and you also need pretty content. Today we are going to talk about how to take good photos that do your sewing talents justice. And don't worry, we're going to do it the economical way!
First, my personal background. I started photographing my sewing projects almost ten years ago. While I am still
I wish that I could show you the actual video above, because it explains so much about my obsession with sewing. However I don't have access to it right now, so I'm going to explain to the best of my memory. Up there is a screenshot of me shortly before my third birthday. I am taping thread onto fabric. "What are you doing?" my mom asks. "I'm sewing," I say. "Like Wendy in Peter Pan."
Yesterday, one of my friends sent me the link to a really excellent article discussing Belle's Gold Gown from the new Disney "Beauty and the Beast." I felt that it had a fantastic rundown of why so many people were unsatisfied with the dress that Emma Watson wore, especially in comparison to the general approval (corset aside) of Lily James' Cinderella dress.
I found myself inspired by this blog
First of all, to not be redundant, let's see what the internet is already saying about these costumes! In my research I was not able to access the multiple video interviews on the topic, due to my deafness and lack of subtitles on said videos. So they will unfortunately not be a part of my discussion here. However, I did find the following interesting articles:
- People Movies also interviewed Durran, and their article includes additional details, as well as Durran's design sketches. Further design sketches were originally released on Entertainment Weekly here and are a treasure trove for those looking to understand and recreate these pieces for cosplay. While you can see more of the sketches at the above link, I wanted to share my favorite here. (I'm not entirely clear on whether these sketches are her original designs, or drawings of the finished product done for promotional purposes. If anyone can clarify this, I'd be grateful for the details!)
Design by Jacqueline Durran, released on Entertainment Weekly, retrieved from People Movies
...and these articles were just what I found on the first two pages of Google! Undoubtedly this film has sparked a louder conversation about costume than just about any other film in recent years--even more so than the live action Disney Cinderella (and you remember how much press that one got!) As a professional seamstress and costume designer, this thrills me to my core and I'm so psyched to finally have a chance to properly weigh in on the discussion!
I will also add that in the following critique I will use the term "historical accuracy" a lot. Though this is a fairy tale, it is very clearly set in a fairly specific time in French history, a decision which as reinforced by almost every garment on screen (and those that break the mold will be discussed).
(Though there are now close-captioned movie theater options, my fibromyalgia sensory issues mean that large screens, even television screens, provoke migraines. I have to wait for everything to be available for home viewing so that I can safely watch it on my laptop screen. A pity in this case, because the lavish visuals of "Beauty and the Beast" are so clearly meant to be properly enjoyed on a large screen!)
Now settle in, because we have a boatload of costumes to get through! (Click on any picture to open the full-sized photo-viewer.)
First off -- oh my goodness, the foppish prince! I feel fairly certain that Dan Stevens had a blast with this get-up. The make-up truly is crazy. I wish we got a better glimpse of the coat, as according to the interviews there were some pretty nifty crystal embellishments.
Full ensemble view.
All of the ball attendees were women dressed in white, a fact which makes the prince's ensemble stand out. It's easy to gloss over these dresses, but I always find it fascinating to see how many different ways you can make one garment with the same color and era perimeters. This photo is a good look at the different variations on display.
Here is our first glimpse of Belle and her iconic blue dress. As I stated in my reaction to the EW photos, there are lots of lovely layers and textures involved in this costume. Although I was originally uncertain about the red accents, I found them much more subdued in the actual film than in the publicity photos and hardly noticed it--which means it did it's job nicely of adding depth to the dress without taking away from the iconicness of it.
As the interviews above state, one of Belle's "rebel styles" was to wear her skirts tucked up with her bloomers showing underneath. This isn't quite so rebellious as it might sound, as bloomers began to be widely worn by women just a few decades after this film is probably set. Maurice says that everyone thought Belle's mother was weird until they started following her lead...what to guess the same is eventually true for Belle?
(I will talk more about the time period of the film in my movie review over on my personal blog.)
I haven't included too many photos of the townspeople, but I wanted to highlight one or two because they are marvelous. I just adore the styles, colors and fabrics used. I'm sure that a serious fashion historian of the period could probably spot some inaccuracies, but at my level of study there was nothing that jumped out to me as unfitting for the period.
Well...except for the fact that the dressmaker's shop seemed a little too fancy for such a quiet village. However, my guess is that this dressmaker was involved in dressing many of the guests of the prince's ball in the beginning. The townspeople were enchanted to forget the castle, but this dressmaker had to keep making a living and it doesn't seem that her skills were forgotten. I love the way she smiles at Belle--I don't think she thinks Belle as odd as some of the other folks do. Perhaps an unconscious part of her mind remembers other well-read beauties that she's forgotten under the current enchantment.
Gaston's clothing was so perfectly done throughout the film. I loved every single outfit he wore and don't have a single complaint.
The "Silly Girls" are often regulated costumes that I find ugly in the stage show, however I absolutely adore their ensembles here. Overdone, of course, and crazy pink, but it is a nice shade of pink and I love how all the busy prints actually work together to make a harmonious whole.
Here Belle wears a beautiful jacket (the proper historical term is 'Caraco', I believe). According to History.org, such a garment was:
considered day wear at home or for informal activities. It was always considered "undress."
I really love how changing just one piece creates a very different looking outfit.
I adore the combination of the muted stripes and the embroidered birds.
Here we get a look at Belle's full length ensemble.
This is one picture I recommend clicking to get a better look at -- the floral lining of the cloak is clearly visible when magnified.
Here Belle wears another Caraco, also blue.
And here we get a good look at the back of the garment. Look how much fabric is in the peplum!
This scene really made me laugh! I love how the Wardrobe was SO excited to have a girl to dress that she just vomited up everything girly she could and it looks crazy and Belle can just climb right out of it. HILARIOUS.
Red is such a beautifully striking color and it is no wonder that Gaston's scarlet coat is so memorable.
I've made a few coats in this style before, and it is always surprising to realize how much fabric they have in the 'skirt.' Here you can get a good look at just how many folds there are back there!
I also enjoyed the design of the animated servants more than I originally anticipated. Here is a particularly good view of Lumiere's coat.
That said, Plumette's design still weirds me out, yet I did get a kick out of her jewel-bedecked costume in "Be Our Guest."
When it comes to cosplay, it's the detail photos that are gold. I included this shot because it gives us a good look at the closure to Belle's blouse. Looks like there is a button and loop holding it together.
And here is a shot of the back of Belle's floral blouse, one of my very favorite pieces of the whole film!
The icing on the cake, of course, is that this is also the dress she wears for the library reveal...which as a bookworm, is one of my favorite scenes of the movie.
Good 3/4ths shot of this ensemble.
Here we can see some shoulder detail. It's a little difficult to figure out whether the blue is an underblouse, or an accent piece.
This photo gives us a nice look at Belle's shawl as well as the Beast's new vest look. He's dressing more human-like, but still not fastening all of the buttons on his vest.
Another look at the shawl. There has definitely been a surge in 1700's knitwear since the advent of the "Outlander" tv series!
The beautiful cloak unfortunately prevents us from getting a good look at this caraco. It appears to be fairly simple, made from a single-tone fabric. This works well, however, as it allows the cloak and apron to shine. (I adore that apron, even if the embroidered nature of it makes it completely impractical to be an actual apron!)
Another look at the cloak embroidery. The cloak appears to be a simple circle cloak, with the neck opening set off-center.
It is the gorgeous yet simple trim that really makes this cloak--and alas, will make it difficult to recreate.