Friday, August 3, 2012

Daphne Blake - Completed

This is a project I've had on the back burner more or less for quite a while.  I kept considering it and then putting it off in favor of other projects or busy schedules.  When I worked out that I was going to try to take three costumes to Comic-Con, and I was already dying my hair red for the other two, I needed to come up with another redheaded character.  Jessica Rabbit was my first choice, because I already had pretty much the perfect dress to use as a pattern and I have the right, erm, physicality.  But while I was in the research stage for that costume, I started doing some research for Daphne on a whim and then found the perfect dress and kind of fell into the construction process.  So Jessica was out and Daphne was in.


It really started by finding this on eBay from trendyhipbuys during one of my "just out of curiosity" searches: 
Photo by trendyhip buys at eBay.
It's an authentic 1960s vintage mod dress, which I love because that means it suits the character and fandom in just about every way.  The color was perfect, as was the high collar and sleeve length, and the only necessary adjustments were taking up the skirt and adding the light purple bands to the skirt and sleeve cuffs.

For the trim, I happened upon an old light purple shirt that I had saved for just such a use in a sewing materials box.  I estimated the height of the bands from looking at reference photos, then measured them out, taking the flare of the skirt into account.  This was the most tedious and time-consuming process, just because I hate the ordeal of measure-twice-cut-once (even though it is a good rule) and because there were just a lot of different measurements to take and transfer over to the patterns and then the fabric.  The sleeves of the dress were just a little short for the costume, so I used the cuff trim to lengthen the sleeve, allowing the trim to extend about 2" past the edge of the sleeve.  Because the fabric was a very lightweight knit, I lined the cuff trim with some scrap coutil to stiffen the new sleeve edge and prevent it from crumpling or rolling back up on itself.  I covered a plain black plastic headband with the same purple fabric using hot glue.

I already had some lime green chiffon in the form of a curtain panel that I got as a hand-me-down of sorts a while ago.  I had no intention of using it for interior design - it's a really ghastly neon shade of lime and that is definitely not my style.  But it's perfect for Daphne's ghastly neon lime scarf.  I had a large square headscarf that I used for the pattern.  Maybe because I was really tired of measuring after doing the dress trim, I didn't mark or measure anything: I just laid the headscarf on the fabric and cut around it with a rotary cutter. 
The edges were finished off with a rolled hem.

The shoes were just some old tan suede pumps I already had, which I originally bought at a thrift store for a hypothetical early-20th century costume I thought I might make someday (but haven't yet).  I painted it purple with Jacquard Textile Color in 110 Violet.  They turned out much darker than I intended or would have liked - Daphne's shoes are the same color as her headband and dress trim, so I should have thinned out the paint.  But it didn't detract too badly.  Of greater concern was the fact that they were really uncomfortable to wear all day.  Wearing the equally uncomfortable Ruby Slippers Prototype the day before before kind of set me up for disaster with the Daphne shoes.  So like Dorothy with the Ruby Slippers, Daphne carried her shoes and went barefoot for a good portion of the afternoon.  The pale pink tights were pretty much impossible to find in an adult size in any store I went to, so I ordered some basic dance tights from Capezio via Amazon.

The finished product was this:

I wore it to SDCC 2012 on Friday, and though a lot of people took my photo, I haven't really been able to find any online.  One photographer I ran into a few times was nice enough to e-mail me some he took of me on both Thursday (when I was Dorothy) and Friday. 
Photo by Brent Allen Thale at
Not my most attractive photo, but the highest quality one I have of this costume for now.

Danger-prone Daphne strikes again!

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed is by personal choice and availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.

1 comment:

  1. if you are interested in selling this dress will you message me. Thanks