by michaela de bruce, August 26, 2014

I have bound the top and bottom with gold ribbon and the belt is actually looking good 🙂 So I’ll see if I can line all those applique pieces so they also look nice when taken off 🙂

Cold of heck is still here so I am seeing my GP tomorrow just in case.

Also, I managed three goes of Think of Me in a row with no fatigue in my upper range so I may be busting out my Mozart aria CD if I can find it and playing around with this new lightness (possibly due to the cold and how I am holding my soft palette and getting a lot of resonance in my nose proper- not nasal but I can feel the bones all around vibrate more than usual.)

The inner smile trick works, inner smile combined with breathing through a cold and yawn. Seems to be the trick 🙂

Oh also, I am now just down to a bucket of trims for the gown. Trims, not all the things to make, just the trims. It’s a 10L bucket.



by michaela de bruce, August 26, 2014

Front and back views of the upper applique snapped in place and the belt and lower appliques pinned in place.

I decided I did like the twisted braid after all and I’ll probably do a mix of Aussie and US styles here too: big stones and braid on the middle three seams. The loopy braid on the side and back seams.


I had to stop singing the cadenza at one point today. Yeah, but I managed a few scales as well and some good leg stretches (also if I support both hands I can still bend really far back and see upside down, so there is that!)



by michaela de bruce, August 25, 2014

Worked a bit on the Elissa and Elsa bodices (Elsa spanx thing so as to have that super flowy effect of the bodice and skirt which will not have any support- I’d cut the fabric on the bias if I could.. sigh)

Just left the Hannibal bodice like this, the applique is just laid on. The only wiggly trim I could get is my braided cord and I twisted it to make a good cover for the zip.


The bodice before gold trimming.


The inside of the bodice! Tight weave cotton mix. Herringbone twill tape (will need to install some as a waistband too) herrinbone stitched to hold the boning in. These means easy removal to alter seams. Cunning plan for a bodice supposed to be used in the theatre.


Utilispanx! Two layers of heavy stretch lingerie, bra cups denuded of every thing and covered in shaped fabric.

Just four bones in there so far but there will be a panel of them down the front or some sort of extra elastic stays. The cups are deliberately dimensional so they should fit right over to the top neckline.

I have also admitted defeat in the dyeing of the lining of the Maleficent tabbard. I’m going to just use the soft charmeuse after all. I wanted silk but it’s so horrible to dye.Unless I can get 6 packets of those tiny dylon packets which is impossible as it seems only Spotlight stocks it here and they have not been restocking the shelves- they are on sale.



by michaela de bruce, August 15, 2014

I have used more than half of the steel boning I snaffled just on the bodice. 6 bones, one each side of the zip and then side front and side back.

It took the entire Canadian cast recording to just install the boning at the sides. And I may have launched in to a full on singing session with it…. (not now, greek style yoghurt and voice work is nope.)

Tell me again sewing isn’t impressive as other costume elements?

And this is as someone who knows what they are doing and can herringbone stitch like a wizard. Yep, herringbone twill tape and herringbone stitches to hold and sew in one go, and allow the stitches to stretch a little with wear.


Unfortunately it has left my hands useless, this immediately makes the damage in my wrists aggravate more inflammation. So time for a wheat bag break, possibly for the day.


But the boning really makes a difference. The bodice feels looser with it in as the fabric doesn’t bunch up around my waist.


In celebration of the way the bodice is turning out I am investing in better velvet for the skirt ropes (I cannot find anything that rolls like the Broadway stuff though, sigh) and a lace front wig. Said wig will have to double for Mina and potentially for Maleficent as well. So… oh, I can afford two wigs surely? Regardless, I’ll have to get a widow’s peak in each as I cannot do round wig hairlines. They just do not, I repeat, do not work with a natural widows peak and I am not shaving mine off!

Phone camera deleted oy…

All my photos, sadly including the baby pukeko (luckily I sent one via email!) and luckily I haven’t really done mouch in the way of costuming since I uploaded photos earlier..

But I did manage to record myself using my texture brush so that has gone… Luckily I have heaps to do anyway, and it looks really good, will soften the texture once it is actually all done but yay 🙂 And boo for finally getting camera, clay and me all in one place only to lose the recording.

Also getting rid of a heap of fabric bits and jewelery and everything. I gave friends a chance to snaffle them up but now they are going to charity. Still got a few costume pieces to tidy and pass on as well. But about 200L worth of stuff is going byebye. And it’ll be a relief 🙂

I’m an obsessive maker. I don’t buy much for costuming except for shoe bases, wigs to cut and/or style or very rarely a licenced piece that I know I could make but it wouldn’t look like the original injected item. So I have a couple of sonic screwdrivers, a TRON disc, Trek communicator and tricorder and an E11 (white!) all to modify.

But I am at a point where I am pretty satisfied with my catalogue of skills. Not complacent but I am not quite so driven to try new stuff because I need to know now. Also I’m getting older so I really want costume pieces that will work with me.

Hooray for badass older characters like McGonagall, Flemmeth, Granny Weatherwax and co. But Maleficent and my custom costume will work for a long time, ditto all my historic gear. And frankly my Shae Vizla will work really well too. Though I really am so tempted to make the RD16A gear. I really am. Aside from the mystery kidney belt thing. May just interpret it as exactly that because it is very unbalanced (goes up to bust but sits at the upper edge of a belt- yay for female gear defaulting to hip level belts!) Which means you’ve got solid edges knocking and sitting and trying to be in the same place at the same time.

The point is, as I’m zoning out, that I don’t mind letting go of a lot of what I have stashed. And I also don’t need to dispose of it right now, right now, go away! So I can take my time.

I also realised I have been actively avoiding sewing. I mean full on avoidance. Do anything to not use my machines. And I’m not sure why. Even hand sewing. I seem super reluctant to wok on my Hannibal skirt for instance. Maybe it’s that. Maybe it’s the task of putting the skirt on the netting and also fitting the bodice which is basically a corset. It might well be. I have several sets of stays also out back not finished.

Elissa update :)

Braid around the apron drape triangles, silver and gold ribbon braid on waterfall drapery and ribbon trim on bodice 🙂 Also bodice is prepped for boning and grommets.sm_DSC_2675  sm_DSC_2677

Elissa net skirt!

I took the original apart and made an extra layer so there are four all up with ruffles on each. Put face to face so that all the ruffles are inside rather than directly under the taffeta skirt or against my legs.



And it stands up by itself..

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The third layer is the most supportive:

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The ruffles are super dense at the top to create a bit of a bustle.

Outermost ruffles are soft and long (three rows). So the following photos are from outside in:

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Elissa ribbon trim

Once you get the rhythm going it’s really pleasant to loop the ribbon over and under.


This goes over five seams in total (side fronts, side backs and centre front). And jewels! Up and down.

This whole having space on my site…

I’m going to update with dress diaries from LJ and face book and all the photos i back up when I got this new comp. So hopefully…

Elissa first 🙂

Hannibal/Elissa/Dressing gown costume logistics, so far.

Sooo… I am going to try and count jewels, ribbon lengths and bead amounts today. Ahahahhahahahahahahha

At least this has taken  more than a few years because I would have had to employ an entire costume shop to make this. Funnily enough as that is how they were originally made… so to the tape measure and notepad! And photos to possibly help illustrate the points…


20m heavy net. I think. I can’t find journal or facebook posts from the time I took photos of the net.

1m cotton drill

1m cotton muslin

2m velvet

13m taffeta


443 assorted paste sew on jewels

325 hand cut appliques

68.2m assorted ribbon

36.6m looped braid


So far. There are the ropes to go and the above does not describe how much hand sewing was involved. Most ribbon is hand sewn on both edges for instance. I also have another 20m or so of ribbon and braid to go on the bodice and the other side of the waterfall drapery and maybe the apron. So this really is more like 2/3 because I still have more jewels as well (plastic from my first version and more paste.)

And I haven’t worked out how much for the dressing gown. I think it’s 4m of brocade, but the georgette ruffles.. no idea. All edged with lace and more lace at the elbows and neck….