Tag Archives: elissa



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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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..

sm_DSC_2596 sm_DSC_2595


The third layer is the most supportive:

sm_DSC_2663 sm_DSC_2662

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:

sm_DSC_2654  sm_DSC_2652 sm_DSC_2651 sm_DSC_2650


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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.

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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 🙂

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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….

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Hannibal bodice and wig

Test fit, the zip is pretty rigid but I do need boning. I may top stitch the seam allowances first then put in boning cases and trim. I will indeed do lacing up the back as I am loving this front zip business!


I had an invisible zip in my first version but this chunky metal zip will last forever!

Frizzy wig!!!!! Sorry for the fuchsia hair peeking out I will use a spray to tone that back.

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More Elissa hemming

So ribbon on ribbon over applique under ribbon on ribbon.


Next and maybe possibly last thing to do on them is to add more loopy braid which is all over the other elements.
I would be tmpted to sew rows and rows of ribbon over the shot green taffeta to be closer to the Aussie version but the tabs on those are super wide and only three at the front, so…… No. Keeping the Hamburg vibe here with the heavy reliance on green red and gold only.
And the wee arrow heads will get ironed on and probably edged in more loopy braid.

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