One of these days I'm going to take an official millinery class. I think I do ok up-cycling old hats but I can't always get a good base hat to turn into exactly what I want. That was the case with the hat for Phoenix. I knew exactly what I wanted; I just couldn't get there. But this hat looks nice and I'm ok with it... for now. ;-)
Best laid plans ...blah blah blah. Sometimes you just have to walk away.
Okay, here's what happened:
1. I was not successful upsizing the pattern to fit my waist measurements due to the odd gathering of the "wrap around" front panel.
2. Although I was willing to change the design and make it work, I still struggled with getting it to lay right. It worked fine for the mock-up (see?! I was trying to do it right!). I thought maybe it was because I added the flatline pieces so I unstitched it all, removed the flatline and started over.
3. Although removing the flatline pieces did actually get it to lay like I wanted it to, the result of this was that the side seams no longer had the strength of the cotton lining to keep it together so it started to shred apart. Not just pull apart, SHRED apart. (This is a chance you take when you buy second-hand stuff and upcycle it. Curtain fabric is not always woven to withstand vertical seam stress.) There wasn't enough fabric left over to cut new bodice pieces.
4. Sighed. Rolled my eyes up to the Seamstress Goddess. She denied a miracle. Tossed it all in the trash. I did, however, save the sleeve pieces because I might be able to use them for ... I have no idea.
The director and I had the same vision: this production was not going to be a remake of Disney or Tim Burton costumes. He also asked specifically that the Queen of Hearts costume look VERY different from the Red Queen. <WARNING: QUICK RANT... Most people assume that the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen are the same character (thanks Tim Burton for reinforcing that falsity). The Queen of Hearts is from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Off with their heads! and flamingo croquet). The Red Queen is from the second book Alice Through the Looking Glass. She is partnered with the White Queen and they make up the chess pieces come to life that carry the story through. OKAY, RANT OVER> So this is the Queen of Hearts I came up with on a broken and frayed shoestring budget. The gold skirt started life as an extra long tablecloth. The red overskirt and mantle were 2 curtain panels and a valance. (The gold pouch was a special request from the actress. She asked for something to hold her 'flamingo treats' in. It was a super cute scene; I was glad to oblige.) The white waistband was hidden by the actress's gold corset and the mantle/valance provided the modesty she wanted to cover her ample décolletage. As always, it looked better on the actress than on the dress form. I purchased the curtains were from a thrift store for $12 and the table cloth for $2. Not bad. ;-)
I adore the Victorian era but I live in the 21st century. I strive for authenticity but not to the point of obsession (usually). Unless the TARDIS shows up, I'm only ever going to have to 'look' the part. Sometimes close enough really is good enough.