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Archive for the ‘Costume’ Category

Wonder Woman Costume Making – Overly Modest

Important Making Edit: Do not, do not, do not use the double-side adhesive tape for fasteners (no matter how much I rave about them) – yes, I raved about tape. But it was too weak to be keep at least one of the velcro’s attached to the belt. and it also wasn’t strong enough for my tiara. so I had wardrobe malfunctions. Unfortunately, I lost my belt when it fell off before I left. I hope a friend picked it up. (I picked it up the next day)
My theory is that the texture of the felt makes its hold weaker.


I love Wonder Woman. Always have. Ever since I first saw Lynda Carter on FX (it used to show classic TV). I don’t care for the comics (haven’t really read them), so my Wonder Woman is the Lynda Carter version. And I really love her costume (even tho it is totally impractical in real life, but she gets away with it cause she’s an Amazonian princess and obviously has some clothing superpowers).
(Disclaimer: the Wonder Woman screen captures I’m posting were ones I created and they qualify as fair use. No infringement is implied or encouraged.)

Oh and if you haven’t seen Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, you can buy it on Amazon & ITunes. I own all the DVDs but I’m still tempted to buy eps.

Rabbit trail

Here’s the fun part about my love of Wonder Woman and her costume. I dress modestly. And I mean very modestly; I mean, I’ve been tempted to throw on a polo when the Duggars are in town & see if someone mistakes me for one. 😀 (I also have long hair – so that why it could’ve worked). (see bottom for Disclaimer about how this is only about me & no one else.)

Basically, I don’t wear shorter then knee length skirts & I keep the girls covered. (I try not to wear tight shirts, but sometimes I don’t realize how tight a top is.) I wear pretty clothes that aren’t sexy in the least.  (Flattering yes (or I try), sexy no). I don’t care for sleeveless shirts/dresses either, but that’s not really a modesty thing.

Anyway, that’s all to say that my love of Wonder Woman seems a bit strange.  I think I like her because she was a geek but could kick butt. Anyway, I’ve always wanted a Wonder Woman bathing suit, but since the first bathing suit I’ve felt comfortable in came from this site:Simply Modest Swimwear and I’m too cheap to have one custom made; I resigned myself to only thinking about it.  I now create my own swimwear – from light, fast-drying, synthetic, readymade clothing (yes, I swim in that – I do take off my hat). But you can’t get spangled skirts.

One of my bathing suit creations (there are bike shorts underneath)

One of my bathing suit creations (there are bike shorts underneath)

This too long discussion on modesty is to explain some of the choices I made with this costume. Normal people won’t make these same choices.  But they may find my experiences helpful, just like I found the experiences of other bloggers helpful, interesting & just plain fun to read. I don’t know that I’m doing anything like other bloggers cause they had a sewing machine and did it properly, but I did enjoy seeing what they had posted and all the variations.

Back to topic:

Anyway, last year I decided I was gonna be Wonder Woman for Halloween. Even bought some stuff, but my Daddy’s illness got worse in the fall and he died on Oct. 24th. So I wasn’t in the costume mood.

So this year, I decided to make a Wonder Woman costume, but make it something that I’d still feel comfortable wearing in public.

I also didn’t have my sewing machine, so I was limited on what I could make myself.  This double-side adhesive tape was a godsend.  You can see how much I used. I’m going to try to always keep some on hand. (Disclaimer: I just like Fabric Fuse – this isn’t an ad. Use whatever you like if you need a fabric adhesive. This works for me cause I’m not gonna iron anything and didn’t have a sewing machine handy.) Note, get a pair of cheap scissors (dollar store etc) that you won’t mind ruining if the adhesive sticks all over them. Definitely, do not try to cut this with your good fabric scissors especially if you have to make long narrow strips like I had to at different points.


Couple criteria:

  • It was gonna be based (as much as possible) on Lynda Carter’s costume, cause she is Wonder Woman to me.
  • It was gonna have a skirt. There is precedent for this. Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman had 2 skirts that I know of. This one is from the Pilot. It’s a wrap-around that is spangled all over.
    Wonder Woman Skirt - Pilot
    This one is from “Last of the Two Dollar Bills” – It’s a wrap-around that is only partially spangled and the gap is on the side not the front.  I think this one is prettier. I especially like the side opening.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 12.03.49 PM

Costume Pieces

Forgive the color issues. The room was, I think, too dark, so everything is yellowy. Rest assured, these are royal & not navy blue. Links are provided for convenience and cause I’m too lazy (for the most part) to take photos when the good photos are already there.

  1. Star Spangled Leggings from Amazon. This was for several reasons, but not the least of which – it’s pretty impossible to find anything blue with big white stars (the real costume even had embroidered stars). This also allows me more freedom in the skirt choice. (I could go for solid royal blue – instead of spangled). These are very tight, but the fabric is perfect. (Amazon also has them in shorter lengths.)
  2. Top – Red Tee Shirt with the Eagle Design. I wasn’t going to do the eagle because of the work involved but the XL Wonder Woman Tee shirt I had ordered was basically a XS. I could barely get it on and I’m an M. So back to the drawing board
    How I made the eagle. I found a good forward facing photo of the costume. I downloaded it and opened it in Photoshop, where I cropped it, & after a lot of trial & error, I created an outline with white fill the size i wanted.  3 pieces: eagle (looked more like a penguin), and the wings.
    WW eagle template
    It’s not very pretty – but it worked. I pinned each piece to yellow felt and cut out the rough shape. Then I covered it with ribbon using Fabric Fuse and then I cut out the the actual pieces. I decided to attach the eagle to red fabric to make it easier to safety-pin on and off my shirts.  I don’t really like that look that way. I  realized I had forgotten the little pedestal so I added it. When I was attaching it to my shirt, I added a strip of gold ribbon that I could safety pin to my skirt so there wasn’t a gap between the belt and the eagle. The point of my belt was shorter because I wasn’t planning on having the eagle and I wanted to be comfortable. Here is the eagle before  I added the red backing.
  3. Royal Blue Cheerleader/Tennis skirt from Goodwill. This was just lucky. I was shopping for skirts for me & saw this. It’s the perfect shade of blue. (I had something else, but I don’t need it now). I may stick on some white stars but I may not.
  4. Bullet Stopping Bracelets (also from Amazon)  I then decorated them w/ red stick on stars (with a sparkly sticker on top) so they ended up like this.
  5. Cape. This is the inside lining of an evening dress from Goodwill. I was running out of time cause I had forgotten the party was next Saturday. I paid too much money for it (20 – but I really wanted a cape.)  It’s not my dream cape (I want red/white/blue), but it is something I can do without a sewing machine. I have no idea what I’m going to do with the cut up evening gown that is currently on my craft table.
    (I had been looking for a big red, round, satin table cloth to use – I still think that idea would have worked.)
    Unfortunately, I screwed up a bit when I split the top of the cape (it already had a long slit all the way up the thigh so I didn’t have to worry about that.). I did it at an angle instead of straight & the fabric below was off center. If I had it to do over, I would cut on both sides of the seam to remove the seam.
    Because it was part of a dress, what I’m using as neck was originally the waist – so it doesn’t sit properly on the shoulders. I kept having to adjust it to keep it from looking like a Dracula cape with a big collar. Also the dress was asymmetrical so I had to work to adjust it so it look symmetrical when I had finished it.
    Funny story: when I was adjusting it, I ended up cutting off several inches in small chunks. It had been floor length at the back. 😀
    The binding for the cut area and the neckline/tie are satin ribbons from Walmart attached with Fabric Fuse. I had to cut it in half for the thinner ribbon, and that was a pain. (the tie was too long so I ended up cutting it after the party.)
    The stars are 2 packs of stick on felt stars (glittered & non-glittered from ACMoore), plus scrapbooking star sticker from Walmart. Unfortunately, the felt stickers fall off a lot, so I have to use the fabric fuse to help them. The stars are placed randomly especially since I just started putting them on wherever as they fell.
    Note: use sew on stars if you do your own cape – the adhesive felt stars fell off and also my hair would get caught in the exposed adhesive when I wore it. It was, however, neater once I decided to keep the backing on the stars – and use fabric fuse to attach them. Those stars didn’t fall off as often, and when they did, they didn’t stick to anything.
    IMG_0979 IMG_0980 IMG_0981 IMG_0982
  6. Lasso – some weird type of hollow craft cord I got from Walmart. I’m not sure what it could be used for in normal crafts, but it was cheap, there and suited my purpose (mostly).  Gold satin cord would be best, but I didn’t have any. Annoyingly, it kept the bumps from the package, so I used monofilament cord to keep it neat & more lasso-ey. It didn’t work that great.
  7. Boots. I’ll meant to wear my red tennis shoes with red socks. Since I couldn’t find solid red socks (found them the next week) – I created quasi-boot covers. Red fabric (again from the same dress as the cape) and white grosgrain ribbon attached with Fabric Fuse – with an extra long piece of ribbon to disguise my laces.  These are shaped to my legs and I used Velcro to close them. I wore socks that were mostly red to disguise the gap between the boot cover & my shoes. I apologize for the poor quality of this photo.
  8. The Belt & the Tiara were my biggest worry. I had my plan in mind and had even ordered gold satin from Amazon, but since it wasn’t Prime, it didn’t arrive in time. So I was kinda worried. But I found Gold Ribbon and Gold Scrapbooking Paper that work pretty perfectly. Instructions below.

Instructions – for Belt & Tiara.

If you’re interesting in making your own Wonder Woman belt or Tiara, feel free to see if any of my techniques will work for you.  These “instructions” are more my ramblings on what I did then real proper instructions.
Important: Do not use Fabric Fuse for any closures. It doesn’t have the strength – I kept having Wardrobe malfunctions and my belt actually fell off in the parking lot leaving the party and I had to drive back the next day to get it. I thought I had fixed it but it happened again when I wore it to the office so I MacGyvered it.

Forgive me – I didn’t take photos during the creation process. But I’ll try to put photos that you can reference if you want to make your own.

Belt Steps:


  1. Figure out Design and Dimensions.  I figured about 3-4 inches tall at the center with a 2 inch waist strap. I think the point is about 3.5 inches tall.
  2. Cut out design on 2 pieces of tan felt. (Tan so it would be less likely to show thru the satin that never came.) I stack them on top of each other & used a rotary cutter so both pieces were identical.
  3. Use Fabric Fuse and layer the two pieces together at the point. (I later had to add a piece of chipboard because it kept bending).
  4. Add 3rd piece of 2inch tan felt to both sides. so the belt goes around waist.  Attach to both sides then cut in the middle so seam is in the back. (This of course depends on waist size).
  5. Use Fabric fuse to attach ribbon – starting from the center. (the center required an additional layer or ribbon.  Remember to smooth carefully (I didn’t always).
    The ribbon was wired, but I removed the wire. I left the decorative casing of the wire visible at the bottom cause I thought it was pretty and add a decorative touch.
  6. After the outside is covered, then fold over the top using Fabric Fuse to secure. For the point you’ll need to clip and then fold. I didn’t do a very good job at this so it’s a bit bumpy. There was leftover adhesive that stuck out further then the ribbon, so I used random ribbon that I had in my stash to keep it from sticking to everything.
  7. The closure is velcro. Again, attached with my new best friend: Fabric Fuse. (This was a mistake – sew it on or use safety pins)
    I can add more of the rough side of the elastic if I need to tighten it. There’s enough give right now that I should be able to eat lots of snacks at the party and still breathe.
  8. Create loop for Lasso. I used a leftover strip of felt about 1 inch by 5 inches. about an inch & a half from the top I sewed a button on the back and cut a small button hole the same distance from the front.  I covered the front with ribbon cut to size – but I left plenty of give around the  button (no adhesive) so I could button & un button as needed. The button is hidden but still useable. I wanted to use snaps but I couldn’t find mine and I wasn’t going out for them so I used a shank button I inherited from my grandmother. I also covered up the inside, where the button was so when it was unbuttoned, Gold was visible and not tan felt.
  9. Use Fabric Fuse to attach loop to just in front of the right hip.

Tiara Steps:

The Tiara was also supposed to be gold satin over felt, but since my satin didn’t come I used gold scrapbooking cardstock. It came out way better then it would have otherwise.   So if you want an inexpensive tiara, definitely use this method. (You can probably get cuffs as well from the same piece of cardstock)
This technique of cardstock over felt could be adapted easily for shoebox gifts. Just use ribbon to tie it on instead. It will lie flat & be adjustable for the child that gets it. The tiara would need to be shorter then 12 inches to fit in most shoeboxes tho.

  1. Figure out design and dimensions. I decided I only wanted the front to be gold and the back to be brown felt so it would blend in with my hair. I thought 3 inches worked for the point and about 1.5 for the band.
  2. Sketch a pattern on scrap paper and hold to forehead to test design & position.
  3. Trace and cut out final design on the back of the cardstock. Rotary cutter works well.
  4. Make a slightly smaller version using felt. I used some tan felt that was a reject for my belt. You want something comfortable between your head and the cardstock.
  5. Attach the felt to the back of the cardstock, using you guessed it: Fabric Fuse.
  6. Cut a piece of brown felt, 1.5 inches tall. Attach to one side of tan felt.
  7. Using trial and error, figure out how tight you want your tiara to be. I realized I had made it too loose, and then too tight because I felt to adjust for the differences between all my hair being under it, and the majority of my hair falling over it. Once you have it figured out, use Fabric Fuse – and then leave it alone so it sticks better.
    It won’t stick well enough so either hand-sew the pieces together or safety pin. Or my personal recommendation, hand-sew one-side and safety pin the other so it’s adjustable. It kept popping off – I thought it was just one side so I safety-pinned that side after the party – when I wore it to work,  the other side popped so I taped it. Elastic would be a good choice – since then it would be adjustable.
    Here’s the back of it.
  8. Add the Star. Since I had plenty of self-adhesive stars, I used 3. I used a glittery big felt star, with a small non-glittery felt star, and then top it with a teeny sparkly sticker. I wasn’t about to sew on bugle beads to do it properly. Here’s a close-up. I think it came out rather well.


So that’s my Wonder Woman costume. Here are photos with and without the cape. (my apologies for the first one – I went a bit crazy making sure all identifiable information was gone and then I found stickers.)



Modesty Note/Disclaimer/whatever you wanna call it: I don’t really have a list of “thou shalts” – I wear what I believe is right and what I feel comfortable wearing. I wouldn’t call someone a hussy cause she wears shorts above her knees or wants to wear a normal Wonder Woman costume, etc. What someone else wears doesn’t affect me, just like what I wear doesn’t affect them. (Besides, I know I’m the weird one.)  Also, this isn’t something that is forced on me. This is what I believe and how I personally dress.  It affects only me. I know no one who has my standards, some family members (not all) have similar beliefs, but not the same. Again, this affects me and me only.



DIY Star Trek Uniform Top

I’m going to revert this blog temporarily back to its namesake.  This is my latest inept seamstress project, a DIY, Star Trek TNG Uniform facsimile top.  This isn’t by any means close a real top because it is only blue in the middle and the sleeves.  This has the look that someone will say “oh, that’s Star Trek”I am also a bad sewer so this is from a distance.

What I did:

1st step – go to Goodwill.
Find a niceish quality Tee in science officer blue.
Also find a black turtleneck tank of approximately the same size

2nd step – get out scissors.
Cut the shoulders off of the black tank.
Cut around the sleeves and across the top approximately even with the neckline.  In the same shape as your new shoulders.
Remember that the new shoulders should be longer then what you cut off the tee so you don’t get a gaping hole.  In other words, don’t do what I did.

3rd step – get out sewing machine.
Place new shoulders on Top of tee.  This will allow you to take advantage of the already finished area. (I used it as my guide as well for a straightish seam)
Line up shoulder seams.
Sew around sleeves.
Discover gaping hole between the black portion and the blue portion.
Sew the other side.

Flip inside out, carefully. Don’t let it get twisted up.
With the black fabric on top, line up the blue and black portions (Right sides together).
As you line up. realize that you have lumps where the hole was
Realize that the black is slightly narrow then the blue.
So as you sew, pull the black fabric taut so it becomes the same width.
Flip to the back and repeat.

4th step – Dig out a long straight black skirt (or slacks) from your closet.

5th step – find Star trek communicator pin.

6th step – get dressed & take picture to show off, or at least show the idea.

7th step – try to recover from the flashes.

I’m a great idea person – I just have problem with the implementation.

My Uniform

My Uniform – (I would ask does this uniform make me look fat, but I know the answer)

1909 Costume Accessories

Back to the Parade, I was to play a young girl in 1909. Well, it has been a long time since I have been young, but I decided to go for it. Since it was a Christmas parade and cold, I knew all i really needed to worry about was the Coat. I had some general ideas, but since my primary winter coat was a mens Army camouflage field jacket (aka, the Ugly Coat), I knew I had to get a new coat.

I found a ladies, US Marine overcoat at the Goodwill. so this became my new winter coat and the basis for the costume.

I then remembered, I had a green plaid fleece remnant, that would be perfect. so over thankgiving, I went to my parents and my mom helped – as in my mom did all the sewing, and I threaded the needles and cut out stuff and thought of the plan – me make a tam, a capelet and my favorite a pair of spats/gaiters. The spats/gaiters are something I had been wanting for a long time because I hate it when my feet get so cold in the winter when the wind blows over the top of my foot.


Materials: Fleece, Velcro – well, the cheap stuff, felt (inside lining), cream colored pearl beads (8mm), elastic and 4 safety pins.

a couple years ago, I had purchased a pair of spats from ebay – they were kinda old but were the shape I wanted. They became my pattern. (I think I left them at mom & dad’s). After numerous trials and trying on paper patterns, my mom sized the pattern to fit me. I then cut out the felt/fleece (the felt was to stiffen the fabric and provide extra warmth.) and my mom sewed them together. Afterwards, I did the notions – that is I added the Velcro with the the pearl beads to mimic the look of buttons (I didn’t want to deal with real buttons or a zipper), and an elastic strap to go under the shoe and keep it in place.

The elastic was another Karen detail. I fastened them with tiny safety pins. (last winter my main pair of shoes was black ballet flats) That way if the elastic strap got muddy or I wore a wider shoe, or non-black, I could change the elastic to suit the shoes.

This is how they looked when finished (I didn’t sew the pearls on tight enough on one of the pair, so over time they dropped off. (BTW, the sad part was that the trailer we were riding on had a wall about a foot or so tall, so no one could see my spats.

The tam, was simply a rework of an pattern from probably the early 90s. I didn’t have enough fabric, so instead of making one big circle, we made 2 smaller half circles. I like the look alot better. We (we meaning my mom) lined with some white material she had lying around, and she added some elastic to the back so it would fit me better.

The Capelet was from the pattern I bought for the Muff for the other costume (that muff was actually never used – she was snowed in). The Capelet, I felt, was the crucial part to make my coat look like it was from the turn of last century. We basically followed the pattern directions (just removed the steps for adding interfacing and lining etc). For the clasp, we wanted to go with what we already had lying around. So we found some pretty pearly buttons. I sewed them on and then ran elastic thru one of them and made a loop to make a quasi-clasp. I wanted to put some straps under the capelet to fasten to the epaulettes on my coat. But I never did – maybe before next winter. Here is the detail on the quasi-clasp and the back of the capelet – not sure why I didn’t take a picture of the front. I don’t have a picture of me wearing the costume because I hate to have my picture taken.

With the exception of the capelet, this costume became my basic winter coat. I need a coordinating scarf/gloves for next winter – I am learning to knit (very poorly), so maybe I will knit me one. Right now, I am going to try to knit a Doctor Who type scarf.