Morticia Addams is just one of these very strong and powerful women. As soon as I saw The Addams Family I knew she was someone special. I liked the cartoon series and the movies with Anjelica Huston are incredible. The 1998 Fox series made me fall in love with the family even more. Therefore I will dedicate this costume to Morticia and Charles Addams.
The inspiration for this dress comes from the movies and the New series.
2 & 3 May 2015
Got a lot done today. Quick break before I finish the dress! Done the 2nd sleeve and set it in. Attached the shoulder pads, sewed the lace on the neckline, attached the tattered crepe details in between the panels and I put the zip in with a nearly perfect pattern match (which is not easy with this fabric!).
Finished the lining and the dress is done!
28 April 2015
The two pieces of lace came in. I like the left because it's not as wide, so that's the final one I will use.
27 April 2015
Of course it's taking more time to get it all done. Pinning, basting, fitting, redoing, fitting and finally sewing! But I have sleeve one set in, including shoulder pad and header. Just need to sew the lining to the arm hole when the rest is done.
Due to a mistake I ran out of lining so sleeve 2 is not done yet.
I also did the front neck line. I just need to do the zip and lace before I can do the back. I had some lace but it was too wide.
Almost done now.
21 April 2015
It took me some time before I could work on this dress again.
Main lining is done, sleeves left to do. I attached the tattered skirt to the lining and pinned it in place to the dress. So now I can cut the neckline and finish the sleeves.
22 March 2015
I trimmed all seam allowances down and finished the panels at the bottom. Also tried this test sleeve with gussets and it is amazing. You have much more mobility than without. You can reach high with your arms without restrictions.
14 March 2015
I started with lining the panels after pressing the seams and taking the basting stitches out.
the lining of the dress will hold the inner skirt.
8 March 2015
I redid the middle part from the bodice and it looks much better.
Dying did work as good as I hoped for. I am not sure what the problem was. I think it wasn't got enough so after washing and drying I dyed it again. It became slightly darker, but still not as dark. However I will leave it like it is.
I sewed the dress except the sleeves, shoulders and back. I tried to wash out some staines. Feels like I am waisting a lot of time on washing and drying.
28 February 2015
Basted together. Not happy with the bust area as it's a bit saggy, so I will redo that before sewing on the machine.
I also made the inside layer of black georgette to cover the legs when the dress opens as you walk. For the 'hem' of this layer I created the same effect as before with wrapping the fabric around skewers.
I will add the loose ones in between the slits so the move when you walk (same as in the movie).
22 February 2015
Not sure what went wrong but I guess it's quite a precise thing to get the same dye result again. I did measure the same as for the sample.
Turned out a bit too light and too purple. I'll first sew the shell and then dye it again with just some black and the left over crimson.
The dye did leave some spots, which are accumulated bits of the dye and will come out by washing it. So after the last dye I will machine was it, to make sure all excess dye is gone.
20 February 2015
My knees are killing me after being on the floor all day. Took the day off to work on Morticia.
I redid the pattern with the bodice and dress attached with minor changes.
I cut the fabric with extra seam allowance in case the fabric does shrink when I dye it.
Only for the front I sorted out what piece of the design I wanted in the middle and for the back it will match in the centre seam.
I pinned it all together with safety pins for the dye bath so if there will be colour difference, it won't show much.
15 February 2015
I nearly finished the pattern. I will adjust the neck line a bit, slightly lower ("Cut down to Venuzuela!") and curved rather than straight down from the shoulder. I also need to make the sleeves which I'll keep till I finish the top.
I didn't cut the excess, so mainly around the knees it pulls a bit.
Quite happy so far!
14 February 2015
The dye result I hoped for! I will go for the right version which has 50% Black & 25% Violet & 25% Crimson iDyePoly
It turns to a very dark shade in low light environments.
Still thinking to first cut the fabric, serge all seams and sew it together before dying. This way if there would be a colour difference, it's less noticeable. I am just a little scared of shrinking.
I pre washed the fabric at 90 degrees Celsius and it didn't shrink at all. I guess 100 degrees Celsius will be fine too.
7 February 2015
I did a test of 18 swatches with iDye Poly colours black & crimson. I first calculated how much dye and water I should use. The first test I used the whole dye pack which was far too much for a few swatches. I also used different timings, first one colour than the other and also a mix of both at the end. Some results are quite alike, some very different.
The darker layer of the fabric is actually black anyway, so it just dyes the lighter colour. Due to the weave it makes the black look more like a brown shade.
I will mix both colours in the dye bath as this gives a nice dark red colour to the lighter threads. The last 3 in the picture are done within 1 bath using both colours. I will mix some more black then red and dye it longer. When it dries up, the result becomes lighter than you think it will be. This is still too light.
I dyed the lace black with Dylon hand wash dye Velvet Black as well.
5 February 2015
The fabric came in! I think I will actually use the right side of the fabric. Overall it gives a nicer look but maybe after dying I'll change my mind again. I did a quick drape on the dress form to get an idea. I put the lining under it all and added the tattered crepe georgette to see what the total picture would look like.
So now it's a matter of:
* test dye
* finish the pattern
* dye the fabric & lace
1 February 2015
I ordered the fabric and dye. I ordered a dark red/purple dye as well, crimson colour, as I want to test what happens if I mix it. Or first dye it in black then crimson and the other way around.
I made the bodice draft. I put the zipper in the front as I wanted to see how it would fit on an actual body (I'm not exactly female but hey... and I was home alone so couldn't do it myself ).
I also unwrapped all the crepe georgette fabric from the skewers.
The next day I started on the skirt. I will add the top and skirt together for the final pattern.
From the knees down I will insert the crepe georgette as a complete separate layer and not attached to the dress's panels so they can move freely (as in the movie). Initially I wanted to attach them all the way down, making the dress closed to the bottom.
This layer will be slightly longer, much longer in the back to feature more tattered/frayed details coming out from under the dress.
27 January 2015
The fabric dye came in and so I could test what would happen. Unfortunately I can't create a nice two tone effect like the actual dress, however with this texture being small I think there would be too much going on if I did create two tones.
I did a 5, 20, 30 & 45 minutes test. I did the 5 purely because I saw how dark it was after 20 minutes. Though 5 minutes gave a stained result. I am going with 20 minutes. I used Black iDye Poly from Jacquard. It works well, however I think due to the small amount of water I used, it took long for the remains to wash out. Thankfully the lurex is still sparkling, as I didn't know what would happen to it. Depending on how it looks when you see a bigger piece of fabric, I think I will use the backside of the fabric.
I also created all polyester crepe georgette skewers as I did below and heat-set them in the oven (about 150 degrees Celsius) for about 1,5 hours. I tested the one I made earlier (heat-set on just below 100 degrees Celsius in the oven) and washed it under the tap with hot water. It held the shape very well.
25 January 2015
I have been working on the pattern for the bodice today. Took more time than I wanted but I hope the test fit will be a good result.
Furthermore I have been testing different styles for the tattered details on the sleeves and tail, with the below as a result.
I first twist the fabric quite tight, then wrap it around a skewer and then I wet it and dry it in the oven.
When taken off the skewer I straighten the fabric slightly. I will cut the ends in pointy triangular shapes.
The lower right piece is the silk chiffon and the rest is all crepe georgette.
20 January 2015
All the samples. Most are voted out already. I really like the coffee jacquard which I'll dye black in the weekend to see how it turns out. It has the same sort of texture as the original dress. Both front and back are very interesting. Most fabrics are too shiny, like a lining fabric or to glittery.
16 January 2015
I finally have some time to spend on this costumes. I have received a few samples and will get some more next week. I haven't found 'the' fabric yet, but got a nice option if nothing else comes my way. I also hope to visit one more shop. I mainly search for brocades and jacquards. I would like a more sturdy and heavy fabric. Preferable I don't want an all black fabric. A mix with dark blue/red/purple/burgundy would work nice.
I have decided to make a similar dress as to the one Morticia wears in The Addams Family movie from 1991, designed by Ruth Myers. Anjelica said she wore a corset and could barely sit and breath. I think this really paid off to her performance and I want to make this dress as tight as possible. Therefore I might insert zips into the sleeves so it is easier to put the dress on.
I have bought some silk chiffon for tattered details on the sleeves and sleeves-ends. I found that polyester chiffon was too heavy and didn't give the desired effect (trying to keep the cost low). I have also bought poly georgette for tattered details and panels in the train. This fabric worked well.
30 May 2014:
I think this will be perfect for a nice Morticia Addams costume! Is a very small pattern and I might overlay it with lace. I do think the lace will take away the effect of the fabric. If I will use this fabric, I will probably aim for a more likeness towards the movie than the 1998's series.