March 4, 2016

Tinkerbell Adult Cosplay Costume Tutorial - Part 2 out of 2

A week ago I showed you the first part of making an adult Tinkerbell cosplay costume: how to make an adjust the mock up (Step 1), how to construct the dress and the lining (Step 2), and how to apply boning to the lining (Step 3).

Now, I will show you how to complete the costume in 4 steps:

Step 4. Sewing the bra cups
Step 5. Sewing the lining onto the outer fabrics
Step 6. Installing the invisible zipper
Step 7. Finished!

Step 4. Sewing the bra cups

If you want to save time, you can skip this step and purchase ready-made bra cups from a crafts store. However, you may have issues finding the right shape or size. The only ready-made bra cups I could find had padding in them, and since I've got more than enough of natural assets, I really wanted non-padded ones so I had to make them myself.

Start by pinning the inner dress on to yourself and then placing pins around the area which you want the bra cup to cover. You can measure the width of this area from the bust seam and then try to trace a similar shape on to your Side Front (SF) and Center Front (CF) pattern pieces.

Here I've pinned the inner dress on and then added pins over the breast area, where I want the bra cup to be. I then measured the width of this area from the bust seam, and measured the height along the bust seam also. 

I drew a similar shape on to the Side Front (SF) and Center Front (CF) pattern pieces. Note how I joined the patterns along the top and left a gap along the bottom. The bra cup will have a middle seam here, to make it into a round shape.

Next you need to trace the shape on a fresh piece of pattern paper and cut.

I have used super soft cotton wadding (normally used for quilting), which I made sure to wash in hot water beforehand to prevent shrinking of finished pieces. I covered it with the thin, fusible interfacing on both sides. So you'll want to cut 2 pieces of wadding and 4 pieces of the interfacing. Make sure 2 pieces of the interfacing are mirrored from the other 2, because you'll be ironing them on to the opposite sides of the wadding.

After ironing the interfacing, cut a strip of muslin which you will use to join the middle bit. Pin it over the middle opening and sew with a wide zigzag stitch, catching each edge. After doing this, I noticed the shape wasn't quite right, so I took it in a bit along the top, resulting in a middle seam cutting across the whole height of the cup. So make sure you try on the cup after finishing it and be prepared to make a new one if the shape is not right.

I also did a simple, rather dense stitch along the edges of the cups since a tutorial which I already lost the link to told to do this. However, I am not sure if it makes any difference.

I placed a fresh piece of pattern paper over the original pattern pieces and drew the shape, then cut it out.

Here I've pinned the pattern on to the fusible interfacing and the pre-washed wadding. I would also need to turn the pattern over the other side and cut a second piece of the interfacing for the other side, then repeat for the second bra cup. After cutting the interfacing needs to be ironed on.

I've cut a thin strip of muslin to help join the gap, then pinned it on. Looks a bit weird, but it will work. Ignore the pencil sketching on my cup!

Sew over the middle of the strip with a wide zig zag stitch, catching each side. It's safer to remove the needles as you encounter them.

Coming to the end of the zig zagged seam. The bra cup is starting to form into a rounder shape.

Finished bra cups with additional stitching along the outer edges. They are not the most beautiful, but certainly functional enough, and nobody will see them anyway!

Finally, you'll want to sew the cups to the reverse side of the inner dress (on the reinforcing fabric's side). A couple of stitches on 4 corners should be sufficient, it does not need to be sewn all over.

Step 5. Sewing the lining onto the outer fabrics

At this point, you should have already constructed the outer dress (out of a satin and a layer of organza) and the inner dress (out of lining and reinforcement fabric), and you have also added boning to your inner dress. You have sealed the edges of any fabrics that are delicate and/or prone to fraying, and you have sewn all vertical seams except the center back.

Start by pinning the neckline of the inner dress onto the outer with right sides facing against each other. Machine stitch. Note that if you have applied the fusible interfacing along the edges of your pattern pieces (See Part 1, Step 2), you will be sewing over the interfacing again (this protects your delicate fashion fabrics). Take care when sewing the sweetheart neckline: you'll want a nice shape and clean stitching here because this will be one of the most visible parts!

When you finish sewing, cut notches on to the seam allowances at the sweetheart neckline. Make sure to cut a notch in between the two large curves, otherwise it won't look right when you turn it! You'll want to cut pretty close to the stitching but at the same time be very careful not to cut through it. Turn the dress on to the right side, push seams out and check if any alteration is required.

At this point I have already stitched the neckline, however, before this step I had pinned the outer and inner layers together. Note that the stitching runs over the fusible interfacing again. This protects your delicate fashion fabrics and ensures a more robust structure.

This is how the dress looks when the neckline is stitched. Above you can see the inner dress, with the inner side facing up and outer side facing down. On the bottom you can see the outer dress, again with the inner side up and outer side down.

Cut notches reaching just above the stitching line along the curve of the bust. (I've got 2 rows of the white stitching here because I made an alteration. If you were successful at the first shot, you'll have only 1 row of stitching)

Next, with the right sides of both the inner and the outer dress facing up, topstitch along the neckline (close to the seam you just created before) on the lining's side.

Topstitching the neckline. My outer dress is on the left and the inner dress is on the right.

Next, turn the dress on the reverse side again (with reverse sides of both inner and outer dress facing outwards). Pin all over the sides and the hem. Earlier I recommended to leave the cutting of the lining into shape until later, if you followed my advise now is the right time to cut it. You have pinned your zigzag trimmed fashion fabrics to the lining, so nothing can go wrong anymore: go ahead and cut the hem of the lining following carefully the shape of the fashion fabrics.

I don't have photos of this stage but you'll want to sew along the zigzag/leaf tip shaped hem now. Again, you're sewing on the reverse side of the fabrics, with the right sides of the fabrics facing each other. When sewing the zigzag bits you'll want only a narrow seam allowance. You can trim any excess off after stitching. And again you'll want to cut tiny notches along all curvy parts and in between the triangles.

Now turn the dress to the right side (you will be able to pull it through the back center which we have left open until now). Pull the seams out carefully using a pointed (not too sharp!!) object, and pinch the fabric with your index finger inside on the reverse side and your thumb on the outside over the seam. Softly run your thumbnail along the seam doing a gentle scraping motion against your fingertip on the inside, this will bring the seam out.

I have now finished stitching the seam along the hem on the reverse side of the dress. I've turned the dress around and pulled the seams out carefully using a pointed object. I'm running my thumbnail along the seam of each triangle, carefully pushing the seam further out.

When the hem is completely turned and the seams are carefully pulled out, you'll want to topstitch along the entire edge of the hem for a nice finishing touch. This will also keep the triangles/leaf tips in shape.

Simply sew through the entire hem with the right side facing up. You'll want to be as close to the edge as you possibly can and you'll also want to set the stitch to be quite long using the stitching length dial on your machine.

The finished hem. I have topstitched along the entire length of it. As you can see, the stitching will run through all layers, showing on both the outer side and the inner side/lining of the dress.

Step 6. Installing the invisible zip

This is the last step in the construction and although some people dread the installing of zippers I can assure you that it is very easy after all the hard work you have done so far!

I won't go through the steps of installing an invisible zip here as there are heaps of tutorials out there - just do a search for invisible or concealed zipper tutorial either on Google or Youtube, and you'll find all the help you need.

I do recommend a couple of things though, which make things easier for you: 1) Seal the raw edges unless you already did so - yes, even though they will be covered by the lining later on - this makes your dress more durable. 2) Close the remainder of the center back seam AFTER installing the zipper, 3) Purchase an invisible zip foot, and 4) Baste the zipper in place along both sides. I always prefer to baste my zips rather than just pin them.

I first pinned the invisible zip in place, then basted it on. After basting I put the invisible zipper foot on my machine and stitched very close to the coil on both sides.

Once you have stitched the zipper on, pin the remainder of the center back on the reverse side, and stitch leaving a suitable seam allowance.

Finally, when the zipper is installed and the center back seam has been closed, fold and pin the edges of the lining over the zipper tape on the inner side of the dress. Hand-stitch with very small, barely visible stitches that catch the edge of the lining and the zipper tape.

Took this photo with the flash so colours are a bit different. This is what the finished invisible zipper will look like. It sits neatly within the center back seam and you can't even tell the zipper is there!

Step 7. Finished!

...Almost, anyway. You can now pull out any visible basting that is remaining at this point :)

 Wear your costume and give yourself a pat on the back. Post a comment with a picture to your finished cosplay!

Thanks for using my tutorial, and please don't forget I'd love to hear your comments and questions. If you liked my tutorial please post a link to it. Thanks again!

Finished Tinkerbell cosplay costume! Now that was well worth the effort wasn't it :)