Thursday, December 2, 2010

cleopatra costume

I decided to be Cleopatra. I had a budget of about $25 and 2 days till Halloween.

The Cleopatra costumes I found in stores and online were all $40 and up without accessories.  The designs were super simple and plain, made of the cheapest fabrics (polyester, plastic, itchy stuff)

haha this one is silly.... and $60.

After soaking up information and ideas, I raided my closet, drawers, and boxes to look for things Cleo would wear. I found perfect gold strappy sandals, some beautiful gold trims, and a ton of gold jewelry.

What I couldn't find was something to actually cover my body... I don't wear much gold so nothing in my closet. Nothing suitable in my fabric boxes either so I had to go shopping. At Joannes I got some more gold trim, 1/4 yard of gold metallic (belt? collar?), and I found a gold fabric remnant for a dollar. I waited off on buying other fabrics to see if I could find a gold dress or something.

 I searched through all the dresses and skirts at Ross. nothing nothing. I was gonna have to make this costume from scratch. I went to the curtain/drape section and found a nice (non itchy) gold curtain for $3.99.  Then I found a cream colored satin sheet in the clearance section for $3.99. Perfect cheap fabric! At Joannes it would have been $4-8 for just a yard of anything usable. Next I picked out a basic $8 flesh colored bra that I could add to.

I started out covering the bra with the gold remnant fabric I found at Joannes. The shimmer gives it a pretty finish. 

Then I added gold trim to the straps, top and bottom of the bra. Now, theres a trick to sewing things onto elastic if you're planning on keeping the stretch. The key is to stretch the material then sew the elastic on while its still stretched. When you release the stretch the trim is going to bundle up but it will look normal once its stretched out again. If you sew trim down without doing this step, the elastic has no where to stretch and it won't fit anymore.

Conveniently, there was a loop on the back of my ruby pendant that that allow me to sew it onto the middle section of my bra.
I took a broken necklace and hooked it onto the bra for a chain-look. 

Pictures of Cleopatra usually have her wearing a gold collar. I drafted a pattern and cut it out of the gold metallic from Joannes.

I really like capes.. and there are few opportunities to wear them, one being Halloween. For my gold cape I used the gold curtain I got at Ross. I ripped out the stitching to leave a ripped seam look. I attached the fabric to the collar and made a fastening out of a beaded neckline trim I had.

The fastest/easiest way to connect the fastening was velcro... the only color I had was green though :/ This was one of the last things I was rushing to do before going out. Attempting to attach the velcro, I broke 2 needles and some beads trying to use the machine as a "fast way out". There were too many beads for the machines liking so I ended up having to make a super fast hand stitch job which wasn't very good, it started coming out by the end of the night. Thats what I get for rushing.

Next thing I needed was a skirt. I didn't need to do anything too crazy since the bra/collar/jewelry was already so much.  I took that $3.99 satin sheet and ripped out the edges. I "fashionably" wrapped the skirt around my waist and pinned it tight. I took some safety pins and pinned portions of it up to give it some volume (and keep me from tripping over it). Then I wrapped the leftover material I used to cover the bra and used it as a tie. Heres a picture of the fabric:

And lastly,

Accessories!!! I made my butterfly headdress by attaching my gold butterfly pin to a gold necklace I had and then pinned it into my hair. The thick gold necklace was one I've had in a craft box for years, I found it at a swap meet for like a dollar because the stone it had was long gone. I attached my blue and green pin to that by tightly sewing/tying it to the gold necklace with thick embroidery thread. I didn't want to permanently attach my pin to that necklace because I still want to wear it on my clothes. Gold earrings I had inherited from my aunt years ago, rings were all ones I had.

My Cleo costume was a huge success! I wore it the entire weekend. It was comfortable and I glittered in the sun. I wore it to work and greeted customers that entered the movie theater. One man asked if I was Princess Leah, but other than that everyone knew exactly who I was. So many loved my costume and I even got one offer to have it bought off me! I told the woman that being as I made it myself, I could make her a custom one and gave her my card. :)

-click on photos to enlarge -

funny picture but its the only good one with my cape:

 Had to lose the headdress and cape for dancing purposes:

(stephanie had an AMAZING bjork swan costume..)

No comments:

Post a Comment