Everyone agrees this is a fabulous dress, likely requiring hundreds of hours of labor and god knows how much money for materials. I, on the other hand, have a budget of $300, less than two months to work, and (let’s be honest here) only average sewing skills. I’ve never drafted a pattern on my own, I hate installing zippers, and corsets are beyond me. Plus, I don’t have a car, so it’s difficult to source materials. So how am I supposed to take on this project?
1. Ebay wedding dress. I was originally looking for a dress that already had the appropriate skirt ruffles, but let’s face it, they don’t sell those very cheaply, and there wasn’t anything that really replicated the original dress’s structure. Plus, if I bought a pre-sewn skirt I’d have to find some way to apply all of the trim, and that would be almost impossible. So I bought a plain strapless dress with a simple tulle skirt and some good boning in the bodice, figuring it would be a blank slate, with all of the fastenings already included.
2. Make your own trim. I checked the price for pre-made ruffled tulle trim, and it was $1.50 a yard! Given the amount I’d need, that was clearly out of the question, so instead I decided to buy lots and LOTS of tulle and ruffle it up myself. The finished trim ended up costing about $0.27 a yard, plus a lot of stress.
3. Dress made of curtains. Looking online for the cheapest sheer white fabric I could find, I originally settled on organza, but after feeling it in person in a fabric store I decided it was too flimsy. I went with drapery sheers instead– extra wide at 118″ and not too expensive.
4. Hot glue and wire. I was trying to figure out how to make the elaborate silver shoulder piece when I happened upon a tutorial for making filigree armor (a la Game of Thrones) using hot glue. I decided to add a little more structure by embedding wire in the glue, but the idea looked like it would work, and would definitely be cheaper than trying to get a custom-laser-cut piece of plastic or something similar.
With all of the above in place, I thought it would be worth a try to make the dress for Anime Boston this year. Of course, the only problem is that I’ve waited so long to actually decide to make it, that I have very little time to do it in… we’ll see what happens!