Confession time. I’ve got a thing for tentacles. No, I don’t know why.
In August I set myself the task of sewing a costume that has been on my mind for years. An ‘Octopus’ gown, a la Ursula from the little mermaid. I’ve been lusting over the idea for ages, but 1: it was going to be a ton of work, 2: a lot of money for the fabric, and 3: no place to really wear it which sort of makes it hard to justify spending said money.
Well, a local pirate fest recently announced a costume contest, all pirate, and sea-themed fantasy costumes accepted. HALLELUJAH, a reason!
Here is the original idea sketch. It did change slightly from beginning to end, but then everything I make does!
Here’s the fabric I collected for the project. Fun fact: there are about 16 yards of fabric in this picture. And this isn’t even all the fabric!
Cutting and pinning pieces!
Testing the different layers of the skirt, there are four layers of fabric to create the rainbow-y waters effect I wanted. Super washed out in this picture due to sun coming through my window, hang tight, I have better!
Testing the overskirt minus the underskirt. This part was, unsurprisingly, the hardest part of the dress. Getting the chiffon webbing between the tentacles was a nightmare. On the other hand, I’d chosen a crushed velvet for the top of the tentacles, which is super stretchy. As I started cutting them out, I panicked and told myself I was an idiot, Velvet stretches! It warps! I would have to layer and adhere it all to make it behave, adding a ton more work and fabric to the equation. Then I calmed down, took a breath, and realized that the warping, stretching velvet was PERFECT. Look at how those tentacles are twisted and writhing! In any other situation it would have been a disaster, but for this my miscalculation was serendipitous!
Plus as a bonus, I managed to get all eight tentacles stuffed with only a bag and a half of stuffing, I’d been expecting half a dozen, at least. I stuffed them very lightly at the top so the corset can settle over them comfortably.
Above, the corset, with boning channels sewn, top bound, ad middle insert all sewn in and pretty. But far from done! Part 2 coming this weekend!