Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Queen of Hearts

I love the Queen of Hearts. Which might explain why I have not only played her onstage, but also have designed two different Queen of Hearts costumes.

Queen of Hearts, 2008
The first one came about for Halloween 2008. It was modeled on a Queen of Hearts Barbie, and I used Simplicty 4092 view B as my starting point. The underskirt is made of black cotton, with a center "forepart" section that I quilted - made of many small strips of quilting cotton with various heart-related patterns. The front of the bodice is also made of even smaller strips of the quilting cottons, topped with a giant red cotton velveteen heart. The body of the gown is also made of the red velveteen, with lace ruffles at the cuffs. I trimmed the front with black velveteen, which was painted with swirly gold hearts. I believe I lined the bodice with cotton, and the bodice laces up the back with purchased lacing strips. The overskirt is knife-pleated to the bodice, which is boned with rigilene boning (since this was one of my first real projects, and I didn't know any better), and some of the edges were machine-hemmed with a heart-shaped stitch. Unfortunately, I did not have a serger when I made this, and used a too-small seam allowance on my quilting strips, so after a few wearings, many of the strips have now pulled apart in the skirt, and need redoing. I had also made a detachable stand-up collar for the gown, but it proved too cumbersome.

I also made a flamingo, out of cotton scraps and pink feathers, all of which I found in the costume shop bins at school. He is stuffed with additional scraps. His beak and foot
are stiffened with hot glue sticks, and his leg with the cardboard
tube off a wire hanger.

Queen of Hearts, 2010, with the White Rabbit

The second version of my Queen of Hearts costume came in 2010. I wanted to wear something Disney-themed for Mickey's Not So Scary Party at The Magic Kingdom, but I didn't have time to make a whole new outfit, and by that point, I knew enough about costuming to realize that my first bodice was not up to my standards. I also wanted something that would be nice and easy to wear at Disneyworld all day. What I came up with was a Victorian-inspired Queen of Hearts. I used the underskirt from the first costume, and paired it with a red peasant blouse I had made earlier in the year for a pirate festival, and a black corduroy underbust boned bodice that I made for one of my costumes in Dames at Sea earlier that month. I also took some black with red pinstripes fabric that I had left over from the breeches I made for the pirate festival, and made a somewhat bustled-up overskirt. The tacks of the overskirt were finished with red felt hearts, which I also added to the bodice. I stuck a heart jewel on my face, wore my heart earrings, and bought a tiara at Disney for the occasion . It was nice and comfy for a day at Disney, and I got a kick out of interacting with some of the Alice in Wonderland characters.

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