Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Spur of the Moment" Ursula Costume

*taps mic* So...ummm, anyone out there tonight?

I know, I know it's been a shamefully long time since I last updated to say that I was in the middle of making my bustier. I guess I was being a little optimistic in that assessment, since there turned out to be a lot of "finishing" steps. What with school busyness and only having an hour here and there to sew, I ended up not being able to finish it before class ended. Thankfully, Lynda gave everyone an extension. And then even after I finished it on the ides of March, I decided that before I could write up a blog post about it, I had to make something to wear it with. If you give a mouse a cookie costume geek a plain black bustier, she's going to want to make a matching skirt. And once she makes a matching skirt, she'll realize that she needs a necklace as well. Necklace in hand, she'll finally get around to a blog post only after a sufficiently sunny day where Mr. Cation is also around to take pictures of the whole get-up. I think it was worth it, though...


I had to really play around with the lighting on these shots in order to be able to show any detail at all on the bustier. Black is so danged hard to photograph! And of course I would be wearing a white wig. 
It's not perfect by any means, but I'm still pretty pleased with how it turned out!
"Don't even underestimate the power of body language!"
Back view. It was ridiculously hard to find a 12-inch separating zipper that would be sturdy enough.

I mean, I guess I could've just taken pictures wearing the bustier with jeans or something, but that just wouldn't seem right, you know? Besides, I had nine yards of black and purple stretch mesh that was burning a hole in my stash. I've had it set aside for an Ursula costume since April of last year, but it just didn't happen until now. I guess it doesn't really fit the "wardrobe building" March theme, although it definitely fits February's "make something that represents something you love" theme -- I love dressing up! -- so it still counts.


I used Simplicity 9172, a vintage half-circle skirt pattern, to make three layers of skirt -- black, purple, and then black again -- and since it was stretchy material, I just went with the easiest method and attached it all to a piece of wide black elastic for a no fuss, closure-less pull-on skirt. Then I went to town on the top black layer, snipping it away to make a nod to Ursula's tentacles. At that point, the skirt was nicely full, but still missing a certain je ne sais quoi, so after some brainstorming and remembering how floofy standard ballroom dance skirts are, I used Julia Bobbin's helpful fishing line tutorial to hem the skirts. It was really remarkably easy (but tedious to do for two layers of full-length half-circle skirt), and my 50-lb. fishing line more than adequately swirled up the hem of the skirts. It helps hold out the skirts so that they look fuller and make walking without tripping easier, which is a definite plus!

Now, it's the little things that pull a costume like this together, so besides making the skirt (which took a whole day -- thank goodness for Spring Break!), I had to make the iconic golden shell necklace that Ursula uses to hold Ariel's voice:

In my stash of craft supplies, I managed to unearth this seashell that I've been holding onto for eight(!) years...I just painted it gold and hot-glued a loop of wire to the back so that I could thread a ribbon through. 

And of course the finishing touch was the short white wig, which I already had from my Dr. Blitzmeyer costume. Even though I just wore this to our apartment complex's pool for pictures, it was so fun to put this outfit together. Sometimes you just have to make things that make you happy, even if there's nowhere to wear it! Maybe one day I'll get to cosplay Ursula at a con, but until then I'll settle for twirling around the pool.




I still intend to write about all the steps that had to happen to make the bustier, but I'll save that for a separate construction post, since this one is already glutted with pictures.


42 comments:

  1. Love it! And I love that you make costumes "spur of the moment" just because. The bustier turned out really well, I'm excited to see the construction post.

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    1. I figure impulse-costuming is a less dangerous hobby than say, impulsive gambling or shopping or drug use, right?

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  2. Dang son, those layers are gorgeous!

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  3. I'm "just" about to post about my latest makes, which led me to the conclusion that wardrobe building for my family means making them costumes. It's a valid lifestyle choice! :-)

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    1. This sounds good to me! I am starting to have a fairly significant costume wardrobe...

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  4. That skirt is awesome! And the bustier, but I'm really loving the purple. :)

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    1. I knew you would appreciate the purple!

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  5. Best.
    Thing.
    Ever.
    Ursula is totes the best Disney villain ever and this is a fabulous take on the costume. Cosplay for all!!!

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    1. Apparently she's the only villain to have her own song! I used to be creeped out by her, but also intrigued, so it was fun to dress as her even for a little bit!

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  6. Yay! I opened this in my feed reader, and the first photo was loading ridiculously slowly, but as soon as I saw the wig and the necklace I knew it had to be Ursula. I think I cheered audibly when I got to the purple layer in the skirt. Fantastic interpretation, and it's good to see you posting again!

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    1. Aww, that's so sweet! Glad the look is so recognizable, and thanks for the cheers!

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  7. You make a fabulous Ursula!! Such a fun costume, and the bustier looks beautiful. I'm sure you'll wear that thing to death!

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    1. Thank you! It was definitely fun to wear, although I don't know that I'll be wearing it to my death by impalement via a raised shipwreck ;)

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  8. Yesssssss! I love that you made a whole costume to show off the bustier. Everything looks spot on and suddenly I want to cosplay as Ursula. :)

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    1. It seemed the only sensible thing to do :)

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  9. Hurrah, you're back! you look awesome. that corset is amazing. of course!

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    1. Sorry I was away for so long...I hope I made up for it with the costume!

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  10. As I mentioned before on IG, hottest Ursula ever! I giggle that you took pictures by the pool - very appropriate setting. =)

    I love your costume and your perfectly fitting bustier! After all your trouble with photographing the details, you really have to wonder why they make so many black garments for pattern envelope covers, don't you?

    ~ Brooke

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    1. Hehe, the pool was the most logical (and least ghetto-looking part of our complex).

      I am seriously ticked off every time pattern envelopes use black, blown-out white, or ridiculously busy prints for their model garments!

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  11. Yay, your back! I've missed reading about your shenanigans ;-) I am so impressed with your bustier! It looks ace! I am so impressed! It fits so well! Looking forward to the construction post :-)

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    1. You're so sweet to say you missed my posting! I am putting the construction post together now, so it should be up soon!

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  12. i love everything about this. first, i think you did an exquisite job on the corset. second, i love how you ran with that and went for the ursula outfit - which i am pretty sure you could TOTALLY wear in public and get away with at a non-cosplay event. but honestly? i think i love the wig best! i think you look amazing in it! :-)

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    1. I think I might be able to get away with the outfit, but probably not the wig...which is too bad, since I like it quite a bit! I never would've though white hair would be so fun.

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  13. Looks really good!!!
    Have misssed your blogging!

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    1. Thanks! We all have those off-blogging periods, don't we?

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  14. everything about this is perfect! good call on the fishingline trick, the skirt has such great movement!

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    1. I seriously want to fishing line everything now, it's so fun!

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  15. Looking good! I've been wondering how you were doing and if you were swamped with everything but I'm glad to hear you've found some time to create!

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    1. Sometimes one just needs to go into sewing hibernation, only to emerge as a grumpy grizzly bear...errr, Disney villain :)

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  16. This is delightful! Ursula terrified me as a child (so much that I only watched The Little Mermaid all the way through finally as an adult), but your costume has all of the magic without the horror, haha. I was just thinking about you the other day, and wondering what you where getting up to and distracted by. Glad to hear that all is well :).

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    1. OMG me too! I used to always fast-forward through the scary storm/mega-size Ursula/impalement portion and just go to the wedding part at the end...anyway, thanks for thinking of me!

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  17. Ummmmm WHAT?! This looks fantastic! HOW did you get it to fit you so perfectly?! Seriously, you look like you were poured into the corset! Fabulous work, and amazing costume!

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  18. Wow, that's a very awesome costume! The corset looks great, but really I'm secretly in love with the skirt... :)

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  19. There is so much wow in this! It's absolutely incredible, and after missing you for so long it's great to have such a treat to come back to!

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  20. I love your Ursula costume so much!! You are giving me ideas for future costume opportunities :) The skirt is amazing. And also, I just saw your friend's wedding on Offbeat Bride! So cool.

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  21. Ursula only WISHES she could be as drop-dead gorgeous as you!! Your costume is amazing, and the bustier is awesome - the fit is sheer perfection; i'm very impressed!!!! Love the wig, too :)

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