Rosalina Cosplay: The Dress

Huff huff, I’ve finally done it.  I’ve finished Rosalina’s dress!  Fireworks and applause, everyone!  It took absolutely forever, upon a bumpy path filled with trouble, but I prevailed, and now it’s time to tell you guys how I did it.  First of all, I needed to find a pattern for her dress, and this turned out to be fairly simple.  A search on the Internet told me that someone else had made the dress using Simplicity pattern 9891, which I bought for myself cheap on Amazon.  Step 1 done.  Several billion more to go.  Give or take a couple billion.

I started cutting out the blue fabric of her dress, but I ended up running out.  Gasp!  Had disaster really struck so soon?  Fortunately, when I returned to the fabric store, they were able to find a little bit more of the fabric I needed, and I bought what was left.  Crisis averted.  When I got it home, however, I found to a great deal of dismay and unhappiness that the fabric had red dots and this brown smudge on it I didn’t notice before, which was as gross as it was mysterious.  Needless to say, this was quite unsettling, but somehow I was able to cut out fabric in between the mess so I ended up only with clean fabric for her dress.  Another tragedy neatly sidestepped.

Half of the fabric. It strangely resembles a giant, evil butterfly.
Half of the fabric. This doesn’t seem like enough.

After that, I got sewing.  To summarize, this process was boring and tedious.  I don’t have one of those dress form things you can pin fabric to, and if you accidentally cut your fabric too small, you waste even more by having to cut out another piece even bigger.  As a result, I have a habit of cutting fabric too large, so it took a lot of sewing not only to sew all the pieces of the main body together (I was saving the sleeves for later), but to sew everything increasing smaller until it fit me properly.  I also had to make sure the skirt wasn’t so wide because there was originally so much fabric for it that it looked like I was wearing curtains.  Only windows look good in such garb, not ducks.  The next step was closing the gap I had left open in the back with a long invisible zipper.  I had already learned how to use these with Rosalina’s white skirt, so it wasn’t too difficult.  In fact, it actually opens and closes much easier than my first zipper.  I am, without a doubt, the zipper master.

Half the fabric sewn together. It looks less scary now. I'm glad.
Half of the fabric sewn together. Still not enough.  Must lose 50 pounds, or I am doomed.

I then found that when I put the dress on, it kept slipping down despite all the previous adjustments I had made, which was a big no-no.  All I had to do to fix this was to pull the fabric in on either side of the front and sew it, and then it stayed up fine.  After that, I added the sleeves, which I made wider at the ends than they should be because I prefer that look over Rosie’s narrower sleeves, more accurate though they may be.  Unfortunately, whenever I tried the dress on, I was a bit rough with it due to how tight it was, which resulted in the sleeves tearing from the dress at the underarms.  I decided that, since more rough treatment was in store for my poor dress, I might as well fix this issue later.

All the blue has been sewn together. You may now enter the dress.
All the blue has been sewn together. You may now enter the dress.

The next step was the white border at the top of the dress.  This part was pretty awful.  The top of the dress actually ended up lopsided, with one side far lower than the other.  As a result, I decided to use the border to extend the top of the dress to make it higher and more even.  This made it a bit more difficult, however, and it took me quite a long time just to figure out how large the fabric of the border should be and how to pin it on.  You see, I made the border into two pieces, a left piece and a right piece.  Each piece begins at the zipper in the back, then, it flips around the sleeves to end at the front middle part of the dress.  This turned out to be quite a challenge maneuvering a floppy piece of fabric just right, but I finally got it pinned and started sewing.

Sewing was done in three stages.  First, I let the border hang inside the dress (after unpinning it and returning the pins to their previous locations to act as placeholders) and simply sewed it to the upper edge of the dress just to get it attached to begin with.  When I flipped the fabric up again, this area was hidden.  Next, I folded the fabric down again where the top edge of the border would be.  I then sewed the top edge of the border, being careful of the exact slant I wanted.  After that, I sewed the bottom edge of the border to the dress (except around the sleeves, as I thought leaving the border loose here would allow more movement in the arms).  Once the border was done on both sides, all the mistakes at the top of the dress were hidden.  Unfortunately, the border would sag at the shoulders and back for some reason when I tried the dress on, so I had to pull some fabric in and sew it to tighten it.  The border sags a lot less now, but I can’t tighten it any further without making it too tight.  Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to settle with good enough.

At this point in the process, my dress was still too long, so I shortened the skirt until it hung just above the ground.  I think it probably should be a bit longer, but Ghirahim’s cape got filthy last year because it dragged on the floor, and I didn’t want the same to happen with my dress.  After that, I cut out part of the front of her skirt to show the white skirt underneath.  I cut it a bit more than is accurate to show more of the other skirt because it was quite pretty and simply couldn’t be hidden.  It must be shared with the world!  ‘Tis only right!

After that, it was time for the bottom border.  I got two long pieces of white fabric (my fabric wasn’t long enough to cut it out in one, single strip) and sewed them along the bottom edge of her dress in much the same manner as the border on the top.  The only difference was I didn’t sew the bottom edge because I wanted it to be puffier, and sewing it would have made it flat.  I just had to be very careful I didn’t allow the border to hang any lower than the dress itself or else the skirt might have become long enough to drag on the ground again.  Getting the border up along that front area I had cut out proved challenging, though, as fabric doesn’t appear to like bending in such a manner without lots of creases.  Lots of thinking and some careful folding allowed me to get the fabric around this curve without it looking too silly.

The dress has been successfully bordered.
The dress has been successfully bordered.

At this point, the worst was over, and the end was finally sight.  It was time to breathe a sigh of relief and press on to victory.  The lace on the ends of the sleeves was my next step.  Rosalina actually has white borders at the ends of her sleeves in much the same manner as the top and bottom borders of her dress, which is quite redundant.  I, on the other hand, wanted to do something fancier, so I went with lace.  As I inspected the fabric, I ended up finding that my lace had some design on two ends that would look great as the border on the end of her sleeves, so I cut along these curving lines and made two strips of fabric.  When I sewed them to the ends of the sleeves, I had the curving sides on the end, and I think it has a nice effect.  If you look closely at the picture, you should see what I mean.  It’s always nice when something you don’t plan for ends up making your costume look better than ever.

The lace for the ends of the sleeves. The unexpected border can be seen on the left. I like it.
The lace for the ends of the sleeves. The unexpected border can be seen on the left. I like it.
The lace has fused itself to the end of the sleeve. No amount of coaxing will convince it to release its grip.
The lace has fused itself to the end of the sleeve. No amount of coaxing will convince it to release its grip.

Last of all, I fixed the torn parts of the sleeves and made the star for the front of her dress.  I went through several designs before the star looked right, and I made it out of interfacing covered in two white pieces of fabric in the same shape, which I put over the interfacing like a pillow case and closed off the end by hand.  I then made a large round gem out of resin.  Unfortunately, the resin was a strange orange color (it’s rather old, so maybe that’s why it’s not as clear as it used to be?), which made pouring in an accurate amount of yellow dye difficult.  In the end, the resin was clear with a barely noticeable yellow tinge, so I put a yellow piece of fabric behind it.  This made it a lot more yellow and had a similar effect to the foil I typically put behind gems to add extra shine.  After that, it was a simple matter of hot gluing the gem to the fabric, gluing the whole thing to the star, and then sewing the star to the dress.

It looks like a star-shaped fried egg....
It looks like a star-shaped fried egg….
Hey, you got egg on my dress!  Or perhaps, you got dress in my egg?
Hey, you got egg on my dress! Or perhaps, you got dress in my egg?

Finally, the dress is done!  It was a huge pain, but I think it turned out pretty good, and it was quite fun adding some of my own touches.  I just hope I won’t get too chunky to fit into it in the meantime.  It’s a problem I love Cheetos so much….

The completed dress, with the skirt lovingly shoved inside to get the full effect.
The completed dress, with the skirt lovingly shoved inside to get the full effect.

A Dressed-Up Duck

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5 thoughts on “Rosalina Cosplay: The Dress

      1. I think I’ll probably be done by this weekend, as all that’s left is making sure the wig is the correct length and attaching the crown to a headband so I can wear it.

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