costume making the easy way – part 1

In case you’ve wondered where I got to over the last few days… weeks…

I’ve been buried in the chaos that is my life. I’ve had no time to post and nothing much to post about. I’m overworked and over-committed. The house hasn’t yet been tidied up since I started making over the office about a month ago. I still have things stacked in the corner of the living room from the kitchen remodel. Instead of finishing things and putting things in their place (or getting rid of them), I’ve just kept adding to the mess.

We haven’t been able to see the living room floor, much less the coffee table surface, for over three weeks now. It looks like my brain exploded in here.

Why you may ask? Well… its because I offered to make the costumes for a movie we’re making in one of my programs at work.


See, I take pride in what I do… and since I have nothing to do in my 1 minute of free time a week, I thought I’d offer to take on yet another TO DO for my list cause I want our movie to look as good as possible.

As good as possible means costumes that look right for the story and aren’t just a mishmash of cobbled together bits and pieces we could scrounge from wherever. That means making costumes that look right from bits and pieces I could scrounge from wherever… tip shops, op shops, my fabric collection, my wardrobe, my friend’s wardrobes, wherever.

And all those boxes and bags have been placed in the living room in an orderly fashion.


Ok, firstly, what’s the movie about? Its a fairy tale of good vs evil, kings and queens, a prince, a mermaid, love, friendship and a magic rabbit. The story was written by the group I work with so it pretty much had to cover everything.

Its set in a land far far away, a long long time ago, therefore the costumes are more or less renaissance in style.

So I started the easy way.

First I looked through the wardrobe shared by the drama programs. This blue cape is one piece we’ll use but I’m not sure which character will wear it yet. 
I also found this purple cape which had a silver collar that made it look very ‘magician’-like. I put some fake black fur on the collar to make it a bit more regal.
I found this funny skirt in an op shop. Its perfect as puffy pants. You know those puffy pants guys used to wear over their tights? 
Ok. I’ll get photos of the full costumes so you’ll be able to picture it then.
Next I moved on to adjusting clothing. These shirts were donated or found at op shops and were in my program’s wardrobe. I cut off the buttons and collar, stitched the front closed, added fancy braiding and voila: tunic.
A black one for the bad guy.

A regal looking burgundy one.
Embellished with gold buttons, gold stitching (bad stitching) and a vintage earring.
A regal purple one with gold braid trim and an oversized gold button embellishment.
I adapted a white shirt for the magic rabbit costume. All I did for this one was add ruffles of wide lace ribbon.
Since the jacket worn over this shirt won’t close (its not big enough) I made the lace bib nice and big to make it a feature. 
The rabbit costume is based on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland white rabbit but I couldn’t find a blue blazer. I opted to use my old dog show red jacket. I shortened the sleeves temporarily by hand stitching them, then added lace to the cuffs. The lace was cut off a ripped table cloth.
The bow tie was an op shop silk scarf which I tied into a bow and added elastic to go around the collar. Of course this costume comes with a set of pink and white bunny ears and a pair of white trousers.
No rabbit costume is complete without a tail. For this I used a leftover white pom pom from the pom pom chair suite
The rabbit costume has optional spats made from a red tartan napkin. I thought they might add a bit more ‘spiff’ to the rabbit but it’ll depend on how the costume looks when its all together. I have a small gold clockface and some gold chain which I hope to make into a fob watch too.
Stay tuned for more costumes.
Shared at:
Beyond The Picket Fence

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