HSF or Monthly #2-1920’s Headdress

And here we are again for another Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge. A bit late but better late than never. This fortnight’s challenge is to get something off the UFO pile. Just to finish off something that’s never really gotten finished. Perfect! I have just the thing. Last year, I made a Tiana cosplay (from Princess and the Frog) but I made her historically accurate. The movie is set in the 1920’s so of course there was beading, a rode de style and finger waves.

I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the 1920’s until I did this cosplay. Now I utterly adore it and can’t wait for the next project in this era. But for now, here is the project that is unfinished. I designed this cosplay with a 1920’s headdress referenced from the book The Mode in Hats and Headdress by R. Turner Wilcox. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before the Comic Con and just couldn’t finish it so I went without it. So the best opportunity is to do it right now. ( And stop letting it mock me on my unfinished sewing pile)


Now you can see why it was taking me so long. I was hand beading different patterns into it. This small amount took me ages. But thank goodness for HSF because it made me push through to the end.


I managed to get all the vines on. I was going for a leafy and flowery pattern to match Tiana’s look and the dress I made. I used the same fabric and the same beads as I did for the dress. The stitching is omnistitching that my sewing machine did. I was in such a hurry when I started making this last year that I couldn’t be bothered to design a beading patterns. So, hence the perfect stitches and beading over top. I made the beading relatively simple, until…


I decided to add more detail to the beading. I could have been almost done but, come on, this was supposed to be from the 1920’s. My original beading was a bit too plan. Its all or nothing baby!


Finally I had managed to bead it all, including the centerpiece. ( I will show you that in a minute). You can see a vines and flowers and leaves sort of vibe here, doesn’t hurt that it is all in green. I will say I was surprised when I lifted this and found a bit more weight on it. Woah. Beads may be tiny but together, they are quite the army.

Next it was time to sew on the beaded outer fabric to the buckram and wire base. Of course this was done by hand. Which was a welcome relief to the hand beading before. Then I sewed the lining to the back over the buckram.


I added a touch more after the fact by sewing on a string of pearls to the top of the headdress. The top looked a little plain without it and it matched the next embellishment…


Hanging pearls! I admit here I wasn’t sure how best to attached these pearls to the headdress. I ended up using hot glue (I know, I know! It was late and I was tired and frustrated with the pearls falling everywhere) But it worked out. Next time, I will sew the ends of the pearls to the buckram layer and the then sew the lining on top of that. But for this proof of concept, this worked out.

And now drum roll for the final result…




TADA!! I love this so much. I felt like a vintage beauty. Here you can see I did finish the centerpiece and pearls are staying on quite well. But how it the headdress staying on your head, you may ask?


Simple ribbon ties I hand sewed in the headdress before the lining. I had no idea if this headdress was supposed to be headband style or crown style so I designed it this way. The Wilcox book didn’t show the back to the headdress. I noticed in the book the women wore headdresses quite low on their heads. I wore this close to my eyebrows to mimic that look so its a good thing it can be adjusted. And now for what you have been waiting for, the wrap up and photo gallery.

The Challenge: #2 the UFO: Let’s get something off our UFO pile! Use this opportunity to finish off something that’s never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through.

 The Project: 1920’s headdress from a historically accurate Princess and the Frog cosplay I didn’t finish last year.

Fabric and notions: Sparkle chiffon ($8 per yard), buckram ($8 per yard), wire (had it for ages), many different types of beads and pearls (bought on sale~$40), needle and thread

 Pattern: My own design inspired by The Mode in Hats and Headdress by R. Turner Wilcox.

 Year: 1920’s

 How historically accurate is it? Very I would say. The shape is there. The beading needed a bit more practice but it was pretty. Next time, I will draw out a pattern rather than using the omnistitches on my sewing machine which took off accuracy points.

 Hours to complete: ~25 hours ( most of this was beading)

Total cost: ~$48 (estimating so much here, I threw away the receipts >_<)

Overall, this was great to do. I love beading, it is relaxing. It does for me what adult coloring does for other people. Time to think or time to listen to many books and songs. I would love to do something like this again. So my next idea would be a whole new dress. (Oh the projects.) Okay, enough blabbing here is a bit of a gallery.






❤ Sarania


Sailor Mercury-Steampunk Style

So…I finally managed to cosplay one of my favorite Sailor Scouts, Sailor Mercury! She’s smart, shy, lady-like and strong AND blue! I freakin’ love blue. Though I realized that I have been getting a bit tired of doing completely accurate cosplays so I decided to put a spin on it, a Steampunk spin. Now prepare for the pictures! Hang on, this one is a doosey of a post.

First was buying the fabric! I know, I know. I bought the fabric before I sketched. WRONG!! But for me fabric really inspires me so I tend to walk around fabric stores a lot and just think about what I can do with the fabrics there. SO I bought this fabric…


This is from my local independent fabric store (which sells fabric for wholesale price). They had a massive sale in the beginning of the year and I got these really pricey upholstery, satin and taffeta fabrics for half off! Score! Then…I forgot about them and they got buried in my stash. Until Steampunk World’s Fair rolled around and I remembered I had this fabric for a reason.


And now here is the sketch! I had two designs I drew in two separate days and decided on the one on the right…ish…little bit of left too. I definitely didn’t do the skirt hike or the peaking out of the petticoat under the skirt since it felt to muddled when I tried it with my dress form and not modest enough. Modesty is the name of the game for me when I do Steampunk and Victorian looks.

Now to begin! Also I have to mention that since it seems to be a tradition for me (or just trying to deal with multiple projects) I made this outfit in a week. I need to stop doing that.

First was getting together the petticoat, wig, blouse, shoes, veil poi. I knew I had little time so I couldn’t make everything from scratch. The petticoat I had from many years back. It was way too small in the waist for me but it was five dollars at the thrift store so…yeah. I simply cut the waistband and about 10 inches down off. Then added elastic for a new waistband and there you have a tea length petticoat that fits.

The blouse I bought at my local goodwill along with a short sleeve shirt to wear under it since it was all lace and completely see through (yeah, not so Victorian-modest…for me, at least). I also tucked the collar into the blouse since it didn’t really help the look much. (Why didn’t I cut it off you may ask?…*sigh* I am paranoid about cutting things off clothes. I need to be ENTIRELY sure…and I wasn’t…)

Next was shoes! I bought these shoes the week before from a Marty Shoes that was going out of business. In all I got 13 pairs of shoes from there for $175. If I bought them full price, they would have been close to $500. Most of them were for cosplay purposes…as you do. I painted these with acrylic paint and nail polish. I also sprayed them with Krylon Matte Sealant spray since they were shoes and I wanted to wear them outside…Its weird but I really love painting shoes…that’s weird isn’t it?

I also bought a wig from eBay and these gorgeous sunglasses from an online shop called Steampunk Machine ( I adore these glasses and I felt like they were perfect to represent Mercury’s computer goggles. I was going to to draw lines on it as if they were computer goggles but then I really liked them how they were and I plan to wear them without my cosplay. So I kept them clean.


And here is the veil poi from eBay. An inexpensive, beginner set. I was going to make some but then…no. I also have no idea how to use veil poi but I bought them because I have seen cosplayers use veil poi as powers for their cosplays so this is definitely not my idea. I simply got inspiration from them. I also love the look of veil poi belly dancers and thought this would be perfect for my “Shine Aqua Illusion” attack.


And now we construct! First the skirt. A very simple A-line shaped Victorian skirt. I made it about tea length so that I can still walk (and triumph over evil) without having to lift my skirt. I know the Sailor Scouts have mini skirts but like I said at the start. Modesty is the name of the game!

Next, the underbust corset…yet another corset to add to my closet. You know what’s funny? I had that busk for many years in my supply drawer and just dug it out when I was making my corset. Don’t know what project it was for but it was meant to be for this one now!


Looking good! Here you can see I did a mock up for the collar and put it on my dress form to test. And if you can also see, I sewed the viels for the poi to fit over the poi so that they are hidden. Originally, you were supposed to tie the veils to little loops on the end of the poi BUT I didn’t want to see black balls swinging in the air so I hid them…and yes, that is what she said.


Here you can see the collar in its finished form. It was so simple to make and I wish I took more photos of the process for it. Also there is a pair of simple fingerless gloves that I learned to make from a tutorial on Cut Out & Keep ( Ain’t nobody got time for fingers and gussets. Plus…too darn hot!

Here was one of my favorite parts. I bought jewelry pieces from Joann and started to adorn my cosplay with shiny stuff. I made the bow for the front and one for the back as well but I have no pictures because I fail at tracking progress. The brass heart that says love all over it I painted with some nail polish for a blue effect. I also made earrings and a necklace from Joann jewelry using wire and ribbon. You can see the necklace there. The earrings were the same pendant style only smaller and I used wire to make them into ear cuffs ’cause no pierced ears for me.


And finally here is the full final look. IN FIVE DAYS! WOOO!! What a rush of excitement. and what made it really amazing was I finished the the day before the event so I had a night to sleep! WHAT!?

And now for the big model reveal…

The wind was not cooperating…at all. Well here’s a mirror selfie to make up for it…



Dusty mirror, really girl?! Okay lets try the veil poi shot…

Oh my gosh, the fail is POTENT!…I need major practice…no saving the world for now.

I like these shots a lot ’cause it looked like Mercury just hit herself with her own power! (Not to worry, I didn’t hurt myself…much. Shine Aqua OUCH!! Darn it!)

At least I got one shot with no wind, so cute and full outfit.


And one with my gentleman…


That was the best part. ^_^

Well there you have it. After that long, quick, fun, crazy process, my interpretation of Steampunk Sailor Mercury. More Sailor Scouts will be coming from me, for sure. I am so happy with how this turned out and I can’t wait to start my next costume…and to learn veil poi for realzies!

❤ Sarania