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Topic: need help making costume  (Read 2052 times)
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Joined: 02-Mar-2005

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« on: April 14, 2005 07:59:36 PM »

hey all
i am going to a fancy dress party soon and i want to go as a french maid but being on a budget i cant afford much i cant even afford a pattern cos they are like 20 buks at my nearest place
any ideas how i can make one on a budget??
thanks all

when i read about the evils of drinking ... i gave up reading
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2005 09:31:17 AM »

First of all, YIPES at the pattern cost! What fabric stores do you have that they are that expensive? I would check around at all of them (including any big Walmart and the like store that have fabric departments) and just check to see if they have a pattern sale on. I know I just bought a pattern at JoAnn's yesterday for like $1.29. Butterick and McCall's I think were both at that price.

'Nyways, here's my idea, if you can't get a pattern. Presumably you own and or can beg borrow or steal a black shirt and skirt OR a black dress that'll fit reasonably well. I reckon since french maids are a notoriously "naughty" costume, you can even get away with a black miniskirt and tee. Because I figure that the only especially distinctive bit about a French Maid costume is the frilly little apron and maybe one of those weird hats (you could prolly make that out of a paper doily).

So to make the apron, I would try hitting a thrift store for a white slip skirt. Even a full slip would work. I wouldn't think this would cost you more than $5. Now, rip the side seams out of the skirt, up close to the elastic (I would assume) waistband. Cut the back off the skirt, leaving the elastic waistband plus about half an inch to hem it. Hem that and the ripped seams. Now you have the bottom half of the apron, which rather than tying in the back like a real apron will just slip on over top of the black skirt.  Now for the top bit... cut two strips off the remaining piece of the slip (from the top or the sides, whichever you think will work best. Hem the remaning large piece, as well at the side of the strips. Attach the strips to the frilly, used-to be the bottom of you slip-piece and now you should be able to tie it around your neck. Depending on how it looks, either tuck the top part into the waistband of the bottom part, or sew it togother. You might hit a craft/fabric store for a yard or two of white lace to uber-frillify it, but it depends on your budget/time/skill constraints. Also, a feather duster would be a great "accessory" for this, tied to the waistband of something, and you may be able to pick one up at a dollar store or Walmart for cheap.

I think that this whole outfit would come together for between $5 and $10 depending on what you already have, and how much what you do have to buy costs.

Oh, and if you somehow don't have the black dress/skirt-and-shirt check in the rest of this forum for directions on making them easily, or thrift them maybe.

Tig Gooseberry Tartlet
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2005 10:12:39 PM »

Wow, that'll be quite a party if everyone comes in similarly exciting outfits!  Cheesy

Zlana's great tutorial will definitely cover you for the apron.  I agree on the black minidress/miniskirt + black top, and you can get those for super-cheap at any thrift store.  Then just add these accessories:

- lace cuffs: buy some lace (the long skinny kind, like ribbon) and sew two pieces together along the edges.  Then thread elastic through this casing and sew shut to make a circle.  Voila!  Or if you're really pressed for time, tie or safety-pin a strip of lace around each wrist.

- lace choker: tie a piece of lace around your neck with the knot in the back

- headpiece: tie a piece of lace around your head like a hairband.  If you have time, sew a doily (as Zlana suggested) or extra lace on top.

- black fishnets and black high-heels: these are a must for any self-respecting French maid.

Oh, and don't forget that feather duster!  You can get one at the dollar store.
Have fun!  Grin

"What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust."  - Salvador Dali
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2005 08:48:43 PM »

thanks !!!!!!!!!!!
some great ideas and great help im all set just gotta get to the second hand shop !!!
im an aussi and we dont have a walmart Sad
i dont know why but our patterns seem to be so expensive
i dont know of any place that sells them cheap Sad
but yeah off op-shopping 2morrow Cheesy yay
and then will raid my wardrobe 2morrow as well
once again thanks
Cant wait !!!!!!

when i read about the evils of drinking ... i gave up reading
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2005 08:56:28 PM »

So glad to be of help! And I love Tigralon's suggestions too.

And in mentioning Walmart, I just meant that catagory of store. I'm sure y'all have some sort of mega-store places.

Oh, and you being in Australia explains the pattern price a bit; $20 to you is I think more like $15 US which is a bit less unusual for regular prices on patterns. I never cease to be amazed that patterns fairly frequently go on sale for a dollar or two but normally sell for $10 to $15. That's a weird pricing scheme.

Anyhow, I'm so glad you're psyched and if you have a camera, or if anyone at the party maybe does, I'd love to see how it comes out! Smiley

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