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Topic: Evil Queen Collar  (Read 9451 times)
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Tricky Ginger
« on: May 05, 2014 01:07:17 PM »

Hi all!

Long time reader and first time finally posting here. hopefully this is in the right spot...

So I'm cobbling together an Evil Queen get up and am using a Snow White pattern I have for the cape.
I plan to make it look a wee bit more sinister by shaping the collar more pointy and adding a fur trim around the hem. I'm also going to be hot gluing a bunch of feathers to the collar so my concern is keeping the collar upright. The pattern says to simply use interfacing but with the added feathers weighing it down I'd like to reinforce it more.

Making it even more difficult on my rudimentary skills- I'd like the collar to slightly curve outwards rather than shoot straight up.
I've been researching boning vs. wires. and am clueless how to make that happen.

Also, any tips on best fabric to use? I don't really care as it will be covered with feathers. It will be white however and the underside will show- not sure yet if I'm going to put feathers on that part.

I'd appreciate any sage counsel!

« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014 02:18:17 PM »

Hello Smiley

Firstly, that sounds like an awesome project, and I wish you the very best with it.

Regarding interfacing, when I'm worried about something not standing stiff enough, I'll get heavy iron-on interfacing, and use that to reinforce both the lining and the outer.  However, the larger the fabric piece is, the more likely this won't provide enough strength.

If I want the piece being reinforced to be flat or only bend in one direction, I usually turn to card or cardboard, depending on the garment.  Although I'll bet there's probably a more conventional solution, could someone could fill in some details on that?

I've worked with wires before, mostly in hats.  In case you haven't found this in your research, I believe the normal procedure to be sewing a small channel for it to sit in, then feeding it through and closing any gap.  It can work well, but it's tricky to guess the gauge (thickness) of the wire you'll need.  Too thin and it'll bend under the weight of the fabric itself.  Even if that doesn't happen, the wire can be bent whilst you're wearing the garment. 
But my trouble mostly stems from the fact that my local craft store doesn't like you bending their wires to test if that's the one you want, as any kinks can be difficult to smooth out.  If you do choose wire, don't worry about kinks in it, as they'll be hidden between the fabric - you'll know they're there, and they can be felt, but they aren't generally noticeable.

As for boning, again you need to sew a just wide enough channel for them into the lining with small stops of the same fabric.  Plastic (rigilene?) boning is quite easy to work with and not as daunting as it might seem.  Just remember not to cut it with your dressmaker's scissors or you'll blunt them. 
I usually don't cut the boning to the right length without pushing it into the channel first.  This allows you to check the channel is the correct width and strength of seam before it's too late, and you can get absolutely the right length you need from the boning without wasting any.
I usually find this boning stays curling the same direction it was coiled in, but maybe I've missed a trick with it myself?

Not entirely sure what fabric I'd recommend, but I'd encourage you to look at furnishing fabric, just to see if any of that seems to match the kind of design and weight of fabric you're looking for.  I've made some cool dresses and capes from brocade and jacquard before.

Have you thought about potentially using wire and inserting it into the quill of the feathers, then burying the bald part of the feather inside the channel within the collar?  You might have to still use hot glue to make sure the wire and feather stay put on the collar.

Anyway, as my final point, I would say that you what technique you feel comfortable with should play a part in how you construct your collar.  You know your own skill set and manual dexterity levels better than anyone else

If you have any more questions about it that you think I could help answer, I'll be here. 
Look forward to hearing what technique(s) you use, and hopefully seeing your finished article Smiley

~*~ Aspire not to have more, but to be more ~*~
Tricky Ginger
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014 02:58:08 PM »

wow thanks for the detailed response!
I understand what you mean about creating reinforcement for the boning or wiring. Would the boning be going horizontally or vertically or both? This served only to make me realize I am NOT capable of this!


as far as the fabric- I'm just looking for what would be easiest to work with (hot glue to death) and be sturdy w/o being too heavy or flimsy. A jacquard sounds good thanks.

As far as the feathers I'll be using these:
http://thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/pict/251457823558_1.jpg  I've also got a lot of other white loose feathers I plan to do individually. I doubt it will EVER look like this but another inspiration:

My evil queen will be an amalgam of different "inspirations" coupled with a purple sequin dress I'm hacking up and trying to turn into something gownish.  So it doesn't have to be traditional or exact. I'm a horribly inpatient "craftster"!

thanks again for all the info!
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014 12:04:14 AM »

I absolutely think you can do this Smiley
Just be prepared to have to re-do it or rethink your strategy, and/or do some experiments with the materials first.

If it were boning I'd put it vertically only, but if it was wire then something more like your wired ruff would probably give more strength.

Here's a tutorial that describes how I've used boning before - to give a little more form to a bodice :
And it explains where I've been going wrong with the boning curling.  I thought there'd be some way of reshaping it that I was missing.

Those are some really cool feathers there Smiley
When I was suggesting the feathers and wires, I was thinking of individual feathers like this:

I absolutely know what you mean with being not traditional or exact, I'm like that myself.  I try to make something look like I want it to by any means I can, then wonder what the 'proper' method is after I'm done.  Sometimes that means I end up redoing things, or not past the point of no return without making sure I've got the effect I wanted.

Hope this helps you some more.  I think it's always good to share knowledge Smiley

~*~ Aspire not to have more, but to be more ~*~
Tricky Ginger
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014 09:55:20 AM »

That's a great tutorial thanks! It's demystified the process a bit.  Hopefully all will go well and I'll update down the road.  Going to nit and pick at this.

I just realized the cape and collar aren't even attached in my pattern! I guess the collar is attached to the dress. These are the engineering bits I'll end up ripping my hair out over. My dress has no sleeves to adhere the beast to which was my first plan because I don't want it to tie in front.

Nice to know I'm not the only one to learn how to do things AFTER the fact and rips and resews like a mad woman! At least this isn't a wedding dress and I've got time...
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014 01:16:06 AM »

what fun!

to make the collar curve outward, cut it in several pieces (maybe 3 or 5, I don't think you want a seam at center back) shaped like triangles without points (I forget the math term for that)  with the sides curved inward as much as you'd like the collar to curve outward.  So a slight curve in the pattern piece will make a slight curve in the collar, and a deep curve will make a dramatic swoop in the collar.

I would use buckram as a base for the collar--that's a coarse, woven fabric heavily stiffened with starch  Good fabric stores will have it with interfacing, or you can order online.  You can cut it flat, stitch the pieces together, then even have the option to shape it with steam.  Do not get it wet, or it will be soggy and limp!

If you use wire, you can machine zigzag it onto the buckram (or onto your interfaced base fabric if not using buckram) along the seams and/or parallel to the seams.   Use a pressure foot with a gap or channel in the bottom if you have one.

Alternatively, you can hand stitch boning OR wire onto the buckram instead of making channels--much easier! 

After applying either the wire or boning, I would cover both sides of the buckram with 'most any kind of  fabric. 

Regina's collar looks like it is dark purple or blue sheer fabric gathered over a base of bright purple (or even pink) opaque fabric.  I love the varied color you get with sheer over opaque.

You could make the collar a separate piece on its own, with a simple harness that attaches to your body UNDER the dress.  That's especially good for big, heavy collars like on Vegas showgirls. 

Sometimes the collar boning is extended down the back to a band under the bust; additional support bands go over the shoulders and cross between the breasts.  Neither of the collars you show would need that much support, unless you use too much hot glue (hate the stuff) on your feathers! 

I would stitch on big feathers; again, you can use a machine zigzag, then hide it with your final layer of fabric underneath.  Or use tacky glue, or maybe I'd try clear silicone glue to attach the feathers.  But do your own thing!

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
Tricky Ginger
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014 09:38:08 AM »

thanks for those ideas!

I've always wanted to try buckram for hat making but was intimidated. I thought you were supposed to get it wet, you just sew it on? I came across this where she used 2 pieces- one for each collar piece:
doesn't look like she did anything special to it tho.

that's a cool idea about stitching boning onto the buckram. I need to support that puppy.

I can't post pics but on my pattern it has a sort of second part to the collar for the underside so that when you sew it on the dress it basically reacts to that - oh gosh I'm doing a terrible job describing it...
but since I won't be attaching it to the dress I might try attaching to cape and/or making a halter using elastic around my arms but that's down the road.

that's a good idea about stitching on the feathers. It comes on a band of ribbon so should be easy enough to do. Haven't gotten in mail yet. I do have other glues to use for the additional loose feathers you may be right that it would be better to use those.

I love the look of the sheer over the opaque as well but doubtful that type of attention to detail will find its way into my finished product! My goal is for the thing to stand up sporting feathers.

My problem is I usually take a stab at something, realize it's all wrong and often end up starting over. I was trying to be SMART this time and anticipate trouble ahead. I already know that's not going to happen! As soon as I cut out my cape pieces I realized- nope this is ALL WRONG and started hacking at it, creating pleats and basically doing my own thing. I choose to think this is me being "creative" rather than unable to follow pattern directions!

for fun here's another "inspiration". Her collar is super rad and perfect shape. I love the Evil Queen so! I never wanted to be a "princess" growing up and felt the Queen was the paragon of beauty.
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014 01:53:49 PM »

I would use buckram as a base for the collar--that's a coarse, woven fabric heavily stiffened with starch  Good fabric stores will have it with interfacing, or you can order online.  You can cut it flat, stitch the pieces together, then even have the option to shape it with steam.  Do not get it wet, or it will be soggy and limp!

A very good idea!  I've heard of buckram but never used it before.  I might give it a try next time I want a reinforced piece for a garment.

for fun here's another "inspiration". Her collar is super rad and perfect shape. I love the Evil Queen so! I never wanted to be a "princess" growing up and felt the Queen was the paragon of beauty.

I love this collar.  That kind of wireframe look is very striking, especially in black Smiley
It's a very strong and impressive kind of beautiful

~*~ Aspire not to have more, but to be more ~*~
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2014 01:34:08 PM »

For hat making, you get the buckram wet, then stretch it over a hat block and let it dry.  I've used the same technique for mask making. 
For supporting large flattish things like your collar, keep the buckram dry.

The Elizabethan collar pictures you posted are actually using crinoline, a much lighter version of buckram.  You'd have to use multiple layers of crinoline to equal one layer of buckram.  Since it's only a 2-piece pattern, it doesn't swoop out like the evil queen's collar.  oops gotta go, husband wants computer

For the halter; I wouldn't use elastic, it could make the collar bounce when you walk.  Though that might be a cool effect, it's more comical than evil.  You could make the halter decorative and wear it OVER the dress.  That would make it easier to get dressed, or to dump the collar when it gets too annoying during a party.

Feathers; cool they're on a strip.  make sure you attach the strip far enough down the collar that the feathers don't flop around.  Again, goofy not evil.

Trying something new, realizing it doesn't work, and trying something else IS the creative process.  If you're not screwing up, you're not trying hard enough.

Oooh, that new evil queen's collar is cool!  If you enlarge the picture of her looking in the mirror, you can see the pieces of the sleeve are attached in some mysterious way.  I wonder what that stuff is...maybe some new wonder material we didn't have when I was a costumer, um, a long time ago.  Oh, my, I just did the math, it was a very long time ago!

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
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