Leafeon – How It’s Made – Part 1

leafeon cosplay
Photo by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography

The eeveelutions are a group of Pokemon I adore. I’ve always wanted to make a series of costumes representing the group in my own unique way. The opportunity came to me when I was in a university class studying historical costuming, and we were given a final semester assignment to show what we learned in the course in our own format. I chose to historically recreate a period outfit using accurate materials and construction techniques, demonstrating that I have the capability to do in-depth research as well as accurate costume recreation. I passed this assignment with flying colors and my teacher was astounded with my abilities in historical recreation – even suggesting I switch majors to come work under her in the drama department! I was thrilled. This only further fueled my interest in historical costuming. I decided I would make the entire eeveelution series in Victorian-era dresses using historical patterns.  Leafeon was the first to be made of course, and used accurate historical techniques and materials. This made the dress very heavy, warm, and difficult to take care of. Later eeveelutions dresses were given more freedom and I modified them to make them more wearable at modern conventions.

The following is an excerpt of the make-book for this costume. This document was handed in for my final semester project in my costume history class, and therefore contains many references to learning materials used in the course.

Leafeon Part 1: Planning, Materials & Equipment

 

The original dress in the possession of the V&A museum.
The original dress in the possession of the V&A museum.

I chose to base my dress off of a pattern I found in Patterns of Fashion 2 by Janet Arnold. The original dress is currently in the possession of the Victoria and Albert museum, and a photo of it is available online. The dress is described to be made of two colors of blue silk. It is in 3 main pieces – the bodice, the overskirt, and the skirt. The dress is estimated to have been made circa 1873-5.

A dress I found on ArtStor - The inspiration for my skirt decoration
A dress I found on ArtStor – The inspiration for my skirt decoration

According to Historic Costumes and How To Make Them, popular fabric choices within this time frame included cotton, light wool, satin, taffeta, lace, and silk. I chose to use cotton for the outside, a poly-cotton lining, and polyester trim. I changed the colors of this dress to match Leafeon. I also decided to add some embroidery to further add a leaf element to the dress. Embroidery was often used in this time period, as seen in Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive. Because of leafeon’s colors, I also chose to put less green onto the skirt so that it doesn’t overwhelm the cream color. As a skirt decoration, I chose to follow the pattern of a skirt found on ArtStor.

leafeon
Leafeon, from Pokemon

The original dress is described to be made using a lock-stitch machine, with only the sleeve decorations being hand stitched. It is speculated that it was made by a professional seamstress. I used a modern-day sewing machine for the majority of my work, only hand stitching the embroidery, buttons, and other small details.
The pieces of the original bodice are entirely lined, however it is described that the lining pieces are worked together with the outer pieces as one. This means that there is no separate lining as might be seen on today’s garments. Instead, the seams are visible on the inside of the bodice and are overstitched to neaten them. I followed this technique closely with one exception, which will be noted in Part 4. The rest of the dress is made of a single layer of fabric, with the seams overstitched.

Project Overview

 

Time Log

Patterns 9.5h
– Scaling and Grading: 8.5h
– Tracing: 1h
Fabric Preparation 6.5h
Hand Embroidery 31h
– Collar: 15h
– Buttons: 10.5h
– Leaves: 5.5h
Fabric Cutting 5h
Bodice 13h
Shirt 4h
Overskirt 6.5h
Skirt + Petticoat 16.5h
Bustle 10h
Misc 14h
– Ears: 2h
– Gloves: 3h
– Fan: 4h
– Bag: 3h
– Other: 2h
Total 116h

Materials used

Cream cotton fabric 14m
Cream poly-cotton fabric 11m
White poly-cotton fabric 5m
White cotton sheeting 2m
Green cotton fabric 7m
Dark green cotton fabric 0.5m
Brown fabric 0.3m
Fleece padding 0.2m
Sew-in interlining 6m
Thick fleece interlining 0.2m
Cream lace 9.3m
– Wide stretch lace: 9m
– Cutwork fabric lace: 0.3m
Bias Tape 4.5pkg
– Dark green: 4pkg
– Cream: 0.5pkg
Buttons 40pc
-Small plastic self-cover: 9
-Large plastic self-cover: 30
– XL metal self-cover: 1
Embroidery Floss 8pc
– Light green: 4 skeins
– Dark green: 4 skeins
Embroidery beads 1tube
– Small green glass: 1/3 tube
– Small mixed green glass: 1/3 tube
– Mixed size, mixed green glass: 1/3 tube
1″ White twill tape 8.5m
Tulle ribbon 8.5m
Decorative ribbon 13m
– Shiny white/gold: 9m
– Pleated cream: 4m
Thread 3500m
– Cream: 1500m
– Dark green: 1500m
– White: 500m
1/4″ PVC pipe 10m
Hook and eye closures 7 sets
– Small: 4 sets
– Large: 3 sets
Sew-on pin backs 4pc

References

[1.] Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 2. London: Macmillan, 1977. Print.

[2.] “Day dress, 1873-75. Museum no. T.112 to B-1938. Given by Miss M. Eyre-Poppleton” Victoria and Albert Museum. Web, March 1st 2015. <http://www.vam.ac.uk/users/node/5672>

[3.] Fernald, Mary and Shenton, E. Historic Costumes and How To Make Them. New York: Dover, 2006. Print.

[4.] ArtStor. Web, < http://www.artstor.org>

[5.] Carol Belanger Grafton. Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive. New York: Dover, 1999. Print.

 

That’s all for now, folks! Part 2 will be posted next week, on July 20th, 2016.

Products used in this post:

 

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Leafeon – How It’s Made – Part 2 | Dorothy Thicket

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