Leafeon – How It’s Made – Parts 8 & 9

Leafeon gijinka
Photo by Ben Gibson

Welcome back, this week we have my final installment in the Leafeon series! This time around we’re looking at the finishing details of the costume, as well as the structure underneath the skirt. And of course, the previous parts of this series can be found here: Part 1, part 2, parts 3 & 4, parts 5 & 6, and part 7. Away we go!

 

Part 8: The Bustle

 

The bustle was by far the hardest part of this project. I followed a pattern purchased from Truly Victorian. The skirt was constructed much like any other skirt, with the addition of twill tape for boning channels and many flounces at the back.

Once the basic skirt was finished, I used a ruffler foot to make the many flounces. These began as a series of fabric strips stitched together at the selvedges, folded under twice at the bottom and zig zagged along the top. I then gathered the top with a ruffler foot and attached them to the back panel of the skirt.

Leafeon work in progress
My reaction after discovering the magical ruffler foot! No more hand gathering!
Leafeon work in progress
The back panel of the bustle, with all the flounces sewn on.

Once the back panel was finished with bone casings and ruffles, I stitched the rest of the skirt. As soon as this was done, I stiffened the bustle with plastic corset boning from the fabric store. Unfortunately, this boning ended up being too weak to hold up the skirts and collapsed. I ended up replacing this boning with 1/4 “ plastic piping from the hardware store, creating a much more rigid and shapely bustle.

Leafeon work in progress
The bustle with the original, plasting boning.
Leafeon work in progress
The bustle with the new, plastic piping. Much better!

 

Part 9: Miscellaneous Work

Once the dress was complete, the remaining work was in the small details.

Leafeon work in progress
The fan was made by ripping the fabric off of an old souvenir fan and gluing my own embroidered fabric onto the wooden pieces.
Leafeon work in progress
The forehead leaf is stiffened with wire and sewn directly to the wig.
Leafeon work in progress
A coat hanger was bent and put into the ears to keep them standing. This makes them adjustable.. The base of the ears is sewn directly to the wig.
Leafeon work in progress
The coat hanger wire in the ears is braced against the head with a fleece interfacing covered in cream fabric
Leafeon work in progress
The wire loops inside this padding to keep it flat against my head, and keep the ears sticking out.
Leafeon work in progress
It is removable if needed as well.
Leafeon work in progress
The full fingered gloves were made first. They were each made of 3 pieces: Top, bottom and side.
Leafeon work in progress
Due to the fact that they are quite bulky and unattractive [edit: AND HOT], I chose to make a second pair of fingerless gloves as well that I can switch out with these on occasion.

Leafeon work in progress
The finished glove.
Leafeon work in progress
The fingerless gloves were made very simply, and are more of a comfort option for this costume.
Leafeon work in progress
They are made of two pieces, a top and bottom, and are turned under at the fingers and wrist to create a clean edge.
Leafeon work in progress
Comfortable!
Leafeon work in progress
I started the bag by making a small rectangle pocket the size of my phone and putting a zipper in the top of it.
Leafeon work in progress
I then stitched this pocket to a large rectangle of fabric, which I also folded in half to create a second larger pocket with a zipper in the top. This became the bag divider.
Leafeon work in progress
I took a large rectangle of fabric and folded it in half, and gathered the folded edge with my ruffler foot. This became the lining of the bag. The divider was then sewn in at the edges to keep the lining together side to side.
Leafeon work in progress

The outer shell of the bag was gathered with a ruffler foot in the same way the lining was.
Leafeon work in progress
The pieces were then sewn together inside out and reversed to be the right side out.
Leafeon work in progress
The handles were made by folding 1” wide twill tape into double fold bias tape and stitching it shut.
Leafeon work in progress
I made a casing out of twill tape on the inside of the bag and ran the handles through with a safety pin. I stitched the ends of the handles together, forming a loop.
Leafeon work in progress
This created handles that can also pull the top of the bag closed tighter or allow it to open up for larger items.

 

[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> [4.] ArtStor. Web, < http://www.artstor.org> [5.] Carol Belanger Grafton. Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive. New York: Dover, 1999. Print. [8.] Reader’s Digest. New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories. 2002. Print. [9.] Tortora, Phyllis G. and Eubank, Keith. Survey of Historic Costume, 5th Edition. New York: Fairchild Books, 2010. Print. [10.] Reader’s Digest Association (Canada) Ltd. Complete Guide to Needlework. 1979. Print.

 

Thanks for reading! That’s all I have for Leafeon. You can find the finished pictures of this costume in the costume gallery.

Products used in this post:

Learn more about why I use Amazon Affiliate links here.

 

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