Monday, October 24, 2011

Hocus Pocus

 "I've put a spell on you, and now you're mine."

Why should Halloween be only one day a year? Let's celebrate it all week long, shall we?
We Shall! And I'm going to start with one of my favorite costumes I've ever made. It's Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus! 

Here's the background on this beauty. First of all, the lovely lady in the photos is really a man. His name is Jordan. And here's the background on the background; when I first moved to NYC three years ago as a lowly costume intern I lived in the apartment in these photos with two other girls (okay, this is only the stairwell, but still). I didn't really like the girls, but they had three friends (who just happened to be gay) living in the apartment above them that I really hit it off with. Jordan was the ring leader and a drag queen. True Love.

You know what else is true love? At least for Jordan here? The fact that he only paid me $50 plus the cost of fabric to make him this wonderful outfit. I was so broke living as in intern that I didn't want to charge him too much for fear he would balk at the cost and not let me build it for him at all. That $50 went toward apple picking upstate with Mike before we where dating, instead of on anything essential like food, rent, or my metro card... Responsible, I know.

But back to my story.

Fun Fact: I love drag costumes! There is something magical about transforming a man into a woman and I love to figure out how to make that happen! Also, it's pretty much the only time where the rule more glitter, more better applies without fear of going overboard. 

So now let me tell you about the costume itself. It's three pieces; the underskirt, the long jacket with attached bodice, and the busk (the piece down CF that is inserted before lacing since it doesn't kiss when laced. you can see it as a purple point in the top picture sticking out of the bodice).

I draped the top half of the jacket and flat patterned the sleeves, jacket skirt, and underskirt. I may have just done it on the fabric and then cut it out, I don't have a paper pattern anywhere that I can find.

I think I bought 5 yards of the chenille for the jacket and 5 yards for the skirt? Then just one yard of the purple on his bodice and bust. I remember talking the man who sold me the chenille down to $5 a yard...

One of my prouder bargaining moments.

The jacket is most intense piece. I wanted this to go together as quick as possible, so I combined what should have been a separate bodice with the long jacket. It's four skirt panels, the two at side front being half panels so you see the underskirt. Then the jacket has large bell sleeves and a half stand collar (piped, of course). The bodice part I built separately and then attached as one piece after it was finished since the jacket was so heavy to work with. I also attached all the piping on the jacket right before I connected the two pieces. The bodice has steal bones running down CF for some support for his fakes as well as gold eyelets and two frog closures that function but are mainly just for decoration. The busk is just a rectangle with more steal bones and two triangles at the top and bottom to make it look interesting. I need something there since we didn't want the jacket to kiss when laced.

The underskirt is super simple, just a five piece skirt with an open placket in back since the jacket will always cover it. Why five pieces when four would have worked, you ask? Because only the CF panel is purple velvet! Remember when I said this was done on the cheap? Even crappy velvet is pricey, and we wanted something nice. So the rest of the skirt you don't see is made of crappy purple satin to save some money. Brilliant, I know.

Oh, and as for the amount of love that went into this project, all the gold symbols on his sleeves and down the CF of his jacket were painted by hand.

Like I said, true love. And boy do I love how this costume turned out! Almost makes me believe in magic.

And on a side note, I'm super excited because today I start a new job!! Which I know is going to be crazy so don't look for any new projects from me for a while, at least until this new show goes into previews!


  1. this with a fiery passion! I hope the new job is going well!!