If you’re thinking about making a fancy dress costume for an upcoming event, show or costume party, there are quite a few things to take into consideration before you get started.
With so many variations of costumes and dresses that you can look at online, you’ll want to make sure you choose a costume or dress style that will suit you and the occasion.
With this in mind, here are some useful tips to get started on creating a look and getting the most out of your fancy dress costume. Not only is it a unique way of dressing, but it’s also fun to make your own.
1. Figure out Your Inspiration for the Fancy Dress Costume
When creating adult costumes, you’ll need to first and foremost figure out where to draw your inspiration from and what it is. Whether it’s looking in fashion magazines or at online stores, Googling different eras like Victorian Steam Punk, Downton Abbey, 1920’s Gatsby, Vintage 1950s or the ever popular 1980’s neon new romantic and rock star era.
In doing this, you will be able to create a costume that’s suited to whatever type of situation you find yourself in. It will also help dictate your decision on everything from materials to the style that you are going for.
A good starting point would be to check out the dress code for whatever party or event you’re going to, to help with successfully coming up with an idea…
2. Make Sure Your Measurements Are Precise
It’s imperative that you get your measurements right when creating a dress from scratch. If they’re not precise, you will end up with an ill-fitting costume and creating more work for yourself by then having to alter it to fit you properly… and who has time for extra work… the party is near and we don’t want to be Cinderella!
So don’t rush this procedure, invest your time into measuring yourself correctly. If you’re not sure how to do this, Just Google “How to take body measurements” and follow the guide. This will ensure your costume dress is a perfect fit.
3. Get Your Hands on the Highest Quality Materials
With an abundance of fabrics and textiles available, reach out to a supplier who can assist with all the information you need on choosing the perfect fabric to use when creating the dress. Not only do you need to make sure that the dress looks fabulous thanks to the fabric, but that you get the best longevity from it. The life of your costume depends on the fabric you decide on.
Also take into consideration the care instructions, whether you can simply throw it in your washing machine in hot or cold water, or if it needs to be dry cleaned.
To avoid looking cheap and nasty make sure you choose a fabric that will suit your body shape and feel comfortable to wear. Using Stretch fabrics will alleviate any incorrect measurement because it moulds to your body. You have to be pretty spot on with your measurements when using a non-stretch fabric
5. Find a Sewing Machine That You Can Work With
There are several brands and qualities of sewing machines and overlockers on the market and If you’re brand new to making dresses or costumes, you’ll need to figure out what type of machine will suit your needs.
Industrial machines sew and overlock at increased speeds, and can be difficult to get used to, but practice makes perfect. Once you get a feel for the type you’re comfortable with, keep practising before you jump into sewing up your costume. You’ll be excited and amazed at what you have just produced.
6. Pick The Right Pattern & Size
If time is of the essence, using a pattern is the best way to make your fancy dress costume. It means you won’t have to create the dress from scratch… drafting the pattern… which is another skill in itself, and you’re guaranteed it will look the way it’s supposed to.
To make a costume dress that fits well, make sure you choose the right pattern size. This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people start off with the wrong size, then end up making a million adjustments to make it fit properly. Compare your measurements to those on the back of the pattern envelope. Each pattern company bases sizing on a standard set of body measurements, so you’ll need to know some basic body measurements.
Patterns can be tricky to follow, but all the information you need is on them. When you’re cutting out your pattern, be careful to follow the correct sizing lines, they are usually colour coded.
7. Iron or Steam Your Fabrics Before You Start
The last thing you want is to work with fabric that is wrinkled or difficult to manage. Iron it before laying out your pattern for an accurate cut. It will also help with your stitching line, making it as precise as possible.
Be sure to put the iron on a setting that is suited for the type of fabric that you are working with so that you do not inadvertently damage it.
8. Be Careful When Hemming the Costume
The hemline of your fancy dress costume is an integral part and completes the look of your dress. There are many varieties of hemming methods to choose from which depends on the grain of the fabric you’ve chosen and the way it’s been cut. Fabric can stretch when it’s cut across the grain so for best results, hang your dress overnight to allow for any stretch that most likely will occur.
This is a step that a lot of people lose patience with because it’s the last stage of their creation and they just want it finished, so take the time to hem it correctly, You’ve spent so much time on it so far, the last thing you want is to be trying to straighten out that hemline.
Make the Most of Your Fancy Dress Costume
The feeling you get after creating your own fancy dress costume is exhilarating, so wear your brand new unique hand made a creation with pride!
Whether you’re a complete novice to making fancy costume dresses or just want to brush up on your skills, these are some tips to steer you in the right direction.
However, if you decide that making your own costume from scratch is too much to fathom, just come in an see us, that’s what we’re here for. Whatever the theme, we have a fancy dress costume to make you look fabulous.
In the meantime, check out our site for more inspiration and information on costumes.
Follow these tips so that you can work on a fancy dress costume and other women’s costumes that can help you out.