Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Christine - Love Never Dies Construction Log

Christine’s aria dress

From the Australian production of the musical Love Never Dies

Fun Facts

300+ hours of work spread over 10 months (including research, learning new techniques and occasional swearing)
12 meters of silk dupioni
40 meters of organza
More than 200 organza petals on the train
200 Swarovski crystals
1.5 meters of rhinestone chain
8 pairs of earrings
Plus over 150 grams of seed beads


Made to an Edwardian pattern and altered to fit my shape.
Single layer coutil, flat felled seams, spring steel boning.
Cotton lace trim. Hand embroidered flossing.

Toile inside 

 Toile outside

 Busk inserted, bust gores

 Flat felled seams

Completed corset outer

Completed corset inner (waist tape, boning channels visible)

 Completed corset worn (front)

Completed corset worn (back)


Made from cotton with lace trim.
Socks were commissioned from a specialty Victorian sock maker in the UK who uses a period accurate Victorian/Edwardian pattern.


Photos of the shoes from the production were kindly provided to me by Steppin’ Out in Sydney, the company who made the originals. While I wasn’t able to procure the blocks and materials to create the shoes from scratch, I did manage to alter a pair of pre-existing shoes and cover them to match as closely as possible.

Originals (photo thanks to Steppin’ Out)

Shoes as purchased 

 During covering process

Completed shoes


Original from the Hamburg production


 Planning organza layout
 Planning petal layout

 Completed skirt top

Completed skirt front

 Skirt front with belt

Bodice is made from silk dupioni with cotton drill inner and lining. Spiral steel boning. Bodice was draped over a dress form and adjusted over the corset on my body before the final bodice pieces were cut. Inner, lining and outer are whip stitched together by hand.
Beaded trim was also made from a combination of Czech beads and Swarovski crystals. Each strand of beads is individually knotted to prevent breakage disasters!

 Toile worn

Creating the beaded trim

Inner layer front and back

 During a fitting, before beaded motif was added

 Prior to addition of organza wings and final sleeve adjustment. Beading was removed and re-done.

 Final bodice front

Belt train

Draped and cut from silk with pleated organza “petals” in three shades hand sewn. Fully lined.

Original Australian production train

Australian production front

Draped toile

Pleated organza petals cut and finished with heat

Beginning to place petals

Final placement of petals

Beginning to bead belt front

Belt front worn

Belt back worn


Back of hair from original Australian production

Top/side of hair from original Australian production

Front of hair from original Australian production

Ventilating fringe with additional hair

 Setting curls

 Front and back of final wig


Made from strands of rhinestones and chopped up earrings. Joined together with a combination of soldering and E6000 glue. Designed slightly smaller to accommodate my bigger bust (and the resulting higher neckline of my dress to keep my cleavage contained).

Original Australian production necklace
Necklace WIP
 Final necklace worn


Made from lycra to match the colour of the dress.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Deadpool Was Awesome - But I'm Dreading the Cosplayers. Here's Why.

With Deadpool at Event Cinemas George St earlier this month.

I'm not going to review Deadpool. It was a much better movie than I had been expecting and gave the character some of the depth he so often lacks. I enjoyed it.

But as I left the cinema I realised that the biggest problem with this movie's release is likely to be the resurgence in Deadpool cosplayers at conventions. Let me put a disclaimer here, because I know someone out there will accuse me of saying the opposite without actually reading this:

Everyone should always be able to cosplay as whomever and whatever they want.

And that includes Deadpool. The reason I'm so concerned about a resurgence of Deadpool cosplayers is that my experiences with many of them in the past have been less than positive. Most cosplayers understand that being in costume does not give you free rein to act like an asshole - even if the character they're cosplaying is an asshole themselves. People cosplaying as the Wicked Witch don't go around trying to take people's shoes or throwing fireballs at scarecrows. Why is it that so many Deadpool cosplayers seem to think that rubbing their junk on people is not only acceptable but amusing? It's not. You're not in a movie. The world does not revolve around you. The audience is not giggling at you pretending to teabag someone. You're just being a dick.

This is where the danger of seeing "cosplay" as including acting like a character comes in. It's all well and good to genuinely pretend to be a Disney princess the whole time you're in the costume. A Batman cosplayer who runs around "saving" people and chucking foam batarangs around may be a bit of a laugh. Until one of the batarangs clips someone in the eye. But while one character's personality may be totally acceptable in polite society, many more are not. Which brings me to my next big, bold, underlinged and italicised point:

Being in costume does not give you a free pass to be an asshole. Ever.

Part of the awesome power of cosplay is being able to spend a few hours as someone else. A character you love or admire. One you connect with. But it's important to remember that you are still responsible for your actions, good and bad, when you're in costume.

Deadpool seems to be one of those characters some people cosplay as just because they want the opportunity to act like a dick. People like that have given so many wonderful, considerate cosplayers a bad name. Not all Deadpool cosplayers are assholes, but the ones that are have been so predominant in the Sydney convention scene that I can't help feeling a little bit of resentment whenever a red and black suit passes by. I'm certain that in time I will get over that. But I'm not sure that the general public, being assualted by a hoarde of assholes dressed as Deadpool and calling themselves cosplayers, will care to.

Don't give us all a bad name. If your behaviour wouldn't be acceptable in normal clothing, it's not acceptable in cosplay either.