Making the theater production version of The Phantom of the Opera Mask of the Red Death costume Pt 2: Them Sleeves!

Oh geeze, these freaking sleeves, man.

Welcome back!
To recap, I made a crap ton of lace to mirror the look of the chosen PotO (see part one post), and now it's on to those amazing and headache inducing sleeves.

Firts things first, I needed to examine the sleeves.
Okay, I really don't know the name of these types of sleeves, I forgot, but it's not like that really matters anyway........

What I needed to do was get the drape and the bell shapes right, but before I could do that, I had to figure out how I was going to make them.

The actual sleeve on the inside is made of that dark brocade fabric that we found at an upholstery store.



They wanted to scam us and say that they only sold it 2 yards min. but we only needed one, so I said "no thanks" and turned to leave. THEN they sold us one yard. Well, they just made sure I'll NEVER buy there again.

I could get into how a LOT of stores in the fabric district are getting way rude and mean and scammy like that, but I won't. I just make a list of places I don't go to anymore and keep it all to myself.

Back to the sleeves...

After geting together my materials, and looking over the ornateness once more, I realized I needed some 'default trip'. SO it was a trip to JoAnns to get some gold lamay-ish fabric and some twine I had at home...


I *think* I made about 35yds of this!

Okay, sleeves!

The fabric for the main costume is a really lovely brocade velvet. It was a great color, beautiful pattern, but way, way too stretchy. Yes, it was a stretch velvet, ugh.
Back to the fabric district!
Okay, after getting some fusible interfacing (some more lace supplies) and a few odds and ends, I'm back to talk sleeves!

Taking the wearer's measurements into consideration, I measured the drape of the bell of the sleeves at about 26" folded in half, twice. After I fixed the fusible to the velvet with a backing of the red polly fabric (pictured above), I cut the 12 strips I'd need. 6 for each arm.


Now, some of you might be thinking, "Shelley, why didn't you just cut the strips AFTER you decorated them!?" 

Well, did you all not just read all the stuff I had to deal with before I even thought of that simple thing to do? Actually, it would have been just as much of a pain to do it that way as well, because I'd have less clearance to fold over the lace and back it. Yes, I know I could have allowed for it, but I was working with a very limited amount of that lace, and I didn't want to make another trip to get stuff.

As if you can't tell, this project made me brain all kinds of cray.

Okay, back to sleeves...

Once I cut the red velvet after it was fused, I added the lace at a diagonal (because I like the pain) and base stitched it into place on my machine.

From there I added the side gold trip and then realized I needed to back the strips with something so you couldn't see all the business.

I backed then with black felt and hand cut it to fit.


In case you were wondering, yup, two colors of thread...


Twelve of these fuckers later!


Whew.

Okay, there is more.
When I was thinking about how to make these sleeves in conjunction with the breastplate of the design, I decided not to attach the sleeves to it, but to attach the sleeves to an actual undershirt.

The sleeves of the undershirt are the actual length of the wearer's arm and fit like a normal sleeve. I did this mainly because it was easier to measure out and tack the bands to an inner sleeve than to use ribbons or some shit inside the big sleeve.

I was going to draw a diagram, but I'm sure you get the idea. I left the side seam open on those inside sleeves (that are in the same solid red as the undershirt) so I could stuff tulle into the sleeves for extra fluffiness. That was the plan (more on that in a later blog post).


With those thoughts in my head, I went to work attaching the bands to the puffy sleeve then attaching ALL THE SLEEVES ALL THE TIME!

Here are all the strips attached to the sleeve all sewn and backed with all the fusible interfacing and lace and EVERYTHING!


They are heavy, yo.


Next week, pt 3. Pants pants pants pants!

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