You’d think that “rip the bottom part of a dress to shreds” would be a simple, straightforward thing to do for a costume, no? But no, it’s not that easy, because it has to be artistically ripped so it displays the optimal amount of tentacle (never thought I’d find myself saying those particular words), but still looks like a wedding dress. I thought I’d do a high-low hem, so it would show more tentacle in front and get longer in the back, kind of like a train. I took a deep breath, and started cutting, intending to make the edges jagged once I got the shape right.
So, you know how when you were a kid your mom would cut your bangs, and keep trying to get it even, trimming, trimming, and then when she finally let you look in the mirror, it would look awful because she never stepped back to see the big picture?
Yeah, that happened. I can’t even take pictures, I’m so depressed.
I have my high-low hem, but it just looks terrible– it doesn’t just reveal the tentacles, it looks unbalanced, awkward, nothing like what I’d envisioned. The sweeping lines of the skirt are completely gone, and the whole thing looks all squat and pudgy and unattractive. I just finished the dress– which could’ve been a really nice Vanessa costume in its own right– and now I’m feeling serious remorse for the butchery I’ve inflicted on it. What have I done?!?
I’ve spent this evening staring at the dress (avoiding looking at the photos of it in pristine condition from just this morning), trying desperately not to freak out, and pinning it in various configurations, hoping that I can make something of the fabric I didn’t cut off. I tried gathering the skirt about halfway up on each side, making kind of a pannier effect to hide the gaping holes in the fabric– it’s not hideous, but it’s not great either. I thought about shifting the high-low to one side, making a dramatic swath of fabric to make the most of the Frankendress look– nope, looks awful. I used painter’s tape to tape off a proposed ragged edge, hoping that it was just that I hadn’t committed fully enough to the original cutting– definitely a no-go. I used Photoshop to help visualize what I could do to the dress to make it look halfway decent (should’ve done that in the first place), and I think I may have come up with a temporary plan:
I’m going to re-attach some of the fabric I cut off in my original hack-job, to bring the dress back to its original state (as much as possible, anyway). Luckily I cut off a bunch of the train in a fairly large piece, so I can do this. Once it’s close to being back to normal I’ll re-evaluate. Clearly, the ripped effect at the bottom isn’t going to work. I need to figure out how to re-design the costume completely– I have some ideas, but this time around I’ll refrain from doing any actual cutting until I’ve considered all possibilities.
Keep your fingers crossed for me! If this doesn’t work out I may be put off costuming forever… Or at least for a few months.