AMBER LOVE 09-APR-2013 This past weekend, I attended the CGS Supershow in Reading, PA which is more like a family reunion than a comic con, if you could choose your family. This year the show was filled to brim with great guests but despite that, attendance seemed low and programming and activities were noticeably different than previous years. That didn’t impact me at all since I wasn’t at a table to sell merchandise in order to cover my costs. I was there with only three copies of SHAKESPEARE SHAKEN. My focus was about the Delirium dress this time.
Due to some personal and medical issues, I made the decision a few days before Supershow to completely alter my plans about the dress. Instead of making it there at the show as I had done with my Black Widow costume, I made the dress at night after work and only displayed it at the booth. A few people were kind enough to say they were looking forward to seeing me do the live demo but I knew making it beforehand was the best choice for me.
I used Vogue pattern 8727. By Step 2 I had problems with fusible interfacing that would then affect every step until the end. It was my first time working with a large repeating pattern. I didn’t know how to lay out the pattern pieces and avoid the image being caught in seams. I laid it out just as the instructions said to which would only work for a small pattern like the green and yellow one I wore to Wizard Philly in 2012 using this very same pattern.
The first problem was that my plan was to break up the visual of the dress into a top and skirt look. Since the repeating Delirium image was so vibrant and busy, I wanted to replace it on top with a solid. I bought a dark blue with glitter fabric because I liked the effect even though it was too thick for this style. I began cutting it and realized I didn’t have enough so I tossed it out and went back to Joann’s where I got a thinner and silky style grey that was nicely textured. I think the grey was a better choice for it because it doesn’t compete with the skirt. Plus, the image of Delirium has her wearing a grey top with her long skirt.
Each step of the construction was then altered to get some kind of solution after the interfacing problem. I have the lining actually stitched to the fabric around the bottom hem which it isn’t supposed to be. I had to install the zipper in a completely different and messy fashion because the lining of the top and the fabric were acting as one piece instead of having the zipper sandwiched between them. Those are all things that aren’t noticeable from the outside anyway. What is noticeable is that the side seams of the grey top and the skirt portion don’t match up on one side. I also think it would look better with a belt.
I thought this whole Delirium project was clever. I’ve seen plenty of people craft corsets with comic book or DOCTOR WHO fabric. I was never claiming to be original about making a pinup dress inspired by a comic character. Nonetheless when my dress was on display and I someone rudely ask, “What is it?” I wanted to punch a wall and fire guns and scream very loudly. It’s a dress. There’s no way to mistake it for something else. There’s a top attached to a skirt and it zips up the back just like half the fashion out there.
On Sunday afternoon, Ashley put the Delirium dress on for the first time. It actually looked quite good on her which was a miracle considering all my mistakes and not having any fittings. She accessorized with an adorable mini top hat fascinator that she decorated with little sculpted icons to represent all of Gaiman’s Endless family members.
If you like the Delirium design, it’s available on Spoonflower.com which allows you to choose from different fabrics (e.g., cottons, silks, crepe, and linen) and how you would like the image to repeat. You can also order a “fat quarter” for quilting. Please follow artist Bill Ellis who designed it. He and his partner Dani O’Brien have a webcomic called ALL NEW ISSUES that shows geeks in their normal human everyday lives and awkward situations. You can find them at conventions to purchase the trade paperbacks of the ANI and get on Bill’s commission list. They are part of the Wild Pig Comics crew in New Jersey so it’s likely you would also find them at one of the famous Wild Pig 50% off sales that happen twice a year.
Aside from the Delirium project, I attended the Kickstarter panel at Supershow. If I can muster the strength, I’ll write that up as a recap also but honestly, I know CGS will air it in a couple weeks at comicgeekspeak.com.