When my friends said they wanted to do an Addams Family skit at SDCC, I immediately knew which characters I wanted to create. My friend, C, who was our exalted leader laid claim to Morticia. C is fairly tall and wanted the chance to play a tall character (ala Angelica Houston's Morticia). I put in my bid for Wednesday.
Given our height differential, I was pretty sure I could get this role as it would make me seem more of a "little girl.". LOL I had my own backup Adams character, but I really wanted to play Wednesday. The costume would be relatively easy to create and the look is fairly iconic that I would be able to wear this costume more than once :-)
I initially made the pattern from a simple sloper pattern. In the following photos, I've already made the first set of adjustments to my pattern (having forgotten to take photos from earlier steps). The blue tape indicates the adjustments I made to the original pattern.
- Changed the slope of the neckline for the front and back.
- Changed the angle of the left back shoulder, as one shoulder is slightly more muscular than the other. (Which means that I have to cut the shoulder slightly bigger than the other.)
- Lengthened the front & back pieces
- Increased the angle of the side seams for both the front & back.
The mockup for the dress fit rather well.
After I was happy with the mockup, I started with the actual fabric. I used a 85% linen / 35 % rayon linen blend. 100% linen wrinkles if you even look at it funny, and I wanted it to survive being packed repeatedly with minimal ironing. The lining was just a black rayon fabric.
When making the dress, I started the lining, in case I had to make any last minute adjustments. I had to mark which shoulder was for my left and which was for my right because they are different cuts. (Even I got confused at one point and had to 'reverse' my markings.)
I serged all of linen & lining edges, just because I could. Also, this was linen and I didn't want any additional fraying.
The garment and lining are created separately, but I did not "bag line" the finished product, but the lining is carefully tacked in at the shoulders and each seam is sewn separately with an edging.
I created the collars & cuffs much earlier (see this post) I pinned the collar and sleeves to ensure that it looked about right. I eventually basted these pieces onto the dress AFTER I added buttons and buttonholes, because, I didn't want them to get too dirty.
Then it was a matter of aligning the buttons and button holes. I used this handy-dandy buttonhole gauge to evenly space out where I want the buttons. First, I pinned where I wanted the first button, then used the spacer to mark out the exact number of buttons I wanted to use. Pins and chalk marked the rest.
The button holes were easy to add. My sewing machine does a very good job at button holes. However, sewing on all of those buttons took several evenings.
For a bit of fun, I added a special bit of Addams' to the top button, right next to the collar. I think Wednesday would approve.
The finished dress looked awesome. It was finished with a pair of tights and an existing pair of black shoes that I already owned
In addition to the dress, I opted to style a wig. My hair isn't long enough to make two sets of ponytails. So I purchased a very long wig that was approximately the same color as my own hair, which is the same color as Wednesday, and started braiding. It took a long while to look correct, but it was well worth it.
Ironically, I have a ton of different black wigs of varying lengths and cuts, despite my own hair being black.
Here's one of the photos of the whole group taken backstage.