I knew from about July of 2011, that I was planning to go to Connichi in Germany in 2012. I also knew I wanted to take pictures in Nordlingen, the town that Gold Crown Town is modeled after. While that didn't happen in the end, it was still my primary motivation for choosing a Princess Tutu related costume. By October of 2011, I had decided on Rue's fire festival dress.
Scroll down, or Click Here to read about how I made this costume.
VARIATION: Fire Festival
COMPLETED: Summer 2012
DEBUTED: Connichi 2012
WORN TO: Connichi 2012, KatsuCon 2013, Nan Desu Kan 2013, Anime Banzai 2018, UshiCon 2019
CONSTRUCTION TIME: ~ 2 Months
The wig is a Derek from Arda Wigs, in their Dark Brown. I created a bun by wrapping matching extensions over a styrofoam ball and attaching it to a comb that slides into the wig for easy wear. I trimmed the side bangs a little, but the wig otherwise required very little styling.
The hat is one of my favorite parts of this costume. I created the base by meticulously bending and shaping sheets of wire mesh, then soaking thin interfacing in glue and more or less fabric-mache-ing the wire mesh. I cut, heated, and formed 2 layers of craft foam over this, to create the base of the hat. The domed shape is covered in a matte pale-lavender satin, and the ruffles were gathered and sewn on by hand. The rose I made from a tutorial I found online, using the same custom-dyed shantung that I used in my sleeves and over-skirt. The edges were cut and burnt, and the whole thing secured to a pin so that I could attach it to the hat cleanly. A comb has been hand-sewn to the inside, so that it stays in the wig, but can be adjusted easily.
The collar I made by hand using grosgrain and satin ribbon, all gathered and sewn by hand, secured in back with hook-and-eyes. The teardrop was a faceted plastic teardrop that I painted in metallic green and stitched to the collar by hand with clear thread. If you'd like to know more about how to make your own Elizabethan style ruffs, I made a tutorial from my experiences - it can be found under Tutorials & Vlogs
The bodice is the piece that took probably the most work. I started with a costume pattern with the right neckline and seam lines, and tore it apart from there. I re-fitted the bodice, as well as extended it to have the point front. The sleeves were COMPLETELY custom, having been made about TWICE the size of the pattern, lengthened, and then split up fro the different colored sections. The holes are faced, and the gathered lavender lace sewn to a lining piece, just immediately around the holes, to reduce bulk and weight. the entire puff sleeve is attached to a fitted sleeve which goes all the way up to the shoulder, and is stuff with soft tulle to help it keep the shape. The darkest burgundy fabric is a 'coat lining' that I picked up, while the lightest pink (used in the very front of the bodice, and the underskirt) was a red-tag home-dec fabric from JoAnn. The medium-colored fabric in the sleeves, as well as the entire overskirt, was original a 'rose' satin-back shantung from JoAnn, which I spent HOURS custom dying using iDye Poly. The cross-lines on the bodice were created by drafting the grid on a piece of paper, tracing that grid to interfacing, and then basting the interfacing using those lines, on the center bodice piece. those stitches were used as the guide-lines to heat-and-bond burgundy ribbon, which was then COMPLETELY covered in a satin stitch. The ruffles on the sleeves were made from box-pleated white casa crepe. The entire bodice is fully lined, with an invisible zipper upside-down in the center back.
The shawl was custom-dyed 'costume sheer' from JoAnn, with the edges finished by zig-zag stitching, trimming, and singeing the remaining threads. The overskirt and Underskirt are separate pieces, which layers over a 2-hoop skirt I bought on Ebay, and a customized petticoat that I sewed extra netting into, to create the shape I wanted. The braid was hand-sewn all around the over-skirt, as well as on the sleeves.