Hello! I was wondering if you had any tips or tutorials for a character I plan on making! His name is ivlis from the grey garden and I’m stuck on which fabric or how to make everything!

Hello! I was wondering if you had any tips or tutorials for a character I plan on making! His name is ivlis from the grey garden and I’m stuck on which fabric or how to make everything!


Hello there!

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If you are struggling with the entire costume, I would recommend breaking it down into more manageable pieces before starting. Things like the pants and boots can be purchased if you need to, but for the rest, make a breakdown of the costume, listing out all of the component parts, and start looking for tutorials or patterns for what you need (a trenchcoat pattern, a wings tutorial, a horns tutorial, etc.). Worry less about the character the tutorial demonstrates and think more about how the techniques shown can be adapted to the shapes, colors, and other details you need for this costume. If you have any more specific questions later, you can always come back and ask them!

I would recommend looking at the tutorial list on our site to help you get started. I also give an entire panel on the “where to get started” question – you can find the slides here.

For the coat fabric, I would recommend a fairly basic bottomweight fabric. The art style is smooth and a bit cartoony, and the coat is likely made out of a somewhat heavy woven material, due to the type of garment and the drape of it. I would look at something along the lines of a cotton twill. 

If you want the coat to flare like the artwork, you will need to build in some structure. Horsehair braid in the bottom will help, and if that is not enough for your tastes, you can create a small petticoat or sorts by gathering stiff netting to a waistband and wearing it underneath the coat, over the pants. Make sure you leave enough of a gap in front that the understructure doesn’t show. You can also include hoop boning in the bottom of the coat to create a bit more stiffness.

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I hope that helps! Good luck :]

Fabrickind / Q&A Staff / Twitter

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