Thursday, November 14, 2013

Halloween Cosplay: Jessica Rabbit

I'm pretty sure this costume started out as a joke about my bff V's endless legs.  She eventually bought into the idea and a new cosplay was born.  We choose NOT to make an attempt at recreating the character's frankly ludicrous proportions, as I wanted it to be flattering to V's body as is, not a boobs joke.

We chose a supportive and formed strapless bra and whatever that gives V in the chest is what she's going to have.
This project was my first experience with draping.  I started by taking V's measurements in the bra, then putting the bra on a dress form and doing the pining there.  Note to self, straight pins are easier on the dress form, but transferring that mockup to a warm body without injury to one or both parties is nigh on impossible. 
We traded the stick pins out for safety pins as I adjusted the fit on V's body.  I used a sharpie to trace all of the dart and seam lines, then the pins were removed and a line of best fit was drawn in before the mockup was loosely assembled with a basting stitch on the machine.
Basting the mockup to the bra cups for a final fitting.

I ended up shifting the darts over the bra cup a bit so that the darts above and below the breast would be along the same line.  I tried to leave a 1" seam allowance on all edges for wiggle room, but I ended up not having that in all places. Luckily, the 1/2" that I'm wanting to have on the final pattern was available and the rest of the seams were trimmed to match that. The dress will close at center back with a zipper, over the bra closure. The seams for this were folded back and stitched down and a small dart/box pleat was placed at the bottom of the zipper space so that the entire back can be cut from one piece.


For fabrics, my honey picked out a sparkly red stretch that was just perfect.  I was really glad not to have to bother with sewing through sequins and V was infinitely glad I talked myself out of the red glitter pleather (Gods, would that have been stuffy).  This way, the sparkle will go all the way into the seams without broken pieces or missing sequins. The fabric is also pretty forgiving when it comes to depth perception, so V ought to be able to go without any torso shaping garments. Yay for comfort.

I'd left the red fabric hanging on a hanger for about a month so that whatever damage gravity is going to do can be done with (also as a motivation/reminder to be getting on with the project).  This had the added bonus of relaxing out the folds from spending two years in storage.  I was terrified of the thought of trying to iron the fabric, or even apply steam to those wafer thin shiny plastic disks.  Luckily, gravity did the trick and the folds are gone.  I'm thinking (hoping?) that the difference in stretch between lining and fashion layer won't be an issue as the only places where the fabrics will be sewn together will be around the top of the bra, along the right side seam at the slit, and along the hem.
The dress is lined with a simple lavender polyester lining that I pulled out of the discount pile at one of the store in New York's fashion district.  The bolt had been standing near a window long enough that one end suffered from sun discoloration.  But for <$2/yd, their loss was my gain.  The narrow panels of the dress made it super easy to work around the damaged bits.

We had to get some sheer-to-waist panty hose, as that thigh slit is pretty deep.  The gloves were white nylon and picked up at the party store for around $10.  I lucked out and had a pair of red heels that fit collecting dust in the closet.

V as Jessica Rabbit, with her roommate dressed up as Roger.

Wigs don't last terribly long with this one, I'm afraid.  But Roger loves his carrot cake enough not to mind.
Overall, I think the dress looked fairly nice.  I underestimated how much the red fabric would stretch and, as a result, the back closure was a little loose.  V could only hook the bra on the first set of hooks and said that it made the whole thing feel a bit insecure.  I went back and ripped out the stitches that attached the dress to the bra strap in the back and am deepening the back darts.  This should allow her to hook it on the tightest setting and feel a bit more secure.  I love that her roommate latched onto the notion of playing Roger, as I thought this was a fantastic costume for pairs when the woman is significantly taller than the man.  He even brought a carrot cake!


  1. How much in total did the materials cost you? Thinking of making my own costume this year, instead of spending a bazillion dollars on a cheap skimpy outfit.

    1. I don't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure we found the fabric at JoAnn's. Guessing, I'd say maybe $30 in fabric, plus whatever cost of a strapless bra, a zipper and a roll of thread. Then add in the red wig and you can find lavender gloves in a color close enough from any bridal/prom supply source (Amazon works well, too). All told, you could easily do it for under $100 if you were frugal on your accessories.