I loved all of the details in Thage's deceptively simple design. There were so many elements of the costume that I didn't even see at first glance, which made it appealing as a craftsmanship challenge.
I used black velvet for the dress and the print was embossed by hand, using rubber floral stamps and heat. There are scallops all along the neckline and a scalloped lace sewn underneath. The dress closes in the front with an invisible zipper and 2 hook and eyes at the top keep everything in place upstairs. The sleeves are made of a stretch material and have a gold trim which runs down the center. I used a gold, woven trim for most of the costume which was a terrible idea because it frayed endlessly, despite coating it in fray check. I also used gold piping on all of the bows and used buttons for the centers (there are 34 buttons in all). The ruffles at the bottom and on the hips was made using a wired ribbon, which I just pressed into a box pleat with my hands.
The waist piece was made using pleather and lined in black stretch corduroy (what I had sitting around at the time). There are 2 boning channels above my hips and one in the back to keep it from drooping. The buttons are fake and it closes using 2 big snaps. The boots were originally a pair of shoes. I made the boot covers using a cool, textured stretch pleather I found at Joann. The panels on the side are made of velvet and satin stitched at the edges. I ran out of time and super glued them to the pleather, which started to come loose at the con, so I will need to hand tack those down before wearing the boots again. The book was made using a hollow book picked up from ROSS and covered in brown pleather. The design in the middle was made from craft foam and poster board and painted using gold paint, gold rub-n-buff and some black watered down paint to make it look antiqued. The gems are acrylic half spheres with red/orange backings. All other decoration was made using puffy paint.
I started off with a long pale blonde wig and 2 packs of matching extensions. I cut a styrofoam ball in half and poked a hole in the center, using the same method you would use to create buns. I braided the extensions and wrapped them around the styrofoam, inserting the front and end into the ball. I sewed the buns into the wig and sewed the bows onto the buns.