I decided to make another angel costume women. I made it last year and it really put me in the holiday spirit. I love how Christmas goes against everything winter stands for, it’s a party with warm colors, lights, and generally happy things.
It makes me happy and I wanted to do something that would represent that. And I say that literally because the idea behind my project was to make the dress shine.
I was a bit inspired by the Christmas angel we had on the tree when I was younger. She wore an ivory organza angel costume Woman trimmed in gold and lights were placed inside to make her shine. Keeping with this theme, I opted for a ruched tulle bodice with braided trim to give the feel of a medieval saint.
I also wanted to pair it with a candle headdress – turns out there is a tradition of celebrating Saint Lucia that includes candelabra headdresses, so I’ll probably use that as a reference when creating my own.
The idea was again to use the floral tulle angel costume women technique but to fill the hemline with garlands and lights. This is probably the last time I’ll use this technique, but this is my favorite dress I’ve made using this method.
An Angel Costume Women: A True Story
The base of this dress is a semi-circular skirt, so I started by sketching it. My sewing room isn’t big enough for this project, so it wasn’t easy!
The pattern is fifty-six inches long, which is the length of the organza I purchased.
Once the half-circle was cut out, I also cut out an eighth of the circle to create the base of the train.
The flashlight batteries will be hidden by a tulle train at the back of the dress. The 1/8 circle creates something to build without taking the bulk out of the angel costume women.
Before I could do anything with my freshly cut sun skirt, I had to create some battery pockets. The lights are the main elements of this dress, so I was thinking about it all the time. I thought it would be best to make pockets to store them in, then sew them into the back seam of the dress. In the pockets and seams, I left one-inch gaps through which the lanterns could be threaded.
It sounds confusing, but it will work!
I bought three 4m warm white LED lights from Amazon and two packs of starlights from Michaels.
Since I have five strands, I needed to make different-sized pockets for each side of the angel costume women – one will have two, the other will have three.
I made my model accordingly.
I cut it out of Christmas-themed quilted cotton – this fabric was actually the main inspiration for the color palette of this dress, but that’s the only thing I used it for!
Edges have been scored and turned over twice to ensure they don’t fray.
Then I sewed zippers into the tops.
And I sewed the sides with French seams.
Then they were sewn into the seams of the dress. I was VERY careful leaving 1 inch holes every 1.5 inches to allow the lights to pass through the seam.
Then I could finally start working on the fun stuff! This is what my sun skirt looked like, thrown over the petticoat.
I liked the shape but knew it would fall apart when I started adding to it. To give it a bit of volume, I wrapped it in a horsehair braid, and over it, I sewed a golden net in the shape of a crown for more rigidity.
I actually did a really shitty job and ended up with a lot of creases and stuff. The stitch moves around a lot and I really needed to pin it before sewing.
This is a skirt in a horizontal position, the battery pockets are visible on the right side!
After laying it out, I added the large glitter garlands I got from Michaels. I think I used about six hot glue sticks for this because they really didn’t want to stay down!
When I was done, I had fifteen inches of garland left, so I cut it and scattered the leaves to make it look like they were climbing up my skirt. I also added a few dozen faux gold poinsettias.
I tried it on again in the shape of the angel costume women and I was very satisfied!
Then I added the first layer of lights. I put the headlights in the pockets and everything went as planned!
I laid out the headlights and sewed them by hand. It took a long time because the wire was snagging on the garland all the time. The first coat took me two hours!
When this was done I noticed the hem was a bit uneven so I removed it from the angel costume women form and trimmed it while the skirt lay flat. Since skirts should be cut on the bias, they will distort, especially if you weigh down the hem. To fix this you really need to cut the hem, but I couldn’t because the hem was full of flowers. So I tried cutting it to size to solve this problem.
Which made everything worse. Because the weight of the hem was deforming it, everything even seemed to lay flat. When I pulled the skirt up to match the shape of the angel costume women, there were parts that didn’t touch the floor and parts that were four inches taller than everything else. So my attempt to fix the “bad” ended in a “big disaster”.
I ended up adding an extra inch of gold mesh to the area that wasn’t touching the ground. Other than lifting a significantly longer waist area, there was not much I could do about it.
Speaking of the grid, that was also a huge problem. The grid has those evil plastic spikes. I’m 100% sure they added them just to piss me off because they’re terrible. They get caught and they try to break any tulle that touches them. It really sucks when you use a tulle petticoat and want to add a tulle overlay.
Luckily I had a gold ribbon that I sewed around the edge to hide it. Unfortunately, many of the hems had flowers on them so I had to rip them out to tie the ribbon.
When that was done, I pulled out my glue gun and started attaching the pieces. I added LOTS more flowers, extra sparkly twigs, and even plastic decorations that I purchased. I also used these elements to hide the added edge extension.
I had run out of flowers and still wanted to decorate them, so I made a whole bunch of gold ribbon bows and added them.
Then it’s time for more lights! You can barely see them here because they were lit by rechargeable batteries, which ultimately didn’t work very well. Fortunately, it only took an hour to sew this thread, because they are located higher, and the thread did not catch so much.
And then it was time for the third layer, the final layer! I wasn’t sure how to position them, so I sewed them on while the skirt was on the dress form. So as not to sew the dress to the petticoat tying the lanterns, I slipped a sheet of paper underneath.
Once all the garlands and sequins were included, I sewed the back seam of the skirt. I’ve also run it a dozen times to get rid of threads, lint, hair, and hot glue threads.
The next step was a layer of tulle! I cut out two 56″ x 360″ pieces of tulle, along with two 56″ x 72″ pieces and a 56″ x 108″ layer – the last three pieces will be used for the train.
The two larger pieces of tulle were sewn together along the edge to make a 111″ x 360″ piece, I didn’t get a good photo but it was a huge amount of tulle!
I actually wanted the piece to be 108 inches long, so when I put it together I left a three-inch allowance on one side. This also means that the seam connecting the pieces will be hidden under the skirt and not directly at the hem.
The other side of the skirt was gathered with the usual half-inch seam allowance.
One side is sewn to the outside of the skirt.
And the other inside, so the hemline was trimmed with tulle.
I slathered the diapers on the back and all my sparkly things and lights were sealed! I tried to light it all up and was so happy to see how beautiful it was. This also solved the hem length issue as the tulle required everything to be 54 inches in length.