This is the completed first stage of the last major component of the blue costume. Once this is done, only smaller, less important items remain (which I will do, to add detail and extra touches to the outfit, but the overall costume will be stage ready without those). I’m adding a large, poofy, mermaid section to the bottom of the blue dress. It’ll essentially look like a big white tutu or petticoat, which is attached to the bottom of the dress and adds extra length, volume and drama! I’ve started by using white nylon netting, to give lots of volume. Firstly, I cut a piece of ribbon to the length of the dress hem, and sewed together overlapping ends to create a ring. Then I cut pieces of netting. The pieces are roughly half a metre long, which is just over the length between the dress hem and the floor when worn, and two metres wide, roughly four times the length of half of the dress hem. I gathered each piece along one of the longer sides, and then stitched the gathered side along half of the ribbon. The pieces are placed so that when all the layers are in place, the ribbon can be folded over to sandwich all the fabric together. Two pieces are placed end to end, to create one continuous layer with a four metre hem. The fact that the gathered hem is four times the length of the dress hem, coupled with the inherent stiffness of the fabric, creates a huge amount of volume. This only increased as I added layers. Currently, we’re at three layers of net. I also staggered where the gaps between the pieces are, to create the illusion of wholeness, and so there won’t be a massive gap where the ends of the fabric are!