Hi! I’m planning on cosplaying Anastasia’s opera dress from the musical (the really long pretty blue one) to BroadwayCon and I’m wondering how exactly to do the sequin detailing on the skirt of the dress. On the top, I can probably get away with sequin string or tape, but on the skirt, I’m not sure what to do, especially with the chiffon side panels that the stage version has. I’m going to be adding the details onto a plain blue dress. Any advice would be super helpful. Thank you very much!
Looking at images of this, there’s a couple of ways to go about it: the more expensive way and the “oh god, why” time-intensive way.
The dress appears to be made of a sequin fabric. This is why doing the sequin tape doesn’t seem feasible on the skirt – that pattern of sequins was likely already built into the fabric. If it wasn’t, it was custom applied in that pattern. The more expensive way to do things would be this: buy a base dress, and then use a sequin lace as an overlay. You probably won’t be able to get an exact match in materials, but you can likely come close, especially if you use a plainer sequin fabric for the upper portions and then splice a patterned fabric to the bottom of the skirt.
The second option would be to create the pattern yourself, or something that approximates it. You probably won’t want to apply individual sequins, but you can cut up sequin fabric (hint: the popularity of a certain animated film makes finding blue allover sequin fabric VERY easy these days) and applique the pieces individually. This would get your closer in accuracy, but it would take a LONG time.
Personally, I’d go with method 1, but it’s up to you.
Based on this image, the cris-cross pattern continues all the way around the skirt, not just in the center, so that really makes it appear to be a full sequin fabric. It won’t be exact in most cases, but you can easily find blue sequin lace fabric with a grid pattern, so all you would need to do is turn that diagonally and then splice another material to the bottom, using the shape of the pattern to hide the seam (the shape of the seam would follow the pattern).
For the chiffon side bits, these appear to just be an overlay sewn onto the sides of the dress. You can see where they would attach – the bottom row of rhinestone trim on the sides hides the seam. I’m not sure if the overlay continues to the backside, but from the way they sit, I would say that they are either full or half circles, which is how you get all those lovely wavy bits at the bottom.
I hope that helps! Good luck :]