Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz

keepcalmcostume

Active Member
In lieu of having anything new to update or share, here's a throwback to last summer.

I did a worse-than-usual job of documenting it, but I did in fact make Beetlejuice costumes last year. The plan came together kind of pell-mell and I was more concerned with just getting it done than taking a bunch of photos. But they turned out really well, so I thought I'd try to throw together a post for them.

Lydia was ridiculously easy and I improvised most of it, and because of that was one of the most fun things I've made in a long time. The dress is basically a loose-fitting T-shaped sack, with a solid layer underneath and lace layer over it, and dickie with collar. So I started by folding a sheet both lengthwise and crosswise and cutting half of a T for the underlayer. There are folds on the top and left, and raw cuts all along the right.
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I used a t-shirt to mark and cut the neckline, then cut the top off a black blouse to use as a dickie for the separate underneath collar layer. At that point I altered the neckline to accommodate the collar.
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The sleeves ended up being a tad short so I added a ribbon ruffle, then gathered the cuffs with elastic.

I used the solid T of the underlayer as a pattern for the lace layer, which is the same shape. The only difference is the lace layer had no sleeves. I cut large half circles the length of my arm from the same lace and sewed those over the shoulder to make the little cape-style faux sleeves. To give it more fullness, I used some shorter rectangular scraps to add another layer to these capes (not shown here). Once all the lace was assembled, the dickie and dress layers were sewn together.
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I also painted three strands of plastic beads black for the necklaces, and used some scrap ribbon for the choker necklace. Black tights and boots from my closet and an old Halloween wig rounded everything out. All told, I spent about $16 on the whole thing.

Beetlejuice was more complex. Finding a good pattern was a challenge, because I wanted a plain jacket (simple piecing/seams) that could still be somewhat fitted (not too boxy). I started with Simplicity 3688 but I decided the piecing of the jacket would be too complicated with matching stripes, so I stuck with that pattern for the pants but used the button-up pajama top from McCall's 5992 for the jacket. Alterations were fairly minimal. For the jacket, I added a split vent in the back so it would be a bit more fitted (I could sew a smaller size so it was more fitted, but it could still fit over the hips) and created a facing and full lining. For the pants, I fully lined them and replaced the zipper with buttons and a placket. Literally the only photo I have of the construction process is a shot of matching the stripes, which I was really proud of doing so well throughout the costume.
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But Mousemeat got a proper photo when she wore it at Labyrinth Masquerade.
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We also busted them out for Halloween that year...
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...and at WonderCon this year.
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We ended up with a decent amount of leftover fabric, so I might eventually make Beetlejuice a skirt option (again, probably with Simplicity 3688). All in all, it was a really fun pair of costumes to make, and super comfy and fun to wear. They'll definitely be making more appearances.
 
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