Morticia Addams - Addams Family 1&2 FINISHED

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Twananas

Active Member
I finally have some time to spend on this costume.
I wanted to make this dress for a long time but then Elsa came in between. Due to issues with the fabrics I wanted I have put that on a hold for now.


I have decided to make a similar dress as to the one Morticia wears in The Addams Family movie from 1991, designed by Ruth Myers. Anjelica said she wore a corset and could barely sit and breath. I think this really paid off to her performance and I want to make this dress as tight as possible. Therefore I might insert zips into the sleeves so it is easier to put the dress on.
I have bought some silk chiffon for tattered details on the sleeves and sleeves-ends. I found that polyester chiffon was too heavy and didn't give the desired effect (trying to keep the cost low). I have also bought poly georgette for tattered details and panels in the train. This fabric worked well.


All the samples I got to far. I mainly searched for brocades and jacquards. I would like a more sturdy and heavy fabric. Preferable I don't want an all black fabric. A mix with dark blue/red/purple/burgundy would work nice. Most are voted out already. I really like the coffee jacquard which I'll dye black in the weekend to see how it turns out. It has the same sort of texture as the original dress (not the same design of course). Both front and back are very interesting. Most fabrics are too shiny, like a lining fabric or to glittery.
I saw the real costume (dress she wears at the end, not the one show here) in Planet Hollywood in NYC. It was very interesting to see. Too bad I couldn't get good pictures due to lighting and the plexiglas box. The fabric has different 'levels'. There is the main black layer with glittery black details on top, it almost looks like small seed beads and then there is the burgundy fabric with is sort of a wave pattern.

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http://twanlentjes.nl/pages/morticia.php
 
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MaulWalker

Sr Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Instead of zippers in the sleeves, you could use snaps or hooks and eyes. For the Wicked Witch of the West's (from the Wizard of Oz) they used hooks and eyes.
 

Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Thanks for the tip! I do think zips are easier to close and better concealed when well done :)

I saw the Wicked Elphaba 2nd act dress had this as well and also another costume with tight sleeves.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Just a small update.

I have been working on the pattern for the bodice today. Took more time than I wanted but I hope the test fit will be a good result.
Furthermore I have been testing different styles for the tattered details on the sleeves and tail, with the below as a result.
I first twist the fabric quite tight, then wrap it around a skewer and then I wet it and dry it in the oven.

When taken off the skewer I straighten the fabric slightly. I will cut the ends in pointy triangular shapes.
The lower right piece is the silk chiffon and the rest is all crepe georgette.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

The fabric dye came in and so I could test what would happen. Unfortunately I can't create a nice two tone effect like the actual dress, however with this texture being small I think there would be too much going on if I did create two tones.
I did a 5, 20, 30 & 45 minutes test. I did the 5 purely because I saw how dark it was after 20 minutes. Though 5 minutes gave a stained result. I am going with 20 minutes. I used Black iDye Poly from Jacquard. It works well, however I think due to the small amount of water I used, it took long for the remains to wash out. Thankfully the lurex is still sparkling, as I didn't know what would happen to it. Depending on how it looks when you see a bigger piece of fabric, I think I will use the backside of the fabric.
I also created all polyester crepe georgette skewers as I did above and heat-set them in the oven (about 150 degrees Celsius) for about 1,5 hours. I tested the one I made earlier (heat-set on just below 100 degrees Celsius in the oven) and washed it under the tap with hot water. It held the shape very well.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Very small update.
I ordered the fabric and dye. I ordered a dark red/purple dye as well, crimson colour, as I wanna test what happens if I mix it. Or first dye it in black then crimson and the other way around.

Today I made the bodice draft. I put the zipper in the front as I wanted to see how it would fit on an actual body (yeah not exactly female but hey... :) and I was home alone so couldn't do it myself ).
I also unwrapped all the crepe georgette fabric from the skewers.

From the knees down I will insert the crepe as a complete separate layer and not attached to the dress's panels so they can move freely (as in the movie). Initially I wanted to attach them all the way down. This layer will be longer in the back to feature more tattered/frayed details coming out from under the dress.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

The fabric came in! I think I will actually use the right side of the fabric. Overall it gives a nicer look but maybe after dying I'll change my mind again. I did a quick drape on the dress form to get an idea. I put the lining under it all and added the tattered crepe georgette to see what the total picture would look like.
So now it's a matter of:
* test dye
* finish the pattern
* dye the fabric & lace
* sew!
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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

I did a test of 18 swatches with iDye Poly colours black & crimson. I first calculated how much dye and water I should use. The first test I used the whole dye pack which was far too much for a few swatches. I also used different timings, first one colour than the other and also a mix of both at the end. Some results are quite alike, some very different.
The darker layer of the fabric is actually black anyway, so it just dyes the lighter colour. Due to the weave it makes the black look more like a brown shade.
I will mix both colours in the dye bath as this gives a nice dark red colour to the lighter threads. The last 3 in the picture are done within 1 bath using both colours. I will mix some more black then red and dye it longer. When it dries up, the result becomes lighter than you think it will be. This is still too light..
I dyed the lace black with Dylon hand wash dye Velvet Black as well.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

I've decided to buy violet purple dye and try a mixture of the 3 colours. I'm not sure what will happen but I like trying out different styles. Especially I don't have a 'live' filter which makes the dress look like it's all black, as they do in movies. I don't want it to be all black either...
 

Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Sorry no updates until tomorrow. I just want to share this:

Happy Friday 13th!

In honor of Charles Addams, on this very special day.


 

Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

The result I hoped for! I will go for the right version which has 50% Black & 25% Violet & Crimson iDyePoly
It turns to a very dark shade in low light environments.

Still thinking to first cut the fabric, serge all seams and sew it together before dying. This way if there would be a colour difference, it's less noticeable. I am just a little scared of shrinking.
I pre washed the fabric at 90 degrees Celsius and it didn't shrink at all. I guess 100dc will be fine too.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Nearly finished the pattern. I will adjust the neck line a bit, slightly lower (cut down to Venuzuela!) and curved rather than straight down from the shoulder. And I need to make the sleeves which I'll keep till I finish the top.

I didn't cut the excess, so mainly around the knees it pulls a bit.
Quite happy so far!

Actually quite funny as I am doing this long wished for project, I am also joining an amateur production of The Addams Family here in London.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

My knees are killing me after being on the floor all day. Took the day off to work on Morticia.

I redid the pattern with the bodice and dress attached with minor changes.
I cut the fabric with extra seam allowance in case the fabric does shrink when I dye it.
Only for the front I sorted out what piece of the design I wanted in the middle and for the back it will match in the centre seam.
I pinned it all together with safety pins for the dye bath so if there will be colour difference, it won't show much.

Looks very baggy I know :)

I hope to have time on Sunday to dye. Tomorrow I'm going to start a couture beading course.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Not sure what went wrong but I guess it's quite a precise thing to get the same dye result again. I did measure the same as for the sample.
Turned out a bit too light and too purple. The light makes it look different. I'll first sew the shell and then dye it again with just some black and the left over crimson.
The dye did leave some spots, which are accumulated bits of the dye and will come out by washing it. So after the last dye I will machine was it, to make sure all excess dye is gone.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Not an update. Just a quick pic after I ironed and pinned it, thrown onto the dress form. Saturday I will trace the actual pattern onto the fabric and sew the shell together. And with a bit of luck I can dye the dress slightly darker with a bit more of hint of crimson as well.

I'm slightly doubting to leave the tail end unfinished, like the sleeve ends. I quite like the fraying detail.

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

Basted together. Not happy with the bust area as it's a bit saggy, so I will redo that before sewing on the machine.

I also made the inside layer of black georgette to cover the legs when the dress opens as you walk. For the 'hem' of this layer I created the same effect as before with wrapping the fabric around skewers.
I will add the loose ones in between the slits so the move when you walk (same as in the movie).

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Twananas

Active Member
Re: Morticia Addams - Addams Family WIP

I redid the middle part from the bodice and it looks much better.
Dying did work as good as I hoped for. I am not sure what the problem was. I think it wasn't got enough so after washing and drying I dyed it again. It became slightly darker, but still not as dark. However I will leave it like it is.
I sewed the dress except the sleeves, shoulders and back. I tried to wash out some staines. Feels like I am waisting a lot of time on washing and drying.

Before (very bright) After
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