Emma Bloom Cosplay
I made this dress as a surprise birthday present for the wonderful Alex, A.K.A. Lady Halestorm.
In the movie they used several layers of light blue silk, however my budget didn't stretch enough to be able to use this, so I used fabrics with the same floaty weight.
I found two suitable fabrics for this dress; the first was a pale blue chiffon, and the other was a light blue lawn cotton.
The lawn cotton would be the base fabric and a lining so that the dress wasn't see-though, and the chiffon would act as a top layer.
My first issue was finding a suitable pattern, something mid calf length, with 3/4 length sleeves, a waist seam, and a peter pan style collar. Usually I would make a toile, however as this was a surprise, I wasn't able to make my own pattern on her. I ended up using Burda 6833, cropping the sleeve length and widening the neckline to add a different collar.
I pinned the chiffon fabric over the cotton, and then cut out my pattern pieces, so I had the whole dress cut from both fabrics.
At this point, I zoomed in to an image of Emma's dress to look at the details. Whilst doing this I noticed that her dress has a very faint darker blue pattern on it, the pattern is randomly scattered over the fabric, and appears to be a kind of flower.
In this post I will be walking through the various stages of how I went about creating Emma Bloom's dress, from the movie Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
I mixed some royal blue and white fabric paints together, and hand painted the pattern onto the cotton pieces - I only did this on the cotton fabric because the chiffon layer would help to make the pattern look pale and subtle, like Emma's dress in the movie. I left this to dry overnight, and then ironed over it to set it in place, and ensure that it wouldn't budge when washed.
Next step was to sew the dress together as the pattern dictated. I followed the pattern exactly as it said, except for when it came to the sleeves, collar, and hem.
I shortened the sleeves by 4 inches to make them stop just under the elbow, and shortened the skirt hem by 5 inches to have it stop just below her knee; I also hemmed both of the fabrics for the skirt together - this would made sure that they wouldn't flap about separately if she wore it outside.
And my Emma Bloom dress was finished! Ready to be sent to Lady Halestorm.
I asked Alex to bring the dress with her, and join me at a photoshoot I was doing so we could get some high quality pictures of her in the dress. After playing about with jumps, lighting and timing, this is what we ended up with.
Original studio photo by Vic Iddstar
Photo edit by BriiMassacre.
Final step was to hem the sleeves by turning the extra 4 inches in on itself and slip-stitching it to secure it. To make the collar, I used some of the left over chiffon fabric, and a pattern I had free-handed. I made the belt and collar ties from light blue satin ribbon.
(Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children)
Emma Bloom's shoes are absolutely phenomenal, and I was really happy when Alex asked me to help her make them. I invited her over to mine for the weekend, to have a massive crafting session and movie day to work on them.
We started off by finding all the reference pictures of her shoes, and then shopped around for a good pair of shoes to use as the base. We decided on a pair of super high ankle boots with a large platform.
As always, the first step was to create a template for the metal panels around the sole and heel of her shoes. I wrapped the whole shoe in cling film, then covered the cling film in silver duct tape, to make sure my pattern was strong. After looking at all the reference pictures, I drew on the pattern where each panel would be, then them out.
I made the panels more fitting to the shoe, instead of flaring out like hers do, as it would be easier for Alex to walk in them, and with less chances for her to trip over in them. If you wanted to make them accurate to her onscreen shoes, then you would need to pad out the sole of your shoes before making the template.
I transferred each of the pattern pieces onto 3mm craft foam. The toe section had a slit cut into it to ensure it layed flat, and the slits were then re-attached to each other with contact adhesive, creating the curve needed to fit the shoe.
Each of the foam pieces were then sandwiched between 2 layers of Worbla, heated with a heat gun, and then wrapped around the shoe.
I held the pieces around the shoe until they cooled down and held their own shape, then gave each seam another blast with the heat gun to ensure they were all fixed in place. There was no need to glue the panels onto the shoe, as they were a perfect fit, and hugged the shoe closely enough to stay in place.
Next step was to add in the details! The first bits I added on were the thin pieces that covered the seams and around the top and bottom edges of each panel. These were done with 5mm strips of Worbla, which was heated then pushed firmly onto the panels, to make sure they were fully attached and wouldn't peel away over time.
After this, I heated over each Worbla section, then drew on the vines and swirls that are engraved onto the metal parts of her shoe. I used a ball point pen to scratch in the details on the warm worbla, then left it to cool and re-harden. Once all the patterns were engraved, I used 3D fabric paint to add lots of small dots around the thin strips which wrapped around each panel, to give the illusion of the bolts.
I used the 3D paint to add some of the same vines and swirls onto the leather panels at the back of the shoe. This piece of the shoe already had the shape of the back of Emma's shoes, so I didn't bother adding a Worbla piece onto this, to try and keep the weight down.
After the bottom panels were completed, it was time to move onto the more intricate part; the straps and buckles that cover the front and top of the shoe. I got Alex to put the shoes on, to make sure that she could still walk in the shoes, and that they were comfortable, and they were a perfect fit. From there, I sketched on the front of the shoe where the panel would be that needed to be cut away, then used my fabric scissors to cut it out.
Emma's shoes have 4 straps in total; 2 on the instep of the shoe, and 2 around her ankle. I measured both these sections on Alex's foot, to make sure they would be a perfect fit, then transferred these measurements to foam. These strips were then sandwiched between Worbla, and placed around her ankle to cool in the right shape.
I'd ordered some ornate clasps which I would use to close the straps, just like Emma's shoes have - so I made sure to leave an inch gap between the ends of each strap, to make sure there was room for the clasps. These were attached to the Worbla straps with contact adhesive, finishing off the shoes details. The ones on the instep of the shoe were fixed in place and unable to be opened, as this section of the shoe is solid, and therefore the clasps could be left closed at all times.
Now that all the details and straps were done, the only thing that needed to be done was to paint them. The part around her ankle and foot is a deep brown coloured leather, and the soles are silver, and weathered to look like cast iron.
Before any painting started, I applied 2 layers of wood glue over all the Worbla pieces around the sole, to make sure the texture was covered, and that it was well primed, so the paint would apply smoothly.
I used a brown leather dye to paint the khaki sections of the shoe into the brown colour they needed to be, and this was also used on the straps. I didn't prime the straps, as painting un-primed Worbla has a texture that resembles leather.
The base panels, along with the soles of the shoe, were spray painted with a metallic silver spray paint, then given a wash with watered down, black acrylic paint. This made them look aged and well worm, and more realistic than just a flat block of silver. I then used a fine detail brush, and some more of the black acrylic paint, to fill in more details in the deeper engraved pieces. Final step was to spray the silver sections with a clear satin gloss spray, to protect them and give an even shine over the whole panel.