Mandarin MiniCon 5 is this Saturday and Fred and I have been invited to judge the cosplay contest. With that, it seemed right and proper to create something new for the big event. I’ve always wanted to cosplay Ursula, the sea witch from Little Mermaid, and I was looking at my Regina costume…

IMG_20170326_203020_758…. that looks a little drag-queeny. So that got me thinking about my favorite drag-queeny Disney villain — Ursula. Could I take the foundation pieces from Regina and produce an Ursula cosplay in less than six days? (Oh, and ignore the strange British man under my dress. He lives there.)

SURE! Why not? If Fred could create an Ultramarine in two days on Cosplay Melee, surely I could knock out some tentacles and some hair.

(Sorry, Fred. It really looks like an Ultramarine. I mean, an absolutely incredible Ultramarine, but an Ultramarine nonetheless.)

First stop, Joanns. With coupons in hand, I found some snazzy organza and sheers. Here’s the concept for the base dress:

20170327_195355I used my basic long black gown made of bridal satin and my go-to corset that I purchased many moons ago from Three Muses. (Yes, I can make a corset, but with top quality corsets available locally it made no sense to do so. And, I got to visit with Candy and Brema so that was always worth it!) The plan is to create an overdress from the organza and sheers and add mini LED lights to give it some luminescence.

I have a Marie Antoinette wig (thanks to my friend, Lisa J., for leaving it in my care!) that I thought I could use to create a stylized, couture, version of Ursula. Add some LED lights and…

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… and we are approaching the high fashion Ursula I’ve always wanted. Since I am now going completely off-script from the original, I figured I could have a little fun with the nautilus necklace and create something big and bold but still held true to the original color scheme:

20170327_212805Yeah, I know. That’s not a necklace! That’s a tiara. I agree. Once I turned it upside down and placed it on the wig, it became a tiara. Going to add Triton’s signature crown behind the shell tiara for the total look.

Doesn’t Ursula need some tentacles? Why, yes she does! I found a great black stretch knit in my craft room that will work beautifully with the purple sheer I bought at Joanns and began cutting tentacly-shaped bits…

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(Ignore the mess on the floor. I’m a very neat seamstress. I swear. For real. No, I’m being serious.)

I cut eight tentacles – four increasing sizes, two of each. I sewed and turned them. I then sewed a casing into them so I could slip in floral wire to shape.

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I experimented with various stuffings — poly fiberfill, feathers, netting, tulle — and tried various colors — black, white, pink, gold, grey. I got the best result from tulle and from any color other than back or white. I settled on a shimmery gold tulle. Problem — I didn’t have enough and, once I popped over to Joanns I realized they didn’t have enough either. So, what other color would work?

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BLUE! So shimmery under the semi-transparent purple! Much better than the gold. The tulle is just heavy enough to give volume, but light enough to allow the 22 gauge floral wire (doubled over) to do its job. Here’s proof of concept:

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It still needs work (and a little more stuffing) but it’s well on its way. The tentacles are attached with floral wire to the bustle’s under straps so it’s stable (and removable), but I definitely need to do some clean up on the shape and size of each tentacle.

Next up –  clean up the work area. Seriously, there is purple and black strips of fabric EVERYWHERE. After that, time to make the overskirt and work in the LED lights. Once that’s complete, I’ll finish the tiara and add purple highlights to the wig. Then the nautilus necklace and shell earrings. Lastly, I want to add small half pearls to the top of the corset for a subtle bubble effect.

Did I mention I want to wear this Saturday? I’ll be good, right? I mean, I only have work, school, and sleep between now and then. It’ll be fine. Everything will be fine.

I’m fine. How are you?

-Elle