Photographers: David Dunn, Junior from Refractor Productions
Ever since my friend and I decided to make Kaylee and Inara's dresses from the episode "Shindig" of Firefly, I had been planning and plotting just how to go about making it.
There were a few problems with the costume to start with. First, the costume designer actually used vintage sari fabric from India to make up the bodice of the dress. Not exactly something I can come by very easily ^.^ I decided to start with a plain white dupioni silk and stamp the entire fabric with pink and gold star and paisley designs. After the ruching and button-covering and ruffling, the bodice was pretty much ready to go.
I used a Flamingo pink (you'll get the reference if you know a lot of behind the scenes Firefly trivia!) silk dupioni for the ruffles, belt, sleeves, and bow, all covered with hand embroidery. The pink sleeve lattice lace was hand knotted and the gold and pink tassels were hand made. The buttons were also hand covered.
The second hard part was the skirt - although the costume was said to have used pre-made silk chiffon hoops, chiffon is entirely too flimsy a fabric to get the correct drape for the ruffles, in my opinion. I opted to use a white sheer voile fabric and dye the peach and pink layers. Each layer of ruffles is edged with rolled hems that I had to run through my sewing machine twice using a zig-zag stitch (omg took forever!). I then sewed each layer onto a plain cotton sheath skirt and attached it to the bodice.
The dress sits on a hoop skirt (bought) and petticoat (made by me) and corset (also made by me). The purse is made from pink cotton and covered with little pink rhinestones that I stuck on the front. The gloves were purchased on Ebay, vintage, and dyed light pink. And I used my real hair - I just straightened it a bit ^.^
It really was so much fun wearing this dress!! I absolutely love all the ruffles and everyone had fun petting them. Most of my friends still think I'm nuts for the amount of hand detailing I put on it, but I think it came out very nicely and more authentic looking ^.^