Anne Wheeler Cosplay Tutorial (Part 2 - Sewing)
Updated: Jul 1, 2019
In this tutorial I will walk through how I made my Anne Wheeler cosplay from the movie The Greatest Showman. This is by no means the only way to make this garment, it is just how I created mine.
This is Part 2 of the tutorial. Make sure you read Part 1 to learn what pattern and fabric I used to create this cosplay.
So, after all my pattern pieces were cut out in my final fabrics, I started sewing the seams, following the instructions included in the pattern envelope.
Since this was a stretch material, and I don't own a serger, I stitched each seam with a wide zigzag stitch to allow for the fabric to stretch and not break the stitch. Also, I was lucky that my fabric didn't fray so, I didn't need to finish any seams.
I began sewing all the front pieces together and all the back pieces together, then the side seams.
My first major alteration to this costume was to eliminate the zipper in the front and to change how I would take this costume on and off. Looking at reference photos, I was unable to see a zipper anywhere on Anne's costume, meaning it was most likely able to be pulled on. I definitely didn't want a center front zipper nor did I like the idea of a center back zipper that is visible through the back nude mesh.
So, I made this leotard like a bodysuit. I didn't connect the crotch seam and instead, finished both sides and hand sewed 5 snaps along the seams to make it easy to take on and off. I was also thinking about how awkward and horrible it would be at a convention to have to fully undress to go to the bathroom. (It's the weird things like this that cosplayers have to think about.) But, adding the snaps and turning the leotard more into a bodysuit was one of the smartest design changes I think I did.
To allow the leotard to pull over my head, I created a keyhole opening in the back mesh that closes with snaps at the back of the collar.
From there, I could stitch the side seams and finally officially wear it for the first time!
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this tutorial, I very rarely make mock-ups and to make up for that I always cut my patterns one size up. This ensures I have enough room for any sizing alterations and allows me to size the costume to the exact measurement of my body, not the pattern's weird sizing.
Seen in this photo, I had to take in the side seams about and inch and a half and had to take in the princess seam about 2 inches at top tapering down to take nothing in at the hips.
Most patterns are able to be altered in the patterning stage, but I just feel more comfortable doing major sizing changes this way. Especially as I have a small bust and larger hips, most pattern measurements put me in the middle anyway.
I sewed these seam alterations then finished and hemmed the fabric around arm holes and leg holes.
Once the costume was sized and wearable, I hand stitched the trims around the front "V" cutout. I layered the gold lace ribbon and the purple and gold sequin trim to try to create a similar shape to the original costume's beaded zigzag trim. I hand stitched these to eliminate excessive thread being seen through the trims.
I also added the beaded purple fringe along the seams of the legs. This I machine stitched since it had a nice strip of ribbon that I didn't want to be seen which I sewed to the wrong side of the hem.
Then I began work on the arm sleeves and leg ruffles.
The arm sleeves were super easy! Like I said, the nude fabric was just a pair of tights so, I cut off the feet and cut the length that I wanted resulting in a seamless arm sleeve. The ruffles were just a long rectangle, gathered and stitched to the top. The arm band was a tapered rectangle to fit along my wrist. The pink fabric that I had purchased had no stretch in the fabric itself but, the micro pleats allowed for a little manipulation with the give of the fabric so I wasn't worried.
The leg ruffles posed a bit of a problem. Like I said, the purple fabric was thicker than your standard spandex so, it did not want to gather. I broke the thread almost three times while trying to gather it until I finally had one purple leg ruffle for each side.
I had been thinking about making both leg ruffles pink for a while but wanted to retain some screen-accuracy. The struggle with the purple ruffle made up my mind for me. Thus creating the look of the small purple ruffle and the large pink ruffle. After this decision was made and I saw the final result I couldn't imagine it any other way!
After the ruffles, I created a very small bow to hand stitch to the bottom of the center "V" out of the pink fabric. After than, I was completed with the sewing portion of my Anne Wheeler cosplay.
See Part 3 of this tutorial to learn how I styled my wig, found accessories, researched makeup, and bedazzled the heck out of this costume!