I have always loved the idea of cosplay – especially as Pocahontas and when I came across a brown suede pillowcase, I decided that the time was finally right to create my outfit.
I took the pillowcase and unpicked it so that it was one length of material that I would be able to cut and use as desired.
Pillow case unpicked and ready to be used
I then took a bed sheet that I bought and measured a dress up against it. Be sure that when you trace around a dress that you remember to leave enough excess fabric for the seam allowance and any additional cutting and altering that may need to take place. I cut mine small and had to start over which was frustrating.
Dress that I used as a template
Obviously I wanted mine off the shoulder so when I removed the dress, I cut it a little more into the correct shape. I also made sure not to cut the part that would be going over my shoulder so it remained as one continuous piece running over and would not need to be sewn.
I then pinned the sides and could finnaly see a shape forming. It is at this point that I would encourage you to buy a cheap dress or a long brown top that you can cut up to make into this outfit instead because it was a long and arduous process but if you wish to proceed then it is totally worth the multiple pin stabbings, sweat and frustration.
Thus begins the sewing. I began with the left side which you sew from the bottom up and leave a bigenough gap for your arm to fit into.
Sewing it to fit
If you are going to make it yourself then I would recommend that you get a material that is a little elastsized. The issue with the bed sheet was that it had no stretch or give and my sewing skills are pretty mediocre so parts were a little sketchy.
In order to figure out where the zipper goes, you need to actually try the dress on and see the fit. From there you can gauge where to place the zipper. I only have a bright pink one on hand at that point in time, so that is what I used.
All I had was a pink zipper
Word of advice- make sure you are sewing the zipper the right way round. I sewed it inside out, so I had to unpick and start again.
Unpicking and resewing
Unfortunately I misjudged a little and left some space open which I then fixed by adding a button.
Sewing a zipper on because the zipper was a little short
The dress is triangular at the bottom so I had to put it on. I was stuck with pins a few times so do be careful. I drew on the dress while I was wearing it. I marked where about I would want the lowest point of the triangle to be. I then removed and folded the dress in half and used a book to draw a straight line to the point that I had drawn on.
Marking the dress to cut it
I pinned the folded halfs and then cut along the line.
Folding the dress in half to cut the triangle
Unfolded after it has been cut
Now time to try it on properly
Trying the dress on
Trying it on
Being sheet fabric, the sewing was a bit more technical and I needed to a sew a dart in to correct the drape of the fabric.
Sewing a dart in
From there it was time to start making the tassels.
I measured the length from the side of the dress to the middle triangle
Measuring the dress for the tassels
Then measured on the brown fabric that width.
Initially I cut it at 12cm in length but 10cm worked better because it showed just the right amount of leg. So began the cutting and cutting and cutting of tassels.
Cutting the tassels
I left 2cm uncut to be able to sew onto the bottom of the dress and then pinned all of the tassels on to sew
Sewing the bottom tassels on
Finally I measured and cut out the piece long enough to wrap around the front, cut those tassels, sewed them on and voila!
Pocahontas of the Namib desert!