Saturday, April 9, 2011

Salty Wenches - Scarlett

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
I worked on Scarlett at the same time as Giselle. It was just easier for me to switch back and forth - it helped me not to get bored while still staying focused on the same project.

Between the two, I had a much harder time finding reference pictures of Scarlett. I just happened to get extremely lucky one day when someone passed along some photos of the girls doing a segment on "Extra!" I was able to figure out what was going on with Scarlett's petticoat, which had been the one piece holding me back.

I had some nasty red poly taffeta lying around that I'd rescued a few years back, so I made the base of skirt out of that. I bought a few yards of silk charmeuse/chiffon striped fabric, and dyed it to match the red poly. Then I made a darker batch of dye and dipped the fabric, slowly ombre-ing the living daylights out of it. I sewed the two layers together and took a deep breath before cutting and tearing away parts of the ombre'd silk to expose the poly underlayer. I think the petticoat is the piece I'm most pleased with.

Didn't even buy a pattern. I just pleated a big rectangle for the skirt and draped the top right on the dressform. It's all hidden by a corset anyway. The fabric itself was custom printed and pattern-wise, it is an exact match to the screenworn costume. However, I do need to go back and tweak the colors and then print the pattern on a lighter-weight cotton rather than the linen you see here. The lace on the sleeves was a remnant of cotton fabric I dyed and cut up.


I bought an ochre linen, made myself a sculpey stamp to match the pattern on her corset, and spent many nights stamping the little flower pattern onto the fabric. The ruffle on top is the fabric cut with pinking shears on the bias, then topped with a velvet ribbon. I bought a cotton fringe trim and dyed that to match, then hand knotted and beaded it. I also made the trim you see along the side of the corset by deconstructing some lace and weaving in the red velvet ribbon.

After spending all that time constructing the dress and corset, I mixed up some watered-down acrylic paint, took the whole thing out back, and sprayed the hell out of it. Sad but true. However, now it has a real gritty, lived-in, dirty wench feel to it, so it was worth it!

They're completely period-inaccurate, but I figured I could fudge it a wee bit, since the skirt is so long.


Horror of horrors - this is a "Peg Bundy" wig! I'm pretty horrible at any kind of hair styling, so I commissioned a good friend of mine who knows a thing or two about wigs to help me out. She's my hero.

One pair of silver and pearl drop earrings, as close to screen-accurate as I could find.

Dragon*Con 2009
Dragon*Con 2010


  1. Seriousy, you guys look so great in these. I saw pics somewhere, and I thought, "Who made those amazing costumes!" and then I looked closer and realized I knew both of you!

  2. Yay! I love this costume combination!!

  3. You are so talented for not even buying a pattern for the dress. When I’m sewing Kostüme für Kinder I always buy and study several patterns. Pirates of the Caribbean costumes are a little bit complicated to make but I’m glad you were able to pull it off!