Peggy’s Red Dress

When I set out to cosplay Peggy Carter, I didn’t ever think I would make her red dress from Captain America. I had no occasion or place to wear such a dress to. But it’s Peggy and I love her, and I love her in red. Plus I figured just in case I do have an occasion I should have a dress ready.

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The dress is made of red polyester suiting with (of course) red stain for trim. The pattern is a modified Simplicity 2648 (this pattern is discontinued and I had to get it through Amazon).  The only changes that needed to be made were the sleeves and the pleats on the hips.

IMG_8742I followed the pattern pieces of an A cup and curvy. I added the sleeves from Simplicity 1687 and added satin trim to them. For the collar trim, I used leftover blue polyester lining to draft a pattern but cut out the pieces from satin. I wished I had made them a little more narrow but didn’t realize how wide they were until I started photographing the dress.

For the hip pleats, I took the side front skirt pattern piece, cut a diagonal into it, and then created a large curve in the space to the fabric needed to make the pleats. (I wish I had pictures to show, but I forget to document my process while I’m actually doing it.)

IMG_8744I like how the skirt and hip pleats came out. I have leftover red fabric and am contemplating making a skirt of it for work.

This dress took a little longer than I expected. I originally intended to add lining to the dress to give it a better finish and a smoother drape. But the added lining made it difficult for me to properly use my arms when fully zipped up. Also, I had first used a different sleeve pattern that I realized was better suited for slightly stretchier fabrics resulting in even more limited motion in my arms. I spent an entire morning ripping out the lining and top to make a new top with new sleeves that fit a lot better.

The shoes were acquired off eBay; they are a smidge brighter red but nothing too obvious. The belt was acquired off Amazon. I actually bought three skinny belts for this dress: one bright red, one metallic red, and one light burgundy. The bright red came first and did not match any of my fabrics or shoes. The metallic red is a beautiful belt but a touch too vibrant. The light burgundy ended up being the perfect choice; I figured it would but don’t mind having additional belts in my wardrobe.

I got a lot of help from adriuh via Instagram on this dress. She had already made her own version and was gracious enough to help me when I had questions. She showed me the pattern she used as a base, the draft on Pinterest of how she did the pleats, and even shared her setting pattern for Peggy’s curls and waves. Honestly, without her help I’m not even sure if making this dress would have ever occurred.

So my second Peggy Carter cosplay is done! I think next I’ll work on my blue and red dress from the tv series since it’s my favorite.

Project Rebirth Agent Carter

Agent Margaret “Peggy” Carter is one of my favorite female characters. I loved her from the start in Captain America: The First Avenger; loved her even more in Marvel’s Agent Carter. Peggy is really what got me going into the vintage fashion. She’s my inspiration not just in fashion but also in life as she is a strong, confident woman. I love her blue suit in Agent Carter and have plans to cosplay the outfit at HeroesCon this year. But before that I wanted to cosplay some of her Captain America uniforms.

I decided to start with her Project Rebirth outfit.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

I made a few changes to the outfit since I had plans to used some of the pieces (mostly the skirt) as a work skirt as well. I chose colors that could still pass for being a uniform to keep with the style.

IMG_7983 FixedI used Simplicity 3688 for the skirt. The skirt is made of brown polyester suiting and brown polyester lining; it’s a slightly brighter brown than the uniform skirt but not bad for work. The pattern has extra seams in the front and back which I opted to keep.

The shirt is a short sleeved button down I made using an old pattern in a tan/beige stretch poplin. Unfortunately the pattern was designed to not button all the way to the collar so it’s a little tight up there. I have an alternate white long sleeved button down shirt I bought a while ago to use every now and then. Peggy’s shirt appears to be white but I made a beige alternative. I also made it short sleeved so I could wear this cosplay in a Southern summer without killing myself in the heat and humidity.

I don’t remember the pattern number, sorry to say. I have a lot of button down shirt style patterns and do not recall the exact one I used.

The tie was made using olive green suiting and black polyester lining. I used Sweet Shop Sewing’s free tie pattern. It was really simple to make but somewhat long. I have to tuck it into the skirt so it doesn’t show. The only thing I omitted was the little tab to hold the back of the tie, but it’s not necessary for my needs.

Originally I had planned to use olive green twill and dark green polyester lining with brass eagle buttons and make the jacket myself. However, I made a mistake in cutting the pattern pieces out. I told myself not to make that mistake and I went ahead and did it anyway. Instead of buying more fabric and potentially making the same mistake again, I found a vintage Eisenhower jacket on Etsy. The Eisenhower jacket is the model for Peggy’s jacket; the only difference is most Eisenhowers were made with the buttons and waist belt going to the right (Peggy’s go to the left which is the more feminine style). It was one deviation I could live with for the sake of my sanity. The only thing I had to do to the jacket once it arrived was add the brass buttons…

IMG_7986 Fixed…or so I thought. Since the Eisenhower was a vintage and used piece, it had some damage. The seller did mention damage in their listing but was not specific in details. Most of the damage was confined to the sleeves with tiny holes in the shoulder and upper arm areas. Also the sleeve edges were worn and had holes. The most significant hole was on the left sleeve around the elbow area. I didn’t worry myself over the tiny holes since they weren’t too noticeable. The sleeve edges I managed to fix by shortening the sleeves to a more appropriate length for my shorter arms. The hole on the elbow was more problematic; I managed to sew it closed but it’s still very visible. Since I don’t plan on entering any craftsmanship competitions with this, I can deal.

Also the shoulders are HUGE on me despite this being one of smallest sized Eisenhowers I could find. =/

The shoes are from B.A.I.T. Footwear (not shown), the company that makes Peggy’s shoes from Agent Carter. The style is Roberta in tan. I had to go up in size since I have wide feet so they are a little long but oh so cute and fairly comfortable. They are not the exact shoes, as I need shoes with straps (I don’t walk well in heels without straps to hold them on). But they are brown and vintage inspired, which is appropriate for Peggy.

IMG_7988The S.S.R. pins and airsoft gun (also not shown) are from sellers on eBay. They are the perfect props, and the airsoft gun looks just like a Walther PPK – the type of gun Peggy (and James Bond) use.

So, my first Peggy Carter cosplay is officially complete. Next up is her red dress, which I already have all the materials for. 🙂

Building A Peggy Carter Wardrobe

In my Going Vintage post, I mentioned that one of my current role models is Agent Peggy Carter played by the lovely and talented Hayley Atwell. One of the things I absolutely love about Peggy is her sense of style. Since I’ve been attempting to go more vintage in my wardrobe, what better way to get inspiration than to start with Peggy.

So I have plans to make her iconic blue suit but I am having difficulty finding the appropriate blue color fabric in the right texture. I also have plans to make some of her Captain America uniforms but some of the pieces do not exactly translate to a teacher’s wardrobe. Since I love many of her pieces from Marvel’s Agent Carter, it just made sense to reproduce similar pieces.

A lot of Peggy’s pieces were either actual vintage pieces or custom made for the show. Other than the shoes and make up, there’s no way I’m going to be able to acquire screen accurate pieces. So the challenge would be to make them as close as possible. Challenge accepted!

One of the pieces I really love is her blue and red dress she wears midway through the first episode.

ZLu5UhcThis is one of my favorite pieces from the series and probably the closest to what I currently have in my wardrobe. I am fairly certain the original was made is a polyester type fabric but I plan to make mine in scuba knit for stretchability.

Next are her two suit jackets from the finale episode, Valediction. One is a dark blue plaid with an equally dark blue belt…

agentcaWhile the second is a dark blue stripe with a brighter toned blue belt.

agent-carter-finale_article_story_largeThe two outfits seem to use the same dark blue pants and shoes but the jackets, shirts, and belts change. They looked so similar with shirts having similar collar structures that I originally thought they were the same outfit. I’m more partial to the blue plaid one so that’s the jacket I’m likely to make first.

Speaking of plaid jackets, her red plaid jacket from the end of Time and Tide is just gorgeous and eye catching.

peggy carter in red plaid blazerThe costume designers of the show have stated that her skirt here is brown, but I think a dark navy would be more appropriate and work just as well.

Her green wrap dress coat from the Iron Ceiling is also a favorite.

1536x2048The skirt has a nice swing to it. I think this is one of the few non-red, white, and blue outfits Peggy wears but I still love it. Wrap dresses work for almost any body type, especially my pear shaped figure.

There is of course her vintage blue and pink dress from the interview at the Griffith scene.

agent-carterThis is going to be an interesting challenge getting those pink stripes to line up.

Of course Peggy also has a number of silk shirts. I can think of at least five different styles she wears, most of them made of silk. Silk is expensive these days so I will probably use it only sparingly, making most of the shirts out of polyester, shirting, or poplin. The upside of making so many shirts is I will have plenty to wear for work.

agent-carter-pilot-hayley-atwell_article_story_largeLast but not least is the red dress from the bar scene in Captain America.

ca003I have no idea when this dress will be worn but it’s nonetheless beautiful and I want it.

My plan is to have at least two of these outfits, the blue suit with red fedora, and one of Peggy’s uniforms done by the end of the year. Since I’ve already made a pair of blue pants, modified a red fedora, and have all but a uniform jacket done, I think I am well on the way there. 🙂

Next thing I need to do is get comfortable wearing a red lip and make up. =/

Going Vintage

I am a comfort type of girl. I like comfortable clothes I can move easily in. I wore jeans and shirts all through high school. I wear my pajamas as often as I can. My hiking clothes fit my comfort level, but they don’t necessarily fit my teacher profession.

But I also love pretty things. I love flowy skirts and pretty prints. I love dresses that hug the right curves. I love pretty skirts and blouse tops. I have funky feet but I still adore pretty shoes.

Lately I’ve been wanting to revamp my closet as I own less pretty things than I would like, but I never really knew what I wanted. Then Marvel’s Agent Carter premiered. I have adored Peggy ever since she was in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Watching the show and her sense of style made me realize that I have an affinity for vintage styles. I have more of the body type of a 1940s and 1950s woman.

So I decided to slowly get rid of the clothes I no longer wear and add pieces with more vintage cuts. Most likely I will be making the pieces but I will attempt to incorporate actual vintage pieces or vintage inspired pieces.

Agent Carter is, of course, my main inspiration. I mean, look at how gorgeous Hayley Attwell is as the famed SSR agent/founder of SHIELD.

ZLu5UhcI love the classic look of all of her pieces. I will be making her blue suit and red fedora number for a comic con. I also love the blue dress she is wearing in the above photo; I am hoping to make it in a knit fabric for a slightly more modern look and feel. Each new episode brings more wardrobe inspiration.

I can’t forget the fact that I also sometimes like the funky, fun pieces I see, especially those worn by Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia (played by Kristen Vangsness) on Criminal Minds.

KIRSTEN VANGSNESSPenelope – and Kristen – is a woman who loves herself, curves and all. I have a classic pear shape (small top and waist, larger hips and thighs) and have always struggled with this shape. Penelope is such an inspiration to someone like me. I totally love the dress she’s wearing in this image; I wish I could find it.

My third fashion inspiration is a fellow cosplayer. Rachael Elle, otherwise known as Moonflower Cosplay or simply moonflowerlights on Instagram. Rachael’s cosplays are amazing; she’s always been so helpful when I ask her questions. But what I really love is her every day vintage style. She has an amazing sense of style, and her shoe collection is crazy awesome (and HUGE). Seeing her outfits has inspired me to take the plunge and revamp my wardrobe. I also love her body confidence – which I doubt I will ever really achieve.

So here’s to hoping that by the end of 2015 I’ll have at least the start of a great, vintage, pretty, and versatile wardrobe.