Making the Mummy Dress

Halloween is just around the corner. I thought it would be the perfect time to pay homage to my favorite undead creature, the mummy! I did not have to spend much, if at all, on this project since it was mostly made from fabric scraps and materials I already had on hand.

This dress was inspired by a tutorial I made a long time ago, the bandage bow. It is still a work in progress, which I am hoping to finish this weekend. I am excited to add more texture and of course, stain the rest of the dress. Meanwhile here's a quick look on the process.

I have collected a good amount of white fabric scraps from the lining I make my dresses with. I did not have to prepare them with the washing and pressing that I would usually do. Instead, I just had to cut them into strips.

I also had a pair of bra inserts for bewbs. But the key material for this project is the Pellon transfer web. It is composed of two sheets: a paper backing and fusible web. To use, iron down the wrong side of your applique/patch onto the sticky side, and then peel of the paper backing. Once again iron the sticky side down on your garment of choice. Then voila, you have your patch/applique attached without needing to sew! I wanted to use this transfer web for the strips to conceal the seams and create an all over "bandage wrap" look.

I  prepared my pattern pieces. It was an old one that I like to use as it is form-fitting. I made three sets of bodice: lining, main fabric, and the fusible web.

I sewed on the bra cups and boning onto the lining. Oddly I am missing a photo of the fusible bodice ironed down onto the main fabric bodice but that was exactly what I did. I did not peel off the paper backing just yet. Meanwhile I worked on staining the strips. I prepared the dye bath, one tea and one coffee, just to see how each would take.

I left the strips soaked in their dye baths. I moved the containers outside for all the liquid to dry. California weather was bound to be cooperative in the next few days in providing yet another heatwave in the middle of October.

I had the entire night to work on the skirt as I waited for my strips to dry. For this part I somewhat cheated since my fabric scraps from earlier were, well, scraps. I had to get a couple of yards from my lining stash to make the overskirt. I loved the unfinished edges of the fabric. I knew I would still need to distress it but it was a good addition to the tattered look I wanted. I sewed on some horizontal pleats for a contrasting "neatness". At this point I decided to make a full gathered skirt draped like a polonaise over another skirt with frilly ruffles. The ruffles were made from the lace I have had since 2011. The lace was from a closing out sale and  was priced at 10$ per 30 yards.

Once dried, there was not much of a difference between the coffee and tea dye baths. I was pleased with the results and proceeded to stick some strips onto the bodice. At this point I removed the paper backing.

Since this was not a flat pattern, it was a bit challenging wrapping the strips like bandages and ironing them down. I actually just pinned then steamed what I could while the dress was on the dress form. This way I was somewhat able to follow the curves of the bodice. Then I tried to press while having the dress flat on the ironing board. It took time but it was fun arranging the bandages!  

Once done I worked on the back closure. I would usually opt for an invisible zipper but this time, I thought I should try to incorporate more of my "aged strips". I made loops to lace the bodice up, and I plan to sew on a hook and bar closure for the skirt I don't have it pictured right now since the dress form is not my size. (And that is why I skipped on showing the back for now. It was weird to see this gaping hole at the back! I would update this once I try it on.)

With all the strips I had left, I thought I should make a matching bonnet. I prepared the buckram fabric, millinery wire, and a plastic hairband. The pattern for the bonnet was something I figured out along the way. But I am going to try to reproduce it for my other bonnets since it turned out to be the size I want and was both stable and sturdy.

Like the dress, I had to wrap it all up using the strips. I then attached the brim onto the headband base with permanent glue. And again, layered on some strips. However I decided to leave an area uncovered because I loved the texture of buckram. I thought I would add some coffee stained flowers to that side.

And here it is so far! I still need to make a couple of accessories to go with it. Though I am really torn between making it over the top or keeping the bandaged up bodice just as it is. Let's see!


Above was how I added more to the old coloring of the dress. All I needed was some coffee, spray bottle, and a used tooth brush!

I also made a matching choker with this scarab beetle charm!

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