THE COSTUME REQUEST
Recently I received a request for a Queen Iduna Costume for Roseville Theater Arts Academy production of Frozen Jr.
The same young lady who played Queen Iduna also took part in the production as a Town's Person. The director requested no costume changes, so a quick fix was to create a cape to cover up her Queen Iduna costume.
(Click on photo below to take you to the Tale of A Discarded Bridesmaid Dress to see the evolution of this costume!)
METHODICALLY BUILDING A COSTUME INVENTORY
Being 4 years into Costume Take-Out, which specializes in historic rental costumes for children, I have surprisingly not had a request for a cape.
With CTO still delighting in its infancy, I take custom orders for rent. This has been my method in slowly building an inventory (approaching 1000 individual pieces!), while renting out pieces already created. If the request is historic in nature--I will take it on!
The aforementioned Queen Iduna costume fits nicely into my historic repertoire--filed under Norwegian/Scandinavian/Viking wear.
And deciding to take the cape on, it would fit under Norwegian/Scandinavian/Viking PLUS Dickens/Victorian/Medieval. A versatile piece, a big win-win-win.
My Total Cost For Cape
Let's just get to the punch! How much this cape cost me?
Tax or No Tax
Let me preface by saying ALL of my purchased up-cycled items were purchased at a non-taxed local thrift store. (I've learned that not all thrift-stores benefit good charities and are for-profit. No editorial needed here.)
I am not a scientist or a mathematician (even though my degree in in Biology--go figure!--another blog post for sure!). My goal here is not to be exact. The numbers below are rough estimates, but definitely in the ball-park approximates. My goal here is not to be exact. My 1-mary goal is to continue to grow a rental costume business that 2-dary keeps cast-offs out of a landfill (and yes, I am aware many things go to 3rd world countries, but that breeds another problem unto it's own.)
Remnants, Doo-Dads & Thing-A-Ma-Bobs
Some materials I had already sitting around from other projects. When I take from another project I don't include that cost because the original cost is included in the first up-cycle it was used for. Any remnants, doo-dads or thing-a-ma-bobs left-over I don't count in the cost of the most recent up-cycle.
I HEART Joann's
All my cost comparisons were with Joann's website. I love Joann's. And if you can find items on sale plus use a coupon or two (and competitor coupons!), you can drastically cut down on total cost of new goods. However, since I switched to Up-Cycling, I use Joann's as my emergency go-to. When I can, I look for cheapest price within the category of the item I am trying to compare. You do the math and add Joann's 50-60% off coupons!
The Total Cost of New Materials Vs. Up-Cycled Fabric for a Chenille Cape with Faux Mink Trim? Well, have a look for yourself...
(Keep in mind, you can use any fabric for the cape to drop the retail price even more, but later you will see why I chose to use heavy duty Chenille...)
Total Retail Vs. Up-Cycle Cost
Introducing The Cast-Offs!
Of course you can always go with a cheaper fabric if you buy new retail fabric! But I never have to compromise luxury--ever!--when I buy up-cycled fabric!
Heavy Duty Chenille Drapes
drape Croscill retailers: J.C.Penny, Kohls, Marshalls
retail cost of drapes: 2 panels ranging from $129.99 to $139.99 for just 2! I used 4. I just wanted to use this info to illustrate the quality of the Chenille.
retail cost of heavy duty Chenille fabric: Joann's ranging from $19.99 to $39.99 (on sale and full price, and depends on chenille weight/quality)
up-cycle thrift store cost: $3.99 on sale at thrift store...4 panels, plus 4 swooping window treatments
how I store my fabrics in my inventory...in rolls
Croscill Drapes--Hello Texture!
Now you can start to see the potential luxury in the future Cape!
Faux Mink Fur
color: chesnut brown, medium pile
brand: tag cut off, brand unkown
faux mink blanket online: tons to chose from online!
retail cost of faux fur blanket: Walmart faux fur blankets run from $12 on sale to the one I would buy, $32-$38...again, there are affordable 'new' options...They seem to be standard in size 60L X 50W (1.5 yards X a little over a 1/3 yard)
retail cost of faux mink fabric: Joann's $24.99 a yard on sale...again, I am looking for a quality fake looking fur
up-cycle thrift store cost of faux fur blanket: $4.99...I only used 1/3 of the blanket for trim...$1.66 total
Luxurious faux mink fur for Cape Trim...
So no breakdown here except to say you can buy 1/4 of a yard of tassled drapery trim at Joann's at $10.99/ per yard for the super fancy stuff. A fourth of a yard is only $2.75...not gonna break the bank...throw in a 50% off coupon and they are practically giving it away : )
I had mine just laying around from another project, but will give it a value of $0.10--why not?...my point here is that you can go to any thrift store and find this stuff.
these were the perfect tassles...lovely metallic sheen...I had about 1/4 yard left-over from another project
snipped them off easily...now I am thinking about making some of those cute tassle earrings!
Very simple--these you can buy in the tens, hundreds, thousands on Amazon for cheap. I did not include these in the overall price for this very reason.
Construction of the Cape
Below are some of the phases the cape went through. Not necessary to show ever step.
BUT.......I wanted to show you that yes, the drapes had some sun-bleaching on one side, but you cannot see it on the other side.
In The Spirit of Fair Balance
In the spirit of fair balance, this is the downside to Up-Cycling. Just make sure to look over what you are purchasing. The sun-bleaching is very common in thrifted curtains or drapes. You just need to decide how much you are willing to deal with. And not ever set has the sun damage either.
McCalls Hooded Cape pattern
Oh...you noticed I did not include the cost of the pattern in the cost analysis infographic??? Yes, I did not include it...only because I did not want to completely blow the cost of retail out of the water!
Patterns are expensive when purchased new. Ridiculously expensive. So as I go out on my bi-weekly thrifting forays, I always stop by the crafting area of the thrift store and look at the patterns. Patterns at the Goodwill range in price from $0.49 to $1 +change.depending on the type of pattern.
You can buy this pattern on Ebay for $5.99. Not too bad. But when you can get it for $0.49? And this isn't the only pattern for hooded capes--I own at least 6 different brand patterns. So chances are, if you like thrifting, you will stumble upon it one day.
Laying Out Pattern and The Sun-Bleaching
like my improvised pattern weights? I needed to make this cut 4 times total, 2 mirrors
the rumored sun damage..oh yes, there it is...and on another piece as well...other side not affected at all because Chenille fabric so thick...cue happy dance...
not my sexiest image...just the hood for the Cape...inside out...
The Finished Hooded Cape
Nothing much more to say, except that I LOVE the way the Hooded Cape turned out! The luxury came through using the Chenille drapes which shimmers and Faux Mink Fur gave the Cape the texture it needed in relaying a historic quality--Dickens, Victorian, Viking, Medieval or in this case Queen Iduna from Frozen Jr.
Cape inside my studio without tassles...
added 4 tassles---what an inexpensive way to elevate a costume's richness!
final product...outdoors! in lovely daylight...
better than I could have hoped for...
side profile of the generously fitting Chenille Hooded Cape...