First off, this month is already kicking butt! Orders and requests are coming in fast! My best friend and I were honored to be in the Dayton Daily news last Friday, too.













A former co-worker, Mark,  from my grocery days at Dorothy Lane Market contacted me with a project. I love it when people bring me lots of awesome fabric to make their dream project come to life.

This was my first project in my new studio.

Here is the photo inspiration.














Mark brought me 20 yards of velvet and lining fabric and so my work began. We found a blog post where someone made the costume and the story about how it was made out of theater curtains. That would make sense because the cape has so much fabric. There was no direction on how the pieces were to be cut with 50″ wide velvet. I sent Mark a sketch of the design and consulted an expert in the Star Wars costume field, my brother, John McDonald.

My next job was sharpening my scissors. Velvet is tough to cut without sharp scissors.

I wound up breaking the cape up into 3 separate pieces. I basically made huge triangle pieces until I had almost a circle and then I draped the rest on my dress form until I had the look of the cape. There is also ruching on the cape sides. Ruching is simply gathering that is on two parallel sides.

To drape this cape I had to rebuild my dress form to be more Mark’s size. I used packaging tape and pillows to make this happen.



















Mark is also 6’2″ tall.















The other things that were tricky about the cape is that it has a cowl neckline. I have drafted these many times so I knew how to do them but I needed enough panel to go in the front of the cape to make this happen. Threads Magazine has a great reference.



















The last challenge was the length. There is so much fabric, I can not express how important it is to have your shoes on for the fitting. When I hemmed the cape and Mark tried it on without his boots I almost had a freak out moment because it was so uneven and long! Once he put on his boots it was perfect.

I get a perfect floor hemline by pinning everywhere the garment hits the floor and then add seam allowance. I find this gets the most accuracy for large circumference floor length garments.




Another good tip is to not judge the costume until it is on your person because the dress form does not represent what it will actually look like.


The new best thing is I have an order for another!

Behind the Scenes~


My beer can dress will be on display at Yellow Springs Brewery July 17- August 20th.

I was super stoked to teach my easy Insta Dress Top at Cincinnati’s Silk Road Textiles. What an amazing store. I wanted to buy so much fabric. I managed to get out with 3 awesome pieces.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it, Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh