Beginning of the costume

I've managed to hold off for years, but this year I finally gave in: I'm going to be Pocahontas for Halloween. And, thanks to my slight obsessiveness, I'm going to do it right.

Pocahontas is by far my favourite Disney movie - possibly my favourite movie ever. It's classic Disney animation, lovely songs, beautiful scenery, an admirable princess (instead of the usual privileged white girl) and no annoying, talking animals. Surprisingly, there don't seem to be many people on the Internet who have done a Pocahontas costume, and none of those meet my high standards of accuracy. Even Disneyworld's Pocahontas looks kind of crappy, though the model/actor/whatever has lovely long hair. Sadly, her costume is still one of the best-looking ones I've seen, barring the weird belt:

The costume is simple: Tan, single-shouldered, sweetheart busted dress with fringe edging. Blue necklace. Red tattoo. Straight long hair. Brown belt. But a good costume is all in the details.

We can assume the dress would be leather/suede, and the fringe would either be strips cut into said skin/suede, or would be cording hand-tied to the edges. Judging by the color difference, the better depiction would be tied suede.

Her dress has only two seams, but in real life one would need more seams to get as tight a fit as she has in the movie. I'm not particularly concerned about seaming, as long as the fit is right. Pocahontas is impossibly curvy, haha. Her belt is probably a thicker suede tied at her waist - it doesn't seem to be sewn onto the dress. In real life it would probably lace up so she could get it on and off.

Turquoise is a semi-precious stone found in North America and featured in a lot of Native American art and clothing. Pocahontas' necklace is likely to be polished turquoise beads string on rawhide or suede cord. Her necklace is drawn a bit darker than real turquoise, but I think I'll go for more natural than true to the movie. The pendant is likely to be polished shell. In real life such a necklace would be extremely heavy!

With that, I have a todo list:
I'll be experimenting with oven-baked polymer clay to get a realistically colored faux turquoise bead. I'll also use polymer to make the pendant, and string everything on rawhide cord.

I'll have to modify a sweet-heart neckline strapless dress to have a single strap, and add the triangular flaps in the front and back. I'll be using faux stretch suede in a darker color than depicted in the movie - that buttery yellow color wouldn't be "real" looking.

I'll have to figure out how to tie suede cord onto the dress hems without tearing it. With real suede you could just use a leather punch, but the fake suede will fray. My best lead so far has been using interfacing, and possibly button-hole style edging on the holes.

I'm really excited about this project and will be updating with my progress in case anyone else out there wants to do this costume! Check for updates under the pocahontas label.

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Beginning of the costume

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