Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hook and Milah - or Some True Confessions

Well, welcome to the post chronicling one of the coolest and craziest costumes I've done this year so far. This was a huge order (six pieces) and due to sickness and not having as much assistance as I'd originally planned, I ended up having to rush the order more than I would have liked. In the end there were a few pieces that were not completed to my normal standard and since neither my customer nor myself were satisfied with that, she did end up returning one of the pieces. I learned a lot about communication and particularly what to do and not do when a project gets rushed, and my customer gave me really valuable feedback about all of that. It was super stressful to deal with at the time, but I feel I'm a better business person because of it.

Anyhow, down to the costume details!

So many cool fabrics on this project. Lots of pleather, which looks cool but is a pain to work with. This was all happening right in the middle of my mole removal-gone-way-too-complicated thing, and I actually ended up bleeding from the head on the way home from getting this fabric. After all, you can't have a pirate costume without fighting for it, right? (Don't worry. No blood got on any fabric.)

You can't pin pleather as the holes will not 'heal up' like woven or knit fabric. This meant for some seams like attaching the boning I had to use... tape!

Pleather corset!!!

My assistant Hannah did the majority of the grunt work on the black blouse for Hook and it turned out fabulously! She also did a lot on the red vest, which turned out so cool!

Side view of it all coming together.

Back with tie for adjustability.

To create the coat we combined two different patterns.

Coat lining!

Milah's bodice! From the pictures it was difficult to tell exactly what was going on with the neckline, so I made up this gathering bit. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

Milah's vest coming together. (We had a bit of a mix up over the fabric for this vest... this was the piece that ended up getting returned.)

Adding the bias binding along the edge of Hook's vest.

Buttons added and rivets in progress!

The details kind of excite me.

I mean look at them!

About this point my customer pointed out that the vest had longer sides. While I added some on, I also noticed something else in the original picture... Milah is actually wearing TWO vests! Above you can see the color treated picture I edited to make the difference between the two garments clear. No wonder I had so much trouble designing it... unfortunately it was too late to do much with it.

I added coattails in the back, so that it's really still pretty cool, but it doesn't lay right for Milah, especially without the other undervest. The corset also was slightly problematic as I didn't insert the last two pieces of boning so that it ended up buckling in the back. And the coat, as you can see, is a bit on the big side, but in our rush to get everything done in time, we didn't have time to fuss more with it. 

(This is all part of why I'm revamping how I accept commissions... so that these rushes never happen again!)

Still, despite the hitches, the coat did turn out REALLY cool.

While my customer ended up wearing a different corset and returning the vest, she nontheless managed to look really amazing. And doesn't her husband look the spitting image of Hook?

And I believe I can safely say that these were my first costumes to go to the San Diego Comic Con!!! Cool, huh?

Like I said before, it's hard to deal with not being able to be perfect 100% of the time. Still, I learned a lot from this project that I am grateful for, as it helped me tackle and change some issues I'd already been having but wasn't sure how to deal with.

UPDATE 5/7/2015 - check out the other version of Hook's costume I've made here!


  1. Great work! It's interesting to see things like this come together. Awesome design. I love looking at pics like this.

  2. Amazing work ! is it possible to know which patterns references do you combine to create the coat ?

  3. Hi! I love your work, and I am a bit late to this party, but I was wondering if you drafted Hook's overcoat pattern yourself, or if you customized an existing pattern? I want to create it for a 1/4 scale doll (17"). I usually draft my own, but am looking for a short cut... those are always welcome!
    Thanks for any guidance!
    You can see some of my doll work here:


Welcome to the discussion! Please note that due to chronic illness, I am no longer taking commissions of any kind.

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