Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Red Riding Hood

We began our A-Z series with Once Upon A Time, and now it's come 'round again.

This is also a good time to bring up the fickleness of a costumer's life, or at least of mine. I mentioned when I posted the Rosie Cotton write-up that I was definitely going to do Rosie for Dragon Con this year, but between the time I wrote that entry and now, my resolve has taken a slight turn

Now I'm going to do Red Riding Hood (or "Red").

Why? Well, first off, the two costumes have a lot of similarities: peasant skirt, blouse, and corset. I could actually wear Red's costume to the Evening in Bree party and pass myself off as a "generic" hobbit. Secondly, though, and more important, I actually kind of look like Red.

Our faces are pretty different, but she's really tall and she has long dark hair. There are so few 'tall girls' out there to cosplay that I just cannot resist. Plus, I already found a cosplay group to join for photoshoots and whatnot, so Red Riding Hood it is!

So far on the show, Red has two distinct ensembles, including two distinct capes. I'm going to be doing the first one, pictured above, but I thought I might post pictures and a basic breakdown of both of them.

 The first one is the one featured in Red's showcase episode "Red-Handed"

The hood is the most elaborate part of this costume. It's gorgeous red embossed velvet. Considering I have a much easier alternative, I wouldn't want to even think of trying this until I found some really great fabric to do it justice. And that's not all. The picture below gives a really great idea of the full spread of the cloak and why doing it accurately would mean even more of a fabric headache.

 There are layers.

The bodice for Ensemble #1 has long sleeves and a small "skirt", plus a tan-colored leather belt.

You can kind of see the lower part of the jacket here. You also get a rough idea of how her skirt is constructed. There's an underskirt with a design, gathered up slightly on one side (I don't yet know the technique to accomplish this look), and a sort of skin tone/orangey light brown skirt around the outside.

Don't you just love the "Snow White, Rose Red" imagery here?
(This is my fave ep of Once Upon a Time to date)

 This was the best picture I could find of the underskirt for design reference. It's an oatmeal color with little earth tone flowers. (In this picture she's swapped cloaks with Snow White for plot purposes)

 The second Red Riding Hood ensemble is the one I'm going to try and make. It's the first we see her wearing in order of episode air, but the second of her two outfits chronologically in the story.

This is a good head-to-toe reference. I could have sworn at some point that her skirt was made of vertical stripes in two subtly different shades of red, but I 'm not at all certain now. I was probably just glancing at it too fast and mistook the gathers for stripes.

The cloak is plain red wool, but with an interesting border of what looks like purple, pink, and red feathers (or feathery material) pressed down flat along the edge to give it some texture.

The corset has beautiful garment clasps, which I can't wait to play with.

Since I'm going to be working on this costume later in the summer, I'll worry about relaying costume and fabric specifics until I discover them step by step. For sure I've already got a pattern for the skirt. I also have a cloak pattern, but I'll have to determine if the hood is big enough. I do have a corset pattern, but it has a squire neckline and doesn't come to nearly as acute a point at the bottom as Red's, so it remains to be seen whether I'll try to buy a closer pattern or just play with the patterns I already have on hand. Rapunzel did give me exhaustive bodice experience. One of the hardest things, I think, is going to be fitting the corset just right to where the garment clasps leave that nice narrow open space down the front.

Stay tuned for our Red Riding Hood journey, coming later 2012!


  1. Thank goodness these conventions usually last more than one day so you can do multiple costumes.

  2. Tall people costumes!


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