And here it is, the Inspired-by-Zeeda dress! It's not at all an attempt at a copy, it's an homage.
Like the prototype, it's a princess-seamed pattern from Alabama Chanin, designed for knits, with alterations and embellishments to the skirt. I cut two copies of the dress from the pattern, making a lining that had the main structure of the dress, but not the extra skirt action. Here's the inside:
Let me show you the back of the dress...
And the details of the side panels:
And how it looks where side meets front meets back:
And while we're looking at that side panel, here it is, worn.
Or you can tie it around your legs for more controlled skirt action while engaging in adventures.
I did not go seeking a Kaylee costume. It came to me. I was in the thrift store, looking for old t-shirts to cut up (like always), and these green coveralls were hanging on a row end, out of place, right in front of me. I paused to google "Kaylee" to check their match, and while I was standing there, a man came and grabbed the coveralls and walked off with them. I kept an eye on him, and a few minutes later tracked him down in the store, and the coveralls weren't in his cart. It took some backtracking and seeking, but I found where he'd put them, and didn't let them out of my possession again.
The coveralls fit, but not very well. They were made for some one shorter and rounder than me. I chopped off the sleeves and used them to add a good three inches to the legs. This morning when I got dressed, I realized they were very barrel-chested, so I did a bit of last-minute tailoring to make the chest fit a little nicer.
The front zipper zips up from the crotch as well as down from the neck. This must be a man thing, and I find it hilarious in a totally juvenile way.
The patches came from etsy. I was doing a lot of sewing leading up to this con, and hadn't had time to sew on the patches. So while I was putting on the finishing touches on my son's costume, he sewed on my patches.
Him: If I do them, they won't be all perfect. They'll be a little punk rock.
Me: Think about the character. Do you think she was a perfect seamstress?
Him: Well, she did appreciate pretty things.
I've been interested in making one. Except you can't make one. It's totally doolally. Someone bought the dress and counted and documented the seams in it, and there's 33 panels. I don't know how it even came together. Look at this thing:
But to try to replicate it isn't totally sane. So I'm doing an inspired-by dress instead. I chose a taupe cotton jersey, matching the colour but not the fabric. And then I did a prototype dress, to assess how my ideas would translate into actuality. I used a lavender interlock that I found in my sewing room, something I've had for years. I used an Alabama Chanin pattern, but machine stitched it.
And I added sleeves, in hopes that the prototype would be wearable. Who needs sleeveless midwinter??
I'm pretty happy with the results! I don't think I'll bother with the waist-band belt strip on the back. Although it's truer to the spirit of the original, the results aren't worth the effort.
The dress as shown isn't actually finished. The neckline is only staystitched. But it looks fine, and I haven't fixed it yet.
Also, the dress isn't actually lavender anymore, it's periwinkle. This is the result of an hour in Rit dye shade midnight blue, dip dyed. Yeah, the dip dye didn't show.