the Morticia Addams dress adventure

So somewhere along the line I decided I would rock that shit and be the 1993/1991 Morticia Addams and my husband be Gomez for Halloween this year,  let me butt in here and say if you don’t know who played Morticia in those films, it was the immaculate Anjelica Huston:
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.22.33 PM
and she was beyond mysteriously sexy and perfect in this role. I think she holds a special place in my heart because I grew up watching the Witches film based off the Roald Dahl book & produced by Jim Henson, and she was also the evil Grand High Witch, Eva Ernst:

OK, back to the dress…I found out my amazing seamstress friend Barbie would help as she has a degree in fashion design, and boy did it show!

I originally wanted to sew it, but I am super glad I stood back and let Barbie take over because seeing how much shit breaks i.e. vintage sewing machines,  jammed, clogged, tangled,..I am 100% sure if I took this task solo I would’ve thrown the machine out the window, easily. BTW–I can sew by hand but have never properly used a machine. I had no idea 2 threads were even involved lol. My good friend Oralia gave me her lovely machine,
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.50.06 PM
but it hadn’t been used in 10 years give or take, as you can imagine, things that don’t get used are creaky and bound to break…

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.40.15 PM
That’s the pattern I wound up going with, the right one. The bottom was perfect for her dress, top wasn’t but that’s ok, I like to make things a bit different (ok that’s just my excuse haheh).
I spent a very good amount of time at Jo Ann’s picking the pattern. They had their Halloween patterns out in books, but nothing came close enough to the dress I was seeking to make, by the way is this version:

feeling overwhelmed, I asked for help from my friend who works at Universal Studios Florida as a seamstress, and the lady at Jo Ann’s. I chose some fabric, which nothing had a silvery strand like quality as the original, but this was close enough, tattery material in the middle was for the secondary fabric, left is the actual dress fabric which let me tell you, is pretty crappy as breathable HA, I wish it would actually turn Autumn here in California, alas, not yet:
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.50.49 PM


M
orticia wears so many dresses in the film[s], I am not entirely sure which scene the dress I picked online is from. It looks a lot like the one she wears upon meeting Joan Cusack as their new nanny in Addams Family Values, except in that scene she has 2 sparkly gems in the inner breast area that I do not see in the dress previously mentioned above:

I digress, I felt so bad this machine jammed probably every 5 minutes, it was a slow night.
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this is what she whipped out the first night through though!
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.53.39 PM

couple of weeks flows by and Barbie ALMOST finishes the dress, but her machine crapped out too! sadly we had to wait another week, so sad. ANOTHER awesome friend came through to the rescue, Julie, as she let us borrow her machine! That machine was fuckin fancy dude, embroidery machine and it had about a gajillion different settings…anyway…
Barbie finished the lasting pieces pretty damn fast, super impressed. She also is able to on the fly just cut and sew something she sees without a pattern (drapey sleeves), pretty awesome.
I paid her in some wine and took off into the night super excited..I woke the next morning still excited to finish hand sewing the dangling tattered arm things.
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.57.20 PM

It took some more watching the movie and observing how they actually flowed, it doesn’t help all the scenes she is in are typically darkly lit.

last step was to add the 2 little gems, which I just used some Swarovski beads:
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.18.45 PM

here is one of my make-up tests, it’s so hard to keep it soft grey as she does, BUT I want to make sure it shows in dark photos at the party we are going to, so bolder is better, kind of like stage make-up. In some scenes she has a purple-y hue to the black, so this one I went with some purple as well:
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.03.11 PM

BLAMMO! AHH! I don’t want to chalk paint or spray paint my hair because I’ve read nothing but gross reviews about those products, so I may just do ‘my own thing’ and not even wear a wig. I know I know, maybe next year…the FINAL reveal I will probably tack onto this post after Halloween so you all can see, hoping to get a photographer to get official photos of us in our cosplays as well (dang this only fuels my fire to go back to Dragon*Con and cosplay….)

now, onto getting my husband that Gomez costume! damnit for guys having it so much easier, it shouldnt be too hard to find a white striped black suit…although I REALLY want him to wear a crushed velvet jacket, how awesome is this:

I hope you enjoyed my adventure! I apologize if it’s A.D.D. out the ass and confusing, tis how my brain works. MAJOR SHOUT OUT to : BARBIE, Julie, Oralia, Sasha, Trish…you all rule and it warms my heart how much each of you were willing to help out.   

Don’t forget to click the Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.39.20 PM on the right to leave a comment!

editttt, I just finished up some Morticia jewelry accessories.

she wears earrings in this promo photo:

but it’s hard to tell what the bottom is, so I just added some tiny crosses to mine. I am quite sure Morticia would wear these indeed:

& here is one of her most noticeable rings:

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One thought on “the Morticia Addams dress adventure

  1. Pingback: seamstress mode : activate | read all about it

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