Inara Training House costume update

I felt the need to compile the pics I’ve been putting up (dirty mirror selfies, yo!) so that I could have all my Inara costume work all in one place.

This is the training house costume. Go see Serenity if you don’t remember it or if you’ve never seen the movie…tho you really should start with Firefly.

Morena Baccarin’s costume is made up of what looks like 3 pieces. There’s a dark vintage gold charmeuse jumpsuit (yah! jumpsuit!!) and then a lightweight (chiffon I’m guessing) skirt draped over it and a jacket made of a dyed and embossed pony skin leather. You can read more from where I’m getting my info here.

I’m probably not going to dye and emboss pony skin leather (unless it lands in my lap all done and cut and ready to wear) and the awesome Gillian sent me a red sari which will work perfectly for the skirt! Here’s the sari next to the silk charmeuse for the jumpsuit.

I’ve seen some cosplayers attach the skirt to the jacket which would totally work fine for me. I’m still working on getting the jacket put together and while I have draped the front of the jacket, I still need to find the perfect fabric. I think this one fabric I saw at Fishman’s last time I was in Chicago would work so long as it matches the red sari.

I do have the jumpsuit in a good place in muslin land. Here you’ve got the pattern I already had in my stash for a jumpsuit next to the jumpsuit from Inara’s costume. I thought it would be a good starting point so I cut the first muslin.

Alterations: FBA and forward shoulder. I also cut the pattern based on the final measurements. I measured myself and added what I like for ease and cut the size closest to that number. The hips have 6 inches of ease, the waist has 3″ (a hair more than I like) and the bust has about 3″ as well which I was not about to do. I went for an inch in the bust plus the FBA.

Here’s dirty mirror shot #1 (don’t worry, I only have two). As you can see, the FBA I did was way too big. As Rachel pointed out, I’m sewing for my old body. I think one of the reasons why I was so nervous about making anything that needed bust alterations is because I knew I would have to reassess my body and make different alterations. But, see, I’m used to adding a 2″ FBA. I’m used to adding 1-2″ of extra length. In the case of this jumpsuit bodice, I didn’t need a 2″ FBA but the length came in handy. I minimized the FBA to about a 1″ bust increase cos mah bewbs aren’t changing that much. Ha!

After some reworking of the bodice (cos you know I’m not crazy about poofy anything at my bust, I made it into a princess seam bodice! Woot! I felt so great once I got that done. Special thanks to Brooke, Heather and Katie for pushing me to just do it!

It’s a little wrinkly but that was fixed in part by wearing a different bra- the one I’m wearing in this picture is too big but it’s a foam cup bra so it holds it’s shape while I sink inside it. Yeah, TMI! That’s why you read my blog, I’m sure.

As you can also see, I changed the neckline a bit so it would look more like the bodice from the movie. I will have to move the zipper of the jumpsuit to the back or the side since the pattern has you insert it in the front. However, having the opening in the front was perfect for trying on the muslin.

Here’s the first muslin bodice I made

I tend to add a couple of inches to the bottom of bodices just in case. It’s my little insurance. Like I said above, I needed the length but not all the width.

Now, here’s the bodice after I made the FBA an inch smaller and closed up the underbust pleats and the side dart.

I kept pacing the sewing room floor thinking my two pieces should look different. Once I smoothed the pointy bits to a nice curve and stitched the pieces together I realized that’s just how I’m shaped. More bewb on the side. Heh…more TMI- just what you were hoping for!

But it worked! Since I was there and had started creating a bodice that would look more like the movie jumpsuit, I put the bodice on me and chalked out how narrow I could go with the straps while still covering my bra strap and how low I was comfortable going and there I was…closer to the costume I wanted.

To end, I’m here to do a Nike promo and say “just do it” but really, honestly, how many times have you held yourself back when you really could do something? How many times has doubt captured your attention to the point of stagnation? Do you remember a project that could’ve been done in half the time if only you hadn’t doubted yourself?

Here’s to powering through your doubt and to making muslins so you don’t stress the mistakes.

30 thoughts on “Inara Training House costume update

  1. Alicia says:

    Omigosh, I’m so excited to see this! I just found your blog not too long ago, and I am always impressed every time I see an Inara costume.

    • Leila says:

      I’m glad you found me! Yay! I’ve seen so many good Inara costumes that I feel the bar is set pretty high. I’m nervous but I’m gonna try to just treat it like any other garment. haha! Like that’s possible.

  2. Brooke says:

    It’s looking so good! So exciting!

    I get the same way about flat-pattern adjusting when I stare at things too long. It’s easy to start confusing yourself with all the math and geometry – especially since the pieces aren’t standard shapes and never are when you customize a pattern! Yay for just doing it! Glad I was able to help a bit. =)

    • Leila says:

      You helped more than you’ll ever know! I felt silly after thinking, “geez, I know this stuff”. It’s a trust issue probably and a lack of experience thing. 🙂 But I’m learning every day so it feels go to be this far in just one week.

  3. Lisa says:

    Helloooo, fellow bewb wrangler! It look great, as will you in this costume. You have the coloring and the sass to make it over the top. Just my practical side speaking here, making the jacket and skirt attach will make going to the ladies a little easier (jumpsuit!!) unless you go bold and put snaps in the crotch. I’ll be watching your progress from Costume College.

    • Leila says:

      oh right, bathroom breaks! I had totally forgotten about going to the bathroom!! hahaha. thanks for bringing that up. Yeah, I’ll definitely want to attach the jacket to the skirt now. Definitely. I’m so jealous you’re going to Costume College. I so wish I could meet you!!

      • Leila says:

        haha! Lisa’s hilarious and a total bewb wrangler. 🙂 We met doing the 1912 project and stayed friends cos of our bewbs. 🙂

    • Leila says:

      Thanks Laurie! I’m nervous because I’m so excited to prance around in this costume. Oh, and I’m going to a Browncoats picnic in September and there’s a costume contest. 🙂

  4. CGCouture says:

    I guess I’m just going to have to see Firefly, there are so. many. references to it on the interwebs and I’m tired of not “getting” them. Anyway, the costume looks/sounds like it will be awesome when it’s finished, can’t wait to see it!

    • Leila says:

      Let me know what you think when you’ve seen a couple of episodes. I’ve been wanting to do an Inara costume since I first laid eyes on the outfits they put Morena Baccarin in. Just amazing.

  5. Becky says:

    Inara had the best clothes, didn’t she?! Looks like the muslin is shaping up nicely (no pun intended), and that sari fabric really is perfect! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your progress on this.

    • Leila says:

      OMG, yes! Her costumes were something else! I always loved the contrast between her costumes and Mal’s and their tension. I love the opposites in that relationship.

  6. sewforward says:

    I think you are right on track in recreating the Inara costume. I was just given three sari fabrics -two still in the plastic bag and I was wondering what to do with them and seeing your blog has given me a few ideas . . . maybe I should try sewing a costume!

      • sewforward says:

        I haven’t even touched the saris -they are still in a box with other fabric. So much to do around here . . . anyway, one of them is a pink pattern (w/black) and other is a yellow – sort of mustard yellow pattern and the third is a pink pattern. I’ve started to look at patterns for dresses where I could use the saris – HA! As if I need another project.

  7. violyns says:

    Hi! Found your blog from my link! I’m Mia from Serenifly Costumes! 🙂

    I LOVE this costume…like love love. I’m so glad you are doing it. It is extremely fun to wear. Anyway, just thought I’d say hi! 🙂

      • violyns says:

        Thanks! What have you found for the leather? I found a passable upholstery fabric that ended up looking decent. That sari fabric is fabulous. I ended up painting “embroidered” flowers onto chiffon. I never figured out how to “close” it up in the front under the clasp on the jacket. Ah well, I just tied it up and pinned it.

        Anyway, good luck!

      • Leila says:

        That dyed and embossed leather is to die for! Now that I have the sari I’m taking it to Fishman’s Fabrics in Chicago to see if this heavier weight fabric I found a couple of weeks ago will match. I was looking for upholstery, too, but I think if it’s not stiff enough I’ll underline it with a heavy twill. Your painted flowers are amazing!! I’m thinking I’m going to attach the skirt to the jacket like it looks like the woman that won that contest (the pics at the end of your post) seemed to have done. In part because the sari is heavier weight than a chiffon so it’ won’t tie in a cute knot like Morena’s costume.

        and thanks for the well wishes. 🙂

      • violyns says:

        OH, the costume at the bottom of the post is one of the originals from the movie, not a fan costume. She’s just modeling it. I need to update that so it’s clearer… 🙂 I think the option that you’re talking about (just letting it hang from the jacket) is a good one. I wish I had thought of it myself, actually. 🙂

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