Hello!! I need some help.. (i may have asked you once. well if I did, then just ignore this!) But if I haven't, I need some fabric-choosing help! A friend of mine and I are going to be cosplay the Yuri!!! On Ice "Day/Night" AU(created by artist Beanpots here on tumblr). The outfits are very flowing and gorgeous and, as an amateur and medium-skilled sewers, we need a bit of help choosing fabrics! What fabrics would you recommend that look nice but aren't too hard to dye and work with? Thank you!!
Those outfits, correct?
For the sheer sleeve parts, there really isn’t much of a way around using chiffon. It’s sheer, it flows and drapes rather than holding structure, it’s chiffon. Most chiffon is polyester, which is less easily dyeable than a natural fiber. You have to use a specific dye type (disperse dyes), of which there are only a few brands (iDye Poly and Rit Dyemore) and simmer it with high heat. Silk chiffon exists, and isn’t terribly expensive from sources like Dharma Trading Co., and is easier to dye with acid dyes (though it also has to be simmered or otherwise heated to set the dyes), though it is significantly harder to sew. Be sure to use microtex needles, or else you will constantly snag the fabric. Chiffon can be difficult to hem without a serger. I’d recommend a rolled hem, which can be done on a regular machine with a rolled hem foot. Luckily, the sheer parts are common enough colors that you may be able to find them without having to dye.
For the rest of it, you have a few options. You can continue with the chiffon, but dyeing may be an issue.
Yuuri’s outfit would look good with a deep, dark, black velvet. This would keep the night theme, since velvet traps light and gives a very rich look. Other options would be pretty much any kind of eveningwear fabric that isn’t terribly stiff – a dull satin or a charmeuse would be a good choice, I think.
Victor’s outfit seems to have a bit more structure to it. Since there’s a lot of gradient dyeing, I’d recommend a 100% natural fiber fabric. A cotton sateen might be good, or various weights of linen, or a silk twill or broadcloth. If you wanted to go with the heavily pleated version in one of those links, there appears to be some brocade as the patterned gold parts, and the pleated parts I’d go with either a linen or a silk habotai, both of which can be dyed. I would dye a natural fiber with fiber-reactive dyes for this, though something like Rit dye can work. Use acid dyes if you are using an animal-based fiber.
Cotton sateen is easy to work with, by the way.
Unfortunately, all of these materials are difficult to sew. They tend to be slippery, and you will need smaller needles for most of them since they are delicate. It’s a good chance to learn, however! Make sure that you pin carefully, or use clips, as these fabrics tend to slip and slide all over your machine and can get out of place easily.
If you use velvet, care must be taken not the crush the pile, and you need to make sure that the pieces are cut with the pile all going the same direction. Here are some tips on sewing velvet.
You can also ask the artist directly what kinds of textures they envision, and use similar materials, though there’s no guarantee that they know anything about materials choice.
Good luck! I hope that helps. :]