On Pins and Broken Needles

USO Dancer

Character Name:
USO Dancer
Source:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Costume Variation(s):
New York City Dancers / Promotional Tour variation
Debuted At:
Heroes and Villains Halloween Dance 2012
Awards Won:
Best in Show Presentation - G-Anime 2013

Reference

Costumes Notes

I can't remember exactly what made me decide to make this outfit, but I knew I had to make it. Thankfully, a lot of the research that goes into a movie recreation like this had already been done by a group in the States so this project was mainly adapting things to fit my proportions.

The hardest part of this costume was probably sourcing all the materials: the satin and linings were from a US chain that doesn't ship fabric to Canada and the sequined fabric from a very specific store in LA, so proxies had to be used to acquire the materials; the shoes were shipped from China; and the base pattern for the bodice is out-of-print but I managed to find one on ebay. I'm still missing the proper tights as I didn't want to pay the small fortune to get a pair in Canada.

As for construction, the hardest part was definitely the hat. A buckram base with wire reinforcing the shape, covered in felt, covered in satin, covered in sequined-fabric, with a star sewn on the side. There was a good 30 hours of work put into the hat alone, and almost all of it was done by hand. I hate sewing by hand.

The skirt consisted of 24 red and white panels sewn, surged, ironed, trimmed, and tucked together in an impressive and time consuming manner. I learned so much on how to make proper cheerleading skirts and I don't think I ever want to make another. But I now know what not to do and what order of operations works best.

The top (which is attached to the skirt) was fully lined, and the collar lays on top of the bodice and is held in place with a couple of snaps.

The wig was a Glinda in Dark Copper Red from Arda Wigs. I brushed out most of the curls into waves, and then styled the front into a couple of victory rolls on either side. The hat was then pinned securely onto the wig.

2014 Update: After accidentally fading the sequins on the hat by leaving it in direct sunlight for way to long, I decided to make the basic chorus girl variation for future wear. (Also because the sequins on the collar itched like you wouldn't believe.) Thankfully I had enough supplies left from the original project that I didn't need to buy anything. (I had ordered extra stars original for something else that never happened.)

Photos

  • © 2012 Arseni Kritchever (Heroes and Villains Dance)
  • © 2012 (Hallowe'en)
  • © 2013 (G-Anime)
  • © 2013 Belziir (G-Anime)
  • © 2013 Belziir (G-Anime)
  • © 2014 Elemental Photography (Otakuthon)
  • © 2014 Elemental Photography (Otakuthon)
  • © 2014 Elemental Photography (Otakuthon)
  • © 2014 Elemental Photography (Otakuthon)

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