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Corpse Bride Wedding Dress

I thought I would do this blog post quickly before packing up my computer! We are moving house and I should be hard at work, packing boxes and stuffing bags!

Although mostly known for my 1940’s singing and burlesque, one of my most popular blog posts is actually about a Corpse Bride Halloween Costume I made some years back, based on the Tim Burton film. The original wedding gown was donated to me by a good friend and I set to work re-working it and creating accessories.

A lovely bride-to-be by the name of Mira got in touch earlier this year after seeing my dress, asking whether I could do the same for her. So she sent me some images of a few wedding gowns to choose from and pounced on a sweetheart bust, lace overlay number which she sent to me to work on. Over the coming months it went through 4 hand dyes.  I added lace, vintage pearls, snipped the train, hand painted some detailing and hand stitched the slit, created a veil and headdress and even the bouquet and button hole to match!

I was not only eager to get it finish in time for her wedding, but was also rather pregnant so it was getting harder to pick up things if I dropped them on the floor! I was so proud of the dress and took pictures all the way through to show progress.

Miia’s wedding went beautifully and she sent me some pictures to show you all of her big day. Hopefully I will get to do more of these up-cycles and finger’s crossed some other themes like steampunk or Day of the Dead too!

Gothic Wedding Bouquet

I sprayed the bouquet with enamel paint, added jewels, covered wire and antique lace before adding hand painted accents.#


Corpse Bride Wedding Veil

Corpse Bride Wedding Veil. I made this out of natural muslin and sprayed and hand painted it.


Corpse Bride Wedding Gown

The gown and headdress. The headdress was handmade using covered wire and little flowers that were sprayed and painted.


Corpse Bride DressIMG_9426


tim burton corpse bride dress

Mira in the dress!

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Halloween 2012

With so much preparation, I can hardly believe it is all over (although slightly glad that I can have a vaguely clean house before the Christmas decorations go up!).

This year was so much fun thanks to visiting friends AND trying pumpkin engraving for the first time and loving the effect. We went mad decorating the cottage and it looked amazing. Here are some photos of our best bits, costumes and decorations!


Bex and Trampy Halloween 2012

Bex and Trampy with AMAZING makeup and costumes on Saturday! Taken by KvM


Corpse Bride Costume by Kitten von Mew

My Corpse Bride Costume Completed!

Finally a picture of my Corpse Bride outfit! The makeup was very uncomfortable, but Im trying a lighter finish for Dr Sketchy’s in late November!

Halloween Decor in the Bathroom

Halloween Decorations in our Bathroom!

Haunted House Halloween Decorations

Our spooky cobwebs and dead flowers really gave the place a chilling touch!

vintage halloween decorations

Spooky cobwebs covered the living room

Corpse Bride Halloween Decor

Our Corpse Bride sitting at the buffet table on Halloween night 2012

Halloween Fish Tank

Even the fish got a Halloween theme!

funny halloween photo

Our engagement photo was transformed thanks to a couple of Frankenweenie characters

Frankenstein Engraved Pumpkin

My 1st attempt at pumpkin engraving! You need stronger candles for the light to shine through, but WOW! Amazing effect!



HP Saucy and Dai on Wednesday


Bride of Frankenstein Kitten von Mew

My Bride of Frankenstein special FX makeup that I wore to work and on Wednesday evening! And yes, apart from the white streak that is all my real hair!


Pumpking Carving Competition

Pumpking Carving Competition with Anna, Ollie, Bex and Trampy. Trampy won!


Richard and Kitten Halloween 2012

Corpse Bride Kitten and ‘James Boned’ Mr Moo on Saturday

Stay Puft and Ghostbuster

Hilarious Ghostbuster and Stay Puft on Wednesday. Most hilarious thing I have seen in ages!!!!


Kitten and Richard, Halloween 2012

Having a giggle with our brilliant gingerbread bat lolly! How cool is that?!

The Corpse Bride Halloween Costume

It’s a well known fact that I LOVE Halloween. Ever since I was a child, I have never been one for plain old costumes and created ever more unique ensembles, ranging from Dracula with a puppet snake (made out of a pair of tights and worn like a sock puppet), road kill and Charlotte (a famous girl ghost of Warwickshire who was locked in the family tomb in the plague as they thought she was dead, only to re-open the tomb later to find her dead on the steps with her fingernails worn away from clawing at the entrance and chunks of her arm missing…presumably from hunger and madness).

Last year I experimented with a 1920’s harlequin and sugar skull makeup and this year I have been given the opportunity to try and recreate Tim Burton’s fabulous Corpse Bride! I have longed to do this ever since watching the film, but finding the time and excuse has been difficult. With an aptly themed Birmingham Dr Sketchys on the way and a small Halloween get together, I think I may have found the excuse!

Candee, Birmingham Dr Sketchys curator and my dear friend, donated a wedding dress for me to play around with. After trying it on to test the style, I carefully cut out the underskirts and set about cutting off the sleeves and bodice, so that I could re-attach with a more A-line look. The silk gave the gown a fabulous vintage feel from the offset, whilst the Venice lace around the edge helped give a ragged feel to the train. I dyed the bodice and skirt separately in a tin bath with China Blue Dylon dye, taking the bodice out after a few minutes as I wanted this paler. I started getting concerned that it was turning green but luckily it did eventually go pale blue! The Corpse Bride’s dress was actually white, but I loved how the dress took on a blue hue in the moonlight and shadows as it gave it more atmosphere. I played the movie again and again to get a feel of the train with its holes and jagged edges and to get the other small details right, such as the purple-blue edging. I managed this with some BMW Topaz Blue spray paint and hand painted over the top with blue and purple acrylics all the way around the train and bodice edges. I also added spray paint around the holes and tears to make them really stand out.


Back of the gown with new panels to increase bust. Created by Kitten von Mew

Next came that hole, revealing the Bride’s ribs. After searching online for costumes and SFX latex body parts I decided to make my own simple version. I didn’t want gory or bloody and bits of flesh hanging off the bones. The beauty of Tim Burton is the clean lines and purity. Death was portrayed as the colourful happy place compared to ‘upstairs’ (Life), which was tinted with sepia and dull greys. I used high quality black velvet for the background as this fabric is perfect for absorbing the light, giving the illusion of a dark cavity. For the ribs I found some off-white ribbon sewed 2 lengths together to make a tube and stuffed it with polyester stuffing. I made 4 of these and then sewed them onto the black velvet with a slight curve to make the effect of ribs. This was then glued to the inside of the bodice and left to dry whilst I danced around the room with excitement.


Corpse Bride Costume by Kitten von Mew


Bodice detail showing ribs. Costume by Kitten von Mew

This weekend I managed to complete the headdress and veil! The veil in the animation is made from Muslin, which has a good tatty feel to it. I happened to have some spare and kept it off white, whilst cutting jagged edges and spraying them with the car paint. In some parts of the movie, you can see swirly vine detailing on the veil. It is sometimes portrayed in grey and others in purple, so I took the theatrical route and went the latter so it stood out.


Corpse Bride Veil by Kitten von Mew


Handmade Headdress by Kitten von Mew

Next came the headdress. I had bought a long wig from Ebay which ended up being purple and not dark blue! It doesn’t look too bad, so sprayed a little paint on it to add some matting. The headdress itself I made out of thin plastic corset boning wrapped with leaves, berries and flowers. There are more on one side than the other, which is true of the film too when you see the piano duet scene. I sprayed with the same blue paint and over-painted with grey acrylics. The veil was then attached to the back by folding over the top edge.

Next the legs…The Corpse Bride has one skeleton leg with skin on her foot and ankle like a baggy blue sock, whilst her other leg is blue skin. This is easily done by cutting off 1 blue leg from your tights and attaching a skeleton print one in its place. You can then use the cut off blue leg to use as the baggy skin. Genius huh?

The arm has been a little more difficult. I haven’t got the pennies to buy a prop skeleton arm (my first idea), so will be doctoring a skeleton print glove by adding more length and extra bone. This will then be sewn to the underarm of the bodice and held on the shoulder with some toupee tape if needed.

I have the makeup ordered (light green for the base, then blue and white to blend with purple eye powder for shadows) and will post about this when I have tried it out!

Enjoy the photos of my costume and I will get some shots IN the costume on Halloween!