Sewing blog post about Marilyn Monroe costume, DIY swimsuit, historical cosplay.
Updated: Feb 2
Inspiration: Marlyn Monroe costume from American romantic comedy "The bus stop" (1956).
I'm not trying to create an exact replica of this costume. I do this project for my own interest, so I think that's why I can make it, how I like it :)
There is plenty of information about this actress life, so there is no need for me to introduce her. I think It's really easy to understand why I choose Her as an inspiration. In their first runs, Monroe’s 23 movies grossed a total of more than $200 million, and her fame surpassed that of any other entertainer of her time. Her early image as a dumb and seductive blonde gave way in later years to the tragic figure of a sensitive and insecure woman unable to escape the pressures of Hollywood. Her vulnerability and sensuousness combined with her needless death eventually raised her to the status of an American cultural icon.
There are a few options of the leotard color - blue and green, in one poster even red. Also, the mesh fabric on the chest looks different in a few photos. But It's Just a small detail, which doesn't change a much for me, keeping in mind, that I still want to change some details.
I bought 2 ways stretch emerald green color fabric and beige color fabric for bra cups and linen. I also bought fishnet fabric for chest decor. It looks really similar. In this one photo, there is a heart shape hand stitching on the chest. Could it be that it tore apart, and someone stitches it like that? In the photo taken from the exhibition, it also looks torn.
CUT I understand that this piece of clothing has sewed in corset boning, sew in bones, or maybe there is a corset underneath this suit. It shapes those amazing curves. It looks amazing, but also uncomfortable. So when I throw out the corset part from this clothing, I think I will be left with a simpler shape of the bodysuit. I used most padded bra cups that I found. I heard a roomer that Marilyn custom made here bras, and it was heavily padded.
This bodysuit is with soft stretchy beige color linen. I want to cover all the treads from the beading and the stitches from the tassels.
MAKING BROOCHES FOR SIDES DECORATION
I found the mold on eBay for this, so I didn’t have to make it. Well, obviously, it’s not the same design, but I think it matches the spirit of this big vintage brooches. I made it in gold color.
I sprayed the brooches with golden spray, then when it dried out I applied two layers of golden lacquer.
To make these brooches it took 2 days because it takes at least half a day for all layers of paint, glue and resign to dry. I also fix six thick treads for each brooch, that I could sew it to the costume.
Almost all seams on this leotard are sewed with overlock super elastic stitch. All tassels are sewn on with the simple sewing machine using the settings for knitwear fabrics. Beading and brooches are sewed on by hand. The bra cups are inserted between the main and linen details of fabric, and it is fixed to the linen. .I didn’t use straps regulators in this design, because the straps string was too thick and decorative so It wouldn't look good. This design isn't difficult to sew, but it needs a bit of time and patience to sew on the beads.
From the scene in this movie which I saw, It looked that the actor had a really dramatic role. In on scene, she was arguing with a guy, and when she turned around and try to leave from him, he tries to stopped her by grabbing on to the tale of this costume, and ripped it off! She got really mad, after that:) Almost all of the time when I ripped my closes was when I was walking kind of fast and my clothes stuck to a door handle.What i mean to say is that this costume had a long beautiful tale. With a train, It looked even more interesting and out of these tames.
When I looked at photos for inspiration what to sew for this project, I found a lot of interesting costumes where there is a beautifully decorated bra with harem style skirts. It also looks really gorgeous, and I hope to try sewing something like that in the future. I found more than a few amazing Marilyn Monroe pictures with a swimming suit, but this one costume, that I choose to make definitely looks most interesting for me.
It would be interesting to look at how much of the difference it would make if I put the corset under this leotard. Sadly, I don’t have one.
This really reminds me of the burlesque costumes. I think it's because of the tassels. The real costume design is a bit different from what is to show on the movie poster. On the poster, all the suit is green including bra cups. This mind also looked nice to me, or even better, but somehow, I decided to stick to the original picture. All other costumes which I will do will be in the black and white pictures, so in this one time when I can see the true color, I think I will stick to it.
About Marlyn Monroe:
Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926– August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and was emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962 (equivalent to $2 billion in 2018). More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon. According to The Guide to United States Popular Culture, "as an icon of American popular culture, Monroe's few rivals in popularity include Elvis Presley and Mickey Mouse... no other star has ever inspired such a wide range of emotions – from lust to pity, from envy to remorse." Art historian Gail Levin stated that Monroe may have been "the most photographed person of the 20th century"
♥Interesting fact: Famous Marilyn Monroe dress on May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe made history when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday in a stunning, provocative flesh-colored gown. On November 17, 2016, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! set a new Guinness World Records record for the most expensive dress sold at auction when they acquired the dress from Julien’s Auctions for a staggering $4.8 million. Add in auction fees, and the dress cost over $5 million, making it the most expensive dress in the world!
♥Fun fact, or gossip: Pop princess Britney Spears is now the proud owner of an old pair of jeans - which belonged to screen goddess Marilyn Monroe. Fashion designer TOMMY HILFIGER handed over his prized possession after the singer spotted the historic denim at his New York office. Style expert Hilfiger insisted beautiful the sexy singer should take them, even though he'd splashed out $75,000 on them.
♥There is a really interesting documentary about the death of Marilyn Monroe. I suggest You watch it, but just if You are a bit into spooky things like I am:)