Cos Play, the Eleena Dress

When the themes for Project Run and Play were announced and I read that cos play was all rage, I was a bit baffled. I never heard of it and had no idea what they were talking about. Thank goodness for Facebook friends who enlightened me about the matters. :) I wasn't really interested in sewing along this week, I appreciate the  creativity but it's just not my thing. But then I checked with my good friend Google, and realized traditional ethnic costumes can be re-imagined for cos play was well. So I decided to pay homage to my Ukrainian heritage.

I used my own pattern, the Eleena dress (purchase here) to make it. Before you get all impressed, I didn't do the embroidery this time (I did here and here). The fabric is a hand embroidered table cloth that I bought at a garage sale last summer. The seller was an elderly Greek woman and she sounded exactly like one of the characters from the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. She had quite a heavy Greek accent, rolled her 'r's like nobody's business and was delighted to learn that I was a Ukrainian. "Did you marry an American? Tst, tst.. Does he treat you good? Well, than it's ok," :) I had a lot of fun talking to her. 


The Eleena dress was inspired by the table cloth. When I saw it, I envisioned a dress just like this and began to work on the pattern.  I am happy to say it turned out just like I imagined! I think the Eleena pattern works well for the fabric. I paid $ 2.00 for it, bleached a few stains out and finally made it. 

This might be my favorite make. I love how the embroidery looks very similar to a traditional Ukrainian costume. The embroidery and the look differs depending on the region, but this type of embroidery is typical of central Ukraine, where I am from. The head piece is traditionally made from fresh flowers, but we just used a store bought. :) 

Evelyn loves the dress. She stood next to me while I was sewing away, practically drumming her fingers. She went for a nap wearing it. There was no way I could make her change into pajamas. I learned to choose my battles when dealing with three year olds. 

Love the back! I tried hard to match the design. It was almost impossible to do, since it wasn't exactly symmetrical, but I think I did well. 

I created a Facebook group for Coffee+Thread patterns. If you sew with my patterns, I would love you to join! 





27 comments

  1. As a gal that enjoys re-purposing garments, this dress is a real winner! The use of the rectangle to create almost a bib on the dress was so smart.
    Deborah @ Sew Much To Give

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  2. Beautiful! I love how colorful this dress ended up.

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  3. What a beautiful dress! I don't blame her for not wanting to take it off. And that embroidery is lovely -- I never would have guessed it was a table cloth, though!

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  4. What a lovely dress! Who can blame her for not wanting to take it off! Haha I can just imagine her standing there going, "Is it finished yet mum?" My daughter does that too :) The one that can talk haha A very creative way to re-purpose an item :) Love it!

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  5. Cos play is totally not my thing either, so I love your interpretation of the theme!

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  6. Super beautiful. That embroidery is stunning and the Eleena pattern works perfect for it!

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  7. Oh I love this! I have a stash of vintage table cloths (left over from my Alice in Wonderland Sewing). I love seeing them come to life in new ways - and love the Eastern European style and the skill and beauty of these embroideries. I'm inspired to start sewing my remaining table cloths...

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  8. Forgot to say - I also really like how you've kept the 'table cloth' details, like that lovely embroidered blue line of the square corner running up the side. Working with a table cloth can be a bit of a 'puzzle' - in a good way.

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  9. I love it, I also once upcycled an second hand embroidered table cloth and was so happy with the result!

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  10. How beautiful! I love, love, love it!!! This is just too adorable! This Eleena dress looks a lot more flow-y than others I have seen, did not recognize it was based on the same pattern!

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  11. We love it! My 17 year old daughter says, "Can I have one?" It really is beautiful.

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  12. I just love this one! Must go on a hunt for embroidered tablecloth now :)

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  13. I am just in awe, Olga! This is such an awesome dress. You did a great job matching the back pattern. It looks absolutely perfect to me! And speaking of perfect :: this dress and this pattern. I am growing so impatient to sew mine. We've had so many things come up over the last month and I cannot wait to tackle this pattern (and have some alone time - hehe).

    Oh and also - cosplay? I'm so confused. I was totally bewildered by that one, too. But i'm not on FB. This might be one craze that I will have to let pass me by. :P

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  14. You did a beautiful job! I love how you were able to repurpose the tablecloth into this lovely dress, and the embroidery on it is gorgeous.

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  15. The dress is lovely! What a wonderful and creative way to use an embroidered table cloth.

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  16. This is excellent, I was going to ask about the fabric and was amazed as I read on and saw that you re-purposed a table cloth. Now you've given me an idea :-)

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