There are a lot of visitors
to this page with people who are looking for help and ideas in making Elvis
costumes. I have decided to add a section to this page that may be of help.
Please be sure to read the information at
the 'bottom' of this page. People are emailing me and asking questions that are
already answered on this page. Please note:
do not make Elvis costumes for other people.
I do not know where you
can get patterns for Elvis suits.
Making these costumes is expensive, time-consuming, and there is no way I'd risk getting ripped
off over the internet...and I don't think you can blame me for that.
Also, below, you'll find a
link to another page of mine for the collar instructions and other helpful tips
for promotion and ideas.
Also, I LOVE hearing from all of
those who take the time to write. Your letters make my
day. I'm so sorry I can't
get back to everyone, but you can be sure your letters are read and
Update: November 12, 2010
AND....my dad has requested that I
make him another jumpsuit. He wants another black one, so that's what I'm
working on now. Pretty soon I hope to take pictures and go into more details
about this suit and it's construction. There'll be updates coming as soon as I
get the time.
I'm pretty excited about making another
1993 I made my dad an Elvis
costume to wear to
a party. By the time the party arrived, he was already going around to
places and visiting people, while wearing his suit. It snow-balled from there.
He perfected his act, and I perfected his costumes. Several of the suits I made
won blue ribbons at the county fair. This is a collection of some of the suits
I've made for him in the past six years. This first picture is of the first suit
I made for him. I glued everything on, after sewing the costume. After that, I
started hand-sewing beads and jewels on...using studs, too. They had to be made
to last and withstand a lot of movement. With all of the work and hours I've put
into his later suits, it's embarrassing to look back at that first 'glued' suit.
But, live and learn, right?
is another black suit I made. It has a lot more
stud work . My thumb was numb for weeks after completing this suit. I put
every one of these studs in place by hand. It was more frustrating to try to use
a stud-setter, so, I just ended up doing it manually. These suits are completely
lined and are quite heavy. But they are made very well and withstand many
'bathtub' washings. A dry-cleaner wouldn't touch them. This black suit took me
95 hours to complete. I didn't keep track of the hours on all of them, but I did
we have the red suit. This one took me 81 hours to complete. However, my dad's
evil housekeeper, at the time, ruined it by washing it wrong and scrubbing the
studs and sequins against each other. She did this during a night that dad
needed her to stay home...and she was mad....she took it out on the red Elvis
suit and completely ruined it.
I had to re-design
it...replacing many of the decorations. By the time I was finished, I had
another 82 hours into it's reconstruction. She also used a grainy, rough washing
powder to wash it.
This is 'The Troll' that ruined the suit. I
don't like her. She was mean to me and everyone around her. I have no idea why
my dad let her stay at the house for so long...she didn't do a good job of
anything....didn't take good care of the house or my mom. This was one mean,
pinched up, nasty, 'disturbed' wolf-woman.....or something. She has the worst
personality of anyone I know.....evil, vindictive...and looking at her feet
makes me appreciate being an amputee! I can't stand this woman. I have a right
to be angry at what she did to me and all my hard work. She did end up getting
fired, but still.....
April of 1996 I completed the blue suit. I didn't
keep track of the exact amount of hours it took to make it, but it was
probably around 90 hours, or so. I didn't include a cape with this suit, or the
red one. He uses some suits for the beginning or ending of a show, and other
suits he uses for other occasions like parades or quick shows and appearances.
had to save the best suit for last...it was my masterpiece. It took me
eight months and fourteen days to finally complete it. I invested 1,140 hours of
my life into making this suit. I hand-stitched 22,405 individual beads and
sequins on it, double-knotted. And this doesn't include any of the studs or
other ornaments. These hours also do not include shopping time or design time. I
went through countless hours of designs and research for designs. The total cost
in the materials, etc., amounted to only $397.86. However, if you go by, say,
$9.00 an hour in labor, this suit costs someone $10,240.00 in labor. And if you
add in the materials, it's total would be $10,637.86. This was not a cheap,
fast, easy suit to make...
I delivered the suit in
person, in Maryland, as I did all of the suits, on August 30, 1995. It went
through one show, and then I brought it back to South Carolina with me so I
could enter it in the Piedmont Interstate Fair. I was up against six counties
and won first place, plus a special award. I would also like to add that in
making all of these suits, which total seven, I only had his measurements to go
on. The fittings' took place AFTER each suit was made and delivered...and every
one of them fit perfectly...like they were, well, made for him!
Elvis Costume Help And
A lot of you have written
for help in various areas of this particular costume and how to make it. First
of all, a pattern helps....you may be able to find it on the internet....just do
your research under Elvis jumpsuit patterns.
The one I used in particular was from Simplicity.
Since I started making this costume, several years ago, it has been
discontinued...but you never know...it may re-surface. Also look on eBay.
Also, you can check with Alter
Years. But don't give up...I do see it floating around once in a
while...don't forget to check the pattern stores and fabric shops.
do not have extra patterns.
It would be incredibly time-consuming to make a copy of my own patterns and I do
not have that kind of time and I would not do it free. It would take untold
amounts of hours to do this, and I just won't do it. I can't even get a thank
you for the free collar tips I was providing, there is no way I'm going to do
this much work and be treated the same way.
I DO NOT KNOW WHERE YOU CAN
GET VARIOUS PATTERNS FOR ELVIS COSTUMES.
can be expensive to buy in the stores and they have a limited selection, and
they may not have enough for your project. I can give you the name of the place
where I bought mine, and you can buy them by the gross (144 studs to a
pack)....very reasonably priced. I don't know if they have a website yet, I
haven't checked to see, but here is their phone number and address so you can
request a catalog.
Post Office Box 2918
Largo, Florida 34649
call toll free: 1-800-366-2218
Another very kind person gave me the
website address of a place where she buys her studs and rhinestones (thank you,
you want to keep the jewels where you put them, use sew-on types. They have
little holes on either end and you can stitch them in place in no time...nothing
to it at all. Not one of my sew-on jewels have ever come off of anything. I
could find plenty of the sew-on types in the local stores...like Wal-mart and
Michael's....but could not find them in the catalog mentioned above. I have not
looked at a recent catalog, so, maybe they have them by now.
I used to have an address on this page for the wigs, but I hear they are no
longer in business. I have no clue where you can buy a good wig. Just keep
searching the internet, that's all I can really tell you at the moment.
pride myself in being able to get my Elvis costume collars to stand up even
better than some of Elvis' collars on his suits. For more information on how I
did this, and I'm more than happy to share this with you, just click here...
It will take you to another
page of mine where you can print out the directions. On that page I will explain
how to make those collars look nice, and stay nice, plus a few other tips.
for bird for white cape...I thought I'd go
ahead and scan in
the pattern I used for the white suite in making the 'birds'. If you want, just
print out the 'bird' and then, where each dot is, punch a small hole in the
paper....then, when you are ready to decorate your Elvis suit, just lay the
paper where you want it and take a pen and mark in each hole......then you will
know exactly where to put the decorations.
you have other questions I can help you with, you may write to me and I'll do
the best I can. I learned a lot of things during the time I was helping my dad
to 'put his act together'.