The Catt Box

'Elvis Costumes'  

 

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: 

I do not make Elvis costumes for other people.

Also,

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.

 Elvis Collars   Elvis Tips 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 appreciated. 

 

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 jumpsuit. 

 

 first_elvis_suit-in_house.jpg (21551 bytes)In 1993 I made my dad an Elvis costume to wear to first_elvis_suit_in_action.jpg (22442 bytes) 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?

 

 

 second_black_suit.jpg (26496 bytes)This is another black suit I made. It has a lot more elvis_leaves_throne.jpg (30366 bytes) 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 on some.

 

 

the_red_one_-_front.jpg (26652 bytes)the_red_one-_back.jpg (21053 bytes)the_red_belt.jpg (22168 bytes)Then 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. 

the_troll.jpg (25896 bytes) the_feet_of_the_troll..jpg (21138 bytes) a_troll-ite_night.jpg (20906 bytes) 

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.....

 

 

 front_of_the_blue_suit.jpg (27784 bytes)In April of 1996 I completed the blue suit. I didn't back_of_blue_suit.jpg (35342 bytes) 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.

 

       

 

back_of_white_with_cape.jpg (23622 bytes)side_of_white_suit.jpg (23919 bytes)back_of_suit_without_cape.jpg (46844 bytes)front_white_suit_with_awards.jpg (33547 bytes)I 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 Ideas!

 

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. 

Please note:.....I 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.

Studs....they 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.

Enterprise Art
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, Virginia).

Rhinestoneguy

http://www.rhinestoneguy.com

And I've purchased things recently from this place, which has LOTS of great jumpsuit-making supplies:

www.jumpsuitsupply.com

Jewels....if 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. 

Wigs....well, 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. 

Collars....I 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.

Pattern for bird for white cape...I thought I'd go ahead and scan firebird_pattern.jpg (43181 bytes)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.

If 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'.

 

 Elvis Collars   Elvis Tips And Ideas