Part 2: Sarah’s Labyrinth Ball Gown: A Costume Study

NEW HI-RES PHOTOS and updated information! Click on any photo to see a ton more detail.  The photos shown here are large, and will get much larger (thousands x thousands for the resolutions) when clicked.

As promised, I returned to MoPop with my real camera instead of my iPhone camera.  I already gave a good deal of information in the first post on this gown.  So this post will be mostly photographic, with commentary on new information or things to pay extra attention to beneath some photos.  Some shots will be close to the same, but sometimes a lightly different angle shows something just differently enough for it to be clearer.  I’ll upload more of these photos to this Facebook album today, though the resolution might get squished.

This one shows the necklace very well.  Through studying the beadwork, I was able to determine that I was incorrect on the neckline missing trim.  Let’s look back at the gown on Sarah:
She has a yellow flower on her right shoulder, but there isn’t one on the right shoulder on the mannequin. BUT! Through studying the beading and lace pattern, I was able to see that this photo of Sarah has been flipped. So that flower isn’t missing. It’s on the mannequin’s left shoulder, and In the film itself, it is also shown on her left.


If you look hard, on the left sleeve you can just barely tell that there’s a larger opaque poof just at the top. It looks like a floating ball of pink. Below that is cellophane with a lace overlay.


Starting just under the big shiny spot toward the top right by the right sleeve, you can juuuuuust past out the beginning of the front bodice seam.


The ground of the lace is in a diamond pattern.


The back of the necklace is seed beads on wire with a basic spring clasp and a chain hanging down the back.


The bottom edge of the bodice is piped.


The neckline of the bodice is piped. You can also see how the lace is pieced on and stitched down rather than being a solid piece of shaped lace. If you look closely at the left arm, you can see the shadow of its outline.


The bodice closes with what appears to be ten hooks and eyes.


The fullness of the sleeves is concentrated toward the top.



In the following pictures, pay special attention to the edges of the lace.  Two types were used, an eyelash lace for the front half, and a different lace in the lack.

This photo shows the two types of lace. This is from the back on the right side. The lace father away, which looks to be our left, is the eyelash, while the lace on the right that comes back toward the camera, isn’t.


The edge of cellophane!


The piecing on the skirt edge is easy to see here.


Check out the zig-zag edge.


Here is that repair I mentioned in the last post.


I was incorrect about the lace last time. It looks irregularly crinkled, but upon closer look, it looks like the organza was pulled and pulled until the fibers were all pulled out of shape.


A pretty decent view of the front lace pattern.



I hope these additional photos are of some help to some of you!  I’m already sourcing fabrics for a couple inquiries as my schedule allows me too, and my daughter wants one as well.  Because of course she does.  She loves fancy things.  Like mother, like daughter. 🙂

Up soon…Jareth! Subscribe to get notified of the one.  It’s a few weeks out yet.  My commissions schedule is too busy for me to start breaking that one down!

14 thoughts on “Part 2: Sarah’s Labyrinth Ball Gown: A Costume Study

  1. Sa`ida

    You are my absolute fabric detail hero!! It’s almost impossible to get good close up pictures of movie wardrobe. Thank you so much for sharing! Love love love it!

  2. Paiton

    god bless you for posting even more glorious stuff about this dress! normally I can never find any costume analysis as in depth as yours, but to see one that goes over every nook and cranny and every possible angle, you’re probably a godsend to Labyrinth cosplayers everywhere that are brave enough to try and conquer this beast of a dress (including myself)! and as for the pulling method used to warp the organza on the top layer, I’m willing to bet money that my Granny knows how to do that. She’s got almost 70 years worth of sewing experience and knows tricks you’d never thought existed or that would actually work! I plan on asking her about it when I go over to her house tomorrow afternoon and if I can get such glorious info I’ll definatley be posting it on here in another comment.

    • Angela

      @Paiton, did you ever find out the trick from your Gran to get the pulled organza effect? I would love to know the best way to achieve this 🙂

      • Paiton

        unfortunately, no. she argued with me for hours that it wasn’t possible. so i decided to discover the trick on my own and I quite recently did! Turns out you just get crushed organza and pull it with your fingers! and boom! you get those weird waves in the fabric!

  3. Laura

    Man, I wish I came across this post when I was trying to find shots for my recreation! Now I know what to go back and fix. Thank you so much!

  4. ally

    this is amazing! did you upload an entry for jareth’s costume???? im working on his costume for a contest and it would be a great reference! as im doing sarah’s dress with your help! thanks!

  5. ValeofShadowsCosplay

    You’re an angel. I have spent 27 years obsessing over this dress. I’m embarking on a journey to transform my wedding dress (already substantially similar) into a Sarah cosplay and this is just what I needed. If anyone has an incredible leg-o-mutton sleeve tutorial or pattern to recommend, please tell me!

  6. Leanne Mitchell

    Hi there! Thank you so much for posting these fantastic pictures!!! I plan on recreating the gown, and I’ve managed to find fabrics based on your photos and notes. I have a question – may I use your photos (absolutely with attribution) when I make the gown and post the pictures of my own work? Or would you prefer for me to just link to your site? Since I often compete in recreation competitions, I hesitated to embark on the gown until I found your photos!!!!

  7. Paiton

    @Angela unfortunately, no. she argued with me for hours that it wasn’t possible. so i decided to discover the trick on my own and I quite recently did! Turns out you just get crushed organza and pull it with your fingers! and boom! you get those weird waves in the fabric!

  8. Paiton

    I think I know what kind of silver lace that was used on the sleeves and the layer of lace under the top layer of the skirt! I’ve spent the past two days researching and its a certain kind of lace called Chantilly Lace. and you have to look for it in metallic silver. Unfortunately I’m still looking for the right kind, but at least this will get you in the right ball park. But be warned, guys this stuff does NOT come cheap!

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