After making the headdress, I got to work on the dress. Fortunately I had cut out the pieces three years ago when I started the costume, so all I had to do was sew it up. I used my favorite shift dress pattern, SImplicity 9175 from 1970, previously seen here. To make the dress look more like an Egyptian one, I lengthened it and made the skirt straight rather than A-line. When I bought the fabric I must have been thinking about the very fine, somewhat sheer linen that wealthy Egyptians wore, but it definitely looks costumey. Since this is just a one-time-wear costume, I didn’t bother with facings or a decent hem.
I was a bit unhappy with how the headdress wasn’t holding its rounded shape very well. I made some braces from cardboard and hot glued them in place, which made a huge difference. On the front, I added a huge gold brooch that used to be my grandmother’s–while it isn’t particularly Egyptian looking, I thought it was a decent substitute for the snake, as it added a large and shiny focal point to the front while covering the fold of the band.
All that was needed to complete the ensemble was a necklace. I had originally planned to make my own, but time was running out, so I ordered this one on Amazon. I was really happy with it-the quality was better than I expected for the price. I had also planned to paint a pair of sandals gold, but I didn’t get to it. I just wore white sandals.
Getting the headdress to cover my hair was more difficult than I imagined. I put it into a topknot and generously hairsprayed it, but I still ended up with some hair sticking out. Since it fits quite snugly, it would push some stray strands of hair down when I put it on. I ultimately used a stretchy handband, which mostly held things in place, and carefully maneuvered the headdress over the topknot and adjusted it gently. I think it would have worked better to do this with damp hair.
The last step was recreating Nefertiti’s makeup, which was not too difficult–I just put on some heavy black eyeliner and reddish lipstick and darkened my eyebrows a bit. Unfortunately, due to my desire for anonymity, you can’t see it in the photo below, but I’m sure you get the idea.
The costume came together pretty well; better, in fact, than I was expecting. If I were to do it again, I would probably use something sturdier than the interfacing for the headdress, perhaps cardboard, though the braces inside really helped. I would also use actual linen, or something similar, for the dress–the shiny fabric just isn’t doing it for me. Mostly, I would not wait until the last minute.