Crime Scene

I absolutely love true crime television shows, movies, documentaries, and books. It runs in my family a bit, too: my sister has a degree in Criminal Justice, and my oldest niece is a police officer. I just love the whole process of investigating a crime, gathering evidence, tracking down the culprit, and seeing justice served. I love the mix of science, psychology, and good-old critical thinking and observation skills.

That said, I stopped in to Ax-Man Surplus in spring of 2015 to see what sort of treasures I could find. Ax-Man is a store that sells random crap. That’s the best way I can describe it. I found a bunch of other awesome things that day, but my favorite was a roll of “Crime Scene Do Not Cross” tape. I bought it, and I had no idea what I planned to do with it except maybe hang some up somewhere for the hell of it. Impulse buy, I guess.

I can’t remember if it was the same day or a few days later, but I came up with the idea to make a crime scene costume. No, not a dead body – a costume of the crime scene evidence. The idea blossomed and I had an exact vision for how I wanted it to look, but every time I tried to explain it to people I just got odd looks and a reluctant, “…uh…okaaaaay…” response. Sigh. I’m not very good at explaining the weird ideas in my head.

The base of the costume was just a very simple black sleeveless dress that I bought from Kohl’s, I think. I could have made that myself, but I didn’t want to bother with it since I knew I’d be doing the rest from scratch.

I bought some red confetti dot fabric (basically a metallic red fabric with red foil dots) and cut out a giant blood splotch shape and hand-sewed it to the dress. Because the fabric was so odd, I didn’t want to risk ruining it with attempting to use my sewing machine. Once that was sewn, I sewed a 1/4″ red sequin trim around the edge of the blood splotch. This was hand-sewn because sequin trim is the spawn of the devil and there is no easy way to sew this stuff on. Believe me.

Once the dress was done, I started to work on the head piece and shoulder piece. The head piece started as a plain headband that I bought at a craft store, and then I made a giant bow out of the crime scene tape, mixed in tons of red tulle and netting, and even attached some actual spent bullet casings to the whole thing.

The shoulder piece was made similarly with a crime scene tape bow and red netting and tulle, but I added on some red rhinestones and bought a toy cap gun (which I then painted black and covered with black glitter). The whole piece is detachable so I can wash the dress.

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I made jewelry as well. The necklace is silver chain with actual spent bullet casings (in aluminum and brass) with red crystal beads. I made earrings as well, which are made with spent bullet casings, red crystal beads, and red tri-cut seed beads. (I forgot to take a photo of those, so I’ll add one later.)

The rest of the costume consisted of a pair of yellow tights with black fishnets layered over them, a pair of black boots, and makeup that included bright yellow eyeshadow.

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With my boyfriend Dane, who dressed as a red panda.

I think the end result was pretty close to how I imagined it.

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When I wore it to a party on Halloween, I won third place at a costume contest!

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