Friday, August 1, 2014

Princess Leia

I don't know if I've ever posted about it, but I'm a member of the Rebel Legion (largest world-wide organization of good-guy Star Wars costumers). I've always done a generic costume when I do troops, like Jedi, and I swore I was never going to do a classic Princess Leia because I don't look like Carrie Fisher (other than height, we're the same). Last year at the Star Wars night at the Cardinals game, since we didn't have a Leia, they had one of their employees wear a halloween costume and everyone loved it, so I realized it doesn't matter that I don't look like Carrie so long as I'm recognizable. I decided to go ahead and make it, and here's the end result.

One from the ballgame. Apparently I was on ESPN :p My buns did make it onto the Wil Wheaton project though XD

I made the boots, I'll probably do a more in-depth write up about it later, I basically built the boot shaft and attached it to a pair of vintage boots.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Etsy Shop Listings: Victorian Corset and more

Since I've added a few new items to my shop including a costume piece, I thought I'd update you all.

First off, I'm parting with my Victorian Corset. It ended up being a little long in the torso for me, so I'm letting it go.

I've also made this Ravenclaw-inspired Tote Bag:

I've also made a couple of Katniss Everdeen inspired lace masks:

That's all for now, still working hard to prep for Dragon*Con!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

75th Tribute Parade Dress - Pt. 1

Here's my current project:

That's right, I'm adding to my Katniss collection. I absolutely love this dress from Catching Fire, and I'm glad that it was custom made, as most of her wardrobe were designer items I can't afford. I don't have many good pictures of the whole dress standing, and you never see it in the movie except when the chariot first pulls into the Tribute Parade. I have a flickr album for my Katniss research, here's a link to the parade research album.  Click on for the start of my build.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

So I finished making a weird thing; Katniss' cowl finished

I finished this awhile back, and was waiting to post the final picture as a 'big reveal', but the last few snows of the season just didn't stick and I wasn't able to get a photographer. I decided to take some dummy pictures today and just post it. I'm planning on wearing it to Dragon*Con this year, and am fixing up my Singer treadle to hopefully sew through leather. Once I can find some suitable leather I plan to make her hunting coat from scratch. So, in the mean time, here's the finished piece.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Getting Brave...

Yay, Project Progress!!

I have to say, I'm liking having multiple deadlines during the year instead of just the one for Dragon*Con, it's forcing me to focus on things one or two at a time and get them finished for an event, so I won't have to try and finish *everything* in August.

This time, the project is Merida from Pixar's "Brave" and I'd like to finish the dress by Memorial Day weekend for Ren Faire.

I didn't plan on doing this one when the movie first came out, especially as everyone seemed to be doing this gown, but I really fell in love with the movie. I'm also of Scottish and Irish descent, and since I'm strawberry blonde I have very pale skin, so this works for me. I decided I'm going to try and do this in a more historically accurate fashion. Not completely, of course, because Disney never does strictly accurate... Merida's gown seems to be a mix between a classic Kirtle or Cotehardie, with Italian Renaissance-style sleeves (no doubt because she'd have to have good arm movement for shooting a bow, which her cotehardie-style dress during the Games proved ill-equipped for). Princess seams weren't really accurate for this era, so I'll be doing a more rectangular style dress with triangle gores, so it has a more medieval feel to it. I've seen many versions of this dress with fabric strips attaching the sleeves, but there's no historical gown that does it that way either; it's done with ties.

To start with, I decided wool and linen would be the most accurate fabrics for the Scottish Highlands. I bought a couple yards of wool for the dress itself and dyed this first. This was rather difficult as you're supposed to boil wool to dye it, but I had no pot big enough to hold all the wool, the weight of the water, and put it over a fire. Best I could do was put it in the washing machine on hot and add boiling water. I had used Spruce dye from Dharma Trading, and had intended for this to be more on the blue side, but it didn't come out as blue as my test strip. It was still a beautiful green/blue color, and it matches some of the screen shots used where she's in good lighting (the promo pics are more blue/teal than it is in the movie anyway).  Later, I dyed some wool yarn which I am using to make cording.

I had a hard time getting my camera to capture the color, it's a darker shade than what shows.
I wanted to build the chemise first so I could make sure the necklines matched up, so I got some very fine linen for that. I had a dilemma though... the chemise neck is clearly gathered, but there's no evidence of a casing, or smocking, or anything to show how it does this (just like she has no seams or closures :p ) I also wasn't sure how I'd do a flared skirt and control the bulk of the extra fabric if I had a chemise with a gathered neckline. In the end, I built it like my Hobbit Chemise by gathering/smocking a rectangle and applied a bias strip on top of that to control it, and putting a flat strap on the shoulders. I put a casing in the waist to gather it to control the fabric, and put gores in the skirt so it would be the same shape as the over dress' skirt.

It's sleeveless because I learned when I did my Italian Renaissance gown, when you have tight sleeves that show the chemise underneath, and you want the chemise to poof a certain way, it's not only hard to put the sleeves on if they're separate, it's hard to control the poofage, so I'm going to attach those directly into the gown so they stay where I want them.

And for fun, shoe shot!! Merida's shoes are ankle high ghillies, but I already had these knee-high ghillies and I love them, so why not put them to use?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

C2E2 Preview post

Hello, watchers!

Here's a little preview of the new project I've been working on for Dragon*Con this year. I decided to make Black Widow from the new Captain America 2 movie. This costume is about 75% done, I had to rush to get it wearable for C2E2 in Chicago this weekend, so I don't have all my props, and the ones I DO have are a little janky. The belt is temporary and the boots I threw together in 2 hours, but they actually turned out fairly decent. I'll post more pictures later, but here's one of a few I got from this weekend.

I also wore my USO Girl from the first Captain America movie (it was a very Cap weekend!) today, which I'm not sure I ever posted on here when I finished it last year. The credit goes to Kathy Kaydee for organizing the group, including the pattern and coordinating all the materials so those of us who make them all coordinate. My grandma pin-curled my hair for me last night so it's pretty authentic! I got called 'adorable' all day, which a girl loves to hear *g* More pictures and info to come later.
My companions are Stacie, Jim, and Beth of the Rebel Legion/501st. Beth, on the right, won 2nd place in the C2E2 costume contest for her husband, Trent's, glorious hand-beaded Ming the Merciless costume :D

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I think I'm going to dye...

Hello lovely watchers!

An update, I did finish my Weird Thing (my Katniss Cowl) but we never got another snow and I wasn't able to find a photographer... I don't even have a blank wall to use to take a picture :p I'll eventually get one up, but spring is finally upon us, so no nice wintery shots :p

This post is more for a brainstorming session.  I like to dye my own fabric for my projects, and I use yardage of silk quite a lot. At the moment, I'm using a load of wool for my Merida costume.

To use acid dye for silks and wools, you have to bring it to a near boil and maintain the temperature for the dyes to work most efficiently. I have the largest pot I could find, and I can usually dye a couple yards of silk in it if I use the barbeque to boil the water, but things like velvet and wool I'd have to chop up the fabric into 1 - 1.5 yard sections, and that's a pain as each dye bath would have to be the exact same formula of dye powder, water, and temperature - hard to maintain on a grill. I've tried dyeing in the washing machine, with the hottest setting and adding boiling water, but it's still hard to maintain. I'm trying to brainstorm what I can use as a dye pot that can take heat and large quantities of water. My dad is building me a firepit with something built in to hold a big dye pot. It is best to be steel because iron or copper would react with the dye solution. I was thinking of those big galvanized steel tubs, but I fear those wouldn't be able to take the heat or weight. Does anyone have any good ideas for large dye pots?