Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Full Costume: So I finally got to model a weird thing

Last winter I tried to get my Katniss Cowl done in time for the last snow of the season so I could go do a photoshoot in the woods, but every snow we had after that didn't stick, but it's just as well since I finally found pants in the right color and got myself a new wig for Katniss. I taught myself how to ventilate wig lace so I was able to add a widow's peak to my wig to hide mine and I no longer have my own hair peeking out. I love this wig so much, but I have to learn how to totally replace the lace now because most wigs come with dark lace and I'm pasty. In either case, I'm really happy with how this whole look came out. I'm still trying to find a used brown leather jacket so I can make one that's closer to screen accurate. Here's the full costume from Dragon*Con 2014.

Photos by the amazing Bryan Humphrey :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Costume Upgrade: Luna Lovegood

Hello, gang!

I just got back from Dragon*Con 2014 and it was a BLAST. I actually got to hang out on Thursday night this year, and I ran into so many people! Usually I search all con and only ran into a few, I think there were very few people I missed.

This year was a little unexpected for me, I usually only bring 4-5 costumes, this year I brought 8, some of them were old, or old with upgrades. I've actually taken a little break the last year or so from doing one big elaborate costume to doing a whole bunch of smaller ones, and though it felt so... wrong to not have a big show-stopper piece that I could enter in the big costume contest, I now feel I have enough in my costume closet that I have plenty of things I want to re-wear or use for group costuming when the opportunity comes up. I've also had the opportunity to have some older costumes photographed that I've never been able to properly share. I love bringing my pieces for Bryan Humphrey to photograph, he makes me look so good XD He is the Mad Scientist with a Camera

The first piece I'm going to share is an upgrade to an old costume. And I mean old. It's also my most worn costume. I made my Hogwarts Robes back in college, 6-7 years ago, when I first started learning how to properly pattern. It took months of studying and several drafts to make my shirt, skirt, and robe, and it's the only costume that old that I'm still proud enough of to wear. I picked Ravenclaw as my house (before it was cool, back in the day everyone only did Gryffindor or Slytherin) but didn't pick a character because I didn't believe I looked like anyone. This year, I decided to try something new and pick a character. I decided on Luna because, between her and Ginny, I already had Ravenclaw robes. I added an Arda wig which I made smaller in the cap. I'd like to add a lacefront so it looks better at the hairline. I ordered her replica wand from the Noble Collection, made her Butterbeer cork necklace, and found some spectraspecs in the vendor's hall which I wore to cover my glasses.

Out of all the costumes I wore all weekend, Luna was the only one that seemed to get stopped for pictures a lot. It felt so silly, after spending all this time and effort on other things, only to get such a gleeful reaction to an old costume upgrade. So here's the result. All pictures are by Bryan Humphrey.

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?