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?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

American Duchess: Introducing and Celebrating Nankeen Regency Boots

It's time again for more American Duchess shoes! I love these new ones, I'm a fan of more rounded toe stuff and I hope there will be a round-toed Regency flat one day. Her shoes are honestly some of the most comfortable I've ever worn. 

American Duchess: Introducing and Celebrating Nankeen Regency Boots: Today is the day for our latest historical shoe - "Nankeen" Regency Boots ! Nankeen boots were an early 19th century fabric ...

Friday, January 31, 2014

So I'm making a weird thing, Pt. 3. Katniss Cowl Progress

Last progress update, hopefully the next pic I can share will be a nice photo of me in the whole costume! I only have to do the vertical braids to fill in the front section, and then some finishing touches. I'm going to tack down the neck a bit on one side to force the slouch because it's supposed to collapse a little over there.

Friday, January 17, 2014

So I'm making a weird thing, pt. 2 - Katniss Cowl Progress

Just a quick progress post!

First, the original for reference:

And where I'm at:

May or may not be bigger than hers, but oh well, making this up as I go along. Next up is the body, those braids will follow the long one draped around the front. I can see why the original took Maria Dora and an assistant a couple weeks to do, this is pretty labor intensive. So far I've used 3.5 skeins of yarn. A lot of people have said it's impractical, but when I tried it on to pin up the long braid I got quite warm, I'll have to try it out during the next polar vortex XD

Saturday, January 4, 2014

So I'm making a weird thing; Katniss' cowl from Catching Fire

I can't rave enough about Hunger Games: Catching Fire! I've seen it 4 times in the theater so far. They are very true to the book and it's so perfect. I, of course, want to make all of Katniss' costumes. I've started with one piece though, since I can add it to my original Katniss Hunting costume:

I just have to put black pants with it to make it accurate for Catching Fire. She will wear the jacket in Mockingjay also, and if I can get my old Singer treadle machine working and buy a hide of leather, I want to make the jacket proper. This lucky ebay find, though, has most of the appropriate shapes. There is one other addition to the Catching Fire version of this costume, and that is the cowl:

It was made by Maria Dora specifically for Katniss, based on a design she had already done. It was altered to be more practical for shooting. Apparently the internet is going nuts over this piece. If you search "Katniss Cowl", you will get hundreds of results of people trying to make their own, it's pretty remarkable. Sometimes I take on a costume I wasn't initially planning on doing simply because I think I figured out how it was made. That's the fun I have with costume making is figuring out the puzzle. Now let me first say that I am not a knitter. I only know the basic knit stitch, and I taught myself the basic crochet stitch for this.

I can't tell yet if I'm making it too big or not since I don't have much of the body done, but I'm kind of proud of the technique I've worked up (and I have no clue what I'm doing, I feel like freakin' MacGuyver here) Hopefully I can get this done before the last snow of the year and arrange some kind of photoshoot!

Also? It makes a great cat bed.

-edit 01/12/14- I'd shortened the end of the "y" and added the next row of braiding...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Etsy Shop - Bags Of Holding

-EDIT- Sold!! Thanks for looking! Anyone interested in looking at my shop sometime, it's Bags Of Holding on Etsy :)

I usually don't post much about my Etsy site on my blog, I'm not super-actively selling things on there, but I craft items for it from time to time, or sometimes when I make a costume piece and it's easy for me to make another with my leftovers, I do. It's called Bags Of Holding and the items on it are meant for geeks and gamers. Today for the first time I'm willing to let one of my costume pieces go. I've only worn it twice and it's in new condition. My very first Dragon*Con I made this apple green silk taffeta 18th Century gown which is pretty, but I know I'll never wear it again. If anyone knows someone petite who is looking for a new gown, I have one for them right here!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Costume Started - Irisa from Defiance

So, I've started watching Defiance, mostly because I live in St. Louis and *gasp!* someone actually set a show here. It's not filmed here, mind you, and due to war and alien terraforming, doesn't even look like St. Louis other than the Arch. If only we had mountains and weird giant purple flowers. Oh well. It's a fun sci-fi show, I wish they'd knock off with some of the adult-themed crap, but otherwise good stories and costumes.

I decided I wanted to do Irisa, an alien called an Irathient. I was sort of just toying with the idea until I just kept walking into some of the harder to find items thanks to luck and some friends. Since I stumbled onto the screen accurate fabric while shopping in Chicago, I started with the shirt. It's called a "Missoni-style knit", I don't have the color name, but it's a real interesting fabric.


It was a pretty simple build, just took a knit shirt that fit similar and drafted a quick pattern from it. There are no hems, those were left raw, I basically just sewed and serged it. Then I chopped some holes in, trying to keep them where they were on her shirt. I still have to fray out the holes some more and weather it a bit, but here's a crappy messy-sewing-room-mirror selfie

Not using the pants I'm wearing in the picture, those are from my Arena Katniss. My goal is to have this completed by April for St. Louis Comic Con. I might wait on the jacket since if I'm wearing it, the cool knife harness won't be showing :)