Monday, May 4, 2015

Tauriel and the Disappearing Skirt Debate

Sometimes, I feel that movie costumers pull some evil tricks on us recreation costumers!

I am currently in the process of my final research before drafting the coat for my Tauriel costume from The Hobbit (more on White Witch later... plugging along on it, but not making my research public until after Dragon*Con) but I've hit a little snag. Parts of Tauriel's costumes like to disappear.

Tauriel basically wears a couple of costumes that are layered up in different ways, and it is also sometimes inferred in the movie that she's wearing one costume under the other, for instance, she enters Bard's home in her green jacket, leather bodice, and travelling coat, but when she's healing Kili, she's suddenly in her crinkled tunic look, as if that outfit was underneath the other one.  In the book, they do admit they had removable skirts because they didn't want a lot of skirt layers.

Here's my predicament. I intend to make the version with the green deerskin jacket, and with the leather bodice once I get to it.

Now, here's the description of this green jacket from WETA's Desolation of Smaug Chronicles book:
"Beneath her coat and cuirass Tauriel wore a fine deerskin green jacket. The jacket had long sleeves made in four parts, exquisitely faggoted together by Katherine Pepperell in gently curving lines down her arms.
The original line of the costume had a smaller collar. Fran liked the line, but wanted a bigger collar, which turned out to be a very good call. From concept to delivery, the entire costume had to be created in just two weeks. We had so little time that we simply added a second collar which unfolded over the top and serendipitously ended up looking very elegant, carrying the line that started down her front all the way up and into her delicate ear tips.
The travelling coat had skirts to it, but when Evangeline wasn't wearing it we had a second skirt that went with her jacket. It would have been too many layers and added too much bulk to have both skirts on Tauriel at once, so she always wore one or the other. We created a subtle leaf-like veining that organically traced its way across the suede and was applied by Johnny Brough and Daniel Falconer in the paint department at Weta Workshop."

Now, here's an interesting picture:

The jacket in picture D is the one that is pictured in the book, and she can be seen wearing just this jacket (with a brown top) when she is talking with Thranduil and with Kili in his cell. I had assumed that they simply added the leather cuirass on top of this same jacket, however, it also said removable skirts. Looking at picture D, you can see a piping/stitch detail that runs the length of the skirt, and starts all the way up past the waist seams, so I don't see how this is removable. If you look at pictures A and B, the skirt on her jacket does not have that seam travelling down the front of the skirt. They made it sound like they had so little time I thought they only made two jackets (one for her stunt double), but perhaps they made one full coat, and one short jacket that the skirts could be switch out (because there definitely is no deerskin skirt tails under her raw-silk travelling coat). Picture C is from a BRoll or production diary, I have no clue if this is showing the jacket without any kind of skirts, but I see no lines from the lacing otherwise. (It might be a version she wears with the stunt harness?)

Things that make costumers bang their heads. Now I can't decide how to build mine since I'd like to wear it both ways, and also with the travelling coat, but I see no way to make the skirts separate!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Quick Luna Update

This is the time of year where I am usually drafting patterns and collecting materials, so I usually have nothing to show for quite awhile, but I do have something small to show for myself!

Last year at Dragon Con, I took my Ravenclaw uniform I'd made in college and worn as a casual comfy costume into Luna Lovegood simply by adding a wig, Spectrespecs, butterbeer cork necklace and want, and strangely it was the most popular costume I wore all con. This year, I've decided to do a new Luna costume, her yellow dress she wore to the Weasley wedding in Deathly Hallows.

I have some awesome friends who have made clothes from the wedding so I'm excited to get to wear this with them at D*C this year. I don't plan to officially start working on the dress until after April, when I plan to have the White Witch finally done, but since I've been home sick all weekend, I've been having a Harry Potter marathon and had finally figured out how to make the radish earrings! I wanted to go the seed bead route like Evanna Lynch did for the movie. Finished one of two:

There is a larger bead in the center, and I had threaded an end pin through a smaller bead at the bottom which I attached an earwire to. The top half of the beads were put on using a thin wire, but I switched to beading thread for the second half so I could thread back through and try and secure some of the layers. I also used beading wire for the leaves. It's not perfect, but it's homemade like it should be :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Etsy item update

Still chain mailing away, nothing new to report, but I've posted a few new items to Etsy. I rarely sell my costume pieces so I thought I'd post it on my blog.

I'm selling my original Hogwarts skirt I made in college, only worn for pictures. I since made a new one in a darker, thicker wool, but after seeing the exhibit, the skirt actually is a thinner wool like the one I used in the original. It's a lightweight wool, has a 26" waist (though is meant to sit a bit below the natural waist) and 19" from waistband to hem.

I also listed a couple of Garfield cotton prints, I have an old corset on there, and I'm going to be listing lots more fabric soon as I'm trying to clean out my stash.

Hopefully I have some costume news soon! I'm entering the world of wigmaking, so that'll be interesting to post about!

Friday, November 28, 2014

White Witch chainmail skirt progress

I haven't posted on this in a long while! I honestly didn't expect it to take me more than a year to do, and when it did it turned into a long-term project I only picked up in the winter and work breaks. This is my version of Jadis, the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia.

The skirt is comprised of the fabric and chain base belt, 5 rectangular panels, and 5 rectangular gores, and I just finished gore 3 out of 5... 2 more to go! It now weighs 6lbs even.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Regency corset, Draft #1

I had not had the best track record with corsets thus far since most books don't tell you HOW to fit for different figures, and modern-day dress forms aren't made for the task of patterning them. My first attempt at a Regency corset was an obvious failure. I made this one back in college when I first started drafting my own patterns.

                                                                    OLD VERSION
The busk just sat over everything making a big 'board' shape, and the bust gores weren't right at all.

Now that I know more about what I'm doing and researched more, I decided to go with some short stays instead of the full sized ones. I used some advice from The Oregon Regency Society which is fantastic, but I'm STILL not sure if this is fitting right or how to fix it.

This is what I have:


I made this out of cotton drill, which did not come in white so it is flatlined with white cotton, and also a white cotton lining layer. It has two bust gores now (that perhaps need to move closer to center?) I put steel boning on either side of the eyelets and cording under and to the side of the bust. I tried adding padding, but that just pushes the cups further away from me, and I can't figure out what needs to be adjusted to fix this issue. This is the original chemise I made in college, and I might need to make it a drawstring chemise instead. Does anyone have any advice for me on the fit of this? Sorry about the poor lighting and pics!

On the plus side, I dyed my Highbury Regency slippers from American Duchess today and made some cute bows to go with them!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dress form suggestions

I've researched this topic to death, so I thought I'd ask the direct question...

I need help with a proper dress form!

My dilemma is this: I am more petite than available dress forms. My first was a dial-a-size dummy from JoAnns that served it's purpose, however, even when I dial it to its smallest size, the underbust is too big, and the bust isn't as high as mine. For this reason, and the rigid boobs, it's not really appropriate for historical wear. The standard, expensive dress forms don't go down to my size, and juvenile forms are too short-waisted to try padding them up to my size.

 I have a Uniquely You form now, but even with the smallest form and the smallest cover, it's still too big. I've fit the cover as tight as I could get it and then some, but the dummy itself is still too big. I got enthusiastic and completely chopped the boobs off now to make falsies for corsetry, but I'm having so much trouble getting the dummy smaller. I've started shaving off foam, but it's leaving such a choppy surface. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

(And duct-tape double isn't really an option, I don't want to pin into duct-tape.)

For some reason, it's very hard to get this separating thing with a smaller bust on these forms, this 'squish the foam to size' isn't really working for smaller shapes :p

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Katniss Everdeen; 75th Hunger Games Tribute Parade

A funny thing happened on the way to the Capitol...

I hadn't posted about this costume yet, this was my 'main' costume of this Dragon*Con year. I didn't have a very large, complicated build this year, I took a bit of a break from that, but I do love the more couture nature of this dress. If you don't recognize it, it's a dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the last Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire.

Read on for the details!!