Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 in review and Costume Resolutions

I have a lot to update so I'll try and break it up over a few posts :) 2012 has seemed like quite a long year. This time last year I don't remember what I was doing costume-wise, but I do remember being miserable working at Michael's Crafts during Christmas! I was able to get a new job in August in a fabric store selling sewing machines, and while it's not a full-time career job, it's so much better than where I was last year, and I at least get to use my skills as a seamstress. Here is what I said I'd do last year with what I actually accomplished:
As usual, I deviated from my list but I'm actually quite proud of myself. Instead of only getting one or two things done, I got 5 full costumes done plus half the chainmail skirt for the White Witch. Last year all I got done was my large Padme build plus an 18th century jacket I added before Pirate Fest. The Hobbit I had done early. I added the hunting costume after The Hunger Games came out and the replica bow became available. After about 6 months I decided the White Witch would require too much work to get done in time so I dropped it as a definite finish (but kept chainmailing) and added some Katniss costumes instead. I hadn't posted much about it, but that Jedi was added before a convention in town, and I was getting sick of my regular Jedi outfit so I decided to whip this one together.

As usual, I am insane. I can't decide on anything to cut at the moment.

White Witch, Narnia- Still working on, but not to finish this year. My goal is to finish the chainmail this year, and next year I want to finish for D*C. I'll have the corset, crown, lion's mane, wig, and two swords and/or wand for 2014.

Moaning Myrtle, Harry Potter- I tried to finish this for Halloween but I couldn't pull it off. I have the shirt done and the gymslip almost done. I have to do the robe and figure out the make-up.

Snow White, Once Upon A Time- I was waiting for Alice, Ariel, or Tink to show up on the show, but I fell in love with this outfit, plus I don't think it'll be that hard to make. I've finished one part of it and have the actual fabric for the jacket.

Padme Meadow Gown, Star Wars Ep II- I'm worried about this one because of all the handwork and the expense of the fabric, but I'd really like to try and get this done before the release of EPII in 3D in September

Katniss Victory Gown, Hunger Games- Added because I found the eyelashes to use plus it looks pretty easy, but I'll probably save this one til I get a few others finished.

Katniss and Clove, 74th Arena, Hunger Games- These were added because I have the opportunity to wear them somewhere awesome this spring. I have the jacket for Christmas, so I can wear the same pants and shoes, I have to make Clove's jacket based on Katniss', and buy the t-shirts. I mostly have to worry about wigs and Katniss' props.

I have 75th Arena Katniss up there, but I wasn't to enthused to see what the new costume designer came up with. I designed my own, but I don't think I have time.

Let's see how I do! Guess we'll find out in a year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What has it got in it's pocketses?

Hello lovely watchers! I'm afraid I've been neglecting my blog a bit, but I'm honestly at the start of new projects once Dragon*Con ends, so everything is in the works. I also burnt myself out scrambling to finish my Hallowe'en costume which I failed to do, and haven't sewn since then until tonight! Eep. I do need to be blogging my old finished costumes just for record purposes. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday and I'll be posting up my New Year costume plans soon :) For now, here is some Hobbitness from Dragon*Con. I really enjoyed the movie and saw it for a second time today! (this time in high-frame rate 3D, and it was spectacular). If I were a guy, I'd want to be a dwarf, but as I'm not and there was really only one featured female costume I can't pull off, I won't be adding to my list ;) Here's a pic of me with Billy Boyd! I promise I'll get a wig as soon as I can, my own hair won't curl well at all.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Girl On Fire

I've been a bad girl about updating since D*C, still so much to do as far as cleaning my sewing room and putting away my costumes. Anyway, I hadn't posted much about the Girl On Fire dress during the build. This dress was technically a replacement costume since I couldn't finish White Witch, and most of the work was tedious, uninteresting and repetative work on the hem. But here's a picture of the actual dress for those unfamiliar with the movie:

What I loved about the Hunger Games trilogy was costumes played a huge role. The description of the dress in the movie had it nearly completely covered in gemstones. Judianna Makovsky designed the movie costumes. I know a lot of people were disappointed in the movie version of the costume, but I LOVE the top, and I love what the hem does. I completely agree with the costume designers decision to make the dress more couture, because covering it in rhinestones would have made it look like, in her words, an ice-skating costume. Here's my version:

(Picture taken by Angelwing of
More behind the cut!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Katniss Hunting Outfit

Here's a preview of my Hunting outfit. My camera sucks so it's grainy, can't see the details. I need a belt, to make more arrows, and make a quiver. I'd like to weather the clothes, too.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

May The Odds Be Ever In MY Favor

Finished my Reaping dress! I need to find the right shoes and will dye my hair brown in August. (Dear lord that's next month...) It's incredibly comfortable!

Full Size:
Full Size:
So aside from getting shoes for this and slippers to carry around for my Hobbit, 2 of my D*C costumes are done. Katniss Hunting just needs a jacket and quiver (and will remake pants if better fabric comes along), but the Interview dress, I still have the whole thing to do and hope I get it done for D*C because that'd be my only "big" costume.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Adventures in Dyeing

I've added one last costume to my Dragon*Con list. I said I'd only do this one if I can across the right fabric, and I have... and so far, this costume is coming out cheap and accurate... I might just break the Rule of Three :) (If I don't jinx myself). As of right now, the Girl On Fire dress is in the sample stage and waiting on fabric samples, and the Hunting I'm playing with arrow making. Can't quite afford my jacket leather yet, so it's nice to have something concrete to work on.

Here's my fabric. The original fabric used in the movie is described as a vintage rayon that was found in a California store that was bleached and dyed. Looking at the promo pics, it's not a solid fabric, it's almost mottled, as if there's the slightest print to it. I set out to find a vintage rayon that had a small, white floral print to it and found this lovely one from a site that sells from estate sales, I managed to get 5 yards (of 30-36" wide) fabric for only $14.99. It was a medium blue with little white leaf clusters. I took some iDye color remover and lightened it up. It didn't lighten evenly around the ends, but the bulk of the fabric lightened fairly well until the print was just visible. I dyed it in some leftover brilliant blue and jet black dye. I determined it was too blue and too light, so I did a more concentrated bath. I found some periwinkle in my dye stash so I added some of that and more black and got a neary perfect color. The print is so barely visible that it gives the same subtle feel as the original. I'm very happy with how it turned out! Hopefully I will be done patterning and begin construction this week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

NEW Historical Shoes at American Duchess!!

In case any of you (historical costumers especcially) haven't heard, American Duchess is THE WORD in historical shoes. They make real leather soled historical shoes. I own a pair of their first 18th century shoes which I wore with both my Padme costume and my 18th century costumes and I have to say.... these are THE most comfortable costume shoes I own... they might even be the most comfortable shoes I own, period. I just got in a new pair today, my lovely Kensington Edwardian shoes. I'll post pics later, I might have ordered a half size too large, I'll have to try them on with stockings, but they are *lovely* The new style that are being pre-ordered at French Court shoes! Go to for all the details :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Damn you, Colleen Atwood...

So once again there is a movie coming out with Colleen Atwood's GORGEOUS costumes, and it mixes fairy tale with sick-and-twisted, which I love. Now I would LOVE to do one of the evil Queen's, but I don't think I could pull her off (I can't pull off White Witch and I'm doing her anyways...) I'm kind of tempted to do one of these Snow White costumes but it hasn't made The List yet. While searching for Hunger Games costumes of all things, I stumbled across this picture which led me to search for videos... good god there are so many little costume videos and the movie isn't even out yet! We're usually lucky to get one!

Embedded videos behind the cut:

Monday, May 14, 2012

State of the Costumes Address + research page


Well, I've had to do some rethinking about my costumes for this Dragon*Con year. I do have a fair bit of progress on my main costume, The White Witch.

I don't have a current picture, but the panel to the right is complete, and I have a gore that's half done. However, I'm not quite to the half-way point and I have four months left. There's no way I can complete this in time. Since I have no hand-sewing, I'll still be chainmailing on this, but it won't be complete for Dragon*Con, especcially since I need to buy fur and latchhook the mane, make the crown, and any combination of two swords and a wand.

I have the finished Hobbit costume, and the added Katniss hunting costume. That one the shirt is finished except for buttonholes and weathering, all I need is to make the quiver and make the jacket (which won't take long, I just can't afford the leather at the moment. I've also decided to add this one:
Provided I can find the fabric when I'm in Chicago (or online), I don't think it'll be too expensive or take too long to make. Looks like D*C will be a Katniss-a-thon for me!

Which, speaking of Katniss, since starting my facebook group I have a ton of research on all her costumes, so since I'm not updating my website anymore, I made a page here, and hopefully I'll be able to add more information as I compile it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Girl on Fire - Now on Facebook!

I created a Katniss costuming group on Facebook! It's pretty much women-exclusive for Katniss designers and costumers, and I'm occassionally posting some costume analysis also. I've already done one for the GOF Interview Dress. If you're interested, come join :)!/groups/204044403031343/204044753031308/

The name of the group, fittingly, is Girl On Fire

Friday, April 6, 2012

White Witch Petticoat Brainstorming

I've been doing some thinking as I build this that my skirt needs more structure to hold it's shape. It's more evident now that I'm experimenting with the gores in between the panels. The problem is, I'm having trouble determining just how to do this. Here are some research pics:

When she walks and fights, the skirt seems to flow very freely, but collapses when she is standing still, to a bit of an a-line. I don't think layers of petticoat will be practical, what I am thinking is possibly a corded petticoat. I've never done one before, so I don't really know how it moves or holds up, other than the romantic era petticoats I've seen. I'm contemplating possibly cording the hem up for about a foot? Maybe more in the back? I can't quite decide. Has anyone experience with corded petticoats who might have some insight?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More Katniss pants

Hey all! I got a haircut so I felt it was time for Katniss pics. Just a trim so I can grow it out but styled the front a bit. Hair still a little too short and I have ends sticking out all over the place. I'm fairly happy with how the pants turned out, but I have to take it in at the waist. I will still be looking for fabric though to make an improved pair. I found this one that might at least have a better at-a-distance look:

Anyway, this is just my pants and boots with the rest being closet costume. I can't wait to get to the jacket!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

District Style Challenge

Well, after getting to see the Hunger Games in an advanced screening and not being able to confirm or deny the existance to pockets, I made the pants in a day, and with pockets, for the midnight showing. I have to take the waistband back off and take it in, but they are essentially done. Hopefully I can find the right fabric later. I'll be putting up pics later :)

In the mean time, for funsies, I decided to enter the District Style Challenge #4 on the Capitol Couture website ( This is a mock fashion website for the Capitol of Panem, and they are running several style contests. Some of the winners chosen weren't professional looking art so it gives me a little hope that they are looking at actual design and not art. It was fun either way. Here's my entry... it's kind of huge:

 I used District 4 as the inspiration, which is the fishing industry, as my inspiration. The wrap dress would be ombre-dyed. The collar is meant to emulate waves, while the fluffy trim at the base is meant to emulate seafoam. It closes with a jeweled starfish brooch. Underneath is a mesh bodysuit (or separates, if I were making it for me) that covers the shoes also. The shaping at the bottom of the sleeves and the neckline is meant to look like corral, and is beaded with orange, peach, corral, and white seed beeds. I'm no good with hair and make-up, so I made a giant barrel-roll to keep with the wave motif, shiny orange lipstick and nails, with silvery-white eyeshadow and orange jewels along the lid. I'd have designed the make-up better, but I'm not good with doing any detailed coloring.

So, there you have it :) I'll actually be having more Hunger Games related stuff to post soon... I'm opening up a new Etsy shop with geek-related purses, and my first is a purse inspired by Effie Trinket. I am almost done with the prototype and hope to start making the sellable purses this week. I'm excited, it's kinda gaudy, just like Effie ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Katniss Pants

Argh, this is driving me nuts...

I've been scouring the net looking for pictures. I'm pretty confident I have enough pics to make the jacket and shirt, but I have pants fabric NOW, but not enough info. I haven't been able to see the waistband or pockets, if any pockets exist. I know I don't NEED any of this for the premiere, but I'm itching to get started on it. I kinda hope she does have pockets, just so I have places to store stuff. Guess I'll have to wait for the movie to come out so I can properly see. And if it's obscured in the movie, I can make them how I want.

Now the exact pattern on her pants is hard to find. It has to be some kind of pant weight fabric, probably a denim or twill. I made a graphic on the pattern on this pic. Click for full size so it's not all distorted:

I got THIS fabric online:

I think it will at least create a similar illusion and if I ever come across something better, I can always remake it. I at least hope I can find a nice faux leather for the jacket. That project should be... interesting...

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Yay, my Hobbit costume is essentially finished! I'd like to remake the skirt if I find a fabric that hangs better in my moss color (or is dyeable). I need a wig, I'll make a cloak before the December premiere, and I'm hoping to one day make believable looking feet. But, here's the whole thing. The first pic is very large so you can see the lovely dragon buttons.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Yes, I DID add a costume to my list already

So, erm... about that list I posted of my 2012 costumes. It's grown already.

I've decided to add Katniss Everdeen's District 12 hunting costume (from the new Humger Games movie) to my list for Dragon*Con. Hot Topic sells this replica bow. It's very lightweight, and though it says 'for display purposes only', it seems strong enough for me to draw it for pictures. I tried on my Jedi pants with this and the pattern seems sound, so this one shouldn't be hard to make, save maybe the leather jacket and crafting a quiver and arrows. I'd like to find a wig to wear with this so I don't have to dye my hair brown, but I will if I can't find the wig. Also, I happened to find these awesome boots at DSW that seem a very close match. My own picture quality this round really sucked, so I made this pic:

Also, I don't need the pin with this costume, but I ordered it anyway. It's not exact, more flat than the real one, but it works:

Aaaand, while we're on the subject of Hunger Games costumes, this one may or may not be done for Dragon*Con, or it might get tacked on next year. This is a bridesmaid dress of mine I've been holding onto for years:

I usually make everything, but this shape is already so perfect for Katniss' Mockingjay dress from the second book. This will be a project in embellishing. I plan to use appliques, possibly custom-ones made on my mom's new embroidery machine. I plan to put lace, and black pearls, and feathers everywhere, plus make sleeve/wings, and possibly a surprise feature. But I may or may not do this for D*C, depends on how my other projects go.

Friday, February 17, 2012

White Witch

Well, 'secret project', aka finishing the Parade Handmaiden from the first Star Wars prequel I started in college didn't pan out. I didn't have enough fuschia dye for the lining and backing, so now it's back to Edwardian corset and White Witch.

I finished the largest panel for the White Witch and started the next panel (about half the width of this one). I think they are too skinny so I've expanded this panel by a row on each side and will be making the back of the skirt a little wider (it's smaller than the belt underneath, been bugging me.) It weighs 1 lb and 14 oz.

Now, I finalized the length once I got in my platform boots. Tilda Swinton is 5'10" and I'm 5'00". The horizontal line across my hips wasn't doing me any visual height favors, so I decided to add platform boots. They are 3.75" in the heel and 2.5" in the platform. I did a comparisson shot for funsies.

I'm hoping to go to Tandy Leather in the next couple of weeks for the corset material, I've been testing metal and paper clay for the lion crown, and I have the fur for the shawl sourced and am ready to order it. 6 months left til Dragon*Con!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January update

Just a few updates as to where I am on my list as of the end of January. Here's a pic from my last corset fitting.

The pattern is good, but I'll probably get behind on it for a bit because I am trying to throw together a secret costume for the Star Wars 3D premiere. I'll be out at a theater for two days with the Rebel Legion and 501st, but my only EpI appropriate costume is my Jedi and I'm bored to tears with it (I should probably do another past-costume post for that one). And, my costume is secret so I feel less guilty if I don't finish ;)

Also, Hobbit bodice has been on hold until the corset project is done. So for now, here's chainmail progress. 10 more inches and I'll be done with the panel until I get my platforms and hem my skirt.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Edwardian Corset Fitting

On the second fitting of my Edwardian corset. I had to size it down an inch from the original pattern. I love that it seems to be giving me the right posture, I'm just concerned about how I'm going to get that gap in the back even...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

About the chemise...

I thought I'd do a write-up since I think the way this pattern came together was interesting and could be used in other applications...

I started by draping the top of the chemise flat, with the idea that it would be smocked, but I patterned it flat. I drew in where the neck would end, where the smocking would be, and then where the flat shoulder piece would be... I knew I didn't want the fullness created by the smocking to be on the shoulder that would be cover with the bodice, but I DID want the fullness in the body because I am so skinny, I wanted to add a bit of bulk to my body to make myself a more believable hobbit size. I didn't take a picture of the flat pattern, but here is the shoulder pattern so you can see what I'm talking about...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hobbit chemise done!

I forgot to take some close-ups of the smocking, but I'll be sure to do that when the whole thing is finished. I may do a small write-up on the chemise... but, here's what I have so far! Curled my thin hair to the best of my ability, but I will be getting a wig when I find one.