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 :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hunger Games Side-By-Side

I've already posted about these costumes, but... the pictures for the Hunger Games Auction have come out, the first real sharp, clear pictures I've seen of a lot of the outfits, and I couldn't resist doing a little side-by-side comparison of my best two! I never got pictures of my arena or reaping one, and the hunting one only has a found jacket. I plan to make her hunting jacket whenever I can afford the leather.

And this one isn't as close, since I made it with only two pictures for reference, but I still love it (I almost like my draped top better, much more sculpture). I'm slowly adding lots of crystals in the hem every time I get the chance to wear it.

Also, I was made Fangirl of the Day on Her Universe October 1st, and a few days later I was Fan of the Week on the Official Hunger Games facebook page with this dress! It made over 17,000 'likes' which was super exciting. I was told many times they mistook this for Jennifer Lawrence... and just as many said I looked like Foxface! (it's the damn pastiness and lack of eyebrow coloring ;) )
I'll never be able to afford any of the auction items, but it's nice to see so many pictures. Now, on to Catching Fire costumes!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Katniss Victory/Coronation Gown

I am proud to say I did finish one costume on the original list I posted, and that was Katniss' Yellow Coronation dress.

There aren't many full shots of this in the movie. In fact, it's only in the movie for maybe a minute or two. She's either in the chair, in close-up, or very far away and fuzzy. Now, when the Hunger Games exhibit was in LA for the Blacksparrow auction, I was told this dress was not in the exhibit, but the red dress was. The exhibit was going to Chicago next, which isn't too far a drive for me, plus my family is there, so I went, and wore my red Interview Dress with the intention of getting my picture taken with it. I was somewhat apprehensive about seeing the dress in person as I'd be seeing all the things I didn't get right. Well, the red dress wasn't at the exhibit... and I wasn't too broken up about it because THE YELLOW DRESS WAS!! All those pictures on the internet others take of exhibits are great, but I myself have never gotten to really see a screen-used costume I planned to make, myself, in person, WITH permission to take pictures! The dress was in the open, not in a display (and I admit, I did lightly touch it just because ;) ).

Here's one of the pictures so you can see the whole thing: 
And more can be seen in the galleries of my Katniss costuming group on Facebook, Girl On Fire.

The dress has a base layer of a buttercreme color dupioni, several layers of a similar color tulle, a layer of a gold metallic tulle, and more layers of butter tulle. The dupioni I bought from SilkBaron.com in the buttercreme color. The gold netting is very subtle and after settling for some brassy looking stuff from Hancock's, I stumbled onto some more screen-accurate stuff.... at my work. *d'oh*. The butter tulle turned out to be the hardest to find because the perfect shade was not only discontinued at JoAnns, but the SKU re-assigned to a hideous neon-yellow so it was impossible to track down via inventory. Thankfully some friends in another state managed to find some for me :)

So here it is, I'm rather proud of it, and I really want to figure out how to do the crown someday :) I even have the peacock paperself eyelashes :D All photos by Bryan Humphrey.

About my costuming status

Hello, watchers, long time no see!

I'm afraid my updates for the last year have been incredibly sporadic, I spent 7 months not sewing and then the remaining 5 frantically trying to construct 4 new costumes in time for Dragon*Con. Moaning Myrtle, unfortunately, failed. I couldn't find the right robe fabric, and repeated attempts to paint, dye, and age 4 different lengths of fabric didn't work, so I'm stashing it until I stumble across the right one. I learned from the original costume designer that they used a curtaining fabric, and I do have something similar in my bathroom... in teal. So I'll just keep my eyes out. I'll update on the other two I finished later.

I will also not be doing my yearly costume list, as I feel like I jinx myself every time I post my list, which seems to change throughout the year, and then I feel guilty when I change it or don't finish something, so instead I will be updating which costumes I'm working on once I actually start working on them :) I have a pretty spectacular wish list for this year, and hopefully it will be a better one for me. I felt terrible going to Dragon*Con this year with only 3 new costumes, two of them relatively simple, my main one not finished but wearable, and one repeat. I didn't get a good reaction from people at all. I did get to participate in my first costuming group, which was fabulous (even if most people probably didn't know who I was despite being a main character). Looking forward to more groups next year, and hopefully more costumes! I'm hoping to get back to what I love doing, blogging more about my works in progress and how I'm doing what I'm doing instead of this what-I'm-planning-on-doing stuff.

Now I'll put the first costume I finished in a separate post :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New American Duchess shoes!



I love her shoes, the Devonshires I have are honestly my most comfortable costume shoe ever.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dragon*Con Panic Time!

Just checking in!

This year has been rather hectic, between burn-out and just having a tough winter, I lost a lot of time costuming this year, I've changed my mind several times on the costumes I was doing, and I've been very bad about updating. Now that I have my mojo back, I'm hoping to get back to blogging more informative posts about costumes I actually finish. I have a month and a half to finish all my Dragon*Con stuff, which I hope Is do-able. Here is my final D*C line-up. Things are coming together and being completed quickly, so I should start to have pictures to post!

Thursday night I'm planning to re-wear my Katniss reaping dress provided I can find some new shoes. I never got proper pics of this one to post other than with blonde hair, so maybe I can get some this time around.

Friday I have no clue what to wear during the first half of the day, it'll probably either be a repeat costume, or perhaps my Katniss Victory gown I'm making.

Friday Evening is the Costume Contest so I plan to wear my Evanora.

Saturday for the parade is USO Girl, along with Evanora for a photoshoot and wandering Sat. night.

Sunday day is Moaning Myrtle, followed by Katniss Victory Gown for the Yule Ball.

So here's where I stand, and pictures will start rolling in. I'll do individual posts when I have more.

I am hoping to get my smaller costumes finished by the end of July so August I can concentrate completely on Evanora. I am beading her bodice every night, and it's the most stitch-intensive part. I have half of the front done right now:

Just leaving myself room to add the skirt. So for the rest of this month, I have three costumes to finish. USO Girl is almost done, all I have to do is add some closures, make a quick petticoat, and aquire some items and she's done. Moaning Myrtle, her outfit is done, I just have to make her robe. The fabric is cut out, I just need to paint it for the "dead" effect and assemble and distress. The Katniss Victory Dress will need to be completely constructed, but all the pieces are surprisingly simple. I have half my pattern ready to go and am just waiting for some fabric to come in. I've collected everything for that one save a couple things of make-up and a new wig.

Evanora is the big one as it's requiring lots of hand-beading. I'm hoping to have a large chunk of the bodice done by August 1st, and will spend the whole month of August constructing and beading that.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Apple, anyone?

I've been a very bad girl this year.

I think I might have hit a little burn out this winter. Directly after D*C last year (which, as we all know involved lots of last minute sewing), I hauled ass to finish a new costume for Halloween (Myrtle, and failed) and after that, nothing. I probably burnt myself out. That, and I was extremely cold and tired this winter. I also realized that the past couple years I had my costumes to the point of tedious hand work by the time winter came around, so I was at least then being productive while curled up under a blanket all winter with the cats, not so much this year. I lost a lot of time and feel so guilty about that. I probably mentally needed the break though, so now I will have to work diligently to get all of the costumes I want to get done for this D*C. I restructured my list, and added this new one after I saw OZ, the Great and Powerful. Of course, I fell in love with the most difficult one ;)

And finally, I will have a villain costume! I am working on Evanora from Oz.

Thankfully, for this movie they've put the costumes on display in Hollywood and several costumers have taken great reference pictures of it. The dress was meant to be inspired by Emerald City itself, sort of a 40's Art Deco kinda thing. It's a mixture of chiffon, habotai, and mesh netting, and looooots of feathers and beads.

Here's my sketch of the bodice along with an exhibit pic. The "T" shaped design on the top, the darker portion, I counted 3... stripes or levels for lack of a term, on the exhibit, but later realized they added the third one just for the exhibit (it's a different fabric even), probably for modesty because rigid dummies don't display corset shapes well.

Now, I did make the bodice once and start beading before I got all my info, and didn't like either my fabric or beads, so I re-did it based on better info. In the movie, the fabric looks straight black. They upped the contrast in the movie to look like Technicolor, so it looks darker than it actually is. The real costume is a charcoal gray. The bodice, based on pics I have, looks to have a layer of a soft mesh over it, and two layers over the decorative shape along the top and center. It's hard to capture colors on camera, and I'm told it's a charcoal gray with a  kind of purple cast to it. It took 3 dye baths to get a color I liked. Also? This is what happens when you run out of gloves and are too lazy to go to the store to get some.

Now, I took a few creative liberties with this. The real bodice was more of a corset shape so it was flatter and boostier in the front, which doesn't always look the most flattering on me, so I decided to shape it more like the poster (we all know how they like to, erm, "reshape" women in posters). The top portion has 3 seams on each side to get it to curve back, and I draped the double mesh layer over it to hide them. The beading has a checkerboard pattern of seed and bugle beads, and inside those are a meandering pattern of beads and sequins, with black Swarovski crystals in the blank spaces. Since the bodice isn't flat, I had to drape my checkerboard pattern with twill tape.

On the real thing the checkerboard pattern is a little more haphazard (maybe they bought pre-beaded fabric and that happened when they added darts?) but being sort of OCD and perfectionist, I made mine as straight as I could, and started stitching it so it is kinda "woven". I found this wonderful hoop stand at Michael's and I learned about a tambour hook (or kantan bead embroidery tool) from a friend. It's meant for thin, loosely woven fabrics so it'll be great for the skirt, but it's a little harder to get through the bodice fabric, so I'm applying the beads by backstitch and using the tool for the bugle beads.

Aaaaand that's where I'm currently at :) I promise I'll start taking pictures with a real camera and not my cellphone. I have so much to post about, I went to C2E2 in Chicago a couple weeks ago, I got to see some of the REAL costumes from Hunger Games, including the yellow dress I'm going to be making. I also met Felicia Day!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Hello lovely watchers!

Sorry for my lack of posts, too much to do, not enough time to keep up with all my sites. Anyways...

I was very surprised and flattered about a month ago to not only be nominated, but nominated twice for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Thank you to my friend Maggie from Maggie's Costume Wardrobe and Chelsea from A Sartorial Statement. I probably don't deserve it because I've been a very bad little blogger this year, but I'll talk about it in my next post ;) I actually have project updates for a change.

To accept the award, one must:

1. Display the award and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. State 7 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers for the award.
4. Notify the winners.

I don't think I actually follow 15 active blogs, so I'll post 5, because they are awesome, and I don't want them to feel obligated to nominate 15 if they don't want to.

Seven facts about myself:

1. My eye color is a mystery. A class in high school actually had a debate about it. A poll I posted was split, the closest consensus I can get is that they are a gray-blue-green.

2. I usually name my pets after characters. Our first pet was a canary named Big Bird. My first cat was Princess (as to be expected from a 9 year old). I've had Nermal (from Garfield), Wicket (from Star Wars), Hermione (Harry Potter... Hermie for short, and that was before Order of the Phoenix was released), Chloe (Smallville) and Jonesy (Alien)

3. I have a self-imposed rule that has worked well for me the past few years: I am not allowed to buy stash fabric unless I have a project already in mind for it. It is the reason why I only have 10 stash tubs instead of 50.

4. I am apparently very stretchy. I can put my left hand behind my back and grab my right ear. When I met Felicia Day at C2E2, she was very fascinated and confused as to how I managed to get Swarovski crystals on the back of my own shoulder. She just kept asking about it! So I grabbed my ear just to freak her out.

5. I was born in Chicago, IL, and due to my dad's job had moved 16 times until this point in my life. I had also lived in Texas, Louisiana, various places in Missouri, Iowa, California, and Nevada. I have yet to see the East Coast.

6. Halloween is my favorite holiday (surprised, right?) and the costumes that I favored and had remade over several years growing up was a black cat, and Wednesday Addams. I swear I will make a proper Wednesday one day.

7. I have a level 80 Warrior Gnome on World of Warcraft (named Wiinter after a Star Wars character). I've recently suspended my account though due to getting a NES/SNES unit and have been playing my favorite old games. Super Mario Kart and Tetris are my faves.

And now the fun part...

-Betsy's Costumery - Betsy's costumes are always amazing and accurate! I especially loved her Effie, which I got to see in person last year!
-Bridges on the Body - This is a wonderful blog about corseting and I've learned so much! She hosted a corset sew-along last year that was exceptionally informative and helpful (even if I did only half finish, at least I have a sound pattern now!)
-I Am C3P0 - I am always impressed by costumers who have a good handle on the prop side of things, and his Threepio costume has been a joy to watch being put together
-The Fashionable Past- Known as Koshka the Cat, I've watched her online making costumes since I first got internet connection. She's always coming up with beautiful things!
-Locks of Elegance - A tutorial site on how to do period hairstyles! Though, she has a new site.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Start of the Padme Picnic gown

After 10 years, I've finally started this. I don't normally do costumes that have been done a lot before, and especcially done so well by other costumers, but I've loved this one since it first came out. I was a budding costumer at the time, and watched with envy as some of the more skilled girls were researching this, and as they came to new revelations. I even got to see it in person at FIDM, but my camera was unfortunatly cheap and crappy. About 8 years ago I came across a shower curtain panel with a similar design as her shawl fabric and stashed it (not as accurate as the covetted Walmart curtain, but I didn't know what I was looking for at the time). A couple years ago when I was seriously starting to consider doing this one finally, I came across the head band ribbon. Finally my friend Maggie was kind enough to share her leftover sequins with me. After all these years, I've collected most of the rare parts and am finally starting this piece!

Awhile back I made a Victorian Corset for a Steampunk Costume. It didn't quite fit the way a victorian corset should, but it's shape was great for the base of the Meadow Corset. I've made a draft of it off my Victorian pattern changing the lines and hem shape. I haven't boned it yet, but I only have a few minor tweaks to make, I think.

Currently I'm sourcing fabric for the dress and have ordered different shades of yellow to begin my extensive dye testing. I think I found some fabric for the corset. I have found NOTHING that's close to the original, only one that will work. There's been mixed reactions as to weather this fabric will be too poofy, but I am starting to agree with my friend Kathy that I can probably press and man-handle it to be flatter, I might even block it a bit after I dye it.


For anyone who's never seen the research for this costume, it's all been extremely well documented by a number of talented ladies. The top two resources for the research are:

The Padawans Guide