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.