Friday, January 11, 2013

The circlet is made!

Eowyn/Arwen dress update for the rest of the story, but here's a shot of the circlet.  Thanks to coupons and sales, I now have tiny nosed pliers and an overabundance of cheap Christmas wire. The silver wire is real and so are the crystals.  On to the belt!

Monday, January 7, 2013

1920's Dress - Rob

Looking for inspiration for a dress silhouette for the 1920s for the 2013 Great Gatsby Picnic put on by the Art Deco Society here in the SF Bay Area.  My SO expressed a strong interest in going next year.  People go all out to make it as authentic to the period as possible. I know I'll end up looking like a tank in this style as I am not flat chested.  I'm actually a rectangle with boobs.  This style will just exacerbate my figure flaws so I'm looking for some visual effect that will minimize this: vertical line, some neck interest, V-ed necks, SOMETHING. The bottom image is from Past patterns, #1965 and is unusual for the time (that appeals to me, right there) but I'm not sure I won't look like a Rose Parade float in it. Not only that, but this is NOT flapper style with the heavily beaded hanging dresses. This is supposed to be daytime clothing at a fancy picnic, so that makes it more difficult as daytime fabrics (for me read: washable) usually don't drape like the ones in these pics. Also, I've been looking at historical pics and the women look frumpy. Hmmm. Not a lot to get excited about for a curvy bod and, no, I'm NOT going to bind my boobs in the summer heat...
Evening dress, 1920’s
Evening dress by Molyneux, ca 1927-29 FranceDress, 1926Dress by Kathleen O’Connor, ca 1925 France, National Gallery of AustraliaTea dress, ca 1925

Coming up - Pirettes of the Caribooban, Arghh! - Rob

Next year, a group of girlfriends want to go to West Hollywood for the Halloween Walk.  Check out for pics from the past celebrations. But we decided to go as a group.  After much discussion, we decided to go as Pirates.  But not just any pirates - we are all going to buy those false butts
Foam Butt Accessory

and use them as boobs!

 So we will be the Pirettes of the Caribooban.
I don't know what the others will do, but I'm doing the bottom left of this pattern, but with the skirt and vest separate. I'm also making a second pirate outfit without fake boobage, so I'll make two different vests and two different peasant blouses. I also bought enough fabric to make a coat later if I want. I'm also making the vest and skirt reversible. One fabric is red floral jacquard, the other is black broadcloth. The pants will be a red and black stripe.
This year the dollar stores had a lot of pirate paraphenalia around for Halloween, so I picked up a pistol and a sword and a leg knife in a sheeth.  I ordered boot covers, and a parrot. I already have a spyglass (from a steampunk costume) and a sword. All of these will need to be "weathered".  And the poor little parrott?  Well, he'll get a peg leg, an eyepatch, and a little tricorn hat.
I got this nasty wig (It's called "Jailbait" on sale, the cheapest I'd seen it. Good thing, too, because the quality is terrible, but it gives the right look that I want.  Top it with a tri-corn with a lot of ostrich feathers and I'll be good to go.

I still need to find lace for the blouse and figure out how to make a HUGE Full Bust adjustment for the peasant blouse. Or will I even need to do that?  Will the normal peasant blouse cover the fake boobs?  Stay tuned...

Holiday season puttering - L (project update)

I made staggeringly slow progress on my projects over the holidays.  In addition to holiday related business, I kept trying to organize the sewing room and getting distracted by little projects.  The sewing room is still chaos.  And I didn't finish almost anything.  But here's what I DID do:

 Craft foam armor
There are a ton of tutorials on the interwebs.  I won't repeat them.  I used regular paper to make a model.  I used that as a pattern for the craft foam.  I didn't seal the craft foam with glue.  I did heat it to shape it.  The heat seemed to seal it a bit.  Then I spray painted.  The paint makes it brittle.  Then I used Rub n'Buff.  Turns out, you can put Rub n'Buff directly on the foam and it works OK.  Yes, it's more expensive than spray paint, but I am impatient.  Also, I feel like the heat shaping wasn't really necessary since the foam was forced into shape by gluing.  I do think that heat sealing is a good idea but use care since heat can make the foam shrink.

I used hot glue to put the pieces together.  I used Rub n'Buff to make the finish look more like metal (it's wax based so it looks more 'solid').  Then I used scrapbooking brads that look like rivets to decorate.  I looked at ways to use hot glue to add design but I don't have a steady hand or any drawing talent.  Luckily it peels off.  Finally, I used diluted poster paint to age the finish.  Being water-based, it doesn't stick to the armor at all.  I had to rub the surface with a paper towel to get any paint to stick.  Then I had to quickly rub the paint off.  The most impressive part of all of this is that I did it while sitting in bed watching old movies.

It was fun, and I'm glad I tried it (especially the wicked spikes).  Not sure if I'll do it again.  I really want to try REAL metal.
Inside view

Next up, since Robin and I are making LOTR costumes, my daughter decided to pile on.  After all, who doesn't want a princess dress?  She originally wanted to use the ivory Eowyn dress as inspiration, but as I texted her pictures from JoAnn's, she fell in love with this teal satin.  We used Robin's pattern and cut a muslin, fitted it, cut the satin and sewed up the main body all on Christmas day.  We ran out of fabric for the sleeves and she had to buy more.  I am donating a sleeve lining and some trim to this project.  Also, she will make a belt and not use the belly-dance belt for the final costume.

I wanted to hurry and make a crocheted and beaded bag to wear to GBACG tea.  I got 80% done.  I forgot to bring extra crochet thread with me to my family holiday get together so I didn't get it done for tea.  I did finish it though and made a little rose on the flap.  It's really little....  see it?

I just crocheted the plastic pony beads right into the bag as part of the double crochet stitch.

While cleaning the sewing room I found these Christmas place-mats  my grandmother was making before she died.  I decided to finish them.  Actually, it ended up being a little more complicated than that, but it felt like a nice way to honor her.  And they aren't actually finished.  But I made a lot of progress... !!??!

Shortly we'll be posting Projects for the New Year!

There are lots.