Friday, February 1, 2013

Preview of Upcoming Attractions! - Lisa

Ahead of the New Year (what?  I'm from California and Chinese NY is just around the corner), I decided to post a look at what I would like to do in the year of the Snake.

But first, I also have a resolution.  When Robin and I started this blog, our plan was to post about project ideas and the process of creation.  Looking back over our recent posts I think we are failing.  Instead of a fun look at our creation process, we have mostly posted 'Look!  I made something neat!' with some pictures.  This is NOT my best effort at thoughtful posting.  It's more like an afterthought.  I CAN do better and I will attempt to do so going forward.

Now back to our program!

Outfits for specific events:
Haradrim - I've already posted this!  I made this to challenge myself to work without a pattern; I made this so I wouldn't be one among a slew of princess dresses; I made this to indulge my general bad-assedness.
All this was achieved.  I haven't worn it yet.  Knowing me, I will go to the event, stay a couple of hours and go home early.  This is one of those costumes that I enjoy making far more than wearing.  It was huge fun to make a corset bodice and do everything (intentionally) wrong and yet have it work.  I SHOULD have blogged about this.  I had fun making decorations, adding metallic rivets and painted plastic that look very different than the original materials.  It has also provided inspiration for a couple ideas creeping around the back of my head.  So... Success!

Steampunk Ass-Kraken - I want to make something out of metal; I want to make a 'structural' bustle that can be worn as an ornament on it's own; I want to incorporate light and/or movement in a costume.  I'm in waaay over my head, but having fun.

1920's - 30's for the Gatsby Picnic - Robin is going, and is making a dress.  I love the sound of it but I'm still waffling.  Let's face it, I'm fat and this era is brutal on fat chicks.  At my age I should be OVER it but I'm not.  That said, I have a 1911 pattern that I love.  If I made it shorter (mid calf) I think it would 'read' early 1930s.  That's my plan.  The pattern is the wrong size so I need to make and fit a muslin.  IF that works, I have two different lawn fabrics with contrasting trim that would make up wonderfully for this event.

Medieval - Robin and I are going to Costume College!  Part of the program is an 'ice cream social' in medieval garb.  So while I chose not to be a 'princess' for LOTR, that doesn't mean I don't want to actually make a princess dress.  I have a pattern for a bliaut and was going to try and make one.  But after thinking hard, I realize that using the same costume pattern that Robin used for her LOTR will result in a more flattering fit.  Basically, who doesn't want a princess dress?  Even if it's not so very flattering.

Also for Costume College - There is a Pajama Breakfast, and a Pirate Tea.  I will wear my princess slip and my polonaise, respectively, after some alterations.  Nothing major, but absolutely essential.  There is also a 'Fantasy' evening that is wide open to anything.  I will either wear the Haradrim or the Ass-Kraken.  Whichever I'm most fond of when I'm packing.

Renaissance Dress - I'm two thirds of the way through this.  We haven't picked a fair for this year, and I'm waiting for Robin to decide.  But I would dearly like to finish this monster just to clear the sewing room and my brain.

Outfits I WANT (that I don't have a specific place to wear) - 
Steampunk/Miliitary Jacket - I have had the fabric for two years.  I have looked at a variety of patterns.  I'm indecisive.
I have both of these patterns.  I think I'm going to use the Truly Victorian since I plan to wear this with a bustle skirt.  But I crave the asymmetry of the modern jacket.  Plus, I wanted to make the top work like reveres, pivoting from the lowest button.  Well, no one said I can't make two!

The jacket from True Grit - NOT 'her father's jacket' that she wears on the trail, but the simple jacket she wears at the beginning of the movie.  I have no pattern.  I will have to modify an existing pattern or drape it.  And draping it is my challenge.  A quick reminder picture:

1940's vintage swing coat - Pattern and fabric acquired.  I need to make the time.  And I want it to look classy and properly tailored so I need to NOT be in a hurry.  This will improve my skills. Plus, swing coat!

1912 Project Duster - I have the pattern, the fabric and the lining.  I need to re-size the pattern and make a muslin.  I also need to make a decision about the lining.  I bought a beautiful fabric - in fact, SO beautiful that I want to do something else with it.  Anything else, but resign it to lining a coat I may never wear. This is a 'skill builder' and it may turn out awesome.

Bustle Dresses - I want them all!  I have a smooth slightly shiny light grey wool and just bought a black, tan and white stripe fabric for accent.  I have ruby red silk and dark green silk on the way.  So many ideas!!!

I also want to do these things:

learn to use my drop spindle, 
weave a shawl  
knit at least 5 pairs of socks
knit a sweater that I actually wear
re-do the peplum on the 1912 Blouse 1000
make that old brown Steampunk skirt look a bit weathered and tattered and a lot shorter 
crotchet black fingerless gloves

So I'm vowing right now that I will post at LEAST weekly and plan on twice a week.  I will post by project with more detail.  I will update posts more often and then move them to the top of the blog so it isn't such a search to find things.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Battle for Middle Earth!

Sunday Sewing day - tracing patterns, finishing touches, fitting, ideas, and....

Lisa and I have been working on our costumes for the PEERS Rivendell Revels, a costumed dance with costumes that would be worn in Lord of the Rings' world, the Middle Earth. My original thought was to be an elf (if you've ever seen my ears, you'd know why because I wouldn't even need a prosthetic!), but Lisa convinced me that everyone would be elves, so I chose to be a woman in the Rohan Court, serving Lady Eowyn. The dress is an homage to the green Eowyn dress, still missing the belt.

Lisa didn't see herself as either an ethereal elf, a Hobbit (the world's tallest Hobbit?) or a human on the side of good, but rather, a baddie.  But which one? She chose to make an rendition of a Haradrim Warrior.  In the movie, only males are shown, but Lisa chose to create what a female Haradrim Warrior would wear. I think she did an awesome job! She scares the heck out of me.
For the record - everyone wants to be the princess or the hero.  But the bad guys get all the great costumes!
And it's ironic that Valerie wanted to be a Rohirrim and ended up looking like an elf.  With two of our group already using the same pattern, I'm glad I 'stomped' out on a limb.

  For fun, we enacted a battle between Good and Evil.  and sneak a peek at Robin's collar... that is 'painted lace'.  She has a very deft and steady hand.
Evil won. (because Evil had weapons)

I spent our sewing Sunday tracing patterns for upcoming costumes ALL DAY LONG (Ugh). We fitted a muslin for Lisa's upcoming medieval gown and Lisa finished details of her Harradim costume. All in all, a productive and fun day.

Here's a quick peek at the elf dress - bad photo and not finished....