Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Costume College Corset Class

I love taking corset classes because every time I do, I learn something.  Everyone has a different method or a new insight or, sometimes, just a plain easier way to do something.   This is the corset that I made at Costume College.  It is only one layer of coutil and does not have the quantity of bones that I have seen used in previous corset classes.  This class was given by Barbara Muran. She had a couple of amazing corsets on display and walked us through this hands on class.

Next up - the 3-in-1 petticoat.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

1840s Cap or Why Do They Wear Diapers on Their Heads???

I want to make an 1840s day dress - nothing fancy, just a plain everyday dress to wear at Dickens Faire or some of the other Gold Rush Era events in my area. However, I am many pounds heavier than I'd like to be and want to get back to the size of my other costumes (because I am lazy and don't want to remake them!).  I have the fabric, I have the pattern.  What to do?  Sew all the accessories first! That's the ticket!
Here is the pattern I'm using. After making a paper mock up, I thought it was a bit too small so I added an inch to the crown (I have a lot of hair) and an inch to the face framing part.  That was a mistake because I failed to account for the flounces.  Oh, well, I'll make it work.

I started by thinking I was going to hand sew the entire thing.  After embroidering the designs (I don't know how to embroider by hand, so this is my first try), I decided to screw the hand sewing.  Hey, I'm looking at miles of little flounces.  Of course I'm using a machine.  If I ever become a docent somewhere, I'll redo the sucker by hand, but in the meantime.....

I made a few mistakes.  I forgot to add the side casings and had to put them on after the cap was finished.  More hand sewing. All in all, it looks OK, but I'm not a fan of the "droopy" look of the 1840s, the demure Victorian.  Droopy hair, droopy shoulders and, now, a droopy cap.
I must say, this is the dumbest looking thing I've ever stuck on my head. That said...
Stay tuned as I plan to create that Oh-So-Fashionable Coal Scuttle Bonnet, the one that was was caricatured vehemently during the Victorian times - You know, the one that makes it impossible to see anything coming at you from the side, the one that makes it impossible to hear that horse drawn carriage careening at you in the street, the ever-demur Coal Scuttle Bonnet!

Fairy Costume for Costume College - Robin

I haven't been inspired for a long time, but CoCo was coming up and I had nothing to re-wear.  I wanted a quick-and-dirty fairy costume but ended up with this.  The underdress is stretch satin.  Well and good.  The overdress is full of glitter that shed everywhere.  It was as if I had my own fairy dust machine. I'm supposed to be Moth from Midsummer Night's Dream, but I didn't like any North American Moths.  I loved the South American Moths, brightly colored and iridescent. Yes, I had traveled to Brazil last November and saw these moths in person. Many bad cellphone shots later, I decided to just look them up online.

Here is a back shot of the wings.  I had the most fun/annoying time making those suckers.  I didn't want any sharp points to avoid poking other guests but I do have the habit of "Go Big or Go Home".  You have to go through a door sideways while wearing these things. There are many fairy wing tutorials on the web. I used fabric, glue and wire. Oh, and glitter.  Lots and lots of glitter.
I'm also wearing a cut little hand jewel that I bought at Costume College and promptly lost!  Oh, well.
Nothing to add about construction, it was just a straight up build of a commercial pattern. This costume must live in a bag for the rest of its life.  I am STILL vacuuming up glitter from my house.