Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Costumes I accomplished, without comment:

Monday Progress Update: December 31

It's been a week of Diablo, more Diablo, and then more Diablo.  I did take a little time out for my Historical Sew Fortnightly, but that'll be another post.  Here's what I've accomplished along the way:

I started the headdress by making a mock-up horn out of tin foil.  I just kept adding foil and shaping it until it seemed right on my head.

Then I made a skullcap out of fosshape steamed over my plaster form of my head (with my hair in a wig cap, so it's big enough for all that hair) and  made two horns out of fosshape.  They're standing on their own, but they're also soft so they squish a bit and they're less likely to poke someone's eye out if I turn fast.

I then spray-painted the form black, thinking that if any of the white showed through it would be less obvious.  It only resulted in this dirty grey, though, so I abandoned that idea pretty quickly.  I then draped the horns with the black spandex I was using for the hat and sewed it on by hand.

Next I made the cowl using a pattern for a child's ninja costume (it was small enough for stretch) and cut holes for the horns before hand-sewing it on, too.

To start the hip belt thing I made a body double of my lower half out of saran wrap and masking tape.

I pinned this to my dress form and used a marker to draw out the rough shapes of what I wanted the pieces to look like.  Then I cut them out and used them as a template for the armor.  I used a method close to Kamui's Wonderflex Tutorial, substituting worbla for wonderflex on the top layer.

This involved cutting each pattern piece out of craft foam and sandwiching it between a piece of wonderflex and a piece of worbla.  The worbla is the top layer because it is smooth for painting.  I also found that it was easy and convenient to use a metal bookmark I had laying around to seal the edges and give it a nice, smooth, sharp corner.  After constructing all the pieces I again heated them and glued them together.  I then took all the pieces that were going to be green and spray-painted them black to give the paint a darker background to reflect against.

Here is the first layer of green paint.  I used Metallic Green Lumiere brush-on paint, and painted all my strokes in a vertical manner to give the paint a bit of the stripeyness that beetle shells have.  After each coat I went back with a dry rough brush and scratched in more vertical lines just to enhance this effect.  This picture is one coat half done.

And here is the hip piece with four coats done.  I experimented with enclosing the edges with tubing like I did with my Army Dawn costume, but I didn't like the effect it gave so I removed it and instead painted the edges gold.  For the bracers I cut out another set of raised designs and spray painted those gold.  For the back piece I used model magic to sculpt the bug head and the stinger dimensionally and attached them before spray painting the whole piece gold.  For all the gold I used Testor's Gold Metallic paint because it comes in both a spray paint form and a brush on form, so I can spray paint pieces quickly and then use the brush on paint for touch-ups.

Next was the issue of attaching the pieces to the costume.  I decided to hang everything from a belt.  I got a bunch of parachute buckles and black web belting and made a belt.  Then I used my scrap wonderflex/worbla to attach a wire to the hip pieces.  I attached a parachute buckle to the wire, and then I pinned the corresponding buckle piece to the belt with a safety pin so that it's repositionable later on.  For a backup I hot glued a piece of velcro to the hip piece, soft side out so that it wouldn't snag my skirt, and pinned a corresponding piece of velcro on the belt.  For the back piece I attached it using two pieces of velcro and a turn buckle.  I'm not sure I like the gold trim on the hip pieces, I may be making a separate guard like my arm bracers have.

I've also finished the corset from last time.  The corset is the outer layer, an inner strength layer of black trigger, and an inner lining of black fleece.  I installed a separating zipper up the back to get in and out of it.  I guess it's less a corset and more of a boned bodice in how it holds me in, but I like the effect.

For the skirt I cut a piece of purple silk in a rectangle.  Using a rotary cutter I cut strips of the silver dupioni and sewed them together before using them to bind the edges of the silk.  I finished the waistband with a simple casing around an elastic band.

 Next  I worked on the neck corset.  I made a pattern by once again getting wrapped in saran wrap and masking tape.

Using that I made a pattern.  Piece 1 will be black, the rest will be purple.  The difficult part of this corset is that the back goes up so high on the head and I wanted to get the curve of my head in there as well.

Next I cut the pieces out of fashion fabric (black satin and interfaced purple silk), trigger for strength, and a black thin cotton lining, and put them together.  The bone casings are on each seam, topstitched in black because I liked the effect of highlighting the seaming even though it can't be seen on the original (I think it would be too small a detail to include anyway). I only boned the back three seams, the others were too short and also were stiff enough without boning (what with all the seam allowance on three layers and the boning casing).  I bias bound each section with its corresponding color, and put closure on the center front of black velcro.

After these pictures I tacked the back of the corset to the cowl so that it doesn't stick out anymore.  I also added the ruffle in.

I made the stars that are all over this costume and the center corset decoration out of oil clay.  I've molded those so that tomorrow I can cast tons of stars and a pretty gold corset deco.

I made the front belt piece, too, this time out of Fimo.  Here it is after being baked.  I'll glue it together, paint it, and then figure out how to attach it to the belt.

Here are my tights dying.  I'm going to do a cobbling together of these tights and some black stirrup pants for the leggings.

And, finally, some random black fabric pieces added to my gauntlets and to the center front of the corset.  Details coming together!

Historical Sew Fortnightly: Challenge 0

Just in under the wire I finished Challenge 0 of the Historical Sew Fortnightly!  I made a petticoat for my Curtain Along dress:

Fabric: I used the curtain-along Felicity fabric.  This is the yardage from JoAnn's in the indigo colorway.

Pattern: Koshka's 18th Century Petticoat Tutorial

Year: I'm aiming for 1785.

Notions: Thread, cotton stay tape.

How historically accurate is it?  It's all cotton, but that's not bad for 1785.   The fabric pattern is accurate-ish.  I'm relying totally on Koshka for how accurate the pattern is.  It's machine sewn on the seams, which isn't period but is necessary for the "quick" part of this challenge.  The hem is hand-sewn accurately.

Hours to complete: 2.  Really wasn't bad, even hemming.

First worn: Not yet!  Hopefully I'll finish my Curtain-along dress by Costume Con.

Total cost: I got the fabric on sale for 17.49.  I used about 2 1/2 yards so . . . $45.  The thread and tape was from my shash, it was probably pennies.

Looking forward to starting Challenge 1 later this week!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sew Fortnightly

I've decided to join in on the Historical Sew Fortnightly hosted by the Dreamstress.  It's going to be a great way to get some historical stuff done, which I usually sideline for cosplay stuff.

Anyway, here is the first set of challenges and my ideas:

Challenge 0: Sew Something Simple

Monday, December 31, 2012

I  plan on sewing a petticoat for my 18th century stuff.  I don't have any!

Challenge 1: Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quint/Sext/Septi/Octo/Nona Centennial

Monday, January 14, 2013

I need a regency chemise!  So many undergarments I've skipped!

Challenge 2: UFO

Sunday, January 27, 2013

So many to choose from!  I really need to finish my candy stripey dress, so I'll choose that.

Challenge 3: Under it All

Monday, February 11, 2013

 I also need a chemise for 18th century, so that's what goes here!

Challenge 4: Embellish

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sounds like a good thing for my 1870's Bustle Dress!

Challenge 5: Peasants and Pioneers

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I want an apron for the 1860's - Civil War.

Challenge 6: Stripes

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My candy stripey dress needs a petticoat to match!

Challenge 7: Accessorize

Monday, April 8, 2013

I have an unfinished 18th ct. Muff that really should get done before Dress U.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Progress Update: December 17

I can't believe it's been over a month since I've done one of these!  After Halloween I kinda burned out and stopped sewing much, choosing to read books for the Cybil awards instead.  I've got some cons coming up, though, so there is work to be done!

First, some pics.  I attended SF Contario in Toronto and got some pics of a few costumes I hadn't gotten pics of earlier:

First, Merida from Brave!  I premiered this costume at CC30, but I didn't get any pictures.  Here they are now:

Next, my 1920's tea dress from Patterns of Fashion:

Next up, making costume plans for the next year.  Arisia's coming up in January, so I started sewing for that.  Here's my costume plan right now:

Friday: Ayumi Hamasaki, Ladies Night video

It's so out of character for me, but I've gotten to the point where I just don't care.  I have wanted to do this costume forever, and it'll be quick enough to do and comfortable for a hall costume on a day when I don't have any panels.

Saturday: Bustle Dress

It may be a bit much for some of the panels I'm on, but one of them is Victorian clothing, so I really want to wear an example and finally finish this dress!

Sunday Day: Ayumi Hamasaki Song 4 U White Queen Version:

I think this is such a beautiful song!  I think Ayumi is such an expressive singer, and I really picked up on what this song was about before even reading the translation.  It just speaks to me.  The video is a giant chessboard with a White Queen and a Black Queen squaring off, and I really liked the White Queen's dress.  I'm going to make it sans those crazy finger cuffs so I can actually interact with people!

Sunday Masquerade:  Maghda from Diablo 3

This costume has a great story.  My husband played through the game on my account while I was at WorldCon, and he called me the day after the Masquerade there and said "I have your next costume".  How could I disappoint him, especially when he has such great taste?  This is the costume I'm currently working on, so more below.

Monday: Vanellope vonSchweetz

 I knew as soon as I saw Wreck It Ralph that I'd have to do this costume.  It's too cute and comfy, and I loved the movie and the character.  It'll be a great hall costume for a con monday.

There are other costumes I've got planned for next year, but since they're not Arisia I'll put them in an end-of-the-year post.

 So, I promised you work!  What have I been toiling away at?  Maghda, of course!  Gotta finish the Masque dress before anything else.  I started where I usually do, with the corset:

 After 5 mock-ups (which I was an idiot and didn't photograph) I came up with my final pattern:

Then I sewed it out of black brocade, black casa satin, purple silk that was interfaced for stability, and silver dupioni made into fat piping:

I'm almost done with it now, so hopefully next week you'll get a finished photo!  The other thing I've done is found shoes and started painting them: