Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Costumes Updates!

My, it has been a while! The dress form got to play dress-up today, so I finally got some great photographs of some of my newest costume pieces. The photos and descriptions are below...

Coat for McGonagall Costume
I made this a few years back for the midnight release of the 7th Harry Potter book. I modified a Simplicity pattern for this one, drafted a collar, and lined it in a very affordable Tartan I found (Couldn't pass up $5/yd!) 

Mirkwood Elf Doublet
This is the first part of my outfit for my Mirkwood Elf costume. I designed this to be paired with leggings and a tunic for a more active look, and I currently have a deep forest green gown in the works for a more feminine look. For now, I use black tunic and leggings that I have previously purchased to go underneath, but I will be making new tunic and leggings after the gown. The center image features the backside, and that is a truer representation of the main dark blue color than the close-up images. This was created using a dark blue velvet, navy blue velveteen, and a wonderfully silver/sage/dark green velvet. I made this piece in August 2013.

Since I started having a booth at Sherwood Forest Faire in the spring of 2012, I thought it was a great excuse to beef up my medieval wardrobe. The faire is set in the time frame of Robin Hood, so even though I want to make ALL THE THINGS from a few centuries, I try to remain within the realm of 1190s. For materials, I used a navy/grey wool for the outer layer, and a fuzzy faux fur blanket material for the lining. These horn toggles I bought at a Viking market at the metal festival Wacken in Germany, back in 2011. 

 Shield Maiden Dress & Cloak
My aunt gave me a bolt of off-white/eggshell colored poly/cotton fabric. It's a medium-heavy weight and a slight stretch. I came up with this design for it. A little while later, I found a lovely textured weave upholstery cloth to make a cloak. 

Besides these, I made two quick and simple gowns to layer, and a black velvet surcote. Those images will come later sometime. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Upcoming Additions to my Medieval Wardrobe!

It's been a while, I know. Most of my spare time is spent on furthering my art business, which does actually include sewing new garments for the faire at which I work in the late winter/early spring! Since last year, I have made quite a few new additions, mostly medieval in design. I should just photograph them and post, and not worry about grand photoshoots. Ah well.

My wonderful Grandmother has given me over 20 bolts of fabric in the last few months (after giving me a fantastic stock of trims/cords/tassels and FABULOUS LACE). She was cleaning out her house. She used to be an interior decorator and liturgical designer for the Catholic clergy, so her taste is impeccable! I have had some designs in mind for a year now, and her fabrics have come in handy in bringing me closer to completing those designs! I am eternally thankful for not having to shop and spend the money on the yardage I need :P

Today I have decided to begin on these three garments, all will be fairly quick to construct, except for the one which will require trim and a belt to be made. So far, none will be lined, though collars and edges will of course have a facing. I do not choose to line these because I live in Texas, and the weather is wishy-washy. I have things already that I can layer with these costumes if I need warmth.

This maroon gabardine will be used for this design, which I have seen featured in many renderings from medieval costuming books. Well, the skirt and bodice, at least. The dress I have seen similar to this usually has long, fitted sleeves, and not the flowy. The trims I purchased last fall at the International Quilt Show. The shop owners don't have a website, and got miffed when I inquired about a website or online shop. They only do shows, so you just have to happen up on them, and shop when you happen to find them. They also tried to overcharge me for the trim, so you need to be on top of them when making a purchase. The man that owned the business was a Grumperstiltskin.

This is a polyester shantung-look I had purchased a couple years back, because the price was so good. It looks like silk, is a little more substantial, has good texture, and was $2/yard. Don't judge me. I purchased it with the intent of making a sideless surcote to go with a white gown with gold trim I already have. Because I have a larger bust, it is very difficult for sideless surcote designs to sit well on the bust, in my opinion. I love them, but they make me self-conscious. A's would make medieval costuming so much easier. 
This design I saw Maid Marian wearing in the Robin Hood film with Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend! Great costuming! It came out at the same time as the Kevin Costner film, and was made in Europe I believe. Anyhow, the dress slid over Uma Thurman perfectly, and then tied, but because of her chest size that was easy. For myself, I will make the gown fitted to my bust and a few inches below the bust, and then have the diamond cut-outs tie at my waist to my hips in 3 sets. I'm long-waisted, so I expect this to work as it is drawn.
Now, the color in the image is not accurate to the real life color. For some reason, now that I look at the real fabric, it is more of a warm dark gold.... >.> Sneaky cameras on phones are sneaky.

I have a Mirkwood Elf costume in progress. In July, I finished sewing a sleeveless doublet that laces up the front, and has petal-shaped hemline, knee length in front, tea length in back. It was made with navy blue velvet, velveteen, and a dark green velvet. I wore it with boots, tights and tunic that I already owned, but I'd like to make a new tunic and tights, and a gown to go under for a more feminine look. So, this fabric is a poly/cotton mix of AMAZING WEIGHT AND DRAPE, (it's a light fabric, but hangs deliciously, perfect for Texas!) and the color is much darker forest green than this image. I will first make a gown of the design pictured to go with the Mirkwood Elf costume, and this can also be worn alone on hot days at Sherwood Forest Faire, or layered with a fairy costume design which will be put to fabric in future... After I make the gown, I'll make a tunic with the leftovers. I believe I have 7.5 yards.
The lacing on the dress will be made of the same fabric, because I want a more texutral feel with this design, as opposed to making the lacing detail on center back and sleeves stick out.

Okay...I'm off to sew, now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

So, for the last 7 months I have been living in a party house with some friends. The internet wasn't working in my room---thus, I haven't used it much until now.

I'm still working at the costume shop, fulltime, and its great! I learn so many new things, and I get to work on great things. Downside, we're understaffed, so I serve as the graphic designer/marketing/tech person as well. Tech. Hah! It's interesting though. I have also been hard at work on my art, finishing the Men in Kilts Calendar series (only 1.5 to go!) and other pieces. Starting on February 11th, I will be selling prints and originals of my artwork at Sherwood Forest Faire! It will be 8 weekends, and I only hope to make a bit of profit :)

So, until then, I am hard at work on the art and a corset mock-up for my bride customer. BUT, as it is set in the time of the Crusades, I am STOKED-AS-FECK to jump on some new medieval costume pieces. I want a hooded mantle, hooded peliçon, surcote of my own special design, bliaut, and another gown. For the peliçon, I found a fantastic navy/black/grey mixed wool that I will edge in brown fur. I would love to line it in fur, but in this central Texas weather, that might get too hot too fast! But then again...we tend to have sporadic weather, and apparently where this faire is located, it gets chilly. I bought some horn toggles at a Viking Market in Germany last summer, and I plan on using those as well...I only bought two, so I may just have the peliçon open from neck to navel, and use the toggles under the bust. I think it will be easy, and the hood and low neckline will create a nice fold.
First things on the list will be the peliçon, mantle, and gown. :D I plan on making them all in one weekend!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Star Wars Episode IV, V, VI Costume Details

I went to the Star Wars Exhibit last week at the Museum of Health in Houston. I was so elated to find many of the costumes/models from the original trilogy that I didn't see in one of the past exhibits! Excuse the poor quality in some photos, I was trying to keep an eye on a 4 year old at the same time! So, in taking detail shots of some, I discovered some interesting things about the following costumes:

Princess Leia's Episode IV costume:

The design on the bottom point of the Stormtrooper's pelvic guard is very bulbous, which draws A LOT of attention there. I'm wondering why they didn't just make the design flush on the outside..?

Darth Vader had an odd detail in his codpiece, we couldn't figure out the function but my 7 year old cousin said it was perhaps for a cell phone...:

New Bellydancing Belt!

The first belt I made got lost somewhere in the sandy grounds of Sherwood Forest Faire, so I made a new one!! I spent about $52 on the kuchi pendants and coin chain that I stitched on, and the trim and fabric I had laying around.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cernunnos - Completed.

It has taken me a year and a half on-and-off to complete him, but he's done. I started this in 2009 as a class project, and never had the time before the deadline to do what I wanted to the background. In a way, I'm glad I waited because I think he came out better with time. Last week I finally buckled down to complete him, after months of going back and forth changing small details on the figure, ignoring the background. I am relieved that I am finished! Overall, I believe I have spent close to 50 hours on this, all those pine needles were a hassle!

Friday, May 13, 2011

New belly dance costume pieces

I finished quite a few costume pieces for belly dance back in March. In total, I embellished a bra and changed it to halter, made a simple kuchi belt, accent skirt, and two pairs of harem pants.

Next I need to upload photos of a medieval chemise and surcote I made!