Thursday, 22 November 2012

Plans for the Hobbit

My first costuming crush was Galadriel's gown. Thirteen year old goth me had great plans of a black version of the gown she wears in the prologue - I made a pattern and planned for the embroidery and everything. (When I rediscovered my drawings, I was overcome with the need to invent a time machine and travel back to slap myself. I didn't know anything about sewing.)

I (luckily) never started on the gown, but I've never given up the dream of an Elvish gown. And with the Hobbit coming to theatres, I've a wonderful excuse to get started.

I'm not sure whether it will be finished in time because of exams and stuff I really should prioritize, but I've cut out the pattern already. If it isn't finished for the Hobbit, I could always use it for Banzaicon in March-April.

Despite all I just said about Elvish gowns, is this dress going to be more alike the human designs of Lotr - it's linen, while the Elvish gowns are primarily made of velvet, and the costume crazed (anyone there?) will notice the likeness to Éowyn's gowns.

I just need to survive my exams, and then I can sew.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Halloween 2012

Rococo lady on the bus.

This year resulted in costuming extravaganza. And I teased the hell out of my hair so I could style it mile-high.  One of my housemates wore the tallest heels she had, and I was still taller than her. We were out and about, so I didn't get to take proper pictures of the whole thing. It'll have to wait till next con, I think.

Wearing the costume was fun. I got loads of compliments, though there were a few nasty comments too - people love to talk down about Halloween here because it's supposedly an American tradition. The costume was comfortable to wear, not too cold or hot, and I love the new stays, I completely forgot I was wearing them.

There was a staring contest. I lost.

This was what happened when I let down my hair. 
And this was what happened after I came home (and left bits my costume all around the house as I peeled it off). As if I don't have trouble with my unruly hair already, here it is teased and covered in a bullet-proof layer of hairspray.

These pics are by Sylvilel.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Halloween: So far

Robe a la anglaise a la polonaise, center front.
This Halloween I'm planning to go as a vampire, once again inspired from my favourite musical. Two years ago I dressed as a German Ewigkeitsvampire, this year I'm taking inspiration from the Finnish designs, where all the vampires are dressed in black with gold and silver accents.

With roughly two months till Halloween, and seeing as my costume is starting to look like a piece of clothing, I allow myself to not stress about it. Stomacher is embroidered, the jacket is soon finished (only need to sew on the engageantes), and yesterday I cut out the pattern for the giantunormous underskirt. The sewing bit is relatively uncomplicated but trimming this monstrosity will take forever. I have hoarded up large quantitites of lace.

I wanted a center front, but after three tries at modifying the pattern, I gave up. I don't know why I bother drawing out a design at all. I always end up changing my mind halfway, and the end result looks completely different.

It's hard to see from the front, but the jacket is made up by three different cotton fabrics (lined with linen, by the way). I really didn't think gold and silver would look remotely good together, but so far it looks fine. I wanted some bling on the back, so I sewed a decorative band over the seams.

Hairstuff is also finished. I have this tiara I made from a bracelet, and a comb with blackened flowers that I spray painted. Notice the green stuff. Those are jewel beetle wings. I am completely in love with them despite their creepy crawly origin.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Itty bitty fashion show

Last weekend three of my outfits were showed at a local fair. They sort of stuck out between the knitwear.

It was really fun. I wore my brown Victorian bustle dress, and had models for the mid-Victorian red skirt (now with a corselet top to go with it), plus an Edwardian ensemble I haven't written about on this blog yet because I don't have proper pictures of it.

My models were sweethearts and looked lovely. It was sort of strange seeing my creations on other people, though.

(c) sylvilel
The local newspaper has me listed as a designer for some reason. Not that I object.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Polkadot stays

I was going for a very proper pair of stays, but that idea was binned when I found red polkadot linen at the fabric store. At least the pattern is period. (I found it online, but I've lost the link.)

Trying on a half-boned WIP.

You're supposed to use whalebone in stays but I didn't want to wait for it to arrive (living in Norway, whoo!), so I used corset steel instead. Unfortunately I ran out halfway, and so I had to wait for a new coil of corset steel instead. (From Vena Cava, by the way.)

This pair of stays has a functional opening in front, with a loose stomacher, so that I can put it on without help. The other stays I've made have been closed in the back, and last time I used one, it was laced wrong by a friend. Wearing it for a whole day at a convention was not pleasant.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Halloween 2011: Huldra

Huldra is a creature from Scandinavian folklore. I guess she could be compared to some kind of vicious forest fairy. While she is usually described as a beautiful dairymaid with a cow's tail in Norwegian lore, I went for a trollish creature that lives in the woods and doesn't comb her hair.

The costume consists of a top, skirt, corset and a crown made from birch-branches. I also have a braided tail, but it sort of disappears in the tatters of the skirt and I don't have pics.
The skirt consists of scrap fabric left over from almost every project I've done the last two years.

For the top I used Danielle #9306 from Burda Style, the "corset" pattern was made from this tutorial. I sewed the corset entirely by hand because at the time I was sick and couldn't stand the noise from my beloved sewing machine. Finished it just in time.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Late-Victorian Ensemble

Kitteh's helping me.
I planned to wear only Victorian clothing for an entire month - which is no longer happening as I don't live in a place where a thing like that is accepted - but I started easy, with BurdaStyle 7880. Later I'm going to use either Laughing Moon or Truly Victorian patterns.

This jacket was only meant to be a mock-up before I cut into the expensive fabric. However, I grew to like it, and planned a whole ensemble to go with it. Fashion fabric is cotton, skirt is cotton satin. As much as I love the idea of a silk gown I use my costumes at conventions and that involves a lot of walking. Any long, sweeping skirt is covered in dirt at the end of the day.

A proper lady would need a hat, so I made one. It's just cardboard covered in fabric, feathers and paper flowers. I've promised my hot glue-burned fingertips I'm going to sew a hat out of buchram sometime.

Costume got its first proper outing at Banzaicon 2012. I didn't intend to, but I ended up looking rather steampunk. I also won the outfit competition.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Puss Sausageroll

With most of my former costumes posted, I take a break from costumes to post about something else a lot of costumers have in common: they're cat-owned.

I'm cat-sitting for someone in my family while they're away. Puss Sausageroll (never let kids name kitties) is super adorable, and unlike my vicious kitty, he loves pettings. He does this funny thing where he'll bump his head against your forehead (sometimes breaking your nose in the process).

Every time I come by he acts like he hasn't seen people in a week.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Blue Ensemble, Late-Rococo

Every Christmas my family starts insisting I put the sewing machine away. I usually swap my sewing for knitting, but this year I wanted to sew, and since I am a pseudo-historical costumer, I decided to try and see if I could make an entire outfit by hand.

Mau helped me cut out the jacket pattern.

I am somewhat OCD about stitches.

The jacket took approximate twenty hours to finish. It's cotton, with linen interlining and a cotton/linen for lining.

Skirt from this tutorial. Made in cotton. (Don't tell anyone it's actually a bedsheet...)

I made the stomacher two months afterwards, two weeks before a photo shoot, because I'd forgotten about it. In linen, embroidered with vintage woolen thread given to me by my grandmother. She used to embroider bunads (Norwegian national costumes), and has tried in vain to teach me anything about embroidery. I don't really know how to embroider, but the end result wasn't half bad.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Red Ensemble, Late-Rococo

I know there's  pink bow in my hair. Ignore it please.
This is an outfit I didn't plan on making. It just happened. I found a pretty fabric at the local second-hand store and wanted to make myself a Regency gown. But when I unwrapped the pattern there was a gazillion pieces and a mile-long list of instructions. I figured that, heck, I don't really like the empire waist anyway, and went a bit farther back in time to make an 18th. century skirt. Tutorial.

When I had the skirt (plus an underskirt I'd made because the overskirt was see-through), I had to make something to go with it and drafted a jacket based on Simplicity 3637. I delved into my stash for this project. I had to piece the red fabric, which made me utterly excited. (Yay, something period correct in my not-at-all period project!)


Used it six months later, at Banzaicon 2012. I'm wearing proper underpinnings, plus a bumroll. The flying satin band is from the sleeve of the chemise. I didn't notice it dangling.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Red Victorian Skirt

A mid-Victorian skirt fashioned after what the main female character in Tanz der Vampire wears to the midnight ball. For some reason costume designers love dressing up vampire victims/lunches/girlfriends in red.

I followed this tutorial.

In time there will be a whole ensemble, but I'm procrastinating on the bodice. It's been in my to-do-pile for nearly two years. My cat loves it though.

While it was in progress. Mau fell asleep on it.

Doctor Who Scarves

Despite only having watched Nu-Who, I can't help but drool over the Fourth Doctor's scarf. I've made three of these, one for myself, and two for similarily obsessed friends. Can't recall which season's pattern I followed (oh dear, I am a bad fan), but the patterns are found here.

My version is a bit different from the original. The colours aren't the same, and my version is in moss stitch.

It's about two metres long (when I started out on my first scarf I actually worried it would be too short, hah), and very warm, which helps when you live way north of the polar circle.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Vampire Bride

The costume used for Halloween 2010 and Desucon 2011. It is an old wedding gown from 1992 that I destroyed teadyed and painted to look old.

The design is based on my favourite musical, Tanz der Vampire, where the ensemblevampires wear the tattered (and gorgeous) clothes they were turned in x years ago while they claw their way out of their graves and sing about how eternity sucks. It's in German, but it's a catchy song, and there's a solid helping of costume porn in there.

I am a Pastafarian vampire so I don't shy away from Christian stuffs.
Given that the wedding gown was from 1992, it's probably inspired by lady Diana's frilly confection and meant to go over a crinoline. I decided to wear it with just a poofy underskirt. Because of the butt bows and everything that's going on in the back, it's already slightly bustled.

I get my fangs from I have long ones, Sabers, that I used for Halloween, but for Desucon I used shorter teeth, so that I could speak without shounding laik I wash drunhk. (And the Sabers were sort of actually sharp, so ouch.)

Back and forth from the convention there were loads of moms who bent down to their precious pink-clad daughters, pointed at me and said, "Look at the princess!", only resulting in their utter mortification when they saw my big, toothy smile. 

Regency Zombie Slayer

This costume was among my first. It's based on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

The costume consists of the white overdress and a black underdress, both made of light linen. I based my design on Simplicity 4055, and just lengthened a BurdaStyle pattern that looked passable. Not period at all. It's not exactly empire-waisted either. There is so much I want to change. I might do a remake sometime in the future.

It was fun to wear though. Worn at Desucon 2010.

Out and about in Oslo, there was a man who ran after me. The poor guy was genuinely distressed by the blood running down my face and wanted to know whether to call me an ambulance.