Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Living in the Wild, Wild West

Well, the hubby and I went to Teslacon again this year. It's the biggest steampunk convention in the Midwest. Lots of fun times to be had! The theme was the wild west, so there were many western-themed classes and events. The hubby learned how to crack a whip, which pleased him to no end.

Of course, I had to make a couple of new costumes. Duh.
I decided to do fairy costumes this year, so a steampunk fairy was the obvious choice. But I also decided to make a green absinthe fairy since that fits with the general Victorian vibe of steampunk.

The absinthe fairy was a fairly typical construction - new corset top, new green skirt, new green fascinator and new wings. The only thing really interesting is that there are fiber optic cables in the wings that light up. It only shows in dim lighting, though.
The fascinator looks a little weird in this pic. The feathers on the side are blending in a little with part of the wing in the back, making it look like I have something sticking out the side of my head. But I do look suitably drunk!

The steampunk fairy wings were a little more intricate! They are made of cellophane sandwiched between 2 layers of craft foam. Boy, did it take a long time to cut out all of those openings with an x-acto knife!

Photos by Realtime Portrait Studios

Monday, April 27, 2015

La Bella Nani is finished!

My blue Venetian gown is done. Yay!

I was making it for the costume convention Figments and Filaments. It got a very good reception. And someone recognized it! After I paraded in the fashion show, a woman approached me to get a closer look. She was talking about the cutwork sleeves and suddenly stopped to exclaim "You're the painting! The blonde one!"

I was so stoked!

Here it is in all it's wonderful glory....

Taken by the wonderful lady at ImageCollectors Photography.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Am I blue...

At a meeting of my local Costumer's Guild chapter, one of the members brought in a book that had some beautiful photos of Italian Renaissance portraits. So the two of us decided to make some Italian Ren costumes for the upcoming Figments & Filaments costume convention.
Looking around the net, I fell in love with La Bella Nani by Paolo Veronese. That gorgeous blue! Those cutwork sleeves! I had to make it.

And it fit right into the schedule for the Historical Sew Monthly group. January's theme was foundations - perfect time to make the camicia (chemise). February's theme was blue - perfect for the dress!

I used Margo Anderson's Elizabethan Lady's Wardrobe pattern as my base. I adapted it to fit a more Venetian look. But the most elaborate change was the sleeves. I combined the "paned" version of the sleeve into one solid pattern. Then came the hard part!

First I had to measure the image and figure out the conversion to make it full sized. (Who says that I never use my math degree in real life?)

I drew a grid on paper and started sketching out the major sections in full size.

Then I traced them onto the pattern piece in the right layout.

Using an X-acto knife, I cut out the openings on 1/2 of the pattern.

 This is how the pattern "stencil" ended up.
I cut the sleeves out of the velvet material and fused interfacing on to the back of each one. The interfacing had 2 purposes - to give the sleeve a little more body and to keep the cutwork edges from raveling.

Using my  "stencil", I traced the design onto the interfacing, flipping it over to do each side.

Then came HOURS of cutting the holes with applique scissors!

Here's what I ended up with:
The blue is not really this, um, vibrant. It's a nice royal blue.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Here we go steampunking again!

Hubby & I went to Teslacon again in 2014. It's the biggest steampunk convention in the Midwest. And this year we kidnapped convinced one of Tom's friends to come along. Mwah ha ha! Another person brainwashed into the steampunk aesthetic!

Hubby wore the same costumes as last year, but I had to create new ones of course.
(All photos from Realtime Portrait Studios)

Here they are:

This is my stab at ethnic steampunk. The funny thing is that I had everything already except for the brown corset and that was pretty easy to throw together.

This is my pseudo-Japanese demon. I also had everything for this already. I made the horns several years ago out of upholstery foam. The top and obi/sash were from my wa-lolita outfit. Pants are from my Bedouin costume. Why is this steampunk? Beats me. Maybe some Victorian/steampunk travelers encountered the demon in their travels through Asia. But it was fun!
(Those of you who know Japanese costume may notice that the top is folded the wrong direction as if I were dead. I thought that this would be appropriately sinister for a demon.)

This one was the best in my opinion - a broken clockwork doll. The brown corset is the same one from the first pic above. You can't see it, but the fabric pattern of the skirt and the shoulder decoration is little steampunk octopi with gears and top hats! Here's a link to the fabric pattern on Spoonflower. Isn't that adorable?

Here's a close-up of my makeup:

The necklace and earrings are cute little pink octopi. They basically inspired the whole outfit.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Le Jazz Hot

Some people from our local chapter of the International Costumers Guild decided to go to a jazz club a few months back. So we got all fancied up in our best flapper dresses! I'd been holding on to a gorgeous chiffon sari that I bought on ebay several years back. I initially bought it thinking about a regency dress, but the opportunity hasn't come up for that. So a 1920s beaded flapper dress it became. :-)

Me & hubby as the gangster and moll.

I used the 1924 2-hour dress pattern layout that's floating all over the internet. I made the under-dress in plain beige satin that I had in my stash. Then I put it on my dress form and draped the outer dress right on top of it in order to take advantage of the beadwork patterns on the sari. The only change I made was to make the rectangles for the skirt wider for the outer dress. This made the chiffon drape a little at the sides to give it a nice fluttery effect. I then cut out some beadwork sections from the remaining part of the sari and used them to trim the back neckline of the dress. I also used some of the remaining sari to make the matching head band.

It's too bad the photos don't show the full, glittery effect of the silver bullion embroidery!

Me, Jennifer & Bethany in our flapper glory.
Full length shot.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Figments and Filaments 2014

I know...I have been very lax about posting my costumes. Mea culpa.
Since my sister asked where my pics were, I decided to catch up a little.
So here are pics from a brand new costume convention that started up in the Midwest - Figments and Filaments. 2014 was the premiere year. I went because I absolutely adored some of the guests of honor. (Especially the lady who does the Gothic Charm School website!)

Anyway, on to the costumes...

I didn't make anything new for this one, but I got to wear a good variety.
I entered the fashion show with the game character costume that I made for Naka-Kon.(Photo taken by Chelci Gearhiser)

Got a really great photo of my 18th century dress. (Photo by ImageCollectors)

Here's me and Jennifer talking to people about our local chapter of the International Costumers' Guild.