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Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Ghost of Halloween Past

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dragoncon 2008 Round Up - The Rest

Pete and Receptionist Triana were new, but these are all costumes I'd worn before. A couple of them do have new wigs which is almost like wearing a new costume without putting forth any effort whatsoever! Almost. Or not really. But still, wigs are yay!

Lady Au Pair from The Venture Bros.

Triana from The Venture Bros.

Molotov from The Venture Bros.

Illyria from Angel

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Venture Receptionist Triana

I used a pattern for the dress, but I had to alter it because I wanted a stripe down the middle of the dress and I wanted short sleeves instead of long (with a stripe on the bottom.)

The biggest hassle with this was the collar. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over unfinished ickiness sticking up visibly behind the collar. I finally did it in reverse of how the pattern said to do it, which was much better. But it still had some unfinished edges that I ended up having to pin under at the con. Part of the final problem was definitely my incompetence. I sewed it too far up on the bottom of the yoke and probably not far enough down on the top. And the other part was just that the way the pattern was designed was super annoying.

I also made one of the sleeves too small. Basically, I suck at sleeves.

It took me several tries to figure out the logo. I tried fabric paint and I tried attaching fabric to interfacing and then cutting it with an Xacto knife. That did not work AT ALL. And finally my friend said, just iron it on. At which point I introduced my head to my desk because duh. (Also, when you're printing out your iron ons, remember that you have to reverse the image. Because I did not remember that until after I'd printed a couple sheets out.)

The logo came out really well, but there was a problem with the ironing on because that lighter blue fabric was a hideous polyester suiting and I set the iron really hot to make sure the logo transferred, but that actually MELTED THE FABRIC since polyester is basically plastic. It left some little white marks and things on the fabric, but they weren't TOO noticeable. Sewing that fabric was a huge pain in the ass too because it kept getting snagged. I would be sewing along and all of a sudden the needle would catch and it would snag and I swear it was not because I'm incompetent, it was the FABRIC.

To make the little hat, I cut out a piece of interfacing. I thought I bought the fusible, but it wasn’t (argh!). But it was the super thick kind, so once I realized it wasn't fusible, I just made a little covering for it out of the blue fabric. Like a toilet paper cozy for your head. I sewed 4 bobby pins to the back of it to keep it in place.

The hands free phone part is the microphone that came with the toy guitar I bought for Stormer. Seriously, if you're a costumer or a crafty person never throw anything away. You might think it was the wrong fabric or the wrong wig or the wrong paint, but it's actually a future costume. Anyway, I painted the accents on that aqua. I couldn't find aqua spraypaint, so I had to use acrylics which was scraping off if I looked at it too hard so I coated it with nailpolish to try to set it. It lasted okay, but there was still a little bit of scuffing.

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Pete White

This is all modified. I bought a (giant) white double-breasted jacket at Goodwill. I cut out the lining, and took it in on the sides and on the sleeves. Replaced the white buttons with pink buttons. Turned the double-breasted part under and sewed it in place to make that gloriously 80s neckline.

I also bought some hot pink lining fabric, and I had planned to re-line the jacket. But I really don't know how to do that, and I didn't leave myself enough time to experiment with failure so I just left it a total mess on the inside. (If you can't see it, it doesn't exist!)

The pink parts are a pair of leggings and a sleeveless turtleneck I got at Goodwill. I turned the turtleneck around backwards and slit the seam to make the mandarin collar.

The shoes I bought on ebay, but they didn't have a buckle on them. I wanted a bigger buckle than what I ended up with, but that was the only square buckle I could find at any of the hobby and craft stores around here. I spray painted the buckles gold, and cut some strips of white vinyl, attached the buckles to the vinyl and then glued it onto the shoe. It held up pretty well, but was peeling up a bit by the time I got home so it probably would have needed re-glueing if I'd worn it longer.

The pin I made out of sculpy and wire. Then I spray painted outer edge of the sculpy gold. Painters tape is basically the best thing ever if you need to get some kind of straight edge or use more than one color or otherwise exert some control with spray paint because it's pretty good about peeling off without damaging the stuff underneath. (Although I did have a hugely frustrating experience trying to paint some boots for my failed Captain Liberty costume that proved sometimes the tape does pull up paint from previously painted surfaces.)

In terms of albino makeup, I basically just went for white. I'm already very pale, so I bought the palest foundation I could find on the cheap. (Nyx 01 - Pale). The white mascara on my eyelashes is also Nyx. I tried to highlight it with blush to give it some pinkyness, but I was pretty cautious about that so it ended up still being mostly overwhelmingly white. I also used an ivory highlighter on my cheekbones, brow bones, bridge of my nose, etc. to try to give all that white a bit of dimension. None of this really shows in pictures, but it made it look a little less weird in person. I found that completely covering my lips with foundation to make them white looked really scary so I let a little of their natural color show through but covered them enough to make them mostly blend in. The eyebrows are glue and acrylic paint.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

They're Not Just For Freshmaking Anymore

If you do any costuming you know that seams are going to pop, and the heels are going to randomly fall off your shoes, and you're going to forget some vital part of your costume at home. It's the number two rule of costuming. (The number one rule of costuming is no matter what you need for your costume you won't be able to find it while you're making the costume, but three months later it'll be everywhere you look.) So costuming disasters are inevitable, but are you going to give up and not wear the costume just because you forgot to bring your pants? No. You're going to take your paperclips and your chewing gum wrappers and probably your eyeliner pencil and MacGyver the hell out of that sucker.

Case in point. My friend put together a Dr. Girlfriend costume the day she was wearing it. Her pink suit had no buttons. She was going to cut some out of construction paper, but I said, "Wait! I have Mentos in my purse!" A couple pieces of double-sided tape later and voila.


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lady Au Pair

This is the first time I've sewn a costume completely from scratch. Usually at least some part of what I wear is bought and/or modified. But on this one everything between my knees and my neck I made myself. (I'm a little bit proud.)

Of course if you look too closely at the back of the dress, one of the seams is noticeably askew. But luckily the apron covers the biggest mistake. Also, I realize they should be 3/4 length sleeves. I planned to do them that way, but then I made the puffed part of the sleeve too small and didn't realize it until they were already done. There was no way to fit another layer of fabric under there without redoing the sleeve, and at that point being screen accurate seemed less important than not having to do more work. Oh well. (I'm still proud!)

Here's the hat.

Bought it on ebay. Stripped it down. Spraypainted it. And then added my own ribbons and flowers.

The murderous moppet has already been introduced.

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