Friday, June 15, 2012

Busy as a Bee

yeah, the bee puns are just going to keep on coming, so get used to it honey.  ;)

After looking at a lot of little kid stretch-pantyhose-over-a-coat-hanger tutorials for wings I finally found what I was looking for - cellophane wings.  They're transparent, iridescent and fairly realistic but also light and it turns out SUPER easy to make.  I used this tutorial, while her wings are more cartoony that what I was going for the basic info is good and if it's too wordy for you skip down to the bottom where she gives the 10  minute version.

I have a very nice, expensive iron so I used a heat gun on low instead of my iron, added bonus, you could use the heat gun to seal the edges instead of monkeying around with an open flame.  Anyway, they were really easy to do.  I made a sort of fish fin looking pair to go with my water gown, a tiny doll pair and 1/2 of my pair of bee's wings in just a few hours. I used yellow iridescent cellophane (like you wrap gift baskets with) and clear vinyl.

A few things of note - you don't have to wrap the entire wire with florists tape, you can just do the joins if you like.  The fish fin ones have florists wire wrapped along the entire length and the bee ones only have it at the join.  It really helps to use the quilt basting spray to make the wings a bit less crinkled looking.

Anyway, I think they look pretty bitchin' and this from someone who's got a bit of an aversion to fairy wings!  I can also imagine making crowns or masks using this method.

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Buzz, buzz around

When I'm stuck I work on something new!  So while I didn't do anything more on the Chinese Bustle I did start on one of the other CADD projects I've had buzzing around the back of my brain.  You know picture of the "wasp" Victorian fancy dress costume?  It's in the Holt Fancy Dress book and one of my other costume books has a photo of someone's version of it in there somewhere...


Anyway, I've always loved this costume and wanted to do my own version of it but more of a bee than a wasp.  So I have the Fancy Dress basic underskirt that I made for the Harlequin last year and I've got some black silk taffeta (care of Home Fabric's $5/yd bolt ends) and a wee bit of yellow silk satin...you see where this is headed right?

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And I've also got some really cool vintage hat veiling with bee-like dots on it.
I think I may just have the makings of something rather sweet here!   ;)
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Chinese Bustle progress

Or lack there of.  You know those costume projects where you've got a vision in your head and you make it come to fruition and all is right with the world?

Well, this isn't one of those.

Yeah, I've really stalled out on my Labyrinth of Jareth Ball Chinese Bustle project.  I've got a great over skirt...and not much else.  I've made a bodice and fitted it but what seemed fine in my mind and in mock up just is not *right* in real life.  It's not not the fabric, not the fit, it's even cute but it's not what I want.  I made a lovely black silk satin underskirt which I adore...but it's too pretty to be covered up!  If I trim the underskirt to go with the Chinese bustle (and other things) I lose the beauty of it's simplicity. So now I'm contemplating using it for some other project and making yet another underskirt for this, which defeats my goal of multi-purpose costume pieces. Sigh.

Then I start running around in circles with my arms pinwheeling as a flail to find something else to wear to LoJ.  I've got LOTS of ideas, and a significant amount of CADD but the reality is none of them works for what I want for LoJ.  Which is over the top and beautiful.  AND goes with a mask I currently have - there IS however one thing already made in the closet which fits the bill -  my Water gown.  Yes, it's got a mile long train but that can actually be pinned up in a pretty cool and attractive way.  And I'd thought I was too fat for it but tried on the skirt and it fit fine.  Great!  The part most prone to gain weight fits! Yay, problem solved!  But then I tried it on with my corset and had H hold the back (which laces up) together and yeah, the waist fits fine but apparently I've gained a ton of weight in my bust/ribcage.  O_o    But I'm thinking  I can jsut make a placket and have a lacing gap in the top of my back and the ginormous fall of hair I was planning on wearing with it will cover it.

All of this leaves me with nothing for the Costume College Gala, because I've already worn Water for it.  So I'm thinking of either going back to the Chinese bustle after a breathing period or running with one of my other CADD ideas.  After seeing all the lovely bustle gowns  [info]madamekat, Judy and Beth all wore at Dress U I'm thinking of something along those lines...

Dress U part 1


Boy, I'm really lax in posting, but we've been SOOO busy! Anyway, without further ado, here is part one of my run down of Dress U, the new east coast historical costume convention.

Because there were no free flights available in coach I actually flew 1st class both ways - for free!  Sadly, 1st class is far from what it used to be, the seats were even close together enough that my knees were touching the seat in front of me once he put his back.

I met up with a friend at the airport and we drove to the hotel together.  Ideally I'd like to not drive so far from the airport for a con, but we got there pretty quickly despite rush hour.  We met up with our respective roomies and changed for the welcome reception.

I arrived a bit late to the reception to find everyone individually introducing themselves.  This was not what the organizer had planned and we could see it was going to take FOREVER and we'd be regaled with endless "I started sewing at age 4" stories instead of all mingling and having fun.  So when there was a bit of a lull a bunch of us just sort of stood up and starting mingling and chatting and the party got started.  Everyone looked wonderful and it was nice to see so many familiar faces from the east coast events I'd been to.

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The dealers' room was small but really quite nice, especially for a small fledgeling con.  I bought a book and some silk ribbon and took a lot of pics of the other ladies hanging out there.
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I also took the 18th C bonnet class, and while I didn't get a lot done I have a kit now so I should be able to finish up the bonnet, and maybe wear it at coco depending on what else I decide to wear.   


Then it was time to get ready for the Titanic Dinner...



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dress U

Had a great time at Dress U, the new east coast historical costume convention, but I really hit the ground running once I got home, so the full report will have to wait.

But I will say it was amazingly well run for a con that really had 1 person doing nearly all of the work - major kudos to Victoria for pulling it off.  I had some fun classes but I'll be honest - I was really mostly there for the socializing.   I caught up with old friends, met new ones and generally had a ball.