Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sonic the Hedgehog's Shoes

I spend a frustrating last couple of days trying to mod some sneakers to look like Sonic's shoes for my younger son.  He's been Sonic obsessed for a while now and has long wanted Sonic's shoes.  Crafty mom that I am I'd thought I could just mod some shoes to look like them.  But despite lots of online research the project was just doomed.  The shoes I'd bought were all man-made materials and none of the paints I used would adhere.  I worried that spray paints would react with the plastics in the shoes (something I've had happen with other plastic products) so I didn't even try them.  So word to the wise - when modding shoes chose those that are leather or fabric!  But despite my failure at creating the shoes myself I did manage to stumble on something that might help others on a similar quest. 

It turns out that many major shoe manufacturers now have custom shoes that can be ordered online.  Vans, and Nike and Reebok all have custom shoe services.  But Reebok beat out the others because it was not only cheaper than Nike but also had design elements that most lent themselves to Sonic modding.  You can also save designs and share them with others, so on the off chance any of you too have a Sonic fan here's what I came up with.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly: #22 Masquerade - Krampus Ball Headdress

I was sad to miss the LA Day of the Dead this year but I'm excited to be going with my husband to the Krampus Ball in December!  Krampus is a strange folk figure found in many alpine  countries - mostly Austria and Germany, but also Hungary, the Czech Republic and a few others.  He's a devilish figure and servant of St. Nicholas, (there is no "Santa" in much of Europe) who whips the bad kids with willow wands.  There is a Krampusnacht where Krampuses, St. Nicholas and others parade down the street...and this year there will be all of the above in LA!  The people putting it on are going all out on their masks and are blogging about the process as they do it and that's what got me all psyched about it - I just love seeing that sort of creativity - seeing these crazy giant devilish costumes come to life.

The goal is to make some Krampus costumes of our own to wear to the Krampus Run and the Krampus Rumpus.  The Krampus Ball is sooner though.  So our thought was to have some bits of the Krampus costumes together for the ball and mix those with existing costumes.  To that end I purchased a few things... including these resin cast ram's horns from etsy seller SinergieDreads. I love them, they are so nice and light!

So this weekend I got to work on my headdress for the ball and here's how it turned out (work with a nice 2/3 wig fall of hair that matches my own.)

 frontside back

And here's how I constructed it - the base is a basic tear shaped form of the sort you see with many cocktail hats only bigger and with holes cut out to accommodate the horns.  The form is make out of wonderflex, which is similar to buckram but much stronger.  It's basically a thermoplastic impregnated buckram - when heated it becomes flexible and can adhere to itself.

I used a heat gun to shape the wonderflex over a tinfoil covered fabric wig form and just cut and pleated it to shape.  Then when it was cool and stiff I wired the edges (but not the horn holes) with millinery wire and also attached a wire from the front point to the back.  I sewed a loop for the horn elastic to thread thru then painted the form black and dry brushed white stripes on it so that any gaps in the branches I hot glued on top of it would be less noticeable. Then hot glued TONS of "snow" and "ice" covered branches from Michaels onto the form.  It was important to use wired plastic floral stems vs natural branches because I needed to bend the wires and make them fit the curve of the base.  Straight natural branches/twigs would have just popped off.

I made small rings of fur from a ripped up fur stole I had to cover the joins between the horns and the horn holes.  I still want to monkey with these a bit, not exactly sure I like them how they are, may make them a bit more or less furry, and also need to attach them to the base.  So the horns just slip in and out of the holes and are completely separate from the headpiece.  I plan on doing something similar with the Krampus mask I'm making so the horns can be easily used with both costumes.

interiorinterior cu

ETA - and it's a bit late but I just realized this actually fits the "masquerade" HSF challege - woo hoo!

The Challenge: #22 Masquerade

Fabric: Wonderflex

Pattern: None

Year: Krampus has been around since at least the late 19th Century since I've seen photos depicting him from the 1890s but my headdress is a much more modern interpretation.
Notions: Thread, Millinery Wire, hot glue, paint, "ice" and "snow" covered floral stems.
How historically accurate is it?  Not very!

Hours to complete: 2 days

First worn:  Will be worn at the Krampus Ball

Total cost: Many of the materials were in my stash but I spent $25 on floral stems and $35 on horns.

Next up - hooves...

Accessory #2 Bags and Purses: Finn Backpack...aka it's ADVENTURE TIME!

I'm Accessorizing Head to Toe!This year the boys wanted to be Adventure Time characters for Halloween - my younger son was Finn,  my older was  Jake,  I was Princess Bubblegum (in her lab coat wearing incarnation since I already have a lab coat and a pink skirt and I'm all about reusing things) and my husband was the Earl of Lemongrab.

I made a Jake hat a while ago and got a sweatshirt and pants in almost the same color.  And we already had a Finn hat, shorts and t-shirt so all I really needed to do was make the lemon head for the Lemongrabs costume, a lemon belt, Finn's backpack and Princess Bubblegum's crown.

So for October's bags and purses accessories challenge I made the Finn Backpack!  For the backpack I used a simplified version of a pattern my friend Twila drafted and was kind enough to send me.  It's made of 2 layers of fleece with a decorative button and a velcro closure.  I wanted him to be able to put stuff in it but don't plan on having anything heavy or using it like a real backpack.

I made my husband's Lemongrabs head by modifiying the hood on this wolfman costume pattern to include a long pointed nose and a lemon-y shape.  I used two layers of felt for this and wired the nose tip with millinery wire.  I bought a fake lemon from Michaels and cut it in half then hot glued it to a wide ribbon for the lemongrabs belt.  The Princess Bubblegum crown was made by cutting and shaping a piece of wonderflex to look like the crown, wiring the part that sticks up with millinery wire, painting it and gluing a gem onto it.


Falling behind quickly here, sheesh, this year has been a whirlwind! Anyway we had a nice low key Halloween with friends.  Started off the day going to C's school for a teacher conference and got to check out the Dia de los Muertos altar the kids made.  At the 11th hour I finished decorating our house and got all the skulls set up on the side table (note the Princess Bubblegum me in the mirror, lol!)


We all wore our Adventure Time costumes again and got ready for our friends to arrive. Here are Festive Finn and Jake and Battle Finn and Jake killing a spider with the cardboard swords they made.


We had the boys' little cousins over as well as some of their friends and their parents for a little party. Construction boy, Ladybug, Jake, Finn, Sharknado and a creeper are ready for CANDY!


Everyone had fun and looked great! Here's a few shots of Finn and his best friend as Sharknado and Finn and  my friend Alyxx's daughter as Marceline


I hope you had a happy Halloween!