Friday, August 26, 2016

Costume College part 4 - The Friday Night Social

Me and Diana in late 18th C

I didn't take nearly as many photos at the Social as I'm meant to and there was a reason for this...

You know how some costumes just fight you every step of the way?  The LACMA redingote was one of those.  Ugh.  I love the idea, I even like how it turned out, but by the time I was done making it I was just not very happy with it any more because of all the grief it had given me.

Just before the social, when I finally put it on for the first time, I realized I needed to move all the hooks over a bit because it was uncomfortably tight.  So, needless to say, I was a bit frazzled when I arrived!

Sometime, when my ire towards it has cooled, I need to take some more photos of the redingote and do a proper entry on it.

The theme for the social this year was Circus and many embraced it, there were many clowns and stripes and ringmasters, but, as always, many wore what they felt like wearing.  Here's just a sampling of the fabulousness of the evening:

Leimomi and Merja 
Aubry's pretty late 18th Century ensemble
Victorian Wednesday!

Kim's Brotherhood of the Wolf Riding Habit 

Bustle Prizes

Aristo vs Revolutionary!
Twila's Lolita Pippi Longstocking

Monday, August 22, 2016

Costume College Part 3: Friday: Historical Star Wars

I posted on my classes already but the other most notable things about Friday to me was the Historic Star Wars group.  I think my costume for this was my favorite of the whole weekend, it was comfortable, cool and hilarious.

Anyway,  group of us had been chatting on LiveJournal about doing Star Wars costumes from different historical eras to wear to Costume College, so without further ado, I present, from Left to right: Me as Mod Darth, Jen as Edwardian Kylo Ren, Katherine as Regency Bespin Leia, Ginger as Medieval Leia, Twila as Hippie Chewie and Amy as 50s BB-8.

I just loved all these costumes so much!  Everyone went all out and had every tiny detail right, just look at all these crazy purses!

 I didn't get a picture of it but Twila's hippie Chewie crossbow shot FLOWERS!  And Jen even made a special light saber handle for her parasol!

My costume was pretty easy for me to put together, a caped minidress from Hot Topic(!), boots I already owned, vintage 1960s hat and gloves and, best of all, super cool 3D printed light up Darth belt and Death Star purse that my husband made for me.  I'll do a separate post on those and 3D printing later on as he's been doing a LOT of it and I can see it will play a big part in future cosplays we do.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Costume College part 2 - Thursday Night Pool Party

I got to the hotel early and after a little socializing I went over to the exhibit room to set up my Cersei birds dress for display.  My roomie Alyxx got to display her amazing Beast costume from a few years ago.

Thursday night is the official start of costume college with a pool party.  This years theme was It's a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod World so there was a lot of awesome 1960s wear, sadly I only took a few pictures.

Alyxx   and Kim

Twila nailed it as Grace Slick from her American Bandstand appearance in 1967

And Jen

I had plans for a totally different costume but in my haste to finish other things that fell through and I went to my fall back - 1960s Star Trek.  The dress is from Anovos and I can't say enough good things about it.  It's fun, comfy and sexy.  I tried to do a sort of 60s style make up, had a TOS tricorder prop and put a bump-it in my hair.

Photo by Maegen Hensley
Selfie by me!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Costume College Part 1 - Classes

Man, I've really been slacking on updating the blog, sorry about that. Not that I haven't been sewing mind you... 

Anyway, I just got back from Costume College and have lots to say about it so I'll do multiple posts. In this one I'll focus on the classes I took.

Actually I took hardly any classes this year!   Most of the ones I wanted to take were at exactly the same time as my limited classes - so frustrating!  That said my limited classes were really great, I loved all of them.  I took a leather mask making class, a foam armor class and J.P. Ryan's 18th C riding habit fitting class.

The leather mask making class was sort of a revelation, who knew masks were that simple!  We had leather mask templates the teachers had prepared that were soaked in warm (120 F degree) water with a dollop of white glue.  Once the mask was totally soaked it was wrung out and then shaped on a plaster face cast we were given.  We just used our hands and whatever tools we had to shape them.  I made a very simple "highwayman" type mask for my husband.  Then we used a hairdryer to dry them and leather dye to color them and voila - mask!

I'm afraid I didn't take many photos in the other two classes.  Malaki Keller's foam class was a little bit on construction and the rest was more about trying to imagine 3D shapes as 2D ones.  He spent a lot of time talking about how the 2D shapes needed to make something aren't always what we think they'll be.  It was fascinating and enlightening.  This photo is from when he was talking about the shapes you might need to make a kangaroo tail.

I'm sorry to say I didn't take any photos in J.P. Ryan's class. It was a mad scramble to get as much finished on my muslin as possible so we'd have time to get ready for the Gala - which started only a little more than an hour after the class!  :O  We made mock ups of both the waistcoat and the coat for the riding habit.  It was SOO useful to have the actual maker of the pattern there to help fit us.  I came away with mock ups that are nearly perfectly fitted and will be a great help in helping me finish my Fox riding habit.

The only non-limited class I dropped in on was American Duchess' Creating a Miss Fisher Wardrobe class.  Unfortunately the listing for the class was off in terms of how long it was so I really came in at the very end.  Lauren looked very dapper and had some suggestions of places to shop for Miss Fisher type clothes and has put up a link to her class here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reigning Men

So last night I went with a friend to see The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's (LACMA)  Reigning Men exhibit.

And, as Tim Gunn might say - it blew my socks off!!

I have to admit menswear isn't generally all that exciting to me, so when I heard about this exhibit I thought it would be good...but wasn't super pumped to see it.  Boy was I wrong.  It really is the most comprehensive show on men's historical clothing I've ever seen -  in any museum or museum catalog. Just when I thought we'd come to the end we'd turn a corner and there was more.  Room after room of truly stunning garments from the early 18th century to modern couture. There was so much, and I was so busy taking pictures that I stayed until closing and they had to kick me out!

If you're in LA any time between now and August 21st I urge you to go see it.  You won't be sorry.

I took tons of pictures and was so impressed I just may go back to see it all again and take more, but here are some of the highlights -

You can see my photos of the exhibit, all 255 of them, here on flickr.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Casual Cosplay

I was really excited to see the Force Awakens Star Wars collection that Her Universe that just debuted at Hot Topic. I thought a lot of the outfits were really fun, and felt reminiscent of the characters, but were also very wearable.  I particularly fell in love with Captain Phasma's outfit - so I bought it!

Our red curtain was about as First Order as I could get, lol.  Size-wise it fits me very well, I ordered the large in both jacket and leggings and normally wear an off-the-rack USA size 10.  They are both very well made and comfy, I give them the thumbs up!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly #5: Holes - Red Française

So you may remember the red française I posted an in progress photo of a while back?

Well, I've finally finished it and it's actually my first française!  As much as I love the 18th Century I tend to stay mostly in the 1780s and 1790s, and to be honest I've always been kind of afraid of the francaise.  But when I bought this painted silk years ago it just seemed perfect for a Francaise, so I finally bit the bullet and made one.

My inspiration for this gown is this red gown worn by Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons and this extant gown.

The Challenge: Holes

Material: Painted silk shantung

Pattern: I used the JP Ryan pet-en-a'air/française pattern as my base for this gown.  A.J.s blog post on this pattern was invaluable as was the wonderful draping directions of Katherine's.  I also often referenced the posts and photos Merja took of her Robe a la française.  Thanks so much for sharing your processes ladies, I couldn't have done it without you!

Year: 1770s
Notions: I used some gold braid from the stash to trim the gown as well as copious amounts of self fabric carefully cut to highlight certain motifs in the fabric.  The engageantes are made from a remnant of embroidered silk organza with an applied lace edging.  
How historically accurate is it?  Fairly HA.  The lining, some of the long seams of the gown and the gathering on the ruffles are machine sewn but most of the rest of the gown is hand sewn. I didn't have a punch but instead used a pair of scalloped scissors to cut out the trim, similar to these.
Hours to complete:  Hard to say, I started this sometime in February but have also been working on many other projects.
First worn: I haven't worn it yet.
Total cost:  This is the best part, would you believe this fabric was less than $5 per yard?!  I got this back in 2009 at a big fabric warehouse in Houston that is no longer in business.  It was originally $9.95 but was on sale for 50% off.  I have some fabric left over but I think I used 8 yards for this project - so $40!!  Not sure how much I paid for the gold trim or the organza.
But where, you may ask, are the holes?!  There are a lot of holes actually, but the holes in this gown are all behind the scenes in the form of hand sewn eyelets on the front underneath the stomacher and on the back under the pleats. 

I was originally just going to do the back lacing but I felt like it would put too much stress on my pretty silk to just be tightly pinned in the front so I went with JP Ryan's method which included a front laced panel under the stomacher.  All the stress to keep the dress fitted to my body is then put on the linen lining instead of the silk.  

I guess one could argue I also have "holes" in the serpentine designs of the trim on the dress and petticoat!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Grand Victorian Ball

Me in my new dress
Finally here are my pictures from the grand Victorian ball  where I got to wear the new dress.

I actually managed to go to the dance lesson the weekend before so I knew which dances were easy enough for a beginner like me - and which ones to stay away from!

So I sat took a few turns on the dance floor this time, kind of an accomplishment for a girl with two bad left feet!

Anyway, it was lots of fun and everyone looked lovely.  I can't wait until the next one!

And my friend Alyxx in her new dress

Alyxx and I together, we were told we looked like sorbets
Katherine's wool gauze gown
Amy's Captain America themed bustle dress

Veronica's gorgeous pink and green butterfly dress

I loved this red, white and blue bustle gown!
Handsome gents
And lovely ladies.