Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are you going to Scarborough Faire???

So yeah, Scarborough Faire is going on right now in Waxahachie, Texas and I finally go to go this past weekend.   And seeing as it's only the 3rd week, that's not so bad of a wait.

But I wanted to show off my renaissance garb.

The trousers are made from stretch corduroy which has such a small wale (size of the cords) that it actually makes them look almost velvety.

I used Simplicity 4059 for the pattern and the only change I think I made was lengthening the leg.

The doublet is made from some cool upholstery fabric I picked up super cheap at Hancock's YEARS ago when it closed down.  It's got a cool diamond/geometric pattern which isn't really period, but I don't care.... it looks cool.

I used the same Simplicity pattern for the doublet (View A) but cut off the peplum at about 3 inches.

I REALLY need to draft some of my own doublets because I've worn this to two faires and saw at least a dozen or so other men wearing this same pattern at each of them.

I've got a really pretty black and silver brocade that my next doublet will be made out of... whenever I get around to it.

I also have not made the sleeves for this, even though there are pattern pieces for it. But I live in Texas and the Faires here are outside and it's usually really hot so sleeves aren't that necessary.

Now the shirt pattern that comes with the Simplicity pattern isn't quite "right".  It isn't a bad pattern but it's not terribly Tudor-style.

So I used Butterick 3072 for a shirt base... and the only changes I made were adding ruffles to the cuffs and collar...

Here's a picture of the collar before I sewed it to the shirt.  I finished the exposed edge with a tiny overlock/scarf/rolled edge... and again, not totally period but I think it adds a really nice touch to it... I did the same thing on the cuffs...

The end result is something a little more Tudor style... and since both Scarborough and Texas Renaissance Festival are set during the rule of Henry VIII, I try to stay close to that era in clothing style.... mostly... :)

My boots are from Pay-less Shoes that I got last fall during boot season... I have pretty small feet for a guy (yes I'll admit that) so I can usually find women's shoes that will fit me.

Remember my number one rule of costuming.

Things don't always have to be used for what they are intended.

So, yeah.  Tall, black, micro-suede, women's boots.  (Hey, the boots I wear for Jack are also women's boots)

I'm also wearing my sword... which is awesome, but you can't see it in the picture.  It's a stage combat blade from Baltimore Knife and Sword because, yes, I sword fight.

BTW, I was working a new fight last week and I have to lunge a lot so my legs are STILL hurting from that.

So, yeah... that's all I got for now...  I'm not sure what project I'll start on next.  I might do some more renfaire clothing... I might work on Jack... I dunno.  Whatever it is, I have finals in 2 weeks so there won't be much sewing going on.

Till next time!!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shop & Tell

So I went on a Craft store tour and picked up a few things. See what I got!!!

And a certain half started/completed mask of a certain Pumpkin King might make a brief cameo.

Friday, April 13, 2012

No pic postie

Good evening, Gentle Readers,

Just a quickie blog before nappy time.

I've made my first attempt into playing with resin and have one layer of fiberglass resin on the back side of Jack's mask. It's dried and I think it will be fine. But now I have to attempt the second layer. Then coat the outside... but step by step...

I'm also planning a new doublet and hopefully a new shirt and some trousers for Faire. I bought this beautiful black and silver brocade from Jo-ann's. So I'm gonna make that McCall's doublet pattern that I saw 30 guys at TRF wearing (myself included). But I'm going to add my own spin to it... so hopefully it won't look so... generic?

I really wish there were more good guys doublet patterns out there.... I guess it's time to start doing my homework and designing them myself.

Ah well.

And that's all the news I have for tonight.

Ridiculous Resin and Repetitive Renaissance,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jack Skellington (Remember him) Progress


So I know it's been awhile since I've worked on this, but I had All-con costumes to work on and a boatload of exams for Anatomy (Which I still have 4 more in that class that we have yet to take) so I have been a little distracted.

But I've done some work as you can see in the above picture. I bought a palm sander to help speed up the sanding and I did an initial sanding on the mask. This brought out the low spots and thin areas. Which as you can see I've gone back and filled in with more paper clay.

I've also gone in and worked the eye area... smoothing out and reinforcing the inner edges and such. They were pretty thin and delicate. Now they're a little more sturdy and I don't have to worry about them breaking.

Lastly, I've added in the teeth to match the inspiration photos. When they dry, I'll cut out the "open" part of the mouth. Since the part inside the mouth is part of the mask, I'm only going to cut away the area above the teeth and back that with chiffon. If you look really close, you can see where I've already started cutting. I'm hoping that opening up the mouth are will also allow more air to circulate in the mask as well as maybe provide more visibility... I hope... we'll see... maybe.

(I'll also use black chiffon on the eyes. I tested the chiffon idea with my vinyl mask and though the visibility is a little dark, the black is perfect in even flash pictures)

The next step after this dries is to cut out the mouth and sand everything.

Then I plan to reinforce the inside with fiberglass cloth and resin. The outside will just be coated with resin but I want to wait until I sculpt the back of the mask and line it up with the front before I start adding Bondo and resin.

Anyway. That's my game plan.


And I have my next costume project planned but it's going to be REALLY extensive and amazingly EPIC!!!

I'm not going to tell anyone what it is yet though. I'll only reveal things in pieces as I make them.

Until then!!!

Drying times and Mystery costumes,


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Basic Cosplay Makeup

So apparently, I uploaded this but never posted this here.... opps. Silly me.

Anyway. This is a great basic makeup with several useful applications. Personally, this the makeup I do when I'm walking around the con, competing in the costume contests, or posing for pictures.

The products used are all listed in the video and out of my basic makeup kit (which you can find here).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sailor Senshi Uniform Tutorial -- Part 2

Unlike Part 1 of this tutorial.  Part two is still in rough draft mode.  I will revise and clarify this section when I have time.

Okay. So now were going to get into the harder parts of the costume. Like the hip roll, the cuffs, and the sleeves.

Hip roll thing:
This will sound crazy, but you’re going to need one of those under the door draft blocker things... Well just the foam. I found a kit at Wal-mart that had 2 of them in a box for like 14 bucks.

Anyway, there are 4 pieces of foam for each under door draft blocker (so there were 8 piece in the box) You’re going to take two of those and cut angles on the ends until they form the desired V-shape. I don’t know the exact degree of the angle, just shave away small angles until you get it to look right.

Then I glued the ends together with E6000 and smeared the glue out away from the joint to form kind of a overlap over the foam (just for a little extra support surface adhesion). A few long straight pins will hold the angle together as it dries. You can also throw a few stitches in there too.

Now, this V piece probably won’t be long enough to go around your hips, but using the same idea, just cut extra pieces and add those to the other ends until you have something that’ll wrap around your hips.

Now, you might thing you need to join the center back seam just as you did all the others, but my advice is don’t. Instead, my draft seal kit came with little plastic tubes used to join the pieces of foam. So use one of those. That way, the foam can separate and rejoin freely when you put on and take off your dress. The foam has no give and you don’t want your other joints to rip apart once the dress is done.

The next thing is to take a long strip of your fabric and cover the roll. It’s kind of like making piping. Just cover your foam and stitch close to the foam. And make sure to leave yourself about an inch or so of seam allowance.

You may want to stretch the fabric slightly as you sew to get a nice smooth cover.

When you get to the back just fold under your cut edges and slip stitch it closed.

I did all of this by hand, by the way. It was easier than trying to sew a casing and feeding in the foam. (the angle in the V made it really hard to do so)

Then I sewed the V onto the bodice (by hand) and after that, I sewed on the skirt/trunk combo. (also by hand)

If you really want to make your own gloves. More power to you. But I bought mine from eBay. They were 2 bucks a pair, (including shipping) So I bought like 3 pairs because I know how quickly white gloves get dirty.

They’re not the most amazing quality, but for 2 bucks, I’m not losing sleep over it.

Glove cuffs:
Okay, so for the stuffing, I used 5/8” foam backer rod insulation that I got a Lowe’s. I kind of just wrapped pieces around my forearm to get the right lengths. You can either cut them all the same length or you can cut them individually--making the top piece the largest and the next slightly smaller and the bottom the smallest so that the cuff would taper.

By the way. The backer rod and the door sealer foam doesn’t absorb moisture--meaning it won’t absorb sweat either, so you don’t have to worry about sweat stink soaking into your foam and living there for all eternity no matter how many times you dry clean.

You want to cut your fabric in a rectangle as long as your longest piece of foam plus about an 1”-1 ½”. For the width, just make sure it’s wide enough to wrap around all three pieces of foam and add another couple of inches.

I believe I did the first cuff by hand, and the second cuff by machine and you can’t really tell the difference. So basically fold your fabric in half and sew three channels for your foam. But don’t sew all the way across. Just the length of the foam. Then feed in your foam pieces.

You’ll need to connect the ends of your foam so you have rings. You can use glue or thread. I just used duct tape. So slide the fabric away from your foam ends. Connect them with glue, tape, or stitches. Then slide your fabric back over the connected ends.

Fold your raw unchanneled edge under and slip stitch closed. You’ll also need to stitch in the valleys of your rings.

After that just sew the top to your glove and you’re done.

The sleeves are probably the MOST challenging part of this costume.

I used my 5/8” foam and cut a ring that fit my armscye (ps. Microsoft word spell check does not recognize “armscye” lol!) This whole ring will be the ring furthest from your armscye seam. The two rings above that aren’t actually full rings. You’ll have to trim them to fit later but you can cut them the same length.

Now take the top of your sleeve pattern piece from the Kwiksew pattern and cut it out just the top about 2-3 inches below the base of the armscye.

What I did was mark my seam allowance around the sleeve cap then kind of placed my three pieces of foam on the sleeve and marked where to sew my channels.

Just remember that your full ring will have to go just below the base of the armscye and will arc upwards. Your sleeve pieces will end up kind of horseshoe shaped almost.

Once you get everything marked, put the foam aside and sew the two sleeve pieces together along the bottom edge. Then turn it wrong sides together and sew around the sleeve cap.

Leave about two inches open at the top of the sleeve cap to insert your foam later. Repeat for the inner channels.

Insert your foam and once placed hand stitch your bottom channel shut. Repeat for the middle and top rings--remember you’ll have to trim and taper the foam to make it look good.

After it’s done, you can hand stitch the sleeve to the bodice.


I bought my tiaras from Catzia’s Collectibles. They’re made of brass with a resin stone and they look lovely.

I opted for the smooth stone with the metal ring detail around the stone. I just like the look and the whole piece was like 25 bucks with shipping.

They also have a nice selection of all of the earrings and such.

The Brooch:
I made the brooch by painting the inside of half of a DIY Christmas ornament. After the paint dries, cut a circle of foam core or cardboard and glue that in there so you have a place to glue a barback pin.

Uranus’ boots. After much searching I found a pair of faux suede slouch ankle boots on eBay. To paint them I mixed regular acrylic paint with fabric medium which turns acrylic paint into fabric paint. I had to mix like 5 different colors and finishes to get the right shade of navy to match my skirt/collar.

Neptune’s heels: Basically the same as Uranus. I found a pair of fake leather pumps on eBay. Then I mixed 3 or 4 colors of paint until I had a color match and then painted them. I didn’t need to use the fabric medium cause I was painting plastic. But I did spray them with 4 - 5 coats of sealer so the paint wouldn’t chip.

Then the ribbons were made with leftover fabric and attached to the inside of the shoe with a little bit of sticky back Velcro.

Unfortunately, I haven't had to attempt to make the knee-high boots that some of the Sailors wear, But my suggestion is finding a pair of boots on eBay or Amazon and then painting them.

Well that should cover everything. I think. My goal is to come back and clean up this tutorial and add some pics, but I'll need to stage most of them because I didn't photograph as much as I should have.

Hope this helps and remember just give me a shout if you have any questions.