Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sew it goes....

Ooooh.... Sparkles!

Hello there everyone!!  

So, what's new?  Well... first lets chat about the pic above... I bought these crystal paperweights today at Hobby Lobby.  I plan to somehow use these for what I'm assuming are broaches holding up Prince Diamond's cape.  These were normally 3.99 and I've been eyeballing them for a good while... I've even looked at the acrylic versions you can get for wedding tablescapes but those just weren't as pretty.

But today when I went in, these were 50% off so I bought them... On a side note it was hard to find 4 matching gems... the cuts in the crystals were different and also a lot of them were chipped... so finding 4 matching crystals that were all undamaged took like 30 minutes.  hahaha!

In other news, the Red Caps at school are coming along slowly... originally we decided to not line the capes... which saves money and meant less cutting... However it means more time spent finishing all the edges with rolled hems.  So, I've finished 2... the other 8 are in various stages of completion... 

And now I switch to Rant Mode.  

I've just spent the last 2 hours scouring the internet trying to find out how to make a sherwani... I mean, yeah, I could fake it, but I wanted to go for accuracy... So I'm looking at the little details... like seam lines and darts and are the sleeves 2 panels... and trying to find a back view of one is nearly impossible!!! 

I did find a vintage pattern from the 60's for a nehru jacket which is the 'modernized' sherwani.... but I'm not really feeling it... 

From what I can gather... Sherwani are are basically tunics that open center front... the back is all one piece -- no seams --  and there are side seams... which may split when you get towards the bottom... but that's optional... what I can't figure is should there be a back slit if there aren't side slits... and I THINK the sleeves are all one piece... but it's possible that some of them have 2 piece sleeves..  

That's the other tricky part of them... some are really traditional while others almost seem like tuxedo or suit jackets...    

Oh, well.. I'll figure it out... Since it's actually a fantasy costume... I can pretty much do whatever I want so who knows what I'll come up with.

I really like this one.

Huggles!!!! 

Jason

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Government Inspector: Bobchinsky & Dobchinsky


 The Government Inspector

Bobchinsky & Dobchinsky

Sept. 2012

These costumes were done for a college theater production.  The coat is made from a funky paisley upholstery... and by funky I mean it was a weird fabric.  It was woven but it almost acted like a knit... like I said... weird.  I used Burda pattern 2767. (It's the same pattern I used for Bill the Duck)  Except this time I kept more along the lines of View A.  Only I altered the front pieces to be pointed at the waist seam.  I left off the bottom front pieces and I combined and simplified the side bottom back and the bottom back... I also shortened those.  Lastly I raised the stance at center front to keep it wide and boxy.

For the trousers, I just did a simple 4 piece short pant with elastic in the waist and at the hem just below the knee.

An earlier blog on the construction of these costumes can be found here.  


And as promised.  Here's the dress that would make one look like a lamp in a whorehouse.  Before you get offended, that's a line from the script. This character's husband walks in and asks her, "Why are you dressed like a lamp in a whorehouse?"  Sadly I didn't make this dress, but it's still awesome.





Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Here's an Amazing Book you should check out!!!!

http://images.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/0/75/669/835/0756698359.jpg 

 Hello all!!!

So today I was at work... (I work in a bookstore as my "real job")  And I happened across this book.  Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style

I flipped through it and it is amazing!!!  

Here's the summary from a website...

"Containing everything you need to know about changing fashion and style -- from ancient Egyptian dress to Space Age Fashion and Grunge -- and information on icons like Marie Antoinette, Clara Bow, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Alexander McQueen, Fashion catalogs the history of what people wear, revealing how Western fashion has been influenced by design from around the world and celebrating costume and haute couture."

It's 450 pages of pictures and sketches and historical references...  

So if you're a costumer and you need a quick glance guide of the the overall styles and trends of a certain year.... this book nails it.  Seriously, you just pick a year and flip to those pages and you'll see what was in style then.  There's also plenty of pictures not just of women's but men's fashion -- which is REALLY hard to find.  

The only drawback is that is seems to be based mostly on American and European fashion... so if you're looking for specific regions during certain eras... you might have a little trouble...

But, yeah.. This book is going on my Christmas List because I feel like I need to have it.

Here's a link to the book....


They have it listed at 31.00 USD when it retails for 50... 

So check it out...

Jason

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Suck it, Reds!

Suck it, Blues!!! 

There's a little nod to all of you Red Vs. Blue fans out there... For those not in the know, RvB is a webseries based on the Halo game franchise... it's pretty hilarious, but the language is in abundance so viewers be warned. Google it if you wanna watch it, though.

Anyway, so in one of my previous blogs, I gave you a little hinty hint about my next project... Perhaps I should have said PROJECTS...  hmm.... I wonder how to count this one... do I count each one as a project or do I count it as one BIG project... and how does it count if its the same task over and over...

HAHA!

Perhaps I should explain what it is!!!

So, I'm doing contract work for my college's theater department and the next show is Three Musketeers.  In most traditional interpretations, the Musketeers are in Blue capes and the soldiers are in Red...

I'm in charge of making the Red Capes.  OOH! I'm gonna call them Red Caps!!!  Like in Harry Potter!!!

Well, I'm making the Red Caps and I have to make 10 of them!!!

Luckily we're employing some theater shortcuts... Like skipping the lining and possibly the trim.  (we'll see on the trim... right now it's slated for "if there's time")  That happens a lot in theater... sometimes you just have to let go of the small stuff so you actors don't perform naked.


PICTURE TIME!!!




oohhh... big bolt of Brick Red Cotton Twill Microsuede... (This is one of my favorite fabrics... it's tough (it sews like denim) but it's not terribly hot and it's so soft!!!!  You can also see my patterns all traced out and ready to go...  I trace my patterns on plastic painters drop because it's ridiculously fast to transfer your patterns and the plastic will last FOREVER.  The pattern is McCalls 5214 View D.  No modifications except skipping the lining and shirt tail hemming all of the raw edges. 


 
Here's one set of pieces all cut out... 


Here's today's accomplishment.  I got 6 Red Caps cut out... 4 more to go!!!



And here's those four.... Four lengths of pre-washed fabric waiting to be pressed. 

Lather, Rinse, and Repeat,

Jason

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kitty/Animal Paws

  
Kitty/Animal Paws
Completed 2008

Both the gloves and the boots feature two types of fur, short fur over the hands and feet and longer fur over the forearms and calves.  I thought it'd be best to keep the fur cleaner when handling things.  

The gloves feature contrast fur patches to resemble the pads found on a cat's paw. The boots used house slippers as a base, over which I added "sculpted" toes-- they're not just shoe covers -- and they have boning to keep from sagging or drooping. I wanted to add in little nail tips but the person I made them for opted out of that.  However I did add eyelets so she could tie ribbon bows in them. 




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today in Costume Land


It's not like I haven't been doing anything.  I've been hired by my old college theater department to do some costume stuff for a couple of their shows this semester.  

But before we get to that....

Look what I found in the costume shop.  I thought this was pretty cool looking... This is a skirt that was hanging around that I really liked all the embroidery on --- not big on the sequins but I like the idea of it... So I snapped a few pictures and these will go into my inspiration folder for Prince Diamond.... (See the previous post about that.) 




I also wanted to show you all an example of layering fabrics... here you can take two fabrics and lay them on top of each other to make a new fabric... I've used this technique on the dress for Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist and on the Bodice of the Water Faerie.... both can be seen in my Gallery.  In the pics below, you can see that a sheer pinky, plaid organza was laid over a yellow satin... To use this technique, all you do is cut out each pattern piece from each fabric, then lay them over each other.  Then you can baste, zigzag, or serge around the edges to make the two separate pieces into one, which you then sew like normal.  


 Finally, here's what I've been working on these past few weeks.  The play is called The Government Inspector and it's a comedy about the government of a small Russian town during the Romantic/Victorian era.  The town officials are all corrupt and they're all paranoid because a stranger has come to town, and they think he's a government official come to bust them.  In actuality he's just a guy.  So the town officials are giving this guy the rockstar treatment and the Mayor's wife is trying to set the guy up with her daughter, etc, etc,.. I caught the first act of dress rehearsal the other night and the show is pretty funny.  

Anyway, there is a set of twins in the play and they're the town gossips.  Basically, they're the reason why the officials thing the nobody guy is somebody... So I made the costumes for the twins.  The pics below show one of the costumes and since this costume was made for twin characters, I had to make it twice.

Now when you're costuming a stage show, your costumes should help tell the story.  In a ridiculous show like this, the costumes are going to be loud and crazy and colorful.  This is why there's a very large stripe print on the trousers mixed with a paisley on the coat.  That's also the reason I made the coat tails short... to help emphasize the roundness of the characters... By the way, the twins are supposed to be rotund, so our guys are wearing fat suits.  

I will update this when I have full costume pics available so you can see the whole thing put together.  They are ridiculous and funny.  I'll put some of the other costumes up as well... There's a dress that the mayor's wife wears that incites another character to ask her "Why are you dressed like a lamp in a whorehouse?"  Needless to say that dress is awesome!  I'll post pics when I get them.

So, about the coat.  It's made from a funky paisley upholstery... and by funky I mean it was a weird fabric.  It was woven but it almost acted like a knit... like I said... weird.  I used Burda pattern 2767. (It's the same pattern I used for Bill the Duck)  Except this time I kept more along the lines of View A.  Only I altered the front pieces to be pointed at the waist seam.  I left off the bottom front pieces and I combined and simplified the side bottom back and the bottom back... I also shortened those.  Lastly I raised the stance at center front.  Remember I wanted to keep it wide and boxy.

For the trousers, I just did a simple 4 piece short pant with elastic in the waist and at the hem just below the knee.

One of the nice things about costuming for college theater is that you're on a crazy limited schedule and an even more limited budget.  You're also afforded the luxury that no one will see the costume up close... (well in most theaters this holds true)  So you can get away with skipping things like linings, which I did with these coats.  Or you can cheat by using elastic  in the waistbands of trousers instead of doing a proper waistband.  If you make small errors, as long as they're not noticeable from a few feet away it's okay.  Granted, the costume still has to look good onstage, but it doesn't need the amount of perfection a costume would need if you were entering it into a construction event at a convention. 





 Well I hope you enjoyed today's adventure's in costume land.  Here's a sneak peek at what's coming from the next show.




Fat Suits and Candy Bars,

Jason