Saturday, November 28, 2009

Costuming Research Resources: The Wardrobe Door

In the last month or so, I have mostly shown you my own costumes and the projects I was working on. So today, I have decided it was more than time for another Costuming Research Resource; today, I have chosen present The Wardrobe Door.

Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie, William Moseley as Peter Pevensie, Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie and Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Have you ever seen The Chronicles of Narnia movies? They are The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008) (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is due to come out in 2010, so more to come on that one).

The Wardrobe Door is the Website to visit if you are looking to make a costume from the movies. They have a ton of well organized reference pictures as well as some fan made reproduction pictures. There are also comments about fabric, cut, embroidery, lacing, you name it. And of course, there is a forum to discuss the costumes with other fans and costumers.

So for instance, if I wanted to make Susan's Green Archery Dress from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which I do want to make eventually), I could find beautiful pictures such as the following:

Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie and Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

If you are interested in making a costume from any of The Chronicles of Narnia movies, your first research stop should be The Wardrobe Door.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baby Shoe Craft

Post disclaimer: this post is not about costumes per se, but the technique demonstrated to modify shoes could be used for costuming purposes.

I have spent the last two days looking for some nice dressy shoes for my baby. Why? Because today we were getting our picture taken at Sears! As they are Christmas pictures to send to our family and friends, and she was going to wear her fancy Holiday dress, I couldn't have her wear play shoes! (Yes, I am that crazy about proper dressing and presentation).

So for two days, I hit the stores, looking for a nice pair of black patent leather shoe. I really wanted something black and shiny. But, remember I said I was cheap? The most inexpensive shoes I found were 17$. Seriously, she's going to wear them twice. There is no way I'm paying that much for shoes for her (not at her age anyways).

Last night, I had a sudden stroke of genius: last summer, Nancy-Raven bought her a pair of white canvas shoes with a pink and white checkered trim and bow. I know they are from WalMart and I know they were 3$. She had never worn them because they didn't match any of her outfits. White shoes could be cute too, I thought.

So here is what I did: I painted them! That's right, painted.

Painted Baby Shoe: Before and After

OK, I didn't paint the whole shoe, just the trim an bow that matched nothing in my daughters wardrobe.

I was hesitating between silver and gold, so called my mom to ask if there was a metallic accent in the dress she is making my Baby for Christmas. She answered gold, so gold it was.

Painted Baby Shoes with Material

Once upon a time, I had spare time to do tole painting, so I had everything I needed on hand. I used a small round brush (the number faded years ago, but I think it's a number three) and a liner brush to apply the paint, which by the way is Ceramcoat Gleams by Delta (acrylic paint) in Gold.

They will do perfectly for the holidays and they came out great on picture.

Gwenyver and Daughter, November 27 2009

Don't we look cute? Yes, that's me without a costume. Bet you didn't recognize me, eh! And by the way, I did not make my Daughter's dress: her Godmother Nancy-Raven got it for for for, check it out, 3.91$ CAD at Sears. The bodice is green velvet, the skirt is taffeta and the entire thing is lined in cotton so it is comfortable for her to wear.

It pays to be cheap!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Autumn Leaves Mask

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers south of the border! For you today I have an Autumn themed costume craft. No, it is not a papier-mâché Turkey costume (although that might be cool for next year). Today I present to you a quick tutorial on how to make your own Autumn Leaves Mask.

What you will need:
  1. A blank canvas mask (from the craft store)
  2. Some white liquid craft glue
  3. Ribbon to tie your mask
  4. Fabric Autumn leaves (mine are from the Dollar Store)
  5. Clothespins

First, you want to replace the elastic on your mask with ribbons. Cut two equal length of ribbon, long enough to go around your head and get tied in a bow. Thread them through the holes on each side of your mask and make two or three knots do they don't come out.

Then you can begin gluing leaves to your mask. Apply a good drop of glue to our leaf, stick it to your mask and secure it with a clothespin while it dries. Begin in the center, on the top edge and go around. On the bottom edge, make sure your leaves are not too or it might be uncomfortable to wear. For the same reason, make sure the space for the nose is free so you can breath. Once your first row is dry, add another and repeat until your whole mask is covered and you are satisfied with the result.

Then cut away any fabric covering the hole for the eyes, and you are done.

Autumn Leaves Mask by Gwenyver

This one was my first mask. It is the one I presented in my Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Charmed "All Halliwell's Eve" post back in October.

Autumn Leaves Mask for Nancy-Raven by Gwenyver

Then on October 30th, I made one for Nancy-Raven as a hostess gift, so she could add it to her wall of masks.

Autumn Leaves Masks by Gwenyver

And these are both my masks as they look flat on my work table. The top one is Nancy-Raven's and the bottom one is mine. Pretty cute, eh! I meant to make the second one like the first, but it turned out differently. I just let my muse guide me.

Maybe I should submit them to Craft Stylish, my favorite craft website!

Note: If you make your own, do send me a note and a picture, I would love to see them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Rose's 1869 Outfit (Doctor Who, "The Unquiet Dead")

November 25th! Only a month to Christmas: what am I going to wear? I was pondering that last night so I started to search for some pictures of Victorian outfits seen on Tele. This led me to remember a specific Doctor Who (2005) episode, The Unquiet Dead.

The action of this episode is set in Cardiff, 1869. Of course, it was supposed to be Naples, 1860, but The Doctor got the flight a bit wrong. There they meet Charles Dickens who is presenting "A Christmas Carol" to a packed theatre, only to be interrupted by ghost-like aliens, The Gelth.

Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, "The Unquiet Dead", Doctor Who (2005)

Before leaving the TARDIS, so as to not start a riot in her jeans and t-shirt, Rose grabs an outfit from the wardrobe ("through there, first left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, fifth door on your left").

Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, "The Unquiet Dead", Doctor Who (2005)

From what I can see, she wears a burgundy satin skirt, a black beaded short sleeved bodice, a feathered hair piece and a black cape. It's hard to be sure of the colour and details due to the lighting (everything happens at night, either out in the streets on inside with only candle light).

In this next picture we see her without her cape:

Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler and Simon Callow as Charles Dickens, "The Unquiet Dead", Doctor Who (2005)

In this one, we see a close-up of her bodice. For some reason, here it looks like it is burgundy red, same as the skirt, with black lace overlay, but it is the only picture in which it looks to be any other colour than black:

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler and Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor, "The Unquiet Dead", Doctor Who (2005)

Whatever the details of her outfit, one thing is for sure, it is not exactly period. In Victorian times, in retrospect, we consider the period from 1850 to 1870 (approximately) to be the Hoop Era; this is when great big, wide, round skirts were in (think "Southern Belle" look). Bustle gowns only began around the 1870, and they were still quite imposing. This is now called the First Bustle Era. The Second Bustle Era came is associated with the 1880's and we the see a more natural body, with less cage-structure skirt (think of the costumes in Anna Karenina - 1997).

Timeline of Costume History - 19th Century (from "The Costumer's Manifesto")

So, surprise, surprise, Rose's costume is not historically accurate. Oh well! It's still lovely.

Now what I would like to do if I had time (but seriously, who am I kidding?) is a burgundy red taffeta or satin bustle skirt, probably using Burda 7880, a black velvet bodice decorated with beaded trim and lace, using maybe Butterick 4301 as a guide (but that I'm not certain of), a black velvet cape or caplet (I haven't made up my mind yet) with a wide ribbon to tie a bow on my neck and some sort of feathered hair piece.

Yep, that's what I would do. If only I could find the time... Maybe next year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Evolution of Fashion in 30 seconds

There are costumes everywhere. I've said this often, and I have yet a new example for you.

Have you seen the new Tena commercial on Tele? I know, it is an add for incontinence solutions, but lets try to ignore that here. What is cool is they show 200 years of fashion evolution in less than 30 seconds. OK, sure that means they had to make some choices and show only a few costumes, but I still think it's fun.

Can you identify them all? First we have an 18th century / Marie-Antoinette style gown (well, at least that is what it is supposed to represent, because it's not exactly perfectly period per se), then a late 19th century Bustle Gown, followed by a 1920's flapper look, completed with cloche hat, a 1950's dress and finally an evening gown which could be from the 80's, but is probably meant to represent today's fashion (styles comes back every 20 years or so, you know).

It's a cute add. It pleases this costumer. Sure, it's not going to encourage me to buy the product (I'm really not in their target market), but the message is clear.

Just like Fashion evolves, so do many other things.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Movie Monday: Sherlock Holmes

It only comes out on Christmas Day, but I can't wait all that long to talk about it: Sherlock Holmes (2009) is coming to town (well, to a theatre near you, really).

You do know what that means, right? Victorian costumes! For Christmas! Isn't that perfect?

Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Now go on, go start on your costumes. Bustle gowns don't get made in a day, you know! (Oh yes, and, er, Frock Coats and Bowler Hats for you gentlemen costumers).

Note: for more reference pictures, visit The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes' Sherlock Holmes Photobucket Album.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ondine / Elf Dress

Can you believe no one took pictures of me in my new dress last night I was so hoping to show you what I looked like in the dress. Ah well, I'll have to have a photo shoot in my living room soon.

In the mean time, how about showing you what costume the purple Turkish Satin was a leftover of?

For Halloween 2005, my first at my then new job, I wanted to make myself a fabulous costume (since they have a contest, I mean, costumes are my thing so I had to look good). After looking at the winning entries from the previous years, I noticed a trend: crazy full face/body make-up usually won. Alright then, I can do that. My other criteria were comfort (I had to sit at an office all day, so anything with big wings or a crinoline would be difficult) and I had a headset phone, so my ears could not be covered (therefore I could not reuse my Twi'lek costume). I started very early on to plan it, deciding to go as an Ondine (which was inspired by Titania in The Voyage of the Unicorn - 2001). Off course, I assembled it on the 30th, but what did you REALLY expect!


Simplicity 9891

As any good LOTR costumer, I own Simplicity 9891, but I had never used it before and I was dying to make a dress using view A of said pattern. So I indulged myself. The material I found (in the decoration section of my favourite Fabricville) is a purple and aqua Turkish Satin. As for the sleeves and neckline drape, I used white Crystal Organza. I changed the original pattern ever so slightly at the neckline drape by making it one big piece that goes all around the neckline and is tied at the shoulders with silver ribbon. I’ve also serged the sleeves' seam on the outside to give them a wave look.

With it I wore a silver disc belt I found at The Bay one day for about 3$. I figured I would eventually be able to use it for a costume (I thought Medieval) and look, I did!

One tiny note: due to my usual last minute rush, I used a zipper in the back, but one day I would like to replace it with lacing.


My Silver Beaded Shoes

I found the most gorgeous silver beaded shoes on a shopping trip and I decided I needed them for that costume. OK, the costume was an excuse, I just really wanted them. After all, “Life is short; buy the shoes”. Besides, I still have them now, I wear them for parties (like last night) and I always get complimented on them.

Hair & Makeup

Ondine Hair and Makeup

I wanted aqua hair, and there was no way I was going to dye my own hair, so I bought myself a wig. I got a Kelly by Sepia Wigs in Light Blue (which is a very greenish blue, but heck).

As for makeup, I used Mehron Liquid Makeup in Blue on my face, neck, arms and hands (I wore matching blue tights for my legs). On my eyes, forehead and nose, I brushed some Snazaroo Iridescent Powder in Turquoise. I used Cover Girl Eye Slicks in Aqua Flash (#420) as a lipstick and L’Oréal Rouge Pulp in Revealing (#13) to give my lips a glossier look (basically the same lip makeup I used for my Twi’lek costume). For my nails, I used a Sea Foam coloured nail polish that matched my wig perfectly. Last touch, I glued a little tear drop shaped diamante to my forehead with sock glue (body adhesive).

Gwenyver as an Ondine

This is the result of my labour. I spent all day at work in my wig and almost full body makeup (which left traces everywhere - phone, mouse, keyboard), and I kept everything on for the evening too.

With Nancy-Raven and my late dog on Halloween Night, 2005

This last picture is blurry, but at least you can see the full length of the dress. I remember I had a lot of fun that night, playing Nancy-Raven's familiar, asking her if I could eat the teenagers and snapping my teeth at them. Good times!

One of these days, I should also get some pictures of myself wearing it without any makeup. It is after all a perfect dress for a LOTR party or convention.