Saturday, December 19, 2009

Progress Report: Finished Under Skirt (Red Taffeta Bustle Skirt)

Yeah! I finished the under skirt. OK, it's not exactly the most complicated piece ever, but at least something is done in this project and that makes me happy. Want to see? Of course you do!

Red Taffeta Bustle Skirt - Front

Red Taffeta Bustle Skirt - Side

Red Taffeta Bustle Skirt - Back

In case you are wondering, my Travel Bustle is under the skirt. I find it gives it a nice, light support. Discreet, but effective.

By now I can tell you that the pattern is not historical (for those of you who don't remember, I'm using Burda 7880). See those little white plastic rings on the back of the skirt? That is where you attach the over skirt to make it bustle. In reality, from what I have come to understand of Victorian bustle construction, the bustled over skirt should be gathered up using a system of rings and ribbon that hang down from the belt.

Still, it's going to look awesome.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Nutcracker: a Fairytale Ballet

I've been seeing the following commercial on tele lately, and every time, I sigh.

So I have come to an important decision: as soon as my daughter is old enough, I am taking her every year to see Les Grand Ballets Canadiens' production of The Nutcracker.

I have seen it three times already (once when I was a little girl, and the two years in a row about six or seven years ago) and I never tire of seeing it. Imagine: the costumes you see on the video have not changed in 20 years from what I can remember a least). I've always loved Clara's teal blue dress (as seen around 1:15 minutes), and of course, there are the beautiful fairies' tutus.

King of Candyland, Callye Robinson as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cotton-Candy Angels, The Nutcracker by Les Grand Ballets Canadiens; Photo by John Hall.

Now I wish I could add Ballet to my dancing repertoire!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Disney Princesses present Christmas Fashion

All little girls love the Disney Princesses; it is a well known fact. The little girls who grow up to be costumers love to dress up as their favourite princess, even once they are over 20. For instance:

I'm a girl. I still love princess stories. I would therefore love to make one of these dresses on day.

But as December is my Holiday special, I thought I might inspire some costumers to make a different dress next time: How about, a Christmas Disney Princess?

Disney Princesses

Now that would be original!

Mental note: maybe for next year's crazy last minute Christmas costume project...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Victorian Caroler

I got to watch Merry Christmas Mr. Bean! I love the whole show, and it is a part of my Holiday tradition. The kids caroling inspired me today's post. Now, I can sing moderately well, and for many years I have wanted to do some caroling of my own. Of course to do so, I would need a proper Victorian Caroler costume.

Simplicity 8910

That is why I own Simplicity pattern # 8910. I bought it years ago, just in case... (I do that a lot).

I once saw a few carolers in costumes at the train station, some years back, and nothing gets you in the Christmas mood like that, don't you think? Now all I need to do is get a couple of friends together, start a caroling group and I'll have an excuse to make that costume! (I know, my logic is strange.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Progress Report: Finished Travel Bustle

Yippee! Yesterday, I somehow found the time to assemble (and finish) my Travel Bustle and I wanted to share some pictures with you.

Gwenyver's Travel Bustle - Side view

Gwenyver's Travel Bustle - Back view

Well that came out nice, don't you think? And I only broke one needle sewing through all the layers. I hope it gives my Bustle skirt enough support. I can at least tell you it is very comfortable to wear.

Every layer consists of fabric, fusing and lining, and each layer is gathered separately, making it very thick to sew through. The belt is 2.75 metres of very wide (22 mm) double fold bias tape which is meant for quilt binding. Sewing the four layers of pleated fabric to the bias tape was very hard. In some places, the tape twisted a little. I would rather have had it perfectly straight, but too bad. It's only underwear, and it is only for me (if it was for a customer or a gift, I would make it perfect).

My most recent sewing machine had no problem sewing through all of the skirt layers of my "Water" Irish Dance Solo Dress, but it broke while I was adding a piece of elastic to one of my Baby's PJ. Go figure. My older machine has been fixed by my Dad, but it makes a strange squeaky noise now. I'm afraid the timing pelt might be due to be replaced.

Lets hope my machines survive, I still have to make the bustle skirt, the bodice, four stockings, a tree skirt and oh yes, the curtains for my Baby's room that I've been supposed to make since Easter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Movie Monday: Avatar

Have you heard of James Cameron's Avatar (2009)? It's coming out on Friday, December 18, and even without knowing the story, you know it's going to be a hit with costumers in the years to come. I mean, come on, blue skinned creatures with pointed ears and tails? I'll bet you'll see at least one at the next Dragon*Con.

Of course, there are also the 22nd Century Marine Uniforms.

As for the story itself, I'd say it is highly inspired by what happened when Europeans colonized America: you have this one group who want to exploit the Earth's resources with barely any regards for the native population whom they regard as primitive. Except this time, the "civilized" men are humans, the primitive ones are 3 metres high blue creatures called the Na'vi, and the "Earth" is a place called Pandora in Alpha Centauri. But as we all know, history repeats itself, so why not in the future? (Why not? Aren't we supposed to be getting smart enough as a race to learn from our mistakes? Ayeh!)

OK, you can come out of hiding now, I'm done moralizing! Back to this Blog's subject, costumes: I would love to see someone make a Na'vi costume out of foam latex. Then I could pester them for information on how to make it myself.

OK, I admit it; I have been watching the LOTR Making-of again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Change, Evolve, Transform: Recycling in costumes

Ask anyone who knows me, I am an absolute pain when it comes to recycling and keeping the environment clean. I grew up in the "Let's save the Planet" generation and I apply that mantra to my everyday life (my poor Sweetheart really hears it whenever he throws something recyclable in the garbage can). So if you are ever in the car in front of me and I see you throwing garbage out of your window, chances are I'll get out of my own car at the next red light to yell at you.

This is the reason I fell in love with this dress:

Change, Evolve, Transform by Sporkweilder

How cool is that: a dress entirely made of wrappers that would have otherwise been thrown away! I absolutely love it. And it is so colourful too!

Change, Evolve, Transform by Sporkweilder

This is what Sally, a.k.a. Sporkweilder used to make this outfit:

  • Cotton and Tulle
  • Crisp (that's chips for us North Americans) packets, sweet wrappers, soda cans...
  • Assorted Jewellery Supply
  • Randomly collected crafty type things like the feathers for the tiara
  • Coloured craft wire
  • Wallpaper

Change, Evolve, Transform by Sporkweilder

This is what she had to say about her design:

"I took the concept of recycling, evolved my design and transformed empty crisp packets into the dress you see here. FACET, the word on the belt, is the name of the imaginary company I was working for. I was aiming for a '60s feel..."

Great job Sally. I truly love your dress. I have been wondering what to make out of my weekly chips bag once I'm done eating it and that is wonderful inspiration.

I wonder what my Sweetheart will say if I start saving Lays bags and candy wrappers...