Friday, August 24, 2012

18th Century Gryffindor Concept

I love Harry Potter. I love the books, the whole world imagined by J.K Rowling, and of course, the movies. Back in spring, I finally got to join Pottermore. Since I love to know trivia facts behind stuff I love, I find the concept to be great! As any other fan, I couldn't wait to get sorted; as I told you earlier this week, I already have a Hogwarts uniform, but it is Ravenclaw. Imagine my surprise when I was sorted into Gryffindor this time! I have never thought of myself as brave, a quality I associate with that house, and I am more of a book worm, but if the sorting hat choose that house for me now, it must be for a reason. Trust the hat!

This of course means I need a new uniform. Am I going to make a second screen accurate uniform to match my new house? Why would I when I can go a creative with a completely different type of uniform!

This idea is inspired by Lis' own Hufflepuff Steampunk Uniform: when she was sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore, she decided to go Steampunk instead of screen accurate.

After considering making a medieval uniform (after all, Hogwarts was founded around the 9th or 10th century), but in the end, the design I came up with is 18th century, inspired by this trio of Alchemists.

18th century Gryffindor Student concept

The concept is for a black polonaise, with a grey compère front and matching grey petticoat with ruffles. The dress is trimmed in burgundy red and gold, the household's colours and there is a Gryffindor patch on the left hand side of the bodice. For modesty's sake, students are required to wear a white scarf. Following the current trend, the witch's hat is a small tricorne worn atop the hairdo.

I don't know when I will get to this costume, but I felt it was time for me to sketch it out. So what do you think?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: Costumers' gatherings

Once upon a time, when I began costuming seriously, I discovered that the hobby was shared by many out there and I was not all that weird after all! What I also found out is that there are quite a few types of gatherings for costumers: there are of course local group events and huge geek conventions, but there are also gatherings that are more specifically for costumers. So on today’s wish list, I will present the five top events I hope to go to one day.

As per their website, “Costume-Con is an annual convention dedicated to the art and craft of costumes and costuming of all types. It features classes, displays, a fashion show, masquerades, and other competitions.” The website of Costume-Con 31, which will be held in 2013 in Denver, CO, further presents the Convention as “a 4-day weekend conference for everyone who designs, makes, wears and/or admires costumes.” So basically, it is a convention for costumers, about costumes. What is not to love? I have wanted to go to Costume-Con ever since I found out about it, and I should be able to go… in 2014. Costume-Con 32 will be held in Toronto (a mere 7 hour drive from where I live) and I won my membership at last year’s Otakuthon, for mine and my daughter’s costumes entered in the Masquerade. I have been planning costumes for a year already and will continue doing so in the year and a half left before the convention.

Similar to Costume-Con is Costume College “a one-weekend educational conference on all subjects relating to costuming and clothing.” Costume College is always organized by Costumer's Guild West and is always held in California. There are classes, social gatherings, and visits to local points of interests for costumers, etc.

Now I may be wrong (and please correct me if I am), but I am under the impression that  Costume College focuses more on historical costuming, while Costume-Con has a wider range of interests, including fantasy.

(EDIT: As seen in the comments, I was wrong. The biggest difference is no Masquerades at Costume College. Thank you to Trystan and Colleen for their input.)

Inspired by Costume College, East Coasters decided to hold their first convention this past June in Philadelphia, PA. From their website “Dress U is an educational and social four day event focusing on historic costume: from the ancient world, up to 1960. Events include costumed social gatherings, museum tours, and of course numerous classes on the art of costuming.” From what I hear, it was small but successful, so hopefully this will become an annual event and I can one day make it there.

Moving away from costumer’s conventions, the Labyrinth of Jareth Fantasy Masquerade Ball is “a weekend of costumes and magic in Los Angeles. Inspiration and creativity meld under mask and cloak where nobles dance in the Faerie Court and legends take precious breath.” Basically, a costumed party that lasts a whole week-end! I would love to go for the fun of wearing fabulous fantasy fairy gowns and be surrounded by similarly clad people.

I have talked about it before, but going to Venice in February would be a dream come true. I look every year at all the pictures taken, the costumes, and I hope to one day join these people. Of course, I would bring my own garb! Right now, I am aiming to go for my 40th birthday – 10 years from now.

These are the 5 events I would attend every year, if only my bank account would allow it. One day, perhaps, I can at least say that I have been once to each one of them.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ravenclaw Uniform

I will admit it, sometimes when searching for one of my costumes on my blog, I find out with a certain shock that I have never posted it. Since I sometimes plan posts that I don’t end up writing, I sometimes get a little confused as to whether or not I have published certain things. Take my Ravenclaw uniform for instance: I was absolutely certain I had presented it at some point, but it turns out I have never posted about it. Well, that is going to change now! 

I first made my uniform in 2005, to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When the Harry Potter Movie website first opened, I was sorted in Ravenclaw by the Sorting Hat. With Cho Chang being figured in the 4th movie, I finally got to get a closer look at what a Ravenclaw uniform looks like

An exhausted student, Fête des Enfants de Montréal, 2007


I adapted Simplicity5840 view B to fit my needs. I made my robe shorter and narrower than the original pattern, the separate shoulder piece was eliminated and the back was made as one big piece. I also made the sleeves larger and the point of the hood a tad longer.

The fabric is 100% cotton for both black and blue. The entire robe is bag lined.

The closure in the front consist of a loop of medium satin cord and two self-covered buttons in the black material (one of them is only decorative).


For the skirt, I made my own pattern following some of the cast’s pictures as inspiration. It is an A line, wrap around with box pleats on the front, placed a bit outside the princess line. The material is dark grey wool, found in in sale of course.

Reading in the garden, Fête des Enfants de Montréal, 2007

Shirt and Tie

Why make what you can buy! I bought a white men’s shirt from Zeller’s for 19.99$ (CAD). The tie is from Alivan’s. It is a PoA style Adult tie.

Sweater and Scarf

Both the sweater and scarf are from Hobbie’s House of Wizard Wear. The sweater is the POA School Sweater with blue and silver accents and the scarf is the OOTP Trapped Bar Scarf 9.5ft long in blue and silver. I highly recommend them for your custom made Hogwarts knitted wear.

At the movie theatre, opening night of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Shoes and Socks

I usually wear my Hogwarts’ uniform with dark grey cable knit knee-high socks, but if it was too cold, I could also go with black tights. As for shoes, I used to wear my black high heeled Mary Janes, but they broke a few years ago. If I was to wear my uniform now, I would need new black shoes to go with it.

Wand and School Bag

A Harry Potter costume would not be complete without the perfect wand. I got mine at CharmeHYPERLINK "" HYPERLINK ""&HYPERLINK "" HYPERLINK ""Sortilège, a Montréal magick boutique (from their Pheonix Wands collection).

As for my school bag, it is an old brown leather satchel I’ve had since first grade. I usually keep a leather bound journal in it, along with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander, Quidditch ThroughThe Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, some pencils and a feathered quill. It also doubles as my purse!

Just waiting for a friend, Fête des Enfants de Montréal, 2007

Unfortunately, I have not worn my uniform since 2007: I was a new mom when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) came out, so I stayed home with my baby daughter; in fact, the last time I went out to see a movie at a movie theatre, I saw Mama Mia (2008) with my mom! I need an excuse to wear my uniform again (and to go out!).