Monday, October 13, 2014

ADVENTURE TIME! Fionna

A friend of mine wants to do an Adventure Time skit and asked if I'd like to be Fionna. Of course I said yes: Adventure Time is one of my favourite shows. I love the combination of surreal humour with an apocalyptic back story and occasional drama. 


A quick breakdown of the costume:

  • Top: Ebay, but I took it in for a better fit
  • Wig: Ebay
  • Skirt: Also ebay. Fits perfectly
  • Socks: I made these by pinning white lycra around my legs. The stripes are not actually drawn on the socks, but actually are on a separate piece of lycra. This piece of lycra is like a garter, so if I need the socks for something else, I don't have to worry about hiding the stripes - I can just removed the garter.
  • Bag: I had some leftover chintz which I painted green and sewed into a bag. There's a zip in the centre of the bag, so it is actually functional (because what's the point of non functional bags?)
  • Hat: I love fleece, which is just as well, because I've made and remade Fionna's bunny hat several times for my etsy shop. This is a simple fleece hat that fastens under the chin with a snap. The most recent hats have pipe cleaners inside the ears to help hold the ears upright. If you want me to make you a Finn or Fionna hat, you can request one from my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MalteseLizzieMcGee?ref=hdr_shop_menu 


Bombshell Harley Quinn: A Walkthrough

Although I've already got a lot of costumes done for Expo and Malta Comic Con, I thought I'd add yet another one: Bombshell Harley Quinn. Harley is a favourite of mine, and I love this design. 

Cheap and easy, I said. Really simple to make, I said . . .

To be fair, this was not an expensive project, because I already had most of the supplies: the wig, stretch fabric, goggles, the boots etc. I only spent 4 Euro on this project: 50c on the jacket, and 3.50 on the rib knit. 

I made the stockings by stretching material around the leg and pinning it into place.
 I then sewed it up. There's elastic in the stop and bottom of the stocking. I ironed interfacing on to the black diamonds, and sewed those on by hand. The stripes were harder to do. I partly hand-sewed them, partly sewed them on with a tiny zig zag stitch on the machine.

Next was the jacket. I bought a jacket from a charity shop and took it in at the sides. I also removed the sleeves and turned the lower part of the collar under to change the front of the jacket (hope that makes sense - you can see the basting stitches on the front), and shortened the jacket.
 Next I draped fake sheepskin over the collar to get the right shape and sewed it on. There are two layers of sheepskin.I then sewed on a piece of rib knit, and them added the zip. I also added epaulettes. These are just little rectangles of fabric sewn along the shoulders.
 The last steps were to reattach the sleeves and add the patch. Easier said than done. I had to keep trimming the arm holes to get the sleeves to fit. Lots of trimming and pinning to check the fit. The patch also took a long time to do, because there was embroidery on the back of the jacket that had to be unpicked and removed slowly. The patch was made by ironing interfacing on to a piece of white fabric, tracing the design on to the cloth, and adding detail with markers and paint. Next I used a narrow zigzag stitch to sew the patch on.
 The shorts were very easy to make: just cut off the legs of some trousers. I actually had to lengthen the shorts because they were just too short.


The bra was quite simple to make: I just stretched some red jersey over on cup and sewed it down. I sewed the diamonds n top. Not totally happy with the bra; sewing on the jersey crumpled the cup a bit. The bra is a bit skimpy, so I made a tube top to wear outdoors.

 Harley has a lot of accessories, such as this belt. I made pouches and the belt buckle. The pouches are made of scraps of jersey and interfacing. I added snaps, and glued on gems for decoration. The belt buckle is made of craft foam, PVA glue, and acrylic paint. The buckle and pouches have pieces of ribbon glued/sewn on to the back, allowing them to slide on to the belt.
I originally bought this wig from Coscraft for a female titan cosplay, but it's too yellow for my taste, and a bit too long (yes, I know I could trim it, but I hate doing so). I found a tutorial on how to turn a normal layered wig into a pony tail wig, and added red hair ties. There are clear hair ties on the ponytails for a more secure hold.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Etsy Sale!

Most of the items in my etsy shop are now reduced in price. I need to make more space in my room, and raise a bit of money for university.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/193721109/reversible-messenger-bag-game-of-thrones?ref=shop_home_active_3

https://www.etsy.com/listing/173035138/midnight-blue-silk-and-velvet-victorian?ref=listing-shop-header-3

https://www.etsy.com/listing/188027273/hand-beaded-black-and-silver-roaring?ref=listing-shop-header-0

https://www.etsy.com/listing/188022100/roaring-twenties-kimono-inspired-satin?ref=listing-shop-header-1

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Slopers, or, Why you should make a mock up

I'm preparing another costume (I know - too many. but there's no such thing as too much cosplay!). The bodice is a strange shape: not quite a princess seam; so I scrapped my original plans and drafted a sloper. I am so glad that I made a mockup, because this sloper is abysmal. It gapes weirdly at the armpit, and I don't know how to fix it. Oh well, back the the drawing board.

My next idea is to take the original bodice pattern that I had in mind, draft out the princess seam (Dawn Pages has a great tutorial for that http://www.reddawn.net/costume/princess.htm) and draw in my own seam lines. It would make the front of the dress much more accurate. I'm thinking of altering this pattern (http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/high-collar-short-wedding-dress-32011) All I need to do is to make that centre piece a little bit narrower.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Grey Hooded Dress





Ever since I saw this picture on Mookychick (http://www.mookychick.co.uk/indie-fashion/gothic/white-goth-clothing.php) I've wanted to make a hooded dress. It's such a great concept: practicality meets cuteness. I also had some patterns that were perfect e.g. Burda's Danielle Pattern http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/danielle

Initially I wanted to make a white dress, similar to the one in the photo, but I had absolutely no luck finding suitable material. I looked at so many different white pieces of cloth, then I stumbled upon this strange material on the clearance table. I don't even know what kind of material it is.

It's very stretchy but also seems to be woven, and frays a lot. It has a texture like brushed cotton on one side. The material also has an ombre effect, going from light to dark grey/purple (actually, it's a grey similar to the colour of Homura's skirt in Puella Magi Madoka Magica). It's very comfortable against the skin, and I like the pattern. It was something like 8 Euro for two generously sized pieces, which is a bargain in my book.

I used McCalls 4491 (I think) for this pattern. 4491 is actually a Medieval style dress, but it has a gorgeous princess seam. The trouble is that it is actually much larger than the sizes states, so I had to take it in by at least 10cm on each side. Crazy alterations aside, it has a lovely shape.  

After sewing the seams, I altered the neckline. I sewed the side seams last because I wanted to add pockets (what's the point of a dress without pockets?). Once the pockets were in I sewed up the side seams and finished all the edges with a zigzag stitch. The dress was too long, so I took it up and hemmed it so it's now just above my knees.

The next step was one that I forgot to photograph. I needed to finish the neckline and armholes. The armholes were simple enough. I made some bias tape and sewed it around them. I tried to do the same with the neckline, but disaster struck. The neckline went all wavy and looked stretched out and nasty. I rescued it by turning it under and hand sewing it down. It now looks a lot neater.

The last step was adding a hood. I traced one from a hoody and cut it out. I placed the hood pieces right sides together and sewed them, leaving a small gap. I turned the hood right sides out, sewed the gap shut, and top-stitched to keep everything in place. Finally I used snaps to attach it to the dress, so I have the option of wearing it without a hood.
I'm very pleased with the final dress. It looks smart and really suits me. I do want to know what went wrong with the neckline, and why it went all wavy when I sewed on the bias tape. If anyone has any tips, please share them with me. 






Sunday, August 10, 2014

Retro Catwoman Part 2: Bustier and Accessories

The Catwoman costume is done, and in a very short amount of time; maybe a weekend tops?

I used a Burdastyle pattern for the bustier. I should have made a mockup, because it is a little large for me. Also, when the pattern instruction tell you to cut the boning shorter, you should do that, because the bones interfered with the top stitching. And maybe hot pink lining wasn't the best idea. Despite this, I'm very pleased with my first cupped bustier.
 It's not a Catwoman costume without some kind of cat ears. I used pleather scraps to make these ears, then glued them on to a head band. 
To complete the costume, I bought some goggles from ebay seller asvpshop. 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251052896650?var=550261164716&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
I order a pair with red lenses. I was actually surprised that they came with two pairs of lenses: one black, one red. The lenses were a bit dirty; I think I need to scrub them with glasses-cleaning spray or similar.
 They fit very well, and are great for this costume,though I think I will wear them up on my head because seeing everything through a red haze is quite strange.


Rat Queen completed

The costume is mostly finished; I just need to finish a few accessories (tights and gloves). 


Let's go through it piece by piece:

The Corset
This corset is made from pillowcase material and cotton sateen. It is definitely not designed for tight lacing. I used katafalk's tutorial to draft the pattern. This is the first time I've used a busk in a corset. Busks are a bit tricky to insert, but make it a lot easier to put the corset on. I used Bishonenrancher's video tutorials as a guide, and ended up with a piece like this:
I then sewed the fashion layer and strength layer. Note that I flatlined the grey cloth to a stiffer cloth before I started sewing all the pieces together.
Here's the corset with all the pieces sewn together. I think if I make this corset again I'll make the back lower.
The corset on my dress form. You can see here that I sewed in the boning channels, adding the plastic bones, then sewed on bias tape to finish the raw edges. Once that was done I added grommets to the back.
This is the basic corset finished: the front
the side
and the back. I added a modesty panel to hide the gap.
The next step was to decorate the corset. Emilie's corset is covered with rhinestones, chains, beads, sequins, and charms. I bought a bunch of these from ebay and glued them on with E6000. I began by sticking on the larger gems in a regular pattern, and using the smaller gems to fill in the gaps. Once that was done I sewed on the chains with embroidery thread, and added the key charm to the chains with jump rings.

Here's the finished corset, with the modesty panel attached. I think adding the embellishments was my favourite part of making this corset.
I still have a ton of gems left over, so I'll probably make some gem encrusted accessories to sell in my etsy shop and at Malta Expo.


The Wig
I didn't end up dying a wig after all. My friend wants me to play Fionna (Adventure Time) in a skit, and I need a long blonde wig (we're doing Good Little Girl/Bad Little Boy). I bought a wig from cosertstudio on ebay.uk
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/70CM-Long-Wavy-Dark-Red-Men-Women-Anime-Fashion-Halloween-Cosplay-Hair-Full-Wig-/111192550820?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:GB:3160
Coserstudio is a really nice seller. They asked me whether my item had arrived on time, and were generally very helpful and polite. The wig did arrive a little bit late, but only by a few days. I always order wigs in advance so that I don't have a panic before the convention.
The wig is a little bit shiny, but it fits well, and the colour is perfect. I might curl the ends slightly, but overall the wig is just right for this costume.

Bra
I bought this bra from ebay. It's exactly what I need, and has great details like the stitch lines and the black lace. I sewed in some padding in the cups for modesty, and glued on the gems with E6000 glue. And that's how you make a sparkly bra.