Saturday, August 1, 2015

Old versus new: Khaleesi Daenerys vs Astapor Daenerys

My first Daenerys costume was well constructed, even if I didn't have the correct leggings, and my wig wasn't the right colour. In hindsight, platinum blonde looks so much nicer than white for this costume.

I also managed to get much nicer photos of my costume this time around. I didn't have the problem of my hair peeking out from under the wig, because I didn't braid the fringe (also, my hair is significantly shorte0.

 Getting better shoes also helped. Those Uggs just didn't look right. I'm still very pleased iwth the construction of the top and skirt of the Khaleesi costume.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback: Babydoll

I haven't done a post like this for a while. I've been cosplaying for about 5 and a half years now, so I suppose this is technically an old costume.
I actually remade this costume about 3 times until I was happy with it. \
 Made this before the film came out. I was quite inexperienced and tried making it out of jersey. The stripes were painted on. The skirt and top didn't even match: I tried dying the top blue, but it was the wrong shade. The wig was a cheap carnival wig, and I'm not sure what happened with the hair band. The shoes are on point, though, as was the sword belt. Oh, and I think I had a cardboard sword, which really wan't up to fighting ninjas.
I totally remade the costume out of cotton drill. I had to make the skirt twice because the first time I made it too short.  I used SecreLifeofaBionerd's tutorial for the skirt, and made the top from an altered Burda pattern.
The stripes were made from white bias tape. I used muslin to make the sailor collar and neck scarf. i actually dyed the scarf with watered down acrylic paint to get that strange bluish tint. The stripes on the collar were painted on with acrylic paint.
  I upgraded to a slightly better wig (not much better. Paid 30 Euro for it, and it shed a lot and the wefts showed a lot. Not a good investment). Whoa, my wig styling skills need improvement. Those ponytails ae very bunched up at the top (probably to stop the wefts showing).

I made the gun and holster too (can't find the holster, and sold the gun and costume so no photos of the whole ensemble). The gun was a simple toy gun with gold cor to tie the charms on.
The charms are not pretty. I used spray paint, nail polish, and acrylic paint to colour the polymer clay pieces. They were fragile, and the spray paint/varnish didn't dry properly, so the charms were quite sticky. They are also quite ugly pieces.

Despite the costume's flaws, I think it was a good piece of work for my skill level at the time (even if I sewed the sleeves on upside down by mistake). I finished all the edges, and sewed everything neatly. The buttonholes were neat, and I was recognizably Babydoll. Not 100 percent accurate, but I was working with limited images of the character. I don't know if I will ever revisit Babydoll; perhaps the glamorous show outfit she wears, or the amazing coral corset.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Daenerys Season 3 Blue Dress Part 2

Once the mockup was done, I cut out the lining pieces from a linen-type of material, then pinned them over a dress form to see what they looked like. I borrowed this form from my mum, and it was vital for this project. I then cut out the pieces from the shiny blue material (some polyester material, as I found it in the furnishing section). 
I overlocked all the pieces together, except for the back. This was because I wanted to make the back circle very smooth so there would be no raw edges. I used Addie Marie's tutorial and it worked brilliantly.
The next step was adding the decorative stitches on the dress skirt. In the photos they look like running stitches, but it was hard to be certain. I used a longer stitch on my sewing machine and sewed many straight lines in a darker blue thread. This technique also had the benefit of firmly attaching the lining and outer layer together, and creating a nice texture. Pippa cat helped by looking pretty.
 I then covered the hem with bias tape, and also turned over the top edge of the skirt pieces and sewed it down. One skirt piece is attached to the bodice, and the other is completely separate, and is held round my waist with snaps. 
 The next step was sewing the darts. The darts I initially drafted were not accurate, so instead I pinched the darts and pinned them until they looked right, then basted and sewed them. There are no darts in the back, only in the front.
 Once the main dress was finished, I had to make the cross over straps in the front. This meant a lot of smocking. It took about 2 or 3 days to finish all the smocking just for these pieces. I followed Michelle Carragher's tutorial, and it worked beautifully
I cut out 4 cross over pieces. I added interfacing to 2 of them, but I didn't need to, as the smocking makes the fabric stiffer. I hand-sewed the smocking to the non interfaced pieces, then faced them right sides together with the interfaced pieces, sewed, and turned them right sides out. I actually advise not adding smocking near the seam allowance, as this is bulky and it will be difficult to close if you use an invisible zip.

My cats "helped".

I then added the sleeves. They stick out  bit too much and are a little too stuff, but look quite nice.
I made two versions of Daenerys' dragon claw necklace. One was made from a random pendant I had. I painted the top with gold acrylic, then blended the gold into the black.
 The other was made from a shell. I painted it, and filled the middle hollow with hot glue and pushed a loop of cord into the glue. This is quite fragile and a bit too small, but still looks good.

Daenerys Season 3 Blue Dress: Part 1

I've wanted to make this dress for quite a while. Daenerys is one of my favourtie characters from both "A Song of Ice and Fire" and "Game of Thrones" (even if both occasionally grate at me. Like the awkward awful dialogue written for Tyene in Season 5. Or the stupid change to Dany and Drogo's wedding night. Urgh). 
The costume is beautiful but also practical and modest. 

 It looks simple but is actually quite detailed and complicated. Dany has many costumes featuring dragonscale smocking, which is beautifully explained here 
This dress also has some beadwork and a net applique decoration.

 I started with this pair of linen trousers. They were much too big, so I knew would have to remake them
 Firstly I removed the beads and embroidery until I was left with a plain pair of linen trousers.
 I took the trousers apart and cut out a new pattern, using a Burdastyle pattern.
 I'm pleased with these trousers. They have a lapped zip and front pockets

The Dress  
I wish I'd had a pattern to use. I tried to make my own pattern by altering an existing one, and it didn't work as well as I thought it would. Simplicty and McCalls both have useful patterns; Simplicity has a pattern which is almost a replica of Dany's gown (Pattern 1246). Andrea Schewe, the pattern designer, wrote about it 
It took a while to get the pattern to look exactly how I wanted it too, and my lack of expertise shows in the finished dress

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Steampunk July Sale

New items in my etsy shop. July seems to be steampunk month!
40 Euro
I’m selling these to help raise money for university. I was accepted into a veterinary medicine course. Now I doubt I’ll raise enough money to cover tuition but a bit of extra money will definitely help me out. I also want to get rid of things that I won’t have room for, and I really don’t want to throw anything out. 
Steampunk skirt; brown, stretch cotton with a half elastic waistband. The skirt hem has horsehair braid for extra flair. 12 Euro
Paisley waistcoat, ideal for steampunk fashion. 15 Euro. Poly linen shirt with Bishop sleeves and applique + embroidery details. 15 Euro

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Harley Quinn Part 4: Cuffs, Gloves, Boot Covers

I was lazy about taking photos, so the cuffs, gloves, and boot covers are being crammed into one post. The boot cover patterns was made by me wrapping by foot in tape and paper and drawing where I wanted the seam lines to go. The pattern was originally made for Asuka, but works for Harley. I'm using wedges for extra height. . 
 These boot covers aren't perfect, but I've never tried making ones like this, so for a first go this is pretty good. The red one is less stretch, because i laid the pieces wrong. But I can wiggle my foot in.
 Super lazy photo. Here are my gloves and cuffs. I made the gloves by tracing my hand, cutting, and sewing. Make sure to leave extra space when you draw around your hand, or the gloves will be too tight. The cuffs were made in the same way as the ruff I made for Sakizou. You take a strip of cloth and mark where you will sew down the ribbon, then tack the ribbon down. I added velcro closures to the cuffs. 

Harley Quinn Part 3: Collar

Ah, that jester collar. I think this could have been nicer, but I really wanted to use up my white lycra.

 The first step was to make a pattern. i traced the neck shape from the catsuit pattern, and took a piece of paper and draped it around the bodyform, then drew the petals out. I played with it until it looked right. 
 Once i had the right shape, I traced it on to my fabric. I cut out 2 pieces, then serged them together. 
 I then cut out a hole in the middle so that it would slip over my head.
 I added a collar by creating a rectangle of lycra, then adding darts to make it fit. the collar helps to hide the gap between the hood and the catsuit.
The last step was pom poms Remember these?
 . Sew each pom pom to the collar petals. 

The lycra doesn't lie perfectly flat, but it saved me the trouble of adding a zip.