Thursday, May 27, 2010

Under the Sea

The Malta Comic Con group is turning up at the Earth Garden in Ta' Qali, and guess who's turning up too? Yep, me. Though I've got criminal law on the 8th, and the exhibition at the Earth Garden is on the 6th June. As if that wasn't enough, someone suggested that it might be fun to turn up in costume . . . well, I can never resist a challenge! Surprisingly it took me only a minute to think of a simple, summer costume: Though I've never actually seen the film (though I did see the sequel, and bits of the TV series, where Triton is an arbitrary imbecile who probably would have been overthrown and guillotined by the unhappy masses-oops, here's Political Philosophy interacting with Disney). The costume is relativley simple: just a tight skirt with thinner cloth to make the fins and tail, and a purple shell-bra. I had most of the necessary items:cloth (pale green, but I figured that it could be dyed), scallop shells, a flesh-cloured bra, and a glue gun. All I needed to buy was purple acrylic paint and green dye.

You probably can't see, but the dye is Dylon Forest Green, and the paint is Iris-coloured acrylic, suitable for woods and ceramics, and can be cleaned with soapy water (the shells wouldn't last a second in a washing machine).

Unfortunatley I made a mistake by not measuring the cloth for the skirt properly. Instead, I sat down on the cloth with my legs stretched out and drew around my legs, as I'd seen on a few Youtube mermaid costume tutorials: big mistake, because the cloth wouldn't go round when I pinned it to try it on. Even adding gussets on the sides didn't help.

I decided that it was time to take drastic action, and so I bought some white, stretchy ankle-length trousers. After searchign the Threadbanger forums for help, I converted the trousers into a skirt by undoing the stitches on the inside of the legs and lower part of the crotch, as we all the hem on the legs. That was very boring: good thing I had Philosophy of Law ntoes to glance at and lots of nice msuic (lots of Kimya Dawon). I then sewed the legs to each other to make a stretchy pencil skirt. This was much more succesful than my previous attempt using a cotton sheet.
1) The original garment
2) Unpick stitches . . . 3) The unpicked trousers, before sewing
4) The finished skirt
Suprisingly the shell bra was the easiest thing to make. I found an old flesh-coloured bra and stuck two big scallop shells to the cups using a glue gun and lots and lots of glue to keep it secure. The iris Acrylic (cost me less than 2 Euro) went on nicely: I tried sponging ti on at first, but it went on better with a paintbrush. I gave it three coats, and a coat of PVa Glue on top to stop the paint from chipping. I added glitter gel but I didn't notice any change, so I didn't bother applying any more.

So now the shell top is completely finished, and the skirt just needs finishing off. It will be dyed Forest green, then when it's dry I'll add scales using fabric paint and a potato print (so much easier than stencilling), then I'll add the fins and the tail. The tail isn't going to be a typical fish-tail: it will be lots of strips of the pale green sheet that I originally planned to make the skirt out of, and sew these strips around the hem of the skirt: it will look more or less like a tail, and it will be a lot easier for me to work than if I had a proepr tail. I might add a proper tail at the back if the skirt looks like it needs it. the fins will be more of that pale green sheet.

The finishing touches will be hair and makeup. I have to find a temporary hair colouring product: I htink Clair's accessories will have something like that. I'm not sure whether I should go for sea green/turqouise eyeshadow, aquamarine and purple or pink, green and yellow .

To be continued . . .

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