Friday, November 23, 2007

Angel of Death

Like I said before, I would put together an entry about my Christmas costume for our ACG event this year. We are going roller skating. Or blading as in my case. Though, I hate my blades because the wheels are too hard and do not grip on the floor very well. I really should have stuck with my old ones, but they hurt my feet and ankles because they were so bent out of shape from all my trips and falls when I was first learning. But moving on, I am looking forward to the evening. It should be pretty cool, especially in costume. I am going dressed as the Angel of Death.

Well, one take on it anyway. I am making my outfit to match the angel wings that I made for Christmas last year (I wore them to work). And basically they are a wire frame with torn strips of fabric woven over them. I was originally going to do feathers. Back in highschool I made feathered ones that I stitched feathers onto, but I leant them to someone and never got them back again. And so I thought to re-create them. Unfortunately I could not get white stockings as my base and the glue that I had intended to use was off and stunk. Which in turn wrecked all the feathers. So I went woven.

Which made me want to make the whole outfit to match. Mostly because you look like a real idiot dressed as an angel any other time of year. So really, this is the perfect opportunity. (There goes my planned Pirate costume on delay). I have made the underbust corset. In only a couple of hours which I am rather pleased about. I drafted the pattern from some instructions I found on a website. Unfortunately it was a bit too big in the back (the gap) so instead of re-making them I added a feature. I made an extra 2 inch boned panel that sits up the centre back. And then I have 3 rows of eyelets which the lacing goes into (red for a nice contrast). I used a cheap white homespun 2 layers and really stiff shapewell in the middle. And together with my nice stiff plastic boning (not the stupid spotlight stuff) it has enough stiffness to hold shape well. And I also added an open end zip up the centre front so that it will come off easy.

After it was put together and fitted to me. I went through and stitched horizontal strips of torn white fabric across. They go from the side back / back seam to about 1 cm away from the zip. The ends at the front hang loose and long so that they hang over the zip and look rough. I then went through and wove more fabric strips up then down so that all the ends hang at the bottom. It makes the corset almost fully covered with the weaving but it looks so cool.

Now I am going to make the base dress for underneath and the armour – this may work but it will be my first attempt. I may even try to get some laced up cuffs made to go with it all. And of course there will be a sword.


Okay, so my angel costume has changed a bit during the construction. I have decided not to make any armour. Mostly because I did not get around to making some and I’m not too sure how to go about creating it. But I still have my sword to carry around.

The wings look fabulous and so does the corset so at least part of my costume will be fantastic. I did make up the dress but am a bit dubious about wearing it while skating, also it kinda looks like a nightgown which was not my intention. So I have picked up some white shorts and a singlet top to wear over some red tights (just to carry the colour through). I may still decide to wear the dress but at least I have a couple of options now. Hey, I could always dig out my new Lolita petticoat with a plain white skirt over the top. Although skirts and skating really do not go together all that well. Well for me anyway.

I have made the harness for my wings too. Originally when I wore my wings I had them tied on with ribbon, which will definitely not stand up to skating. So I have made a harness out of bag strapping tape and some clips. I just need to attach the wings to it and I am all good. They will not fall about the place as I skate. (Hopefully).

If I get a chance on Saturday I am planning to maybe get some lace up gauntlets together (may even get some time this week after work). If not I may just rip some strips of fabric to wrap around my lower arm which could look cool. As for the hair, I was thinking that maybe I should wear my white wig but I have asked a couple of people and they all think I should just go with my own. Which I must admit will be a lot cooler. Even though it is aircon at the skating rink, I would rather not be too hot in my costume. I always seem to sweat really badly when I am getting ready. I must remember to put he aircon and a fan on when I am getting dressed at home. And then as soon as I get in the car I will be blasting the fan straight at my face.

As for the makeup, I am going to get a little creative. At this stage I am thinking of using a white base colour around my eye are probably with a bit of sparkle dust. Draw in my eyebrows so that they are extended. False lashes – if I can get them to attach. Elongated eyeliner and probably some painted on tears. I may add a little fake blood as well. And if I get time, I will add a fake tattoo somewhere.  

So, I made my brother take  photos of my costume. For my hair I did as I intended and went nuts with the hairspray and teasing. (the comb-out was painful and time consuming but I had the right look). I was happy with how my outfit looked. The dress I made was just really unsuitable with the underbust corset and looked really stupid. So I had my red tights with white shorts and a white singlet. I also wrapped a strip of white fabric around my wrist to carry the whole ripped fabric thing through. And my wings I was thrilled with. It took a bit of imagination to get the harness to work but the wings withheld roller blading so that is a big plus. I now know that those wings will stand up to any movement. Though, I did wipe a few people out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Retro Afternoon Tea

Yesterday (Sunday) our ACG Brisbane group had a Retro afternoon tea date. We went to the Shingle Inn in McArthur Central on Queen Street. But first we went to City Hall for photos (it was too wet for the park and garden). It actually worked out nicely to have our photos there as it worked for the 1910s, 40s and 50s time periods of our clothes. I had a fabulous time (apart from the sore feet) and got heaps of photos (now put up here).

My dress was actually pretty simple to make. I used a vintage McCalls pattern that I picked up on Ebay and adjusted to fit. This was a lot easier than many patterns because it was a simple cut on the fold dress both the front and the back. Meaning all I had to do to enlarge it was add a bit in the Centre Front and Centre Back – saving me a heap of trouble. (The picture attached is the pattern I used).

For my fabric I used a seafoam toned faille. I like the fabric, it has enough weight to hang nicely but light enough to swish. And the colour really works for the 1940s style. I was wearing my 1950s corset underneath, though I probably would have been fine without it. I got to use my soft leather gloves, and I had on my lovely oxford heels which by the way are a 4 inch heel. And when I wear flat shoes all the time – me feet now hate me. I am thinking I need to wear heels a bit more often so that when I do wear costume, they work for me. Though I must say my arse, thighs and calf muscles got a work out, so yay.

I love my makeup – though being a makeup artist I know what to do. So I kinda cheat. But hey, it’s my secret weapon. I went with the full forties style, exaggerating the top lip line in a nice bright red. And my hair was the first challenge of the day. I have just put a chocolate brown dye through, so the colour is fabulous. So I went for the rolls, as they wore back in the day. After watching a couple of tutorials online, I tackled my hair. I first added mousse and put in the hot rollers. Probably not a necessary step – as long as your hair is brushed and smoothed. And my hair has enough natural wave that it would hold without curling. And then I attempted to roll my hair. Found out that it was too hard and made some rolls to wrap it around. I grabbed an old pair of stockings and cut them up, stuffed them with fabric and shoved them in. It took a couple of goes to get it sitting right but once it was rolled up I shoved in heaps of pins to hold it. Then I did the other side. The hardest thing was to do the back roll. Because my hair is so long I could not physically get the right angle on the roll doing it myself, so I had mum help me. She rolled up, and I stuck in the pins. I then added a tonne of hair spray and fringe pins to hold the fly-aways flat and neat. And eliminate my fringe.

I was really happy with how it turned out, and am now confident I can re-create the look when I need to put it on next time. With a little help of course. Through the dress will be worn to work now that I have it. Why waste all that work and the beautiful dress.