Saturday, December 24, 2011

ACG Christmas

And then came the Australian Costumers Guild Christmas Party. Our theme this year was 20th Century, which could be interpreted a number of different ways. Many of our group chose to dress in vintage - 1950s, 1980s, and 1990s. We also had a jedi, and a pirate. I chose to wear my Little Mermaid costume, as a 1989 film, it was right in the time period. I had a wonderful afternoon and it was a great and relaxing afternoon for the end of another year with the ACG as we watched the sun gown down over Brisbane from the Kangaroo Point cliffs. I even go to play with my cousin's light saber.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Proclamation Day 2011

The second Christmas event that I have attended recently was the annual celebration of Proclamation Day - the day when Queensland officially became its own state. That was on the 10th December. And that was is 1859, so Crinoline is the order of the day.

The only addition that I made to my costume was to pop on one of my wigs this year instead of using my own hair. But that is more to do with the current colour of my hair rather than any other sort of thing. I decided to use my new burgundy wig, which was rather complimentary to the purple of my crinoline - the one that I made last year. I have to say, I have had so much use out of this one skirt - between wearing it as an evening gown as well as pairing it up with a day bodice.
Before the event, I also got stuck into fixing up my mum's brown evening gown that I made a few years ago. I decided to make her a crinoline for a start. It is put together with some quilting cotton that I had leftover from a vintage dress I have cut out, the regular irrigation tubing, gold brads and twill tape. I used the Truly Victorian round crinoline for it and made the oversized one - more as my mum is a larger woman, to help balance out her shape. I fixed the skirt where it had pulled out of the waistband and remodeled the bodice - removing the bertha. I found that the bertha made mum look bigger on top than she is and added to much bulk, the gown is much more flattering without it. And the crinoline works really well under the dress, you notice the bias skirt detail a lot more now. I will just have to make her a petticoat or two for the crinoline before she wears it again.
All in all, a very successful event. I had a great time and it was lovely to get mum and dad dressed up again. I think mum was very pleased with her "new" ensemble, and I know that I am much more pleased with it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vintage Pool Party

Phew. Have been incredibly busy of late. With the onset of December comes an abundance of Christmas parties. My first one was held a few weeks ago, with my re-enactment group RIFF. As the weather takes a turn for the warm, we decided to have a pool party. And of course, it was a historical pool party. Most of us chose to do vintage. I apologise for the lack of photos, it seems that I was too busy having a great time to actually take many.
For my swimsuit, (no photos worn), I decided to make a 1950s style one. It is made out of quilting cotton that was leftover from one of my vintage dresses. I took quite a bit to get the pattern for my swimsuit fitting me (about 4 redrafts and mock ups in total). But I was sizing up from a 32 inch bust to my 38inch bust. And of course the hips and waist as well. It's actually a very flattering pattern with the gathering running down the front. And the orange trim is a bias so that it allows for movement and a little more flexibility around the legs. It does up down the back with a zip. Unfortunately my vintage reproduction swim cap didn't arrive in time for me to wear it, but I now have them, so I think that another vintage pool party may be in order to make use of my caps. And I will aim to get at least one photo of myself in there. :P

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Supanova 2011 Take 2 - Sunday

Sunday was a much later start. After breakfast at the Coffee Club (yes, in Costume), we finally made it in. It was Disney day. We had organised as a group to wear Disney costumes, and I have to say that I truly adore wearing Disney. It's a huge ego boost being asked for photos all the time, and so lovely to have small children come up and ask for their photo with you - though the knees don't quite like the bending so much.
My Disney choice was Ariel, the Little Mermaid. I decided to make her day outfit. It really is a very simple costume to put together. The skirt and petticoat are both 8 gore skirts on a waistband. I did make them slightly gathered so that they would be a bit fuller. My construction was a little different on the outer skirt in that it is two layers. I could only get the bright blue colour I wanted in a very light-weight fabric, so I ended up making the skirt double layer with a blue sheeting (from stash) as the lining layer. It really worked well though, giving the skirt enough stiffness to hold out nicely. The blouse took a little longer to make - I patterned it together from a couple of different patterns - the bodice is scoop necked, princess seam, waist length (bias bound) with an invisible zip up the back. I used bias to face the neck edge too, stitching it down to hold in place. The sleeves are a very simply full sleeve that is gathered into a cuff at the wrist. It buttons with 3 shell buttons on the inside of the wrist. The hairbow is made of the same fabric as the blouse and is simply a long rectangle twisted and sewn with a band and attached to a ribbon to put in the hair.

For the corset, I simply re-drafted my pattern from my sister of the dark costume, making a few changes (shorter in length, pointed at the front, straight top with the cut out v). It laces up the centre back with black grosgrain ribbon. It is pretty heavily boned with both steel, heavy plastic boning and cable ties. I made it out of black cotton sateen (from stash), and some left over pieces for my inter-lining and lining (cupcake). It is bound with bias made from the cotton sateen.

The most complex part of my costume had to be the wig. When I was looking for wigs, this one was the only one that I was happy with the colour. It is a perfect match for all the resource images I was going from. The only problem that I had was that with long wigs, they tend to be very thin at the bottom and I really wanted a full wig. So, I bought to. I cut one apart and stitched it into the other. It was really a nightmare to do as the hair is so long, it just kept on tangling up. But I persevered, and in the end, have ended up with a very full wig that I am supremely happy with. I trimmed off the ends so that it was the length I wanted it to be and then styled the fringe - with lots of hairspray and lots of back-combing. The fringe was the main thing that I wanted to get right.

To finish it off, I added some pinkish red lipstick, black shoes, and my stuffed toy flounder. I am really pleased with how it has come out, especially as this is my very first Disney costume. I think I had a lot of my own expectations to live up to - quite frankly, it had to be good. I would have been really disappointed with myself if I had gotten it wrong. I think now I just need to get some really good shots of it all.

Supanova 2011 Take 2 - Saturday

Saturday, I arrived bright and early in my Saber Lion costume. Trust me, the hand fan was out and flicking away as the temperature rose throughout the day. A polar fleece costume is probably not the best idea for daytime in Brisbane's November weather, so I made the change into my new American McGee Alice costume. There was a marked sigh of relief as I peeled off the suit and cool air wafted over my skin. The day was full. I sat in on Cliff Simon's Q&A Session (Baal from Stargate), shopped, chatted, filled up on slushies, shopped and shopped some more. Coming home with a couple of my Christmas gifts taken care of. There's a lot to be said for my brother not being able to make it along (the poor sod had to work - in Kuala Lumpur). *sarcasm* I feel his pain.
I don't have any construction shots of my Alice costume, as I made it in quite a rush, but it is a very simple costume. The dress is from a simplicity pattern with a few adjustments. The skirts are cut slightly shorter so that they fall just on the knee and the neckline is a little deeper in the front. The apron is simply drafted off the bodice pattern to match the game costume design. The front and back are almost identical, but the necklines match that of the dress. The skirt is slightly gathered onto the waistband and the hem is rounded. The pockets are small round ones that I gathered up, ironed flat and top-stitched on. I painted the designs on with dimensional fabric paint. The back of the apron is constructed by rectangles. The waistband actually does up on the side back with some hooks and eyes, the bow is purely decorative with the pieces stiffened with tulle inserted and a couple pieces of boning in each edge of the bow. The skull I managed to pick up in a discount store around Halloween. I painted it white and then used a large mattress needle to stitch it to the dress (which I now realise I have to remove so that I can wash it).

Add some black and white striped tights courtesy of "We Love Colours" and my new boots from "Girls Obsession", 3 petticoats, the classic vorpal knife and wig and there you have it. It's all made out of cotton and linen so it's quite a cool costume to wear. Quite frankly, it is just begging to be worn again some time, I just need to find the right venue.