Thursday, October 31, 2013

I won I won I won

victory is mine!   
For mine is the most glorious of costumes!  I am ... Corny!  (I know.  I crack me up too.)

For reasons even I don't understand, I decided that *this year* I was being an ear of corn -- it's been floating around in my head for a while now, and for one reason or another I never quite got around to it.
the original plan was a bit more subdued...

The original plan was a yellow kernel-studded hood, with a green robe, decorated to look like leaves, so my arms would look like a half-shucked ear.

When it came to actual construction, I just sort of started screwing around.   Odd decision number one:  It is construction entirely of tulle (35 yards, to be exact)  the original plan called for cheapo cotton and a sort of cartoony look.  However, I knew I was going to attend multiple events, and that it was going to be nearly impossible to clean.... so for whatever reason, I decided tulle is plastic-y, I could hose it off and be ready-set-go for the next party.

The costume is based on a poof, pinned to my hair, which eventually developed arm holes, a face hole, and layers of upon layers of leaves.   The first set of kernels continued the sort of cartoony aesthetic (see first image below) but those few kernels used up almost all of my 10 yards of yellow (10!!!!!!!)  so, they got pulled apart and turned into the series of loose loops I ended up using for the final version.

Another 25 yards of tulle later (for a sum total of 35 - I know - but you wouldn't believe how much fun it is to frolic about in) I had a corn costume so artsy, no one could guess what I was supposed to be.

C'est la vie d'artist.  

HOWEVER - once I'd explained what was going on, most people dissolved in laughter, which I count as a win (and I won the costume contest, which is a more objective style of win) (double win!)

(the best holiday ever.  period. exclamation point.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

a bit of knitting

For a while now I'd been playing with the idea of getting back into knitting - looking at patterns, getting book with interesting techniques, stalking people on ravelry, etc..     A couple of weeks ago I ended up in a part of the city I don't usually frequent and happened to walk by a yarn store.... so in I went to start petting the merchandise.  I can't wear wool next to my skin (even cashmere or merino - trust me.  I stuck my arm into the boxes of yarn to test it out) so the original plan was cotton with some spandex and the owl sweater.

 However, I didn't like the colors they carried, so I continued petting things until I came to a silk and cotton blend I fell in love with.(Seta Tweed, by Lang Yarns in a sort of turquoise color - its brighter and darker - I guess more intense - than shown above)  I was paranoid about the stretch and recovery, so I ended up going with a franken-pattern of a cardigan from Textured Stitches by Connie Chang Chinchio (plus the inevitable screwing around that happens with all my projects)   the next big challenge is getting the arm holes to come out right... wish me luck!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

sewing to the last minute - finished B5748

Can we stop for a moment and discuss how incredibly and unreasonably cold it gets in New England (both before and after this photo shoot I was covered head-to-toe and there was a hefty dash of polar fleece in the mix.)   Anyhow, I finished this sucker a good four hours before the wedding, so!   (I actually really like this patten, especially with the pockets, and plan to make a couple more.. although probably in the spring.)

spin spin spin - and try not to fall down the hill....
I highly recommend it for its spinning-ness and general fluffy flouncing about.  In all of these pictures I'm wearing it with a full crinoline, but it also works with just the dress.  The pattern itself is was very easy to work with and the fit came together nicely.  The only major change I put in, was to add pockets.

The fabric is a cotton lace, backed with cotton broad cloth -- meaning the whole thing is machine washable, which may make it my new favorite formal dress.
Liza, the glorious photographer of awesomeness.  She is cold too.

wedding fun times.  (and conveniently wearing the same color as the bride's maids)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

RennFest Part Two - the return of the bodice!

and I'm back ... with renn fest costume fun times!

I've been sewing quite a bit, but just haven't been in a bloggy sort of a mood - however, a new renn fest costume (yes, its the second one this year) seemed to deserve a proper post.

It was started for the historical fortnightly 'wood, metal and bone' challenge - although having missed the deadline by about two weeks, I think I'm going to push it forward and have it be my 'something green'.   The bodice / pair-of-bodies / corset / stays is an update of the one I made a few months ago.  I think I'm slightly short waisted - so I took about an inch off the length of the bodice.  I also narrowed the whole thing and added tabs for shoulder straps.

update = purple, original = white

 I find the updated version to be much more comfortable.  It doesn't pinch at all, and having the boning (zip-ties) extend down into the tabs prevents pressure points.

 The outer fabric is a brocade drapery remnant of in determinant material and the lining in a thick cotton twill I used for a skirt many eons ago.   (The whole costume is actually a glorious stash bust!    The green dress is muslin I dyed forever ago and never got around to using and the black is an embroidered cotton that I loved in the store but was a little two sweet when I got it home.   For costuming it worked perfectly.   In fact, the only thing I had to buy was the bias tape for the binding and the lacing cord.)  the green under-dress is your basic huge shift with not enough shirring at the top and the back over-skirt is a large square with the circle cut out of the center.

The final fit of the bodice still isn't quite right (it needs to be tighter on top - I put the tabs too far to the sides and my arms prevent it from sitting correctly...  c'est la vie) However, all in all, I'm really happy with this costume and plan to use it for another yer or two.  (Ideally with more elastic in the sleeves...)  (They are actually even... it was really hot again and I kept tucking them up, out of the way)

The Challenge: #19 'wood,metal and bone' or #21 'green'   (you know... whichever makes you happy...)

Fabric:  mystery brocade and cotton twill
Pattern:  pair-of-bodies: Elizabethan Custom Corset Generator
Year:  circa 1550
Notions:   heavy-duty zip-ties, grommets, cording, bias tape
How historically accurate is it? the shapes and patterns behind both items are actually pretty accurate.  The fabric and construction methods were modern.
Hours to complete: About 6 - I was able to reuse the zip-ties from the last time, which saved a lot of effort.
First worn: October 6, 2013,  To the Maryland Renaissance Festival
Total cost: free - I made it from scraps left over from other things  (well, the bias tape and cording, so maybe $10)

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