Big Dragon Shaped News!

I teased this a few weeks, maybe months, ago, that I have very big news to share! It’s grown, and I’ve got some additional news as well!

So let’s start with the newest of news, and then work backwards, since I want to keep building up to the biggest stuff!

back featureAbout a week ago, I found out that I won an Indie Pattern Month prize on The Monthly Stitch for the Hack It competition! I was able to pick a few lovely patterns, which I’ll be sharing with you when they get to me! (Although realistically I probably will forget to share and you’ll find out once I make the actual garments). Congrats to all the other winners for all the challenges!

A few weeks before that I signed up for a sewing dare from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow… I’m telling you guys this so I stay accountable. Since I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet made anything toward this dare yet. Soon though. Next week I’ll get back from my last summer trip and will have plenty of time to “to sew a head-to-toe Closet Case Files outfit!” Realistically I’m going to make a Nettie top and a Ginger bottom, but which of my planned Ginger’s (flared and a boot/skinny version), and sleeveless or sleeved Nettie? Decisions, decisions.

Okay, have we had enough build up yet?

Cool.

Because guys, I’m going to DragonCon!!!

To those who follow my blog for the sewing, not costumes, this may be the biggest comic/fantasy/TV/movie/[insert geeky thing here] convention on the East Coast of the US. And I’m going with the same friends that I was planning on going to San Diego Comic Con with two years ago. That’s right, it’s been two years and we’ve finally got our schedules correct and we’re all on the right side of the country!

We’ve got two group costumes planned out, and then we’ll be doing our own thing the other two days (costumes-wise at least!).

My costumes going with me that are already (mostly) complete are Susan from Prince Caspian, and the TARDIS. I say mostly because I’ve been adding trim to the skirt of the TARDIS, and I’m considering an alternate top because it’ll be Georgia in the summer. And therefore hot. And now that I’m thinking about it, I might have a Clara Oswald to go with the TARDIS. Wrong TARDIS, but hey, that’s okay!

nausicaalink/link

One of the costumes I have to make in the next month and a half are Nausicaä from Miyazaki’s Nausicaä in the Valley of the Wind for a Miyazaki group. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do her early outfit or her end of movie outfit. Both of them are blue, so I’ve started gathering fabric, but I need to design soon!

arielbluelink

For a Disney group, I’m also going to be making a Little Mermaid Ariel Day Dress. I’ll either be making a normal skirt, for which I’d need to get fabric, or culottes, in which case I might have some. I’ve got two options for the top as well, based on how well my corset patterning for my insane Cinderella project goes. I can either make a corset and wovenblouse to go with it, or I can make my Nettie hack corset top. Because easiness and knit are great things, and corsets and potentially driving home don’t really appeal to me. But the one I made before is from a lovely drapey knit. That has also been inconveniently becoming more translucent with every wash.

kaylee coveralllink

I’m also making a Kaylee costume as a backup for if it’s two wet or mucky for the TARDIS or Susan. I’ve had the jumpsuit for a few months now. I didn’t realize how comfy they were, but they’re great. I just need to alter it a smidge, and then find and add patches and make a Kaylee shirt. So a little more direction and a little less wiggle room. Because I really need it as backup. And maybe I’ll make a purse out of some cheap turquoise brocade. To pull it all together.

So that’s my news! I’ll be updating soon, once I get my sewjo back in swing. Last week was a hard week with all the tragedies around the US, and after a long 4th of July weekend spent with my friends sewing, I got a bit burnt. So hopefully writing this post will kick my butt into high gear!

Because I’m going to an insanely awesome con with my two bestest friends, and it’s going to be lovely, and awesome, and I’m going to stop before I ramble for another paragraph.

Year 3

WordPress informed me that yesterday was my 3rd blogiversary.

The past two anniversaries, I wrote a post celebrating the year, and especially because this is also my 200th post, I figured I’d give it another whirl.

This year:

storybook back

I finished my Susan dress! Woohoo!

My self imposed ban of new clothing has kept up really well, and the only piece of clothing I’ve bought was jeans from a thrift store.

ponyfront

I’ve self drafted a few items, including the shirt for my Peggy costume (with more full costume photos to come).

right after wash

My first pair of jeans were not entirely comfortable (so not wearable), but my second pair is so comfy that I practically live in them.

sweater

I’m working on a knit sweater that will actually look like a real sweater, which is definitely a first. And I’m another pair of socks and a half into my sock knitting journey.

back side

Real photos of my Belle from Once Upon A Time (casual style) costume were taken, and though I realized I forgot the necklace, they certainly look snazzy! I do need to figure out how to make the extensions better blended though…

cute

The time I spent embroidering this Merida skirt was ridiculous, but I love this skirt to death. It’s whimsical and subtle and awesome all at the same time!

I’ve also realized that my planning skills are rather lax, and that sometimes I’ll completely change my mind and take on ridiculous projects. Case in point, even though I don’t have real space in my apartment to make a ballgown, I’m planning to make Ella’s ballgown from the live action Cinderella.

First though, I’ve got to make and finish my TARDIS skirts. After three years it’s really time.

Here’s to year 4! Thanks for reading!

Farewell to Narnia

It has been a long journey to get here.

I started planning this costume nearly three years ago, just before I started this blog. I had fallen in love with it when I first saw ‘Prince Caspian,’ and even working in a costume shop, I had never thought about making it for myself.

During my senior year of college, I finished my first overbust corset, thinking that it would be used for this costume… I’m still a little sad that I won’t be able to use it for this costume. I also got the fabric for the underskirt and the dress itself, which was quilting cotton and poly-satin, respectively.

Last summer I made the “sleeves” and the underskirt, and attached the sleeves to the corset. Not my brightest idea.

In late summer, or early autumn, I showed you the two posts about creating my quiver.

Over the past year, I drafted the overdress from the corset pattern, constructed it from the lining fabric (turquoise satin) as a muslin, then used those pieces to cut out the real fabric and sew it up. That was early autumn of last year. Then I stalled for months. At the end of the spring semester I started sewing the trim onto the top, and when I had the trim mostly on, I stalled again deciding what pattern I really wanted to paint. I got so fed up with it mid-July that I started on it with dots and then worked on the pattern as I went. I finished the painting mid-August, right before school started, and happy with myself, forgot that I actually needed to finish it.

I decided on the last Monday in September that I needed to finish the dress and get it photographed that weekend. This costume deserved better than my living room.

So a friend volunteered to be my photographer, and told me about this awesome library, and here are some of the photos!

back quiver back column quiver storybook back up

It’s about time after 2.5 years, right?

Maybe I’ll get pictures outside sometime, but for now I love these pictures, and this library!

Quiver – Part 2

My unfinished quiver sat around for over a month between the first part and todays, but it was mostly because I was trying to determine the best way to sew it up.

I thought I could maybe butt up the two sides so they would form a solid point… My leather was just a bit too floppy for this.

I thought maybe I could fold under and sew it up like a seam. My leather had just too much structure.

And then it became the lace versus waxed thread debate. And where would I even attach the belt?

So I waffled.

initial

But I knew that my TARDIS belt was going to be made of leather, and I have a policy for leather goods and myself, that I am not allowed to cut into leather if I’m still working on a different piece. So I had to finish the quiver.

stitching

Using my trusty awl, I punched holes every 1/4 inch both up the seam line and around the bottom, since I knew I’d be attaching a cap to the bottom.

Waxed thread was my “weapon of choice” in the end. I used a whip stitch, I guess, to sew up the seam, which seemed to hold it very stably.

inside

I had intentions of attaching the belt by running it through the quiver itself, but that didn’t pan out. For one, I only had as long as a partially used cow belly, which was not as long as I was expecting. Threading it through like that also made it really blocky and uncomfortable. Comfort is key in the costume game, especially since I’d already be wearing a corset, which is enough comfort-restraint.

top

So I ended up running a few loops of waxed threads to serve as attachments for the belt. It works well for now, but I’ll probably need to adjust it in the future.

Then I actually needed to make the belt.

belt

I wanted it to be something I could potentially wear, since I love the buckle so much. Isn’t it just the cutest shield ever? But I also knew the belt had to be long in order to cross my body like a messenger bag. So I made it as long as I could, and punched holes in various places, so I could wear it at my natural waist, or through jeans, or through the quiver. I cut a simple design using my swivel knife, just diagonal lines, and I tooled a few sections for some visual interest. It doesn’t show through the paint though, so I ended up painting a very subtle alteration between cream and ivory, based on my ability to mix paints well, which ended up with a more ivory batch right at the end of the painting cycle.

So that’s it for my quiver! Isn’t it purdy?

Quiver – Part 1

Even though Susan doesn’t actually wear her quiver with her final gown, it was still a must have prop for me.

Though it is very likely that the cosplay I see is not a full indication of people’s geeky interests, I’ve always thought that Narnia fans, of the movies more specifically, are more subdued (aka they don’t cosplay). There have been a few wonderful ones, but altogether the cosplay quantity is rather low.

tease

So the likelihood that I would be easily recognized from the costume alone (and with my hair, not a wig) is slim. I’m already risking the Lucy vs. Susan issue, with the red hair, but anything to make the costume more recognizable is good.

Plus I’ve always wanted a quiver for all the imaginary arrows I have.

The problem with Susan’s quiver is that it is likely meant to be ivory, or rather it was carved in one piece. There have been some good reproductions made with PVC pipe, but I didn’t have the requisite skill set. So I decided to use leather, something I do know a bit about.

I took pictures like this was a real tutorial, at least for this first half…  and then I let it sit for two months before I finished it. But that’s another story.

pattern

I started with posterboard, knowing that I had a limited amount of leather big enough to create this quiver. I drew a pattern, dragged a belt from the closet to “try it on” and fiddled with the pattern until it felt right. It slimmed down a bunch, and shortened as well, so that it would feel proportionally right on me.

Then came time to cut into the leather. I managed to find a big enough piece, and I used my rotary cutter to cut clean lines through… Leather is like fabric, right?

begintool

I had previously drawn designs for the top of the quiver, but they  didn’t precisely fit, so after some tweaking I got a useable pattern and traced it on. I cut into it with my swivel knife, and began tooling.

finishtool

And here it is with the design finalized!

The real quiver has a picture of Aslan carved in the bottom, but I didn’t want to take this that far.

So I began painting. I had both white and cream acrylic paint, neither of which was perfect, so I mixed the two and diluted with some water.

first

The first coat turned out streaky, and it ended up taking 4 coats before I was satisfied. In the tool-work, there’s still some areas of low paint, but I’m learning to give it up.

DSC03285

I then painted the initials with a grey and gold mix of paint (though technically it was a mix of cream, white, black, and gold), with the gold added in for a bit of sparkle… Not that its really visible, but it can be seen in real life.

Look out (hopefully) next week for part 2 of my quiver fun!

Catching up!

Last time we spoke, I was making socks.

Scratch that, I succeeded at socks. And actually right now I’m working on another pair.

I’ve been working on stuff since then, but slowly. And at the same time quickly. I seem to have made a lot of stuff, but for some reason it just seemed to come out of nowhere. Blog posts, however, did not.

Individual posts should be coming up soon for these, but here’s a snapshot of what I’ve got:

teaser

teaser

teaser

teaser

teaser

And a few more that aren’t quite completed or photographed yet.

I’ve also begun Christmas presents early… as in the aforementioned socks. I know that most people say that and then promptly fall off the wagon, but I’m a woman on a mission… Objective: finish gifts before November, or at least before December. That really means before finals season. I wish I could show you what I’m working on, but then I run the risk of ruining what little surprise they’ll have left.

Cooking has also come up recently as a thing. I’ll admit, I love to cook and bake and candy-make, but rarely do my concoctions turn out pretty, or appetizing to people other than me, or at all. For instance, the last bit of bread I made turned out tasty, I guess, but dense… Having now watched the video on how to actually make a round bread loaf, I think I’ll do better next time.

Knowing that I’m not a food blogger, and that I have no interest in becoming one, I think I’m going to start occasionally highlighting recipes that I’ve used or want to use. Making food can be cheaper than making clothing and yarn stuffs. And therefore I’ve been doing quite a bit of that this summer, so I’ve already got plenty of fodder for these posts.

Well then… talk to you soon! Err… sooner than the last time I posted.