totchipanda: (floppy panda)
My costume had it's first wear out this past weekend, and well, it wasn't quite what I hoped it would be. I had months to finish it, so I was totally sewing pre-eyeleted tape to the front edges to lace it closed the night before I left. Yep. I had a pair of "moto pants" (basically leggings in a thick fabric with some seaming details) that were "good enough", as well as sueded boots (could only find my black ones; they were grey by the end of the 2nd day there was so much dust and dirt blowing around), so I just needed to finish the "coat" to have it be wearable/recognizable. But then Saturday exploded and it was cold and windy, so I wore my Jedi cloak all day and I didn't want people to stop me for photos anyway, so I have literally one photograph of it, which you can see at my blog. (I'm making the doofiest face. Graham McTavish is such a lovely man.)

The lacing gaped and pulled, I used a Victorian pattern for the bodice so I'm not convinced my boobs were in the right place for it, the "skirt" fell away from my body when it should have remained straight down the front (and if I understand the book below, the version of the costume I want to do doesn't even have a skirt on that piece), I think I need to line and weight the petals... Hard to say. As I said, it was cold and windy, and my cloak and jacket were both poly, and they clung to each other something fierce. Having the right pants made might help too, the moto pants are pretty staticky too. I probably won't wear it again until September, I will have a long time to figure this out.

I picked up the Cloak and Daggers book at the con, hoping it would have detailed costume pictures. I'd seen a couple of scans that suggested it would. It had not nearly as many as I was hoping (I would enjoy an entire book the same size on Mirkwood costumes alone), and at the same time, far more than I was hoping it would. It wasn't just costumes too, it was set dressings, weapons, and props. Lovely resource and well worth the $50 it cost me. I hope I can pick up other books soon :) (I also dropped my money on the floor, and when I picked it up one of the ladies, who had the most lovely New Zealand accent, told me I could throw my money at her instead. I would love to! I want this book, please take my money!!)

The two best pages for Tauriel (for me) was the mention that her cloak is raw silk (me: HA! I KNEW IT!!! Go me for learning enough to recognize raw silk on sight :)) and the page that contains a front view of just her undershirt on a mannequin. I knew she had one, it's quite visible in a couple of scenes, but I ran out of time to make one (and I so need one), so now being able to see it, even only half of it, is WONDERFUL. I'm going to experiment with wearing a corset underneath as the base layer and see if that helps the gaping and pulling and also puuting my boobs where they belong. Gosh I can't wait to get started on that undershirt though :) I didn't know how long it needed to be, and now I do. Yay!
totchipanda: (floppy panda)
Finished the trimming on my dress and HAD to get dressed up :D :D :D

le pictures! )

Not shown, the massive (?) amount of blood my finger left all over the inside of the bodice and front of the skirt after I stabbed pins into it trying to pin the dress closed... (I started the dress about a year ago, used a bodice pattern that fit then, but it's been a year and also late at night...)

Ladies wot do 18th century... how do you keep your shift sleeves from bunching up into your armpits? I could NOT get them down, very uncomfortable. (Also reminded myself why you do socks and shoes BEFORE corset/stays. Eesh, self, really?)

Still need to rehem the petticoat, and hem the gown, (and clean up the blood) but then it is DONE.


Feb. 22nd, 2015 09:54 am
totchipanda: (Default)
I had been wondering what to do about my pants/leggings for Tauriel. Since I bought pleather, I KNOW I'm going to lose the surface of them from where my legs rub together. No one will ever really see them that much, since she always wears some kind of long skirted thing, but it will bug me.

Then I remembered that I had a pattern for riding breeches with a leather seat insert that covers the backside and inner legs, all the parts guarateed to be touching a horse or saddle. I thought at first I could make the insert out of yoga pant material but I could also make it out of a non-stretchy cotton, which would make them a bit more comfortable too. Excellent idea! I pulled my pattern out on Friday night and made a mock-up.

The pattern, a discontinued Suitability riding habit and breeches (The habit is included in another pattern, and I think the breeches are also available separately), has confusing sizing. On one chart, measurements are given in dress sizes -- Bust, waist, hip. According to that, I need a 16/18 in waist/hip. But then the chart given for the breeches, which includes thigh, knee and calf circumferences (but not waist or hip), are given in pant sizes -- 22-40. Ehhhh? According to the chart, my leg measurements are too large even for the 40. But I thiiiink the sizes are for waist measurements? This sounds like Advanced Patterning 101 to me... I cut the waistband at a size 32 but left the full pants at 40. I can always take it in. Then I cut the patterns out of some t-shirt material (thinner and more stretchy than my pleather) and the seat out of some cotton quilting material and sewed it up.

The fit was good through the hip, knee and calf, but around the hip and waist... ahahaha. It is FAR too large. I have unattractive diaperbutt, and possibly too much material through the rise. Alterations are really not my strong point, but I need to figure this out before I cut into the pleather. It was late on Friday night when I made this up so I put it aside for another day, and yesterday I had other plans. Just now I thought I might be able to use a pants pattern that I know fits me well to modify a bit into the top of the breeches. Hmm. I shall ponder this :)
totchipanda: (The Boulder Does Not Approve)
This costume makes no darn sense >:C

In which I spend way too much time thinking about this. )

I really have been thinking about approaching this from a practicality point of view. Like, if some of the outfits do have removable skirts, the question becomes less why and more HOW? I would feel most comfortable lacing one onto the bodice, but there could be arguments for them being stitched in loosely too. Either one I feel is impractical. Threads and laces can break, and your enemy will not wait for you to remove the offending loose fabric/ties to get back to the ass-kicking.
totchipanda: (OMFG YES!Toph)
I'm sure I said "no new fabric" at some point in the last couple of months, to be enacted this year. That didn't last long. But most of my stash is blue, not green, and wouldn't know it, a woodland elf wears a lot of green. I went to the store on Sunday and I did find most of what I wanted, but it was SO busy and I got SO hot and dehydrated in about 20 minutes that I decided to go home and come back before the sale ended on Thursday. I HAD planned on going Thursday, but then thought that I'd probably go tonight. I'd have about an hour after dance to do it.

Well I did. And I got the fabric for the dress and vest, and unexpectedly for the pants/leggings too. I'm planning to wear it in April, so I gotta get started on those bits, finding a wig, getting ears, and the belt. And maybe boots. I have boots that will likely work but they are suede, so that may require some work. Having prop weapons would be nice too but I won't worry about those.

Squee! New fabric! That has a purpose!

In dance tonight we started work on the choreography. Next week we start balancing swords on our heads :D
totchipanda: (Default)
My brother and I saw the third Hobbit movie again on Friday, and I kind of want to go a third time? I have decided that I am going to cosplay Tauriel probably this year. I didn't really know how I felt about her as a character for this past year and a bit. I came to realize yesterday that some of the best things about her are that she is one of the only female characters in the entire movie series (not strictly canon), and we get to see her being talented at what she does, which is being bad-ass, all while still being feminine, AND (in my mind, most importantly):

She gets to wear sensible shoes.

So tired of movies with female characters who wear shoes with a heel. It's so impractical. Even in Sucker Punch, I remember noticing that in the first fantasy sequence, Baby wore ridiculously tall heels, and then in some of the fight-parts, the stunt person was clearly wearing flats, to go back to the main actress wearing heels. Let's face it, most heels just aren't well-suited to nancing about the mountains.
totchipanda: (Default)
I had a brain-wave last night/today. I really need a new Victorian corset, and I think the only way I'm going to get one that fits the way I want it to without spending big bucks on a custom one is to make it myself. I was going to make a gussted one for one of the previous HSF challenges this year but discovered too late that my busk is much too long, so I put it off for the time being. I'm aiming to have it done for a future challenge instead.

I've been poking at various patterns for a couple nights. My next challenge entries are "soft" (small, easy things) so I'm planning on working on the corset in stages so that I have time for fitting. I was going to use Truly Victorian's pattern because it's a 6-panel corset that I made once before (but never finished), and should be easy to get the fit right. But every time I look at it, I'm not overly enthusiastic about starting work. Maybe because I'm having a hard time starting a new project of any sort right now? (Seriously, it took me 2 weeks to start reading a book I really really wanted to read! And then I devoured it in about 3 days.)

Then today I was looking at some blogs and their newest (and some not-so-new but still lovely) corsetry and BAM! It was like lightning. After a day in my corset in San Antonio, it was pulling in my lower back, especially over the left hip (where I have the most damage from the sprain 5 years ago). When I tried it on a couple weeks ago, I got some weird pinching in the rib cage (and not even the same side as the one I broke). What did these lovely examples have in common? Hip gussets with no or minimal boning over the back hip. Both examples, and then some of the inspirational examples linked, had boning at the lacing, and some diagonal boning at the upper back, but none over the hips. Over the bust, there was boning next to the bust, and angled from the bust and sides and ending at the front hip, but not the same up-and-down-at-every-seam pattern you see with seamed corsets.

It was like lightning. I must have spent a couple hours scouring the internet for gusseted patterns and boning patterns. I might be able to replicate the boning pattern with a seamed corset, but I'm really more determined to create a gusseted one now. I don't want to change the shape of my body much at all; I mostly want a good foundation garment that's comfortable and not too heavy. It just has to fit and not cause my back injury or ribs to hurt. My belly resists shaping in pretty much any shaping garment I put it in, and I'm OK with that, but the rest of it has to fit too. I'm hoping the gussets will allowing my hips to do their thing and also not squash my chest flat. I don't have a lot of demands...
totchipanda: (Default)

You guuyyssss I finished it :D I tried it on today and did a happy swishy skirt dance :3 I can't wait to wear it somewhere!

Read more... )


Jan. 11th, 2014 07:28 pm
totchipanda: (mokona~)
I feel weird posting in-progress stuff to the Official Blog, so enjoy some bad photos ;)

Pink gown )
totchipanda: (mokona~)
I solved my costume dilemma! Yay! Whilst browsing the internets today for 18th century jackets (as you do), I found a post on a Belgian painter who did "common" scenes. Delightful! Look at all those mismatched outfits! The Interior of a Forge was particularly intriguing because she's wearing a dark green jacket and light-coloured petticoat. Excellent! Then I thought about some fabric I have, 2m of a wool-look polyester that I call "cream" but is really closer to "butter" that I've had my eye on for petticoats since I bought it and had just never picked which era I wanted to make it in. I may need to look at dulling the colour a bit, I recall it being quite bright (it also wouldn't match anything I currently have in the works). I even touched it this past weekend, but as the organization of my apartment is going to be a very slow, ongoing process that may take me all year, it's still in a box, and that box is at the bottom of a pile that I'm unwilling to dig out tonight. Soon. I'm still going to catch up on my HSF'13 challenges, and it will fit nicely into one of them :) I'm a little worried it will look out of place with a green linen jacket, but I will go ahead with it anyway. I could use a wool-like under-petticoat for something else, and keep my eye out for a more appropriate "matching" fabric to make a jacket/dress out of too.

Now to make a decision about this linen/cotton fabric, and decide what I want to work on Nicole's this Sunday.
totchipanda: (Default)
(I apologize for missing words and leaps of logic. Englishing and braining is very hard right now.)

I was hoping, hoping so hard that this year's first two months of plagues was going to be it for this year, but I am not so fortunate. We took my dad to the hospital a couple weeks ago because he looked and felt terrible (just a flu, but at least us taking him there and staying until 2:30am made him realize that he really does need to stay home and rest when he's sick, even if he's the only one who can do parts of his job), and then of course this past weekend was Animethon (small-ish con areas with around 4k attendance) and on Sunday I was with three people who'd spent their weekend with someone who had a cold, so I have no idea where I contracted Plague #7, but I did. I don't think it was my dad, as I have no fever (if anything my temperature is LOW; lowest was 36.1C, normal temp is 37), but I could have gotten it anywhere. Woke up yesterday feeling just "wrong", and by this morning my sinuses were super-congested. My ears feel plugged a little too. Thankfully I have tomorrow off so hopefully I can shake the worst of this by then.

WorldCon is coming up really really fast. As in, 2 weeks from RIGHT NOW, I will be in San Antonio. I've made a preliminary costume list that I REALLY need to finalize ASAP so I can pack appropriately, and also get my ass in gear for sewing. I still need to make a Jedi outfit and the bits of a new Victorian gown. I'm trying to avoid wearing a corset for too long too many days in a row.

Thursday: ??
Friday: ??
Saturday: ?? / Evening - Tangerine ballgown.
Sunday: New!gown
Monday: 11th Doctor.

We're also staying a couple extra days to take in the sights around San Antonio, so that will be fun :3 I have to time my savings bond redemption next week so that I have some spending money (which, as usual, will likely revolve around eating lol).

Also in WorldCon news, I decided to apply for a slot in the writer's workshops :3 I initially was on a waiting list, about 5th in line, and replied that I was fine with that. I didn't expect to get in. Then last Monday, she emailed me saying that if I could get my story in that night, I might be able to get a spot. Holy cow!! [ profile] mew_infinity helped me a lot to get the summary and scene down, so I submitted it. Then I heard that all the stories had been read, and to wait to pay the fees since the website was acting funny. I finally heard that that was working, submitted payment, and it's official. I have a workshop on Friday from 4-6 :D So excited! And also terrified, because I've never had anything I've written professionally critiqued before. I hope I can get my brain around remembering that a critique is not a personal attack. And I have to read and prepare my critiques for the other 2 stories in my group.

And just today, I've accepted another writing project due on August 26th (right before I leave). Whoops? LOL. I wish I had more brains right now, they've been forced out to make way for snot :/

So my current to-do list for the next 10 days is as follows:

Jedi outfit (have robe, planning on boots and leggings, borrowed belt. Just need underlayer and outerlayer and underbelt)
Victorian bodice and overskirt
read and critiques
short blog post about novel plotting
figure out other costumes

Deep breaths. I can do it.
totchipanda: (Default)
I made a blog post a couple days ago about the first historical costume I ever fell in love with, complete with loving descriptions of how I remember the way the sun slanted through the windows of the library as I pulled a costume book off the shelf and flipped through it :3

It all started about 15 years ago when I fell in love with a 1775-ish polonaise in Patterns of Fashion. I knew nothing about historical dress beyond the current century and some very specific eras thanks to Christian Bale movies, high school English class, and SCA-going (step)parents. My areas of focus were 14th century and earlier, one memorable gown from Romeo & Juliet, Civil War and one or two Victorian gowns. This highly structured creature with voluminous puffed up skirt was magnificent.

But what did I know about wearing it, let alone creating it? Nothing. Not to mention, I hated sewing. It wasn't until I started making and wearing gothic lolita clothes and Victorian outfits that I started to love it. Now, nearly 10 years after that, I know so much more about construction and the importance of wearing ALL of the layers, but I've still never considered an 18th century gown.

I shouldn't QUITE say that. I did make a dress once, from a now-discontinued Butterick pattern. It didn't fit super-well. This was before I really "got" the importance of underpinnings.

I don't even know what set this newly rediscovered love off, but I am determined to make that gown (or very similar) this year. I don't care that I have nowhere to wear it, I will MAKE places to wear it. I've ordered some patterns to get some ideas of better historical accuracy (I don't feel comfortable drafting out curves in a commercial pattern and I can no longer fit into the Butterick one, and also don't feel comfortable resizing it) and hopefully a decent pattern without too much effort :3 I was hoping they'd arrive before the weekend because I doubt that there'll be any mail until next Thursday, but for some reason, they shipped from Virginia and went to Puerto Rico. Maybe before the new year, if I'm lucky.

Watch this space for giant asses of DOOOOOOOOOOOOM!! Appearing soon in an LJ near you.
totchipanda: (*love*)
As some of you know/may remember, every year since 2009 we go out to Stettler, Alberta and ride their train down to Big Valley and back. We go when the big 6060 steam engine is running, because steam engines (especially really big ones; it was built to go through the mountains and snow) are cool ;) The first year, only Mum and I dressed up. 2010 had 16 people in costume, and 2011 we had 21 people. Other passengers always assume that we're staff, but we just like the excuse to dress up. We're going on a steam train; what ELSE would you wear?

Also worn during WorldCon in Reno, NV :3 (Ms Gail, I missed your Kaffeeklatch by being the first person on the reserve list :( )

I wish I had worn this like we'd planned to while taking the train from Carson City to Virginia City when we were down for WorldCon. I would have LOVED to be dressed like this on their downtown boardwalk :3

More pics and construction notes )

Why I'm entering this in the contest. )
totchipanda: (Default)
Sometimes I forget to post here... it's so much easier to take photos with my phone and post them to facebook. But I got really excited about a new project so, here you go.

I'm using the Mantua Maker Regency corset pattern. I made the Sense and Sensibility short stays but I made it in the wrong size and it digs in painfully around my ribs. I already have a dress done (also from S&S) and she says that you can wear it with regular bra, but I like the look much better with the proper undergarments. I guess I have some other posts to make about all of that lol.

Anyway, the pattern discusses hand sewing techniques. We had to move all of our crap to the middle of the floor for a bedbug spray again, so I couldn't really get to my machine and am not 100% where the box of thread and stuff wound up, so I sewed it all together by hand today. Didn't take too terribly long. Probably not much longer than it would have been by machine anyway. Well, I sewed one layer. I need to get to my fabric bins before I can even start the other two layers. I can't really try it on until I get some extra hands to help hold it closed, but what little I was able to determine is that it should fit just fine :3

Here, have some pictures :D )
totchipanda: (Default)
But first, my day. )

Made mock-ups of the simplicity patterns today. The "nice" bodice is... not gonna work as it is. I added an inch in front for fitting, and even laced on my corset to check fit, and while it closes at the boobs, the waist gaps horrendously. It really just made me think that I just need to remake the steel corset as I like the fit and support of it better (minus the gapping issues) and just make adjustments and stuff from there. Now I also want a forepart to go under my skirt, plus I want to make my own hoop, and all these fiddly bits need to be done before I can make any real progress. Sigh. I think I may take a trip to Fabricland and the hardware store on Wednesday, if the weather is nice enough.

But the doublet pattern should work, if I add extra seam allowances to all the bodice seams (not shoulder or collar), so that is good, at least.

Hair cut tomorrow. First time in 2 years.
totchipanda: (Default)
Today I was playing with patterns and the like, and decided to try and "fix" the steel-boned corset I made 3 years ago. The top couple grommets have always been able to over-lap, and the bottom gaps some 6 inches. Grf. I put in a couple gussets about 2" wide each, and that seems to have corrected most of the gap issue. Now I just have some problems with a couple of the bones twisting in their channels and digging into my skin. And I think I want to modify this so it laces up the front too, OR just re-make it entirely with the changes. Need to look into that. I don't know when my next event will be, which is about the only place I can wear something like this.

I've got this pattern that I think will work for the doublet I want like nobody's business, with changes to the waist (no attached skirt) and shoulder (no attached sleeves; I'll have to add wings or a roll or something). I need to make a mock-up of it and the other view's bodice to see if it will work as a base pattern. Earlier in the day, I put on a hoop, bumroll, and the two skirts I made (also 3 years ago) and DAMN it was fun to nance about the house XD It's definitely my "stand still and look pretty" outfit, I'm so excited to finish it.

Also, if anyone's got ideas on how to keep the bones twisting in the channels, I will happily consider them :D


Feb. 28th, 2011 10:41 pm
totchipanda: (Old Spice: Hello Ladies)
Got the pics of my finished outfit from my sister :3 Complete with silly face and feast token.


Downside to finishing this is now I feel like I should be working on a sewing project, but there isn't a lot I need to work on right now? I keep reminding myself I can work on Regency now, but it's been a cranky couple of days, and the -38C windchill outside means the basement is cold enough to cause my fingers to stiffen up and become less sensitive for finicky tasks o-o My next project doesn't need to be done until the middle of May, I'm in no hurry to start it. (Hello there, Ashura costume, you WILL be made this year.)
totchipanda: (Toothless: Unimpressed.)
Losing hope on having an Elizabethan dress done for next Saturday :( I work every day from two days ago until then, and all I have done is a bodice mock-up. I made another mock-up today of Margo's pattern, and UGH what a pain. Granted, the pattern was traced out three years ago, but even without my undergarments and bundled in three layers (it's -31C in the wind, which means the house is pretty cool too), I had to punch in the bust by 4" on each side, which totally changes the look. And now I read that a bumroll should sit lower on your backside? Bleh. Well, I will probably keep going anyway, since I REALLY REALLY WANT THIS DONE, but it's not looking too likely. I refuse to stress myself out over costumes right now.

Also, I have a newfound love of Regency gowns, and I cannot wait to get started on at least 2 of those :3

Also-also, I really hate that I can't seem to write anything outside of nano :( My brain used to overflow with tales, and now it's a wadi. Though I did have a small spark of inspiration while at work today, it probably didn't even top out at 400 words.
totchipanda: (Default)
As promised, pics of the current Elizabethan sewing projects :D

3 pics )

Next on the table is a farthingale. I started making it with a length of stained cotton broadcloth curtains using a period pattern, but I think I will scrap that and use a commercial pattern instead.

I have a large green binder with all the instructions for Margo Anderson's patterns, but since I've moved twice last year, I have zero idea where it might be. I would really like to be able to at least read up on her patterns.
totchipanda: (Ashura (RG Veda))
Another costume option... I decided that I should make a costume that I already have a wig for, and this one's been on my radar for the last few years. I made a Rg Veda child Ashura in 2005, but I didn't have a wig, and I just don't have the slim, elegant figure that he does. This costume would at least hide some of my apparent "imperfections". somewhat large pic )

The only trouble right now is, pricing out fabric, I could probably make it cheaper from stuff from the store if I catch the right sales (IF...) and if I'm willing to sacrifice some of my hmmm... integrity? to make it. I really want non-slubby silk, but the chain here doesn't sell anything but. I haven't looked any of the sari shops in town, but I'm not convinced they'll have what I want either. Nor, for that matter, will the online store I'm currently looking at. *le sigh* Right now, I'm looking at $200 US or so, just for fabric and the means to dye it, not including accessories. Guh.

I would really love to have it for this years' con circuit, but it just doesn't look feasible atm...

Another option is Shinku from Rozen Maiden, or Princess Peach. Both would be significantly less in cost.


totchipanda: (Default)

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