"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Going Steampunk, some goggles!

Ok so I'm not a true steampunk because well I'm not into the whole music subculture thing...it's just about the frocks and accessories for me as a historical cosplayer. ;)
But...I felt something was missing from my steampunkesque cosplays...goggles. They seem ubiquitus for the well dressed steampunk and I love how each is unique to the wearer. A little like when a jedi makes their own lightsaber.
I decided it was time to take the plunge and make my own. I researched other peoples goggle's (ok so by research I mean looked on pinterest. lol!) I also looked up several tutorials on youtube including this fab one from lostwax.
I didn't have all the stuff he suggested on hand, but I got the gist of how it worked and what shapes I needed to crete the goggles.
First I used baking paper to work out a pattern that would be the right scale and fit me. Then I raided all the cupboards for every last scrap of cardboard. I also ate two small tubes of pringles....I know the sacrifices I make...so I could use the plastic lids for 'lenses'.
With the help of my trusty hot gluegun I glued the main eye peices together, making sure to use the glue to malke rivit like dots on the front ot the eye peices. I then used brown acrylic paint to cover and make a good base.
I coloured in the rivits with a 'gold' marker pen. I also had an old cheap faux leather bag (primark) that I had cut up once the strap broke in my stash. I then cut out of the 'leather' two peices to over the bit of the eye peices that would sit against the skin. I also used the old handle to create the nose bridge.
I coloured in the lenses with a black marker pen. Glued them in the eye peices. then used some silver enamel paint to cover the glue in inside and out so it looked like solder. I also used the silver to 'distress' the inside of the eye peices.
I used craft knife to cut a slit in each eye peice. Then threaded through two peices of a belt. One side already had eyelets so I just put the brass split pin through to secure it. The other side I made holes with my tailors awl and put the split pin through. Then buckled it up.
Used gold marker pen to make swirly decorations and then it was complete-ish...
Not sure whether to add more decoration...for now I'm going for less is more as its my first pair. It's easier to add than take away.

Friday, November 14, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #21 - Redo (Stays)

The Challenge: #21 Redo - Shape and Support

Fabric: linen, canvas

Pattern: Butterick 4254
Year: 1780-1800

Notions: boning, emboridery floss, ribbon, bias binding

How historically accurate is it? this is my first attempt at 18th century stays. I'm not sure how authentic the pattern is. And my boning choice was modern. But it gives a good enough sillouette for what I want to do.

Hours to complete: lost count took me about a month.

First worn: For fittings for my dress.

Total cost: Pattern £6.50 + p&p, Boning approx. £8. Bias binding £4 approx. Ribbon £2 approx. Canvas £12. Linen £10.  £42.50 approx.

I did my mock up in denim using an old pair of jeans and rigaline taped on.
 Then cut out the peices in canvas and linen. Sewed the linen to one layer of canvas.
 Then sandwiched boning between that layer and the 2nd canvas layer.
 Then I sewed the panels together. Sewed 'tape' down the seams.
 Then tackled binding the tabs. Arggh! My poor fingers.
 Then started on doing the eyelets by hand. They got better as I went along. You can tell which are the first ones I did.
 Then I bound the top of the stays and laced them up.



Close up of eyelets and spiral lacing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

18th Century Dress - the Plan

The plan is for this dress is it will be able to adapt to several 'cosplays' as well as working for historical events in the future.  I started with researching the era on pinterest. I also check to see what I had enough fabric of in my 'stash'.

The red dress above seen in the scarlet pimpernel was just what I had in mind. It can be dressed up or down and I love the combination of the black fichu with the red gown.
I then found a pattern in the book that would give me a close enough look. (I think this is the original garment). I wanted to be able to polonaise the skirts so I could wear it down or up with a shorter skirt for a more piratical ensemble. The sleeves are shorter than the one in the pimpernel as I have found that comicons are always boiling hot and stuffy inside. And when you wear a fichu as well as all the requisite layers its probably going to be pretty toasty.

Cosplays this could work for include:

  • Pirates of the carribean
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Clockwork Droid
  • Margo Blakeney
  • Barmaid victorian clara (I know its not victorian but to the casual observer not aquainted with historical fashion it would work)
  • Marie Antoinette

Saturday, November 8, 2014

18th Century Dress - the sleeves

This being my first attempt at drafting a sleeve I followed the instructions in the book. But the instructions on how to turn the diagram below into a workable pattern was rather confusing.
So I used a little trial and error to make the basic pattern. Then I modified it to match one of the dleeve patterns in 'patterns of fashion'.

It wasn't possible to match exactly as I wanted ease in the sleevecap.
It looked ok when I pin fitted the paper pattern but I will need to try in fabric next.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

18th Century bodice sloper...well nearly

After finishing my 18thC stays (yes there's a post coming about them) instead of making the shift like a good girl I skipped stright to the fun part the dress. I know the petticoats are super quick and easy to do. But it was the bodice I needed to work on.
So I started with patterns of fashion. Scaling up one of the bodices for the dresses. This did not work.
When I laid it on my stays it didn't look right or like up without drastic modification. Plus the armhole was a odd shape.
So back to the drawing board..literally. I draw out patterns leaningon a board. lol! I started with tracing round the pannels of my stays. Then I added to the centre back about 1-2inches. To the CF about 3 inches. Raised the neckline front and back. Then shorterned the bottom edge to the waistline (that's the bit above the tabs). Now I pin fitted and found I needed to take a large pleat out of the back. So I turned it into a seamline instead.
This was the result. Now I cut out in fabric. And machine tacked it together. Cut out 2 strips to be straps which I sewed on the back, but pinned on the front.
Tried it on again with the stays, adjused the straps and found I had to slightly alter the back seams.
 My high rounded shoulders strike again.
 So far its looking ok.
Well apart from the front but my dress for isn't adjustable so it won't fit as its not my shape with stays. Not on the front neckline. I found myself pinning the neckline lower...but that is only comfortable if I wear a fichu.
I also had a bash at trying to draft sleeves...my nemisis. I won't know the result till I cut the toile sleeves.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

MCM Comicon Oct 2014 - the Report

So I only went for the saturday. This was first time at mcm comicon. I had been to a few events at the excel before so I knew the route was a easy one. I have to say it was much more organised than LFCC on the queuing front. Clear signs, high up so you could see them and pleanty of stewards spread out telling you where to go and what queue to join. I was however a little dissapointed by the choice of talks and number/choice of guests which to be honest didn't interest me.
We got there at just after 10am and the crowds moved steady, until you got inside where it suddenly all sped up. It was actually a good chance to see cosplays as people passed back and forward.

Once we picked up out wristbans and got in the main area we headed stright into the first 'hall'. There was stalls further than the eye could see and that was just one of two halls. I plan of action was needed, working theough them systematically. We got a few people ask for photo's on the way which was great.
Had a nice conversation with a steampunk comicbook artist. I'm not a comic fan but her stuff wasn't all scantily clad females and blokes with guns which is usual comic fayre. It was actually something I would read.
There was also a stall selling little steampunk novelties...I couldn't resist buying the 'emergency teabags'.

But it was soon lunchtime and my feet were aching so much so stopped at a stand for tea and lunch.
There was a lot on the stalls to tempt you, I had a very limited budget so I couldn't buy all I liked. There was a stand doing professional photo's so I thought I'd get a proper photo while my cosplay was still pristine.
There was a Steampunk area. It was quite compact so I had to be careful not to clear the tables with my bustle.
 There was some nice outfits on show as well as steampunked memorabelia.

 My fave outfit was the 7th doctor version.

It took a little while to start to pluck up the courage to ask others for photo's. But once we got outside there was more space to stop and take photo's.
 The place was packed. People sitting in every available space.
 Milling around and stopping to ask for photo's.
 I even got a few photo's I liked of myself which is very rare. There was a Doctor Who photoshoot and as I was in my femme 8th doctor outfit I joined in the classic's line up.
 There's was nearly a full line up..

who shrunk the TARDIS?

 There was even a Missy cosplayer already.
And Captain Jack was having his usual effect on the doctor's companions it seems. lol!
It was nice to meet and chat with the other doctor who cosplayers. There was even two other femme doctors.

I cut off my head because although this is good photo of the outfit...my wig had slipped out of postion and just looked silly. How do you keep wigs in place all day? It started off ok but even with a million pins and a wig cap it moved. I wonder if it was because the weight of the hair was all at the back and a more balanced distribution would balance it more.

Monday, October 27, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #20 - Alternative Universe (Fan)

The Challenge: #20 Alternative Universe

Fabric: N/A
Pattern: N/A
Year: 1770-1880 well any era really...time travel you see

Notions: Plain Fan, watercolours

How historically accurate is it? As this is alt universe I went off on a tangent. I used 18th and 19th century fans for my inspiration, but I made it tie in with the Doctor Who theme.

Hours to complete: 3 hours ish with drying time.

First worn: 25th October

Total cost: £5.99

Every Timelady needs her own sonic fan...

I decided to incorperate symbols from Doctor Who. In the Centre of course the TARDIS on a yellowy-orange background to represent gallifrey.

To the right some Gallifreyan writing as featured in the new series.

To the left the Seal of Rassilon to represent the classic series.

And scattered in between various timelord symbols. And on the edge questionmarks a symbol that appeared in the latter half of classic 'who'. So the fan represents Past, present and future.