Friday, August 30, 2013

Belle Blue - Round 5

Believe it or not, I actually like repeating costumes. Well, some of them anyhow (there are a few I wouldn't want to make again unless I was charging a LOT more...). For the most part, though, it's nice to have gone through the ropes already, so I know what works and what needs further tweaking. 

I'm actually not tired of making Belle's Blue Dress from "Once Upon a Time" even though this is the fifth incarnation. Happily each version has had some differences that make it unique, so I've not be doing the exact same thing each time.

This customer lives in a warm climate, and requested that the blouse be simply the sleeves and neckline inserted into the bodice. This required the inclusion of a modesty panel under the lacing, which accomplished her other request - that there be snaps or hooks assisting in holding the laced edges together.

Another difference with this version is that, in line with make it more warm climate friendly, I opted to create the blouse out of cotton voile, rather than chiffon. The voile was actually more delicate and fussy to work with, but it made a really soft, lovely finished product.

And here you can see a close-up on the embroidery work.

It's always a bit more challenging to work on a plus-sized customer, but I'm quite happy with how nicely this all turned out.

This is the second costume to include a petticoat, which once again I think is a really fun addition.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hook and Milah - or Some True Confessions

Well, welcome to the post chronicling one of the coolest and craziest costumes I've done this year so far. This was a huge order (six pieces) and due to sickness and not having as much assistance as I'd originally planned, I ended up having to rush the order more than I would have liked. In the end there were a few pieces that were not completed to my normal standard and since neither my customer nor myself were satisfied with that, she did end up returning one of the pieces. I learned a lot about communication and particularly what to do and not do when a project gets rushed, and my customer gave me really valuable feedback about all of that. It was super stressful to deal with at the time, but I feel I'm a better business person because of it.

Anyhow, down to the costume details!

So many cool fabrics on this project. Lots of pleather, which looks cool but is a pain to work with. This was all happening right in the middle of my mole removal-gone-way-too-complicated thing, and I actually ended up bleeding from the head on the way home from getting this fabric. After all, you can't have a pirate costume without fighting for it, right? (Don't worry. No blood got on any fabric.)

You can't pin pleather as the holes will not 'heal up' like woven or knit fabric. This meant for some seams like attaching the boning I had to use... tape!

Pleather corset!!!

My assistant Hannah did the majority of the grunt work on the black blouse for Hook and it turned out fabulously! She also did a lot on the red vest, which turned out so cool!

Side view of it all coming together.

Back with tie for adjustability.

To create the coat we combined two different patterns.

Coat lining!

Milah's bodice! From the pictures it was difficult to tell exactly what was going on with the neckline, so I made up this gathering bit. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

Milah's vest coming together. (We had a bit of a mix up over the fabric for this vest... this was the piece that ended up getting returned.)

Adding the bias binding along the edge of Hook's vest.

Buttons added and rivets in progress!

The details kind of excite me.

I mean look at them!

About this point my customer pointed out that the vest had longer sides. While I added some on, I also noticed something else in the original picture... Milah is actually wearing TWO vests! Above you can see the color treated picture I edited to make the difference between the two garments clear. No wonder I had so much trouble designing it... unfortunately it was too late to do much with it.

I added coattails in the back, so that it's really still pretty cool, but it doesn't lay right for Milah, especially without the other undervest. The corset also was slightly problematic as I didn't insert the last two pieces of boning so that it ended up buckling in the back. And the coat, as you can see, is a bit on the big side, but in our rush to get everything done in time, we didn't have time to fuss more with it. 

(This is all part of why I'm revamping how I accept commissions... so that these rushes never happen again!)

Still, despite the hitches, the coat did turn out REALLY cool.

While my customer ended up wearing a different corset and returning the vest, she nontheless managed to look really amazing. And doesn't her husband look the spitting image of Hook?

And I believe I can safely say that these were my first costumes to go to the San Diego Comic Con!!! Cool, huh?

Like I said before, it's hard to deal with not being able to be perfect 100% of the time. Still, I learned a lot from this project that I am grateful for, as it helped me tackle and change some issues I'd already been having but wasn't sure how to deal with.

UPDATE 5/7/2015 - check out the other version of Hook's costume I've made here!

Friday, August 23, 2013

There is an actual Queue Board and this is how I made it

I talk about my queue board a lot, but did you know that I have an actual board I keep track of all of my orders on?

I took two magnetic whiteboards (less than $5 apiece at Target) and glued them onto a long piece of cardboard.

I then covered the boards as seamlessly as possible with pink cardstock. I first tested to make sure that the magnets would still work strongly on top of both the cardstock and any paper I wanted to affix to it magnetically.

I then created a grid by gluing down thin pink ribbon evenly over the paper.

To finish the edges nicely, I created a border of a wider pink ribbon and lace.

I then glued/taped down all of the excess thin ribbon...

...which I covered by wrapping thick white ribbon around the whole thing. I left excess ribbon at the top to hang it on the wall.

I then affixed two long loose ribbons to separate the catagories I wanted to distinguish later.

For magnets I bought simple black and white rounds (also at Target). I covered them with light pink acrylic paint. It took a couple of coats to cover the black completely.

I then found some sparkly beads...

...and glued them to the top of the magnets to finish them off.

All that remained was to create a cute little box at the bottom to hold the blank info cards and a pen.

Voila! Queue board! (names removed for privacy)

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

No, it's not Merida, I swear!

Years ago, before my work sewing got so intense I didn't even have time to sew for myself, I made a costume for my dear friend Meg as a birthday/Christmas present.

And when I say years ago, I mean six years ago. Long before Merida came on the scene. Still, uncanny resemblance, no?

Anyhow, Megs and I have been meaning to get a photoshoot of this costume for awhile. Finally were able to last week.

The costume needs a bit of reworking, since it was made for a teenager and Megs is now quite grown-up! Perhaps a future birthday/Christmas present?

But overall we are still both very happy with this piece, which we had a great deal of fun designing together.

My kitties seemed to enjoy the photoshoot as well.