Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween through the years.

Costumes have always been big in my family. My sister and I will don them at the slightest invitation, and sometimes just for random photoshoots. So, as you can imagine, we've always enjoyed Halloween. 

I blame my parents for the beginning. I mean, yes, it's a banana, but a pretty cute one, if I do say so myself!

Then began my obsession with Robin Hood. My brother and I wanted to go as Robin Hood and Maid Marian from the Disney version, so my parents had to figure out how to make us look like foxes. I think they succeeded!

Star Wars was a bit easier to pull off, even if my hair barely made it up into tiny buns and my sister needed another galactic princess invented for her. 

My sister's birthday falls just five days before Halloween, so we've had more than a few costume birthdays for her. This was the year she wanted us all to dress up as a decade from the 20th century. She was the 50's, I was the 70's. (My parents even dressed up for that one, but I'm going to spare them the internet fame here).

And this was us dressing up for the harvest festival at church. She was a crazy artist, I was Agatha Heterodyne from Girl Genius. No one knew who I was, of course, but I still felt cool.

And this year? Well, you'll just have to check back tomorrow to find out! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Most Popular Halloween Costumes, by State

An interesting map popped up on my Facebook Feed today.

See full image here
Lest you puzzle too much over why three states are obsessed with banana costumes, let me show you what I wore for my first trick-or-treating in Minnesota.

Me, not quite 2-years-old.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Guys, I am so sorry that I have not been more active here. I'm still battling some debilitating health issues and while I was able to get up and spend some time with my family yesterday, I'm by no means better yet. Thank you for your patience

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear everyone who made it on the queue

 -I owe you some timeline updates, but it's not going to happen until early next week as I am down with the flu and can't think straight. Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Costume Queue is CLOSED.

UPDATE: As of 5:30 on 10/15/14, the costume queue for Confessions of a Seamstress is closed - except for cloaks. We are setting up a separate list for Red's Cloak -  if you're interested in any standard cloak for 2015, please get on the list if you are not already.

Otherwise, we will not be accepting any further orders until September, 2015 (and no deadlines earlier than 2/28/16). You can still send me cost queries, although it may be awhile before I respond, since I prefer to answer these in batches.

In the meantime, I hope you check back often for sewing tips, costume tutorials and pictures, and design critiques from shows like "Once Upon a Time" and (starting in January) "Downton Abbey."

Please make sure that you read the entire FAQ page prior to placing your order.

The queue fills quickly, and I will track it on the sidebar so you can see how fast it is filling up.

I am not taking any orders for Red's Cloak in this commission form - we are seeing up a separate queue for Red's Cloak, which should have the first completed batch done in March. Get on the mailing list so you can keep up today with pricing, order and deadline details.

STOP! Before you order your costume, you need to first send me a cost inquiry. This is how you find out:

  • Is Confessions of a Seamstress able to make your costume?
  • How much will your costume cost?

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Cloak Mailing List

Red's Cloak is such a popular replica commission, that I source the work out to independent contractors in batches. We do a couple of batches a year, so if you want to get into the next one, sign up for the mailing list below!

(Want a cloak structured just like Red's, but with different fabric? That's fine, go ahead and sign up for the list. We'll take other cloaks in these batches too, as long as they're based off of the same pattern.)

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Purple Nebula Skirt

Having just shipped off another Red's Cloak, I decided to whip myself up a skirt before getting to work on setting up the queue.

I've had this purple organza for ages, I just haven't had the time to do something with it. I decided to make a simple circle skirt. Basically I cut out a circle at the center of the rectangle, stretch sewed it into the knit underskirt/waistband, and then hemmed it to cut off the triangle corners and create a perfect circle.

The waistband and underskirt are salvaged pieces from a pair of yoga pants that were unwearable due to their waistband being taken out for another project. Very stretchy and comfy!

For the waistband, I just stretched the knit pieces to line up along the organza, then stabilized the waistband with some elastic. 

It probably took me a little over an hour to throw the whole thing together, and now I've got a fun new skirt! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

OUAT - Long Hair and Weird Flowers

Not a ton of new costumes this week, although we did get one... interesting one.

My Screencap
 Little Bo Peep is evil and she has a dress that would be really lovely if not for the weird boob caps and huge center floral poof.

Also, Charming has long hair. Wha-at? Okay it makes sense that he wouldn't spend a lot of time cutting his hair, but why he isn't wearing it tied back out of the way, I don't know.

I didn't take any screen captures of Elsa's dress, but I did enjoy a closer look at some of the rhinestone detailing. Even if it is just a replica of the animated dress, it is still very well executed.

I've got a bit more to say about 4.2 as a whole over on my personal blog review.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Queries about Halloween Costumes (and the queue opening in general)

I've been getting several messages asking if I can make costumes in time for Halloween 2014. Sadly, my queue is much fuller than that, and in order to have gotten a Halloween 2014 safe deadline, you would have had to get in my queue January 2014.

Which means, if you want a costume for Halloween 2015, you'll want to get on my next queue, which I'll be opening this week!!!

I cannot promise any 2014 deadlines other than the ones I already have. I wish I could fulfill all of your costume dreams, but I can only work so fast and I have a manuscript due to my publisher, a family wedding to be in, and a bucketload of Christmas gifts to make.

The good news is that I am working out a system with two possible independent contractors to try and make more of my popular Red/Ruby's Cloak replica. Make sure you are on the queue opening alert list (see sidebar) to get all of the details about that!

This means I'll be spending less time personally on the cloaks (apart from finishing details) so that I can focus more on individual costumes. Good news all around, I think! I'm also trying to space my queue out to better allow for my unpredictable health issues and allow more time for any custom measurement situations.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

OUAT Loses some Originality

I was thankful to see on Tumblr that I'm not the only viewer who was saddened to see "Once Upon a Time" lose some of their originality in costuming on Sunday's episode, "A Tale of Two Sisters." Now it's not that the quality suffered at all, but the "Frozen" costumes were pretty much stitch for stitch replicas of the film costumes, not interesting interpretations of the original Disney designs.

Why is this a problem? Well, partially because what works in animated form isn't always great when rendered in real life materials. Elsa's dress is an example of this. I was tremendously excited by the interpretation we got in her cameo at the end of the Season 3 Finale. It was gorgeous and interesting and historical.

Don't misunderstand me. Elsa's blue dress in this week's episode was exquisitely made. It just wasn't anything new.


Anna's dress was more original, thankfully, even if the colors seem a tad too subdued for such a spunky heroine. The details on it are lovely, though, and her wedding dress is also scrumptous.


The design fits perfectly with everything we've seen from Arendelle fashion so far, and the details are gorgeous. 


However we're back to the movie template with Anna's final costume showing only slight changes.

OUAT has had a long track record of creating absolutely gorgeous original creations, with the closest nods to original dresses being Belle's blue and gold gowns, and even those were pretty creatively different. So why the sudden change of pace here for Anna and Elsa? 

It's simple. Anna and Elsa are the most popular princesses among little girls since "The Little Mermaid." Their dresses sell out among record time wherever they are stocked, and Disney World has struggled to keep any "Frozen" merchandise on hand. OUAT may be introducing the "Frozen" storyline because they love the movie, but they would be foolish not to capitalize on the huge fanbase the movie has and draw in new viewers. To do this, they have to keep the characters recognizable to the little five-year-old girls who are all about looking exactly like their favorite princesses and don't understand the concept of re-imagining dresses yet.

And of course they are right, because "A Tale of Two Sisters" had the biggest audience OUAT has seen in quite some time, despite being one of the weaker season openings. We can pretty much chalk that up entirely to the appearance of the beloved residents of Arendelle. 

But thankfully that northern realm didn't quite consume the episodes, because we still got a lovely honeymoon subplot with Belle and Mr. Gold that included new costumes for each.


I don't know about you, but until we got the sneak peek of this dress a few weeks ago, I certainly wasn't expecting the pleasure of a second reincarnation of Belle's gold dress. And I must say, I like this one even better! (Although the boob coverage shape is a little... odd.)

Now, on another costume front, how long do you think it is going to be before Hook decides he's tired of the heavy leather coat and wants to try modern clothes?