Tuesday, 3 September 2013

I moustache you a question...

How do I look with facial hair?

So, I ordered hairy stuff from maxwigs.com, and had to try on the moustache. Oh yes, instant Sabertooth right there.

I also got a beard for the dwarf lady, but I think I'll have to style/tame it before I can show it off.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Pretty hairstuffs

I attended Natsucon in Tromsø a few weeks ago and made some cute accessories to sell. In addition to the stand, I also talked about Victorian fashion and held a short crash-course in how to start sewing.

There were loads of awesome people. I recruited some people for a Victorian sewing group. I'm going to make a new Victorian outfit, underpinnings and all, so I thought people might want to join in on the excruciating fun.

One of my roomies works in a yarn store. It has resulted in a lot of knitting for all of us. This is my last creation, some simple legwarmers in super soft alpaca.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Costume plans

There hasn't been much sewing as of late. Life's gotten in the way. For the rest of 2013 I have two costumes I know I have to finish and a third I might get started on if I have the time. (The Edwardian gown from April has been taken apart. The insides were rather messy and there is no sense in working on something you'll end up hating and not wearing.)


The first costume on my list is an actual cosplay, not an original costume. Captain Sabertooth might be going to Torucon in September. If not, he's going to be my Halloween costume this year.

For those outside Norway - the Captain comes from a series of pirate musicals for kids. Everyone born after 1989 will have gone through a "Sabertooth phase" in early childhood. When I was four I had a cassette from one of the plays and there were days I did nothing but listen to it. In the end I was only allowed to play it once a day because it drove my grandparents mad. (I still have that cassette. It's a wonder it's survived this long.)

The Captain is the most feared pirate on the seven seas, except he's afraid of ghosts and he's not that happy about girl cooties either.

I can't find my new costume sketch, so this'll have to do.
Enjoy my quality drawing.

There have been slight variations to his costume (the show has been put up each summer since 1989), so I'm mixing in elements from different variations. I'm using a period pattern from this site here and look forward to cursing about the differences of the modern vs. the rococo fit.

The vikings I've joined are going to shake things up at the Hobbit premiere in Tromsø. I'm going to be a generously bearded dwarf lady of awesome. I've six months, so I'm in no hurry. The jacket, shoes and bracers are even done, so I only need a tunic, pants and some weapons all the weapons.

The last costume on the list - I'm making a late Victorian gown inspired by a gown worn by the empress Elisabeth in the musical based on her life. I got a heapload of lovely, lovely fabric from aunt, and it's just perfect!

Only the golden fabric.

It's almost the same, more gold than red, but what the hey, it's vintage silk! I'm gonna use a pattern from Truly Victorian for the skirt and probably modify the heck out of BurdaStyle 7880, the same pattern I used for the brown bustle dress, for the jacket.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Pirate Princess

The story is as follows: back in May I was enjoying the nice weather together with one of the roomies. The light was nice (after, you know, months of arctic darkness) so I pleaded with her until she agreed to take some pics of a ballgown I have for sale. 

After we got our srs pics I randomly decided to climb the pirate ship plaything structure we have standing in the backyard (after copious amounts of coffee I might add). Anything you can do, I can do in a hoopskirt. Woo!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Blue Corset

This is my second corset. Last time I followed a Simplicity pattern, this time i drafted my own based on this this tutorial. It was interesting to see the pattern take form - I didnt' understand the maths behind the patternmaking, but it resulted in a pattern and the corset fits. Magic!

There are a couple of things I'm not entirely pleased with. Next time I'd like to add hip gores and use spiral steel for a more flexible piece. And it's going to be in silk and coutil, not cotton.

This isn't my messy room. Blame the roomies.
I couldn't find any foolproof guide to how many bones you should put in, so I had one at every seam. In hindsight, that wasn't enough. I found this article yesterday, where it says the more bones you add, the less pressure there'll be. When this corset is tightened a lot, the side bones poke into my hips. Other than that, I'm very pleased with it.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Princesses don't have to wear pink

This is the result of going through the stash and finding the fabric remnants left over from a corset I made in March. I had just enough to make a little cute dress.

Sorry about the flash, my apartment is dark.
It's quite simple, with just ties in the back. Since it's going to be used by a small child, I finished all the inside seams so there won't be any irritation caused by that.

And since I am a period seamstress - did you know our modern concept of pink/blue was reversed in the Victorian age? Boys wore pink and girls blue. Take that, gender constructs.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Commission: Viking cloak

Finished the viking cloak perhaps a month ago. This was my first proper commission. It's gonna be worn at a viking LARP, so it's not a hundred percent period correct.

Please excuse the oh-so sexy sweater I threw on before we went out to take pics.
As you might guess from the background, it was still pretty cold here in May.
It's in two layers, thick wool with a linen lining. The fabrics are period, but the colours (and the polyester ribbon) are not. The Norse didn't have completely black clothes, but in-game the commissioner is in a clan whose colours are black and red and he wanted it in the colours of his house.

In addition to be a flashy costume piece, the cloak is meant to protect against rain. I decided to make a seamless half-circle cloak with a liripipe hood that will lead water away. The wool is pretty much waterproof, and without seams water can't seep in. There is only one seam in the wool layer, and it's on the underside of the liripipe.

I haven't worked much with wool because I usually wear costumes to conventions, where you don't wear wool unless you want to overheat and die, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it wonderful to work with.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Vikings

No, not the inaccurate "History" Channel series. I'm talking about my vikings. In December I found a course where you could learn nalbinding, and met vikings from a local reenactment group. Thirty minutes later I was a member.

My nalbinding has improved a lot. These are only my experiments.
Not gonna use this stuff for anything.
They have workshops every sunday, where you bring whatever you're making (and maybe some cake too) and then there's social sewing and lots of geekery.

It was really last minute, so we went to a second-hand shop for costumes.
I made a tricolore cockade for fun: Tutorial
They're vikings, but their work span over a few centuries. They were hired to stand around the cinema (heavily armed!) in costumes from LotR  for the Hobbit premiere, and we dressed up as tattered revolutionaries for a random showing of Les Miserables. (And then we cried a lot. Oh how, we cried.)

Mjolnir comes from Jelldragon.com
It's a reproduction from Børneholm.

Got some cheap glass pearls when a hobby store in town closed down, so now I sorta have some viking bling. I'm going to build my outfits slowly over time to reduce cost and make it right, so these are temporary, though one of the pearls (top tier, middle) is a reproduction I had lying around. (Guess that's a nice thing about Norway - you just happen to have viking stuff lying around.)

Some pearls were left over, mostly because how did I think this could pass as viking stuff?The scissors come from Jelldragon, and I love them, they're great seamrippers.
WIP: Bracers in foam.
The vikings are guests at the next Hobbit premiere too, so we've started on our costumes already. I will be a lady dwarf, my height and slim build bedamned, with a full beard 'cause it makes the viking lads uncomfortable. I don't want a gown, even though the renaissance-inspired dwarf gowns were magnificent, so I'll just whip up something like what the travelling dwarves are wearing. I'm thinking a jacket in leather, tunic in linen, some fur parts, a bit of protection and a few weapons.

I tried working with foam for the first time. This tutorial just about saved my life.

After forming them with a heat gun I brought the half-finished bracers with me to show the vikings. A few of them were very sceptical until I explained I was going to paint them. (At this stage, they were very colourful. The underside of one of them was bright pink too, I don't think that helped.)

I found the perfect shoes at the local Goodwill. They're way too big even for my gigantic feet, but they're oh-so comfortable! I can't express how much I look forward to wearing costume shoes that won't try to eat my feet.

I was inspired by the shoes worn by Thorin Oakenshield and added some foam details onto them. In retrospect I'm not sure how great this idea was, cause I don't think the foam will survive long, but oh well.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


Trying to hide a badge in my sleeve.

This is the gown I made for the Hobbit premiere. Since it's got elements of both Elven and human gowns I've decided it's Half-Elven - Peredhil, for the nerds.

I'd bought some swirly metal elf ears since I am not the ideal pretty Elf and don't like the thought of picking latex glue out of my ears for days afterwards either, but ended up not using them. I have too much hair, and they didn't show. Instead I braided in pearls in my hair - not that they show much either.

The skirt drapes well and it swishes so nicely when I walk. I added two extra gores in the back (cause someone's been doing research into medieval and norse clothing). The gown looks very simple, but there's room for a small circus inside that skirt.

I didn't bother changing into normal clothes after the con and travelled home in costume. The convention was in Larvik and I live in Tromsø. It's quite a distance. So far it was the best travel-home-in-costume experience I've had. Loads of compliments, there were interesting people on the train, security at the airport didn't even bat an eye at my attire, and the driver who drove me home from the airport didn't think me weird for accidentally giving him the wrong address. (Tired, so tired.)

And my best friend waited up for me even though she had work early in the morning after, she's the best.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Rococo Ewigkeitsvampire

This was how I felt about my hair this fine day.

My Finnish Ewigkeitsvampire was worn at the second day of Banzaicon: Time Travel Trouble, and I got some better pics of the costume. Now I see I need an underskirt to keep the boning in the paniers from showing, but oh well. Wasn't in love with my hair either, but after thirty minutes of trying to fix it, I was all out of fucks to give. All in all I was in character for a grumpy creature of the night. Eternity sucks, so I'm gonna wipe out humanity, angst, etc. ad absurdum.

Of course my hair looks perfect in the back - where I couldn't see
when putting it up. 
The back of the skirt is a bit boring, so I might add something, I just don't know what yet.

The best part of the con happened outside the convention centre. My group went out to eat, and at the restaurant we randomly chose, there was a little girl having a birthday party. The kids were stunned as we entered, and the birthday girl got pictures and we sang for her, which was awesome.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Know when to fold 'em

Less than a week before Banzaicon I realised their Time Travel Ball would be held on Friday - the day I'd planned not to wear a costume. Couldn't have that, so I set about with plans to make a gown based on this evening gown from 1912.

Only the red ones, mind you.
The fabric came from my stash. I bought it in Finland a year ago with quite different plans, but that's life - or rather sewing ADD of a sort, always dashing off to the next exciting project.

I was unable to make sense of the period pattern, so I improvised. The pattern for the top comes from a tattered vintage dress I had lying around. The base for the top is a thickly woven cotton. It's boned in the sides and in the back. I draped the velvet over, trying and failing a few times since this was the first time I tried my hand at it, and sewed it down to make sure it would stay down.

The skirt was made from this edwardian tutorial. I think the fabric is duchess satin - it's definitely satin and not natural fiber. The back drapes nicely, and there is a short train. Underneath the skirt there is an underskirt in a cotton/polyester blend for a little support.

The skirt is just pinned on so far. Don't judge.
I started the project while on easter holiday, with five days left to con. I lost one day of sewing because my plane home was cancelled (yay, snowstorm!) and we had to drive up to Tromsø instead. Eight hours, ugh, but I met a nerd and another guy I managed to recruit to the viking re-enactment group.

Then, after sewing in blind panic for two days, I realised I don't want my hobby to be stressful. It's something I do for fun. So I put the gown aside, decided to wear the red Edwardian ensemble from last summer and felt my blood pressure normalize itself.

Say hello to Dalek.

And this is Vega.
And so the day before the convention was used to play with the cats instead, resulting in one happy seamstress.