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
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.