RSS Feed

Category Archives: endeavors

Vorfeed Update 3

Posted on

I finally got my first glove done.  It took me 15 hours, but I finally succeeded.  ~_~  I never knew making a single glove could take so long.  I scrapped my first construction idea just before I started making my glove last night.  Instead of making my own pattern, I decided to modify a premade one I found.  I chose to do so because I realized that tracing my arm myself was harder then anticipated.  So I found my pattern and modified it. 

I modified the pattern easy enough (2 hours) but it took me three tries to get the sizing right.  My seam ripper was very active for the first five hours.  I had to almost completely redo the entire hand.  At first the fingers were to long so I cut them shorter.  Then the fingers were to small and the thumb was too big.  So I scrapped the pattern’s gussets and made my own.  Once that was over, I found that three of the fingers were too big along with the easily annoying thumb.  I was frustrated with the fingers by that time so I switched to the rest of the glove, mainly the ribbon detailing.

I now know that when making gloves ADD THE DETAILING FIRST!!!!  For the sake of your sanity add it first.  It is so not fun to fight with a half made glove hand, that you already mad at, while you wrap it around your knee just so you can get it to ly flat for a few seconds while you fiercely try to not pin your glove to your skin before the glove curls again.  Luckily I only had to do that with the first part of the detailing.  The second part was not nearly as hard or frustrating.  My main problem was trying to get the detailing to look accurate.  Compared to Vorfeed or any anime character for that matter, I have short arms so I had to squish the design without making it look squished.  It turned out quite well.  I even got the bunching to look right!  I love the way the detailing came out.  I might add a few more minor adjustments here and there. 

I was very encouraged over my success with the detailing.  So I sewed up the rest of the glove and tried it on.  To do my delight and amazement, it fit!  I was even able to get the glove on my hand without having to rip any seams out!  I was so happy I seriously spent the next twenty minutes admiring it and wearing it around just for fun.  Once I got the excitement out of my system, I finished the rest of the glove by adding the top puff and fixing the fingers.  The puff was easy enough to make.  I just made an oddly shaped rectangle, added elastic around the top, stuffed it full of tulle, and sewed it to the top of my gloves.  It doesn’t look that puffy, but I’m happy with it.  It looks like the character and goes with the rest of the outfit very well. 

The fingers weren’t that hard to tailor.  It was a bit hard to tailor the glove with one hand while wearing it on the other.  I ended up just estimating the amount to take in and added darts on the inside.  It worked surprisingly well.  I can hardly tell that I added darts to the fingers.  The thumb dart is easier to find though. 

Despite all the trouble and time it took to make the glove, I am extremely pleased with it.  It looks better then I’d hoped.  I can even get it on with a minimal amount of effort too.  Getting it off… well that’s another matter.  Now that the first glove is I just have make the second glove mirror the first.  As best I can that is.

Here’s a picture of my finished glove.  I don’t have any progress pictures though.  I’m going to get them on the second one.  I might even make a tutorial. 

Vorfeed Glove 1

Vorfeed Update 1

Posted on

I’ve been working on my Vorfeed cosplay for the past few days.  It’s about 45% complete.  So far, it has taken me around 14.5 hours to make this cosplay.  The main dress is nearly done, and I don’t have much left to do otherwise.  I just have to scrunch the bodice, make and add the bow, finish fitting it, and make the hem.  Then it’ll be time to work on the cape, shoes, and gloves. 

The cape shouldn’t be hard.  I just have to make sure I get the layering and feather work right.  I still have no idea how I’m going to make the back feathers.  I have a couple ideas, but I don’t know how well they’ll work.  I still need to get the feathers though.  I need to find a good place that sells good feathers in bulk for a reasonable to good price.

As for the gloves and boots, they are going to be a bit harder.  Ok, a lot harder.  I’ve never make gloves before, much less full arm gloves with large puffy add ons on the top.  Not to mention, I’m using satin that has little to no stretch whatsoever.  I know the gloves are going to be the biggest challenge of the entire cosplay.  Even the wig looks easier. 

The shoes on the other hand look relatively easy, especially compared to the gloves.  I still have to find good base shoes and maybe a couple zippers, but other than that I have what I need.  I even have a pattern halfway worked out.  I just have to test it. 

Finally, the wig looks like it’s going to be one of the easiest pieces of the cosplay.  I’m really glad I chose it for my first time cutting a wig.  I am really nervous but calm at the same time.  I know I can do it.  I know it will turn out fine. 

Oh! I almost for got about the jewels!  I’m going to cast the two jewels myself as soon as I’m able to get the supplies.  I really hope it’s soon because I’d like to get a photo shoot before my friend leaves for college again if it’s possible.  She takes amazing photos.  I’ve wanted to do a shoot with her for a while.  If I don’t get the jewels done in time, I could always improvise…but I don’t want to do that unless I have to. 

Beside my minor aforementioned dilemmas, my cosplay is coming along beautifully.  I’m really happy with the way it’s turning out.  I can’t wait to see the finished project.  I don’t have any pictures to share yet, but I’ll get some up with my next post.  So far it’s nearly perfect with just a few quirks that the laws of physics won’t let me change.  Trying to make a shirt drape and split and fall at a slightly tilted angle just isn’t going to happen no matter how much I wish it would.  Anime characters are known to defy the laws of physics and this cosplay is not without it’s exceptions. 

New Discovery and Old Progress

While thinking up how to make my Voyage of the Dawn Treader costume, I stumbled across an awesome idea.  I’m always having to buy multiples of the same patterns because I modify just about any pattern I get to achieve a desired costume.  This method of pattern modification is rather expensive and I can’t afford to keep going that route any more.  So I came up with my own idea to the solve the problem.  After I read a really helpful tutorial on how to conserve pattern pieces, an idea struck me.  Cut out the pattern pieces to the desired size, follow the tutorial to back them, and use chalk to trace out the pieces onto the desired fabric.  This way I can make any modification I want to a pattern piece without wasting a pattern!  It’s so cool and brilliant!  Right now I’m trying out my idea with my newest project, Susan’s Narnia from Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  That brings me to my next subject.

I just started Susan’s dress today, tonight actually.  I’m using the above method to make the pieces I need for the dress.  So far it’s working wonderfully!  Right now I have the first two pieces cut out and am working on the third.  It takes me much longer to cut out the pieces because I have to lay out the original pattern piece and pin it down, trace the outline and markings to the fabric with chalk (I’m using paper chalk and it’s working just fine.  It comes off with water too), unpin the pattern piece and place it to the side, then I finally cut the piece out of the fabric by cutting along the chalk lines.  It’s so much fun!  It’s like a giant connect the dots and cut out the paper doll project!  I love it! 

I should be done cutting out the pieces sometime tonight.  I hope to pleat the front panel and sew the first part of dress by tonight/early tomorrow morning too.  Well, I better get back to work if I’m to get all that done!  Talk to you soon!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader Update

Even though my sewing machine broke, I’ve been able to work on my Lucy’s Dawn Treader outfit.  It’s coming a long well, especially since it’s been hand sewn.  Most of the pieces are either in progress or close to completion.  I even have some pictures!

So far I’ve been able to complete the base for the breeches.  They look wonderful!!!  I made then out of velvet and a handmade pattern.  It’s one of the first times I’ve used a handmade pattern so I’m really happy with how they turned out. 

IMG_2933 IMG_2930 IMG_2931 

I still have to add embroidery on the side of the legs and a back closure.  I kinda hurried to get these done so they could be worn for a costume party the weekend.  Because of that I still have a bit to do for the premiere in December.  It shouldn’t take me too long.  I only hope I’m able to apple the designs correctly and get it done in time.  The last thing I want is half embroidered pants for the premiere. 

 

Because it’s such a huge embroidery project, I’ve been working on the jerkin as well.  I almost have the entire front and left side embroidered.  I just have to add the wide band around the bottom both are gone.  The back is going to take a while because of all the embroidery it has, but the right side should be a breeze. 

IMG_2928 IMG_2926 IMG_2927

The jerkin looks a lot better on my sister than on the dress form.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out in the end.  I can’t wait!  I’m just hoping it’ll look right.  It’s my first time majorly modifying a pattern so I’m really nervous.  I’ll probably have to modify it a bit more to make the sleeves just right.  Other than that I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. 

My final piece for this post is a cloak I made to go with the outfit.  It has nothing to do with the new Narnia movie.  Instead, it is an original design for my sister.  I was originally going to use the fabric for Lucy’s red dress in Prince Caspian, but I decided to modify the design and make it an interchangeable cloak that can go with many time periods and outfits.  Here it is!

                                   IMG_2923IMG_2924

Thank you again for reading.  Keep in touch to see what happens as I find a new machine and scramble to complete my Halloween commissions in time.  See ya soon!

Dawn Treader Costumes Update

Posted on

It’s been a few days since I updated last and I have some progress to report so I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on.  I started working on Lucy’s Dawn Treader outfit first because it has so much embroidery on the jerkin.  I’ve gotten pretty far in the last week.  So far I’ve sewn the jerking together.  I haven’t attached the lining yet cause I’m waiting till I done with the embroidery first.  I don’t want the unfinished embroidery sides showing when I’m done.  In addition to sewing the jerkin pieces together and fitting it to my friend, I’ve almost finished the embroidery on the front lapels of the jerkin!!!  I just have to embroider two more flowerish designs and embroider two large bottom designs.  But before I embroider the bottom designs, I have to embroider the vines around the top, sides and bottom of the entire jerkin.  Boy, this is going to take me a while.  I just know I’ll get it done in time though, especially since I’m machine embroidering the vines. 

Wig Styling

Posted on

Who knew wigs could be so easy and challenging at the same time.  So far I’ve styled one wig two different ways.  The first time I made Sheeta from Castle in the Sky only I didn’t get the bangs done because of lack of time and funds.  I still had a blast wearing the wig though and a few people noticed my character. 

Back on track, it took me three tries to make this hairstyle.  The first time I had the style perfect but the wefts showed in back waaaaay too much.  The second time it was absolutely perfect only I made the braids too tight and couldn’t get the wig on my head.  @_@  I found that out the night before the first day of the con and the cosplay was due the next morning.  The third time was done, literally, at three in the morning the night before the con while the wig was on my head because I didn’t have a wig head, my unofficial wig head was asleep, and I wanted the wig to fit.  That was fun.  Not really.  I learned a lot about what not to do when wearing a wig.  Example; trying to see the back of your head via two reflecting mirrors while one of them is in one hand and the other hand is trying to singlehandedly, literally, braid a 40” wig is not a good idea.  Neither is pulling so hard on the wig that it falls off your head in the middle of braiding because your arms are too tired to hold themselves up.  Never style a wig either late at night or just before the con unless it is an absolute emergency as you will humiliated with out that wig.  Real hair works too sometimes.

The second styling of the same wig was an attempt to pull off a Civil War era hairstyle two hours before the fashion show where I was modeling my Civil War ball gown.  Again bad idea.  Not as bad as styling a wig late at night but close.  Give yourself at least, at least three to four hours to complete a Civil War hairstyle if you are styling it yourself.  Again I had to style it by myself while trying to, somehow, see the back of my head.  I didn’t have as many, if any, disasters as I did with the Sheeta restyling, but I ran in to problems later on.  Half way through the fashion show, the long worked on hairstyle started falling out.  By the time the second fashion review was over, the hair style was practically shot and the wig had to be hastily restyled every few minutes.  I now have to work all the knots and rats out of my wig once again. 

On a lighter note, my third wig to style/ restyle is my Toph wig.  On the third day of the con a very nice experienced cosplayer/wigstylist styled my Toph wig.  The only thing is, is I didn’t put the wig on straight before she styled the wig so the bun came out lopsided.  So I have to restyle it to A) have more volume and B) not be lopsided.  I’m really looking forward to this one since the same wigstylist sold me her spare wig head so now I can use a wig head to style my wigs. 

Update

Posted on

Wow!  Sorry for the late update.  Things have been really hectic around here.  Fair started today.  I’ve spent the last week and a half running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to prepare.  I entered my Civil War ball gown and two formal dresses that I made this year.  All got blue ribbons!!!!!!  *^_^*  I’m really happy that all of my hard work paid off.  It pays to do things well even if it takes longer and the task looks  daunting. 

Sophia Forrester Progress Report 1

Posted on

As of a couple days ago, I now have all the fabric I need for my Sophia cosplay.  I still have to get a few more things like zippers, a bit of thread, and a few other minor items.  Still haven’t found her reading glasses yet.  I’m starting to wonder if they even exist outside of the anime.  The fate of her hair clip is hanging in the balance right now.  I’m not sure whether or not to have the hair down like in this picture:

as_39She wore her hair like this in the anime when she told Alex about her going back to the palace.  Her hair was also down when she talked to Claus about her plans.  I can’t give away too much of the plot.  -_^

Anyway, I could also have the hair pulled back into a twisted braidy-like bunish thing.  Like this:

          display_600_as_28 sophia

This is her most common hair style.  She wore it throughout most of the series. 

I do like how sharp and vice admiral like the second hair style is.  I just have one problem, the hair clip.  How on earth am I going to make, much less find, the darn thing?!  The back one is what I’m most worried about but the two side/front ones pose an equal, if not greater, challenge.  If I do the second hair style, I might not have to buy a wig for this cosplay, but that’s only if my hair grows out in time, which I doesn’t seem like it will.  So either way I’m probably going to have to buy a wig.  Now I just need to find a good, decent, honest wig seller who has high quality wigs at a good price. 

Switching topics, while I was at the store studying this picture:

Sophia_fullbody I discovered that the designs/appliqué on Sophia’s uniform are silver not white.  If you look really closely at her collar, you’ll see that the appliqué gives off a silver hue instead of a white one.  It even looks this way when the picture is printed off.  This was a major break through for me.  I also discovered that her collar is lined with silver fabric.  See below picture:

Sophia3 Both of these discoveries majorly helped explain why the fabric behaved the way it did.  Since the appliqué is silver, it can appear both whitish and silver when exposed to different lighting.  This also explains why the appliqué has a bit of a sheen to it as well.  These pictures help to illustrate my point.

            Sheen 1 Silver 2

Changing topics, I have had the hardest time finding the right fabric shade for the uniform.  The closest I’ve found is a silvery gray color by Kona Cotton.  Since it’s not perfect I might try lining the dress with a darker color fabric to get the desired effect.  I don’t know how well this will work so we’ll see. 

Other that that, I’ve had a relatively easy time fining what I need.  I even found some awesome looking pleather for her boots in the clearance section.  I don’t what I’m going to do for the redish orange soles yet.  I’m still researching that. 

Sorry my post is long and kinda random and jumpy.  There’s been a lot of things happening with this costume that I don’t know where to start or how to transition to my next thought.  My thoughts like to jump around.  I hope you enjoyed reading my post and look forward to the next ones.  My next post should be about Sheeta’s pirate uniform unless another idea pops up.  Thank you for reading and please tune in again to find out what happens next in the exciting adventures of my endeavors as a seamstress.

 

dilemmas

Another New Prom Dress

Posted on

Darn patterns!  I do not like how much ease is incorporated into ready make prom dress patterns.  It can mess up perfectly wonderful dresses and turn them into alteration nightmares. 

Ok, Joanns Fabrics is having the Own Your Look prom dress contest.  Naturally, I decide to make another new prom dress for it.  Prom was in a couple weeks anyway and a ginormous sale was going on at Joanns.  Casa Collection fabric for 50% off is a huge deal.  I get my fabric and embellishments or as many as I can considering that I went on either the last or the second to last day of the sale.  Everything was pretty much picked over, but I found what I wanted (even though I had to back six times). With that done and taken care of, I finished up school and graduated.  My school’s prom is weird since it’s after school is officially over. 

Anyway, so I start on the dress.  Following the pattern perfectly, I carefully constructed my work of art.  Even though it took me just under a week, I was very happy to finish up the last details.  Or so I thought.  Excitedly, I tried on the dress only to find that it was at least 2 inches too big.  I was very distraught (I still am a bit) and mad at the pattern.  Even though I had followed it perfectly, the dress still turned out too big.  I realized that I forgot about this annoying thing called ease that is included in every store bought pattern.  Boy, is it a hassle sometimes. 

Frustrated, I tried to alter that dress but to no avail.  I was still too upset about the mis-sizing.  So, I put (ok, threw) the dress in my redo corner and focused on the matching shrug instead.  The shrug turned out exactly as the pattern said.  I didn’t even have to alter the pattern for too much ease.  Heartened by the success of the shrug, I began to alter the dress.  At first it didn’t work so well till I prayed and got the idea to put darts in the bodice and an adjustable bow around the waistband.  Both alterations worked really well!  I reduced the bodice to nearly my size (I still have to put in a couple more darts) and made the waistband look like it actually fit me.  I just have to fix the skirt a bit.  Since the dress has a high waist, the skirt makes me look a bit (ok, more than a bit) bottom heavy and slightly pregnant even though I’m neither.  I know that because of the cut there is not much I can do, but I still want to try to slim out the skirt a bit. 

Remorse For Lack of Updates

Posted on

Sorry I haven’t been posting much.  Life has been crazy.  Finals as well as other school projects have consumed my time for the last two weeks or so.  I recently graduated as well so that ate up the rest of my nonexistent time.  School is finally over now to which I am extremely pleased.  Now I can concentrate on my sewing and various summer activities.