Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Silver costume part 2: bra cups.

The design was looking fairly boring with just the peacock feathers so I decided to add a bunch of rhinestones and large sparkly beads in the open spaces.

I also added a border at the top of the cups with various sizes of beads.
At this point I still wasn't very excited with the design. It wasn't colorful enough for my tastes. Plus I'm not a huge fan of silver. I decided to cover the other bra cup with fringe.

Then I added more fringe.
More fringe! And some rhinestones.
And then...
Now I feel like it's pretty fabulous.
I just hope my hair doesn't get all tangled up in my sumptuous fringe.
Next time: The belt! dun dun dunnnnnnnn

Silver costume and a short rant on straps

My mother in law gave me a lovely pair of silver, teal, and chocolate brown colored earrings recently. Upon realizing that I didn't own a costume that matched them I thought I had better get to work creating one. I journied to the magical world of Joanne's where much to my delight, there was a sale on fancy sequined fabrics. I bought some awesome silver fabric to use for my costume, as well as some super dazzling gold sequined fabric which I plan on using at a later date.
The first thing I did when I returned home was turn on Dr. Who, the second thing I did was make a skirt. I don't usually start by making a skirt but I thought the silver fabric would look good with my Klingon ensemble for the Klingon Christmas Carol. I made a skirt with a train but decided it was too hard to dance in. I bustled the train up in the center instead of taking the train out altogether which created a swishy tail.

A few days later I started on the bra by removing the straps and covering the cups in my base fabric. I had already picked up a variety of beads from Hobby Lobby earlier in the week. I decided to use peacock feathers in the my design again (what a surprise).

As usual I am using a strapless foam bra that I got at target for $16. I cut all of the straps off before I do anything else. You may be able to get away with just covering the straps if you have a smaller cup size, but anything C and up would create too much bouncing while you dance in my opinion. Anything E and up maybe give you facial injuries when you do a chest pop. Chest pops are serious business, take off the elastic straps, for safety purposes. I've seen many dancers who don't even bother covering the straps thinking no one will notice that they're just wearing a decorated bra from Victoria's Secret. If you're dancing with adjustable sliders on your bra, someone (usually another snobby costume nazi like myself) will notice and will assume this is your first costume and you're a student dancer. I've gone over how to do straps in a couple of my blogs now (the red peacock costume I know has one) but I plan on making a post dedicated to straps and giving intimate details on how to make them soon.

After all of that  business was taken care of I covered my bra with my silver fabric. I bought my beads at Michael's.  I like to use different size beads on my costumes to add texture. When I first started costuming I was too afraid to use anything other than seed and bugle beads. I bought these sequins several years ago at http://www.ccartwright.com/ when I was making troupe costumes for Flowers of Araby. I knew the leftovers would come in handy some day.

I thought the costume was coming along nicely. My cat however, was less enthusiastic.
Bacon fails to be impressed.

I got some of my inspiration for my feather shape from one of Ozma's costumes that I've been admiring for years. She's so talented.
I just got a new camera so I'll be able to take better photos of my beadwork in upcoming blogs. I'm excited I won't have to rely on my terrible phone camera anymore. I've finished the bra cups at this point but I don't have the photos uploaded yet. It will be in my next post.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Klingon Christmas Carol Closing

Last night was the last performance of the season for A Klingon Christmas Carol. Now what am I supposed to do with my balance-able batleth (which for some reason I never got a picture of)? Perhaps it can keep my wookiee costume company in the closet.
I'm sad the season is over but I feel very happy I've been able to geek out with Klingons for two years in a row. The show is amazing, the cast is awesome. If you get a chance to see it next time it's in town please do. Everyone involved worked very hard, especially since the show is written and performed in the Klingon language.
For more information on A Klingon Christmas Carol and Commedia Beauregard, visit http://www.cbtheatre.org/tlhingan/klingon-christmas-carol-2012/

The cast of A Klingon Christmas Carol and me.

The Tim Hom Puppet is the fabulous stuff of nightmares.

With Christopher Kidder and Il Troubadore Klingon Music Project

With Christopher Kidder and Il Troubadore with Klingon photobombers.

With Il Troubadore Klingon Music project. I love these guys.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The birth of Chewbecky

In order to make my wookiee mask more pretty I decided to create a new mouth for it. I made it out of brown air-dry clay so I didn't have to deal with baking it or anything. By using the air-dry clay I could let it dry in place. I also felt that this clay was more lightweight which would be easier to attach to the mask.

 I painted it with acrylic paints. I chose a sexy shade of pink that I highlighted with glitter. Apparently my wookiee had her teeth done too.
I added more fur around the mouth so it looked less like she had a mustache.
I also added false eyelashes the night of the show but I don't have picture.
One of the main problems I had with this costume is that it was insanely hot. Also I'm claustrophobic and I hate wearing masks for this reason. The air holes were in the mouth, which I had covered with clay, so I had to create new air holes in the nose. Dancing in this thing was more than slightly terrifying. And to make it even more so, I decided to dance with a cane. This was crazy since I had to wear giant hairy rubber gloves.  But no one died so it was a winning combination.Oh and to make things even scarier I was completely improving this dance and had never heard the entire song before.
Here's a video.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Klingon Armor

I've been performing with Il Troubadore as an Orion Slave girl for a while now. I like the costume but it's so time consuming to paint myself green, even when I use a bodysuit so that I only have to do my face, neck, and hands. Plus that stuff is hard to remove. I decided to make a Klingon costume instead.
 I ordered my Klingon ridges from Bill Hedrick. He did the ridges for Il Troubadore and also for the cast of A Klingon Christmas Carol.
I used this tutorial to create the armor for my costume.
I used paper and posterboard to make my patterns before I cut the foam. This was especially important to do  for the bra because I had to create several pieces that would fit together around the curves of my bra cup. Before I attached anything to the bra though, I removed the original straps and created new ones of of gross grain ribbon and thick interfacing.

Next, I started creating my patterns:


The fun part was standing in front of my stove in a bra molding the foam over the fire. After softening the foam I held it in place over the bra cup so that it would form to the shape as it cooled. If you have a dress dummy in your size, you probably wont have to shape the foam while wearing the bra you're trying to form them to. I glued the foam in place, but had to hold some of it with pins. If you choose to do this, keep in mind that the pins leave marks that may remain visible after you finish painting.
To cover the creases in the cup I decided to add another strap. 
I also decided to make some shoulder armor

I used a spoon to create indentations. 

I used an ink pen to create depressions in my armor for designs. The color will not appear after I paint the armor.
Next I used puff paint to create raised designs.

I used the same methods when creating my belt. 
After the puff paint dried I coated the pieces with several layers of the water/glue mixture mentioned in the tutorial I linked above. When that dried it was ready to paint. I started off with a metallic silver spray paint for my base.
Then I rubbed silver leaf over that. In the end I aged the pieces by rubbing them with black and green acrylic paint which I immediately rubbed off with a paper towel before it dried. This cause it to only settle in the cracks.  In the photo below, the right side is aged, while the left is not. You can see the difference it makes. Oh and those studs next to the klingon insignia, those are tacks. I removed the pointy parts with wire cutters before gluing them on (I added them before I did the painting). There are some short screws on the sides of the costume too. They serve to real purpose other than to look like they might server a purpose.


Jon Silpayamanant and I at Raks Geek
And here's a video from Raks Geek

And here I dance battle a rather puny starfleet officer

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Peachy costume 2: Return of the beading needle.

I decided to create a belt shape with a pointed center with curves over the thighs to accent them and add for ease of forward movement of the leg at the hip joint.

 Next I cut out my base fabric and pinned it in place. I like to cover my belts in two separate pieces because my weight often fluctuates. Having my belt in two pieces means I can easily make adjustments to make my belt larger or smaller later on without having to worry about making any of my designs off center. After I cover them I sew them together.
I have no idea why I didn't cover it with my second layer of fabric before I sewed it in half...oh well. Since my fabric was sheer I put it over my belt so I could ensure the design lined up the way I wanted.
I decided to make some paisley appliques for the belt and shoulder straps so I cut the design out of my interfacing and covered them with my base fabric as well. I attempted to machine sew these but I had a hard time with the shape, size, and the number of pins I had to use to I ended up hand stitching them instead.
I beaded these the same way I did the one for the bra. I also created straps using my usual method shown in my red peacock costume blog, using gross grain ribbon and interfacing.  I chose not to hand bead my fringe for this costume, instead opting to buy some Egyptian fringe on Ebay.

 I also decided to create some bejeweled leggings to match the costume. I used jewel glue and E6000 to apply rhinestones and sequins. It was a totally annoying process, but well worth the effort.
Photo by Nina Pak
Photo by Detlef Koertge