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.

Done!

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

Friday, July 13, 2012

A wookiee in the mail


I was invited to perform at Raks Geek and knew right away I wanted to perform as a Wookiee. I came up with this idea several years ago when Il Troubadore said they wanted to do a Star Wars show. I said that if I was able to perform in it I didn't want to be the usual Slave Leia. She's so overrated. Bygolly I wanted to be a Wookiee.

I thought about making my own costume from scratch but decided to buy one in the end since I was so pressed for time ( I waited till last minute).
Today it arrived! Take a look at this beauty:
Ignore my lame teal shorts, I was in the middle of an extreme Insanity workout when the mail arrived.


My husband wanted to try it on too.

My cat was thoroughly disturbed
The wookiee mask isn't alluring enough so I'm going to have to do some work on it very soon. How to you make a wookiee more attractive? I have a feeling it involves glitter.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peachy Nudie costume In the works

              For this costuming I'm using another sari I bought from Blondie McBlonderson. It came with some extra shiny peach fabric to make a blouse. I'm going to use this as my base fabric.             
               As always, I started by cutting the straps off of a strapless bra. Strapless bras are built to take stress from different angles which is important if you want your straps to be angled differently or if you want a halter style strap. I usually buy my bras one cup size smaller and one number size bigger. This is partially because I can almost never find an inexpensive bra in my size and I'm not paying $40 or more for a bra I'm going to destroy. Another reason I do this is I feel it gives me more coverage while still giving me the lift I want. If you want more coverage always go a number size larger, which makes the cups wider, than a letter size larger, which makes the cups deeper, unless you're going for a torpedo boob look. This may not be an issue for girls with normal or smaller sized breasts, I have no idea. 
Look! I actually took an in process shot of something!

              I layed my base fabric over the bra and pushed down in the middle to make sure I had enough to round over the cups. Then I cut around my bra leaving about 2 inches extra (extra is always better than not enough). I pinned the fabric to the bra in the center and then cut slits at the top and bottom of the middle up to where the bra starts.

              Then start pinning it in place, smoothing as you go. The larger the cup size, the more fabric you'll have left over that will need to be folded over and pinned down. You can see my extra fabric pinned over on the right side of the picture. The folds don't have to be perfectly symmetrical if you're planning on covering the whole bra with a design. 
Cut off the extra fabric is on the back. 
I hand sew my bra cover. I know some people are able to use a machine for this but I don't want to risk getting underwire stick in my machine or breaking a needle. From what I've found smaller cup sizes are easier to do on a machine. I mainly use a whipstitch to secure my fabric.
And yes, you have to cover your bra, I don't care how pretty the bra looked when you bought it. A good cover can make the difference in your bra looking like a professional costume, and it looking like you just sewed some beads to a regular bra...which of course is what we're doing, but we don't want the general public to be able to tell.
              Next I used the sheer sari fabric in the same manner as the base layer. 
 
While I had all of my fabric out I decided to cut out a decorative accent piece. I put it in place to make sure it was the right size.

  The I covered it with my base fabric. 
Since I'm going to fully bead this, I'm not going to cover it with the sari fabric, just the base fabric.
Next I begin placing my decorations. I bought my rhinestones from http://www.dreamtimecreations.com/

And Whabam! Done!
The rhinestone chain was from Joanne's, as were the seed beads, and the white rhinestones were from my others old wedding dress. 
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...