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

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...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Red sari costume is complete!

The costume is complete!

I ended up having enough fabric left over to make a simple mermaid style skirt, armbands, and a headband.
Photo by Patrick McClennand

Here's a video of the costume in action (with a different skirt).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Red Costume Straps

              I always use gross-grain ribbon for my straps as it doesn't stretch and is fairly sturdy once you cover it. I usually go with the 1" ribbon but this time I went with a wider ribbon. I think it's 1.5".
I do the ribcage straps first because they're the straps that are actually holding your costume on. Shoulder straps are mainly for adjustment purposes.
              First I pin the ribbon onto the bra in the lower center. Then I wrap it around myself and safety pin it in the back (it's easier if you have someone to help you). Next I pin ribbon to the armpit area and connect it to the lower ribbon to create a triangle. After all ribbons are pinned in place, I undo the safety pin to take the bra off. 
              When that's done I cut two pieces of interfacing out that are the same size of the two triangles I just created.
 Then sew it all together. This can be done on a machine. Hooray!
After you get that sewn, cover both triangles with your fabric.

Then just hand sew it to your bra. I use stronger thread for this because I don't want my straps falling apart while I dance.
              I found that using the wider ribbon on the shoulder straps was much more comfortable that then 1" ribbon I've been using. I feel less tension on my shoulders with it.
            If you take a look at the bra cups you'll notice that I also made 2 more beaded paisley appliques that match the one I made for the belt closure. I felt like the bra needed more bling.  
Also not shown here; I added sequins along the border of my ribcage straps along with some more rhinestones from the Charming Charlie necklace I mentioned earlier.

The costume is almost complete!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red peacock belt

              I knew I wanted to incorporate the two large peacocks from the sari onto my belt. I originally cut the belt so that it would close on the side. I soon realized that I'd have to cut the peacocks to make that work. In the end I redid the belt so that it would have a front closure. I decided to do a fun wavy design with the belt shape. After I cut the shape out, I covered the belt just as I did the bra.

              I thought the costume would look ugly with a front closure so I decided to make an applique that would cover the closure. I cut the shape out of interfacing and covered it with my fabric. Then I added some bugle and seed beads along the border.

              I considered leaving it like this but then I thought "NO! MOAR BLING!"

              So I blinged the heck out of it with sequins and rhinestones. I topped it all off with hand beaded fringe.
Crotch bling.
              I added a coordinating design on the back of the belt as well.

              Then I added 4" fringe, that I bought on Ebay. Afterwards I lined it with red silk that came from an old shirt my husband bought during a trip to China.

Sumptuous waterfalls of sumptousness.
In our next adventure: Straps.