Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dreaming in circles

First, let's get the life stuff done with. I had another birthday, and my extremely talented mother baked me a cake from scratch. Chocolate with cream cheese icing and decorated with little mini tools for dentistry. ^^

And we went to the botanical gardens too!

Now onto the meat of the issue. Cosplay. What have I been doing with my time? I finished the shirt. Here it is without any bias tape.

And I've been failing miserably at making capes. (Can I get a great big "No Capes!" in everyone's best Edna voice?) It appeared in the test pattern that this version was going to work, but then I cut it in the heavier fabric and... I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. They are obviously not lying flat. The back was even worse, but since I was taking pictures Myspace style with a camera and a tripod, I had trouble getting a good shot. The cape was originally drafted using my cousin as a dummy. Bad idea. She has nice little feminine shoulders that slope dramatically and very little chest to speak of. I have extremely square shoulders and... well... Let's just say I had to scrap this entirely and go back to the drawing board. (Again.)

Here's the fixed version. It's not very obvious how they are different, but would you believe that they are three inches longer in the front and another inch and a half longer in the back? The points in the front are a lot more tapered and the points in the back are a bit wider. Best of all, they lie flat and look phenomenal.

This is the topper in progress for my staff. Not much to look at right now.
And this is Presea's hammer in progress, modeled very nicely by the client and future Presea cosplayer. The shape is done. I just need to sew on the ends.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tales of Bias tape

I am shamelessly stealing the title for this entry from someone's comment concerning the entire "Tales of" franchise on Cosplay.com. They said that it should really be called Tales of Bias Tape because all of the cosplays from those games use so much of it. Ain't that the truth! I will be the master at putting this stuff on when all is said and done! (Mwahahahaaa!)So these pictures aren't entirely up to date because I've accomplished a bit more since then, but that just means I'll have to write another entry sometime soon. First, my boots.I have no idea why blogger flipped this one. Oh well. I guess it thought it looked like a person. I know, they look awfully like mangled converse knock offs. The will become so much more, though! I had to make these into slip-ons before I could do anything with boot construction, so here it is. I'm terrible at hand sewing, especially when I have to use a thimble, as would be evinced by my beautiful not so straight line when I was finished!Once again, I don't know why blogger flipped it. White shoe does not equal person!

So the current rate for half inch double fold bias tape is about $1.50 per package of three yards. I needed much more than that. Much much more. I decided to make my own! This lead to nearly a full day of quality time with the iron trying to figure out what the best way to do this was, but now I am pretty confident that I can really crank out bias tape just in case I run out (Unlikely). I ended up making about 17 yards.
And last but not least, I give you Frankenshirt! I'd been putting off buying the fabric for the shirt because shirting fabric is so expensive. Then I got the sort of inspiration that normal intelligent folk probably thought of from the beginning. I am a small sort of individual. Why don't I just go out and spend a dollar or two on two stained white shirts from the thrift store, bleach them, cut them apart, and use the backs for the main body of the shirt and the sleeves for the collar? (I'm so smart!) The $2 shirt (Plus the cost of interfacing) isn't finished yet, so that will be in the next picture dump.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A tale of two purses

So here's a lovely little story about me trying to learn how to sew as preparation for making the Raine coat. I went to the fabric store to buy some upholstery material for recovering some chairs mom got off of craig's list. While looking through the decorators fabric remnants, I discovered a one yard bit of beautiful large floral canvas. Also, what luck! They were having a 50% off sale on remnants, and they were selling patterns for a little over a dollar! Biiiig danger there. I found a simplicity pattern for a purse. I chose it on the criteria of having few pattern pieces, only taking one yard of fabric, and only needing a button in terms of notions. No one thought it necessary to tell me I was probably biting off more than I could chew. First of all: cutting out the pattern. I pulled out some pins I had bought for blocking knitting patterns and started enthusiastically searching for somewhere large enough to spread out the fabric. Dining room table? No, I might scratch it with the pins. Kitchen table? Not large enough. So I ended up pinning the pattern on my bedroom floor. Then when I tried to lift the fabric up, I discovered I had pinned it in several places to my berber carpet. First strike. Then, after sitting through a tutorial on how to use the sewing machine, delivered by my mother, I got to work pinning one piece to another and sewing them together... and sewing the bag shut. And I had no seam ripper. I ended up making three extra trips to the fabric store for sundry articles: fabric scissors (go figure, normal scissors are too blunt to cut fabric), different pins (Mom refused to allow me to sew in her house using pins that didn't have the little colored heads on them, so in case I dropped one, I could find it again), and lining fabric (originally, to simplify things, I wasn't going to line the stupid thing, but the way the pattern was writtten, I had to line it if I wanted a finished upper edge). I'm sure people like me are the reason the fabric store had that "sale" in the first place. After all that bellyaching and moaning, however, it got finished and a final picture is below.
So, on to the second purse. This one has a bit more to do with cosplaying. Specifically, it has to do with Cruxis crystals. I've been putting a lot of thought into those little buggers, and I decided that they couldn't be made out of anything hard. I mean, look at that hulking necklace Presea has to wear. Miriam wouldn't be able to look at her toes all day if we made it out of sculpey. Therefore, I settled on leather or fake leather as the material of choice. Then came the issue of where I was going to find said leather. Crafting leather is rather expensive, and it generally doesn't come in the size I need it in, let alone the color. Not very many Native American enthusiasts want to make gold moccasins, however cool that might be. It took me several months, in fact, to realize that companies came out with gold purses and the like all the time! I just had to find one of those at a thrift store or something. Off to do the thrift store circuit! Then, because it is me we are talking about, all supply of gold purses suddenly dried up... until this little beauty came along. The guy at Salvation Army said he had come inches away from throwing it away that morning because it was so '90's he thought no one would buy it. Honestly, I think I did the public a favor by removing it from circulation. 100% vinyl, but it's gold! This is before...
And this is after! I found a plastic ring in one of the pockets. That's the pink thing upper middle. Far right will be the two necklaces, with Collette's getting bumped to far left or the piece that got cut off on the farthest right. Middle will be Lloyd's, overlaid with the reinforcing piece from the bottom, which turned out to be the perfect shade of purple for the little swirly thing around the gem. I also got plastic gems and gold wire ribbon. They should be done in the next couple of days if I can remember where I put my craft knife.