score!

today, I got a chance to visit a drapery/upholstery warehouse that was having a moving sale… and hit the jackpot, fabric-wise!  I honestly didn’t expect my haul to be as good as it was.  I now have fabric for my next three or four projects… that is, of course, after I finish the two that I’m currently working on!

none of these fabrics were labeled, and unfortunately the guy couldn’t tell me what they were for certain, so I made some guesses.  also, I had to use my iPad for pictures again (I seem to have misplaced my camera…) so the colors aren’t very true.

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these feel like dupioni silk to me, but I can’t be sure until I set fire to them.  I’ve got about two yards of the chocolate brown, and roughly three of the ivory.

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this piece is by far my best score.  it’s a gorgeous spring green and yellow changeable… well, something.  it feels like taffeta to me but it’s a little stiff.  it’s pretty heavy, too.  anyhow, I’ve got a beautiful ten yards of it, and the only problem I foresee is deciding what type of costume I want to make with it!

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this velvet is fabulous to see in person – my crummy iPad pictures don’t do the color justice.  it’s actually a bit darker than this, with a kind of orange-ish hue at a certain angle.

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my other super score – just over ten yards of the softest, sheerest cotton voile I’ve ever seen!  you can see that even through several layers of fabric, my rug is still visible.  it’s wonderfully light and floaty.  perfect for that chemise a la reine that I’ve been wanting to make for some time now.

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this fabric is really a mystery to me.  it’s really light and crisp, like a silk taffeta.  it’s also slightly crinkled and just a bit stretchy.  it appears to be originally a slate-blue sort of color that has been hand painted with shades of gold.  I’ve got a little more than a yard of this.  it was so interesting to look at and feel that I couldn’t leave it behind.

I also snagged a handful of remnants, amounting to between one and two yards each, as well as twenty-five yards of trim of all varieties.  and I probably would have left with more, except my checkbook – and the trunk of my car – wouldn’t permit it.

I’ll be pretty busy over the next few weeks, mainly with two things – one is the costume I’m working on at the moment, which I’ll hopefully be wearing to Anime Central in May (providing I finish it before then!)  I just started on it this week, which is leaving it a bit late, considering all that I have going on between now and then.  the other thing is that I’m doing some costumes for the summer show at the theater, which happens to be Les Mis.  between those two projects, and the fact that I’m going to LA in April, I’ll probably work myself to insanity… but look forward to some great costumes!

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Three Musketeers: pictures (yes, finally!)

what a few weeks it’s been!! the show ended today (or rather, yesterday) and was a huge success!! everyone wore their costumes beautifully and they looked so good on stage. so, as I promised some long while ago, I have some pictures. they’re fairly crummy in quality, because I did them at the last minute as we were putting everything away, and of course because I took pictures at the end of the show, they’re all showing some wear and tear. but these were my favorites.

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this was the “peacock” ball gown, one of my particular favorites. it consists of a pleated skirt (purple,) and the blue bodice with attached over skirt, and is made from a slubby sort of synthetic shantung. the last picture shows the back, which was grommetted for spiral lacing, and then, like everything else, laced incorrectly (I gave up after a few costumes and just went with standard spaced grommets after that.) the skirt ended up being about three inches too short for the actress, so someone added a ruffle at the hem, with some trim tacked on to hide the join – I wasn’t particularly happy with that. but the whole thing looked great on stage.

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the king’s masquerade outfit. I made it gold to match the mask he was supposed to wear, which was a lion, but he ended up with something else. but I love this costume. you can’t see it very well in the pictures, but the fabric is a satiny cream color with the pattern in white and gold metallic (from a section in the store called “church fabric”.) the pattern I used for this one was Simplicity 4059, which I used, with some modifications, for most of the mens costumes that we had to make for this show. the pantaloons I made up myself, and are extremely not historically accurate, but dang did they look good!
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of course, the king had to have matching shoes for his outfit. the director wanted it to be “outlandish and ridiculous”, so I came up with these. personally, I think they were the best part of the show. the king got asked about them by every single audience. lace, tassels, feathers, bows!

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the king’s “everyday” outfit, complete with matching shoes. he was such a good sport; he never complained even though I put him in tights and high heels.

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this was the queen’s bodice, which looks terrible on a hanger but really looked good on her. the matching skirt is simply a green pleated skirt. the stomacher, which you can’t see very well, is trimmed with gold, and the lace on the cuffs we actually kited from a gorgeous vintage wedding gown in the back room.

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this was the queen’s masquerade outfit. her character was a white eagle, so I made the gown silver and white to match, and it’s also the same pattern as the king’s, so they’re kind of obviously a couple. the skirt is simply pleated with a silver panel in the front. the bodice is the same style as her other outfit, with the addition of two hanging panels over the back of the arms that served as “wings”. you can see this kind of in the last picture. also, in the background, you can see our “Cardinal’s guards” capes – we made seven of these, and five of the blue Musketeer ones.

I can’t decide between this gown and the king’s gold outfit which was my absolute favorite… I think I might have to go with the king’s, just because the shoes make it so complete. but all these costumes were fabulous! I’m extremely grateful I got to work on this show, even if I had to go without food, sleep, or rest for the last four weeks.

I’m trying to get my hands on some of the official pictures from the photo shoot, so I may have something to post when that comes out. these costumes look so much better on people than they do on hangers. plus, this is only a fraction of the ones I myself made, including the ones I’ve already posted! there were close to fifty costumes in this whole show! granted, they’re not all as extravagant as these, but I worked hard on them all. but now that it’s over, maybe I can get back to some of my own projects… we’ll see!

A little shameless promoting.

ERMAHGERD. So, the Three Musketeers opens tonight! The last two weeks have flown away from me so quickly I don’t even know where they went. Forget taking pictures – I’ve barely had time to eat and sleep this week! But the costumes are so amazing, it was worth it!!

The Kenosha News wrote up an article about the show in today’s paper, which features some shots of the costumes (although a little unfinished… Argh!) unfortunately, you can’t read the article online unless you’re a subscriber, but if anyone is in the area, pick up a copy and check out the pics! Actually, if you’re in the area, I encourage you to go see the show. It’s incredible, and not just because of the costumes!

After this weekend, when things settle down a little, I may or may not have some pictures of finished costumes. But until then, I still have so much to do! Can’t I just have a nap?!

Three Musketeers – Milady

here’s what I worked on today. this is one of Milady’s outfits. it’s made of mole skin, which I was cursing every second of the process. the color in the pictures isn’t quite true; the bodice is a dark burgundy and the skirt is more mauve-colored. (I know my pictures are sucking more and more – I keep forgetting to bring my camera with me! I only had my iPad and, despite what the ad might claim, it is not a match for my Nikon.)

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pleating the skirt. mole does not pleat well. or iron well. or really do anything that I want it to do well. I pleated this thing for like an hour before I was really satisfied with the look.

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my mum’s cat was extremely helpful by way of getting hair all over my fabric and chewing holes in my arms when I tried to remove her from the area.

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the nearly-finished bodice, front and back. I used the same pattern as before, slightly modified. I pulled the strap down to sit on the shoulder and made the bodice back-lacing and front-closing with hooks and eyes (not yet sewn on.) the top and bottom edge of the bodice is bound with bias-cut strips of the same fabric – quelle nightmare! when I say that stuff does not want to hold a crease, I’m not kidding. I love the look and feel of mole but when I was at the fabric store loading bolts into my cart, I conveniently forgot that I hate to sew with it. the bias-binding alone took me at least an hour.

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an almost decent picture of the finished product. the sleeves are open to the shoulder and will tie shut over a big poofy white sleeve. all that’s left to do is hem the skirt, which I want to do after fitting the actress, and the hooks and eyes, which I only didn’t do today because I ran out.

the style of this gown is kind of a mish-mash of several styles of the period, which I don’t like. but the director had some specific requirements for this costume, so I winged it. that should be my slogan, shouldn’t it? “wingin’ it: adventures in historical costuming!” hm, I might use that.

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sneak peak of my other in-progress project for this show! made from curtains! what do you think it’s going to be? 😀

Three Musketeers : bodices

finally! progress!! just some quick shots of what I’ve been working on for The Three Musketeers. I spent all day today on these.

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the pattern I drafted myself, based on the 1562 velvet bodies in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 3. (my mum gave me the whole series for my birthday last week – score!) the play is set 1625, but the look of this bodice is basic enough to work.

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this is the “Sabine” bodice. the piece on the left in the first picture is with my original boning pattern – which was quickly evident that it wasn’t going to be enough, although the actress is a tiny thing, so I added a bit more boning to the center. the second picture is the inside of the bodice with full boning.

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grommeting. ugh!!

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the (almost) finished bodice. it closes at the front with hooks and eyes, and laces up the back sides for easy size adjustment. this bodice has to be quickly taken off on-stage, so lacing it shut wasn’t an option. besides, hooks and eyes are perfectly period!

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this is the “Constance” bodice, front and back. same pattern, but with a closed front. I based the trim design off some fashion plates from the era. again with grommets – yurrrrgh. I hate grommets, hate how they look, and it bugs me that they’re NOT PERIOD. but this is theater. and I don’t have the time for hand-sewing forty costumes. so I figure that if grommets are the worst thing up on the stage when I’m done, I’ll have done pretty well. still…

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here is a sleeve, which is lined with the blue from the “Sabine” bodice because that’s what I had around at the time. and the second picture is just a tube of stuffed fabric which will be attached to the shoulder with some black trim. because I am a dunce, I sewed my front sleeve bands to the inside of the bodice. so I thought… how do I attach sleeves without a sleeve band, and also make this thing still wearable? and that’s where I stopped taking pictures, so you’ll have to find out in the next post. which may be… tomorrow! I’m planning on finishing these two pieces, and hopefully drafting two ballgown bodices as well.