Friday, March 21, 2014

Current projects: ghawazee coats and more

So, based on the reception of my blue ghawazee outfit at the last few events, I've decided to branch out into costume vending. I will be selling wares at the upcoming Springs and Sprockets event in Ypsilanti, MI on April 13th. I've been busy sewing away, creating stock ghawazee coats (and hopefully some high collared Victorian Steampunk coats as well). Here are some of the in-progress shots!

Silvery green with cream embroidery. Size M

Golden/tan with blue embroidery and sleeves. Size XS/child

Purple/green feathery pattern. I can't wait until the purple trim is will really pop. Size XL

Close up of feather pattern. 
I have a bunch more cut out in many more sizes, including a gorgeous blue/gold, a very pretty silvery purple, a pink and maroon stripe, and a red and black taffeta. As they get done-ish, I'll keep posting photos!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pandoracon Costume 1: Nice Knockers

A while back, I posted a fun little costume sketch for Pandoracon, a general nerdery convention in Cincinnati, OH. The theme this year was the Labyrinth, so of course I had to come up with themed costumes!

Given that I was prepping for Teslacon just a few weeks later, I wanted to create something that was a little less sewing intensive. Aside from the knockers themselves (and the sign), everything else was something that I already had: corset by Orchard Corset, hats by Blonde Swan and myself, other clothing just part of my regular collection.

I bought two pounds of Sculpey III clay from my local Joann Fabrics, and then the fun began!

It took me a little while to determine my exact process. Because I am rather gifted in the bosom department, I wanted to make sure the plates would both fit my ample curves AND be stable enough to last a whole convention. I started by covering an old bra of mine in masking tape - because the bra was already padded, I just had to prop the cups up a little bit to make sure they held their form. I was originally going to place the clay forms directly over tinfoil (as seen on the left), but that wasn't as stable as I wanted.

So, instead, I rolled a thin piece of clay and covered the entire bra form. Then, I made the basic face shapes in tinfoil, covered them in clay, and pressed them into the base (face on the right). I used extra clay to fill in and smooth out the basic shapes, and to add extra details.

Once I had both faces done, I baked the entire structure, bra and all, in my oven according to the directions that came with the clay. When they cooled, I popped them off the bra form and had my chest plates! I then coated them in a spray plastic to give them a smoother finish and to provide more stability (dry clay can be fragile, so the plastic coating helped to prevent them from shattering when I bumped into anything).

I painted them using a mix of coppers and bronzes, and then tried to add a fake green patina - it sort of worked, but I was running out of time to do it right, so it was a little hard to see. I made the rings out of these curlicue Christmas decorations from Hobby Lobby - I just bent them into shape and hot glued them in place.

In retrospect, I should have made holes in the plates before I baked them, but because I was not that smart at the time, I ended up (carefully!) dremmeling holes into the sides and top so I could attach the harness.

Originally, the harness was made out of elastic, but my friend Peter of Shoptroll made some super awesome durable leather straps for me (seen above).

The picture above (taken by the talented Brian Kollig) is the closest variation to my original sketch. It turned out pretty damn close, if I do say so myself!

Here is another costume variation. This is the one I wore for the costume contest - I got third place overall!

I have plans to remake the knockers, now that I have some more clay experience and have learned from some of my basic mistakes. But overall, I am pretty happy with how these turned out. More importantly, I had a great time, received a lot of compliments, met a lot of new people, and made tons of punny jokes with other Labyrinth nerds :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Photoshoot at Gears, Beards, and Beers

Last week, I attended Capitol Steam's fantastic event, Gears, Beards, and Beers in Jackson, MI. Matt Gwinn of Errant Knight Photography was there offering free photos, so I took advantage and got some great shots of my new blue/gold outfit with my ShopTroll leather. 

I wish I had removed my camera bag, but this is a great full body shot that shows how the skirt is hitched to the belt and creates some interesting falls. I love how the blues of the coat and the trim really make the lighter sand-colored leather pop!

Playing around with props! This is one of my favorite costume photos of me ever - Matt did a great job. I love how the blue feathers set off my purple hair. Again, great detailing in the leather by ShopTroll. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Sketchbook 3/10/14

This is another piece inspired by Shoptroll - this costume has a decidedly more Victorian/steampunk flair - I'm trying to go for more of a Proper Lady Adventurer.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Sketchbook 3/3/2014

This drawing is kind of important to me, because it's the only thing I drew at all when I was in the worst of my depression - about 3 months of no drawing, no costuming, nothing. It's also what I drew right before I decided to start taking medication, which has helped immensely. I was inspired by my friend ShopTroll's leatherwork, and decided to start playing around with the idea of loving my inner monster - fur, fangs, and all.