Archive | October, 2012

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

I’m hard at work making a cloak*, so please enjoy a scene from Bedknobs and Broomsticks in which a witch makes historical clothing and armor come to life to fight a Nazi mini-invasion of rural England.

Nothing says “Happy Halloween” like Substitutiary Locomotion! Except maybe Legolas and his fancy costume:

The Leeeeeegolas of the O-pe-ra is heeeereee….inside my blog!

I hope you’re having a wild and wacky holiday. In about an hour I’ll get into costume (the One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater, last seen at Dragon*Con), start the tacos, and begin drinking. Hopefully the trick-0r-treaters will show up shortly thereafter. Happy Halloween!

*which is to say, watching movies and binging on candy


Dressing for a cold faire

25 Oct

I’m in the middle of the Carolina Renaissance Festival, and it’s cold. Previously my biggest concern in outdoor performance was staying cool, what with working late spring ren faires, 4th of July events, and summer seasons at theme parks built around gigantic hunks of granite carved with the likenesses of traitors. Occasionally there will be cold days (one time it snowed!), but for the most part frostbite has not been a concern. It’s still not, but it sure feels like it some mornings. Being cold is my kryptonite.

The other day my talented and well-dressed harpist friend Sarah turned me on to her newest purchase: a pair of fleece-lined leggings from Anthropologie. They’re kind of amazing: soft inside, matte and opaque outside, comfortable, warm, and not the least bit bulky. High-waisted me could wish they had a slightly longer crotch seam, but if we got everything we wanted we would have nothing to bitch about. I think I’m going to need to add one more layer of tights or leggings when it gets super cold towards Thanksgiving, but for now they’re the best.

That got me thinking about other ways I’m keeping warm. I’m a little out of my depth here, but fortunately I have friends wit experience who can offer suggestions. And really, it should not be that complicated to adjust a Renaissance Europe-era costume to cold weather. Europe in the 15somethings, as it turns out, was smack in the middle of the Little Ice Age, and they all managed without central heating and insulation and fuzzy socks. This should not be hard.

So far, here in mid-to-late October, I’m getting along with the bare minimum of warm shit. I’ve got the basic costume (I adjusted a few things, more on that later), I just added some things: narrow sleeves (made of an 80/20 silk poly blend that’s heaven under 75 degrees and hell over), fingerless gloves (which also keep my shirt sleeves from riding up when I put on my sleeves), a black velvet scarf I keep forgetting to remove the tag from, and a black, rose-patterned shawl I found under the receptionist desk at my last full-time job. And then, of course, warm socks.

Next week I’m going to put together a new cloak. I have a full-length cloak in dark green wool and black fleece that’s gorgeous and comfy, but a) it’s not terribly character specific, and b) I’m using it as an extra blanket, because we’re camping without power hookups. The pattern is obviously seriously not period, but frankly it’s already 32 degrees outside when I leave the RV and it’s only October don’t judge me. With fewer (which is to say, no) ruffles I think option C will be just fine. Fleece Fest was happening at Hancock, so I got a pretty pale yellow for the lining, and I thought I was going to use my 50% off coupon on a black wool blend that was marked at $14.99/yd, until the lady who was about to cut it told me it was already on sale, it normally retailed for $27something, and so I couldn’t use my coupon. I was like “wtf, that’s the opposite of what it says on the bolt right there,” but it was almost closing and I was desperate for dinner so I let it go. To hell with Hancock Fabrics. I have got to stop going there. I’ve got some velveteen left, so I’ll use that, and the cloak will look like an extension of the costume. Which is what I want anyway. I just hope the velveteen and fleece is warm enough. Maybe I’ll interline it with something?

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing to keep warm so far. I’m going to need a pair of actual gloves at some point, with a water-proof outside and a soft lining and, ya know, fingers and whatnot. I’m also going to make a new pair of sleeves in a black velvety fabric of undetermined content, because options!

Tell me how you keep warm, persons who do historical outdoor events in the cold. This is for science.

Repost: Halloween Costume Etiquette

10 Oct

About this time last year, I wrote a simple, easy-to-understand post about How Not To Be A Dick While Shopping For Halloween Costumes. It includes helpful reminders, swearing, and a reference to The Rock. In the absence of any fresh content, I suggest you go read it.

More Avengers pics!

2 Oct

As I believe I mentioned like sixty times, we had a photoshoot last Sunday with the amazing Raven Shutley. I can’t recommend her enough–she was super fun to shoot with, the turnaround was lightning-quick (we had pictures within a couple of days), and the finished product is awesome. I’ve posted these on every social media site ever, but there’s no such thing as overkill on the interwebs. Some of my favorite pics are below the cut, mostly of the costumes Chris and I did because this is, after all, my blog. My name’s on it and everything. I think I’ve made this joke before.

Hopefully some of the others involved will be doing guest posts about the construction of their costumes. There are also some changes I want to make to our getup, which I’ll probably post about later. In the meantime, pictures! Pictures everywhere! Check out our Facebook page!

And then I’m going to finish the updates on my faire costume before the Carolina Renaissance Festival opens on Saturday! Come out and see me! Find me and mention my blog  or my Facebook page and you’ll get a present*!

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