Tag Archives: sewing

My stars and garters, a post about costumes

19 Apr
Ok, universe, be straight with me. Do I have the time and willpower to make a Harlots costume for Dragon Con, in addition to the (*counts*) three new costumes I’ve already committed to making?
 
Here are the facts as we know them:
  • I successfully made this style of bodice before, and still have it and the pattern. While I only liked it OK, I think that alterations would be pretty simple–but it would be easy enough to make a new one, as well
  • I am rapidly becoming obsessed with this show
  • fingerless gloves! masks! feathers!

Here are some further facts:

  • I’ve been back and forth between slightly depressed and really depressed for (*counts*) a hot minute* now
  •  I suggested it three years ago, and we have put it off every year, but mr. biscuit and I are committed to finally making Tauriel and Kili costumes this year, and that’s a lotta sewin’
  • I’m also adding a Post-Apocalyptic She-Hulk costume this year
  • did I mention crippling depression and anxiety conspiring to steal my wherewithal because that is a thing that has been happening
  • last year I couldn’t even pull together a Liz Lemon costume, which would literally have been a TGS hoodie, a pair of pajama pants, and a block of cheese
  • the fuck do I curl my hair like that
  • fuck no I’m not wearing another wig**

But then here are still more facts:

  • She-Hulk is going to be pretty simple and probably not require any sewing, just finding and distressing. Also makeup effects, which I’m probably hiring out anyway
  • I’m also probably hiring out for at least parts of Tauriel’s getup
  • this show is my everything

I do believe I have talked myself out of this plan, which is probably for the best.

My current sewing project hasn’t really gone anywhere in a minute***, at first because of blah blah blah, but then because of yadda yadda yadda, and now because of inertia caused by exhaustion caused by sinking sadness with its roots in my brain being a little bit broken. I got up and walked away from the boning channels in the bodice, and haven’t been back except to pile more shit on my desk. It’s a cycle, this. I’ll get in there soon and I’ll clean it up, and my half of the office will be beautiful and calm again, and then I’ll fill it with thread and dramatic sighing.

Two weekends ago mr. biscuit and I went to Texas to visit the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. I worked there for so long, but aside from driving to and from Texas with me the first two times, he had never visited. I had so many friends he had never met. He had never seen the faire, with the spot I staked out to perform, the pubs I sang at with friends, the shop where I ate my weight in cheese bread. Mnozil Brass was performing in the Dallas area, so we combined two trips into one, and had a long weekend so wonderful it was almost miraculous. I was so happy my face hurt from smiling. Then this Sunday I had to give up and crawl into bed at like 5:00, because I was too sad to keep functioning.

I know some people are so depressed they can’t get out of bed, shower, brush their teeth. I have never manifested it so badly for long, thank goodness, though there have been times I’ve been real close. Right now I’m not drowning, but I’m also not getting anywhere. I’m treading water. Using all my energy to stay afloat. By the time I’m done doing the bare minimum of things I have to–get up, wash self, brush hair, go to work, keep work functioning, drive without driving into a tree, tidy up after self–I have nothing left except blank stares and a growing fear that this is it.

I’m not doing much of anything right now, except work. I read books, I leave the TV on for company and so I don’t have to think of things to say, I sleep. I have time to do things, but when I think about doing things I want to weep with exhaustion and terror. Make a costume? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t even make a sandwich today.

So anyway, I don’t think this was actually a post about costuming. I also don’t think I’m making a Harlots costume for Dragon Con.

*a long time
**I’m already wearing one for Tauriel and another for April O’Neill, why do you hate me and my poor scalp?
***several weeks

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Fairy Fail Update

15 May

First of all, I love you guys. I woke up this morning to a flood of encouragement and warm fuzzies, here and on my Facebook, that I really needed to be able to get back on the horse. You are all the best.

heart is full of rainbows

Dramatic, but accurate

On the suggestion of many people, I showered, slept, went out for sushi and frozen yogurt, and then tried my hand at belting the faulty gown. You were all right; it looks much better with a belt. I just…still don’t like it. I spent quite a bit of time actively not thinking about it before I came back to try it again, the better to come to it with a clean slate, and I just…I don’t like it. It’s not what I thought it would be, and I don’t like how it fits anywhere, not just at the waist. Specifically I’m unhappy with the arm holes, the way the bodice crosses (badly. It crosses badly), and the just general bulkiness of it. Even with serious belting, the fabric pools and pulls and puffs weirdly and makes me look pregnant. I would have to construct a belt a LOT wider than what I had planned–what basically amounts to an underbust corset–to make it work about half of what I want it to work, and I don’t have the time or energy to make two of those.

Eventually, perhaps this summer, I will take it apart and see if I can figure out what went wrong. I don’t have the time to do that now, though, so I’m starting over, with a pattern I’ve proven I can use and alter accurately and quickly. I’ve got today, part of tomorrow, and part of Friday. I got a little more fabric this morning, and I’m going to make one costume at a time lest I mess up again. I’m starting with mine, the Fairy of Red Grapes. I’ll keep you up to date.

Fairy fail

15 May

I basically just finished the Red Grape Fairy, and it looks terrible.

I think I can say with certainty that the problem is not on my end, except that I bought a shitty pattern. My bad.

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Scheduled creativity

19 Apr

I am making a spreadsheet in Excel with all my Dragon*Con costuming plans.

It is four worksheets long. I was originally going to print it and tape it up on the wall by my sewing desk, but I don’t think I have that much paper.

I may have a problem.

How do you keep track of your projects?

Grape Fairies: fabric accomplished!

15 Apr

Dallas has a couple of great fabric warehouses, and every year I look forward to blowing huge amounts of money visiting them. Today, on the whimiest of whims, I abandoned my traditional post-faire sleepathon and went a-fabric shopping. I got almost everything I need for the Grape Fairies, with the exception of the fabric for the waist cinchers I’ve only just decided I’m building in place of corsets.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I am shit at taking pictures.

I decided pretty early on that the fabric and trim would need to be identical except for the color. That turned out to be easy for the matte base layer (a very simple cotton, not pictured b/c yawn) and the sheer outer layer (which was unmarked at the store but is definitely poly and might be organza or possibly chiffon, I don’t really know and neither do I care because it was cheap as hell), but not so easy for the trim. After an hour in the trim room, I came away with 3/4″ grossgrain ribbon and simple braided trim to go with/over it, both in pale pink and hunter green. Not really what I wanted, but once I get over my disappointment I will be happy with it. I wanted a really rich reddish purple, but all they had was basically neon, so I swallowed my tears and went with green for the red wine, reasoning that grapes have green leaves. Totally makes sense. I’m planning to use the ribbon for most of the trim, as it was thirty cents a yard and I bought a thousand billion yards of it. Some decorative stitching in contrasting colors will do a lot to liven it up. Also, pearls. Because handsewing can be done on the couch and is therefore The Best.

I left the pattern I’m planning to use at home, so now I have to figure out whether it’s cheaper to have it mailed to me or just get a new one. Waiting until I visit home in two weeks isn’t really an option, I don’t think; I need to have these basically done by the time I go home for good (about 6 weeks from now). Plus, I need time to stitch on those pearls, and make the headdresses, and paint the wings. So. To the postoffice, mr. biscuit!

I made a thing, and it turned out really well

10 Apr

I’ve wanted a collared bodice for a long time. I like the way collars frame my face, and the back of the neck is an enormously awkward place to put sunscreen.

I finally got around to making one.

I’m so proud of it I could poo.

esp 2013

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Announcing the Fabulous Costume Movie Madness Tournament of Champions!

1 Mar

If you’re into sports, or hang out with someone who is, or if you’ve ever stepped into a bar in the US or turned on a TV in the spring, you may be aware of this little thing called March Madness. You know, the basketball tournament with the brackety thing?

You may insert your favorite teams as desired

Yes, that!

Being 6′ tall since the age of 12, I was strong-armed into playing basketball for two miserable, embarrassing seasons (I was very bad at it), and since nothing it sexier than clinging to childhood trauma, I still harbor deep resentment for the sport and all its trappings. That doesn’t mean I can’t use its trappings to my own end, though! And with that in mind…

“What Is This I Can’t Even” and stone biscuit productions are pleased to bring you

The Fabulous Costume Movie Madness Tournament of Champions

What is it? A tournament-style…uh, tournament, where I post a lot of pretty pictures and readers vote for their favorite fabulously-costumed movie to become Champion of Champions!

What movies will be involved? We’re still finalizing our competitors, but I can tell you that the field is broad and includes a number of classic costume dramas as well as some films you may not even have heard of.

When it starts

I’ll announce the field of competitors on Sunday, March 10. The first round of voting begins on Wednesday, March 13, and continues from there, leading up to the Championship Vote on Saturday, March 30.

Mark your calendars, put on your voting hats, and get ready to argue for your favorites!

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