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Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Well, my dears, I am back once more. With some closet additions, reviews and tales from life. Lets do tales from life first, shall we?

My friend Nate was kind enough to swath me in plastic wrap and duct tape and somehow managed to magically transform the three hour venture into a fantastic reproduction of my torso, with accurate measurements, as a dress form. Best of all, it was supremely inexpensive. I shall be playing his part in the next episode of this story either tomorrow or next week. Timing is a bit unsure as of now.

I went rambling all over two malls and saw The Hunger Games for a second time with the lovely Cindy. We got rained on bunches. I, like the silly disbeliever of the weather person I am, left my umbrella at home. There was makeup purchased at Inglot ($5 per 2.3/2.5g pot!), no luck in lipstick searching, tea was sniffed, tasted, and bought at Teavana (mmm, pu-erh), and food was nommed. From there we went off in search of burgundy pants and a maroon paisley shirt for cosplay purposes, but it was fruitless. We consoled ourselves with gelato, and went back to my house to watch another movie. It was quite the big day!

Last week I went hunting for yet more fabric for Maleficent, as I had come to the conclusion that the plum fabric I bought was perfect for her under dress, but not for the lining of her robe. I also needed to get robin’s egg blue fabric for recreating the Alice dress that I intend to do absolutely accurately this time. $4.99 p/yard on sale for both, thank goodness, as I am over budget already thanks to Fluevog having a sale as well with perfect timing, if not perfect selection.

I am now the proud owner of a pair of Soprano Inge boots, size 10, Fluevogs notoriously run small, for over 50% off! They are black, not plum like Alice actually wears, but they’re still the right shoe! And weren’t $450! And I’m more likely to wear them outside cosplay in black! So, not at all bad. Also, the lining is baby pink leather. Very interesting. Also, very, very comfy. They may be my new everyday boots. Oops! This may mean goodbye to the T.U.K.s. Haven’t decided, yet.

I have patterns for Hatter’s shirt, one to alter for Alice’s dress for which I have and have cut the fabric for, and one for Maleficent’s robe. Still must figure out her cowl, probably going to be getting help from Nate for fiberglass molding it, her collar, and I shall be making a simple dress or skirt with undersleeves attached to the robe sleeves. Probably the latter, as Comic Con is in July. Calculating cosplays for heat is all important. Also, for how long you can stand in them. Hence Hatter and Alice, as they’re more practical, especially without the coats.

I bought a pair of shoes from Charlotte Russe. Platform patent pumps that are super tall to give me the regal height needed for Maleficent as I’m quite petite. I tried them out the other day, with heel and ball of foot inserts. They will likely not be everyday shoes, but they’re workable for the cosplay.

And last but not least, consumables. A while ago I got four bottles of essential oil perfumes from Black Phoenix Alchemy lab. They are Belladonna and Strangler Fig from the Rappaccini’s Garden collection, Zombi from the Ars Moriendi collection, and Philologus from the VILF or Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone collection. The latter two are absolutely my favorites. Zombie starts out with a heavy kick of fresh turned earth, and slowly mellows to a dried moss scent, and Philologus smells like a wonderfully old and dusty library just as it is described. Strangler Fig is very green and goes well with Zombie when I mix them on my skin, and Belladonna is also very green but fruity as well.

That’s it, really. I must wake up early to study for two Chinese quizzes tomorrow, so I shall leave you with an outfit picture from today when I tried out the Hatter pants and Alice boots.

I'm even wearing my Maleficent Disney pin, so all three planned cosplays are represented! *please do not use this picture without permission.

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, I had a pretty good winter break. I got to visit my old hometown and see friends, and now I’m back in California and in classes once more. One big thing I accomplished during the break was finally making my fox fur stole.

Materials used:
The fur
An X-acto pen knife
Parchment paper, for a rough pattern
Scissors, for the parchment paper
Lining fabric
Pinking shears, for the lining fabric
3 yrds 1/4in twill tape
Needle
Thread
Tailors pins

Supplies, and my water. Sewing is thirsty work!

First I lay the fur on the parchment paper, fur side up, and traced the outside (moving the fur out of the way) with a pen to make a rough pattern. I knew I had to move a few pieces of fur around to make the stole more even when finished, and I didn’t want to cut blindly, so. Then, moving the fur off to the side, I cut the pattern pieces of those bits I intended to move off, and rearranged them until I was satisfied with their new placement. Then I started cutting.

I first cut off the tail, since I knew I wasn’t keeping it on the stole. (It had a very large burr embedded in it.) Cutting fur, faux or real, is a delicate matter, and you want to do it with a blade like a razor blade and NOT scissors. Scissors will ruin your fur.

I began cutting leather side up, using very small strokes until I was through to the fur side all along the line I wanted to cut. Then, because this fur was very thick, I gently pulled the two sides away from each other, using the X-acto knife to carefully cut through any tangles that arose. I then did the same for the small belly piece and the leg piece I wanted to move. (I had meant to keep the ears one, but I ended up removing them.)

Post cutting and pattern

You can’t quite see in this picture (cell phone), but I had rearranged the cut pieces to double check the fit. About as even as it was going to get, on to sewing!

I had to sew the leg holes shut first, as I wasn’t quite sure how they would close up I wanted to get it out of the way. I pushed all of the fur out to the fur side, and whip stitched the leather edges together. Then I whip stitched the edges of the pieces I had cut and rearranged. To do this you want to pinch the edges together, fur side to fur side, so the seam is invisible on the fur side, and makes a tiny ridge on the leather side.

I didn't orignally think to take a picture, but here's one from further down the line to illustrate what I mean.

Once that was done I cut the lining with the pinking shears, using the same method as I had for tracing the pattern, but leaving more room around the edges for a seam allowance. (of course, being very, very careful to not cut any of the fur.)

Cut lining, fur, and scrap pieces.

Now it was time to pin the twill tape. To do this you want to pin the fur side first, lining up the edges so they match, with the twill tape’s far side over the fur, like so:

Pinned twill tape

A clearer picture, because I finally thought to get the camera and not use my cell phone *facepalm*

I was lucky, because I only had three yards of 1/4 black twill tape, and at the end of pinning I was left with about 4 inches!

Once the pinning was done I whip stitched those two seams together.

Whip stitching away!

Once that  was done I pulled the far side of the twill tape over to the leather side and pinned it down.

Pinned down

Now the fur is going to get in your way here big time. Once everything is pinned, you guessed it, sewing in place and trust me. Whip stitch that bugger, a regular or slip stitch is not going to cut it. (I don’t know about machine stitching, I did all of this by hand!)

I don’t have a picture for that, I got on a plane the next morning, but I kept sewing, even during the flight! It is apparently very distracting/confusing to other passengers to be sewing a fur piece on a plane. Some people at first thought it was an animal… Nope, not any more. It is now clothing, and quite pretty.

After sewing down the twill tape I pinned the lining fabric to it, seam allowances rolled under of course, and whip stitched it in place using very small stitches so it wouldn’t be visible. Don’t worry too much, though, if you’re using real fur it’ll probably be fluffy enough to cover the stitches once it’s done. It’s actually going to be a bit of a bitch to do this part of the sewing, because the fur will get in the way, and you’ll have to tease it out from under the stitches when it does.

Lining sewn down

Sewing the lining is what I did on the plane, I had only been able to pin it in place the night before. I was a tad worried about going through security, but sewing pins I guess are no problem. (I checked the website, but the TSA didn’t say anything about straight pins, so I wasn’t sure.) I almost finished the stole during the flight, but I completed it after getting picked up at the airport.

Finished! About 20 hours of work, all told.

And that is that!

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