Tag Archives: costumes

I’m going to pretend it’s still May.

That way I can still claim to be posting at least once a month.

I thought I should probably post photos of BratzBasher’s completed kimono (Simplicity pattern 4080). It was an absolute bear, I tell you. Right to the bitter end. When I’d finally sewn the last stitch, I told BB, “I’m never making another one of these unless someone offers me hundreds of dollars and at least a pound of gourmet chocolate. Here is the finished result (please ignore background clutter):

kimono front


kimono back

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. BB’s bangs are that long because she’d been growing them out for months in anticipation of attending the first day of AnimeCon as Undertaker from Black Butler. Here’s a photo of that costume. I’m really only responsible for the coat, but I consider it to be a feat of refashioning awesomeness.


When BB told me she wanted to dress up as Undertaker last Halloween, I balked at the task of finding anything remotely resembling that coat with the overlong sleeves. I certainly had no intention of creating one from scratch. Luckily, Goodwill came to the rescue. I don’t have any before pics, but the coat was cobbled together from a blazer, a long skirt, a pair of slacks (Yes, those sleeves are actually pant legs!), a zipper, and some velcro. I am a genius. The sash is a twin size flat sheet — no cutting or sewing necessary, though I did snip off the tag.


Finished Costumes

I’m finally finished with my share of the costumes for Beauty and the Beast. Here are some pics:

Shirt and Bodice

100_0251The white shirt is just a tee that I found at Goodwill for 34¢.  I put elastic in the sleeve hems, cut a new neckline, and added elastic to that, too. The bodice is a basic, ribbed tank top ($1.50 at Goodwill).  I used 1/8 inch ribbon to sew fake laces on the front, and I shortened the length to just 8 inches or so from the neckline (using a zig-zag stitch).

The Enchantress’ Dress

100_0252I found a dark green dress at Goodwill for just $2.00 and cut a slit up the front.  Then I found a bright, neon green, sheer fabric with glittery swirls on it to make an underskirt and lengthen the sleeves.  I also added a sash.  Of course, with the underskirt being so sheer, I also made a slip to go underneath (cotton and netting).

Here’s a close-up of the glittery swirls:

100_0253You can see them better if you click on the image to enlarge it.  I think it’ll look great under the lights.

I learned quite a bit working on these costumes, and tried some new-to-me techniques.  I think the hardest part of the whole thing was cranking out multiple shirts and bodices.  It got a bit tedious.  Now I’m on the theater’s radar as a potential future volunteer.  I hear next year’s play has pirates in it.  Anybody have any good, cheap pirate costume ideas?

sewing costumes

I recently volunteered to help a friend from church come up with costumes for a local children’s theater production of Beauty and the Beast.  And, yes, it’s the Disney-fied version with dancing cutlery.  I’m mainly helping with the enchantress and the village girls.

I’ve already learned a lot — for instance, I can now make short-sleeved peasant blouses out of t-shirts, long-sleeved blouses out of men’s dress shirts (thanks to a tutorial on youtube), and lace-up bodices out of tank tops.  Who knew, right? I’ll post pics of some pieces when I have more done.

In the meantime…can’t blog…sewing.  I’ve got more than a dozen blouses and bodices to make — not to mention the aprons and the fancy dress.  And yes, I am having fun.

Before I plunge right back in…

I’ve altered the pattern for BratzBasher’s coat.  I started with a costume pattern meant to resemble Neo’s long, black coat from The Matrix, and now I’ve got a shorter (BB isn’t that tall), yellow (leaning toward orange) coat.  I had no idea it would be such a chore to alter it, but it took me three hours to make all of the changes.  Of course, part of that time was spent figuring out how to do it without losing the shape at the bottom.  There wasn’t a line on the pattern that said, “shorten/lengthen here”, so I had to…well, nevermind.  I got it done.

I’ll post a pic of the finished coat when I’m through.  So far, I’ve cut out all the pieces, ironed on all of the interfacing, and stitched the front, back, and sides together.  Now I just have to sew on the collar, the front facings, the back facing, the sleeves…remembering to add the white swirls to the sleeves before I assemble them.  Sigh.  That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  My goal is to finish it by the end of Friday.  Saturday is reserved for major cleanup to make the house presentable for Christmas.  Have to clean up the everyday junk before I can set out my Christmas junk, you know.  The hardest places will be my sewing area, which has grown to encompass most of the front room, and the coffee juice table.  Those darn flat surfaces, yeah?

Meanwhile, we’ve all got allergies — or have they morphed into colds?  I can’t tell.  I know that the mold count was off the charts lately, but it seems to have settled down now — as has my cough.  Still, we’re all congested.  BB is almost as bad as I am when she’s sick.  The thing that makes her better than I am is the fact that she takes her medicine without complaint — even the liquid stuff.  I’m still terrible about that.  She asks every morning if she’s sick enough to stay home from school, but she never has a fever.  Poor kid.  Now go to school and quit bugging me.

Well, it’s time to get dressed and go be productive for a few hours.  Wish me luck.

Boo-ks and the “hat of shame”

It occurs to me that I really should take a picture of the “hat of shame”, but I can’t be bothered to get out the camera and document it.  I’ll just describe it for you at a later point in this post.

BratzBasher and I both signed up for a teen event at our local library for Halloween.  It was a party that centered on a visit from three semi-local authors, and I was particularly excited about it because I read two of the authors: Heather Brewer and Antony John.  The third author was Fiona Paul, with whose work I am not familiar because her debut novel just came out.  It’s supposed to be really good, though.  It’s called Venom.  If I read it, I’ll let y’all know if it’s worth your time.

Anyway…we thought that this costumed affair would take place the evening before Halloween, which meant that we’d miss the ward trunk-or-treat (a shame), but BB would still get to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night.  Unfortunately, I’d gotten my dates mixed up, and we showed up in costume on the wrong night.  Oops.  Luckily, BB’s costume isn’t embarrassing, and we did have another event we could attend at the church.  Unluckily, I was wearing what we’ve dubbed the “hat of shame” and looked pretty silly.  I went as a death note holder — inspired by the manga/anime series Death Note, and my costume consisted of a baseball cap with a fake apple suspended from a wire coming out of the top.  The apple had a bite out of it.  It was supposed to represent my invisible Shinigami that was following me around.  They love apples, you know.  Needless to say, nobody at the trunk-or-treat got it.  I didn’t expect them to.  I was slightly disappointed that nobody at the party got it, but then it wasn’t really an anime venue.

BB opted out of the party last night so that she could go trick-or-treating with friends, and I went to the party by myself with strict instructions to get “Auntie” Heather’s autograph on a page of sketches BB made that represented her artistic genius.  There were title frames for various comic strips she’s made, including “Batman vs. the Zombie Bratz”, “Everyone hates Hannibal” (the guy with the elephants — she did that one for social studies), “The Exploits of the Fan Girlz”, and “The Candyman’s Happy Place” (which showed a man holding a cleaver, standing in front of a sacrificial altar decorated with candy and a dead kid on the altar).  She also drew a purple cow and an image of herself in her soul reaper costume (a la Bleach).  Heather Brewer wrote on the bottom: “Dear Linda, You are a FANGtastic artist!  Love, Auntie Heather” and drew a fanged smileyface in black sharpie.

At first I felt a little silly being (most likely) the only adult at the party without a kid in tow — not counting the librarians or authors.  Once the authors showed up, however, I enjoyed myself.  Most of the kids come for Heather Brewer — she’s hugely popular, but Heather is good at sharing the spotlight and including any other authors present in the discussions.  She can twist just about any question to apply to anybody.  She made a great master of ceremonies.

There were drawings for prizes, and I won (Wow!  Me!  I never win anything!) a Vladimir Tod tote bag for BB to put all of her goodies in.  That reminds me — Heather Brewer always brings buttons with her fanged smileyface logo on them.  Each time she comes out with a new book, she’s got a new button.  I picked up an extra vampire slayer button for BB that I still need to give her.  I also got her a poster for Heather’s book Soulbound, which I need to finish reading before I can pass it on to the kid.  For myself, I got Heather’s and Antony’s autographs, and I got to chat with both authors.

Funny moments from the evening:

All the authors dressed up as Hogwarts students, but poor Antony John accidentally ordered the wrong size of robe and had to come as “Harry Potter after a growth spurt.”  He also promised to stay in character the whole evening and speak only in a British accent.  Did I mention he’s originally from England?

Each of the authors introduced themselves at the start and said what their books were about.  Heather Brewer was “Stephanie Meyer, and I write books about sparkly, glittery rainbow boys.”  Antony John was “J.K. Rowling, the most famous, wealthiest author ever.”  Fiona Paul had not quite gotten the hang of the silliness and pretended to be Antony John and gave a wonderful review of his latest book.  Don’t worry, Fiona.  You will learn.

Each author was asked what scared them the most.

Fiona: sharks

Antony: “Anything that comes after my three-year-old son waking me up at five in the morning and saying, ‘Dad, you’ll never guess…”, and it usually involves the oven.”

Heather: clowns — not intentionally scary clowns, but regular ones.

All three combined: a shark wearing a clown wig and hiding in the oven

In the end, BB and I both had a great Halloween, though BB ended up with more candy.  At least there were cookies at the party.

Renaissance Faire

Our family attended the Renaissance Faire on Saturday.  Merkin and BratzBasher were working as storytellers there, and I got comped a ticket.  It was fun.  There were some crazy costumes, though.  And by “crazy”, I mean “scary”.  Way too much cleavage.  Apparently, all the female attendees prefer to dress as doxies (naughty wenches).  My research indicated that the bodices were designed to create cleavage, but some stopped just under the breasts — which were rather too loosely contained within the excess fabric of the undergown.  I was glad to see that there were plenty of women who covered up with higher necklines.  BratzBasher’s costume was very modest.  Here’s a front view.

(It was a full-length photo, but my fingertip was showing.  You’re not missing anything.)  I did the embroidery on the front.  You can’t see it very well, but it’s yellow flowers on a winding green stem.  I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of the back, and who knows when I’ll talk her into putting the thing on again.  She never complained about the clothing being too hot, though.  She was a real trooper.  Plus, I think the skirts were probably as cool as shorts would have been.  Oh, and I told her to smile, but she was annoyed at the whole picture-taking thing.  She takes after her parents in that respect.

I got a couple pics of Merkin because he couldn’t stop me while onstage.  He did make me promise not to show the picture of him with a sausage on his nose.  It wasn’t a real sausage.  I found a pair of brown, toddler-sized tights and figured one of the legs would make a perfect sausage prop once I stuffed it with cotton and tied both ends off.  I added an elastic string to one end so he could wear it for his fisherman story — the one in which the fisherman releases a magic fish that grants him and his wife three wishes, and his wife wishes a sausage onto his nose.  The prop was Merkin’s idea, and it got a lot of laughs.

Well, I suppose I should shower at some point today.  Wonder what I’ll do once I’m dressed.  I guess there’s always housework. *snort*

What is it about Thursdays?

I forgot to attend my book club meeting last night and to re-certify another volunteer who only works Thursday evenings.  Something about Thursdays makes it impossible for me to remember to attend appointments in the evening.  I remember them until it’s time to go.  Then I forget about them entirely.  Sigh.  I was really looking forward to talking about Pride and Prejudice, and now I have to wait another week before I can re-certify whosisface.  Ah well.

I was caught up in a sewing project last night.  Merkin and BratzBasher have secured spots as storytellers at the Renaissance Faire (woo hoo!), and they need costumes (d’oh!).  Merkin found a cleric’s hooded tunic at the costume shop, but I’m making a dress for BB.  It’s a sort of apple green bodice and skirt over a white muslin chemise and has a matching muffin cap (to hide her “modern” bangs and keep her hair off her neck) — or it will, at least, when I’m finished.  I’ll take pictures, of course.  I messed up a bit on the bodice.  I was altering it to close in the back, rather than the front, and I accidentally made the front too wide.  Sigh.  I’m going to sew a decorative piece over the seam.  All this has to be ready by the 21st of this month, so I guess I’d better shower and get to work.