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Halloween commissions have begun and I think I’ve met my match with a mermaid’s tail. who’d have thought.

Halloween costume #1: Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz

Special guest appearance: Murdock doing his best to circumvent any work.

Some con shots of my Hyde costume from Steamcon this year, which included way too many snaps ever. At some point we’ll have to get proper photographs of the costume, including the little details you can’t see in these shots, sadly.

S as Olivia the Pig from Olivia Saves the Circus, also known as: In Which I Drafted & Patterned the Tiniest Tailcoat Everrrrrrrrrr

So I don’t have any photographs of the boys on Halloween, on account I wasn’t there and as it was Halloween night, it would have been too dark for proper photographs. It’ll probably be a bit before we get some good shots of them, as Seattle’s now in its fantastic perpetual rain period, so planning in advance for things like photoshoots isn’t really a good idea. Have to think of some good locations for a Creeper and Beast Boy photo shoots, too.

So here’s some belated photos of Astro Boy!

well it’s october

which, i suppose, maybe partially explains my lack of communication as of late. in addition to the photos i haven’t posted (Astro Boy, SDCC, everything..) have a list of asks/emails that i haven’t answered yet (that I should be answering instead of this), but this month is the busiest month. if you’ve been around long enough you already know this but just in case.

I’ve been crazy busy the past two months!!

I worked on a movie set in LA as a costume designer, its called A Leading Man and it’s going to be a great film. After that, I’ve been picking up days here and there throughout Sept covering for costumers needing on-set help/coverage. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know people in the Seattle film community.. which is much larger than I originally gave it credit for.

i’m also preparing the halloween costumes, as well as Steam-con, as well as my Halloween party.. which I’m making post-halloween so some of us (me) can take a deep breath. Haha.

Minecraft fever has hit, even Colin can’t escape it. It’s like I go to work, run around with the children half the day pretending to be creepers and whatnot, and then come home to the same thing…

relatedly, Lo has decided to be a creeper for halloween:

Which, at the very least, will be pretty straight forward…hah. He seems to think he can just wear green pants and a shirt and make a mask… so with those expectations I’m pretty sure I can over-exceed. ;) He’s been reading the new B&R and I had hoped to get him into Damian’s Robin costume, but I introduced it too late to take over from Minecraft. Oh well. Maybe ECCC. :D

A’s continuing along the “I’m going to be every sidekick before I’m a teenager” path and has opted for Beast Boy this year. I’m THRILLED and TERRIFIED. The costume will be a cinch, but making A’s skin and hair green will be a challenge with his sensory issues… and fangs are out of the question. We’ll see how it goes.

He still hasn’t picked which Beast Boy he prefers - TTG or YJ. Honestly, though we’ve been kicking through YJ characters for awhile now, I really hope he opts for TTG because then it’ll just be green facepaint instead of his furry arms and green hands to deal with also.

  

I’m also making Olivia the pig, a la Olivia Saves the Circus and I didn’t even PICK that. It’s going to be the best costume, really. 

And of course my own projects, which never get any of the attention they deserve.. but you know. that’s how it goes.

That’s awesome! The YJ speedy costume is adorable :) I think I understand what you’re saying, and I sort of did that too.

A’s Speedy costume was based mostly on Teen Titans Year One Speedy, because it was his current favourite comic. TTY1 Speedy’s hat was something of a marvel, in that it seemed to be able to make a variety of shapes possible:

(i mean really. top right, what IS THAT?)

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Might as well continue the backwards catching up with some shots of the Little Red Riding Hood costume I made for my 2 year old goddaughter, Sierra.

The struggle with this costume was creating it without any fittings, as she lives across the country from me & I get to see her just once a year. I just HAD to make everything with various wovens I spent a few months collecting, which made the fitting margin a bit smaller than if I had chosen knits… but I think it turned out pretty well.

the dress actually has a lot of details, the photos of which i lost when my phone decided to be a loser and update wrong (and it’s also my fault for being lazy and not using my camera). The skirt has three layers of fabric with two layers of gathered tulle in between (for comfort, because that shit’s so itchy come on), and the topmost layer is more like a pinafore, tying up in the back.

I also included a wolf paw in her basket.. which was a bit hard to make toddler friendly…but bread&cheese is just so boring.

Mini photoshoot of A & his Speedy costume.

Things I have issues with:
• The boots. The ones I made were too hard for him to get on and hurt his ankles (remember the sensory challenges I wrote about with making his Robin costume here) and so I had to resort to fluffy fat fleece things that separated at the ankle so he could put them on and off without discomfort. They work well for him - he loves them - but I’m disappointed in my execution. For ECCC, I’ve purchased a pair of girls’ (shhhh) boots to spray-paint yellow and I’m going to begin training him on wearing them now. Haha. 
• The collar still flaps upward… should have tacked that.
• The hat is actually backwards.. I accidentally placed the spikes on the back part of it instead of the front. Before an actual photoshoot I’m going to take it apart and reassemble it properly.

HE loves it, which is the important part, so there’s that.

I’ll post a break down of my process soon; I lost a lot of my progress images from all of my costumes, so I’ve been trying to gather them back from people I sent them to along the way.

Just wanted to give you a preview of the updates I have coming up soon. You know. After October ends and I can take a breath again.

behold: the worst photo i will ever put on this blog

I just can’t be bothered to pull out my camera for one picture.. yay windows phone!

But lets talk about how Astro Boy’s going to have a glowing reactor!

It’s a bit thick.. I might want to pad out Lo’s chest with some foam or something so it’s doesn’t appear as bulky, but I probably won’t do that for Halloween due to time constraints. I still want to pad his forearms and perhaps make the laser his hand turns into, but we’ll see. All three of those things might become adjustments for ECCC.

(It’s pinned onto the shirt, which is stuffed in a pillow)

020: Rambling

i’m having difficulty deciding on how historically accurate i want the nerfpunk piece to be, and how much leeway I want to give myself to have something finished soon.

i’m thinking that i might make a simpler version for steam-con and then, perhaps, modify or recreate it into something more complicated and time consuming, because the ideas that i have are just not coming together fast enough for a convention in like, two weeks. and i don’t want to rush myself, either, since i want this to be a piece i can use in my portfolio, instead of everything else i’ve done this year, which has been on barely-attainable deadlines.

a simpler version would be more steampunk and less victorian, just by nature of the fact i could stop working on a collapsible bustle and all the other framework i’ll need underneath the garment, and focus on the the visual layer. Reuse old corsets and things like that.

Ugh.

Just got back from a trip to NYC though - got lots of new fabrics to explore with!

this is the fabric i got earlier..the colours match! it’s just my bad camera phone…

will post in progress photos soon :) and i will have an update on the Halloween commissions soon, I promise.

019: Project Rapidfire & Halloween Commissions

I figure, while I’m on a Tumblr roll I might as well make a list of the things you’ll be seeing on this blog over the next month or so, or you know, whenever I have the energy to make this blog into something other than dusty.

The commissions for the Halloween showdown are as follows:

Lo has requested an Astro Boy costume. This will be an interesting undertaking, as he has refused to wear the jumpsuit Astro wears when he’s playing with other kids, and opted instead to demand the hotpants ensemble everyone my age knows very well (those his age is another story). My best solution for this is a nude-coloured suit similar to the Nightwing costume of last year. Since we’re making the suit already, I figured it might as well be useful to incorporate it into the costume. That is, adding joint seams at the elbows and knees, as well as the little box at his chest for the glowing blue core.

The hardest part, I imagine, will be his hair.

A has chosen to be Speedy, aka Red Arrow, aka Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s sidekick (a clear sign that I’m more of an influence than I really intended on). I had anticipated him choosing Captain America or Green Arrow, as the pair of them are his favourites currently (after Robin oh god always the Robin love), and I’m pretty glad he chose neither because yiiiikes those costumes would be a production. He chose the Titans: Year One costume, which is pretty similar to the Young Justice TV series costume, so it should be relatively straight-forward.

The hardest part will be his hat, I think. It’s a very strange shape at the front.. but details will be forthcoming on their individual posts. I’m pleased; each boy chose a costume similar to last year’s, pattern-wise, so I’m hoping i’ll just have to adjust and modify their old patterns to account for their growth.

The littlest commission is a secret one, and one I can’t post about because her mother follows my blog, but I’ll be posting hints along the way. I will say, however, that Lo & A were with me buying fabric for it and A figured out the costume before I told him at all, so it probably won’t be a secret for very long… darn!

PROJECT RAPIDFIRE is my steam-con/portfolio project. I spend so much time rushing through things and after spending so long on C’s Joker ensemble, I decided I wanted to work on something for my porftolio within the same regard. A complex, detail-oriented victorian-style outfit that I can use at Steam-con even before it’s finished, and then expand upon over the next couple of months, until I have a garment worth placing in a portfolio (It seems strange putting someone else’s character into my portfolio, even if I made it from my own patterns). I hope to be deciding colours and silhouette this week and purchasing fabric to accompany it.

And of course, my Big Project is still going on. I imagine I’ll be compiling research for awhile, so I don’t feel too guilty about the halloween and portfolio sidetracks. I think that after Halloween, during a lull in costume-making, I can focus completely on furthering this idea. Until then, I have been making outlines and planning in that regard, so things will hopefully be furthered along regardless.

Probably I should have started with this, but THANKS SO MUCH to all the new followers over the past couple of days! Your interest and support is really amazing and makes me even more excited to work on developing this idea. <3 <3 <3

007: The Robin [Sidekick] Sidenote

This past Halloween was Batman-themed (I’m a fantastic influence). Coupled with Colin’s and my Joker/Harley pair, Lo was Two-Face and A was Robin a la Burt Ward (his pick). We purchased a cheap Batman suit for the boys’ father, and made a Poison Ivy costume in a day for their mother. A’s costume was the main focus of my Halloween commissions, as Robin (well, Dick Grayson) is my absolute favourite comic book superhero and so I wanted to make it as good as possible.

I had some restrictions, due to A’s age and sensory issues.

• The fabrics had to be soft and pliable.
• A has issues with many clasps and closures (he won’t wear fly fronts, for example) so it was important that he could not only remove the clothing easily, but also not feel the closure on the tunic.
• October in Seattle isn’t cold but it’s not warm, either. Wearing tights and a short sleeve shirt, Robin isn’t well-suited for real world nighttime.
• Robin’s shoes. A has a large adjustment period to new shoes, especially over the ankle. I didn’t have time to hand construct him Robin booties, and while I loved the idea of green doc martens (a la Damian), it just wasn’t feasible. I went with spats over dyed converses, shoes that A enjoys.
• Keeping in mind A is a ten year old boy, I couldn’t keep the costume shapes exactly the same, as I didn’t want it to be either inappropriate, or get him mocked at school.

Initially, I was concerned about the tights because of A’s adjustment to new clothes and the fact that most little boys won’t look at tights (even footless) without assuming they’re for girls. That being said, A handled tights amazingly. Not the slightest hesitation. I guess it pays off to introduce superheroes to your little men!

Sidenote to the sidetone: The kids at school loved his costume and no one teased him. I was really worried!

Construction-wise, I tackled the tunic first and foremost, since it required the most tailoring and drafting. It had to be loose because of the green shirt underneath, and also because of the high collar; I knew it would make A feel choked. I made the bottom flare bigger to cover him more, instead of it matching right at his beltline. The best part about the tunic is the false front: the grommets are a flap over a thick plastic zipper that makes removal easy, and also puts multiple layers between the closures and A’s skin. I found a great four way stretch for the green fabric, but I knew it would be too cold for A so I lined the shirt with a soft green cotton jersey knit that just wasn’t the right shade for me (also it would have stretched out as boyshorts). I also made the sleeves longer, to help keep him warm. It was wholly successful, as A wore constantly that, the green boyshorts and the yellow tights.

I had massive issues with his gloves. They took around 7 or 8 muslins to complete, mostly trying to find the right median between tight/looking good and loose/feeling good. I also lined the forearms with fleece (as well as the cape and spats), which kept rolling over, as you can see above.

And then we lost one. He also kept doing this:

Which, okay. Adorable. Not so good on the fabric, though.

So remaking the gloves is important.

The spats drive me nuts. I ran out of grommets (poor planning on my part), so there’s just a scant few on each spat, making them look less like Damian’s military Doc Martens and more like Cheap Halloween Costume Ridiculous. Throwing in those foul neon yellow tights and I knew that a lot had to be adjusted before I wanted to bring him to a Comic-con, even just Seattle’s.

As for Nightwing, we have both batarangs and escrima sticks. I have adjusted the backseam as much as possible and I’m thinking of lining his gloves with some craft foam to make them pop a bit, as the comics sometimes show (also, I was just really displeased with how the gloves met the shirt).

I can’t believe Saturday is the big day for them! Last week my black contacts arrived so I can have comic-book eyes for Harley Quinn, which I am excited to experiment with. I know she has those faded blue eyes but I’ve seen people in those contacts before and I don’t think I will really pull that off. Black will be subtle and great. Too bad Colin’s Joker jacket is in shambles for me to remake, Harley’s just going to have to drag around the pipsqueak boy wonders by herself!

Tomorrow I’ll have an update on the puppets - five bunnies and a frog at the moment!