Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fun with Feathers!

Today was spent working on Pirates of Penzance costumes. Overall, it was fairly productive.

We dyed the ostrich feathers for the Pirate King's hat and Ruth's hat. I decided to go with yellow of the Pirate King. Ruth's feather is a very interesting (though slightly desaturated) mix of yellow, orange and red. It's very cool, I think. For the yellow feather we used tumeric, which worked out fairly well, though it didn't give as much colour as I expected it too. I expected it would produce a slightly more golden yellow, but what I have is nice, so I'm not complaining. Ruth's feather was dyed using Tropical Punch kool-aid and a little bit of tumeric thrown in for the hell of it. Heh. It was a sciencey experimenty day, obviously.

The flower headband spares are all completed. I put pink flowers on one of the hats for the main daughters, but I'd like to add some more frills and ribbon, which will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm also going to put together some medals for the Major General... which reminds me... I want to paint some buttons tonight for those! Heh.

The mock-up of the Pirate King coat is finished now. Today I finished sewing all the pieces together, made the skirt inserts and put together a sleeve. It's a slightly gathered sleeve, which looks a little stupid on me, but that's because my shoulder is too narrow, so it sticks out oddly. I still need to add a cuff, but that'll be quick and done tomorrow. I'm trying also to decide if I want to add a slit up the back of the coat. I think I'm going to wait and see how it flows on the actor before I can make the call though.

And that's about all. Not bad for a day.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Decided to do some more PoP work today. I wasn't quite ready to go back to the sleeve pattern drafting, so I decided to do some work on the Pirate King's hat instead.

When I was making the costume design, I thought that the Pirate King needs something a little bit atypical. I decided to give the Pirate King a cavalier style hat, instead of a tricorn. The tricorn is a staple, obviously, but a lot of the other main pirates (main is relative here, of course, in comparison to the Pirate King) are going to have tricorns, and he should really have something to make him stand out from the pack! A cavalier hat will take up more physical space, has more options for flamboyant accessorizing, and will attract more attention. That's my rational anyway. The director said she liked it, so I'm clinging to that as well.

I decided to make it out of brown vinyl. The coat design I've planned has a lot of black, so I wanted it to still be a realistic leather-looking piece, but not to overbalance the amount of black already present. It will not compete, however, with the black I think, because of the tie-in to similar colour tone of the gold. Again... that's my rational anyway.

At this point the hat is mostly assembled. I still have to the finish off the edges of the brim, and then attach the brim up, creating that cavalier look. I think it will also need a black band of some sort... or maybe even gold? To break up the brown, which is very intense block of colour.


Anyway, so far the hat is going well, perhaps even better than I expected! Hurrah.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Accessories! Accessories!

I was out and about again today, in search of specific items for PoP costumes. Found the ribbon I needed for those unfinished nightcaps -- they're all finished now. Yay! I also found ostrich plumes for Ruth and the Pirate King's hats. They're nice and huge.

Also, still fresh from setting my cosplay list for the upcoming months I popped into a nearby Danier and found a pair of black gloves (Yay for winter sales!) for the Franziska Von Karma cosplay.

Fun times are ahead!


And I realized I haven't posted a picture of Franziska, so here we go, to keep this blog nice and colourful, picturific fun. Yay!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Brief Update

I am currently working on the mock-up for the Pirate King's coat. So far so good, I believe, but I really won't know until the kid tries it on.

In other news, made it out to P-Mall for no particular reason today. And while I was there I found a pair of knee-high brown lace-up boots. You'd be surprised how often those show up in anime character designs. They were $70 marked down to $29, so that's really an irrestible price. They're going to require a smidge of work, but it will be worth the work, given the price. Picked them up with my Maylene cosplay in mind, but there are a few more things on my to-do list that they would work for. Hoping to do Maylene for FanExpo 2010 in August, unless by some miracle I can get it together for May. Haha, very wishful thinking.

So far my future cosplay plans go thusly:
Anime North: Ciel Phantomhive (Little Robin) and Young Franziska Von Karma from the new Ace Attorney game.
Fan Expo: Maylene, Maka Albarn and possibly Nagato if I can manage.

Monday, February 8, 2010 power?

Three meetings later and work on the Pirates of Penzance costumes is on its way! Overall, I think I understand the vision for the show, and I think what I can also picture for the show is in line with that. I have a few reservations about the amount of work we've seemed to have taken on, but I'm just going to have to set my own priorities and worry about the lesser things later on.

At this point I'm more or less in charge of the main male characters in the show: the Pirate King, the Major General and Frederick. This is fine. I picked up a perfect coat for the Major-General from Kensington Market, an old band uniform as it would happen. I added on some bullion fringe as epaulets to the shoulders and it is even more perfect! It's a little snug on the actor's underarms/upper arms, but I'll think of something. Probably some underarm gores. Hopefully nothing so intense as making new sleeves. Oi. Anyway, I've picked up the fabric and now I'm going to start to work immediately on the Pirate King's costume, which I'm quite looking forward to actually! Frederick will follow eventually. I still haven't even seen the actor yet... y'know, kids are really hard to nail down.

Over the weekend I worked on the nightcaps for the daughters' second act costumes... So all 22 of the nightcaps are sewn, however, I still need to add ribbon to gather some of them. The pattern was mostly my own, but it was inspired by the muslin cap pattern in Jane Austen's Sewing Box by Jennifer Forest. I also made a little bonnet for Isabelle (the youngest daughter). It's made out of white cotton, with eyelet ruffles, ribbons and small white flowers sewn under the brim. The pattern I used for that was based on the instructions in Elegantly Frugal Costumes by Shirley Dearing. So... 23 hats down, about a million other jobs still to go!

Nevertheless, no matter how much complaining might follow this entry, I'm so happy to be working on this project! Yay fun!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Falling a little behind... Eep

So, I'm a little behind on the updates. I finished the corset on the 22nd, I believe. It is lined in white cotton and the edges were bound with black bias tape. The corset is actually a little big... it fully closes in the back leaving no gap, and it could still affored to be pulled a little bit tighter. Siiigh. There's always some problem or another. Heh. Pictures will come later on. I also sent out my school application on the 23rd. So all of that is taken care of for now.

As for new things, I am volunteering as a costume mistress for a local school production of Pirates of Penzance Junior. I'm pretty excited about that. This afternoon I'll be going over to the school for a meeting about costumes and things, and I already have quite a lot to bring along that I've found and/or sourced out. Hope all goes well!