What Is That I Am Sensing? Oh No…No!

November 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm (General costuming, Updates) (, , , , , )

Not another one! Hide the costume books! Block Amazon! Ebay! Any site that could possibly lead to another….




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4.5 Whole Yards of Disapointment! Yay!

November 9, 2011 at 3:10 am (Dress Diaries, General costuming, Updates) (, , , , )

The fabric I ordered arrived today! [Triple bagged as usual.] And I’m thinking about returning at least half of my order!

I was so excited to finally get to see the fabric my camisole will be made out of as well as the fabric my corset -might- be made out of. It was all really really great until I got to what I thought was going to be the perfect fabric for the ‘windows’ in my robe sleeves as well as the back of my camisole.

I don’t know if there is anything worse than opening up something you expected to be so perfect only to find out it’s not.

Dumb me thought that the nylon chiffon tricot I bought months back was the same as the polyester organza that came with it. I don’t know how I made the mistake. The sticker was still on the piece of organza! Ugh…

The broadcloth I bought is much too thick, a lot thicker than any other ‘brand’ of broadcloth I’ve bought in the past, and the ivory cotton lawn is way too yellow to be considered a match!

Ivory Cotton Lawn – Off white broadcloth – White Eyelet”]And here is a close up of the wonderful eyelet fabric. [This is more to show off the scalloped edge than anything else.]

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this purchase it is that my vision of ivory is more of an off-white than anything and that  I really, really don’t care for the colour ivory.

Oh well…

Now I have to call them  up tomorrow to see if I can return all four and a half yards. This will be my first time returning something to Fabric. com so I’ll let you how that goes. They’ve been pretty good so far. My orders don’t take more than a week to get here, even when I ordered 10 yards on a gigantic roll, which is good when I’m really excited about the project I’m working on.

But other than those few things, the rest of the order is great. I’m really digging the wine-coloured poly/cotton twill I bought for the corset. I would have loved if they had the same colour in a 100% cotton version but this will do. I have to find a coordinating lining for it though which I’m sure will be colour-matching scheme from heck. Or I could just buy another yard and have a thicker ‘ribbon’ corset. Choices. Choices.

Off white broadcloth, white eyelet, Wine poly/cotton twill, ivory cotton lawn”]I won’t bore  you with ranting about the other things I got like a few spools of Coats and Clark thread to match my project and the cutest little flower buttons for the camisole. 

And the following are back up buttons that I bought at Walmart for $0.62 a piece. They’re probably a whole 1/4 inch larger than the flower buttons above.

Within the next couple of days I’ll post  a link to a haul video if I feel like breaking out the tripod for some non-shaky camera work.

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Why So Chipper Ol’ Chap?

July 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm (General costuming, Updates) (, , , , , , , )

Despite the dissapointing weekend, a hustle and bustle sort of Monday, and a relatively stressful breeze through the MVA, I am happy as a Pooh bear in honey.

Why might you ask?

Because when I finally got out of the car – most of my afternoon had been spent in it – I spotted a package on the front porch. I could describe the heat of the day, the way the sun’s rays bouncing off the shipping label nearly blinded me, and how I struggled to carry it and two large cheese pizzas but I think I’ll spare you. Long, story short my fabric was in it. I was very surprised by the quick shipping. Another reason why I’m so happy.

The fabric is just as I expected it plus  a little more seeing as though I had no idea what 5 of the 6 fabrics would feel like in terms of texture and weight. I am very pleased. My vision is becoming a reality. The only thing is I have nowhere to cut my 56″ roll of fabric. >.<” But I’m happy and that’s all that really matters!

As for my weekend, I spent most of it cutting, marking, and glueing paper. Why? Because I’m an overachiever. Because replicating the graph in Jill Salen’s book was absolutely critical. Because it just needed to happen. And why am I blogging in this manner? Because the whole weekend while I was cutting, glueing, and marking I was also watching back to back Poirot movies. No one makes mystery movies much like that anymore. And to think people believe that Monk is the original. Ah, I wish I knew French to finish off this sentence in an upscale way.

But anyway, I have managed to finish off the corset pattern from the book but I have yet to start building a mockup. Why? Because I have to figure it out first. It’s really not as straight forward as most corsets. In fact, it’s d*mn near confusing. I’m going to have to research this and hopefully I don’t get sucked into the dark side of the internet. Because it happens. Searching something innocent, like balloons for example, can lead to something odd…I trust your curiousity isn’t as strong as mine.

Anyways…this is just a quick post. I’ll be posting a tutorial on how to make ‘windows’ in fabric as well as uploading a tutorial on the ‘pick’ stitch to youtube very soon. So be on the look out!

Now onward to find the perfect colour bead to embellish this kimono that is so far staying a float.

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July 3, 2011 at 12:24 am (Dress Diaries, General costuming, Updates) (, , , , , , )

Yes, I know. I -just- posted. And it was one hell of a post. Long, lengthy, confusing, a peek into my labrynth oriented mind. I hope you enjoyed. But the point of it all is that I had to post just one more time tonight since Dunkin’ Donuts 99 cent iced teas were getting my thinking juices going.

I’ve been sitting here pouting over my lack of fabric ideas. Or at least that I couldn’t use the patterns I had fallen in love with because they were too small. This entire time, since I thought of the kimono from the 1920s featured on Antiques Roadshow, I’ve been keeping myself to the guidlines of no small print, only something large and symbolic. Well in terms of how fabric these days go, it really slimmed my selection quite a bit. I found myself, no lie, twenty minutes ago sighing and thinking ‘I guess I’ll just get solid red’. Then it struck me.

I should do a google search.

The search ‘vintage kimonos’ reaffirmed what I thought. Then I tried ‘antique’ kimonos to see if changing the adjective would help. And boy did it. I landed myself on kimonos.co.uk and had my whole world turned on it’s head. My project world anyway. So I’m happy to announce that I will be buying some gorgeous cotton lawn before Monday since the red, white, and blue sale ends that day.

However I’m not sure if I should get red to deepen the kimono or white to brighten it. I’m leaning towards white because I feel it would look more ‘ethereal’ which is what I’m all about these days. [Floaty fabric, a fascination with sheer fabric, clouds, come on!] But I think red would look very stately, very lady-like. I’m tempted to even put a small ruffle along the collar to make it fit more era than one. It already does by the way I’ve added a petticoat to fill it out. The only thing, and I swear this is a real issue, is the corset and the amount of chest support I’ll have.

That is another post for another day.

Anyways, that’s my break through. I am successful. I am victorious. Google is the most brilliant thing ever thought up. And I feel like I’ll get a yard or two of both red and white to see which one I like best. I have an idea that red will win. Just an inkling.

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Oh What A Saturday…

July 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm (Dress Diaries, General costuming, Updates) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

CAUTION: If you dislike long blog posts, I am so sorry. There’s a lot of rambling here that I can break up into smaller posts. It’s the essence of my flow of conciousness.

After a few situations this morning I find myself in my local Dunkin’ Donuts doing what I do best: wasting time in order to get away.

This have gone crazy, as usual, in that little prison I’m supposed to call home. But enough of this and more of what I came here to post.

I’ve been driving myself crazy with this kimono project. I feel that it is within my grasp to get some serious preliminary work done with it during this extended holiday weekend. Already, last night I drew up the pattern pieces and drafted the sleeve pattern to be longer than the Simplicity pattern 4080 intended. It’s longer than the pattern by three inches but that’s enough to make it drift only inches away from from the floor. The original had sleeves that flowed effortlessly all the way to the ground. Very sweet, very romantic and probably more practical than I figure it to be. Me and floor length sleeves equals a very ungraceful face plant. If I do make the sleeves that long I can only hope that I’m walking on plush grass or moss to cushion the blow.

I’m trying to figure out the train that I want to add along the bottom. Should be easy, I know. I’m just debating on how long the train should be. I’m not going for a train of Mariah-Carey’s-royalty-defying proportions. [Yes, I -still- think Mariah Carey is a b*tch for outdoing Princess Diana.]  Just something appropriate and not fiddly. Something long enough that it will show when I walk but pool nicely when I stand still.

Also I’ve come upon a colour of preference, as if that is going to help with my fabric dilema, which is red. The colour of joy, happiness, and good luck. 

Here is a link to Jenny LaFleur’s kimono that gave me the inspiration to do this:


As you can tell I’m not copying it in anyway but using it as an inspiration as well as using her dress diary as a cautionary tale. I do like her ideas of two darts going up along the back to make it more fitted. This is only because I will be wearing a corset underneath circa 1900-1910. In the book of corsets [can’t think of the exact title right now] by Jill Salen, there is a wonderful Eratz corset made out of WW2 paper fabric. It’s beautiful in it’s coarseness and ‘pauper’ qualities. The only set back is that in the book it is dated 1914, but what’s four years?

The more I look at these Edwardian corsets the more I like them. However I am not a fan of the ‘juno’ breast that they aim to acheive. While the clothing made to fit this sort of figure is beautiful it is a tried and true frustrating stance to maintain. My spine hurts just thinking about it. I was hoping to make an overbust version but I don’t have any available patterns for that. I’m rather frugal in my approach to patterns. Aka I won’t buy any commerically made unless Joanns has them for the awesome sale of 5 for $5 or maybe the rare 5 for $10. And alas there are no commerical patterns for this variety of corset. For a style that’s relatively ‘recent’ and madly popular at the time you would think someone besides Nora Waugh has a pattern for it. I’m tempted to splurge and spend the $40-$60 sticker price for her book from the 1950s. I’ve heard that the patterns are a pain to resize and fit but that’s an assumption made up off of one review on Amazon. Hehe, I’m so fickle….

Things Going Badly:

  • Finding/choosing a suitable fabric. [ugh]
  • Finding the room to do it

Things Running Smoothly:

  • Pattern development
  • Idea Refinement
  • Idea Finalization [sorta]

The colour of the neckband and the beads will match. And as a lover of pleats and gathers, there will be a small portion of gathering along the mid back to help shape it. I hope. I’m also hoping that small bit of gathering will help the train flow nicely and pool like I want it to. I also have to figure out how I’m going to make this petticoat. And if I make this underbust corset I won’t have anything to support my chest and for a pseudo period costume I don’t think I’m going to wear a modern bra nor am I going to go without. [shudder] So maybe I’ll make combination underwear? Attach the petticoat to half of a camisole slip or make the petticoat and camisole seperate? Oh I don’t know.


It only came to mind when I decided to watch a few videos on heirloom sewing. Not sure why but I did and I sort of want to try it. Especially since I’ve only worked once with pintucks and at that time I didn’t know they were even pin tucks. I called them ‘flaps’ in a written ‘skirt diary’. But that was when I was really,and I mean really, big into Gothic Lolita and making my own Lolita clothes because, as some of you might know, GL clothing is expensive and only comes in sizes that fit up to a US size 10. 12 if you happen to be really lucky.

Meh, maybe I’ll attempt a cute jumper dress one of these days since I’m not totally out of that ‘oh gosh look how cute that Lolita is!!’ phase. I still have a bunny purse I bought off of Elliseven [LSeven, LS7, Ellis, or the chick with an R2D2 gif for her Hairextension board icon, whatever you call her]. Tiny but perfect for cons.

Hm. Cons, Lolita, an unfinished Mudkip costume…I feel a spark of genius coming on.

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The Perfect Fabric

June 30, 2011 at 1:02 am (Dress Diaries, General, General costuming) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Okay, okay, I admit it.

It’s this whole ‘find the perfect fabric’ that’s got my costuming panties in a bunch. I thought I found it but the print was way too small to look good so I let it sit on my ‘search results’ page, only for me to glance at it and wish that they had a larger print version. I searched and searched and came up with another canidate but alas it’s damn near $13 per yard. This is supposed to be a cheap project to hold me over until I can get to the historical nitty gritty of my Duchess costume.

So my frustrating search continues to find the perfect printed cotton voile. It’s almost as if those making voile have collaborated to make their product in only three categories: solid coloured, funky outdated 80s prints, and florals best suited for a nightie. Or maybe four categories, the fourth one being outrageously expensive but exquisite prints.

This is really typical of me. And it’s borderline shameful how many ‘sit downs’ I have to have with myself over this. I might as well just get a solid colour and call it a day instead of spending more hours than I want to in front of my computer trying to find The Perfect Fabric.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been sitting on my ass for just about three hours now, simply contemplating if I should make this kimono or not because nothing is really ‘popping’ out at me. But I know I’m too in love with this romantic vision I have in my head. I know that I can make it a reality with the proper lighting and scenery. It’s just the question of will anyone ever have a printed cotton voile for under $6 that I will fall in love with and happily sew up? One with a big enough print in a colour that strikes me and screams ‘Rose would be jealous!!’?

I’ve been trying to avoid ebay for my fabric needs since it’s always pricey. That and I’ve been doing really well in managing my obsession with auctions. But I need to cover my all my bases. Maybe that’s where The Perfect Fabric is lurking.

Besides the fabric issue I’ve battling with a decision to either make an Edwardian corset from the early 1900s or just wear the modern underbust I have lurking in my attic somewhere…

Decisions. Decisions.

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Not Too Brief Explanations Pt. 1

June 26, 2011 at 2:28 am (General costuming, Updates) (, , , , )

So I lied. Again.

And this time I’m actually really sorry.

The fact of the matter is, I ran out of time to post. My bed time was swiftly approaching and by the time I published my update post I was at T-minus 6 and a half hours before my alarm went off. Patting myself on the back for doing such a great job on managing my time has become rather redundant lately so no need to comment about it.

Anyways on to the explanation of projects:

Wool Redingote

[On indefinite hold]

There are so many pieces to this project that at the moment it would be impossible to manage them in the small space that I have been alloted. It is not a small project by any means but I’m working on it a little at a time. While on a four day vacation to my boyfriend’s home town I drew up a few patterns and decided that I didn’t like them and I would start over but examine the patterns I had chosen to draw from – ‘Man’s Suit’, La Couturiere Parisienne; ‘The Jacket of a Riding Habit’ and ‘A Caraco Jacket’, Patterns of Fashion 1 Janet Arnold –  closer than before. And that is where I have practically stopped. I’ve become frustrated with it and just  the thought of having to make up toiles and fit it gives me a headache. I feel as though I’m developing Edgar Allen Poe syndrome, driven to an almost brilliant madness because of lack of space and time. Any minute now I’ll be comparing the thundering thoughts of my projects to the violently beating heart of someone about to get attacked and stuffed beneath floorboards…

Steam Warrior:

[on indefinite hold]

This project is all about resourcefulness. Or at least trying to convey resourcefulness and a deep connection to the earth all at the same time. Sort of like the young girl in the music video for Fever Ray’s ‘When I Grow Up’. [Just an FYI, it sounds nothing like the song with the same name ‘sung’ by a group of strippers. So if you’re into that you will probably be dissappointed.] There are leaf elements in the bust part of the bodice as well as the ‘body wrap’ portion. In one of the posts prior to this there is a picture of my sketch to help clarify what I’m talking about. There is a mimicked grass skirt with a feather overlay to give it a bit of glamour [?]. And the odd matrix of spandex? Well that’s just for aesthetic reasons as well as to make my belly seem not as naked. I’ve considered wearing an underbust corset to solve that issue as well.

As for the headress…well…

I loved beading it until I got to finally to filling in the shapes. I was having the worst of times trying to fill it all in. Nothing looked right. I wanted it to look as though they had been sprinkled on like glitter on glue, not lined up in neat little rows. I did, however, find that stitching on beads one by one into a sort of embroidery peyote stitch was working out just fine but it took literally forever. That and it would have meant that all my time outlining would have been wasted. There was no way it would have looked right within the beaded outlines. Thankfully, the very entertaining beading guru that is TSummerlee saved my life by posting a few videos on Iroquois raised beadwork. I gave this Iroquois technique a go, once she figured it out and posted a mini tutorial, and I’m in love with the amount of dimension and character it demands. Much better than relying solely on the different cuts, finishes, and variety of beads I’ll be using to create  a bit of drama.  I will have to order more beads for this though as it eats them up like no one’s business! So, once I have the funds I’ll splurge on a big bag of them just to have them ready to go for when I move and have room to sprawl out and really work at it.

Sample shape worked in 11/0 seed beads from Joanns; Darice brand aka worse then Czech seed beads in terms of uniformity.


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Mini Update #4

May 31, 2010 at 7:49 am (Dress Diaries, General costuming, Hair, Updates)

It’s past 3 am now and I’ve only just gotten around to posting this up.

No, I wasn’t -that- busy. It just slipped my mind and as soon as I remember 4 people IMed me at once and made me forget about it again. Well not this time. No boyfriend of mine is going to keep me from posting this even though I will probably click on his name glowing orange in my task bar some time during this post.

But I went on a shopping trip with my mother, surprising isn’t it, to the thrift store. It was packed, seeing as though the last saturday of the month is ‘half off clothing and linens’ day. We began talking and in the end we both walked away with some great stuff and I practically got free clothes, mainly skirts. I stumbled upon a treasure trove of framed corset adds from 1899 to the mid 1920s. Of course being the corset freak, which is also surprising because I’m thinking of scraping the corset idea for ‘raving mudkip’, I couldn’t chose between which one. I wanted all of them but settled on a W.B. Corset ad from 1899 or so I’m guessing by the style and construction. It wasn’t behind glass like the others so it was $1.50 as is unlike $3 for the others. I’m hoping to go to Michaels and find an appropriate frame for it.


But onto the cosplay! At the same thrift store I managed to find myself this blanket that was a pretty shade of blue as well as a men’s shirt that is a lightish blue with orange stripes as part of a plaid pattern. The coours are really off cut they look cute and when it comes down to it, this is mudkip on a budget. I’ve already splurged enough on the wool that made these dreads:

Some curls are kind of droopy so I think I’m going to go ahead and felt the crap out of them until I can find the perfect setting on my washing mashine like DreadStarMonster advised. I’m probably going to dye some of the chunkier dreads and put them in the mix for a good mesh of visual textures.

Also at the thrift store I found this fuzzy blanket that instantly reminded me of a failed attempt at gators in 2008 at my first Otakon. So since it was half off linens I got the blanket for about $2. I’ve grown kind of attached to it so I don’t know if I’ll actually lop it up into a pair of gators just yet.

From right to left: blue sheet [twin size – to be used for the skirt], button down shirt that may or may not be shredded [it’s cute as a completely logical reason], furry blanket that has a velvety underside to it making it really thick and cozy.

So many shades…almost makes me want to rethink the design so it’s not so cluttered and ‘blue-clashy’…if you know what I mean.

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A Random Petticoat Tutorial

February 22, 2010 at 6:13 am (Dress Diaries, General costuming, Tutorials) (, , , , , , )

Between sorting out financial issues and assisting with the quickly upcoming production of RENT I hardly have time to work on my corset which is rather sad because i carry it around with me just in case I have a bit of downtime. No such luck since I’m in the boning or, in this case, cording stage.

My need to be creative caused me to start a paper tutorial in the small amount of downtime I had one evening. It was inspired by a Youtube tutorial by Himehood:

I was inspired because you know ruffles always make me think of petticoats. And as darling as they are they are a pain in the butt to make, especially if you like the layered and tiered look. I have to give my special thanks to Julie who taught me how to ruffle, or rather gather, fabric using cord and zigzag stitch on the machine. So without further ado this is my very simple petticoat with variations already thought up for you. Enjoy! ^.^

Petticoatslide1.jpg pts1 picture by ForbiddenRose15

Slide 1

petticoatslide2.jpg pts2 picture by ForbiddenRose15

Slide 2

Petticoatslide3.jpg pts3 picture by ForbiddenRose15

Slide 3

Petticoatslide4.jpg pts4 picture by ForbiddenRose15

Slide 4

Petticoatslide5.jpg pts5 picture by ForbiddenRose15

Slide 5

petticoatslide6.jpg pts6 picture by ForbiddenRose15

Slide 6 - Variations

Note: You’re probably why I’m so obsessed with the amount of warmth in this petticoat. It’s just the fact that I live up North and I have this thing about wearing shortish skirts during the winter. And just incase the nerves in my legs decide to detect cold again I don’t want my petticoat to be counterproductive. Same thing in the summer. It would be a tragedy to get stuck in a warm-as-all-get-out petticoat during July. So you might as well make two! ^.^

I know you want to!

[Threadbanger worthy?]

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Gaga strikes again

February 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm (General costuming) (, , , , , , )

There’s a problem with this picture. No, it’s not the fact that this is the second blog that I’ve posted today within a four hour period. The problem is the fact that I try to do so much within a small period of time or rather all at once. I can’t seem to keep my mind from all the creative ventures I want to make or rather need to make right this second. Especially if I have the skills to do so.

My latest small and hopefully quick projects are inspired by who else but the Lady Gaga herself:

Introducing my spin on the disco bra and the hair bow that, believe it or not, was around even before Gaga popped up onto the pop music scene.

The fact of the matter is that I was actually inspired by this yarn fall tutorial I found while perusing the ultimate guide to fake hair: http://www.angrycaninelovestick.org/. I was thinking about making actual falls using the technique but thought it might be cuter/ simpler if I made a bow.


The instructions are self-explanatory and the pictures really help. Most would use this technique on their real hair since it’s a lot cheaper than buying loose hair and spending hours backcombing for dreads. Besides my school book store sells loose hair by the packet for about $1 and I have some yarn I bought up in New York for $1 that I found out I couldn’t crochet [I left my knitting needles back home]. It’s what I get for being in a serious amigurumi phase.

I was ecstatic to know that on Facebook, because nothing is truly official until it’s on FB, there was an event: National Lady Gaga Day. You could only imagine the monster fit I found myself in. However due to homework and the last minute finding out I wasn’t able to pull together an outfit. The main facet however was the shiny disco bra. In my fabric stash I found these sparkly lame fabric: a silvery one with round sparkles, black with diamond shaped sparkles, stretchy lime green with small round sparkles. I couldn’t decide which so I found two bras that have lost their appeal and are a bit too small [damn you freshman 15!] I’m pretty sure I’m going to extended the side straps with elastic and use foam to reshape the cups of the black and pink brassiere.

Both projects will be handsewn.

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