superdaintykate: (leota)
Don't you want to know what happened?

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superdaintykate: (leota)
I took Leota out and tried on the bodice to see how much work needs to be done. Maybe it's just me not wanting to sew, but it really doesn't look too bad. I am going to re-set the sleeves and re-press and do some pickstitching on the hook side of the bodice to keep the lining from rolling to the front, and maybe clean up the neckline a little, but frankly, I was pretty impresed. I also seem to have lost some weight (or muscle mass) in my torso, because I can cinch down a bit more and the front doesn't pull like I seem to remember it doing before.

So I am hoping to finish that up this weekend (ie, tomorrow, because I am losing light now and want to nap anyway) and then start fretting about the wig, which I have no clue what to do with but I'm just going to go in with guns blazing and a can of hairspray in hand and see what I can make happen.

In synchronicity, Jon found an honest-to-Pete hatbox at Savers last night, one that is quite similar to this:

It came home with us, of course. Now I can't decide if I want to get purple paint and stencil the Manse wallpaper on it, or if I want to paint the Hatbox Ghost's face on the top and little Doombuggies and Hitchhiking ghosts around the bottom edge.
superdaintykate: (leota)
Bet you're wondering what happened. Did Leota get finished in time?

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superdaintykate: (leota)
The underskirt pieces are cut and marked and assembled as much as I can and are ready for painting. Here's a pic of the underskirt, lined with net to help the drapery stay poofy.

Jon cleaned up the image files we had of the Manse wallpaper and I made a bunch of sizes of it to see what would work best on the bodice.

Yesterday I traced off the design and simplified it a bit to make a stencil.

Then I used a stencil cutter (basically a soldering-iron-looking thing with a superheated tip) to cut a stencil.

Here's my test swatches. The one on the left is fabric pen, the one on the right is one coat of Jaquard textile color. I want to make sure the ink doesn't make the fabric shrink or do anything funky before I attack the costume with it.

Instead of doing an allover pattern on both the overskirt and the bodice, I decided to pattern the skirt and then paint the motif as an accent on the bodice anywhere embroidery might have happened -- so, the back and tails, the sleeve cuffs, and either side of the upper chest.

Later today I will put my hair up under a wig cap and measure my head, and then pad out my stryo wig head to match so i can style my wig on it. I think I might also mosey over to Kinko's and reduce the stencil pattern a couple times so I don't need to redraw it in three different sizes.

I think it's allergies, but yesterday I woke up with a red, puffy eye that was stuck shut and goopy. If I have to deal with makeup and Pinkeye I might scream.
superdaintykate: (leota)
Still working.

The underskirt is finally finished. I only took out one of the rows of staystitching on the pleats and I kind of like how quirky it looks so I am going to keep it.

Here's a closeup of the braid trim. I should have enough left over to trim the edges of the bodice once it's painted; if not, I can do a couple rows on the sleeves.

I finally got the bodice mockup fitted how I wanted it.

And so, after some wibbling, I took it partially apart to make pattern pieces for the costume bodice. My poor little Frankenbodice.

First step was to pull out the bones and make new casings out of not-ravelly bias tape.

And here's the pieces put together. The new cutting lines for the armscye sdjustments are marked in thread so I could make ABSOLUTELY SURE they were where I wanted them on the new bodice before I cut anything away. I am super paranoid because I can't get more of this fabric.

Now the outer shell of the bodice is finished. Strangley, now the sleeves fit in with a little ease. I need to go try it on with the sleeves in to double-check it. My only problem is some wrinkling at the front darts where I had to pull them in at a deeper curve to fit my waist. If anyone has suggestions on how to do that without clipping them, I'd love to hear them. I don't want to clip them in case I need to let the darn thing out again later, but I guess once it's painted that would be less of an option. Anyway. I took the bones out and put them in four times as I tweaked the fucking bodice darts and finally yesterday I just took all the stitching out, redrew the darts carefully with the greater curve at my waist, stitched them in the correct direction with a slightly lower thread tension, pressed everything within an inch of its life and...still got wrinkles, though they were less bad. Jon thinks they will probably be less noticeable once the pattern is one the fabric and at this point I am going to take what I can get.

On today's agenda: go buy stencil blanks; cut lining fabric pieces and either assemble them or set them aside for right now; trace off the overskirt pattern; and maybe make a sample swatch to paint to check for possible shrinkage or other weirdness. Also, order some makeup samples, though those might not arrive in time.


Oct. 10th, 2008 11:58 pm
superdaintykate: (Default)
The reason I haven't posted any progress updates lately is because there haven't been any. I have gotten hung up on fitting the bodice mockup and have been tucking and snipping and filling in and basting like mad. And then my sleeves were two inches too small. And then I went to Disneyland.

This, however, makes me happy.

Here's the Leota reference pic:

My base wig for Leota, unstyled and plunked on a head:

One strand of fiber optics, randomly stuck in the wig, with normal light:

And with the lights out:

Hot damn.
superdaintykate: (leota)
Work on Leota slowed a little as I started to freak out about surgery and then was stoned on Percocet for a couple of days.

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Aug. 27th, 2008 10:31 pm
superdaintykate: (leota)
I think I just found Leota shoes. With free shipping and returns. From the previous Old Pueblo Traders (in Tucson), of all places.

For fifteen bucks.

superdaintykate: (leota)
I also drove to fucking Renton (note to the folks back home: 40 miles round-trip) to get the last six yards of fabric I needed for the underskirt/overskirt/bodice. The 405-S was closed, so I got to take a scenic detour through Bellevue.

Why does everyone in Bellevue drive like a douche?

The JoAnn's in Renton is somewhat ghetto. The merch is all the same as the other stores, and the employees are super nice, but the actual storefront has got that industrial-beige, KMart-circa-1978-thing going on. Also included in the shopping center: an Italian restaurant named "Vince's" that had faked second-story windows with window boxes full of plastic flowers, and a St. Vincent de Paul store with a small stable of old sewing machines. AND a vintage Sambo's thermos for ninety-nine cents.

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superdaintykate: (leota)
I told myself I wasn't going to sew today, to keep from getting burned out. But I had the urge to do it, and I had left off with some pieces begging to be assembled, so I figured, what the hell.

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superdaintykate: (leota)
Construction has begun on Leota. Patterns were purchased last month, first round of fabric was purchased and prewashed and pressed last week. Jon bought me an ironing board, because there is just too much fabric to press the usual way (on a folded towel on a flat surface, or on my tabletop board). I feel so domestic.

I cut the pieces for the petticoat on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday, I assembled the petticoat body, front and back, and hemmed and attached the ruffle.

Yesterday, I made the first layer of crinoline, which will be sandwiched between two back pieces.

Hilarity (actually, swearing) ensued as I tried to assemble this thing according to the directions, which suggest gathering each row to fit the one above it, starting with the top. Of course, once you get past the first row, this gets increasingly difficult. I wrestled with that third row for a while on my sewing room floor before I gave up, had a cookies-and-milk break, had a "duh" moment, and then started assembling from the hem up, instead. I was sewing until after ten o'clock, but dammit, I was going to be victorious.

I am feeling some time pressure, so I want to keep progress steady. I have no idea how much time recovering from my surgery will eat up and I don't want to lose steam.

Still to make:
underskirt with knife pleats;
bustled overskirt and boned bodice (oh christ, help me), which will then be hand-painted with the Manse design, since I realized that sewing through pre-painted or -screened fabric would probably gum up my wheezy sewing machine;
oh, and a wig, which will need to be styled and fitted with fiber-optic lights.

It is entirely possible that the petticoat and skirt will be too long, since I have no idea what I will be wearing for shoes. I would like to find a Victorian boot, but I want one with a flared heel and a non-pointy toe, which seems to be somewhat of a grail. Of course Fluevog had something delightful,

which cost something equivalent to, say, rent. I am thinking I will most likely find a plain pair of dress shoes and make gaiters to cover them.

I hope.

Also, I am not looking forward to fitting the bodice. No, not at all.
superdaintykate: (leota)
So, I had originally planned to just applique the major motif of the Rolly Crump pattern onto the back and cuffs of my Leota dress.

Now I'm thinking that pattern should probably be a major theme of the bodice and maybe the overskirt as well. Anyone here done screenprinting at home? Or maybe I should make iron-on transfers? Thoughts?
superdaintykate: (leota)
Has anyone on my FL purchased a corset from Timeless Trends?

I'm wondering if I want to make a corset along with my boned bodice, skirt, underskirt, crinoline, and wig, IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN, or not. Ugh. I'm also wondering if an underbust would be good enough for a quasi-victorian silhouette. And if the TT corsets are crap. This is going to be very much a starter corset, not tighlaced or worn forever; but I've not bought a real one before and I don't want to invest in an heirloom corset for a costume piece.

If anyone has experience with the TT line, please throw in yer two cents. And Catherine and Tanya, if you have opinions, please don't be shy. Your corsets are the ultimate goal (oh, someday, they shall be mine, oh yes), as well as making one for myself :)

(If it helps: I have an 11' difference between my waist and low hip, I am high-waisted, and have a belly [I plan on using a spoon busk when I get around to making my own]. I am fairly fluffy so I imagine I will be pretty squishy, too.)
superdaintykate: (leota)
For the last few months, I have been idly gathering reference pics for Leota. Anything that struck my fancy went into a file, as well as attraction pics and shots of the Cast Member costumes. Last night I pasted everything into a Photoshop collage, so I could see what I had thus far.

This is what I got:

And, as I sat back and looked at it, I saw these two images close to each other:

And I am suddenly VERY inspired. Hot damn.
superdaintykate: (leota)
'kay, guys...Halloween is only 5 months away, or so, and I need to get into gear if I want to follow through on the costume I'd like to make.

This year, I want to be Leota, the medium from Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction.

For those of you who are not familiar:

I do not, however, want to stick my head in a fishbowl. I imagine that, at one time, Leota was a successful medium, and fell under a curse (or hey, maybe it was voluntary) to take the shape she has now. I would like to portray her as she was then, not as she is now. I have several visual cues I would like to add to the costume to make that happen, but I'd like to flesh out her backstory in my head so I have something more concrete to work from.

So, Disney fans...what do you think her story is?


superdaintykate: (Default)

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