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31  Absolutely Purrrrrfect... 1966 Julie Newmar Catwoman in Costumes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: February 19, 2012 12:17:39 PM
This is probably the pride and joy of my costume wardrobe.  I made everything for it except the belt, boots, and gun.  I made this back in Oct 2009 for a Wizard World Big Apple Comic Con.  Julie Newmar was going to be there as a guest and there was also going to be a replica Batmobile on display.  I knew I needed something to wear, after prodding from my friends, I chose Catwoman.  My friend btw make an excellent Batgirl and Batman - they wouldn't leave me alone lol. 
I had never made a body suit before, so this was new territory for me.  I read all I could on drafting patterns for them and working with a 2 way stretch.  The fabric I used was a stretch lurex/lame just like the original.  It was only a 2 way stretch and only 36" wide (and quite pricey at $19/yd) - I needed 5-6 yards for this costume.  The legs fabric stretches up and down, allowing me to bend my knees and sit.  The chest is on the bias and the back is also up and down.  The sleeves are bias cut as well to allow ease of movement.  I also have long legs, so there is a seam right below my knees since the fabric was not long enough to go from my natural waist to ankle (41"). 
I must have taken about 20+ measurements to make sure this fit like a glove.  I made a mock-up using a cheap two way stretch poplin I had in my scrap stash, with a few tweaks, it fit purrrrfectly if you will ;-) .  I have to say, cutting into that expensive fabric scared me at first, and I've been sewing for 20 years lol.  All the inside edges are bound in a foldover elastic, as the raw seams (even after over-casting) still have the metal fibers poking and scratching up my skin.  The elastic covered up all the raw edges and made it comfortable to wear... or at least as comfortable as a stretchy metal body suit can be lol.
The highlight of wearing this costume was having Julie Newmar come to ME for photos.  I was posing by the batmobile and was told to wait as someone else wanted a picture.  I turned around to ask my husband if my mask was straight (since he was my handler) and I saw him looking past me with this awe-struck look.  I turned around and there she was *swoon*.  She is still as beautiful and poised as ever... and was still taller than me while I was wearing 4" heels and she in ballet flats lol.  We had several shots together with her own camera and then my hubby took some for me.  Even after two years, I'm still grinning like a fool hehe.

I *heart* Julie Newmar

I also made the claws and necklace ;-)
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32  Dr. Who Dalek Nail Art in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: February 11, 2012 05:06:55 PM
I have a "bad habit" with my nail polish obsession according to my husband, but even he was impressed and loved these geeky nails ;-)  I used a ridge filler base coat with two coats of OPI DS Treasure and then two coats of OPI Designer De Better for the "body" of the Daleks.  I used a pearl tip straight pin and black polish to make the dots going up the side of the body.  While the polish was still curing I used the same pin and pressed it into the polish to make the separations between the panels.  I then topped with Out the Door.  These were a hit at my friend's Dr Who themed Birthday party and went well with my Amy Pond "costume" lol.

My Nails with the 10th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver ;-)

This is a Dalek for those not as Geeky as me lol
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33  Drothy Gale - Wizard of Oz in Costumes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: January 30, 2012 06:32:24 AM
EDIT:  Added new photos from Dragon*Con 2012  Grin  I finally finished the shoes 100% and got a little basket with Toto in it.

I figured I should post the dress that goes with my shoe post http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=395794.0 I made a while back.
I had always wanted this costume, ever since I was 6 and saw WoOZ for the first time.  Out of all the years of costume making I have done, I don't know why I waited until last year to finally make it.

While I did make this around Halloween, it was not strictly a Halloween costume, it will be coming to Dragon Con 2012 too ;-)  If I had a $1 for every person who asked me where Toto was that night, I could have retired and done nothing but make costumes for the rest of my days lol.  I do have a Toto dog somewhere, but when we moved last year, he got packed up and I think he's in storage.
I tried to make it as accurate as I could, but realized too late that my checks on the gingham were too large.  This was a relatively easy costume to make.  I draped the whole thing on my dress form and then drafted pattern pieces out of that for a better fit.  While I was making it, I was watching WoOz for inspiration and for costume notes ;-)

Here's my page with my progress and some info
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34  Re: Robe la Franaise, 18th century (many pics!) in Costumes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: January 29, 2012 02:35:37 PM
Great job and good choice on fabrics.  The mask adds to it nicely and I love your hair style.  Wonderful job on the trimming too!
You may want to tie the strings in the center of your panniers a little tighter to flatten out the front and back of your gown more though.  It will lay a lot flatter and not pouf out so much.  If you don't have ties, you can simply add ribbon from front to back inside the skirt of the panniers and tie until flattened a bit more.
This extant example shows what I mean by the flatter shape
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35  Vintage Star Wars Decoupage Shoes in Shoes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: January 22, 2012 10:52:19 AM
The main reason I had joined Craftster was because I was searching for inspiration for Comic Book decoupage shoes and stumbled into this treasure trove of crafty goodness.  I finally got around to making my nerdy decoupage shoes.  I used vintage 1980 Star Wars comics that were in well loved condition and not worth anything to save as a comic book.  I used 10 comic books and poured over the endless panels cutting out various images that appealed to me.  Chewie, R2D2, and the Millennium Falcon were ones that I cut out a lot.  I found a great piece of Vader dueling shirtless, buff, Luke *hehe* that is the statement on the outside of the left shoe.
The left shoe is the battle between the Rebellion and the Empire.  The right shoe is strictly the Rebellion forces.  The sole edges are painted in a glittery black paint that reminds me of the night sky (visible in the original picture size linked below) and the upper edges are finished in a black cloth tape and a pin stripe of chrome paint.  The heel tip is also finished with the chrome paint.
These are the perfect pair of shoes for my nerdy self while still looking oh so chic  Wink Grin  Now I just need a place to wear them, it's been too wet/cold lately to wear anything other than boots.

Original Size http://photos.imageevent.com/benaequee/costumes/realclothing/jewelryandsuch/IMG_0115.JPG

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36  Marie Antoinette "Daydream" Dress in Costumes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: December 23, 2011 06:32:58 AM
I've been in love with the gowns of the mid-late 18th century for a while.  Each one was a piece of wearable art with it's gorgeous fabrics and intricate details.  As a costumer, I love with watching movies with tons of gorgeous costumes, so of course I had to see Marie Antoinette.  I fell in love with quite a few of the gowns from the movie, but was still not ready to tackle a gown like one of those.  I waited a few years and honed my skills until I felt I was ready.  I researched online, and reached out to friends in the costuming community for pattern advice.  While researching, my mother gave me 9 yards of this beautiful light aqua silk she got from an antique dealer.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect for MA's "Daydream" dress with the red velvet belt.

I made everything for this costume.  I made the stays, pocket hoops, petticoat, robe, shoes, wig, and trims on the dress.  The stays have about 20 yds of plastic boning and I hand sewed all the eyelets on them (first time for me).  They are quite comfy too.  The pocket hoops aren't anything fancy, but boy do I love how much STUFF they can hold!  I went to a MA themed party and had a bottle of Framboise Lambic in each pocket along with all my own things lol.  I'm considering sewing smaller pockets inside to organize things like my fan, mirror, lip gloss, and cell phone and wallet. My hubby was very happy that he didn't have to be my purse for a change.  The shoes have their own write up http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=397609.0 and are so much fun to wear.  The wig I made from a Marilyn Monroe wig that I teased up a bit and then sewed a ponytail extension to the back.  I added a giant flower pin and jeweled hair clip to the back.

I used the JP Ryan patterns for the stays, hoops, and the robe/petticoat.  It was definitely an experience using the patterns.  It took a bit of patience with the sleeves because they weren't exactly made too clear on how to set them properly.  I ended up sewing them in backwards the first time in the good fabric and had to unpick everything and do them again.  I made the sleeves long to match the movie costume and came up with my own cuff that snaps in place.  All the trim was pleated on my machine, steamed, sewn down, and then fluffed up a bit.  I think I used a whole 30yd roll of organdy ribbon on this dress.  I made the front close with hook/eye tape that is reinforced with boning along the edges to hold the shape and not bunch up.

Overall I'm kind of happy with how it came out for my first attempt.  The lower sleeves are a but tighter than I'd like, but I'm going to partially blame that on weight gain during the process and partially on the pattern being too small even after adjusting my muslin.  I also need to soften the lines of the hoops somehow, probably with another petticoat underneath the nicer fabric one.  Ignore the bunched hem, I hand sewed it and the decorations on my shoes caught the thread right before the photo causing it to pull.  I've since ironed it back flat.

My Making of page http://imageevent.com/benaequee/costumes/completed/marieantoinettedaydream

My Dress

The Original

My shoes *heart*
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37  Marie Antoinette Shoes in Shoes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: December 03, 2011 08:55:37 AM
Another pair of shoes for one of my many costumes.  I didn't want to post it in the costumes section since it really is all about the shoes ;-)

I made these by taking a base pair of leather shoes from eBay and ripping the sole from the bottom and removing the heel tip.  I then recovered them in silk to match my dress and glued the sole back on and hammered the heel tip back in place.  They were then decorated with pleated velvet trim, rhinestones, a cameo (which I also added "jewelry" to), and vintage silver lace.  These were my first pair of "reconstructed" shoes and I LOVE them.  They really add the finishing touch to my costume and are quite comfy too.  They aren't historically accurate 100%, but they have the feel of the era.

They started out as these bargain shoes from eBay...

Detail on the Bow...

Heel Detail...

The Whole Costume...
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38  Marchesa Evening Gown in Designer Clothing Homage by BenaeQuee on: November 27, 2011 10:36:35 AM
This is a dress I made in 2009 to wear to my sister-in-law's wedding.  My SIL is a women's fashion buyer, and was having a pretty swanky afair, so I needed something that would fit right in.  However, I do not have the budget to fit right in with something off the rack.  I browsed the internet for about week, checking all sorts of different styles of dresses.  I decided that I would then check the Red Carpet fashions of awards shows past.  I instantly fell in love with the style of Marchesa's gowns and knew I had to have one of my own.  I finally settled on a gorgeous empire waist dress in silk chiffon (my favorite!) with heavy beaded trim on the bodice. 
Working in the garment district of NYC and working for M&J Trimming at the time, gave me a great advantage in making this dress.  I found a beautiful 60" wide black chiffon with a slight texture to it that wasn't super airy light.  The trim was a gorgeous bullion embroidered and beaded 3" wide trim - that was $60/yd (yay discount!).  I used Vogue Pattern 1079 because it had the right form for the dress (the original package has a HORRID looking dress on the front).  It only needed a little modification to "make it work" for my needs.  I added a built in bustier to inside to help the dress hold its shape since it would be strapless and have all that heavy beading on top.

My version, taken at the SIL's wedding.  I wore it again a year later to a friend's wedding too.
Making of Page - http://imageevent.com/benaequee/costumes/realclothing/recreationmarchesagown

This is the original dress, I'm sorry I don't have a direct link as it is from their older collections and no longer on their site.
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39  Leopards and Cat Animal Snoods in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by BenaeQuee on: November 25, 2011 08:12:03 AM
I have a stash of animal print fabrics, some furry, and decided to make myself a hat.  I've done these before, but as a sample maker for a larger teen accessories company, so I've memorized the pattern by now after 50 plus samples.

I need to make the ears a bit bigger and tweak the shape, they are a little small for a leopard.  They have nice warm fleece lined pockets at the ends of the scarf pieces and adorable "leather" paw pads on the inside.  I used a medium pile leopard plush with a super soft fleece lining.  Can't wait for it to get colder!  I'll be making more of these for friends and family for Christmas too Grin

EDIT:  I made more of these as gifts!  I still need to add the paw pads to them to finish them up.

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40  Captain America USO Girl in Costumes: Completed Projects by BenaeQuee on: November 24, 2011 10:20:44 AM
If you've seen the new Captain America movie that came out this summer, this costume is from it.  This is the variant worn during the NYC singing scene.  It was made to be flashier than their basic outfits, because lets face it, NYC is flashier Wink

This was another costume I made for Dragon*Con this year.  There was a rather large group of girls gathering from around the globe for a group photo wearing this costume.  We even had some of the other variants as well.  Several of us even marched in the parade with a little marching pattern and chant.  We got so many compliments saying how uniform and organized we looked compared to the other groups lol.

The pleated skirt was drafted by one of the members and shared with the group, as well as the lapels and hat patterns.  I drafted my own bodice pattern.  We all used the same exact fabrics (Casa satin from Joann's and sequined fabric from a place in LA).  This made sure we all had a very uniform look and appeared to be from the movie.  I wore this to NYCC and did get asked several times by attendees if I was with the Marvel people handing out freebies lol.  We also all had the same shoes, gloves, and 48 star flags.

This is probably one of the more fun costumes to wear, even if the shoes are a little un-comfy.  My hair alone took me 2 hours to curl and style... I used a whole can of hair spray practically.  I've since chopped off about 10 inches of my hair, so it should be easier to style next time I go to wear this.

My Making of Page:

The Costume Group Page:
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