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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Exploding TARDIS Swoon Glenda Purse on: February 03, 2016 05:45:33 PM
I've been having fun with Swoon patterns Cheesy  I made the Blanche 4 times already (2 for me, 2 for others).  I decided to get the Glenda next, as a friend wanted a similar style and this saved me time of drafting my own.

2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Anna's Birthday Dress from Frozen Fever Pic HEAVY on: November 09, 2015 09:51:39 PM
Typical to my costuming style, I decided "last minute" that I wanted to wear Anna's dress from Frozen Fever, that she wore for her Birthday, for MY birthday Grin  Last minute would be 2 weeks to construct a Petticoat, blouse, corset, bolero, and hand painted skirt.  Sure thing, easy, no problem Shocked

I started by spending about 2 hours taking screen shot after shot from the short and compiling them into one file that I could take for reference.  I then headed to Joann for a shopping trip, armed with about 10 coupons I'd been hoarding (WOOT!).  I managed to find 8 different fabrics for the costume.  The bolero uses 3 fabrics, a green/blue iridescent organza over a grass green tafetta, with a green cotton lining.  The corset is a dark teal/blue "linen" with a teal satin lining.  The blouse is a pale yellow cotton.  The petticoat is the same pale yellow cotton with an ivory point d'esprit over layer.  The skirt is a sparkly light teal satin. 

The skirt in the short has an obvious ombre effect going from the waist to hem (light to dark) and I KNEW I had to have the same effect for my skirt.  I tried a spray system where you can use your own paint.  I mixed up the perfect darker teal and fabric medium, thinned it for the sprayer, and made a HUGE mess on my scrap piece.  The sprayer did NOT work at all.  Disappointment, big time!  I had to resort to a blue/teal normal spray paint to achieve my effect.  The spray paint was just normal Ace Hardware brand paint.  I used the same thing on my Pterodactyl without any issues, so I used it again for my skirt.  It did stiffen the satin a tiny bit, but that is good, as it helped the skirt keep it's shape in the long run.

The sunflowers were drawn by me in Photoshop and then split into 6 parts to be cut into stencils by my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine.  I cut 10 total sets of stencils, and used each one twice with no bleeding of paint underneath.  I started by painting them flowers a white base layer, and then layered on the yellow, orange, and browns.  Once the skirt was fully painted and dried (about 20 hours of labor to paint alone), the fun chore of adding rhinestones began.  So far, there are 440 rhinestones... I still need about 400 more.  I tore through my stash I had squirreled away.  There are 20 total flowers, 8 are fully rhinestoned in the front.  Once that was done, it was hemmed by using a really wide double fold bias tape in teal.  Since the hem is round, and fabric was stiffened due to the painting, a normal hem would have been difficult and messy looking.  Luckily the cartoon has a thick contrast border on the hem as well Wink

The Bolero was super easy and was a jacket pattern that I left the sleeves and collar off of, and altered the front shape.  It is also bound in a teal bias tape, which is how the cartoon looks too.  This made my life really easy. 
The shirt was a pattern I had altered from my previous Anna dress and then altered further for this costume by making shorter sleeves, changing the collar shape entirely, and putting a partial zip in the front.  Ric Rac and metallic gold bias are trimming on the blouse. 

The corset is just a vogue pattern that I altered a long time ago to fit me and be used for anything I needed a corset for.  It actually zips up the back as I was unable to see any significant closure system in the cartoon version.  The zip is a heavy duty separating zipper.  The Bolero and Corset still have hand embroidery I need to do on them, and that is probably another 30-40 hours of work  Shocked  When I made this, I was so excited that everything was working, that I cut all the fabric layers out and sewed it all together only to realize after trying it on, that I completely FORGOT to cut the heavy interfacing Sad  It was just sitting there, mocking me.  It's okay without it, but I would have preferred it for structure in the long run.

The petticoat is fun and flirty and was made to look like a tulle skirt if I wanted to wear it for something else.  I fully endorse multi-use costume parts.  There are 7 yards of tulle (it was all they had or it would have been 15) and 4 yards of cotton.  The hemline has a horsehair braid to help it keep it's shape with the weight of the skirt over it.

There is also a cute sunflower hair clip in the back and an antique brooch at the neck.  The brooch is a 10k gold, opal, and spinel brooch my mother had given to me years ago on a birthday long past.  It worked PERFECT for this costume  Cheesy

I managed to get the costume done enough to wear for my birthday party and photoshoot and still be recognizable.  I still have a ton of work to do on it to call it complete.

3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Doctor Who Bad Wolf Purse made from Swoon Blanche Pattern on: September 24, 2015 09:07:49 AM
I'm a huge nerd, I love all things sci-fi in books and movies/TV.  While Star Wars will always be my number one love, I also can't get enough of Doctor Who.  I recently looked through my stash of nerd purses and realized I did not have a Doctor Who one!  I already had some TARDIS fabric and glitter HTV and recycled purse parts, so set out to find a pattern.  I think I spent about 4-5 hours scouring the net for something that looked like the Louis Vuitton Speedy bags (I love that shape).  I found the Swoon Patterns Blanche design and was set.  I loved the addition of the outside pockets as well.

I have made a wristlets, and one of my favorites was a Bad Wolf wristlet.  I used that design for my larger purse.  I do not yet have a cutting machine, so any HTV work I do is cut by hand.  Luckily, my husband wasn't doing anything, so I put him to work cutting out the letters for me lol.  I then used the instructions to see where the handle supports would be placed on the bag as well as see where it starts to bend underneath to form the bottom.  I then placed the letters on the fabric so that it would read well when it was finished.

I didn't have any of the foam interfacing that the pattern calls for, so I used a thick felt I had on hand and a spray adhesive for applique work to fuse it to the fabric.  It was then basted in place on the edges.

I LOVE this bag and can't wait to make a few more designs I have in mind.

4  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Pterodactyl from Jurassic World on: September 13, 2015 02:04:37 PM
LONG POST, sorry, I like details lol

This costume started out as a joke for Dragon Con, on Thursday night.  Normally, your average Dragon Con Thursday costume is something simple and easy.  You save the crazy elaborate things for Friday or Saturday.  I decided to mix it up a bit and took something that was meant to be quick and cheap, and make it more serious.  As a costumer, I just can't do quick and cheap and jokey.  It pretty much goes against my grain lol.

I started by finding a decent fabric (lycra) that had a skin like texture and was brown.  I sewed up a body suit with attached wings and a tail (LOVE the tail!).  It was then painted, while I wore it, by my husband.  I directed him where to paint and how to blend, and he did a great job.  I then went over some areas on my own until I was happy.  The wings were painted while laying flat on my gravel driveway.

The head is a paper pattern base I found on Etsy (search Pterodactyl mask).  I used poster board to make it out of and contact cement to hold it all together.  More fragile seams are held additionally with strong tape on both the front and inside of the mask.  It was then covered in layers of thin upholstery foam and basic craft foam until I was happy with the shape.  The seams and upholstery foam were covered in plaster to fill in any gaps or obvious looking seams.  It was sanded smooth and hit with a thick latex paint layer and left to dry outside in the sun.  There was spackle added in areas where the plaster didn't quite fill.  It was allowed to dry, was sanded, and then painted with latex again.  Any final areas that needed filling, were filled in and sanded.  Those spots were painted and dried.  The final mask was then treated to layers of spray paint blended until I was happy with the colors and texture.  The multiple layers of foam, plaster, and latex let the final product be flexible with minimal cracking.  Teeth were made with pinking shears and craft foam, the tongue was also red craft foam - using a hair dryer to shape - painted slightly.  The eyes are antique 1" upholstery tacks that my mom gave me and I painted with acrylic paint, and then epoxied to the mask.

The boots are awesomely ugly hidden platform boots that zip up the calf and offer excellent ankle support for running around.  I glued the front tongues in place and then covered the boots with fabric.  They were painted to coordinate with the suit painting.  The heels and hidden platforms were painted black to give the illusion that all I have are 4 Pterodactyl toes to stand on lol  These boots are my favorite part of the costume, and really comfy - surprisingly.

The claws for the feet and hands are made from sculpy.  Unfortunately, one of the foot claws was broken when the bell hop at our hotel dropped it off the cart upon check out Angry  Those are glued to the feet and then sewn on, I have to figure out how to safely remove it and make a whole new claw.  The piece that broke off was no where to be found Sad  They lasted wonderfully as I walked around for two days of the con (Thursday and Sunday) with no issues.  The toes are thick upholstery foam that I carved into a toe shape and glued to each boot.  They were then covered in matching fabric.

It was an EXTREMELY popular costume at the con, I could barely chase my husband around (dressed as Jimmy Buffett saving his Margaritas) without someone wanting a photo lol.

My progress photos...
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Hey there Mr J! Harley Quinn Costume Inspired Tote on: July 21, 2015 11:31:18 AM
So, recently, I left NYC and my desk job to head to MD and work for myself and my etsy store.  I had a ton of ideas, but no time to do it and certainly no space (my work space was 2'x4' total).  I'm slowly getting inventory together and making some of the things that have been hiding in my head for the last few years.  I still have a TON of ideas, I just need about 4 more of me to get them all made lol  It's one of the nest choices I ever made in my life  Cool

A friend had suggested that I make a Harley Quinn bag, after seeing my Wonder Woman bag.  I had ideas for how to make one, so that just pushed me further into actually doing it.  I also have sleep masks and makeup bags in the works for Harley.  It's just a lot of work to make her designs with those little appliques.  This tote is inspired by her costume, with the signature red and black, and her little harlequin pom pom collar.  The inside is interfaced with a heavy weight material for structure and shape.  The whole bag is 100% cotton material since it seems to hold up well to washing and ironing over time.  I'd say each bag takes about 2-3 hours to cut and finish, so I probably won't make that many for my shop.

I designed the tote pattern as well as the overall look.  I use the same base tote pattern for my structured totes, which is different from my regular flat totes.  I wanted a purse like feeling with these, so I wanted space and body to it.  There is even a handy two part pocket for a cell phone and wallet Cheesy

6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Anna's Adventure Dress from Frozen on: January 28, 2015 07:08:59 PM
This was something I never saw myself doing.  I liked Frozen, but it wasn't a costume I really needed for my "wardrobe".  However, this past Halloween, I made a tiny Elsa dress for my (almost 3 year old) niece who was a Frozen fanatic.  I hand sewed on about 500 large sequins to the bodice... again, for a toddler, and hand painted a cape with sparkly snow flakes.  I included the most adorable letter from Elsa's "royal tailor" on how to "wear" the gown and how her mom can let the hem out as the queen gets taller.  There were also gloves with sparkly snow flakes I painted on and rhinestones, because come on, rhinestones!  I unfortunately do not have a photo at the moment, as she's in CA, and I'm in NY.  Which brings me to Anna's dress.  
Why did I choose to make this?  For my niece, sort of.  I'm headed to CA in about 2 weeks for Gallifrey One (Doctor Who con) and decided that a side trip to San Diego was in order while we were out there.  I can't be any old aunt who shows up and brings hugs and kisses and probably another costume and toys.  I had to really wow her.  So, I decided that I wanted to make Anna's Adventure dress to go with my niece's Elsa dress!  The plan is to get into character, ring the doorbell, and wait for her to open the door and have a 3 year old melt down (the good kind).  My brother is so excited and can't wait.  She doesn't know Anna is coming to her house Wink  There will be video and photos, which I will update here Cheesy  I can hardly wait!

Anywho, that's the back story, now onto the costume photos!  Details on what I did and how are here - http://imageevent.com/benaequee/costumes/completed/movietvartcostumes/annaadventuredress


My favorite part, my first time ever doing embroidery!  I've avoided it for over a decade and finally bit the bullet and did it.  It wasn't so scary or daunting, and was actually kind of relaxing lol.  I'll remember I said that I as I embroider the 30 appliques on the skirt Shocked

I have material for the cape coming this week, so that will be added as well, but that's for a photo-shoot back here in NYC in 4 weeks.
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / The Gatekeeper and the Keymaster from Ghostbusters on: November 05, 2014 05:45:32 PM
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, and what better way to show my love than with a costume!  I made these for Halloween this year since we had a few parties to attend and needed something comfy to wear.  My usual wardrobe of costumes are more for cons and contests and not for parties where drunk people hang out.

I bought a gold/black cross weave lame for the underdress and a red/orange cross weave poly chiffon for the overlayer.  I had to draft the pattern, making sure it was true to the movie shape.  Her sleeves are so flowy, and the gold and sheer layers hang free from one another. They are only joined at the wrists and the neck opening.  The lame was such a pain to work with, as I've never sewn with it before.  I had to cut extra seam allowances to allow for french seams, otherwise all my work would have unraveled and pulled apart over time.  I also needed to make sure it was not itchy, so serging was out of the question since it would have left a raw metallic fiber near the skin.  I treated the sheer layer with the same french seam method for a finished and durable seam.  The hem is a baby rolled hem on the sheer layer and a serged edge on the lame (it did not want to roll).

I got the wig from a place that was going out of business and seemed to have a huge supply of 80's styled wigs for $5 - SCORE!  I pinned it to a foam head, flipped it upside down and teased and sprayed it.  I sewed a comb into the front to keep it in place.  This is probably one of my most comfortable wigs lol.

The makeup was intense!  I had to study screen shots and buy certain shadows and shimmers I would not normally ever wear.  Luckily the clearance section of Walgreens is my best friend.  I can't pay $20 for an eyeshadow I'll only ever wear for this.  I'll pay $1 for a palate of colors though!  I had to buy bronzer for the contouring, which I've never done before.  Youtube tutorials are your friend for this.  I still didn't get it quite as intense as I would have liked, but I'm happy with it.  It took me about 20 minutes to get all that stuff off my face.  I finished the look with a custom manicure to match the costume.  A gold and red and orange glitter ombre effect.

I can't very well be a Gatekeeper without a Keymaster, so I dressed up the hubby too!  We found a yellow polo and stripey blue shirt at the goodwill, he had the pants and shoes already.  I got the glasses off eBay (non script).  I made the helmet during my lunch break at work.  The collander came from eBay as well since I could not actually find one at Goodwill locally lol.  I work in Tech Support, so we have a TON of wires that are junk and have no use other than clutter.  I cut off the plugs from AV cords, and used old telephone handset cords.  Some heavy duty hot glue and a little patience, and a helmet was made.  I made a lining out of thin strips of packing foam, so it sits on his head nice and comfy without slipping.

8  COOKING / Dessert / "I want him alive..." Han Solo in Carbonite Cake on: July 27, 2014 10:22:53 AM
My husband and I met through Star Wars almost 12 years ago.  I saw it only fitting that I make him a Star Wars themed birthday cake, so I chose Han.  I already had the deluxe Han in Carbonite ice mold and was debating the ways to make this cake.  The mold itself is not very large.  I was originally going to press fondant into the mold and then layer in cake on the inside.  This didn't seem like a good idea since I needed enough cake for 20 people lol.

I ended up deciding to use only the bottom detail of the mold with the Han part (not the sides with the carbon chamber details).  I poured in about 3/8" of chocolate and stuck him in the freezer... how fitting.  I then set to making my Red Velvet recipe that friends and family have enjoyed for years (and was requested by the birthday man).  I decided to make a 'plank' of cake to set the chocolate piece on.  I did 3 layers of cake with a cream cheese frosting in between.  I then carved the cake as evenly as possible to be flat on top and flat on the sides.  The whole thing was covered in the rest of the cream cheese frosting and stuck in the freezer for 20 minutes.

I then used the Satin Ice brand of fondant and kneaded it out and rolled it out with some added corn starch.  My kitchen was hot and a bit humid, so the fondant took that humidity to itself.  I had to add corn starch a few times before it would hold it's shape without dropping.  The cake I made back in November for my own birthday (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=429108.msg5123444#msg5123444) did not have this problem since my kitchen was nice and cold and dry.  With the help of my hubby, we were able to get the large sheet of fondant onto the cake Smiley  I actually cut out the middle of the fondant on the top (to the size of the giant Han chocolate) and carved out some cake to press him into the middle.  I cut out the bits for the control panels on the sides of the carbonite block and used a dab of water to stick them to the body of the cake.  I then dusted the whole thing in a pewter colored edible luster dust and finally pressed M&M's into the panels for the 'lights'.  

We had the party at our favorite bar and the cake was a hit with the party as well as people who walked into the bar and saw it sitting there.  The birthday man was happy and said it was the best cake I made for him yet, and I made him an R2D2 dome cake for his 30th birthday years ago lol.  I had so much fun making this, I'm already thinking of what to make next Smiley

9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Wonder Woman Themed Vintage Style Swing Dress on: July 07, 2014 12:41:39 PM
I used Butterick 5882 to make this dress.  When I saw it, it screamed out Wonder Woman to me.  The accent piece on the top was very reminiscent of the wings on WW's bodice.  I found the starry fabric at a little place in the NYC garment district.  The red and yellow fabrics I had in my stash from other projects.  The lining was just a blue cotton broadcloth.  I had a petticoat in my costume stash and wore it under the skirt for added volume, as it hangs much better that way.

I put it together with the sole purpose of wearing it for Independence Day celebrations.  It was a hit at the two parties I went to Cheesy  When it got colder that evening, I wore a simple white cardigan with it.

10  COOKING / Dessert / My first successful fondant covered cake - Doctor Who! on: November 17, 2013 03:03:13 PM
I calling this my first successful attempt at fondant covering a cake, as my last two were genuine "cake wrecks" (tasty though!).  
I ended up buying Satin Ice after reading a few reviews, instead of trying to make my own again.  I had to knead in more navy blue coloring since the blue in the tub was quite bright and not "TARDIS Blue" at all.  I did it in small batches, adding powdered sugar to dry it out after adding the gel color.  The stars are cookie cutter shapes and then brushed with lustre dust.  Same with the "ribbon" on the bottom, it was also the fondant with dust.
The cake was a red velvet recipe that I've been using for years (always a popular cake when I make it) with a chocolate mousse filling.  The cake was the Wilton brand pans that leave a hollowed out heart shape to be filled.  I knew this was perfect for a Doctor Who themed cake since The Doctor has two hearts!  When you cut into it, it looks like a heart Smiley  Sorry I don't have a photo of the inside, it got devoured before we realized we should have taken one LOL
The TARDIS on top is solid chocolate in the perfect TARDIS blue color.  The details were brushed in lustre dust.  The little Amy is not edible, but is an action figure since I costume as her quite frequently... I'm in costume in the photo Smiley
Funny enough, the BBC was at the bar (The Way Station, in Brooklyn) filming for a special airing on Nov 25th.  They managed to make the whole bar sing "Happy Birthday" to me and filmed it for the special with my cake front and center (OMG HAPPY DANCE!).  I made sure they got a slice of cake as well!
EDIT: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25006466 The BBC Clip!


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