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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Star of the Silver Screen--Black and White film actress Louise Brooks (pics) on: October 28, 2007 12:00:07 PM
Thanks to the advice I got here I ended up painting my skin gray with watercolors (gesso as a base with a little bit of lamp black watercolor).  It was great!  Once it was dry it didn't wipe off too much, and it was easy to take off with soap and water.

I made the dress, the shrug, the purse, and the gloves.  I also painted the fan and dyed the stockings.





And here I am compared to Louise Brooks



I didn't attempt to be 1920s historically accurate because I only had one week to make the costume, but the feel is similar.

There are a ton more pictures on my flickr.
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Acrylic paint on skin? on: October 23, 2007 01:39:11 PM
I am going as Louise Brooks (a silent film star), and my gimmick will be painting myself grey so that I'm entirely black and white.  I got various types of makeup but they don't have great coverage and they wipe off.  It's too late to order something fancypants like latex body paint online.  I have heard of people painting skin with regular acrylic paints.  Anyone done this?  Tips?  How do you get it off?  I probably don't want to do acrylic paint on my face but if I could take care of my chest with it I think i can (1) keep my hands away from my face (mostly), and (2) touch up face as needed.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Alberta Ferretti designer inspired dress on: February 23, 2007 08:04:32 AM
Pattern Review had a designer knockoff contest so I decided to enter since I had so much fun doing my Chloe knockoff a few years ago.

After perusing style.com I decided on an Alberta Ferretti from Fall 2006, but I saw the style as more springlike.

Here it is!



Pictures of the process (muslins, pattern, etc.) on my yahoo photos and more details on how I did it in my review.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Down With Love (lots o' pics) on: January 29, 2007 08:44:19 PM
I didn't see Down With Love until recently I just adored it!  It's a great parody of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies, but also funny in its own right.  And the early sixties wardrobe is to.die.for.  Perfect inspiration for this challenge!  I made two outfits.  One is a fantasy outfit that it's unlikely I'll ever wear out of the house (well, I'll wear the coat, but prob not the dress).  The other is a more practical outfit that I can actually wear to work.

I love the exaggerated collar and boxy fit here.



Here's my exaggerated collar; I did a swing coat instead of a boxy one but the roominess is the same concept.



The decadence of having a fancy wrap for each evening dress you own!  And the decadence of having evening dresses! 



So here is my matching dress and evening wrap.



This is all about the contrast bodice and just-below-empire line.



The bodice is the same as the coat lining (I also bound the back slit in the sparkly fabric).



In bed with Ewan McGregor.



Alas, I'm in bed alone.



Here's the practical outfit...with Barbara Novak's Best Selling Novel.  (Um, yeah, about the book cover?  I'm not an artist.)



There are about a thousand more pics on my yahoo photos, including photos of the process.  I drafted the pattern for the top of the bodice of the evening dress.  I'm trying to learn how to draft patterns.  I have a lot to learn.

I enjoyed this challenge!  And now have three new outfits (did a muslin for the evening dress that will be a cute summer dress--pics on the yahoo page).


**Edit** I tried resizing the pics to be smaller but they just became all pixilated.  Sorry for the gigantic images.  I wish photobucket still had the resize by percentage (instead of to fixed size) feature.
5  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Cruella deVille by way of Joan Collins on: October 31, 2006 12:24:38 PM
Here's the completed costume.  I made the jacket, corset, skirt, jewelry, and puppy purse.  Only the boots, stockings, (fake) cigarette holder, and wig are purchased.



The jacket is a modified version of of McCall 4919; I changed it to widen the shoulders, make the collar bigger, lengthen the sleeves, and add the french cuffs.  If you're interested in how I did it, it's explained in my review on PatternReview.

I couldn't decide what to do about a top.  I did a bunch of sketches, and actually ended up making a tank top with nested chevrons of white lace, zebra, and black but then decided it wasn't exactly what I wanted and moved on to the corset.  The corset is a modified version of view A of McCall 4455



I turned the back piece into a back and side back (four pieces instead of one).  I sewed together the lining and then drafted the cup based on the way the front and side front went together.  First I traced them, then slashed and spread that tracing to add in ease.  I made it lace up the front and added boning (in the form of cable ties from Home Depot) for structure and voila.

The skirt is an old Butterick pattern for a six panel skirt.  I knew I couldn't put in a zipper, though, because of the eyelash fabric, so I made the front panel separate and put in buttonholes and sewed buttons to the side front panels.  I have a lot more pictures, including closeups of the jewelry and purse.

And one more picture just for fun.

6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Crazy, over-the-top cropped jacket & skirt on: October 17, 2006 09:07:53 AM
OK, so I'm going to be Cruella DeVille for Halloween.  I am going for an 80s powerbitch/(slutty) Cruella DeVille meets (slutty) Joan Crawford and throws drinks in people's faces and steals puppies.  I am going more for the 90s live action version of a glamourous cruella than the cartoon ugly dried up old lady thing.  Of course, Disney has put the live action movies into its "vault" so I couldn't actually watch them, but I found this inspiration photo on imdb.

So, I have made the suit part, complete with jacket with giant shoulder pads and giant contrasting faux fur collar and cuffs (bikini top worn for illustrative purposes).  The jacket is McCalls 4919; I exaggerated the collar, slashed and spread the sleeve cap to make it wider and longer, lengthened the sleeves, and drafted the french cuffs.  The skirt is from an old Butterick six-panel pencil skirt pattern; I knew I couldn't put in a zipper because it would catch on the eyelashes and get stuck, so the front panel buttons on.  Bikini top worn for illustrative purposes:



But I'm a little stuck on the cami to go underneath.  I definitely want it to be sort of lingerie-like because what's halloween if you're not a slutty version of whatever you're being.  I have stretch lace fabric in black and white (which aren't really that similar but whatev) and I want to incorporate the zebra fabric into it as well.  I drew up 8 possibilities.  I don't have a scanner so I hope you can see the drawings from the photo I took.  I also forgot to number them, but let's call them 1-4 in the first column from top to bottom, and 5-8 in the second column from top to bottom.



1.  Black and white twist on top with zebra on bottom that laces up the front.
2.  Halter top with one cup black and one white and zebra on bottom; hook and eye closure on side or back.
3.  Tank with nested chevrons of white, black, and zebra (I now think that if I choose this option I'll do the zebra as the center chevron).
4.  Bikini top with one cup black and one white connected by glamour ring; zebra bottom with skin showing between bikini top part and zebra; hook and eye closure on side or back.
5.  Halter with zebra cups edged in white, black on bottom.  (On this option I am concerned about the bulk, non-stretchiness, and non-drapiness of the zebra faux fur.)
6.  White flutter sleeves, ruched zebra panel (if the zebra will ruche), black on bottom.
7.  Tank with white ruched top, zebra under-bust "belt" with bow, black on bottom.
8.  Tank with zebra straps and top V neck trim, black cups, zebra underbust trim, and white bottom.

I just can't decide!  I have enough fabric to make two of these, probably.  Votes?

(I'm wearing two different boots because I'm trying to decide between black and white.)
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Cruella DeVille Completed Costume--img heavy on: October 16, 2006 08:04:11 PM
OK, so I'm going to be Cruella DeVille.  I am going for an 80s powerbitch/(slutty) Cruella DeVille meets (slutty) Joan Crawford and throws drinks in people's faces and steals puppies.  I am going more for the 90s live action version of a glamourous cruella than the cartoon ugly dried up old lady thing.  Of course, Disney has put the live action movies into its "vault" so I couldn't actually watch them, but I found this inspiration photo on imdb.

So, I have made the suit part, complete with jacket with giant shoulder pads and giant contrasting faux fur collar and cuffs (bikini top worn for illustrative purposes):



But I'm a little stuck on the cami to go underneath.  I definitely want it to be sort of lingerie-like because what's halloween if you're not a slutty version of whatever you're being.  I have stretch lace fabric in black and white (which aren't really that similar but whatev) and I want to incorporate the zebra fabric into it as well.  I drew up 8 possibilities.  I don't have a scanner so I hope you can see the drawings from the photo I took.  I also forgot to number them, but let's call them 1-4 in the first column from top to bottom, and 5-8 in the second column from top to bottom.



1.  Black and white twist on top with zebra on bottom that laces up the front.
2.  Halter top with one cup black and one white and zebra on bottom; hook and eye closure on side or back.
3.  Tank with nested chevrons of white, black, and zebra (I now think that if I choose this option I'll do the zebra as the center chevron).
4.  Bikini top with one cup black and one white connected by glamour ring; zebra bottom with skin showing between bikini top part and zebra; hook and eye closure on side or back.
5.  Halter with zebra cups edged in white, black on bottom.  (On this option I am concerned about the bulk, non-stretchiness, and non-drapiness of the zebra faux fur.)
6.  White flutter sleeves, ruched zebra panel (if the zebra will ruche), black on bottom.
7.  Tank with white ruched top, zebra under-bust "belt" with bow, black on bottom.
8.  Tank with zebra straps and top V neck trim, black cups, zebra underbust trim, and white bottom.

I just can't decide!  I have enough fabric to make two of these, probably.  Votes?

Also, do you think the pendant is too gigantic?  I intended to make it dramatic, but now I worry it has crossed over into absurd.

And black or white boots?  I'm leaning toward black.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Luau Dress (lots o' pics) on: May 26, 2006 03:02:34 PM
Simplicity put out a super adorable retro 50s luau dress last year (#4559) and mysteriously already took it out of the catalog!  I think a lot of people bought it though, and if you have it in your stash you should totally make it.  It comes out super cute and plus it offers so many fun ideas for taking photos of it (I got a little carried away, as you can see!).  The only major alteration I had to do was to the skirt patter pieces.  They were way too long; even though I am short, I had to shorten them much more than your average dress/skirt pattern.  So check the length of the pattern pieces against you before you start cutting, as the faux wrap drape has to be shortened on the pattern piece, not the already cut fabric.

Front View:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/nicegirl512/Luau2.jpg

My Bombshell imitation:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/nicegirl512/Luau3.jpg

Side View:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/nicegirl512/Luau4.jpg

Props!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/nicegirl512/Luau5.jpg

More props!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/nicegirl512/Luau1.jpg
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Demure and Dickensian on: May 19, 2006 12:54:57 PM
I bought the fabric for this skirt ages ago, and finally sewed it up last week.  I used a tulip skirt pattern that I love, Simplicity 5914. 

I knew I wanted ruffles, and I wanted to end up with a Victorian sort of look to go with a lacey high-necked school-marm-ish blouse (purchased).  I didn't have much fabric left after cutting out the skirt, so I cut the ruffle pieces on the bias, and each ruffle was about two inches wider than the place on the skirt back where it was sewn.  I put a narrow rolled hem at the bottom of the ruffles, then zig-zagged the top edge to finish.  Then I put in a single row of wide stitching (instead of the two rows used for true gathering, since I had so little to gather), and pinned right sides together with the skirt back with the ruffles facing up toward the waist.  I then stitched the ruffles in place along the gathering stitch, and ironed them downward.  I thought I was going to have to top stitch the ruffles, but it turned out not to be necessary.  I zig-zagged the sides of the center back, careful to catch the ruffle edges in the zig zag, and then sewed the skirt together as normal.

I am really happy with it!  The only thing I'm annoyed with myself over is my cutting layout.  I experimented with folding the fabric both ways (selvage to selvage or cut end to cut end) to see which way would give me the most fabric left over for ruffles, but I was *not* paying attention to the direction of the stretch.  When i went to try it on the first time I was all, "Hey, why isn't this stretching over my ass to smooth the fit?" and then realized I had made the stretch go up and down rather than side to side.  Dumb.  Oh well.

Yeah, I have a bizarre and sort of scary expression on my face.  I don't photograph well, especially when I'm doing it myself.




10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Cherry Quartz/Strawberry Glass on: March 20, 2006 02:45:13 PM
I was highly amused by the intense emotions accompanying the cherry quartz craze a few years back and then the revelation that it wasn't actually a stone, but glass.  Lordy.  I don't care that it's not quartz, I just love it.  I got these drops at a convention center bead show a while back (I am now addicted to these things! argh!).  I made a necklace like this for me with pearls that are slightly mint green.  This one for my shop is with pearls that are slightly rose.  I like the use of big pearls here.

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