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1  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Carnaval Costumes! NSFW on: February 08, 2011 06:45:16 PM
Every year in Austin we have an awesome Carnaval event modeled after the one in Rio, but it's done with Austin flare. It's at in indoor amphitheater and they bring in bands and dancers from all over the place and it's so much fun! A lot of people start making costumes months in advance, and I'm no exception. This year I did molded and painted leather masks for myself, my hubby, my friend, and her g/f. I made my costume and also did my friend's costume. I made the pants, cape, mask, and corset that she's wearing. For mine I made the skirt (looks much cooler in better light), the leather and feathers back-piece, the leather and buckled arm bands, and   Her costume was supposed to have pasties with it was well but she chickened out last minute and went covered. Unfortunately the camera battery that showed charged when we checked it was actually very close to dead, so we only got a few unremarkable pictures.

All of us together:

My costume front:

and back:

My makeup and cool feather extensions:

My friend's costume (Someone had just stolen her cellphone and she was in a horrible mood):

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Mini top hat tutorial - tooooons of pics on: November 03, 2010 12:51:00 PM
Mini Top Hat Tutorial

This is how I make my mini-top hats, and I thought Id make a tutorial because most of the ones I have come across are very simple. I think there are a lot of cases where that is more than sufficient, but I just tend to make everything the complicated and detailed way I think.  Grin These will stand up to quite a bit of wear and tear.

-   Fabric for your top hat (make sure to choose fabric that does not run or shred easily)
-   Felt for an underlayer
-   Feathers and trim
-   Wire mesh - You can buy at most craft stores. Its usually used to support clay or papier mache. One   package will make 2-3 hats depending on size. http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/activ-wire-mesh-781369/

-   Two hair combs
-   Glue gun, perferably low heat
-   Scissors that arent too expensive, as the mesh will dull them
-   Thread and needle
-   Paper to make stencils
-   Sharpie and pencil
-   Iron

Step 1: Decide how big you want your hat to be. This is all up to personal perference. The smaller it is, the easier it is to wear. I made this particular hat a little bit larger than normal because I wanted it to stand out as a top hat. You will need to cut three pieces. The first is the hat brim. Either freehand this shape (I fold the paper in half and draw my shape out) or find an object such as a lid to a food container that you like the size of. Once you have your shape, draw a second circle or oval inside the second. This will be the width of your brim. You can either cut this hole out, or trace it using a second piece of paper. This will be the top of your hat. Next, use a sheet of paper and wrap it around the smaller circle to determine the length of your hat middle (shaft?? Lol). Increase the length by about 1/4 so you have overlap. Decide how tall you want your hat to be, and add about 1.5 to the top, because this will be divided evenly between the top and bottom to attach the brim and top.

Step 2: Trace out your three shapes on mesh with Sharpie pen. Place paper underneath to avoid marking up your work surface.  You can use your small top circle to trace out the center on the brim. Trace and cut a second set of shapes from felt. Cut the brim slightly larger than your wire, so that the wire will be fully encased. Trace and cut a third set from your chosen exterior fabric. When you cut the brim piece, DO NOT cut out the center hole. Instead, cut a very small hole in the center, and cut flanges shaped like pie pieces to the edge of the interior brim. Look at the picture in step 5 if you need a visual. Also cut your very top small circle piece with an extra fabric all around.

Step 3: Begin assembly of armature. Roll Your middle piece slightly to insert it through the hole on the brim, with about sticking out below. Cut the part that is sticking out into about 1/2 tabs all the way around, and fold them back so that they create a flange for the brim to rest on.

This is where having a low temp glue gun comes in handy. Put a small dot of glue on the brim and squeeze the flange down on to it so the metal from both pieces is glued together. You only need to pinch it a second or two.  On the side of your hat center piece there is about a overlap, glue this shut as well.

Once the process is completed, turn the hat over so its sitting on the brim, and repeat the process for the top of the hat, gluing the smaller wire circle to the flanges at the top. At this point you should have a finished wire armature.

Step 4: Glue on your felt pieces. It usually works best to add the top of the brim, then the underside, then around the middle shaft, then the top. This may seem like an extra step since you will be adding fabric over it, but there is a reason. If you glue your fabric directly over the armature, especially if it is more delicate fabric, you will be able to see the pattern of the mesh through the fabric. This is especially true with velvets. Hence, the extra step.

Step 5: Its time to add the fabric. We have all of our fabric cut but the top brim covering. So take a square of fabric that gives you at least an inch all around your brim, and center your small top circle stencil, trace, and cut out. Put this over the top of your hat form, and slide it down until it is flat on the brim.


Trim the fabric around the edge of the brim, giving yourself at least an inch all the way around to fold under.  Turn the hat over, and cut tabs in the fabric and glue down. Be careful not to cut too close to the edges as you dont want the cuts to run over the edges of your brim. Glue the brim piece down you already cut out over the bottom piece and then trim and glue the interior flanges into the shaft of the hat.

Turn your hat over again. Next, glue your very top piece on. Like we have before, cut flanges and glue the top to the shaft of the hat. Next we will prepare the fabric to glue to the shaft. Iron under about both at the bottom, and at the side of your rectangle. Glue inside this fold sparingly so that you have a clean sharp edge. Begin by gluing down your fabric at the join of the brim and shaft with the folded edge facing in, so you have a nice clean line. Make sure that your folded side seam ends up on the outside, glued over the top of your raw edge.

Step 6: Finishing. At this point, smooth the fabric in any places you need to, and add glue. Tip- for any places where your glue shows, you can use a matching sharpie pen and color over it to reduce the visibility. Add in your combs at this point. I sewed one on either side.  Two will keep the hat from flopping to the side when you bend forward. Personally I think this is much better than attaching it to a headband because it doesnt interfere as much with hairstyles.

Choose trims, feathers, buttons, etc. and decorate your hat to match your chosen theme.

Because you have a wire armature, you can also fold the brim up or down in certain spots if you like. Youre done!

Here is another example of a hat made using this method.

I made PDF of this tutorial, send me a message with your email address if you would like it. Thanks for reading, and have fun!

Pictures and instructions, Destiny Augustine, 2010

3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Circus Ringmaster - lots of pics on: November 02, 2010 06:38:36 PM
My circus ringmaster costume all handmade (or in the case of the jacket, embellished). The corset is my first and sewn from Simplicity 9769. The mini top hat is made completely from scratch, and I'm currently working up a tutorial for my process. Unfortunately I was pretty sick, and as badly as I wanted to go out for Halloween, a couple of quick pics was as far as we got, since we went straight home after dinner. I bought fishnet thigh highs with a red seam up the back and a black garter belt, but since I didn't make it to the party the adults only version was never put on. Sad

4  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Carnaval Costume *warning, here there be a bit o' skin on: February 22, 2010 11:34:22 AM
Carnaval here in Austin was on Saturday night, and here is my costume! I planned it out a couple of weeks in advance and then finished it in about three days. Everything but the shoes I made. Unfortunately we didn't take pictures until we got there, and the top I made was already starting to come apart. Next year I know to make it sturdier. The gold body paint was also gone from the back of my legs - this morning I discovered it all on the seat of my car. Tongue  I also made my hubby a matching mask, which is as close to a costume as he gets. Smiley

5  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Neo-Victorian Ghoul costume on: November 03, 2009 03:57:00 PM
My Halloween costume is almost completely handmade, the only piece you can see in the pictures that I didn't make was the corset. The parasol is trimmed, the mini top hat is made completely from scratch using metal mesh to sculpt it. I sewed the overskirt completely from scratch, and the underskirt is made from a prom dress that was 6 sizes too big that I took apart and re-sewed. The blouse was something I've had in my stash for a long time that was waiting for the perfect recon. I took the window out and added lace to spice it up at the chest and sleeves. The cape is reversible with a faux-slubbed silk exterior and charcoal gray interior. The collar attaches with snaps so that I can put a different one on if needed, and I made a wire frame to go inside that can also be removed. In the last picture the blouse wasn't completed, but it's the best picture I have of the skirts.

6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / what to call myself? on: October 29, 2009 01:36:32 PM
I've been working for my costume for over a month now, and have been more concerned with the look than what it is. However, a good 10 or so people have asked me what I'm supposed to be, so I need a name to go with it. Help! The whole look is based on a makeup look that Illamasqua and is kinda neo-victorian gothic.

This was my test run with makeup:

This is the newest set of pictures I have of the outfit (I have since altered the shirt to have a window where the ribbon is, have added a cape and a parasol, and various trims)

And this is the hat:

So what would you call yourself? The only idea I have come up with is Ghoul or Ghost, which I think could work, but doesn't meet most peoples expectation of what they should look like.

Thanks all!
7  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / historical term for item, or ideas for construction on: September 24, 2009 11:18:04 AM
I have started to design and put together my halloween costume, which I am loosely terming "neo victorian". I'm borrowing from several fashion timelines so there is no real historical period to reference directly.

I'm doing fine on the gown and such, but I have no idea what the tall stiff pleated collar that I've designed for the shrug is called, so I'm not able to find anything online about how to start construction. Does anyone know what it's called? If not, how would you go about making it stand up? I plan to use a very stiff interfacing, but I'm wondering if that will be enough, or if it will just flop over. Should I perhaps use a wire armature? Thanks for any advice. I love looking at photos of the period costume construction so many of you have done.

Sorry for the bad photo quality; I took pictures of my sketchbook with my phone.

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / any metal clay users in the Austin area? on: August 26, 2009 09:32:27 AM
I have wanted to do metal clay forever, and now that copper and bronze are available it seems affordable for me to try out. I have done both metal and ceramics before, so I have a basic grasp of a lot of the concepts. I really want to do it, but I don't want to spend $200 on a class when I can just buy some clay and give it a whirl. However- there is no way I'm buying a kiln just to give it a try. Is there anyone out there that would be willing to rent out kiln time? I can also barter. I make jewelry, knit, crochet, and sew.
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / cutting and sewing side to side knits?? (sideways cloche) on: January 26, 2009 08:21:45 AM
Hey all,
I have almost finished the Sideways Grande Cloche from Boutique Knits, and after stitching it all together have found that its way too deep. Im very petite, and even with gauge being a little smaller than specified, it falls down over my eyes. Im trying to decide if I should frog (Im flying to a rather cold clime later this week and hoped to have it done by then) or if it would be possible to do a machine stitch and cut. Its constructed side to side, so there isnt a way to just un-knit at the bottom. Has anyone had luck doing this? I know its done on sweaters, such as for neck construction, but Ive never done it. I also dont know if its normally done on normal construction vs. side to side. Thanks a bunch!
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / crimp bead tears on: December 18, 2008 11:12:44 AM
I am having issues with my crimp beads, and I hope someone has a suggestion! The last two necklaces I made have had the ends coming right out of the crimp. I am using the small dark crimp beads, (not tubes) and the crimp tool. I am using heavy duty beading thread. I am crimping it with the area closest to the handle, then sliding it up to the other part of the pliers that bend it into a "u". But it still keeps sliding out! Thanks for any suggestions.
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