26 November

Updated To-Do List

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It’s the end of November and I have just one month left in 2014 to Get Stuff Done.

I ended up taking a staycation last week and got three sewing projects knocked out and done, two of which were just finishing them for commission work, the third was my Arwen.  Last night I sculpted and baked the belt buckle, so the things left are fixing the collar, maybe removing the zipper and figuring out if I’m going to baseball stitch the seams or not.  The leather seams have a lot of bulk and it’s hard to keep the stitches nice and tight since they’re decorative and not functional.  I also have to decide if I want to take in the bodice or not.  I think I’ll pick up gloves at some point rather than making them, I don’t really have time to hand stitch a pair of gloves.

Things I Have to do this year:

1) Finish Brandon’s stupid uniform I volunteered to remake because I wasn’t 100% happy with the first one.

2) Eventually make Danielle’s Mara Jade jumpsuit.

3) Finish Arwen this year before the last Hobbit movie.  If I don’t, it will never be completely finished.

Next year:

Rocket Racoon, D&D cartoon characters and Purple Padme. Possible commissions on the horizon.

First con of 2015 MIGHT be Ichiban, we shall see.

 

4 November

Fabric find!

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I’m now sure that I can finish Padme’s Purple Senate gown.

coat_fabric

Now I just have to find out what kind of dye to use.

purple9

Hehehehehehehe

23 October

Purple Senate Gown – Padme/Attack of the Clones

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Disclaimer: All photos of the dress are from Padawan’s guide. I haven’t made my own YET. But I’m working on it.  The Padawan’s Guide photos are from here: http://www.padawansguide.com/purple.shtml – they are used only as references and to explain how the cord is laid out.

Use the photo below for how the cords should be finished – four rows of a single unbroken running bourdon cord (or two cords), as best described by Kay-Dee on her page here: http://kay-dee.net/costumes/purple/index.htm

The only thing her extremely helpful site did not have were the layout patterns for the cording; I am providing them here.  I couldn’t have gotten this far without her pages and pages of tips and suggestions, so thank you Kay-Dee!!!

The reprinted images do not belong to me, but my traced pattern lines do. I you share them, please credit me back for the printable patterns.

Steps for using my patterns

  • The images should all be printed out full size and taped together – they should all overlap by a few inches.
  • Using wax-free tracing paper, put the colored paper face down on your fabric, the printout on top and trace the middle most inner line onto your fabric using the wheel. Pin the paper in place with regular straight pins so it stays straight up and down on your fabric.  Your inner cord will fall along either side of this middle line, and then your outer cord will fall outside the inner cords.  Use my printouts as a reference

The cording should end up looking nice and snug up against each other, in a flowing vine layout, done with a couching stitch and hoop.  Use a silvery metallic thread if possible for shine.

trace

 

The inner cord becomes the base for the outer cord.  Snug the outer cord right up against the inner when you finish the full inner loop, which will run all the way around at the top, and then loop over your starting point.  Add single loopys to the outer cord.  Pay attention, some are single ‘tails’ and some are fully doubled, like the one on the inside that hooks off a bigger loopy

trace2

Neckline:

Neckline1

The cord will extend out past the top of the pattern I have here, but up until that point is all that is visible. I haven’t seen the dress in person so I don’t know if it extends further. Since the dress is always worn with the coat and the neckline under the coat is never seen, you could get away with just tying it off and not continuing the cord around the upper neckline and back of the neck.

I strongly suggest cutting my neck pattern down the middle and aligning the sides on your dress as needed for a wider or narrower “V” cording pattern.  Unlike the front skirt panel and sleeves, there doesn’t appear to be any single loops using only the outer cord.

Sleeves:

The sleeve cording pattern is ALMOST mirrored on each side of both sleeves, so you need four patterns total.

This is the best shot of the sleeve pattern that I could find on Padawan’s guide:  
purple9

It doesn’t show the top of the arm, but we can infer from this and other shots that the sleeve pattern extends up and into the coat.

I like that these shots show the reflected purple glow from the velvet so you can really tell it’s not black.

sleevestop1

Above is another shot from Padawan’s Guide – you can clearly see the cording extending all the way up to the sleeve cap/sleeve opening.

sleevestop2

In this shot here (also from Padawan’s Guide, you can clearly see the waist seam, and you can kind of see a new curly pattern on the arm up at the top, which I’m including in my pattern. Anything above the mid-upper arm really is just guesswork on my part, so feel free to use the top sections as I have drawn them, or not.

It might be difficult to hoop the sleeves and neckline, but you can still do it by basting your cut sleeve pieces down on another piece of non-stretchy material at the edges, and then hooping. Cut the material off around the sleeves and you have an instant layer of interfacing.  The sleeves seem pretty stiff in photos, so this might work out well in the long run.  My sleeve pattern might have to be cut into a few pieces to get it lined up on your fabric correctly, depending on your pattern.

The reason I say the sleeve pattern is ALMOST mirrored is due to this infuriating shot here:

whole dress

Granted, I find EVERY shot of this dress infuriating because the color seems to change EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  But what am I looking at specifically? I’ll tell you. (PS, there’s a great shot of the crinkle fabric coat lining here)

This.  This right here.

sleevefury

 

You can clearly see some of the loopy’s at the seam pointed down against the outer ones pointed up. I’m not going to redraw the pattern just for these couple of differences, so I’ll either conveniently ignore them or do the outer sleeve panels first and decide if I want to give myself a migraine or not.

I don’t have any other good shots that I can reference of the inside of the sleeves, so I’m going to just have to assume these are the only differences, if only for my own sanity.

The neckline might be best done after the dress is complete; just make sure it’s very well interfaced.  Saving it to the very end/post attachment means you can cord around the upper neck easily.  If you aren’t sure if you have enough to go around the back, start at a shoulder seam and stitch in place while the dress is on a manikin or a patient friend.

And that’s it for my contribution for your own costume’s construction. For everything else, go check out Kay-Dee’s tutorial, or if a Rebel Legion member, there are lots of helpful people on the forums who have already constructed this dress or can help with specific techniques.

13 October
21 September

Another promotional poster

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Liz_Leia_BRBWaiting for final Legion approval on this one, but it should be alright.  Our base membership is.. well, kinda dismal and we’re looking for more members. We only have about a dozen costumers to call on across the state, and not everyone can always take time off to volunteer.

 

21 September

Blue Ridge Base takes Costumer of the Year for 2013

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Lizwinner copy

Photo by Ripptowne Photography

This is Liz Welsh, a member of Rebel Legion in our Blue Ridge Base of the North and South Carolinas division. I was base commander when her award came through and I was honored to present it to her in a special ceremony/gathering.

Congrats, Liz, and thanks for being a valued member of Rebel Legion!

8 September

DragonCon 2014

This was possibly our most successful DragonCon to date. Last year was much more hectic and stressful, but despite managing 7 costumes and making last minute hot glue gun repairs in our room, we had a great time.  My husband and I and a good friend all made it to the giant 600 person Marvel Photoshoot and we had a blast.

10603626_10102092640708159_159970933325165785_n 10440672_10102084717461409_689396864931931447_n

 

We are planning improvements to next years ‘Guardians” group.  My green friend there put her outfit together last minute and rounded up our Ronan and Star Lord. I’m going to update to a full or partial fur suit, and Groot will be updated with an internal cooling system, a better paint job and longer legs.  My husband survived his first full body suit experience quite well, and still give tons of “Groot Hugs” on the way back to the hotel room when by all rights, he should have been exhausted.

The rest of my costumes went over pretty well, but none of them were really meant to be amazing this year.  Mara was a repeat and my lightsaber only lit up half way. I thought I’d forgotten ALL my wigs, my Zelda crown crumbled in my hands and my bow got tangled in some chick’s armor and pulled it apart. I almost lost my friend’s elf ears, and Catra wasn’t done before Sunday night. At DragonCon. I forgot hubby’s green belt for his Jedi, and I couldn’t find my other silver glove for this photoshoot.  The only costume that worked 100% correctly was Ginger from Legend of Korra, and now I want to go back and shorten the skirt.  Oh well.  Other than costume malfunctions, it was a great weekend.

This was the first year I didn’t paint myself blue at all either.

We’re already talking about next years group plans, and roping more people into them, so we’ll see how it goes.

23 July

I did another thing – Rebel Legion

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Blue_Ridge_banner_Darinus

A new Jedi Knight member of Blue Ridge Base/Rebel Legion asked for a sig banner, so I made him one.  The Darth Vader is a 501st member – he’s not from a movie screen shot.  “Darinus” is an OC, with a cape instead of a robe in grey tones and a purple lightsaber.  He’s only got the one costume so far, but when he gets more I’ll update his banner be animated.  Though, now that I’ve said that, I’m tempted to go back and animate a glow on the sabers and make them vibrate a little.

The right round logo says “Nexus Temple” – all Jedi are automatically members so we all get to use that logo in addition to the BRB logo.

26 May

More fun with Lightsabers

Mara_Book

 

My second take on this ‘stalking pose’ from the Star Wars informal photoshoot day on May 17th. I had played with it once, tweaked it, and then ultimately slapped myself on a free existing downloadable background.

I jacked up the lightsaber glow effects, fixed a few lighting issues and probably added an extra filter or two. Overall, I’m happy with it. I really wish the original photo hadn’t come out blurry, but I think it works alright for the ‘book cover’ type effect that I’m going for here.

I love wearing my Mara.

Original photo by Brandon Hurley

 

 

20 May

Fun with glow

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Chris_shallnotpass

I readily admit this turned out better than I expected.  Chris Burnside is one of our resident “Generic Jedi” at our Blue Ridge Base with Rebel Legion.  We had an informal/non-event photoshoot a couple days ago to get some character shots, and he half-jokingly posed for this “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” shot.  Half an hour ago, I asked him if he could think of any particular shots he wanted glammed up.  He said no, so I took it as a personal challenge.

 

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