Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quickie Halloween Costume Update: West Coast Entry

Hey Y’all!

Just a little update over here from California…
Both Princess Ozma and the Kitsch Witch are coming along nicely!

2 dresses, 2 different looks: Reminds me of Ephalba and Glinda, lol.
All the notions and trims for both dresses, ready to be applied!

Tomorrow I’m taking a vacation day to finish up these projects and truly enjoy the Halloween weekend.
Can’t wait to show everyone the final results…more to come very soon!

Kathleen –In Oakland

Another Tiny Project: Apollonia

Hey Y’all!

I just made this little hair rosette as a 40th birthday gift for my manager at work…she’s cool, I’m lucky J
Up until a few weeks ago, our desks were next to each other.   Every once in a while, she would
regale me with tales of her teenage years in the 80’s.  I’ve seen pictures too.   Her hair was epic.  I learned the secret to uber-big 80's hair: Hot Stix on top of a spiral perm with Aqua Net.   What’s the best part of these stories?  Her source of style inspiration and measure of coolness was the 1984 film and accompanying album Purple Rain.
In honor of this, I made her a rosette with deep purple ribbons in satin and organza…her name is Apollonia.
And here's a little Prince and Apollonia awesomeness for your viewing pleasure:

Kathleen –In Oakland

What Lies Beneath? - Les Hoops


             Why Hello There Peeps! So here is a brief description of the hoop skirt that I made in an effort to make my Halloween costume just that much more dramatic. 
1) I set 6 long vertical strips into a wide waistband.  Mine is 3" high.  I backed it with a horsehair fusing.
2) The hoops are made from a mid weight tubing I got at Home Depot.  The tubing didn't want to hold its shape so I ran a mid gauge wire through it.  THAT HELPED!
3) I used 5 hoops and spaced them evenly down the vertical strips.  Getting the sizes of the hoops just right took some finessing and patience..


In order to keep the weight of the skirt on tmy natural waist I should actually wear a waist cincher or corset.  It makes your waist smaller and your hips will become a makeshift shelf that your hoops and skirt can rest on.  In order to save me time I used eyelet tape (which I had lying around.  Love it when I don’t have to buy shit) and sewed two vertical rows side by side. (I only topstitched on the outside edge so I can still lace through them).  In order to maximize the amount of eyelets I could lace through I offset each strip as shown in the illustration.  As you can see on the form I laced it as a normal shoe or corset alternating between the inner and outer strip of tape.  So when it’s pulled tight it acts as a bo-bo waist cincher!

              For my center back closure I opted for a “Topped On” zipper.  This is being done a lot in contemporary fashion in order to use the zipper tape as a decorative element.  This is great if you want to use a contrast color tape or beautiful zipper finish.   It’s pretty easy.  All you have to do is:
1) Baste your seam closed where you want to place your zipper. 
2) Press open your seam allowance
3) You will sew straight across the bottom of your zipper to clean finish it.  You place your zipper where it will finish.  Flip your zipper vertically so it is right sides together (the zipper should be hanging down toward the hem of your garment)  After sewing the bottom you will press up into place and have a nice clean finished bottom.
4) Edgestitch up both side tucking the bottom allowance under the zipper.
5) Cleaning the top edge up will depend on how your WB is finished. Usually a 2 piece waist band is best so you can sew the top edge into the lining seam.

Philip – In Brooklyn

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond – Star!

            After much toil and struggle I have completed my Infinity Star wristlet/purse!  Well it wasn’t all that much of a struggle.  All I did was sew a zipper pocket into the back and add an elastic strap so that I can hang it off of my wrist.  As we all know Halloween is just another excuse to drink excessively.  An AWESOME excuse! 
            So now I’m ready for anything that Halloween can throw at me.  With my infinity star I am UNSTOPPABLE!

Philip – In Brooklyn

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bonus Round: Another Halloween Costume –The Kitsch Witch

Hey y’all,
Here’s another Halloween Costume that I’m working on….

Who doesn’t love a classic kitschy witch?  The good & pretty kind that you see on Disney’s "made for TV" movies starring Debbie Reynolds??

This one is NOT not a princess, but it IS made from a re-purposed dress, petticoat, and every bit of orange and black trim I have on hand.   The only thing I had to buy was MORE orange thread!

An all-black version of the white dress I’m using for the Ozma costume…..purchased earlier this year at a cheapie, “Forever 21-type” store in Berkeley, CA.

I started by trimming the sleeves and bottom edges of the skirt/underskirt in bright neon orange and hologram thread.  Just a simple zig-zag stitch on the widest setting.  I went over each edge 2-3 times for extra brightness.

This is one of those slutty black petticoats in nylon tricot by Leg Avenue…the kind you find at every Halloween store.  It was purchased a few years ago and NEVER worn.

On the petticoat, I removed the elastic from the waist, and separated the 2 tiered layers.  *One layer I will save for a future project.  For the remaining layer, I carefully snipped off the ruffle trim, and edged the tiered skirt with thread, just like the dress. 

I repeated the same stitch treatment on the ruffle trim….9 yds of pre-gathered goodness!  And yes, that’s a Miller Lite tallboy in the background….DON’T JUDGE!

Part of the ruffle trim I stitched to the edge of the lace overskirt...

The rest of the trim I placed in a spiral formation going up the overskirt.  *The tiered ruffle portion of the petticoat was stitched to the underskirt ofthe dress for extra fullness.
This week, I will be finalizing trim placement on the sleeve and neckline:

More to come!!

Kathleen -In Oakland

Back to WOOORK!! 10-25-10

            Happy Monday!  A little extra WOOORK to help you get through the first day of the work week.  "Ziegfeld Follies" was a musical spectacle where MGM brought the epic stage production to Hollywood, and I for one loved every minute of it! Every star who had a voice or a gimmick was featured.  One such number was where Judy rocked a Helen Rose gown and sang about the inventor of the safety pin. The movie was directed by her then husband, a giant closet case, Vincente Minnelli.  WOOORK it out Judy! 

Philip - in Brooklyn

Friday, October 22, 2010

Infinity WHAT!? Infinity Star!

           Oh yes my friends... I'll be needing a place to keep all my things on Halloween-er, so bring on the accessories!  Of course I wouldn't want my "bag" to blend in with my ensemble so I opted for the Infinity Star.  The yellow contrast is the bee's knees!  All I used for the pattern was the basic star tool on Adobe Illustrator and printed it mad big.  So far I've appliqued the eyes on.  Up next is to insert a zippered pocket in the back, add a small elastic strap for my wrist (so it stays close when I'm out getting loaded) and stuffing that little mofo.  I have a feeling he's gonna be a hit!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Toadstool Update

               Hey there lads and ladies!  So as you can see the Queen of My Heart, Princess Toadstool, has a fly ass brooch that she rocks on the daily!  So my costume would not be complete without my Toadstool Bling Bling.... SOLID!

            Seen below is the finished product of my hard work.  17 karats of flawless Aquamarine Rhinestones extracted from the same mine as the Hope Diamond.  Insurance value : $25.00

             Shown below is my jacket main fabric pinned and ready to be cut out.  2 things about the jacket shell.  1) Haven't patterned the sleeves yet and 2) you will notice the center back panel is not being cut out just yet.  I want to make sure that I get the right shape to achieve the look I want.  Therefore I am cutting that panel out of muslin to see if I need to adjust the pattern piece.  Measure twice, cut once as they always say.

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, October 18, 2010

Princess Ozma …A.K.A. “Mom”

Hey y’all,
So…I am re-purposing/re-cycling a dress and accessories to make a Princess Ozma Costume…
“Help me step through the glass, Dorothy.”

My 1st attempt at making a Princess Ozma Costume was back in January.  I only had one week to make something, so all I had time to do was create some pieces:
January 2010:
Collar made from brocade gold scraps
and green ribbons, worn over a
simple muslin empire gown
I already had on-hand.

January 2010: Wire headdress inspired by the costume from “Return to Oz” and the various cover art images from the Frank Baum books.


White Lace knee-length dress I purchased earlier this year at a cheapie “Forever 21-type” store in Berkeley for like 20 bucks.  This will become the Princess Ozma Gown.

Sparkly bright green edgestitching I added to the bottom hem and tulle ruffle on the underskirt.

The dress, with my old Ozma collar thrown over it, and green ribbon laced up the front.  ***I am not happy with the optic white shade of the dress. 

Since the dress is made from 100% cheap poly and nylon, I decided to separate the bodice and skirts and sponge paint the pieces in various shades of ivory, gold and pearly green.

Stay tuned for more progress on the Ozma Costume once the pieces are dry!
It's gonna be fun, and invloves green hologram thread.....woot!!!!

Kathleen -In Oakland

Back to WOOORK! 10-18-10

            Hey there Readers!  How you doing?  I'm doing good.  Hope you all had a good weekend.  I realize it's Monday, and I have yet to meet anyone who smiles at the thought of the beginning of the work week.
            So in an effort to make your live's a little brighter here's a little bit WOOORK that's a lot easier on the eyes. 

Philip - In Brooklyn

She’s Crafty! Halloween: West Coast Entry

Hey y’all,
I just had a very productive weekend creating fabulous costumes for Halloween!!

As you can probably tell from Philip’s posts, this year’s Halloween them for Patterned History is “Repurposed Princess” 
While Philip is utilizing a previously made skirt for his Princess Toadstool ensemble, I will be re-using a dress and accessories to make a Princess outfit too….here’s a little hint:

Emma Ridley as Princess Ozma in Disney's "Return to Oz" circa 1985.  Hands down, one of the greatest Disney movies EVER made.  Costumes designed by Raymond Hughes.

I have always loved the Art Nouveau style in which Ozma is depicted 

And here’s a little magical awesomeness for your viewing pleasure:

Kathleen -In Oakland

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Makings of a Princess

             Just a quick update on my H.R.H. Princess Toadstool costume. So I've taken the Waist Band apart in an effort to make it smaller so it sits higher on my natural waist. As it was the sheer weight of that monstrous skirt was pulling is down somewhere in Shakira territory. Not very appropriate for royalty.

             My waist band was cut to be worn high and tight just under my rib cage.  When I say tight I'm not lying!  I made the waist band to finish 3 inches and i backed it with stiff horse hair interfacing generally used on coats.  I cartridge pleated the top tier rather than gathering.  It looks so much fancier! 
             I used the above cartridge pleating technique using gingham as a guide.  Kathleen brought this trick to my attention.  I used 5 rows of stitching with 1/4" Gingham.  Instead of spacing my basting stitches out so far (as shown in the photo) I followed the check for my stitch placement. As you can see the result were marvelous!

             I already have removed the green lace off the bottom tier.  I have to add one more tier to the bottom which I will make from a contrast color that I am using in the bodice.  Why do I need to add one more tier?  It looks long enough you say.  Did I fail to mention I built a hoop skirt for this bitch?  Hells yeah I did!  And since the hoop circumference is so big it picks the skirt up off the ground.  Oh well no bother.  I'll just have to make it look that much better!  My next update will be about the hoops.  That's all for now.

Philip - In Brooklyn

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pattern Envelopes Are Filled With Love

           Hey there gang!  Since I'm waist deep in Halloween tranny-ness I thought I just share with you some vintage patterns I've found on Ebay.  I love fashion illustrations from the days of yore.  I don't own any of these patterns, but whoever won these auctions are probably a lot happier than they were before.

Oh Pauline!  Ms. Wintour has never looked happier!

Schiaparelli 3 piece suit.  There is no doubt why this one sold for over $100

Givenchy.  I love this design, how the skirt is gathered into a seam at the back.

Oh Anne!  You know I adore a peplum!
Philip - In Brooklyn

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tiny projects = Huge satisfaction

Hey y’all!  I just finished a wee little project this morning….a lovely rosette made from novelty Halloween ribbon!
All hand-sewn, btw....
Over the last couple of years, I have made dozens and dozens of these flowers in various colors, trims and sizes.  Here’s a lil’ montage of a few styles that recently went up for sale at the Pin-up Parlor in Berkeley, CA:

Kathleen -In Oakand
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