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Posts Tagged ‘costuming’

nearly there

I’ll quit posting costuming updates pretty soon, I promise. Some of you will be disappointed. More of you, I suspect, will be relieved.

Accomplished yesterday: four more buttons, seven pair hooks and eyes (actually eight pair, as I had to take one set off and sew it back on), lots of topstitching my coat, and the waistband of my pants. Still to do: pants buttons (which will finish the waistband; may or may not involve buttonholes), vest collar, topstitching the armholes of the vest if I have the time.

And ironing the thing, so it will look good.

This may be the only complex project I’ve ever done entirely on my own. My mother assisted with the sleeves of the Morwen dress while she was here last year, and kitsune_zen saved me from the zipper on its skirt; other things I’ve done on my own, but they weren’t this complicated.

At least I get to watch a lot of movies while I work.


Twenty-three down, six to go.

And seven or so hooks and eyes.

And finishing the waistband and cuffs on my pants.

And topstitching the edge of my coat.

And figuring out a collar for my vest.

. . . and probably ironing the whole mess so it looks good.

I’d intended to do my last four coat buttons tonight, but my button-sewing skills went sharply downward all of a sudden, and I decided it was time to stop.

But it’s a good accomplishment for one day. Twenty-three buttons, and seven buttonholes. I have successfully committed buttonhole: it’s a first for me. (The first attempt was during the original Boggan Deathmatch, when moonandserpent‘s velvet vest foiled me utterly. Man, that was a night full of failures for me.)

Sleepytime now. Who wants to bet I dream of buttons?


I’m learning to expect that, when the thing I’m sewing becomes recognizably the thing I’m trying to sew, I may still be nowhere near done. When I last worked on this costume (circa March 11th), my coat looked like a naval coat, minus collar, cuffs, and buttons. Many hours of work later, it has a collar and cuffs, no buttons — because a fair bit of that time was spent on the fiddly little finishing details, like stitching down the edges so they’ll lie flat and the lining won’t peek out. (And I’m not even done with that.) This is the crap that takes forever for little noticeable result, but the garment just looks better with it done.

Buttons will be my next priority, since the coat will look dumb without them, but once they’re on, it will be back to stitching all the rest of the edges I haven’t gotten to yet, finishing my pants, and retrofitting a collar onto the vest; the pattern doesn’t give it one, but in period they had ’em, and like an idiot I forgot I was going to add that on until the vest was done.

Game’s Sunday. Will I be done in time? I had better be. Here’s hoping this doesn’t turn into a Saturday night button-sewing marathon.

At least there aren’t any zippers in my immediate future. It would be a shame to torch my costume, so close to game date.

Oh, and? khet_tcheba is the awesome, yet again. You’ll see why, on Sunday.

For once I’m starting early!

A photo of my dressform will do as a costuming icon until I think of something I like more.

For once, I’m getting started on a costume in good time. The Regency game isn’t until April 1st, and I’ve already got the vest and pants already (mostly) sewn, leaving me with the coat.

The coat, and a million and twelve buttons. I should have thought of that before I said I wanted to play a nineteenth-century naval officer.

<subconscious whines, “But it sounded fun! Er, not the buttons part.”>

Assorted thoughts: I really don’t have the body silhouette to pass for a man, what with my hips being bigger than my shoulders. (Caused more by lack of shoulders than pelvic endowment.) Which leads to trouble when the only measurement they give on a men’s pattern is the chest; I basically had to cut different sizes for the top and the bottom, and only figured that out halfway into the cutting. I am, however, getting more confident at modifying patterns. Someday this may lead to me sewing without a pattern, but that day is not today, nor tomorrow. True to form, I’ve made several mistakes so far that required ripping out one or more seams, but I must be getting used to it; I’ve hardly sworn at all so far. Then again, the project is still young, and holds a million and twelve buttons in store for me.

Also? The Horatio Hornblower series is pretty good, though I still think I like Aubrey and Maturin more. Ioan Gruffudd makes me appreciate Hornblower more in the movies than in the books. But I do get a little tired of somebody constatly taking a dislike to him for no good reason, when We the Audience can clearly see that he is noble, clever, loyal, and kind. It is not, however, a flaw that gets all that much in the way of my enjoyment.

still a little bit Morwen

My braid is fluffier than usual. As of bedtime last night, my rag curls had gone limp enough that I decided to forgo my usual habit of sticking my head into the shower to wet them down. Today my hair is mostly flat, but clings stubbornly to hints of fluffiness. It’s kind of weird.

For those who were asking yesterday, my dress came from Ravenswood Leather; specifically, it’s the Saberist Dress. I originally went to their site looking for a bodice (having decided, when Morwen walked out of the last High Court, that her next costume would be Adventurer!Morwen), but got sidetracked by the dress. The Kitsune is rather correct in saying that I have a writing career to support my costuming habit. But I highly recommend Ravenswood; they custom-cut the items to your measurements, and I was able to specify over the phone to them exactly how I wanted my dress to look. What’s more, their usual delivery time is about four weeks, but when I told them I would need it four weeks from when I ordered it, they sent it to me in about a week and a half. So they’re good people.

Gaming — oof. Three characters in three days. I love Sess just for being a low-maintenance character, compared to the two days of high costuming that followed. Getting to play the High Lord of Scathach was awesome, though I do wish the evening game had been longer, so I could have had more time to do things with her. (I wish even more that I’d gotten to flex her phenomenal badass-ness in the dragon fight, but alas, I was pulled out for a completely unrelated scene at the same time.) And then, of course, there was Morwen, who desperately wanted to Kill Something and never got the chance. But, as has always been the case with her, I was able to tell myself that whatever she did, she’d look good while she did it. ^_^

And now I’ve got just over a day to get my brain back in gear for my own game. As much as I’m loving Memento, man, there’s a part of me that’s looking forward to the day when it will stop eating my head.

Christmas in June

My god, is it that time already? I came home from lunch today to find a box on my doorstep, full of Advance Reader Copies of Warrior and Witch. Book ain’t coming out for three months, but apparently the ARCs are already in circulation. I shall have to think of something to do with them.

Then, about five minutes later, the doorbell rang. Found a box waiting on the porch, and in it — EEEEEE!!!!!! My costume for the second Concordia game is here. I cannot wait for that game. To hell with the plot; I just want to show off the pretty. ^_^

In other news, since I’m now registered and everything, I should mention that I’m going to be at Readercon next weekend. At present I’m not on the program (having decided way too late to go), but I’m going to e-mail them and volunteer to fill any holes they might find themselves with. Regardless, come say hi to me if you’re there.

Photography Envy

Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve just been turned green with photography envy. The Coyote’s pictures from the Concordia game remind me just how much difference there is between the kind of photography I do (quick shots snapped off, sometimes with thought given to composition, but little to no understanding of light and other such matters) and the kind of photography you get with a good camera and knowledge of how to work it to the best advantage in the circumstances.

Case in point, three pictures of me from the Concordia game.

I’d link to the whole album of pictures if the Coyote hadn’t requested we keep the password private. Suffice to say that the compositions he directed his subjects into go a long way towards capturing us-as-characters, rather than us-as-players-in-funny-clothes, and that the colors come through with wonderful richness. Coyote, I may hire you someday as my photographer for research purposes, since once of my recurring questions has been, how the hell can I show photos of what I’m working on, without them looking flat to an outside eye?

And yes, that would be the dress which ate my life lately. I’ll have to find other excuses to wear it. (Once I replace the now-destroyed sleeves. And either get a new crinoline, or widen the waistband of mine so it stops pinching a nerve in my back.) ) You can see more detail of the fabrics, and also what I did to my hair, in this shot, but watch out for the blinding glare of flash off satin — I was shiny that day.

Methinks I might photoshop these shots a bit — with permission, Coyote — to get rid of the scars and weirdnesses like that inexplicable patch of red on my neck. They’re fantastic pictures, and I’m thrilled to have them.

A Variety of Updates

If you have not yet seen it, I can give no better description of Casanova than to say that it is a Shakespearean comedy. It has disguises, mistaken identities, cross-dressing, lower-class clowns, and it ends with a wedding (in the sense of characters achieving romantic resolution; that matters more than ending with an actual wedding ceremony). The plot reaches ludicrous proportions of convolutedness at various points, but that happened in Shakespeare too. Very fun, very silly, very much worth watching if that’s a genre you like.

As far as the rest of my weekend is concerned, I should probably (from a practical standpoint) not have spent nearly the entirety of it gaming. But the gaming was fun, and isn’t that what counts? (Okay, look. Once the semester sinks its teeth properly into me, I won’t have much time for gaming at all. I decided to enjoy it while I could.)

In other gaming news, the Parliament is 99% cast, and the boy and I thought up a plot the other day that had me racing to the bookcase to pull out a variety of references and then giggling madly at how wonderfully perfect the idea is. If the rest of the planning for this game goes half so well, then I daresay it might turn out a success.

In other other gaming news, my Concordia costuming proceeds apace. Today I spent a disgusting amount of time working on something that in the end doesn’t look like much at all (finishing touches on the bodice), but I’m glad to have that out of the way. Now I just need to completely redesign the skirt, and I’ll be nearly done. (We’ll pretend that redesigning isn’t such a giant hurdle to leap as it truly is.)

Writing news: the current project is revising Warrior and Witch. Once that’s bounced off to Devi, then I can turn my attention to the pile of unrevised short stories, and also to playing around with the Novel That May Finally Have A Better Title. Which I’m looking forward to. It’s hard to overcome the tendency to be more excited about whatever’s next than whatever’s now; it happens to me in academia, too. I always get excited about next semester’s classes about halfway through the current term, when my enthusiasm for the classes at hand has run out. (And I haven’t even gotten to the endless copy-edit/page proofs stage yet.)

I’ve been going through a drought on the short-story front, not of sales — well, okay, that too; any stretch of time longer than a few weeks has a tendency to start masquerading as a drought, regardless of how silly that is — but rather a drought of responses. I’m waiting to hear back from so many places. At least when I’m getting rejections, I can sling the stories back out into the ether and feel like I’m getting somthing done.

Well, the sooner I get Warrior and Witch done, the sooner I can get fresh stories into the system, which will help. So I guess I should get back to work on, well, everything.