Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two recent projects... WITH CAPTIONS!!

I have several performances coming up that are "hafla style"-- that is, no seating beyond a pillow you bring. Alas, most pillows that are pretty are also slippery, uncomfortable due to beads and such, and are usually too small for a tasseled bottom. So I made a pair of "hafla pillows" that are round and big enough to sit on. They're made from scraps on the top and faux suede on the bottom. The blue/purple/green one has fringe around the edge.

Some things I learned doing these:

-Thin fabrics need iron-on interfacing, both to keep them from stretching while being sewn (and bulging after being stuffed), and to keep the stuffing from leaking out through the fibers.

-It's totally OK to forget to leave an opening for turning, but make up for it by cutting a hole in the bottom which is later patched in a sort of boho way.

-Circle pillows turn into dome pillows if you don't insert a strip of fabric between the circles. That's OK for these two, but next time I'm hoping to make a very big version of the pillow that came with my husband's singing bowl.

I also like to take pants that are thisclose to fitting and insert a strip of fabric up the outer seam so I can fit into 'em. I've been doing this for as long as I've been fluctuating between sizes, i.e., since age 17. Usually when I do this I use a contrasting fabric, but lately I was feeling a bit more subdued in my dress (probably because I dyed my hair bright red orange). The strip on this pair ended up looking more like a design element than a DIY fix. I did the stencil with pigment powders that I mixed with textile medium. Now THAT'S addictive.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Video in the Works

I shot a video on how I make layered tassels (like the ones with two colors on the belt in the post two below this one), but alas, it was too long. Reshooting, if I can, today or tomorrow, and will upload it for your tasseling pleasure. :D

I'm also working on dreadlocks, because my hair is dyed crazy and damaged beyond belief, and some more belts. AND, when I find another chunk of fabric in my stash, I'll shoot the photos for the flare pants tutorial. Wheee! Off to get coffee.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Madame Gasket's Steampunk Ring

I made this for my steampunk Queen of Hearts costume, but was really inspired by the kids' movie Robots. Madame Gasket, voiced by Jim Broadbent (love!), is such a nasty, gritty, gravely antagonist. The dark side of my heart loves her.

The ring was made from the following:
-A ring blank. I bought a bag of 10 or so at Michaels.
-Aileen's Jewelry glue (which is like super duper super glue)
-Various watch innards
-A pendant-style metal beading focal
-An ivory-tone button

A brief how-to:

1. Glue the button to the ring blank, centering the button holes on the blank's disc. (In my case the "disc" was square. It all works.) Let it dry.

2. Glue the pointy, curvy, evil-looking watch bits and the focal to the button. On my ring I centered the focal, which is open in the center, and flanked it on either side with watch bits. Flat curved bead drops would look good here, too. Let this step dry.

3. Glue the larger watch bit over the bases of the pointy bits. I could see substituting a cabochon for the watch bit here, but that would sort of remove the steampunky flavor, donchathink?

4. Let it dry overnight, and test your connections to make sure it's sturdy. If so, slip it on your finger and threaten the general populace.

Costume Photos

As promised, some photos of things I've been working on:

Skull print flare pants. Normally these are made a bit more snug to the thigh, but I left mine looser so I could wear them comfortably if I gain a bit of weight. :/ They also don't have slits in the legs, because I am a hairy beasty. Making flare pants is surprisingly easy. I have a tutorial written up for them, and will be taking photos for it this weekend.

Tassel belt. The base was a weird wall hanging/letter holder I found, reshaped, and added trim to. Alas, the trim is a bit scratchy. The tassels are hanging from an oversized crochet fishnet, and decorated with the same trim. Now all that needs adding is the coins and other baubles that make a belt complete!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

So much shouting, so much laughter

...So much going on! I'm sorry I'm not updating this as often as I'd hoped. Life does get exciting at times, doesn't it?

Right now on my overlarge, buffet-style plate are: teaching classes, taking classes, preparing for performances, making costumes, practicing my accent for Ren Faire (more bother than you'd think, especially when you're making calls and realize you've slipped into an Irish lilt accidentally), cleaning my house, deep-cleaning the studio, and preparing to move. We're not moving for sure, for good, but are at least vacating for a while so we can repair some things around here. It won't happen until nearer to summer, but being me, I've already started preparing.

Admittedly, part of my issue with uploading photos is it's such a damn pain. Take photo, dump onto laptop, edit, upload, find, insert. I'll stop bitching and do it sometime soon, if only to show off what I've been immersed in. I made some bindi the other day that turned out OK. I'm still on my kick of "what can I do with what I have?" but cheated a bit on my newest belt, buying trim, thread and yarn. The total still only came to about $10, which is spankin' for a dance item. And it's orange. I don't have any orange.

Photos later, I promise.