Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Melisandre's Glowing Necklace--For Those Who Know Nothing, A Tutorial

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I think half the reason I wanted to make a Melisandre cosplay was to make her necklace. Once my friend Loren of the Costumer's Closet--who's done a lot of interesting work with props--suggested that the necklace light up, I knew I had to make it work. I found a few other necklaces online that lit up, but none of the ideas quite worked for my necklace, so I had to come up with my own way of doing it. This is an entirely new area for me! I know nothing about electronics--especially making them so small!

And about the post title--clearly, my subconscious was at work. I didn't really mean to make the reference, but since I do know nothing about this, it was a logical title, which obviously needed to be kept. More details about my trials and false starts at the bottom of this post.


Monday, August 5, 2019

A Late 1790s Bird Print Dress with a Diamond Back

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My late 1790s dress is based on examples of cotton print dresses, and a remodeled 18th century dress from An Agreeable Tyrant at the DAR Museum. It's made of a cotton print from Colonial Williamsburg, lined with linen from Burnley and Trowbridge, and worn over stays, shift, and strapped petticoat.

I made the dress for the Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky, and it was as comfortable as a dress can be there. The pictures here were taken by my friend (in much better weather!), whose photography Instagram, @journeyofaphotog, can be seen here.

Construction for the dress can be seen here



A Late 1790s Dress with a Diamond Back--A Tutorial

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My late 1790s print dress worn at the Jane Austen Festival. It's made of bird print cotton from Colonial Williamsburg, lined with linen from Burnley and Trowbridge, and worn over short stays made with springs (here--other pictures I was wearing my cupped short stays), a linen shift, and petticoat on straps. The dress closes with drawstrings in the front over a pinned linen lining. More pictures of the dress, including how it closes, can be seen here.

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In 2017, I was lucky to be able to see An Agreeable Tyrant at the DAR Museum. I already owned the catalog, which has scaled patterns for many of the dresses. I had been thinking of making a print dress when we saw a remodeled silk taffeta dress with just the sort of back I had been meaning to make for years, but never did. Seeing one in person made things click, and I knew that my new dress would finally have that back.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

1830s Day and Evening Hair

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For my friend Robin's Young Victoria Dinner, I knew I needed to give as much attention to my hair as my dress--the 1830s had some of the most distinctive hair in history. Hair is not my strong point as a costumer, but the architectural qualities of 1830s hair gave me some reassurance that I could do it. It looked extremely strange as it was coming together, but when all the pieces are in place--the side curls, bun, and sleeve, it's remarkably balanced.


Monday, November 19, 2018

A 1918 Plaid Silk Dress

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When my friend Lauren of Wearing History announced she was hosting the Great War Gallop to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I, I immediately wanted to go, and wanted a new dress. After a little searching, I found this plaid dress from Antique dress. I found the perfect pink and green small scale plaid from Pure Silks, and, less than a week before the dance, made the dress.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Game of Thrones King's Landing/Handmaiden Dress

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One of my favorite style dresses from Game of Thrones is the drapey, robe a la francaise/piemontaise type dresses popular in King's Landing--worn by women in town, handmaidens, Shae, and more. It's the perfect dress for the last day of Costume College (or any other convention) when you want to wear something, but be a little more relaxed!

Construction information for this dress, including a diagram, can be found here. The dress is very simple though--it's just a tube of washed silk taffeta from Renaissance Fabrics with drawstrings at the center back and center front, fastened at the center back with ribbons, and worn with a belt. Some construction can be seen on Instagram.


Making A Game of Thrones King's Landing/Handmaiden Dress

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Since first seeing them, I loved the gowns that Cersei's handmaidens, women in King's Landing, and later Shae wore. Looking at them, I realized that they were really quite simple--a giant tube with drawstrings at center front and back and belted at the waist. Mine is made from about five yards of silk taffeta from Renaissance Fabrics which I washed to change the drape of. My belt is made of Worbla based on this tutorial by Jak Cosplay. I learned the hard way that you should read the description carefully on your chainmail rings and make sure they're not for jewelry.

After figuring out my dress, I did a search to see how others had done them. I found a sketch that someone who had come to the same conclusion had done, but haven't been able to find it again. I also found a post on the Game of Thrones Costuming Facebook group with a similar technique.

More pictures of the dress can be found here

Being me, I hand embroidered the front panel, used fingerloop braiding for the ties (using the videos seen here. I used 5 loop flat for the drawstring and 5 loop square for the tie. I finished the ends with gold rings from Fire Mountain Gems by sewing them to the ends and wrapping the join with thread), and hand sewed the seams. However, this can be a very quick project! You can see some progress pictures using the hashtag got_handmaiden_k on Instagram.

But onto the dress! First, a video of putting it on. I also have pictures at the bottom of the post, but the video shows it more clearly. And obviously I don't wear a camisole or underskirt when I'm wearing it, but it was necessary to do something for pictures!