Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Only two more sleeps til Costume College! Well, only one more sleep til I check in at the Marriott. I'm so glad we are checking in a day early. I'll be doing some last minute sewing. I know I won't be alone. I'm holding off on purpose on some of the trimming for my plaid bodice, because there will be vendors at the hotel and I might want to incorporate some of the trims on offer. Because I was originally going to take a tour on Friday, I have a large span of time to do with what I want. If I'm feeling confident that my work is done, I'll drop in on some classes. If I'm freaking out, I can use the "panic room" on Friday night and maybe get some help.

Turns out I don't have to come up with a costume for the pool party, because our 1970's birthday party meetup is the same time. I'll be rocking a Penny Lane in Almost Famous kind of aesthetic.Well maybe a Penny Lane meets Rhoda aesthetic. We'll see.
That's Kate Hudson, not me, you know in case you were confused.
Yesterday was a day of madness. Nothing was safe from my scissors and thread. All is fair in last minute costuming frenzy. I was eying the cat, but she was having none of it.
Like this, only with scissors
Stand by for Costume College photos! You may have to stand waaay by.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Back Pain, Schmack Pain

In an incredible case of bad timing, my sporadically spasmodic back has decided to mess with me when I only have three sewing days left before Costume College. NOT OKAY. I only ask that my back stops freaking out in time for CoCo, but even if I have to hand sew that b*tch flat on my back, I WILL finish my gala dress.

In other random CoCo creation news. Here's some stuff. There are several events happening at Costume College that I need costumes for.

Event #1. The Pool Party. This is a Tiki Party theme. I was going to make a 50's style bra top and sarong skirt to wear. Using this pattern. Guess what happened.
Clue: My boobs are bigger than hers that's what happened. It looks terrible.
So, with so little time left, I'm going to have to kind of throw this one together.
I did find these cute red Candie's style mules.
I also have a cute retro cherry print bathing suit from Pinup Girl Clothing that I wore for my 50th birthday party. If I throw on a wiggle skirt and those shoes, I can call that done.
I just feel a tad badly about that, because they are announcing the scholarship winners then and I don't want anyone to think "oh, she sure did earn that scholarship with that turbee twist get up"

Event #2. An unofficial shared birthday party with a 70's theme. Again, no time to make anything, so I think I'm just going to take a page from my girl Rhoda Morgenstern's playbook and make it all about a scarf. I also have a black halter, bellbottom jumsuit I can wear with this.
I wanted to grow up to BE Rhoda
Event #3 The Ice Cream Social. Club Ice. I did a remake on this one. My daughter had a 1980's sequined dress. I removed the shoulder pads and sleeves to make it more of a 20's vibe. I need to make a headpiece of some sort and maybe re-attach the sleeves to the dress, but at this point I don't know if I'll have the time.
Why, yes, I did vote for Ronald Reagan. Why>
Why yes, I did vote for Franklin Roosevelt. Why?
Event #4: Sunday Ascot Tea. I will probably go with my Asilomar get up. I've already embellished the skirt a little more.
Only I'll remember my Corset this time.
I'll add my Mae West hat, maybe with more stuff on it.
Come up and see me sometime
I also bought a really nice wool, Lord and Taylor jacket at the thrift store for $2.50. I may try to re-do that to be more Edwardian.
It has some nice soutache and frog details.
And of course, Event #5: The Time Traveler's Gala.I've already added some embellishment and I'll love to do a lot more. It is all up to my back at this point.
Finish me!
This is my first Costume College, so I don't really expect to live up the really experienced costumers I follow on blogs, but I don't want to look like a complete rookie. Since I won a scholarship, I would at least like a few people to think, "That kid has moxie, she could go far". You know, as you do.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Orange plaid doesn't have to be tacky

I've been so neck deep in trying to get my orange and plaid gala dress finished by Costume College, that I have been terrible about documenting it. Here are some pictures so you can see a little bit of what I have been doing. Unfortunately, one of the main things I have been doing, is undoing. I lined the overskirt in orange to match the plaid and it was just obnoxious.
From the House of Home Depot
I had also lined the bodice in this yellow orange cotton, thinking it wouldn't be seen, but the edges of the front closure and parts of the back pleats could be seen, so that had to go too.
Nobody will see my ugly , pilly, nasty lining right? Right?
I found this dress at the thrift store and snatched it up for the fabric.
Not silk, but not bad

So I completely ripped the linings out and redid them in this silver. You can see a little of it peeping out through the overskirt folds.
Seriously, the silver just hushes those loud colors down a smidge

I also had some of this mystery stuff in my stash
Why yes mystery stuff, I will use you for something someday. See. I'm not a hoarder dammit.
I don't know what it is made up, or what it is for, but I sewed it inside the hem of my skirt to help stiffen it and keep it from collapsing in.
One of the rare proof photographs that show me actually using my machine.
I also had to unstitch all my hooks and eyes from the original bodice lining and I need to sew them back in now that I have switched out the lining.
Please excuse the ugly hand stiched eyes. That will be cleaned up in post.
I still have a long way to go and oh so very few days to do it in, but here's a little sneak preview of this puppy.
It's very small on purpose, because I still want to have a big reveal.

Lots of lessons learned on this project. First and foremost; assume everything will end up being seen and don't cut corners in the beginning or it will bite you in the bustle later.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Switching Gears

It seems to be the time of year for "sorry, I haven't blogged for so long, but I was doing stuff". I will echo that sentiment. I just got back from the High Sierra Music Festival. Four days of music, camping, and general merriment with good friends. There are definitely costumes involved. Not quite at the Burning Man level, but lots of glitter and facepaint. Very very fun, but also filthy. So much dust everywhere, so I don't bring my fancy costumes. I definitely dress differently from every day. Both more colorful and less covered up. It's HOT.

So here is a picture of me 'doing stuff'
Being me is hard.
I made a new friend
This is a rescued jay. She ended up hanging out on my shoulder and sleeping.
Sometimes physical labor was involved
Someone's got to get the ice. Don't worry, I got my turn in the cart with the megaphone
Our motto "Camp Humble, we're the best!"
We're all wearing t-shirts with pictures of our own faces.
Oh yeah, there was also music! For a view of the full lineup click here. I'm not going to lie to you, I saw maybe four or five of the bands. I was really busy making friends with wildlife. Also birds.

So in three weeks, it's silk taffeta and corsets. No vat of buttermilk is going to make this complexion peaches and cream. Time to flip gears for Costume College!