Saturday, 29 October 2016

Far and Away concert, Falun, 20161028-29

It was finally time for me to do an actual troop in my own hometown! The regional symphonic orchestra, Dalasinfoniettan, had a sci-fi and fantasy-themed concert called Far and Away, and the Nordic Legions were invited. I was happy to do the troop, unfortunately due to some health and personal issues I was the only Nordic Legion member that could attend. Still I have quite a few Star Wars-costumes, so I drafted one of my nieces and dressed her up in my jawa costume. So there were at least two Nordic Legions costumes there. I also really enjoyed having some quality time with my niece and go on a concert with just her and nobody else in the family.

We arrived and got dressed up in a small room that was provided for us. Then we simple milled around until people started to arrive. The organizers had encouraged people to come in costume and there were a couple of them around, including a Lolita and a steampunker. There was a photo wall, so we mostly stood there so that could people could take photos of us.

Since it was in my hometown it was also fun to run into people I meet on other occasions than costuming/cosplay events. Nobody seemed to be surprised that I was there though.

This for example is the chief of competition for ski jumping in Fagersta, and last Saturday we both attended some ski jumping events in Stockholm. She also had a friend with her in a really nice Star Trek uniform, but I didn't get a photo with all three of us.

A jawa was of course perfect for the spooky almost-Halloween evening on Friday, and she scared a few in the audience when they arrived.

This is also a good example of what I like with being a costumer, and that is making other people happy. These people were dressed in at least parts of my costumes. The jawa was the full costume, then the boy had borrowed my Endor trooper helmet, vest, jacket and blaster. His father had borrowed my Endor Leia poncho and made quite a good Endor Luke.

As for the concert. It was divided into two parts, the first was themed space and the second was fantasy. Our region can't afford to have a fullsize symphonic orchestra and that unfortunately meant that especially for the space music they had chosen smaller themes, rather than bombastic pieces. For example from Star Wars they played Yoda's theme and the Binary sunset music, rather than Main title or Imperial March. Overall I felt that the second act, with the fantasy music was better, probably because I also recognized more of that music. I did get some real goosebumps though, and that was whenever the soprano Sabina Zweiacker was on stage. Her voice was lovely and she has that rare ability to be able to switch and sing both operatic and non-operatic, she had great diction even when she sang in various constructed languages.. Some of what she sang was music that I had never heard before, but I've known been listening to it a lot after the concert.

Since this a concept concert that's been performed by quite a few orchestras in Sweden it's possible to clips of them, just search for "Sagas", "Score" "Far and away" or Sabina Zweiacker. Apparently her signature song has become The Dragonborn comes from Skyrim, and I really liked this song.

I also loved the encore, which was a small aria that's a full orchestration and translation into Italian from an aria in Final Fantasy VI. One reason why I loved it is probably because it's clearly inspired by one of my favorite arias "Caro Mio".

The biggest goosebumps come from her version of the Rains of Castamere/the Children. Unfortunately I couldn't find a good online version of this, but this gives you an idea of what it was like.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Fun Swedish cosplay competition

This week the Nordic Museum, the national museum dedicated to life and work, trends and traditions, in Sweden from the 16th century to today, announced their own cosplay competition. They are searching for people who wants to create their own versions of traditional elementals, the beings/spirits that have been part of the folklore.

Cosplay <3 folktroväsen

They are searching for three persons that will get the chance to create their own version of an elemental and present it at a separate contest at the Swedish cosplay championships.

Even if I have my main project for the winter planned out already, I took the chance and sent in an application. I definitely think that I'm at a disadvantage since I don't do fancy make up, prostethics or props, but you never know.

It was also hard to pick out what kind of costumes that would represent me and my skills. In the end I chose

It's still my favorite costume, and I think it shows off my skills really well.

It's is probably the most technically complicated costume I've made.

It was hard to pick an historical costume to show off, but this one has many different elements, including the giant hat.

I chose this one because I wanted to show that I can make fitted garments as well, not just big gowns.

I finished off with Tudor Leia, to show that I can think outside of the box and do some fun creative things.

It was actually interesting having to think about which costumes I think best represent my cosplay. I could have picked maybe some more historical costumes, or the jawa to show some variety in styles. The choice is made though, now I can only wait and see.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Ball report

Yesterday I had finished my jacket and skirt and was of the ball. The ball was at V-Dala nation in Uppsala, where I spent a lot of my time when I studied there. It was held to celebrate the switch to a new inspektor, which is the highest office and since it's only done every fifth yesr it's a big party and usually turns into a reunion for those of us who don't live in Uppsala anymore.

I had plenty of time so I took the time to both put my hair up in pincurls and paint my nails. 

Even if I had time I never got the chance to take nice pics of me and this is the only fullbody pic. The skirt is a simple gored jersey maxi skirt, I made it shirt enough that it will look ok to wear in more every day situations. I didn't wantto be too matchy so I picked a bright blue satin clutch bag. 

This photo shows why I really love to wear emerald greens with my current hair colour. For jewellery I used gold and pearls, you can see a small hairpin in gold in the back.

Some mingle photos show off the top and my hair in better detail. 

The dinner was long, but in the break between the main and dessert some of us took the chance to be a bit artistic in the main staircase.

And finally Petet Wallensteen, world reknown professor in peace and conflict studies, was inaugurated as a new inspektor to make sure that the students at V-Dala behave and don't cause trouble in the town or at the University. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Chinese brocade jacket - Butterick 6134

I finally have something to post about, yay.

On Saturday I'm going to a ball. First I hadn't thought about making a new ball gown, but of course the closer I got the more I wanted something new. Due to various things I have also gained quite a lot of weight over the last year, so I knew that my old ball gowns would probably not fit very well. Thinking about what I wanted to do I put up some considerations:

1. It should be practical, not just something I'm going to wear for just one evening
2. It should be comfortable, and with my shoulder problem that meant nothing that would close in the back.
3. I wanted to work from my stash.

In my stash I had a gorgeous emerald green brocade that my father bought in China some time in the 90's. He did quite a few work trips there and brought back wonderful fabrics. He tended to buy nice silk brocades, but it's been hard to find something to do with them. The emerald colour goes really well with my current hair colour though, so that settled the fabric. I would not be able to get a whole dress out of it though, and for practicality I decided to go with a top in the brocade and just a plain black skirt.

For the top I bought Butterick 6134

I liked the raised swan neck collar, which givess it a hint of oriental design, but without being and obvious mandarin collar. The seams also gave it a bit of an edgier design. I also liked that the pattern was marked "easy".

The pattern calls for the top to be made of a lightweight vowen or stabile knit fabric and a hidden zipper in the back. I of course made it in a heavier fabric, and I changed the zipper in the back to a dividing zipper in the front. I also flatlined all the pieces to cotton voile but since the fabric was already heavier than called for I skipped the fusible interfacing on the collar facings.

All the pieces went together really easy, and the raglan sleeve meant that I didn't have to fuzz with setting the sleeves. There were issues with the fit though. I cut out my size according to the measurments. When I first tried it on it was way too big from the waist up, but too narrow over the hips. The pattern is clearly made for someone with a more pillar-like shape than I have. I did take in a lot on the upper part through the center back seam, and some in the side seams.

The upper seam is the original, the bottom one after fitting

Quite a lot of the shaping in the back is made with two large darts. I Think the darts would have been better if they were highter up. I usually have to lengthen bodices, but with this one I felt that it was too long for me from the neck and down to the waist. To make it bigger over the hips I simply ripped up bart of the sideseams and made two slits in the jacket.

I am happy with the final result, but I can see that it would have looked better in a softer fabric. The collar stands up quite dramatic instead of being smooth around the neck, and there is some wrinkling going on that would have been hidded if the fabric had had any stretch in it. Still the overall effect is a nice party jacket, that I can wear both as a top by itself or as a jacket with a tight top underneatch.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Things are happening

I haven't updated here in a while, and it's mostly because I haven't finished anything in a while, I have a couple of UFOs that I'm working on though, so here is a little update on them.

1. TFA Leia - I did take approval photos of it two weeks ago, but I wasn't happy with how they turned out. I have also ordered materials to make the ring for it, so now I'm going to wait until I have the ring before taking new approval photos. That will unfortunately mean that I will probably not have it approved before comic-con.

2. Pet en l'ar - The pet was mostly a way of trying out a sack dress pattern. It worked out fine, and since I don't have any deadlines for it I'm going to take it slow. It only needs some finishing things, like hemming and adding ribbons, and those are things that are nice to do at the monthly craft café that I go to, so I'm not working on it outside of that.

3. Ballgown. I'm going to a ball on Saturday. I have decided to make a silk jacket and black skirt, both of them are half finished, and since they have a definite deadline I'm hoping to show them after the weekend.

I have done a mini-project though. I was invited on short notice to a surprise birthday celebration for a friend. The theme in the evening was going to be Oktober-fest. On Friday evening I tried to find something suitable to wear. I had a blouse and black skirt, but felt that I miseed something, so I sewed a drndl-like bodice. I found a remnant of a cute cotton print in my stash and used the bodice pattern or my 16th Century gown. I used the eye part of two lengths of hook and eye tape that I could pull a lacing through to close it. It's not lined or has any boning, but I got quite a few compliments for it.

Not too bad for 55 minutes work.
The only picture of most of the outfit.