Sunday, 29 October 2017

My fandom fashion autumn outfit

This weekend I finally managed to get a decent photo of my recent fandom fashion outfit. These are all pieces that I wear regularly, well not the necklace since I bought it on Friday, but not always together.

I'm wearing

I'm really happy about the necklace. I had looked at it on the ThinkGeek website, but even the shipping was so expensive. Then I just happened to pass by the local GameStop store, and since GameStop is the ThinkGeek partner in Sweden, they sometimes have their things. They had two of the necklaces, for basically the same price as the ThinkGeek website, but minus the shipping so I just had to have one.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Luna Lovegood beetle ring v. 1

Luna Lovegood wears a ring in the shape of a beetle. This is the best reference photo I could find.

It seems to me made from small irridecent seed beads. I had made a mistake and not ordered seed beads but instead larger round beads.

I had found a tutorial for the ring online, here.

I started beading, but with my larger beads it started to turn more into a monster than a beetle. I undid the whole ring and started over, but this time I used half the numbers of beads.

It looks black, but it's irridecent. For the ring part I simply glued it to a ring base.

I'm looking forward to making a ring v. 2, but this time with smaller seed beads instead.


Sunday, 22 October 2017

Luna Lovegood necklace and earrings

If my TLJ Leia isn't advancing according to plan, my Luna Lovegood is coming along. That's of course good since I'm going to wear it on Saturday.

I have finished the butterbeer cork necklace.

Luna Lovegood necklace reference
I have already posted about the main necklace that I made with turquoise seed beads, now it was time to make the butterbeer cork pendant.

 I started out with a regular cork.

I sanded off the text and carved it with a knife to give it a more tapered shape.

The top ornament was a pearl pendant holder, it's so soft that it was easy to just flatten it with a hammer. I screwed a loop through the pendant, but I also glued them to the cork.

I finished off with trying to carve a little happy face into the cork. I might continue to work on it, since I don't think it's obvious enough.

One of the things I like about being a costumer/cosplayer is that I get challenged to learn new things. Today I've properly worked with beading for the first time, and I made Luna's dirible plum earrings.

Earrings reference photo
Now I didn't come up with how to do them myself but followed this great tutorial

I'm quite happy with the result, and I think they are cute enough that I'm probably going to use them even outside of being in costume.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Misadventures in Dyeland

I Think it's quite fun to dye fabric. The process of changing a fabric, by quite a long process and you can't be quite sure what it will look like until it's all dry. The frustrating part with dyeing is when you are after a specific colour, or hue, and the end result ends up something really different. That happened to me this week when I tried to dye my fabric for the undergown of TLJ Leia.

First I want to go through the process I use when dyeing fabric, since I don't have a giant pot that I can put on the stove or my own washing machine.

 When I'm not actively dyeing I keep all my dye stuff in a plastic box up on the attic. In the box I keep the dyes, one large steel pot, a plastic bowl, a plastic whisk and a plastic coat hanger. I make sure to keep my dye utensils clearly separate from other kitchen utensils, since we are talking about chemicals and I don't want to the risk of them getting into any pots or bowls that I might use for cooking. In the box I also have a bottle of white vinegar, since that's used for setting the dye when working with silk.

When dyeing fabric you need  a big pot of hot water. I simply use the same plastic box that I pack the dye things in. The problem is of course to get the hot water into it, since I can't place it on the stove. I simply need to heat up water in other pots and pour it into the box. How fast this goes depends on the cooking stove. When I used my old electrical stove it could easily take up to an hour to just fill the box with enough water, now when I have and induction stove it goes a lot faster. I use two 5L pots and my 1,7L kettle to heat the water.

Here I am in the process of filling the box. I do the dyeing in my bathroom, since I have a new kitchen floor and I don't want to risk it getting stained. I put a big towel under the box, both to protect the bathroom floor from the heat and from stains.

When I have enough hot water in the box I used my dye pot to dissolve the dye and pour it into the box with hot water. Then I add the pre-wetted fabric and stir, for as long as the instructions tell me. The large amount of hot water keeps the heat well enough, so I don't need to add any more hot water once I start the process. 

I try to book time in my house washing basement though so that I can take the dyed fabric and wash it properly in a mashine, and not just rinse it in water.

Now that's all fine and dandy, but as I mentioned as the start even if I dyed the fabric I didn't end up with the wished for result.

The fabric I tried to dye was 5 m of cream coloured silk crepe de chine. I wanted it to be a nice grey colour so I used iDye in silver grey.

My first mistake was to not do it as described above but use my mother's front loaded washing machine. I don't know if I hadn't dissolved the dye well enough, or if the fabric was still too folded when I put it into the washer. When I was done with the washing the fabric had ugly brown stays in regular intervals where the dye must have attached extra to the fabric. I also felt that the fabric that had dyed grey was too light. If you look up in the photo of my dye set up yo can see the fabric lying in the zink, it's wet so it's a bit darker than it was when it had dried.

My second mistake was to think that I could use the two packets of dye that I had left and overdye the fabric, hoping to both hide the stains and to make the fabric darker. Now I would do it by hand and not by machine though, so that I had more control over the process. As soon as I put the fabric in the box with dye it was obvious that I wouldn't get the desired colour though. Apparently the dye contains quite a lot of brown pigment, and it was obvious that with this stronger dye mixture it was the brown pigment that dominated.

Still I went through with the process, hoping against hope that something would magically happen with the fabric when it dryed. It didn't.

This is the end result. Now in some lights it defintiely looks grey, but in other lights it's clearly brown, and especially if you hold up the fabric against true grey fabrics. So now I have 5 m of silk in a light dirt brown colour, if it had at least been dark I could have used it to make a new underdress for Mon Mothma, now I don't know what I'm going to do with it. The quality of the fabric is Lovely though.

On a more positive note I could pick up the fabric that I have ordered for the TLJ Leia coat. It's not perfect, but with a price of $15/m instead of $130/yard it definitely looks good enough for a first version.

Next step is that I need to order more silk crepe de chine, and more dye. I'm thinking of either using Dylon's grey or use the iDye gun metal grey instead of the silver.

Friday, 13 October 2017

A little Greedo dress

A couple of weeks ago I went through my stash, something I do once a year or so. It's a good opportunity to refresh the memory when it comes to which fabrics I have. I also try to get rid of those fabrics that I don't think I will ever use. This year I got rid of the last of my polyester satin stash.

One of the fabrics that I found was a thin navy jersey. Looking at the price tag I must have bought it as a remnant 12 years ago, for the comfortable price of $4. I also realized that I had bigger scraps left from my Greedo fabric than I thought. I decided to combine the two fabrics into a neat everyday dress.

This is where it's good to have a standard pattern that I feel comfortable with. I reused the same pattern that I've three or four times by now. It's la bit complicated when sewn in a woven fabric, with zipper and all, but in stretch fabric I can put the dress together in a couple of hours. When I use the pattern for jersey dresses I also simplify it and don't sew darts below the waist, but just pleat the fabric to the waist seam.

There was almost too Little of the navy fabric, I had to make the skirt a bit shorter than I would feel comfortable, and I could not find a piece of fabric that was big enough for the neck facing. I managed to get a band from the Greedo fabric though so I could lengthen the skirt, and make a neck facing. I didn't want to hide the Greedo print so I turned the facing outweards instead of inwards and sewed it down as a decoration.

The end result is a very comfortable jersey dress that is great for work. And even if nobody has ever said anything about me wearing the full Greedo dress to work, this one is a lot more discrete. Now I can save the big Greedo dress for Conventions and the like, so I don't wear it out, and use this for everyday wear.

I feel like I've really accomplished something when I've both gotten rid of fabric from my stash, and made something that's wearable outside of conventions and other events.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Luna (and Leia update)

Things are happening for Luna Lovegood and TLJ Leia.

For Leia I have ordered fabrics, and also material for her jewellery. I must be honest and say that I don't like the fact that she's now earing rings, bracelets and earrings. To me all the accessories scream more earth than  a galaxy far, far away. Still she wears them, so I need to replicate them. I have also ordered fabric for the coat and the undergown, as well as dye for the undergown.

This is my Luna progress

I've bought a wand and a tie off ebay. Remember to not buy the official HP tie, since it has a large house crest on the bottom, which isn't accurate. The dark fabric is a gorgeous wool that I will turn into the skirt. Yesterday I beaded the necklace out of 2 mm seed beads, I just need to add the butterbeer cork to it.