Sunday, 27 May 2018

HSM challenge 5 - a 14th century night cap

The May Historial Sew Monthly challenge was set as "Specific to a Time [of Day or Year]". This was a challenge I really had no inspiration for, and I'm also stressed about finishing my 16th century gown for an event next weekend. I had more or less given up, because all of my (limited) searches for 16th century nightcaps or nightgowns ended up with these beautiful embroidered pieces, not something I would have time for.

Then I found this blog post from Eva Andersson where she made a 14th century night cap. She has provided photos that shows nightcaps in her blog, so I'm not going to copy them here. The general thing seemed to be a round cap with a brim in contrasting colour. 

I decided to use some of my red wool, the same that I used for my gollar, and a cotton-linen blend fabric that I use for scraps and small projects.

I started with cutting out two half ovals in the cotton-linen and sewing them together. I flattened the top of the cap, to make it more fitted to the head.

I used the lining as a pattern for cutting out the wool, but made the wool cap shorter. I used my sewing machine for both the wool and the lining layer.

I pressed up the edge of the lining.

Then I slipstitched the folded edge of the lining to the wool.

Tadaa, a finished night cap.
A good thing with having a fairly loose lining is of course that I can take it off and wash it, if it gets dirty. I'm planning on bringing the nightcap to an event next weekend, but at the moment the temperatures in Sweden are ridiculously high, more like high summer than spring, so I'm not sure if I'm going to get a chance to use it. Of course this current heatwave can disappear and it's not uncommon for a frost night or so in June.

The Challenge: "Specific to a Time [of Day or Year]
Material: 0,1 m of red wool, 0,51m of linen blend
Pattern: My own with inspiration from Eva Andersson's research
Year: 14th century
Notions: TPoly sewing thread, linen thread for slipstitching
How historically accurate is it? 30%

Hours to complete: 30 min (it took me longer to write the blogpost than to sew)
First worn: Planned for Leksand's medieval market June 1-3
Total cost: All the materials were scraps from my stash

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Han Solo premiere (spoiler-free)

Tonight it was time to see the new Solo: a Star Wars Story film. It was the first premiere in a long time where I didn't do any trooping, instead I just went to the cinema in Borlänge and watched the first showing.

Still even if I wasn't in costume, I wanted to dress up for the occasion, so I brought out my casual Han Solo cosplay.

I'm wearing a white shirt from Lindex, black vest from a thrift store, blue trousers with red stripes from H&M, my Daala black boots, and of course my Loungefly Han Solo purse.

All in all it was two enjoyable hours and I'm definitely thinking about seeing it again.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Nordsken 2018 in Skellefteå, Sweden

This year it was time for me to return to Nordsken up in Skellefteå, and a lot has happened in two years. Now the event had taken over the full sports arena (an ice hockey rink, indoor athletics hall and a curling hall) and instead of a few flown in troopers most of the troopers were quite local. Local meaning just a few hours away by car. Still I flew up and down together with some members from the Nordic Legions.

 A local metal artist had a large exhibit with droids, among them quite a few familiar faces.

 The main stage was beautiful, and fit really well with the North them. I like when cons are in sports arenas and they can use the seating for the stages. In this case they also broadcasted the cosplay contests and other tings on the jumbotrone above the Expo hall.

 There weren't a lot of general cosplayers, it was mostly SCA people running around in medieval garb and us from the legions. I really liked this redshirt though, it was brilliant.

I've had problems with the world building of the sequel trilogies, at least now we have one explanation to how the First Order could make money to finance their superweapons.

My main costume for the week, and the one I spent most of the time in the Nordic Legions' stand was my X-wing pilot.

I got a bit into an argument with Wall-E, when he kept going on about "Eve". It's so hard to be annoyed with such a cute robot though.

I shared my room with Thomas, the droid builder and he is a really great guy. For this convention they had paid to ship R2, Wall-E, BB-8 and his partial K2SO up to Skellefteå, and they are a hit with everyone.

My other costume of course was my new Admiral Daala. It really was a great and comfy convention costume, nobody recognized me but I didn't expect that either. I felt good walking around on the floor with it.

I really like this photo with me leading the troopers.

One of our new supporters also borrowed a TK armor to feel what it was like and I walked around with her as her help. The admiral was not amused by the troopers failure to lift the hammer though.

Sometimes it's also good to have a non-helmeted character in the both to approach he kids, when the guys in black can be a bit scary.

All in all it was a great weekend, now I need to unpack everything and really get going on my 16th century gown, only 2 weeks left until my deadline.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Admiral Daala is 501st approved

Admiral Daala is now officially 501st approved.

I took my first application photos last Tuesday, and they looked great.

But the 501st is picky, and I got some feedback that I needed to fix. I had to remove one of the black ribbons on the forearm, and replace it with piping. I also shortened and made sleeves more narrow around the wrist, cleaned up the belt and made more narrow braids. They were small things, but those are the details that differ a good costume from a 501st/Rebel Legion/Reel Icons approved costume. They were also details that I knew that I had skimped on so I had no problems buying their critique. I think that is important to remember, it's always a very nervous thing to send in an application, but the critique makes the costume looks better.

The smaller braids.

New front photo. It's hard to take good looking photos of yourself, and with the phone quite low you get a nice view of my double chins.

I will bring the costume to Nordsken in Skellefteå and hopefully get some better photos there.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

A quick hat trick

Tonight I'm invited to a party where the host has asked everyone to wear a hat. A lot of nice and fancy hats are problematic when it comes to actually staying on the head, especially if you want to wear your hair down. There are different tricks that can help you and they do depend on your length of hair, but this is how I do it. A caveat is that I've only tried it with light and small hats.

Here is the little hat that I made for my vintage Amidala, with two combs sewn into it to hold it in place.

I've heard that the best way to keep a hat or headpiece on is to french braid your hair and attach it to that. Well I can't make a tight french braid on myself, I've tried. Another trick for shorter hair is to make a mini-bun, but simply twisting a few strands of hair together and tying them with a hair elastic. I tried the mini-bun, but my hair was too long and it didn't end up as a tight mini-bun.

My solution was to make a regular braid that started on one side of the head. I braided it upwards and laid it across the head until I reached the other side. I then put an elastic around it fastened it with two criss-crossed hairpins, and had the end of the braid brushed into the rest of my loose hair.

Then I put the hat on, making sure that the combs gripped into the braid, and now it sits really tight and secure and I don't have to worry about it sliding around or falling off.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Happy Star Wars Day

May the 4th be with you!

Today is the international Star Wars-day. I remember when it was just a fun joke among funs, but now it's full blown commercial spectacle, with so many discounts. Also they have released the tickets for Solo, but it will be strange not seeing it at the IMAX premiere where I've see the last few premieres.

I celebrated the day with "bring your costume to work-day". We put this photo at my work's instagram account, and I can definitely say it's the first time we have had a Star Wars theme there.

Now if they could only announce the next Star Wars Celebration and then I can be really happy.

May the fourth be with you!

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Admiral Daala belt

For the belt I had to use two strips of leather to make it long enough. I butted the end togethers using waxed linen thread.

The shape is a spiral, going two rounds around the body, but all the ends connect at the same place.

AFter I had a strip that was long enough I used paper bag clips to make the round centers. This would have been so much easier if I hadn't lost my awl and had to do the holes for the clips with a seam ripper and a small pointy (but not sharp) metal stick that I found.

Then I measured out where I wanted the vertical bars to be and cut them out of worbla.
I heated the worbla strips and wrapped them towards the back, so I didn't have to use any glue. I used four layers of watered down wood glue to smoot down the surface of the worbla.

Then I covered all the leater in masking tape and used gold spray paint to paint the buttons and the worbla. Even if the paper bag clips are gold, I wanted them to have the same shine as the vertical strip so I painted them as well.

Right side of the belt

Wrong side of the belt. I haven't decided if I'm going to glue the back ends of the paper bag clips or not.

The seam where I butted the strips together is hidden under one of the strips of worbla.