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Thread: Cosplay!

  1. #201
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Folkwear has some good Edwardian patterns, if you can find them.

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  2. #202
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    Truly Victorian has some Edwardian patterns now, too, although they're a bit earlier in style. Might be able to modify them, though.

  3. #203
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    This is interesting. I can find lots of pictures and patterns and detailed instructions for garments from the whole nineteenth century; lots of Victorian-Edwardian clothing patterns from 1900-1910; and vast numbers of dresses and suits and instructions from the 1920s and later.

    But the years 1910-1920 are a big dead zone.

    There isn't much to find out there since "Titanic" faded into old pop culture, which is kind of funny. Between "Downton Abbey" and the centennial of the First World War, you would think there would be a bit more interest in the period.

    Ah, well, I'll probably do my normal thing, which is to make quick sketches of lots of clothes from the period (from heterodox sources, if I can find them -- I find most "costume histories" to be of less use overall than old magazines, historic photos, and museum exhibits) until I have a sense of the aesthetics and silhouettes and construction techniques of the period, then settle on a general style, find a commercial pattern with similar lines, and go to town with adaptation and wild scissors action.

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  5. #205
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Thank you kindly but I have most of those already (Amazon sellers are charging $23 and up -- way up -- for that Dover reprint of an old Gimbels catalogue? Seriously?).

    What I meant is that for every era but this one library shelves appear to be dripping with books with actual sewing patterns, construction information, and instructions in them. I can readily lay my hands on more or less usable sewing patterns for Greek and Roman clothing, Chinese, Japanese, medieval, Renaissance, (okay, the seventeenth century is a bit of a no-go), and the eighteenth, nineteenth, and every decade of the twentieth century -- apart from 1910-1920.

    Perhaps there are some First World War reenactors with civilian auxiliaries out there.

  6. #206
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    As for patterns, maybe try searching for extant patterns from that decade. They'd be awfully fragile, I'm sure, but you could (carefully) trace them off. Also, you can sometimes find patterns that have been reprinted from pattern companies' historical archives. I know I saw an authentic 1912-1913 skirt and jacket pattern not too long ago from one of the Big 4.

    Here's a "Making History" skirt pattern from Butterick and its matching shirtwaist. Not sure how authentic the details are, but the silhouette looks right. Oh! Here's a vintage pattern book from 1915. Love the dresses on the cover! Unfortunately, it's in French. I'm not sure about you, but I wouldn't be able to read it. But if you know pattern assembly, you could probably use the patterns anyway.

    I almost forgot, there's a Butterick sewing manual from that era, called "The Dressmaker." I have the 1911 edition, because they edited some things out for later versions, but there's one from 1916, and still others from the 1920s. They're available for reading and download at Archive.org, and there's a reprint of one of the later editions on Amazon, it's called "Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques." I wasn't impressed with the reprint, but I love the original 1911 edition! It has sewing techniques that I've never found elsewhere, like how to sew a placket facing for a skirt opening.

  7. #207
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orianna2000 View Post
    As for patterns, maybe try searching for extant patterns from that decade. They'd be awfully fragile, I'm sure, but you could (carefully) trace them off. Also, you can sometimes find patterns that have been reprinted from pattern companies' historical archives. I know I saw an authentic 1912-1913 skirt and jacket pattern not too long ago from one of the Big 4.

    Here's a "Making History" skirt pattern from Butterick and its matching shirtwaist. Not sure how authentic the details are, but the silhouette looks right. Oh! Here's a vintage pattern book from 1915. Love the dresses on the cover! Unfortunately, it's in French. I'm not sure about you, but I wouldn't be able to read it. But if you know pattern assembly, you could probably use the patterns anyway.
    Interesting ebay finds! It's a little unclear to me if that 1915 book includes actual patterns. It looks more to me like the sort of luxury pattern catalogues they used to print, with luscious fashion illustrations and sewing tips, but not the actual patterns included.

    I almost forgot, there's a Butterick sewing manual from that era, called "The Dressmaker." I have the 1911 edition, because they edited some things out for later versions, but there's one from 1916, and still others from the 1920s. They're available for reading and download at Archive.org, and there's a reprint of one of the later editions on Amazon, it's called "Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques." I wasn't impressed with the reprint, but I love the original 1911 edition! It has sewing techniques that I've never found elsewhere, like how to sew a placket facing for a skirt opening.
    Heh. I have two copies of the 1920s edition. They are not quite identical, as one has an intro by some descendant of Worth. It's a good manual.

    (I live in an academic neighborhood and interesting old things sometimes show up in the local used book sales. I have among other things a collection of old home economics textbooks, some of which are gonzo weird.)

  8. #208
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    You're right, that 1915 book could be like the old Vogue pattern magazines, which only showed fashion sketches to entice you to buy the patterns. You could always shoot the seller a message to ask.

    I adore old books! I have a couple of Victorian/Edwardian sex guides, which are absolutely fascinating. Sadly, the older of the two lost several pages to mice (before I inherited it). It was the more readable of the two, which is frustrating. The other was written by some supposed "expert" in the field, so it's harder to read. I also found a pregnancy and childbirth manual from the early 1870s online. Wish I could find a hard copy! It's surprising how modern some of their viewpoints were. Like it suggested that pregnant women avoid drinking alcohol, a hundred years before fetal alcohol syndrome was recognized.

    Back to sewing, I have a 1961 Singer dressmaking book that's fantastic. It doesn't go into huge detail, but it teaches all the basics that someone learning to sew needs. The illustrations are lovely, and it's in a binder, so you can flip it open to whatever page you need and it won't close itself. I pull it out occasionally, usually to show my students what tailor's tacks are.

  9. #209
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    I've also been interested in making a Suffragette dress in light of current events. I've already made a 50s dress (lovely blue and green print on a linen/cotton blend, just bold enough to make it more modern) and have another on the backburner, but now I want to dress like a Suffragette. XD

    I've been gone for so long! It was a crazy holiday season and absurd drama with friends that made it super distracting. I've been trying to finish a doublet for this entire time but everytime I think I have a seam finished it makes me pull it and try again. I've never had this much trouble with a sewing project.



    I still haven't made those jeans. >_>

  10. #210
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    Okay, so earlier this year, my hubby told me we couldn't go to DragonCon, since it's the weekend after we get back from our anniversary trip to London. Yesterday, he tells me that a couple of his coworkers would love to go, so all of a sudden, guess what? We're going to DragonCon! Which leaves me about three and a half weeks to figure out the costuming situation.

    Oh, and by the way? He wants a Jedi costume! I've been trying to get him to agree to let me make him a Jedi costume for years and he's always hemmed and hawed and put it off. Now, suddenly, he wants one, because both of his coworkers will be wearing costumes.

    A few weeks ago, I decided that if I was able to go to DragonCon this year, I would LOVE to make a Handmaid's Tale costume. Especially because there's a whole group of women dressing up as Handmaids and making plans to walk around together in costume. It would be totally awesome. But if I have to make a Jedi costume for my hubby, there won't be time for a Handmaid's costume.

    I've ordered a pattern that I might be able to modify for a Jedi outfit, minus the cloak, because it'll be hot at DragonCon. It should be relatively straightforward, just loose pants, a tunic, an over-tunic, and an obi. He can find a belt somewhere, and he'll have to order boots. He's already got an Ultrasaber. It just irks me, because for one, I wanted to take my time with his Jedi costume, to really make it special, and now I'll have to do a rush job. Plus, it means I won't have time to make myself anything, and I was so looking forward to the Handmaid's costume. :-(

    Any ideas for last-minute costumes that don't take much time?
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  11. #211
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    The Handmaid costume should actually be fairly easy. The bonnet needs to be shocking white and starched/stiffened, so it will be a PITA to pack. For the robe, you need close to the right shade of scarlet in a drapey linen/rayon weave, very bulky. I'd look online to see if there are any men's hooded red lounge robes that would work.

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  12. #212
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    I actually ordered a pattern for a cloak, so it's just a matter of finding the right fabric. I also ordered a pattern for a knit jersey dress with long sleeves that should work--again, if I can find the fabric. I've done an 18th century cap before, so that shouldn't be too hard. As for the winged headdress . . . I've got buckram, so that's what I'm thinking. We're driving, so I can pack it carefully. Shoes, however . . . I can barely find shoes that fit me for everyday use. Not sure how I'll manage to find a pair of red or tan shoes for the costume. (I wear a double-wide, plus I have narrow heels, a high instep, and flat arches. Not an easy combination to shop for!)

    I'm actually more worried about my hubby's costume. The pants pattern did NOT fit. The waist was WAY too big and the crotch hit his knees, LOL! But he's promised to take me all the way across town to JoAnn's, so I can hopefully find the fabrics I need. And McCall's is having a pattern sale, so I ordered patterns for new men's pants, a dress for the Handmaid's costume, and leggings, just in case I find the time to make my own Jedi costume.

    Although, I did find a photo of a female Jedi in my Star Wars costuming book, where she's wearing a floor-length skirt along with the crossover tunic, tabards, and obi. I might be able to do that . . . maybe. At least I wouldn't have to worry about finding boots. A long skirt covers a multitude of sins.
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  13. #213
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    Update: Hubby took me to the fabric store and spent over $200 on fabric for our costumes! I was not expecting that! We got everything we need for his Jedi costume, except the cloak, because they didn't have enough of that fabric. I got fabric for a handmaid's costume, too. Now we'll just see how fast I can sew under pressure. (Must . . . not . . . be . . . a . . . perfectionist!)

    Also, hubby keeps insisting that he wants to help. He doesn't have a clue how to sew, so I had no idea what he could do. But then I washed 15 yards of muslin for the mockups and I realized--he can iron! So his job tonight will be to iron 15 yards of muslin. Tomorrow, he'll get to iron something like 9 yards of osnaburg. Trying to not laugh evilly. . . .
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  14. #214
    practical experience, FTW CoffeeBeans's Avatar
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    After he's done with his ironing, you could lay out and pin/weight your pattern and ask him to do the cutting if you're working on other things...

    Thought of you all last month as I was deep into hours of hand stitching and embroidery for my Horizon Zero Dawn Aloy costume. We must be all a little crazy given the things we do.

  15. #215
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    I wouldn't trust him to cut accurately, LOL! All of my first-time students tend to do a horrible job of cutting, with jagged edges everywhere, and edges that are nowhere near the cutting line. Although, if it's just for the mockups, that might be okay. Hmm. Maybe? Thanks for the idea, at least.

    And yes, it takes a special kind of crazy to sew cosplay or historical costuming, especially with a looming deadline!

    I got my Handmaid's cap done last night. It turned out way better than I thought it would! I think it'll actually stay on my head without the use of pins or ties. I'm not so sure about the winged headdress. I can't attach it anywhere, because the cap goes underneath, which means there's no way to clip it to my hair. I've seen some pics where women used narrow strings, like bonnet ties, but the real ones don't have anything like that. So I'll have to just hope it decides to stay put on its own. Or come up with some crazy, last-ditch effort to make it work.
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  16. #216
    practical experience, FTW CoffeeBeans's Avatar
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    Can you open a spot to thread something through the cap to hold the headdress with pins? Still might be a jerk to hold, but it might give you a little advantage.

  17. #217
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    Well, you're not supposed to wear the winged cap indoors, so if I take it off, I don't want any holes in the under-cap to show. Maybe if I use elastic at the back, like I did for the cap, it'll stay in place. We'll see. Working on it today.
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  18. #218
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    Got my hubby's Jedi costume done, except for snaps/velcro to hold the various layers together! Might make him a spare obi, because he's wavering between blue and ivory, so this way he'll have both. I also got my Handmaid's costume done, too! Dress and cloak, plus spats, the coif, and the winged cap. Everyone else at DragonCon is apparently skipping the cloak because of the heat in Atlanta, but I decided if a real Handmaid would have to wear her cloak, so should I. (Plus, the dress is rather clingy, being knit jersey, so it makes me look a bit pregnant, which I'm not. Not that looking pregnant is a bad thing for a Handmaid, but I'm still self-conscious about it, so I decided wearing a cloak might hide a few figure flaws.) Anyway, I bought some lightweight crimson cotton and made an unlined cloak. Used mock-French seams on all the seams, and hid the hood seam with grosgrain ribbon. I wore it to my monthly sewing guild meeting and everyone flipped out!

    Since I have all this extra time to spare (*eye roll*) I'm trying to make myself a Jedi costume now. The only potential issue is the pants. I cut the tunic shorter than the pattern called for, because I'm rather short and look better when things are proportioned shorter. Then my pants fabric arrived and it's a tad bit sheer. Not totally see-through, but definitely thinner than I thought it would be. Which means I'd be displaying certain attributes I'd rather not display in public. So I'm contemplating a skirt to go under the tunic, or somehow lengthening the tunic, I don't know. I'll have to figure it out quickly, though, because we leave for London in five days and DragonCon is just four days after we get home.

    I still can't believe I've made two costumes already and might have a third. I wasn't even sure I'd manage my hubby's Jedi costume in time! You sure can accomplish a lot when you put aside the perfectionism. . . . Not that it'll stick. :-P
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  19. #219
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Good job and great fixes for the issues. We will expect tasteful pic later, of course.

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  20. #220
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    I'll try to put pics up after DragonCon. Might take awhile, though. Instead of getting to rest and recover from our trip to London and DragonCon, I have to hit the ground running, with doctors' appointments and classes, etc. Ugh.
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  21. #221
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    So, I didn't get to wear my Jedi costume at DragonCon, but the Handmaid thing sort of exploded. There were at least a hundred women in costume for our meetup/photo session! And one of the group photos is going to be put on a t-shirt and sold, apparently. After pictures were taken, we marched around the con, two by two. We even became semi-famous after a bunch of Handmaids decided to flip off a street preacher who was complaining rather loudly about cosplayers. (I didn't join in the flipping-off, but he WAS saying some extremely rude things about us.) There are videos of it floating around the internet.

    Some random excited guy ran up to me on the sidewalk and asked, "Are you Amish? Like, for real?!" That was pretty funny. And late in the day, another random guy asked to take a selfie with me. I guess we'd gained a lot of notoriety by that point!

    I didn't get any good pics at the con, although some have showed up on a few blogs, but I did take a decent photo beforehand, when I shared the costume with my local sewing guild. And then I took this photo, of some of the other Handmaids reenacting a scene from the show. Oh, yeah, did I mention? Some ladies portrayed Wives and Aunts, and some even got their gentlemen friends to show up as Eyes and Commanders. It was awesome.
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  22. #222
    practical experience, FTW CoffeeBeans's Avatar
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    Oh, Orianna, that's amazing! What a wonderful group!

    Thought of this thread while I was hand painting silk flowers last night. Cosplay is one heck of an insane hobby.

  23. #223
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    It really is! But I tend to go insane with the details anyway, even for the regular costumes I make, including doll stuff. The world's smallest hand-bound eyelets, for a doll corset, for example. Or topstitching that's less than 1/16" from the fabric's edge. Stuff like that.

    For next year, I'm thinking about trying to make the "Idris" dress, from the episode of Doctor Who when the TARDIS temporarily became a woman. It's a gorgeous costume, quasi-Victorian, with lots of tattered layers. The thing is, it would require a fair amount of dyeing and aging, which are techniques I'm not altogether familiar with. And I'm not sure about the hair. I've got very short red hair, whereas Idris has brown hair that's long, sort of teased and tangled and curly. Can you cosplay a specific character even if you don't take it all the way? I tend to overheat, so I'm not sure I could tolerate a wig in Atlanta.
    "Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." -- Sherlock Holmes

  24. #224
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Orianna, I have a sage-y blue green bias embroidered rayon skirt that might be perfect. I'm not using it, so would be happy to donate. Pics soon.

    http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglopheni...ess-like-idris
    Last edited by Filigree; 09-21-2017 at 04:47 AM.

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  25. #225
    practical experience, FTW CoffeeBeans's Avatar
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    Of course you can cosplay as far as you want, and no further. If wigs are a no for you (honestly I hate them with a passion) then don't do a wig. I am doing a costume that I've done with a wig before (Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6) with extensions instead of a wig, even those my hair is not blond. I say take what you're doing as far as it's fun for you, but don't feel like you have to match everything.

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