Saturday, January 28, 2017

Masquerade mask hack for people who wear glasses (with pictures)

Ok, I love a masked ball. I love masks. However, I wear glasses.....The world is a total blur when I don't have my glasses on.

I tried a mask designed for glasses a couple years ago. It was ok. Not super comfortable and it kept pulling at my glasses all night. The mask itself is very pretty, just not as practical as I wanted. So for the last week or so I have been racking my brain for a way to wear a mask and glasses at the same time. And be comfortable while doing it.

What I bought:
Let's go to Party City! Who wouldn't want to go to a store with the name "party" in it! Kinda like BevMo! Beverages! And more! Oh hell yes! (yes, in the town I live these 2 stores share a parking lot)
At Party City I bought a couple cheap (98 cents ea) soft masks. They are semi stiff fabric/buckram with a satin layer on the front.

What I did:
First thing I cut off the elastic cord. Then after contemplating my life's choices for awhile I spent a few minutes looking over the mask and trying to figure out how to wear it over my glasses. It dawned on me I could use VELCRO! No, not by glueing it to my glasses, that would be lame. I cut 3 small strips of velcro and hot glued the loop (soft) side to the mask. One in the middle and one on each side. You will need to lay your glasses lenses side down on the wrong side of the mask and mark where the velcro needs to be. Mark on the mask and then glue the loop velcro strips in the proper spots. Then I used the hook side (ouch side) and wrapped it over the bridge and temples of my glasses and stuck it to the velcro on the mask. Holy crap! It worked! I have Silhouette glasses. They are very light and thin. I don't know how well this will work on all glasses. It would only cost you a couple bucks to find out.

I wore my mask for several hours and has no issues at all. No matter if you wear glasses or not a mask will block some of your peripheral vision. Yes, it still looks a bit geeky but that's fine. I had several people ask me how I attached my mask to my glasses so I decided to put this out there for others. I hope this gives my other glasses wearing brethren some hope.

Cheap flexible fabric/buckram mask. Soft, so it doesn't damage your glasses.
Hot glue
A pen or chalk to mark where the velcro goes
If you want to decorate your mask:
feathers, jewels, glitter, lace, trim.

The sample mask is a different color than the one I am wearing here. I made two, one pink and one gold.

 Same mask, different event. I aded more sparkle and glued satin leaves to the outer corners.

Butterick 6190 Downton Abbey peacock dress

I made this dress for a special event. One of my costuming groups hosted a wonderful Venetian themed masquerade party at the Sunset Club in Seattle. The club founders started construction in 1913 and the club opened in 1915. The building is fabulous and our banquet room was lovely.

Sooooooooo The last couple of projects I have done were from the big 4 patterns. Sometimes it seems the pattern companies shoot themselves in the foot by making the envelope cover models look meh... Butterick 6190 falls into that category. You fabric choice will make or break this dress. The fabric choices for the cover fall short. So much so that I almost passed on the pattern. The pattern is designed by Nancy Farris-Thee.

Pattern and Fabric:
This is a Downton Abbey inspired dress. The bodice is boned and closes up the back with hooks and eyes. There are several views. I made view A-B with D trained skirt. (regret, trains suck, just saying) 5 years ago I purchased 2.5 yards of this gorgeous peacock silk/velvet burn out. I finally felt I could work with this shifty moody fabric. My sewing confidence has improved in the last couple years and I wanted to put it to use. Since I am a beginner to shifty fabrics I thought the simple lines of 6190 would be perfect. Happily I was right. The fabric for the dress bodice and skirt are black poly crepe back satin. I used regular black satin for the sash and some black lace for the bodice. The kimono style cropped jacket is separate from the dress. It does cover up most of the bodice. You could leave off the bodice sleeves if you are making the cropped jacket. The overskirt and kimono sleeve hems are trimmed with black sequins. The peacock fabric doesn't need much to set it off. It speaks for itself. it is a bear to photograph. After making this dress I have approximately 1/3 yard of peacock fabric left. It was close.

Size and Alterations:
Big 4 I'm normally cutting an 18 or 20. After looking at finished garment measurements I decided on size 18 and did a .75 FBA and rolled out the side bust dart my FBA created. The bodice does have vertical darts on both front and back pieces. You could add your FBA to that dart. I did wind up taking the back dart in 1/4 more. Otherwise I didn't do any other alterations. If you are tall you will want to watch the skirt length.

Pattern Construction:
No issues at all. The directions are clear and concise. I enjoyed sewing it.

Design Changes:
I decided to pull up the center front of the overskirt and tack it up. I added a gold bullion tassel and a vintage black silk tassel. Instead of small hooks and eyes I used french hooks and bars. They always feel more secure to me.

Final Notes:
I like this pattern. It does have a nice Downton Abbey feel. It's not H/A. However, it gives the vibe of that time frame. I don't feel the envelope picture does this dress justice at all. Beware, this dress can look frumpy. Choose your fabric wisely.

 Yay! A good picture of my peacock fabric! 

 My American Duchess Tango Boots!

 Being naughty!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wingeo Regency Turban pattern WN714 Mimi's green silk turban

I have a love hate relationship with Wingeo patterns. The directions can be a bit sparse and the illustrations are sometimes odd. But....They offer a good jumping off point. Especially for people like me who don't draft their own patterns. I would highly recommend Wingeo for theater costumers.

This pattern went together much easier than the Regency stovepipe hat I made. The pattern consists of 3 pieces. The inner band (buckram), crown, lining. The wrapped pieces are long rectangles. The dimensions depend on what type of fabric you use. This pattern uses no wire. (Yay!)

Size and supplies:
I made the size 23. Cuz I have a big head. This style of  headdress runs large because it needs to sit down on your head. The 23 was perfect. My advice is to cut the largest size and make the headband fit your head size. Like a quickie muslin. I used heavy buckram, green silk taffeta, black cotton lining. Wingeo patterns don't ask you to mull the buckram. I like to use mull so I used some cheap flannel and just mulled the buckram band.

Fairly straightforward. Their directions are handwritten and sometimes hard to follow. But I kind of do my own thing so I don't mind. I hate it when pattern designers try to micro manage me. Not a problem with Wingeo. They appeal to my free spirit.

Changes I made:
I used only 1 color fabric instead of 2. Also instead of hemming the long edges of the twisted drapes I just sewed them into long tubes and turned them right side out. I wouldn't recommend this for very thick fabrics. Worked for the silk taffeta just fine. That's it.

Final thoughts:
I recommend this pattern for a confident beginner who is new to headwear. Goes together in a couple hours and the handwork is minimal. Just have all your feathers and stuff ready. You could have a nice Regency turban in no time. You can leave it simple or gussy it up. I just used a pre made feather and jeweled piece for mine.

I will actually be wearing this with my fancy Titanic era dress, not Regency. But this style is pretty timeless so I will also wear it with Regency. How nice and versatile!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

McCalls 7140 AKA my Irene Adler cosplay for the Sherlock exhibit

I planned a costuming event to coincide with the final weekend of the Sherlock Holmes exhibit in Seattle. I decided to do a fun cosplay based on the Irene Adler blue and pink bustle dress from the Game of Shadows movie. I didn't want to spend a lot of time on a costume and I didn't want to wear a corset. McCall's 7140 bodice is a very close approximation of that costume. The one in the movie does have style lines appropriate to the Victorian era. The 7140 pattern is very modern. Princess seams, one piece sleeve, boxy shoulder. But I wasn't looking for historical accuracy, just a costume.

What I used:
This was another stash buster project. In a perfect world I would have had duchess satin in royal blue and hot pink. Instead I used navy blue cotton and petunia pink voile. My only purchase was a package of narrow pink bias tape to use as trim.

Sizing and alterations:
I decided to use a size 20. I have never had a successful princess seam FBA. Since I didn't want to mess with fitting a 20 was gonna have to work. This pattern in long in waist so I shortened it 1.75 inches. My back of neck to waist measurement is 15.5 inches. I also shortened the sleeve by 1/2 an inch. That was it. I made one design change. I added 3 inches to the center front bottom curve and graded it out to nothing once I reached the points. You can see on the envelope picture how short the jacket front is. It's cute, but not what I was looking for.

Pattern info and strange stuff: Please look at my photos for more info.
This is a pretty straightforward pattern with a few hiccups. The skirt waistband is marked incorrectly for center front and center back. The skirt closes in back. So just reverse them. CB is CF and CF is CB. When you go to baste on the collar the drawing is showing it being basted to the wrong side of the jacket.  I basted it to the right side, like I always do. Their wordage on the front skirt pattern piece (cut on fold) is teeny. That along with the waistband markings being jacked almost confused me. For 5 minutes I thought the skirt closed in the front.

Other changes I made:
I left the zipper and hook off the skirt. I attached the waistband as instructed but I left the ends open and used a drawstring. No one can see the back of your skirt with the bustle jacket on. I also used velcro to close the jacket front instead of sewing on hooks and eyes. Much easier. I used some decorative buttons on the bodice.

End notes:
I was happy with how this turned out. It was fun to wear. I had assumed I could find pink trim to match the ruffles and lining. Nope. Never the right shade. The bias tape was the closest I could get to that blasted pink shade. I am wearing a small bustle pillow and three petticoats underneath my skirt. I would recommend this pattern for an intermediate skill level. You need to know how to attach a collar, sew/clip around very tight corners, put in a lining.

 Good girls gone bad! Lady Rebecca and Madame Mimi.

 Myself, the Countess and Shearluck

Fun times on Baker Street NW.1

 A couple of the interior displays.

 I was unable to be assimilated by the Borg. (at the Museum of Pop Culture)

 We're so teeny!!

 Jacket is cut high in the front. I lowered it for my version.

 Instructions showing the collar basted to the wrong side of the jacket. Baste it to the right side.

 Shortcut! Use velcro!

 Waistband misprint