Repairs and Commissions

I’ve taken a week to help out a friend with some unfortunate costume mishaps–poorly sized purchases, through no direct fault of his own. My custom costume experience is limited to a corset that I ordered years ago from a trusted vendor, with recommendations and an appropriate price tag. It was beautiful and I still wear it as often as possible. While this post isn’t going to harp on commission horror stories, it will make note of the projects that took me away from my precious green beauty.

Due to most commissions being super secret upon pain of death by sewing needles, here’s a pic of my custom corset from MayFaire Moon instead.

Last weekend, I traveled a bit to do some repairs for a cosplay buddy. I did a little tailoring, fastener replacement, stitching up holes–that sort of thing. In the course of my work, he mentioned some fitting difficulty with internationally sourced anime costumes that he’d purchased. My buddy is a big dude. The jumpsuits that he ordered were short enough to fit me perfectly. I’m not quite 5’2″. I offered to work a little magic to get the pieces into fitting shape, and gladly accepted a bit of monetary compensation in exchange.

Non-sponsored break:

I like to say that I don’t do commission work. I can count on one hand the number of appropriately paid custom jobs I’ve done. Costuming is a hobby for me, and I intend to keep it that way until life circumstances persuade me to change my mind. I prefer to make costumes for myself and my cute little family. My sewing time is limited and precious, and I don’t even like making curtains, so accepting a commission takes a fair amount of thought on my part.

That said…

The man needed fitting pants. Upon further inspection, I realized that letting out the shoulders and adding a little fabric in the seams wasn’t gonna work. I resolved to throw together some replacements, and we went to the fabric store for supplies.

At home, I do my shopping in my own fabric stash, but Gaffney Fabrics was a glorious alternative.

I learned from making costumes for my babies that tracing an existing garment is the easiest way to create a quick piece…especially during my late night sewing sessions. I turned the jumpsuits inside out with one leg inside of the other. Using a properly fitted costume of his, I marked the shoulders, crotch, and hem on the new fabric. Then, I put the “bad” jumpsuits on the new fabric and did a rough trace of the front and back pieces in chalk, moving the pieces to align with the new shoulder, crotch, and hem lines. I cut the sections out and stitched them up. As any good sewist should, I cannibalized the originals for notions–zippers and elastic.

This is only a fraction of the disaster that is my work space. You can see some of the super secret supplies on the table. And no, that is not my regular iron–it’s strictly for non-fabric heat jobs.

The new items took me longer than I’d originally allotted because I didn’t want to deliver a garment with unfinished edges and seams. I took the time to serge, add facings, and top-stitch as necessary because I want to be proud of every item that goes out of my studio door. Most importantly, I didn’t fuck up the zipper installation and I’m really bloody impressed with myself. I fucking hate zippers.

This is the midsection of a male suit form that a designer friend gave me. What’s that he’s wearing? It looks like a [thing I can’t talk about because of the NDA]!
This weekend, I’ll get back to our Sleepless costumes–the kids have agreed to take on the roles of lady-in-waiting and squire, so I’ll be jumping around in the next few posts. Thanks for reading!


Sleepless: Night One

It appears that I may have finally found my way back around to rennie costuming by way of the beautiful comic book series, Sleepless. I miss the brocades and satin pintucks, the embroidered details and fancy trims, the accessories and especially the layers. As a bonus, I currently detest spandex and zippers with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

The green ensemble on the tablet is my goal, and (as of today) this entire project will be made from my stash.

The gowns in Sleepless draw from and expand upon styles from late 15th century Italy. [That’s an oversimplification, but there is a lot of research to pick through.] There are high waists with voluminous skirts and short, rounded bosoms. I’m short, short-waisted, and top heavy, so achieving the correct proportions is going to be super fun!

I’m starting this project with Period Patterns No. 41, “Italian Renaissance Gowns, c. 1470 – 1505”. I spent Night One reading through the pattern notes and process, then I cut and traced my pattern pieces. At that point, I realized that I want a full underdress rather than just an underskirt…because of course I do.

I’m now in the process of scouring my renaissance fashion books and patterns and historical costuming blogs for more information on putting this beautiful beast together to do Lady Poppy justice.

It’s just so big! Side Note: The Husband will be dressed as Lord Cyrenic. I can’t wait to get at that cloak.

In my head, the costume will be completed before the book’s return in September. In the next episode, maybe I’ll have the undergarments figured out. Thanks for reading!