Sunday, October 25, 2015

What I have been up to

Because it has been three years since I posted on here, I kinda want to post an update on what's new... because you know, Braggy Bragstein reasons.

Biggest and best development is without a doubt the fact that I am currently 342 day away from becoming Mrs. Tyler Daniel Lutz! 
Good ol' T-Rex popped the question this summer while we were on an incredible vacation in Alamo, Vera Cruz, Mexico. No big deal but it was on a tropical beach under the moon and stars while we were at a beautiful resort with a bunch of our favorite friends in the world... 

Tyler's face is probably due to the lack of champagne/ abundance of terrible cider the resort had.

Oh yeah also I got TWO engagement rings! He proposed with this amazing giant planet ring and then later on was like 'oh yeah I also have this diamond if you'd rather have that...' and well yes I obviously would like to have both please. 

His mother's diamond is in the smaller ring, and the gold on the larger one is her band <3 i="">

So he done good. I've been doing all of the fun fiance things lately like going crazy on Pintrest and trying on our Mothers' wedding dresses. Unfortunately my mother was like 4'8 and 80 pounds when she got married so her dress was comically too small. 

Also parts of it have become so brittle it's impossible not to Hulk out of it...

Tyler's Momma gave me her dress years ago 'just incase I needed it for anything' but it isn't quite what I have in mind for myself so I'm going to use the skirts of the two to make myself a wedding day crinoline.

In other news we now have another fur-child. Really we have had her for about two and a half years now and I don't know why I didn't post about her forever ago because she is god-damn adorable. Meet Clara Bow!

She is supposed to be a Fox Terrier/ Jack Russell mix... I'm not really sure how accurate that is

We have moved to another side of town and now we have a large window for the girls to greet us from every day. It also is where they hold their post as the neighborhood cat watch we have dubbed the 'Bad Bitch Cat Patrol.'

They don't take no shit from no kitties.

As far as work goes, immediately after coming home from the best vacation ever I started a new job as a Production Coordinator for a local clothing company called Niche Clothing Co.
It's a pretty solidly great job that I feel lucky to have. Everything is made in the U.S. in either L.A. or here in San Antonio. There are seven people working at the HQ including myself and the two owners so everyone works together really closely and comfortably. Also there is and entire WAREHOUSE of fabrics with DOZENS OF PALLETS OF FABRIC EVERYWHERE. My room is the 'cutting room' which means more fabric, and infinite amount of rotary blades and cutters, and a cutting table that is like 20 feet long. It is a for real naughty seamstress wet dream up in there. 

Nerd Alert got hard to maintain while planning a wedding for one of the members... and now it's my turn so nothing is going on there. It's all on the back burner to be honest but it will probably pop up again in the near future. We got a little big for our britches for a while there if I'm gonna be honest. Aside from that, things are mostly the same. I just wanted to mention those few things so that if I mention them in the future they might make a little bit more sense than if I hadn't...


bff's en espanol

Maleficent: Round 2 (the pattern shapes)

Good news- The muslin fit pretty damn well! 

muslin or cult robe: YOU DECIDE!

This shouldn't be that surprising, because Laurena is a returning client and I always keep all of my past client measurements, sketches and patterns. What I DO NOT always do is write names on them. I have a huge stack of folders for each and every client I've had in the past five years and then I have a folder of mysterious measurements, notes and sketches with no identifying names or costume drawings or anything. There was no 'Laurena' folder. 


I finally found what I was pretty sure was hers and I went with it. A year or two ago I made her a really cool Storm cape, and the measurements seemed like the type I would take for something like that. Also she is HELLA TALL and these were for a tall girl. 
So anyways she tried it on and it was a pretty great fit. I made a few notes of where I wanted to add more flare, length, lowering the necklines and what not. Then I went back to my patterns and did a good amount of adding and subtracting. 

So here are my patterns shapes. I'm going to post my pieces before and after the post-fitting adjustments. Everything I squiggled on in black is a piece that I added in, but also they are side-by-side so just know that the newer version is on the right.
The front did not get a huge amount of adjusting. I wasn't sure how low of a neckline she wanted, so I had kept the original neckline from the pattern so she could tell me. Other than that all I did was to round out the bottom. I sort of just pieced things together before, but now I know what length and shape I need. 
front bodice pieces

The back didn't get too much either. I hadn't made it long enough, so I added on to the bottom and also rounded that out (that would be the squiggly black part). Again, I wasn't sure how low she wanted it in the back but with this depth she can still wear a normal bra- which is SUCH A GREAT THING when you are wearing a costume. 

back bodice pieces

Now the wings- I did not nail those. There was a lot of adjusting. Pretty much as soon as they were sewn onto the muslin I was like "Awww crappola. I need to add here and here and here."
So's I did. I added a curve to the top for more movement, opened the hand-holes up a little bit, added some width because I hadn't previously noticed that the sleeves fold over onto themselves, a little more flare at the bottom where it connects to the skirt, and then adjusted the curve of the bottom to be as long as the skirt.

wing-a-lings, same front and back

The skirt insert I did not do any adjustments to. It's definitely the MVP of this costume so far. 

numbah one pattern stunna. inserted on every side seam

Now the collar, that is what really brought me here. That is a stupid difficult collar to make. 

um yes excuse me- who's idea was this?

I found a lot of how-to's on this part, but none of them ran across from the front to the back. They all just attached at the shoulder and were one piece. Well let me just say, nay nay nay no sir that is not correct at all. These are curved up and down, run from the front to the back and stand up tall. You aren't gonna do that with one flat piece. So here is what I did:

first round on top, new on bottom.

I know that the actual costume has a leather collar. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out all of the collar details. For sure I still need to make a piece to sew to the bottom of the collar pieces. If I sew it on like in an 'L' shape, it should perk up once it's on a curve. Also I still need a facing so I can probably just make those the same piece. I think I'm going to use a foam base for the shape, glue some screen wire mesh to it and then coat it in 'leather.' I should be able to mold the foam with the wire and a heat gun.
Here's hoping I'm right...

My next stop is to the fabric store. I'm currently unsure of what I want to make the hip and back spine detail of. It's like a spooky scale-y spine or something. If you have ideas by all means let me know.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I wish I knew how to quit you

It's safe to say it's been a while since I made a post on here.
What in the world could make me want to start this back up after three years? Well I will tell you. It's dat god damn Disney.

It's Halloween, which for many of you I'm sure means a very busy sewing season. I have three costumes I'm working on for other people right now, and they all happen to be from Disney.
First, I'm tailoring deconstructing, re-cutting and sewing back together a Mary Poppins jacket for my friend Stephanie. She bought it online and it is sort of a disaster.
Second, I'm making a Megara costume from Hercules for a more different friend Stephanie.
And third, and let me tell you. This. This is the reason for coming back- mother fuggin' Maleficent. Ugh. I'm making her dress from the Christening scene from the live action movie. While I haven't actually seen the movie, I have googled it endlessly at this point and I think I get the jest of it. The costume itself isn't what made me what to start posting again. It's that I can't really find a link to anyone who made one and is also posting pattern shapes in their progress! 
This is totally not a big deal and I think honestly most of the people who want that costume would just buy it. And I don't mind the drafting process because it is literally what I do... but not everyone has that going on and I can't imagine something more stressful than trying to make this with no idea how. And so with that being said, starting now and for the next few days I will be posting up a tutorial on: How to Make Maleficent's God Damn Black Dress.

oh. my. stars.

If I had to pick one word to describe my process for making costumes, I think it would be Frankensteining. Why make an entire pattern when you can just use the front of pattern A, the skirt from pattern B and then fill in the blanks? Duh. It only makes sense.  
After filling up a folder on my desktop of screen grabs and photos from costume exhibits, I realized that ol' homegirl is really just wearing a caftan with a train. Luckily, I L-O-V-E caftans and in addition to owning a few, I have a solid amount of sewing patterns in my collection. After pulling out a handful and narrowing it down to two stacks of 'ooooh I'm gonna make this for myself' and 'this is the one I need' I moved on to finding the right shape for the body.

Simplicity 5315 A.K.A. my future at-home uniform

Since there is somewhat of a fitted shape to the bodice I opted to use the caftan shape for the wing-a-lings and general silhouette only. The body is made from a dress pattern that had the most similar lines and shapes I found. 

Vogue 7836

I added in a bit of a flare to the center front seam, and also to the side seams to make the skirt more dramatic. I also added in pizza-slice shaped pieces onto the side seams on the front and back to add even MORE drama to the skirt. The wing-a-lings connect on the side seam. Next I used a more poncho-shape to get the right curves on the wings. 

Simplicity 7183 made for a solid wing-a-ling curve

After I had the pieces all drafted out, I made a muslin for my client Laurena to try on. I'm usually one to go all in when I make things, it's a rare occasion that I go through the entire muslin process... but since this is going to take what I am currently calculating at 9,000 yards of fabric, it seemed like a good time to make a muslin after all.
She is literally on her way over now, so I will update how that goes tomorrow. In the mean time I'm going to go stuff my face with cookies until she gets here.