Tuesday, 31 July 2012

BFTW Live!

Well no one could ignore the London Olympic Opening Ceremony for the olympics last Friday. It was spectacular. But I was very excited to see the Weymouth Ceremony and conclusion of the opening saga Battle For the Winds on the Saturday night as the cultural olympiad brought the winds to Weymouth in a feast of theatricals and colour.

Moreover I was most looking forward to seeing the costume I had slaved over (there were about 60 hours of hand sewing alone involved) actually making up a part of the show- see here for original post.

It was amazing to see how well it worked as a specialised piece of costume, up in the air, and all the others look fabulous as well. I felt very proud of all the other students who worked so hard to make costume for such a large scale production and all the challenges that come alongside that responsibility.

Some photos!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Romantic Tutu Skirt and Decoration

I am perservereing with this costume as I am getting closer to the decoration, which I'm really looking forward too.

I have finished layering the skirt and chose to level straight instead of ragged as I'm not entirely sure how its done propperly and would rather wait until I go back to Uni in October and ask the expert.

I have decided that the top layer will be cut into, however. This is because I want to expose the layers underneath and also because I found the chiffon hard to level straight and it is wonky in places. Also I noticed that even though I have barely touched it it already looks crumpled snagged and dirty in places! How, I have no idea, but its fast pitting me off as a fabric to use again in a hurry, I'll stick to net in the future.

In fact, part of the reason for using all different fabrics for each of the layes, was purely to see how they worked and handled in the tutu so that I build up a good knowledge of what is good and easy to work with and what is more of a struggle, which will keep informing my further choices in  subsequent makes.

The chiffon was a pain, and shows any marks very easily, not good when sweating in performance, also i think after a few wears and catches/ snagging, it will look a mess- luckily though I have elected to chop away a lot of this layer.

I also had a chance to start playing with textiles in creating my decoration. I wanted to copy some techniques I have seen online on other ballet costumes so I printed off a line drawing of an ivy leaf; this costume deffinitely speaks dark forest to me so ivy seemed a good choice, and then cut out a backing and light wadding layer and appliqued on the top fabric. I tried glitter glue, gold leaf, expanding fabric paint, stitching and beading as well as metallic fabric paint to  see the results (not all photographed) and some were good, and some were awful, but trial and error and all that.

I'm still not completely happy, they need to look delicate and not arts and craft and I'm not sure if there there yet. The bodice leaves will need to be at least half the size in the contrasting rusty colour to be delicate enough- I also have lots of beading to do on the bodice as well as the obligatory swarovski crystals. But this will all come as samples first.

Once I have chopped the top skirt and zig zag stitched the edges of the two chiffon layers to stop fraying then i will attach the skirt and bodice, ready for the decorating.

I can see the end, and its looking good, can't wait to get this costume on Sarah and get some good shots, I still have to think about a crystal tiara to match in and find a shoot location.

Busy, busy, busy.

That, and I'm already itching to start the next one.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


So I went to see the burlesque show featuring the corset I had made for Once Upon A Tease.

 The show was good and the girls look super sleek and sexy in the corsets. I was dissapointed to hear that apparently some of the girls were slipping out of their corsets (I'm talking pasties on view here) during their routine. I was suprised to be honest and assured the troupe leader Sam that I would help to rectify the problem, but I later noticed that none of the girls had been cinched and tied properly into their corsets at all.

This of course is the reason for it, yet I'm still going to have a look at all the corsets on in a weeks time, just in case. But obviously as the corsets were made to fit the girls once tied properly into the corsets, then no wonder they are not fitting properly loose. I am aware they need to remove them, but this is why I built a split zip into the side of the full body corset in the first place. Oh well, we will see what happens.

Unfortunately I am also still waiting for access to/ copies of the professional photographs, which despite chasing, have not shown up yet. Without putting a downer on the whole experience, this was a job the girls(from my course) and myself took on without a monetary fee during the busiest and most demanding time during our degree this year- because we were assured that we would get portfolio quality photos and to be accredited to the website- neither of which has happened yet.
I'm starting to become very aware that in this business there is a fine line as what you take on, when you are not actually getting *paid* for it. I'm very happy to work without pay when both myself and the client have a mutual understanding of gain, but without wanting to be rude, I dont just give away my specialist skills for free, because to be frank, it's taking the jimmy riddle.

Rant over, i did manage to get some photos, so I will share these with you and will in the mean time, ask again where the photos are.

Rapunzel Costume Photographed

Finally the rain stoped bucketing down enough for me to take some photos of my little Rapunzel in  my impression of the Disney version (Tangled) of the dress Rapunzel wears. As discussed in the last post here there were some limitations etc.

I'm quite pleased with it overall. Not so keen on the organza as it does not hang particularly well, but I do love the sleeves, and the induvidually sewn on ribbons.

Photos :)