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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Costume class pose #3-Wild west outlaw

 Here is the final costume pose for the term. Our model Trevor is wearing an ensemble I sewed depicting the 1880s western Victorian era. I used Laughing Moon patterns #106 California pants, #109 vest view A and #107 shirt. His vest and pants are wool and the shirt is cotton.
 The class went with the stetson hat for the main pose, but we took some shots without it to show off his Dapper Dan hair.
 What western shoot would be complete without the quick draw?  Here you can see the leather gun holster. The pants are held up with the use of suspenders. Despite having many buttons on pants, they did not seem to keep a garment on back in the day. I think the Victorians just liked buttons.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Costume class-pose two-girl from the Seraglio

 Briana is modeling for pose number two in the costume class. The theme was taken from the Orientalist movement during the Victorian age. Her costume is from Turkey, and is an antique wedding outfit. I made the headdress with scarves and antique silk.
 I wanted to try out sheer fabrics over a face. We have painted sheer fabrics over the arms and legs, but not on the head. I used the most sheer antique black silk gauze fabric. Of course, the material kept ripping over her nose...so lesson learned that very old materials might not make it through the abuse of costuming.
 This pose was shot outside the school on the lawn. I have always loved this painting by Jeremy Lipking, and wanted to do some poses influenced by it:
Such a gorgeous painting, with dappled light, and those stripes are wonderful!
Here you can see the MC Hammer pants in action, along with a hand made belt from Turkey. There is a matching velvet vest hiding behind the striped jacket.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New painting-Capture the Flag

 Here is a new piece, titled "Capture the flag, Battle of Little Bighorn." This piece is fairly small, 16x20. All the little tiny people on horses were a real struggle, I have never had to paint heads smaller than a grain of rice, so I did the best I could.
 At least the flag was a manageable size, a few inches across.
The set of riders coming out of the water is about 2-3" tall. I think I will work larger the next time I put this many figures into a scene.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Annie Oakley costumes

 Here is a photo of the completed rose skirt outfit. I collected vintage shooting medals for the shirt, made gaiters from linen, and used antique gauntlet gloves (which fell apart!)
 My models hair is more of a blonde shade, and Annie had brunette hair with bangs. Clip in faux hair and bangs were layered over the real hair. It actually worked well, and cost only $9.00.  Wigs can sometimes be difficult to use, especially if a model has a lot of long natural hair.
Here is the second outfit. This is a split skirt, made from a lovely English wool. If buttoned, it looks like a skirt. Unbuttoning the skirt turns it into a skort, which made sporting activities easier. The blouse is a puffed sleeve cotton twill, with a removable silk fringe collar. The rifle is a reproduction of one type that she used, a Winchester 1876. It is capped and filled, and can't be used for anything other than a photo prop.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Annie Oakley costume

I have been sewing a few items for an Annie Oakley themed photoshoot. I decided to make two skirts,  two blouses, a dickey collar, and shoe gaiters. Annie was taught how to sew at an early age and made all her own shooting outfits. I was especially drawn to this short number with roses and fringe. This was worn during an age when skirt lengths tended to cover ones ankles. When women began to do sporting events like bicycling, long skirts became a safety hazard. Bloomers were born, much to the dismay of the male crowd who ridiculed wearers of the short puffy pants. Shorter skirts, or split skirts became popular, as one could sit astride a horse, or prevent the hem of a long skirt from getting pulled into bicycle spokes.
I used Laughing Moon's pattern number 110. This had options for a skirt, two kinds of bloomers, gaiters,  and basque blouses. I changed the pleating on the skirt to imitate the one Annie Oakley is wearing.
I used a heavy weight cotton twill fabric. It came to me in a very white shade. I wanted it to look more like old worn in chamois, so I dyed it.
Her skirt has wonderful chenille thread embroidered rose motifs. I don't know how to embroider (yet!) The only option that I could think of that was quick, cheap, and dirty was using iron-on appliques. The very thought of it brought back bad memories of awful 1980s craft projects-namely a jean jacket with patches. This skirt is being made as a photo shoot prop, not a museum piece, so something that passes in a photo shoot is going to have to do.
My roses came facing the same direction, so I tried to arrange them in the most natural balanced fashion.
The fringe at the lower skirt edge proved to be a problem as well. I hunted for some fringe trim in a natural fiber but could not find any that resembled something intended for clothing. A sofa or curtain, but not a skirt. The more I studied the photograph, the more it looked like it could be leather fringe. 
My pile of scrap leather was meager. There were not any lengths longer than a foot or so. The edge of her skirt fringe has a black ribbon above it. I took every scrap of leather and glued them to a piece of twill tape, which was in turn covered by the black ribbon and sewn to the skirt. This covered up the joins in the leather pieces, making the fringe appear as a continuous length.
This fabric glue is a great tool to have on hand. I don't use it in place of sewing, but as a temporary means of tacking something in place.
The black ribbon is antique cotton twill. Sometimes it pays to be a hoarder, it's like shopping at your own personal store. The only problem is locating where that special trim has been hidden away.

The upper part of the skirt is finished with a foldover waistband and hook and eye closures. The back has pleating like the pattern directions.