mardi 31 mai 2011

Fun game (again)

In the previous post, I introduced a new fashion history game I invented, so just for fun, here are a few more of the drawings I came up with!  Here is how the game works

Again, the dates written are the ones I was given, not necessarily the garment I came up with

1880, evening gown, woman

1818, middle class, woman

1790, day dress, young girl

1650, young woman

I leave it for you to judge if I was accurate or not! For the most part, I got the general idea, maybe messed up by a few years or got only part of the dress good, but the most important is that I had fun!

lundi 30 mai 2011

Fun game


I made up a really fun game this week, and here is what it's all about. It doesn't really have a name yet, but it's sort of a Fashion history memory/design game.

Here's how it works: you get some paper and pencils, or paint, or whatever you like (I chose watercolor), and ask someone to give you a random date, or an era, and then try to design a garment as period-accurate as possible, without any documentation whatsoever. You can also add sub-categories, like gender and age (man, woman, child, teenager, etc), or type of garment ( ball gown, day dress, travelling clothes, etc).

Once it's done, you can check the Internet to see if you were accurate!

Here's what I came up with:

1920's, party dress:

1865, Ball gown:

1750, ball gown:

1900, evening dress

1930, girl:

1650, boy: 

Except for a few errors, most of them were pretty much period accurate, except for the 1650 boy, who turned out to look more like a 1550 boy... For my defense, I know more about girls and women's clothes than boys!

dimanche 29 mai 2011

Legong Dances

Here are a few more pictures of balinese dancers in full costume, as seen yesterday at the ''Legong Dances'' show.  Click on the pictures to see them full size.

This is a man in a woman's costume. 

Young boy dancer

Man dancer imitating an old man

There's more on Balinese costumes and Balinese dancers in older posts, found here. Also, if you want to see more of our Balinese trip, you can check out our billingual travel blog here

vendredi 27 mai 2011

Future costumes?

Even though I'm having a fabulous time in Indonesia, I can't help but think about my future costumes. I even started doing a bit of research on evenings and did a bit of drawing in a sketch book I brought.

I've been meaning to make a Regency costume for a while now, complete with underwear, corset, bonnet and maybe even a cape. So I decided to make a little sketch of what it might look like.

I really like Jane Bennet's (the blonde one) gown here (Picture from Google images)

So here's the sketch I came up with. The fabric is gathered in the front of the bodice, but mostly in the middle front part, unlike Jane, and instead of gathering the skirt all around, It's gathered only in the back, giving it a nice smooth look in the front and flowy in the back.  

There is also a second costume I would like to make, this one more of a early Vicrorian style, like early 1840's or late 1830's. Maybe I've watched ''Young Victoria'' too many times!

I like the style of the dresses, but the huge puffed sleeves...not so much. I'm not very tall (4ft11), and huge sleeves would make me look even shorter. I even read somewhere that Queen Victoria herself (who was very short too) didn't like them! So anyway, I came about this picture of a lady around that era with the kind of sleeves I was looking for:

Well, we'll let all that marinate and see what happens when I get home!

Upcycled Flower Princess

In my last post I wrote about upcycling and introduced some of my confections in that area. But there was one garment that was left unmentionned. It's a Flower Princess (well, that's what I think it looks like) child costume. It's a size 6-8 years, and it was made from two different unused curtains.

So here are the pictures!

So is that girly enough for you?

It took two different curtaind to make it. the outside, or pink part is an organza Disney curtain that I bought many years ago and never took out of the package. I don't really know where the light white curtain I used for the petticoat comes from. I also used white poplin leftovers for the lining.

The sash is some kind of satin that was a leftover from a dress I made for a friend.

Beaded collar

Petticoat, or underskirt, made the same way as a pettiskirt. Nice and bouncy!

With some cutouts and the curtain attaches, I made a little crown to go with it. I simply braided a couple of the fabric pieces together, added some more in the back, and put some of the dams beads as the collars all around (first, put them on a single threas, as to make a necklace, then twist it around the crown, and fix it at some places with one or two invisible stitches. 

This was my inspiration for that costume. It's Shirley Temple as she appeared in the motion picture ''Stand Up And Cheer''. My version has a slightly lower waist, the sleeves are bigger and the skirt is not as short and is gathered instead of full circle, but you can see the general idea. 

Here's a clip from that movie, just for fun!

jeudi 26 mai 2011


Upcycling is the concept of taking something old or out of fashion, and turning it into something new. For example, you can take old sheets ot curtains  that are no longer used, and make a costume or piece of clothing with them. Just like Maria in ''The Sound Of Music''.

Personnaly, I am an adept. It's a lot of fun to look at a old dress or curtain and try to figure what I can do with it.! Most of the time, I end up making choldren's clothing this way, because of the limited amound of fabric, or most of the time just because children's clothes are cute. So here are a few ideas of upcycled children's clothes and costumes.

I don't really have tutorials for how to make them, they're just ideas, and most of the time, the result depends upon the garment you started with. Just go with the flow and create!

The simplest of them all: the pillowcase dress. Take an old Pillowcase, cut the top to desired lenght, cut some armholes, finish the edges and make some channels with the top frond and top back edges. Pass some robbons through these channels, add decoration, and voilà!

This one was made with an old dress that I never wore. It's a size three months, so it's a long dress, like the ones the had in the olden days. Wish I had a little more fabric on that old dress, I would have made a nice little bonnet to go with it!

I made this one from another of my old dresses, and some white bed sheets for the lining. I used a 1960's simplicity pattern and leftover ribbons. it's a 2yrs size. 

Another Pillowcase dress, this time not made from an actual pillow, but from a bit of an Indian sari that I got from Ebay. The sari was too long for me, and once cut, there was just the righ amount of fabric for a pillowcase dresss! The lining inside is made of leftover white poplin

Did I mention I sometimes make doll clothes? Well, i,ts actually How I learned to sew. Anyway, this little nightgown is upcycled.  It's made from a camisole . 

Party dress: this one is a 8 yr size upcycled party dress that I made from lots of different things. The outer fabric is a peach organza curtain from my last appartment, the underskirt is a light tablecloth and the lining is another bedsheet in a sort of light peach shade. Only the red sash wasn't upcycled, it's made of  vietnamese silk taffeta.

I have another upcycled child costume, but I like it so much it deserves it's own post. So more on that later!

mercredi 25 mai 2011

First costumes

In the last post I mentionned my first two attempts at costuming: a classic Princess Leia, and Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ.

Can't really remember how it came about, but at one point when I was 15 or 16 I decided I'd make a Princess Leia costume. I was a big Star Wars fan back then (I've calmed down since), and more importantly, I had no sewing skills whatsoever. I knew there was an old sewing machine in the basement, so I took it out of it's box and asked my grandmother how it worked. I did a bit of research and came up with a pattern from the internet. The fabric I chose was not ideal, it's some kind of heavy satin. I should have chosen something lighter and stretchier like jersey. But anyway. The tunic itself came out okay, but with a few flaws, but the belt is nice. I got some kind of  grey faux-leather, which I covered with the wrong side of the satin. For the metal things, I cut out the pieces in the grey leather, painted them with silver miniature model paint, and once it was dry I used some kind of transparent varnish and glued everything on the belt with fabric glue.

I never got the opportunity to wear this costume, and lost the only picture of me in it but my sister borrowed it from me for a party last Halloween, and I got  to take a few pictures

As for the Dorothy costume, it's the one tha really gave me a taste for sewing and costume making. I'm a big Judy Garland fan, and not very long after the Princess Leia costume, decided I'd try to make a Dorothy costume, just for fun. I used the ''Wizard of Oz'' Simplicity pattern for this one. 

And while I'm at it, here's another one of the costumes I whipped up

This one wasn't really intended as a whole in the beginning. I made all the parts separately for different reasons (camisole, corset, petticoat and full circle skirt) While looking for a costume for a party, I put them all together and had the idea to add a top hat. I think it looks like some kind of victorian cabaret dancer. 

Titanic Swim dress

While I'm away, I thought I might introduce another one of my precious costumes. It's the frst ''complicated''one I made. The first two costumes I made were a classic Princess Leia and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but more on them later.

 I really didn't know much about costuming when I decided to make that dress, so the process of research and making it took quite a long time. Now, knowing a little more, there are a couple things I want to touch up, but generally I'm quite proud of it.

There's supposed to be some sort of sleeves, but I liked it this way and chose not to add them. 

I made the hems a little too wide, I'll have to touch them up when I get home

Close-up on the bodice. You can't see very well, but I did some beading in the lace. I used silk in two different colors for the sash. 

The real thing it in oct 2009 at Planet Hollywood in NYC!

Simply gorgeous! I admit I still prefer the original one to my own, It's so nice and delicate. I'd call it inspired by it and not a reproduction.