Before I can properly introduce the project, I do need to say a few words about myself. I am a mother, college student, and part time worker at the bookstore of my school. In my spare time, I like to geek out and work on other projects that interest me. When I become impassioned about a project I can work on it until my mind turns to mush!
I am absolutely in love with the Victorian Era. I have been dying to own my own authentic gowns, but I’ve never had the money to buy them. They are very expensive and rightly so. I discovered a love for sewing and conquered my fear of the sewing machine, so I’m putting together this project so I can finally own a Victorian Era gown.
Influences and Goals
Other than the fact that I love the Victorian Era, the other major influence for choosing a Victorian gown is the fact that it can be broken down into these six smaller projects. As a beginning seamstress, it’s very important not to rush anything and bite off more than you can chew. This allows for skills to be built slowly over the course of the entire project. That comes out to be one fine achievement!
In my personal opinion, this is also a great way to build the skills you need to create other dresses, regardless of if they’re from past eras or the modern era. Before selecting this project, I was very set on sewing a wedding dress by hand, but had no idea where to start and I realized a wedding dress may not be the best project to start out on. The Victorian Gown, in theory, would help me build the skills I need to be able to tackle the wedding gown later.
Decisions, decisions, decisions…
For this first project, I have decided to make a basic walking dress. A walking dress, as the name implies, was designed for walking around town mostly to run errands. Because I also have a daughter, I have decided that I will center my decisions around that. My dress must be hardy and resistant to children above all. If you do not have children, the only factor I do advise to take into account is the weather and practicality. If this is going to be a Halloween Costume or something to wear once a year, you’ll want to tailor your choices to that. For example, if it’s really hot even in the fall you’ll want to choose lighter fabrics, perhaps an off-the-shoulder bodice and skip Continue reading Victorian Project Introduction→
During the college years I did manage to find some time to throw together some costumes. The following are a few of the costumes that were finished enough to see the dark of night during a Halloween gathering.
The Red Shirt That Survived
This costume came into being because I had just bought Sara a new sewing machine and figured I should tackle a project to see what I could do with the new toy. I purchased a Star Trek the Original Series pattern from Katarra8 on Etsy since it was said to be the easier to follow pattern according to a few posts I found on a great Star Trek costumes forum starfleet1701st.yuku.com/.
Fabric was purchased from Micheal’s, a cutting wheel was added to the project (Those things are amazing) and I had played with the sewing machine enough that I felt confident in sewing both straight and curving lines.
I am not naturally gifted in the ways of fabric. Its confusing. All the straight lines make perfect sense until you hit a curve, like those that connect the shoulder sections to the chest and suddenly you’ve sewn a section in a manner that had one section of fabric come up 3 inches short and you sitting there just playing WTF on repeat in your head. Knowing how to fit curves and add tension to the fabric at the right time is something that will definitely plague me for the next few projects. I’m a super newbie to this craft so I try not to get to discouraged but after you’ve ripped a seam for the 3rd time it makes it hard not to throw it into the fire pit and roast a couple of marshmallows off of it.
In the end I was mostly triumphant as we can see in my super proud surviving Redshirt pose
Since I was playing off of the idea that I was a Redshirt that was sent of in one of the more active away missions I wanted to play around with a little bit of fight effects makeup. I went to my local costume shop and picked up some of the better quality makeups they had.
Makeup shopping list:
-Ben Nye: EW-4 Master Bruise Wheel-Ben Nye: Final Seal Spray
-Initial face prep powder
I got my start by watching a few videos on Youtube to get an idea of the right products to buy and proper blending techniques, like THIS video.
I know I did well at this because during lunch at my companies Halloween gathering I found out that there was a rumor that most of the people outside of my team thought I had gotten into a car accident the evening before.
After having just thoroughly enjoyed the game Portal and being a back in the day fan of Halflife I wanted to pay tribute to the hard working scientists from Aperture Science. This was a pretty simple task, buy a lab coat, obtain a company logo, get a custom security badge made, some random props and accessories and look smart. Check and check.
I was super pleased with the badge I got custom made from Etsy:
The final assembly
Likely my all time most rushed costume ever was a simple makeup application so I would look like a skeleton in a low lit room. Got the cheapest junk Halloween $1 makeup from my local grocery store. Found some Dia De Muertos face paint images but figured I wouldn’t have time to get those right so i just found a couple of skull images on my laptop, got some cotton swaps and sat in front of the mirror until I figured it out. It did take two attempts to figure it out at about one hour minimum per attempt.
Here’s Trial one where I was still figuring out the layout before dealing with blending and details.
There was this manga called I Luv Halloween created by Benjamin Roman. I really like the main character’s, Finch, look so I figured I’d see if I could try my hand at clay modeling and mold making. This was one of my more ambitious projects that I only gave myself a few weeks to throw together. That amount of time was far from what I needed. The mask came together well enough. The clay I selected was one that would harden nicely in the oven. The idea that I would have the time or money to make a mold from this while juggling college was no well thought out. The mold never happened and I was left with a very heavy mask that I had to make a wire mesh helmet to hold the weight. Its was heavy and overall very uncomfortable. On top of that I was never able to locate the orange wig to complete the look. On the plus side somehow Benjamin Roman found my post of this mask on DeviantArt and gave me props for my work, small world.
Sadly since the mask was made so thin it had a little accident and cracked so I made lemonade out of the situation by painting it and mounting it to an old frame and now its a nice piece of wall art.
In 2011 I had found myself in a sticky Halloween situation. I was in the middle of my term at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (distance ed), and I was preparing to go to Champaign, IL for a four-day required trip to campus one week prior to Halloween. Thinking that I was not going to be celebrating Halloween because of my workload, the trip, and no party plans, I had not prepared a costume, although Stefan had been preparing to go to work as an Aperature Scientist for quite some time. So, when the invitation to a Halloween party came from some friends, I was torn as to whether to attend. On the one hand I wanted a break from school and a chance to socialize, but on the other hand, I was not prepared, and I had no clue what I should dress as being that my preparation time was limited. Giving the thought some consideration prior to my trip, I came up with the ingenious plan of going as a character from my all time favorite video game (at least the one I play most frequently, and I’m pretty sure I was playing it at the time I thought of my costume), the Sims (at the time it was 3), which would be not only incredibly easy to construct, but would also tie into Stefan’s video game themed costume.
The premise of the costume was quite simple, as I was going to go as myself just as a Sim. So the most essential part of the costume would have to be the iconic Plumbob that glows over the Sims heads. Originally I was planning on creating one myself with just green paper, but while searching around on the internet I actually found an amazing rendition of the Plumbob by Deviant Artist Killero94, who had created one and allowed users to download the image for their own use. Having this design, I was able to get more creative, and I decided that I would try to take my costume one step further and get the plumbob to glow. Continue reading Sul Sul! [Hello!] DIY Sims 3 Plumbob→