Sunday, April 27, 2008


Okay so my 'Peter' came over today to try on his Peter Outfit. I even got a picture.

I guess it's okay. I was kinda disappointed that the tunic was so large - I made it to his size! But the width is okay with a belt (he will have a better belt). The thing that's really annoying me is the shoulders. My Peter sadly does not have super broad shoulders so it look a little big. But I've already got the grommets on there and the lacing. I thought about trying to take a big pintuck right at the edge of the bias tape and then maybe you wouldn't see it. Anybody have any ideas on that? I might also make the blue shirt a little shorter.

Then my 'Caspian Coronation' tried on his undershirt and it was fine. I had only cut out the overtunic so I just kinda draped it on him and realized that I would have to take the sides in about 8 inches. I made the Small! I hate pattern discrepancies.

Then my 'Caspian Main' tried on his white shirt again and I hated it. It was about 8 inches too short (my brother is 6'6") and the sleeves were not poofy enough. So I'll rip that one up and try again. Also his brigandine (which I haven't cut out yet) will need quite a few fittings because it sits so close to the body.

Of course, the entire time I was trying to fit the costumes, the guys were making fun of my cuirass (and its inherent skankiness) and quoting some Zelda saying about 'hero of time' using my pauldons and gauntlets. *sigh*

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Peter's Brown Tunic

Okay, today I finished Peter's Brown Tunic. I bought bias tape at Hobby Lobby - Extra Wide Double Fold (the smaller size for sleeves and neckline) and Quilt Binding (for the front) in Mocha color. Just topstitched it on.

For the sleeve embroidery, I made this pattern last night:
It's not exact but who cares? Then I drew this design on my sleeves with a dressmakers pencil:

And then machine stitched along the lines in a dark gold thread:
It doesn't have the detail of the original but, again, who cares? I found six cheap black buttons at Hobby Lobby. I spray painted them metallic gold - a nice thin coat so some of the black showed through. Then I added the buttons down the middle. I wanted to button to be in the middle of the tunic like his so I put the button on an elastic cord and sewed it down so it was suspended over the opening. Then I got another elastic cord (that would just barely go around the button) and sewed a loop on the other side. It totally worked! You can see the stitching on the bias tape but, again, who cares? (I'm going to be saying that a lot with this costume!)
Then I did the lacing at the top of the shoulder. I cheated and used grommets instead of handsewn eyelets. There are five grommets in the tunic part and six on the sleeve part. I kinda guesstimated on how far apart to place them. In hindsight, I could have put the ones on the sleeve part closer together. Oh, well. Then I just spiral laced them with some soft black leather cord that I found at Hobby Lobby. Not too shabby.
So here's two pictures of the finished costume:

Now I just have to hope that it fits my 'Peter'! *crosses fingers*

Friday, April 25, 2008

Little Updates

First, I finally got a picture of Edmund's finished chainmaille:
The lighter section in the middle was not on purpose. I ran out of the darker rings so I had to use the leftover rings from Susan's chainmaille which were lighter. It won't really matter because he's wearing the tunic over it so we won't see that part.

Next, I added two inches to the length of my Susan sleeves (curse of being tall) and finished the back of Susan's cuirass. I just attached the straps to each other randomly. I also tied string and cord in different places for a little more detail.
To get in and out, I think she has to unlace each strap in the back. Well, that requires someone dressing you. No thank you. I hot-glued hidden snaps on two large straps on the left side. I just have to snap those two shut after lacing. No problem!

Then I worked on Peter's Brown Tunic Outfit. I didn't want to buy brown velvet (which is impossible to find in the almost summer) so I found a brown polyester at Walmart for $1 a yard. I just cut a simple vest and then worked on the sleeves. I used a sleeve pattern I had but realized that the slope of the shoulder 'seam' had to be more defined. So after a draft or two I came up with this:
Here's the not-finished picture:

The blue undershirt is a little too blue but I don't care. For the LWW premiere it was Peter's Camp Outfit. I altered the sleeves and the neckline and now it's Peter Prince Caspian! I call it recycling. =)

To Do for Peter's Brown Tunic:
  • Buy Brown Bias Tape and Attach at Edges
  • Machine Embroider Sleeves
  • Make Holes for Shoulder Lacing
  • Add Buttons Down the Front
  • Try it on my 'Peter' and Hope it Fits!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Susan's Battle Dress Embroidery

Today I "embroidered" the hem of Susan's Battle Dress. I bought some blank stencil sheets at Hobby Lobby and cut out a stencil using this design I made. I then just painted the stencil using my same ol' cheap acrylic gold metallic paint. It took a ton of paint - almost two bottles. I love the result. It might be a little too tall, but I'm super tall so that shouldn't matter!

It's not quite that gold because the red isn't quite that light. It really looks nice. Slowly but surely this dress is getting completed!

Edmund's Armor

I officially finished the pauldrons for Edmund's Battle Outfit. Since the last picture I posted, I scratched a floral-y design on the top layer, added decorative rivets (I'm really liking the rivets! I've used them on every costume!), added a hidden strap at the top to safety pin to the tunic while wearing, and a strap to go under the arm to keep it on. I'm very pleased with the result!
Now I just have to finish the gauntlets and Edmund is done! They are a little to big right now so I just have to trim them down and then attach straps like the pauldrons. And then they are done!

I spray painted these with dark brown paint and then came back and hand painted the accent piece with medium brown acrylic paint. Not bad for fun foam!

Susan's Cuirass

I weathered the cuirass today. I used equal parts black and brown acrylic paint and then watered it down a little. Then I just applied the mixture haphazardly concentrating on the cracks and seams. I did about a 4x4 inch area at a time. I'd smear the paint on and then immediately wipe most of it off with a damp rag. I'm really pleased with the results. It's actually a lot dirtier than the picture shows. It looks very battle-worn which I love! Hooray!

Left To Do for Susan's Battle Outfit:

  • Do 'Embroidery' on Dress Hem
  • Lengthen Dress Sleeves
  • Make Cuirass Straps Attach in Back
  • Add 'Embroidery' to the Top of Cuirass
And I think that's it! Whoo-hoo! I'm so close! That's good because there are only 21 days left!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Susan's Cuirass Details

Okay. I went to Hobby Lobby and found all these thingies to use for the cuirass. The big medallion is a piece of carved wood. I also found metal belt designs, scrap leather, rivets and random buttons that I had on hand.
Then I aged everything. I also over-sprayed some things to make them more antique gold/silver. Here's a medallion with the left side plain and the right side aged with black craft paint in all the crevices.
I found a trim that I had so I took it apart to use the straw strings to tie on my medallions.
I then stared at all my pictures of the cuirass. I scrounged with all my leather scraps, cut up two belts, and created a few medallions. I then laid all the pieces on the cuirass where I wanted them.
I then glued each piece starting for the pieces that are closest to the cuirass. First the two long straps that go over the right shoulder.
Then a short vertical piece for the left side:
Then came the bottom piece. It turned out a little big but oh, well:
Then the top piece with a long down strap on the right side:

Then the long skinny strap that goes across your left shoulder and a skinny strap that cuts horizontally across the middle:

And ta-da! Now I just have to do the back. Much more complicated because I want to be able to get in and out of it easily. I'm thinking about putting some snaps somewhere for ease of entry. I also need to 'age' the cuirass by making it look dirty and worn like the original. I'm thinking dark brown shoepolish, concentrating on getting it in the corners and crevices. Any other ideas?

I'll hopefully finish gluing the back tomorrow. I've almost used an entire bottle of fabric glue. Oh, I also have to put the design across the top of the cuirass. Since the entire cuirass isn't real leather, I can't just make the design as indentations. I'll probably just stencil on a design in a darker brown.

Guys Shirts

I finished the undershirts for Peter's Brown Tunic and Caspian's Coronation. I'll post pictures soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Susan's Cuirass

I've finished the base of the cuirass. Whoo-hoo! It's made of a fake leather cloth and flat-lined in some fabric I had laying around. The fabric is a little too light but once all the straps get glued on, you won't see much of it. Each seam has 1/4" spiral steel boning and the lacing sites have 1/2" boning. It is a little too loose when I tried it on, but when worn over chainmaille, it should fit beautifully. Now I've just got to find tons of leather scraps and belts to put over it. I guess I'll go by Salvation Army tomorrow to look through their selection of belts. I also need to find some things to be her metal things (can't think of the right word).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Edmund's Battle Tunic

Edmund's Battle Tunic is finished!!! Whoo-hoo! Today I did the lion and the hem embroidery. For the lion, I printed off the drawing of the lion on NarniaWeb costumes. I then cut that shape out of fusible webbing and fused one side to a suede-like fabric that I had on hand:
After cutting out the suede to match the glued on lion, I painted the whole thing with some cheap acrylic paint that I had on hand. I specifically did not coat it evenly. I wanted some lighter areas and some darker. I also drew on the lines for the embroidery with a red ink pen:

After that I fused the lion to the tunic and then stitched over the red line marks using a backstitch:

The hem is supposed to have intricate embroidery but I just decided to be fast. I found an old stencil that I had on hand and just stipled the same gold paint through that simple stencil. No where near exact but I don't really care! I am very, very pleased with my finished tunic!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Edmund's Battle Outfit

I am taking the easy road with my fun foam armor. There is a much more complicated process that produces a much better result, but I don't have time. And these pauldrons don't have to look amazing. If you want to follow the detailed instructions, check out this website.

Today I spray painted the glued together pauldrons. I used a metallic silver paint that I had on hand.
I then went around and painted a gold trim on all the edges.
I then took an open bobby pin (with the round tip removed) and started drawing lines around the edges.

What the bobby pin actually did was scrap away the silver paint to reveal the black fun foam underneath. I scraped two lines all the way around (one line is right beside the gold trim - the next is about 1/8 inch away). I then ended up putting another layer of gold paint on the edges.

I still have to scrap some kind of design onto the top layer (at least). Then I'll put decorative rivets, and attach some kind of straps to hold it on. But I'm excited about how it's looking!

I also finished Edmund's chainmaille. Whoo-hoo! Pics soon!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Edmund's Battle Outfit

I've almost finished on Edmund's chainmaille. I added the sleeves and added the gold ring trim. I just took the regular chainmaille rings and spray painted them with metallic gold spray paint. Voila:

I then added it to the sleeves and the bottom of the maille. The sleeves were so difficult because they aren't straight across. But even the chainmaille trim in the movie isn't perfect. Overall, I'm pleased with the result:
I also worked on the shoulder pauldrons. I made the five pieces through trial and error. I kept getting the overall shape wrong. Finally I was satisfied. The two pauldrons aren't exactly the same, but they will work. I've glued them together and will let them dry overnight before I try spray painting them silver. I also have to work the design into them.

Also, taking the advice of Alicia's comment on the last post, I dyed the tunic. I just used a dark brown dye and it made it slightly darker red. I was really pleased. I also finally added a shoulder piece like I was talking about. A triangular piece like on Caspian's White Shirt. I think it will make it sit better across the shoulders. I'll try to get my cousin over here sometime to try on the updated ensemble.

Only 30 days!!! AH!!!!!! *begins to hyperventilate*

Monday, April 7, 2008

Edmund's Battle Outfit

I've been working on this costume for a while now but never had any pictures to prove it. So finally here is my exhibit on my Edmund's Battle Outfit. My cousin will be Edmund (brother to my cousin who is Lucy). Before you see pictures, I have to give disclaimers. This was a costume built on the extremist of budgets. I made the chainmaille from electric fence wire that I coiled, cut, and wove myself. The red suede is some I had on hard from forever ago. The brown fabric for the shirt I found at Hobby Lobby in the clearance bin for $2 a yard. Sadly there was only a yard and a half so that's why there's an extra band of a different brown fabric at the hem.

I like the brown shirt. You can see all of two inches of Ed's brown shirt (between the bottom of his chainmaille sleeves and the top of this vambraces). So I just made this classic pirate shirt that I had a pattern for. No, Edmund's probably didn't look anything like this. But I really don't care!

I like how the chainmaille's coming along. The length is about right. I might make the neckhole smaller and of course I have to add sleeves. I also have to add the contrast of gold rings along the edges. I think I'll try spraypainting some rings gold and seeing how that looks.

I hate the tunic. Hate, hate, HATE! Sorry. Anyway, I didn't have a pattern, so I thought I could just draft a pattern from my cousin's measurements. Wrong! I sloped the shoulders too much so the neck part bunches. I think I'll go back in and add a triangular piece to the top of the shoulders (kinda like Caspian's White Shirt) and that might help it fit at the shoulders better. It might also make it a little longer which I would like. By the way, I didn't realize the extra width chainmaille would add. I had to actually add more fabric to the sides of the tunic because it wouldn't fit over the chainmaille. I would say that chainmaille adds an extra 2-3 inches in circumference. Anyway, then I've got to figure out the embroidery on the hem and the lion, of course.

After these three pieces, I still have the leather gorget (funky foam?), the pauldrons (definitely funky foam) and the vambraces (ditto). I'm putting all those off. It sounds hard!

This week I hope to work on Caspian's White Shirt and finish my Susan's Battle Underdress.

Lucy Dress

Just a couple pictures of my cousin in her finished Lucy Dress.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Finished Lucy Dress!

It's finished! Yesterday and today I: finished the French knots, put the upper arm trim on, hemmed the velvet, and put in the back lacing.

The neckline center U isn't quite perfect but I like it anyway. I'm so glad that I finished and I'm so proud of my efforts! New pictures tomorrow when my cousin can come over to model it!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lucy's Embroidery

Well, a slight update today. The flowery swirls that I drew on a few days ago were too light. So I went back over the designs with my marker again. Note to anyone else: if you are using a FabricMate marker on real silk, draw your design and then let it dry a day or two as it absorbs into the fabric. It would be much easier to have gone over the design again if the dress wasn't already assembled. But that would have been too easy for me.

I've almost finished the French Knots on Lucy's Bodice. I used embroidery floss from DMC in two colors - an ice blue and a French blue - #775 & #809 in case you care. I went with three strands on each color and wrapped the thread around once. I experimented with wrapping it two and three times, but it was a little much. I am very pleased with the result. It's very 3D which I like. I still have to finish 11 flowers on the back. I've already done 47 flowers. Yeah. This bodice has WAY too many flowers. But it does look nice.