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Hi, My name is Melody, and I'm a Garb Whore. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Dwarf woman costume [Aug. 29th, 2014|04:01 pm]
[mood |artisticartistic]

Here is a picture of the dwarf woman costume I'm starting to make.  You may recognize the dress.  In the first Hobbit movie, there is a scene where the dwarfs are fleeing Erebor.  There is one dwarf woman who is running along in the front of the crowd wearing a teal dress, trimmed with jacquard and fur, that she is holding up in order to run faster.  When she holds her dress up, you can see the ruffles of her bright orange petticoat.  That is the dress I'm recreating.  Although she doesn't have her hair done this way, I've seen other dwarf women with small axes decorating their hair, so I've added some small horn axes to the hairdo.  Here's the picture of the dress plan.


And, in case you're wondering, yes, I do have a light beard that I will wear with this dress.
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Perfect fit! [Aug. 29th, 2014|03:46 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I tried on the bodice to the dwarf woman dress last night.  Apparently, the cording shrank the pieces evenly just a little.  So it's a perfect fit at this point.  I may have to take in the bodice pieces of the outer layer, a little, but the under layer fits perfectly, except for the armscythes being a little too high.  I'll trim them, and then I can work on matching the outer shell to the inner bodice layer.

After I get the bodice done, the rest of the dress should be easy.  Then I'll make the bright orange petticoat that will go under it.  My next posting will be a photo of the dress plan for the dwarf woman, since I haven't posted it yet.
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Cording is DONE! [Aug. 27th, 2014|06:29 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I finally finished the cording on the bodice pieces for the Dwarf woman outfit.  So now all I have to do is baste the pieces together and fit it to me.  I've lose weight since I made the first muslin, so I will probably have to take it in a little.
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Dancing baby Groot pictures [Aug. 25th, 2014|04:23 pm]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

I got a Rock 'n Flowers toy from eBay, and made this dancing baby Groot.  I haven't learned how to take a video with my smart phone yet, so you'll have to make do with pictures.



He does move to music--as soon as I can take a movie and update it, I will.
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Projects progress [Aug. 19th, 2014|01:16 am]
[mood |okayokay]

The cording is done on both back pieces of the Dwarf woman bodice.  Now I have to cord the front, and then I'll be refitting the bodice to me.  I've lost some weight since I made the muslin, so it might have to be taken in.  I can only work on it in bits, since cording is very hard on the hands.  

I've been keeping to my meal plan on CalorieKing for the past 7 weeks, and upping my physical activity.  My Yorkie Chip is getting longer and longer walks.  As I start finding a walk easy, I make it longer.  I'm sticking with walking now since it's low impact.  As the weather gets colder, I may join a gym, or start swimming at a Rutgers pool.  Already much of my garb is fitting better, and some will need to be taken in before next season.
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Some progress... [Aug. 17th, 2014|03:47 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I'm almost half done with the cording for the Dwarf woman dress.  I hope to get the dress done before the Witches Ball on October 11.
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Progress on next projects [Jul. 12th, 2014|11:23 am]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

The poofy pants in black wool have been cut out.  I've also cut out the wool for the Dwarf woman dress.  Next comes assembling them.  
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Livejournal posting [Jun. 29th, 2014|08:02 pm]
[mood |annoyedannoyed]

I'm getting annoying popups and hyperlinks when I post to livejournal.  Is anyone else having this problem?  Know how I can fix it?  I'm a paid account, and shouldn't have ads in my account.  How can I block these?
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Good news and bad news.... [Jun. 27th, 2014|12:19 am]
[mood |bitchybitchy]

The bad news?  I just got a letter from the President of Rutgers telling me "Fuck you very much."  So I hope he has a good supply of Rutgers umbrellas, because he's about to experience a shit storm.  I'm going to send letters to every newsletter and journal covering education that I can think of.  Never put me in a position where I have nothing to lose--you will regret it.

The good news is that I've finished modifying the Peacock Fairy outfit.  It actually didn't need to have the skirt shortened.  Once I changed the sleeves into short puffy sleeves, it made it look much more attractive and took away the frumpy look.  If I shorten the skirt, it would make it look less elegant.  I also painted the motor with some peacock blue nail polish, and covered the "front" of the wings with a half circle of feathers, so the motor and attachment blend in much better.  The teal gauze ribbon I bought for the side back lacing matches the bodice much better.

Next project is to make two pairs of black wool poofy pants.  I need one to wear with my new red leather vest, and Mike needs a replacement, as his are showing their age.  Then I'll be starting on my Dwarf woman dress.  I have all the material I will need for it, and I can use the chemise I made for my teal and garnet Italian with it, so I don't need to make one.  
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Contest results [Jun. 22nd, 2014|09:09 pm]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

I don't know where I placed, but I saw the woman's outfit that came in second on Facebook.  Her's was awesome; I wouldn't have minded losing to her.  And if there was one even better, I'm hoping she will post pictures of it because it must be incredible.

So this makes me feel better about modifying it for our modern eyes.  I'll have the sleeves modified on the chemise by Wednesday, and during play date Michelle can help me make decisions on the shortness of the skirt.

Saturday was Summer Solstice, and went well.  We had a fire in the fire pit after ritual.  I was able to do a good amount of picking up before Saturday, and I plan on doing more this week.  I bought some more nice hangers when I went to the store, so I'll be able to finish hanging up the clean clothes.  And on Monday I want to wash the kitchen and bathroom floors, and the vinyl mud spot in front of the front door.

Tuesday I have a doctor's appointment so I can start taking care of my health now.
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All done! [Jun. 17th, 2014|07:05 pm]
[mood |happyhappy]

I just submitted the dress diary and pictures to Margo Anderson for the Midsummer Night's dream costume contest.  So that project is almost over.  I will be making some modifications to the outfit at Michelle's request.  The sleeves were a little too wide for her taste, so I'm going to either make them narrower, or change them into short puffy sleeves.  We also decided that a shorter skirt would be more attractive on her.  So tomorrow night when she comes over, we will decide on the length of the skirt, and plan the modification of the sleeves.  I had some trouble sending it--I stupidly misspelled the email address.  But it finally got straightened out, so all is well.

Next I've got some poofy pants to make--two black ones and one green.  Then I'll finish up the elven vest I'm making for Etsy, and perhaps start on the Dwarf woman's outfit.
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RUTGERS SUCKS!!! [Jun. 12th, 2014|07:29 pm]
[mood |pissed offpissed off]

I waited to retire until I had put in 40 years, although I wanted to retire several years ago. I knew that if I stayed the 40 years, I would get a grandfather's clock with the RU seal on it, or at least a nice gift from a selection in a catalog.

I went to the service reception yesterday. Traditionally, there was a sit down luncheon where the President stopped by to thank us for our service, Up until this year, the people who gave decades of their lives to RU were given nice gifts to thank them for their service.  At 10 years I got a gold filled necklace, at 20 years a wristwatch, and at 30 years a nice mantle clock.

Yesterday I got a cheap ass pin, a tote, an umbrella and two tickets to a Mason Gross event. How cheap can they get? I am deeply disappointed.  The pin probably cost about $5 to punch out in China.

So tell me, how could they disrespect us this badly? I guess they're joining the Chris Christie school of thought--Fuck the workers; they don't count. What a bunch of assholes!

This is just the cherry on the cake of Rutger's cheapness this year. First of all, it was a reception with soft drinks and snacks instead of the traditionally very nice sit down luncheon. Then there was the fiasco of the chairs. What genius decided that half of us didn't need to sit for a two hour reception? Do the math--many were at Rutgers for 30 or 40 years. Did they REALLY think that it was not a hardship to stand at those stupid high tables for that long? And then President Barchi couldn't even be bothered to show up for five minutes. Every other year the University president showed up to thank us for our service.

I am going to send the pin back to President Barchi and tell him to shove it where the sun don't shine!  I do not care to keep in my house a symbol of such contempt and disrespect.  I used to be proud to work for Rutgers--now I am thoroughly ashamed of them.

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Pictures of the Peacock Fairy Outfit [Jun. 12th, 2014|10:55 am]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

Here are the pictures of the Peacock Fairy outfit for the costume contest.  High photo content.
Photos of Peacock Fairy OutfitCollapse )
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Peacock fairy dress diary [Jun. 4th, 2014|03:16 pm]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Here is the remaining diary for the Peacock Fairy dress.  After we went to the garment district, we had all of the materials necessary to create the dress.

The skirt was made of five layers.  The top layer was the embroidered mesh; it has peacock tail feathers embroidered on the width of the fabric.  It has double scalloped edges on the fabric.  I used one scalloped edge as the bottom of the skirt, which meant I didn't have to hem the skirt.  I used the shape from the overskirt pattern to make the skirt.  I planned on making it with a back opening.  I had bought five yards each of green tulle, and peacock tulle, so I made the the skirt 180 inches long, and 39 inches long, which made the skirt ballet length, with two inches to fold over for the cartridge pleating.  Since the tulle was very wide, I was able to make each color two layers.  The skirt had two layers of green tulle immediately under the embroidered mesh, and two layers of the peacock tulle underneath the green tulle.

In order to cut the tulle, I basted the long edges of the tulle together, and then pinned the basted edge to a pattern board.  Then I smoothed out the tulle, and cut it along the lines printed on the board.  After I cut the green tulle, I cut the peacock tulle.  Then I cut the embroidered layer 1/2 inch longer so that the scalloped edge would overlap the cut edges of the tulle layers nicely.  I then basted the layer of embroidered mesh, and the two double layers of the tulle all together along the top edge.  I cut a two inch strip of tan colored felt the length of the waist measurement plus three inches for overlap, to be used for the cartridge pleating.  I folded the multiple layers of tulle over the felt strip and sewed it together,

Now that I had the skirt ready for cartridge pleating, I had to brainstorm how to make the markings on the skirt.  With regular fabric, I could just use a marker or chalk to mark right on the fabric.  Since I was working with a mesh fabric with tulle underneath, I couldn't make a mark that would stay visible.  So I cut several pieces of tissue paper 2 inches wide, and taped them together to make a strip 180 inches long.  Then I drew three lines on the tissue--one 1/4" down from the top, the second line 1/2" down from that line, and the third line 1/2" down from that line.  Then I drew dots on the three lines 1" apart.   After my tissue pattern was done, I pinned it to the top of the skirt, and prepared my three gathering threads.  I sewed right through the pattern, and as I finished a section, I ripped the tissue away.  It worked very well.  I attached the pleats to my waistband that was made of peacock satin that had been flatlined with belting underneath for support.  I put a privacy panel in the back, and closed the skirt with a hook and eye closure.  I sewed a back seam in the mesh layer of the skirt, up to 12 inches from the waistband.

I made the chemise using the Italian Ladies' Undergarments pattern.  I did have to take the chemise in--my model is small, and there was just TOO much fabric, so I took 20" off the front center panel and 20" off the back center panel.  The body of the chemise and the grommets were made of the Italian linen.  The sleeves were made of the same embroidered mesh that made up the outer layer of the skirt.  The ends of the sleeves used the scalloping of one of the edges of the fabric.  I used double folded bias tape for the sleeves elastic casings, so the elastic didn't show through the mesh.  I cut some of the scalloped edge off the fabric to make a ruffle around the top of the chemise.  The top was gathered with lacing so it could be adjusted.

Next I made the bodice.  I attached the casings for the boning to the flatlining.  I relocated the boning in the back, so that there would be two bones running down the center back that I could use to support the wings.  I flatlined the peacock satin and assembled the bodice.  I inserted the plastic boning.  I assembled the lining, and married the lining and bodice.  Then I marked and inserted the grommets along the side back opening, and attached the straps.  I covered the bodice with peacock neck feathers, using teardrop shaped millinery pads (about 4.5" X 5").  I laid them down starting from the center out, and pinned them in place.  I hand sewed the pads down, and used a few extra purchased feathers with glue to fill in any sparse spots.  I trimmed the extra from the edges, and hand sewed down the gimp trim along the edges.  Then I sewed the feathers onto the epaulette pieces, and stitched them onto the shoulder edges.  I marked where the wings should be attached.  I poked holes with an awl, and pulled through the elastic on the wing motor.  I tied them on, and the bodice/wings were done.  It will be spiral laced with a gauze ribbon, with a Renaissance bow and small pony bead at the top grommet to keep the lace from being pulled through.

I purchased flesh toned tights for underneath the skirt, and used a pair of panties as a pattern to make a pair of dance pants out of peacock colored cotton/spandex knit fabric.  I used some scrap fabric to cover a pair of Chinese flats with the embroidered mesh so that they match the skirt.  I sewed a peacock iridescent crystal to a ornate gold necklace that I purchased.

Michelle will have her hair freshly dyed black and her eyes will be made up with peacock colored (peacock blue, green and purple) eye makeup for the photographs.
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First weekend at the fair [Jun. 2nd, 2014|12:27 pm]
[mood |tiredtired]

I made it through the first fair weekend.  On Saturday, I dropped my birthing stool on the cement, and it SMASHED!  Oh NO!  I still have the first one I purchased, that had a loose back leg, so we will have it repaired for next weekend.  The herb pillows I passed out were a big hit with the new and expectant moms.  I'll be making more to pass out next weekend.  Everyone liked the "holy water" joke, and I found a way to introduce the Shahs Embroidered Pants poem as one I learned from my midwife mother when she traveled to Persia and saw the story "happen."  I was exhausted on Saturday night because I was up too late on Friday night.  Sunday was better because I got a full eight hours sleep on Saturday night.  I'm still a little sore because I'm not used to being on my feet so much, but as the Naprosen Sodium kicks in I'm feeling a little better.  There were big crowds each day, and next year it may even go to a third weekend.  Several NJRK friends came to the fair on Sunday.  

When Mike dropped out, I got a new "dance" partner for the Green grow the rushes song.  His character name is Rosencrantz Guildenstein.  He's a "Shakespearean" character.  On Saturday, he threw himself on the ground after the song ended (the last verse is done VERY fast).  On Sunday he did the same thing.  I looked down at him and exclaimed "Rosencrantz Guildenstein is DEAD!"  Then he moved and started to get up, and I said "Oh---Never mind!"  I don't think that many in the audience caught it, but several of my fellow cast members snickered.  (For those not theatrically informed, there was a play in the eighties about these two minor characters from the play Hamlet.  The name of the play is "Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are dead.")
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Other news and work done.... [May. 28th, 2014|05:01 pm]
[mood |sadsad]

I used the Italian Undergarments pattern to make a redwork chemise.  I purchased some fabric that had a red embroidered border on each side.  I cut out the rectangles so that the embroidery was on the edge of the neckline, and the top of the sleeves.  I used a strip of the embroidery on the end of the sleeves to finish them, and put some thin red trim on the seam for decoration.  I used a picot edge trim on the edge of the sleeves and neckline.  I finished that up and put it on the dress form with the red leather vest.  I will wear it with that and a pair of black poofy pants.

After we performed at Smithville, I misplaced my faux blackwork chemise.  So I will be debuting the redwork chemise at fair this year.  So I made a brimmed redwork coif to match the chemise and I will wear them together.  I'll get someone to take a picture of me wearing the new coif and chemise on Saturday when I wear them at fair for the first time.

Mike went into the hospital just before Mother's Day.  His defibrulator went off so we went to the ER.  Then he went into V-tach while we were in the ER.  They put him on a new medication, and replaced the leads and the AED.  We were given the old one, and next year we'll go to the Steampunk World's Fair and order a breast piece or shoulder piece with the AED built into it.  He came home after 8 days, and is slowly getting stronger.

We missed the Fairy-Con in Maryland, and the Ballet because he wasn't up to it.  And he's decided to drop out of fair.  He will come as a patron one day.
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Progress on projects [Mar. 12th, 2014|11:10 pm]
[mood |soresore]

I've deconstructed the mink stole for the epaulettes and sleeve trim on the Dwarf dress, and got the trim in from Calontir.  After looking at five trims from various vendors, I chose one that looks the closest to what is in the video.  I also got the belt in the mail today; I'll be replacing the belting with some gold leather.

Now that the storm has finally hit, my back is no longer killing me, like it did yesterday.  I guess I must have a touch of arthritis in my back--incoming storms make it really hurt now.
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Belated report from the NYC trip [Mar. 9th, 2014|05:47 pm]
[mood |artisticartistic]

We bought some peacock irridescent trim for Michelle's bodice, some blue zircon colored Swarovski crystals for the tiara, green and peacock tulle for the inner layers of the skirt, a crystal for her golden necklace, and some ribbon for the lacing.  We also got some Italian linen for the chemise body.

I found some gold jacquard ribbon trim that I was going to use for the Dwarf woman dress, but decided against it later.  It won't go to waste.  Heavily beaded, it would make a lovely crown.  I also finally found some bright teal wool.  It's not what I really wanted, it's a fine knit.  But it is exactly the right color, and with some flatlining I'll make it work.  And while we were looking for the crystal for the necklace, I found a necklace that is almost exactly like the necklace in the movie.  With some minor adjustment, it will match exactly.
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Long time between posts.... [Mar. 9th, 2014|04:53 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I finished the first few things for the Peacock Fairy costume for the Margo Anderson costume contest.  I put together the peacock wings using a mixture of peacock feather pads, and tail eye feathers.  I've attached them to the motor, and they will flap.  I'm changing the bodice opening to the side backs so I can attach the wings to the center back permanently.  I've also finished preparing the feather pads for the epaulettes.  I had purchased a gold toned tiara with clear rhinestones.  I've replaced the clear rhinestones with Swarovski crystals in blue zircon color, which is as close to peacock blue as you can get in Swarovski.  I've made a "topknot" of peacock crest feathers and used a folded circle of gold leather as its base.  The topknot of crest feathers was then epoxied to the tiara to make the headpiece.

The bodice has been cut out in the white denim and fitted.  I've attached the casings for the boning, and next I'll cut out two layers of the peacock silk charmeuse for the outer layer and lining.  I also have to pull out the epaulette pattern pieces and skirt pieces for making the rest of the fairy outfit.  I will be using the Italian chemise pattern with linen for the body, and the embroidered mesh for the sleeves.  I'll use some of the scalloped selvages of the mesh as a trim around the neckline, and use the scalloped selvages as the ends of the sleeves.

I've gotten the teal wool for the Dwarf woman dress.  The fur stole that I'll be using for the epaulettes and the ends of the sleeves has arrived.  I've looked at the movie several times, and searched online, but I still can't find exactly the same jacquard trim for the bodice of the dress.  So I've ordered several different trims online, and I'll try each against the rest of the dress and see which one looks best.  I was able to find a belt buckle that is almost exactly like the one on the dress.  I'll make the belt out of some of my gold leather.  I'm still waiting for the orange silk for the petticoat.  I'll probably have enough Italian linen left over from Michelle's chemise body to make myself a short chemise for this outfit.  Looking at the lines of the usual Dwarvish dress, I'll probably make a corded bodice because their bodices do show smooth curves.  It will also be more comfortable that way.

I've also gotten the redwork fabric that I need to make the chemise I'll need for my red riding vest.  That is also coming along, with the pattern planning done.  Then I can make the black poofy pants to go with it.  Mike is giving my his fedora hat to wear with it--I only need to make/purchase a black and red feathered hat pin to tie it all together to make a traveler's outfit.
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Finally got started. [Feb. 21st, 2014|02:08 am]
[mood |busybusy]

I sewed the muslin for Michelle's peacock fairy dress this week.  I tried it on her on Wednesday, and made a few adjustments.  We will be going into NYC tomorrow to purchase the last few thing that we need for it.  I'll also try the adjusted muslin for the bodice on her tomorrow before we go.  I need to get trim, several layers of tulle in different colors for the underskirts, and some more feather pads to cover the bodice.

I also need to make new pairs of poofy pants for Wicked Fair.  A black pair for the pirate outfit, and a green pair for my elven outfit.  We're going to a Thai restaurant on Saturday to meet with some of our friends.  What a surprise it will be when we show up as pirates!

We  met with the TIAACref representative today to set up my retirement pension.  So I only have to do one more meeting with the HR people to get the insurance and health care details taken care of.  I will officially be retired on March 1.  Then I'll start getting Social Security late in March, and my pension as of April 1.  I just have to print out and fill in some forms and mail them this weekend.  We'll print them at Kinkos.

I'll post when I get back from NYC tomorrow.
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