Friday, October 31, 2008

The Great Costuming Experiement

Trust me, this really isn't a Halloween post. Especially since we don't actually celebrate Halloween in our home. However, the kids had a hey day yesterday, suggesting that I stay in this crazy get-up and hand out candy in my new "mummy" get-up.

That would be somewhat problematic, since I couldn't sit down or use the bathroom in this get up.

No, this was actually a grand experiment to see if I could make my own "Not-So-Mini-Me" duct tape dressmakers dummy.

One of the handicaps I've labored under for years is the lack of a dressmakers dummy to use in my costume construction endeavors. Being a short, full-figured gal, traditional patterns never fit properly without extensive redrafting. And with the publication of the cast list and knowledge that I'd soon be making Early Victorian costumes for myself, I decided that this obstacles had to be addressed and remedied, if I was to have any success designing and constructing a Lorraine Original Victorian Masterpiece.

Hence, in the early morning hours yesterday, I began to wrap myself in white duct tape. It was not long before I realized that this was not a solo job and I enlisted the help of Hockeyman and Bubba to help mummify me. After a couple hours, we were finally able to remove the full body wrapping and I now have a partially completed dummy in my basement. Once I pick up a little more batting (I completely underestimated how much stuffing NSMM actually hold - guess a diet isn't such a bad idea) and find a way to mount NSMM on a stand, I will actually be able to do some draping and fitting.

That is, I hope . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life will never be the same . . .

Well, it is official . . . there is now a teen driver in the house. Hockeyman just took and passed his test and now has a learner's permit.

Gah! I'm just not old enough to have a teenager with a permit.

And to add to the maternal distress around here, my "baby" turned 8 this week. Somehow, the idea that my little Snicklefritz (also known as Peeps) is now in second grade and growing up WAAAAYYY too fast hit me a bit hard this week. It would not be an understatement to say that I've spent a significant amount of time this week feeling a bit farklempt.

In brighter news, the beaded wristlets are done and blocking as I type. I knit these from black sock yarn I had in my stash, on size 0 needles. The pattern was from the February 1988 McCall's Needlework & Crafts magazine.

I've also designed and am knitting a coordinating drawstring bag. I'm leaving the beads off but plan to line it with a bright satin fabric, so that the color will be revealed through the lace pattern. I'm very excited about the bag but you'll have to wait until it's finished and blocking before I'll photograph it.

I can never get the details to show up when I photograph black yarn. I hope you can get an idea how cute these really are without a stunning photo.

Otherwise, you'll just have to come to the show and look at them in person during the meet & greet after the performance.

Yes, that was a blatant plug for the show. Go to cvft dotorg for ticket info.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Christmas Carol Costumes Part 1

Because of bad timing, I was not able to use my four day weekend last week for sewing costumes. CVFT's intrepid costumer had not had her meeting with the production staff and, thus, could not provide me with details for period, color or social standing for any of my family's characters.

Not one to be put off, though, I did take some time to research and search for Victorian accessories. Fortunately, I have an extensive library of old McCall's Needlework and Crafts magazines for the 80's and early 90's. It was my favorite craft magazine of all time and I literally wept when they ceased publication. I treasure my collection and enjoyed my weekend skimming through them to find the perfect accessories for my costume.

As a result, I found a pattern for and was able to make the pictured snood over the weekend. Here it is, blocked in all its lacy glory. I am in the process of threading the elastic through the double crocheted border. Once I get my hair piece put together, I'll hopefully be able to provide a in situ snapshot.

In the meantime, I'm deep in the process of making beaded, knitted mitts. Stay tuned for more from Costume Central.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hey, Teach revealed

As promised, here is a photo of Hey, Teach! in all it's wearable glory. I found some simple teal buttons to finish it off and wore it all day Monday.

I have to say this is my new favorite sweater. Having short sleeves, it is a little less warm than Samus, my other favorite sweater. It is going to be ideal for this in between fall weather.

(Edited to add: Guinifer, I used the Rowan Yorkshire Tweed I bought at Knit Wits when they were closing)

For those who are keeping track of my dramatic pursuits, the cast list for A Christmas Carol - The Broadway Musical is out and all the ladies here at Chez Dramatique were cast. I am a chorus member and will appear in numerous scenes. The two little girls are both in the Angel Chorus and the "Christmas Show" audience. And Dancing Diva was cast as a tap-dancing soldier. Needless to say, we're all thrilled and excited to get started on yet another wonderful CVFT show.

Stay tuned for costuming updates.

Friday, October 10, 2008

FO Friday

It just goes to show that occasionally I can make a deadline, even a self-imposed one.

I just finished the ribbing on Hey, Teach this morning and just need to go shopping for some special buttons to make this cute little number even more delightful. I have to say that I managed to get this sweater to fit like a dream. But not without some thought.

I knew I needed to add additional length to the upper bodice of the sweater, considering my rather ample bustline would require a few extra inches to make the empire waist shaping actually sit where it should sit. This made it necessary to lengthen the lower half as well, to keep the proportion between the two halves correct. I added an extra inch to the sleeve length as well, just to make sure it hit my arm in the right spot.

All in all, it turned out so lovely, I can't wait to add the buttons and wear it. Alas, I have to work all weekend long at the ice cream shop, so the trip for new buttons will have to wait a few days. Thus, you all will have to wait for a shot of it on moi for a few more days as well.

I hope you can stand the strain of waiting . . .

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

An FO (sort of)

Well, Quilters closed on Sunday after a very successful run. I brought home all the costumes and managed to get everything cleaned on Monday and will return the costumes to the storage facilities on Wednesday.

Not that we're going to have a moment to breathe around here, though. Auditions started last night for the CVFT production of A Christmas Carol - The Broadway Musical. Once the cast is set, I'll be back on costume duty as I go back to just being a helper to the regular costumer.

Due to an unforeseen complication, I never did get out front to photograph the costumes. Because of my natural tendency to step in where ever help might be needed, I ended up working back stage. While I didn't think much of it at the time, I actually ended up being listed in the program as "Assistant Stage Manager" and was given a (gasp) head set.

I guess in theater circles, being given a head set is a high honor, reserved only for those intrepid souls who are willing to work behind the scenes for years, without fanfare or kudos, before being rewarded with the ultimate sign of trustworthiness - the illustrious head set.

Trust me, I am not mocking the vaunted traditions of theater but I was completely kerflummoxed when people started explaining what an honor I'd been accorded. Frankly, I was just available in a crunch and came by the head set by default. However, once I realized the enormity of the position, I rose to the challenge and did my utmost to live up to the noble auspices of the head set.

That being said, I was only able to photograph costumes from the wings. Most of the shots were too poorly lit or at bad angles, so these two will have to suffice to show the blogging world I was indeed busy costuming (and assistant stage managing) over the past weeks, instead of maintaining any sort of regular blogging schedule.

In knitting news, the sweater I started recently is progressing nicely. I chose Hey Teach from as the pattern and am using the green tweed yarn I picked up on clearance this summer. I've finished the back and both fronts and have started both sleeves. Since the pattern has very short sleeves, I'm still hoping to finish knitting it this week - before the cast list for A Christmas Carol comes out and the whole costume whirlwind starts again.

While I remain optimistic, I don't suggest anyone hold their breath because you know my history of wishful thinking.