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Archive for the 'Costume' Category


Fit For a Fairy Princess… Or a Pirate One

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
By Twistie

I vividly remember Christmas day when I was nine. My great aunt gave me a fabulous salmon pink evening gown from the fifties with acres of rainbow tulle petticoats attached. Once I got it on, I never wanted to take it off again.

Sometimes a girl just needs a tutu more than she can possibly say.

I got that same giddy feeling of delight when I looked at the works of Etsy artist SewLovedBoutique. Just look at this adorable fairy princess costume! The wings aren’t actually included, but chances are the small child in your life will adore it as much as I do, wings or no. Oh, and it’s on sale! Regularly priced at $60.00, it’s marked down to $54.00 right now.

Contact the artist to learn about a custom tutu for your favorite baby, toddler, or child for this Halloween… but you’d better hurry. The witching hour is almost here!


I Wouldn’t Do It To a Dog

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
By Twistie

That poor pooch!

Okay, I’m going to come right out and say this: I really, really dislike the practice of dressing up pets. I find it undignified. That’s my personal opinion, and I’m sticking by it. Your mileage may vary, and we won’t have a problem about that as long as you aren’t coming over to dress my cat up… not that you’d find him if you tried that. He’d be hiding and I would aid him in any way I could.

But even if you’re into dressing up the critturs in your life, would you really inflict this ‘Yoda’ costume on your pup? I wouldn’t. In fact, the expression on this poor, forlorn canine really sums up my feelings on the subject.

On the other hand, I have to admit I could see a use for the crocheted light saber rattles. Same artist, much cooler result. In fact, I have some terribly pro-creative friends who are huge Star Wars nerds, too. If they present the world with another tiny one, I know what to give as a baby present!


Bygone Beauty Today

Friday, June 10th, 2011
By Twistie

This collar, cuff, and chemisette set dates from 1895, but you can make it according to the original instructions today.

In fact, if you want to create an historically accurate outfit from corset to cloak, bonnet to boots, then you should head over to Ageless Patterns right now.

After decades of professional costume work, the creator of Ageless Patterns found herself frustrated with the lack of historical patterns to work from, particularly for men, and began collecting all she could. Now she reproduces the patterns on an engineering copier for accuracy, adds a seam allowance, but otherwise leaves the original as it is, instructions and all.

That means these are not for beginners, but if you have some experience you can figure out the arcane language and sometimes less than explicit directions.

Whether you’re looking for a camp dress for Civil War re-enactment, an Edwardian wedding gown, a fabulous frivolous hat, or a corset only your significant other will see just for fun, this is a great place to go. You can even find patterns for purses, pillows, slippers, and trims.

Heck, if you’ve ever dreamed of crocheting up a pair of underdrawers for a little boy, Ageless Patterns has you covered there, too!

Ageless Patterns also carries several other select lines of historical/ethnic patterns, including: Past Patterns, Folkwear, Patterns of History, Decades of Style, and Buckaroo Bobbins.

So if you have an historical costume in mind, whether for a woman, man, boy, or girl… or even a doll, Ageless Patterns is a great place to start – and quite possibly end – your search.


Tiptoe Wearing Tulips

Monday, May 16th, 2011
By Twistie

No, that’s not a costume from an avant garde production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s the handiwork of environmental artist Nicole Dextras. The title is Camellia Countess. It’s composed of: camellia flowers, lilac flowers, yucca leaves, laurel leaves, willow branches, and thorns. The thorns are how the piece is held together. No thread here!

Dextras makes her wearable art from the plants she finds in her own garden, as well as donations from others. She then photographs the pieces, some on models, some not, and then leaves them in the great outdoors to return to the soil.

(more…)


Pretty in Paper

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
By Twistie

The painting in the picture above is by Van Dyck. The costumes in the foreground are by Isabelle de Borchgrave. She has done a meticulous recreation of the outfits in the painting… and she’s done them out of paper.

de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but her passion is for textiles. Working with a group of talented costume historians and fashion designers, she has made a line of paper costumes based on famous paintings and designer masterpieces ranging from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. And if you have the good fortune to be in the San Francisco area, you can go see them at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in her show Pulp Fashion.

Tickets are $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for seniors (65+), $11.00 for youths 6 – 17 and college students with ID, and free for kids under 6.

But hurry! The show will be over on June 5!


Fat Tuesday and Fine Footwear

Monday, February 28th, 2011
By Twistie

As some of you may be aware, Mardi Gras is one week from tomorrow. In honor of the occasion, reader Margot Silk Forest and her partner in crime, Destiny Carter of the Glitter Sweatshop, have created these rather fabulous boots as part of the San Luis Obispo Arts Organization’s Mardi Gras fundraser, Walk on the Wild Side. I think these definitely fulfill that promise and more!

If you want to see how it was done, just click through here to go to their page about it.

Fabulous, ladies!

Oh, and if you want instructions to make a King cake to go with those shoes or don’t know where to get beads, just check out this site.


Getting Ready for Renaissance Faire

Thursday, February 24th, 2011
By Twistie

I have a great fondness for Renaissance Faire. For one thing, it’s where I met Mr. Twistie. It’s where I first discovered the Reduced Shakespeare Company (one of the founders of which was someone I knew but was not in close contact with) when their act consisted of their two-man Romeo and Juliet.  It’s a place to dress up and  do some play acting. I even spent a summer demonstrating bobbin lace for the masses at a Renaissance Faire. Good times, good times.

I’ve been to a lot of Renaissance Faires over the years, but there’s one thing that I’ve found consistently to be true: it’s a lot more fun if you go in period garb. People assume you’re a part of the show, and the odd vendor has been known to give me a worker’s discount without asking if I’d earned it. Mind you, when asked I always told the truth… but if they just assumed, well, I usually didn’t bother to disabuse them. After all, I didn’t want them to have to rework their calculations.

Anyway.

If you decide to go in garb, there’s no point in doing it halfway or just plain all wrong (like the gentleman who used to show up every year dressed as Abraham Lincoln, for reasons passing understanding). That means you’ll need to do some research.

Darlings, have I got a source of sources for you! Hie thee hence to The Costumer’s Manifesto and check out their page of Renaissance resources. Here you’ll find articles about various styles and forms of clothing worn in the sixteenth century, dye recipes, blackwork embroidery patterns, sources of patterns and of finished garb. You can even find links to period recipes, in case you want to make sure your party dines in accurate Elizabethan style.

Remember, if you’re going to make a new costume for Faire, chances are you’ll need to start soon! Good garb takes time.












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