Posts tagged MNSOC
by, Erin Schneider
You might have noticed us advertising lately for a little event we call “A Steampunk Christmas Carol, Fezziwig’s Party.” The whole point of hosting a costumed event is to give our fellow costumers a venue to showcase their hard work. And as costumers, we know better than to attend said costumed event in our civies (mundanes, norms, whatever you call your work-a-day clothes).
However, the pressure of MUST HAVE SHINIEST COSTUME IN THE ROOM OR EPIC FAIL can prevent us from the other important part of costuming – having a fabulous time with our fellow costuming peeps. So when I hear, “I can’t go to Fezziwigs, because I don’t have a costume, and I don’t have the time or money to make one,” I get sad.
And then? I get creative. Who says you have to sew proper Victorian garb from scratch? Who says you even have to sew? You can create a festive Fezziwig ensemble from items you find at your local thrift store. Don’t believe me? Check this out:
I call that Steampunk Lolita Schoolgirl, aka, Stuff I Bought At Saver’s The Week Before ConVergence So I’d Have A Comfy Costume To Wear Opening Night. I revamped the same costume for our Steampunk Sale of the Centuries sale last Saturday, and people seemed to like it. I think it’s the stompy boots. Everyone loves a good pair of stompy boots.
You can thrift a fabulous outfit, whether you’re male or female. Here are a few key pieces to look for:
a. Vests – the dressy kind, NOT the poufy cold-weather kind. Every vest I own (and I own several) have been purchased from a thrift store. Look for men or women’s vests, and if you can’t find them, ask the staff. Menfolk should definitely try ARC Value Village – not all their dress vests sold during Halloween, trust me.
b. Dress shirts – men should look for a collar-less top, women should look for as many ruffles as they can stand. Be sure to ask the staff if they have any ruffled shirts leftover from Halloween. And men – if you have a collared shirt, you CAN remove the collar with a seam-ripper. Then, just stich the open seam shut, and you are set. (NOTE – I recommend black, white, cream, brown, pinstripes, and denim. Try to avoid overly modern patterns or neon colors.)
c. LONG skirts or FULL skirts… or both! Ladies, consider layering two skirts, and ruche up the outer skirt to show off the underskirt. This works best if your underskirt is lacey and petticoat-esque.
d. Dress pants – this works for men OR women. If you have knee-high, basic boots (not uber-Ren-Fest-y or spike-heeled), tuck the pants into the boots. Or, if you feel like sewing, make pants out of pants! I do this a LOT. Cut the pants to knee-length, cut a cuff out of the bottom of each discarded pant leg, pleat the bottom of the pants to the cuff, and blamo! Instant knickers, see?
(NOTE – once again, I recommend “olde time” looking pants. Stripes are FABULOUS for knickers.)
e. Oxford shoes. If you aren’t going the knee-high or granny boot route (both look very appropriate IMHO), try an oxford. RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE, Payless has a women’s heeled, oxford shoe for $24.99. They are cute, comfy, and I own a pair. You may see them at the party…
Once you have the basic outfit, go crazy with accessories. Top hats, bowlers, tiny top hats, pocket watches, modded-out Nerf guns, keys, gears, goggles, gloves, etc. For inspiration, check out the Live Journal Steampunk Fashion community – http://steamfashion.livejournal.com/.
Here are a couple hat resources, to help you out:
a. http://uniformalwearhouse.com/apages/tuxedoahats.html Uniformal Wearhouse
b. http://hatsupply.com/ Hats by Leko
c. Try Claire’s boutique, or other teeny bopper mall stores. They often have tiny top hats you can dress up to make more Steampunk. And Hobby Lobby carries naked tiny top hats in the doll-making section.
Okay! So I got rid of that excuse! Now go buy your ticket, and I’ll see you all December 8th in Stillwater.
by, Chelsey Barnes
As it turns out, not “absolutely nothing”.
I’ll say it again, y’all.
We MNSoCers may go above and well beyond your average Halloween costume (and, in fact, do so multiple times over the course of the year), but that doesn’t mean costume stores or the costume sections of your local craft store don’t have their place. Here are some great things you can find, especially if you go right before or right after Halloween when they are at deep discounts.
While most of the costume store shoes veer into “overly sexy” territory (as do most of their women’s costumes), sometimes they are just the right place to find that off-the-wall shoe you’ve been dreaming of. Maybe you need a pirate boot…
Or maybe you want to be a fashion-conscious zombie…
TIGHTS AND GLOVES:
These can be great, even if you aren’t planning on using them for a costume, and most stores have a huge selection that span all genres.
MAKEUP, WIGS, AND ACCESSORIES:
Need a scar, messed up teeth, glasses or hot pink hair for a night? Costume stores have you covered.
DAY OF WRONG:
Day of Wrong is… wrong. And you can have a field day in a costume store for silly little props. Get your wings, Ms. Piggy nose, and toy guns along with anything else you might need in one-stop shopping.
by Steve Schultz and Laura Ulak
Before last season’s Renaissance Festival, Steve came to me with a photo and a plan. He had found a photo of the Sheriff of MNRF and liked the style of the outfit he was wearing. I instantly knew which pattern he would need, as I had made a similar outfit years ago.
The style was a very traditional Henry VIII outfit:
The pattern was by Period Patterns, and is the Early Tudor Men’s Garments pattern, View IV, which you can find here. (A note about Period Patterns – the instructions can be confusing, and there are TONS of photos of portraits and such that are included with the pattern that confuse you even more. I would advise reading the instructions over several times before starting to cut out the garment.)
Steve wanted to do his own twist on the outfit and to incorporate leather (since he has a lot of experience sewing leather) and so we went through the process of making the outfit. I made a muslin and fitted it to him, and he took the muslin home, cut it out, and sewed the pieces. We had several meeting dates where he would put together various bits and pieces of the garment, and then we would meet to discuss fit, construction, etc. Occasionally I would cut out pieces or check the construction on something, but it was very much a “Teach One, Learn One” experience. I would demonstrate something, or do one side of something, and Steve would take the pieces home and work on the rest himself.
He also took apart pieces of jewelry that he found at various thrift stores and with the addition of other pieces he picked up at Joann Fabrics and Michael’s, he created a chain of office that was stunning:
The outfit Steve had picked was not necessarily complicated in terms of construction, but there were a lot of pieces and a lot of trim work, and some of the pieces were very large and unwieldy. Often people look at patterns and think “Oh, I can’t do THAT!” However, if the steps are broken down and only a bit is tackled at a time, people find out they are capable of much more than they think they are. And while initially it looked like I would be making most of the garment, in the end it was Steve who did the vast majority of the work himself, because he was able to break it down into manageable parts.
The final outfit was fantastic. It was well constructed, visually appealing, and had a big dose of Steve’s personality in it, which is something that helps to make an outfit successful. You don’t want the costume to wear you – you want to wear the costume and have it represent who you are.
The lesson here is to not be afraid of something just because it appears difficult or you have never made anything similar before. Steve was willing to take the leap, and the result was amazing:
Steve’s comments on the outfit and what MNSOC means to him: ”I am most proud of what I have learned from you about costuming and the enjoyment from expanding my knowledge with each and every new one I try to create… This is what MNSoC means to me and what I believe it has to offer everyone first and foremost – no matter who you are. That is why I have wanted to be a part of it, to share and learn.”
Please share in the comments what YOU have learned from MNSOC and it’s community of costumers.
by Chelsey Barnes
What’s a girl to do when she’s purchased this pattern, and promptly lost it? To the interwebs!
Rather than completely tear my house apart, I found a link to a pretty darn easy ghawazee online. A ghawazee is really quite simple to make, especially if you take certain steps to make it easier. Because what’s my favorite kind of costuming? DONE! I used knits for my ghawazees, but almost any lighter weight fabric can work. Gauze, sari, crushed panne, chiffon… I enjoyed the knit because it provided an easily form-fitting garment without a ton of tailoring. I also made mine without sleeves because I wanted belly coverage, but also something cooler to wear in 90º heat.
The instructions I followed were put together by a wonderful woman named Durrah. I asked her if I could share her pattern with the masses, and she gave me her blessing. You can check it out here. While you’re at it, you can check out her other great belly dance patterns, all available for free.
The end results?
The black one could stand to be taken in a little, but that’s a good problem to have, I suppose. Here’s what I did to mine that isn’t necessarily part of the instructions:
- I made a muslin out of knit fabric, and I’m glad I did. Making a “muslin” out of the same type of fabric you’ll be working with is essential to getting a good idea of fit. I probably would have been fine with a muslin muslin, but the knit made life easier. This is what the clearance aisle is made for, my friends.
- There are no ties or buttons on the front. I did the black gauze one first and was at a loss for how to close it since it was so lightweight. Then I remembered it’s a knit and can stretch. I sewed the front closed and called it a day. I will eventually make that seam a little longer so it goes under the hip scarves and doesn’t leave an awkward gap.
- The black one’s edges are finished with a rolled hem on my serger. The pink/blue/white is a combination of rolled hems below the waist and fold-over elastic above the waist. Love me that fold-over elastic.
There you have it. Who says we need to rely on the major pattern makers?
by, Chelsey Barnes
You may remember that I have trouble with costume hair. And I’m no where near as savvy an “accessorist” as Erin (Posts 1 and 2). But I do have a fond love for hair accessories. Especially beautiful, unique hair accessories. And that’s exactly what you get with ArtisticEdition.
We have a special discount for paid members of the Minnesota Society of Costumers (MNSOC) for the month of September: 10% off your purchase at Via’s Vintage in Minneapolis.
Via’s Vintage specializes in vintage clothing from 1800-1980s for women and all decades for men (generally smaller sizes). They carry vintage and reproduction clothing and lingerie and have a huge selection of hats, purses, gloves, shoes and jewelry. They also purchase vintage items, so give them a call to schedule an appointment if you have items to sell. Clothing is on racks by waist size and easy to find. Kellie and the cheerful folks at Via’s are happy to help you find something that will work for you!
Examples of items at Via’s that you could use for costuming:
Discount is good for the month of September and is ONLY available to paid MNSOC members. You MUST show your membership card when paying for your item. Some of Via’s stock is available online as well, but discount can only be done in person, at the shop.
Location: 2408 Hennepin Ave. So., Minneapolis, MN 55405
Hours: Mon-Sat. 11-7, Sun 12-5
REMEMBER: Being a paid MNSOC member has its privileges!