This blog is to document my final year through university and to reflect on the challenges and obstacles I have to overcome to complete my final three costumes: 18th century men's soldier, carnival costume and the wedding dress from pirates of the Caribbean that was started before Christmas.
In third year you are required to make one design, one illustration and one historical accurate costume.
Lafayette is my historically accurate; I choose Lafayette as the costume is so different from anything I have done before . I am very excited to partake in recreating 18th century tailoring, specifically in the tailcoat.
Today was the fitting for the Lafayette toile I was extremely pleased with the shape of the jacket as I felt that the overall shape mirrored that of the painting excluding a couple of alterations such as the height of the collar and curving of the front line. The jacket did need fitting to the model and I found it interesting how the fit could be altered by altering the back seams as there was no side seams. Due to how much needed to be taken out of the back seam the seam had to be ripped and a new line created; although I will wait until transferring the pattern to paper to re-place the vents.
The waist coast again had a great shape which I was pleased with although the lapels were far to large and in order to reduce the size I had to reduce the size of the double breasting slightly.
Although the breeches didn't fit very well at all as the legs were to long but the line between the crotch and the waist was far to small. Therefore numerous need to be made to the pattern. I have re looked at the pattern which I scaled up in order to create this toile and I feel as though I have created a adequate representation of the pattern and am unsure why the toile doesn't fit. All I can assume is that my model merely has different proportions to that of the pattern.
For my Illustration I have chosen to recreate the wedding dress from Pirates of the Caribbean. This is the jacket and for the past week I have been struggling to fit the sleeve as it appeared to big for the jacket. After much pinning, tacking and untacking I discovered that previously I had added 2 " to the sleeve at the centre seam and therefore if I could remove the 2 " by tapering the sleeve in at the underarm by 1" either edge the sleeve would fit. I tried this and although still slightly big the slit sleeve did fit better. So finally I asked my model to try the jacket on so that I could see why the sleeve wasn't fitting and what I found was the jacket armhole was slightly tight on the underarm and therefore by releasing the tension by cutting into the underarm slightly the sleeve fits. I found when pinning the sleeve on the fit was perfect and now the sleeves are all fitted.
For my design project I have chosen to create a samba that follows a native south American folktale of The Wings of a Butterfly. The costumes will have carnival themes running through them as well as traditional south American costume.
After struggling for quite some time trying to figure out how to create the structure of the wings I have found an article on the Huffington posts as well as one on the Telegraph that depicts the creation of Victoria Secret wings. After reading these I feel as though I understand the working of these wings and am semi - confident that I recreate the base structure of the wings.
With the photo shoot only two weeks away it has become apparent that the only way in which my POTC wedding dress will be finished in time will be finished in time for the photo shoot is if I focus the next two weeks solely on this costume.
In order to get an idea of how much left I had to do I compiled a list:
- Line Jacket
- Face Jacket
- Face Sleeves
- Add lace Cuff to sleeve
- Add gathered fabric cuff to sleeve
- Embroider flowers for stomacher
- Attach flowers to stomacher
- Bind Stomacher
- Attach beads and lace to Stomacher
- Attach waist band to skirt
- Attach D rings to over-skirt
- Construct trim
- Attach trim to jacket
- Attach trim to Skirt
- Hem veiling
- Attach veiling to headpiece
With a massive list to finish within two weeks I am feeling very nervous as well as anxious to how I will work when I have to focus on one costume solely for 2 weeks as I find I work better when I am working on multiple projects at once.
For today I am going to attempt to line the peplum of the jacket as well as face the entire jacket.
I have spent the entire day lining the jacket and soon after starting I realised that the Pattern I have for the peplum is the original pattern rather then the adapted version that was created after the fittings. After spending half my day looking for the new pattern I gave up and decided to create a new pattern from the physical peplum.
This was a lot harder than expected as because of the pleats the paper wouldn't bend in the way that it needed to. So I decided to cut out the original patterns in my lining fabric as I knew that the adapted ones where smaller than the original and use those as a base.
Once cut out I pinned them to the peplum along the top and one panel at ta time I worked out where the seam needed to go. After this I sewed all the pieces together tacked the lining to the bottom of the peplum so that I could later face the bottom.
Then to neaten I cut down the seam allowances at the top of the peplum and folded the top lining over the rough edge of the jacket and slip stitched closed. I was considering adding a strip of bias fabric to cover the seam but I feel as though this would just add unnecessary bulk.
As yesterday I didn't get to even start facing I thought I would tackle this today and all going well I hope to finish facing the sleeves as well.
Facing the jacket went surprisingly smoothly it was quite a tedious task due to the amount width of the jacket caused by the pleating but quite sitting in front of the T.V. hand sewing. Surprisingly I also managed to hem the sleeves as well.
Due to the fact that the lace still hasn't arrived for the jacket cuffs I have decided to move onto the stomacher previously I beaded the stomacher but when I placed it up next to the costume I discovered that it didn't work and the beads caused the stomacher to look as though they were from a separate gown. Therefore I unpicked all the beads and decided that stitched flowers in satin thread would look more appropriate.
Due to time constraints I decided that it would be logical to have the flowers sewn by the embroidery machine and then i would hand stitch the groups of flowers on.
So I designed a floral pattern based on that from the close up of the jacket.
With this being the first time I have used the embroidery machine I did struggle slightly and spent a good couple of hours attempting to get the computer to recognise my image.
Then once it was recognised I decided to do a sample to make sure I had done everything correctly. But once the sample was complete I found that the machine sewed it the easiest way possible and therefore the flowers weren't separate and the design just looked like a bunch of lines.
Feeling defeated I went home for the day as I stared work in 2 hours anyway.
Over the weekend I didn't accomplish much as I was working for the majority of it. But before work I though I would walk up to the one of the locations of the photo shoot so that I could decide where I wanted my wedding dress and toga photographed.
I though the clock tower would be perfect for the wedding dress as it looks over the sea and would be beautiful especially if it was a sunny day.
I though these columns would be perfect for the togas especially with the vines growing in the background.
In regards to the wedding dress I finally found a company that sold double edged lace and velvet ribbon in an off white colour by the roll ( 15 m) and would arrive in time for the photoshoot. In hindsight I feel as though I should of been more organised and order this weeks ago and it would minimise the amount of stress.
The lace has finally arrived and therefore I can attach the lace cuffs. After researching I found that historically they would of been separate therefore it would allow the wearer the mix and match with numerous garments. Although because this isn't a historical recreation I have decided to open up the sleeve facing and insert the cuff into it and then slip stitch the sleeve closed. This ended up working really well as it let the cuff fall around the arm well.
I then bagged out the embroidered cuff and gathered it and then attached this over the top of the lace with relative ease and over all I quite pleased with the effect of the white lace against the champagne fabric which I wasn't sure if was going to be to harsh to begin with.
Overall I feel as though I have had a very productive day. And after contemplating with it over the weekend I have decided to create the flowers singularly with the embroidery machine and then slip stitch the flowers on top of each other.
It turned out to be a lot easier to input a singly flower into the computer than the bunch. To make the process quicker I copied and pasted the flower to form a grid of 20 flowers which I would then cut out.
Through the day I created what felt like a production line as while the embroidery machine sewed the flowers I would cut them out.
By the end of the day I had cut out 200 flowers and have sewed the first bunch down I am really impressed with the effect its created and will hopefully finish sewing all the flowers down by the end of tomorrow
Day of the Photo shoot
I have spent a painful 9 hours sewing all the flowers onto the stomacher and have decided in the future I will do the embroidery before inserting the bones as it makes hand sewing an awful lot harder.
Although I am very pleased with the effect the flowers have created.
The lace and velvet arrived today and so I thought I would spend the day creating the trim. I decided to make the trim instead of buying it as I felt that I couldn't find anything similar.
I spent the entire day sewing velvet ribbon onto double edged lace with metallic thread and due to the difficult nature of the metallic thread I only got 5 metres done.
When I got home and placed it against the jacket the lace looked to flat and didn't compliment the jacket at all. Therefore I feel that the lace needs to be gathered in order to create a pleasing aesthetic.
Today I decided I would make all the trim that I had. Due to the fact that I want the lace to be gathered I'm going to have to order another 15m of lace and hope that it gets hear on time.
I also found a gold thread that was made out of polyester and therefore I thought I would try it as sewing with the metallic thread was so time consuming.
To create the gathers I thread the ribbon through the lace and then pulled the lace so that the lace gathered.
I really though this was a really effective technique although found that I had to go over the edge of the ribbon twice to get a thick enough zig zag. By using the polyester thread I managed to make as much trim as I could with what I had left.
Over the weekend again I had work so I did't get that much done but I managed to complete all the little odd jobs.
I bound the stomacher with bias binding and was really impressed with the finished result once bound. Overall I'm glad I went back and took out the beads as I feel that these could technique could work really well.
I attached the waistband to the skirts although this was a slight challenge that I though would take half an hour but actually took 2 hours. As due to the thickness of the layers I had to stab stitch the binding on as the skirts wouldn't fit under the machine and then slip stitch both sides down with double thread for extra security. I also used double thickness interfacing as I didn't wan't the waistband to cave in on itself due to the weight of the skirts.
I also attached 4 D rings up each of the over skirt and tied them together with a ribbon in order to create the polonaise effect.
Today I wanted to finish the veiling al that needed doing was to hem the veil and attach it to the headdress. I found it really difficult to hem the veiling as the fabric kept getting stuck in the machine and snagging it so i spent most of the day trying to neatly hem the veil and am very pleased with the the final result.
I also attached the veiling to the headdress and found and when I tried on the headdress I loved the effect it created and I feel as though once added to the to the dress it will look beautiful.
I then spent the rest of the day making the trim as the ribbon and lace had arrived.
Today I attached the beads to the top of the stomacher as well as the lace and then all that needed to be done was to attach all the trim a job I was not looking forward to.
After 8 hours of hand sewing the trim onto the jacket I did give up. It was 2 in the mourning day of the photo shoot and I knew it wouldn't be done in time so I went to bed for two hours get up at 4 and started pinning the trim onto all the skirts and thankfully due to the velvet ribbon you couldn't see the pins and I felt the costume could still be part of the photo shoot.
This was my first photo shoot that I've been a part of and therefore I was very excited and nervous to see what it was like as the past two photo I have heard it has been very hectic and un-organised. Therefore to try and combat this we have made a running schedule for the three location of the photo shoot. So hopefully today should run smoothly.
I made sure to arrive at uni for 7 am to make sure that I had time to press my toga as due to the size I assumed it would take at least an hour to press. I managed to get everything ready for 8 and got my morning dress's models hair ready before her model showed up at which point she had to prepare her model for the shoot.
Before leaving for the first location I managed to get my model dressed into the underwear and would finish the rest once at St Mary's church. While waiting for her costume to be photographed I finished her makeup and managed to get her fully dressed into her jacket and skirts.The fit was good although slightly too short so for the pictures she would have to have a slight bend in the knee. Once her turn came for her model to be photographed I had to help out her the placing of her costume as she couldn't bend over in my costume.
The weather today was bright sunshine and although this will be perfect for my wedding dress and toga it is not ideal for the morning dress so we had to find places around the church which had a slight shadow and when looking at the picture on Polly' s camera I feel the church worked really well for this costume.
Once getting back to college we had 30 minutes to get the next models ready for toga photo shoot the togas only took about 10 minutes to put on we had a little brake to grab a drink in-between.
Once at the clock tower we decide to take a couple as group shots which were my favourite and with the toga being my least favourite costume of all that I have been seeing it next the columns really made me like it again.
Mine is the red one as feel as though the photos will be really successful
We then went back to college to get the last models ready. As I had not yet added the hook and bars I had to pin the stomacher to her which due to the bones was very difficult. I also found the over-skirt gathers didn't hold so I had pin those in place as well. I am still not pleased with the stomacher as I feel it sticks out so after the photo shoot I may pain into the stomacher.
Although overall I think the photos will be beautiful and I don't think I could of found better place to take them.
At the end of the day I feel as though the photo shoot was a success and I cant wait to see the photo's. The highlight of the day was defiantly seeing numerous Infantas with there panniers trying to fit onto a mini bus.
After a much deserved I'm night off which I slept for a straight 14 hours straight I have decided today to start my butterfly (design project). As I never made anything remotely similar to wings I have decided to start there as I feel as though this is the biggest challenge I'll face.
The wings needs a harness to attach to the body through research these can either be made out of aluminium plates or out of thick aluminium wire. Due to the size of the wings I have decided to use aluminium plates.
To begin I have created a paper template as to get the measurements for the aluminium plates
Once the template was taken I transferred the measurements to the aluminium then using hack saw I cut the pieces and sanded then sanded then edges. Then I marked onto to piece where the rivets were to go and drilled holes the size of the rivets. I then riveted the pieces together to create the base structure for the harness.
I am really pleased with how it turned out especially seen as I have never worked with metal before.
Over the weekend I have chosen to finish my designs for the butterfly and to achieve a final design. As I have already have the design for the wings I decided to look at the body. The body of the morpho butterfly is brown and is used to disguise the butterfly on the floor of the forest and therefore I want the body to represents the floor of the forest. I started by looking at pictures of the forest floor and how they have been previously represented in carnival costumes.
These are some of the most inspiring photos I have found to begin with I decided that I wanted to create the way leaves through beading as this would fit into the carnival theme.
Although after multiple designs and creating a final design I have decided that beads aren't appropriate to character as the morpho butterfly is a character that is connected to the forest part of nature therefore there must be something natural within the costume. Although the costume will never be fully natural due to the carnival influences a deeper texture is defiantly needed.
So I started looking at ways I could incorporate parts of the amazon forest into the costume and discovered ribbon work.
I fell in love with these images and techniques and felt as though this would beperfect to recreate the beautiful amazon flowers and leaves and then to add extra bling into the costume to incorporate the carnival theme I would hot fix and bead into the costume.
Although after some samples of the technique I found that it didn't blend with the wings and made the bra look very bulky.
Today I left the designing alone and went back to the wings after some research I found that aluminium wire is used to create the border of the wings. Although I Have struggled finding out how to attach the wings onto the harness. But after watching a video on how to create angel wings it looks as though the best option is gaffa tape and as the harness will be covered anyway I feel as though this is the best option.
Ive chosen to use galvanised wire as this is the strongest wire I have managed to come across. Although i was still unconvinced by its strength so I used a drill to twist to lengths around themselves and give a additional strength to the wire. I started by creating a u that I gaffa taped onto the harness I then formed the top wings. I then repeated this technique on the bottom wings. I am really pleased with the results and am happily surprised at how even the wings turned out.
I also used gaffa tape to attach the wings together. This will not be a permanent solution as due to the transparent nature of the fabric the gaffa tape will be visible. Therefore I am only using the gaffa as a temporary measure to create the shape of the wings.
Today I attached the veins into the wings I debated attaching them to the frame by wrapping the ends but thought this would cause unnecessary bulk. So I decided to attempt soldering the veins on. After completing of sample of this I decided that the soldering created enough strength to be a viable option. I designs the veins of the wings from an image of the morpho butterfly. To replicate on the opposite wings I measured the veins on the original wing so that they were exactly the same. Although in hindsight it would of been easier to draw a pattern for the veins and then use that to replicate. This would mean that if any further replicas of the butterfly were to be created that would be a template to use.
After completing the wings yesterday I decided to continue on Lafayette. The linen had arrived on Monday and so I decided to make the undershirt. I started by drawing up the pattern which was very unusual as the panels didn't attach in a modern way as there was no arm hole, no neck hole and the entire pattern was made up of rectangles and squares.
But I still scaled up all the pieces but when pinning them onto the fabric I found that there wasn't enough fabric for the undershirt as I was half a meter short to cut out the second sleeve. So after huffing and puffing I ordered some more fabric and decided to carry on anyway as I could still construct the majority of the undershirt.
After a while of staring at this pattern with glazed over eyes I found a really helpful tutorial on the internet.
I found this tutorial so helpful as it explained in easy understandable terms especially the explanation on how to insert the neck gusset as I have never come across one of these before. By the end of today I managed to create the undershirt missing one sleeve, un-hemmed and without a frill but still together .
As things went so well with the undershirt yesterday I decided to continue on with it in the aim that by the end of the day the undershirt would be complete (missing one sleeve) I began with the frill after sampling both the rolled hem and bound edge I decided that the rolled hem looked most like the photo as the bound edge stood out to much.
I cut out the frill hemmed it with a rolled hem foot and gathered the edge with a long stitch. I then attached the frill onto the shirt and pressed.
I couldn't believe the difference adding the frill made to the shirt as I could start to see the finished resemblance to the image. So I took this positive boost and trudged on with the collar and cuffs. These I just made from linen and interfacing and it created a really great effect especially the collar. The buttons I made from boyes button covering tool that worked surprisingly well as I have never been able to work one until today. I finished the day off by attaching the ties and for the first time in a long time I really feel as though I've accomplished something. Which really does give me a good felling about this project.
Today seen as though textiles was free I decided to work on some samples for my design project as from looking at images of native south american people prints and patterns are massive part of there culture and costume as can be seen from the image below
So i copied these designs onto acetate which took a lot longer than expected because of how geometric they were and they all involved a lot of parallel line but once complete I put them onto the screen and exposed them. I then wanted to print the fabrics with dye as I didn't want a resin on the fabric and I wanted natural movement.
This didn't work as due to delicacy of the design all the lines just smudged together. I then tried again with binder, again all the lines smudged into one so I've given up for the day and tonight I will work on my undershirt by hemming it and facing the neck.
Over the weekend I was really impressed with what I achieved. I decided to spent the whole weekend on my design work and completed both of the final designs for the tinamou bird. Although I still haven't started the jaguar which makes me anxious as there is not that long left of this year and so I'm determined by the end of next week to hace at least started the jaguar.
The rest of the linen finally arrived so I got to finish the undershirt. I then spent the day attempting to fit the jacket pattern onto the fabric as the only authentic fabric I could find the supplier only had 1.8 m left. Therefore I really struggled to fit the entire jacket on. To makes I had enough for facings I draw out the facing pattern and pinned this to the fabric as well. After 3 hours of struggling and fiddling with the pattern I managed to fit the jacket on although I had to trim the seam allowance down to 1.5cm instead of an inch .
Today I started the construction of the jacket I began by flat tacking the wool together with cotton.
I then started to attach the body canvas onto the jacket although found that didn't lay probably and so I began to pad stitch along the jacket to try and the canvas to move with the fabric. This was a very time saking and tedious activity but it is causes the fabric to lay properly it is defiantly worth it.
After spending the entire night padstitching the jacket i found that the stitching cause lumps through the fabric and therefore I had to spent most of the day unpicking the canvas. Once the canvas was unpicked I then placed the jacket onto the manikin inside out and pinned the canvas in. Once this was done I turned the jacket the right way around and checked for any bumps. There still was some so I smoothed the inside down with my hand un pinning anywhere where the canvas caught and finally I got the fabric to lay smooth. After all that effect this little victory was one of the best things in the world to me and made me feel so proud to have accomplished this.
After what felt like a massive accomplishment with the jacket I decided to take that energy to the butterfly. So i decided I would dye the silk habotai ready for Monday. I really struggled with doing this as due to weight of the fabric not much water was needed and therefore not much dye was needed which created the light blue. But because of the length of the fabric I had to use more water as to allow the fabric to move about freely. So to test the colour I had to dip small squares on the fabric in one at a time and leave then for 15 minutes to make sure the colour wasn't to dark. I'm really impressed with the colour the fabrics turned out. Although I did worry it was too dark after I held it up to the wing and the light shone through the fabric I found that the colour was perfect.
Over the weekend I again worked on my sketchbook and am finding this dynamic working as once I get home from work its quite nice to sit infront of the T.V. and design.I think its the first time over the threes years I enjoyed doing my design. If I were to do this again I would defiantly leave the weekends for design and start right from the beginning of the year as I feel as though the slow and steady pace would suit me.
This week seen as though the next photo shoot is a month away I've decided to finish my wedding dress as over Easter I will not have time to touch it due to the fact that my dissertation is due in.
So today my plan is to finish sewing on the trim to the bottom skirt. This most likely will take all day and is defiantly a film job
It did end up taking me all day to do the trim and seen as though I have not yet killed my hands I will be sewing the trim onto the overskirt today. Which may require the the list of t.v. shows that I have been saving till I was free.
I finally got all the trim sewn on! it really wasn't that bad I may have no feeling left in my fingers but it was defiantly a relaxing job.
For today i plan to finish the stomacher all that needs doing is adding the leaves and attaching the beads to the centre of the flowers.
After a couple of samples I determined the chiffon looks most aesthetically pleasing and although I'm not sure its what they used on the image I do believe that it will suit the dress best and therefore have decided to use it.
Over the last couple of days I finished the wedding dress! I took me approximately a day to attach the beads onto the centre of the flowers and another day to attach the leaves and hook and bars.
Today I swing catched the skirt to the bodice so I finally have a complete dress and I cannot wait to see what it look likes on the day of the photoshoot!!
Over the weekend I decided to do my design work again as it seemed to work so well last weekend. The system works, by doing the design work on the weekend I have managed to get a final design for all of the characters! I am so pleased for this to be finally done as after wanting to complete the design work before Christmas I was feeling that it was dragging and if it as not done soon I did fear it would never be done and I would still be designing the day before the show.
I have not written on this for a long time but over the past month I have been working constantly on my dissertation and therefore saw no point going on everyday saying that I have written another paragraph. Writting that dissertation was one of the hardest things I have ever done and could not feel more proud for finishing it. Near the end I did start to feel as though it would never be finished but with 30 minutes to go I handed the bound copy in and tonight I feel as though I deserve a night of and a lovely relaxing drink.
That night of may of turned into a weekend off which I am now feeling very guilty for as I do feel as though i should be doing more work but as I am back to college it now time to be back to full throttle. Today I have been attempting to sew in my pockets for the jacket. A task that is getting increasing stressful as I spent most of the day unpicking the pockets and seen as though the jacket is already cut I cant now turn back and say I'll just have a false pocket which is what I should of said in the beginning. After finishing the day by throwing the jacket across the room I have decided to leave the jacket for tonight and do some of my wedding dress right ups.
I have done I have now attached fully functioning pockets I really could not be prouder of myself!
I have been spending today cutting out and attaching the lining and have now officially given up as I have never seen a lining pull more on fabric. Seen as though we have our photoshoot tomorrow I will leave this jacket for today and will return to it on Friday.
Day of the Photoshoot!
After much planning as to the order of the photoshoot we still ended up clashing as Polly was still waiting around for people as some costumes took longer than others to photograph and so we all ended just going when we were ready which turned out ok as everything ended up getting photographed and Polly's little baby who she brought along to the photoshoot didn't cry to much.
The best moment of the day was still to see Lisa in the wedding dress with no pins holding it together and it fitting her perfectly. I was so happy I could of cried with having so many ups and downs with this dress I do feel as though this dress may be the dress that I have had the most progression and development on as a maker.
I also did not realise how much I like the Mourning dress as when I made it I absolutely hated it. So it does make me wonder what I'll think of these costumes in three years time.
After getting help from Emma I finally managed to insert the lining interestingly enough I got the lining to sit straight in the same way I did the canvassing, by pinning the lining in on the stand and slip stitching around the edge. After attaching the lining I am really starting to like the look of the jacket and am getting the feeling that this may be my favourite costume out of all three.
Over the weekend I decided to try and finish the jacket so that I could just put that to one side until right at the end when I am attaching the braid. So I attached the sleeves which ended up taking a whole day due that the sleeve holes didn't fit the model.
So after a day of removing the sleeve on and off the jacket sleeves finally fit him. Although because I had to move them deeper into the jacket it meant that the sleeves an 1" shorter and instead of finishing at the knuckle it know finishes at the wrist although hopefully this will look fine one the jacket sleeves are faced.
I then attached the collar on Sunday and overall I am really loving the look of the jacket and can't wait to see the entire costume together.
Today I covered the wings in the fabric and this went surprisingly easy seen as the trouble I had dyeing the fabric but using uhoo I glued the fabric onto the edge of all 4 wings and I am really pleased with the results
After it being pointed out to me that wings are lopsided I then spent today un-gluing and re-gluing the fabric to the wings which in turn caused some of the veins to pop out meaning I had to try and fit a soldering iron down between two pieces of very thin delicate fabric without burning a hole in either. Although at the end of the day I did complete covering the wings although I am starting to loose my enthusiasm for this costume which i doubt is going to come back with a the lack of sleep that is going to ensue in the following month.
Today I painted the veins of the fabric and really struggled as the dye wasn't dispersing evenly and was causing a line where the dye ended and so before leaving I ran a wet sponge over the fabric in a hope that it would dry evenly overnight.
It did the dye dried evenly and dispensed the dye over fabric beautifully and I really loved the effect its created and so today I've flipped the wings over and repeated on the opposite side. Although it has just hit me that 1 month today all the costume will be marked and I will have nearly finished my 3 years here on this course and I'm really not quite sure yet how i feel about that
Over the weekend I was given crazy hours due to how busy it was an therefore I didn't get that much done. Although I did manage to finish the Breeches ! In all honesty they were probably the easiest thing I made all year although was surprisingly satisfying and was a little like making a pair of bloomers. I tried them on my model over the weekend and was so happily surprised by how well they fit. Although I am having a slight conundrum over the buttons as the fabric is to thick to use the boyes kit to make the button and therefore I am not sure how else I will be able to do a covered button.
Seen as though we have to move out of our room by next Wednesday I am trying to finish the wings as I really don't have enough space for them in my house. So over the past week I have been hot fixing the wings I job I am now defiantly fed up with and am unsure why I ever choose to do it to begin with.
But when I finished product I realize again why I did it as I love how the wings look I they scream carnival and the hot fix really works well with the painted veins.
Over the weekend I managed to assemble the waistcoat as I am hoping for a fitting before taught time finishes. The waistcoat like the breeches wasn't to difficult although I am a little worried about the fit as it doesn't seam to sit right on the manikin. Although during the fitting tomorrow I can see if I am worrying for nothing.
Today I had the fitting and I am generally pleased with how it went. The breeches fit perfectly although there are some adjustments needed in regards to the waistcoat as it was too big om the sides. For the jacket sleeves the lining had to removed that i added on the weekend as it caused the jacket to be too tight on the sleeves.
Today is my last ever lesson on this course which makes me really sad as although I have struggled and got very stressed on this course there has still been an awful lot of good times which I'm not sure I'm ready to leave. I'm also having to come to terms with what the hell am I doing after this course as I'm getting bombarded by everyone asking me: When am I coming back to Bristol, What are you going to do if you cant get a job in costume?, How are you going to afford the deposit and rent for a flat in Bristol on minimum wage? and all these questions are really just adding additional stress where it is seriously not needed.
In terms of costume today I a did the altering to the waistcoat and herringbone the seams as well as cutting and constructing the lining ready for next week
Today I worked on the wig because I couldn't find a wig that resembled the image close enough I decided to make one out of hemp which I have never done before.
Although from working with it today I can see that its quite a simplistic method of making a wig although very effective.
I ended up darted the cones for the side of the head as it was creating to large a bump for the hemp to sit over and didn't look accurate to the picture.
By the end of the day I had a semi functioning wig although it defiantly needed more styling. However I really enjoyed making this wig and it is something I would defiantly consider making again as you get results so fast and it is also a fairly inexpensive way of producing a wig when you think a good one can cost up to £40 and this one cost me merely £15.
After realizing I only had 2 weeks left I thought I better get a jog on with a butterfly and spent the weekend constructing the bra and pants. Reminding me why you should never work in lyrca. Although by using a premade bra for the padding and the over layer on the bra as the pattern I feel as though this helped a lot when using the lycra as there was a solid base below that helped stopping the lycra from moving. Although after having a horrible failed attempt at making a bra during Olivia's bra making workshop I am honestly really proud of this and surprising the pants which I have never made before or even attempted to make to make but the pattern was surprisingly easy and they didn't take that long to make.
Over the bra there is to be a gathered piece of silk so today I began the day by dyeing the silk an after the amount of dyeing I have been this year I feel like a pro now and am amazed at how confident I have become with textiles as I have never seen textiles as my strong point.
For the rest of the day I lined the waistcoat I choose to do this on the stand as although I'm yet to have an issue with the waistcoat I do feel as though I don't have the time to make any mistakes anymore and therefore I am not taking the chance.
An ex student also told em today about an upholsters in Scarborough that covers your buttons for 20 p. Seen as though an upholsters deals with thick fabrics on a daily basis I feel as though they are more likely to be able to make these buttons than I am.
As it turns out they can so I managed to get all the buttons for the jacket and for the breeches for £4 which I thinks really good.
Using this image as inspiration
I gathered the fabric that I dyed yesterday along the bottom of the cup grouping it at the strap. I wasn't sure I was going to like this effect or that is would suit the character until I saw it finished and I realized that the perfectly represents the character as it shows her beauty and softness.
I've spent the last couple of days doing multiple things as I really feeling the pressure now and am starting to feel the lack of sleep a lot more as I'm finding myself snapping at people unnecessary and I feel as though my new catchphrase is I'm sorry I'm tired, its nearly over and I really cant wait for this course to be finished now as I am so tired and am fed up of feeling guilty about sleeping.
But I got a couple of costume plates done as I've found that collage really suits my drawing style as it takes the emphasis of having a beautiful drawing and it back on the mood that's being created.
I also shaped my hat using millinery wire and steam and am really loving the shape of the hat although I am slightly worried about how small the head hole is as the wig is quite large so I may have to stretch the hat.
Over the weekend I managed to add all the trim to the jacket and hat and am starting to finally see the costume coming together. I ended painting both trims as I found that the gold they were looked really cheap and yellow so I sprayed them with gold spray and then put a layer of metallic paint over the top and it created a really nice authentic gold.
I also started my headdress which didn't take me as long as I thought it would and with it being covered in relatively cheap materials I didn't expect it to look as realistic as it did.
I spent the day adding the bling to the bra and pants although I am worried about the pants as they seam to be buckling under the weight.
I also wrote my viva today and I found it oddly therapeutic reminiscing about the last three years which really do seem to have flown by especially this last year.
Today has been one of the worse days of this entire year. I got up at 6 to finish my viva when my laptop decided to have a blue screen meaning that I couldn't get my viva off of it.
Meaning I had to rush to uni at 7 ;30 in the mourning to re right my viva and present it which actually went ok. Then when I wen to PC world to get my laptop fixed they told me it would take up to 7 days to get any data off of the laptop meaning all my files that I have been spending the last two weeks righting have all gone.
Thankfully Emma has given me an extension so hopefully I'll be able to rewrite them in time and if not I graduate in January which I really don't want to do
Hand In!! Today I had the hand for my butterfly and lafayette. The butterfly actually went quite well although the feathers didn't turn up in time but Emma gave me a couple of tips to improve the costume and overall I'm really happy with it.
Lafayette on the other hand.. waited all day for my model to turn up to find out that he had to asked to stay late at work and I then when I tried to hand in on the stand I couldn't get the costume on the right size stand!
Thankfully Emma said she would look at it first thing on Monday.
Today I handed in Lafayette and until putting the entire costume on the stand I didn't realize how much I loved it.
Over the weekend I've been attempting to finish my right ups, Costume plates and portfolio but I really don't see any of it getting done as I didn't realize how long it took to mount work.
Portfolio and exhibition hand in. I didn't finish in time. I couldn't mount in time the portfolio sleeves were the wrong size and my costumes wouldn't fit on the stand add a very sleep deprived student means no exhibition and no portfolio. Although it hasn't bothered me as much as I though it would as I know that I have done everything possible to get everything finished on time it wasn't like last year wear i didn't turn up to classes; I really did try hard and in the end I chose the wrong costumes to make and any chance of finishing them went away when I had a family emergency over Christmas. So overall I am really of what I achieved this year as even though I did not finish in time I have never made costumes to difficulty or standard before and I have truly learnt so much over the last three years and I cannot wait to go out into the working world.