Monday, December 28, 2009

A Christmas Carol by Scrooge and Company

Are you sick of Christmas yet? I sure am. I am finally recovering from what I casually refer to as my Christmas Hangover. No, I didn't drink so much, but the out of state visit to a variety of family proved to be draining, along with hoping for constant weather here's the last I will mention about Christmas until I am provoked to next year. Here is the final picture of the cast at the last performance of A Christmas Carol, here in Poultney, Vermont. Having just had wisdom tooth extraction a day or so before the performance I couldn't quite put it together to get some photos, but luckily Michael was there to get not only this pic, but all the following videos as well.
So, get ready, the actors did a terrific job and enjoy these post-holiday videos. You can access the youtube channel here. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cat Cube

A place for kitty to hide, nap, or hangout.

1 yd of 58" or 60" wide fleece
1 3/8 yd of 1/2" thick high density foam
Serger and Sewing Machine
*If you want the outside and the lining to be two different colors, I would get an extra yard of fabric.
*Also, this is the kind of project that can cost more to make- unless you are diligent and get your foam (which can be expensive) on sale. Think Jo-Ann Fabric, they have tons of coupons, or you can catch a 50% off sale.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cape Tutorial

Check out the videos on how to make a small circular cape, in a relatively small amount of time.  This is by special request for a new friend in New Zealand.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Exclamation Point- because these were more difficult than I thought, and I am thrilled that they are completed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Carol Update

Here is what I've completed so far for A Christmas Carol:
The idea is to make garments that the Poultney Theater Group can use from year to year, instead of renting whatever is available from a variety of sources.  One of the theater board members has a great connection, and had plenty of beautiful donated fabrics waiting for such an opportunity. So far I have made; 2 skirts, 2 capes, 2 vests, and 3 jackets......there is still all the hats, and ties and accessories to go, but there is still a few more weeks of work ahead.

Here are some working shots:
 Oh, there's Cassidy, she is sometimes too much with the hands on work. But she's a good assistant, and I like when she keeps me company, and sometimes forces me to take a break!
Well, anyway I was serging the waistband onto the green skirt in the above picture while the cat got involved.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Funny Little Thing Between the Bat and the Cat

This month I will be taking a break from my typical and much-loved superhero clothes to work on outfitting five local actors for the town's reading of "A Christmas Carol". Tomorrow I am doing a fitting and should have some progress photos shortly.

In the meantime here is something I found greatly amusing.

Yes, this is real. This is from Batman #1 in 1940. The Bat has just deduced that the jewel thief was none other than Catwoman disguised as an old lady, and is exposing her.  Apparently  Batman had a slightly different approach to crime back in the day.......I found this while perusing the local library I found this in a collection of Catwoman comics.
I just thought that this was so bizarre that it required sharing. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How to Video: Making a Pillbox Hat (for Dr. Girlfriend, of course)

I am finally entering the new age of video- boy, you just wait until I get my new camera and tripod all set'll be sick of seeing me telling ya what to do!
Anyway, this is my 5-part series of making a pillbox hat by hand mostly using instructions from
www.vintage (site does not seem to be working at this time). Millinery supplies were purchased from Judith M, who is having a big sale in November! So enjoy the educating......
And don't forget to check out my youtube channel from time to time. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wizard's 18th Annual Costume Contest

In case you haven't gotten this month's issue of Wizard, this is what you are missing:
Wizard says:
"Every year the call goes out for the best homemade Halloween outfits comic fans can muster. Here's this year's top entries."

Woot! Check out the teeny tiny picture of me as Queen Etherea (don't forget to check out the other entry of how I made it, more photos too). While it's difficult to compete with War Machine (winner- or any costume that is held together with more bolts than thread) it is nice to be included!
See you next year Wizard- I've got some big ideas in the works!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sheep & Wool Festival: Learning to Use a Drop Spindle

Geez- I can't believe it's October already!! Both hurray (I'm special) and boo-hoo (getting older) for my upcoming birthday.
Spent the first Saturday of this month at the Sheep & Wool Festival  about 90 minute drive.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sewing Machine Covers

Some additional projects that I heart:
That is my newly made Batman serger cover. I have a plastic one that came with the machine, but this is a lot more fun.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sinestro Pullover

I think the word you're looking for is "kick-ass". 

Captain America

Captain America! This project was a ton of fun.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Queen Etherea

Oh Queen Etherea. I wracked my brain for months trying to sort through all the possibilities of how to pull this off. Why you may ask?
Well, she appears to be naked under this diaphanous dress. Now, I decided that I would not be walking around nude except for this dress- so what to wear underneath that was not noticeable? Thong? Stick on underwear? Tape the dress to my body? Leotard? Bodysuit? Bodysuit is what I settled on.
I looked into dancer foundations, but I didn't feel right about being the "spandex speaker" at the NCA Con and showing up with a store bought bodysuit- so I decided to make it.
I had to decide what exactly to make the bodysuit out of, powermesh? spandex? etc, etc. I resolved that I needed as opaque spandex as I could get- the color I went with was a little darker than my actual skin tone, but I thought the tanning-bed color would be better than ghost-white.
I was also very concerned about too many seam-lines giving away that I was wearing the bodysuit- my mission with this costume was: to make people do a double take; to make them doubt for a second that I was not wearing anything beneath the dress.

Dr. Girlfriend Mall Outfit

Yes, yes, I think everyone knows by now that I heart Dr. Girlfriend- or at least I heart dressing up as Dr. Girlfriend- and so do a lot of other gals out there. There is nothing wrong with that, but while planning to attend SDCC I did not want to be wearing the same costume as many other ladies. So, here was my plan; I knew I wanted to save the Queen Etherea costume for Masquerade, but I figured it would be easier to keep my hair and make-up the same that day- the answer, another Dr. Girlfriend outfit! (she's got plenty)
So, here is the outfit from Season 2, episode 2:
Hot right? I especially love the giant polka dots! Hubby was skeptical that I would be able to find that exact polkadot  print- and I agreed- that's why I was going to make it!

Patterns for Gorgeous Gloves - Threads

Patterns for Gorgeous Gloves - Threads

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Directors, actors geek out with fans at Comic-Con: Rutland Herald Online

Whoo- even the local paper got in one the Con:
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A little late I know, I forgot that this was waiting in the "edit" pile.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

During July, while getting ready for the NCA and SD Con's, I was contacted by a local theater group to sew some Civil war era jackets. Ha, ha, what a trick, upon my first meeting I was asked to be the costume mistress for the Poultney Summer Theatre Company's production of Much Ado About Nothing.Well, considering that I wasn't busy (that's a big fat joke) I agreed. It was a fairly strange gig- I was scheduled to be out of town twice leading up to the show, and there was like less than 3 weeks to throw everything together.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

San Diego Comic Con 2009

Whoo Hoo- I Heart San Diego!
This was my first ever trip to the great (broke) state of California, and it was just as beautiful as I always thought it would be. I don't care how many times I have seen a palm tree- they still look completely bizarre to me. Our hotel was nice, but out on the freeway, but still had a nice view:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Off to SDCC

Tomorrow I am off to San Diego Comic Con.
Will return with lots of photos, and who knows what else.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed that I get a chance to enter the Masquerade.
I am also pleased to find that the schedule includes several panels that deal with costumes! Costumes on the brain all the time- keep it coming!
So, the big question, what will I be wearing? Well, I've got my own little costume schedule:
I finally made my Batgirl hoodie- check back later for pics.....

Saturday I will be wearing another Dr. Girlfriend outfit- luckily that gal has an extensive wardrobe..... here's a taste:
Ring any bells? Eh, you'll just have to wait to see the whole ensemble then. I'm going to do my best to make it to The Venture Brothers panel- but anyone who's ever been to a con when those boys are know that is no easy task. I suppose I'll have to queue up only 5 hours early......sigh.

Oh, and for the super-secret masquerade, you ask? Well, there is a chance that no one will get to see this costume. Here's a teaser:
So put out those good vibes that I'll be able to strut my stuff.

NCA Convention

The National Costumers Association Convention in Pittsburgh was a great experience for me. Sorry Pittsburgh, but I was there for all of 30 hours so I did not get to check out your city- but I did enjoy the myriad of food choices in your mall-like airport- and the T-Rex on display was cool too.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Off to Pittsburgh....Let Hawkgirl & the Green Lantern Keep You Company

I'm on my way to go enlighten people on the wonderful concept of dressing up like a superhero. I have been preparing for this for quite some time, but it still feels like it came fast- that and all the conventions and a play I need to costume are all happening in the same 3 week period. Never fear! I've got a coffee pot, and I'll make it through somehow......
Well, let's check out how my friends are doing:
I think he's pleased.
What?! That ring (well, probably the jacket) had more power than I thought!

Let's see what Hawkgirl is up to:

Looking pretty awesome- don't fly away just yet!
And who could this be?
My very own GL Corps?
Not too shabby....
For my other buddies waiting for things I plead your patience. Upon my return from San Deigo things will go back to normal and I'll be locked in my workroom like the sewin' fool that I am.
Wish me luck on my presentation!

Monday, June 22, 2009

San Deigo Comic Con Here I Come!

It's official, I've been wait-listed for the SDCC's Masquerade Costume Contest. I knew while I was working on my costume that the contest was full, but I am traveling a mighty long distance to not at least try. Oh boy, the more I think about it, the more I wonder what I may have possibly gotten myself into. Well, sometimes the best way to do something is to jump right in. I'm still not sure how or when the contact "the ones who wait"- but I'm psyched for my first trip to California! (though- I will only be participating in con activities and nothing else- sorry beaches, the zoo, and other local attractions, maybe next year!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cat Scratch Building Fever

More than just a seamstress.
Behold the arrival of our new cat, perhaps my new sewing assistant-Cassidy (Proinsias to you Ennis fans)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kyle Rayner-esque Green Lantern Jacket

Black Interlock- 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
Green Interlock- 100% Cotton

White Interlock- 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
Green Rib Knit- 100% Cotton
Black Rib Knit- 95% Cotton 5% Spandex

1 Green Separating Zipper

The Inspiration: This snazzy Kyle Rayner number. What's not to love? It has the ol' GL symbol is several places and additional detail on the sleeves. I think my favorite part is the near glowing emblem on the chest- I hope to do it justice for an old friend.

The Design: Lots of details and machine work to do. All those symbols and all those bands on the sleeve will take a while to stitch on- Also, trying to keep everything symmetrical.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hawkgirl Inspired Jacket

Dark Brown Interlock- 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
Interlock- 100% Cotton
Tan Int
erlock- 60% Cotton 40% Cotton
Kelly Green Interlock- 60% Cotton 40%
ter Red Rib Knit- 95% Cotton 5% Spandex

First, the inspiration, Eve chose Hawkgirl from the Justic League animated series. Hawkgirl has a few different outfits, but this one is cool for a number of reasons, first off its so feminine- but at the same time you know she kicks ass. So I came up with this little number, with wings of course! Perhaps I should have added the mace too huh? No, I think this one is lovely, and understated.

Next, patternmaking! This took a little longer because this was the first ladies version I made, but I assure you, will not be the last. I will be working on one for myself as one of my next projects.

Green Lantern Kyle Rayner Inspired Jacket

Black Interlock 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
Kelly Green Interlock 100% Cotton
White Interlock 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
White Rib Knit 95% Cotton 5% Spandex

Black Rib Knit 95% Cotton 5% Spandex
1- Black Molded Separating Zipper

First we start with some inspiration. In this case, it was this version of Kyle Rayner as the Green Lantern in Countdown Final Crisis.

Second, I interpret this 'costume' into something sew-able, and wearable for anytime- oh, and of course, make it comfortable. (hence, cotton, cotton, cotton!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Sewer Becomes the Teacher

Yes, yes I know that I should have used the title "The Seamstress Becomes the Teacher" but sewer is silly. Lucky for me, I have an opportunity to impart my sewing/spandex knowledge at the National Costumers Association Conference in Pittsburgh this July. They just posted the education section including my class. So now I scramble to sharpen all my skills and be able to articulate them effectively. That, and have several new costumes to show off. But never fear, there are more jackets coming well before that, and several more "normal" garments to be posted very soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Best of the Rest

Some photos of additional things that I have sewn that are not costumes.
This yellow and blue ensemble was something I made for the Simplicity pattern contest. I did not win, let alone place. Boo. But the husband really likes this outfit, so I guess it was not a complete waste of time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Justice League Valance

I found this Justice League fabric, and just could not leave the store without it! Finally, I figured out the perfect place for it, above the window in my work room.

The green curtains were given to me by my mother some years ago, I merely shortened them to the proper length for this window. The curtain rod and the hardware were in place from the previous tenants so I made this some snowy afternoon a week or two ago.

I put all the pins and other swag I collected from the New York Comic Con all over the curtains. This was a simple project. I decided the finished length that I wanted the valance to be, then added measurements for the bottom hem, the top ruffle, and the channel for the curtain rod. The width of the curtain is twice that of the window space. I just wish that there were a few more characters on the fabric, and that I had more windows in to decorate!

The Action Man

The Action Man: The Venture Brothers
Top and Pants: charcoal poly/spandex moleskin
Turtleneck: dark grey acrylic/wool yarn
Gloves: Red Cotton/poly Interlock
Holsters, Belt and Kneepads: White spandex and Red cotton/poly Interlock
Helmet: purchased and covered with white cotton/spandex twill
Boot covers: black poly/spandex, fusible fleece, and velcro
Red lenses: purchased
Guns: purchased

My dear husband decided only a few short weeks before, that he would like to be The Action Man, for New York Comic Con. We just moved in the beginning of January, so he questioned if I would be able to finish all three outfits for the Con, taking place in early February. I just assured him that all would be finished, but he just needed to decide who he wanted to be, preferably someone simple. After unpacking his black army helmet, the decision was made.


Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde: Excalibur
Mask, gloves and underpants: poly/spandex
Blouse: poly/rayon
Sash and leggings: nylon/spandex
Boots: purchased

Originally when I considered making Shadowcat I was thinking of doing the blue and gold costume, maybe even the old 'uncanny' one with the hood, but then I caught wind of the Excalibur costume. So totally and wonderfully 80's! Love the blouse, I knew shoulder pads were a must!

The decision on which costume to make has a lot of different factors. Sometimes it's driven by a beloved childhood character, sometimes it's part of set. Sometimes it's a suggestion from someone else. Sometimes it is time and money constraints. Sometimes it's based on the materials I have at hand. Kitty Pryde was a little bit of the last two reasons.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Red Lantern

Red Lantern-inspired Jacket:
Red and Black fabric: Cotton/poly Interlock
Red and Black Rib: Cotton/Lycra
Lantern symbol: white Lycra
1 separating black zipper
3/16" Cordage

My buddy Mario, previously asked for a Sinestro-inspired jacket, now requested the another, this time the Red Lantern.

New York Comic Con 2009

Saturday: The Main Event
After battling our way out of the hotel with extremely sluggish elevators Shadowcat, and The Action Man rolled into the Javits Center just about opening. We checked our coats and floated onto the main floor in record time. As opposed to last year with the several hour line up, getting dressed while on that line and running around like lost little children. By now, we were pros. We had a lot of panels planned to see this day, so we modeled our way around the main floor while we had the time. We attended the 'how not to break into comics' panel, not so sure why I went to this one, but I guess I'm a sucker for learning random things. The panels rooms were much much larger than last year, I guess some planners learned a lesson. I was a little disappointed that we were sharing the space with the 'Travel Show', boy were those attendees confused and upset when they ventured to the wrong side of the concourse. (Picture guy in a business suit getting poked in the butt with a giant foam katana, or harassed by a Storm Trooper- no I didn't actually witness such a thing, but it would have been great) I feel like I spent the majority of Saturday in the basement on lines for panels- oh wait, that's because I did. I guess it goes with the territory, but if one wants to attend the most popular panels one must be ready to sacrifice most of their day. Which kind of sucks, but no one seems to have invented a better way yet. Eventually we ran into Mario, showing off his latest anigswes- the Red Lantern jacket he requested. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, and I think it looks great on him.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New York Comic Con 2009

Thursday and Friday:
I've always lived close to NYC, except this year. So in order to pick up our badges early on Thursday, our 5-hour journey began bright and early. It was worth it to get the badges early and just waltz in the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Next Stop, New York Comic Con

Hope to see another great turnout at this year's con. Be sure to look for the strange quartet of Shadow Cat, the Action Man, a sorta Red Lantern outfit, and an unamused civilian .
I will be sure to post tons of photos upon my return.


Rorschach Watchmen

Come on now comic fans, who wouldn't want to be Rorschach? I got wind this past fall that one of my old pals was planning to be Rorschach for Halloween, but was in desperate need of a mask. How could I not help out?
Normally, I would think this would pretty simple, but Ryan (our future Rorschach) is a huge tall man, with a large head to go with it. So I was concerned about squashing his giant melon, and wanted to ensure his comfort. He obliged me with a long list of requested measurements, which I used to make the mask. I made it out of spandex, even though it would be hot to wear, it would mold best around someone's head. I took Peat's advice and used the inkblot design of a dead dog's head, replicating it on my computer to the proper size. I transferred this design to the fabric with the help of my light box, and carefully, and slowly painted in the design with Jacquard fabric paint. They make great paint that can be applied in many different ways and then heat set.



Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown
Materials: Lots of cotton interlock, spandex

This past year Peat and I were invited to a Brooklyn Halloween party, where we would get to see many of our dear friends. We, of course, decided to go, but that left a big question. What to wear? Peat has always been a fan of Robin, in his many forms, but I am not. But he's beginning to grow on me. Also, I could not resist going in couple's costumes, and making two of the same thing essentially would simplify things for me.

from The Green Lantern

After spending the day with us all tricked out in our rocking Venture Brothers costumes at the NYCC, my pal Mario asked me to make him a Sinestro-inspired track jacket.

Who am I to argue? I didn't know who Sinestro was, but I soon learned. Mario let me know what details of the costume he wanted to include, and omit. Then I came up with a simplified design of Sinestro's costume.

I made this last summer out of cotton (black) and a cotton/rayon blend (gold). I had Mario send me one of his existing track jackets that he liked, so I could make it the correct size. I then used the specs from his jacket, and applied that to a McCall's jacket pattern that I had. I had not used piping much before this project, and it's kind of a pain!

The most difficult part was the symbol, because it had to be split in half, and have a zipper going through it. Also, the goal is to make it match up, and even and all that. Not easy, that, and all the layers of fabric
and zipper do not move easily or evenly in the sewing machine. It was also not easy after I burned my forearm on my iron, but that's what I get for not being careful!

As you can see, it came out nicely, and looks just wonderful on the professional model here. But little did I know the beast I had awakened.....there are more lanterns. Therefore, the need for more jackets! Coming soon.......the Red Lantern inspired jacket.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New York Comic Con 2008 The Unveiling

The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend Visit New York Comic Con 2008

Little did I know what we (the Monarch and I) were in for at last year's comic con. Neither of us had ever been, but were very excited. We had a mission, to hopefully meet Doc Hammer and ask him to perform our marriage ceremony.

I can't really remember how the idea started, but we thought it would make for a fun wedding. Our day started well before the break of dawn and included a 2-hour train ride into the city. We traveled half-dressed, and I finished assembling us while we waited on the line to get in.

I was a little nervous, I didn't see that many costumes at first, and people were just staring. Then the photo-taking started. Must have been the first of what seemed like hundreds for what followed.

Dr. Girlfriend

Dr. Girlfriend

The Venture Brothers

Materials and Pieces:

Dress and pill box hat: lavender nylon spandex

Gloves and purse: white ponte

Boots: purchased

I started the hat in October 2007; I had very little millinery experience at the time. So with some research (thanks to my local library : )) and the help of a great millinery supply website ( I was on my way. The first pillbox had frame I made was too big, so I had so start over. The hat was made entirely by hand over the course of the entire fall and winter when I got too bored or frustrated with the other aspects of other projects. Most of the information I used to make the hat came from which was just excellent for vintage pattern information, and I’m sure I will be using them again in future projects.

The gloves are made out of white garbardine, which was a poor choice of fabric because it frays and gets caught on everything, but now I know that. All of these costumes have been very valuable learning experiences, its just frustrating sometimes after putting in so much time on something like gloves, only to have the fabric giving out after one wearing, but that’s how I learn! I was also planning to make Dr. Girlfriends’s purse (again, lovely to have a place to carry things!) out of the same fabric from scratch, when I came across a purse at a garage sale that was the perfect shape and size. So I just covered that purse in the fabric. I was able to glue most of it, and was happy with the results.

The dress I originally had planned for this lavender cotton fabric I had in my possession for years. But her dress is very form fitting and the woven cotton was not hugging the way I desired, also it was a little too thin and cheap looking. So I went back to my old friend in the garment district for some nylon spandex. It was difficult to get the closure and the collar on this dress just right, again a lot of that difficulty stems from fitting on my own body, but I am happy with the end result. I put white pearl shank buttons on the outside of the dress, and gloves, while the dress is really held on with snap tape. The white boots came from….can you guess…..ebay of course. They were not exactly what I had in mind, but I decided that it was similar enough, and definitely something that Dr. Girlfriend herself would not mind wearing.