6th August 2010: 4 full sewing days left - can we do it? I hope so....
I took Wednesday afternoon off work to get down to things, but as ever it turned out to be more complicated than I'd anticipated. This is mostly down to the sleeves! There are three layers involved, 2 of non-stretch suedette and 1 of stretch cotton lycra. To get things to sit right, I have to very carefully pin and sew the suedette layers to the lycra on the tops and bottoms of the puffs before I can even contemplate setting them in to the jacket.
I also hit some small snags with the white collar - seems our male dress form has a hell of a fat neck compared to me, so I had to tweak and take it in several times.
The yoke pattern on the other hand made life easy for me by being no more than a rectangle with a slash in it. Why can't all patterning be that easy? Admittedly once transferred to suedette and interfaced I needed to make a couple of minor cuts to shape it better, but it was refreshing. I have a picture of the pattern piece I made but since I'm updating at work you can't have it yet.
At any rate, although I've still not progressed as far as I'd like, it *is* starting to look like actual clothes now instead of just bits, which is always a great motivator. Once the sleeves are set in it's mostly a case of just sewing bits on to the base jacket and yoke; much easier and can be done by hand if it comes to it.
2nd August 2010: Two weeks to go... I'm deeply unimpressed with my lack of progress. We had people over for the weekend and I just didn't feel right taking up loads of space and ignoring them so I could sew, and on Sunday I was hit with a CFS attack and spent almost the whole day in bed.
I did, however, manage to work on the sleeves, so it wasn't a dead loss!
From my last experiment with puff sleeves on Snow White, I discovered that they remain in place better if they have an undersleeve to hold them in place, thus only allowing gravity to drag them down to the point at which they're sewn on to it and giving that puffed-out look at the bottom. Since I'm making the white part of the sleeve from cotton lycra for a nice tight fit but allowing movement, I made the undersleeve from this as well. I used my Kwik-sew catsuit pattern for this sleeve, and a pattern for an incredibly girly blouse with puffed sleeves for the top parts. I like being able to add a touch of "historical" authenticity here and there, so (as with Snow White) I chose to make them slashed puff sleeves, based on Tudor costumes, which were clearly the inspiration for Fugue's sleeves. It makes it a bit harder than just, say, appliqueing on the red parts, but it makes me feel special.
This is achieved by cutting two identical pieces for each sleeve - one of the burgundy suedette, and one of the grey. The burgundy is the underlayer. I then measured and cut triangular slashes into the grey pieces before gathering them. These slashes currently aren't hemmed because I'm running out of time and suedette doesn't fray too much, but if I manage it I'll either hem or back with Fray-stop.
28th July 2010: >_< I gave up on the pieces I'd cut for the jacket. I just couldn't get them to sit right, however I pinned them - there must be some fundamental difference I can't see between the cotton mockup fabric and the suedette!
So, I ditched them all, mocked up again using a very basic robe pattern, and twiddled it until it looked right. It means a side seam, and very possibly not a straight one, but better a side seam than no costume!
It's STILL not come out quite right - it's not long enough at the back, but conversely this also makes my legs look longer and slimmer, so I'm not too bothered by it. I had just about enough burgundy fabric to redo it and still have enough for things like the slash puffed sleeves, which is a relief (when I was buying fabric I'd convinced myself the jacket was mostly grey - it's not, it's burgundy with grey bits - and I bought far far more of the grey suedette).
I am way behind on my progress, but I should still get it done - I may be missing some of the smaller details though.
25th July 2010: Time taking photos is time spent not sewing. That's why there are no photos :P Actually, it's because we only dug out the working camera yesterday.
Much like Delusional, I'm using journals to convince myself I'm making progress...
Anyway. This weekend I managed to sew up the trousers. The pattern I used (Butterick 3648) I chose mainly by virtue of it being the only men's trouser pattern I could find in the chaos of house moving, but it also has the benefit of not having a fly zip (bonus win! I hate doing fly zips). It's a Victorian style pattern so the trousers have a placket front held up by buttons, or in my case possibly hooks & eyes and poppers, because I can't be faffed with buttonholes right now. It's actually a reasonably simple pattern to understand, though the notches, as I've always found with Butterick, do not line up precisely.
All they need now is fasteners (lunchbreak job!) and the decorative diamonds on the sides.
I also (a while back) covered the wellies, though they still need the armour and detail parts adding.
22nd July 2010: The perils of cosplay! I found the bag of interfacing, so all is well on that front.
Cut the wig last night. It was a shoulderlength wig with really long bangs, so a lot needed to be chopped off. I hate cutting long wigs into short, masculine styles, because it never looks quite right at the back, but it seems to have come out OK this time. However, it took so much slicing and snipping that I ended up with a blister on the middle knuckle of my middle finger! That's a new injury to add to the "bizarre ways I have hurt myself doing cosplay".
If I can dig out a camera from the piles of just-moved-house I'll post up a picture of the wig and monocle; it's pretty funny.
20th July 2010: aw crap Oh yeah - forgot to mention. The bag of interfacing has vanished during the house move. I'm sure it's IN the house. I'm fairly sure it's in the spare room. I just can't find it! Interfacing is VITAL to this costume, so I really hope it turns up soon...
20th July 2010: A pox on game designers Patterned the jacket, and then cut it out of the main fabric. It's gone weird. I've made the pattern completely from scratch as I was desperately trying to avoid side seams which would look odd beneath the "diamond" details, but somewhere between the cotton mockup and the suedette the front panels have become far too narrow!
I think I'll give up on the seamless look and use a side panel instead - something wide enough for the "diamonds" but avoiding a seam right in the middle of the side. It'll make things a bit easier, just not as cool, and it will also mean the bad front panels are probably recyclable, as well as using more of the grey fabric (of which I have lots) instead of the red fabric (which is in shorter supply).
That setback aside, I DO have the most important part of the costume now - the monocle! It's a proper monocle so actually sits on my eye naturally without assistance. Still waiting on the wig - I should check the tracking number on that.
Flipping hope I can get this done in time ;_;
12th July 2010: Oh hell, I'm last to the party Kat and Amy have both made actual progress... I'd better get off my ass!
I forced myself into London in the blazing heat and sunshine on Saturday and spent about 2 hours gathering up all the fabric I needed. It's... 90% suedette. I figure the grey and burgundy parts looked like suedette, plus I love sewing with it, and it got to the point where I just thought I'd try to make most of it out of matching fabric. The turquoise patches are muslin as the bias I bought was cotton, so they have a similar texture, plus it breaks up the suedette. There's also some white leatherette for collar and details, and I'll use some regular white cotton and cotton lycra to break it up some more. The suedette for the boots (and other bits) I got is a bit too purple, but I may experiment a bit with ink washes to make them more grey-toned. My regular shop for suedette managed not to have a single colour that was in any way useful, hence the 2 hours ;_;
I have wellies for the boots. They're chunky enough that they match the in-game art quite well, plus they were cheap. Since I'm covering them anyway their welliness won't be immediately obvious.
I bought a monocle, but I can't actually wear it because it's cheap party shop tat. So I splashed out a little bit and got a proper one, still waiting on that. Also waiting on the wig, but that should turn up soon!
I've asked TheKillingDoll to make me a katana with his con-safe-sword-making skills. For now, I need to dig out the sewing gear from amongst the house-move boxes and get started - trousers first!
Amy-Lou - 12th July 2010
Welcome your evilness! I really like the idea of suedette and muslin, neat contrast and you'll get that soft texture :)
Anonymous - 2nd August 2010
looking forward to seeing this :D
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