Current projects

I took a dayΒ  this week to make sure all my projects are easily found and while initially it was overwhelming, I think I am not just at the inspired stage πŸ™‚

I have a lot of current projects, but having them nicely divided into clear containers mean I can actually see them πŸ™‚

I really want to finish my Cleves research this year. Or at least be at a point where I can say “yes, I can talk about this.” Because let me tell you, I have a heck of a lot of info for Cologne but there is very little for Cleves, Jullich and Berg. It’s a larger geographical spread and lots of archives are just gone. I have looked for donor portraits, any portraits and they are just.. not there.

Later yes.

Anyway. I now do have a pretty Cleves dress, a beautiful Cleaves dress, and a working kirtle type garment. I’m mainly working on accessories. But my red velvet gown is at the same stage my pink and black Cleves dresses were a few months ago so I can definitely work on the hand finishing of that this year.

So that least the later historic and modern media recreations.

I want Mina finally finished. That has been a struggle for fitting the bodice as my fabric has zero give. So the lining has to have zero give. I may have finally managed that but I need a bit of time to work on making it all tidy and transportable.

And I want my Elissa costume done. I should have left it alone but well… I wanted to wear it where accuracy is still prized so… but it’s okay. I think I’m just not wanting to face the rope skirt. It’s about 8m of velvet and while I have cut the pieces I have to pull and roll them and somehow make sure they don’t unroll. This is easier with velour but these are clearly velvet.

And Ahsoka. I am now happy with where Rebels has left her (in fact it’s exactly what I hoped and thought was the most logical outcome) so feel a lot happier in investing in the project again πŸ™‚ It’s been intense and nothing is even close to finished due to just not having any luck with any material.

 

So that leaves Marie Antoinette as my other must finish project. It’s hard because I really do need a metal frame. Luckily the original is very short so it’s possible I can find support material for it. I am very disappointed with the plastic stuff now available. It’s not at all like the older stuff with an oval cross section. That had a fibrous property that made it really quite firm, and the oval cross section helped curves maintain shape. I get a greally nice kidney shape but that is not at all the shape of these things.

This may be a project for next year. I have all the fabrics, it’s a matter of boning for the stays and hoops. I think I have an idea for making the hoops solid and transportable though.

ahsoka progress I think

Today I managed to mix latex do support my latest set of Montral. They look really great, got a lovely curve. But the weather has turned which means I have to leave them alone for several days again or I risk collapsting the latex against itself. If it was super hot it would be very easy to avoid bumping into them for a short period of time.

But I have nearly got the hilts sanded back, so I need to pick up some Rub n Buff as the only way to finish these- metal paint just is not going to allow for the fine detail to show.

But I thought I’d share a theory.

 

At the end of The Clone Wars Ahsoka leaves the Jedi. She also gains respect for Ventress who basically helps her more than anyone in clearing her name. Ventress used curved hilts.including when she helped Ahskoka, in fact they are recognised even in some darkness.

In Canon Ventress owns the only curved hilts- aside from Dooku whom of course Ventress was apprenticed too.

I won’t spoil Ventress’s arc but suffice to say I can’t help but think she had a lasting impact on Ahsoka who by this time was rethinking what it means to be good, what it means to be loyal.

The curved shape cannot just be a coincidence. Even if it’s not a straight up homage it has to be part of her thinking.

Lightsabers are a reflection of the Jedi who wield them and as Ahsoka no longer thinks of herself as Jedi. So she uses all her learning to create them. The crystals are from a sith after all. She reuses them after removing all trace of the sith, but also without leaving any trace of Jedi training.

 

 

To say I’m invested in an Ahsoka who has learned her life is not what it was and has gained a lot of insight, even to know her limits is a bit of an understatement. I am very nervous about her fate in Rebels, I’d quite liked to have had her remain where we last saw her. We know others manage to hide from the force for decades. I am okay with that.

one last chance for ahsoka

I’ve had my first infusion, not feeling terribly great but that’s because it is doing what it is supposed to. So I feel flu-y. Time for some more paracetamol and a rest.

So I can’t really use too many “spoons” outside of healing. Tomorrow I’ll rehem Elsa (horsehair braid really does help the hem kick out.) Friday is my nerve conduction test (really scared I’ll wind up sick in the room. Not great with needles any more.)

So I’ll have to wait til after that for Ahsoka. Luckily she isn’t a heavy project. Just frustrating.

Ahsoka hilts progress

I started by preparing the joins I created in the model. This allows the hilt to have the printlines as horizontal as possible and allow for very secure joins.

I sanded the extended end smooth and to remove the excess. I used a knife to tidy the recesses sections of the other end

Once these fitted well I used acetione and a tiny bit of ABS to weld the ends together. Pressure was needed for some

Once each hilt was assembled I was able to start sanding.

Much more sanding later I was then able to use a mix of acetone, silver pigment and clear abs filament dissolved together. This acts as filler and paint. But as it’s applied y hand and uses the solvent that will dissolver the plastic entirely it’s a process of applying, sanding back, applying thinner coat, and so on.

 

I used copper pigment for the copper pieces.

This was the antique silver. I have been using regular silver in subsequent passes. The difference can be seen below right.

Ahsoka tunic progress

Instagram importer isn’t working all the time, so I’m trying to backtrack a bit.

I’ve been doing slow work on hilts and montral. The hilts will likely end up with a layer of rub nbuff as I can’t get my pigments to work with my air brush.

But the tunic and mitts are going well.

To make the little windows in the mitts I used a stretch fusible on the inside layer. This is so that all the stabilising stiches are on the inside.

What this means though is I had to turn the upper edge inΒ  and overcast it to shape. I then turned the seam inside out and used my finger nail to press the seams flat and machined them. I worked as far in from the underside as possible then from the other end. And finally stabilised the seam allowance on the inside layer.

The tunic has been refitted and an extension added to hold the tunic in place. This will snap just forward of the seat And I have taken the neck in at the back so it swoops around to the back of the neck.

Here the mitts are inside out. I will overlock all these seams as soon as possible. Today I need to hem my Elsa cape πŸ™‚

today

I have decided on a Rococo theme for my birthday as an excuse to wear my Marie Antoinette Rocket Gown because a picnic in a pretty garden sounds perfect πŸ™‚ So I need all the undergarments and I also need to test the pattern for the swag drapes πŸ™‚

To do this I’m finally starting to use a stash of about 14 metres of of a shot freen and white mystery fabric. The colour it looks in warm light wis qtute silvery and in cool like quite dull aqua. It handles like cotton but feels like a bast fibre. So it may well be a mix. But it is totally perfect for a 2m wide petticoat and ruffles that I need for this frock!

So I’ll grab photos as I promised to share how I make my tubular wonder skirts (they can be used for paniers, a bell shaped rin, and even a bustle!

It’s very simple but a really good stable πŸ™‚

These will need to be twice the size I normally make them of course..

And I also have glue to see if I can also do some more work on Ahsoka.

And then see about how to cut this lace into strips of a good size. So first, to the printer! I need a reference image or two if I’m going to work on this away from my comp πŸ™‚

 

I figured I should work on projects where I already have materials for a bit πŸ™‚ Also I do need to make a modern-ish set of stays to be able to wear the frock. And that will mean boning past the waist and controlled on the hips. So probably a gored hip with a bit of bust shaping given this is the shape of the original.

Β 

So basically this. Which is from the film πŸ™‚ I know the plain piece on the lower back is acting more like a plackard but I’m going to make mine in two pieces, waist through control and a skirt of padded tabs to tack on. It gives me a lot of room to wear this under the Wilting Flower costume for instance and maybe even a Glinda if I decide to go that route again with my epic amount of bubble fabric.

So ideally ballet pink.

actual progress

Genuine real Ahsoka Tano progress! I wasn’t sure if our oven would be reliable to bake my leather armour in. I wasn’t sure if the curves would flatten out while on the trays and I wasn’t sure it would be under 60C but over 50C to get the pieces steaming but not scalding.

But it worked! THe hip pieces are a little crisper than the gauntlets, they sand very well. But I don’t really want to try and soak the gauntlets again so there is going to just be a little extra edge seal to cure and sand back.

I can paint these today, though it looks like I interpreted the belt strap wrong, it has a single channel. This is fine as the belt more than anything scalded on the racks and then when it fell onto the oven floor.

My montral were not curing, the latex created an airtight seal, so I have then hanging fan heater height and gave them a few blasts to heat up the water and get that to evaporate. I sewed my Padme Light Blue skirt back seam and tidied the zip area, and even sewed most of my Jem dress on between πŸ™‚

This is how I scaled my hilts. I knew they were much to flat to fit a working blade in the end. And that is still true. I did scale slightly to make them fit a 20mm tube (which is skinny enough for OT and Rebels era blades, the most common 25mm/1 inch) tubes are really good for prequel, TCW, and it looks like the new trilogy too.

I did check my machine. It is perfect for PLA but it’s not completely happy with ABS. I’d need to set up each time with a new adhesion layer (glue stick did help) and do one component at a time. And that was going to be a week of constant work. Not great for stress levels.

But my scaling made the hilts feel slightly oversized. It turns out I spotted other had this same conundrum of trying to fit a blade in. And so I tend to refer to my own hilts as FX style, after the MAster FX line of light up sabers.

Going by knuckle space it works, but my hand itself is much smaller. On my leg it feels right but I’ve rescaled to the dimensions I think look best and it’s printing now. I did also test and her hand fits four times over the body of the hilt but it looks smaller due to the size of her hands over all. So it’s probably best to aim for that effect in hand.

I’m doing Star Wars Reads tomorrow so sadly no Ahsoka, but I will have her ready for next week.