small victories

Well not small victories, quite major really 🙂

I managed to repair some “work” pants to be able to still wear presentable clothing while working with the messy clay.

And then I tackled my new pants all of which have that new fabric and stitching and elastic that together make it a bit difficult to wear immediately. So I removed excess stitching and dropped the seat seams so now have two pairs of pretend denim and five pairs of various shades of pink.

I’ve also been slowly working on the Phantom of the Opera gown. The Elissa skirt and dance pieces. Still not sure how to make the velvet tubes remain tubes. The stretch velvet has better memory than velour so I may need to get some spray glue to help them stay in shape.

Replacing the narrow looped braid for this scrolling braid. I was going to machine them but it wound up possible to hand sew with lots of beeswax on the thread.

But I also have been getting all the gold beads and trimming in order.

This is one of six new rope and tassel combos for the front of the dance skirt. The World tour versions have really heavy tassels (gold and black) with a few lengths of chain beads. I’ll hand knot beads on gold cord instead as finding a perfect match is just so difficult.

I added this length of saree trimming without really thinking. I think the skirt I want to mimic actually has a length of trim that is even top and bottom. So a quick check. Yep.

Note, this is about as good as it gets for this photo. Older programs did not have high density printing and were often very small. This is though my absolute favourite version of this skirt and I suspect some of that has to do with the very heavy contrast that may be an artifact of scanning for the web.

But I think it’s easy to see how I can love this and love the similar era Australian costumes. Really dense texture, and big blocks of colour.

New braid around the edges, new saree trimming on the side pieces and I unpicked some of my own beading and oraganza to get moe accurate loopy pieces in between. This is now much more like the newer World Tour versions that were also based on the very early Melbourne production.

 

And finally I have managed to work on the Enfys helmet.

The wings are too chunky but I was aiming more to get the front curve accurate. I may need to carve that down a little further. I’ll need to get a pointy probe (ie a needle set into a wooden handle) to find the thickness over the forehead and nose. But this was a good 4kg of clay melted and put on the helmet in one session so I need a fairly big break.

The heat was fantastic for my hands. It’s very close to wax therapy really. I melt the clay in a regular crockpot so it doesn’t get too hot. And I melted the last kg or two too far so was able to pour out on a dense formica type of surface and kneeaded it into flat pieces to precut the side jaws.

The character still seems to be under a bit of a spoiler embargo so there is a decided lack of detailed resources for all the large details that help the helmet read as “bone” not a perfectly rendered 3D model. Those are what I love about it but they are hard to see.

This is dye testing. Pretty sure it’s a very easy mix of yellow and red for the coral coloured sections and straight dark brown.

What is confusing when talking about it is that it is not dye like in any other medium. This would straight up be called paint. It is thick like regular students acrylic paint and doesn’t soak through. I mean I’ve worked with it enough but it’s still counter to everything I know about paints and dyes in textiles, clay, canvas, paper, etc.

Anyway. It does let the neutral skin to show through and so I’m happy enough to just wait and see what I can find for the lengths.

And this is the actual make and model of the “beads”. So tiny. I was going to cast them as they wind up about $35 a pop.

reinspired

I may not have an event but I just plotted the idealised layout of a fair amount of diamantes. At least 8 different kinds, plus three kinds of heat set. Oh and then there are the flat sew on. okay.

But it’s just kind of fun to think about.

Though unpicking a whole lot of work is not. But it’s been tarnished through exposure (made pre-fire) and so may as well be so I can use the base pieces. Just as I’m going to sneak some of the work back in as well as hopefully use the original corset lining.

So  there’s that.

Going to see if I can tint some trimming for Elissa. There are three shades to the wide stuff, and while I can’t tone back the darker I can boost the lighter.

Today’s plans

There is a mix of street works and digging of property happening so my head is a little unhappy. But I have Maleficent, Elsa, Elissa and Ahsoka to choose from. Or Mina.

Maley and Ahsoka are in the workroom, both are safe in terms of tools and materials so technically I could make use of the patchy sun for Ahsoka.

Maley is at the stage I need to possibly use my dremmel to kick back some of the plastic support as I think I need to scoop out and move some clay from near the base- I think that is what is making my horns curve too much.

Mina needs her bodice internal support tested. The form she was made on now obviously won’t fit as I have padding inside. Also very nervous about my ribs. This bodice is built like a corset. With hip gores and everything. Still I need to try it on.

Elissa would be sitting on the floor sewing the last few jewels then basting the skirt to ruffles. Much as I really need that skirt support for the Wishing Dress and for The Mina I think I should keep it just for Elissa.

Oh speaking of which. I decided to test my voice. And it really is true- somehow trained singers can sing better with a chesty cough than normally. I am not sure how but I found my voice sitting really well. So well my pitch was more stable than it has been in the past. So my pitchy pals- you can do it- take teachers advice but also sing for yourself and enjoy it as much as possible, record yourself and play back just to yourself to get used to how your voice sounds outside and love it at every stage. Love your voice, only you sound like you. Also often it really is less about not being on note but about support and placement. It really is.  And of course that relies on stable core support so when that slips the note slips. It may take time but that muscle memory will lay down. I wish I’d really understood that as a teen.

I was in a group recording (not sure what) and I heard myself. I was asked how I could in amongst all those voices- it’s because I have listened to my voice on tape day after day for years. And so I know what it sounds like even in a mix. Also I tend to be able to pick up the training-my vibrato and when it turns to bleating. Funnily enough it actually works really well when I place my voice higher I sound like a few musical theatre singers when I do that. Still too nervous to ever pull that in an audition. Though I did once at my perf. arts. school. Did well. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm..

Maybe I just need to embrace the twee?

But I also had trouble because all the mics I have blow out no matter how far from them I am. Had luck placing my hand over but not touching my phone. Protected the mic. Unfortunately in that recording I did miss a note so I’m just going to remember what I did then see if I can get something out there.

Phantom Hannibal costume tidy up :)

I’ve been adding more ribbon to the skirt so as to make it balance more with the extreme business of the appliqued hanging panels.

sm_dsc_1066 sm_dsc_1067

ANd this is what the inside looks like.

sm_dsc_1072

So why did I hand sew? I didn’t want to have to take the hanging panels off as they are just perfectly sewn down at the top under the two rows of ribbon. If I was to machine them I’d be either banging those about or have to take them off.

But the other reason is that hand sewing allows the two ribbons to appear to float over the fabric, creating shadows and depth of texture. It helps the green and purple to really pop over the gold.

I did machine sew all the ribbon on the pleated hem though. And that is partly the need to sew that quickly- the pleats are three times the full length so it was going to be bulky and time consuming to hand sew! The effect is now of a single fabric due to the machine stitches.

Now I can start pinning the extra appliques and jewels on the skirt 🙂

Oops, slight problem here…

Oops, slight problem here…

I knew it would be a problem to store but I really can’t do anything else with the Elissa skirt. Umm… Yeah.

  1. Sandy T. says:

    Do you have any patterns for this dress (I LOVE POTO) I really want to make this costume. (I wasn’t on planning on doing the big skirt, just the ropes and bodice.) If you have any tips or help. Please let me know! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH. You are a costume genius.

    Reply
    1. admin says:

      Thank you 🙂 I originally used an 8 panel ball gown bodice as a base for my first version, which then was adjusted to make a 10 panel bodice.
      A wedding gown pattern section is probably going to offer a good option as it will include instructions and material guides for making a self supportive bodice 🙂

      Reply

HANNIBAL DONE!

HANNIBAL DONE!

by michaela de bruce, September 27, 2014

Except not because my boning poked through (so was removed) and I need to move the seams to actually work with the curves I do have and with the non curves. The boning sticks away from my waist, so I also need to knuckle down and nip in the waist again.

But I do still like my old rope skirt  and I love the overall Aussie feel to the colour blocks and proportion. Also bodice is fully multifunctionsal- the bust applique snaps off too, so Carlotta style upper can be done 🙂

For an idea of why it took almost a decade from the last version? Each row of trim on the bodice took 15mins. That’s the vertical ones. So….

The scarf is the new tour version. Yes. That is what it is. Yes. Ehem. I need to remove the dye from the ends and then dip dye in green then black and see if I can also wrangle in there some glold bars (no dye areas- silk goes yellow in the dye remover) and then find somewhere in Auckland with long fringe.

I will add little forehead curls. But more old school than new school tiny ringlets. The curls of the wig are big and soft and need a more subtle hairline. But OMG! Widow’s peak lace front wigs let people see the full expanse of my giant forehead! This is new!

Wig is from Wigfashion on ebay. The same colour- lovely chestnut with deep red highlights- very subtle but it warms the whole wig.

NOT EVEN RESISTING ANY MORE.

NOT EVEN RESISTING ANY MORE..

by michaela de bruce, September 23, 2014

So that red wig? Guess who has gotten her Carlotta on?

Inspired, yes, by Rachel Anne Moore’s interpretation (inspired by la Divina, Maria Callas) but also because the red dress Danielle Everette wore in Carlotta Side Story was just the most glamorous version possible (in part because she’s stunning and tall and so the lines all create this perfect vertical 188os silhouette- my legs are long so I can get a similar effect even if not as tall!)

Anyway. So I’ll be using my ruined Cleves gown velveteen for the velvet parts so as to recycle something I can’t wear now.

I also have 10m of magenta/fuchsia silk organza to turn into ribbon for the pleats.

And I’ll be making a second bodice for my Elissa gown.

And a fake head! Time to grab a male wig form and cover it with muslin! Opening cadenza at everyone!

So.. .. extra wear out of some of my projects 🙂

Hopefully I can do the bodice and wig soon and then the red dress next year.

ELISSA/HANNIBAL BODICE TRIAL

ELISSA/HANNIBAL BODICE TRIAL

by michaela de bruce, September 3, 2014

Angel of music,
Your final warning,
Stay away from my mind.
Angel of music I have a court order,
And I have friends in Star Wars.

Sorry, my costume wardrobe behind is just Mina and All The Star Wars props.

If she knows Shae, Erik, you probably should back off.