Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Please, Captain, not in front of the Klingons."

Guys. Idk if you've realized this yet, but I'm super nerdy. I love really nerdy stuff. I can't help it. Today I get to share with you my tips on a costume I did a few months ago for a themed party that was almost as fun to put together as it was to wear.

Okay but really. It's a super easy costume. It's a super fun character. You don't have to worry about fussing over it all through your event, and EVERYONE wants to take a picture with you.

Okay. Not everyone... But all the cool people

Alright. Alright. Enough with the pictures, you all know what he looks like. Here's my version below!

That's my dad, the original Trekkie in my family. I have a lot of fond memories staying up late on school nights to watch Star Trek with him. I'd pretend to go to sleep, then when he'd start popping some popcorn, I'd grab my blanket and sneak out of my room, fix myself a glass of milk, and snuggle up next to my old man for an hour of sci-fi filled awesomeness. I was a Trekkie before I knew what it was, before I knew what a nerd was, and probably before I knew what Star Wars was. Enough backstory, I can hear you all yelling like a herd of Monty Python extras already.

"GET ON WITH IT." Okay, geez.

I made due with what I already had, and being a huge nerd I had a captain's tee, not the blue uniform Spock himself wears. You can purchase the same shirt here on ebay for roughly the same price I got mine for, off the back of a cereal box no less! If you search, they have the blue shirt, too. And the red shirt, but really... You don't want to wear that one, unless you're doing a Star Trek/Expendables mashup cosplay. You might notice mine is a tad more form-fitting, I did take it in with my serger, around 3 inches each side from the bottom to the sleeve. 

Here is the make-up tutorial I followed for the eyebrows. This girl KNOWS her stuff. I didn't use those ears, though. I didn't have any and I was in a rush. The make-up starts at 3:45 on said video.

For my ears, I followed another video tutorial here that just uses cello tape and make-up. It took quite a few tries to get right, but if you have someone help you it's a lot easier.

Okay, sorry, I know I said no more. (C'mon, though, it's Zachary Quinto, you know you liked it).
Back to the costume. That shirt, that make-up, and those ears, you just need black slacks and black shoes and you're golden. It held up really well, this last photo is after hours of dancing up a good sweat.

Don't forget to share your own costumes! I'd love to see what your version of any of these posts are, or even your original costume ideas!!! One can never have too many options when considering the age old question, "What should I wear?"

Live Long and Prosper ;)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIY Onesie Wolf Costume

Howl cute would any kiddo look as the Big Bad Wolf? I can't begin to tell you how adorable the man cubs were last year as Baddie and Little Red together. They had a terrific time at their pack's costume party, and I'm sure a good deal of that candy had them up with the moon all night.

Okay, I'm done with the puns. I think.

First, I went to Hobby Lobby. That's usually how I start most projects. I bought a brown onesie in the right size, a 1/2 yard of furry brown/pepper material, and a half yard of a brown knit fabric that was soft and close to the color of the onesie. This tutorial involves sewing,  but very minimal. I'm no expert, and I survived in and completed this in one attempt.

Figuring out the layout of a hood was the hardest part. I mostly eyeballed this part, and it worked out well. The important part is making sure the hood is deep enough and tall enough to actually hood the wearer with the desired effect. For Halloween, you usually don't mind a deep, loose hood, so if you're guessing, the longer the measurement, the safer. 

I cut the knit fabric a bit wider than the onesie it'self, since I'd be attaching it at the shoulders and back, the finished project will be about half the width of the armspan of the onesie. The length of the fabric I left as the length of the spool of fabric. This seemed to fit well on the 18 month old who wore it.

Fold the fabric top to bottom, face side should be inside the fold. Sew seems along the sides first, then turn right side out, and sew the bottom closed. I folded the bottom in a bit so there wouldn't be a rough edge, and used a zig-zag seem so it would be more durable.

Fold the same fabric down again, then in half.

Sew a seem along the TOP where the fabric meets, then turn right side out.

If you bring the top seem to the middle and let the fabric open in the front, you'll see your hood is finished and now needs attaching. 
Like I said, it's better to guess big. This hood pretty much fits my head. I'm not 18 months old.

For this I just hand-stitched the hood onto the onesie. I found the center of the bottom of the hood, then the center of the onesie between the shoulders on the back, and stitched.

Then take the corners of the hod, and attach to the front of the shoulders with hand stitches. The overlapping shoulders on the onesie made this really easy.

Next, cut tail from the furry fabric. This part is messy, I suggest you do it outside if possible, or over a wide mouthed trash bin. The fur got everywhere.

For the tail, I just folded the fur fabric in half and cut long mirrored acute triangles. I sewed a single seem down the center to hold it together. I didn't take photos of this part, I apologize.

To place the tail, center it about waist-level on the back of the onesie. I pointed the tail upward and sewed a seem along the bottom, so the tail would fall with some curve.

At the moment I do not have a photo of the entirely finished product, which featured EARS, too. Those were just cut triangles from the fur as well, same as the tail only small, and attached equidistant from the center seem on the top of the hood. I also used excess fur to make leg warmers and wristbands for our little wolf, those were just strips sewn onto his black leggings and tied onto his wrists. Little Red will be posted soon!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Refashion an Old Mask

I know I'm not the only one that goes into that kitschy import store in the mall and falls in love with a lot of things I ended up using a maximum of ONE TIME. Friends, I fall victim to the wall of masks at Earthbound Trading Co. every single time I walk into any of their locations. Even at the local party store, those papier-mache faces just steal my gaze. But if you plan on reusing them year to year, you're going to either have to be extra careful, or very prepared to retouch those beauties. The latter isn't very hard, as I'll show you today!

I recently received an invitation to a HUGE masquerade party. If you don't know me personally, you may not be aware that I have fantasized about going to one since I was a little girl. You may think of some recent television episode of a popular show featuring elegant ballgowns and tailored tuxedos. Personally, my first thought was the Masquerade scene in Phantom of the Opera. I'm actually planning a big road trip with friends to the event, as it's out of state, and asking someone particularly special to be my arm candy for the evening. I want the weekend to live up to my expectations, and since I'll be asking someone as my date, I realized it's only fair I provide them with a mask as he may not be prepared.

So, I need TWO masks. One for me, one for him. I happen to never throw anything away, so I'll be using one from a previous Halloween costume, and another from a   past Mardi Gras celebration. This tutorial is great for a mask that just needs some retouches or even if you just dislike the color. You can also use this on an undecorated mask to give it the look you'd like.

What you'll need:

[Mask]ing tape (Couldn't resist)
Hot Glue Gun
Exacto Cutting Tool (OPTIONAL)
Spray Paint (Try and think of what you'll be wearing with it when choosing a color)

Start by looking at your mask and decide what needs to be done, then follow what steps you find necessary out of this tutorial.

This mask had pieces chipped with the paint that were necessary to the textured swirling pattern.
I guessed at the finished look of the pattern and filled in the missing parts with the glue gun. My gun is a little old and my hands are a bit shaky, so my lines aren't perfect, but I don't consider them noticeable to those who don't read my blog. You'll see them better on the painted mask nearer the end of the post.

Next I wanted to conserve the sheet music artwork on the mask already. To do this, I took small bits of masking tape and pressed them over the parts I wanted untouched. I used the Exacto Cutting Tool to get better definition and tear away the excess tape so I wouldn't have to worry about the old colors showing through after the painting process. I had the thought that I could take either more music or pages from an old book and Mod Podge them onto the mask after painting, but the masking tape was just as efficient.

Alright, a final look before going outside to paint...
OH RIGHT I don't want those ribbons all crunchy with dry paint! Cover those with some tape, too. I just went about halfway down each ribbon, making sure the tape didn't stick to the actual mask.

Time to paint! I love painting. Even spray painting. I used a Metallic Silver on this mask, and a Satin Red on the other that you'll see near the end.
PLEASE make sure you paint on a surface you don't mind getting permanently altered, and in a well ventilated area. Outside in a remote part of my backyard near my shop is where I set up my little pedestal (empty peach cans work great).

Follow the safety guidelines and instructions on the can's label. Also, don't forget to check under the ribbon and along the edges of the mask for old color to cover. I also painted the back of this one, as it had some writing on it I wanted to cover.

Make sure you didn't miss any spots and allow to dry.

Next, remove your tape, and you're done!

My other mask, the one I'll be wearing myself, I had to repair where the ribbons attach to the inside of the mask. The end were glued and tipped with felt circles to prevent the ribbon from coming loose, but the base white paint on the inside of the mask came off where it was glued, detaching the entire ribbon. This happened on both sides, and I repaired it twice. The first time I used glue dots, found in the scrapbooking section of your local hobby store or WalMart. The second time I used Gorilla Glue. The second repair seems much more permanent than the first.

This mask was originally a darker red with gold glitter accents, but the paint had chipped, and I had Red Satin spray paint from a previous project lying about. Voila.

If we happen to be at the same Masquerade this fall, be on the lookout for the supermegafoxyawesomehot couple wearing these, and feel free to say hi!

Monday, February 25, 2013

UnMASKing the Secret

Have you ever used masking tape? Also referred to (somewhat misguidedly) as painter's tape? Usually found in beige or blue, and commonly used like duct tape in a 2" wide variety... This stuff is fantastic, but so frustrating. You start to peal it, and no matter how painstakingly slowly and carefully you go, it separates too early from the sides and leaves you with an angled edge on a piece usually much shorter than you'd planned. HOW ON EARTH DO I FIX THIS PROBLEM???... I thought to myself as I attempted to use it to patch a crack missing trim beneath a windowsill in our little home. So of course, after many a failed attempt at discovering the secret to a good clean tear, I did what I should have done in the first place. I turned to the internet for answers.

AND I FOUND THE SECRET. Right here. All you have to do is just what it says. Grip the roll with a few fingers on the inside of the ring and your thumb across the tape below the start of the tear, applying firm pressure. Unroll the tape at a shallow angle, maintaining that pressure (I would stop and move my thumb along with the separating edge of the tape every 2-3 inches). Get the measure of length desired, and tear! Presto! It's easier with a new roll of tape, or a roll with clean, even sides, no dents. If you store it properly, it should stay in like-new shape for a long time and last you quite a few smaller projects. :) Now you know!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Éirinn go Brách

Okay. So I'm super proud of my Irish heritage. If I could travel anywhere in the world, I'd go to the Emerald Isle and never leave ever again. So I try and do something each year to observe St. Patrick's Day in at least some small way or another. Last year I was working at a TGI Friday's when it came about, and I forced my cheer and blarney down all of my coworkers throats, haha. This year I'll probably have to work the night in the bar/grill to make some extra money, but that won't stop me from celebrating, at least during the day.

Here are a few bands/songs, movies, and recipes to make your St. Patty's a little bit greener. I'll probably include all of them in my own festivities, invite a few friends over for the movies, and post the drink recipes in the bar to share with all of the regulars celebrating there while I work. I know some of these aren't really Irish, but if one of the characters prevalent throughout the majority of the story is, than I'll take it.

Dropkick Murphys (Youtube Channel)
Flogging Molly (Drunken Lullabies - Youtube)
The Young Dubliners (Youtube Channel)
Ireland - Legally Blonde (The Musical)
Celtic Woman - Concert (Youtube)

Boondock Saints - IMDb
Leap Year - IMDb
August Rush - IMDb

Irish Cheddar-Whiskey Fondue
20 Festive St Patty's Cocktails