The 2016 Fabric-Along!

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Now that the Single Fabric Challenge has come to an end, I wanted to do something else fun for the group as a whole, and I decided to do a “fabric-along” challenge/party.

The idea behind a fabric-along is that a design is picked with various color-ways, and people can purchase fabric of their own color choice, and participate.  You can make anything costume related, of any style, but the fabric purchased needs to be obvious and integral to the design in some way.  No linings or trim only.

The Fabric supplier of Shear Madness challenges.

The Fabric supplier of Shear Madness challenges.

The judging of these will be different than the previous challenges.  People will submit their photos to me of what they have made, they will be uploaded into an album, and the Shear Madness support group will vote on their favorites.  I will also pick a “Laura’s Choice” from the group for an extra award.  The winners will receive Shear Madness award ribbons, and the 1st place winner (and Laura’s Choice winner) will each receive 3 yards of fabric from Fabric.com.

So which fabric are we doing?  Well, I was inspired by one of my favorite movies, and one I have personally recreated costumes from – “The Sound of Music.”  The fabric design chosen is very similar to that of the curtains used by Maria to make play-clothes for the Von Trapp children.  It is:

Ozborne comes in various colors (there are currently 19 options on Fabric.com), and it is a slightly heavier twill fabric with the design printed on it.  It is 100% cotton fabric.  It does not have a delicate drape, but is structurally very good.  It is a fairly large repeat, so pay attention to the ruler with the measurements when ordering your yardage.  Note that sometimes they do a run of this fabric in a much smaller repeat, so make sure you know the size when ordering.

There is a similar print called “Traditions” and one called “Madison” that are also acceptable for use, as they really are very similar.  The fabric width is 54 inches wide.  The fabric also washes fairly well, with minimal shrinkage in my experience, but your experience may differ.

Part of the idea of the fabric-along is that people working on the outfits made from the fabric post updates, color choices, etc. on the group, so we can follow along.  I will have a separate album that people can add photos to as the challenge progresses.

So what can someone do with this fabric?  Well, I did participate in a Sound of Music group in which we used the olive colorway to make our curtain outfits:

Our rather modern and unorthodox take on the Von Trapp family.

Our rather modern and unorthodox take on the Von Trapp family.

And I modded the dress to make it Victorian-esque for a Steampunk Fezziwig’s party:

That would be Edelweiss on my bustle, and my hat is covered in my favorite things.

That would be Edelweiss on my bustle, and my hat is covered in my favorite things.

So choose your colorway, purchase your fabric, and join in the fun!  The Challenge ends June 15th, and your final photos and text must be submitted to me by midnight CST on that date, either via FB email or via regular email at mncostume@yahoo.com.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the fabulous things you come up with!

SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #9: THE “PUT SOME GEARS ON IT STEAMPUNK” CHALLENGE WINNERS

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We had so many wonderful entries for Challenge #9, and they truly impressed our judges!  A big thank you to our wonderful judges:  Leah “Lamia” Lloyd, Lis Kester of Dragonfly Designs by Alisa, and Gregory Laffrenzen!

And here are the winners:

Third Place:  ”East Meets West Steampunk” by Prentice Watson!

Prentice's wonderful Asian-inspired Steampunk costume.

Prentice’s wonderful Asian-inspired Steampunk costume.

Prentice says:  “I wanted, as usual, to merge the West with the East for this Steampunk challenge. I thought of creating a Steampunk Samurai costume with elements from both. I found a ton of Asian inspired Steampunk costumes upon which to draw some inspiration.

Action shot!

Action shot!

In addition to lots of inspiration photos, I found several images that provided instructions on how to create the hakama, traditional Samurai pleated pants, and the hoari, the half length kimona style outer jacket. Plus a couple of Steampunk ray gun images as well. I made one several years ago, but needed a new smaller one for this costume. So I was off to the races with my Samurai Steampunk costume.

Lovely detailed vest.

Lovely detailed vest.

The shirt vest and cravat I already had made and thankfully still fit. The collar should have been up on the vest, but that’s alright. I really like the way the haori turned out. There was a lot of hand stitching with this jacket. The lining was joined to the outer shell all by hand. It really made all of the difference. I was concerned about losing length from the hem, that I sewing grosgrain ribbon at the bottom and folded that up whip stitched that to the lining and outer shell fabric to secure. In some of the photos, you can see the blue ribbon.

Judges’ comments:

“ I am intoxicated by all Ricepunk, particularly when it’s well done, and even moreso when it’s for a gentleman. Great use of colors and good compliment of fashion elements of both East and West. ”

“This makes me very happy; I love seeing well-researched multicultural steampunk. The steampunk aspects are very well integrated.”

“Impressive alignment of the bold vest pattern. Great attention to detail on the lining of the hoari sleeves. Tasteful use of jewelry and accessories for the photoshoot.”

Congratulations, Prentice!

Second Place:  ”Red and Ivory Steampunk Wedding Gown” by Barbara Ebel!

barb2

A gorgeous Steampunk Wedding ensemble!

Barbara says:  “Red and Ivory Steampunk wedding dress in silk taffeta and velvet. Based on a historical dress from 1877. I made the bustle (not pictured), corset, petticoat with circular flounce, skirt and jacket.

Undergarments coordinate with overgown.

Undergarments coordinate with overgown.

Embroidery took over 30 hours to complete. The final image is the original dress.

Trims and embroidery details.

Trims and embroidery details.

We changed the sleeves & embroidery pattern and I couldnt find knotted fringe, but most other details are true to the original including the fringed taffeta knife pleating. ”

Back view!

Back view!

Judges’ comments:

“Amazing attention to detail. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Trim, fabric, contrast, reference, everything.”

“Completely fantastic.The embroidery is wonderful.”

“All around fantastic. That embroidery is everywhere!”

Congratulations, Barbara!

First Place:  ”Broken Clockwork Doll”  by Erin Card!

Erin's enchanting Clockword Doll.

Erin’s enchanting Clockword Doll.

Erin says:  “Elements:
Petticoat – Made from pattern. One billion yards of tulle.
Skirt – Designed & made. Two-layer bustled charmeuse lolita skirt
White shirt – Designed & made – pinstripe charmeuse with sheer striped sleeves
Jacket – Designed & made – military cropped style, lined charmeuse.
Doll legs – tights purchased (eBay, Made in China)
Upper eyelashes – Designed and made – paper lashes.
Top hat – embroidered by me (free-standing lace design by Urban Threads)
Gloves – purchased (eBay, Made in China)
Wig – purchased (Gothic Lolita Wigs) and lightly styled
Makeup – myself, using white base paint, black liquid paint, and metallic powders.
Shoes – purchased (eBay, Made in China)
Parasol – purchased (eBay, Made in China)
Contacts – electric blue contacts purchased (FourEyez)

Full rear view.

Full rear view.

This was SUPPOSED to be my halloween costume, but I’d only gotten through ordering wig/gloves/shoes, making the hat and petticoat, and drafting the skirt and top by the time I had to triage and make a backup doll costume. I finally finished it for a photoshoot in mid-December. I may add additional elements to the skirt and parasol, but we’ll see.

Rear view embroidery close-up.

Rear view embroidery close-up.

The skirt is a two layer, high waisted, corseted back, meticulously stripe-matched, embroidered, charmeuse lolita skirt. I part-drafted, part-draped the skirt from scratch. Then added almost 60 yards of 5in ruffle, lettuce’d with fishing line in the hem for extra poof! Petticoat had to be completed first in order for me to drape on the dress form. No zipper – uses the corset back to tighten around my midsection after pulling on over my head. There is elastic in the back panel to help with gathering under the corset ties. The back is bustled with ribbon run through small loops, so I can adjust the amount of bustle I want. Design and construction of the skirt went flawlessly, unlike the jacket.

Full front view.

Full front view.

The shirt is a pinstripe charmeuse with shear striped puff sleeves. I made most of it from a pattern, modifying the collar to military style, and the sleeves to be long and poofy (pattern had 3/4 sleeves). The pattern I LOVE because it has a bust seam, allowing for a tighter waist and still allow the bust to have give. Buttons (can’t see in the pic) are 3D printed and colored silver with rub-n-buff. The cuffs close with free-standing lace buckles instead of buttons or cufflinks.

The jacket is cotton lined, embroidered, charmeuse with double breasted front and military collar. Drafted and draped, styled like a little girls’ doll jacket would look with a looser, straightedged cut on the bottom. I had originally planned to use a pattern for this, but upon base shape completion, it was pulling in ALL the wrong spots and my stripes hadn’t matched and it was terrible. So, I threw that across the room and started over with my dress form and some scrap fabric to drape, draft, and drape again until the design was perfect. Stripes are matched on the shoulder and front overlap. Buttons are 3D printed and colored silver with rub-n-buff. Throat brooch was purchased (made by a friend), and modified with additional 3D printed gears.

Front view close-up of embroidery.

Front view close-up of embroidery.

“Free standing lace,” for the uninitiated embroiderer, is actually an embroidery design done on a water soluble stabilizer. The embroidery design is tight and structural enough that when the stabilizer is washed away, all that remains is thread, and it’s sheer like lace. Leave a little stabilizer in there as “starch” and you can create some awesome 3D elements, like my hat and cuff buckles. All my embroidery (FSL and normal) was done with metallic bright silver, mid-gray, metallic pewter, and black threads with designs by Urban Threads.

Eyelashes (top) are designed and made by me. Gear design cut out of a glittery black paper on my Cricut paper cutting machine. They last quite well – this was my 3rd or 4th time wearing them. Lower eyelashes were purchased.

The detailed make-up.

The detailed make-up.

I painted my face and chest with a light coat of white to keep it more porcelain than stark white. Then took a liquid black to create holes and cracks all over my face, neck and chest. Using a fine brush, metallic powders and a suspension liquid, I painted the clockwork innards through the holes in my face and chest. Flashes of white on the edges of the holes and cracks create extra dimension. Rosy cheeks, oversized eyelashes and white eyeliner help with the doll-like look. Closeup photo of the face is from halloween, not the outdoor shoot. But it’s the same concept. I change the gears every time I paint it.”

Judges’ comments:

“Impressed with makeup, accessories, design, workmanship and embroidery.”

“Phenomenal use of freestanding lace and embroidery. Cute touch with lightup earring.  Agree that lots of different techniques went into this, and they blended well to make something bigger than the individual parts.”

“So impressed with this. So many different techniques and skills were used, and it all came together perfectly. The make-up is a great touch.”

Congratulations, Erin!

The judges were so impressed by the worksmanship and design of an additional entry that they decided to award it a Judge’s Choice Award.

Judge’s Choice Award:  “Agents of Catthulu” by Ryn Cording!

The Agents of Cathulu costume by Ryn!

The Agents of Cathulu costume by Ryn!

Ryn says:  “A few months ago, I ran across a comic called Tentacle Kitty. Being the catlady I am, it really clicked when I started thinking about steampunk costumes for our local winter steampunk party. I fell in love with the idea of a secret society of chaotic neutral agents aligned with the mysterious (and fearsomely cute) Catthulhu. And so, the Agents of Catthulu were born…or awoken…from a catnap…

LED busk cover!

LED busk cover!

The leather was a lucky/happy find at Tandy one afternoon when I ran in for snaps for a winter soldier cosplay. The resulting corset, shrug and holster have been the biggest challenge as the leather is thicker than I normally use for corsets. I will be tweaking the shrug from darts to princess seams but love the way it turned out.

Front view of ensemble.

Front view of ensemble.

The skirt was a repurpose from my Malificent costume from 2014. The Ruffles/pleats took a full afternoon, and I couldn’t be happier!  The shirt, gloves, hat, glasses and potion bottle (yay Thinkgeek!) were purchased.

Rear view of ensemble.

Rear view of ensemble.

All the electronics are running off of a 10k mah power cell. The LED in the busk cover does change colors as does the potion bottle. The LEDs in the skirt also slowly change and run off of AAs. The busk cover is hand carved and the thigh holster is hand-stitched (but for the four lines of stitching to hold the zipper into the leather wings.) The holster alone takes roughly four to five hours to complete. (I built two for Fezziwig’s.)

Stunning leatherwork!

Stunning leatherwork!

I’m very happy to share this beast and look forward to wearing all the pieces more often in the future!”

Judges’ comments:

“Great LEDs, I have coveted that leather corset, and she even put LEDs in the skirt.”

“Love the concept. The LED corset is fabulous!”

“Swank incorporation of multiple electronics / LEDs. Precise cutting of leather design.
Most Punk’d — the idea that steampunk takes a historical concept and gives it an impossible (at the time) spin.”

Congratulations, Ryn!

Honorable Mention for Stunning Use of Ombre Shading for “Steampunk Wedding Dress”, by Francesco Mena!

"Absolutely love the ombre effect; gorgeous, rich colors and a perfect fit."

“Absolutely love the ombre effect; gorgeous, rich colors and a perfect fit.”

Honorable Mention for Coordinating Fashion for “Chip and Eddie’s Wedding Outfits,” by Eddie Clark!

"Excellent use of contrast fabrics on both.  Great use of chain clasps on the outer coat.  Beautiful use of accenting the white with the underlying teal."

“Excellent use of contrast fabrics on both. Great use of chain clasps on the outer coat. Beautiful use of accenting the white with the underlying teal.”

Honorable Mention for Construction of Accessories to “Dr. Frankenstein and his Lolita Monster”, by William Nelson!

"props and accessories are fantastic. Love the filigree and LED eyepatch in particular.  Delicate filigree and details on gloves. Good work matching color of shoe to dress."

“Props and accessories are fantastic. Love the filigree and LED eyepatch in particular. Delicate filigree and details on gloves. Good work matching color of shoe to dress.”

"Magnificent backpack and adept use of contrasting artistic principles -- variety and repetition. Good work on a flexible “metal” tube."

“Magnificent backpack and adept use of contrasting artistic principles — variety and repetition. Good work on a flexible “metal” tube.”

Honorable Mention for Non-Traditional Steampunk for “Red Ballgown”, by Melissa Knesek!  

"Happy to see a non-gears ensemble. Good pleats, nice use of complimentary fabric.  The pleated skirt and the bustle shape are perfect.   Hard work pleating paid off in spades. Great coloring throughout the ensemble."

“Happy to see a non-gears ensemble. Good pleats, nice use of complimentary fabric. The pleated skirt and the bustle shape are perfect. Hard work pleating paid off in spades. Great coloring throughout the ensemble.”

 

Congratulations to all of our honorable mention winners!

And a big round of applause to our other wonderful entries:

“Fezziwig’s Ball Gown” by Erica Ramisch!

"Good use of fabric, good balance of design and fabric.  Love the use of color.  You can never go wrong with more sparkle. Love the adjustable skirt."

“Good use of fabric, good balance of design and fabric. Love the use of color. You can never go wrong with more sparkle.
Love the adjustable skirt.”

“Steampunk Cinderella and Snow White” by Lindsay Marth!

"Good job combining purchased and self-made elements. It's all perfectly matched.   Capelet is a great whimsical addition.  Clearly a project that was lots of fun to make."

“Good job combining purchased and self-made elements. It’s all perfectly matched. Capelet is a great whimsical addition. Clearly a project that was lots of fun to make.”

“Nevermore Dress” by Nell Bekiares!

"The overskirt is adorable, LOVE the contrasting colors and the buttons!  Good use of multiple on-theme fabrics to convey a specific idea."

“The overskirt is adorable, LOVE the contrasting colors and the buttons! Good use of multiple on-theme fabrics to convey a specific idea.”

Thank you to everyone for making Challenge #9 such a success!  We are looking forward to seeing what you can come up with for Challenge #10!

SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #8: THE “AS SEEN ON TV” CHALLENGE WINNERS

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We had a fantastic group of entries for Challenge #8, and they knocked the socks off of our judges!  A big thank you to our wonderful judges:  Samantha Evans, Maggie from Costumer’s Guide, and Cassandra aka Pinkrouge!

And here are the winners:

Third Place:  ”River Song from Doctor Who” by Laura Zenz Proctor!

Laura's Fabulous River Song!

Laura’s Fabulous River Song!

Laura says:  “Built and completed in March, 2015

It took me a while to source fabric similar to the original striped fabric, but finally found a lining material on closeout sale that read pretty close to me, and the rest of the grays were purchased to coordinate. The faux chinchilla fur was found online and was a remnant just large enough to build the muff, collar and trim out a pair of old gloves I had dyed gray.

The inspiration costume.

The inspiration costume from the BBC’s Dr. Who.

The hat was made from scratch with buckram, silk velvet, millinery flowers and feathers.

The fabulous hat.

The fabulous hat.

My biggest deviation from the original was the collar trim. I thought the trim looked heavy caused puckering on the original collar, so I choose a trim that mimicked embroidery and lay smoothly on my lightweight fabric. I then carried that trim down into the skirt to tie
them together.

Hanging out with Thorin Oakenshield.

Hanging out with Thorin Oakenshield.

The underwear I had already built and consists of a Victorian combination, corset, bustle and starched petticoat. The only pieces of the costume I didn’t build or alter are the shoes and journal.”

Judges’ comments:

“This costume is a lovely piece of work with well sourced fabrics and an impeccable fit. I particularly love the milinery work and interesting ‘origami’ treatment on the drape trimming. The wig styling is also very nicely done!”

“This is excellent for replication accuracy, excellent construction. Beautiful wig styling as well.”

“I think it’s funny that the original has more bust wrinkles than the costumer’s version does! She did a really nice job with the fit and I love that she wore it with the correct underwear. I also like the little details like River’s journal and the hat/muff.”

Congratulations, Laura!

Second Place:  ”Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones” by Loren Dearborn!

Loren's beautifully embroidered Cersei costume!

Loren’s beautifully embroidered Cersei costume!

Loren says:  “I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones and liked this dress when I first saw it on screen, but I truly fell in love with it when I saw it in person at FIDM’s Television Costume exhibit. And I knew I had to make it!

The inspiration garment. Embroidery by Michele Carragher. Gown from Game of Thrones.

The inspiration garment. Embroidery by Michele Carragher. Gown from Game of Thrones.

This gown was a LONG time in the making for me! First I did a lot of research. I poured over Michele Carragher’s website for close ups photos of the embroidery and spent a long time re-watching the scenes where she wears the dress. Then I got to work. I had some lovely silk taffeta in my stash that was just about the same turquoise shade as the gown but I couldn’t find anything to match the paisley printed side panels. So I ended up making my own print using a purchased silk screen and some copper silk dupioni You can see the whole process here: http://costumerscloset.blogspot.com/2014/04/painting-paisleys-for-cersei.html

A close-up of the detailed work on the hand-embroidery.

A close-up of the detailed work on the hand-embroidery.

I lined the sleeves with crinkled metallic silk and made piping of the crinkled metallic silk and the copper print since the dress is piped along multiple seams. I modified the Simplicity GoT pattern to make the side panels wider and the center back to give the gown a fuller skirt, and made two front panels to make it a true wrap dress as the original appeared to be when I saw it at FIDM. You can see the wrap and that skirts are nearly a full circle in this construction shot:http://costumerscloset.blogspot.com/2015/07/cersei-sneak-peek-with-favorite-pattern.html  It’s held together with only a few ties, something I feel sure naughty Cersei would approve of!

Back view of the gown.

Back view of the gown.

I had originally thought I might appliqué pre embroidered birds onto the gown but it just didn’t look right so I ended up embroidering all the birds by hand. I finished the first bird in October of 2014 and the last in June of 2015. I followed Game of Thrones embroider, Michele Carragher’s, method and embroidered them on silk organza then appliquéd them to the finished gown and then added all the beading, feathers, and Italian mesh embroidery. I got the biggest photos I could find of the gown and freehanded the spiral embroidery and bead designs onto some paper based on those photos then transferred the beading/embroidery lines to my gown.

The belt is purchased from an eBay vendor.”

Judges’ comments:

“Stunning, stunning embroidery and bead work. I love the work done to replicate the birds in mixed media – so finnicky and PERFECT! I wanted to do this one myself, but never committed to all that. Creative textile use to make a similar fabric for the side panels and also a little pattern manipulation go a long way to improving the accuracy of the recreation. There are also little snips of the paisley print in the arm trim which you can see in some of her blog pictures…. I think this costume is beautifully executed and is very screen accurate, PLUS includes some amazing hand work. Tiny criticism – GAH, show us the front! 🙂 ”

“This is so beautiful, beautifully constructed, and the amount of embroidery work, and with feathers, that turned out so gorgeously, is beyond impressive. Accuracy is top notch.”

“A lot of work clearly went into those hand embroidered birds. I think she did a beautiful construction job, really captures the look of the original and has all the beautiful hand work on top of it.”

Congratulations, Loren!

First Place:  ”Jupiter Jones from Jupiter Ascending”  by Bina Pothi!

Bina's Amazing Jupiter gown!

Bina’s Amazing Jupiter gown!

Bina says:  “August 7th, 2014 had me scream out loud. That was when I first saw a trailer for Jupiter Ascending.

When I first saw that beautiful white gown with all the pretty red flowers in the trailer, my stomach instantly turned into a vacuum, sending a clear message to my brain – “MY dress.”
My brain, on the other hand, instantly sent a message back: “Hey, your body is way too curvy for this!” (because seriously, my body is NOT that of Mila Kunis – not even remotely!)
My heart, on the other hand, lost no time and replied: “SO WHAT? Spanx do exist!”

The inspiration garment, from the movie "Jupiter Ascending."

The inspiration garment, from the movie “Jupiter Ascending.”

Since I tend to listen to my stomach and heart, my decision to make this gown was also instantly set.

At that point, the release for the movie had been pushed back to February 2015; which put me in no good position to obtain the lifesize cardboard standee – which I knew I would NEED to get that dress just right. So for a start, what I had was just the image of the standee as well as screen captures from the HD trailers for my initial research.

Eventually, I received the lifesize cardboard standee of the gown. It’s approximately 10% smaller than I am, and if I stand in front of it, my eyes are level with the center of the headdress.
Nevertheless, that helps A LOT in determining crystal placement, types and colors; and to correct a few things from my initial research.

See those “floating rhinestone crystals”? Right. They’re floating without seeming to be attached to the headdress. They’re definitely NOT in the promo photos.
They added floating CGI CRYSTALS to that headdress! *dies*

And that is where my reproduction MUST differ from the headdress as seen in the movie, because seriously, no one can make crystals float around a headdress with any available current technology. I’ll stick to the promo images version of the headdress.

Headdress in progress.

Headdress in progress.

The basic shapes of the original headdress are based on the “Obelisk” earrings by Finchittida Finch; as well as some other jewelry by that company.
Comparing their jewelry line with the images I had, I came up with the following shapes which are repeated throughout the headdress – compare the shapes to what you see in the headdress; and you will pretty much instantly recognize all three of them. The blue markings show the positions of the Swarovski 6525 “Wave” pendants in 28mm size, which were also used on the headdress as well as on the gown.

The standee as well as newer reference photos, such as the one above, revealed that the shapes are, in fact, cut from silver mirrored acrylic. So casting them with resin, as I had previously planned, is out of the question. So is using the mica pigment.
I have to order another batch of silver mirrored laser-cut acrylic to make the headdress. Pretty painful as that is rather expensive *sigh* Also, many of the shapes are doubled – I need to glue them back to back, so both sides of the shapes are mirrored.

Re: The Red Shapes scattered all over the gown. And then, with the help of some friends, it dawned me:
Those shapes are 3D printed shapes. Remember the 3D printed headdress above with the shapes inspired by Finchittida Finch? Yeah, those.
Just that for the gown, no Finchittida Finch jewelry was printed – they printed the HOLES which are present in the jewelry as solid objects!
Then again it could be possible that those tiny shapes are cut from acrylic glass, of course.

Back view of the finished gown.

Back view of the finished gown.

What worked:
Flexible PVC as used for flexible flap doors, 3mm thickness.
You have to look around a bit, but that stuff IS available in opaque red.
Only downside is that you have to use a special kind of glue for soft PVC to a) fix the shapes to the organza and b) fix the rhinestones on the shapes. Not all flexible PVC glues will work for BOTH tasks. I used “Pattex Kraftkleber Transparent” to glue the shapes to the organza, and “Uhu Weich-PVC” to fix the rhinestones to the shapes – these are both German-brand glues.
Why two glues? Because the first is cheaper but does NOT work for glueing rhinestones to the shapes (and I needed a lot of it!); and I needed less of the second glue.

(She ordered all of the Preciosa crystals for the gown, of which there were multiple sizes that needed to be ordered from all over the world. Swarovski was too expensive)

The ribbons which were used to create those decorations on the gown are approximately 1/2 inch wide (proportional to my own body height, that is). At least for the hip part, I think the decoration has maybe been stiffened with some kind of resin.
The original dimensional decorations were created by Katherine Wardropper with her Sculptural Fabric Technique and, in some parts, apparently also by Angel Armor – you can see them on their blog right here.  It seems they were created using red grosgrain fabric with what seems to be a black lace overlay.

Ribbon recreations.

Ribbon recreations.

I created a template derived from photos of the original dress, then used that to create reproductions of Katherine Wardropper’s work for my gown. As she – as the term “Sculptural Fabric Technique” indicate – uses fabric to create, but I used ribbons, I rather call my reproductions “3D ribbon formation”.

All together, I used 108 meters (or 120 yards!) of EACH the grosgrain- and organza ribbons. Which results in a total of 216 meters (or 240 yards…) of ribbon I used to make the decorations.
And yes, that took long, and it was insanely boring. I highly doubt that I would ever want to do it again. Seriously, human lifetime is SO short.

I constructed a tiny thin “shelf” from fiberglass and epoxy resin, attached that to the hip with velcro, and on top of that, I put the dimensional decoration (also with velcro). The Swarovski “Wave” pendants which are dangling from it are attached to the fiberglass shelf. The fiberglass is necessary because without it, the dimensional decoration would bend down within a short time. With the “shelf”, it doesn’t do that.

View of "fiberglass shelf."

View of “fiberglass shelf.”

Fiberglass shelf and decoration are completely detachable from the gown as well as from each other. This makes transportation of the gown MUCH easier.

The sewing pattern for this gown was an interesting challenge. I think I only managed because I am not just good at sewing, but also at creating patterns, 3D modeling and texturing. I have been doing ALL of this for up to over 35 years – some things longer, others less long. But I know what I’m doing, so to speak, so while it was still challenging, it wasn’t a stressful challenge.

I thought of quite a few possibilities, but all of them involved creating a dress with visible seams – which the original gown does NOT have. The seams, which HAVE to be somewhere, are cleverly hidden beneath the flowers and rhinestones.

A computer drawing of the design placement on the pattern pieces of the garment.

A computer drawing of the design placement on the pattern pieces of the garment.

Then again of course we could say that obsessing over details is the problem (the hem was asymmetrical, and I originally made it symmetrical and had to redo it).
But see, it’s like this. I love this gown. I seriously fell in love with it the moment I saw it; and I instantly knew that nothing but “perfect” would do for a reproduction.

(She used multiple computer programs to determine the exact patterning and placement of the jewels.)

The considerably low amount of rhinestones is easy to explain – the “red shapes” motifs along the edge of the extended “fan” do not have any rhinestones in them – in my pattern, that is; in reality there ARE rhinestones; and I will add them to the actual gown as I create it – in the end, I used somewhere between 25,000 – 30,000 rhinestones on the entire gown and headdress.
Also, of course, the pattern does not take any rhinestones on the flowers into consideration.

The underdress.

The underdress.

The underdress with the built-in hoopskirt, by the way, is not supposed to be a separate dress. It serves as a lining for the gown, and is joined to it at neckline and armholes.

(She used fake silk flowers rather than creating them by hand, as was done with the originals, to save money.)

…eventually, I went totally nuts to become Queen of the Universe.

The UV tattoo that completed the costume.

The UV tattoo that completed the costume.

I had a pocket stamp (top left) lasered (center left) with the original “Queen of the Universe” glowing tattoo design (center), and, with the aid of a UV pocket lamp (bottom left) I now AM the rightful heir to Seraphi Abrasax and Queen of the Universe from Jupiter Ascending (right).
“The things you do for a perfect costume!”, lol.

Side view of the finished gown.

Side view of the finished gown.

Thanks to a good friend on Facebook for giving me that idea to enhance my performance by innocently posting a picture of an UV tattoo last week!”

You can see more photos and a more detailed write-up of this costume at Bina’s blog.

Judges’ comments:

“It’s hard to even comment on this, since it’s so unspeakably amazing. Every detail is stunning. I particularly like the ribbon work pieces because I really love it when costumers incorporate a new medium, or new skill in their work. It is exactly en pointe for the challenge of accurately recreating a screen costume – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one SO accurately done.”

“This is amazing – the amount of research is impressive and I love the innovative use of modern tech (ie, 3-D printing) to replicate it. It’s pretty amazing how the bar has been raised since the early costuming days, since there is now access to services like spoonflower and 3-D printing to recreate movie costumes. The amount of mixed media involved in this, on top of trying to get the correct shape for the dress, is truly impressive. Beautiful job!”

“The amount of research, sourcing, and creative work that went into this is mind-boggling. And the result is incredibly stunning in accuracy and execution.”

Congratulations, Bina!

The judges were so impressed by the level of work in this challenge that they awarded all runners-up with honorable mentions!  They are as follows:

Honorable Mention for Incorporation of Textile Art Techniques for “The Bakers Wife from Into the Woods”, by Laura Zenz Proctor!

" I'm super impressed by the work that went into the pieced skirt in particular. I'm really sorry she had water damage on her costumes! Like the MA costume, the bodice is missing some of the fine details, which is only meant as a nit-pick because there are so many amazing entries. I think the overall costume really captures the effect of the movie costume."

“I’m super impressed by the work that went into the pieced skirt in particular. I’m really sorry she had water damage on her costumes! I think the overall costume really captures the effect of the movie costume.”

Honorable Mention for Creative Use of Materials (squared!) for “The Splendid Angharad from Mad Max: Fury Road,” and “Poe Da from Star Wars VII:  The Force Awakens,” by Caitlin Shindler!

"I really like Caitlin's attention and effort to achieve accurate replications - she put a lot of thought and work into what looks like a simple costume and that's what makes this stand out from other Angharads. Plus I think I'm going to zipperize all my hook and eye corsets from now on - what a great idea! Hate those stupid hook and eyes.... Excellent work on all aspects of this - attention to making the belly look AND feel realistic, wig, invisible shoes, distressing. Great work!"

“I really like her attention and effort to achieve accurate replications – she put a lot of thought and work into what looks like a simple costume and that’s what makes this stand out from other Angharads. Plus I think I’m going to zipperize all my hook and eye corsets from now on – what a great idea! Hate those stupid hook and eyes….
Excellent work on all aspects of this – attention to making the belly look AND feel realistic, wig, invisible shoes, distressing. Great work!”

 

"The vest is a real showstopper! I love the use of all different materials trying to get at the look of the original. And wow, that is a super patient way to make pleated strips! (Someone needs to get C a "Perfect Pleater" for Christmas! They are the BEST THINGS EVER). I love all the mods done on the jumpsuit to increase the screen accuracy as well - lots of work, and really effective."

“The vest is a real showstopper! I love the use of all different materials trying to get at the look of the original. And wow, that is a super patient way to make pleated strips! (Someone needs to get her a “Perfect Pleater” for Christmas! They are the BEST THINGS EVER). I love all the mods done on the jumpsuit to increase the screen accuracy as well – lots of work, and really effective.”

Honorable Mention for Historical Fit and Styling to “Marie Antoinette, from Marie Antoinette”, by Lynne Taylor!

"OOOH such beautiful cuffs! I love hearing about a lucky fabric find getting used for just the right costume. This is excellently constructed, excellently fit, and a beautiful job on the wig styling."

“OOOH such beautiful cuffs! I love hearing about a lucky fabric find getting used for just the right costume. This is excellently constructed, excellently fit, and a beautiful job on the wig styling.”

Honorable Mention for Incorporation of Machine Embroidery for “Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones”, by Nancy Tozier Sieling!

"This costume is quite a nice Cersei look! I particularly like the free-motion embroidery pieces, the birds and the leaves, because they have a nice organic feel. The belt piece is a nicely done representation of the original too and really adds to the costume."

“This costume is quite a nice Cersei look! I particularly like the free-motion embroidery pieces, the birds and the leaves, because they have a nice organic feel. The belt piece is a nicely done representation of the original too and really adds to the costume.”

Honorable Mention for Incorporation of Historical Pleating Techniques to “Claire and Jamie Fraser from Outlander”, by Maggie Schultz!

" I wish there were more pictures of the costumes she made showing more details, plus in progress shots. What I can see looks well made and it sounds like she put quite a bit of effort into the sourcing and construction. Plus kudos for attempting a new thing on the cartridge pleats. Good job overall!"

” I wish there were more pictures of the costumes she made showing more details, plus in progress shots. What I can see looks well made and it sounds like she put quite a bit of effort into the sourcing and construction. Plus kudos for attempting a new thing on the cartridge pleats. Good job overall!”

Honorable Mention for Creative Engineering for “Ackmena from The Star Wars Christmas Special”, by Amanda Fineran!

"I agree, great costume choice! Nice to see the younger generation getting on board haha! I like that she made it all herself including going to the trouble of dying the fabric. I love that she had so much fun wearing this! You can see it in her smile. I also like her creativity in figuring out how to have it be off-shoulder without it actually being off-shoulder. Good ingenuity!"

“Great costume choice! Nice to see the younger generation getting on board haha! I like that she made it all herself, including going to the trouble of dying the fabric. I love that she had so much fun wearing this! You can see it in her smile. I also like her creativity in figuring out how to have it be off-shoulder without it actually being off-shoulder. Good ingenuity!”

Honorable Mention for Creative Ingenuity for “Madam Pince from Harry Potter, as channeled through The Magic of Moonacre”, by Sarah Faltesek!

"This was a really clever idea - I like the idea of adapting the Moonacre shape, which is so fantastical, for the fantastical Harry Potter world."

“This was a really clever idea – I like the idea of adapting the Moonacre shape, which is so fantastical, for the fantastical Harry Potter world.”

Congratulations to all of our honorable mention winners!

Thank you to everyone for making Challenge #8 such a success!  We are looking forward to seeing what you can come up with for Challenge #9!

THE ROCKETTE LIMITED CHALLENGE!

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We are excited to announce the “Rockette Limited Challenge” for Shear Madness!

The “Rockette Limited Challenge” will require the use of a Rockette Christmas ornament somewhere on the finished garment/accessory.  The ornament MUST be an integral part of the design.  Whether the focus of a hat, a brooch, etc., it must be central to the design.

A Rockette Christmas ornament, you say?

For real.  A Rockette Christmas ornament.  Brought to you by Vaseline!

For real. A Rockette Christmas ornament. Brought to you by Vaseline!

But, what the heck can you do with a Rockette Christmas ornament?  Well, Laura had a wild idea to put a whole bunch of them along the hem of a gown, but decided it would be more fun to send them out into the world and have you all come up with a plan!

The rules for the challenge are as follows:

1.  Only 12 people may enter this Challenge, as only 12 ornaments remain.  One of those people will be the Challenge #7 winner, as a Rockette ornament is included in their bucket of 50 items.

2.  You can sign up for the Challenge, but if you do not enter your finished item by the due date, you will be disqualified.

3.  You must use the Rockette Ornament as an intregal part of the design.

4.  The ornament has to be mailed to you, so you will be charged postage.  Postage will depend on if you are domestic or international, but will be sent the least expensive way possible.  These way about 2 ounces, so it will not be very expensive.  You must submit payment within a week or signing up for the Challenge, or the next person on the list will be allowed the chance to enter.

5.  You have until December 31, 2015 to complete the entry, and it must be submitted on January 1, 2016.  The winners will be announced on January 5, 2016.

6.  You must submit 1-5 photos of the entry, as well as a brief description of what your inspiration was for the design (other than the fabulous ornament itself), and any additional info you would like to share with the judges.

7.  Submit your information to Laura at laurapulak@yahoo.com.

The judges AND prizes for this challenge are secret, and will be revealed on January 1, 2016.  Trust us, they are pretty cool!

To give you an idea of the size of the Rockette Ornament, here is a photo on a 1 inch grid for scale:

They are roughly 3 inches by 3 inches.

They are roughly 3 inches by 4 inches.

We really can’t wait to see what you do with these!  Enter soon, because once this challenge fills up, it will be closed to any remaining entries.

*******THE SINGLE FABRIC CHALLENGE!*******

The Single Fabric Contest!

The Single Fabric Challenge!

We are doing a special challenge here at Shear Madness!  The people have voted, the fabric has been chosen, and the time is now!

The Single Fabric Challenge has only a few rules, and they are very simple:

1.  You must use Michael Miller Blue & White Bird on the Vine Azure fabric.  This fabric was chosen by the members of Shear Madness.  Fabric.com was chosen as the supplier because fabric can be ordered internationally, the pricing is very reasonable, and they very often have excellent sales and coupons.

purchase-fabric

2.  The fabric can be used in any way, but it must be visible and obvious in the costume.  Not to be used as lining fabric!  Other fabrics can be used as well – but the Challenge fabric must be of importance in the design.

3.  The costume must be completed by December 31, 2015.  All entries must be received by January 1, 2016 – you can submit them to Laura at laurapulak@yahoo.com.  The winners will be announced on January 5, 2016.

4.  You can make a costume from any design, time period, or genre.

5.  You must submit 1-5 photos of yourself IN the costume.  Photos of any details as well as full view shots are best.

6.  You must also submit a short summary of why you were inspired to use the fabric to create the costume that you made.

7.  If more than one person works on the costume, they must all be credited.

This Challenge differs from the others in several ways:

1.  There will not be a panel of judges – Laura alone will be judging this challenge.

2.  The 1st prize winner will receive a free ticket to Costume Con 34 in Madison, or a $100 gift certificate for Fabric.com, if they are unable to attend the convention.  The 2nd prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Fabric.com and the 3rd prize winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from Fabric.com.

3.  The 1st prize winner will also receive the largest trophy in Shear Madness Challenge history.

4.  The winning costume will NOT be featured on the Facebook group header, but will instead be the featured costume on the Shear Madness Blog, for 6 months.

5.  A special button/logo is available for use on any blogs/websites below. Simply copy and paste the code below the image. Feel free to change the width and height to fit your blog. The image width and height can be as large as 600 square.

Shear Madness: The Single Fabric Challenge

<a href="https://shearmadnessblog.com/2015/07/20/the-single-fabric-challenge"><img src="https://shearmadnessblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/single-fabric-challenge1.png" alt="Shear Madness: The Single Fabric Challenge" width="400" height="400"></a>

If you have any additional questions about the Challenge, please contact Laura.  We look forward to seeing your creations!

SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #7: “The $50 Challenge” – THE CHALLENGE WINNERS

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We had a smaller group of entries for Challenge #7, but they impressed our judges!  A big thank you to our wonderful judges:  Artemisia Moltabocca, Cindy Piselli and Liz Kearns!

And here are the winners:

 

Third Place:  ”Cyber Harley Quinn” by Leah “Lamia” Lloyd!

Leah's fantastic Cyber Harley Quinn

Leah’s fantastic Cyber Harley Quinn

Leah says:  “The shoes were $12.99, which I decorated with glitter $1.99 per color.

The black gloves I already owned, and had been used for a costume last year. Red gloves $3.99.

All of the black and red tulle was stash, a gift from a friend who had been clearing out her workroom.

The crinoline beneath it was a $1.99 monstrosity off ebay.

Amazing glitter covered shoes!

Amazing glitter covered shoes!

The white ankle socks were $1.25. All of the stockings were bought years ago, possibly over 10 years ago.

The corset was $13.99 (plus shipping). The rhinestone zipper was in stash from a fabric outlet that sadly went out of business last autumn.

Dreads were all from stash, red disassembled from a July 4 set, the candy stripes disassembled from a winter holiday set, and the remainder from never opened bags of crin stuffed onto shelves.

Close-up detail of the corset.

Close-up detail of the corset.

Stretch lace for cyberlox from stash.

Pompoms from stash, leftover from a White Bone Demon Chinese Opera costume.

Bells from stash, and the white spray paint liberated from the husband’s basement workspace.

The black rhinestones were ALL leftover from last year’s sexy Corinthian costume.

The large clear lozenge rhinestones were $4.38, and the red lozenge rhinestones were $4.23.

Collar was $.79 worth of tulle sewn onto a remnant of single fold white bias, and the velcro was from stash.

Sassy side view!

Sassy side view!

Bracelet from personal collection.

Total: $47.59

Judges’ comments:

“Very good use of personal stash! Recycling from older costumes, or shared costume pieces is a great way to stretch your budget. The sewer uses ebay for part of her pieces, a great way to purchase at lower prices. Making use of your friends’ giveaways is also a wonderful way to “shop” for free materials. I love the dreads, and reworking them from one costume to another is a brilliant way to save on wig prices.”

Proof that a lot of fun can be had without spending a fortune! The amount of detail that went into this costume is impressive, not to mention the very savvy shopping. Recycling and updating pieces you already have is very wallet- and eco-friendly. Bonus points for the double budge-friendly aspect of many of the pieces: the gloves can continue to be used for many different costumes, as can the ruff, the petticoat, and even the shoes (I can see those being worn as a touch of everyday geekiness). Ultimately, I am most impressed by how precisely the iconic Harley design was applied to the shoes and corset. Applying rhinestones and glitter cleanly takes a steady hand and abundant patience.  Best Use of Stash! I only wish I had raver dreds and oodles of rhinestones in mine.

“Excellent reuse of old costumes, and stash items. A very pretty interpretation of Harley Quinn. I’m most impressed by the beautiful and delicate $0.79 collar. I also love her expressive posing, as a good pose can elevate a costume’s grandeur tenfold.”

Congrats Leah!

Second Place:  ”Ringwraith” by Rose Jones!

Rose's creepy Ringwraith!

Rose’s creepy Ringwraith!

Rose says:  “This costume has been on my list to make for a very long time, mainly because I could never quite work out how to do it properly. I knew it had to have enough menacing presence to live up to the books, and still be practical enough to really do stuff in.

The ringwraiths from the latest Lord of the Rings films were my primary inspiration because I thought they were marvellously gothic. I also wanted it to be so black it as to almost eat the light.

My main problem was how to construct the thing without spending a fortune on meters of material or ending up with not enough fabric, so it resembled like a cheap Halloween costume.

Ringwraith pattern.

Ringwraith pattern.

The first part of the answer came when I was handed 12 m of loosely woven black cotton net, from my family. This fabric gave exactly the right matt black when layered, was translucent in single layers and frayed most satisfactorily at the hems. These effects can be seen in the first image, which is admittedly backlit. It was originally bought to make witch dresses, of which 0.5 m was used. This left me with 11.5 m.

The other materials used were: 2 m black cotton, which I ordered online but turned out to be unsuitable for its intended purpose (a harry potter robe), 0.5 m of a stiff polyester/nylon net I got in a bargain multi-pack at a fabric shop, leftovers of some synthetic velveteen and some black ribbon from my scraps bag, and the tail end of a coil of milinary wire.

Side pose!

Side pose!

The price breakdown is therefore as follows, taken entirely from leftovers from other projects:
11.5 m cotton net at £1 per m = £11.50
2 m cotton at £2.50 m (incl. shipping) = £ 5
0.5 m polyester net = £ 0.20
Oddments of ribbon, scraps of velveteen, 0.5 m wire, black thread = £ 0 (because they have lurked about for so long, I have forgotten what I paid for them. But they are small scraps, anyway)
Total cost: £ 16.20 (US $ 25.14 at today’s exchange rate)

I made it in the same way as one would make Viking tunics, with arm gussets to give an excellent range of arm movement. I gave it a back slit for the same reason. The outer hood and cloak layer were draped triangles. The inner hood was lined in the velveteen to give a light-absorbing effect. I’ve included a diagram of the layers in sequence (please excuse the shaky MS paint image), to give an idea of how it’s put together. All layers were attached at the neck only, so they move independently. The red line is a section of wire to support the hood.

Highlighted!

Highlighted!

The final part of the costume is a mask of the last of the velveteen (so the hood and face blend together), with a strip of the nylon net across the eyes and nose, and slits slashed to allow easy breathing. This results in a rather convincing illusion of darkness under most lighting (you can see a blank head under the rest, which doesn’t spoil the look, thankfully), but which is surprisingly easy to see out of (like looking through sunglasses). The last image is number 3 with the contrast ramped up so you can see more details. This is a close approximation of what it looks like under bright light. None of the other images have been manipulated in any way.

The result is a costume that is exactly what I wanted. It’s has a menacing, gothic presence and with layers that trail and flutter with movement while being easy to move in, easy to see out of, easy to breathe and will fit a large range of sizes. It can however get a bit hot, so I’m working on a cooling system for it.

Darker exposure.

Darker exposure.

This costume has already starred as a small pantomime ghost (with hems pinned up for the occasion), and a Dementor in a forest. It’s also surprisingly fun to play about with, especially when accessorised with flowers.

Special acknowledgements to Red Dragon longsword club for assistance in taking these epic pictures, including borrowing props.”

Judges’ comments:

Wonderful cosplay. I think it would be very hard to make this without looking like a solid black “ghost” costume. The sewer did a nice job layering the fabric, and has succeeded in a light, almost ethereal look, by choosing the correct material. The choice of velveteen for the inner hood was an excellent choice for a deep, dark effect. One pound per meter is a great price, keeping the budget low with room for other items. However, with the good use of scraps, not many additional purchases were needed. Half the budget was used, good job!

My favorite part of this cosplay is the careful planning and thoughtful construction. All of the many carefully crafted layers work together to give the silhouette shape, dimension, and movement. The artist succeeded: this is no average, nebulous “ghost” outfit! The final outfit has excellent presence and allows the iconic sword to pop. The effect is very eerie and in a dark hall, the cosplayer will just melt into the shadows. If I met this wraith along a wooded path, I would certainly think only of hiding and of crawling, and of death! I would love to see this in person so I could see how the costume moves.

“This is a great example of how a seemingly simple design can project emotion. Extra points for making the mask work perfectly with the robe. This costume not only makes me notice it, it makes me feel it. Also, extra, extra points for already reusing this budget-friendly costume.”

Congrats Rose – you have also won the prize for least amount of money spent!

First Place:  ”Joffrey Baratheon”  by Bethany Padron!

Bethany's Joffrey Baratheon, as modeled by a friend.

Bethany’s Joffrey Baratheon, as modeled by a friend.

Bethany says: “All Parts completed as of 1/3/2015
Tax included in retail prices.

The original Joffrey from "Game of Thrones."

The original Joffrey from “Game of Thrones.”

Robe:
Gold and Red damask curtains from Goodwill Linens $5.98= $6.40
Bag of Christmas Trim from Goodwill (on sale) $0.75= $0.80
Velvet sash from garage sale = $12.00

Inspiration artwork.

Inspiration artwork.

Accessories:

Lannister Lion Pin
Decapitated Plastic Lion from Wal-Mart $1.77= $1.89
Crossbow
Triple-Ply cardboard from dumpster
Paper Doilies from Wal-Mart $4.97= $5.32
Metal yardstick from junk sale $1.00= $1.00
Crown:
Sculpey (3 packages) from JoAnns $2.29= $7.35

View with crossbow.

View with crossbow.

Misc:
Gold Spray Paint from Ace Hardware $4.99= $5.34
Large Amber ring from Goodwill $2.69= $2.89

Pensive side view.

Pensive side view.

From Stash:
Earrings for crown centerpiece from stash
Arrow, string and mylar tape from stash
Hot Glue from stash
Silver ring and red ring from stash
Leggings and Boots, models own.

Royal front view.

Royal front view.

Total: $42.99

Judges’ comments:

“I am impressed by the sewer’s creative eye while searching for thrifty components to this costume. Christmas trims and curtains from the Goodwill make a $19 royal robe. I like the use of the metal yardstick on the crossbow, and the decapitated lion head for the Lannister pin. Creating a crown from sculpty to the specifications needed for the character, shows good use of inexpensive materials.  True meaning of thrifty costume. From Goodwill, junk sales and even dumpster diving, the completed costume is something to be proud to wear. The crown was the most creative budget item and came out perfect. This costumer has an eye for finding little treasures to convert to needed accessories for the project at hand. Excellent depiction of the character.

“A perfect example of thrift and ingenuity! The interplay of textures is fabulous and the craftmanship of the crown is mind blowing– instantly recognizable and matches the inspiration image perfectly. The crossbow is especially clever. The overall effect is well thought out and complete–quite a feat for for spending less than $50 for the lot, including props!  Met and exceeded the spirit of the competition by using nearly ever thrifty trick in the book to create a complete, top-notch cosplay from start to finish. When I think of a well made, inexpensive homemade costume, this is precisely what I picture. I want to know what pattern was used for the tunic!

“I’m particularly impressed by the Sculpey crown. It goes to show that a custom detailed accessory CAN be had for less than $8. The fabrics play well together. I love how the attention to detail makes this costume come alive from the image.  Pro: Least amount of reused items. The amazing crown, and crossbow, are part of the cost of the costume. I love that I’m seeing a head to toe completed costume that can be recreated by anyone that DOESN’T have an extensive costuming stash. Con: I can’t find any fault with this costume.  Well done. ”

Congrats Bethany!

 

Thank you to everyone for making Challenge #7 such a success!  We are looking forward to seeing what you can come up with for Challenge #8!

SHEAR MADNESS QUARTERLY CHALLENGE #8: “AS SEEN ON TV”

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The seventh Quarterly Challenge is over, so it is time to start thinking about the next ones.   They are:

8.  “As Seen on TV…” – The media recreation challenge!  You must recreate a costume from a movie or TV show as closely as possible to the original source material.  (July 2015 – October 2015)

9.  “Slap Some Gears On It” – Costumes inspired by the Steampunk genre.  Gadgets, gizmos, pith helmets, goggles, modded Nerf guns and all the other Steampunk stuff you can think of!  (October 2015 – January 2016)

10.  “The Adorable Alert Challenge!” – Costumes for children.  Baby Hobbits, miniature Jedis, tiny Princesses and wee little Superheroes.  No pets and no serial killers, please.  🙂  (January 2016 – April 2016)

11.  “The Way You Wear Your Hat” – The headwear challenge!  Anything you can put on your head counts.  Hats, wigs, headbands, horns, crowns, you name it!  (April 2016 – July 2016)

12.  “The Decade Challenge” – This is for all you historical folks out there!  Any decade can be represented, up until 1970.  Should be a complete look, from the undergarments on out to the accessories.  (October 2016 – January 2017)

13.  “The Big Top Challenge” – Calling all clowns, ringmasters, tightrope walkers, sideshow performers, and miscellaneous circus performers!  Whether a historically accurate outfit, or something completely from your imagination, as long as it fits in a circus, it can be entered here.  (January 2017 – April 2017)

TO CLARIFY:  All materials must be FINISHED within one year of the the start of the challenge.  So for  “As Seen On TV”  (Challenge runs from 7/16/2015 to 10/1/2015), the dates of construction allowed would be 7/16/2014 – 10/1/2015.  It doesn’t matter when you STARTED the outfit – the main focus is the FINISHING date.  

Challenge #8 starts July 16, 2015 and runs till October 1, 2015.  The rules of the challenge are:

1. The outfit must have been FINISHED within the time period of 7/16/2014 – 10/1/2015.

2. 75% of the outfit must have been made by you.  25% of the outfit can be purchased/sourced/thrifted by you.  We want to see your crafty creativity!

3.  This challenge IS meant to be a duplicate of an outfit from a TV show or Movie.  For the purposes of this challenge this is NOT going to include cartoons, or any other animated series.  We covered that in the “Drawn That Way” challenge.  You need to recreate the outfit as close as possible to the source material.  This does not mean buying the actual fabric used (unless you can find it, but as example, those Italian fabrics from Game of Thrones are spendy!), but getting as close an approximation as possible to the look.  If something is historically based, you do not have to have historical underpinnings, but more points can be given for that.

4. We encourage you to make any accessories, additional pieces, etc. for the costume that the character has.  This is definitely a Go Big or Go Home challenge!

5.  You need to submit 1-5 photos to Laura on FB or at laurapulak@yahoo.com no later than midnight CST on October 1, 2015.  Please also include a photo or link to the inspiration character.  Include any problems you had to solve, any new things you tried and any creative solutions to problems that you came up with.  Photos are VERY IMPORTANT and can make or break an entry.  Judges like to see costumes on actual people, if at all possible.  Cute poses are fun, but make sure you have at least one full front shot so all the details can be seen.

6.  Contestants can share the progress of their outfits on their blogs, or on the Shear Madness page, but it is NOT required.

7.  Contestants can sign up at any time.  Simply send your name, the kind of outfit you are creating, and a valid email to Laura via FB email any time prior to October 1st.

8.  HAVE FUN.  This is not something we want you to agonize over.  This is to be a fun and inspiring challenge for you as a costumer.  And if the entire thing doesn’t get finished, oh well!  Submit what you have.  We just want to see what you were working on!

9.  If you have a question about an outfit concerning it’s suitability for the challenge, send Laura an email and she will let you know.

The judges will review the entries and the winners will be announced on October 4, 2015.  There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded, as well as honorable mentions as chosen by the judges.  All winners will be given a Shear Madness logo with their winning placement for display on their blog/website.  The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive Shear Madness trophies/ribbons of an undetermined design.

This admittedly awesome trophy in standing in place of the ACTUAL Shear Madness trophy until I get out the E6000 and make one.

The 1st place winner will receive a mystery gift!  (Mainly because I can’t think of anything at the moment.  I am accepting suggestions.)

What could it be?? Even I don't know!

What could it be?? Even I don’t know!

The 2nd place and 3rd place winners will receive a copy of “Costume Design 101:  The Business and Art of Creating Costumes for Film and Television”:

A very cool book with lots of great source images.

A very cool book with lots of great source images.

All winners (including the Honorable Mention winners) will have their creations featured in the header on the Facebook group page from October 4 to January 4, 2016.

The judges for this challenge are amazing costumers.  Each has an extensive background in frugal costuming and are excited to see what you create for the challenge.

Judge #1 is Samantha Evans, of Sam Ghosts of Costumes, which showcases her costume wardrobe, and her other persona, Sam Squared Superfit, her fitness site.   Sam has been costuming since 2005 and has done a smattering of fandom recreation costumes, some totally original crazy gown costumes, and a few historical interpretations.  She’s won Best in Class awards in the Dragon Con Friday Night Costume Contest at Novice, Journeyman, and Master levels, and Best In Show there for The Looking Glass Wars Red Queen.  In one of her favorite contests, the Young Adult Literature Costume Contest at Dragon Con, She has won 2 “best movie recreations” and one Best In Show ~ for her Catching Fire Capital Couture Effie, Cesar, and Katniss.  She was also fortunate to win 2 workmanship awards and a Judges’ Choice award in the Costume Con masquerades in different years.

Sam was one of those costumers that I always looked up to, because every time I saw her at an event, she was the whole package.  Her costume was always beautifully made, her hair and accessories were perfect, and I could believe she WAS the character.  She always looked comfortable in whatever she was wearing, and she made me believe I could look that amazing too.

Sam says:  “As far as favorite costumes goes, that’s pretty hard!  I think my absolute favorite is the French Court gown I did to be “Summer”  in a Marie Antoinette Seasons group.  It just came out so pretty, and had these origami petals inspired by Julia Roberts’ wedding dress in “Mirror Mirror”.  The most insane amount of work costume award goes to my Katniss Wedding dress – it had like 1700 yards of ruffled tulle and ribbon applique on 20 yards of organza!  And my most badass costume, definitely the man-eating flower Red Queen Dress – the flowers had about 600 Sculpy teeth in their centers and the skirt was covered with 3000 rubies.  Apparently my favorite costumes always involve like 1000’s of something….”

Sam's beautiful

Sam’s beautiful “Summer” dress.

Judge #2 is Cassandra aka PinkRouge of the Sister Sola Blog.  Cassandra has been costuming as a hobby since 2002, making on average about 4-5 new costumes per year. All sewing/fabricating skills have been self-taught through trial and error, help/tips from fellow costumers, and Google.  She has won the following awards: Best Fantasy at Dragon*Con 2006 Masquerade for House of Flying Daggers costume and dance; Best Professional category for Dragon*Con 2007 Friday Night Costuming Contest for Pearly Queen; Best Movie Recreation at Ad Astra 2010 Toronto for Satine Hindi Rehearsal.

I met Cassandra at my first Costume Con in Milwaukee, and I was immediately impressed with how friendly and approachable she was, as well as by how amazing her costumes were.  They were all recreations of costumes I had seen in movies, and they were all PERFECT.  She never overlooks a single detail of a costume, and works hard to become that character.  She continually amazes me with her creativity and ability.

Cassandra says:  “My Pearly Queen is my favourite because all the hours and hours of work (4572 hand-sewn buttons!) paid off and the whole thing came together perfectly and fits like a glove despite both the jacket and skirt being Franken-patterned.”

The Pearly Queen hangs out with an old friend.

The Pearly Queen hangs out with an old friend.

Judge #3 is Maggie of  Padawan’s Guide and Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes. She’s  run the Star Wars and movie costume research websites since mid-2000. She has made numerous costumes over the years – from Star Wars and Star Trek, to Titanic, to historical gowns from a variety of periods.

Maggie has done so much for the costuming world, I don’t even know where to begin.  She has tirelessly documented thousands of movie costumes, from images to descriptions, to recreations.  She is well known in the Star Wars community for her recreations, her knowledge of costumes, and her enthusiasm for costuming.  Maggie is charming, creative, and terribly talented.

Maggie says:  ”This is one of my favorite costumes because it’s one I always wanted even before I was a costumer. And it’s one that I am super proud of finishing, because the embroidery on it took me 9 months!”

Maggie's lovely Leia costume.

Maggie’s lovely Leia costume.

So mark your calendars for October 2, 2015 and get your creative juices flowing!