Feb 13, 2014

My Costume Journey

I love costumes. I love looking at them, I love wearing them, and I love making them. In case you don't already know, I'm an amateur costumer. You can check out my costume blog, Adventures in Costuming, if you want.

I first realized that I wanted to make costumes a few years back when I saw some costumes that a friend of mine had put together. I realized that I wanted to make costumes then, but if I wanted to do that I would have to learn to sew.

I turned to my mom and told her I wanted to learn to sew and we pulled out the old sewing machine (which was like from the 70's or something. It was really old.) and my mom taught me what she knew about sewing. Well, I soon wanted to move onto making costumes. My mom helped me realize that before I started making costumes I needed to start small.

For the next year or so I practiced sewing by making anything and everything I could find a tutorial for. I mostly made bags. Lots and lots of bags. But after a while I got tired of all the small projects and I decided to try and sew a night gown with the help of my mom.

We picked out a pattern that looked fairly simple and bought the material. That was when I learned that sewing with commercial patterns is a pain! We worked on it for a while, then it got forgotten. I came back to it probably 6 months later and I tried to finish it, but it just didn't turn out.

2012 was the year I made my first costume. It was three or four days before May the Fourth be with You (which is on May 4th. It's basically a Star Wars celebration day for all us Star Wars geeks.) and I decided it would be fun to actually do something because we had never celebrated May the Fourth before.

I decided I would celebrate by making a Star Wars costume. I ended up choosing to do Princess Leia's senatorial gown from A New Hope because I had heard it was really, really easy to make. I did a little research and found this tutorial.

I took some old sheets and with my mom's help made a simple mock up. The next day we went all over trying to find appropriate material for the dress. After not having any luck at any of the fabric stores I finally bought some white sheets instead.

Here's a few pictures of the finished costume. You can see more at my costume blog, here.

Overall at the time I was very happy with how it turned out. Though now I want to completely remake this costume and make it way more accurate!

A few months later that same year I began working on my second costume, Danielle de Barberac from Ever After. I was making this costume for Halloween and I started in August, I think. The was the first costume I made entirely by myself and I also drafted my own pattern for.

You can see more pictures here.

At the time I thought it was the most amazing costume ever, but now when I look at it I can only see the things that I wish I had done different. Maybe one day I'll recreate this dress too.

For May the Fourth last year I made Beru Lars costume from Attack of the Clones. I had a really tight budget on this one, but considering that I only spent about $10 on it, it turned out really good!

My latest completed costume is my Marion Ravenwood costume from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. I started this costume in July, intending to have it finished for Halloween. Then my dad suggested I try to finish it for a big vintage event at the Historic Flight Foundation at the end of August. I ended up spending over 90 hours on just embroidery on this costume that month. And that's only half of the embroidery.

I still haven't finished the embroidery (I've finally started working on it again after a 5 month break), but I did get enough done so it was recognizable.

My current costume I'm working on is Padme's packing gown from Attack of the Clones. I've loved this costume ever since I saw it and I've been waiting until I feel I have the right skills to make this costume so I could make it look exactly the same as the one in the film.

So far I've only got the underskirt completed, but I have the mock up for the skirt done and part of the under bodice mock up completed. I'm currently working on the mock up for the vest and when that's done I'll continue with the under bodice mock up.

I'm super excited to be making this costume! I can't wait until it's finished!

And that's where I'm currently at with costumes. I've also had a great opportunity to wear real historical and vintage clothing in some vintage fashion show's a friend does. I've worn a dress all the way from the civil war, a few from the 1870's and 1880's, and then dress all the way from the Edwardian era up to the 60's.

I've been collecting vintage dresses and other vintage items for a while now. I have a few dress from the 50's and 60's and I have some hats from the 30's through the 50's as well.

Costumes are just so amazing! I love making them for so many different reasons. I love wearing them when they're finished, I love the research part before I start any costume, and I love the challenge of each costume.

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