I have been very busy since I finished with the Macbeth production. I have invested in a sewing machine which I am in love with. I have been using it to work on my dress that I have been making. I have also bought a dress making book which has become my dress making bible. I’m really enjoying learning the skills and seeing my dress come together. I made a visit to Cardiff market. I visited the fabric stall. I bought 2.5 metres of a lovely emerald green silk and an antique pink lining. At the moment I am still working with my practice material. I want to perfect my pattern before I work with my final fabric. I have also decided that instead of my original plan of having a zip down the back of the dress I want to have a corset tied back. I will soon upload pictures showing my progression of my dress.

Costume for Comic Con

snow

For Comic con this sat 4th March. My two friends and myself decided to dress as characters from the Netflix show Once upon a time. I decided to dress as Snow I used this image as reference which can be found at: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/125537908335626409/

I had a very short space of time to achieve this look. I put the costume together in two days. I feel there is alot more I could have done to make my costume better however, I am happy with my result. I started my raiding charity shops to see if i could find key items which I could alter.

My first item I purchased was a light brown leather jacket with sleeves and a white fur collar. The first adjustment was to cut the sleeves off the jacket. I found that the jacket was too short so I cut the sleeves open and attached them to the bottom of the jacket. In the image below you can see how I used pins to attach the material to the bottom. The length was alot better with the added material. I also used pins to tuck the extra material around the shoulder pads to make the new adjusted sleeves look neat.

As you can see in the image of Snow above, on her jacket she has panels of different materials. The image above shows some material that I had kept from my degree. I was used in my installation for the end of degree exhibition. I like the pattern on the material however my only issue was the colour. I wanted the material to blend with the colour of the jacket. I decided to experiment with the idea of dying the colour of the material. I had to be efficient and use what I had to hand. I took a bowl and filled it with coffee and water then left the material to soak. The image above shows the result. As you can see this has made a difference however not to the extent I needed.

img_3381 I decided to carry on experimenting with other substances. I tried using white face paint to make the material lighter. I also used watercolour to dye the material. My last idea was to use gravy browning. I diluted it slightly with water so that it wouldn’t be too sticky. I made the material patchy to look worn and old. I found that when I held it to the light the orange and red pigment was still showing through so I turned the material over and painted the entire piece with diluted gravy browning. I did loose alot of the orange pigment by doing this.

My next concern involved the fur. On Snow’s jacket the fur is tonal with different browns. Due to the short space of time I had to make the costume I could only find a jacket with white fur. I am also aware that the fur looks very artificial. I used a comb to try and make the fur look more natural. You can see the difference in the first image above. The second image shows a spare piece of fur that i unpicked from the bottom of the original sleeve.

 

I decided to apply my experience from Macbeth and use the same method to colour the fur as I did with the old man wig. I used a comb and I experimented again with coffee and gravy browning. I used a paint brush to apply coffee to a comb which I then brushed through the fur. This method works really well as you are left with a natural look. The colour does not look blotchy. The coffee worked really well and I was really happy with the resulting colour. I found that the gravy browning did not work as well. Even when diluted the gravy browning was making the fur clump together and look patchy. I found that I was achieving the same richness in colour by using different qualities of coffee to water. The less water I added the darker brown I was achieving. This was brilliant as it then becomes much easier to achieve natural tones in the fur.

I wanted to decide whether i should or not dye the fur on the jacket. I used the spare piece of fur that I dyed with coffee to see how the jacket could look with the cream fur or the dyed fur. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to dye the fur. If I had the time I would have definitely dyed the fur. I may continue with the project even though comic con has passed.

Macbeth Day 18…

Today was the last day working at Macbeth. Its gonna be really weird not working at Caerphilly Castle. Today I collapsed the rails and carried them down into the great hall. I also carried a table and boxes into the great hall with the flight cases. I finished the washing up from yesterday and washed the baskets they were put in. The one polystyrene heads had dirt inside the bottom so I stuffed it with tissues. It was a bit of a challenge cleaning the Tupperware boxes as the dirt especially got stuck in the groves. I was then given the job to unpick the wig from the old man’s hat as the hat was a rental. I started with the scissors which worked really well but it took alot of concentration. At one point I cut a small black thread on the wig and the one section came apart which was very frustrating. I found using the unpicker was much better. I didn’t realise that I cut with it. I’d never used one before so that was a good experience.I also stitched a hook onto the cape that was going to be used for Malcolm however, it was cut from the scene. I lastly helped Louise take bags and items back to her car. Between the three of us it took us two trips. I worked today from 10.30am- 4.00pm. It has been quite a short day today. I said my goodbye to everyone and I’m hoping to work with everyone again in the near future.

Macbeth Day 17…

Today was the first day of the get out. My first task of the day was to clear out the educational room where the community cast were. I took over lots of laundry bags and trugs and I packed them with the wigs, costumes and the odds and ends. I started carrying the bags back to the dressing room. I was then helped to empty the room. We put all the costumes in the van which was then driven up to the great hall where we unloaded and took everything into the dressing room. Angharad and Louise sorted through all the costumes to find where they belonged while I hung the community cast costumes on the rail. I also packed the Bristol rentals. I put together about 4 costumes depending on weight then then put them in the plastic covers. I then carried on with packing some of the Marigold costumes. I was also given the task of sewing buttons on a cape. The last job of the day was to wash Tupperware boxes that had fake blood and dirt in them. I worked  today from 2.00pm – 10.00pm. Tomorrow will be last day. It’ll be really weird not working on the production anymore.