Oh Look! A Distraction!

August 1, 2007 at 5:14 am | Posted in Costumes, Mystery Stole 3, Ravelry, Spinning | 4 Comments

So…

I missed the last two Spinning Sunday’s, and Friday’s Clue 4/Chart 1, and more than likely I’m going to miss this coming Friday’s MS3 clue.

As for excuses, after the monstrosity of plying that I showed you last time, my spinning is currently sitting in time out. I’ll get back to it soon, but I have to get up the nerve to cut and untangle it. Right now, I just don’t have the strength.

The Mystery Stole will hopefully get caught up in the next week, but my wrist has been acting up again. I have tendonitis in my right wrist that acts up from time to time. My mother and I debated about it being Carpal Tunnel, but I won when the doctor said that the wrong fingers hurt for it to be that. I still sometimes battle with my mother about who gets the wrist brace, even though my brother an I bought her a pair for her birthday last year… but I digress.

To distract you from my lack of knitting and spinning, and since I made a small complaint about my blog being small and boring and got requests, I’m going to show and explain the first costume I ever made on my own. As you can probably tell from my header, I quite enjoy dressing up in costumes. My main source of inspiration (at least at the beginning and still somewhat so) is the musical CATS. I know it’s a show that you either love or you don’t, and that a lot of people don’t understand what I see in it, but, there it is.

I have loved playing dress up since I was a child, and I’m sure if I dig deep enough I can find the picture of me in an elf costume at the age of 1 that my mom made for me for Christmas one year. She always hand made my and my brother’s Hallowe’en costumes and I honestly can’t imagine ever having a store bought one.

So at the age of 21, I decided that I was going to start making my own costumes, because I wanted more than just a few Hallowe’en costumes, I was getting into the “Cosplay” and convention crowd.

Me being who I am, I couldn’t just sit back and do something easy. I did a full fledged CATS costume from scratch. It turned out like this:

Two things, these pictures will be a bit bigger than my normal knitting pictures, due to the fact that you can see the costume so much nicer, also, yes that is me in all these pictures, yes I am that flexible. I had only been taking 2 years of dance at this point, I’ve always been bendy and it drives my cousin with 18 years of dance under her belt nuts.

This was based off of an actual costume, I didn’t have enough experience to actually design my own costume for my first attempt. This costume is the character Demeter, based on the Troika US Tour V that was and still is touring throughout the US and Canada. A picture of the actual costume can be found here. This picture was what I based almost the entire costume on.

I think I did a fair job.

I made the unitard out of some swimsuit material I found, and painted it with Fabric paints and Sharpie Markers. Sewing the Unitard took me approximately 2 hours, painting it… a good 10 to 20 hours. The tail is made completely out of yarn, there is a base that is braided, and then the small bits are knotted around it. The tail alone took 8 hours to make.

The warmers were what got me back into knitting after about 12 years of not. Once I started knitting warmers for this and other costumes, I realized how much I enjoyed it and began establishing my stash and finding more patterns and such. The warmers were made out of Red Heart, all I could afford at that time, and knit flat. They took me about 15 hours because I had to remember how to knit. I can now knock off a pair of these in about 8 hours. The gloves were the easiest part, given to me by a friend’s mother, cut off the fingers, put some paint on. They took 15 minutes… maybe.

The wig was the hardest part. I did make this completely from scratch. The base is the crotch of a pair of (new) control top pantyhose. Then I stitched and knotted Phentex yarn into the wig base and frayed the dickens out of it. I then cut it to the style I wanted (note I deviated from the actual picture on this one… Phentex doesn’t like lots of little points… I also used WAY too much yarn too tightly packed). The wig alone took about a month to make. It was my first try and I loved it to death. Literally… it looks like a dead animal sitting in my wig collection right now.

The makeup I did as well, using waterbased makeup from Snazaroo (if you ever need makeup for someone with very sensitive skin this stuff is fantastic! And it washes off like a dream!). It took me about half an hour to put on. Depending on how much detail is in the makeup, and how familiar I am with it, it can take me anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to put it on. Maybe next month I’ll do a gallery of some of the makeups I’ve done over time.

This costume was the first one that I entered into a costume competition. This picture here is me performing:

I ended up winning 2 awards, one for workmanship – my wig making, and the fabric painting detail, and one for my performance – I put together a 20 second dance routine, in that picture I’m in the middle of a jump spin. I also ended up on 2 different TV broadcasts, one was just a quick clip of me being a little bit in character, the other one was a full interview about my costume (on YTV for any Canadians). If you watch the 3-5 shows, or some Saturday shows, they still sometimes show clips from this interview, though more often it’s just a full body shot of me turning around.

All told, this is still one of my favourite costumes. Unfortunately, I found out that lycra does have a limit to how much it’s stretched and loaning it to a girl with a DD chest when I barely had one at all when it was made, caused the unitard to never return to it’s original shape. The wig died due to the fact that Phentex doesn’t stand to multiple wear and use very well when it’s frayed.

This costume is getting a new unitard and wig made at the moment, with different materials and more experience to hopefully make it wear better.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this costume in it’s glory days, I’ll give a run down of some of my other outfits eventually.

Till next time.

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4 Comments »

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  1. Wow! That is quite a costume. My favorite part is all the painting and drawing on the unitard. The tail and the wig are pretty amazing too. Thank you for sharing your first costume. I look forward to seeing more.

  2. Good job! I’m looking forward to seeing your other costumes.

  3. First of all, I love your demeter costume. You did a great job.
    Second, I need some tips on making a tail and I hope you can help me. You mentioned what your tail was made of but you can perhaps give me some more details about how it was made? I want to make a new wig and tail for my white tiger costume.
    My email is littlesongbird1@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance.

  4. […] was looking through old posts recently, and I found this one where I told you guys all about the first costume I ever […]


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