Dress form Make over

Like every time I have something stuck in my mind, I researched about it! ENDLESSLY! Almost like an obsession!
And I found a solution!

A big, amazing makeover!!!!
😊

First! Covering the dials and gaps with quilt batting!

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My dog Mac had the most fun with the batting! Lol
Second step was to fix the boobs! Lol and Coco got a bra!

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I also had to stuff the bra a bit just to make shape! But because Coco and I already matched in size, adding the bra and the stuffing made her bigger. I had to put all the bust dials back to zero and take some of the stuffing out to get her to match me again!
Done!

After that I fixed the waist! I had again to turn the dials down because the batting added some inches, but at least that weird waist was not only my size (without messing up the hips) but it also looked a little more like mine!

Then I had a problem! The top of the waist batting kind of got a bit smoother by being tucked in on the waist/back joint. But the bottom?!? It looked weird!
To smooth that out I added a layer of batting to the hips and sewed it up to the waist batting!
Well! I had to turn the dial all the way down again to compensate for the added size by the batting!
Oooh how ironic! Now most of the dials were turned down and the gaps were almost gone! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

And the last step! Covering Coco with a nicer cover! Nicer color too!
I picked a nice light grey stretch jersey with some patterns on it. Very pretty!
See through, so I double it up!

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I basically just draped over Coco, front and back, pinned them as close as I could, the. Stretched it out, front and back, smoothing out all kinks, and making it as tight as it could be!
I put a cord on the bottom to tie it up (easy way out if I need to take it off as well) and then made a little pin cushion on the top!

I love it!
She looks mighty pretty, is as close in Size with me as she can ever get!
I can’t wait to work on her!!!!

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Adjusting the adjustable dressform

So!!! She arrived!!! My ugly but adorable dressform arrived!
I can’t tell you how excited I was when she finally got home! Sure! You professional people must be laughing cause oh well it’s just a silly cheap form, that doesn’t even compare to your fancy professional ones! And yep! You may be right! BUT! Still! This is just my hobby! A hobby that I love and have so much fun!!!!! But still! Just a hobby! An it doesn’t justify paying so much money for a dressform!
Which makes the adjustable one PERFECT for me and my needs!

Anyhoooooo! Coco was home! 😊 yep! I was looking for a name! Was going to call her Lola, my show girl! Lol but a friend on FB suggested Coco, as in Coco Chanel! SO PERFECT!

Everything about the dressform is simple! And yep! She is a bit cheap looking! But for 99 bucks… Come on!!! She was more than perfect! And it’s not like she’s gonna have a hard tough life! She just needs to stand there and be pinned! Lol
She is definitely not as wobbly as people said in their reviews! the one I already had is sooo much worse she couldn’t stand up when I put my Tiana dress on her 😖
Setting up the dials is super easy! And yep! The dials are made of plastic, but at least to me they didn’t seem so breakable like some people said they were!
She had a little piece stuck inside of her and it was kind of hard to get it out, but at first I thought the piece was missing! Sooooo relived it wasn’t that I didn’t care that I almost ripped my fingers and hand opened trying to get it out of her! Lol

The Dritz Sew You has a combination of dials and disks to adjust her! She can be adjusted on the neck, bust, waist, hips and back length. The back length is adjusted by a wing but inside of her! Oh she also has a hem marker that I still have no idea how to use! Lol

For starters her neck is bigger than mine! Lol by 2 inches! So there was not much I could do about it! Lol
I read in some places that you have to follow a crazy order to adjust a dressform like that, but I don’t remember where, so I just went for it and hoped for the best.

It was not difficult at all!
She has the dials on the front and the disks on sides and back! You can use both of them to achieve the measurements you want. The disks are a bit hard to turn but that’s obviously because I have no strength on my hands and fingers! Lol
I used a piece of fabric to help me turn them and I found turning them on the inside was easy!

Bust size, back length, hips were all very easy!
Waist was a problem! A little one but still!
Here is the thing, where the whole “not everybody is shaped like a dressform”. She has very accentuated waist! And I don’t. When when I got her waist super close in size with mine, the hips measurement changed! She basically had this “indentation” on her wait that I don’t have!

2 other things bothered me! Coco ended up with the EXACT bust size as me! But her boobs are shaped completely different. Sort of flatfish. And mine aren’t!

Although much of the measurements were not so different than how she was completely closed up, she still ended up with those gaps. Especially on the hips and waist 😳 I definitely didn’t like that!
How do you use the designer tape to do some draping if she has gaps there?!? How about the dials?!? What if I need to pin that area????

Oh and the color! That also bothered me!

So Coco was up and almost perfect, looking at me! But I put my brain to work on some ideas cause I was not 100% happy with her just yet!

My new dressform!

Since I started sewing and making my own costumes 4 years ago, I’ve had a dressform!

I bought a cheap one on EBay for $39 bucks! She was as close to my measurements as I could find, but still was a bit off!
At some areas she was too small and in some areas she was too big!
I got used to make up for those differences as I sewed and when using patterns it didn’t really make that much difference anyways!

But I got a bit tired of it lately! Of course!

I have been researching for a long time and decided to get a adjustable one.

But here is the thing I’ve learned! A GOOD, PROFESSIONAL dressform is SUPER EXPENSIVE! From $600 and more!
It just makes no sense to me to invest so much money like that in one just for my hobby!

So I decided to get one that is a step up from the one I already have, but that would kill my wallet!

For months I have been reading reviews on the adjustable ones and thinking which one would be the best for me. Most reviewers complained the adjustable ones were nice BUT some considered them cheap looking, wobbly, easily breakable (dials and stuff) and most of all that was still almost impossible to get it to match your size precisely! (Well that can happen even with the most expensive ones unless you get it custom made to your measurements.

After looking everywhere I decided to buy a Dritz Sew You that was on sale on Amazon! Actually I decided on a Dritz Twin Fit, also on sale on amazon for $110 or so, but the size small sold out and amazon had no idea when they would have back in stock! (That’s what happens when you take too long to make up your mind!)

So I got the Sew You for $99! Free 2day shipping with Prime!
At first I was going to buy it at Joann’s. I figured I’d get a 50% off coupon and get a good deal! But Amazon was much cheaper, much better deal with free shipping and all!

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I thought she was gray! But she isn’t! She is green! A very ugly green! Even uglier than that picture!!! But I still love her! 😊
She was super easy to adjust but I will talk about that on another post!

Happy sewing people!

RICC

2 posts in one day!!!

That’s great isn’t it!?!?!

By the way it was one of my resolutions… not really new years though, to write more in this blog! i’m sure not that many people care if I do it or don’t do it, but I love to look back and see how the process of constructing a costume went.

I started a regular paper journal, to document it, and also document the cons and events I attend… but it didn’t work out! I don’t even know where I put it! lol

anyways!!! this is my second post in one day because I figured this day deserves a picture of me AT RICC last year!!!!

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That’s Will on the picture with me!!!

He has a amazing Hercules from the Disney movie!!! that’s how I met him! I just ran after him and yelled

OMG YOU LOOK SOOOO CUTE!!!!

LOL

and if you know me in person you know I  squeaked very loudly when I said that!!!!!

This was taken at the KidsCon area at RICC!!! we were both “supehero-ing” for the kids!!!

such a fun day!!!! =)

Oh anyways! =) I think it’s picture is very appropriate appropriate for the day!!!

=)

 

Playing with worbla and FMQ

Oh I know, I know… if you are reading this, you are asking yourself what the heck is FMQ. Right?

Well… just bare with me for a little bit and I will show you! ;)

Today I got to play with WORBLA!

Worbla is a thermoplastic material, which basically means you can mold it by heating it! You can use a blow drier, or heating gun, of apparently even hot water. With heat the material will become soft and easy to mold into whatever fancies your imagination.

You can learn more about itand see all the amazing possibilities here!

Worbla (I just love saying this word! it’s so weird its almost lovely!!! lol) it’s one of those things that one day you NEVER ever heard of it, then suddenly everyone in the costuming world is talking about.

Ive been reading about it for months and making plans on my mind. See the thing is… I ALWAYS wanted another Wonder Woman costume, but with a armor type breast plate, tiara and bracelets, but I never knew how to make it. =/ I can sew, but all those other little details, especially armor like pieces, I just couldn’t find a way of making. I researched armor make with craft foam. didn’t like much. also I found out a lot of people uses real metal… but they have special tools to cut it. I did NOT want to spend the money on those tools. so I pretty much just gave up. (I know, I know… I could have commissioned it. but where’s the fun on that??? lol)

So when I started reading about worbla I was sooooo excited! I could finally try something that didn’t involve new expensive tools, paying for someone to make it for me!

I bought it from Cosplay Supplies. I got 2 large sheets and I can’t remember the price. it’s definitely not a super cheap material, but it’s not super expensive either. it’s just… expensive! lol hopefully I can make tons of things with it!

I tested with a tiny bit of it. just to see how it really works. I started with a hair blow drier. It works! but it definitely takes a long time. worbla has 2 sides… a smooth shiny one, and a textured one. The smooth part is works as an adhesive part when heated, making it easy to “glue” it to itself or other things.

After a few tries with the blow drier, I decided to suck it up and use the heat gun! I was actually afraid to use it (that’s why I tried with the blow drier first.) because if you over heat it the worbla with bubble. =/ But everything was good with the heat gun and so much faster.

After doing a test run, I decided to make wonder woman’s tiara.

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the sheet of worbla is thin. so to give pieces depth, people use craft foam. You sandwich it inside 2 pieces of worbla. Which is pretty awesome if you think of it. You can give your pieces whatever depth you want. =D

so I cut the pattern, 3 times. 2 times on worbla, and once with craft foam. Using the heat gun on the smooth side and then putting the craft foam on top of it. to make sure it didn’t cool down in some areas before I put the foam on it, I heated small sections at a time. When it was nicely “glued” on I trimmed the edges for the worbla as close as possible to the foam.

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Then I did the same thing with the other piece of worbla.

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I heated again the same way I did before, little by little and pressed the foam to it. after it was all done I used that purple carving tool to press down the edges. that’s what will give the depth, thickness to the piece!

By this point I was already deeply in love with this thing. the Worbla I mean!!!! it’s pretty amazing and easy to work with.

I noticed that heating it makes it change the color a little bit. Very little. it gets a bit darker. That what I paid close attention to while heating it so I wouldn’t over heat it!

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And look at this!!!!! OMG I just love it!!! Like really really love it.

That detail I did with just another piece of worbla without the foam. I wanted that look and feel but without being too thick.

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The thing with this material is that the textured side will be on the outside. That is great if you are actually looking for that effect. if you are not… if you want a smooth finish to your piece you will have to work to achieve it!!!

In all my researches if learn that you can get that smooth look by covering it with liquid gesso, and sanding it smooth. So it was time to gesso it up! You gotta give it some coats of gesso actually, to make sure you can sand it nicely. I used acrylic liquid gesso from Liquitex (you can find that at Michael’s. Ive given it 5 coats of gesso so far, and I think it’s pretty much done. I may give another, just in case.

I also got a modge podge sealant thing. I think it will help give it an even smoother finish. Ill have to do a test piece first though because I don’t even know if I can spray paint on top of it but my idea is to sand the gesso smooth then apply at least one coat of that sealant.

while I was applying the gesso on  (letting it dry completely between coats) I started practicing FMQ!

what the heck is that, you are asking since the very beginning right???

FMQ is Free Motion Quilting. It’s when you make those swirly patterns with your sewing machine, or even stitch around different shapes, etc.

Now you may be asking yourself why the heck I want to learn that!!! well… because I am crazy.

while looking (and saving) reference pictures of Jasmine I noticed her costume’s fabric had some patterns. first I realized it was actually 2 different fabric. a sheer one on top of the other. Then in many pictures it looks like it has very light polka dots on it.

Look!

jasmine-oasis2010Can you see it????

Looks like little faded polka dots doesn’t it???

But then I saw this picture!

patternsee the swirly stitches in there??? I do lol

so that’s what the FMQ is for.

Ive never done it, so today I decided to practice!

and this thing is a bitch! they make it looks so easy on those tutorials! but it’s not!

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See the beginning on the far corner??? That’s where I began. Shaky, and some stitches just “jumped” out of the pattern!  o.O

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That took a while!!!! I can’t even imagine how long it’s going to take me to do that! it won’t be as tight and close together though, but i’m sure it will be very time consuming! and the polka dots??? they are sequins!

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The image on the right is the FMQ on blue fabric, with a slightly lighter blue thread and covered with the blue sheer fabric. It sort of gives the right effect! I just need the sequins!!!

That was all for today!!! I was pretty happy and excited with all the results I got today, right until I tuned off my sewing machine and unplugged the pedal cord from it and gosh knows what I did, something from inside few out, and the pluggie part on the machine is not there anymore. So I can’t plug the pedal. =(

I have a spare machine that I can use but it’s not as good as this one! it will do the job, of course, but I am sooooo pissed I broke it. Why did I even unplugged the pedal??? I don’t need to do that! I never do it! GRRRRR

well at least I had a good progress on stuff!

another snow day

More snow!

Yep! I am not joking! This is by far the worst winter since I moved to the USA. not just the snow, but the cold as well! And to be completely honest with you, on these super cold or snowy days I am so thankful for 1- my puppy Mac! he is just the cutest buddy ever and keep me company at all times! and 2- costuming! seriously!!! I just love this hobby. It keeps my mind and hands occupied on days like this and I am very happy to be snowed in!!!!!

Especially now that I have tons of things to work on!!!!

I still didn’t officially give myself a deadline because on the past 2 years that did not work out very well!!! In 2012, I wanted to finish my stormtrooper by Wizard World Philadelphia! Didn’t work! But it was finished by ComiCONN, where I debuted it. In 2013 I wanted to finish my Tiana lilypad dress also for Philadelphia and again I wasn’t able to do it, even though for a second year in a row I sacrificed many Saturdays out, and even events with my garrison! And one more time I finished in time for ComiCONN in august where I debuted it!

So this year… I started a bit earlier, in the hopes I will be able to finish before Philly. But… well this time I am working with 2 costumes at once!

But since I didn’t get to wear Tiana last year in Philly, if I cant finish either costume I wont be upset!!!!

anyways… enough with the blah blah blah and let me show you what I worked on today!

It was draft/drawing day! Yep!

I will be making basically everything from scratch, even Jasmine necklace! And earrings.

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Pretty huh??? I know I am not going to EVER find anything remotely close to that… and I really don’t want to use something “similar”, so I am going to try to make it! I haven’t figure out yet all the details on “how” but I will be using worbla and plastic jewels. But before I decide on how to make all those little details, I drew a pattern for it!

It’s pretty simple and I was very happy with it on the first go!

 

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I also made the top parts of the necklace but I forgot to take pictures!!! lol

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Next, I drew Wonder Woman’s tiara and breast plate eagle! Again, easy peasy designs!

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Well, that was all for today!!! I was sort of excited to also practice with my new darning presser foot for my sewing machine, but then I got distracted playing computer games! hahaha Oh well!!!! what can I say??? hahaha I did though, draw all the separate pieces for the eagle. it’s hard to explain without pictures but I will need to cut separate sections of it on the craft foam to give the details necessary! so, yeah… I cut those too! =P

More tomorrow people!!! ;)