Friday, May 7, 2010

A bit about me

My name is Lynette and I've been sewing my own costumes since 2001. My mother has always handmade my Halloween costumes - even a giant paper mache Mickey Mouse head that's still rolling around in the attic! I don't think I've ever purchased a store-bought costume! My husband Matt and I are huge geeks, and though we have attended both Star Wars Celebration II and III, this year we're going to Dragon*Con for the first time! Very excited!! I'm also hoping that we can go to Chicago TARDIS in November!

I'm a videographer and editor - I've never taken a sewing class outside of 8th grade home economics. Everything I know I either learned from my mom or figured out how to do on my own. Of course, Matt has helped with the non-sewing stuff. I measure my sewing ability these days by how long it takes me to put in a zipper: when I first started sewing, it would literally take me eight hours and four tries to put in a functional zipper. Now I can get a zipper right on the first try, and be done in close to half an hour.

The reason I make costumes is simple. I love movies. I love reading. I love pretty dresses. And I'm an artist, so I like creating!!

Here's a sample of the costumes I made over the last several years. Most of them were Halloween costumes, but some were event-specific. Matt and I usually go as a couple or a theme, so you can guess what his costume was for most of these. I may eventually post about each costume in more detail. As Maria would say, let's start at the very beginning.

2001: Queen Guenevere
This was the first costume I made myself. I know I have a photo of this somewhere, but I'm not sure where it is. Hopefully I'll find it soon and post it. I'd take a new picture, but I somehow lost the dress - I lent it to a friend, and I know she gave it back. What happened to it after that, I have no idea. I have a feeling I thought it was extra fabric and either threw it out or put it in the bottom of one of my MANY storage bins of spare fabric.

2002: Padme Amidala, Star Wars Episode I
My first attempt at a screen-accurate costume. Pretty successful, but this is not the original skirt. It took me years to find fabric that I liked, and so when I did, I remade the skirt for Celebration III.

2003: Luthien, The Silmarillion
Luthien Tinuviel is an elf from the book The Silmarillion, which is part of the history of Middle-Earth. Yes, I'm an even bigger geek than you thought I was five minutes ago. Matt and I were Luthien and Beren. Essentially, they were the first Arwen and Aragorn. The story of his costume is way more interesting than mine, but these are my costumes, not his.

2004: Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
My most-used costume. My husband and I played Hermione Granger and Oliver Wood at the park district's Hogwarts Express for two years. I've also dressed up for book releases. This costume has gone through about four different skirts! I also hand out buttons at events that read, "SPEW," "Weasley is our King," and "Potter Stinks." The kids absolutely love them!

2005: Padme Amidala, Star Wars Episode III
This blue georgette dress was the bane of my existence for a long time. It was, by far, the dress that I had to alter the most from the pattern, or merge patterns, or create patterns. I made it exclusively for Celebration III in Indianapolis. It is possibly my most famous dress, as the day I wore it a Japanese film crew followed us around for a good half an hour.

2005: Inara from Firefly
Yeah, so I wasn't super into Firefly when I made this. It was my first attempt to make an "inspired by" costume. Now I AM a HUGE fan, and I'm currently building a Firefly costuming site. While the robe could pass for an "inspired by", I now know that Inara would never wear the gypsy-looking costume. She's way too classy!

2006: Elizabeth Swan, POTC: The Dead Man's Chest
I mostly made this costume by assembling bits from the thrift store. But, I did make several modifications (um, I cut off the sleeves of a leather jacket), so that counts as "making it," right? By the way, that's Lake Michigan (Michigan side) in October. I think it passes quite nicely for the Caribbean (hint, hint, Johnny Depp.)

2007: Lorraine Baines, Back to the Future
By far my most versatile costume. I've worn it to Buddy Holly tribute concerts and to see White Christmas at the local old-school theater. I feel SO beautiful when I wear it! I wore it to meet the cast of Back to the Future at Hollywood Boulevard, but the cast didn't come out to sign after the film like they were supposed to. Because I think Hollywood Boulevard staff weren't treating them right. It was a very sad day for Lorraine Baines, but after calling and complaining, they sent us a poster autographed by all four actors. Not as good as a picture with Lea Thompson. Don't go to Hollywood Boulevard.

2008: Mary Poppins
I was asked to play Mary Poppins for a sing-a-long event at the park district where I worked. This is probably my most screen-accurate costume, although it's hard to tell on this shot. I couldn't find a yellow-striped shirt, so I purchased yellow ribbon and sewed it on. It actually turned out looking pretty good! I also have the hat and scarf, but I'll save those pictures for another time.

2009: Clockwork Droid, Doctor Who
Wow. This was my first deviation from beautiful dresses. In fact, it's not even a female character. This is by far the most expensive costume I've ever made (although Queen Susan is fast approaching and will most likely eclipse its cost), and this was also the costume where almost everything I did was a new experience. I made that mask myself ... my mom and I each hand-stitched part of the trim ... this is one of those "never again" costumes!!!

This year for Dragon*Con I'm making the Queen Susan red battle dress from Prince Caspian. It's sure to be a huge headache, but a lot of fun!!

1 comment:

  1. How did you make padme's corset gown? i want to make one of my own but have no idea where to start. could u help?