Saturday, July 17, 2010


Argh! How did I not post the corset pictures? Bad, bad, bad!! I am so proud of it, too!

I spent last Thursday re-watching the first few episodes of Torchwood and working on my corset. To this day, I can tell you what I watched for each part of every costume that I made and every counted cross-stitching project I've made. For instance, my nephew's birth announcement was seaQuest and A Haunting. My other nephew's was made during the commentary from LOTR and Chronicles of Narnia, plus a few Disney movies.

Anyway, I crouched over my table downstairs and got to work on the corset. First I measured the grommets out 1.5 inches from each other, and marked it with chalk. I put all the grommets in, but then once the corset was stitched up, it was still WAY too big. I managed to cut the sides down to where I thought they needed to be, and I also needed to cut the top part of the back panel down. It was just too high. So that meant more sewing.

I figured I only had one more shot to get this right, and several grommets kept falling out of the first run-through, so I tried cutting the hole for the grommets first. I did this by putting in an un-painted grommet, then peeling the back off and taking the grommet out of the hole. Luckily, I had a gross to work with, and I only needed 45 at the most.

After I punched out all the holes, I put in the pewter grommets. A few have still fallen out again just due to the fact that they were a tad too close to the seam and couldn't lock right, but I managed to put new ones in that worked. If anymore fall out, I'll put a dab of glue on the next grommet before I put it in.

I laced up the corset using leather cording that I got at Hobby Lobby, and I think it looks GORGEOUS. It fits like a glove now! Please excuse the angle of the corset - I cannot get it to sit correctly on the mannequin just because it's so very hard to lace it up on that thing. It also laces up much tighter on me than on the dummy.


This Thursday I spent the whole day focusing on the arrows.

Remember, I'd spray painted five dowel rods a few weeks ago, as well as a bunch of plastic feathers, so it was time to put them all together. I used the dremmel to cut notches in the backs of the arrows (results varied), sanded them down to make the ends a bit rounded, then spray painted them brown again.

After the arrows were dry, I took gold cording and hot-glued one end to the arrow, then wound the rest around, then hot-glued the other end. I had to do this on three spots of each arrow.

I then had to put the finishing touch on the feathers. First, I needed to shape the tops, since the feathers on Susan's arrows aren't rounded. Then, they needed to have a thin band of gold along the tips. I used just gold acrylic paint for that. After that was dry, I hot-glued the feathers onto the arrows, which wasn't as hard as I thought. Although, at one point I had to peel the feather off because it was a little too crooked, so that was annoying.

Finally, I had to put on the last bit of gold cord, the part that wraps around the bottoms of the feathers.

Ta da! I think they look fantastic! The camera doesn't do them justice because of the flash. I still have to do a few touch-ups where I chipped off some of the paint, and I have to cut off a few drops of hot glue with an Exacto knife, but these are mostly finished. I am going to shape one arrow head so that I have one to pose with.

Now I just have to figure out what to do for the bow. I brought home my bow from Michigan, but it's just too long. I am starting to think that I might try to use PVC. I found clay that is supposed to look like wood when it dries (not sure how this will turn out) so I can shape it around the PVC to make it thicker where necessary. The problem with using regular clay is that 99% of it is oven-bake clay, and obviously, not only will the bow not fit in an oven, I don't think we want to be putting PVC in there!

Oh, and here's the picture that I was going off of - this is from one of the Narnia behind-the-scenes books. I think I got about as close as I could get without using real feathers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spray Paint Craze!

The other day I had to spray paint three different things for the Susan costume. First, I had to spray paint the grommets that I just got in the mail. They only had gold grommets, and Susan's are more of a dull color. I used Valspar Odds 'n' Ends Fast Dry Enamel in Pewter. You can see the grommets at the top are upside down and are gold. The ones closer to the bottom of the picture are the pewter ones. I really wanted something a bit more coppery, but I could only find BRIGHT COPPER!!!! and didn't want that. So I figured pewter was the next best thing.

Then, I decided to buy some dowel rods to make the arrows. Those got painted with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss in Equestrian. I didn't realize that the little white thing in the spray nozzle distributed the paint more evenly. I thought it was a stopper and removed it, and ended up with essentially a steady stream of paint. Well, I figured it out after I finished one coat (the rods covered up pretty quickly.) For the second coat, I put the sprayer back on the nozzle, but the damage was done. There were little raised bumps all over the arrows from the dripping paint. I ended up sanding them with some really fine sandpaper. (By the way, be CAREFUL if you're going to sand a dowel rod - I almost set my hand on fire! I'm lucky I don't have burns on my fingers.) I'll try spraying them again tomorrow just to give them a second coat. The next step will be to add some gold bands, a cap on the end of the arrow, and I think I'll fashion one arrow tip out of clay. That will be for photo ops only. The other arrows will be permanently fixed inside the quiver.

Finally, I bought a bunch of 4" arrow fletching replacements at Dick's Sporting Goods. These are going to eventually be glued to the arrows. Half of the 36 feathers that I bought were green, and half were white. I spray painted them red using Krylon Short Cuts Red Pepper. Have you any idea how HARD it is to spray paint these things? First of all, they weigh just about nothing. Second, they are meant to fly through the air, so of course they FLEW all over the place when I started spraying! I decided to do most of the feathers, even though I only need about fifteen, just because I knew some of them would get really messed up. They would flip over and get the wet paint on other feathers that were already wet, and when I'd flip them back over the paint would get the impression of my finger (I wore latex gloves, BTW.) At least, if I don't have enough decent ones, I can always scrap the paint off and try again.

All in all, I am quite pleased with how all my painting turned out. I'm also excited that I was able to work on little piddly parts of the costume while working up the courage to finish the corset. That will be my big challenge tomorrow - hemming and grommeting the corset! I figure it's better to make it a tad too small than a tad too big; after all, I can always loosen the laces if it's too small, but I can only tighten them so much if it's too big!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Went to the store to get trim for my Clockwork Droid vest. Came home with tons of stuff for my Queen Susan costume! Got the dowels for my arrows, paint for the grommets (I got gold ones and I need silver), and ornaments for the corset. SOOOO excited! I didn't know WHAT I was going to use for those circular corsets, but apparently, jewelry-making is a HUGE thing since the last time I went to Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics, and they each have two long aisles of crazy, funky jewelry stuff. All I have to do is figure out how to attach them, but that shouldn't be too hard. I'm thinking maybe I cut out a hole in the leather and put the ornaments beneath them and glue them on. Who knows?

Tonight I am going to spray paint the grommets pewter and then work on my Clockwork Droid vest. Really wish I had the trim, though. Stupid JoAnn fabrics for not ordering more after I used it up last time!