Condo Blues: costume




Showing posts with label costume. Show all posts
Showing posts with label costume. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How to Make a Quick and Easy Quilted Petticoat or Skirt

I figure the best way to fill my unexpected time off is to work on some of the sewing projects I never got around to doing because a paying gig came along and knocked it further down my priority list.

The first Quarantine Costuming project I made is a quilted petticoat to wear under my historical skirts in cold weather, just like the ladies of yore used to do – as the temperature when down the number of layers (in this case skirts)  goes up.

how to sew a quilted skirt
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A traditional quilted petticoat would be made out of cotton fabrics and hand quilted similar to a blanket quilt.  If you look at quilted petticoats in museums some of the quilting makes elaborate designs on the solid fabric which are gorgeous but incredibly time consuming! I didn’t want to put that much work quilting something no one is going to see but me when I wear it.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

How to Make a Jester Costume

One of the things I love about sewing costumes is the challenge and I try to do that with every jester dress I make. Normally I cut each piece of my sewing pattern out of a different color fabric to create a color block jester costume, I load it up with jingle bells, and I’m good to go with a costume that’s close to jester’s motley.

I need a new jester costume for renaissance festival and historical performances and when I want to dress to empress on Halloween.

This time, I went for the Crazy Person Challenge of sewing a jester costume with a homemade diamond pattern quilted fabric. I made new everything from the skin out:bloomers, hoop skirt, skirt, bodice, and hat. This project took four months to complete.

Which just goes to show you I don’t just play a fool on weekends, it’s more of a 24/7 lifestyle. I’ve never quilted before and after this project I may never quilt again!

how to sew a jester costume
Pin this costume tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends! 
Photos by Jay Robinson and Checkmate Photography

How to Make a Female Renaissance Jester Costume

Monday, September 16, 2019

How to Make an All Weather Elizabethan Jiffy Pop Hat

I need a new jester hat for my renaissance festival character that will still hold its shape when it gets wet in the rain or snow. In the past I have used the traditional buckram (learn what buckram is here) which unfortunately can quickly lose its shape and not really recover it when it gets wet in a thunderstorm. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

I’d like to make something a little different than the traditional jester asses ears I’ve worn in the past. (Asses ears are the name of the jester’s hat with the points and bells on the end.) Since Elizabethan jesters and fools often made fun of their betters and sometimes wore parodies of the style of the nobility to mock them, I decided to make a HUGE British bonnet as an homage to my jester mentor who wore a GIANT flat cap.

But most importantly, I want a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of my eyes.


 Save this Halloween costume hat tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends! 

This style of brimmed hat with a poufy top goes by many names: British toque or bonnet, Spanish toque or bonnet, Italian toque or bonnet, or by the modern nick name The Jiffy Pop Hat because it looks like a Jiffy Pop pan after it has popped (learn more about Jiffy Pop here if you are unfamiliar with this treat that’s fun to eat.)

Elizabethan men and women wore this style of hat. The poofy hat in the sepia photo is made with buckram. The hats in the color photos are made with plastic canvas. As you can see you can't tell from looking what the hat form is made from. the only difference is the plastic canvas is weatherproof and also stands up any and all abuse an actor may put it through.

How to Make a Hat with Plastic Canvas Instead of Buckram

Monday, August 19, 2019

How to Make a Pendent Necklace into a Pin Brooch

I was going though my costume jewelry collection to bling out my Husband’s and my Halloween costumes. I have more costume jewelry necklaces than I do pins in my princess treasure chest. Naturally I actually need the opposite.

No worries! It is super quick and easy to turn a necklace charm or pendant into a pin brooch!


how to upcycle a necklace into a pin brooch
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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Costume Sewing Bee

My renaissance festival performer friends and I recently got together for a sewing bee of sorts. We all have slightly different costuming, prop making, and sewing skill sets which is a fantastic resource when you aren’t quite sure how to make the item you’ve drafted on paper or, like me, its been awhile since you’ve built a particular garment and a second pair of eyes would be massively helpful before you cut fabric incorrectly and hope the store has more.

Or is that just me?

ren fair garb sewing bee
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For one glorious afternoon we turned a condo clubhouse into a dressmaking workshop just like in the movie Cinderella but without the birds and mice helping with construction.

But let me tell you I totally would have taken Fairy Godmother’s help with her wand. Just sayin’.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How to Make a Statement Ring from Old Earrings and Pendants

I broke the back off one of my favorite earrings. You know the kind of costume jewelry you wear to death because it goes with practically everything you have to wear in your closet? Yeah, that.

I didn’t mourn the loss for long. I need a bunch of big ol’ princess rings for my Halloween and renaissance festival costumes and with a little crafty DIY I made my broken earring into a statement ring.

how to make renaissance rings

Parading around the grounds with the Queen and court!


How to Make Costume Jewelry Rings the Easy Way!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Elizabethan Noble Woman Costume Part 4 – Makeover Reveal

Last year I made an Elizabethan noble dress to wear while performing at renaissance festivals that was an utter train wreck. It was my first machine embroidery project, the fit of the bodice was off, and in an attempt to glam it up  I think my dress looks more like a costume than my goal of period clothing.

No one said anything to me one way or the other about the issues I have with this dress.  I would never, ever point out any of these issues on a patron or fellow performer’s clothing  Many of these things bug me and me alone and I admit I’m shallow enough to let it affect my performance.

Extreme Renaissance Festival Costume Makeover

You could say the Tudors are the originals when it comes to clothing capsule collections because most of their clothing either tied or pinned together so they could mix and match sleeves, foreparts, bodices, stomachers etc.

My costuming focus this summer was making my husband a new embroidered Tudor doublet, breeches, and hat. In the interest of time, I remade and made over the items that didn’t work and kept or tweaked the pieces that do.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Elizabethan Doublet Costume Reveal!

My husband needed a new Elizabethan nobleman costume when he performs at renaissance festivals. It is a tricky business because the history geek in me wants to be as historically accurate as possible.

However unlike a living history museum, what we do is historical entertainment. Being outdoors in all temperatures and weather conditions means there are some liberties I have to take in the clothing design,  construction, and preferences of the guy wearing it. In other words, please don’t yell at me historical clothing purists. I know where I did not follow Elizabethan Sumptuary Laws (dress code.) Thank you.

I gave you a costume project sneak peak in Elizabethan Doublet Costume Work in Progress.  I cut the velvet front of the doublet trim larger than my pattern so I could hoop it and spent a 12 hour day doing nothing but embroidering the border design over and over holding my breath every time hoping everything will line up when I finished. Thank goodness it did!

Gold metallic thread would make the embroidery really sing. After a few frustrating test pieces I learned there is a finesse to machine embroidering with metallic thread that I do not have yet. That is a skill to learn for another day.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Elizabethan Doublet Costume Work in Progress

This time of year most folks are looking forward to their favorite fall holidays and pumpkin spice everything.

As much as I hate to see summer slowly transition into fall, it signals one of my favorite times of the year:

Costume Season!

I gave a tiny sneak peak of my latest costuming project on Instagram (follow me @condoblues on Instagram pretty please?) an Elizabethan doublet, breeches, and hat for my husband.  I'm machine embroidering all of the velvet trim like a crazy person.

A post shared by Lisa (@condoblues) on
This eagle will appear on the back of the jacket, flanked by two embroidered flourishes. I bought the killer machine embroidery files from Urban Threads.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How to Make a Folding Cloth Fan

We are in the sweltering hot Dog Days of Summer. Ohio likes to add a little extra misery to the mix with humidity. Hazy, Hot, and Humid is a phrase all Ohioans face with sweaty dread and air conditioning.

Until you have to go outside – yuck.

Fortunately, there is an easy, eco friendly, and cute solution – use a hand fan to keep cool!

 Pin this tutorial for later!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Renaissance Noble Dress Project Part 3: Princess Dress Reveal!

I blogged about designing a new Elizabethan Nobility Dress to perform with Husband at Renaissance Festivals. This project was harder than any other costuming project I’ve done. I like the finished dress for the most part, but I don’t love it as much as I do the costume it replaces. There are a bunch of mistakes, and the bodice fit (among other things) needs tweaking which is why I haven’t shown you the finished project.

But I promised you a DIY renaissance festival princess dress and that you shall have, warts and all.
I started with a sketch after pouring over my favorite Elizabethan costuming books working backwards by buying the fabric first and coming up with a dress design second. I like to work the other way around.


Disclosure: affiliate links appear in this post for your convenience.

I started with the overskirt and underskirt (forepart) first. I attempted hand embroidering the brown velvet trim but didn’t liker my test pieces, not to mention  that kind of hand embroidery means an extra year for construction I didn’t have.

Monday, March 27, 2017

How to Make an Easy DIY Floor To Ceiling Shoe Rack Organizer

The over the door shoe rack similar to this one on the closet door and stackable shoe rack similar to this one worked for awhile. Well actually, it worked for Husband’s shoes rather than mine. My shoes are so small they would often slip through the split shelves and end up in a pile on the floor. (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

And after years of wear and tear, there came a time when even Gorilla Tape wouldn’t put our dilapidated shelves back together again. Which, frankly, I only put them back together every time they fell apart because Husband and I have grand plans to make this closet a cedar closet and pimped out with a custom closet organizer system.

Someday.

That keeps getting pushed down the punch list because blah, blah, yadda, yadda.

Does this happen to you or am I the only one?

After two months of shoe clutter barfing out of the closet and not being able to shut the door I had enough. This project doesn’t have to be my perfect dream of custom wall to wall floor to ceiling shoe storage, it just needs to be done. Now.

Shoe Closet Before. I am not proud of this.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

12 Small Space Fabric Storage Ideas You Need To Try Right Now!

Recently during some serious Girl Time with a fellow costumer and my BFF, our conversation turned to to talking about how our fabric storage is out of control and threatening to take over not only our sewing studios, but the house as well.

Or at least it seems that way when you live in a small condo.

Most of the time I sew with nontraditional fabrics such as upholstery fabric, velvet, tulle, and plush fleece and they are more difficult to store than traditional cotton quilting and apparel weight fabrics because, even their scraps  require much more space!

12 of the Best Ways to Store Non Traditional Fabric

After spit balling fabric organizing ideas with my costumer friend and coming up short, I turned to the Internet. I found a bunch of small space fabric ideas to add to my ever growing To Do List and thought I’d share.

Ready? Set. Organize!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

DIY Victorian Skeleton Halloween Decoration

I have a thing for gazebos. Like a deep down serious love.  I’m not sure why, maybe it is wrapped up in some romantic notion in the books I devoured as a kid about Victorian England. The history is fascinating and so are the clothes!  Fantastic gigantic hats, dangerous and deadly small waists, dresses with flowing trains – it is perfect Halloween attire!

Or in this case, the perfect Halloween decoration.


I can't tell you how much I love this Victorian skeleton couple enjoying the holiday in an iron gazebo

I met this dashing couple in Hotel Breakers when I went to this year’s Bloggy Conference at Cedar Point (you can read about how I spend last year at Cedar Point Halloweekends looking for park Easter eggs on Condo Blues here.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to Sew Cartridge Pleats the Easy Way!

I’ve made many curtains for past homes but it wasn’t until I started building Elizabethan Renaissance costumes that I learned how to sew cartridge pleats for curtains by using the same technique to make cartridge (also called gauge or gauging) pleat skirts!

Back in merry old Elizabethan England - way before they had central heating - nobility used heavy fabrics similar to our modern upholstery weight fabrics to make clothing. Dresses had voluminous skirts, small waistbands, and the illusion of large child bearing hips were all the rage.

 Pin this sewing tutorial for later!

Cartridge pleats solved the problem because they allow you to attach large amounts of heavy fabric to a small waist band than typical gathering. Gauge pleats also allow the skirt to stand out from the body a bit to create large hips and a booty (with the help of padded bum or hip roll of course.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Renaissance Noble Dress Part 1: The Design

I need to replace my current Elizabethan noble costume with a new one.

Unfortunately I am my own worst client because the only thing I know that I want in my new princess type dress is this list of vague demands:
  1. Make it different than what other women will most likely we wearing.
  2. Use massive amounts of embroidery to help with Number 1 and give me a Sofa Time With Lacey project.
  3. Use as much of my beading, trim, and costuming stash as possible. It should also help with number 1 but really I just want to put some of the weird amounts of stuff in my studio to good use.
  4. Bling that sucker out to be a pretty, pretty princess of more is more epic proportions – as one does as an Elizabethan noblewoman. I realize this is not in line with being a simplistic budget minded green DIY blogger. But it is totally in line with being a person who spends most of her workdays covered in paint and sawdust while wearing yoga pants and a ratty t-shirt.

Pin this post for reference later!



I let the fabric I found decide my costume’s color scheme since many of the accessories I have will work with almost any color. The color specific items I have  need to be replaced anyway.  I was hoped I could find a green brocade or damask because I look smashing in green.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

How to Make a Renaissance Festival Costume


I need a new 16th century English noble costume when Husband and perform at renaissance festivals. Thank goodness I know how to sew. It’s not like I can hop in the car and pick up a new dress at Nobles R Us!

Besides, it allows me to get my inner history geek, costumer, and creative seamstress on.

 

 Pin this post for later!

First you should decide if you want to make a historically accurate renaissance clothing (or as close as to historically accurate as we can get in the 21st century,) a fantasy type costume, or a little bit of all of the above. There are buckets of different opinions on what you should or should not do, all of which are valid because everyone’s purpose, desire, and budget differs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How to Make a Grass Hula Skirt

My husband and I are invited to a friend’s annual August luau.  Last year they had a woman give the party hula lessons. I want to be prepared and wear a grass skirt as part of my Hawaiian party attire.

Unfortunately there is one teensy problem with this plan.

Have you ever tried to buy a grass hula skirt or for that matter any Hawaii themed clothing in August when it is 100% still officially Summer?

You’ll be out of luck because everything in the store is Fall, Halloween, and Christmas is starting to trickle in too. Argh!

Fortunately making a Hawaiian grass skirt is quick and easy with supplies you can find year round!

Hawaiian Inspired Grass Skirt Tutorial


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Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to Make a Mini Top Hat

I made a super simple fluffy tutu (read my no sew tutu tutorial here) for a costume. I’m going for a kooky Dresden Dolls, Steampunk, Katy Perry, retro, vaudeville kind of vibe. I need one more thing so I can pull off the look: a little top hat fascinator.



 Tiny top hats make Halloween costumes more fun!

Instead of running to the store to buy top hat making supplies, I bought the materials by treating myself to a cup of take out coffee. That’s right!  I made my ring leader’s hat from a disposable cup.

The steps in this tutorial are very forgiving. You don’t necessarily need to do the steps in the order I have them listed in this tutorial with the exception of assembling the hat pieces.


How to Make a Top Hat Out of a Paper Cup