Saturday, October 20, 2012

into the breach

Hello! I suppose the best place to start is to say what this blog is all about. Simply put, I am learning to costume.

On average, I attend one costume required event per month. Halloween stores (and those types of offerings) have long become obsolete. I can't say exactly when I crossed that line, but it had to be when I wanted to dress as something that wouldn't get me confused as a prostitute on any day but Halloween.

About three Halloweens ago I had suffered a major costumed let down when I had gone to a party, and someone was wearing the same (sort of) costume as I was. It was the type of costume that was put together by everyday pieces, and I was insanely proud of my hunting for just the right items and getting screen accurate accessories. Only to have my thunder taken from someone whose rain slicker was duct taped up to make it the correct length. Maybe it was then I had realized I cared more about dress up than the average person.

So why not just buy something someone else has made? My salary and student loans simply don't allow it. That's not to say making things I want to wear comes cheaply. It doesn't. However, my time is my own, and I can afford to pay myself in finished products vs. the twenty something a hour someone would charge.

Not long after the mortification, a friend was having an any period in history party, and I had really wanted to make something. I don't know what took hold of me. Maybe I just didn't want the trauma of having my photo taken next to a person because "we were wearing the same thing!" I bought a pattern and set to work. 

My first start to finish from a pattern project was Simplicity's Regency dress. I almost didn't finish. I had no idea what the instructions were saying. My friend sent me a link to a site with step by step instructions (with photos) and it still confused me. There was no lining. I didn't place the one pattern piece on the fold, and so the chest piece had to sewn together in the front. I've made far more complicated items since, and I'm still afraid to retouch that pattern.

But I made it. I wore it. I was hooked.

My sewing experience is limited. I grew up knowing how to reattach a button and sew a basic pillow. There's a lot to learn between that and a robe a l'anglaise. A LOT. I still consider myself a beginner. My supplies are basic. I don't know a lot about fabrics, historically accuracy, types of sticthes or pleats.

My plan is to use this blog to track my progress and encourage anyone in the same boat as me (it seems like all costumers I know are insanely advanced at everything they do).

I hope this is my last non-picture update!