Costume Design for YouTube Webseries Malcontent’s Lab!

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Hey y’all,

A few months ago, I was commissioned to create an original design for a new webseries. I designed,  created a pattern for, and constructed a custom steampunk-inspired lab coat for the titular character in the new YouTube series, Malcontent’s Lab for actress Alana Jackler this past summer. Designs were bounced around and around, playing with elements of the late 1800′s, as well as Futurist aspects. Over the course of about 5 weeks I designed, constructed, and finished this giant job and you can see the process below… Malcontent’s Lab is one of the many shows on the YouTube channel, ScifiRiot.

 

Alana Jackler in Malcontents Lab

Alana Jackler in Malcontents Lab

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The coat took approximately 22 hours and the process included preliminary sketches, merging sketches and then a final sketch was approved.

My sketches for the coat

My sketches for the coat

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So the sketch on the bottom left was the one picked, yet I would include a purple tulle underskirt to soften the hardness of the coat and also to convey a little fantasy in the character.

2. The next step was drafting the pattern! I did a simple bodice design with a full circle skirt and then chopped one side of the front bodice and enlongated the other. This would give that asymmetrical center front and create the palette for those leather straps and buckles you can see in the drawing.

3. Construction/sewing!

The pinned bodice pieces

The pinned bodice pieces

The bodice with the open skirt pinned

The bodice with the open skirt pinned

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

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The finished product :o)

The finished product :o)

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A LAST MINUTE ADDITION: a little M emblem, she beckons the idea of a superhero for herself

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;O)

Pants Re-do

I bought these Talbot’s pants at a thrift shop a few months ago because I liked their odd fabric and thought I could turn them into something better.  They sat in my drawer for a while until this morning,when I decided to give them new life.  They fit poorly, wide in the hips and crotch; and then tapered into a strange high-water.  The bottom hem was a solid 1.25″, so I dropped that and also took the pants in about 2″ on each side overall. I meticulously pinned and sewed and re-pinned and sewed again to achieve a skinny pants look. The original fit was again, odd, so it took a lot of tweaking before I got them right.  I am happy with the results and look forward to doing more of my pants. :o) They went from a size 10 to about a 6.

Talbot's Size 10 Pants Before + After

Talbot’s Size 10 Pants Before + After

A Year in Furs

Call it winter blues, call it writer’s block, I have been been working less in the last month after the holidays than usual.  These moments of less activity kind of bum me out, but I think I am winding down from a crazypants year of hyper-activity! I have to remind myself what I have done because whenever I am feeling “lazy”, I mull over my past projects in my mind and go, “Oh!, right, I did that.”

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That refers to my being cast as Ann Marie, Ashley Greene’s rival in the ABC pilot, Americana, using my own designs to portray a fashion designer. The pilot was sadly not picked up, but this was my first opportunity to be able to showcase my two loves, fashion and acting.

On Americana with my designs!

On Americana with my designs!

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That refers to my first theater production with my old theater company, Homebrewed, back in April-May, which I served as stage manager & actor in.

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That also refers to the completion of & performance of my first full length play, Crystal Atlas, at the end of May

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That also refers to the completion of a one-act play, Yess, Texas, which I also made 9 costumes for (my Spring 2013 Collection) and performed with my new theater company as part of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend.

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That also refers to the wood-nymph photoshoot I held with one of my best friends of said collection in the woods where I grew up.

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That would also refer to the fact that I got cast as a featured wife of a warlord in one of my favorite director’s, Darren Aronofsky’s, newest film, Noah. I got to be a part of the amazing experience of this biblical times feature complete with mud, rain, and amazing sets galore.

Me on Noah

Me on Noah

 To be continued…

Kollaborating With Kollabora

So I have been involved with the great company Burdastyle since 2007, working for them & with them and am so proud of how huge the site has become. Check it out, if you haven’t already. Nora Abousteit, (one of the co-founders of Burdastyle, a woman of all trades, author, founder….), just c0-launched her newest creation, Kollabora . Propelling the DIY movement to a whole other level along with those who have also fostered it (Etsy, Threadbanger, etc.), wooooooo

“Kollabora is a social platform for DIYers, consisting of a craft supply marketplace and multiple maker communities linking to projects, supplies, and how-tos. Kollabora soft-launched sewing, knitting, and jewelry making communities with fashion-forward projects, and plan to expand into many more DIY communities, including home decor.”

They graciously send me a beautifully packaged and wrapped “Sewing Kit”, which came complete with a paper pattern in a variety of sizes, some fabric yardage, and a booklet of instructions.

They sent me some beautiful black and white dot cotton/silk blend fabric from Mood Fabrics. There wasn’t enough fabric to do the front and back in the dotted print, so I brought out some red raw silk and made the back and bias tape with it, respectively. I also used some black woven silk for the little bitty pocket and decided to do a lined pocket verses the suggested simple layer hemmed pocket.

The pattern was super easy to use and the instructions were super easy to follow.  I went with the Large size because I am 5’10″ and it fits pretty well!  There was also an option to do a dress or tunic version, which I will try next time.  I think this is a great pattern for a nightgown! I will make hundreds.

WHAT I LIKED:

**The inclusion of french seams, versus a regular seam.  French seams are very strong and I am happy that users can learn how to do them because they are rather easy. They are not only for more advanced garments either!

** Photos in the sewing guide, which are great for those who are visual learners

**nice thick pattern paper, great for re-use (tissue really falls apart after a while)

**It’s a fast project! If you’re an advanced seamstress, you can really whip this out fast and who doesn’t love that! If you are a beginner, you should have no trouble finishing this in a day.

** The wonderful thoughtful packaging

**How easy it was to upload photos to this site!

So, my top is a little 101 Dalmations or “What’s black and white and red all over?”, but I love b&w and red! Silk city, baby!

Thanks, Kollabora!

S/S 2013 Show // Photos Galore!

Little Blue (Military) Dress

Sideways

Studs

Epaulette

B-B-Back

A look inspired by Janis Joplin…and Aladdin

The Vest Alone… Red Velvet & Brass Studs

A Unique Draped Wedding Dress with wraparound waistline… 20 hours of work, man.

Zee Back Complete with Train

Shoulder Detail

Little Pink Peter Pan Collar Check Print Dress

Little Cutie

Far & Away 

Baby Got back

A Little Grace Kelly

A Little Closeup

Wraparound Waist

A Hendrix Inspired Buttondown with Embroidery/Studs (15 hours of work, man)

Side

Closeup Baby

Back Attack

Duvet & Flange Are Strange Words

I moved into a new place June 2nd and have been obsessively sewing for home, as opposed to my usual fashion/accessories endeavors.  I just can’t stop!

A few months ago I made a duvet cover for my comforter out of lovely robin’s egg blue cotton and cream for the underside.  For a closure, I made simple ties.  Today I just finished some semi-matching flange pillowcases for accent.

I think I might start selling housewares in my Etsy shop.

Next project: cafe curtains to let some light in from my huge windows, while maintaining some privacy. :o)

Vintage-a-palooza

Pretty in Pink // Handmade one of a kind Picnic Dress

1970′s Purple Ruffle Dress

Royal Purple

Parisian Wrap Skirt // One of a Kind

 

Beautiful 1970′s Peplum Dress

and more in the shop

 

 

Nearly 43 Years Ago…

Woah, I had not blogged for three weeks and interestingly enough, I have been working every day for three weeks.  Second day off is today and my flu or whatever it is is narrowing.

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There are a lot of people in this world.

Some words from Woodstock’s 2nd day, August 16th 1969 addressing the problem that there were too many people and too little resources. Apply these words to us today and they still ring true and should be followed. This was said after The Who performed “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

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This is one thing that i was gonna wait awhile before we talked about, but maybe we will talk about it now so you can think about it because you all, we all have to make some kind of plans for ourselves.  It’s a free concert from now on. That doesn’t mean that anything goes, what that means is we’re going to put the music up here for free.  Now, lets face the situation we’ve had thousands and thousands of people come here today many many more than we knew or even dreamt or thought possible.  We’re going to need each other to help each other to work this out because we’re taxing the systems that we have set up. We’re going to be bringing the food in. 

… Now, the one major thing that you have to remember tonight,. when you go back up to the woods to go to sleep or if you stay here, is that the man next to you it your brother. And you damn well better treat each other that way because if you don’t then we blow the whole thing, but we’ve got it, right there.


I
 live in NYC and thus I get asked for money every day from men, women, & children. There are throngs of people who brave the summer heat, filthy and bearing signs with something of the likes of “Homeless, tired, and hungry, please help.” Sometimes these people get on the train and beg, sometimes, they sleep peacefully with a can. I’m not going to lie, it takes a very rare day for me to open my wallet to these people. Not because I am an ignorant selfish jerk, but because they have become part of the urban landscape, commonplace and much like anything else we see regularly, always with their tales of woe, often with the same tale.  I often see the same people I’ve seen over the years with their same script. It takes a standout to take notice. Last night, as I was waiting for the train home after work, dozens and dozens of people began to flood the platform, waiting. As I walked down the platform to find a spot to park and wait, I saw a clean middle-aged man with a striped shirt approach a young hipster. He asked something I couldn’t hear and then I passed them. The man made his way down weaving in and out of the people waiting, mostly 20-30 year old white hipsters and asked his question. There was something about this man that I couldn’t deflect. As new age as it sounds, he had an aura. He finally made his way to me and by this time, I had come to the realization that he was asking everyone for money. He asked, in the most mannerly and respectful way possible, “excuse me, but do you have something to eat?” I looked into my bag and said, “No.”, which was true. His eyes probed into mine. There was something about him. I felt like he was a soothsayer or something, testing the morals of the people on the platform. His eyes stared straight into every person he asked and he shook me. After he left me, I felt crappy. No, I didn’t have anything to eat, but I did have money in my purse, which would give him something. He was carrying a bag with coconut water and what looked like a salad, so maybe someone had given him their dinner. He made his down the platform, his probing eyes, asking everyone in no exact manner and he turned and made his way back. When he had made his way back to the young blond man standing next to me, I couldn’t take it anymore. I reached into my bag and grabbed some money and handed it to him. He then made direct eye contact and said, “Thank you miss, you have helped an Army Veteran.” Flustered, I said, “Thank you!”

There was something about that man…I wish I could have given him a $100.