Sunday, 24 June 2012

Catching Up

Yet again I have been remiss in posting. On the other hand it now means I have lots to talk about!

In April, the LARP had its third event, a tavern night on the 21st. The following weekend, I worked at the Calgary Comic Expo in the Myth Games booth. Working meant I got to skip the fiasco at the main entrance, but also meant that I was stuck in a booth all weekend so I really only got to see what came to us. I did take a break to get a photo with and signature from the lovely Amanda Tapping.

We also had a second booth for the Alliance Calgary LARP chapter. It was manned by members in full costume and sold latex LARP weapons as well as a few costume pieces I had prepared! I sold my very first pre-prepared piece!

Unfortunately, in the middle of this hectic weekend, we also said goodbye to another of our fur babies. Loki, our little terror of only 5, had become ill some weeks before hand, and we had thought he was getting over it with the medication. However it was much more serious than we had first thought and Cory had to let him go very early on Saturday morning, April 28th. How he managed to get through the rest of the weekend, I don’t know. Having to work the crazy hours of the Expo was a definite distraction.

Goodbye Mr. Loki, we miss you.

After the Expo it was time to focus on the next LARP event, in only 2 weeks! I still had most of my items from the Expo to sell. Cory was kind enough to let me put them in Myth Games in the LARP section. The other women’s shirt has sold since then, so I have to make more! Currently on sale is a Blue/Brown/Bronze Pirate-style coat, size XL for $300; two linen men’s shirts, both size XL for $60 each and a tan fuzzy vest with a brown fur collar for $130.

I currently have material for 6 more women’s shirts in various colours and two more men’s shirts. They will be in a range of sizes. Hopefully this will help my sales (I hope).

For May’s event, our first weekend event, we needed a ton more monster tabards and new “battle” costumes for Cory & myself. As well as a beautiful gold cloak for my character for the night part of the event. While I concentrated on getting the costume pieces done, the tabards were done by the wife of a LARP member who used to be an industrial seamstress. I still don’t know how she got them all done so fast!!

The weekend after the May event, we adopted a new kitty! He still needed to be snipped so he came to live with us on the Tuesday. Salem was not impressed. Hermes is about a year old so he is still very playful and likes to chew on whatever he can get his mouth around. Salem is 11 and while he still plays sometimes, Hermes is a little rough for him. In the weeks since, Hermes has settled in and he and Salem have been getting to know each other but are still working on becoming friends.

Then it was time to focus on the June event! For this one, plot transported the players to the land of the Fey, where they met the Smurfs! Which for me meant a ton of Smurf hats to be made, and then adjusted. Next time I have to make hats, I’m not doing anything until I get proper head measurements from everyone. Cory was Gargamel and I was Azreal. No photos of that though. We weren’t in those costumes very long.

I also needed a bunch of new pouches that would go onto belts and be easily accessible. I used a leather pattern I already had and made a few adjustments to make it work with fabric. They worked so well that I now need to make a ton more in all different colors! I'm wearing my first one in the photo above.

Now we are getting ready for the July event, which at the time of posting is only three weeks away. It seems like a lot, but it flies by so fast.

On the to do list:
More belt pouches
Commissioned pants
Commissioned Bride’s maid’s dress for August
Various animal hats
Six women’s shirts
Two men’s shirts
Four cloaks

Plus I have a roll of really nice brown material that looks a little like leather that I’m not sure what to do with…

Bonus photo: me learning to use my new staff! Thanks Cory!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Blood of a hen!

Or an Arch Mage Cloak. Same color…

Moving on,

March 17 saw the second Alliance Calgary LARP event. The weeks leading up saw me extremely busy working on all the required costume pieces for it.

First project was Cory’s Arch Mage: a huge red cloak with black & gold trim. I’ve made cloaks before; the pattern I usually use is pretty simple and can be done in a day. Cory chose a new pattern with a ton of gathering involved. It was worth it though, it looked fantastic!

New pattern & materials:

I had to be very creative with this one as the 9.5 meters we needed for this was not all in one piece. It was in 5. Or 7. I can’t remember exactly. I really hate it when people do that at the Fabric store! But it all worked out in the end. I did lots of ironing and mixing and matching pieces to get what needed. Fortunately the twill Cory picked doesn’t have a nap or a “right” side. That would have made this little exercise nearly impossible.

First up: cutting out the pieces: Cloak pieces are huge! Four for the body and four more for the sleeves; 8 small pieces for the chest or “yoke” and hood. I have to say I really like the way the hood went on this one.

Let the gathering (and bloodletting) begin! It’s a good thing this costume is red!

These are the sleeves. Not sure they really needed darts, but they were on the pattern, so I did them. Then I played with my new serger to reinforce the seams.

OOo the fun part! Adding the trim. This really changed the whole look of the costume. It actually went on the sleeves before the sleeves were sewn on to the cloak. It was super easy, which is why I liked it.

Little bit more blood!

Looks great here doesn’t it? What I didn’t take pictures of was all the hand sewing I did on the yoke. There are actually two layers in there to enclose all the gathered edges on the body pieces and sleeves. This required several tedious hours of hand-sewing. (During which I watched “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”) Both thumbs and index fingers were numb by the time I finished. I’ve since discovered that a well pinned yoke can skip right to the top-stitching. No more hand sewing for me!! I really punish my poor hands doing all this!

I actually finished this before Cory went on his annual trip to the convention for Game Manufacturers, Distributors and store owners in Las Vegas (jealous!). He decided he wanted trim added to the hood as well. I didn’t have enough left over so that meant another trip to Fabricland! I spend so much time in there I really should give the manager my resume…

Finally, here is the completed costume as worn by Cory aka Az’cane the grumpy, ancient, ornery, old arch mage.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Pirate Shirt

Last minute commission before the LARP event Feb 18: a shirt. Heavy twill material, pirate pattern. No problem. By the time I finished my poor fingers disagreed.


Material & interfacing cut out:

Facing for the split in the chest:

Cut open:

Turned inside and ironed flat:

Shoulder seam:

Interfacing on collar:

Collar going together:
Turned out and ironed: the one side is folded up to make it easier to close once sewn on:

Neckline gathered and collar pinned on: For some reason gathering always involves me stabbing myself with the pins.

Once the collar is sewn on, the seam allowance is tuned inside the collar and the side that was folded up is used to hand-sew the collar closed.

Sleeve: gathered and pinned on. More pain.

Looks great though:

Next the under arm was sewn closed. Then finishing the opening at the cuff:

After sewing the cuff together much the same as the collar, the same process is repeated to sew the cuff on to the end of the sleeve: and more stabbing my poor fingers.

The look is worth it:

Closing the cuff and adding the button hole and button:

All that’s left is to hem the bottom of the shirt. It also had a slit that was finished the same as the cuff slit. I did go over all of the seams with the serger to prevent the material from fraying as it was trying to do while I was putting the shirt together.

The pattern says to add strings to tie the neck closed in the seam at the collar. From the previous shirt I made using this pattern, I know the wearer feels this leaves too much open. This time I left the tie out of the seam and instead added small button holes along the slit and put one long string in. It looked much better.

One completed heavy pirate shirt:

As worn at the LARP:

Total cost: Approximately $45 for materials (on sale, pre-purchased) + $55 for 7.5 hours work = $100

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lepoard Vest

I do believe I’m going to get very good at making vests as I had to make another one for an NPC for the LARP event. This was for a High Ogre that was not a fan of the King; played by Cory. He chose a leopard print felt for this one. I used the same pattern as the previous post.

Cutting out the lining and felt:

Prepping for pinning: It is very dry in my basement and everything was incredibly staticy.

Pinning the arms, front and collar:

Turned out, with the first side seam done:

Hand-sewing the last inside side seam closed:

Almost done:

Added three cool tooth-looking buttons:

Adding the three loops for the buttons:

Completed vest:

Modeled by Morbo, the angry High Orge: