Monday, December 8, 2008


I have not forgotten all of you or your costume needs! I know with Dicken's upon us and other events of the Victorian nature I need to get back and blog some new costumes. It has been crazy around here though and I will get to that new post in the next few days!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ok it's a day early but so what! I decided to show all of you what I came up with this year for my costume. I decided to be Jadis from Narnia. The costume photos come from the Disneyland Trick or Treat event from last night. I will end up wearing this costume three times this season. So far it is still clean after two wearings haha!

I came up with the idea when talking to one of my customers and the idea just stuck in my head. I love the way they costumed the characters in these movies and loved the idea of wearing all the dreads.

I was going to use a pre-made dress and use a felting technique over the base, but I was having no luck finding the right dress at the thrift stores. So I went to the fabric store and found this plushy yumminess, that while I knew was not exactly like the real fabric in the film, it gave the right effect I knew would carry over.

If I have not told you guys before, I am an "ok" seamstress and that might be pushing it. I decided to start more simply and create a tank cut top and a A-Line framed skirt. This was mostly so I did not have to work with any professional patterns (just my handy paper bag patterns). If I was a better seamstress I would have loved to have made a dress and a short sleeved top like the movie, but this is what I could sew :)

The next piece was the bridal petticoat, it added a nice bell shape the skirt really needed. The only issue is, it's time for me to get a new petticoat! I have had this for years and even wore it when I was in a Independent Film (it was the 90's all of us did it you know haha!), the thing has seen better days, but I am still happy I had it!

The cape was made from a full faux fur, flipped to create a full top and slit at the bottom. I then went back in and sewed in more pieces of the fur, to recreate her seal fur look "pelted" cape.

The crown was pure luck! I had some great plans to make my crown but was having issues finding the glass and the time to create the piece. I had seen this crown at Joann's and since it had a similar shape and it was on sale I bought it as a back up, but decided to use it in the end.

The dreads were a lot of fun. It was the first time I had ever installed the dreads directly into my hair. I only did the crown area because of the shortness of my hair at the back (I have a A line bob). I also added in four dread falls to the bag to give my hair extra fullness and tied them up in a bun similar to how she does in the movie.

I used Vapor from Urban Decay as my base eyeshadow out around my entire eye and then added a irridescent glitter I found at Sephora over the top.

Over all I am very happy with how this turned out. Yes I would have liked it a little more like it shows in the movie, but one thing you learn about costumes is people don't remember the details. If you give them a big picture that is close to what they remember they will think you look exactly like the character you are trying to recreate.

The total cost on this was from material and the crown only, everything else I already owned. I think with sales this costume was approx $20

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quick Looks for Halloween- Comic Book Characters

So time is running out to find a costume for Halloween, but you don't think you have the time or money for a great costume? Think again! This is a guide for quick ideas using pieces that can be found in your closet, the thrift store or any department store. Some of these characters are a bit more obscure, but they are still fun!

Some of you might not have read this series (but you should!), but those who have know that the Eternals change their looks in each period, leaving only a few features the same. This means you can interpret some of their costumes a little more loosely then you can other comic book characters that rarely change.

Sandman himself- Try a pair of black jeans, a Black or Gray t-shirt and if you like a pair of gloves and a cloak or a long leather jacket, and messy black hair add a moody look and you have a great Sandman.

Death- Is very popular because she is unlike any other death, with her sweet understanding disposition and goth look she is a fun character to be. To re-create her look you can do any version of gothic from the early days on. For a modern look go with a black tank top, black jeans, black hair, and lots of black eyeliner with curls at the side. The most important thing with Death though is to not forget to wear your Ankh!

Delirium- Is a mess, so think messy and a bit punk meets homeless when you recreate her look. She tends to wear fishnets in a lot of her look and is barefoot. To recreate one of her looks start with a men's suit, or just the men's pants (if you are skipping the jacket use an over sized beat up sweater), a fish net top (if you feel too exposed you can also use a man's vest over the fishnet), fishnets under the pants, and lots of colors and if you like extensions in your hair and then act a little spacey!


Much like sandman, while some looks are memorable from this series Tank Girl and friends do not have pre-set looks either.

Tank Girl- Since not everyone has their head shaved like Tank, one easy way to recreate this look if you have short hair is to gel your hair back and just keep bangs, or wear a baseball hat like she has in a few issues. Then think 90's punk alternative, mixing girlie pieces with masculine.

Or go with the new Tank Girl look in an 80's Business Suit or a girlie dress no need to slick back your hair, but no matter which look you choose don't forget to strap some guns and weapons on, have a pack of smoke and come off mean :)

More to come!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Halloween Baby and Toddler

We all love Halloween but sometimes the hardest person to dress is the littlest member of the family. They have smaller wardrobes and grow so fast, they also tend to be picky about what they will keep on. This is about rewearable, warm for those cold October nights and inexpensive.
The two looks I want to do are a Gnome and a Pirate, both start with this amazingly cute little hat from at $15 it is a great buy for a hat that your little one can wear all through the winter season.

For a lovely Gnome costume you can go two ways the easiest is starting with the hat, a pair of overalls and a bright primary colored shirt or you could use a bright blue jacket like this from it is warm and has the right look for a Traveling Gnome look!

You could belt the jacket or not and then add a dark pair of pants and you have the perfect little gnome! You can create a simple beard if you like, but really will the baby like that??? ;)

The next look is for your pirate babe! Again starting with knitschmidt's awesome hat, you need a simple shirt and some pants. This listing gets you both and they are so cute! This is from

Or if you are looking for a super cute pirate look how about Smee from Peter Pan!

Start with the stripey hat, then add this great striped shirt from

add a simple long short or pant and you will have a fun look!

The great thing is all of these pieces can be reworn until they grow right out of them!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lizzie Borden Living Dead Doll

This is another costume I created a few years back when I was working at Hot Topic. This costume came from this doll, Lizzie Borden from the Living Dead Doll series. I will say this was not my main costume of that season, but it was actually one of my favorites.

At Hot Topic (where I worked at the time) we were encouraged to dress-up for one week before Halloween so this was on of the earlier looks. It was designed to be simple and easy to wear, but dramatic at the same time. Sometimes the most fun costumes are the easiest to throw together. I have re-worn the wig many times and the only other piece I purchased for this costume cost me $3.

I started by hitting my own closet, I had a long satin skirt and a burgundy shirt that I thought would work to recreate part of her outfit. The wig I purchased for another costume that I was going to use later that season for another costume (Jessica Rabbit), it was very easy to style up into a simple bun like the doll's.

Then I hit the stores to find a simple shrug or jacket that would help to create the look of the dolls top. After some searching I found the perfect piece at a local thrift store for around $3.

This costume had a simple look with the clothes that was very easy to recreate with simple pieces like I mentioned above so I knew the make-up was going to be what would set this apart from just everyday clothing. I started with black eyeshadow creating a full circle around the entire eye. I went in and lined my eye with black eyeliner. I focused on a dark, heavy shadowed look. I then added a very dark lip.

I added a choker and grabbed my dolly and I was off with my new costume. BTW sorry about the photo it was a scan off the polaroid picture they took for our halloween costume contest, in which I was a semi-finalist in the nationwide contest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Beginning of a Steampunk look

Ok here is a little break to show you what I have been up to costume wise! I went to a wedding reception recently with a Steampunk theme and knew I needed to come up with something quick!

I started with my most favorite of corsets my nude with black lace overlay from I love this corset!!! I have had it for many years and because of the quality it has held up to the beating I have given it. This designer makes amazing pieces, she did my wedding dress corset as well.

The shirt is a blouse I have had for years, that is off the shoulder and has a flat front, I picked it up from Torrid I think. The black skirt is a Hot Topic piece I have also had for a while.

I decided recently I needed a bustle so I found someone to make this one for me through Tribe. It turns out she also is on Etsy The bustle was created based on a authentic pattern for a Traveling Bustle. These were made of thick material instead of the hair and padding of other bustles since these were worn for traveling :)

I added a pair of my hemp/lace dreads and wool dreads to my hair and added a fantastic little hat (which will be appearing in my shop very soon!), some makeup and a few pieces of jewelry I had already and here is what I had!

This outfit only cost me the price of the new bustle (which I have already wore again!) I had all the other pieces in my closet. And while you might not have all these pieces in your own closet, this costume like the others, is about showing you how to create great looks with what you have! I also have to add, this outfit was a huge hit. I had lots of photos taken and everyone was very impressed. It was fun going to dinner in Beverly Hills first in this too haha!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Renaissance Man

First I want to apologize for the delay in this post, things have been a little crazy, and with the loss of one of my favorite Renaissance Men I have put this off longer then I should.

The Renaissance Man #1, #2 and #3 does not mean the guys have to wear tights!!!!!!! 90% of men when I mention wearing a Renaissance costume tell me "I am not wearing tights!". Yes there are some looks with tights but we are going to be focusing more on the Peasant, Pirate and your adventure type men, not the very upper class.

Men's wear of the time had a few specific pieces that wear always worn, a hat, shirt, vest or doublet, breeches (pants), long socks and boots or shoes. A man just like a woman of the time did not go about town without a hat or showing off ankle. Women of the times also liked a well turned ankle, since no one saw the flesh of the leg unless you were "involved".

We will start with a shirt, while many men picture big ruffles and flowing looks that is more of a piratey romantic look, what most men wore was much more simple and practical. This look from for $16 is the perfect start for any men's look

For a peasant class look you can use a more simple vest style Jerkin that is very comfortable even in the heat. This vest from for $45 is perfect for SCA, Pirate and Renaissance events

For a more middle class look you can add a richer doublet like this one from for $70

If you don't have the money or the time to get a real Jerkin, how about this quick fix my Ren Faire buddies learned one day that it was super hot and they needed to still wear their jerkins. Take any type of decorative net like this from Oriental Trading Company and cut a piece in a V or Rectangle. Cut a small hole for the neck (start small as the net grows and you might find it too big) and simply throw it on for a very piratey deck hand look!

Sadly right now no one is offering any men's pants on Etsy so I am going to show you this great site they have a lot of inexpensive pieces for creating many Renaissance and other period costumes.

Add a pair of long socks, pirate stripe socks add an extra fun look, some black boots or shoes and a hat and you have the perfect look for the Renaissance man!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Your Royal Majesty

Sorry for the delay but I have been so busy being a pirate at the Ojai Pirate Faire it has been hard to take time out to get in touch with my queenly side!

This post is going to be a bit different since I will be focusing on complete costumes this time. I find that with all the pieces it can be tough to do a court costume the first time, without being able to sew or going to some one for the completed look. If you are going to look into working faire or want a more period look I suggest looking into some of the patterns from Alter Years which also includes patterns for undergarments.

The first look is from for $650

This dress is not completely period, but it is stunning and would certainly get you noticed at any event you wore it too. It is so beautiful !

It would look unbelieveable with this necklace from for $39

It's perfect with just the right look of age.

The next dress is from for $425 based on a Anne Bolyen dress

This stunning dress has a very early period look that is perfect for events where King Henry VIII is in reign. And has such a great neckline.

This dress would look stunning with this piece from for $19.50

This is a stunning piece with the classic pearl look of the period with a cabachon style jem which would have been available at the time. This piece is great for the look and its beauty.

The last look is from for $475

This dress has a very pretty look based on a Queen Elizabeth I dress so would be a great dress when this great Queen holds reign. They might mistake you for the queen in this gown! It would also make a stunning wedding gown.

This necklace and earrings have the look of pearls that were very popular in the period and would look great with this dress. It is from for $30

With these beautiful looks you are on your way to a day of being reverenced (that's bowing again from the peasants as they see you walk by) and courtly fun. The next piece will be how to dress the man in your life no matter what class you choose.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Going away, away, and there better be Wine!

I am not abandoning you and your costuming needs, but I am leaving town for the weekend and most likely will not be around a computer much. So your Queenly needs will just have to wait, while I drink wine in Sonoma or at least Alameda! haha!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I wanna be a wench when I grow up!

Ok I am going to start with the Wench!

The wench is a fun character to play you can be a wife, a whore or single woman with this character. Anyone can be her! She was poor, which doesn't sound fun and there are laws of decorum, don't be rude to those above you, genuflect (that's bow and Curtsey), and watch your tongue around the Queen. Otherwise your day would have been spent working all day and playing when you could. While that sounds not much fun, at faires you have freedoms that those above you just don't. Your costume is also a lot more comfortable and if you lay in the dirt so what you can wash them when you are done. Velvet is a lot harder to clean then cotton :)

#1, #2 and #3 you need a good bodice!!! A bodice is different from a corset in that it is built much like a vest. A good bodice is designed for your body type. If you have a large Bust avoid a low neckline and get a well boned piece (steel bone only not poly boning). If you have a medium bust you can use a lower neckline to show off your clevage, and get a piece more focused on your waist line, for a smaller bust get something that is designed to give cleavage but isn't too low in the neck to diminish your assests. You want a bodice to be fitted, it is designed to nip in the upper torso and work as a bra. A good bodice does not need a bra.

This shop makes nice bodices, this is not Period (see the end of the article for why)
it is a great deal at $39.99 from SOLD

This bodice would be good for A-D cup, it might be too low for a larger bust. The back laces add for a nice fit.

This bodice from is right on the edge of period, but since it has a pure navy reversible side, that would be period! Another good deal at $55

This bodice again would be good for approx an A-D cup.

This last cut is for those who work at less busty faires (for some reason certain areas are less busty), it is also an amazing cut for those with a larger bust who don't want the dreaded over flow look. With its tapestry material it would be period. This is pretty and will stand up to what ever you give it, for $80 from

I also love the adjustable sleeves on this which helps to create a better fit.

If you are looking for a cheaper method an adjusted vest like shown in the Budget Pirate Wench post would be a great idea, you can also use a corset for a more piratey look.

Now for a shirt! There are many simple white shirts you can use but for a more period look a simple "chemise" is a great fit. The first is a half chemise, long nightgown length are period, but with the heat shorter examples like these are much more practical at most faires, from for $27.50

The second is fun with a touch of color (yes your chemises can have color!) from SOLD

I have to add while it looks cute, wearing your shirt off the shoulders is not period, so some of the more period chemises will not drop to that point.

Next we have skirts, traditionally a woman wore two skirts, one of the reasons is to add to the fullness of the hips (this was SEXY!), as well as to be functional as a apron of sorts. One is worn down the other is tucked up to the sides.

For simple skirts you can use peasant skirts or sew your own using a simple gored skirt design. I once used an A-Line skirt pattern, added two extra panels and went up a size, when the elastic or tied band is added it creates a simple and full look. I can't sew and skirts are the one thing I always make for my costumes.

A tiered skirt like this would also work though its not period from SOLD

You can add one of these shorter over skirts from for $14.99

This shop also offers a great deal on a long skirt for just $29.99 in your choice of color!

Peasants don't wear too much jewelry as it was of course too expensive, but a hat is a must! Hat's were worn by men and women of this period, lose hair was saved for special occasions such as May Day. Then women wore their hair long and flowing with flowers or head pieces like this one from for $38

I normally don't like to add full costumes because I think its more fun to mix and match but I love this set from and at $89.95 it is an amazing deal so I just had to add it!

With the three pieces here you have a complete costume!

Lastly you can also wear what is called a Celtic Dress, it is for those who were Irish or occassionally by more middle class ladies

From for $89.95 for the full costume

And this one from for $170

PERIOD CORRECTNESS: If you are just looking for a fun costume skip this, if you are looking for something more period for working or fun, then read on!

King Henry IIIV introduced Sumptary laws to england which cover colors, materials and furs for all levels of soceity most commonly practiced across period faires is that only the Queen wears purple (since all of her family was dead) and Red in large amounts were saved for the Military.

While white was period, it was expensive to keep up since Clorox wasn't around to whiten the material easily or keep it white, it was usually saved for those with more "free time". In the period human or animal urine, with sunlight was used to bleach clothing, it was very time consumming. Most faires chose to allow white clothing even where it would not be period.

Heavy amounts of black in the clothing would have designated widows, clergy and puritans. All black should be saved for pirate costumes or the other characters mentioned above. Brighter colors were the norm, the dyes coming from nature. But watch for modern colors like neons, some pinks, and purple toned burgundys.

The last and most important is that while many materials are cheap and easy to find now, they are not period. Silks, Satins, Corduroy, Tafeta, velvet and Damask are period but above your station. Tapestrys are period, as are some other patterns if they are woven (if you see the pattern on the reverse of the material it is woven), they are correct for all classes. Watch out for shiny modern fabrics, they are not period! You can wear modern fabrics like blends if they look like natural fabrics. But many times you will find these materials do not breathe like natural fibers and one thing most faires are known for is being HOT so staying cool any way you can is very important!

Overall have fun, most people will not be judging your outfit based on period correctness unless you look so good they think you work at the faire! A good costume will last you for years and through a lot of fun times. Go and have fun being a Wench you!

Party like its 1599!!!

With Northern California Renaissance Faire and other faires coming fast behind it, I thought I would start to work on some costumes for faire. I am going to focus on three catagories Wenches, Ladies and costumes for the Gents. I hope you like them!

The first point about faires is, you don't have to dress up, but you will always have more fun if you do! The Renaissance period started in Italy in the 1400's, with the height of the period landing in the late 1500's for the English. Though often confused the Medieval period is not the same as the Renaissance. The medieval period starts much earlier in the 400's and continued until the start of the Renaissance Era. Most faires focus on the reign of Queen Elizabeth I

Many people worry about the "period" correctness of their costumes, if this is your first time don't worry, wear what you like and have fun! Most faires do not stick to strict costume rules and the faires that do, do not hold guests to the same rules. If you plan on going back year after year or working then think about more correct or higher quality costume, because it will be worth it in the end.

These costumes are so much fun and you can wear them over and over for all sorts of costumed events. The best thing is almost everyone I know pulls out their "garb" at least twice a year!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hair Fall and Hair Dread How to...

I have had many people not realise just how easy it is to put in hair falls so I created a step by step "How to" over on Cut and Keep. I hope you like it and it helps show you just how easy these guys are to put in.

If you have any questions though feel free to ask!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fire Fairy

I am getting antsy and want to move on to other things but with only one element left I just had to finish the fairies!!!

You have seen what you can do with a slip dress, one of the amazing tie dye pieces or simple vintage dresses on etsy, this one is going to be about going a little wilder. Some of these fire fairy designs can also be crossed over into a Gothic Fairy, for a whole new take on the fairy look!

You have seen some of the amazing wings that are out their on Etsy and trust me there are so much more!

These great wings are from for $75

These are fun and slightly smaller style to make dancing easier and have a fun unusual look.

You could also do any of the black or red wings feather wings from

This first dress is a little splurge but think of all the places you could wear it, with its stunning design you would get a lot of attention with this one. From for $270

With its clean sexy look, fun flirty style and amazing color this dress is so amazing!

Or you could go with this fun look from for SOLD

Another look would be to go with a corset with a fun skirt. This corset is stunning from for $220

This is a fun and sexy look that would go great with either a simple straight skirt like this one from for $40

Or a fun and full tutu skirt like this one from for $36

These two necklaces are two ways you can go, the first is a really fun necklace that you could rewear to clubs or for belly dancing it is from SOLD

Or this more classic piece from for $48

Spike your hair, let it go wild, add hair falls, dreads, synthetic hair pieces, a crown or anything you want to create a super cool, fun, firey look.

Red Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, or red fake lashes would add an amazing touch to this costume. Check out Sephora, Ben Nye, or even your local drug store for these extra details.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Air Fairy

Air is traditionally associated with the color yellow, but you are not locked into that think of feathers, birds and dragonflies for other inspirations!

I want to start with these light golden wings from for $55

Any feather wings would also create a great look! I am in love with these from for $149.99

Either of these wings would look stunning with this fae outfit from for $5

I won't lie this is one of my favorite dresses I have found in my search for costume outfits. This dress is perfect for Air or Earth Fairy costumes or even work with it for the base of another costume like Pochahantas. And what a deal for $23!!!

You could also use a pretty slip dress or tie dye piece like shown in the last pieces as well.

For your hair you can go long and loose for a flowy look, wear hair falls or even some pretty feathers in your hair.

You can also had some pretty jewelry like this necklace from for $68

While its made of shells, the yellow tones and windchime look gives it a airy feel, that is perfect for this costume.

Again you can also look at the colors of things like dragonflies, going for an irridescient look instead of a yellow look. A great place for inspiration is the wings from some of the shops listed and these little dragonfly earrings from for $14

Next up is the last of the element fairies FIRE!!! I won't lie I am really looking forward to it and hope I can keep it shorter then earth, but there are so many beautiful things on Etsy its hard!