Monday, August 18

Illustration and a Beer

I was interviewed by the Illustration and Beer Podcast from Gallery two weekends ago. You can listen to it here.

Zapow sells a number of my prints and comics. Located in downtown Asheville, it's a pop-culture studio. A daily downtown convention.

Making A DragonCon Costume: A Needle Pulling Thread

Previous Project Littlefinger Posts:
Sew Very Doomed
Another Adventure
Test Case
Idea Collision
Sweatshop
Poncho Paint 



It's been a while. I was on vacation, and I let the costume pieces sit on the back burner as I considered how best to tackle the last stages.

Before vacation I bedazzled the tabbard pleats. That's easier than it looks. The fabric paint pen allows you to just dab the pen down, and the mark remains. It went by quickly and dried immediately.


I also bought my shoes. I'll wear them around the house from now until DragonCon to break them in. Always break in your shoes before walking around for four days. Learn from our mistakes.

A few days later, I went back to the fabric store to shop for belt pieces.


The original is slim and purely decorative, and I couldn't find anything ready-made to match it. I would have to make it. After hovering at the scrapbooking, jewelry, and decor sections, I found a hinged thing that suggests the floral buckle.


This closure opens very easily, and I tied the hooks together with thread. I may redo it with thread more closely matching the closure color. Maybe not. It's a tiny detail.


I considered a chain for the belt but decided a string would be lighter and easier to maintain. I bought two packs of cords. If the belt breaks during the show, I have enough cords to repair it even if the color varies a little. The cord will slip through the buckle's bookending loops and tie behind it. Once the tabbard is Velcroed to the robe, I'll sew small loops on the robe to hold the belt in place. Or not. I might discover the belt is tight enough to stay in place. But if I need to make belt loops, that can be done quickly.

Bu first, I had to fix the robe's collar. Months ago I started this costume buy buying a Matrix Neo robe for the bottom layer. Two problems were obvious when the shipment arrived:

1) The robe buttons are purely decorative, embedded into the fabric, and can't be removed. OK. I'll live with that. They're black on black fabric. Not so bad.

2) The collar is flimsy. That is bad. Instead of staying up on the neck, it droops, and I wanted to match the way Littlefinger's collar sits. I considered a few ways to fix that before deciding on attaching hooks inside the collar. This would be my first effort of actually sewing on the costume. Yikes.

I dug out some closures from The Countess's sewing kit and experimented with placement in the collar on front and back.


The costume has a string tie in the back, but that will be tucked inside once the hooks are connected. The robe's tags were, for some reason, attached right at the inside back collar, and I cut those out.

Then the sewing commenced. I probably added five pounds to the weight of the robe by overdoing it. But I did it.

Black thread on black fabric to secure black hooks and black loops. My eyes were exhausted quickly. This is the inside of the back of the collar. I intentionally set the hooks to face outward so the flats would be against my neck. This took forever, by the way. I would pay someone to thread the needles for me. I then did the front of the collar (with the back hooks connected to learn the fabric tension points.

With that done, I put on the robe and fastened the collar together at the four points. I need to stress again that I have never tried something like this before, so no matter what the collar looks like, I am delighted it didn't, say, burst into flame once I put it on. It's not just good. it's good enough.

I attached the pin too.

Yeah. We're getting there.