Monday, December 23, 2013

Antoinette Gown

Leaves of Lorian Original

 By Leaves of Lorian
Top Cover Photo and some finish Photos courtesy of DS Orchid Photography
I have always been in love with the huge hoops/panniers and gowns of the
French Baroque/ late Victorian era.
Recently, I was given some fabric by a dear friend of mine…(a Queen in fact)…
which just seemed to scream “GIANT BUSTEL!!”

What else could I do but answer the call??
(Any costumer will understand)

I’ve named it after Marie Antoinette, who happens to be a favorite person in history for me.
(Along with Robin Hood, Blackbeard and General Custer…)
(Yeah, I know, I have weird hobbies)

I’ve quite given up on patterns.
I find them handy to adapt, but as far as finding one that matches my ideas, forget it. I’ve started sketching and working from there.
Here’s the rough draft of my Antoinette gown.
What you see here is a two layer skirt with separate bodice and giant bustle, and a huge collar. The bows were to be a light pink, and the underskirt and front panel of the bodice to be a darker blue, self piped.
Obviously turned out a little different.

As mentioned, the entire dress was created around six yards of fabric
that eventually became a bustle and over skirt.
This is a eclectic blue (my FAVE color) cassa collection fabric. It has the swirls already sewn on it.
Which are very blurry in this picture, but at least you get the idea!!

The blue of the collar, front panel of the bodice, and under skirt is a color no longer sold.
(How weird is that?!) and it is of crepe backed satin. Love that stuff.

The lace for the collar, sleeves and ruffle on the bustle is cream, rather then white. It was 45 inch lace.

The bodice itself is made of heavy satin, almost the same shade of blue as the over skirt and gown.

The bows on the skirt are from a 3” cream ribbon.

I do still use pattern as a base to start from. Here are the ones I chose to start with for my Antoinette gown.
Simplicity 3637 is already an French baroque styled gown. I only used the bodice.
The collar came from another simplify pattern based off of Mirror Mirror costumes.

From the get go, this gown was a challenge.  I’d put it at 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing as bad as Huntress’s cape or my next scheme, but difficult none the less.

About 80% of the bodice is hand sewn. It is boned, front and back, and I wear my corset under it. It is fully lined and has two sets of interfacing. It has a square neck and closes in the front with twelve (12) large hook and eyes. Hand sewn. Yeah.
The sleeves are four pieces, and self lined.

Adjustments made: the back of the pattern was made for a cape that attached at the back of the shoulders and made up the back, then falls down the skirt. I changed that, obviously.

Side note: I’ve never done boning before and everyone said it was scary….but to be frank, I found it quite placid.

Consists of fourteen (14) yards of fabric. I love it.
About six (6) yards go around the hoop, and the rest is around the bottom as ruffles. It sits at my hips and is gathered on both sides.
I really wish that the pile of fabric in the chair had made it into the picture here…Oh well..

Is about six (6) yards of fabric. (A little less, I was running out)
It has a draw string waist, and is sewn together at the center and gathered on either side of the center.
Shown here with the bustle over it.
This was pre-bows and gathering.

Came from McCalls M6770...Nice pattern.
I was running out of fabric, so I opted for a smaller bustle then I had first hoped.

As you can see it’s three layers of very gathered fabric on a base. Love it.

Was a pain in the rear…but looks nice, and I love it. About 90% hand sewn.
Boned, lined, has interfacing, and attaches straight to the collar of the gown.
It does not come off.

And the random assorted pictures
that always accompany my creations...

I made them hats!!!

I also made a little hat to go with the dress. I don't have any good pictures of it's creations...basically it was a couple small ovals of fabric with a layer of padding in between and strip of lace sewn to it. I added feathers and a pin.

kinda pretty....ish....
So, here I am in my Victorian/Antoinette glory….Gotta find a place to wear it now!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

DC's The Huntress

The Huntress
By Leaves of Lorian
"Not Idly do the leaves of Lorian fall..."

I like Deadpool.
 (Didn’t think you’d see that on a Huntress Blog, huh?)
But there it is, in white and purple. I like Deadpool.
Deal with it.

My first choice for a Halloween cosplay this year was the Merc with the Mouth….
and my boyfriend forbid it. Said I was too pretty for Deadpool.
I think he just wanted to avoid kissing me through a mask.

Plus the fact I’m dating Batman….

Is a pretty cool character and I do like her. She also rides a motorcycle, so I count that a plus.

But I’m not here to give you a rundown on her bio - if you’re looking for that, Google it. Trust me - it works.

There’s a fair amount of variations of Huntress and her clothing floating around, and I, being the research nut that I am, had to dig them all up.
So I will run you through the basic version, or at least include the basic accouterments all versions seem to carry.

Item one, Bodysuit. Is usually jet black, but I have seen purple variants. Typically formed as a leotard, sometimes has very short shorts.

White stripe runs down the center chest and stomach. In the usual variation is doubles in size under the breast.  Other variations it stays the same all the way down.
 And Canary in both pics just cuz I can. 

If the stripe continues down the stomach, it typically goes all the way to the crotch.
Most modern variations have a ‘belly window’ or hole left open from just under the breast to just under the belly button.

In the case of a hole, the white stripe usually does not continue and the shorts are left completely black.

Is in most variants royal purple. Occasionally a soft pink or black.
Consists of two belts, the larger one wrapping around the body just below the hips (think low rise jeans), and containing the pockets/pouches. Number and style of pocket varies, but typically it’s around four deep pockets.
The second belt wraps up from the hips around the small of the back, at natural waist level.
The belt buckle is, almost without exception, a perfectly round circle. Colors include gold, black, purple, pink, white and bronze.
Occasionally emblems are emblazoned on the circle, most common being a stylized ‘H’, in bronze or black.

Are over the bicep, tight fitted. Most common color is black with purple accents. Purple with white is seen as well, and black with pick. Also straight colors, black, purple with no highlights.

Accents vary from version to version, but commonly is seen the top band around the biceps. Sometimes padded, sometimes a pouch is also included. Other bands or pouches are also included - typically from one to three others. Padded or unpadded. Elbow pads in the corresponding color is also seen commonly.
Occasionally a stripe on the back of the palm is seen.
Most variants have full gloves, I have seen a few with half gloves.

Are usually seen in the older variants, but are a nice option if it’s colder.
Surprisingly I have only seen those done in black.
Are thigh high, usually reaching to the upper thigh, and skin tight.
Colors are usually black with purple accents, or straight purple. Again, other variants are seen - black with pick accents, pure black, purple and white -- I have even seen navy blue. I don’t recommend repeating that incident.
Usually have a heel, anywhere from a half inch to full spike heels, but the boots are a combat style, regardless of how high the heel gets.
I would say the sole is rubber.
Once again, accents depend on the variation, but commonly the top of the boots has a band around the thigh, sometimes padded, usually with a pouch or two included.
Accents vary from steam punked buckles down the calf and boot to two stripes across the calf to nothing.
I have seen many variations where the boots and leggings are combined, the boots being shorter, around half height, and the leggings reaching up to the upper calf.
Typically purple, commonly black.
Usually attached to the bodysuit by the white stripe, which starts at the throat and reaches down to the breast/stomach or where ever you wish to conclude it.
Another white stripe circles the cape like trim, joining the other white stripe over the breast, forming sort of a cross.

I have seen the stripe done in purple, or not at all.
The cape itself features a high collar, occasionally attached to the cowl itself, and usually joined seamlessly to the cape’s body. Good luck with that.
The cape length varies, but usually stays about mid to upper calf.
The front of the cape reaches down to just above the breasts.
It features to ‘crescent moon’ shaped devises on either side of the breast, usually the bend points inward, occasionally outward.. Depends on the variation.
Most commonly theses ‘crescent moons’ are gold or bronze; I have seen white or completely ignored.

Depends on the variation once again. Typically royal purple or black. I have seen pink.
Shape also depends on the variant, but general shape is two batman-esk points reaching up over the forehead, with two smaller points (similar to some of the variants on Robin’s mask) reaching down along the chin/jaw line. Occasionally the bottom points turn up around the chin.
Often a third point is found just below the eyes, resting on the check bones.
Sometimes made to be attached to the cape.

Also, what woman stands like that unless she’s a model? I guess we know how models really make their living!!

Is black, without variation (I’m screwed!) Varies from original 80’s style to most commonly seen wavy or straight.

Like Batman, Huntress posses an abundant arsenal, so the choice of what to carry is yours, but most common weapons are her crossbow and ‘stick’ as my little brother calls it.


Right, now that we’re all through with that, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Keep in mind this is not a finished costume, it is work in progress.
I still have things I need to improve/find/acquire.

The fabric is all knit or varying types

I started with the bodysuit.
I am a small girl, but I am not completely comfortable with my body, so I opted to do the full leotard version of Huntress’s costume.
Now that being said, I also did this suit in three pieces so I can later add the ‘belly window’ if I so choose.

I opted for shorts rather then a brief style of panties due to the middle section of the suit, and used a pair of my shorts as reference.

The back side is higher then the front for obvious reasons.

The middle section was next. I used a tank top for reference. It became sort of a belly wrap, or stomacher, starting just under my bust and ending at my butt. I added wide straps to the top so it wouldn’t fall down.
It has a white stripe sewn to the center.

The top was styled on a second tank top  I own, and I think the head hole is far to wide. But as it does not show under the cape all is well.

I started with a long tank top, and added the white stripe to it - it widens  on the bust. I did not like the variations where the stripe widens right after the bust.
I have a pretty fancy mannequin for this all…

Then I tacked up the shirt and added elastic so it’s now as short as it want it to be.

I ended up using a man’s renaissance shirt pattern and switching it around and shrinking it for the front of the cape, which was fun.

Yeah, that's my not super pleased look.
Don't worry, it looks better when it's done.

I also shaped the cape so it would fall off my shoulders in the right way. My sister was the happy volentold for this part.

The cape is fastened with snap tape at the rear, and I ended up taking in quite a few little bits here and there, but am pretty happy with the results.
It reaches to my knees.

Is my favorite part.
Is made of two strips of martial, both slight curved, the bottom one about twice as wide as the top. They are both stitched, turned and top stitched. The second belt is sewn into the first in front of my hips at an angle so it fits around the small of my back. It also emphasizes my natural curves there, which I like, for once.

You can kind of see the angle of attachment here.

I made the pouches out of rectangles - three of them, one very long, one half as long and one about 3/4th as long. They were stitched, turned and top stitched. I hand sewed on snaps for closure.

Pre snaps on this pic.

The belt is fastened by hook and eyes, and the bat symbol snaps on to hide them.
I used a bat signal because I couldn’t for the life of me find a decent bronze circle! Oh, life, why?!
I did paint it purple.

I made my Robin gloves last year and loved them. I wanted to make a few improvements to them, however, and got to with these ones.
They are full length, and have elastic in the band at the top. There are three bands of purple on them - one medium one at the elbow and two smaller ones at the wrist. They were difficult to match up and do not stretch.

Are about the same as the gloves, but are made more like leggings then boots. There is elastic around the top, and have a pouch attached to each band at the top.
They have a single strip of purple around them in addition to the top band.

Is a leather mask my boyfriend bought me at one of the places we work…after he heard me complain about not having a Huntress mask in time for the Comic Con that weekend. LOL.
How you know you have a keeper!

So here I am in all my Gotham Glory: love me. :)
Featuring my sister in my Robin costume of last year.
Any questions, please feel free to let me know!