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Archive for March, 2011

On Friday of my spring break, I came across a picture of a simple  looking bustle skirt on “Cut out & Keep”

I thought to myself, if she made that, then I can make one too. I think that bustle skirts are adorable, but they’re very expensive to buy on the internet because they are fairly uncommon in the modern wardrobe. However, I expect them to come back in style very shortly as Burlesque and Steampunk themed clothing becomes more and more popular. You know that Steampunk is becoming mainstream when Simplicity puts out a pattern for it.

So I spent my last weekday off shopping, specifically looking for materials and inspiration with which to craft my tie-on bustle. As I was looking through the pattern books at Joann Fabrics I came across the aforementioned simplicity pattern. I was intrigued. I compared this bustle to that of other patterns by Burda and Butterick, and decided to purchase the Simplicity pattern because it had more ruffles, as well as a snappy shirt and skirt to make in the future.

Then, I went to Building 19 1/2 to buy a curtain. Why a curtain? Because faux silk polyester curtains make great bustle skirts, that’s why! Curtain fabric has some weight to it, so that the bustle skirt wouldn’t look as droopy as in the pattern picture. Buying curtains is also cheaper than if I were to buy home decor fabric off the bolt.

The bustle took me about 8 hours to make, only because it takes so long to do up all the gathers evenly. This skirt is of a very simple design: two side panels, and four long rectangles that became the middle and side ruffles. But every single piece needed to be gathered.

I bought a beautiful length of black braiding to embellish the bustle with. 

I plan on making the matching skirt to go with the bustle, like in the picture but with a few of my own modifications, but until my next school break, the bustle alone will have to do. I have other skirts that will go with it just fine.

One last note: the cool thing about tie on bustles is that they can also be used as fancy shrugs.

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The final touch to my Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle) costume, the wig, is now complete! I am ready for Anime Boston! I’ve got my ticket, my costume and my cosplay group. Now, I wait.

I am really happy with how the wig turned out. I started with a plain, just-off-the-shoulder length silver wig from ebay. This is a really thick wig, and I am very happy with my purchase.

To start off the styling, I first cut in bangs in two layers; the bottom layer of bangs is a little shorter than the top layer, because I wanted to give them a little bit of volume and life. Sophie’s bangs are all over the place in the movie. Epic hair. I knew that I didn’t want to use a lot of styling product in this wig, because I want the hair to move a little, so I spent more time on the cut. Most of my time was spent thinning. I thinned each layer of bangs separately, holding my shears vertical, and cutting out small bits of fiber at a time.

Then I cut the sides and back of the wig. Sophie got her short hair when a fire demon burned off her long braid. I would imagine that this left her hair slightly uneven. Now, I don’t want to look totally disheveled in my costume, but I do think that a shorter-in-the-back cut is a great way to interpret Sophie’s hair. I didn’t want to get too modern, so I only stacked the back a little bit. The sides are left long, and taper very slightly to the shorter back. The result is a very cute little bob. Then, once again, I spent a lot of time thinning the bottom of the wig so it wouldn’t look so perfect. It was burned off in the story after all.


Finally, I curled the bangs just a touch to give them more volume, and sprayed the wig with a lusterizer to make it shiny and to prevent tangles. Then I used a TINY bit of manipulating gel to make the ends stay together nicer.

Because there wasn’t any intense styling involved in this wig, and because it is short, I am not afraid to wear this thing outside on a windy day. Bring it on, nature! I believe that this wig is simple enough to handle it. 

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