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Posts Tagged ‘style’

This weekend (Saturday and Sunday), Kelley and I will be exhibiting and selling our wares at Granite State Comicon! You can find us in the Artist’s Alley, booth number 907. I’ve included a map below with our table circled.  Granite Con will be held at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm Street, Manchester on September 28th & 29th.

Granitecon 2013 Floorplan copy

The spaces for Granite Con are not as big as the one we had for Connecticon, so we won’t be able to bring our vertical displays, but we still plan to pack our table with leather masks, armor and bracelets, handmade jewelry, costume accessories, hair pieces and more! Kelley will be doing face paint and balloon animals, and I’ll have my caricature supplies on hand! We’re happy to do your makeup for the convention with Kelley’s hypoallergenic face paints, or get your costume started for Halloween with the perfect mask. Want something specific made for Halloween? We take commissions! If you order a mask at the convention, we will have it to you in time to celebrate every costumer’s favorite holiday on Oct 31st.

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For more information on placing a commission, you can visit my website at: http://shaunart.net, or send me an email direct.

For more information on the convention, check out their website: http://granitecon.com

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Renaissance Fair Season is upon us! I love spending a day out in the woods with the  fairies and jesters, celebrating the late summertime magic. The first Fair on my list is King Richard’s in Carver Mass, and to make sure I make the most of my Fair day, I am adding a few new pieces to my costume wardrobe. The most ornate of which is this handy little bag. This small glitzy purse was inspired by the Habib Bags offered by long-time fair vendor “Moresca.” Their work is beautiful, but hardly within budget when I can make some of the pieces, or something similar myself.

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All of the fabric for this purse, the red tassels, black and gold trim, and the broach were all things that I already owned in my craft bins. The only things I had to buy new were the multi-colored loop trim and the very ornate gold curtain trim with tassels that you see running through the middle. However because I only needed a small cut of each, and could pattern the whole thing myself, this bag cost me under $10 to make! Not counting my time of course. It even has a lining.

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I also recently made a new belt and mini-bodice which I wore to Connecticon. Made from green brocades and satins, with black and gold trim. Hand beaded and laced with black suede through brass grommets, this matching set is extremely versatile–especially the belt–because it is fully adjustable. I can wear it over leggings or a petticoat and two bustled skirts and it sits just fine.

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To spice these two pieces up for the fair I added some black and gold chains to the belt and the bodice. I’m banking on warm weather for fair day so that I can wear these chains on an open midriff. I’ll wear a shawl if I have to but the chains do not look as nice over a chemise. Anyone have any other ideas on how to winterize this bodice? I have arm socks or I could always go full cloak, but I don’t really want to cover the whole costume up. Side note–I got these chains on ebay for wicked cheap and they’re REALLY nice. I think they’re aluminum. Very pliable and easy to work with, however they are a nice thick gauge and feel quite strong when tugged on! I’m more concerned about my stitches failing than I am the chains, which is more than I expected for such cheap ebay notions.

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My favorite method of preparation for the fair involves spending more time outside. This is such a lovely time of year, and feeling a nice breeze on my skin every once and while keeps me motivated. The only other pieces of my costume that I want to update now, is to add a simple black fringe apron to sit under my fancy bag. I think it will frame it nicely and add an even more heavily layered look to my already voluminous skirts.  I’ll be sure to post more pictures when the whole outfit is done!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my main blog for more posts on ALL things arts, crafts, and sewing (not just the cosplay stuff).

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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This weekend I will once again be exhibiting with Faire Trimmings in the Artist’s Colony of Connecticon 2013. Held at the Connecticon Convention Center in Hartford, CT, Connecticon is already in its 10th year!

The artist’s colony is located on the first floor, in the same giant exhibition hall as the dealer’s room. There will be large crowds of people flocking to it, so really you can’t miss it. I will be in booth AC-37, which to my understanding is right next to the information booth near a major isle. That should make us pretty easy to find.

We will be selling one-of-a-kind costume accessories made from leather, fabric, feathers, and more. There will be jewelry, masks, and prints to sift through. If you’re a fan of steampunk, cosplay, crafting, or period clothing you should come check us out!

Artist’s colony will be open Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 11-7pm, and Sunday 10-4pm.

Kelley and I will spend the weekend at our booth in costume. So come by to take a picture or to say hello!

Hope to see you there. :D

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For those of you who like to do things yourself, I’ve got some new paint-you-own-leather-mask listings up on Etsy. Leather masks are surprisingly simple to make from vegetable tanned leather. However, if you only need one mask, its hardly worth the large investment of your time and money to track down a good piece of leather, draft a pattern, cut it out, punch holes, and wet form it, just so you can have a custom mask that may or may not turn out the way you like.

Instead, I’ve done the hard part for you with these masks by purchasing the leather in bulk, and completing all of the special tooling and prep-work which requires specialty equipment. All that’s left for you to do is design and decorate the mask of your dreams!

I have two styles of do-it-yourself masks available right now; the ever popular Super Villain Mask, and the stunning Sprite Mask. Both patterns were hand-drafted myself and are not available elsewhere. These masks are ready to paint! They readily accept acrylics, oil-paints, glue, glitter, varnishes, matte and gloss mediums, and just about anything else you can think of thanks to their smooth yet porous surface.

So what are you waiting for? Any design you can imagine is possible!

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In between my St. Patrick’s Day socializing I found time this weekend to think about the beach. Only a few months to get ready for bikini season, and that means only a few months to assemble all of my beach attire and accessories to wear over and with said bikini. With the idea of warmer weather firmly planted in my brain, and this really cute fabric on hand from my last trip to affordable fabrics, I decided to make myself a quick and easy beach cover-up to wear this upcoming season. Hopefully by the time summer gets here, blue and white stripes will still be in style…..Photo on 3-17-13 at 11.40 PM

Again, the inspiration for this dress was all in the fabric. I found it by chance in a store and had to get some. It already matches my favorite swim suit, so I bought it without a clear idea of what I was going to make. Fortunately, that same fabric store was also having a sale on vintage patterns for 99 cents! I love vintage patterns. So I bought two…Photo on 3-17-13 at 11.40 PM #7

One of the patterns that I bought included a really simple night-gown with a draw-string neckline. I decided to make my cover-up using this pattern, but made some minor alterations to the length, drawstring, suggested materials, and construction of the underarms to make it more flowing and casual. The dress is made from what I assume to be a lightweight 2-way stretch lycra, though the bold of fabric was not labeled. The drawstring is made from three strips of the same fabric braided together to form a less-stretchy cord. But just to be safe, I over-stretched the cord while braiding, like you would to take the stretch out of cotton jersey cord, so that it lost most of its elasticity and won’t sag as I’m wearing the dress. Photo on 3-17-13 at 11.42 PM

The cute red belt is made from braided cotton, and is the result of an experiment with the draw-string. I originally considered making the draw-string red, and braided this red cotton for that purpose. But the fabric was a little too heavy and it didn’t make a nice bow in the center. The red was also a little overwhelming taking up that much center real-estate on the piece, so I opted for the more subtle blue and white texture.Photo on 3-17-13 at 11.42 PM #2

But since I had the cotton already braided, I knotted the ends with some fabric glue and made it into a belt! Now I can wear the dress lazy and unbelted on the beach, and belted for a slightly more polished board-walk look. Now all I need are my sandals and beach tote!Photo on 3-17-13 at 11.42 PM #4

Speaking of which, I need to make a matching beach tote now……

Don’t forget to check out all my creations at http://Shaunart.net

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New Masks on Etsy

I also want to let everyone know about the new masks that I have listed on Etsy. All handmade and one-of-a-kind. Click on an image to be taken to the listing.

Also available in the Etsy store is the option to add ribbon or a suede cord to any of these masks to make them ready to wear!

You can always add you own cord or ties to any of these masks, but the ribbon and suede that I offer is guaranteed to fit through the holes on the masks, as well as provide just a tiny bit of stretch so that the mask stays snug on your head without pinching.

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My next article for Nerd Caliber is up! You can view the original, as well as countless other interesting nerd news articles at http://nerdcaliber.com

No one is born with perfect underwear. Purchasing proper undergarments for cosplay is something that you learn from years of experience, embarrassing photos, and annoying garment flaws. I’m here to save you some trouble and make you look better in your costume with a complete guide to cosplay undergarments.

You put countless hours of work into your costume, making sure that every detail is camera ready. But what about what goes under the costume? Have you thought about the parts the camera will never see? Sometimes having the right unmentionables makes all the difference in when casting off reality and bringing your character to life.

What’s the first step towards perfection you ask? Well, let’s start with the girls. I don’t mean the ladies; I mean the girls. Having the right bra (or lack thereof) is of major importance to just about every costume since your bussom is front and center. When cosplaying, you should really be wearing a bra, however we should never see that bra. That can sometimes be a challenge with skimpier costumes. My first recommendation is that everyone get familiar with bra-strap holders. These range from small clips to long horizontal straps. They clip onto your bra straps behind your back and keep your straps from falling down your shoulders. These are great for sleeveless costumes which don’t have an open back. You can also look into racer-back bras to ensure that your bra straps won’t be making an appearance, but without the extra assembly.

But what if your costume doesn’t have a back? Or shoulders? There’s always strapless bras, but hell, what if you costume doesn’t have a front? Well if you’re going to be bearing a lot of skin, but still want the extra lift and support of a bra, underwear and dance manufacturers everywhere now make stick-on invisible bras. These strange limited time use undergarments are essentially two free-floating bra cups which adhere to your skin independent of each other or any sort of strap. Some of them even allow you to “stick and lift,” as to effectively glue your breast in a higher location.

What if even these invisible bras cover too much boob? Well then you should rethink your costume, missy! No. I kid. But seriously. Put some clothes on… Anyhow, at the very minimum, one should be wearing at least a decent pair of pasties or petals. Petals are essentially adhesive nipple covers. They cover nothing except the very bare minimum and come in a range of shapes and nude colors. Petals are actually meant to be worn under very thin or tight fabric like a leotard, which otherwise do provide full coverage, but are an embarrassment in the cold. However petals will also work for you if your costume calls for nothing but suspenders on your top half. Where can you get these petals and invisible bras you ask? Just about any major lingerie retailer will have them, as well as any dance supply store.

Now that we’ve talked about hiding your bra, let’s talk about the bra itself. Bras come in several different shapes, sizes, and cuts, and they’re all designed to do different things. The first step in choosing the right bra is knowing your size. Grab a measuring tape and google super quick how to find your size or visit your local Victoria’s secret for a free fitting. It’s not rocket science but there are a remarkable number of women out there in the wrong size bra. Once you know your size its time to learn your shapes. They’ve got full coverage, demi, balconette, and plunge. They’re names say pretty much everything you need to know: full coverage covers the whole breast, demi means a partial cup which covers half to two thirds of the breast. A balconette is cut straight across the top and are shaped kind of like tea-cups, while a plunge has a super low neckline. Not every cut looks good on every woman. Try a few different styles on to see what looks best on you and will accommodate your costume’s neckline. The most commonly used styles in cosplay would be plunge and demi because of their low necklines and cleavage-creating side support.

Speaking of cleavage, it’s time for the fun stuff–the padding. Most bras today come with some form of padding in them because the whole world tells us that our boobs need to be perky, round, and enormous. An unlined bra means that there is no padding, and is typically of no use to cosplayers because so many anime characters have giant, well sculpted melons. A lightly-lined bra has a little bit of padding, and a push up has quite a bit of padding. There are pushup bras out there today (I’m looking at you Victoria’s secret) that will add one or even TWO cup sizes. These are a good investment if you like to cosplay women.

But what if even two cup sizes aren’t enough? Or what if you want more cleavage? There are lots of tricks you can do yourself at home to transform your chest for the day. Ever hear of chicken cutlets? Not the kind you eat of course, but the kind you stick down your shirt. No? Let me explain. Chicken cutlets are…well…silicon chicken cutlets that can be positioned in the bottom or sides of your bra to create more lift or cleavage. Some people also use socks. If you’re going all out to get cleavage out of a small bust, you can even use medical tape to literally tape your cleavage in place. Just lift, tape, and repeat until you’ve achieved your desired lift. But think carefully before taping that sensitive skin. Taking off a costume has never been so painful.

What if you need to go the other way with things? What if you need a small bussom? For minimal compression you can wear a simple sports bra to hold things down. If you need even more flattening power, you can bind your chest with an ace bandage, or wear a compression top. Google has more information for you, I can assure you. Find a good tutorial, and practice before the day of. Though I’ve never bound my chest, I hear it can be quite uncomfortable, especially if done incorrectly. Therefore, I do not feel qualified to comment on how it’s done.

Okay enough about boobs! What? I know, you can never have too many boobs. But what about the rest of you? Moving down the body, next we have the waist. I’ve never heard of a cosplayer trying to make their waistline bigger, but if you are that special exception, there is a chocolate cupcake in your local bakery with your name on it. Buy two dozen of those bad boys, and meet me at next month’s convention. However if you’re looking to shrink in a pinch, well then I’ve got some real pinchers for you. I’m sure everyone has heard of spanks. It’s that terribly tight long underwear that your mom wears to family gatherings and funerals. It looks awful by itself, and it may remind you of your high school reunion, but it can make a big difference. There are spanks, cinches, and control tops available for your back, stomach, hips and thighs. These are great if you need to smooth out an area or look like you’ve lost a few pounds before the big day. However I can’t stress how important daily exercise and healthy eating are to every aspect of your life, not just cosplay. So if you have the time and motivation before the con to change your body naturally, I would go with that route, and save the spanks for plan B.

But what if you’re already as thin as you’re going to get, but you need a more dramatic silhouette? That’s where the most famous undergarment of all can come in handy: the corset. Corsets were actually our earliest bras, meant to take the weight of our chests off our backs and keep a lady’s spine in alignment. The earliest and most basic corsets did nothing for a woman’s waist. Waist training came about at different times in different cultures, but is now synonymous with the corset. If you’ve never trained your waist before, a corset can compress your waist up to four inches. An especially toned man or woman will likely only see two inches of waist reduction because fat compresses more than muscle. With practice, it is possible to shrink the waist six or even eight inches or more. This is called waist training and is a serious commitment. It involved wearing a corset all day and night, training your body to literally rearrange its organs to develop a smaller waist. I cannot recommend that anyone attempts waist training without some serious research and consideration as the side effects can be quite serious. But don’t worry, shrinking your waist up to four inches for a day or two is not going to cause any permanent harm unless you have a pre-existing condition which makes this activity dangerous. I will caution you though, it only takes three eight hour days in a corset for the stomach muscles to begin to atrophy. This is because you use your abdominals all day to hold yourself upright. When you’re in a corset, your stomach no longer has to do any work, and the muscle begin to get weak and flabby. If you’re going to wear a corset for the weekend, I recommend doing three sets of ten sit-ups at the end of each con-day to keep your abs used to doing some work.

Now that we’ve covered how to shape your body for your cosplay, lets take about how to keep your cosplay in place. We’ve talked about bra strap holders, but what about holding up your tights or gloves? For tights I like to use a garter belt. You can get decorative ones for show on the internet, but sometimes just a practical, comfortable, everyday garter belt from a lingerie boutique is most effective. For gloves and small accessories that like to slip and move around, the brand Hollywood makes a whole range of fashion tapes and garment straps in every shape and size imaginable. Designed to hold up straps, keep necklines in place, heck, they even have straps to keep your pants tucked smoothly into your pants. You can find Hollywood products at a range of department stores, as well as Joann fabrics.

Moving down the body further still, next up is the feet. You may not think that your foot underwear could possibly be that important to the overall look of your cosplay. But let me tell you that after 14 hours in heels, your foot underwear is the MOST important part of your cosplay. Finding the right socks, sole inserts, corn cushions, and heel pads for your shoes will make the biggest difference when its 11pm and you’re still taking pictures and standing in lines. At the very least, I must insist that you pack a few bandaids in your convention pack. If an unexpected blister pops up, or your shoes start cutting your heels at the hundredth hour, you’ll thank me.

Since we’re talking so much about underwear, lets talk about some underwear. You have two options and two options only. Seamless, and a thong. Unless you’re wearing jeans, parachute pants, or a ball-gown, don’t risk anything showing. Stick to nude colors, and keep it tiny and seamless.

This article is almost over, I swear. I just have one last thing to add. You’re undergarments are meant to go under  your costume. In almost every case, we the con-going crowd should not be able to see your bra, spanks, or fashion tape poking out from under your costume. However there are a few cases where undergarments become over-garments, or at least base garments that will be viewable in certain poses or even at all times. These may include a leotard, unitard, or tights. Remember, if we can see it, make sure it looks presentable. You are not, under any circumstances, allowed to wear sheer top or control top nylons if your tush is not covered. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the top of many kinds of tights look different than the rest of the legs. They either have some sort of embellishment or stitch change meant to shape and lift your bottom. If you are cosplaying a ballerina in a tutu. DO NOT WEAR THESE TIGHTS. You need to get yourself some tights made for dance. Dance tights will be the same level of sheerness from top to bottom, and you won’t have to worry about hiding any weird designs or lines from the public. Remember that a convention is still, believe it or not, considered a public place. Therefore if you wouldn’t want your coworkers to see a particular garment, don’t leave it exposed at a convention.

Underwear may not be the flashiest or the biggest part of your cosplay. It may not earn you any compliments and it may not be homemade. But the right underwear does make a difference. It’s the difference between a great cosplay and an amazing cosplayer. It doesn’t make your costume look any better, it makes you look better in your costume.

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