Friday, May 24, 2013

Flashback Friday: Gettysburg Trip

Last December, we took a Studio field trip up to Gettysburg to do some shopping and looking around.  We get frequent requests for military uniforms, so we thought the local sellers in Gettysburg could be a great resource, and we were right!  We got some great advice on military regalia from several of the military shops.  We expected plenty of Civil War artifacts, but what we didn't know was that most of those shops specialize in uniforms, regalia, and artifacts from all U.S. wars.

In front of our old friend Quartermaster, our source for most of the military buttons we used for the White House  1812 project. 

The millions of wonderful consignment shops were chock full of gorgeous vintage finds, and we went home with some amazing additions to the Closet. And then we played dress up!

And what is this? 

Trying to figure out the cape

Meghan is so happy.

Found a tres chic hat for Marilyn, who until this moment thought she couldn't pull off hats!

What a good looking bunch.

Our ever growing pile of takeaways

So many hats! All now available for rent!!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Recently, we had a client email us a drawing of a superhero costume he wanted us to create.  We were immediately intrigued and excited by his character but had no idea of the importance of this project.

Curtis Mozie is a former police officer living in Washington, DC who has dedicated his life to ending gun violence on the streets of DC.  Over twenty years ago, he began his mission and created the Tale of the Tape Foundation.  He produces documentaries charting the lives and deaths of friends and gang members alike.  He has become a mentor for at risk youths by opening his house, the "Safe House", to anyone who needs help or guidance.  With the publishing of his book "Beyond the Yellow Tape: Life & Death on the Streets of DC" last summer, his influence has expanded.  (You can find his book on Amazon here.)  He was invited to hold a book release event at the Kennedy Recreation Center and this is where our costume comes in.  After City Council members, the Assistant DC Police Chief, and many others spoke highly of Mozie's efforts, C-Webb was introduced.  Mozie's idea behind C-Webb is that he can become an icon, a superhero of sorts, for the cessation of gun violence.

Like everything we make, C-Webb started as a pile of fabric.  But after some hard work, we had a unitard, a cape, boot covers, thigh covers, a belt with pockets, and logos!


Curtis, we loved working with you and we are ready to see you and C-Webb change the world! 

If you want more information on Curtis Mozie and his mission, visit his Facebook page, Twitter page, and watch his book Trailer.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Very Brittany Birthday

Today is my birthday, and we in the Studio are celebrating with delicious homemade cookies (per Meghan!) and a photo montage of me doing what I do best... which is apparently dressing up in Studio costumes and acting a fool.  
Note: all costume pieces featured are available for rent from the Closet :)
Inventorying: "I kind of want to journey back
 to 2000 and give this to my  8th grade self"

At a 1920s themed New Years party

24 hours to make a custom Tinkerbell!
Effie Trinket and Haymitch Abernathy on Halloween
As Maleficent for a themed murder mystery,  which we will be detailing  in a post soon!

Testing out a custom rental for Theatre J's production of "Apples from the Desert"
The perfect bowtie to go with my Loose Seal costume for my Arrested Development themed birthday party

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Prom Season: The Year of the Jewels

So prom season is officially over here in the studio and with numerous alterations going in and out our doors, we noticed a huge trend this year: JEWELS and BEADS.  While all of the dresses were beautiful, as we mentioned in our How To Spot Quality: Formal Attire Edition blog, they are much harder to alter.  Since the alterations are complicated to do (and visualize!), we thought we'd do a little picture book expansion for you guys!

Dress before any work was done.  The safety pins mark how much the dress needed to be taken in.
After determining which beads can stay and which have to go, we hand stitch each individual bead onto the dress to help stabilize them.  Because the beads are all sewn on in long strands, if we were to just cut them off without resewing the remaining beads, all of the beads would fall off.  This photo was taken after the surrounding beads were stabilized and we had begun to take off the extra beads.

One side done!!  See the threads coming out of the rows of gold beads?  Those are the threads that hold all of the gold beads like I mentioned above.  Imagine just cutting them and all of those tiny beads falling off!!  Also notice the pilers in the picture: we use those to crush beads as well to keep their threads intact.  If the threading will be hidden, we can keep it, ensuring that the remaining beads won't go sliding off.

All of the extra stuff taken off!!  Because this dress in particular had to be taken in so much, we ended up with a huge pile of beads.  The tiny needle and thread I pointed out in the picture are what we use to stabilize all of the bead.  See in comparison to the beads how small it is?  It's tiny size is so it is able to thread through even the smallest of beads.

Both sizes stabilized and extra beads removed so this dress is ready for taking in!  
So after all of that tedious work, we are ready to actually take this dress in!  See the added time it takes to alter it?

In the end, jeweled and beaded gowns always look AMAZING, but the time it takes to get there is a bit longer.  In line with our How to Spot Quality series, this is just something to think about when out shopping for that perfect formal dress.  You go girl and get that jeweled gown!  But keep in mind, if it doesn't fit off the rack you could end up paying for it again in alterations...

Friday, May 3, 2013

#whatsuptoday April

This April was chock-full of proms, weddings, Sight and Sound, and a very special custom costume, which we will detail in a full post next week.  We have some new faces in the Studio to help us through our summer haul, we restarted Harry Potter, and we've got some great additions to our How to Spot Quality series in the works.  April was controlled madness in the best way, and we're looking forward to more amazing projects as the weather warms up, bridal season hits full swing, and summer theater shows begin.  So without further ado, we present April via Twitter: