Friday, October 23, 2015

Feature Friday: A Stitcher's Experience Making a Custom Costume

With Halloween right around the corner, the Studio has seen an increase in costume rentals, not only through our Costume Closet, but with custom costumes as well. One of our stitchers, Leah, took on her first custom costume project in the Studio last week. She shares her experiences in a Q&A below.

Photo: Leah (left) and JJ (right) tracing patterns.

Q: You've been working on a custom costume in the Studio. Tell us about tracing the pattern for it. What was your overall experience tracing it? Have you ever done pattern tracing before?

Leah: I have done pattern tracing before. But, tracing for the Winter Princess was different. I have never worked with this form of tulle before. Tracing was fun!

Q: What are the biggest challenges you faced constructing the costume?

Leah: The sheer tulle fabric really had a mind of its own. Time was lost due to the fraying and sensitivity of the material.

Q: How did you overcome those challenges?

Leah: Serging like a BEAST! :) and gentle touches. Motto: Be nice to the fabric & it will be nice to you.

Q: What did you enjoy most about making the costume?

Leah: The bodice was super fun to line. I think hand stitching can be somewhat therapeutic.

Q: What did you learn about garment construction that you never knew before?

Leah: I really learned the important of reinforcing and lining up my pivot points exactly.

Q: What advice would you give to stitchers constructing a garment for the first time?

Leah: Read and follow every direction. Take your time to think things through. It's better to have neat and precise work over anything else.

Friday, October 16, 2015

#FeatureFriday: America's Favorite Halloween Costumes by State in 2015

Have you chosen your costume yet? Halloween is 15 days away and for today's Feature Friday, I decided to see what the trends are this year.

I came across an interesting chart (courtesy of Influenster) that shows the most popular costume by state! Our state seems to have two popular costumes - Batman & Wonder Woman.

The most popular characters in the overall US appear to be Disney, superheroes, and Despicable Me.

Who will you be this year?

Don't forget - if you need a costume, check out our Costume Closet HERE.

If you rent a complete costume from us, you'll receive 10% off your total!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Feature Friday: Camouflage

I was recently outside on a rainy day when I noticed a tree across from my neighborhood. The trunk of the tree reminded me instantly of camouflage. I thought to myself, was it these kind of trees that inspired the army uniform print that grew into a fashion trend? Today I decided to find the answer, so this week's Feature Friday is: camouflage!

Camouflage is a French word that means the act of disguising. Some say the "father of camouflage" is Abbott Handerson Thayer, an American artist. He was the first to research "disruptive patterning" to break up an object's outline.

(Left) Thayer's painting entitled, "Peacock in the Woods" demonstrates how an animal can 'camouflage' themselves in nature.

Thayer first became involved in military camouflage in 1898, during the Spanish–American War. He and his friend, George de Forest Brush, proposed the use of protective coloration on American ships, using countershading. The two artists did obtain a patent for their idea in 1902, titled "Process of Treating the Outsides of Ships, etc., for Making Them Less Visible", in which their method is described as having been modeled on the coloration of a seagull.

Gradually, Thayer and Brush entrusted their camouflage work to the responsibility of their sons. Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909), which had taken seven years to prepare, was credited to Thayer's son, Gerald. At about the same time, Thayer once again proposed ship camouflage to the U.S. Navy (and was again unsuccessful), this time working not with Brush, but with Brush's son, Gerome (named in honor of his father's teacher).

In 1915, during World War I, Thayer made proposals to the British War Office, trying unsuccessfully to persuade them to adopt a disruptively patterned battledress, in place of monochrome khaki. Meanwhile, Thayer and Brush's proposal for the use of counter shading in ship camouflage was approved for use on American ships, and a handful of Thayer enthusiasts recruited hundreds of artists to join the American Camouflage Corps.

So it seems that the tree I saw may have not been the primary inspiration! (But it was definitely a part of it!)