Sunday, 23 December 2012

After much needed time off...

I've not really had time off, I've been too busy to actually sit down and type up what has been happening! 
I've been doing a variety of things, one of which was to create a waistcoat for the production, 'Much Ado About Nothing' designed by Eleanor Bull. I worked on this waistcoat with a friend, Rebecca Box, I produced a pattern, mock up and the base of the waistcoat and Rebecca applied the vast amounts of surface decoration and all professional finishing techniques.
This was the design that was handed to me a week and half before the show took to stage. 
This is my mock up of the waistcoat measured to fit the actor who wore this. Button placement and shape of the hem was decided at this point. A fitting was then conducted and nothing needed altering - my pattern skills are improving!

This was the start of the waistcoat before I handed it over to Rebecca to complete. The fabric was exceptionally tricky to use in my opinion and kept falling apart, but you get what you are given and make do!

The finished outcome, Rebecca finished off the insides to prevent any irritation for the actor. She also applied all of the surface decoration that is visible, the gold trim around the armholes, neckline, hem and up the button stand and created the button loops while attaching the buttons too plus she created the fastening!


This is just one of the things I've been working on, I'm currently working on 5 different projects that are proving to be exciting and really worthwhile. 

Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Super busy!

I've been very busy for the last few months, designing, making and selling things while tackling my second year at university. Second year has been exceptional so far, only can get better. I felt as though the blog needed a little update on my career path/decisions. I have plenty of photos of the variety of skills I am learning and hopefully will be able to share them very soon, once I catch my breath. In the meantime, here is my first piece of my tiara/headdress collection, 'Fairies in the Garden', named 'Glisten.' Hope you like it!


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Finally started my Summer Project!


Thank the lord, I finally got the guts to draw in my new sketch book! There always seems to be some sort of barrier when it comes to drawing in a blank sketchbook, for me anyways. Much similar to starting an essay; I need something to kick the whole thing off, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
So yes, I've started. Feeling pretty good about it too, free hand, no templates at all. I've annotated around the edges with just a description at the side. My plan is to do men and women till 1900's then go back and IF I have any spare time, I'm going to do a male and female child image along with some fabric sample drawings.
I'm getting pretty into this now, I've even started making a research photo and when I move into my new flat all by myself, I'm going to spend time organizing everything into years etc. I know, how overly organised and ever so slightly weird am I?
I'm just so pleased I've actually started this, I can relax slightly. More to do tomorrow!

Still have to make a corset by the end of summer too! Should be fun!


x

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gary Beck - Music Video!

I have just recovered from my crazy week designing and making costumes for signed artist, Gary Beck. A DJ, this was his first music video. I was so grateful to be part of it. The atmosphere was amazing and I got the privilege to be part of a fantastic team. This wasn't the first music video I had done costume for, with Simone, so I knew what to expect and I knew it would be amazing.

THE PLOT/CHARACTERS/SET

Basically there are 4 characters within the entire music video.

The Witch
Master Bird
2 Minion Birds

A dog was also used in the production, as it was a main part of the plot. I'm not actually going to talk about the overall plot as I don't want to give the story line of the video away but basically the witch and the bird folk don't get on.

The set was incredible! We shot over two days, on pretty much the same location just in different areas. We first went to a woodland area then we went to an area known as 'The Devil's Pulpit.' - So beautiful!

So after my meeting with Simone, only 2 weeks ago now, ideas were pulsing through my mind. After I had done my research on more theatrical pieces. I began to sketch!


SO THE SKETCHING BEGINS


                                                                THE MASTER BIRD

This was my first initial sketch for the master bird. The masks were being made elsewhere and I had to ensure I made a costume that worked well with the masks. Basically I was issued with a jacket, a jacket that was about 3-4 sizes too small for the actor may I add. I then had to alter it, insert a panel, cut away sleeves etc. My choices actually worked out pretty well in the end.
Another image of my designing process, I had plenty of a sort of veil material that I wanted to scrunch up and stitch onto the neck so it resembled a birds nest.
This is a other design idea but still after not being able to see the jacket that was purchased I couldn't get my hopes up on this, I loved this design. Ripped jeans or trousers would be ideal, maybe not even ripped.
This was the jacket that was given to me for the Master Bird. It was brought to my attention that the actor playing this character had broad shoulders and was very tall. I asked my boyfriend, to be my model for me, although he didn't have broad shoulders or was as tall, it didn't fit him at all. I began to panic, if it didn't fit him, it was obviously not going to fit the actor. This costume as actually the last one I done, and it oddly enough took the least amount of time. It did however involve a lot of breaking down. I used my trusty breaking down kit for that, with my favorites; spray paints, boot polish and Vaseline!


This was the finished result! I ended up having to cut the sleeves away completely, leaving the inside quite messy. I had purchased a black feather boa which I cut up and stitched around pockets of the jackets and collar! I also bought gorgeous £100 per meter fabric ALTHOUGH I ONLY BOUGHT 40CM OF IT -  for around the shoulders. I made a sort of crow tail panel to go down the back of the jacket. I had also made 3 minion costumes and only two actresses were used so we had an extra minion cape which we gave to the master too. It worked really well!

                                                                   THE MINIONS





These were the initial designs for my 'minions'! On the left I thought about create a small cape, similar to a shrug for around the shoulders. For the top I cut strips of black Lycra which I was going to tie around the actresses, showing skin. On the bottom half there would be leggings that I cut into. Keeping the leggings and top half idea, I then became more fond of the second design on the right.

I started to make...


Modeled on my lovely boyfriend, Michael. I took the measurements of my 'minions' arms and then with plenty of Velcro and thread I managed to create a way that made the two parts of the cape stay on the arms. It's only connected at the back with a small piece of material. I also used the expensive material on the shoulders for this costume.


Here is a photo, of director Simone Louise Smith herself, also acting, in the minion costume! I had to make small feathers from fabric as buying actual feathers proved to be too expensive.

Here is my fabric feathers, I took a strip of fabric which I knew would fray easily and began to add a zig zag stick right down the middle. I then began to cut out feather shapes, keeping sure that the zig zig stitch was in the center of each feather as that's what held it all together. After cutting it out, I began to pick away with a needle at first but after the 60th feather you get fed up of being too neat and use your fingers to remove unwanted material.

                                                                    THE WITCH

I was given an old nightgown that was found in a local charity shop. It was ivory and quite worn looking. Ideal. The director wanted to add a train at the back of the gown to make it look longer as if it trailed. I was running out of time and fabric, I managed to find a white fabric that I spent a night tea staining. I then added it to the hem of the gown and at the back with a train. I admit at this point I was a little weary of the two fabrics I had grouped together, ivory and white - doesn't always work out.

Simone and her sister, Natalie Smith, who also played two characters within this video, came over to my house the week of filming with many pieces of white rope. After we went over my designs and decided on certain aspects we each began to unravel pieces of rope, it left a beautiful crimped hair look. This was to be made into a wig. I admit I was pretty terrified about being left this job to do, as I have never ever in my life made a wig. I thought about buying a swimming cap and sewing/gluing it on - that proved to be too expensive and time consuming. I then went to a local fabric and fancy dress shop where I purchased a cheap blonde wig at £4.99. I carefully hand picked all of the hair off, memorizing how it was all put together. Then I cut strips of calico and took one piece of rope at a time (and there was over 50..) and machine stitched them onto the calico. After one strip of calico was finished, I hand sewed the rope/hair extension onto the base of a hair net. Very time consuming, but it proved to be effective on the day!

An image of the witch character, It's hard to tell in this photo but the hair is actually laying on the train of the dress, it was extremely long.

                                                          THE FINISHED PRODUCT!


GARY BECK -  DJ - ARTIST - http://www.bekaudio.com/

SIMONE LOUISE SMITH - DIRECTOR - ACTRESS - http://www.lookingatyou.me/

LEE COLGAN - MAKE UP - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lookingatyoume/210697992287696?sk=info#!/pages/BuffaloLamb-HorrorBeauty-SFXBeauty-Make-Up/253773157996843

Please feel free to take a look at my friends work on their links and check out Gary Beck!

Thanks! x 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

SO MUCH TO DO SO LITTLE TIME



Last week, I was exceptionaly bored with things, as I had nothing to do except update my burdastyle account and make some jewellery peices. Not that I don't enjoy my updating or making things, I just didn't see anything going anywhere, I was having a negative week!
It all kicked off two weeks agom while I was out with my boyfriend Michael, celebrating his graduation. I recieved a text message from my friend and an amazing director, Simone Louise Smith. Simone had asked me to be part of her upcoming music video shoot with a signed artist! I'm not sure who the artist is yet, but I'm actually meeting Simone this morning for a meeting to discuss everything. Very exciting couple of weeks ahead!
The beginning of the following week were fairly quiet, yet I managed to crack on with my corset making - separate blog to be posted on that!
The next morning, I woke up got myself changed and had breakfast etc then checked my burdastyle account to discover activity on my wall. I had a message asking me to collaborate the above costume in a jewellery photo shoot for a collection! I was amazed!
http://www.house-of-wonderland.com/ please take a look at current pieces!

Exciting!

More to follow with the video shoot shenanigans!

x

Sunday, 8 July 2012

PROJECTS, PROJECTS, PROJECTS!


PROJECTS, PROJECTS, PROJECTS! 

This would be the view from my couch at the moment! 

I am currently working on a few different projects, and I have just submitted a few too. Right now, as you can see by the image, I am fairly caught up to my elbows in books and drawings for my summer project from University. My summer project involves researching clothing and accessories from 1600-1899, which I then have to draw in detail each major change in fashion throughout the years stated. Quite a broad and lengthy timeline to complete, especially for me, we only have to do men and women, however I am trying to fill my time and keep my mind off certain things, so I'm going to attempt to do men and women. A set from a wealthy background and one from a working class background - I'd also like to add children from each class into the works too. I know I'm giving myself more work than what is needed but I think I'd benefit from it eventually. Not grade wise, but possibly when it comes to needing a reference to needing a certain costume. We'll see. 
Other than this I am working on the construction of a corset, keeping it 18th century, as I have just learnt how to make one and I feel by practicing the skills I'll be able to make them quicker in the future. The corset I am making is for my boyfriend's sister, for her birthday. It should be quite an exciting and interesting project, as she is very curvy and has a great body for a corset. The last corset I made I didn't feel like I was able to see the benefits a corset should as I made a women's corset, for a women but the design was for a male. Therefore I missed out various bones that I would've used if I had a women design. It's fair to say I am looking forward to this project. 
Other than this I am continuing my tiara making and I'm going to re-boot my folksy account. www.folksy.com, it's an amazing site which has a variety of things that'll catch anyone's eye! 
I have a fair few blogs that need to be re-added since my major melt down, these are of past projects that I'd like to share again, hopefully more to be added soon! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ul-cZyuYq4

I'm in a fleetwood mac mood lately.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012



I used to have many blog updates up until a month ago, when I deleted everything in a fit of rage. I lost my inspiration in life when my Dad passed away and I'm trying ever so hard to get it back. First year at University, doing shockingly well in my grades so far and now I've hit the bottom. My Dad is my ultimate hero, genuinely the only man on the entire planet that I would have done anything for. I felt as though when he was here, I done everything that I am doing to make him proud. During my 'fit of rage,' I started to think that there wasn't a point to anything without him. I'm starting to realise now that if anything, I should be doing everything in my power to make him even more proud by the fact he would be looking down on me. From now on, I shall pretty much dedicate everything I do, to him, and work so hard by doing my best at all times.
This blog was made originally for me to show my costume designs and various other things I have made myself, off to the world. In the hope I can help teach or inspire.


My ultimate goal in life is to work within the film industry, make a name for myself, earn money to support the family I intend on having, then I would eventually like to teach what I have learnt at degree level. I believe that some of the most inspirational people I have ever met in my life have been my teachers from my high school and lecturers at college and university. I would love to know that I had at least inspired one person in life.


I hope to post images of my work, what's inspired me, what's on my mind. Keeping my projects up and running and getting excited about new ones. Deep down I'm gutted I deleted so many posts, just going to put everything back up again! I leave you now with a quote from a song by Alter bridge that I refer to as my Dad's song. I now live by these lyrics.

All that I am you let me be
I will remember you
For all that you’ve done
And given to me
Oh love will remain
This I can see
Now and forever more
Because of you now I believe
I believe