A new material (to me!): Shrink Plastic!

Some of the shrink plastic projects I've made recently...

Some of the shrink plastic projects before shrinking

A few years ago I was admiring the broach a co-worker was wearing, and she shared that she had made it herself – with shrink plastic! Even as a kid I don’t remember playing with ‘shrinky-dinks’ though I remember them… but it got me thinking. Of course, all of the cool shrink plastic projects on Pinterest and finished items for sale on Etsy didn’t hurt…

I wanted to try it too!

Unfortunately, I had a REALLY hard time finding shrink plastic that wasn’t pre-printed with  kid-centric designs. I tried the #6 plastic option instead (and still have a drawer full of take-out containers!) but the pieces just weren’t large enough for some of the things I had in mind. (Considering shrink plastic shrinks down to about half to 1/3 the size of the original.)

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Renaissance Iron (wo) Man?

Full-length photo of the gown, taken late at night after the event

Full-length photo of the gown, taken late at night after the event

The more I looked at my Gamurra that I showed off yesterday, the more I started to think “it really has the colour scheme of the Iron Man costume (armor).

Then I found the Shear Madness Quarterly challenge #6 – “Twisted Historicals“… and I couldn’t stop thinking about a Renaissance take on the Iron Man costume – but of course for me instead of a masculine version.

“Twisted Historicals” – Costumes made using a historical genre as a base.  A Betty Boop Elizabethan, Steampunk Victorian, etc.  Must have a historical shape to it.  (January 2015 – April 2015)”

With an April 1st deadline, I’d still have plenty of time to finish this costume as a proper attempt at a 1480’s Florence gown.. and enough time to then tweak it and twist it into the Iron (wo) Man costume too… It’s something to ponder for sure!

I think a Pinterest board is coming! If you have any interesting takes on the Iron Man costume, please drop me a link in the comments below!


1480s Florence – Gamurra (gown/undergown)

Sneak peek of my Gamurra during some lacing trials...

Sneak peek of my Gamurra during some lacing trials…

This is the undergown, but is also worn just as the gown itself. (Ei, the Giornea isn’t necessary.) I’m repeating some of my research here just to keep it all on the same page.


Birth of Mary detail

In The Birth of Mary portrait (detail), the underdress has a (slightly above natural) waist seam, pleated or gathered (?) skirt attached a the waist (the image is unclear). The bodice laces closed with ladder-lacing (black cord) in close, close, far, close, close pattern. The bodice appears to only have side seams, and there is a wide v-neck/opening where the bodice laces. The neckline seems low, wide, and exposes the darker coloured fabric beneath it. In the large detail, it looks as though the sleeves are a different colour, but looking at a different photo of this – they’re the same fabric. Continue reading

Online shopping: Fire Mountain Gems

Justina of Padua by Bartolomeo Montagna – 1490s Vicentine — Loving the embellishment and trim in this portrait

While working on my 1480s Florence garb, I’ve been looking for a few things. Jewellery shops, fabric stores, notion-supply shops, bead shops; anywhere I thought I could find some of the elements for my costumes I’ve been looking, but coming up (mostly) empty. I decided to turn to online, and place an order with Fire Mountain Gems.

A lot of what I already have in my “stash” or was finding in-store was silver-tone. That’s usually great for me because I far prefer silver-tone, but for this project, I distinctly needed and wanted gold-tone findings; that was a lot more challenging without shopping online.

I placed my order on December 24th (yeah, not the best timing, but I finally had a chance to sit down and figure things out since I was working up until the 24th!). They’re located in Oregon (so presumably that’s where they ship from) and I received my package on January 6th.  Pretty good – two other packages I ordered in the same time frame didn’t arrive until later. Continue reading

Enchantment Under the Sea: 1950s Prom

Original sketch for Enchantment Under The Sea costume

Original sketch for Enchantment Under The Sea costume

If you’ve been reading my blog before you might know that I’ve been the chair of the social committee where I work for the past two years(and before that I sat on the committee as well). Last year we planned a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to celebrate the ‘holiday season’ (aka Christmas for a very politically-correct, multi-cultural, multi-faith organization). I ended up getting sick at the last minute and couldn’t attend. The year before our theme was a Masquerade party, and my costume was an Anubis-inspired costume with a hand-made mask. (Previously we also did a time-travel party and I did a steampunk costume.)

In July I stepped down from the committee (partially I’m running out of time, and partially I’m concerned about the amount of work the committee is starting to require) but I’m still really excited about the party theme we’ve chosen for the 2014 holiday party. Since we started a great deal of the party planning before I stepped down, it also means I have an inside look into how the party will come together, and I think it’s going to be great!

I’ll be collecting all of my ideas under the tag “Enchantment Under the Sea” for the time being… so if it’s after the party – click for all of the related posts – if not – stay tuned!

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