Sophie just sent me a few pics of Chewbacca’s Canadian debut at Montreal Comic Con. I love that she did the black nose too!
I absolutely love wearing my girly Chewbacca costume and am always delighted with how positively people react. There is a lot of love for Chewie out there! A lot of the compliments are from woman, who are happy to see a costume that consists of more than two bits of fluff and some plastic.
Upon making this costume, I discovered working with faux fur is not really my thing. It gets Everywhere! The shop is on the 2nd floor, and the roof below us looked like I had shaved a dog and dumped the fur. That was just from shaking out the material after cutting it. So I am doing a very limited run on this, until the fur I have stocked is gone.
So for a very limited time, the “Intergalactic Furry” is on the website:
And if you wear it, make sure you practice your Chewie roar, because people will be roaring at you all day long and it’s just rude not to answer back 😉
Between the daily demands of the shop and doing my own cosplay thing at conventions, I rarely have time to take on large commissions anymore. But sometimes one comes along that has the right combo of intriguing design backed up by a love of the character and the customer wanting to wear it for all the right reasons. That’s what happened when Erika from GirlsGoneGeek.com contacted me about doing her first costume at DragonCon as Nubia.
I am known for having a soft spot for all things Wonder Woman. I have made and worn 5 different versions myself and made many of the Classic Wonder outfits for others. So when Erika sent me the picture of a version I had never seen before, my first instinct was “gotta make this.” It was very similar to an amazon warrior style version I’ve been wanting to make for myself but haven’t found the time. It was a bonus that Erika lived close enough to visit the shop and have everything custom fit in person, which takes a lot of the stress away from doing a commission piece. I am very picky about fit! Also, there are several versions of Nubia, but only one small photo available of this style, from one angle, so some things would have to be made up along the way.
Erika and Vanessa stopped in the shop on a Saturday so I could poke and prod and pin things to Erika. I promise I only poked her with a pin once, and she barely squealed. Already in Wonder Woman mode! Vanessa cosplays as Black Canary, and I’m pretty sure was a driving force behind getting Erika to join in on the fun.
First I sized her in a silver corset, which would be the base under a chest plate, then measured the length on the gauntlets and skirt pieces. The goal was to keep it close to the doll design, but a touch more modest with an overlapping skirt. Erika also requested a tiara to be added, because what girl doesn’t want to wear a tiara when they have a chance? To get just the right fit on the skirt pieces and make sure they lay right when it was worn, the waist band pattern was actually built around her in 3 separate pieces and pinned together so I was able to take it off and then cut out a single piece in the right shape. We also decided to make the back pieces of the skirt a little longer than the front. Later when making the skirt, I used a dress doll while adding each flap and temporarily gluing it in place before taking it off and sewing everything on. If I had added the skirt pieces with it laid flat, they wouldn’t have fallen into place correctly. After the skirt fitting was done, I measured the front of the corset to get an idea of how large to make the chestplate. The plate would be a challenge for me later on, when trying out Worbla for the first time. I had to completely undo the first attempt and make a new plate after the first one was too flimsy and couldn’t handle all the detailing being added. It was quite the learning experience/crash course in thermoplastic shaping.
The final piece was the cape, which I made so it attached to the chesplate with adjustable straps so the plate can be positioned in just the right spot. The whole piece is removable with nothing actually attached the main corset piece, so that can be worn alone or with something else. I try to make things with practicality in mind, and anyone who’s ever had to drive, eat, go to the bathroom or ride in a car while wearing an elaborate costume can tell you- being able to remove pieces is important feature.
All the hard work was worth it, the costume was a success, and in Erika’s own words: “I have to tell you how much people LOVED that costume. At the Wonder Woman shoot, there were several people who knew exactly who I was. It fit like a glove and I felt very comfortable (and glamorous). Even my kids thought it looked good, and they are a very tough room. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job!”
You can hear Erika and Vanessa chat about their experience visiting the shop and cosplaying at DragonCon on the Unique Geek Podcast: 50 Days of DragonCon – Girls Gone Geek
and read about Erika’s Wonder Woman experience on the Girls Gone Geek blog post: DragonCon 2013: Entering the Wonderful World of Cosplay
Dementia recently posted some gorgeous photos or her Golden Age Catwoman costume, taken by photographer Charles Howse. The outfit is a great example of how sometimes one outfit takes many artists to produce as a whole. Costume makers are often presented with the challenge of not only needing to sew costumes, but sculpt, craft, mold, paint, etc. It takes a large bag of tricks to make something head to toe. Dementia’s approach was to have each part created by an artist that specialized in that area. My contribution to this outfit is the dress modification, green belt and flowing green cape.
We started with an old Cry for Dawn costume that consisted of a metallic purple dress with a high cowl neck. I added leg slits and cut out the neck creating a deep v in the front. All the leftover neck material was sent off to Tiffany Antrim of Tantrim Cosplay, who used it to create a perfect matching catwoman cowl headpiece. I then attached the green cape to the neck and shoulders for a full flowy effect and used the same fabric for the belt. Another artist sculpted the belt buckle and pins, which Dementia attached herself. And Viola! Golden Age Catwoman comes together.
Recently Red Velvet Photography shot several of our Steampunk and Vintage Goth corsets with models Maegan Carroll, Diana Lopez and myself. We’ve just restocked many of these styles and updated the online inventory with new photos from the shoot.
Most people come in with an idea. If they are stuck on a particular packaged outfit, then I recommend the two conventional costume shops down the road, both of which have a large selection where you can just grab a bag and go. But if they are open to the idea of creating a unique look, then the whirwind starts.
We start with an idea or character and build it based on what we have in the shop and can mix with what the customer already has or can easily find at Target or even Goodwill. We assemble bits and pieces from around the shop, sometimes using parts of bagged costumes or quickly alterring pieces to work with the idea. I have stuff stashed everywhere, in boxes, in the closet, behind racks, etc, that isn’t on the shelf and will often be running around pulling out odd-n-ends as the character comes to life and needs fine tuning.
This is a great example of making the most of the unique way we do things- Ted came in an needed a last minute costume for Joy. He asked what DC villians we had. I had a packaged Ivy and Catwoman. Ted has a higher costume standard than that, and knew it would take a lot of to fix those up, so he asked what about doing a Harley Quinn. So I started pointing out red and black pieces. There was an idea forming, and he was leaning toward on original version of Arkham Asylum Harley. So we went to red and purple. It took us under 20 min. and all she had to add was a white top and bra:
Joy is wearing the Purple leather mask:http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-1938/Purple-leather-eye-mask/Detail With a red steel boned underbust corset: (we’ll be getting more sizes in stock soon)http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-1939/red-vinyl-corset-waistcincher/Detail And white pleated skirt by Leg Avenue:http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-1539/pleated-mini-skirt-black/Detail Plus one red/black thigh and one purple/black:http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-569/Red-Black-stripe-stockings/Detailhttp://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-548/purple-black-stripe-stockings/Detail
She got the last pair of purple gloves, which were hiding behind a pile of black ones and then I found a spare nurse hat to top everything off. Then she just had to add a white button-up and purple bra.
And that’s how we make costume magic happen at Three Muses 🙂
There a new book out called I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution that tells the story of the first decade of MTV. Like any kid in the 80’s I watched my fair share of music videos and their impression has lasted way longer than MTV’s programming format. In case you didn’t notice, it’s hard to catch on actual video on MTV anymore!
Several of my costumes have been inspired by those early golden years of music videos so I was particularly excited to get this e-mail recently:
Just saw the costumes you created for Comic Con based on the video I conceived and directed for Tom Petty- they were fantastic!
After e-mailing with Jeff a bit, I learned a few interesting tidbits about the video for Don’t Come Around Here No More and the sensation it caused when it came out. All I remember is being both fascinated and totally freaked out by the video. I loved the concept and costumes and the video inspired several versions of my Alice in Wonderland and Mad Hatter costumes.
From Jeff: “So you know you weren’t the only one- the video also completely freaked Tipper Gore’s daughter and was the reason she started the PMRC to police music videos! I was also cited by a parent/ teachers watchdog organization for “promoting cannibalism”!
Anyway, I really didn’t mean to scare the kiddies! I thought it was only rock ‘n’ roll…”
This kiddie was 10 years old, and I think that pig in the baby carraige probably gave me nightmares but I still watched the video every time it came on. And I’m betting the Alice cake eating scene probably launched a few unique bakery ideas… But I think that’s the job of a good video- being tantalizing enough to stick in your head for 25 years. I remembered Tom Petty’s giant hat, blond hair and little glasses and enough other people remembered it well enough to know exactly where my inspiration came from. My Alice was a little more obscure since I drew my inspiration from the checkered set and the 3 ladies black and white bodysuits.