SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #16 “ANYTHING GOES” WINNERS

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2018 marks the 5th anniversary of Shear Madness! To prepare for our 5th year of Impractical Costuming, the 16th quarterly challenge was “ANYTHING GOES!”

ANYTHING GOES Challenge 16

Shear Madness is a celebration of all costuming genres. We were so pleased and proud of the wide variety of fabulous costumes our members submitted for this challenge! We had historical pieces, fantasy pieces, artistic re-imaginings, and mash-ups galore. In fact, we had so many fabulous entries that the judges decided to award prizes in 3 separate categories: Anything Goes, Historical, and Character!

“ANYTHING GOES” CATEGORY

The costumes in this category hit the challenge theme right on the nose! They display unique, personal character designs in a variety of genres. These folks let their creativity run wild and we love it!

Anything Goes Category: Honorable Mention for Embellishment

Count and Countess Tatooin” by Edie Smith

“May I present the Count and Countess Tatooin. They come from a place where rulers are always surrounded by myth and magic. The ruling class has been in hiding for many eons, ever trying to better their place in the galaxy using their magic to gain knowledge of other worlds…The complete outfits for both Count and Countess were connived and designed by me.  I worked to include multiple layers and details to blend into a foreign world…There is also hand bead work on the doublet. Pearl buttons on the jerkin.  The closure buttons on the doublet and breeches are wooden with a scroll pattern…The Countess hat includes pheasant, peacock, ostrich plumes and organza rosettes. Countess also has extra details and items that include a snood, a pouch, chalet holder, parasol holder, and the parasol that were created to complement the overall look.”

Anything Goes Category: Third Place Winner

Steampunk with Greenery” by Sara Örn Tengstrand

Sara Tengstrand 2

“Normally, I want a story or character behind the dress, when doing steampunk, but this time I just went for the visual elements I felt like having. Also, I wanted a more romantic style than I usually do, and I aimed for the look of lots of details everywhere that I often admire in other people’s steampunk work. Actually, I first wanted a green fairy gown, but I decided it would be  much more useful to me if it was steampunk, and I then I liked the idea to “steampunk it” by combining soft greenery with hard steel. The brown velvet was a later addition.”

“The costume consists of crinoline, dress, shrug/bolero, hat, belt and two bags. Everything is made by me, except for the leather bag which I bought plain and decorated for a previous project, and the belt and shoes. I tried to get a lot of plant like details in the dress – for example, the waist darts are replaced with small irregular tucks which I wanted to make look like grass. The accessories are more classical steampunk. ”

*Judge’s comments:

I want there to be more with this – she has layers and appliques, and I want more…well done with the construction.

Excellent Intermediate level costume. I can follow the train of thought in the design.

Anything Goes Category: Second Place Winner

Belle’anna Torrez” by Maggie Schultz

Maggie Schultz 1

“Submitted for your approval is my crazy Star Trek/Disney Princess mashup of B’Elanna Torres from Star Trek Voyager and Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  I had this idea in the spring and absolutely needed to make it happen.  I thought, you know?  Similar names, brunette, don’t suffer fools, mechanical, both wear gold… there’s something there!  And so, Belle’ana Torres was born in July of 2017.”

“I used the Simplicity French gown pattern with the following alterations:

– flat, tight back to fit with the “uniform” feel for B’Elanna, with the panel of Engineering Gold at the top and close-fitting black sleeves
– a “corset cover” to represent B’Elanna’s turtleneck
– lapels in Engineering Gold for B’Elanna
– a large, full gold underskirt skirt for Belle
– a two-tier gold overskirt for Belle

In addition to the dress, I:
– found a Star Fleet com badge at the convention I wore the costume to
– wore my hair half-up (like Belle) and kept my shoulder-length (like B’Elanna)

– created Klingon forehead ridges from scar wax, liquid latex, and foundation
– carried a book (Belle) about the history of architecture (B’Elanna)
Disney isn’t exactly known for its historical accuracy, so I aimed for the silhouette of mid-late 18th century France for Belle.  I knew I’d need her to be my silhouette and the base of the dress.  Then I took that silhouette and puzzled out what colors to use where to properly allow both characters to shine through.”

*Judge’s comments:

Love the concept, mashup, and Star Trek. Great color choices when considering both characters… I see more Italian Renaissance than 18thc. France.

“A clever mashup”

 

Anything Goes Category: First Place Winner

Medea” by Bethany Padron

“I designed this version of Medea from Jason and the Argonauts back in college and got around to making it happen this year.”

“The biggest challenge was the wig, which I added three braids to and arranged with various necklaces and fabric trims. The bodice and cape are constructed together with bones running through the gold trim to support the whole rig. I decorated then decorated it with more chain and two cast replica lion medallions. The skirt was made from three pleated chiffon skirts reconstructed to one and re-hemmed.”

*Judge’s comments:

This is pretty, and well madeClever decision to bone the cape under the trim.”

It’s lovely, but fairly simple.

Great use of gold throughout the costume and wig. Love the light cape – the jewel of this costume

“HISTORICAL” CATEGORY

The costumers in this category took us on a whirlwind adventure in a time machine! By working with the trending styles of their chosen eras, they were able to pull off some fabulous displays of fine tailoring, color choice, and design execution.

Historical Category: Runners-up

Late 1890s Ballgown” by Deb Suppes

Deb Suppes 4

Polonaise of a Thousand Ruffles” by Elsha McCombe

Elsha McCombe 1

Historical Category: Third Place Winner

Elizabethan English Jacket and Petticoat” by Lauren Terzenbach

Lauren Terzenbach 2

“I decided to make an English Jacket and Petticoat ensemble for Halloween this year. I was initially inspired by some pictures on google image. I tried to be as historically accurate as possible in my fabric choices and shapes.”

“The jacket is actually entirely hand sewn, which is the first time I’ve ever sewn anything by hand! The jacket went through many iterations, with different fabric. I’d originally purchased some crewel embroidered fabric to make the jacket, but the pattern ended up being too large to be HA, so I eventually settled on the red silk/wool you see in the pictures. It was a blast to sew, and I learned so much researching and asking questions in the Elizabethan FB page. Overall, a great project for me.”

*Judge’s comments:

Excellent first time handsewn bodice. Great job with research. Good cut. I want that skirt.

The fitting of the jacket is enviableGreat job with handsewing and perseverance.

Historical Category: Second Place Winner

1740-50 Women’s Wool Riding Ensemble” by Deb Suppes

Deb Suppes a1

“I made this riding ensemble to wear to Big Island Rendezvous in October, 2017.  I used some clearance wool fabric that I had in my “waiting for the right project” stash, and used some scrap velvet for the trim and lined the coat and skirt with muslin.  I had fun machine-embroidering the trim on the velvet for the collar, cuffs, and pocket flaps!  I used the RH829 1730s-1750s Lady’s Riding or Traveling Outfit pattern, which gave me a little trouble as the directions were a bit vague regarding the pleating at the bottom sides of the coat.  I wore the ensemble over a period chemise, corset, bloomers, petticoat, and bum pad, all previously made by me.”

“The weather was rainy and the event muddy.  Made a HUGE mistake and threw it in the wash……not thinking about the wool…..which shrunk horribly……the picture of me in the garb is from History Fest the next weekend, after I tried to salvage the skirt by sewing a length of velvet onto the bottom of the skirt to lengthen it, and steam ironing the coat to stretch it some, though it didn’t lay quite right anymore!”

*Judge’s comments:

Lovely. Really well tailored. Excellent fix to a tragic sewing event.

Solid Master level techniques on embroidery execution. Clean seams and hems. So sad this beauty was damaged in the wash.

Good job persevering over roadblocks in base pattern choice, and I always appreciate stashbusting. Machine embroidery at cuffs and collar a nice touch.

Historical Category: First Place Winner

Duckwing: a Seaside Walking Dress” by Jennifer Old-d’Entremont

Jennifer Old-dEntremont 5

“Duckwing is a waterfront themed walking dress based upon style popular in the mid to late 1890s.  The visible outer layer consists of an Eton jacket and matching skirt of teal wool crepe, trimmed with cotton twill tape and gold anchor buttons.  The outfit is completed with a hat of shaped straw, accented with vintage ribbons and a pair of mallard duck wings.”

“Commercial patterns were used for skirt and jacket, with the jacket pattern modified to make it into a waist length, front closing jacket instead of the more bolero style it was intended.  The jacket is fully lined, and even includes pockets!  Twill tape trim was applied by machine to the outer layer only.  After assembly with the lining, all edges were pressed and top stitched through the trim by hand. The skirt is flat-lined with cotton and the lower 10 inches of the hem supported with narrow rows of trapunto quilting.  In order to avoid breaks in trim along seamlines, the twill tape embellishment was applied once the skirt was fully assembled and had the opportunity to hang to avoid odd stretching of the skirt panels causing distortions to the trim. “
“The hat is a thrift find which was stripped, steamed and reshaped to give it a shorter crown with a domed inside.  Trims are kept simple and of a low profile to avoid catching in the breeze coming off the water. I’ve had one opportunity to wear the outfit out and about, to go on a Plaza holiday lights walking tour with my local costumers’ guild.  I greatly underestimated the likelyhood of strangers assuming people out in public over the holidays dressed in Victorian garb being carolers. I did not sing for them.”

*Judge’s comments:

Fantastic ensemble. Trim is wonderful, fit is good, tailoring is quality, and a fine execution. I can’t say enough about this.

That simple twill trim was placed to perfection. The hat has just the right amount of ornament. Simply elegant…Master Level all the way.”

The entire idea is well executed.

“CHARACTER” CATEGORY

The costumes in this category perfectly portray colorful characters both from pop culture and from the artist’s own imagination.

Character Category: Third Place Winner

Mary Poppins Vampire Slayer” by Logan Steever

“I have been working on Mary Poppins for a couple of years building and adapting things to really bring out both Mary Poppins and Buffy Summers. The total weight of the outfit is over 45lbs!”

“The outfit includes a silver bullet werewolf gun, a vampire stake gun, one side arm, four daggers and a two handed sword as well as two vampire stakes mirror, Vampir book, tea cup holster holy water, silver spoon and Mary Poppins parasol and numerous vials of tonics and vampire hunting supplies. Along the bottom of the skirt are embroidered literary monsters ranging from Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster to the headless horseman and the Raven..”

*Judge’s comments:

This is the way to dress up an all-white steampunk gown.

It’s really fun and a clever mashup.

Accessories and embroidered embellishments really make the outfit. Clever idea, well-designed, and everything works well together.

Character Category: Second Place Winner

Molly Grue: The Last Unicorn” by Bethany Padron

Bethany Padron a3

“I always loved The Last Unicorn as a child and last Christmas I decided there was enough random wool remnants and in my stash to make a costume happen. I wanted this costume to be as close in physical fit to what the cartoon showed, so I drafted all the pattern pieces by hand before cutting. The skirt is 7 panels with a petticoat liner. The vest is boned to maintain shape and lined. I didn’t want the tabs to be tension bearing and gap open, so they are stitched on and snap over a hook and eye front closure. The shirt is a 17th-ish century style drawstring neck with tucked sleeves. The fichu is stitched into tucks and swing tacked to the shoulders. The jacket and scarf are finish the ensemble. Except for the bodice; the garments were French seamed and stitched to prevent fraying, but I left the hems un-turned for the distressed, but clean look”

“I found an appropriately curly wig and wore nude shoes, since Molly is generally barefoot. After people kept asking me if I was a Hobbit; I added an ‘I heart unicorns’ button to my fichu. And I finally found a unicorn!”

*Judge’s comments:

“This is clearly based on the reference work. It’s fantastic to see less mainstream characters. Clean lines. Great job with stashbusting!

Design true to character. Master level sewing skills evident at first glance.

Character Category: First Place Winner

You Need a Pilot” by Amanda Fineran

Amanda Fineran 3

“It took about 1 minute after walking out of my first viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to realize I needed to be a Resistance Pilot! This costume would turn out to be more difficult and intricate than I could have imagined. It is full of little details that will only be noticed by someone who has built the costume before. Much of this costume is based on articles worn by the British military in WWII – with a galactic twist of course. My build of this costume is intended to be a screen-accurate replica of the movie-worn uniform.”

“I made the jumpsuit using orange ballistics nylon which is very similar to what was used in the movie. Fun fact, this fabric was actually developed during WWII and protected people from shrapnel and ballistics. I dyed the orange fabric to get the appropriate reddish orange. This fabric is very difficult to manage as it is very stiff – no seriously, I could stand this costume up and it would stand there on its own without help. Scared the crap out of my husband 😉 I used Kwik-Sew pattern 3389 for the base but without the waistband, collar and chest pockets. For the chaps and leg pockets used a pattern created by a friend. Many of the pockets have fine details such as sewn lines and all but the knee pockets are useable. I HAVE A COSTUME WITH USABLE POCKETS!!!!!!!!! The collar and arm details are made from an orange elastic that needed to be dyed a darker color than the rest of the jumpsuit.”

“The padding on the vest was made by a friend and I made the base of the vest and attached the padding. The vest also includes overlapping elastic with Velcro in the front the keep the vest closed and have a place to attach the chest box. The fabric is white SUPPLEX water-resistant Nylon and padded with quilt batting to give it a puffy appearance. The writing on the vest actually says “pull to inflate” in Aurebesh – upside down so the wearer can read it. The chest box was 3D printed and painted by a friend. I attached the Velcro to the back of the chestbox and installed the hose. The hose rests in the chaps. The hose is actually an Unreinforced Radiator Hose that seems to only be used in the UK – it was a pain to convince the UK based “Hoseworld” that they should send us nerds in the USA a bunch of hoses for our costume.”

“The belt is a British military PLCE belt with 2 similar British military pin belts attached. The two sides are attached in the back and hang in place with strap made of seatbelt webbing. This costume required more varieties of webbing than I even knew existed! There are also paddles, which we 3D printed, where the drop belts attach to the main belt. The leg flares were 3D printed and rest in a belt made of seatbelt webbing and attach with Velcro in the back. I put the flares over the knee pocket, but they can sit anywhere on the leg. The mucker-style boots were bought from amazon and are so comfortable. The gloves are part of the riot gear used by UK police. The ever-so-important aviators were bought from Amazon and are the only non-accurate part of my costume, but as you can see they are completely necessary 😉 I love this costume so much. It challenged my sewing and research abilities, it is very comfortable, fun to wear in a group, and makes me feel like a badass fly-girl (in a super nerdy sort of way.)”

*Judge’s comments:

She really did an extremely well executed version of this outfit. The seaming is impressive.

The judges decided the following entries deserved special recognition for their total embodiment not only of the challenge theme– ANYTHING GOES– but also for their overall craftsmanship, design, character, and vision.

ADORABLE ALERT JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARD WINNER

Victorian My Little Pony” by Nile Wilson

“Princess Twilight Sparkle’s Grand Galloping Gala Gown”
“Pinkie Pie’s Grand Galloping Gala Gown” and
“Rarity’s Grand Galloping Gala Gown”

Nile Wilson 1

“These costumes were worn at Bronycon 2017 in Baltimore, MD where they won the Grand Prize in the Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest. The ensembles were made with Truly Victorian patterns.”

Processed with MOLDIV

“Though modern sewing techniques were used, all of the finishing (such as lining attachment) and embellishment were done by hand. All underpinnings such as petticoats, corset, and lobster tail bustle were made by me. Unicorn horns were hand made with Worbla and wire wrapped jewelry techniques.”

Processed with MOLDIV

“The most difficult part of this project was sizing down adult patterns to fit children. This project stretched my creativity; I had to reimagine fantasy gowns into historical costumes while keeping the integrity of the character and original design. I also made sure that materials used in this project were fabrics that were already in my stash. This was also my first attempt at wig styling (a lot of Got 2 B Glued spray was used).”

*Judge’s comments:

Stashbusting success and the headpieces came out well.”

Master use of color, especially when combined with an excellent use of fabric stash. Color choices seem true to character. Master skill in resizing commercial pattern….wish there were better photos to fully appreciate sewing skills!

Excellent work on resizing those patterns.

ANYTHING GOES GRAND PRIZE AWARD WINNER

Sewing Machine” by Maral Agnerian

Maral Agnerian 2

From Maral:

“My costume is based on the “Sewing Machine” artwork by the Japanese artist Sakizo. She draws anthropomorphic interpretations of various foods and objects, and I couldn’t resist this one.”

Maral Agnerian 5

“The construction of the skirt was complicated, as I had to figure out a way to a) make the front cage in 2 parts for transport and b) detachable from the rest of the skirt.”

“I made the cage by wrapping Worbla over round foam backer rods from the hardware store, and then carefully assembling the filigree shapes. It was tricky, as too much heat would cause the foam rods inside to collapse. The partial hoopskirt in back fits between the outer and inner skirt layers, and attaches to the front cage using large snaps.”

“I also sewed the stripes on the the big ribbon in back, because for some reason I thought it would be easier/better than just painting the stripes. So many tiny seam allowances on fray-prone dupioni!”

Maral Agnerian 4

“The gold details on the sleeves and overskirt are all hand-embroidered and beaded as I couldn’t find lace of the right pattern. The gold lace is also all hand-sewn, and I made the roses from organza. Wig styling, shoes and gloves also all made by me.”

*Judges’ comments:

It’s perfect! It’s stunning! It’s first place!

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #16!

A big thanks to our panel of Challenge #16 Judges as well! The judges for this round are all founding members of the original “Shear Madness: The Joy of Impractical Costuming” Facebook group back in 2013.

Leah Lloyd

leah lloyd judge

Leah Lloyd of Lamia Creations has been making costumes since the ripe young age of 4, when she wrapped a bunch of scarves around herself and shuffled out to the living room where her mother was watching the classic Mummy. It’s been downhill since then, including receiving a degree in Costume Design, a Clothing/Headwear Laurel in the SCA, and winning “The Way You Wear Your Hat” Shear Madness Challenge. And someday she will cull the fabric hoard in the attic. Really.
Artemisia Moltabocca

arte judge

Artemisia Moltabocca is a 50+ year old costumer with no plans of slowing down. The last competition she entered was at the Steampunk Worlds Fair where her Dalek Queen won Best Maker / Individual, and 2nd place Best Costume. Right now she’s working on restoring a 1911 Singer sewing machine, and recreating vintage clothing from the 40s and 50s. Find her on Costumingdiary.com!

Laura Ulak

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Laura Ulak is the founder of Shear Madness and co-founder of the MN Society of Costumers. She has been costuming for over 20 years, and has costumed everyone from bearded Santas to Drag Queens to Ren Fest Queens. She is a Master’s level award winning masquerade costumer. She currently spends her spare time outfitting high school students for fall plays and spring musicals. She learns something new everyday at Shear Madness, and loves the supportive environment of people who remember the fun in costuming.

*The order of judges’ comments has been randomized for each entry.

SHEAR MADNESS QUARTERLY CHALLENGE #16: “ANYTHING GOES!”

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The 15th Quarterly Challenge is over, so it is time to start thinking about the next one!

In honor of the upcoming 5th anniversary of Shear Madness…

Challenge #16 is ANYTHING GOES!

ANYTHING GOES Challenge 16

This challenge is for all costumers of all levels and all types! Enter your fabulous costume creation here!

Zombies! Bustle dresses! Disney! Anime! Fursuits! Superheroes! Clowns! Rockabilly! Steampunk! Monarchs! Mash-ups! ANYTHING GOES!

The submission deadline is January 1st, 2018 at midnight CST.

The Rules

1. Any costume completed between October 1st 2016 and January 1st 2018 qualifies! The submissions window opens on October 14, 2017 and closes January 1st 2018 at midnight CST. When you began your piece doesn’t matter as long as it was FINISHED within the time period of 10/1/2016 – 1/1/2018!

2. This challenge encompasses all sorts of genres– fantasy, cosplay, vintage, historical, etc. Creative materials are welcome and encouraged! Recreate a look from your favorite TV series or historical portrait or design a completely unique piece of your own!

3. This challenge is for a complete outfit from head to toe! Outfits can be as simple or as complex as you wish, so long as the overall “look” is complete!

4. 75% of the piece must be made or modified by you. 25% of your entry can be unaltered/purchased items. For example, if you buy a corset to wear as-is, it will factor into the 25%, but if you cover the corset in 100s of googly eyes, it is counted as part of the 75%.

5. We want to see your creativity and hard work on display, not someone else’s! Recreations of fashion plates, paintings, digital artwork, etc. are perfectly fine, but if you do reinterpret or take inspiration from someone else’s previous design, please give proper credit to them in your submission description. If you are portraying a character, please include the character’s name and the title of the show/book/artwork in which they appear!

— You are not required to enter a challenge to join the Facebook Group, but it is encouraged!—

How to Submit Your Challenge Entry

Challenge entries must be submitted to:

shearmadnesscostumes@gmail.com

before midnight CST on January 1st, 2018!

—-> Submissions must include Your name, a TITLE for your entry, Up to 5 PICTURES, and a DESCRIPTION.

TITLE: Every work of art needs a good title! For example “1830s Cinderella” or “Red Wedding Guest” or “Alucard” or “Dolly Parton Goes To Ren Fair” etc.

PHOTOS: Photos are VERY IMPORTANT and can make or break an entry! Outfits can be displayed on mannequins or dress forms, but photos of it being worn by a human are preferred! Make sure you have at least one straight-on front shot so all the details can be seen! Include close-ups of specific details you are proud of like embellishment, process photos, alternate angles, etc. LIMIT OF 5 PHOTOS PER ENTRY, PLEASE!

DESCRIPTION: Along with your photos, include a description of your piece. Tell us about what makes your entry special! Did you try any new techniques? Is it made for particular person/persona? Have you worn it to any events? If you ran into any problems you had to tackle, tell us how you solved them. Judges greatly appreciate construction details!

SEE A SAMPLE SUBMISSION HERE

—> Be sure to give credit to any artists if you chose to reinterpret their artwork!

If you can, please include a photo of the artwork and/or a link to the original source.

HAVE FUN! This is not something we want you to agonize over. This is to be a fun and inspiring challenge for you as a costumer to help you grow and express yourself. And if the entire thing doesn’t get finished? Oh well! Share or submit what you have!

Limit of two (2) entries per person per challenge.

NOTE!

Costumes posted in Facebook comment sections will not be counted as part of the challenge—they must be submitted via email (shearmadnesscostumes@gmail.com) to qualify. Contestants can share the progress of their outfits on their blogs or on the Shear Madness Facebook page. However, please do not post entries in their final state on the Facebook page until after judging is complete.

Judging and Awards

The judges will review the entries and the winners will be announced during the first week of January 2018. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners, as well as honorable mentions as chosen by the judges. Winners will be given a Shear Madness logo with their winning placement for display on their blog/website and will have their creations featured in the header on the Facebook group page! All submissions will have a photo featured on the Challenge’s final blog post!

Group administrators and moderators have the final say on any rules for challenges and may update them as needed.

SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #15: “UPDO” CHALLENGE WINNERS

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Challenge #15 “UPDO” was about wild, wonderful WIGS!

The entries all displayed plenty of creativity, research, and thoughtful construction! Shear Madness certainly has some very talented wig wrangler in our midst!

Without further ado, here are the winners of Challenge #15:

Honorable Mention for Best Juvenile Wig: “The Uma Wig” by Raechel Fleming

Raechel says:

“My 9 year old daughter Eva has been obsessed with The Disney Channel made for tv movie The Descendants and it’s sequel Descendants 2 for forever. This year she decided to be the character Uma (from Descendants 2) for Halloween so mommy got to dust off her wig making skills.”

“I am a hooker (crochet) to the core so I jumped onto the opportunity to construct a yarn wig. The finished piece was 100% crafted by me and made entirely out of yarn. I started with a simple beanie pattern. From there I measured out strands of yarn and tied them into 3 strand wefts which were then knotted around stitches of the beanie. Next, it was braid, braid, braid!”

“The finished piece [is] modeled by my daughter Eva and sporting the WIP pirate hat, complete with Uma attitude.”

*Judge’s comments:

I love a good yarn wig. I think it is adorable, and you can tell how much work has gone into it. I like the different yarns she used to give the ombre and sparkle effect.

This is a great representation of the character

I love that she thought outside the box and made a wig from unconventional materials!

Third Place: “Disney’s Rapunzel Wig” by Christa Ludwig  (Dash of Whimsy Cosplay)

Christa says:

“Rapunzel has been my favourite princess for a long time so naturally she was one of the first costumes I wanted to put together. I have no idea why I decided to do such an ambitious character having no experience with wigs but I decided to tackle the character with the longest hair as my first costume. This wig has come leaps and bounds since that first costume going through three or four reconfigurations since. After three years and multiple restyles and tests, I finally have something I am proud of. The base of this wig is a Le Tigre from Arda wigs in dark ash blonde. It also has extra wefts and a long curly clip, also from Arda, in dark ash blonde. The color is something that is widely debated amongst Rapunzel Costumers. I felt that the dark ash blonde, while not entirely screen accurate, would compliment my skin tone better and make the character more believable for kids when I volunteer.”

Dash of Whimsy 2

 

“A lot of Costumers who do Rapunzel put hair around batting to keep the wig light while still giving it the volume it has in the movie. Personally I don’t like that idea since it makes cleaning the wig difficult if not impossible and washing and upkeep are very important to me so I had to figure out how to bulk up the braid while being able to unbraid it and wash it every once in a while. My solution was to sew in some extra wefts to bulk up the base wig. The bottom half of the base has about two packs of extra wefts sewn in between the existing wefts to thicken the wig. I also moved the part in the front from the Center to the side by sewing in some extra wefts there as well. This got me the thickness I wanted but added a lot of extra weight so I decided to merge the movie design with what is done in the Disney parks. In total the wig itself weighs about 10-15 pounds so even with wearing it over my shoulder it requires pin curls and a lot of large pins to hold it in place.”

“For the first year or so I only used the base wig which is 40 inches long and the extra wefts added a few extra inches. However, wearing it over my shoulder, the length wasn’t very impressive like Rapunzel’s hair should be so I decided to lengthen it with the help of a long clip. To disguise the transition between the base and the clip I braided some extra wefts I had into a long braided extension and wrapped that around the transition point. This gave me the length I wanted while still being detachable so the wig can be washed easily. ”

“Another important part of this wig is the flowers that cover the entire thing. A lot of tutorials I came across in my research said to hot glue the flowers into the wig which made me cringe. My number one priority was to be able to properly maintain the wig and wash it so hot glueing flowers into it was not an option. There are some larger clusters of flowers that are glued together and then attached to alligator clips and the smaller flowers are tied and glued to bobbi pins. This allows me to completely disassemble the wig to wash and restyle it as needed.”

Dash of Whimsy 3

“The style itself is fairly simple. The most complicated part is the bang swoop in the front. I have tried many different versions of the swoop and I’m still working on getting that to where I want it. After the bang swoop is in place the rest is all braiding. There are tiny braids inside small braids inside medium braids inside large braids inside the overall jumbo braid. This gives the wig some visual texture and interest while giving the flower clips something secure to attach to. This monstrous project is very much a labour of love and I have a feeling I will never be completely satisfied with it and I will always be improving it.”

*Judges’ comments:

I like how natural this wig looks on her – it fits her well and I think the bangs really help. The wig looks so simple but her description makes it clear that a lot of planning and execution went into giving it that look.

It’s really hard to keep a long wig (even if it’s styled) looking pretty. I love that she planned ahead for how to maintain the wig

I liked the different methods that she used to make sure the wig was both wearable and easy to maintain.

Congratulations, Christa!

Second Place: “Maiko Harley Quinn” by Leah Lloyd

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Leah says:

“I’m not a wig person, I’m a headdress builder (buckram, fabric, wire, wool, felt, worbla, foam). This was a whole new world for me, working with just hair and pre-formed shapes. I started with a cheap halloween-store “Geisha” gods-help-us-all wig that I’d bought some years ago to cannibalize some of the accessories. It had a pair of cutey-wootie piggietails on the sides, and a fat curl on the top. Oh heavens, we changed those, oh yes. The pigtails were unbound and added to the bangs. The curl at the top was disassembled and pulled into the ponytail you see eventually at the upper back.”

“Styrofoam cones had their bases trimmed out, and the ball was flattened slightly. Then, like my Amidala headpiece, little tubes of worbla were made and inserted in the cones and ball for anchoring onto shaped wire hanger braces. The ball and cones were covered with black felt for a base, and then a hank of black Kanekalon ($3 at your local wig supply shop) was opened. Much craft glue was applied, yea verily, and slowly, so very slowly, with Aleen’s craft glue going everywhere and lots of cursing, and with quilting pins to hold the sections in place while the glue dried, the ball was covered with a swirl of black synthetic hair. Once that was done, the cones were then covered with hair, a much simpler process. The craft glue was used because it was expected to dry clear, and it (generally) did. When the glue was dry, I took the pieces outside and assaulted them (and my poor long-suffering husband who made the mistake of sitting downwind) (and the patio table) with hairspray.”

“It took some fitting to get the placement of the wire braces just right, and then I basted a small strip of felt across the backs to both hold them in place and to add a little bit of padding; the ball brace caused an instant headache during fittings. It was frustrating to discover that the wire braces didn’t work well. I may have carved out the bases too deeply so there was less for the wire to hold on to, or maybe it was just a design flaw. The amount of internal suspension eventually needed was comical, and I told the friend who offered to help me dress that it might actually impact our friendship (spoiler alert, it survived). Velcro dots were sewn onto the wig and the cones to hold them up and in place. A bracing strap across the top of the wig with more Velcro was added to the cones. A loop of ribbon was added for bobby-pinning, and finally, when the decorations were placed, they were also set in a way that would help anchor the cones. The totality worked, thankfully.”

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“Another hank of Kanekalon, this one ombre red-to-black, was turned into a multitude of little braids, a loop at the center and then braided at each end. Leftover black hair from the covering of the cones and ball was also experimented with, twisting tightly and soaking with hair gel and crimping overnight, but that looked crappy and was set aside. A faux kushi/kogai comb was built following bridge-style instructions from Immortal Geisha, and set permanently into the base of the ball, including skull beads for personal humor purposes. Red binding strips were sewn up of leftover cotton, one attached permanently to the small ponytail in the back, and one set on a hair pin for wearing on the front over the bangs.”

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“Because it’s me, I also added rhinestones. Both round and square, in red, black, and clear, are sprinkled around the wig and on braids discreetly, just enough to catch the light here and there. I wanted the elegance of a Maiko, the extravagance of an Oiran, and the recognizability of Harley Quinn, and I would like to think I succeeded in some small part.”

*Judges’ comments:
It’s impressive that she managed to tackle so many wearability challenges and make this wig beautiful but not migraine-inducing!
 
 
I love the embellishments. She did a great job of adding just the right amount so it wasn’t busy and it wasn’t dull.
 
 
She obviously knows her source genre well, and the mix of historical and Harley Quinn is excellent. It looks well balanced, and incredibly fun.

 

Congratulations, Leah!

First Place: “Island Goddess” by Hannah Tyo

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Hannah says:

“I’m really excited to share this piece because it was such an unusual build for me, I’d never done anything like it. This costume is based on TeFiti from Disney’s Moana.”

Hannah Tyo

” I built the wig on a blank wig cap and artfully placed a wide variety of materials along the halo area including organza ribbons, sequin trim, moss dreadlocks I made out of moss ribbon, fake hanging plants, and rows of crochet yarn. I then glued a cap I made of sheet moss on the crown of the wig. Bits of the wig cap were hidden by even more moss ribbon. My neck was protected from all this by a layer of crocheted yarn leaves and single rows. The head band piece is separate and made with sheet moss (cut on the bias), more fake plants, sequin trim, a combination of fabric and bead flowers, and a few heat set rhinestones to add extra sparkle.

 

The budget for this build came in at about $65 (with lots of extra supplies leftover).

*Judges’ comments:

Wow! This is a very good approximation of the source material. The different materials she used to give the wig the varied textures is smart. So is the crocheted bits around the neck to avoid the scratchiness.

It’s beautiful, and it’s the mix of different textures/items that elevates it.

Very clever! If she had used only one type of plant it would have looked flat – but her variety gives it life! Ha ha, get it, she’s TeFiti, she brings life… I really do love all the different materials she used.

Congratulations, Hannah!

 

The judges also decided the following entry deserved special recognition for its historical accuracy, personality, and fine craftsmanship.

Judge’s Choice Award for Best Historical Wig: “Macaroni” by William Beau Robbins

From William:

“This particular wig is my interpretation of the wigs shown in many satirical illustrations of the macaroni fashion of the early 1770s”

“It has been constructed from scratch around a felt crown to give support to the height and weight of the piece using hefted synthetic hair.”

*Judges’ comments:

Well, Yankee Doodle is sufficiently stuck in my head now! Everything about this is perfect – there isn’t a single hair out of place here!

“It’s beautifully executed, and also very accurate to the source material.

“It looks just immaculate. The curls are all perfect, it appears to be well balanced, and it seems to fit well. What a tremendous amount of work, and with such a fantastic result!

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #15!  We look forward to seeing what you have in store for Challenge #16…

A big thanks to our panel of Challenge #15 Judges as well!

Amanda Fineran

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Amanda Fineran has been making her own costumes since she was in high school and specializes in Star Wars, kids costumes, and leathercraft. She won 3rd Place in the Shear Madness Adorable Alert Challenge with her daughter’s Willy Wonka costume. Amanda is also a member of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion – organizations whose members create screen accurate Star Wars costumes and wear them at parades, events, and hospital visits. She is also President of Costumers for a Cause – an organization that helps connect the costumers with the people who need them.

Kendra van Cleave

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Kendra Van Cleave is a fashion historian, academic librarian, and costumer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has studied and recreated historical costume for nearly twenty years, currently specializing in the 18th century. She has master’s degrees in history and librarianship, and publishes scholarly research on the history of fashion. Her reproduction historical costumes have won multiple awards. Kendra has taught numerous workshops on the history and how-to of fashion and costume, including 18th century wig styling, primarily for the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild and Costume College. She is available for workshops and lectures on 18th century costume and 18th century wigs/hair; to consult on film, theater, and living history projects; and also makes custom 18th century wigs on commission. Her book “18th Century Hair & Wig Styling: History & Step-by-Step Techniques” is available on her website.

Laura Ulak

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Laura Ulak is the founder of Shear Madness and co-founder of the MN Society of Costumers. She has been costuming for over 20 years, and has costumed everyone from bearded Santas to Drag Queens to Ren Fest Queens. She is a Master’s level award winning masquerade costumer. She currently spends her spare time outfitting high school students for fall plays and spring musicals. She learns something new everyday at Shear Madness, and loves the supportive environment of people who remember the fun in costuming.

*The order of judges’ comments has been randomized for each entry.

SHEAR MADNESS QUARTERLY CHALLENGE #15: The “UP-DO” Wig Challenge

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The 14th Quarterly Challenge is over, so it is time to start thinking about the next one!

Challenge #15 is the “UPDO” Wig Challenge!

Updo wig Challenge 15

This is for all you crafty wig wranglers! Anime, historical, anything goes.  Enter your amazing wig transformation here!

The submission deadline is ****October 2nd, 2017**** at midnight CST.

The Rules

1. The submissions window opens on July 1st, 2017 and closes ****October 2nd, 2017**** at midnight CST. Any wig/hairpiece finished within the last year qualifies. When you began your piece doesn’t matter as long as it was FINISHED within the time period of 7/1/2016 – 10/2/2017.

2. This challenge encompasses all sorts of genres– fantasy, cosplay, vintage, historical, etc. Creative materials are welcome! Wigs with attached accessories will be considered, but this is not a hat or headpiece challenge. The focus is on the wig: styling, materials, and character portrayal/research (if applicable). Recreate a look from your favorite TV series or historical portrait, or design a completely unique piece of your own!

3. 75% of the piece must be made or modified by you. 25% of your entry can be unaltered/purchased items. We want to see your creativity and hard work on display, not someone else’s! Recreations of fashion plates, paintings, digital artwork, etc. are perfectly fine, but if you do reinterpret or take inspiration from someone else’s previous design, please give proper credit to them in your submission description. If you recreate a character’s hairstyle from a show/artwork, please include the character’s name and the title of the show/book/artwork in which they appear!

— You are not required to enter a challenge to join the Facebook Group, but it is encouraged!—

How to Submit Your Challenge Entry

Challenge entries must be submitted to:

shearmadnesscostumes@gmail.com

before midnight CST on ****October 2nd, 2017.****

Submissions must include Your name, a TITLE for your entry, Up to 5 PICTURES, and a DESCRIPTION.

PHOTOS: Photos are VERY IMPORTANT and can make or break an entry! Wigs can be displayed on forms, mannequins, wig stands, or modeled by a person. Make sure you have at least one straight-on front shot so all the details can be seen! Include close-ups of specific details you are proud of like embellishment, process photos, texture, how it looks with the whole outfit, etc.

Special note for this challenge: You may include a copy of your inspiration image without counting it towards your five photos. For example, if you created a wig for Jessie from Team Rocket, you may include a picture of her + your five photos. Please include the source of your photo, such as the artist’s name or a link if you got it from the internet.

DESCRIPTION: Along with your photos, include a description of your piece. Tell us about what makes your entry special! Did you try any new techniques? Is it made for particular person/persona? Have you worn it to any events? If you ran into any problems you had to tackle, tell us how you solved them. Judges greatly appreciate construction details!

See sample submission here.

Be sure to give credit to any artists if you chose to reinterpret their artwork!

If you can, please include a photo of the artwork and/or a link to the original source.

HAVE FUN! This is not something we want you to agonize over. This is to be a fun and inspiring challenge for you as a costumer to help you grow and express yourself. And if the entire thing doesn’t get finished? Oh well! Share or submit what you have!

Limit of two (2) entries per person per challenge.

NOTE!

Costumes posted in Facebook comment sections will not be counted as part of the challenge—they must be submitted via email (shearmadnesscostumes@gmail.com) to qualify. Contestants can share the progress of their outfits on their blogs or on the Shear Madness Facebook page. However, please do not post entries in their final state on the Facebook page until after judging is complete.

Judging and Awards

The judges will review the entries and the winners will be announced during the first week of October 2017. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners, as well as honorable mentions as chosen by the judges. Winners will be given a Shear Madness logo with their winning placement for display on their blog/website and will have their creations featured in the header on the Facebook group page from October 2017 to January 2018. All submissions will have a photo featured on the Challenge’s final blog post!

Group administrators and moderators have the final say on any rules for challenges and may update them as needed.

NOTICE: Due to a widespread Charter Spectrum internet service outage affecting a large portion of the Southeastern US, Texas, California and many others across the country on October 1st, the deadline for this challenge has been changed from October 1st to October 2nd to allow everyone in the affected an opportunity to enter!

SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #14: “UNDER IT ALL” CHALLENGE WINNERS

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Challenge #14 “UNDER IT ALL” was about the foundation garments whose greatness is usually hidden under other layers: corsets, chemises, petticoats, bloomers, and more!

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The entries for this challenge were all fabulous, displaying creativity, research, and clever problem-solving!

Without further ado, here are the winners of Challenge #14:

Third Place: “Edwardian Horizontal Seamed Corset” by Sara Huebschen

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Sara says:

“I made this corset from a historical patent that I scaled up to create the pattern. The really neat thing about it, and the part that was a fun challenge, was that it has all horizontal seams. The only vertical stitching on it is three small darts at the waist and the applied boning channels. In order to accent the seaming, I decided to pipe the seamlines in a contrast fabric. The body of the corset is a single layer of brocade coutil, and the piping is a purple taffeta.

“The boning channels are prussian tape applied on the inside of the corset, and the boning is a combination of flat steel and synthetic whalebone. I wanted to go more traditional with this piece since it was more of a historical reproduction than most of the corsets I make, so I went with the synthetic whalebone and single layer construction.”

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“The fit model is my wonderful friend Jackie Moore, who not only let me use her for fitting but also went out in the cold in January to take some lovely pictures. Outdoor photos are by Birdskull Photography.”

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Judges’ comments:

The purple piping really sets off the panels and looks fab in the black coutil.

It’s so fun to see that crazy pattern made up, and the color choices and use of the contrasting trim makes it look so modern and edgy. Plus, it gives a really fantastic shape too!

A really attractive piece, the colors are wonderful

Congratulations, Sara!

Second Place:  “My 18th Century Sewing Adventure” by Marika Brimacombe!

Pockets and petticoat

Marika says:

“The pieces that I am submitting for the challenge are an 18th century shaped petticoat, hand embroidered pockets, and clocked stockings and garters! The rest of the pieces in the photos are the part of my 18th century undergarments ensemble that I have been working on for the past 2 years, including my 1740’s Stays, a shift, and pocket hoops.”
pocket close up

“I started this project as a video series back in May of 2015 but after a surprise pregnancy had to put it on hold for a while.  After giving birth to my daughter I started the project up again and after 2 years I finally finished the Undergarments!!

I am still in the process of finishing my video for the stockings but it should be up on my channel soon!”
Judges’ comments:
Very cool stockings! And the pockets are perfectly executed with colorful embroidery as was so prevalent.
“I just love this collection, and covet the stockings. Nice work on the embroidery of the pockets, and I would love to know more about the garters – were they hand woven? Embroidered? Purchased? How are they fastened?
I love the thought of having something so decorative that hardly anybody will ever see.

 

Congratulations, Marika!

First Place:  “Symington Corset” by Michelle Fitzgerald!

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Michelle says:

“I’ve been working with this antique corset pattern (Symington #31300) for a few years now, and have been playing with finding the ideal Victorian shape that still works on my modern, swaybacked, not very squishy body. After trying the pattern totally un-altered, and altered almost beyond recognition, I really like this 3rd version which has very minor alterations from the original.”

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“I’ve taken in the back a bit to account for my swayback, and trimmed the front hip edge a bit (it was super long and poked my legs!). That’s all.”

new sym detail

“I also wanted to try out paper-cord in those corded panels at bust and side for the first time–huge difference from the 2mm window cord I had been using! The paper cord really is wonderful to shape and mould, and it holds the shape very well. It’s what was used in many of the 1880s factory-made corsets. Unfortunately it’s still too short in the ribcage for my tall body, but my mannequin models it well. :)”

new sym side

Judges’ comments:

Absolutely fantastic!! You can see the skill that went into this with the fine cording channels and top-applied strips for the boning. Even the closer grommets at the waist area is period correct. A reproduction worthy of looking like it stepped out of time.

I’m fascinated by her use of paper cord and I’d love to know more about what she used and how she inserted it. The details and shape on this corset are truly spot on, and to my eyes, it looks like it could be an actual historical garment. I’m incredibly impressed!

Congratulations, Michelle!

 

The judges also decided to award the following entries Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions for Creating a Complete Under It All Ensemble:
“Frontier Whites” by Samantha Benton and “Edwardian Underthings” by Melissa Sowers

Excerpt from Samantha’s “Frontier Whites” entry description:

“I began this ensemble in 2002, after first watching the PBS series Frontier House which is set in 1883. The scene where the bride’s trousseau is laid out just captured my imagination, and I knew, even if it was completely impractical, that was something I wanted to make, have, and maybe even wear…I imagine this set of whites as belonging to someone who hadn’t quite finished her trousseau (totally me), and years later after a few babies, needing something new in the new silhouette, decided to make use of the bridal whites she had left in her trunk, unfinished and therefore unused. It was as much fun remaking them as it was starting them years ago. Thank you for the deadline!”

Judges’ comments:

I am pleased with the entirety of this project, all of the elements included...I appreciate all of the information given [in the entry’s full description], it really adds to the understanding of the size and complexity of the collection.

Ingenious use of piecing to get the petticoat to the correct shape. Nice, functional shaping of the corset as well. Beautiful, if simple, ensemble.

Excerpt from Melissa’s “Edwardian Underthings” entry description:

“I made these Edwardian Underthings for Costume Con 34, held in May of 2016. These include a chemise, bust padding, bum padding, corset, combination, and petticoat. The combination included the corset cover and split bloomers. The chemise, combination, and petticoat where constructed from lightweight cotton. The corset is heavy cotton canvas with cotton outer layer. And the padding was constructed from a cotton blend with poly filling. The chemise, combination, corset, bust padding, and petticoat where decorated similarly to historical garments I found in my research. I was a little concerned that I was not going to be able to achieve the desired Edwardian shape without some extreme corseting, but found that with the padding it did not need to be as tightly laced as I thought.”

Judges’ comments:

Corset is lovely with good starter-shaping before adding the separate padding. Fun fabric for the hip and bust pads! This is a great initial look for the Edwardian S-bend silhouette.”

Honorable Mention for Creative Trimming!
“Steampunk Slytherin Corset and Petticoat” by Nancy Tozier Sieling

Excerpt from Nancy’s entry description:

“I started with the corset from Simplicity’s Tardis pattern, shortening and modifying it to meet my needs…It is embellished with lace and metal, including a serpentine zipper pull. I used black fringed lace for the upper and lower trim. I was able to machine sew the upper and lower edges of the trim, but all the long fringe pieces had to be sewn in place by hand. The trim on the center front and the straps is the same lace with the fringe removed. The corset shoulder straps hold hardware that is both decorative and practical, as it allows for the costume cape to be worn back on the shoulders as an alternative to wearing it closed at the neck. It also sports a metal swivel hook hanging just below the right hip of the corset to attach a bag to.

Judges’ comments:

I love the creative touches that convey the Slytherin theme, and it’s fun to see undergarments that work so well as outerwear. It really makes quite an adorable dress, and I like that it doesn’t come across as ‘sexy’ even though it’s a corset. And the use of that fringed lace around the edges was brilliant!

Honorable Mention for Unique Engineering!
“Steampunk Crinoline” by Sara Örn Tengstrand

Excerpt from Sara’s entry description:

“My entry for challenge #14 is a steampunk crinoline. It is based on an 1850s/1860s cage crinoline, and is meant to be partly seen under the skirt of the dress it will be worn with. My idea was to have a marked contrast between the green and “living” feeling of the dress, and a crinoline with a distinctly mechanical, metallic and man-made feeling. It is decorated at the part where the skirt will be raised to show the crinoline…The construction of the crinoline took some considering. Drafting it was quite easy, as I based the measurements on my 1860s hoop, but made it shorter and slightly wider at the top, to get a more pronounced skirt shape. Figuring out how to make it hold together was harder. Most crinolines I see made today either have the steel hoops coated in fabric and then sewn to the vertical bands, or is made of fabric with the steel hoops sewn in. I wanted the steel hoops to be seen, so covering them in fabric was not an option. I was not able to find a description of how to make it like I wanted, so I had to make something up myself.”

Judges’ comments:

Resourceful and innovative on her construction of various metal bits and steel wire. The metallic faux leather adds to the depth of the Steampunk garment while also being functional.

Good thought processes and solutions to the unique challenges presented by a ‘metal-only’ crinoline.

A big thanks to our panel of Challenge #14 Judges as well!

Jennifer Rosbrugh

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Teacher to hundreds of sewing and costuming students since 2004 both online and in workshops and conferences, Jennifer dreams of the nostalgia of the past and brings it into her modern life through creating costume ensembles spanning 1780 to 1920. She is a dark chocolate, Jane Austen and bustle dress fanatic. Find her at her blog, HistoricalSewing.com and enroll in her classes at OldPetticoatShop.com

Jennifer Thompson

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Jennifer is an artist and seamstress who is obsessed with fashion history. She tends to focus on the Renaissance through the mid-20th century styles, but sometimes dabbles in fantasy costuming and modern sewing as well. You can see many of her fabulous costumes on her blog, Festive Attyre!

Leah Lloyd

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Leah Lloyd has been making costumes since the ripe young age of 4, when she wrapped a bunch of scarves around herself and shuffled out to the living room where her mother was watching the classic Mummy. It’s been downhill since then, including receiving a degree in Costume Design, and a Clothing/Headwear Laurel in the SCA. And someday she will cull the fabric hoard in the attic. Really.

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #14!  We look forward to seeing what you have in store for Challenge #15!

SHEAR MADNESS QUARTERLY CHALLENGE #14: “UNDER IT ALL” THE UNDERWEAR CHALLENGE

Shear-Madness logo

The 13th Quarterly Challenge is over, so it is time to start thinking about the next one!

Challenge #14 is entitled “UNDER IT ALL”

Show us your costume undergarments!  Have a frilly underskirt, a fabulous corset, a unique pair of knickers?  This is the challenge for you!

The submission deadline on July 1st, 2017 at midnight CST.

The Rules

1. The submissions window opens on April 1st, 2017 and closes July 1st, 2017 at midnight CST. Any costume/garment/piece finished within the last year qualifies. When you began your costume doesn’t matter as long as it was FINISHED within the time period of 4/1/2016 – 7/1/2017.

2. This challenge encompasses all sorts of costuming genres– fantasy, vintage, historical, etc.– and all types of undergarments including corsets, stays, pairs of bodies, bras, knickers, bloomers, bustles, hoop skirts, shifts, chemises, petticoats, corset covers, camisoles, slips, stockings, garters, and more! Creative interpretations are welcome. Entries can be single garment or a set.

3. The garment (s) must have been made or majorly modified by you. Ideally, for this challenge, judges are looking for garments that you made completely yourself, but majorly modded and creatively re-purposed items can still be submitted. We want to see your creativity and hard work on display, not someone else’s! Recreations of fashion plates, paintings, digital artwork, etc. are fine, but if you do reinterpret or take inspiration from someone else’s previous design, please give proper credit to them in your submission description.

— You are not required to enter a challenge to join the Facebook Group, but it is encouraged!—

How to Submit Your Challenge Entry

Challenge entries must be submitted to:

shearmadnesscostumes@gmail.com

before midnight CST on July 1st, 2017.

Submissions must include Your name, a TITLE for your entry, Up to 5 PICTURES, and a DESCRIPTION.

PHOTOS: Photos are VERY IMPORTANT and can make or break an entry! You are welcome to pose in your undergarments for the photos, but some people prefer not to have photos of themselves in their knickers all over the internet, so undergarments can be modeled by mannequins, dress forms, or laid out neatly on a clean background. Please keep photos “Safe for Work!” Make sure you have at least one straight-on front shot so all the details can be seen. Include close-ups of specific details you are proud of like embellishment, stitching, texture, etc.

DESCRIPTION: Along with your photos, include a description of your piece. Tell us about what makes your entry special! Did you try any new techniques? Is it made for particular person/persona? Have you worn it to any events? If you ran into any problems you had to tackle, tell us how you solved them. Judges greatly appreciate construction details!

See sample submission here.

Be sure to give credit to any artists if you chose to reinterpret their artwork!

If you can, please include a photo of the artwork and/or a link to the original source.

HAVE FUN! This is not something we want you to agonize over. This is to be a fun and inspiring challenge for you as a costumer to help you grow and express yourself. And if the entire thing doesn’t get finished? Oh well! Share or submit what you have!

Limit of two (2) entries per person per challenge.

NOTE!

Costumes posted in Facebook comment sections will not be counted as part of the challenge—they must be submitted via email (shearmadnesscostumes@gmail.com) to qualify. Contestants can share the progress of their outfits on their blogs or on the Shear Madness Facebook page. However, please do not post entries in their final state on the Facebook page until after judging is complete.

Judging and Awards

The judges will review the entries and the winners will be announced during the first week of July 2017. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners, as well as honorable mentions as chosen by the judges. Winners will be given a Shear Madness logo with their winning placement for display on their blog/website and will have their creations featured in the header on the Facebook group page from July 2017 to October 2017. All submissions will have a photo featured on the Challenge’s final blog post!

Group administrators and moderators have the final say on any rules for challenges and may update them as needed.

SHEAR MADNESS CHALLENGE #13: “BIG TOP” CHALLENGE WINNERS

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Challenge #13 ” THE BIG TOP” was all about fun, excitement, the bold and the daring!

Come one, come all and behold the magic and wonder of our winners’ Challenge #13 “Big Top” creations!

Third Place: “Tiger Tamer” by Cynthia of Country Dove

Cynthia says:

I’m happy to be able to share this with someone. It was a TON of work in the making (took over a year to figure part of it out) and I was very happy with it.”

The pictures are my daughter Brianna, who models, and these were taken at a photo shoot. One of the pictures is professional (dark blue background one – from Menka Belgal) and the rest were my pictures from the photoshoot.

Judges’ comments:

I love the concept. I love the pocket hoops as cages. The colors are lovely.”

Very cute and would be extremely fun to wear. The colors are bright and she looks like she stepped out of a graphic novel.

It is such a unique idea to use the pannier as a cage! The dress itself is simple, but I love the secret skirt.

Congratulations, Cynthia!

The creator based this design on a piece of art he/she found on Pinterest. If you recognize the original inspiration artwork, please share in the comments below!

Second Place:  “Turn of the Century Showgirl” by Lori Clayson!

Lori says:

“This is my circus entry I made for myself to wear to a recent party. The concept is a turn of the century circus showgirl.”
Lori’s inspiration image:

“My favorite part to create was the the mini hat because I had fun learning how to make ribbon rosettes and curling feathers.”

Judges’ comments:

The concept is great, and I think she did a good job translating the photo…I love the fabric.

This is a lovely, classic showgirl look with a Victorian/Steampunk twist. She is obviously having a wonderful time in her outfit, and I think that confidence really adds the finishing touch.

My goodness, that detail is amazing! Especially on the hat.

Congratulations, Lori!

First Place:  “Victorian Circus Girl”  by Mara Perry!

Mara says:

“I made this outfit for Costume College 2016. They had a circus themed Friday Night Social. I spent some time looking at vintage photos of circus performers. It was a really fun project! I knew I wanted to stick with the 1890s. As luck would have it I found 3 yards of brightly colored harlequin style fabric at the thrift store. Score!!! 3.99! I had some black cotton sateen in my stash, so a costume was born. I used Truly Victorian walking skirt TV291 and Truly Victorian Ripple bodice TV496.

“The skirt was simple. I just shortened it to knee length. I used the bright fabric on the front panel only. I also sewed little moon and stars sequins randomly on the skirt. The bright orange scalloped trim was an antique shop find. A whole gallon ziplock bag stuffed with organdy picot edge scallop trim. The trim was strung together. I dyed it orange and gave it a nice press. On top of the orange trim I used black string fringe and black sequins.”

“The bodice had a few changes. I used the TV490 ballgown sleeves. they are pretty dang cute! I was running out of black cotton sateen and harlequin fabric so I used some black clip dot lawn instead. I left off the collar since I knew I was going to use my orange trim anyways. I kind of wanted a ruff look around my neck. The front is closed with 3 sets of blue ribbon ties. The bodice is trimmed with red chenille ball and black sequined trim.
“That hat! It is from a 1940s clown suit pattern. I had a great time making it!

“Accessories:
One purchased red crinoline, black tank top, white tights and my American Duchess Tango boots.
This is just an example of how creative you can be with existing patterns.”

Judges’ comments:

Fantastic seams and tailoring…Love the attitude!

The fit is superb and it’s a very Victorian look: the color scheme looks straight out of Victorian fancy dress plate!

I love the colors and how the bodice stands out!”

Congratulations, Mara!

The judges also decided to award the following Honorable Mention awards:

Honorable Mention for Most Colorful Commentary: “Circus Lolita Mannequin” by Leah Lloyd

From Leah:

“This has been on the stupid mannequin since before DragonCon, and then I got my awful 6 month depression and touched nothing until about 2 weeks ago and started thinking ‘hey I should make that Circus Lolita for Zenkaikon I have a month, right?’ and then Liz literally the next day posts the reminder of the cutoff date being today and I am like CRAAAAAAP and she is like “post what you got!” so I am like CRAAAAAAAP and if you need filler bunny, here is my Circus Lolita which is NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED”

“I bought two acid green silk saree, initially planning to make them into the most eye-searing screw you Victorian Early bustle gown, and that never happened, because i am lazy like that and have an attic g—— full of d— bins and shelves of fabric that I don’t even remember why I bought the d— yardage in the first place and what was I thinking and yeah never gonna make that, so Imma use if for this other project that I then also completely forget about and am then surprised when I dig it out looking for something else. Anyway, one of the saree is this great habatoi with pink omg ugly trimming on it and I figure that will be great for the skirt ruffles but the layout/yardage of the pattern is freaking stupid and I can’t use the pink the way I want to so g—— it. The other saree has these no-s— real metal bits set in the fabric, like some poor bastard had to set these gold leaf rivets or something in the weave just so which is great except when I start to cut it I realize I am using my silk scissors to cut g—— metal leaf and that was some s—- so there was some cursing there. And then I realized after sewing it together that the section I used had a blemish right on the nipple but hey that is cool because I have like 6 yards so no problem. I sew up the bodice (again) and the collar and then I realize I should have assembled the lining a different way what the f— was I thinking d—– okay I can make it work whatever, at least I have the front placket in correctly. ”

“The placket is cheap cotton broadcloth and an overlay of green sheer no kidding with pink g—— polka dots who thought this was a good idea to produce but it’s perfect and I have had it in the stash since 2008, so better use it before it rots. It may end up being used on the hat too. Or not. At this point, who the hell knows how it will look. Took me 4 g—— months to realize I didn’t like the original design of the tailcoat which is why I got stuck in the first place.”

“But wait, there is MORE! I legit found these ribbons (of which I bought 4 rolls each because goddamn ruffles take up freaking acres of yardage and they suck but better to have too much amirite) and there I was in this Amish fabric warehouse in the middle of Cowflop, PA, and I find shelves of pink and green I shit you not polka dot ribbons for like .50 a roll and I am like B*TCHES and it’s a fuzzy pic but you get the idea.”

“And these hair falls holy crap yes, plus cyberdreads of green and pink because gurrrl you know I have them and it’s gonna be insane if I can just make it not suck. And, you know, finish it.”

“But anyway, here is my initial sketch. Only the gods of sewing know how it will turn out.”

Judges comments:

She was such a trooper for submitting her outfit even though it wasn’t finished. That takes pluck and I admire that….the commentary she submitted is over-the-top hilarious and the outfit looks like it will be loads of fun when it’s done.

I can’t wait until the day it is complete – green and pink is one of my favorite color combinations!

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #13!  We look forward to seeing what you have in store for Challenge #14!