Inara’s details

Inara’s details

Here are a couple closer shots of Sarah’s Inara inspired dress from Jody and Sarah’s engagement shoot. The dress is actually 3 pieces, the maroon satin under dress, the raw silk tunic, and the sash. Both the under-dress and the tunic wrap like kimono, and either can be worn on it’s own. The maroon dress is made from a matte heavyweight satin, and the sleeves from a lightweight chiffon. It’s designed to trail slightly, and be a little shorter in front. The sleeves are slit on the upper arm, with a small button at the elbow. They are attached to the dress only at the shoulder.

The tunic is cut from an iridescent burgundy/purple/green fabric with the feel of raw silk.  Specialty silk fringe trims the edges. The sash is made from an embroidered satin fabric and simply knots in the back. This was quite a lot of fun to make, I’m adding it to the shop as a custom order, no two dresses will be exactly alike.


Firefly engagement photoshoot

Firefly engagement photoshoot

Some friends of mine did a great engagement photo session with my talented friend Bonnie Heath. The theme was Firefly, with a gender-bent twist. My friend Lizerati did the jewelry, and Ashley Skelly did the makeup and hair. I made the costumes. Here’s a sneak peek, but be sure to check out the whole set for the surprise ending…

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A Tale of Two Khaleesi

A Tale of Two Khaleesi

I’ve been asked to make a few outfits for people cosplaying Danaerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. Two of my favorites were not strict copies, but costumes intended to simply reference Dany’s Dothraki riding outfit.

The first was for go-go dancer Angie Starr. She wanted something sexy and easy to move in, a costume to accompany her and her three mischievous dragons as they “terrorized” photoshoots and dragon*con ballrooms. The top was made from a woven wool and nylon blend fabric, triple washed then hand-dyed for softness and color. Strands of the original fabric were removed and replaced with hand woven bits of leather and twine. The straps were braided bits of unravelled silk cording, again pre-washed for softness. The closures were crafted from cast brass findings, distressed and sealed, with double pointed metal pins.  The skirt was double layers of soft faux-suede topped with re-purposed vintage chains, suede lace and brass findings for the belts.

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test fit on Angie

Angie and her dragons,  with Sarah and Ashley

Angie and her dragons,
with Sarah and Ashley

The second outfit was simply intended to reference Khaleesi, and was created to wear to festivals and other non-cosplay events as well as DragonCon. The top starts with the same material, but there is less of the handweaving, replaced instead with brass grommets, braided leather, and a large vintage buckle closure.  The skirt is long and more full, with extra layers to allow for sitting on the ground. It is also decorated with grommets, brass studs and a brass buckle closure. Shown here with a wool John Snow cape made for another client.

Khaleesi goes to Burningman

And here’s a picture of it from DragonCon, with a most excellent Khal Drogo:

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More Danaerys costumes coming soon…

New Shop

In light of some of the sudden changes Etsy has been making, I’ve decided to branch out to other platforms. Right now, I’m getting started on BigCartel as an e-commerce link. There’s not much there at the moment, but I’ll be adding to it in the coming weeks, including some one of a kind pieces that I’d rather not put on Etsy.

Tell me what you think! (also… I got a new logo! More on that in another post. =D

We interrupt this blog…

We interrupt this blog…

For a small rant. I keep seeing articles like this fluff piece from the New York Times about Etsy’s new policies and in particular  this one fraudulent seller who is getting a lot of attention for supposedly making a million dollars a year hand knitting legwarmers. I’m pretty sure most people reading this blog understand that importing sweatshop-made goods by the shipping container and slapping a button on them isn’t really handmade, and why that’s a large problem when Etsy sellers who really do responsibly make their own goods are forced to compete with this sort of unscrupulousness.

However, one thing I keep seeing pop up as justification in almost every single one of these arguments is the whole “well you can’t really call YOUR legwarmers handmade either because you bought that yarn”. From the NYT article:

Nicole Burisch, a fellow with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and an expert on crafts, said separating the handmade from the manufactured would always be tricky. After all, she said, how handmade is a hand-knit sweater or clay pot?

Most of the goods for sale on Etsy were never strictly handmade, she said — “that is, unless you are digging your own clay, weaving your own cloth, raising your own sheep.”

Excuse me here, but seriously, what a load of utter and complete garbage.

I am so tired of these false arguments. Are you any less of a painter if you don’t grind your own pigment or weave your own canvas?

No, and no one would even begin to question it.

What people expect when they buy a painting from an artist is that the artist picked up a paintbrush and created that image themselves. Not that they imported 1000 screen prints from AliExpress, slapped a little gel medium on top and signed their name. When someone buys a pair of “handmade” leg warmers, they expect similar, which is that the seller picked up her needles and ball of yarn and turned them into the piece for sale. No one really expects that the knitter is raising their own sheep any more than they expect the painter to be pulverizing ore or pressing their own linseeds. 

So let’s just nip this false argument in the bud, shall we? I think we are all a little smarter than that.

Legendary Aphrodite

Legendary Aphrodite

For the 2015 SMITE tournament, Angie, who cosplayed the traditional Aphrodite last year, came to me and asked about making the Legendary version for her this year.

screenshots of this skin:

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Once again this stuff is so easy when your model basically looks like the character, but here are shots of the finished product:

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The wig she chose was extremely heavy so we made the crown oversized to help keep it forward. Also, the shoe detail was a lot of fun:

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