Monday, May 02, 2011
CGS Supershow Costume Challenge - The Black Widow (Claire Voyant)
I arrived in the nick of time on Friday with five minutes to unload my gear from the car. Ten minutes before the show began on Saturday, I turned on the sewing machine to make sure everything was ok. ERROR MESSAGE! Oh no. I started to panic. I told one of our hosts Bryan Deemer that things weren't working. Luckily, I just had to rethread the machine and it worked. The pre-party at Third & Spruce was great. That of course gave me a bit of a hangover for the project right off the bat so my hashtag on twitter was "#hungovercostume challenge."
Saturday was all about the bodysuit and the bulk of my day was spent in a frustrated struggle trying to get the spider logo appliquéd to the matte spandex. It seemed like it was centered but when was all was done, it's a little off. I used a ton of straight pins to hold it in place. I zig-zag stitched around the spider with black thread. I hated the way it was coming out. The zig-zags weren't wide enough or tight enough and since the fabric shifted every few stitches there were so many sections that looked pretty awful. But I formulated a plan. I covered the black thread with grey thread and a better embroidery style stitch. At first, I couldn't figure out why the grey stitches were coming out bad; changed the needle and problem solved so one spider in particular is a bit terrible.
After the appliqué, I made the sleeves, another easy step to make me feel like I was accomplishing something.
Then I basted the two back pieces together and installed the zipper. The problem this is that once a stitch is placed and then removed, the holes show up in this fabric. I wasn't really concerned since this was the back of the suit and it has a cape. I would have been really annoyed if I had been making this for someone else. I'll have remember to use doublestick tape instead when I do the Huntress costume out of the same material. After the zipper was done, I stitched the remainder of the back bottom together.
I was stressed and exhausted. I kept introducing myself to the same people because I was forgetting that I had met them. :/ I was stressed for other personal reasons too but please accept my apologies if I had one of those flake out moments with you.
Back to the show Sunday. Very hungover. My booth also became the con daycare. I love that some of the kids were actually interested but most of them just wanted to know if I had free stuff; luckily I had leftover tattoos and buttons from Wonder Woman Day.
This particular plan was to make a single layer cape which I'm not a fan of. Capes look better lined because it hides the seams. This character's cape is supposed to be filmy and translucent. The lavender crepe material is also $21/yard. By not lining it, I was able to keep the cost down but then I had to accept that I wouldn't be totally thrilled with the final result.
I put on the costume (the suit has a spot where it bunches in the back and should be fixed but I didn't care); donned the wig (another issue as the original long one looked awful so I went with a short one that looks nicer but is way too short); added extra black shadow since mine had been sweat off hours ago. Then toured the floor for a couple minutes before heading to the only panel I saw, the Quick Draw competition.
I think my total construction/sewing time was 10 hours. I'd have to go back and check my notes on how long I spent on the design and cutting/prep stage. The cape fabric was $70; black matte metallic spandex $13/yd * 2 = $26; grey spandex $8; interfacing, zipper, cape closure, etc. was probably around $10; wig $43 (plus the wig I didn't like $45); boots & tights were already in my wardrobe.