The Hero’s Closet

by Gillian on March 25, 2017, no comments

The Hero’s Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming, out from Abrams in April 2017Briefly: this beast is less than a month away. Can’t quite believe it, to be honest! It’s been a long, exhausting process of scraping all the useful sewing facts and techniques out of the weird corners of my brain, and I hope people take all this good stuff and run with it. Go make something rad!

Smocked scales

by Gillian on April 5, 2015, 11 comments

smocked scalesThe project associated with those piles of silk is eating up most of my time, but I thought I’d take a minute to share a decorative technique I’ve been experimenting with for a bodice detail. I wanted some kind of fabric manipulation to contrast with the other embellishments I have planned for this piece, ideally with a feathery or scaly feel. I experimented with arrow smocking, which was one of the techniques Michele Carragher used to create the gorgeous dragonscale effect in her embroidery for Game of Thrones. It wasn’t quite what I was going for, though, so I kept looking.

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by Gillian on March 26, 2015, no comments

silks, feathers, ribbons, and steel boningThis incredibly self-indulgent pile of supplies brought to you by GIVE ME AN EXCUSE, WHY DON’T YOU

More on this project later – I’m off to play with my pretty, pretty silks.

Brocade pants

by Gillian on March 25, 2015, no comments

IMG_3503A brief-ish post because it’s been too long – here’s the result of some more easy pants sewing. The fabric is a mystery brocade from Winmil fabrics in Boston, so it’s been marinating in the stash at least three years. I assume it’s got some poly in it, and probably some cotton or rayon because it’s wonderfully well behaved and presses more easily than I would expect of poly. It also has enough stretch that I skipped the lining again, figuring it would recover a bit better than the green wool did. Time will tell if this is correct.

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I have some opinions about sergers

by Gillian on March 3, 2015, 3 comments

looming sergerI see a lot of people trying to scare beginners off sergers. Suggestions that they’re too tricky to thread, the stitching is hard to unpick, the tension finicky, the blade choppy and intimidating, etc. Generally it’s meant kindly—to spare people frustration, and maybe let them off the hook if they don’t have budget or confidence to invest in a second machine and are afraid they need one for x or y reason. Okay, fine! You don’t need a serger to sew knits, or finish seams, or anything else really, and people do fabulous work on knits and otherwise without ever coming near one. But I really like them!

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