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Stage Makeup…using drugstore products

Stage Makeup…using drugstore products

I haven’t posted in a bit because I’ve been working on a play. I was cast as Marjorie, the lead in William Mastrosimone’s ExtremitiesIt has been a challenging, exhilarating experience and I’m so sad it’s almost over. It seems inevitable that I end up teaching someone how to do stage makeup every time I do a show. When I was taught how to do this style of makeup, way back when I was in school, I learned using Ben Nye and Kryolan products. These are sometimes known colloquially as “grease paint”, although never by theatre people! When I teach folks in community theatre, people who will rarely use the makeup, it does seem silly to have them purchase all of the products they would need (which can be a bit pricey), so I’ve come up with a way to get the same effect with street makeup. Why do we use this freaky looking makeup? The blast of the stage lights will flatten your face, making you look like a body with a bright blob on top (yes, even if you’re dark-skinned). Stage makeup is designed to render the three dimensional features of your face so the audience can identify them…and, critically, your expressions. Men, yes, you need to wear makeup on stage. Get over it. You can follow the tutorial in the same way, just choose a more neutral lip color and a thinner eye-liner line. Please note, this is the way I do this style of makeup, other actors may choose to do things differently. One actress I know puts a red dot at her tear duct. As long as it reads from 30 feet…

Supplies:

Supplies

This is a photo of all the products that I will use in the tutorial. As you can probably tell, I don’t use one brand of makeup. Over time, as I’ve tried different products from different companies, I have found which items I like for each bit of makeup. Here’s the rundown of the things you’ll need:

-Concealer (If you have dark under-eye circles.)

-Liquid Foundation (Yes, liquid. No, mineral makeup is not just as good. Trust me.)

-Bronzer (Several shades darker than your natural color.)

-Brown eyeshadow

-White or light beige eyeshadow

-Loose powder (Not pressed. Pressed has too much oil, a real enemy to keeping your makeup in place.)

-White/Natural Beige eyeliner (I prefer a white pencil but, with my regular kit at the theatre, I used beige today. Sometimes you can find a “brow highlighter” pencil, that works just as well.)

-Black or Dark Brown eyeliner (Pencil or liquid, your choice.)

-Black or Dark Brown Mascara (I like the kind that has a primer that leaves “extensions” on your lashes and then the color goes on top. Mostly because I hate wearing false lashes and avoid it unless it is a very large stage.)

-False lashes (Optional, see above.)

-Lip liner (You can either match the lipstick or go with a tone that is similar to your natural lip color.)

-Lipstick (The shade really depends on your character. You don’t want a “virginal” character wearing blood red. I don’t know many people who can get away with not wearing lipstick on stage. I never wear it in “real” life, but I always wear it when acting.)

 

Applicators:

-Makeup sponge (For your liquid foundation/concealer. Do not use your fingers.)

-Powder Brush/Powder Puff (I really love my kabuki brush, though most drugstore powders come with a puff.)

-“Liner” brush (For filling your eyebrows. The thinner, the better.)

-Eye shadow brush(es)

-Enlarging Mirror (Optional but, oh, so helpful.)

 

Ok, we’re ready, let’s begin!

Step 1:

Bare Face FrontBare Face Profile

Dear God, am I seriously posting photos of myself without makeup online! Yes, yes I am. No, I’m not sick or tired, those dark circles are hereditary…moving on!

You must start with a clean face. No trace of prior makeup can remain. It’s best to have freshly cleaned skin. You will sweat under the lights, any oils on your skin will allow the sweat to make your makeup susceptible to being rubbed off. It’s best to avoid extra oil for this reason. I do not moisturize before applying stage makeup for the same reason. If you have very dry skin, try to find an oil free moisturizer. For the rest of us, we’re only wearing this for a few hours in a stretch, skip the moisturizer.

 

Step 2:

Concealer and Foundation

Apply concealer to under eye circles and any red blemishes, then apply liquid foundation all over your face, down your jawline and onto your neck. Make sure the foundation goes all the way into the hairline (this is why I style my hair after I do makeup). Apply the foundation right over your eyebrows, eyelids, and lips. Think of foundation as the “glue” that will hold all of your makeup in place.

 

Step 3:

Contouring Cheeks

Now, we begin contouring. I usually start with the cheeks because, having a naturally full cheek, the only time I see strong cheekbones is when I do my stage makeup. Gently suck in your cheeks, you don’t need to make a fish-face, you’re just looking to find your natural hollow, and use your blush brush to apply the bronzer along the underside of your cheekbone (from the hollow of the cheek diagonally upwards to the “sideburns”). Don’t be timid, this needs to be a strong color, remember, 30 feet is your goal).

 

Step 4:

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Continue with the bronzer, following the underside of your jaw and down a little way onto the neck. I love this, makes my “soft” jaw look sharp! If I were doing old age makeup, I would use the contouring here to create jowls and wrinkles in my neck. Since this is beauty makeup, I’m giving myself a fashion model jawline!

 

Step 5:

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Apply contouring with an eye shadow brush to the sides of your nose (you can make a crooked nose look straight and vice versa), into the crease of the eye, in the dip between the lips and the nose, along the hairline, and in the crook created between your mouth and chin. The right side of this photo shows the contouring, the left is pre-contour.

 

Step 6:

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Where there is shadow, there must be highlight. My arrows seem to have disappeared…here’s where you put the highlight (I used a very light eye shadow because my skin is pretty pale, if your skin is darker, you could use a shade of foundation that is too light for your skin):

-along top of nose

-along top of cheekbones

-above the eyebrows

-on top of chin

-along the jawline

This is part one of highlighting, there’s more to come. But first…

 

Step 7:

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Set the face with loose powder. Use a shade that is a close match to your skin. Pat it on, your don’t want to wipe shadow onto your highlight, or highlight onto your shadow. Powder your whole face and neck. Although this helps to set your makeup in place, avoid touching your face as that will likely remove some of your makeup, or smear it across your face.

 

Step 8:

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Fill in your brows. Everyone needs to do this. I have black hair and brows and even I fill in my brows. Eyebrows frame your face, give you expression, and can even establish time period…they’re important. If you’re a blonde or redhead, fill them with a medium brown (yes, I know, you’re not used to seeing them so strong, remember how important they are!) Brunettes and all us raven-haired beauties, dark brown shadow is good. Black can be too harsh. A good, fine brush will help a lot here. Brush it on in short strokes, almost like you’re painting individual hairs. You can play with your natural brow shape here, I like to extend the end of my brows, a la the 1930’s. If you base them out very pale, you could give yourself super sharp angles….very evil. You could use a pencil, but then you have to set it with some sort of powder or you risk wiping them across your face halfway through Act 1!

 

Step 9:

Under brow highlight12

More highlighting! Using white or a neutral color, draw a line under your eyebrow, under your lower lashes, and add some to the area right next to your tear duct. I like to extend this line out and down a little as it makes my small, deep-set eyes look just that much bigger.

 

Step 10:

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Set your highlight with light eye shadow. I like white or a light beige or cream. Avoid anything sparkly! That’s a rule for all your makeup, but especially the eye shadow. Under the stage lights (or a photographer’s flash), the sparkly bits (usually mica or something similar) can catch the light and make you look sweaty! You don’t want your audience to know how hard you’re working…even though you will be, in all likelihood, really sweating.

 

Step 11:

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Use a neutral eye shadow on the eye lid to the crease and then re-emphasize the crease with dark brown shadow. Then it’s time for…eye liner! I prefer to use a liquid liner, black for me, dark brown for my fair-haired co-stars. A fairly thick line is good and I like to extend beyond the lash line (remember, I’m trying to make my eyes look bigger). If I were to wear false lashes, I would apply them after my liner. That way, if there’s a little gap between my lashes and the falsies, no one will be able to tell. Yes, lining is tricky…that’s what practice is for! I find that gently pulling the outer corner of the eye out (to make the skin of the lid taut) is very helpful. If all else fails, ask someone else to help you.

 

Step 12:

Wonders of Mascara

As I said in the intro, I like to use the kind of mascara that has a primer/extender on one end of the tube and the mascara on the other. Several companies make this kind of mascara. Notice, I do not line or put mascara on the bottom lashes. I know you want to. Resist! The whole point of the light liner under the eye is to draw as much light into the eye, dark liner or mascara will completely un-do this. If you were on a large stage, you might choose to draw a “lower lash line” under your eye, about 1/4″ from your actual lower lash line. Talk about a tricky line to draw.

 

Step 13:

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I have yet to meet anyone with perfectly symmetrical lips. This is why lip liner is so crucial. With lip liner, you can match up the two halves of your cupid’s bow, or give a period look to your lip. A Twenties “Clara Bow”? A Forties “Joan Crawford”? It’s all in the lip liner. If you have small lips, use the liner just outside your natural lip line. If you have full lips and would like them to look thinner, line inside your natural lip line. This is why we applied the foundation right over our lips.

 

Step 14:

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Fill lips with lip liner. Fill in the entire lip with lip liner. This will help lock your lipstick in place for the duration of the show. You can sip through a straw (water only, no drinks other than water once you get in costume), with minimal damage to your lip rouge.

 

Step 15:

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Apply lippy! Apply your lipstick right over the filled-in lip. Colors to avoid…anything frosted, sparkly, very glossy, or pale! I like to use a nice orange-y pink for my olive skin for normal characters. Red for va-va-voom or villains. When I do dark-skinned ladies, I love to move it into the plum colors…so lovely! Makes me jealous.

 

Final Look:

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So, once the makeup is done, I wipe off any excess foundation or powder that got into my hairline and style my hair. As you can see, it looks really strange up close. Actually, the photograph lies a bit, it’s even stronger in person. Look at those cheekbones! Love them! Now, let me share some tips and tricks:

Sharpening pencils:

You want a nice, fine point on your pencils, which is impossible to accomplish with a gooey pencil “lead”. Before sharpening, place your pencils in the freezer for a few minutes. This will harden the waxes, allowing you to get a sharper point. Also, be very careful about trying to use a pencil that isn’t totally sharp. Wood scratches delicate face skin and hurts!

 

Finding the Foundation that Matches:

Oh, how I wish this was easy! Unfortunately, without being able to test the product, this can be a bit hit or miss. All of us have different shades just on our face. Generally our jaw area is darker. This can be especially noticeable on dark-skinned folks. The rule of thumb is to match the inside of your wrist. It will be paler than some sections of your face, but a good overall match. You probably can’t tell from the photos because the lighting in my bathroom is very orange, but I have very pale skin. My Ben Nye foundation is actually called “Death Flesh”. In the store, if there’s not a sample to try, lay the bottle over your wrist and walk to the front of the store. Try to see it in as close to natural light as you can (just don’t set off the anti-theft sensors!). There’s no guarantee this will get you a perfect match on the first try but, with so much contouring, you can get away with using a shade that’s not perfect.

 

Drugstore vs. Department Store:

Here’s the thing, makeup is made of (mostly) the same ingredients. I don’t pay a lot for department store stuff because I’ve never found that it’s so much better as to justify the significant price increase. Not to mention the pressure from the salesladies (who are only doing their job) to get you to buy all of their products. If you need a funky eye shadow color, but a cheap brand. Add a little water to your brush and you will pick up more product, which will make the color stronger on your eye lid. The trick of filling in the lips with lip liner first can also come in handy for strong eye shadow shades. I don’t use “cream” eye shadows, I find them too greasy to stay put under the lights. Pencil and shadow.

 

A Note on Kohl:

If you have been asked to do a kohl-rimmed eye (very hard to pull off, on stage or in life), place a generous amount of loose powder under your eyes (like, a mound you can see under each). Line the eye with a black pencil, draw your shape as you desire and fill it all in with the black pencil (be careful not to open your eyes wide at this point, the pencil can get on your brow bone area accidentally, bummer). Set the black pencil with black powder. Once all the black is in place, use a large brush to brush off the extra loose powder. This should prevent you from getting little flecks of black on your under-eye area, making it look like you have dark circles.

 

Have on Hand:

Q-tips, towels, makeup-remover wipes, and cold-cream or cleanser. Q-tips come in handy for all sorts of things. Get a bit of liquid liner or mascara on the side of your nose? (Don’t ask.) Let it dry, then place the Q-tip right on top and give it a twirl. The messy makeup will come off easily, with minimal damage to your foundation. Are you someone who goes to bed periodically wearing your makeup? Oh, come on, you know we’ve all done it! It’s imperative that you don’t do that with your stage makeup. As soon as the show is over and you are backstage, wipe off the major portion with a makeup-remover wipe, then follow with cold cream (remove with towel) or a good cleanser. I like the cold cream because it leaves a little moisture on the skin, so I don’t have to moisturize. There’s also something nostalgic about using the same product as generations of other women.

 

Sharing Makeup:

I try, as best as possible, to avoid sharing my makeup. I replace my makeup sponges each time I use them, wash my brushes periodically, and make sure my tackle box (I’m not kidding, largest one I could find) is cleaned out periodically, tossing old product and cleaning every nook and cranny. Of course, as I have experience and a lot of products, I do get asked to do other’s makeup. As long as I have a new sponge, I don’t mind sharing foundation, contouring items, and powder. I do not share lip liner or lip stick (I don’t get cold sores, I’d like to keep it that way), or eye liner and mascara. If someone is desperate, I will give them my mascara, but will buy a new one for myself before the next performance. Eye shadow is a little tricky. In general, I don’t mind sharing it, I just make sure I use a clean brush and, if someone gets frequent sty’s, or possibly has conjunctivitis (pink eye), I will not allow them near my eye shadow. I do not allow others to use my brushes, I will use them to apply product, but I have spent some good money on a few nice brushes, I don’t want them to walk away.

 

How Long:

How long does it take to do stage makeup? I get asked all the time. I can crank out a face in fifteen minutes…if I have to. When I do my own face, I like to have a minimum of 45 minutes. It’s about my routine, my meditation, my calming time, and my mental prep for the show ahead. I don’t listen to music, and I prefer others wear ear phones if they do. I like to get to the theatre early, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours before curtain. Once again, this is more about my mental prep, my way of leaving the day behind.

 

Makeup for Others:

Why do I do other’s makeup? Sometimes they are hapless. There’s a particular male actor who is older and likes to have a bit of a tipple before getting to the theatre to calm his nerves. If I design the costumes for a show and he’s in it, he and I already know I will be doing his makeup. I also like to do my young student’s makeup. It’s a way for me to pass on the stage makeup techniques that I have learned, and get them into good habits. As they get older, they can do it for themselves and know what they are doing. Sometimes people will specifically ask me. If I’m in the show, I don’t mind doing one or two faces, if there’s more than that, it eats into my “me” time. A little pet peeve of mine…I don’t expect to be paid if I do someone else’s makeup but, if I’m using my products to do it, it is good practice to offer to replace something if it is running low. I may turn you down, but it shows that you are aware that I am using items with a value, and skills with a value, to make you ready for stage. If I’m designing a show and there is any kind of special effects, or complicated makeup, you better believe I’m doing it myself. It needs to look how I designed it every night, which I can best ensure by doing it myself, or teaching one of a handful of people that I trust to do it for me.

 

Old Age/Specialty Makeup:

I may some day post a tutorial on doing old age or other specialty makeup. Until that time, all you need to know is that shadow and highlight are your friends. Shadow goes on the bottom, highlight on top. Research is also very crucial. If I’m doing a period look, I try to find as many images as I can for hair and makeup. If the character is a “normal” person, I try to find as many regular snapshots as I can. Joan Crawford may have had her makeup done a certain way in the movies, and women may have emulated her, but I don’t want to put Joan Crawford’s face on a frumpy housewife.

 

Just realized I’ve spent two hours on this post! That’s in addition to the time it took to do the makeup and take the pictures! I hope people find this helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything that needs clarification by leaving a comment. I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

-Naomi

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Let’s make a dress

Several years ago,when my mother and step-father were getting married, I made matching seersucker dresses for my sisters and step-sister. I ordered the fabric online and ended up with yards and yards of extra fabric (60″ fabric, accidentally ordered quantities for narrower fabric). In any case, as I was re-organizing my sewing supplies and fabrics, I came across the seersucker and decided to make a dress out of it. I was thinking about that stash of vintage patterns I recently bought, and the idea of actually making one of the patterns was too irresistible. Thought I would document the process here so those who’ve never made a dress can see what is involved. A disclaimer before we start, I use the pattern pieces but don’t read or generally follow the instructions. I’ve made so many garments, I find my instinct and logic are enough.

Here’s the pattern I chose:

002Copyright 1955, a classic “New Look” silhouette…nipped waist and full skirt. Though the envelope shows three looks, it’s the same dress, the only difference between 1 &2 is in the decorative bow placement. Look 3 has narrower straps. Unlike modern patterns, this envelope contains only one size. It’s size 14…which has nothing to do with modern women’s sizes. The nipped waist look is awesome, but I knew I’d have to modify the pattern because I’m more of a “ruler” than an “hourglass”.

From Left to Right: Ruler, Inverted Triangle, Triangle, Hourglass

Original Image here.

I thought the pattern pieces would be really delicate and purchased a special fabric material that’s meant for making patterns. Removing the pieces, this is what I found:

003 004 These are the original instructions. They are very yellow (from the natural oxidation of the acids in the paper), but otherwise in good shape. In fact, the pattern pieces were in great shape themselves. I decided they were in no danger from me using them directly, so I proceeded without copying the pattern first.

008I pulled out the pattern pieces and pinned them to my dress form, an adjustable model which is set to my measurements. I have the waist padded with some fleece to match mine, since I don’t “nip in” at the waist. I wanted to make sure the pattern would fit me well. By pinning it to the dress form, I was able to make modifications before cutting the fabric. If you look closely at the photo, there are two things you’ll notice, the pieces are overlapped, that’s the seam allowance, or extra fabric built into the pattern piece to let you sew it together. If I pinned cut edge to cut edge, the pattern would seem too big. The second thing is that, as I am short-waisted, I have pinned up the pattern to make the waist of the pattern sit where my actual waist is. This is an adjustment that is conveniently printed onto the pattern; which is very good with such an emphasis on the waist in this design.

015 016

The pattern calls for a side zipper, which means the center back seam is a great place to add the extra room I’ll need for my body shape. After pinning the pattern piece in place, there was a gap at the bottom between it and the center of my padded dress form. The top was actually overlapping the center line. By using the ribbon to follow the center line and an extra piece of paper, I was able to pin the extra pattern at the top to the center line, and draw the extra needed piece at the bottom. You can see the finished back piece on the right. I suppose I could have cut the extra paper away from the top of the pattern but, it has survived this way for more than half a century, I’m not about to chop into it.

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The next step was to cut the pattern pieces from my fashion fabric. I fold the fabric in half and lay out the pattern pieces, utilizing the best layout to waste the least amount of fabric. I only have to cut around each pattern piece once and will end up with two mirror image pieces cut out of my fashion fabric. Some of the pattern pieces, for example, the center front, I will actually lay the pattern onto the fold. This way, I will end up with one piece of fabric that is mirrored across the fold. I wanted to ensure that all of the markings on the pattern were properly transferred to my fashion fabric. The arrows will help line the pattern pieces together to each other and are clipped as I cut each piece.

The three other photos you see are three methods of transferring the darts which shape the flat fabric into a three-dimensional garment. The first is using transfer paper and a tracing wheel. If you lay out two pieces of transfer paper, one on either side of the fabric, and press hard, the dart can be transferred to both garment pieces at once.  This method can cause damage to the pattern, as it will cause perforations to the tissue paper. I found that this tissue was too delicate to utilize this method.

The second is to simply mark the circles along the dart with a tailor’s pencil. You can then “connect the dots” with a ruler, or just pin dot to dot and sew the dart freehand. This is the method I used for this dress. You do end up having to re-pin the pattern to both pieces of fabric so that the marks can be transferred to each, but that doesn’t take too long.

The final photo shows a tailor’s tack. This a a type of stitch which is kept fairly loose and marks those same circles on the dart. Once the pattern is removed, the tack is cut between the two pieces of fabric, leaving a small thread on each piece. Once again, you can connect the dots as with the pencil.

At this point, I also cut the lining for the front and back of the bodice from plain white lining fabric.

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After years and years of coveting one, I finally bought a serger. This machine, which looks a bit like a sewing machine, uses four spools of thread to create an interlocked stitch on the edge of the fabric. This prevents unraveling, especially when a garment is washed. I used the serger to protect all of the edges of each garment piece individually. There are other ways to prevent unraveling; everything from liquid plastic, to sewing on bias tape (more on bias tape later), or creating a french seam (actually two seams, the first connects the two pieces of fabric, the second seals the edges of the fabric inside a channel…lots of work). After all my pieces went through the serger, I sewed the darts into the pattern pieces that I had marked, then sewed the pieces of the bodice together. This is a four-piece bodice, Center Front, Front Side (Left and Right), and Back.

028Checking the fit of the bodice on my dress form. The serged edges are still exposed along the neckline, armscye, and bottom. I sewed the lining to the “right side” (the front of the garment) on both front and back. Yes, I forgot and had already sewed my shoulder seams together, so I first ripped out that stitching!

032 033.

I used my scissors to carefully cut notches into the seam around the circumference of the armscye and the areas where they neckline curves. I then turned the garment right side out again, machine sewed the fashion fabric at the shoulder seam, then tucked and hand stitched the lining closed at the shoulder seam.

034 Normally you will press your seams flat when you’re done sewing them and, often, you will top stitch to keep them perfect. I didn’t want to crush the seersucker, so I didn’t iron my seams. I did want them to look neat so, using a double needle (literally, two needles that sit side by side on one shank and sew at the same time), I top stitched the seams all along the bodice.

036 Another re-check of fit, once the bodice was lined and top-stitched.

037The side zipper will be partially on the bodice, partially on the skirt. To make sure that everything would be neat when I went to sew in the zipper, I basted (long, loose stitches) the seams where the zipper will be placed. While the basting is intended to be removed, I still usually like to use a color that matches the garment. That way, if I miss a stitch, no one will notice. I wanted the basting to stand out for the camera, so I used bright orange thread this time.

042 046 048With the bodice complete, I needed to make the skirt. This is where those yards and yards of fabric get used in a dress of this type. The completed garment, if you measured the bottom hem, measures six yards around (that’s 18 feet). I cut four identical rectangles, ran them through the serger, then sewed them together to make a long tube of fabric. The most important thing…make sure the seams are all going one way. Without a true “right side” to this fabric, I didn’t want to get confused and accidentally end up with a seam on the outside and one on the inside of my tube!

The first photo shows how the pattern calls for the pleating of the skirt. When I’ve shown people pleated pattern pieces before, this has seemed to really confuse them. It’s just a matter of drawing one point of fabric to the next point. I think the words and drawings that are sometimes presented make it seem more complex than it is.

The second photo shows the skirt fabric after I’ve pinned all the pleats. Yes, this took a long time. I could then choose to pin all of the extra fabric in the pleats to one side, or create a box pleat, where the fabric is distributed evenly on either side of the pleat. This is what I chose to do.

The third photo shows the skirt fabric after I had pinned all of the pleats. I hand-basted the pleats down to keep the suckers from accidentally getting picked up in my machine’s sewing needle. Trust me, the extra time spent basting is well worth it! There’s nothing more annoying than having to rip out a bunch of stitching because you accidentally sewed through fabric that got in the way.

049I pinned the skirt to the dress form to check on the length of the skirt. The pattern calls for the skirt to end just below the knee. This is a dangerous length for those of us on the short side! I had already made the rectangles of fabric shorter, measured to hit at my knee. By pinning it in place, I could check that it was where I wanted it. With 5/8″ in the pattern for the seam allowance, I could cheat some in this area to make the skirt hang either a tiny bit lower or a tiny bit higher. My measurements were right, so I was pleased with the length and didn’t have to make any adjustments.

050After I machine sewed the skirt to the bodice, I returned to my zipper. When using a side zipper, you want to always use an “invisible” zipper. This zipper is meant to be installed in such a way that will render it “invisible”. Obviously, that’s not really possible, but it is a very subtle installation that allows the garment to be admired, without being distracted by a zipper. That recent trend of zippers being sewn to the outside of a garment so that all the tape shows? Yeah, no way.

I pinned the zipper in place and removed the basting, then used the machine to permanently attach it. The other side of the fabric is set so that it touches the first side, leaving very little evidence that there’s a zipper.

052A decorative bow. It’s such a cutesy dress, it needed a cutesy bow. It’s made out of bias tape and it is sewn together and then in place. I think this shot should also allow you to see the top stitching a little better.

054Using the same bias tape (bias just means that the cotton fabric that is used is cut on the diagonal, this gives the resulting tape some flexibility to go around curves without puckering), I pinned it to the outside of the skirt and sewed it close to the bottom edge. I then had two options I could use. I could turn the tape all the way to the inside of the skirt to be stitched in place. This would tuck the raw edges between the skirt fabric and the tape, protecting it from unraveling. Because I had already used a serger on the edge of the fabric, I also had the option of flipping the tape down and stitching the seam down, leaving the tape exposed below. The fabric won’t unravel due to the serging, and I end up with a decorative design detail that matches my bow. This is what I chose to do.

055Once that was done, I hand tacked all of the pleats down, making sure the seam allowance was pointing down to the ground (not flipped up to the top of the garment). I didn’t want them to flip up and look messy and bulky. This took some time, but is well worth it for the finished result:

061Viola! My sister is getting married this summer. I’m a bridesmaid, so I need something pretty to wear to the rehearsal. I think I just made it!

 

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Remembering Sarah E. Jones

Team SarahLast week, while working on a film in Georgia, Sarah Jones, an incredibly talented, friendly, and sweet camera operator, was killed by a train. Details are trickling out, and I don’t want to speculate, so I won’t. What I will say is that this is such a tragedy and absolutely could have and should have been prevented. The film community is rallying to show their support, posting photos of slates (that’s the black and white clapper you see in movies about movies) with her name on it. They are calling it “Slates for Sarah“…and it’s going global. There’s also a petition being circulated to have Sarah included in the Oscar’s “In Memorial” review. I would be honored if those who read this post would be so kind as to sign the petition. My greatest hope is that we can use this tragedy to improve safety on film sets. We should all be on Team Sarah…Never Forget-Never Again!

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Favorite Things

 

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Another New Year

Wow! I started this blog 12 months ago today. I’m pretty happy to have posted 40+ times…much better than I though I’d do. This past year has been very hard, a huge roller coaster ride, but I think the next will bring great things. I’m taking my passion for history to another level and am applying to a Master’s program in Historic Preservation. I’m still reading voraciously, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead. Cheers!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Favorite Things

 

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Rental Children

This is posted on one of the cash registers at my favorite hardware store. It makes me laugh…I think my nieces function as my version of “rental children”; spend a few days with them and it reinforces my choice to remain child-less. It’s nice to be able to give them back!

 

Rental Children

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Favorite Things

 

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I’m Going Down to the Library/ Pickin’ Out a Book/ Check It In, Check It Out

The title of this post is from the lyrics of a song I learned in elementary school. I found the original artists here: http://www.twoofakind.com/ShowLyrics.asp?id=59

All my things are packed for the big move, except it’s going to take two more weeks before I can get in. I had left out enough books to get me through the time I thought it would take to get into the new place, but these two weeks caught me off guard. So, off to the library I went. It still makes me giddy that I can check out as many books as I want…so I got 5 to start with. Whatdaya know? They’re all Biographies.

Library BooksBeautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr, American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare; The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Life, and The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth- Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce.

I got the books yesterday around 5 p.m. I’ve already finished Wakingstill deciding if I’ll review it. I’m about halfway through The Lady in Red. At this pace, I’ll be back in the library before the weekend is out! I do wish WordPress had the option to underline text. I can make them bold or italicized, but not underlined…drives me nuts. When I do my reviews, I have to go into my word processing program, write the title, then copy and paste it into the blog. Maybe I’ll take a break from reading and try to find out how to ad that as an option!

Update:

Only took a few minutes…I had to turn on the “kitchen sink” option in the Visual Editor. I feel smart and stupid at the same time 😉

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Favorite Things

 

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You might be a Bibliophile if…

I’ve been living in my current home for six years. That’s a lot of time to accumulate things. I’m now packing to move and it has been eye opening to say the least. Here is the box count:

Kitchen items- 3 boxes

Clothing/Shoes- 7 boxes

Bathroom supplies- 1 box

Office/Computer supplies- 3 boxes

Books- 25 boxes!

I think I might have a bit of an addiction…

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Favorite Things

 

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