Happy (slightly belated) New year.
Weirdly, upon arrival home on January 1st 2017 everything was still more or less the same as it had been prior to leaving on December 31st 2016. Aside from the cat vomit on the carpet that is, pretty sure that wasn’t there when we’d left. Not that I’m any stranger to cleaning cat vomit out of the carpet at 2am of course. That’s just something you gotta deal with when keeping felines inside your home, regardless of what time of the year it is. So…
Why did this seem like a good opening tangent?
Prior to cleaning an ungodly amount of cat vomit out of the carpet I’d been at Sabi’s family’s annual end of year costume party. This time the theme was Harry Potter, and in line with tradition I plundered baskets of scraps and leftovers hoping there’d be enough appropriate fabric to put something suitable together in time for the festivities.
Initial thoughts were about Slytherin robes, maybe don the trusty blonde wig for a Draco Malfoy thing, but after a date with the partner to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them let me tell you, son, I tried to be all coy and secretive about having decided on a costume from that particular film but far too many friends and acquaintances messaged after they’d seen it stating something along the lines of:
“Credence Barebone has a catastrophically bad haircut. It made me think of you.”
And I’d just like to say a big Fuck You Guys for being far too aware of my predictably hideous tastes.
But also Thank You for paying attention, it genuinely means a lot.
Terrible haircuts are my fursona.
This right here is exactly why I stopped going to hairdressers. Can you imagine- can you even imagine looking another human being in the eye and asking them to do that to your head?
From personal experience: any self-respecting professional will not. Hence why I cut my own. (Well, that and paying strangers to wield sharpened implements so close to your face and neck comes across more than a little risky.)
So. Costume. Yes.
It started in the usual way- an uncomfortable realisation that picking a character was one thing but it wasn’t going to construct itself. Then several hours, leading into days, of searching good quality screenshots of the selected character wearing the desired outfit, and ultimately becoming sidetracked by creamy memes instead.
Several years of relentless procrastination passed before I finally had the fabric picked out from the scrap baskets and could actually begin drafting.
Task number one would be the waistcoat.
The outer front is a boiled wool (leftover from Tintin’s suit) which had vertical black stripes airbrushed on. Please take note: electrical tape does not stick to wool and it really isn’t as difficult to go out and stock up on masking tape as I’d like to pretend it is.
The little air compressor and airbrush kit was from Aldi supermarket.
Things got a little vigorous at one point; upon the last section of tape being pulled from the spool it quite did leap from my hands, roll across the balcony, and tumble into the courtyard several storeys below.
There were people in the courtyard.
I can never go outside again.
Acrylic paint with textile medium.
The outer back used a cotton canvas leftover from MaEmon and Clifty’s Attack on Titan jackets and the lining was a black polyester satin leftover from who knows what but there sure was a lot of it.
Kindly disregard the pink shirt/blue tie combo, those are for an unrelated project.
The outer front was entirely interfaced with a mid-weight woven fusing while the back had interfacing limited to arms and neck.
Awaiting buttons and buttonholes.
Feeling okay about the waistcoat I set about drafting up a pattern for the necktie.
LazyTown and pattern-drafting combo.
Side note: LazyTown is very motivating and I highly recommend it. Though admittedly, while Sportacus may have singlehandedly cured my anxiety, as a reclusive, sleep-deprived, queer-coded villain with terrible eating habits and a penchant for
costumes disguises, Robbie Rotten is entirely more on my level.
[/Places sertraline in the trash and continues drafting with a ballpoint pen because going upstairs for a pencil is entirely too much effort.]
Shiny, skinny, necktie.
Black polyester satin outer with a similar satin in gold for the lining. Outer interfaced with a mid-weight fusing. Super skinny style. It is hideous and I love it.
That out of the way it was time to consider a shirt.
Helpercat™ approved fabric.
Drafting the pattern was a bit of fun here, working with a very limited supply of scrap cotton salvaged from old toiles, I wound up drafting more, smaller pieces, in order to adequately utilise what was available.
Controlled chaos is my specialty.
With a front and a back in order, something of a winged style collar was up next. Considering the drafting habits I employ, however, it is probably for the best that we avoid getting too technical about anything regarding this project.
Wing style collar.
Finally, the sleeves. At which point it was time to accept that no amount of awkward drafting was going to summon enough white cotton to finish this mess.
Since they’d be covered by the jacket anyway, the reverse side of a polka-dot fabric was selected for the sleeves.
Just think of it like a poorly kept secret that nobody actually cares about.
Buttons and button holes then happened, which meant a visit to my parents’ place, since between four sewing machines I manage to not possess one capable of such a feat. Initially I’d planned on doing the waistcoat’s button holes that day as well, but was having a complicated time with communication and ultimately decided to just focus on the shirt.
The stripes still needed another coat of paint anyhow.
Shirt cuffs, collar and upper back were interfaced with a light weight non-woven fusing.
Waistcoat stripes were given another coat of paint, this time with actual masking tape.
Spoilers: it’s still a fucking mess.
Seven 18mm covered buttons marked the beginnings of the jacket. Three for the centre front, then two for the vents on each sleeve. A black cotton was used, inappropriately interfaced with white lightweight non-woven fusing. The ballpoint pen also made a dramatic return to trace the template. Directly onto the fusing.
Competency? Never heard of it.
Remembering how to draft two-piece sleeves was a ride and a half, having no concept for my own bodily mass they came out entirely too big, but I wasn’t to know that until the jacket body was ready for them.
Yes, if you’re wondering, that is butchers paper. Budget cosplay leaves no corner uncut.
Rolling with the inappropriately white interfacing from the buttons, the sleeve heads and cuffs found themselves similarly fused. Thankfully, the Helpercat™ went to the shops and picked up some more appropriate fusing for the jacket’s body.
A stranger knocked on the door so I couldn’t go out to get it myself. It was a bad day.
Once constructed the sleeves had some white detailing hand-stitched around the cuffs.
It is likely that the jacket worn by Credence in the film has a trim around the edges, but time was running out and as it stands I’m also fairly certain that his actual jacket is made of some sort of corduroy rather than a stretch suiting. So. Purchasing screen-accurate materials would have been against the self-imposed rules.
In a delightful turn of events, while finishing up the sleeves, I found myself with a new assistant who, while small and furry, definitely had far too many leggies to be a Helpercat™.
Two Helpercats strapped together? Maybe, but that hardly explained why there were still twice as many eyes.
There probably should be an arachnophobia content warning permanently stapled to my forehead at this point.
While I’ve shared my collective workspaces with many a spider, this was the first time I can recall having a certified Helperhuntsman™ venture down from the ceiling to actively lend a leggy (well, several leggies) with a project.
Usually it’s more the business of those little jumping types to get actively involved in these things. In any case, thanks to the ample leggies supplied by Toby Spuds II, the sleeves were completed in record time and body was swiftly begun.
Feels like something is missing, but what?
A combination of limited time and summer heat resulted in the decision to forego a full lining, instead opting for a wildly inappropriate satin leopard-print half-lined back. Then regret, because a full lining of wildly inappropriate leopard-print satin would legit have been like, so fucking majestic.
But we all have our regrets.
Jacket front features rounded lapels and three welted pockets; one at each side with the third at the left breast. Front (and its facing) is fully interfaced with mid-weight woven fusing, while back was limited to collar, armholes and hem.
It occurs to me that this piece might actually be more blazer than jacket.
Upon completion of the jacket body it was time to fully appreciate how badly I’d misjudged the sleeves. Lacking the available time to fix them, an utterly ghastly quantity of padding was inserted throughout the shoulders and sleeve heads to
This is what happens when you don’t toile and have zero concept of your own bodily mass.
A good deal of mass also had to be pinched out from the sides and centre back before thinking about the collar.
Pinching the fit.
Finally, it had reached a wearable state and collar was haphazardly draped into place before white detailing was stitched about all of the edges.
All of them.
Draping the collar.
Another trip to my parents’ place had buttonholes in order for both waistcoat and jacket- a task that took entirely longer than it should have. Domestic sewing machines are really not cut out for the volume of layers I am inclined to put through them.
Back at home, Claude affixed the buttons.
A little fun fact about the jacket sleeves; their vents are functional.
Often jacket sleeve vents are purely aesthetic, the story goes that historically they were functional in order for surgeons to roll their sleeves up while working. Increased knowledge in medical hygiene meant operating in your finery was no longer considered appropriate, thus the functionality of sleeve vents is no longer a necessity.
Yet, for some reason, the aesthetic remains.
“Fastening Your Buttons” sounds like euphemism. But for what?
In any case, completely unrelated to the nature of the character or costume at hand, from a purely personal standpoint, I rather like the idea of rolling my sleeves up for a spot of impromptu black-market surgery.
But that’s neither here nor there.
New Year 2016-17.
So that was Credence Barebone as worn to Sabi’s annual family New Year costume party. A selfie with Sabi in her Professor Snape costume (boggart version) and another with Jun and sparklers just after the new year hit (Jun didn’t wear a costume because he’s a straight-up muggle).
In the days after New Year the ample sleeves and their shoulder padding were removed. Sleeves were redrafted and taken in properly, while a little more was also pinched from the centre back.
Hem, facings and cuffs were all hand-stitched in place.
Finally happy with the fit, smaller shoulder pads and substantially less sleeve-head padding was successfully inserted.
Finally, a blazer that accurately represents my inadequate shoulders.
From there the white detail stitching was entirely removed from the pockets, cuffs, collar/lapels and hem in order to be restitched more evenly. The thread was doubled twice; so that’s four yarns of white polyester to contrast against the black of the jacket.
New drinking game: every time I have coffee you take a shot of espresso. First to die of a heart attack wins.
At which point I am happy to call him finished.
Well, maybe I’ll treat him to a new belt and trousers in the case of a convention or photo shoot, but for now?
That is enough.
Ps. The cats are both okay, New Year fireworks being set off in the park across the road likely spooked them right out and led to all the vomiting. Poor babbies.