Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Halloween Costumes: General Grevious and Boba Fett

Well, I would say that some follow-up is in order. First off... General Grevious!

I did in fact complete the General Grevious costume in 2013, and he LOVED it! So much so, that he wanted to wear it again for Halloween 2014. I tried to convince him he should pick something else, but no avail... so for 2014, I made some repairs to the costume and re-worked how I had the 2nd set of arms attached and he was even happier the second go round. 

Here are a few shots of the work along the way. 

Partial deconstruction and reconstruction of the 2013 costume. This kid plays hard in his costumes, so a lot of it had fallen apart by the end of the first Halloween. 

Rib cage added to the shirt. :) 

This is the cloak. I painted the symbol on the back with a slightly shiny silvery paint originally, and The Small Mister thought it was too subtle, so for 2014 we (and when I say we, I mean me) painted over it with a darker charcoal color. He was happy.

He tried to tell me that he wanted to be Grevious for 2015 as well, but I told him I was glad he liked his costume so much, but he needed to pick someone new. Truth be told, if I did do this costume again, I think there would have been even more improvements to it, but frankly I am tired of working on this same one. I want to do something new!  

Pick someone new he did... 2015's costume of choice was Boba Fett. This kid! Picks the hardest costumes to create and has total faith that I will figure it out and get it done. Makes me feel good... except for the daunting task that lie before me part. 

If you are unfamiliar with Boba Fett... I found this image of the costume from the 501st costume reference gallery.

Whenever I am faced with a StarWars costume, I turn to either the 501st or the Rebel Legion costuming guilds. They have excellent costume references and their standards fit right in with my must-be-movie-accurate compulsion. For The Small Mister's costumes, I don't worry about movie accuracy. 

It happened to be that at the time The Small Mister decided he wanted to be Boba Fett, the Star Wars and the Power of Costume exhibit was at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. So we hurried ourselves up there to take a look for ourselves! 


After that there wasn't much left to do besides get started on it! I purchased a pattern for a race car driver jumpsuit, and made it out of a bed sheet that was a light blue gray. 

I used craft foam for all of the armor pieces and used double stick Velcro to attach them to the flight suit. You can see here all of the crazy stuff I had out and was working on... our house looked like my craft shed threw up all over everything!

The extensions I used to make the Wookie braids that Boba Fett wears on his shoulder, and I found some great faux leather for the utility belt and pouches. 

The jet pack was probably the hardest thing to figure out, and also the part that I would have done a lot more to if I would have had more time. There are some great tutorials out there, and I probably read every single one, but they fall into two categories - either very accurate and incredibly time consuming, or very simplistic and wouldn't satisfy The Small Mister's need for recognizability (that's a great new made up word right there!). 

Here is the Boba Fett costume jet pack in progress!

It is amazing what you can do with some cardboard, an old shipping tube, and a hot glue gun! 

I started on two different helmets, but wasn't happy with them, and as luck had it, my brother in law had just purchased a Boba Fett helmet, and was happy to let The Small Mister wear it. :) He was very excited!

After this Halloween, I asked him what he wanted to be next year and he said, "Boba Fett!" lol! I convinced him to pick someone new for next year, and I believe the winner is: 

I guess I should start earlier... and get practicing my helmet making skills!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Little by little, one bite at a time

Some time ago... well really when my husband and I got married and I went from living in an almost entirely white apartment in the city to a small home with property in the country with 4 dogs, a 7 year old (at that time) little boy and a husband who likes muddy motor sports.... I decided that a white sofa wasn't a reasonable item to have in your house. 

Sure, it looks fabulous when the cover is fresh out of the wash and pristine-ly white... but that lasts about 2.3 seconds in my house, so something needed to be done.

After comparing color samples of the little dogs muddy footprints with the shades of Rit Dye available I decided on Dark Brown. To be honest, the color I was looking for was really more of this French Roast, but as this was my first time dying anything, and I was going to have to do it in multiple batches, I really didn't want to mess with measuring and mixing dye.... yet ;-) 

So, I did what any crafty girl who doesn't know how to do something but wants to does... I went to Pinterest. I searched for dying a couch cover and just my luck Laura at Decor to Adore had the same couch I did and had already dyed their cover a lovely shade of blue! This gave me the courage to jump out and do my own!

Ok, so to be clear - I have an Ektorp sofa from IKEA. I love it, LOVE the removable slip cover. I was ready to commit..I was terrified I was going to ruin our washing machine... but I didn't. As a matter of fact, because I was so worried I actually took the time to scrub out the washer after I did the main body of the couch cover and it is cleaner now than it was before I dyed it!

Unfortunately, every place I went only carried 1 bottle of the dark brown dye I was looking for, so I bought a bottle, and did 3 of the cushions... 

That first dye went great! No major problems, the covers did indeed turn out brown... I was elated! I couldn't believe how easy it was! I ended up doing the dye bath as described by Laura, at a medium fill level with super hot water and a cup of salt, 1 bottle for 3 cushion covers. I weighed all of the covers with one of those hand held luggage type scales my hubby had... something like this one if you are interested. All 6 cushions weighed almost 7lbs and the cover itself was almost 6 I believe.

Next I went to two different places and ended up with 2 bottles of dye - enough to do the base of the couch cover... and off I went. You can see how the dye bath accentuated any accumulated grunge I may have had in my washer. Immediately after this dye, I took a Magic Eraser to it and it sparkled cleaner than I had ever seen it!

So, my couch looked like this for a week. I commute a good deal, so during the week isn't the best time ever to try to get just about anything done. My weekends are my warrior times... make that list and kill it all!

My mom acquired the last bottle of dye for me, due to my aforementioned schedule - and yesterday was the day! I dyed those last 3 cushions for a nice warm brown couch that hides little doggy footprints better than the blazing white one.

I still think that I would like to venture into the realm of color mixing and re-dye it that darker, more espresso color, but for right this minute I am very happy with it. 

The other thing I LOVE about this couch is that the white cover is only $50 which means I could buy another white cover and dye it another color to have something to swap out with when I felt like a change. One thing to note, I noticed that the top stitching on the cover didn't take the dye, so I still have some white top stitching around the kick pleats. I think it looks fine so I am not worrying about it, but just something to know if you are planning to dye your cover a dark color. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

To Blog or Not To Blog

Well, it has been an incredibly long time since I last posted... and I had at one point decided that I wasn't going to pick this back up. The problem I face is that I have WAY too many interesting craft projects that I am about to venture into and I don't want to forget the details of how I accomplished them later. So, here I am... getting ready to write again, more for my own chronicling than for anything else.

Ok, so projects that are coming up... HALLOWEEN!!!! My step-son, who is 8 years old, would like to be General Greivous for Halloween.

If you are familiar with General Greivous, you are probably laughing right now saying, "good luck with that!" because that is largely how I feel about the situation, but that is who he wants to be and there is no dissuading him from this decision.

Here is a photo of General Greivous.

As you can see... this will be a challenge. Greivous is a digital character in the movie, so no person has to fit inside of any suit or costume.

My game plan thus far is to use pvc pipe or tubing and cut it lengthwise to give me a 1/2 round, and then drill holes into the edges/corners of the pipe so I can sew it onto a pair of black pants and a black top. I will likely use foam core board for the flat pieces of "armor" on his shins and forearms.

I am working on how to do the chest and shoulder pad pieces as well as the neck collar (those are all hard to see from this picture, but I will post more as I begin working on each section). I have considered buying plastic bins from the dollar store and cutting them into the right shapes and then heating them up in the oven to see if I can remold them at all...but I don't want a burning pile of plastic in my oven, so we will see about that.

Another big thing on my list of projects is my house. My husband and I have been working on remodeling since right before I moved in and thus far we have taken out a wall, painted the kitchen, living room, and bed room, hung new light fixtures in the kitchen, new blinds throughout and ripped out the carpet. So upcoming for the house is painting the floors, dyeing my couch cover (I am going to attempt to washing machine dye it *fingers crossed), painting the bathroom, multiple pieces of wood furniture to refinish and lots of other little projects.

As for the outside of the house, we will be painting it next summer, we have some concrete pathways we want to get laid and the best part.... I AM GETTING A CRAFT SHED!!!!! I am so excited about this last bit that I can hardly stand it. We have a relatively small house and there is just no room for Crafternoon Delight in there, not to mention that I do work from home at least once a week and a nice quiet office space away from The Pack (our 4 dogs... more on this later) would be so nice to work from.

This is a photo of what my shed will look like.... roughly...
It comes primed, so we will trial run the new house color on it when the weather gets nice again. Of course it doesn't come finished inside, so that will be another project to work on :) There will be posts coming with all the details of the finishing of shed.

So those are a few of the things that I am working on and looking to keep track of here. More to come!