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Category: Tips and Cheats

A Tulle To Make Lamé Less Horrid

I recently had to make a pseudo-cavalier tabard-y-thing, using tissue lamé (hmmm…. reads like “lame”) for the appliques and trimmings.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, really, it just had to work with the ones that had been bought for other costumes. If you need to tame the “HELLO, I’M SHINY” factor of lamé, there’s a way…


Quick Tip for Binding Tabs…

…without anyone looking at the finished tab and asking if you were drunk and wearing mittens when you sewed it. I mean, everybody “knows” that if you want to bind rounded tabs you just have to use bias tape. Like, duh. But be honest with me – how well does that action really work when you try it? Between you, me, and the interwebs, when I try to machine bias onto a rounded tab in one swell foop, it usually looks poo.  But a miracle happened last week, and my brain kicked in.  There’s a little bitty-bit of magic from millinery that makes the difference between the top corset (the drunken-mittens approach) and the bottom corset (so much nicer…). And it’s fast, people. It’s faster than fighting the normal Battle of the Bias…


Controlling Tulle

So here’s the trouble with tutus… They are made of many, many layers of tulle*. And tulle, these days, is made of hate. I don’t want to sound all judgey-pants, but it’s true. Your average fabric store tulle is made of nylon, a fiber which suffers from a constant string of cheap, tragic affairs with single electrons. By the time you have 6 layers of nylon tulle mounted on the basque (that’s the shaped waist-band bit), you’ve actually sewn yourself a fluffy little Van de Graaff generator. A tutu-in-progress is amazing – you can actually watch threads fly from the floor towards the tutu where they permanently bond with with tulle. Effective for cleaning, perhaps, but not so good for the tutu which should ideally not look like some sort of worm-farm.  Just in case you, dear reader, ever find yourself herding tulle through a sewing machine, here are a few tricks I’ve picked up from a couple years of sewing dance concerts at the shop…


Adding a Side Seam Gusset

Sometimes, bad things happen to good costumers. Like, your sister is throwing an 80’s party the next evening and you bomb out finding anything that can be mangled into some reasonable approximation of Cyndi Lauper so-unusual-excellence, and every bit of vintage you can find is a size 4. Now, that’s maybe not to traumatic if you actually are a size 4. I wouldn’t know, because as it turns out, my left thigh is a size 4. But I found the jacket of my dreams, and it was merely 4 or 5 sizes to small. What’s a girl to do? Gussets. Gussets will save you here.


El Cheapo Photography Setup

Ok, Internet, we need to talk something through… Remember back in the old days? Remember when it was all carefree fun and games? Oh, those wild younger days, when any old picture was a good picture? Put bodice on a hanger, chuck it on a closet door, and hey! Great! You put a picture on the interwebs! You contributed! This was back before the googles even searched images. Heck, we actually just called it “google”, back then, and there was a fight going on about whether to google or yahoo for searching. I feel ancient. Now it’s all “omg, use a neutral background when you photograph your demos!” (Oh, interwebs, did you forget that whole beggars/choosers dichotomy?) I’m not arguing that we should lower our standards. I am saying that not everyone has a professional photography setup just lying around, the space to dedicate to one, nor the money to get one. Since I’ve been Señorita Discount Home Improvement lately, I figured I could make a photography setup on the cheaps….