Halloween 2013: Homemade Black Swan

The Black Swan-stagram.

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For those of you that haven’t seen the film, the Black Swan is the ballet counterpart of the White Swan — graceful, measured, sensual but not overtly so, bold, violent, passionate and dominant.

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Natalie Portman reference photo.

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The only part of this costume that I made was the skirt. The skirt is twelve layers of tulle, sewn in layers of three layers of tulle, and sandwiched together four times until I got twelve layers. I did not want a sad, not-very-poofy tutu, and I was also worried about making one that was a little see-through, but this one works well enough I think. Tulle is really, really hard to work with: slippery, hard to cut, moves around a lot, and the Esteemed Sewing Assistant loves to sit on it. This skirt is definitely not precise, but I think it works. If you have to make anything precise with tulle, cut very carefully and work very slowly. Tulle has a mind of its own.

I cobbled together this costume from last minute purchases from Amazon (white tights, shoes, tiara) and things that I owned in my closet (black leather bustier, loads of eyeliner). To deal with the see-through factor (since I didn’t have a leotard bustier) I’m wearing a black high-waisted undies over my tights, just in case anything shows in the back, which it somewhat does. My outfit looks nothing like the official Black Swan costume from the waist up, since I failed at putting feathers on my original bustier, but I’m ok with taking artistic liberties.

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Of course, I’m not the only one who dressed up. Esteemed Sewing Assistant absolutely hates his costume.

No 1 Loose Draped Dress, Version 2

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Finally, now with pictures.

This is the second version of the No 1 Loose Draped Dress, from the Japanese book Drape Drape. This is the third version I’ve made now, since it’s quick to make, wearable and comfortable. I’ve already worn this to work a few times. This is the last version of this pattern that I’m making.

I really likes sewing with knits, but I don’t feel like my sewing skills are getting any better. Nevertheless, more Drape Drape to come.

What I’ve Been Working on Lately: New Dressform

Finally, sewing updates, sort of. My blue dress form has since been retired, since I finally plan to get into doing some draping. After procrastinating on assembling my new dress form (much more sturdy, with raised princess seam lines and side seam lines, center waist lines and center back lines) I finally had a chance to pad it out. It only took about ten minutes after measurements, and I still have lots of padding left over.

This Week on Instagram: Sewing, Sort of

A new dressform. This one has a cast-iron base, is pretty sturdy, and you can pin on it. I got this mainly so I can teach myself draping.

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Some insomniac non-sewing: my bocce uniform.

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I visited the Google offices this week. View from the Google terrace.

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Pouring rain yesterday.

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I love All Saints.

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Coney Island at night.

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Bury me in my leather.

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Depeche Mode. Oh yeah.

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My camera is in the shop, since the lens is stuck to the camera body and I didn’t want to pry it off myself, so photo updates will be via Instagram until I get it repaired. There are three projects that I still need to photograph and get to, hopefully when the camera comes in.

If you guys are on Instagram, feel free to follow me here.

No 1 Loose Draped Tunic Top

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This is the No 1 Loose Draped Tunic from the Drape Drape series, Book 1.

I really like this top. It’s comfy, easy to sew, drape-y (ha!), can be finished in two hours, made of only two pattern pieces. It’s a little low cut (more on the back than the front) and it does move around, so wear something gorgeous underneath it and have good posture.

This is the second time I’ve made this pattern, first as a dress, now as is as a top. I have a third one in the works, another dress version of this.