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I’ve been so busy with costume work lately, but, not able to really talk about it too much. I’m making a leather coat at the moment, and as I was starting the sewing, I realized that, because it’s already been seen on TV, I can safely talk about what it is and what show it’s for.  It’s to replace one of the existing coats that was burned by the SPFX guys (thanks Darren!) in one of the episodes. The leather is proving to be a little more difficult than usual, in that I can’t seem to get the seams to flatten out. Usually I glue the seams down with transfer tape, but this particular leather is treated with something that is making it resist the glue. It’s also making my eyes burn something fierce! Quite strange I usually like to work with leather, but this one is not at all like most…. indeed it’s down right disagreeable!

Cutting out anything is always a challenge when the young Toopi feels that she should be involved. Usually, she’s diving under the patterns or fabric… this time she’s just acting as an extra weight.

Toopi "helps"

Here is a shot of the double jetted flap pocket during construction. The close up shows how spongey this particular leather is.

constructing the double-jetted flap pocket

topstitching underneath lower jet

you can see how thick it gets to sew through when there are many layers

The shoulder pad gives support and structure to this coat that has no canvas or fusing in it, while the lambswool in the crown of the sleeve helps to soften the head of the sleeve.

This is the collar and lapel and also shows the inner welt pocket and lining.

I just gave this back to the Assistant Designer, who will now take it to someone to do some really great heavy duty Keyhole Button Holes…  This coat weighs at least 15lbs….just a guess, based on how hard it was to wrestle it around the sewing machine! Luckily, the actor that wears it is a strapping tall fellow!

The show is Sanctuary, and the character is John Druitt, played by Christopher Heyerdahl.  The costume designer on the show is the very talented Christina McQuarrie, who has a long history in Vancouver-based Episodic TV.

Also, just wanted to add that all of the pics on this post were taken with my iPhone!

I hate to bring this up again, but….. when I was at the Dragon’s Den Auditions……

First thing I want to do is congratulate my friend, Owner/Creative Director of PumpEase™ Hands Free Pumping Supports, Wendy Armbruster Bell. She got the call yesterday to confirm that she had been selected as one of the businesses that would get a chance to make their pitch to the Dragon’s on the Dragon’s Den CBC. Awesome. I knew she would get chosen.

I met a fellow by the name of Jamie Marriott, at the Den Auditions, and he was telling me about his idea for his business. I really got excited about the whole thing because it deals with a few of my favourite things; art, clothes, team effort and charity.

His business, put simply, involves artists submitting their T-shirt Art Work, then visitors/customers vote on their favourite design submissions. The top 5 men’s and top 5 women’s styles then get made into limited edition runs on beautifully fitted Bamboo T’s, which are available for purchase. The artist/designer will receive a percentage of the sale and the purchaser will be able to choose a charity of choice for another percentage of the sale to be donated to.

Very cool concept because everyone gets to be involved on some level.

Here is a picture of Jamie at the Dragon’s Den Audition. S2S Nation… Something to Say…. express yourself…

Jamie with S2S cotton bag

The S2S Nation site launched just a couple of days ago, and is just in the early phases of gathering the art submissions. So this is your chance to get “whatever it is you’d like to say” out on a really nice Bamboo T-shirt. You can download the T-Templates on the site. Here’s what they look like.

I touched these T-shirts when I was chatting with Jamie, and they are a really soft, very high quality Bamboo, with nice fit. They are really sleek fitting T’s. Good luck Jamie, all the best with this, I’ll be keeping my eyes on your site, so I can vote, when the submissions are all in! And, I have many very talented artist friends who I think will be interested in submitting.

Yesterday afternoon, one of the designers that I work for brought me 3 fabrics and some measurements for a little girl. I was to make 3 different dresses, 2 of each.

Usually, you need more than one of any costume for a movie or TV show, just in case. And in most cases because there is a photo double or stunt double, lots of action, dirt or a character gets killed in a messy way.

I make a pattern based on the measurements I’m given, and the design that the designer gives me. Then I cut it out, and begin to sew it together.

Sometimes I get help from “Kitten”, and sometimes I have to try to persuade her into believing that her toys are more interesting than what I’m doing…. not always easy!

Next stage is the construction. In this case, I have to piece some old embroidery pieces onto one of the dresses. Because I have to make two dresses that look the same, and I only have embroidery from one old dress, I have to cut it all apart and piece it together so that both the dresses have the same embroidery look on them. This took me quite a while to do…. not hard, just fiddly.

Many hours later, voila…. I have 6 dresses ready for a fitting on Wednesday! This little girl is going to look so cute!

I’ve decided that I will show a bit more of this side of my work…. I’m not going to say what show it is until it’s released…. Then, I will tell you the name of the movie and the costume designer. Hope you have as much fun with it as I do making them!

I’m very excited because one of my favourite Designers to work for, Monique Prudhomme, has been nominated for an Oscar for the film “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”. It will be so thrilling to watch the Academy Awards. Last week Monique won the “Excellence in Fantasy Film” award at the 12th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards.

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