RhymesWithStitch's Blog

Couture Costuming

Wednesday’s Rant – Breast Binding

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Last week at Atlanta’s Sherlock Con, 221B, there was a costuming panel that got me irritated and I need to rant a bit.

Good Reasons to bind you breasts with a binder/ace bandages that are properly applied

  • You are getting paid for some type of theater performance
  • You are doing a few hours of cosplay and want your sweater puppies under control
  • You are a man trapped in a busty woman’s body. (no sarcasm, this is a good reason to get familiar with a good binding system until a more permanent  solution can be reached)

 Good Reasons to use duct tape as a binder – there are none.

  • Ok, maybe you are undercover and running for your life.

Spending a weekend tightly bound in a binder, ace bandages, and duct tape, just to cosplay a man is the stupidest way to invite mastitis, inverted nipples and soft tissue damage into your life. I had planned on including images, but they are all too gross. Google mastitis if you need something to turn your stomach.

And do you really think a woman with an F-cup is going to fool anyone into thinking she is really Benedict Cumberbatch?

One of the wonderful things about costuming for a con, is that you can just be a woman dressed as Sherlock. You don’t have to be the exact size, shape, color or even sex as your inspiration.

Enjoy your body but respect it too.

Written by rhymeswithstitch

April 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

Posted in Cons, Fashion

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Hat Tutorial (not mine)

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Dreamstress just did a great blog on refurbishing a modern straw hat into something costume worthy.

A bergére, a new word for a hat I know you’ve seen, but maybe only in paintings.


She did an excellent tutorial with clear instructions and photos that actually help explain the process.  And no wasted steps.

If straw hats cost more, I think it might take more boldness to cut into them and maybe more handholding in the instructions, but seriously, what harm can you do? It is a cheap straw hat.

Go for it!

I love sewing!


Written by rhymeswithstitch

March 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Crafting

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Size Zero

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March 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

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Pattern Designing Concepts at DragonCon 2012

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This was a sad panel, not because it was poorly done but because it was too short. Each of the panelists could have filled a full hour on their technique.

Cathy Jones of God Save the Queens Fashion started with draping. She climbed up on the table and did an excellent demo, showing how to use the selvage to start on your center front.  Using a Sharpie, some canvas weight muslin, ‘Pinching’ and ‘release cuts’ she created a sloper on the dressform.  It was pretty amazing.Cathy Jones - DragonCon Costuming Panel

Freddy Clements spoke of the classic style of creating a pattern from personal measurements. I think of this as Okinawan style because the custom seamstresses of Okinawa (and Hong Kong) use similar style. You see this online sometimes –

To Draft the Neck. To lay out the neck at the shoulder, measure 2″ from point A on line AC and locate point L; to lay out the neck at the center front, measure down 2″ from point A on line AB for a neck measuring 12″ (increase this measurement 1/8″ for each 1/2″ increase in neck measure, for instance for a neck measuring 13″, measure 2 1/4″, etc.)

Like the first time you see algebra it looks much scarier than it turns out to be, yet you need to learn it or it stays a mystery.

Mary Abreu spoke of using the sloper, either custom or store bought

And ‘Sasha’ Chernova spoke on self-patterning or making patterns from existing clothes.

Unfortunately, time ran out and everyone kind of got the short versions. It was too bad as I would have loved to hear more about all the styles.

I love sewing!

Written by rhymeswithstitch

October 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Cons, Drafting

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DragonCon 2012 – Hats and Clay

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As usual at DragonCon, my roommates all head off to stand in line and see the media stars while I enjoy small panels. Well, Costuming used to be a small panel.  Every year the track is growing.

I still love the new set up and was glad to see it when I got to my first panel Hat Craft. As this is probably the fifth panel I’ve attended over the years with a focus on hats there wasn’t anything stunning to reveal; just lots of good advice, some good sources and encouragement.  A lovely start for the con.

Sources mentioned during the Hat Craft panel

http://www.amazondrygoods.com/  the site seems to be up and running again. Yeah!


http://hatsupply.com/index.htm#  – Hats by Leko – a source I’ve personally used and could recommend.


http://www.spotlightfashionsseattle.com/  – skull caps and headdress bases (very cool)


My next panel was over in the Art Track – Polymer Clay for Costumers

The young woman whose name may have been Christi,  had lots of ideas and pretty pictures for ‘faking’ all kinds of things from polymer clay. Samples of jewels, stones, metal, and beautiful enameled pieces were out to see.

Unfortunately, as I’m new to clay, it was a bit over my head. I appreciated the ideas and will try them eventually. If nothing else, I learned that once you use your oven for polymer clays then it shouldn’t be used for food.

Sources mentioned during the Polymer Clay Panel


Written by rhymeswithstitch

September 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Cons

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DragonCon 2012

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We had such a blast this year at DragonCon 2012.  I will get to my panel experiences but first our costumes.

Melodie as Stitch, the Antebellum Biker

Melodie as Stitch, the Antebellum Biker

Helles Belles, the Antebellum Biker Gang
(L to R) Vic as Viper, Mel as Stitch, Christina as Bookie and Amber as Doc – Helles Belles

S2881 was based on an extant gown held in the Historische Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna, Austria.

All the dresses are based loosely on the Simplicity 2881, which in turn was based on this lovely dress

But really, I just used the silhouette and let the girls go crazy with ideas.

We weren’t nearly as disruptive as we were afraid we would be, then again we all had ‘squishy’ hoops and we never tried to share the same elevator.

This was our Saturday evening costume and we all attended the “Mighty Fine Shindig” where I tripped the light fantastic or at least tripped over my own feet.

Yes, in a full hoopskirt, I added a bit of drama (and a lot of laughter) to our evening by falling down on the dance floor.  I keep hoping a video will show up, I mean there were lots of cameras out so it stands to reason…

Note to self, when wearing a hoopskirt, make sure to have attractive underthings just in case.  I don’t think cut-off sweat shorts really had that Antebellum vibe.

The young man who had been swinging me around stayed to help me up, even though it took a few minutes as I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

And the most gracious moment of the weekend… Another young man in fine SteamPunk costuming said to me “The best thing is to get right back on the horse, would you like to dance?” I hope I thanked him enough, that was so kind, unfortunately I was truly out of it from laughing.

A Mighty Fine Shindig indeed.

I love Sewing!

Written by rhymeswithstitch

September 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

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DragonCon hint

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We are still at D*Con and I don’t have pictures yet, but here is a hint.

Written by rhymeswithstitch

September 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Cons, Sewing

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