Tuesday, October 7, 2014

how to make a pumpkinhead

Long time, no see (as usual.)
Just stumbled on some photos from last year's Halloween costume that I never got around to sharing.  I think the pumpkinhead portion was pretty successful ...so here's my recipe.

(First, the inspiration. A 1930s photo that was making the rounds a lot last year)

The material used was all crap I had stored in my barn.
Large paper lantern, about 1-2 square yards of 1-inch upholstery foam, and orange tissue paper.

I cut the foam into big petal shaped wedges, shaped the edges a bit,

and then attached them to the lantern using spray mount.  The foam pieces didn't fit exactly but were easy enough to manipulate, with some fudging and fussing.

Then I randomly collaged the tissue paper all over the pumpkin. The tissue gets all wrinkled and adds good texture.  This part was messy.  

You can't see it but I wore a FEZ underneath to hold the head in the right position.  After I figured that out, I cut a mouth opening to line up with my eyes, using a large serrated knife.

I also made a little burlap stem for the top, even though it doesn't show. It was perfect for holding the witch hat on; I just used a 10-12 inch long hat pin and drove it through the hat and stem. 

As for the rest of the costume, I played around with a few different ideas

but would up doing something that was old-timey, classic,  and comfortable.

The final result, in sepia:

P.S.  The old fashioned bag was made with a home-made stencil

and I saved all the leftover foam scraps, which I am keeping out of the landfill by using in this year's costume.    Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Deco robe RehaB

January is a great time to pull out unfinished projects and finish them the heck up already.  Here's one I just tackled.

A ladies 1930ish robe in a red low-nap flannel deco print.
I just swoon over an original deco pattern like this.

The taffeta collar and cuffs were in terrible condition, though.

Soiled, torn, and just plain Nasty.

I removed them to use as patterns, and then sacrificed  this perfectly good silk scarf

to make a new collar and cuffs. (This is when I got stuck and put the project away for two years, tick tock, tick tock.....)

When I found the project again recently I tackled the sash.

I was happy with how it turned out, but decided to also make a less casual fabric belt out of the last smidgeon of leftover scarf fabric.  Fortunately I hoard old  belt buckles from the same era.  This part was tedious,

but I like having the choice between the two belting options, since I like to wear the robe to work.