Tips & Tricks The Basic Costuming Tips Thread

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by JediToren, Nov 16, 2002.

Moderators: Commander-DWH
  1. -LadyVader- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2002
    star 1
    Jedi_Knight150:

    They are straight. What you think is curvature is really just how he is wearing them. They are worn at a slant. The middle of the tabbards should be placed on the top of Humerous (If you put your hand on the end of your shoulder, you should feel a roundish bone.) and cross at the abdomen and lower back. A lot of people have trouble with keeping their tabbards in place in the back...sewing them together where they cross at the back should prevent this.

  2. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    can someone explain interfacing to me? what is its purpose, and how do you know when and where to use it?
  3. DarthJurist Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2000
    star 5
    Interfacing is used to add heft or shape to fabric, and is used where the pattern indicates ( 8-} ) or where you need the fabric to retain shape or be stiff. Collars, waistbands, lapels and are all places you are likely to see interfacing. If you've ever see some strange white or black material sticking to the inside of your garments, it's probably interfacing.

    It looks and feels like coarse white (or black) fabric. Interfacing comes a variety of weights (heavy weight for suit lapels, etc, lighter weights for other project), and can fusible (has heat activated glue that adheres it to the fabric in question).

    ~H~
  4. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Okay, what I know about Interfacings:

    They are used to stiffen fabrics and usually used for collars or cuffs.

    It comes in different types (Paper, Canvas, Woven Cloth/Fibers), thickness and put onto the fabric either by sewing it on or iron it on.
  5. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
  6. queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2002
    star 3
    I personally think that interfacing reminds me of fabric softener sheets that you use in the dryer...maybe that will give you an idea of what to look for in the fabric store...it comes in black or white-but has that strange texture to it...the pattern will tell you how thick of interfacing to buy-lightweight, heavyweight, etc.
    QS
  7. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    okay, this may seem like a dumb question, but,... how do you take measurements for guys? being a girl i wouldn't have a need to know this, so i was curious. =)
  8. queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2002
    star 3
    If you are using a standard sewing pattern like Simplicity or McCalls...generally men take less measurements than women-their patterns usually go by the basic chest, waist, and hip measurements...just measure the fullest part of the chest, the natural waist, and the hip area-at about the height of the fullest are of the buttocks.
    If you are making a pattern yourself from scratch, you will need to know more...such as the arm length to make the sleeves, the measurement of the bicep, etc. but most patterns already sort of have thie "averaged out" like in store bought clothes using the other measurements.
    If you are making pants, it is a good idea to have the guy try them on before you hem, to get a perfect inseam length...but the basic three measurements are usually what is asked for in a standard pattern to determine size.
    Good Luck!
    QS
  9. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Okay, going further into Props Making is making me ask this question:

    What are the Basic Stuffs I need in my "Tools Box" as a Beginner Props Maker? ?[face_plain]

    So far, I got my cheapo Hammer (planned to get a better one later), Glue Gun, Super Glue, UHU/Universal Glue, Nails, a piece of thick wood (for hammering holes into my aluminium sheets), Plier, Duct/Masking Tape, some Strings, Scissors, Penknife, Stem Cutter, Spray Paints & Primer, Sandpapers and Instant Puttyfiller (will get a "rubber" based one later).

    What should I use to cut PVC pipes cleanly and can still fit into the standard "Medium Size" Tool Box? How about Metal Pipes? Anything else that anyone think is needed in my "Tool Box" and is inexpensive plus easily gotten from the standard hardware stores?

    Thanks! :)
  10. Vaderkahn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 1
    If you're cutting sink tail pieces for lightsabers, you're kind of stuck - you need a large pipe cutter that can fit 1.25 to 1.5 inch pipe, and those run about $30 at Lowes. However, you can use them forever, they make very clean cuts, and I've seen folks use them to make scored decoration on a saber as opposed to cutting the pipe all the way through. I think they'll also cut the thicker PVC, but they do nothing for thin PVC (such as PVC tail pieces).

    My little tool box has the pipe cutter, staple gun, Black and Decker Wizard (cheaper version of a Dremel), glue gun, spools of wire, pop riveter, boxes of pop rivets and butt connectors for electrical wiring, shop knife, duct tape and masking tape, some paint brushes, multi-head screw driver, two pairs of pliers (needle nose and regular), crimper, and various pieces of plumbing fixtures and rubber o-rings. Oh, and the always handy little metal ruler - measure twice, cut once!

    I still need to get a real Dremel, and I'm hoping to add a leather punch and soldering iron to the kit in the next week or so. I also keep a pair of goggles nearby - a must for anyone using a rotary tool for anything.
  11. AnjiliaNabira Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    I would definitely add a pair of good quality goggles and a mask/respirator that filters dusts and fumes (safety first ;) ).

    I've found that most of the cutting that I've had to do could be handled by a small hacksaw or a Dremel. Neither of these will fit in your toolbox though.

    A good Exacto knife and extra blades will be extremely useful also.
  12. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Well, the kind of PVC pipes I looking to cut is about 13mm (making a chainmail? :p ). It's the kind of pipe they used to transport water from Aircons, pipes etc. Don't think I can spend too many days at my bro's school workshop cutting them into rings so want to do it at home instead. :p

    Any equipments I'll need to make it possible?
  13. zamweasel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2003
    star 1
    This is a great thread.

    I read the whole thing and the one thing I didn't see is fitting.

    Take the time to make sure the costume really fits you well. If necessary sew it out of cheap material and try it on so you can see places you need to take in or let out using darts or by changing the amount of seam allowance. Then add those details to your pattern so you can recreate it with your more expensive fabric.

    When you wear clothes that really fit well they not only feel great, you look great. I read a book on tailoring from the Taunton press and since then I'm a changed woman. I tailor everything to fit me - add interfacing to make it hold its shape, and line it so it moves smoothly.

    If you're making custom clothing, you might as well make it yours. It will make the hours you spend in your costume at a con even better.

    -e

  14. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    i can't find that page with instructions on making a duct-tape dress form, help! plz?
  15. AnjiliaNabira Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/makingem/DuctDummy.htm

    ACS has some instructions as well as links to another site with some directions there.
  16. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    when does and why does the grain of the fabric matter?
  17. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    The grain is going to come into play in several scenarios. You pretty much always want to cut your fabric on the straight of the grain. If a piece is cut slightly off--the bias can cause the fabric to droop or sag or stretch in the wrong areas--this can alter the fit of a garment and also the look of the finished product. Many times the nap will run one way and if a fabric is cut with a pattern piece laid one way and another in the opposite direction the color of the fabric will look very different by how the light hits the nap. You can play with designs by placing pattern pieces in different ways on the drain (stripes, etc). But for most projects you will want the grain all in the same direction.
    You can find the grain by pulling a thread crossways until is comes loose and leaves a tiny line in the weave that you can see. Many fabrics will tear straight on the grain.
    ~Ferd :)
  18. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    okay thxthx =) that brings me to wonder something else, what's the nap of a fabric??
  19. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    It's the fuzzy part of the fabric, like on velvet. You usually want it to be going all the same direction.
  20. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    what's the best way to draft arm holes for sleeve?, and what's the best way to draft and do a collar for a shirt/jacket?
    i might end up making a lab coat for a friend as a gift, if there's something else that seems it'd be a problem i'd appreciate the tip =P although IMO a lab coat seems to be easy work
  21. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Are you interested in drafting the lab coat from scratch as an exercise, or would you want to use a pattern for one? Simplicit and 5443 and 5472 both have lab coat patterns in them.


    -sg
  22. across0the0stars Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2003
    star 2
    i'd like to do it as an exercise =P and if it comes out good i know someone who'd want it, and if it doesn't... then it's a learning experience =)
  23. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Has started using Fray Stop as I'm very lazy (and trying to keep cost down), for my friend's Boromir Costume. :p

    Question is, the bristels of the paint brush I used to "paint" on the Fray Stop on the cloth is now stiff. :eek: How can I unstiffen it so I can reuse the brush? ?[face_plain] It's one of those White Nylon type, more expansive than the regular black bristels or Made-In-China Paint Brushes (mine states that it's made in Germany)

    Don't want to risk it and use the wrong solvent to remove the Fray Stop and unstiffen the bristels.
  24. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Have you tried just rinsing the brush repeatedly in warm/hot water?
  25. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    DE, I was able to get Fray Stop out of one of my brushes using Acetone. Heh, yes, the stuff that's in nail-polish remover - which would probably work too. I was able to find pure Acetone at the local drugstore, tho - just make sure you don't put the acetone in a plastic cup, because it *will* melt the cup (I learned that the hardway). Let your brush soak in the acetone for a few hours, or over night, then rinse rinse rinse with warm water and soap. I was never able to get it out using soap and water alone, but this worked.

    good luck!
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