Tips & Tricks The Basic Costuming Tips Thread

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

Moderators: Commander-DWH
  1. Jayne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2002
    star 2
    I have long knife pleats on a skirt. How can I make them stay after dressing and ironing them? I've heard of ironing fishing line into them, but mine didn't melt enough. Any ideas?
  2. studiocreations Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 3
    Someone was looking for this topic recently so I thought I would "bump" it to the front of the costuming forum once again. Anyone got any new tips to share?

    -sc
  3. donsolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2004
    star 2
    I'm very new to costuming and even newer to sewing... so far I've got a decent robe I need to wash before heming, and that's about it. I bought a McCalls pattern for the Tunics, but I need a very simple beginner's guide to sewing that won't scare me away... anyone help?
  4. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Hi, donsolo!

    There are a great many beginner's sewing books to be found on the market. (Sewing for Dummies gets mixed reviews, just FYI.)
    In my experience, different sewing guides work for different people -- what may explain the process thoroughly clearly to one person may make no sense to another.
    I would recommend hitting your nearest large chain bookstore, plopping down in the Arts & Crafts section, and paging through as many guides as you can get your hands on. See which one makes the most sense to you, and buy that one.

    I hope your entry into the world of stitching is fun and fruitful!


  5. Jedi_Kai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2001
    star 4
    OR go to the library. Every library in which I've looked has a number of how to sew books. They may be old, but not much has changed in BASIC sewing! ;)
  6. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Personally for a starter, I recommand something that have lots of photos demostration almost every step with easy to understand instructions. ;) I find books like "Sewing For Dummies/Idiots" isn't the book for me (although I can sew for years now) as it's mostly words instead of pictures.

    Or you can ask those who can sew around you for some tips and demostration. ;)
  7. SkoXylo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2004
    star 1
    Once you find a book for the basics I recomend Fabric Savy by Sandra Betzina. It tells about many many types of fabric and has pictures and suggested uses and how to sew it (what presser foot, needle, etc.). ~Leslie
  8. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Unlocked and bumping by request.
  9. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Hey all,

    I'm making a boned bodice for a dress (not a costume). It'll be worn over one of those strapless bras that goes down to your waist-- I don't know the proper term. I'm not sure what kind of fabric I ought to use as the basis for this bodice. I don't want to use anything *too* stiff, like duck, but I also don't want the fabric to ripple. In the packing dress thread I think surlygirlie suggested horsehair. Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Thanks!

    Caitlin
  10. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    Hi Caitlin :)

    You could flat line your lining with an interfacing to give it a little bit more stability but not heavy body. I would suggest a woven interfacing and possibly a non-poly based lining such as batiste or broadcloth.

    The boning and undergarment will give you plenty of structure for a bodice for a garment--I'm sure you're wanting to avoid the "breastplate of righteousness" look. ;) LOL!

    That's my suggestion. :) Good luck!
  11. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    one of those strapless bras that goes down to your waist

    Do you mean a bustier?
  12. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Thanks Ferd, and welcome back! Well, the person who's wearing the dress has decided to be ornery and doesn't want to wear a bustier (thanks Sister_Sola) because "they're uncomfortable." *heavy sigh* I guess I'll just have to fiddle around with the boning in the bodice to get the right look without the "breastplate of righteousness." *g*

    Caitlin
  13. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    So, continuing a bit with my earlier line of inquiry, if one were constructing a boned bodice or corset that zipped up the back, would one put bones at or near the zipper closure, and if so, how does that work? I'm at a bit of a loss, here.

    Caitlin
  14. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Caitlin, I would put bones in near a zipper on a corset or boned bodice, otherwise you risk bunching/sagging near/around the closure.

    There are a myriad of approaches to putting bones in such a spot, all depending on other construction questions:

    -are you making this item with visible boning channels on the outside of the garment?

    -is the garment lined? If so, are you flatlining, sack lining, setting in a lining and then binding the edges?




  15. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Thanks sg. In answer to your questions--

    1. No, the boning isn't visible from the outside.

    2. It's bag-lined.
  16. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    With a bag lining, I would apply the boning to the interior of the lining using twill tape, bias tape, etc. to make a casing. Just machine stitch the casing in, slip the bones in, close up the casing ends, and then assemble as you would normally, being careful when turning, as it's going to be a little more awkward with the bones.
    {If the boning you're using came in a casing, that's fine to use, too.)
    I would try to snug them up as close to the zipper as possible, but if there's a little bit of space between the zipper and the bone, it shouldn't be particularly detrimental. As long as the boning is doing its job of keeping the garment's shape, it's all aces.
    If the garment is already assembled and you don't want to take it apart, you can carefully hand stitch the casing into the lining so as not to catch in your fashion fabric.
    The only tricky part with the hand-stitched casing is making sure the ends are very secure so the boning won't poke out and bite at the wearer. It's handy to turn a little bit of the casing under the bone tip, if possible, and then stitch the folded edge securely in place.

  17. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Thank you surlygirlie! So, would you recommend putting in the zipper first and boning second, or the other way round?
  18. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    I would probably set the boning into the lining, and then inset the zipper on the seam where the lining is set into the outser shell.
    (But I say this not having seen the garment, so I could be miscalculating.)


  19. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Shockingly, I have yet another question. :)

    When boning a corset, what do you do about gores? Does the bone stop at the bottom of the gore? Does it go up one side, and a smaller piece on the other side? I'm using the Laughing Moon Silverado pattern, and I can't find any info about this in their instructions.

    Caitlin
  20. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    With the Silverado, I usually run a bone channel up the seam and to each side of the gore.

    Here's a spectacularly bad sketch of what I'm talking about.

    If I want less boning in the corset, I just put the boning channel on the side of the gore closest to the side seam.
    This is one of those places where it's really a good idea to use spiral bones.

  21. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Oh, that makes sense! Thanks, sg. :) I was definitely planning to use spiral boning anyway-- I like it way better!
  22. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Unlocked for recent query.
  23. R1-A2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Thank you for all of your EXCELLENT costuming tips. It has truly been helpful to read through this thread as I madly work on a SW Halloween costume for my son. With that, I thought I?d add my 2 cents, for any others doing the same.

    Costumes for kids [:D]

    1. Make it durable ? do those reinforcement stitches, you think they?re going to hold back when they?re dressed as a Jedi or Sith?
    2. Make it comfortable ? you will either hear much whining or find rashes/welts/sores when they undress, because they were too involved to tell you an unfinished seam was ripping into their soft skin (like those commercial princess costumes with all that stiff, ruffle-y, tu-tu material).
    3. Make it machine washable ? because young Jedi or Sith don?t care about the mud, grass or pudu they may plow through while in battle.
    4. Make it easy to get on and off ? because younglings in costume are often too busy to remember that they need to go to the bathroom. Then you will have anywhere from a nano-second to a lengthy one minute warning that they must use the bathroom, now. In case of accidents, remember #3.
    5. Make props non-lethal ? again, small Jedi and Sith will do what they see in the movies (no matter how much you lecture them on safety). Prevent any tears or lost limbs by making it difficult for them to actually hurt each other.

    Just a few points I thought I?d share, based on experience with my son and his friends. I know these points will sacrifice accuracy, but the kids aren't this size for very long anyway. You know you're going to have to make another costume next year! Save the fine tuned sewing for other adults who would really appreciate it more.

    Happy sewing! :D
    A2 [face_pumpkin]
  24. JediCirrus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2002
    star 1
    I'm curious about the ability to sand/sculpt/paint the different adhesives that people have used. Anybody have any lessons-learned or words of wisdom of what is better for different applications?

    For example.... If you wanted to paint over the adhesive, product A would be the best to use. If your wanting to fill in a gap while attaching different parts of a prop, product B might be better. Etc...


    Lots of good info in this thread. Thanks for all the advice people!!!


    Tony
  25. TT-0333 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2007
    star 1
    I'm a newbie to costuming and I was wondering anyone have tips for sculpting or know any books, magz....ect. Sister Sola I have checked out the section under READ FIRST and it helped me but I need me dept anyone got any tips?

    Thanks
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