parasitegirl: (Default)
I bought creme-peach colored fanveils...because my new costume told me to. I guess I need to learn fan veils now. At least I already bought Mahasti's first van veil dvd a while back!

Oh, and have I not shown you the AWESOMENESS of the Bella costume that totally made me buy it in istanbul?

Replyhazy dubbed it Poison Ivy )
parasitegirl: (rockon)
Khalida is the nicest person I have never met.

I need to figure out how to repay her...I have some ideas.Costumed torso and OMG padded breasts. )
parasitegirl: (Default)
I went into Tokyo today to re-up on some sewing supplies and meet up breifly with Eshe for what was planned to be a "I sell her a used costume" but....ended in a costume swap. I'd thought she'd sold this one earlier and had been secretly glad because it temped me...but I was unsure if the bra would fit me.

It fits! I need to adjust the straps a bit...but BEWBIES AHOY!

There be torso under here.  )
parasitegirl: (Default)

It should be noted that I am a self-taught crafter. I didn’t come from a sewing home. Sewing, knitting, and the existence of God were just things we didn’t talk about at the table. If you wanted to know about such things, you learned them in on the street, thank you.

 It should also be noted that had I had the patience for learning about sewing and knitting at a young age I had AMAZING resources to do so. Both of my grandmothers were quite crafty. Grandma Christina sewed many of the toys and dresses of my youth and Grandma Leah (although having some issues in regards to colors and yarn quality) was a technically strong knitter…but I didn’t have the patience when I was young enough to learn from them.

 My mother has taken up knitting as my craft bubble has expanded here in Japan but it didn’t come easily. In her own words:

 Watching me knit is more fun than TV. I think I am in the category once called Educable Mentally Retarded when it comes to skills needing hand-eye coordination. The synapses have no interest in connecting and go off doing other things.”

Her early adventures in learning to use to the sewing machines (yes, multiples) I left at the house involved trips to the machine shop where the staff marveled at the number of sewing errors that could be made by one person. In addition to delicate hand-eye coordination, my mother, smart as she is, isn’t highly skilled at visual problem solving either. Luckily, I have these skills. My background is in art and making stuff, and working with my hands.

Don’t think I was always a good sewer. I wasn't. I was a lazy “that will do” sewer with no clue about the special needs of various fabrics or how to construct or when to change a needle. I had visions my hands couldn’t carry out. I made a few simple things (elf hats…my god did I make an inane number of elf hats one year) and a few rough costumes for Halloween and Anime conventions.

I didn’t own a sewing machine for my first 3 years in Japan. I didn’t see the need. I wouldn’t have known where to buy one.

 

Sewing blather )

 

Resssssst.

Nov. 21st, 2010 10:10 am
parasitegirl: (Default)
Ahh, Sunday, my day of rest. Soon I will do some cleaning and air out my costumes and skirts from the last two nights.

The land of Istanbul restaurant dancing still continues to be a happy place. Friday, I danced at Ginza and Saturday I was at Shinjuku and was able to meet the lovely Eshe, Anaan and Dom (Anaan's betrothed) for drinks and unhealthy food after. Our meeting at TGIFridays is a testament to my love of Eshe, because otherwise I won't won't won't deal with that place.

The new serger has served me well. At some point I need to fully learn what all I can do with it, this new second needle and 4th spool of thread,...this will involve reading my serger book, looking at illustrations in the Japanese instructions, and trying to do some translation if anything looks like something I want to do. I'm debating a bike trip to the filthiest sewing machine store for a new sewing machine, as my old one (purchased for around 30$USD, used, 7 years ago, and a make I'd never heard of) is a wounded creature who has lasted far longer than expected.

I finally finished the Artie rehab and made a skirt for it (thanks, Juki Serger!)
TORSO behind cut. BUt, sexy torso...not girlfriend in fridge kinda torso. )
Those were also my Friday and Saturday night costumes.

And I would like to welcome Dean Mommy to our live journal. I have already made a "only mom is excluded" filter, so she need not worry about my privacy in future posts. I probably can't be bothered to do so for the past 7 years of posts she now has access to...I won't out here her, but I'm pretty sure it is her...otherwise someone has photographed the lovely Ozma the Cat, usurped her birthday, and is up to strange hijinks.
parasitegirl: (Default)

Last week I knew my limits and turned down two gigs. I am quite happy that I did 2 restaurant nights and not 4. I was still shaking off a cold and figured the rest would serve me better, even if doing all 4 would have paid off my NEW SERGER.

Awww yeaaaah. My last serger, a used Toyota I got off Yahoo auctions for under 100$ a few years back was eating fabric again and I realized that I had skirts that weren’t getting made and bedlah finished but going unworn due to the unmade matching skirts. That’s no good! I haven’t actually been tempted by the swap meet or a used or new costume in ages…but I sure as hell could use a month of uninterrupted sewing time.

serger and restaurant blather )

cooking and no makeup.

parasitegirl: (Opp!)

What I have to choose from this Saturday.
I usually choose one full-skirted costume, one more streamlined one, and pack a third "in case we get to it" costume.
Would love feedback.

Full skirt

Burgundy Bella
Silver blinged out Princess Banu Original..bedlah, skirt, CAAAAAAPPPPEEE. (have a few good performance shots of it. It will also work with Johhny Pearl. Skirt is now longer, belt no longer so damned low)
Henna’s Tahiya coin costume, nice and old school feel…fairly Ansuya-esque (would work best if I want to shoot sword…not sure if I have a good veil for it though…might work for 3rd maybe we get to it choice).

Johnny 1:Pearl Party bedlah with classic Persian lace skirt
Johhny 2: gold and multi-color jeweled bedlah

The orange airport fixed-up is not included because I’d be using the same skirts and veil I shot the gold costume in.


More Streamlined
White Pharonix
(Eshe’s…and probably a bit too Egyptian AND Eshe for me too shoot in…here’s Eshe in it )
Green Bellla
Pink Basic Sahar If you’re a dancer, you know exactly what it looks like.
Crazy Striped Hananx(I’m slightly thinner now, the elastic was also loosened and the skirt hemmed: no muffin top no tripping)
Ozma’s Poppies (I now have a lace and beaded trumpet skirt and arm thingies with it)



parasitegirl: (rockon)
I am so excited about my upcoming trip to America. SO exited...for SO many reasons.

I'm also getting around to smoothing out my Vegas performance ideas. In perfect world I would have done this weeks ago...but most of my practice/drill sessions have been focused on slower movements arms (a lot of Aziza arms and poses, Luscious poses, RB's Serpentine which I've found I loooove for slow, quiet, practice and yoga) because a) Even at night that room is pretty humid and hot b) high energy stuff isn't flying in these weeks of bad air/allergens/lungs.

But for sure I am dancing to the 1960's Japanese language version of Ya Mustapha (Thanks M!) and probably Rakkas.

Ya Mustapha is pure cheese...so even though I'd love to show off "The Peacock" in Vegas...I'm thinking Johnny's Legacy is in order and maybe with the Princess Banu cape :)

I may need a trip for fake hair additions for this...

Oh, and Sabrina...I got confirmations on both things I ordered for you...I hope this means they are coming to me soon!
parasitegirl: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] khalidad 

I got the Sahar bra. It fits. I think I could afford to take a bit of padding out. I'm glad she made you one to fit you and I'm glad the extra fits me.

I will need to hit some craft stores in search of mirrors with sanded edges and POWERFUL EPOXY  while I am in America...people who can't figure out how the mirrors are attached are obviously on crack with no sense of smell. I think this needs a matching belt, not combo skirt, so I can rock this old-school.

BOOBIES under the cut.Boobies. )
parasitegirl: (Default)
Awww yeah, some of you KNOW what I'm talking about. Lil' old lady has heard, as we all have, tales of how old comics are now worth BAZILLIONS of bucks...and he has labeled her dog-eared Uncle Scrooges to reflect this. She's got GOLD, pure gold, and when you try to talk her down...she just assumes your young whipper-snapping ass knows the worth and wants to rob her (and, probably, snap her whipper in the process of doing so...)

I still want this.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350344281031

I've sold one of my from scratch gold costumes to have extra cash in my paypal to get it (and other things I might want)...

But, the seller seems to think that a 500$ or so reserve is realistic...that there's a market for this item that involve us hanging it on a wall and looking at it. Seller also thinks that used polyester slips from an estate sale should start at 8$ and up...Seller also confided in me that he originally took photos where the bra was upsidedown..and then he found the photos. Those photos seem to have convinced him of the PURE GOLDEN he has..god knows what the folks at the estate sale told him.

(sigh)

New costumes: Expensive
Old Assuit: Expensive
Things that are actually Museaum Quality and belong behind glass: Expensive
Costumes made and worn to death by American cabaret-style dancers are lucky to be in one piece...period.
Never been cleaned? Probably can't? Tiny? Heavy? That's real sweat?: Not the selling points you might want to be using.

The more I look at it, the more I think it was made by the same person who made the gold costume I bought for 80$ and fixed...or a friend of hers. Looking at the photos, I think I've seen some of those other costumes not sell for higher reserves and then eventually go to dancers for around 60$-100$ I hope this is the case.

This is the interior photo he sent me:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4525117&id=84299390665

Yeah. Mmmmmm. Drink that up...go ahead...I'm waiting...tastes like sweat, degraded latex foam, and history...mostly the former.
parasitegirl: (Default)
Let the insanity begin!
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=173430&id=84299390665&l=d11bcab21c



My base fabric will be shiny and flesh toned. I will make appliques with the sequins, and then attach the appliques and work them over and around with black beads or embroidery thread for the tattoo line-work.
parasitegirl: (Default)
Ok. I loves me some themed costumes...I suspect my next few handmades (and I know Eshe's) will be clearly themed.

So, in celebration of themed costumes...scroll down to check out Christina Rizkallah's SPIDER COSTUME!
Wrong colors for me so I won't be buying when she sells, but if it were in wine with black rhinestones? AWWWW YEAH...game ON!

http://christinarizkallah.tumblr.com/
parasitegirl: (Default)
Ok. I'll admit it. I went to see it because I was looking for crazy. I'm not saying crazy bad...but there were many crotches spewing fire in his last collection (but there was also a killer nekkid costume Azziza rocked last year in Tokyo and many ideas I liked).

It's still got it's fair share of interesting ideas taken to insane places...but the designs,overall, are interesting (although many could use an editing eye) and adventuresome. I was happy that the image he chose to promote (a costume with the dancer's name...or some woman's name, spelled out in bling on BOTH the bra AND the belt...may also have a cape..) wasn't the extent of his new designs.

The bio page is also in much better shape this year...better.

Still..not a site for epileptics.

http://www.asihaskal.com/site/detail/departAlbum/albumPic.asp?category_id=59977&depart_id=45750
parasitegirl: (Default)


From an A, maaaaaaybe B, cup to a D.
parasitegirl: (Default)
(cross posted from my Facebook costume page)

There’s a point of exhaustion that masquerades as a heightened sense of infallibility.

I first learned about it my foundation year (freshman year) at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Your foundation year is a time where you learn to push your limits by having to take a core collection of classes inside and outside of what you assume will be your major…in doing so you might learn to love a new branch of art, or to respect a class of artists you’d previously looked down on… but you’ll most definitely learn many of your own limitations.

The student body shrinks during foundation year….Well, I gained the freshman 15, but the number of students decreased. The only weight I lost was in the flesh I shaved off my fingertips in late-night X-acto accidents.

It is a difficult time. You must transition from being the skilled artistic spirit of a group or school to being surrounded by peers. Now your art isn’t something that simply happens it is something that you must learn to make happen…with deadlines and critiques. Knowing how to make yourself create, when to finish, and when you’ve done your best and just need to give up is a rough path…and it is often worst the further from your skill base you’ve traveled.

Most of my sleepless nights came from 3-d design classes. At 3AM my project would implode and the poor planning of faux-infallibility took over.

I remember one in particular, it was a hat box to hold the hat from our previous project…a hat box I’d envisioned as containing many layers of foam core that would slide effortlessly into the negative spaces of my wire hat and create a second complicated combined shape…it imploded. I ran around the apartment fueled by terror and false epiphanies making plans for the 5am opening of Builder’s Square and my 8am critique…let’s just say it was hard to defend the half-melted mess of builder’s insulation/Styrofoam, gesso, gold spray paint with bowling-ball styled “handle holes”…

I learned that at the exhaustion point, new solutions should not be undertaken. At the exhaustion point, certain projects need to be set aside, even if they don’t involve change…because a trip to the emergency-room to sew up finger-tips takes more time than a proper nap. I learned to keep my drink and my brush-water/paint-thinner in very different feeling cups.

Costuming is no different. I know my limits because I’ve run full speed into them, over and over and over and over again, before I got wise.

I have learned to only cut patterns when I am well rested and in a good mood…and before any wine. I know at certain hours my serger will resist rethreading/resetting. I know that a piling up of simple errors signals it is time for me to rest, or walk, or eat…even if the voice of faux-infailibility whispers “you can do this, you can teach the fabric who is boss…” I know that if I am attempting assert authority or dominate my machine/needle/serger/fabric, the battle has already been lost and I need to wave the white flag (or any fabric at hand).

I know that if I have a gig with other dancers the next day, that they deserve to work with someone well rested and at peace with the world…no matter how much I’d hoped to debut a new costume.

I know that a container of beads will not close itself, but that it might spill itself.

If I have a great idea on how to “make it work” at 1am…I can sketch it/prep for it/write it down. If the idea was gold, it’ll be gold in the morning, but if it’s not I’ll be better able to realize design flaws after breakfast and my morning coffee.

When your thread won’t stop knotting, you’ve cut two left legs, your sleeve is inside out, you’re thinking ”they won’t notice if…” your finger is bleeding, your clothing/hair/sanity is shorter than when you started, the fauxibility sirens are calling to you. Stop. Clean up. Sleep/walk/shop/eat/love/screw/bathe…dance…whatever you need to do, do it.

Stopping is not failing. You’re not a quitter.

If you are afraid you’ll loose momentum then, after cleaning up, carefully lay out the supplies you’ll need for the next step before you step away from your work station.

What lessons have you learned?

parasitegirl: (Default)
For those of you not on facebook, here's one of two of my current fix-up vintage costume.

While back in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin this winter I was taken to the attic of local dancer/instructor Mona N’wal. [livejournal.com profile] replyhazy  can vouch for the fact that I often make odd noises and petted fabrics as they talked to me. After Mona had sold me a good 145$ worth of fabrics, beads, bling and more from her stash, she took me to the studio to go through Johnny’s legacy.

Johnny had many dreams, to be Greta Garbo was just one of them. Through his life he was a drag-queen, bellydancer, and costumer. When he passed away, those who had been taking care of him at the end, contacted Mona (not knowing that she and Johnny had once studied with, and traveled to Turkey with, the same dance instructor) about how to sell his massive collection of homemade costumes.

Since then, Mona has been selling the remaining costumes to the Madison BD and Burly scene. I can only imagine how many items were sold before I saw them.

Johnny was my size and height at the peak of his costuming. When he gained weight he just expanded the belts. I was in luck.

I brought back 2 belts, a Persian lace skirt 3-panel skirt, and many accessories for parts to construct matching bras for myself. I also went back and got a fushia/red/black belt and a parts bra for Tamra Henna TX. She's about my size and we've been exchanging costume-related gifts. The goods! )

Cool kudos

Jan. 11th, 2010 08:29 pm
parasitegirl: (dance text)
Princess Farhana popped into Bhuz to promote her latest blog entry about vintage costumes.
http://princessraqs.blogspot.com/2010/01/raqqin-retro-vintage-belly-dance.html

On that Bhuz thread I pointed out one thing she'd missed the evil "padding turned to dust" issue with many American-homemades of a certain age. She sent me a PM soon after saying :

 Hi!!!

  OMG yeah, you're right... the hellish break-down of old bra- linings... yikes!!!

So I wandered over to her blog and made a comment on the issue with a link to one of my albums of fixer-uppers so people can see what it can look like in there and that it's not hopeless.

Today she joined my fan-page, looked aorund, and left the comment:

So much awesomeness going on here!!!!!!

 

parasitegirl: (Default)
...well, I need to line the bra today, but it's finished in the "impressive stuff you do" department.

Belt. No torso because it's for Farasha and won't fit me ever. )
parasitegirl: (Default)
I am working on fixing up an older homemade costume I bought back in June. I started working in earnest on it a few days ago. It will be part of how I pass my time on the airplane back to American

Here's a public link to the gallery http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=141616&id=84299390665&l=6d334c1b9f

July Torso and some progress )

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