glvalentine: (costume)
This weekend I attended the third (?) annual SalonCon in Somerset, New Jersey. I went for a chance to hang out with [ profile] squirrel_monkey and to catch a glimpse of amazing costumes. And to wear the dress that ate the last week of my life.

I achieved all three of those things, so in that sense the con was an unmitigated success. However, there was a lot going on, and not all of it was great, so SalonCon gets a List.

Enjoy a list, and some pictures of outfits! )


Sep. 13th, 2008 12:50 am
glvalentine: (costume)
Dress is done.

I am more pleased with it than I expected to be, though knowing that the owner of Costumer's Guide will be there makes me want to put a sign that says "I Know It's Not Historically Accurate, I'm Sorry" on my back. I mean, it's so inaccurate I don't have proper sleeves. My chemise is just some tulle.

The dress weighs close to ten pounds, according to my scale.

A snapshot from when the dress was almost finished; if you can ignore the vertigo, you get a nice look at the overall effect of the back, and of the suitcase that's been sitting in my hallway for eight hundred years.
glvalentine: (costume)
...but I'm cautiously optimistic this might, one day, resemble a dress.

(Movie stuff tomorrow, I promise, for all of you who could give a flying squirrel what I wear, ever.)
glvalentine: (omg no)
So, I have been away from the computer for three nights in a row, working on my dress, if "working on" means "cursing at". I have finally settled on something I think will salvage the precious shards of my original hopes for this dress. Ironically, it will almost totally obscure the actual dress. At this point, I am fiiiine with that.

I looked for a long time for a picture that best encapsulates what I'm going through with this dress, but I feel like my construction problems, my fabric issues, and my design hubris are best expressed by the photo below. You guys, my dress looks like this:


Sep. 5th, 2008 09:36 pm
glvalentine: (costume)
Here's my number-one problem with sewing: I don't have the patience.

I want it all to be perfect (the mark of goos quality is the ability to turn the garment inside out and have it be wearable quality - the lining and the seams are as beautiful inside as outside). I absolutely lack the patience to sit at the machine for fifty, sixty, seventy hours and be that painstaking. I don't have that patience for tango, either. I've only ever had it for writing.

This affects the world not at all. It does, however, mean that a bridesmaid's dress's life hangs in the balance.

It doesn't help that I picked up the world's most beautiful coat at the thrift store today and spent the train ride home sneaking peeks at the the lining to admire how smoothly they set it into the collar. My consolation is that only [ profile] squirrel_monkey will see the inside of this dress (as she's sausaging me into it). If I can live with a mess of a lining, I might be able to finish this thing and dare to leave the house with it.

A representative picture of my experience below the cut. )


Aug. 31st, 2008 09:19 pm
glvalentine: (costume)
I think more than sewing/fashion/design, I love textiles. Saturday I went on the rampage for fabrics for the SalonCon dress, and managed to hit four stores in less than an hour. My routine was always the same:

1. Enter the store, gauge the light.
2. Check swatch.
3. Turn on crazy fabric laser eyes (I know it's lame, but it's the only way I have to describe looking at fabric in the back of a pile and knowing it's the weave and weight you want).

The guy at the second store insisted that they had bronze/purple cross-dye silk, and brought me gold/purple.

"I'm sorry," I said, "that's too yellow for my fabric."

"Check your swatch," he said.

"I don't have to, it's too yellow."

"Check!" he insisted.

I slapped the swatch on the counter, and he got an eyeful of really vomitous tonal contrast.

"I'll check the back," he offered lamely.

I will say this in defense of the second-store guy; never has such a seemingly innocuous dress been capable of such a shift in color. Looking at it now by artificial evening light, it is an entirely different color then the dress that was sitting there all day.
glvalentine: (costume)
Acceptable Subtitles:
The Dressening
My First SalonCon
Has Prom Taught Me Nothing?

I'm been talked into going to SalonCon. Apparently there's a dance? And we all know what happens when I know there's a dance - I decide to make my own dress and embark on an ill-advised misadventure!

I snagged this dress at Goodwill:

Now I have to alter it. Should I manage it, I'll provide "After" pictures. If I fail, I'll be showing up in something entirely different and you'll never know what horrible things transpired in the depths of my sewing machine!
glvalentine: (costume)
So, when we left off, it was three days to prom, and I had the following in my arsenal:

1) A mock-up that looked like a circus tent;
2) Several yards of lovely black crepe-back satin procured at great cost; and
3) 72 hours till prom.

Pride wouldn't let me buy a dress; at this point, I had to make it myself.

What the hell did I think I was doing? )

The attic.

Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:30 pm
glvalentine: (costume)
The prom dress is long gone. My junior year Homecoming dress is still here, though. So is my 1910 kimono and obi. I will be spending tomorrow morning ransacking the place looking for my bridesmaid skirt, which is gorgeous.

I had a lot of amazing fabric here that I bought and just couldn't handle. I forgot how much my desire outstrips my sewing ability. *clings to vintage chenille brocade*
glvalentine: (costume)
The prom saga continues!

My senior year in high school hadn't been the horror show that middle school had been. When a group of friends mentioned going to the prom in a large, self-protecting clump, like a tiny flock of nerdy ducks in a sea of over-tanned State Championship cheerleaders, I could understand why they wanted to go. I didn't want to go, but I understood why they wanted to.

"You should come!" they said.

"I'm all counterculture and stuff," I said. "I have to go watch a bunch of silent films now while I sew up the holes in the elbows of my vintage black coat that I wear every day on top of guy's jeans."

I was really into exposition back then. Oh, and also, being a total pretentious nerdwad.

But they did not give up on me. "We've got a limo!" they said. I didn't listen. "We're going to dinner as a group!" they said. I paid no mind. "We're going dress shopping!" they said. I stuck to my guns.

Then one of them, particularly devious, said, "You could make your dress, you know."

Well, obviously I was going to prom, then.

The pattern I chose?

Anyone who can't see this disaster coming has never seen a dress before. )
glvalentine: (costume)
Earlier this week, Mary Robinette Kowal invited me to her apartment so I could poke her Campbell dress for a while. And I took pictures!

The best of these pictures got hacked up in Photoshop, since the dress (a soft pure gold in person) showed up as alternately chartreuse and acid yellow. My monitor, sadly vague when it comes to yellows, was of little use. I desaturated the detail shots and crossed my fingers for the rest. (It's not much. My oohing and aahing skills far outweigh my photo editing skills.)

An abbreviated photo essay is below; for more pictures, check out the Flickr set.

Who wants to see a dress yanked inside out? )
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
I found this in the Great Prom Search and couldn't even believe how awesome the world is.

Two nice people and someone's granddad at a Renaissance wedding:


I'm just saying.
glvalentine: (Default)
Okay, so, the next part of Project Prom is research. And by "research" I mean "look on Flickr". Apparently no one on Flickr posted pictures of my prom dress (bunch of lazy jerks!), so I'll have to just link to pictures of their prom dresses instead.

Ye Olde Promme! N'awww.

Sure, you'll hate yourself for clicking, but come on. You have to see this. )
glvalentine: (costume)
Inspired by the really horrible dress Wendy Watson wears in the Middleman's Titanic episode, I decided I wanted to write about my prom here. (I went to prom, can you believe it? You can't, can you. I understand.)

"Just a quick post," I thought, clearly high off my neighbor's paint fumes. "A couple of pictures, some anecdotes, and we'll be all set! It'll be fun."

Then I realized I had no prom pictures within a 300-mile radius. No problem! Hit up a friend!

The friend had no pictures. Then the friend mentioned two or three things about our prom, none of which I remembered.

So what was a short post is going to turn into a journey, as I try to piece together what the hell happened at my high school prom and how someone who doesn't drink could have blacked out on so much stuff.

(No joke, I'm not even sure we had a limo; all I remember is that I didn't drive, because I remember looking out a passenger window of some kind after 40 minutes of driving and thinking, "This person is going to pull over into the woods and murder us all." For this reason, I'm really hoping that it was a limo driver and not, say, one of my friends' parents.)

So! The journey of a prom, about ten years later. There will be intermittent posts about this until I can actually get my hands on photographs and remember what the hell went on.

First of all, I made my dress, which meant I missed out on buying prom magazines, which are more interesting than I could ever have imagined, judging by the ladypose in this ad:

Now, the ad is for a dress, but, uh, you could have fooled me.

P.S. Though I suspect I'll have a post where I do nothing but ask this, I'm asking it now and will do so every time I post about prom: what about YOU? Did you go? Did you spill pig's blood on Carrie? Did you, like one of the kids in my class, go to Paris instead? (Damn you, smart kid!)

ETA: If you did not attend an American prom, but some other sort of fancy dance evening for which people dress up and act like assholes, you should still answer this question!


glvalentine: (Default)
Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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