Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frenchy Rat Ears Halloween Costume

Ahh, Ratatouille!  One of the best movies in the whole world, and who couldn't  love rats after seeing how talented and cute they turn out to be?!  I just made these totally simple rat ears and beret for a Prop. 37 commercial.  Thought they would be a great last minute Halloween costume for any of you out there who might have a penchant for the gutter life.


First, make it on paper, then trace onto grey fabric or leather.

Trace the interior part of  ear a quarter inch smaller than the grey on the back of pink sticky foam.  Cut out.

Attach sticky foam to the center of the ears, lining up the flat sides.  Sew the bottom two corners of the ears together with thread.

Pull clear stretchy cord through the bottom of each ear with a needle.

Tie into a knot to fit the head.

Add a beret-directions for this here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quickie Victorian Shirt D.I.Y. and NDAD Book!

This past weekend the lovely Marisa Lynch (from the mind-blowing blog New Dress A Day, check it out!), came out with her first book of the same name.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend her L.A. book launch party at Book Soup.  I think I've mentioned this before, we shot a pilot together a couple months back and I think she's one of the most talented crafters ever.  So of course I wanted to show up at the signing in style! But I also wanted to honor the NDAD ethos.  Luckily, I had just the thing...I had bought this beauty at a thrift store a couple months back, and wore it as is, but found it a little constricting around the armpits.  Simple solution, I cut off the arm right under the ruffle, leaving the seams in tact, and voila, a new shirt for the day!

Marisa signing away!
My victorian shirt with leg of mutton sleeves.
Snip, snip.

Bye bye!  The ruffle hid the raw edge so I didn't worry about it.

Yay for the book!  What an accomplishment.

With John, who shot the pilot with us, and his lovely wife Rebecca.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Blue Berets of Paris

This is a re-post from a couple years back that ties into a post I'm going to post tomorrow...  I added some more blue beret shots of James from the last trip we went on together this time last October.  The kids grow so fast...

For our stay in Paris I thought a fitting project for Olaf and Grippy would be to make each of them a blue beret and take photos of them all over Paris. The beret is such a symbol of frenchiness, I just had to do it!  Associated with European art and romance, they began as the headgear of choice for early 19th Century Basque shepherds. Artists, writers, and bohemians adopted it later in the century as a gesture of rebellion against the status quo.  As Olaf and Grippy are natural born rebels, this was a perfect way for them to show their true colors. Vive la resistance!
This guy is turning 4 this week.  How time flies... (violin please)

On Olaf, Chris and my "first" child- just pretend, but we really had some great jokes stem from it and laughter is the glue to a relationship.

Didn't see many berets this last trip to Paris, but did see this lady with five hats on.  Great outfit, non?

James at the park behind Les Invalides in his blue beret.

Oui, how can I (h)elp you?

And at La Duree!
Two felt circles.
O.k.!  My walk down memory lane is over, here are the directions:
  • ¼ yard felt in the color of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Thread
  • 2 Round objects for tracing- one bowl for the full size of the beret and one smaller interior part that fits around the head.  I used kitchen bowls.
  • Pen
  • A few pins for pinning the circles together
1.  Trace two large circles onto the felt.

2.  Cut out both circles, leaving about ¼ inch seam allowance in addition to the traced lines.  Cut out a 1 ½ inch x ¼ inch rectangle as well.

3.  Take one of the circles and trace a smaller circle in the center of it.  Cut out center.

4.  Pin the two circles together along the larger circle markings.

5.  Stitch the two circles together on the traced lines.

6.  Turn right side out and find the middle of the top of the hat.

7.  Add folded rectangle to the center by folding it in two and stitching it onto the center of the top of the hat.  Et voila!

Quick Fox Costume

A couple of years back I entered a contest to make an inexpensive and easy costume inspired by Wes Anderson's film The Fantastic Mr. Fox (here is the original how-to). It seemed like a great opportunity to win some extra cash, wrap my head around the challenge, and see if my costuming chops were still there. Well, believe it or not,I actually won! It was a $2000.00 cash prize, a coffee table book of the movie (that never came) and the satisfaction of knowing that my foxy costume was chosen. Last week, I was looking for something else fox-related online and came across the final D.I.Y. fox costume video. Check it out- might make a great costume for those last minute folks out there that don't want to spend much money for a costume. Total cost $7.00.

how to make your own FANTASTIC MR. FOX costume from Sarah Ginsburg on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Overall Transformation

This past weekend, we spent an incredible day at Underwood Family Farm, eating corn on the cob, drinking fresh-squeezed lemonade, and getting lost in a corn maze.  We rode an oil barrel cow train and even won a free pumpkin.  At the end of the day we went home with about 50 pumpkins, sunburnt noses, and some great family photos.  After wearing these old overalls and seeing them on scarecrow after scarecrow I thought it was time for a makeover. After all, there's gotta be a way to wear overalls without scaring the birds away, right...
My new best friend.

The heaviest pumpkin I've ever lifted.

Who likes corn?

My big baby.

Our haul.

And after the makeover.  Ta-dah!

The directions will appear in the June edition of Sew It All Magazine.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Floral Patterned Shoe Transformation

Autumn in Los Angeles. 80 degrees plus, steaming hot. Leaves cling to green when the only thing we want is change. Bring on some orange, red, and brown! Bring on fall! Not here. Southern California affixes itself stubbornly to summer when all we want is to abandon the whites and navy's of August and kick up the spiced apple cider, hot chocolate, and all the lovely knits that autumn allows. Well, if Mother Nature won't provide, I will. And crave as I do the fall colors, I'm prepared to take summer under the knife and turn it into fall. So, here's a transformation of Spring shoes that only took a few minutes and is simple and easy, and will certainly turn a few heads, even if it won't turn the leaves (alas!)...

The original shoes.

Brush Mod Podge on the patterned area of shoes.

Cover with fall fabric.

Let dry then cut away fabric with Exacto knife.

Run fabric through the loop to cover the bow.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fortune Cookie Costume

 A perfect accompaniment for the Chinese To-Go Box Halloween costume.  It's super simple and only requires a few ingredients.

Cut a corrugated foam sheet into a circle.  This one is about 3 feet wide.

Paint raw umber- a very cookie like color.

Fold into cookie and add a couple wing nuts and a bolt to keep in place.

Add a fortune, a Chinese themed shirt, and chopsticks to your hair and you're all set.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chinese To Go Box Halloween Costume

When heading out to a Halloween party, it's always fun to go with someone else in tandem costumes.  This is one of a two parter- the accompanying costume is a fortune cookie costume which  I will post tomorrow.  This costume couldn't be easier.  It's simply four pieces of white foam core cut to the exact same dimensions, taped together and held up with 2 inch elastic.

Leave 8 inches at the top, score a line across so it will flap open like a to-go box.  Taper from the top flap down 2 inches in from each bottom corner.

Cut out a pagoda from red paper, it's best to fold in half lengthwise.    Add glue to the back with a glue stick.

Use white masking tape to tape all four sides together, taping on the inside.
Add noodles, red and green felt, a metal "handle"- this can be 24 gauge galvanized steel bent with you hands and an anvil.   Attach 2 inch  elastic to the inside of the metal handle, cover this with noodles.  Cut out chop sticks from extra foam core and paint brown.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Floating Genie Halloween Costume

Another illusion costume for this Halloween is the magical floating genie.  Light as a whisper, she can breeze through a party suspended in mid-air.  The actual costume is not hard to make with just a few supplies from the craft store, thrift store, or even just around the house.

The genie on the set of Marie.  Marie is Lucille Ball, if you can't tell.

Your wish is my command.

Cover a 2 inch pad with a patterned satin, in this case, I found a satin robe that I hadn't worn in forever, I cut the arms off and sewed it in a rectangle stuffing the bottom through the robe.

Whip-stitch edges of the fabric to seal.  With an Exacto knife, cut an "x" 1/3 from back middle, big enough so you can work your body through it, but not too big that the mat will fall off of you, it's got to be tight and you can always cut it bigger if it is too, too tight.  Start conservative.

Use bamboo sticks to make legs, measure your actual legs to get the length down.  Cover with Hollowfill.

Stuff the legs into genie pants, I found these at Salvation Army, split the back up the back seam and open in front of  slit you are making in the mat.  Tack legs to mat to get them to stay put.

Add fringe to the end of the genie carpet with hot glue and stuff bamboo sticks into socks.

Create fabric shoes with a coordinating fabric that will sit on legs.  It's important that these are light so they don't weigh the carpet down.  I used shiny blue fabric and pointed the toes to geniefy them.

A spray painted milk bowl, and an altered top put the finishing touches on this costume.  Wear with black leggings and black flats for comfort.  If you are having trouble keeping your carpet afloat, an invisible fishing line can be sewn onto the front two corners of the carpet and stretched around your back or neck to hoist it up.