Ding dong, the Witch is… sewn up neatly and shipped off in time thank you very much!

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I present… Elphaba! These photos were taken whilst we were constructing her (no sleeves!), and it took three of us about a week to make her… with a LOT of discussion, pinning, unpinning, more discussion and lots and lots of sewing!

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The Bodice was pattern cut, the pieces embellished with strips of sequin, lace, and other oddments in quite an organic way. It took time to place the layers in a way which didn’t add too much bulk to the costume- and therefore make the across look like she’s been eating all the pies!-  and there’s quite a few layers. Maya did the main bulk of the sewing for this section and I had to admire her patience!

We wanted to emphasis the ‘tornado’ effect, because of the character of Elphaba, which would pay homage to the original Broadway design but be a little different and put a Midnight Costume Services twist on it!

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The skirt was where we ran into some difficulties. We didn’t have enough time for this costume really, and we needed to some up with a solution which would look awesome, not use too much fabric and be quick… yeah, it was asking a lot, I know!

In the end we cut and alternately pleated and gathered strips, onto the panels of the bottom section of the Skirt. The top we stitched to match the bodice so it would ‘fish tail’.  The bottom of the skirt started to look do a really good impression of Madonna in her Material World phase and after panicking for a few minutes we discovered that sewing each layer down, and trapping some sequin trim as we did so, solved this issue whilst looking brilliant at the same time.

With a Crin underskirt, sleeves, lace tatters and some incredible Red Diamante Hot Stones which glittered brilliantly  we were finished and I promise to share pictures as soon as we have them!

Happy stitching!

Adventures in Showgirl Corsets.

Using commercial patterns in Costuming feels like cheating, I don’t know why, but it does! However; ever since Yaya Han released her Corset Pattern I have been dying for an excuse to use it… which I know is super weird as I am not only a pattern drafter and cutter, I have my very own Corset Pattern for sale!

M7339, Misses' Overbust or Underbust Corsets by Yaya Han M7339, Misses' Overbust or Underbust Corsets by Yaya Han

I guess sometimes I just want to join in with the cool kids, the those CosPlayers are some pretty damn cool kids! Any hoo, I needed to make three Showgirl Costumes and, because this Pattern has a range of Cup sizes I thought it would be perfect, and save me the time of drafting my own. Win!

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These bad boys needed to be spangly, so after much hunting I finally decided upon this gorgeous (and very hard to locate!) Gold Sequin and Pink Sequin fabrics. Each had to be backed with matching Silk Habotai to ensure the sequins reflected as much as possible, and they were both lined with Coutil. They are fully boned with Steel Boning and have a quick rigged,open ended zip at the back because of quick changes.

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Offset with some gorgeous Indian Beaded Trim (eye wateringly expensive and used sparingly because no more could be ordered if there was a mistake as it takes about three weeks to arrive!), in the ‘V’ of the cleavage they shimmer gloriously in the studio, and look amazing on stage.

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Matching shorts were also made- in the Gold here, but also in Pink- as they are used in several different styles of dance including the Can-Can.

I think I did Yaya Han proud, and I am super impressed with her Pattern. I didn’t really use the instructions because we made these up a little differently that they would be for personal use. Here each panel is made and neatened separately in case of alterations, the cups are kept in alterable separate pieces and all of this makes the insides look a little messy as you can see all of the Overlocked channels. They aren’t laced, as the performers had a quick change, instead they zip up which in real life looks a little clunky but can’t really be seen from the stage when they’re performing.

All in all I’m really happy, and they fit great.

If you are thinking about sewing your own Corset this Pattern can be found here, and the Eventide Corset Pattern from Laura After Midnight can be found here. A full Sew-Along for the Eventide can be found here, and discusses many of the techniques used to make these up.

Happy stitching!

Corset Kit & Pattern News

I thought I would just post a quick update on Corset Month, and the Corset Kit/Pattern… pre-orders are being taken (simply email me at laura@lauraaftermidnight.com to add you name to the list) however; I have run in to some last minute technical issues. These shouldn’t effect the start of Corset Month but I shall probably have to reorganize the running order slightly to accommodate for people ordering the Kits and Patterns so that there is time for them to reach everyone before the start of Corset Month.

So, what’s been happening?

Well, I have been working. A lot! And it turns out releasing a Pattern is kind on an insane task, but hey- I’m nearly at the end of it now! I have learnt so much, mainly that if you want something done well… you’ve guessed it… do it yourself!! I had initially tried to have the Patterns I wish to release digitised professionally however, and I am not entirely sure why, no companies were that willing to help, assist or work with me. Maybe because I was ‘small fry’? This little thing has meant months of research and planning going out the window, and that I had to learn how to draft in Illustrator. Not ideal as this also meant everything has taken quite literally months longer that I had anticipated! But hey, now I can draft in illustrator… not brilliantly and with many, many swear words and cups of tea, but I can!

So having mastered this side of things, we were on to the printing and ‘PDF-ing’ of the Patterns. Again, so many little issues to iron out. It turns out that- only being able to print A4 at home (the other Pattern I am designing needs to be A3)- that this section needed to be done at my local copy shop. And they’re soo rude!! I have found a new copy shop, willing to scan and print for a much more reasonable price and we are inching towards our goal line.

With a selection of processes- and I am sure none of them are conventional!- I am now able to draft Patterns, digitize and clean them up/test, print and convert them to PDF. Boy, has it ever been a learning curve!!

As I said, we’re nearly there and only a week late. Which I am counting as a win!! To be honest, I’m so proud of myself and wonderfully amazed that I will have released a Pattern in the next week. It’s just that everyone has to be a little patient for a little while longer, and I thank you so much for that.

As a little bonus, and as part of the Sew-a-Long I shall be posting a Waspie ‘hack’ so the Corset Patter you buy from me will actually be able to be adapted and changed into two wonderful pieces. I shall also be running a competition for the PDF (as I have just reached over 700 followers on Facebook yay!!), so definitely watch this space!!

The Corset Kits I am producing are limited in number for the first run but there are a few left if you would like to put your name down. I’ll be shipping next week, and they’ll be on sale as wells as the Hard Copy with Instruction Book, and the PDF Download. The Sew-a-Long will start on the 14th April with a HUGE post on suppliers so if you wanted to join in you can grab your equipment in time for the Sew-a-Long. This information is also included in each Instruction Book. The Sew-a-Long proper will start a week later with inserting the Busk.

Phew, I’m off to Devon for a couple days to try to decompress (stress dreams are oh so fun!), and meet Fellas Ozzie family. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Happy stitching!

Taking orders now…

Good afternoon, lovely people! I do hope it’s a little less grey where you are than it is here. We keep getting little flashes of sunshine, and patches of blue sky though so I am hopeful!

Now, I have some exciting news today… Laura After Midnight is open for Bespoke Mini Top Hat, Corset and Costume orders!!

Having been hard at work finishing several commissions, I am now able to start taking on orders again! Whatever your hearts desire, and where ever in the World you are, we can stitch you up something gorgeous and send it off with a bow on it! One of the things I love about being a Costume Designer and Interpreter is the many, many different directions this job can take me! Please do  not hesitate to contact me however big or small your request! Below are some pictures of just some of the many, many wonderful pieces I have created for people, and for sale on Etsy, over the last few years…

black hat photo shoot

White Hat 2      Red Hat 2      Blue Hat 1

Mini Top Hats… … … from £45 +P&P. Order time 7-10 days. Price includes design consultation and all materials.

 

dark destiny

Bespoke Costuming. Price on application, order time up to 6 weeks. From Elven Jerkins, to Cosplay and Steampunk corsets, Dragons and more, whatever you can imagine we can create! Womenswear and Menswear orders are now being taken, we have made pieces for Feature Films, and private customers alike, and will happily work to your budget.

corset 2      corset

Cream Corset FRONT Red Corset CLOSE UP TRIM

Bespoke Corsetry… … … prices from £95 +P&P. Order time 2-3 weeks. Price includes design consultation, illustrated design and all materials. Gorgeous Silks, Satins and Embroidery with overlays of Sequins and Lace, who wouldn’t want their own custom made Corset?

I am so excited to see what you have in store for me! Please do not hesitate to contact me at laura@lauraaftermidnight.com for all enquiries.