Hollywood Old Timey Jazz Glam!

Given the chance to design a Chorus Line for a show I of course went Old Timey and pulled influences from old school Hollywood!

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Who wouldn’t, right?

Working with a very limited budget, I decided to create some stand out Tail Coats, then add different Costume elements to them to create different looks. Most of the budget for this show went into these Tail Coats, and I think they really sell the piece… not so much on this mannequin though! Why are store mannequins so weirdly shaped?!

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I thought that Black Sequin fabric was a super swell find, and would really pop on stage, but I didn’t want to over use it. The Black fabric was also sequined, but a little more gently, and simply shimmered but provided real movement.

We also made silver waistcoats, hot pants (girls) and trousers (boys) with silver sequin tuxedo stripes. For the more modern dance numbers which were a little more energetic we created t-shirts with stars and others with music notes on them, also from the silver sequin fabric (actually, the silver sequin fabric scraps! We were really using every last piece!!)

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Finally, and I was super duper over the moon with these bad boys I can tell you!, I made some silver mini top hats with shooting stars… ta da!!

hat1 hat2 hat4

And put it all together and… … …

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That’s some pretty hot jazz!

Happy stitching!

Hail to the King!

Midnight Costume Services is finally at the end of a long run of Costumes for an Entertainment Park, and this job comes to a close with a Panto! Dick Whittington… and I thought I’d share the process of making some of the pieces, like King Rats Tail Coat!

Easily my favorite Costume to make so far, I decided to loosely Hand Tailor the Tailcoat to support a couple of incredibly dramatic Shoulder Pads. To get the right look I played about with layering existing Shoulder Pads and felt but in the end- even though it was more work- I had to resort to a more traditional technique and ended up layering the felt in decreasing sizes to build up a pointed, exaggerated Shoulder. As you can see in the first picture using the existing Shoulder Pads looked super clunky!

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Using a mixture of hand stitching, machine stitching and a little bit of glue, each Shoulder Pad has about 20 layers of felt and is quite malleable, allowing me to gently sculpt a curve. I haven’t some this in a while and I was super pleased with the results!

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I found some (pretty disgusting, but amazing for the purpose!) quilted fabric which I thought looked a little like Bin Bags… it’s the kinda thing I thought the King of Rats’ would have a tailored jacket out of!! In a concession to the performers I created the sleeves from a stretch Leather- which is why they look a little like they’re pulling- but means the Jacket will fit multiple performers and wont restrict movement.

The mannequin this is pictured on is a little too large, but I think it still looks majestic!

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I find Panto a difficult beast to design for, I want to do character analysis to find their motivation and design around that, which doesn’t really work here. It’s all a bit too tongue in cheek, shiny and primary coloured for me but in starting with King Rat I helped myself a lot! Deciding that as a character he would have had quilted and embroidered bin bags fashioned in to a Tailcoat got me on my way.

I also fashioned medals and ribbons for the lapel, because of course he would be decorated!, and used lace and matt black sequins to applique and embroider detailing in the lapel and jacket. With a final sprinkling of darkly glittery hot stones and a Top Hat I think he turned out to be quite the dandy!

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The hat was hand stitched and created using strips and fragments from the Tail Coat machine embroidered on, with layers of sparkly net and sequins overlayed. Slightly battered- he does live in the sewers after all!-the ears were made from faux fur, a lot of dye and sprayed dye.

As I have a commission to create a White and Gold Louis XVI Sun King Tail Coat I am really pleased this turned out so well. The Sun King Tail Coat will have to be much more viciously tailored to create a base for a spectacular Gold Feathered Shoulder Piece, and I can’t wait to share it!!

Happy stitching!

PDF Flash Sale

Because of new EU VAT Regulations (boy, am I tired of typing that, and so fed up with the situation), I will have to stop selling PDF Patterns through Etsy as of Midnight on December 31st 2014. This may seem to be a knee jerk reaction to the whole Vat Mess situation however; millions of small businesses are being effected by the (ridiculous, unfair and plain stupid) change- over 3.3 million in the UK alone- and this is a precautionary step to protect myself until we can figure out what the next step it… because all sources of help within HMRC are giving conflicting, incorrect or confusing advice and no-one seems to understand how we can comply, why indeed as a Small Business/Micro Business we should comply or what the next step might be.

Just to give you an overview, from 1st January 2015 if I sell a Digital File to another EU Country I have to pay VAT there. However there are 28 countries in the EU with 75 different VAT rates… so I have to register to pay VAT in every EU Country… and often I don’t know where my Customer is. I’m going to leave it there as I tend to start angry typing and become incoherent if I add more!!

I will still be offering Patterns as a hard copy however; the new regulations will include all products by the end of the year. The best explanation of the new regulations I have found is here, please read it if you are a small business as I was convinced the 80k threshold would protect me and it doesn’t. More interesting articles can be found here and here loosely explaining the situation and a very helpful Facebook Group has been set up here.

So, why not just sell to the US? As 80% of my business is with you guys- thanks by the way!- this is a viable solution. But wait… there’s a little piece of law which says I shouldn’t discriminate against selling to a certain Country without cause. I think this is cause not to sell to the EU, expecially when historically I don’t much however; there’s another really, huge, big issue with this. I sell on Etsy, who aren’t going to help me to distinguish between Countries so I can’t do this and keep this side of my business afloat. Great.

So, we’re left with several options… just sell Hard Copy Patterns with a complimentary PDF, just sell Hard Copy, or find another platform to sell on so I can distinguish between Countries so I can only sell outside of the EU which looks like it might be a more permanent solution for the size of my business.

 

Any hoo, because of this ”VAT Mess” I’m having a Flash Sale on all PDF Patterns…

Mini Top Hat PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Eventide Corset PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

Mini Top Hat PDF (above, left) £3.25      Eventide Corset PDF (above, right) £4.25

Dusken Spats PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

**NEW** Dusken Spats PDF (above) £4.25

Costume Sewing Patterns Selection Pack inc. Victorian Corset, Steampunk Burlesque Mini Top Hat and Steampunk Spats

All three PDF Patterns (above) £10

How’s about that then? They’ll only be available for the next two days… eek!! Click the images to buy 🙂

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.

 

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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.

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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.

Sale!!

I have reduced the price of ALL my Mini Top Hat Kits on Etsy!! I need to clear some space for Winter stock, so grab yourself a bargain now!!

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All of these beauties, and more!, available on the Laura After Midnight Etsy store right now!

They make excellent Christmas presents for someone who is learning to sew, or sews but would maybe like a little challenge, or would like to perfect their hand sewing skills. The pattern can be used again and again- so brilliant if you are planning a wedding or event- and they are just so gosh darn delightful! I have displayed the ones I have made on stands about my workroom, and they look so pretty!

I’m planning all sorts of new ones for the Winter, so these need a home soon! If you see a couple you like, make me an offer via Etsy… I’m sure I could offer group discount too!

When you buy anything from Laura After Midnight you get a little email gift (£2.00 off when you spend £10.00), as well as a little something sent in the package too! How sweet is that?!

Happy stitching!

Alice in Midnightland!

My very first feature has appeared on A Very Curious Wedding!

There are more features to follow as the Kits are made up however; why not follow along as Michelle makes up her Alice in Wonderland themed Fascinator and Mini Top Hat Kits? Available now on Laura After Midnight on Etsy from just £10…

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The Fascinator Kit comes in Pale Blue Watered Taffeta and Paper Silk. Included in the Kit is a decoration pack with Cream Feathers, dainty and very pretty Daisy Chain Lace, Black and Cream Ribbons and Paper Silk hand made Flower with Vintage Button details to decorate with, and veiling to make a Birdcage Veil. The Mini Top Hat Kit is made up in 100% Black Silk Dupion. Included in this fantastic Alice themed Kit is a Decoration Pack with Red Velvet Ribbon, gorgeous Black Guipure Lace trim, a selection of Vintage mis-matched Buttons, Black and Red Satin Ribbon and to set it all off some quirky Vintage style Alice themed Playing Cards. Pretty cool!!

I’ll even pop in a Mini Kit of your choice to the first 5 sold! Click the link to buy and don’t forget, Augusts Discount Code is AUGUST13 for free shipping on orders over £20.00.

Happy stitching!

Midnight Makes

So, what have I been up to over the past week or so?

Well, apart from an awesome weekend away with nearly ALL of my family, lounging about in the sun, barbecuing, eating cake, loosing kites and watching movies projected on to the side of my Brothers humongous van (he’s Wagtail Joinery!), I have had a slightly magical week!

famfestProof! Can you guess the movie?! We are all gathered round with a fire pit, in deck chairs!

The camping trip left me with a bad back, which only lasted for a couple days but along with the heat left me pretty exhausted to be honest. Then I had a stomach bug- which I am totally blaming the weather for! I am not a happy sun bunny, I am a misty moisty cold weather kinda gal!

In between my whining about the heat however; I have had some inspiration strike! Look at my new Alice in Wonderland themed Mini Top Hat, Mini Top Hat Kit and Fascinator Kit!!

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I have a confession… this gorgeous bundle of loveliness is about to be packaged up and sent off for a teeny tiny featurette (mini squeal of excitement!), but more on that later. The Mini Top Hat and Fascinator Kit’s will be available on my Etsy store soon (let me know if you’re dying to get your hands on one and I can ship sooner!).

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The Mini Top Hat features Alice in Wonderland playing cards, feathers and a ”In This Style 10/6” card, with Black Lace, Velvet Ribbon and Vintage Buttons… I am loving this Kit!! The Fascinator Kit is more Alice themed, and I channelled the traditional image of Alice with a little sweetness, Pale Blue Paper and Moire style Silk, flowers and Vintage Buttons… I have also tucked a few Cream Feathers in this Kit for a little something extra!

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And oh my gosh, I had so much fun making this little hat! I started it in the heat of the noon-day sun whilst camping and I think it has turned out wonderfully! I am making up a Gold Silk and Gold Lace one in a similar style as I type this, and a couple of the oft requested Mini Tricorn Hats so expect more pic’s soon!

I have also been receiving regular reports of my first ever magazine shoot squee!! I made up a costume about two weeks ago and I can’t share anything until it is published but I am desperate to share, the photos are truly, magnificently stunning and I became quite emotional looking at a piece I had created here at Midnight Heights looking suddenly so stunning!

So, along with commissions, the ever present orders for Spats and the above, magazine and featurette loveliness, this week has been quite delightful on the creativity front!

I do hope your week has been as lovely,

Happy stitching!

Some stunning new Mini Top Hats.

New things have been listed (finally!) in the Laura After Midnight Etsy store, hooray!! I feel as if I am a whirlwind of activity at the moment, and had actually given myself today off. What do I find myself up to? Writing a new Zine, and excitedly photographing things for Etsy then listing! Oh well, I’ll sleep when I’m dead and all that!

Gold Hat 1 Gold Hat 4 Gold Hat 2

In the spare time that I do have, I’ve been hand embellishing some Mini Top Hats I made a while back with all sorts of lace, spangles and adornments I have found in my stash, and I do have to say that I am mighty impressed with the results! I bought a Vintage Embroidery book a while back which was all about the results Chain Stitch can give you if you layer it up.  As you can see I have used it to make Flowers and mixed it in with Spangles for a very effective and highly embellished look.

Cream Hat 3 Cream Hat 5

Above are just two, there are more in the shop! Because my line of Spats have proven so very, very popular, I have been working towards make a new and slightly more colorful range. What do you think? I adore the Pirate Spats soo much!!

Red Spats 1 Ship Spats 2

Stripe Spats 1 White Spats 1

In other news: I am on target for my 2nd Zine! Eek!

I am furiously commanding Photoshop to do my bidding as we speak, scanning in illustrations and generally having a high old time. This one is actually going to be given away as a free little extra with any Zines I sell and is all about the Vintage Sewing Books I use, and find most helpful. As I think every Seamstress (or Seamster!!) should own a couple and I have hand illustrated the covers and written a small review for a teeny tiny yellow Zine.

Right, time for tea me thinks…

Happy stitching!

Silence is golden!

I am working hard on some new designs, so please bear with the silence! New Spats, Kits, Hats, Sewing Rolls & many more things are being concocted at Midnight Heights this week ready for listing on Etsy, & on my market stall. I have suddenly embraced colour again, & some of the Mini Top Hats look glorious!

Exciting news for Laura After Midnight is that our Press Releases will be going out by the end of the week! Eep! It has been a long, hard road however; I am so excited to be sharing the Kits with the World.

I expect normal service to resume in June, when I am teaching a Vintage Dressmaking Course, so expect many posts of how to sew ‘the proper way’!

Wish us luck, & happy stitching!

Sugar Pastel Inspiration

Have you noticed the change in the winds? Summer is coming, I can smell it on the breeze, the Magnolias are soon to bloom & everywhere I look there are Daffodils & Tulips! I love this time of year, it is not yet too hot for me & the winds can whip all the cobwebs & tiredness of a long Winter away.

Because I am soon to officially launch my Mini Top Hat & Fascinator Kits I have been thinking about colour ranges & new ideas have been bursting forth! I am in love with Sugar Pastels with a little oompf… what do you think? I am pretty sure any Bride, Bridesmaid or Vintage party go-er would love one of my Kits in these colours!

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Happy stitching!