Thursday, February 1, 2018

WIGSTOCK - The last night of the Gardens

Starring PollyFilla and ME [and a bunch of other people] ;-) PollyFilla now lives in Melbourne and is the most recent recipient of entry into the Melbourne Drag Hall of Fame, which is a huge honour; makes me so proud to be his friend and mentee. Polly wanted to do a huge drag show to finish the Gardens Magic series of concerts that Wellington City Council operate each year. While he was in Aus up to his eyelashes in shows, we got a cast together and the rest is herstory!
The largest crowd ever (so I am told) gathered to watch us. Must have been nearly 2,000 people! Age range from babies to great grans.
 Synching to the Grass Is Always Greener from Woman of the Year. Me and PollyFilla
 Backstage, Polly (top) and Ellie Kat doing last minute sewing repairs. Two extremely talented (and qualified!) costumiers in their own rights.
 Polly opening the show!
 Here's a bit of the enormous crowd who came to watch. This is family friendly drag!
 Me on stage singing Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps. I had already done the lipsynch duet with Polly but I was still blown away singing to so many people!
 A close up taken by some lovely person on Facebook
Ross caught this moment with the breeze slightly lifting my skirt. It was a sensational evening - cool and calm which is always a huge relief when you are painted to the max and trussed into a tight frock!
All of the performers were amazing. It's surprisingly hard to find photos of us all though, and no word of any official photos as yet. So I'm not filtering out the other fantastic artists on purpose. I love them all!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Oooh look - Kaffe Fassett!

Brandon Mably and Kaffe Fassett came to visit my shop this week. Thanks to the amazing Sue and Shanon at Busy Bee quilting who sponsored the Wellington leg of their NZ tour this summer. They teach and speak and are amazing. I missed all of this as I am too busy being distracted, so I consider myself extremely blessed by this unexpected gift.
Brandon took the above pic on the verandah outside, in front of this wonderful mural. Kaffe spotted it and decided it was his kind of backdrop. Colour blending and painting is his style, not high contrast.
I love both these amazing people's work. I have a lot of Kaffe fabrics in my stash, that I treasure so much I can hardly bring myself to use them!
You couldn't meet two nicer men. They were encouraging about our beautiful shirts and shades and we had a wee gossip about some of the other players in the industry, not mean just fun things.
And, I sang them the bit of my Stashbusting about Kaffe and they wanted to see it so I sent the link.
Made my month, year, decade that did!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Courage vs Confidence

People are always admiring my confidence, because I will do mad stuff like this photoshoot in undies. The thing is, it doesn't work like that, I'm sharing this not to blow my own trumpet, but because I think it might help people who are scared of giving these things a go to understand how it works:

I do it because I am scared, but I screw up my courage and have a go. The confidence comes FROM this, it is not the beginning of the cycle. Experience has taught me that this will mostly happen, although sometimes the outcome is awful and humiliating and terrible, just as I fear it may be. But I live through it and have another go.
ANYHOO! THIS photoshoot is to publicise our show at Art Deco Weekend in Napier; KABARETT presents NacktMusik 
 This is a thrown together look that I am improving on for the show. YES, I am in a bra and cami knickers and I will be on stage. This is a really terrible idea in many ways but I'm doing it anyway. It is a terrible idea because in spite of knowing it is perfect for my character, some people will be very judgy about it.
 Especially when I am surrounded by these babes all evening! Spending a day with them all being so gorgeous in their scanties for this shoot was nerve-wracking, even though we all love each other and it is a very safe space full of trust and mutual respect.
 There's nothing typically sexy or titillating about this.
But, we will have fun and it all makes sense. Clever Hansel and I are married in this show. A somewhat unconventional relationship that is probably not a legal marriage, given my character's actual assigned gender is probably not the one I am identifying with here.

It is a Cabaret of weird, sexy and unexpected acts, tied loosely together by snippets of insight into the lives of the cast - their loves, losses, addictions and confusions.
I could have taken an easier path with this show and worn more clothes. When I first started performing, I would no more have done this than run naked down the street. But, the courage-action-confidence cycle has moved me a long way from then, and I hope that this show will be one of the wins. I am sure it will, actually, as it is something special.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bra Busting!

People when you are my size, bras with stage appeal are non-existent.
But, I can sew! So recently in Christchurch when I had some time for once, I found this bra.
The stripy sheer fabric has a good Art Deco vibe. However, it lacks the slapper-like qualities needed for the character I am portraying. So, I hacked it!
Modesty forgoes an in situ photo of the process but basically I put it on and attacked it with the scissors, much like the red line, without cutting through the elastic and lace edging. I also cut away the black net lining so it is more transparent. Then I laid the edging back over the newly cut line and zig zagged it. It wasn't long enough but it doesn't matter as I then added a heavy lace strip along the top to hide it all. This is all for stage so the fairly rough approach is fine.


 I felt it needed some bling so I hauled out a sieve from the kitchen to act as a 3D mold to keep its shape.

 One sieve, one bra cup and off we go!
I could only do one cup at a time to let the glue dry (Aleene's Tacky is the best thing for sticking on rhinestones ever)

I haven't covered the whole cup as I just want to add some sparkle. The stones are black diamond so low contrast.
When it's all dry tomorrow I can try it on and decide if it needs anything else.
The photos are all at night so a bit rubbish. But not as rubbish as unpicking black lingerie was!
I bought this corset on half price sale and it fits perfectly in the front, just not enough to wrap all around moi, so I've unpicked the fastenings from down the back in order to add an extra panel of black power net on each side.
Jeepers all this naughty gear is a bit confronting. I'm not sure if I will be wearing ANY of it on stage as yet, but if I do it will be in a humorous context. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Fastest Costume ever!

Tonight I went upstairs to alter a bra for a show and as I was fossicking around looking for some sequins, I grabbed what I thought was a bit of trim in a pile and pulled out a dress!
Yes, this is an insight into the chaos of my studio!
Amanduh La owns the dress, I think, and I think we were going to alter it to fit her as it is a bit big, but it was so utterly perfect for my next big show, I set about embellishing it.
My go-to was a length of hideous 50cm long ombre fringing. I mean really, what WAS I thinking when I bought it?? I originally attached it to a mini skirt to wear with the outfit below when Polly filla and I did Queen vs Queen. But I couldn't do it.
 Me NOT wearing hideous fringing skirt because...
 ...it looked like a Kapa Haka skirt, as shown on these two poppets. Cultural appropriation much??

Also, I hate associating fringing with the 20s as it really wasn't a thing, contrary to millions of costumes that say otherwise. But, also I couldn't resist putting black and white with black and white.
Here we go! The big white butterflies are in my stash and just give it a bit of extra lift. LOL
The dress is SO itchy as the sequins rub though the very thin lining and trying it on nearly drove me demented. But I will have slippery things on under it so it will be ok. I NEED to wear some shapewear with it as it is a very firm fit indeed.
I think once I'm done with it I will give it back to Amanduh. But don't tell her I'm borrowing it!
That's Amanduh over my left shoulder. Oops i'm wearing one of her costumes here too! But she does borrow mine quite often... ;-)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My sewing wrap up of 2017

In 2017 I EMBELLISHED a LOT! I made a few things too. Overall I got more done than I thought I had so this is a useful exercise!
I'm not including the denim jacket and stool I wrote about already, or the mending I did after Christmas but that was most satisfying too.

1. Robe for CC 

 I cut this out but Kat my sewing fairy made this up as I was up against it early in the year. Made from Wearing History's rayon with musical notes on it, so beautiful! It has CC on the back. It's good to have a robe to throw on over costumes so as not to reveal too much before the show. Here I am with Penny and Hans before the Clever and Constance show in Feb.

 2. The Wedding!

Our Sarah got married in March I overhauled her imported dress with new lace and beading, after remaking it a lot to tidy it up. It was very pretty! Me on the end in my Liberty sundress. I also overhauled June's dress (Matt the groom's Mum second from left) which was gorgeous. The petite lovely in dove grey is Sarah's Mum, Bronwyn. I love that woman.

3. And now, show stuff!

 OK, this outfit is a purchased jacket and me-made trousers, both embellished with a pink sequin trim, by hand, Big job! Same with the pink purchased corset. I love the trousers and am making some flowy ones in rayon for summer.
 Me left, Debbie right being hilarious. A purchased dress embellished with gold sequin motifs for more stageworthiness.
 My pink kaftan. I am not in love with this to be honest - I feel a little like a Nigerian noble in it. Shiny though!
 More embellished RTW from City Chic. This lovely blue flowing top now has a fancy sequinned and beaded neck feature, and I'm slowly sticking rhinestones onto it. Embellishing can be Agile - delivery a Minimum Viable Product and building on it!
This dress I love so much, after I embellished this one with shiny oranges, I bought another for day wear. Sadly it is so polyester I feel in it like I am wrapped in gladwrap. But I have cut a pattern from it as a basis for an outfit. Not the same - besides the ethics, I don't like aspects of it as much as others.
This is a screen grab from our video playlist as I don't have a photo of it. Little blue 3D butterflies on an embroidered net - each of them carefully brushed with tacky glue and "flittered" (fine glittered). It is much more impressive in reality!

4. Flashback!

That's not everything but it will do. And now for a wee flashback to the past - about 1985 I reckon!
An about 20 year old me in my favourite shirt at the time, naturally known as The Sneeches shirt. I don't remember the lass beside me, but she's wearing a similarly shaped shirt! It was a boxy, drop shouldered style popular at the time and I had several of them in different fabrics. TNTs are not a new concept! I think I wore this until it actually fell apart.

And that's me for now xo

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

I was going to write something about what I'd done this year but today I got some brioche buns on special which meant having to make raspberry and bread and butter pudding. It has pretty much eclipsed anything else I may have achieved this year!
 I hope you are celebrating in whatever way you choose to do so. I couldn't think of anything worse than being at a huge party right now. I think I ran out of people space in my brain about three months ago and this time is for recharging and clearing space for 2018.

xo