Pirates within the Disney Archives

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Disneyland attraction Pirates of the Caribbean. And with that, the Walt Disney Archives decided that their exhibit at D23 would be dedicated to pirates of all sorts! From early shorts to the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And since this was an amazing exhibit, thar be plenty o’ pictures ahead! Ye been warned!

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Dressing Downton

Earlier in the week, myself, Patrick, and a friend went to Anaheim’s Muzeo as they were hosting the touring exhibit, Dressing Downton, which features the costumes of British show Downton Abbey. As a fan of the show and vintage fashion, I leaped at the opportunity to visit! If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it chronicles the life and times of the fictional Crowley family, and their estate, Downton Abbey in the Yorkshire countryside, along with those who they employ, from 1912 through I believe 1923, so a great deal changes both in lifestyle and fashion.

For the visit, I went with a simple adventurer chic look with Egyptian revival jewelry, as seriously I don’t do the Edwardian period or the 20s really. My 20s garments consist of more gowns, nothing for a casual afternoon at a museum. So, this is about as close as I get sometimes.

Continue reading for images from the exhibit.

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Fine Finney Fiend

First off, Happy Halloween! I hope you all had a lovely pre-Halloween weekend! And that today brings you lots of fun tricks and treats!

Over the weekend Patrick and I attended Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con. When I found out that in attendece were going to be Adam West and Burt Ward, the caped crusaders from the 1960s, and my personal favorite version of Batman, along with Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether, who both played Catwoman; Newmar in the series, and Meriwether in the film, I decided to go with a Batman costume for the event. But with so much else going on in the month of October, I opted for an easier cosplay that involved less sewing on my part. Inspired by a vintage showgirl style tux ensemble I scored years ago, I created a female interpretation of The Penguin, who was portrayed impeccably by the talented Burgess Meredith in the 60s series and film.

Going into this, I already had an abundance of respect for Burgess Meredith (his various roles on The Twilight Zone were especially outstanding), but after shooting this costume, I have even more respect for him! Not only was it a massive struggle to keep the monocle in, but my jaw hurt tremendously from clenching that darn cigarette holder! And Meredith’s Penguin is never without his monocle, and rarely removes his cigarette holder when delivering his lines.

One thing that I always loved about Penguin’s costume from the Batman series were the fuzzy details. Penguins waistcoat is actually fuzzy, as are the tops of his gloves (with the exception of his thumb), and his spats. And as I knew I wouldn’t be able to find such details, I embeleished both the gloves and spats, while making the waistcoat myself.

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting an autograph from Julie Newmar, my favorite Catwoman, and as I already had autographs from the other Batman cast in attendance, we enjoyed the rest of the con, and later in the day attending the Batman ’66 Reunion panel, which was moderated by Kevin Smith, and the cast discussed their time on the show (which you can view here), and Adam West said what I have believed about the Batman series all along – the who wasn’t just camp, as so many wrote it off as, but was indeed a “full out satirical comedy.” The series was actually incredibly smart, witty, as well as completely hilarious.

Batman, specifically West’s version, was my first ever love. For some reason before age two I was completely obsessed. My parents recall me running around the home singining “Na na na na na na na na Bat!” Not “Batman,” just “Bat” because I didn’t know how to say “man” yet. I also apparently would wake them up at five in the morning demanding to watch it, and when I had to stay with my aunt and uncle in Denver while my parents were away for an event, they realized they forgot our VHS copy of the movie, and frantically had to scour Denver to find a copy before leaving. And for my second ever Halloween I went as Batgirl, and my dad even dressed as Batman, silver tights and all, and that right there continues to mean the world to me.

In other news, it is finally Halloween! I can’t believe October has now come and gone! What a crazy month it has been! We were constantly busy, and I still didn’t do everything I originally set out to do! As for our Halloween plans, we’re off to Knott’s Scary Farm with some friends later this evening. Then looking ahead, Dapper Day is next weekend and I still have no idea what I am going to wear! That right there is a real scare!

Costume Details
Jacket: Vintage find ages ago…I don’t remember where now…
Shirt: Who knows…
Hat, Waistcoat, & Bowtie: Made by me
Skirt: Switchblade Stiletto
Wig, Cigarette Holder, Fake Cigarettes, & Monocle: Amazon
Fishnets: Nordstorm
Spats: Amazon, then covered in fuzzy fabric by me
Gloves: Spirit, then covered in fuzzy fabric by me
Shoes: Miz Mooz
Umbrella: Stolen from Pat

Mickey’s Halloween Party

Earlier this week Patrick and I attended one of Mickey’s Halloween Parties at Disneyland, an event that is one of the few chances where adults get to wear costumes at the Disneyland Resort. I had several costume crisis moments leading up to the event this year, and ultimately went with one of my laziest costumes ever, even though it is one I have wanted to do for sometime. This year I went as Zunar J5/9 Doric 4-7, AKA Jake, from the 1978 Disney live action film The Cat from Outer Space, a childhood favorite of mine. The film has long since been forgotten by most, and fallen into obscurity by even the most die-hard Disney fans. The thing that differentiates Jake from just a standard cat is that his collar lights up and allows for him to do extraordinary things, like move objects and freeze people. Thankfully, Patrick worked it all out for me, using EL wire and some gems I got at the craft store. I also made a purse that looks like Jake’s ship, which itself looks a bit like a cat face.

I have gone as obscure Disney characters before (I went as Clarice one year, and Slue Foot Sue another), but never obscure enough that no one knew who I was, well this year it happened. No one knew who I was, or if they did, they didn’t say anything to me! However I noticed a few of you on Instagram said you knew the film when I posted some selfies from the evening. So, you guys are awesome!

One of the best things about the Halloween party this year was that there was a new (to the west coast that is) parade! In past years Disneyland featured the “Boo to You” parade, which felt very kid-y, and not all that great in my opinion. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World, featured the much more villainous and spooky “Frightfully Fun” parade, which people raved about. But this year the resorts swapped parades! And I can honestly say this parade is my favorite parade ever. It started out with the Headless Horseman, who was followed by some of the most beautiful floats I have ever seen, and included many Nightmare Before Christmas pieces.

October continues to bring lots of spooky events! And this weekend I’m hosting a small party with a few of fellow witchy friends, followed by Pin-Up Parade in the Park on Sunday! Which I’ll be attending and bounding as my favorite villain’s “peg leg lackey”. If you know who that is, then kudos!

I hope you are all having a wonderful autumn week!

Costume Details
Dress: Marshall’s, but painted by me
Tights: Target
Mocs: Minnetonka
Ears, Tail & Purse: Made by me

Of Snakes and Monkeys

Last night Patrick and I attended our third Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. (You can take a peek at the last two years here and here.) Unlike every Halloween since college, where I made a costume, this year I had to come to terms that I didn’t have the time. That, combined with the fact I simply couldn’t decide on what to be! So, I pulled out a costume from a few years ago, and one that has made the cosplay circuit a few items as well, my Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark. While a repeat, I was excited to shoot the costume in Adventureland.

When we entered I was sad to see that the Indiana Jones attraction was down, however it ended up being a blessing in disguise! I asked one of the attraction’s Cast Members if we could shoot photos in the queue while the attraction was closed, and she said yes!

A fun fact is that the truck in the queue is the same one used during the exciting chase sequence in Raiders!

Now, last time I wore this for Halloween, Patrick went as Indy, however, not much of that costume remains. Parts were borrowed from my dad (not easy to get our hands on now), while others were ill-fitting, thrifted garments that Patrick didn’t keep after that year. Thankfully, I’m lucky, and Patrick is actually quite supportive of doing couples costumes, or at least having our costumes come from the same source material. So this year, Patrick came up with the brilliant idea of being Jock, Indy’s pilot from the beginning of Raiders, complete with pet snake, Reggie, and fully got into the part too, bless his heart. If you need a refresher on Jock, take a peek here.

We had a delightful evening getting treats and meeting characters, as the Halloween parties are swell times to meet characters who don’t visit often, such as Maleficent and Hades, as well as a time to see what unique costume ideas fellow Guests come up with! The evening rounded out with the Halloween Screams fireworks show, before we hobbled back to our car after a long night.

My Costume
Blouse: New Look Pattern 6892, slightly altered, hand-embroidered by myself.
Pants: New Look Pattern 6132, slightly altered.
Sash: 1/4 of a yard of fabric, trimmed up, sewn in ruching with snaps in back.
Shoes & Monkey: Thrifted
Monkey’s vest: Made by me
Wig (actually a “Wonder Woman” wig): Amazon

Patrick’s Costume
Shirt: Sears, hand painted by me.
Undershirt & Pants: Target
Yankees Baseball Cap & Snake: Amazon

This is Halloween!

Ah, yes, another Disneyland post! Last year Patrick and I had such a blast at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that we had to do it again! The Halloween parties at Disneyland are a lot of fun, and are one of the few times when those over the age of nine are allowed to wear costumes at the park! With unpacking and getting settled taking a top priority, I knew that this year’s costume had to be simple, and less time consuming than costumes of the past. After kicking around a few ideas, I settled on Clarice from the 1952 Chip ‘n Dale short “Two Chips and a Miss”, where Chip and Dale have a date with the same gal, lounge singer Clarice, on the same night, and hilarity ensues, and Patrick went as Chip. In terms of costume specs, this is one of the least home-made costumes I’ve done. The blue portion of the dress I purchased. It was originally a maxi-length, and I altered it to allow for the tulip hem. For the brown portion, I simply wore a brown sweater under the dress. The hat I made from remaining skirt fabric, cardboard, and gathered ribbon for the edge. I also gathered ribbon for the lea too – you’d never believe there was 40 feet of ribbon there! But, seriously, there is! I also made my ears. I wore brown tights, and found these perfect nude flats and then simply Sharpie’ed the toe lines. For a purse, I wanted something that went with the theme of Chip and Dale, and made an acorn purse, pinning on a pin that feature Clarice and Chip. Patrick’s costume was so simple! He wore a jacket, shirt and pair of pants he already owned and donned my reversible Chip and Dale ears. All we had to purchase was a white bow tie! I also made Patrick the note that Clarice leaves for Chip that is seen near the beginning of the cartoon. After taking some snaps in Toontown, we walked around the park for awhile before taking our seats for the Halloween themed parade, which was followed by the Halloween Screams fireworks show, which is hands-down my favorite fireworks show that Disneyland does. I even spotted a (mostly) black cat near the Fantasyland Skyway Station! For more on this forgotten relic, check out my post here! Once the fireworks were over, we did a bit of trick-or-treating in the park (at Disneyland you are never too old to trick-or-treat!), and then met Chip and Dale, who were dressed as pirates! Those mischievous chipmunks attempted to steal my purse, thinking it a giant yummy acorn, and Dale got offended that only Chip was on my purse. He then proceeded to turn Patrick’s ears around so the Dale side faced front. Like last year (where we were Slue Foot Sue and Pecos Bill) I expected few people to know who we were, as Clarice does not have too strong of a presence in Disneyland and “Two Chips and a Miss” is the only cartoon to feature her. However more people knew who we were this year, with six people knowing, and telling us, verses last year where two people knew who we were. But I love doing characters I adore, and ones that are obscure, so I am totally fine with people not knowing who I am! And it’s also fun introducing people to new cartoons and characters. Disneyland’s Halloween parties are a fun, family oriented option to the terrifying experiences that are showcased at Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios. Children and adults alike get to dress up, trick-or-treat in the park, meet specially costumed characters, and enjoy fireworks and parades that are specifically for the party alone. These happen during select nights, beginning in the end of September and continuing through Halloween night. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party does require a separate entry ticket. Sadly, all of the remaining parties for the Disneyland Resort are sold out for this year, but if you love Halloween and Disney plan on making it next year! As for true Halloween, Patrick and I will be attending a friend’s wedding, back in Portland. In fact we leave today for a week long visit! The timing coincides with the October Expo and Patrick’s commitment to returning to the Portland office every four to six weeks, so we are really killing three birds with one stone! I also get to visit with friends. I am doubtful I will be blogging from the Rose City, but I’m sure I’ll have lots to say when we return along with more apartment pictures! I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! I better go pack!

May the Force be with You

I mentioned in my latest entries about cosplay that I would be doing a Star Wars costume to meet Lando Calrissian actor Billy Dee Williams at this month’s Wizard World Comic Con.  This post will just focus on my cosplay, so look for another post soon on the event itself! So here we go…

Yes. I am in fact cosplaying Lando, or at least a female pin-up version of Lando (or Landa as some of my friends like to call it).  And here is why: I believe cosplay is about showing your love of a character or fandom in a costume format. I don’t believe that race or gender have anything to do with these things. It’s that simple. “Cosplay Ambassador” Yaya Han agrees, and expresses this sentiment on her Moulin Rouge Snow White costume page.  And Lando is my favorite character in the Star Wars franchise, quickly followed by Han Solo, and then Boba Fett.

I went for a female interpretation because I also like to cater to my figure, and I thought I could have fun with it. I was also inspired by the recent Playboy Bunny-isation of characters, such as the Avenger Bunnies Initiative.  While normally I strive to be as accurate as possible, when doing a variation of a costume, it’s okay to take liberties, hence a capelet instead of a full cape, halter top, etc.  I love various interpretations of costumes, especially when costumes get the steampunk treatment. I recently saw a steampunk slave Leia and I’m already dreaming about my own take on that!

I had a lot of fun drawing out various options for a female Lando and settled on this pin-up version. But I also did a lot of research on the actual costume worn by Billy Dee Williams, and discovered that the lining of his cape was not just a generic gold brocade, but in fact featured an Asian dragon design and was able to score some on Ebay.  Now, let’s talk sewing specs. The capelet is made from Butterick 6411, which I bought from Miss Betty’s Attic on Etsy, and slightly altered to accommodate the collar.  For the top, I used No. 4 from La Prairie Lady on Etsy, and once again, slightly altered so I could do the black edging around the neckline.  I had a few issues with the blouse, as I altered the pattern to make it a tad bit bigger in the bust, which then turned into a lot bigger. Oops!  Since my Dixie costume was going to be so labor intensive, and I wanted to minimize the work I had to do for this costume, so I chose to buy a black pencil skirt instead of make one. The skirt is by Switchblade Stiletto, which I purchased from Naked City here in Portland.  While the skirt came with a good belt, the buckle was of course not what I needed.  For the buckle, Patrick is the genius behind it and he worked with Polymoph (also known as Friendly Plastic) to create it.  Polymoph is a plastic, that comes in small beads, a bit smaller than a BB, and has a very low melting temperature. Many cosplayers use it to make various costume elements.  This was our first time using it…and while it didn’t turn out perfect, it wasn’t too shabby!  My boots were thrifted, and the E-11 (the blaster normally used by the Stormtroopers, though Lando commandeers a few in Empire Strikes Back, and uses them to shoot their way out of Cloud City) was purchased on Ebay.

My costume I felt was well received. I even had a few people asking for their picture taken with me!  Thankfully, I didn’t get any negative comments, but maybe a few disapproving stares, but I couldn’t be sure. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this, and look forward to taking this treatment to a Han Solo costume in the future!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with more photos, including some of a few celebrities!