Saturday, July 23, 2011

Virtual Bowser

This week I was asked to make a prop dog. I guessed they needed something to torture on the sketch comedy my friend is working on. I have made puppets and fuzzy cats for MadTV I wanted to see if I could build a dog. They were bringing me a toy dog to play with or tear apart and a full cow hide.
I made a paper pattern with zero seam allowance. It had to be hand stitched and glued.

I started with the tail and the hind legs and worked toward the head

It was important to have the eyes behind the fur or it would look like a toy. The ear placement on the toy was wrong, I moved the ears away from the eyeballs.

I used edge coat on the mouth and eye openings and smudge a bit on the ears and around the mouth.

I needed to thin out the legs so I slit them and pulled out all the stuffing and messed around with the armature wire, to get a more animated pose.

I worked the rest of the day with his head poking out of the box, felt like a real pet was watching me. Now I am inspired to make something with the green cow hide hanging out in my room.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Video game costumes

I had just finished working on the pickup shots for the video game Twisted Metal and I got a call to build more video game costumes. I didn't plan on going to E3 this year so why not send more costumes. After I agreed, the waiting game started. Actors needed to be cast and I needed sizes. I got the images purple with yellow polka dots. Should I silk screen or cut dots...The fabric was too slick to print I ended up cutting every single dot and sewing them on. The other girls skirt needed the stripes cut and sewn plus stitched knife pleats. Also the crop tops stripes needed assembled from two different shades of spandex.
Plus they wore bunny slippers I needed to match the art I was sent. The scale of the stripes the polka dots needed to be approved before finishing the construction.

The six male actors were giants 6'6" and taller the average shoe size was 14 their inseams pushed around 40". We fabricated the vests, courdura, speaker fabric, spray glue and my leather machine. Long torsos and massive hands that ripped every pair of gloves. I don't think gloves made in China's XL's match the XL's we have in the US.

The Tyger guard and Andy. i think this guy was 6'10"

Last year I built costumes for the video game MAG. The year I got this job grey vinyl was hard to find. I think I spent more time searching for the right grey than stitching it up. This is my favorite male costume.

The year before it was Killzone. I built 15 of these outfits modified the boots, they were moon boots. More vests ammo packs jackets boots hot and heavy. Hellghast videos are on you tube.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I love leather

I love it when I get a leather assignment. I love the way it feels the way it smells, it can be molded and sewn into all kinds of wild shapes. Above is waxed pig skin covered in claw spikes. The wax heated up and flaked off like bad dandruff it was a little gross. I do love the end result.

I love the look of the cracked silver leather used in this clutch. I also have a gold hide waiting to be chopped up.

Made five of these for a TV show. All of them were custom dyed and lacquered. Mixing the paint, the lacquer then adding the hardware reminded me of the days I used to build guitars. My favorite part of the job was hearing that the PA got mobbed by bag obsessed women as soon as she hit the street.

I got hired to build a few pieces for Weird Al's Lady Ga Ga parody, also got asked to show up early to sew on set. The first shot was the meat dress, I saw a cooler raw meat, thick red thread. I worked with the designer and another stitcher and we got it done in two hours. Meat packed under our nails all we smelled was meat. I figured it was my pay back for being a leather snob.

Looking forward to designing and building with my favorite partner in crime. Andy is cutting cow for the latest assignment. Tore through 120 square feet of black leather in a weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


These are some of my favorite images from the Namm show.

I missed out on the rocking Marshall amp bags

I was bummed I didn't see any celebrities, last time I saw Paul Stanley and Jason Hook.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Guitars are very important to me. They are beautiful, I love exotic wood and they sound great plugged into a fuzz box.

Before I started my sewing/design business I played guitar in a few bands. I also had the honor of going to GRD (Guitar Research and Design). It was in South Strafford Vermont. If I passed all my college courses my parents would foot the bill. Let's say I did a three year program in two years. I wanted it that bad.

I read about GRD in Guitar player magazine. It looked like paradise blocks of wood, work stations power tools. The course was taught by Charles Fox the articles also showed a few of his designs. His design attitude was keep it simple, classy and let the wood be the star. The classes were small eight students and everyone lived on the premises. Since I was the only female I lived down the hill.

The classes were split between theory in the am then wood shop. Charles Fox was a very calm teacher, he had a class filled with rowdy rockers and me. We were encouraged to design the guitar body and pick our neck scale. The hardware was the same as he used on his guitars we also learned his fantastic neck joint.

Everyday I had something to look forward to using a band saw hand carving the neck setting the frets. Even wiring was fun. We were encouraged to use our free time to make jigs to take home with us.

I built a Honduras Mahogany six string electric and called it Flipper because it had a sharks fin and I liked the song Ha ha ha by a band called Flipper. Under the strict guidance of Charles Fox I made a guitar that was better than anything I ever owned or played. It was the best experience, all of his advice was able to be transferred into other mediums. Every few years I do a Google search on GRD guitars and Charles Fox and think "Thank you, for opening my mind and showing me the link between art and math."