SMP Craft
12 Nov

NO-SEW COSPLAY CREATION: Spider-Woman!

I’ve yet to meet a Nerddom hobbyist who doesn’t make really cool stuff. There must be some scientific explanation for it.

Desirae May Friesen, Tor & Forge Books Associate Publicist, whose special guest post you’re about to read, is no exception.

Inspired by the visuals at New York Comic Con and compelled to cosplay, yet faced with the challenge of not being able to sew, she designed an amazing sewing-free painted costume!

TAKE IT AWAY, DESIRAE!

New York Comic Con: the largest gathering of creators and fans of all forms of nerdy entertainment on the East Coast. I attended this last fall and quickly realized the highlight of the convention is all of the amazing and creative costumes–or “cosplay.”

Anachronistic Black Widow and Winter Soldier (WOW). Flickr Image by Steven Leung via io9.com

I was awed–and inspired. Here was something that could unite two of my biggest hobbies: nerddom and crafts!

And I immediately knew what costume I wanted to start with. Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero. Recently Marvel created an alternate universe where Peter Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, is the one who gets bit by the spider, gets powers–and becomes Spider-Woman (aka Spider-Gwen).

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Lowe, Hine & Latour Take Readers to the ‘Edge of Spider-Verse’: Dave Richards via Comicbookresources.com

Now the question was, how? See, there’s one problem: I don’t know how to sew. I can sew on a button, but despite my mother’s patient tutelage (she’s a professional seamstress) I never really managed to finish any projects. But I would not be stopped!

I already had black leggings and I found a plain white hoodie for the top.

This is where it got tricky. Since cutting out the design and sewing it together was beyond my meager skills I decided to try creating the design with fabric paint. I have no experience with fabric paint. But I am nothing if not daring.

I outlined the pattern with masking tape, checking first that it would stick to the fabric and come off easily without leaving a mark. So far so good.

I read the directions for the paint and then used the entire bottle of black paint for the front. I started out using spray paint, which clearly worked better as a splatter design–it was challenging to get a thick, even layer. So for the rest of the design I switched to liquid fabric paint and painted it on with a foam brush, again outlining it with the masking tape to get the clean lines of the costume design.

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Use LIQUID Fabric Paint

Once the black paint dried completely, I painted the inside of the hood with red paint. The red paint bled through the thin white fabric so I improvised a fix by buying a bottle of white paint to coat the outside of the hood (and fix a few mistakes in other places).

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WHITE Fabric Paint Touch-Up

Now I had to figure out how to do the design on the inside of the hood. Once the red paint had dried, I used glow-in-the-dark blue raised paint to make the web pattern.

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Use GLOW-IN-THE-DARK BLUE RAISED Paint for the webbing

I don’t recommend making a project up as you go along. It is definitely easier to do your research ahead of time and plan out your steps. But I DO encourage you to try out a project even if you’ve never done something like it before.

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DESIRAE MAY FRIESEN: Marvel’s SPIDER-WOMAN aka SPIDER-GWEN

Figuring out how to create something new was a lot of fun, even if it didn’t always turn out the way I expected. And even if I have the worst costume at the next convention I go to, I know that I will have as much fun wearing it as I did making it!

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12 Oct

Halloween Crafts: Raven Wreath and Hitchcock’s Birds Costume

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.’

Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door

Only this, and nothing more.’

–from The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

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The Birds: Alfred Hitchcock

I can’t help but recall Edgar Allen Poe and Alfred Hitchcock whenever I see ravens or crows. It can be day or night. They can be alone or in a flock. In flight, still, gathered… no matter. There’s always a little something chilling about them.

With Halloween and the Day of the Dead around the corner, I’m going to pay homage to these black winged creatures and use decorative ravens and crows to recreate Tippi Hedren’s character in The Birds and decorate my door with a Raven Wreath.

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By the way, do you know how to tell the difference between ravens and crows?

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Via Audubon.org

A podcast via the Audubon Society provides some clues: ravens are larger than crows–“the size of a red-tailed hawk”– and tend to move along in pairs whereas crows are found in larger groups. Crows caw and ravens croak.

Raven Wreath

Raven Wreath via Nook17.com

Caw! Caw! Caw! Croak! Croak! Happy crafting!

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16 Sep

Happy Pub Day!

How excited are you to be dusting off that old box of coats you stored in the back of your closet last April?? If you’re anything like me, the answer is NOT VERY. But mostly that’s because my coats are purely functional, designed simply to minimize my whining when the weather gets frigid. Maybe it has something to do with my childhood growing up in Phoenix, where it rarely gets cold enough to warrant a stockpile of cute outerwear. But maybe if I’d been transformed into a lion or a fox every time I put my coat on, I’d have been more enthusiastic! (Does everyone think this way?)

But guess what: Inspiration is at hand! We’re thrilled to publish Molly Goodall’s delightful Wild Things to Sew and Wear: 15 Animal-Themed Garments and Accessories for Your Little Critters, on sale today.

Everyone has a little wildness inside; now you can make these charming animal-inspired designs so your children can have the fun of wearing it proudly on the outside! This collection of 15 animal-themed garments and accessories includes easy-to-follow patterns to suit all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and in a range of sizes.

These are simple, bold, and playful clothes that your child won’t want to take off. Learn how to create adorable wearables in the shape of woodland animals, wild animals, and farm animals, including a lion or fox coat, an owl hat, a leopard skirt, kitten mittens, and more.

A comprehensive techniques section shows you how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, transfer markings, and cut with confidence. The combination of classic tailoring techniques mixed with contemporary styling makes for timeless garments sure to be treasured for years. As an added bonus, a pattern CD is also included!

Author Molly Goodall has a background in childrenswear, toy design, and fine art, and earned a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons the New School for Design. She began to design and sew animal coats to encourage her two-year-old to wear his hood in the cold. This led to the 2010 launch of her whimsical kids clothing range, Little Goodall, using classic tailoring techniques mixed with contemporary styling to craft unique garments.

With this fun book, it can be Halloween for your kiddos all year round. Now that’s definitely something to be excited about!

 

Buy your copy today:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
iBooks
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new September and October titles!

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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