When I first started this blog, I was an unemployed costumer attempting to create period gowns and costumes with very limited means. Although now employed, I still try to be as thrifty as possible. I am still "The Broke Costumer"!

In addition to posts about the outfits I make on a budget, this blog includes short research articles on fashion, history, accessories, styles, or whatever interests me at the moment.

I hope you enjoy my journey into the land of inexpensive costuming and short articles.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

1960's Golden Artemis

Happy Halloween!  This year I went to a gods and goddesses party.  We each had to chose a specific mythological character.   I chose Artemis for several reasons.  She is also known as Diana and Cynthia, which is my name.  She is goddess of the moon and the hunt, and carries a bow and arrows.  I also do archery.  And I am a Sagittarius, who also carries a bow and arrows. 

I wanted to put a twist on my costume this year.   Since I grew up watching those great 1960s movies such as Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad, Ulysses, Hercules, and even the later 1981 Clash of the Titans, I wanted to do a mod version.    I also wanted another costume to go with my long, red beehive wig. 

I had just watched Goldfinger again, so I decided to do 1960's Golden Artemis.  Groovy!  The first thing I did was to go on Amazon and find - GOLD gogo boots!   I found these, made by Funtasma. They are so comfy.  Of course, these will be part of some future costume :)    

Next, I wanted to find a simple goddess toga pattern.  I found several, but not a short one.  I finally found this one:  Can't beat that price!  Very easy, a front and a back, with elastic.

Next, I went to Party City to see what they might have.  I found a wood bow in the cowboy & Indian section.  I bought a little bottle of gold acrylic paint, and painted the wood.  It came with three arrows and I painted them too.  I wrapped the handle in gold ribbon, and also tied the arrows onto the bow string with gold bows.

The fabric was fun to buy.   I got 2 1/2 yards of liquid gold lame.  Took no time at all to zip out a shell.  It had to be lined (scrap sheeting I had) because the gold was super stretchy.  Here is the shell, trying on with boots so I can cut the hem.  A no sew hem!  No raveling. 

I thought it looked too much like a regular dress, so I added a gold drape across the front.  It made all the difference.  Now for accessories.   I borrowed big hoop earrings from my sis in law, and three gold bracelets from my friend at work. I got white fishnets for $2 at the swapmeet.  I got  gold glitter nail polish, gold creme eyeshadow and gold tinsel eyelashes.  For the "crowning" touch, I found a gold leaf tiara in the Halloween store.  Here is the end result.
My brother Tom as Dionysus, god of wine

My sis-in-law Kathy as Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty

Joanne as Athena, goddess of wisdom

King Midas and his golden lady

My brother and me

$27     boots  (investment for another costume!)
$1       pattern
$8       fabric
$4       tiara
$2       fishnets

TOTAL    $42

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pagoda Handbag

A year ago I posted about Enid Collins purses and Jewel Tone Handbag kits.  My dream purse, numero uno on my wish list, was the black Pagoda bag.  All year long, I have been looking at flea markets, on Etsy and Ebay.  On the rare occasion I found it on line, it was way over my price range, $50+ for the finished bag.  I even bid on a few on Ebay, but again, it rose to over $50.  I thought I would never find one I could afford.

A few weeks ago while skimming through Ebay, I did a double take.  Someone was selling an unopened, shrink wrapped, complete 1967 Pagoda Kit!   It was listed in the embroidery kit section, not the purse section.  It had four days left and no bids.   I immediately put a maximum bid of $51.00 on it.  My bid was the first at $19.99.   There were no further bids on it until the last two minutes when someone put a bid in.  My auto bid came back with $28.00 - AND I WON!!!!

The seller even lives 30 minutes from me, so she mailed it to me Monday morning, and I received it Tuesday afternoon.  Tuesday night I cracked it open, eager to get started.  I am taking photos along the way.

 I opened the box and and checked out the contents.  The glue, over 50 years old, had turned brown, but was still liquid!  I won't use it, but will be using Aleene's Jewel It glue.    I read over the instruction sheet, which is starting to get brittle, and is browning.

Step one was to attach all the hardware to the purse.  I nailed tiny nails to secure the wooden bottom piece in.  Then I attached the clasp pieces.
The first jewels are attached!  It can get a bit messy with all the glue on tiny pieces.  I am afraid to use too little as I don't want the jewels to fall off.  I didn't do anything else that night, as I wanted what I did to dry.  So I had fun looking at the pristine catalog that was included in the kit!

Night Two:  Glued on the rest of the jewels.  Its turning out so cute!      

Night Three: The last step is to apply the gold braid on the roof.    This was the tricky part, as the cording ravels at the ends.  I dipped the ends in glue to keep them from raveling after I cut the braid.

Here is the finished purse.   My cell phone photos are awful, and this bag looks so much better in person.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Addition:   I won a second jewel tone kit - Zodiac, unmade and in the box, for only $17!  That will be my next project :)