Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reservoir Bears

A local theater group, Theater Artists Olympia (TAO), is doing a stage adaptation of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.  I have a real love/hate relationship with Tarantino; he is terrifically funny and I love his dialogue, but his films are horrifically violent. I'm interested to see how this all translates to stage performance.

My husband is on the board of TAO, and it's not unusual for him to come home some night and ask "Can you make a plate of fake scrambled eggs/snowman costume/lamb ears/etcetera for the show?" And for this play, the costumer (Laura) actually asked me to help get costumes for all the actors, knowing my love for thrift shopping. (I've never looked at so many black pants and jackets in my life!) I was out shopping for more black pants when my phone rang. It was destiny calling (and by destiny, I mean one of the theater guys) and they wanted to know how big my forehead was.

"Why?" I asked. (And you are probably asking this, too.)

"The woman who gets shot in the carjacking just bailed on us. We need someone who will fit her makeup prosthetic."


Have you ever seen Reservoir Dogs? It's not shown in a linear style. The scenes break up to show flashbacks, something that would be hard to work on the stage, so the director is filming some scenes to use for promotion and to screen during the play as the flashbacks. One of these is the scene where Mr. Orange and Mr. White, running from the cops, hijack a car from a woman who resists, shooting Mr Orange in the stomach and getting killed herself. Wait, let me see if I can find it for you...   here we go. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, the scene I'm talking about is from 1:34 -1:42, very short.

Okay okay okay, I can see you're wondering why I'm telling you all this. I mean yes, it's a project, in a way, but it's not like I'm sewing or building anything.  And what's up with the post title "Reservoir Bears"?

Well, there's a car seat in the car, and later on in the film, Mr Orange (the fella with the stomach wound) says something about how the woman in the car was a mother and he feels guilty for killing her. When TAO did their filming, there was no car seat available so I offered up the use of Ivan (you might remember Ivan from previous posts) because nothing says "This lady has a child" like a teddy bear. Except maybe Cheerios scattered all over the car, which was another thought of mine.

The shooting (film and gun) went really well. Here's a pic of me playing dead. I hope you don't find it too shocking. See Ivan's nose there by my hairline? He's a star!

Here's Christy Reed of  MassFX Studios- Makeup Artistry Services and Special Effects mourning Ivan, who portrays death almost as well as I do.

Yes, yes, I can hear you muttering, but where's the bit where you make something?

Oh, you mean besides Hollywood magic? Stop your fretting, we're getting there.

What this all boils down to is this: eventually there will be an opening night for this play, and I will be there and Ivan will have to come too because he is convinced of the importance of his own role. And what does every well-dressed bear need for the opening night of Reservoir Dogs?

That's right: a black suit and tie.

I'm using a pattern I got (can you guess?) at Goodwill. It's a bit precious as shown. I got it with the intention to do tweed as shown on the cover and steampunk it up a bit, but with a few minor tailoring changes this is a perfectly good pattern for a black suit.

I can't remember the last time I sewed anything from a pattern I didn't make myself. There are only four pattern pieces in the jacket, so it seemed simple, but the instructions have these wee diagrams that I'm finding difficult to interpret. I got out some scrap lightweight black wool and managed to work together the two front pieces and the back, and attach the collar.

It needs a good press with the iron, and then I'll stitch down the facing and put in the sleeves. It's kinda fun to work on little things. I'm handstitching it so I can work while watching TV. It hardly seems worth bringing out Sally and winding up a bobbin to sew two and three inch seams.

I'm thinking once I get the jacket, shirt, and tie done (no vest), maybe I'll just skip the pants. Bears are very lucky in that their culture doesn't demand pants as part of a proper outfit.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Just quick!

I know I've been a little sparse with the posts lately. It's not for lack of projects; it's just that what I'm working on the most is something for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, and Mom reads this blog. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so... sorry, everyone!

Here's a little something I thought you might find interesting, though: Edyth Miller over at The Compleatly Dressed Anachronist did a post today about how to layout your pattern on fabric in the most economical way. She is one super-smart lady, you guys. Her whole blog is a treasure trove of 15th century goodies. Get yourself a cocoa and have a read.

If you can stop yourself getting all inspired and jumping up in the middle of reading to go make yourself a new linen frock for spring, you're a tougher sort than me!

Go on, shoo! Visit Edyth, and I'll see you here next time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No junk in MY trunk.

I've been taking my time with the trunk renovation. Now that it's warming up, the garage is a more inviting place to be, though, so I've been out there cranking Johnny Cash tunes and working away.

Last night I finally steamed out the last of the paper lining. Then I gave the inside a casual wipe with a damp rag as a finishing touch and was appalled when it came back absolutely black. Out came the wood soap and I scrubbed the dickens out of that box! And yeah, I didn't get before and afters -- typical, huh? But there really isn't that much of a difference to be seen. It still looks pretty beat up and rough, but I have this pretty paper to line it with once I'm done, so I'm encouraged to keep working at it.

The next step is to remove the wooden slats on the outside, prepare the metal surfaces, and give it a coat of fresh paint.

Stay tuned! There will be better pictures next time, promise!