Monday, March 14, 2011

All-Con 2011 is almost upon us

Are you ready?  Have you rifled through your costume closet and found enough to put together a suitable wardrobe for 3 days of costuming?

If you're anything like me, your house or apartment is an absolute explosion of fabric and thread due to the last minute ideas and the refusal to be seen in "that same costume for a third time."  This last week my living space was transformed into a veritable sweat shop so I could fix items that were torn, or alter items to better mix and match.  I nearly finished one costume only to realize that what I really needed to finish was a large boarder at the bottom of the skirt.  And I almost altered a costume which was too big only to decide that if I took the fringe off of it and hacked away at an old brides maid's dress, the whole look would be infinitely better.

Am I finished?  No.  Of course not.  This week I finalize closures and rifle through what's left of my make-up stash that survived a bit of an apartment disaster.  And I start getting creative with my hair.  I have several ready to wear wigs, but I think for my steampunk I'm going to play with my new extensions for a fresh hair style.  I think I'm most excited about my Steampunk outfit.  It's Steampunk Light, but it's cute and is an example of how a person can take some regular closet items and cobble them together with other costume pieces for a decent Steampunk look.  I can't wait to share it!  Needs a hat though.

But it's not just the costumes I'm excited about.  For the third year in a row the DFWCG is presenting our Fabric and Pattern Swap.  Each year this swap has grown just a little bit more in size.  And I've heard that this year we should have some very interesting fabrics offered.  There's also going to be patterns and trims.  If you didn't stop by last year, you missed the opportunity to snag 2 yds of nice Italian silk.  Who knows what jewel will surface this year?  And remember, you don't have to bring something to take something.

We're also reprising our Knitting panel.  We had such a great time learning last year that we decided it would be fun to meet up again to see what everyone's been up to.  We've got instructors on hand for anyone who needs to learn from the beginning or who needs to refresh their lessons.  We will have extremely limited supplies for those who want to learn, but aren't ready to buy their own supplies.  Since those supplies are limited, we encourage you to go ahead and bring your own.  The supplies list for beginners wishing to learn is:

1. US 7, 8 or 9 needles - Hobby Lobby has great short 'learner'-type needles made by Red Heart in sizes US 7, 8, and/or 9, for a couple of bucks a pair - they're called 'basics' or 'learners' and come in red, blue and yellow, respectively

2. A light-colored yarn.
  a. Sugar and Cream dishcloth cotton, or
  b. Sinfonia cotton, or
  c. a non-novelty acrylic yarn (smooth yarn without any frou-frou crap in it - makes the stitches more defined and clean, and easier to see and understand), or
  d. Inexpensive yarn options available at big box stores:
    1. Red Heart Super Saver,
    2. Patons Classic Wool
  e. Yarn store options - reasonably inexpensive, and available in many colors:
    1. Cascade 220 (100% wool)
    2. Encore Worsted (acrylic/wool blend)

3. If you want to try to make some Jayne Hat pins to donate to the Austin Browncoats, also bring a pair of US size 3 or 5 straight needles. We have the instructions and the yarn supplies.

4. Patterns and projects to discuss.

For those who are a little more experienced, please feel free to bring anything you want to finish or for show and tell.  Like a proper knitting circle, we welcome folks of all levels to chat and work together.

And lastly, we have a special beaded jewelry panel that I'm excited about.  DFWCG Treasurer Rondinella is going to be showing us all how to make our very own beaded jewelry.  She'll lead you through tools all the way to construction of a basic piece.  I can't wait to see how this panel goes!

We hope to have enough room around our table to have some costumes on display again this year.  And we'll have some books out  for con-goers to look at.  I'll also have my camera out and I'll be handing out lanyard tags to wear with your badges.  So make sure you drop by to see us during the weekend.  We'd love to photograph you in each of your costumes and get to know you.  And also please let us know what kind of panels you'd like for us to offer for future dates of All-Con.  With your help, we would like to continue to build our con activity each year.

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