Friday, 30 November 2012


I have discovered a love-hate relationship with my stumpwork project…  Hand sewing is such a b*tch! …. but I’m starting to see what the final corset could look like.
Here are a couple of photos to show where I’m up to with it all.


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Horn Tastic

So last week I had a meeting with Deborah Selwood (Gecko Studios) to plan our next collaboration project. I’m really excited about this project as I get to work with a new makeup artist,  model and the best bit is I get to work with Deborah again.

The theme is winter and Deborah wanted  Antlers mounted on a head band and a white costume.

I’ve not made Antlers before but it was fairly easy using the same techniques that I use for my standard Curly Ram’s horns. I will say that making the Antlers were time consuming and I used a lot of blades when carving but I am happy with the outcome.



Here is a copy of my Horn Tutorial

Feeling Horny


I thought I would share some of our adventures in costume making and thought I would start with horns. The photo above is of Captin Ron wearing a set of horns for a photo shoot she did a few months back.

You will need :-

A Friend


20mm thick Plasterzote foam

Stanley knife or craft blade (you will need spare blades)

Evo – Contact glue

Glue thinner

Heat gun

Soldering Iron

Plastikote spray paint

Acrylic ink

Varnish spray

Sooo, here goes….


Firstly decide how curly and big you want your horns to be (The inner and outer curl will be different lengths). Once you have decided length and width of horns, cut three stripes of Plasterzote foam and mark up the centre line on each piece with a pencil. Do not use an ink pen as the ink has a habit of bleeding through the paint.


The next stage is to glue one side (the side without the pencil marks) with the contact glue on two of the pieces of Plasterzote. Once the glue is ready to go manually curl one of the pieces of plasterzote while your friend carefully glues the other piece in place, this will permanently ‘laminate’ the curl into the foam, You will get some spring-back but not much.

Now Glue-up the outside edge of the horn and the remaining piece of plasterzote and once again laminate in place. The third piece of foam can be used to make the horn shape tighter if needed. Also if you are not comfortable with manually shaping the horn, you can wrap the foam around different sized tubes to create the shape. BUT remember you have to curl the other horn the opposite direction otherwise you will have two left or right horns


Once you have your horn blanks its simply a process of carving into the foam to get the shape. I draw the rough shape onto the foam before I start carving to ensure as much symmetry as possible. I should warn you, the foam dulls craft blades very quickly, so you will need quiet a few.


You may have noticed the horns have changed colour, I made up multiple sets of horns in the same day and forgot which set I was photographing! Anyway, once you have sculpted the horns you have a few options, you can leave them plain or you can carve lines into the horns, I prefer this style as it has more details. If you want to carve lines into the horns, mark them with a pencil and then either cut-out a grove or solder them in. WARNING – if you solder the lines wear a mask, the fumes are very toxic!!!!!

Also if you have a heat gun you can carefully heat the horns and tighten the shape, but once again use a mask.


If you want to paint the horns, I find gluing a small block of foam to the base of the horn so you have a ‘handle’ to use while painting the horn. Before you start painting you will need to prime the horn. To do this, thin down the contact glue so its very runny and paint the entire horn with the mixture, Once its dried you can paint the horn.


I generally spray paint a base colour and then add detail to the horn with acrylic ink. To seal the paint and to make the horns more durable, I then varnish the horns. Once they are finished I remove the foam block and either permanently attach the horns to a wig or glue a flat disk to the bottom of the horns and then feed them into a head band.


You can use the same ‘Laminating’ technique to create complex shapes such as wings and other cool stuff

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Long time no see….

Hi its been a while, I’ve been laid up with tendonitis in both wrists and elbows and have been out of the studio for a couple of months. But the good news is I’m starting to turn a corner and am back to hand sewing. Sadly I cant machine stitch yet but after a few more Cortisone Injections I should be back soon.

Soooo one of the things I have been doing is  designing costume. I have many designs in my sketch book from new tunics to humongous Ball gowns (sorry Ruth!), but I thought I’d share one of the costume designs I’m working on at the moment..

In April 2013 both Martin and myself are attending the Spectacular, Spectacular Ball which will be held at Heatherden Hall, Pinewood Studios. Details can be found here -!/events/146217962178037/


Its a costume ball and I think the theme I’m going to go for is FAIRY!… Yes I know not really a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I need to get my glitter on.

I have been toying with some ideas and want to do something different so I’ve been thinking about a stumpwork embroidered corset with an Autumn theme with mushrooms, acorns and possibly blackcurrant/bramble embroidery .

Here is my initial design but I can guarantee it will change, this is just my first draft (excuse photos – I took them with my phone)



A while ago I found a photo stumpwork acorns and mushrooms and have been playing with the art form since then. Here is the photo I found which is also the inspiration for the corset


I have a few of WF  Stumpwork kits and also numerous books on the subject. One of the best I have found is by Jane Nicholas for any one who doesn't know what Stumpwork is its an embroidery technique originating in the 17th century. Individual elements of each design are raised up from the background by using padding or by applying the shape to wire before stitching to the background thereby creating a 3D effect.


Here are the photos of the test pieces I’ve produce so far… its gonna take a looooong time!







Saturday, 28 April 2012

Sword Tastic

Here is a little pic of the Short sword, Dagger with matching scabbards and belt we made for Helen… I hope she likes them


Busy, Busy, Busy

Its been a very Busy time at The Custom Costume Company…

Dave’s Cloak


Heavily Embroidered Over  Tunic – Celtic Style


Heavily Embroidered Over Tunic – Celtic Style


Tunics for Sale -


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Tunics for Helen


There are a few tunics for sale which can be seen in my Etsy shop and FB page!/groups/114449428594681/


Deborah sent me her choices of the photos taken the other week. 

Personally I love them and am a very happy bunny.

Chris and Deborah made a short video of the weekend


Introducing the finished character shoots:-





Red Riding Hood


Fox Shaman



People who worked on the shoot -

Costume – Me at the Custom Costume Company -!/groups/114449428594681/

Photography - Deborah Selwood from Gecko studios –!/pages/Gecko-Studios-Photography/115300968481172

Model – Rhona or  Captn Ron -!/pages/CaptinMaximus-Ron/280059882060695

Make up for Fox Shaman and Red – Kimberly Champman -!/profile.php?id=631780710

Make up for Willow and Florence – Josie Clarke -!/profile.php?id=854225404&sk=info