Today I would love to share with you a recent project that I completed for a very special client… the fashionably famous, Mrs. Minnie Mouse!
The Old Dress
The Minnie Mouse character at Princess Party People, had a lovely pink polka dot dress that had become too dingy and worn out for her to make appearances in. The dress was perfect in size and in color, but the fabric needed retiring.
I was hired by the Princess Party People team to make a dress replica. The original dress was dropped off by their staff, and I then recreated a new dress, mimicking the old dress as precisely as possible!
Here is a behind the scenes look at the process:
To recreate a new dress using an existing dress as a template, I first deconstruct the old dress seam by seam. As I remove each portion, I make written notes and technical sketches in my workbook. These notes will be very helpful to me when I reconstruct the new dress!
After the old dress is deconstructed, I trace the old fabric pieces onto paper for the pattern rough draft. I use rulers and measurements to create straight lines, crisp edges, and symmetry. Once the paper patterns are drafted, I can cut out the new material.
Here are a few photos of the old dress pieces next to the new pieces as I begin the reconstruction portion of this project:
The New Dress
Like a puzzle nearing completion, the new Minnie Mouse dress begins to take shape.
Before long, an old, tired dress is replaced by a new ready-to-mingle version!
These types of projects are very fun for me, as I love using a variety of my skills when I am working!
If you have any older clothes or costumes you would like to have reconstructed, send me a message with your ideas!
You can read more about past costume projects of mine by clicking any of the article links below!
Thank you for reading! Have a great day!
The Dance Group is open to interested Boys and Girls, but at this time, only Girls have joined. Like the club, Dance Group members do not need to be Puerto Rican to join.
I am delighted to have been commissioned by P.R.O.U.D. Modesto to construct the dresses for the girls in the new Dance Group! In September, I was sent photos of traditional Puerto Rican Dance Dresses, as well as the orders for the members of the Dance Group. I wanted to stay as close to the original concept as possible, due to this being a cultural costume. All dresses would be the same, but in various sizes. Once the orders were in, I drafted the pattern for the dress, in girl's dress sizes 5 through 12, I purchased fabric, trim, and notions, and I then began to create the costumes...
Check out the sketch I drew, illustrating the dance costume concept, that the P.R.O.U.D Club Members decided on:
Work in Progress...
Here are some exclusive, behind the scenes, photos, taken in my workroom, as I created these lovely costumes!
When all of the dresses were finalized, I met with the dance group for a final fitting. With my rolling rack in hand, we met where the group was rehearsing. Once the girls tried on the costumes, I was pleased to see that only one minor alterations was needed. The dresses were performance ready!
The First Performance!
On October 6th, 2018, the P.R.O.U.D Modesto Girl's Dance Group performed for the first time at The International Heritage Festival, held at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this festival, since I had a prior commitment scheduled for an OFW Art & Style Magazine Photo Shoot that same day in Oakland. However, my loving husband, Javier, took our three children to this event, where they were able to view a fantastic presentation of traditional Puerto Rican Dance, presented by the P.R.O.U.D. Girl's Dance Group! One of my nieces, Vivianna, is a member of the Dance Group! Javier was able to take some beautiful photos of their performance.
Here are some of the marvelous photos that my husband, and my sister, Desiree, took of the P.R.O.U.D. Modesto Girl's Dance Group's first performance:
When viewing the photos myself, it was wonderful to see these young ladies enjoy themselves, while learning traditional dance of the Puerto Rican Culture! It was exciting to see the dresses I had created flowing with rhythmic beauty as the girls twirled and waved the folds of fabric while dancing!
Thank you for joining me, as I created the Dance Costumes for the P.R.O.U.D. Modesto Girl's Dance Group! I hope you enjoyed the photos and commentary!
Leave me a comment! I would love to hear your feedback on my Blog!
I hope you have a wonderful day!
As a Freelance Fashion Designer, I often take on requests from clients to create custom garments. My client may be a bridesmaid in a wedding that is looking for a custom fitted gown to match the wedding party specification. My client may be a clothing size that is not commonly found in the style outfit she may need for an upcoming event. My client may have an article of clothing that she would like re-created into something else completely. All of these are fairly common in my line of work, but once in a while, a client will contact me asking for something completely out of my realm of experience...
"Can you make me a Parrot Costume?"
While studying Fashion Design in college, a professor once told those of us who were hoping to pursue design and creative sewing as a future means of income, to not turn down requests, even if it is something we have never done before. Even if it is something that sounds mundane, or uninteresting. The reason? First, saying no to projects will lead to less people asking. Over time, no one will ask for your participation in projects, because they know you will say no. Secondly, the more you say yes, the more experience you gain, and more opportunities are presented. So, when a referred client called me up asking if I could create a Parrot Costume for her, my response was a firm, "Yes!". Even though I had never before made a costume at that point in my career, let alone a Parrot Costume!
From Concept to Creation...
As a trained Dress-Maker and Fashion Designer, my immediate idea was to create a Parrot Dress, with a caped hood mimicking the Parrot's head and wings. I wanted to approach this project as High Fashion as possible, to stay true to my design aesthetic. I drew out the above conceptual illustration to show my client at our first meeting. I also went to my fabric supplier to obtain fabric swatches and pricing for the materials that I would use to make my sketch a reality.
This photo includes four fabrics that I used to create the Parrot Costume for my client. The Green, Blue, and Yellow textiles were used as feathers, and the Red Velvet was used for the bodice of the dress. I used a Red Cotton fabric as the base of the skirt for more structure, it was lined and completely covered in hand-cut feathers.
I met with my client, with my illustration, fabric swatches, and price estimate in hand. When I presented my idea to her, she was thrilled! She loved the concept that I had come up with. Her only change was the hood in the sketch. My client wanted a Headpiece or Fascinator instead. She was also planning on full professional Special Effect Parrot Make-Up, from local Make-Up Artist, Paula Serrano. I took her measurements, and deposit, then I was off to the sewing work room to get this dress completed!
Progress in the Designer Workroom!
A Photo Shoot with my Client...
After one fitting, and much work, the Parrot Dress, and Headpiece I created was finished! I also created a clutch for my client by creating a velvet pouch that I placed in a hand-held bird cage! The skirt was underlined with layers of Tule to create more volume in the silhouette.
My client had a very specific idea for the completion of her look, and wanted realistic Parrot Special Effect Make-Up to transform herself into as close to an actual Parrot as humanly possible! She hired professional MUA, Paula Serrano to create the Special Effect Make-Up. This was my client's vision. With the help of myself and Mrs. Serrano, her vision was achieved!
After my client was dressed and ready to go, I took her to the local park to take a few photos of the costume! Check out the completed look!
As you can see, my client really enjoyed herself. The project was a success!
As a designer, having a happy client is by far the biggest reward!
If you have a costume idea that you would like to have custom made, contact me! I would love to create more interesting costumes! As always, feel free to contact me for all you Custom Clothing needs!
Thank you for reading my Blog!
Let me know what you think of my take on a Parrot Costume, by leaving me a comment below!
Recently, I started an additional side gig, as an Actress with the Murder Mystery Company, San Jose Troupe. (Currently, I am working three jobs: Fashion Designer for my own label, a Tailor Assistant & Apprentice with Oxford Way Tailoring & Men's Clothing, in Oakland, and now an actress... yes, I am always on the go, and rarely have a break from being so busy).
Starting a job as an actress, where I could play several different roles, I am required to start building up a Make-Up Kit for my costume preparation, and performances.
I am no Make-Up Artist. Although I am very much into fashion, Make-Up is something I know little about. Like many women, I do wear Make-Up, but little more than foundation and eye liner, purchased from the local drug store, on most days.
When growing up, my Mom was never much into Make-Up. She would wear mascara, and maybe lip stick, but that was all. She never taught me how to apply Make-Up, so I only dabbled in foundation to help cover my acne. Back then, Oil-Free Make-Up wasn't common place, and I found myself breaking out even more!
During my junior year of high school, I discovered eye shadow. I went alittle crazy with my application, thinking it was very artsy to blend two colors that would match my outfit. My Dad hated it, and eventually restricted my eye shadow use all together.
As I grew into womanhood, I didn't wear any Make-Up at all, finding my face had a clearer complection, and guys seemed to dig the "natural beauty" look. But as I grew into my late 20's and then 30's, I began to feel that a light application of foundation definitely helped my appearance, by evening the color of my skin tone.
Now, as I continually prepare for fashion shows, I wish I knew more about Make-Up, and even hair styling, since often times these services are not extended to designers for events. On some occasions, such as photo shoots, models may have to style their own hair and Make-Up. I find myself wishing I could assist more in this area. And, now... I will be creating various personas through Make-Up and Costume as a Murder Mystery Company Actress!
My first role for the Murder Mystery Company, was playing a character by the name of Amanda Lay in the Crime and Punishment production. This particular script is not based on the classic novel, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (great book by the way), but is a completely different twisted tale, set in a 1920's Speakeasy Lounge. The character, Amanda Lay, is a seductive jazz singer.
To create an unforgettable Amanda Lay, I first consulted tutorials on trusty 'ol YouTube. I learned that the characteristics of 1920's Make-Up include: minimal brow arch, sad round eyes, exaggerated red Cupid's Bow lips, porcelain matte skin, and red blush.
Next, I visited the web-site of Modesto Native Make-Up Artist, Paula Serrano. Mrs. Serrano and I met several years ago through her friend, who happens to be my sister, Desiree. We collaborated previously to create a Parrot Costume look for a mutual client: I designed and created the costume, while Mrs. Serrano created the Make Up Look, and provided the Make-Up Artistry services.
To see my Parrot Costume, from concept to creation, click HERE.
Mrs. Serrano is not only a local MUA, but also has created her own Make-Up brand, called Paula Serrano Make-Up. Her web-site, www.paulaserranomakeup.com, offers beautiful shades of Lip Sticks, Lip Lacquer, Lip Gloss, Eye Shadow, Highlighting Sugars, and Contour Powders.
I placed my Make-Up order, but I realized it might not arrive in time for my first show. Since I was anxious to practice my 1920's look before my performance, to guarantee it would look excellent on show night, I made a run to my local Sally Beauty Supply, and purchased a few items. I figured if I had any issues completing the look, I would have time to get it just right. I also began to look up YouTube tutorials, as well as pictures on Pinterest, illustrating Long Hair Styles for the 1920's woman.
Most people, myself included, envision short flapper hairstyles with lots of finger waves when imagining the 1920's woman. However, at present, my hair is super long. Surly, many women also had long hair styles in the 1920's, didn't they?
I found it difficult to style my own hair by myself, so I breaded my hair and coiled it into a loose bun, and than accessorized the look with a darling feather headband that my friend, Ms. Angela Neves, had made.
As I began to apply my make up, listening to Fergie's "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" from the Great Gatsby (2013) Soundtrack, my face began to transform into one of that from a different era...
I used my own mascara, foundation, and an eyebrow pencil that I found in an old cigar box, which I currently use as my personal Make-Up Kit. I also purchased a set of non-expensive Make-Up Brushes from Target.
Soon, my Paula Serrano Make-Up arrived! Based on the information I learned from the YouTube tutorial above, I ordered her Madre Matte Liquid Lipstick, Doe Eyes Eyeshadow, and Leather and Lace Eyeshadow.
Here is the same 1920's inspired look, but this time using the Make-Up I had ordered from Paula Serrano Make-Up:
In addition to mastering 1920's Make-Up techniques, I also had a script to memorize, and 1920's slang to familiarize myself with in preparation for my performance as Amanda Lay. I read my lines over and over until I had them seared into my memory. I also had to practice my singing, since my role includes the singing performance of two songs...after all, "Amanda" is a Jazz Singer... did I mention that I am not that great of a singer?
Now, take a moment to enjoy this song straight from 1928, by Helen Kane!
I've also included a brief list of 1920's Slang for your enjoyment!
Before long, the day of my first performance arrived! I fixed up my hair and Make-Up earlier that afternoon, since I wanted to take my time applying my Make-Up, and I was still unsure of what type of preshow set-up I would be required to assist in once myself and a fellow actor arrived on location at the Private Party we would be performing at. I then made my way to the Murder Mystery Company Headquarters in San Jose, to meet up with my workmate, and to pick up my costume!
Now, off to the Murder Mystery Show!
I hope you enjoyed my experience re-creating a 1920's look, with Make-up, for my Murder Mystery performance! If you would like to know more details about the Murder Mystery Show itself, join us for an upcoming show! Check out the web-site www.grimprov.com to purchase your Murder Mystery tickets to one of our Public Shows, or to book a Private Murder Mystery Event!
Be sure to follow my Blog for more era-replicated Make-Up looks, and upcoming fashion events!
"Have a Killer Day!"
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!