Thursday, March 12, 2009

it's only money

It's amazing how the mind can contort itself to justify satisfaction of the inner child.

Yesterday I found myself drooling over a $200 piece of leather that would be perfect for a particular costume I have planned. (I'm not saying what, just yet--we'll see how it plays out.) Do I have $200? Yes, but I'm supposed to be saving for tournament. And I don't dare bank on any money I might make at the Comicon, to which I would wear said costume. I'm already betting against making back the registration fees.

Yes, by the way, I will be attending Planet Comicon on March 28-29th. Come as you aren't.

But back to my mental contortions: $200 is not the most I've spend on a costume. The original Harley Quinn was about that much, when you factor in the retail costs of spandex, the fact that I wasted a lot of fabric on developmental mistakes, and buying the makeup and foundation garments.

The most I ever spent on a costume was about $600. That was the green velveteen Darla costume. Everything about that was new and expensive to make, in part because I demanded the best and most authentic materials: corset, petticoats, bloomers, stockings, fabric, trims, boots, wig and makeup. I spread out the costs over about six months, but it was still a chunk of change. I still wear the boots, of course, and the Victorian underthings have seen use with other outfits. So it was something of an investment, but after that I vowed never again to fork out so much money.

Most of my other stuff has been super-cheap. I tend to buy fabric at a discount anyway. I think my silver-blue Victorian dinner dress was maybe $70, but it took forever to make--all that pleating on the skirt.

The Gold Gown cost maybe $30 in additional corset parts, since I made it over from my first wedding gown and its leftover fabric. (That wedding dress itself cost less than $300.)

My "Armand" costume was so cheap I don't even remember. I bought that red velvet off the clearance rack at Wal-Mart while I worked there, the shirt and shoes I already had; the vest fabric was a cheap nasty seasonal acetate I got a Sew-Fro back when Sew-Fro still existed--altogether? Maybe $35. I'm not sure why I still have this thing. Maybe I'll sell it.

Wonder Woman has been a little pricey, mostly because of the trial-and-error. I always overbuy on new projects; I try a lot of different things and discard half of them. I've bought five pieces of blue and/or star-spangled spandex, trying to find a shade and pattern I like. One, maybe two of them will actually get used. The first red pleather I bought for the bustier was not pleasing at all, so that was wasted making boot patterns. The red satin I actually used was very cheap, I got it as a remnant at Hancock Fabrics. Altogether I'd guess I've spent about $70 on it, so that's not bad, although it has been taking a long time and feels very wasteful. It will probably run another $30-$50, depending on how I handle the boots and metal parts.

The Black Cat costume I started and did not finish has been VERY wasteful. I just can't bring myself to wear PVC. I hate it. I got the suit put together, I put it on, and I hate it. I can't even make myself finish it. $30, down the drain. I'll probably cut it up and make gloves out of it, because PVC gloves are actually kind of cool and I can sell them for small profits, recoup the loss. ETA: I did take this apart, and reassembled in into a Catwoman costume. Beginnings of one, anyway.

Huh. Looking back over this list, now I'm thinking I should mark down some of the stuff in my Etsy shop.


AJ Milne said...

It's amazing how the mind can contort itself to justify satisfaction of the inner child.

(Embargoes post on new snowboard bindings.)

Holly said...

*snorts in amusement*

We all need our candy, don't we?

Anonymous said...

I have long since forgotten the cost of my SkohGahr the Black, the Celtic warrior costume. I didn't keep the receipts. It was the Sainted Mother who put it together in 1985, complete with a cloth replica of a golden torque. I brought it out of storage in 2006, and regaled the audience at ConQuesT with "A Grazing Mace," that year. You saw it when I delivered "Ode to Billy Boy" in 2007. Its swan song was "Ode to a Sword" this past year. Back into the vaults with it.

Since the Sainted Mother is no longer in the costume making business, I have considered commissioning you for my next outfit. Big hangup though, I would have to win Powerball big time, since the cost is figured in thousands of dollars. Right now, I can't afford such frivolity.

Holly said...

Scotius, if you will the Powerball jackpot I will happily make you any costume you desire. It would solve both our problems.

Anonymous said...

The costume in question is a Civil War uniform. The original that my great-greatgrandfather wore probably cost the State of Iowa a few dollars in 1862. Part of the cost in question is the research necessary for authenticity.

This particular forefather of mine marched off to war with dark red hair. He returned to his farm three years later shock white.