LARP

New Year’s LARP resolutions for 2015

First of all: Happy 2015 everybody! I hope you all had wonderful holidays with your family and friends, I definately did. As 2015 has started and all the party is over, time has come to think about the year ahead of us. I’m not really a person to make very stringent resolutions for myself, as I know that not living up to them is very probable and also very stressful for me. The new year is, however, a good moment to reflect on last year and think about things that I want to do in 2015. So no ‘real’ resolutions for me, but when it comes to my hobbies, I do have a few things that I would like to do this year! I thought I’d share them here with you. In December (that sounds so far away right now…) I will see what came true this year. So, here is my list:

1. Visit fantasy LARPs again. In 2014, I visited not a single fantasy LARP organised by the association I’m a member of. Of course I had my reasons (no money, no time, new job…) but after a year off I start to miss them. I miss the people I normally see at those events and I miss the intimate atmosphere of an event with 50 people or so. I did visit post-apocalyptic LARPs (where I’m an NPC and game master, which is not the same as being a PC) and Drachenfest in Germany, but those things are definately very different. I hope I can find the possibility to re-enter the stories I’ve been a part of for quite some time either with an old character or a new one!

2. Attend a huge LARP event again. As said before, last summer I went to Drachenfest, an event with about 5000 visitors in Germany. I was blown away by what I saw… I just couldn’t wrap my head around the shear amount of tents, houses, gates, gardens and (most of all) dressed up people doing their thing. I went to the Elf Fantasy fair quite some times (which draws 15000 people but is just a fantasy festival where you can but stuff and see acts), but this is so different and so much better. I will write an article very soon about this experience, as it was wonderful. We will visit the festival again next summer, and I’m already looking forward to it.

3. Visit a fantasy festival in a pretty dress. This might sound like a stupid one… I will explain why I want this. I visit the Elf Fantasy Fair (or Elfia as it is called now) twice a year. Not as a visitor, but to promote the post-apocalyptic role-playing events I have been a part of for about 4 years now. This means I live at the festival terrain for those days, in run-down tents, cooking my food over oil drums and people watching everything you do all day long, and all this while wearing run-down clothing, covered in mud. It’s awesome, no doubt about that, but somewhere in my heart I want to have a pretty dress too sometimes. If only for one day 😛 So in 2015, I want to make a real victorian bustle dress and walk the festival grounds in a pretty dress!

4. Use up a lot of stuff I have lying around. This is something that a lot of people who like hobbying as much as I do will recognize I think. I have a big stash of fabric, wool, beads and other stuff lying around, which are either leftovers from other projects, projects-to-be and the things you just couldn’t leave in the store because they are so pretty… It happens to all of us I think, and you don’t really realize what you have… until you move. In March, I moved to a new house and I started packing my stuff. I was a bit shocked to see how much I had! I threw away a lot of hobby stuff (or rather, donated it to other people) and kept quite some stuff too. In this new year,  I will try to use something I already have in each hobby project.

5. Maybe blogging a bit more? Last year, I wrote 2 articles. That is not a lot! Considering all that happened it’s not weird, but I sometimes missed the writing a bit. I hope that next year I will be able to write some more articles and put some love in this blog again 🙂

 

That pretty much sums up my hobby resolutions for 2015! Do you have any nice plans for 2015 when it comes to your hobbies?

Categories: General, LARP, The Good Things in Life | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Last-minute Costuming

Somewhere in June, friends of mine organised their first LARP event and asked me as an NPC. I agreed to help them out, I had to play an elfish servant in the local tavern that weekend, which was fine by me. Since it was a first-time event, they did not have that many costumes, so I decided I would bring my own. The only thing I did not take into account was that I apparently did not have anything suitable lying around for this character (I was very surprised) and that I did not have the time to make a completely new costume! The only option left was making something up with the bits and pieces from previous characters and costumes…

A week before the event the weather was acting grumpy, rainy, cloudy and far too cool for the time of the year, so I decided to go for something which would keep me warm during the day and night, so I took an old black linen dress I made a few years ago for a priestess. I bought an organza fabric with leaves printed on it at the market (very elfish) and decided I would incorporate that somewhere in the final costume. When I got home, I decided I only liked the leaves (and not the fabric in between) so I cut them out and attached them  to the dress (with safety pins) in a pattern that I thought looked OK:

DSCN4188

Certainly nothing I am really proud of, or something I would do again, but good enough to serve its purpose. Until…

… The unthinkable happened. At least, when you live in the Netherlands like I do.  Two hours before I had to leave for the weekend, the sun peaked through the clouds and suddenly the weather was warm, if not hot! And I was stuck with a long-sleeved black dress… What to do now?

I emptied my baskets with costumes and my closet and put a costume together from a few pieces of clothing and accessories I found around the house. I ended up with:

  • a brown skirt I bought last summer
  • my werewolf underskirt, which I pinned up in the front with a few safety pins and decorated with a few of the leaves from the black dress
  • a white blouse I forgot about
  • two leather belts
  • a piece of faux ivy that normally decorates the shower
  • some pieces of jewelry

and it ended up looking like this:

DSCN4174

Not bad at all! More suitable for the weather, quite layered (which I really like) and put together in 15 minutes. Not having a costume can never be an excuse to skip a weekend, that’s what I discovered here. And yes, safety pins are your best friends in these emergency cases! Have you ever made a costume in under an hour which turned out better than you thought it would? Let me know in the comments!

Categories: Clothing, Costumes, LARP | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Caftan for the boyfriend

A little while ago, I had to admit my stash of fabrics got a bit too big (I’m sure every hobbyist recognizes this) and that I had to throw away some pieces of fabric. I ended up with three big bags of fabric which I could miss. A pretty good clean-up if I may say so myself! All of the fabrics went to the LARP association for the costumes guild and so forth. While rummaging through the big pile of fabrics however, my boyfriend spotted a piece of fabric that he wanted for himself. One of his characters, an air mage and a bedouin like my character, could do with a new costume, and he thought this fabric was just the perfect thing. Since he is not that experienced with the sewing machine, he asked me to make him a caftan, and this is the result:

Caftan

He seems to be very happy with his new costume, so that’s always a good thing, especially since I would have thrown away the fabric otherwise! If you want to know how I made this caftan, continue reading :).

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Categories: Costumes, LARP, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Patchy Tiered Peasant skirt

Hello everybody! It has been a while since my last blog post, I have been so busy with the holidays and my internship! at this moment, however, I just feel like blogging again and I have something really nice today: A new tutorial on my werewolf costume! Slowly but steady all the pieces of this costume are coming together and I plan on finishing some more stuff very soon. In this tutorial I will show you the second skirt of this costume. It is the cute patchy overskirt in the drawing I wrote about last year. It will be worn over the underskirt I already made, as can be seen in these pictures (yay for snow, I love it!):

Ylva skirt 2

Ylva skirt 1

It’s very wide (the bottom tier is more than 9,5 m long!) and flows around your legs with every movement you make. I love this skirt, and if you want to make one too, I will explain how to do so below!

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Categories: Clothing, Costumes, LARP, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to design a costume

In one of my first posts I wrote about how I write characters for my LARP adventures. This is only where the fun starts, because when you have a character, you can start thinking about your costume, accessories, weapons and other props you want to take with you. My plans on this are always big, and not always realistic considered the time I have until the event (especially when the event is already in two weeks or so!). If time is really short, you can still fix some things to make your character look good, more on that in a few weeks. For now I want to keep with one of the basic things: costume designing! The things described below are just things I always keep in mind, but the truth is there are no rules of any kind when it comes to creativity. Do as you like and feel free to use my tips and remarks!

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Embroidered Peasant Top

This cute blouse is the second part I made for my werewolf costume. It is a simple peasant top, which can be made in one hour if you choose not to decorate it with embroidery. If the right fabric is used, it can also be made as a daywear blouse, maybe with short sleeves for the summer. For this blouse I recommend using light, non-stretching fabrics, like cotton, muslin or a lightweight linen. If you want to add embroidery you may want to use a coarse linen with about 10 threads per cm. Always make sure you have the same amount of threads horizontally and vertically if you want your embroidery to look nice!

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Bedouin costume

Hello everbody! It has been a month since my last post, my study asked so much of my time I did not have a lot of time to do much other things. I did something nice however: three weeks ago I had a photoshoot with one of my friends, and the photographer (thanks a lot Rob!) took some pictures of my favorite costume too! I was really excited about this, because I really spent a lot of time (especially on the dress!) and most of the time it is stored somewhere in a box…

This costume I made for a character that belongs to a nomadic tribe, comparable to the bedouins of the Middle East. This tribe is very traditional, lives in the middle of the desert and has not much contact with the people of the lands surrounding their land. They love old stories, magic artefacts and beautifully crafted stuff, which was something that I wanted to be visible in my costume. This is how it turned out:

The dress was made with Folkwear pattern 101. You shouldn’t buy this for the dress pattern itself, because making a dress like this is really easy. The embroidery pattern provided with it however is so nice and detailed! It took me about 50 hours to embroider the front part, but since I like doing embroidery I do not regret it and I love how it turned out. The rest of the costume consists of a lot of drapes, scarfs and bellydance-coins and some jewelry I bought on the bazar in Jerusalem when I visited Israel.

So, I hope you liked this post about one of my costumes.Have you made any costumes you are very pround of? Tell me about them in the comments!

Categories: Costumes, LARP | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Half circle skirt with flounce

Hello everybody! As promised, here is the first tutorial on my blog! This skirt is the first part of my costume for Ylva, the new character I wrote about last week. She wears it as an underskirt, so only the lower part will be visible. On top of it there will be a shorter skirt made of linen scraps, more about that one later! 

This half circle shirt is easy to make, flows out beautiful and is a good basic piece for every (female) costume. It closes in the back with a slit and a tie closure (is it called like that?) The flounce I added is optional, I liked it because of the peasant-y look it gives. Not adding it looks also very good and certainly saves you a lot of time, because gathering the fabric is quite time-consuming. For making this skirt I recommend using non-stretch fabric. Any kind of light-weight, supple fabric will do, as long as it’s not too stiff. Now, on to the tutorial!

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Categories: Costumes, LARP, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Costume design: Werewolf

Hello all! Today I would like to do a quick post on a project I started with. I wrote a new character a few months ago, but I don’t have a costume for her yet. In this post I will tell something about the character and show a drawing of what I planned for her. I hope I will be able to place tutorials for most of the pieces here, so you all can benefit from it too! On the bottom of this post I will list the links to all the tutorials as soon as they are online. Keep your eyes open, I guess the first one will be posted in a few days.

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Character building for Dummies

Hello everyone! After my welcome post I got a request from Elise. She asked me if I could do a post on writing  characters, and because I really liked the idea I decided to start right away! Unfortunaltely, my week was really busy, so it took me a bit longer. Nevertheless: here it is!

For most people that practice any kind of roleplay, charcter writing is the essential start of having adventures. Some prefer to write only three lines of background, choose a set of skills and start playing right away, but I prefer writing extensive backgrounds. This gives me the chance to ‘explore’ the world of my character, understand where she comes from, and determine why she does things the way she does. This all sounds like a lot of work for a fictional character maybe, but it is all part of the fun. So, here are my advices for writing a nice character background! Continue reading

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