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mia's costume diaries

inara serra - serenity

training house costume

This costume hasn't had a ton of research done on it, but I, of course, have my own page dedicated to it at Serenifly CostumesHere's all my research on the costume.
And of course, with all my costumes, the goal is to spend the least amount of money possible!  So, I try to keep a running tally on how much money I spend.  That chart for this costume is here.


my diaries

Friday, July 13, 2007

So, my diary-writing experience hasn’t been the best.  I meant to write more…

The Can’t Stop the Serenity screening went really well.  I got my costume done for that (barely!).  I was painting flowers until I had to start doing my hair! 

So, what I did since I last wrote?  I left the jumpsuit as it was.  I should probably take in the top eventually, it’s a bit big, but it worked just fine.  The top eventually ended up working out.  I would like to redo it someday, but it turned out better than I thought.  I ended up putting in two darts on the sides by the shoulders (even though it looks like they’re just seams) to help with the lay of the fabric.  After figuring that out, flat-lining it with some muslin, and sewing it together, it turned out just fine.  I’ll probably want to take in the shoulders a bit when I wear it again. 

Sorry about the lack of hair pictures.  I didn’t put any wash in my hair.  The curls did just fine and I didn’t care enough to put color in my hair.  It took about an hour of prep and a few hours of leave-in time.  I also bought some fake eyelashes to pump the eyes up a bit.  That was new and exciting.  It also took me three tries to find the right color of nail polish.  I was really happy when I found the right color. 

The skirt flowers were most interesting.  I decided to paint them on because of the time/experience factor.  I knew I had nil experience with embroidering such huge flowers on such thin fabric.  So, I decided that painting them on would be more efficient.  It worked out exactly as I had thought, so that’s good.  Though, the colors I picked weren’t quite right, they ended up being just fine.  The “champagne” color I got looked off-white/gold, but turned out being mostly silver.  What can you do?!

I didn’t end up actually finishing off the dress.  I had to pin myself into it every night.  I couldn’t figure out the front tie.  So, I twisted the ends, tacked those ends together the best I could, and safety pinned the two tacked parts together.  I also had to safety pin the ends of those into the top.  I ended up also safety pinning the straps of the jumpsuit to my bra straps. 

My shoes.  I bought the shoes that had those white stripes on the inner soles, so I decided to use permanent black marker to mask them.  The first time wearing them, the soles of my feet were very black.  But, as I wore them, that became less and less.  So, it ended up working just fine.

The other time I wore the dress was for a convention here in town CONvergence.  I helped out a bit with a party room.  We dressed it up like the Serenity Galley.  We had the wooden table, crates, the stencils…  It looked pretty good.  I played a little violin for it in my costume for sing-a-longs.  I had a good time. 

For now, pictures are here for the screening and for the CON, pictures are here!


Monday, May 21, 2007
I have been working on my dress.  Just not enough.  I mocked-up my jumpsuit and made it out of the gold satiny stuff.  It looks good, but needs to be taken in on top a bit.  I'll hold on that until I get the proper undergarments.  I also did 2 mock-ups of the red/gold top.  Neither of them work well.  So, back to the drawing board...again. 
Today, I tried out my hair.  I bought some hair curlers to see if they'd work better than trying to use a curling iron.  They worked alright and I got a pretty good effect.  Some people have told me (ok 1 person has told me) that I should maybe get some dark hair wash to make my hair darker.  My hair is a medium brown and Inara's is obviously very very dark brown, nearly black.  I'm still contemplating it.  I will put up a picture of my hair today and you can help me decide.
The exciting thing is that I will be able to wear this costume 2 different times this summer.  There are 4 weeks left to the screening and about 2 weeks after that, I'll have another event to wear it for.  That's awesome.

Sunday, April 29, 2007
I made the necklace last night.  I think it turned out alright.  It's not perfect, but I think it gives the idea of the necklace.  I took both of my necklaces all apart and put them back together link by link.  I tried on a necklace that I had and decided how long the main part of the necklace would be based on that (16" if you care to know).  Then, based on that, I measured to where the bottom of the middle pendant should reach (4").  So, the final necklace is as close to those dimensions as I could get.  It's not bad for a cheap version of the beautiful Indian necklace she wore.  (I'm pretty sure it was Indian...)  Anyway, my picture is below!


On a white background, with flash


On a dark background, without flash

Friday, April 27, 2007
So, I started looking at my jewelry this morning.  First, a look at the originals:







Pictures of my purchases are below:


The earrings were from Kohl's and the necklaces from Target.  A grand total of $19.60 for the lot.  The earrings I know have to be shortened a bit.  But, after looking at them, all the joins are soldered.  So, taking it apart will be problematic.  So, I attempted just taking off the "hook" and replacing it with a red stone stud I have.


Earrings with studs


Original earrings


With studs, on


Original earrings, on

So, you can see that the actual earrings are much more prominent on the ear, but I think the change I made will make them workable.  They're a little long for playing violin, but that's my problem!
The necklaces are going to give me more problems, I think.  I don't have the tools to fix them at home, so I'll have to start working on that later.  I think I'm going to disassemble both and just put them back together into one.  I don't have the stone pendant that she has, but I don't know if that's noticable or not.  I'll keep trying stuff.

Thursday, April 26, 2007
I have been working, just not updating...I'm a bad updater!  I went to Iowa last weekend and went shopping with Mom.  We found earrings that'll work great.  I might have to doctor them up a bit.  (I'll post a picture when I get it.)  I also looked at shoes.  Saw some at Kohl's that might work, but decided to wait until I saw some more.  So, today, I went to Target to pick up the necklace I saw.  I got two to put them together.  I also went to JCPenneys to see the shoes I saw online and didn't like them.  So, I went to Kohl's and picked up the now even more reduced shoes!  Click for pic.  T'was very exciting to get them for so cheap!  I was running nearly late for work so Roseivy bought them for me, bless her!  I'm going to have to do something with the stripes, I think.  Does permanent marker come off of fabric? 
So, now I need to get sewing.  I have 8 weeks.  Mom was nice enough to let me borrow her dress form.  So, making the skirt and top will be that much easier.  Without having to resort to drawing on myself. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
So, I got a reply to my message on the IMDB forums.  You can read about the response from Ruth Carter at the bottom of my Inara research page.  She said the top is made from "dyed and embossed pony skin leather."  Um...eek.  I think my upholstery fabric will be just fine.  I have been thinking about how I want to begin drafting the pattern.  I think I'm going to make a shirt with seams that are similar, then start cutting away at it until I get something I like.  Then, I'll make it from my nice fabric.  I gotta start a price table...that was helpful last time when doing my Eowyn costume.  Things to do, things to do!
Oh, and Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, April 5, 2007
I went shopping today with a friend.  We went to the huge warehouse in town, but I didn't find anything remotely like the fabric I wanted.  She found what she wanted, though.  So, we decided to hop in the car and go to JoAnn's again.  I decided I liked the upholstery fabric I had seen there, so I got that and matched the other fabric with it.  The picture of the fabric is below.  The upholstery didn't quite show up well in the picture, but I think it'll do fine.  So, now onto drafting a pattern...


Thursday, March 15, 2007
So, I've officially decided to do Inara's Training House costume.  I'm having trouble deciding what the vest fabric is.  I first thought it was burnout velvet.  Then, someone suggested it was embossed leather.  I'll have to look around at a shop to see if I can decipher what it really is. 
We went to Target today for an unrelated errand, and I browsed through the jewelry to see if I could find a start to her necklace.  There were actually 3 necklaces I saw that could work. 

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