This all began as a joke. Years ago, we nicknamed my coworker Ken Captain TMI for a propensity to overshare. By the time that team scattered, we’d made him a name tag and promoted him to general.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when we ran into each other on a break and started reminiscing about the Good Old Days. The conversation came round to his old nickname. We joked about how funny it’d be if he dressed up as Captain TMI for Halloween. And I spoke the fateful words: “If you’ll do it, I’ll make your costume.”
I should have known he’d say yes.
So that’s how I ended up hand-sewing a cape. From scratch. Without a pattern. Or a plan. That’s how I roll.
At first, I was very firm: I’d do a cape, and a logo, and that was it. I’m a busy freelance writer, damn it. I don’t have time for this sewing shit. But then I finished the cape, and it went fast and wasn’t an utter disaster, and Ken loved it, and he’d bought a Superman outfit that had red bits that should really be covered up, and….
Yeah. Mission creep. But it was totally worth it (ymmv).
The chest logo needs work – now that I’ve had some practice, and since next year we won’t have to cover the Superman logo, we’ll be able to do up something nicer. Still. I bloody love the peacock blue sparkle paint. It even made the felt mask conform to his face. Sheer awesome.
I swear I’d cover the universe in that sparkle paint if I could. That would require a prohibitive amount of peacock blue sparkle paint, however. This is probably good news for those who aren’t quite so fond of said paint.
Of course, a costume is really made by its accessories. I’d considered a Captain America-type round shield, but whilst thinking about how to handle the coloration, I had a brainwave. What would Captain TMI carry? A speaker and microphone, of course! Gotta have some way to broadcast his superpower. Ha.
It’s about this time I also had the brainwave for my own costume. What’s the perfect sidekick/ally/nemesis for Captain TMI? Well, what’s the opposite of Too Much Information? Silence! And what is silence? Golden! Thus, Golden Silence was born.
This was a silly thing to do. I’m not fond of gold. This means I have practically nothing that is gold. Also, I have never made a veil before (if you don’t count that crocheted tablecloth-turned-headscarf-for-a-college-project), but I decided Golden Silence would go veiled, much like the Aiel in battle, only more golden. I’m an idiot like that.
So, hours of shopping (which I despise) and hours of designing and sewing (which I actually enjoy), an hour of makeup (which I suck at), et voila – the advent of Golden Silence.
I’ll talk in depth about the veil in a future post – there are some deepish thoughts and definite dilemmas surrounding it – but for now, let’s just enjoy the genesis of a not-so-fully-fleshed character. So, you can imagine that having a twin like Captain TMI would make a person prone to silence – and hiding as much of her face as possible. Also, one might become a bit stabby.
This is possibly part of our superpowers, too – something like a good-cop bad-cop routine wherein the villain is subjected to an endless stream of discomfiting information, followed by a disconcerting silence, until the poor bastard can’t take it anymore and cracks. It’s a work-in-progress.
Regardless of origins and techniques, we definitely rocked the call center. It’s a good feeling when nearly two weeks of extensive work pays off. Of course, people who know more about tailoring than I do came up and said things like, “Oh, wow, you even did a cross something-or-other stitch!” and I’m all like, “Harf?” I just do stuff until stuff does something approaching what I want. I didn’t know there were fancy names for it (and can’t remember the term now).
People were quite surprised by all this. They didn’t have me down as the type of person who creates costumes. My sitting there sewing seemed to boggle them. Thing is, I was raised by a woman who loved creating things, and knew just how to do it. We were always engaged in some project or other. Having studied at the feet of the MacGuyver of the craft world, I can figure out how to rig just about anything for cheap. It’s an intellectual challenge. I don’t like doing things from kits and patterns for that reason – no challenge. Something like crafting costumes from concept to completion, though, is awesome good fun. And then I can come up with a whole story to go with the characters.
Of course, it takes ten times as long doing it from scratch, but it’s the journey that’s the reward.