Friday, June 27, 2008

New Bodice

Inspiration struct me the other day, so I started one using the corset pattern maker at: Just wanted to see how accurate the measurements would be with the tabs. Wish I would have found this before I started the first bodice for mom. Much easier. I've also created my own can tab pattern in Adobe Illustrator where I superimposed the tabs over the image created by the online pattern maker. Still working on little tweaks like the spacing, but, now I don't need to guess on the shape. Yeah!! Here is the front so far:

can tab bodice

Apologies. Pattern has been removed. Please contact me if interested in obtaining it.

I've been told the style looks like something from the Nutcracker Ballet.

As you can tell in the pic, this horizontal tabs are spaced much to far apart in AI causing it too be to wide. This is actually as good thing because of the stretchiness of the bodice. Anyway, I wanted to try adding variety by making a subtle pattern in the weave by turning the tabs over in places (as you can barely see in the above pic). Didn't show up that well, at first. But, it gave me another idea to run a contrasting cord through the upside-down tabs. More color! Look closely in the far left corner of the bodice.

can tab bodice black and red

I'm running into some problems with the victorian-style experiment I mentioned because I used nonstretchy shoelaces and weaved them too tight, I think. The lacings under the arms will not line up straight. Argghh!


Pic from TRF with flat cap hat
soda tab corset and hat

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

12 plait Green Poly Whip

I created this for Jeudi's costume after seeing a how to video on on whip making. Very fun but time consuming project. But, I learned how to create 12 plait diamondback pattern and the anatomy/history of whips. :)


I used lime green poly rope (sorta like trash bag plastic) for the thong/fall/cracker, duct tape for the belly, and a pencil for a handle. As recommended (and to practice), I made two layers of braiding. The amazing part is that it actually cracks! How cool is that!

12 plait whip in progress

Pirate/Cavalier Hat

This hat has evolved a lot since I started it. Originally we wanted a tricorn hat. I used black shoelaces with skull/crossbone print, hence the spotty-look.

Sun hat-style before I pinned up the sides:

can tab hat on post

can tab hat on post

Hat at the present moment with Dr. Pepper can flower pinned to side and ostrich feathers:

Can Tab Pirate Cavalier Hat

Here's mom modeling her hat.

mom's in her can tab cavalier hat

mom's can tab cavalier hat

My empire waist bodice

I pretty much used up most of my supply of tabs on mom's bodice, but wanted to wear something to the faire as well. So, I created a much shorter project for myself.

can tab bodice

And, the back while I was fitting it.

can tab bodice back

my can tab outfit

There is just something about dressing up to go to a ren faire that make it more fun!

Breakdown of costs:

Can Tabs = FREE
Dk Blue Velour = n/a (fabric from old jogging jacket)
Orange/Brown Braided Trim = ? ($4 for huge 20+ yard spool braided with leather)
Shoelace lacing on sides of bodice= 30 cents a pair (eBay lot)
Chemise = $1 (thrift store fabric)
Removable Over skirt and Sleeves = $1 (remnant clearance fabric)
Aqua-colored Jewel = ? ($2 for package of 10?)
Bottle cap setting for Jewel = FREE
Total = $2.30

Mom's Bodice for Faire

NEW PIC from TRF!!

Can Tab Crown Hat and Bodice

At this point, I'm experimenting with more challenging projects. I found a local short-lived suppler of tabs and WAS rolling in them for awhile. Muhahaha! So, I started mom's bodice/corset. We wanted inexpensive, not so h/a outfits for the Scarby 2008 renaissance faire here in Texas.

Can Tab Crown Hat and Bodice

can tab corset front

can tab corset back

A close up of the hat after a few changes.

Can Tab Crown Hat

Here is a pic of the last fitting showing the straps.

can tab corset in process

I still plan to add some extra paintstick boning to straighten out the front. But, overall she was very pleased and comfortable at the faire.


Here is the post about TRF:

Post for the shoes:


Breakdown of costs:

Can Tabs = FREE
Jewels with rims on Hat = $2 ($1 per pack of 6 jewels at hobby storeclearance)
Gold shoelace on Hat= 30 cents a pair (eBay lot)
Lt. Green Leather Cord Lacing = $8 ($4 a cord at hobby store)
Yarn trim on Hat and Bodice = $2.50 (on clearance)
Nylon cord braided into yarn = 50 cents (clearance)
Dk Green Fleece = $1 ($3/yd.)
Green Scarf on shoulders = ? (I've had it forever)
White sheer shirt = ? (Mom's closet)
Dk Green Overskirt = $1 (Thrift store fabric)
Lt Green Slip Dress = $10 (Marshalls clearance)
Total = $25

Can Tab Crownlace

After Jeudi's outfit and the start of my mom's corset/bodice, I offered to create a crown for an unofficial illustration contest on

The first attempt is modeled by Jeudi:

crown of can tabs

We added some soup/fruit cans to the mix, as well as some cheapy rhinestones and a couple gold shoelaces.

can tab crown/necklace

can tab necklace/crown

Being flexible, it also doubles as a wonderful necklace!

Breakdown of costs:

Can Tabs = FREE
Jewels with rims = $1 per pack of 6 jewels (clearance at hobby store)
Gold shoelaces = 30 cents a pair (eBay lot)
Clasp finding from old belt = next to FREE
Total = $1.30

Jeudi Warrior Princess

After the belt projects, I played around with weaving sheets of tabs in various patterns coming up with, my favorite, the scale look. One triangle shaped piece jokingly became a can tab string bikini top, but you're crazy if you think I'm sharing that pic! The next project made out of can tabs was a hat for my daughter. She loves pink! As any 4 yr. old girl at the time would. I happened to find some pink fuzzy soft fleece fabric strips in the clearance at Hobby Lobby. So, we made the following hat:

soda can tab hat front

soda can tab hat back

It's surprisingly stretchy, light and comfortable. Of course, she just had to have a costume to wear with it. She was, and is, into Xena of all characters. Below are pics of our progress to the current costume.

can tab dress progress

As you can tell she was not pleased with this first attempt. It hung too far down at the neck, so I had to get creative.

Can Tab Dress with Hat - front 1

Can Tab Dress with Hat - back

Can Tab Dress with Hat - front 2

A much happier warrior princess!

And, here is the latest add-ons to her outfit that will hopefully be worn to TRF this year weather permitting.





We added a sword, whip, cape and a few other accessories she picked out. The whip is a whole other homemade project I will explain in a separate post.

Breakdown of cost:

Can tabs = FREE (technically, they made money cuz we recycled some of the cans)
Pink Fleece = $2 (large package of strips on clearance)
Belt for hanging weapons = $1 (thift store)
Sword = $1 (dollar store)
Green Dress = $17 (new)
Green/Black Cape = $1.50 (thrift store)
Whip = $2 ($1 each for bundle of green rope and duct tape, pencil was free)
Armbands/Jewels = $1 each arm (from clearance jewery finds)
Total = $25.50

Beer-Bellydancing Belts

The first project I started which drew me into never-ending can tab hunt was not even made of can tabs. Instead, I used bottle caps.

My mom wanted a noisy belt to practice bellydancing in. She used to take lessons back in the early 70's. Her instructor at the time told her that if you couldn't hear your belt, you weren't doing it right. :) Anyway, we looked everywhere for those little coins/bells you see on bellydancer costumes. No luck near us. Then, while having a refreshing drink after dancing, we came up with using the bottle caps instead. The following pics are of these belt attempts. I must say, they are indeed noisy!

belt with bottle cap bells

Need a close up?

bottle cap bells

The caps were folded in half with a vise. Then, hung with fishing lure attachments to rings made of coiled wire clothes hanger jump rings. The sound of this belt is much lower and different than the flat caps below and is my mom's favorite belt for shimmying.

Another belt made from caps smashed flat and attached with plain lanyard hooks, shows my first attempts at using the tabs for the actual belt. I was later able to find fairly inexpensive clapper bells on eBay from a native american supply store. Not sure why they are selling bells from India, but it was a great bargain. The belt is weaved together with fuzzy yarn.

soda can tab belt

Here is a close up showing a tag we added with our joke of a slogan and the most vulgar of all bellydance poses as a logo.

bottle cap tag

"Go Ahead, Shake Your Can!"

beer bellydancing