Tuesday, 2 January 2018

See you later 2017, thanks for an amazing year!

So 2017 turned out to be a pretty incredible year full of ups and downs, so i thought i'd do a quick rundown of the highlights... it turned out to be one hell of a list - I was actually shocked!

Worked on 4 films with my awesome costume department team at Weta Workshop, from Pattern Cutter to Costume Supervisor, it's been a seriously busy year.

Saw my work from 3 2016 film jobs on the big screen - Saban's Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell and Thor Ragnarok.

Was interviewed by Adam Savage for his YouTube show TESTED to talk about how our Weta Workshop team created the Thermoptic suit worn by Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell.
- Scroll down for the video!

Was interviewed for a bunch of other international media for the work in Ghost in the Shell and Thor.

Designed & made special performance capture suits for Weta Digital's work on Alita: Battle Angel

Collected a few Funko Pop Vinyl figures of characters whose costumes I made (pretty damn cool to be honest!)

Had wrist surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome (and now have a pretty cool scar).

Went through a period of pretty serious burnout (due in large part to the list above haha!).

Drastically cut down on my showgirl client work for 6 months to give my wrists/hands and brain time to recover (cut down, but didn't stop entirely).  It made a huge difference!

Made a few special costume underwear pieces for Dita Von Teese and two of her Art of the Teese tour cast members,including US dancer QuitaBee and Australian burlesque starlet Zelia Rose.

Zelia Rose & Violet Chachki (I did not make Violet's costume though 😉)

Was named #4 on the 2016 Burlesque Top 50 Non-Performing person's list (making me #2 Costumier after one of my own favourite costumiers Christina Manuge 💗).

Made a couple of gorgeous full costumes for burlesque performers Duchess DeBerry (New Zealand), Alyssa Kitt (Australia) & Zelia Rose (Australia) as well as many smaller pieces for other clients all around the world.

Made a full replica 1960's Playboy Bunny outfit for Playboy playmate Amy Lee Summers.

Enjoyed my first whole year in my wonderful inner city studio, my happy place!

Was featured in Fashion Quarterly Magazine, New Zealand's answer to Vogue (a childhood dream realised!)

Celebrated 9 years of awesomeness with my amazing husband (4 year's married) ♥

Our beloved cat Murray passed away, and we adopted another cat named Charlie - and had our minds blown when we found out that Charlie was actually Murray's son!
RIP Murray

Welcome to the family Charlie, son of Murray!
Was honoured to make the base G string and Cupless Bra for Dita Von Teese's newest act, embellished by Jenny Packham's team in London and debuted in LA on New Year's Eve.

And of course, used countless Swarovski rhinestones!

Check out these links to see some of the year's work 😃

Tested with Adam Savage

Ghost in the Shell

Thor Ragnarok

Duchess DeBerry

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Too much of a good thing?

I never thought i'd say this, but it turns out I can't do it all..

As many of you already know, I split my time between two dream jobs;

Firstly I have my own beloved business creating sparkling costumes for burlesque showgirls, skimpy bikinis for strippers, specialized VFX suits for performance and motion capture, orthotic support corsets for wheelchair-bound women, stage bikinis and trunks for professional body builders... the list keeps growing with every new spark of an idea!

And secondly is my other love, special-effects costumes for film.  I'm the second-in-charge of the costume department at Weta Workshop in New Zealand, where my amazing team and I get to create crazy costumes for major film projects like Ghost in the Shell, Power Rangers, Pacific Rim, The Hobbit and so many more.

In creative industries, we nearly always need a side hustle - that second stream of income that keeps the bills paid when your other job is slow (or a film project falls over/is put on hold etc)..  Due to my insane work ethic (absolute workaholic) I've ended up with two main hustles, and as much as i love them both equally, the non-stop work is starting to wear me down and i need to take a break.

Aside from the long hours, my poor old hands & wrists are taking a beating.  I'm sure many of my fellow costumiers will understand the frustration of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendinitis, it's getting so bad that i can't even hold my phone or open a jar without feeling the effects... I'm even starting to have trouble threading a needle and using a pen, it's a bit scary to be honest.

So i've made the huge decision to cut back on things for the rest of this year, and will be having surgery to help with my wrists.
I've had to weigh the pros and cons of each job, and this time film has won.  I've taken a more supervisory role on this next film project, which means I can rest my hands a little and will be doing less of the actual physical work myself.

I'm not closing down my own business though - far from it!
I'll just be using the spare time in the evenings to review and streamline my business, to make sure that i'm directing my efforts toward the parts of my business that i love the most.
You might notice a few changes on my websites - I'll be taking a few of the more complex items out and only offering the basics.  I love making G strings, and it's where my entire career began so i couldn't possibly stop making them now haha!

So yeah, thank you to all my amazing clients for being so patient over the past few years while i was biting off more than i could chew.  I'm still here, I'm just taking a half step back for a while ;)

Monday, 13 February 2017

Amethyst Aspirations

February is well on it's way! It's still technically summer here in New Zealand but the weather hasn't been that consistent, so it helps looking at pretty things, kicking off our birthstone/rhinestone monthly mood boards with Amethyst Aspirations

We absolutely love the KTB photo set of Alyssa Kitt in her custom Flo Foxworthy "Lilac Moon" costume, she toured with this stunning act throughout Australia in the Australian Burlesque Festival, and we were very lucky to see it in action here last year when she performed in New Zealand. I'll do a February spotlight on this costume as it's so detailed and spectacular!

Fires Waltz, the latest Haute Couture Spring Summer 2017 from Zuhair Murad. With the quote "An explosion of coloured light cloaked with the darkest night, then reflected in the shadowy waters below."

Photo and blog by Blushaholic
This lipstick and glitter combo from Blushaholic using Lit Cosmetics Deja Vu cosmetic glitter that we sell on the Foxworthy website. add it to your everyday and performance makeup, nail polish, crafts...life.

The vibes of classic showgirl, Sheree North, in her outrageous routine from 1955 film" How To Be Very Popular". I think I've done a few of these moves, and I might just steal some more!

Other exciting things this month are the Showgirl Markets that we're taking part in together with Venus Starr's School of Burlesque and Studio L'amour in our new location. We're also running a couple of classes alongside selling costumes and some of our stash! Visit our Facebook page for more info.

Happy Birthday to all the February babies!


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

2016: A Quick Recap

Before I jump right in, I'd like to start with a "Phew! I can't believe it's already February". The last 6 weeks have flown by with us moving into a new workroom. The dust and rhinestones are still settling and finding their right places, as we get into the groove for 2017.

My name is Ria and I have joined Flo this year as an all round assistant on this crazy Foxworthy journey, I'll do a proper introduction post about myself soon but first I'd like to catch you up on Flo's last year.

2016 was a really busy year as Flo took on fewer burlesque commissions to focus on a large commitment to work with Weta Workshop on film "Ghost in the Shell". Here is a great video interview where you can see the work the Weta crew did and catch Flo discussing the creation of Scarlett Johansson's Thermoptic Suit.

To top it off, Flo also placed 4th on 21st Century Burlesque's "Burlesque Top 50 2016: Non-Performer Chart", following behind other fellow costumier and friend, the wonderful Christina Manuge, who place first on the Non-Performer list. Congrats lady!

With the release of 21st Century Burlesque's "Burlesque Top 50 2016" we wanted to highlight a few of our lovely clients who were voted in as it sums up the year and makes up feel warm and fuzzy!

2. Perle Noire

Pictured with double layer ostrich and peacock feather fans and mirrored Foxworthy staves

6. Roxi D'Lite

Wearing her namesake Dlite Bikini, photo by D'Arcy Bresson

9. Dita Von Teese

On her 2016 China Tour, wearing Foxworthy Panties, embellished by her team alongside costume by Catherine D'lish

In a custom bikini set

33. Zelia Rose

In her Josephine Baker Tribute Bra and Panties while performing in Dita Von Teese's show

Wearing a Foxworthy bra and corset set, photographed by Brent Leideritz

We hope your year is off to a good start, we'll be keeping you posted with regular blogs, and would love to know if there's anything you'd like to read!?

Monday, 9 January 2017

Measuring yourself the Foxworthy way

Perfect for ordering our Ready-to-wear and custom-made costumes

Art by Ruby Lee
When making a costume, it's important to have accurate body measurements in order to create a garment that fits properly.

All costumiers have their own preferences when it comes to the measurements they require (and use many different names for them as well!), so here's all the information you need to measure yourself up in preparation for your new custom-made costume from Flo Foxworthy.

Before you begin

You'll need to be wearing as little as possible in order to take accurate measurements - a Bra and Panties is ideal, but if it's a little chilly then you can wear a lightweight t-shirt and thin leggings.
Stand up straight, with your arms down by your sides.  If you'll be wearing heels with your costume then please put them on (and if you prefer to be barefoot when you dance, then leave them off).

It's also easier to have a friend measure you, but if not just go slow.

Using a measuring tape

If you know what you're doing then you can skip this step!

When you wrap the tape around the body, it should be firm but not tight - you don't want to be squishing any soft bits and getting an inaccurate reading. Measurements taken in centimeters should be exact to the millimeter if possible. Measurements taken in inches should be exact to 1/16th of an inch.

If you have no access to a measuring tape, your other option is to use rope or string and measure from 

The main thing is to hold your body in it's natural, comfortable way - so don't force suck in or push your stomach out unless that's a part of how you're wearing your costume - And remember the old saying "Measure twice, cut once"!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

2015 Top 10 Non-Performing Women in Burlesque

It's been a couple of months since this list was released and i'm still kinda shocked.. 

 21st Century Burlesque 2015 Top 50 - Top 10 Non Performing women in burlesque

I'm so unbelievably honored to be named alongside these amazing women.
I feel so lucky to be able to make costumes for a living - it's all I've ever wanted to do since I was a kid.
Between my gorgeous showgirl clients and my film work, the last ten years in particular have been a crazy blur of long hours, late nights and tight deadlines that I wouldn't exchange for anything.

There are times when i get so caught up with work that it takes me forever to reply to emails and messages, or update my website.. (or write blog posts haha!) but my clients are always so patient and understanding.

Wow - Somehow this post has turned into a teary Miss Universe/Oscar winner speech haha!
Bur seriously, I have my dream job and it's all thanks to the awesome people who trust me to make them stuff <3

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Drafting a lace overlay for an underbust corset

This article was first published on the amazing corset-making website www.foundationsrevealed.com in 2012.  Thank you to the lovely team at FR for allowing me to re-post the article in full here!

Drafting a lace overlay for an underbust corset

As a costumier working in a particular niche area, there's nothing I enjoy more than combining a lovely curvy corset with delicate lace and sparkling embellishments.
To me, there's nothing more satisfying than holding a shimmering costume piece under various lights and enjoying the reflection of hundreds of Swarovski crystals and beads...

Orange corset with black lace by Flo Foxworthy

For this article we'll be drafting a simple border lace overlay for the top half of an underbust corset (pictured here in Orange silk with black lace). We'll be using a technique called pattern manipulation, if you've done much pattern drafting for regular clothing then you've probably used this technique to manipulate darts.
If you've never drafted anything then don't worry – it's not complicated and once you get the hang of it you'll be able to try all sorts of new design ideas!

This method can be used to create a lace (or any other fabric you care to try) overlay that is shaped to fit your corset exactly, creating the perfect base for some serious embellishment.
The same technique can also be used to draft a pattern for the lower edge of a corset (see corset in Emerald silk with fuchsia lace). Just follow the instructions below, but trace the lower half of the pattern instead of the top half.

Emerald corset with fuchsia lace & beaded flowers

There are already many excellent articles on Foundations Revealed that discuss the various methods for constructing your corset, so this article won't cover any of those details.
For the purposes of this article, i'll assume you have already constructed the outer shell of your corset (or you have constructed your single layer corset), and are ready to attach the lace overlay.

Tools required:

A finished pattern
It's best to use a pattern that has already been fitted and that you are comfortable using. This can be a pattern you've drafted yourself or one you've purchased, all that matters is that you are happy with the fit and are ready to take the design a step further.

I will be using a pattern I drafted as an example, but if you're using a purchased pattern then I suggest you lay it out on a smooth flat surface (your dining room table will do nicely if you don't have the luxury of a dedicated work space) and weight it down securely so it won't shift during the tracing process.

Tracing paper
I use a heavy weight tracing paper known as Vellum (available at most art supply stores), it's used by architects and is fantastic for patterns like this. It is translucent to allow for easy tracing and sturdy enough to stand up to repeated use as a finished pattern piece.
There are a variety of materials you could use instead; waxed paper/freezer paper from the kitchen, light-weight tracing paper, clear plastic sheets etc.

Mechanical pencil
When drafting patterns it's always a good idea to use the finest pencil you can, to allow for greater accuracy. Mechanical pencils are ideal for this purpose as they're always sharp and create a fine even line.
If you're tracing on to plastic sheet, then use a fine tip marker pen – Sharpies are available in a 0.4mm tip.

A ruler and a curve
It's preferable to use a ruler and a curve to maintain accuracy (but if you're more comfortable tracing free-hand then I won't tell you off).
It's also helpful to have a grading ruler on hand if your pattern has a seam allowance included, as a fast way to draw in your stitching line. If you don't have a grading ruler, then you can just measure the seam allowance with a regular ruler.

Lace border

Choosing your lace

It's great if you have the piece of lace you'll be using in front of you at this stage, so you can play with the lace and use it to it's best effect;
For example, if it's a floral lace, pay particular attention to the leaves and petals and position the lace so they flatter the lines of your corset.
Does your lace have a mirrored design or does the design all go in one direction?
Does the lace have a definite right and wrong side or can you flip it and use the reverse without it being obvious?

If your lace has a mirrored design or you can get away with flipping it and using the reverse, then you can create a perfectly mirrored overlay that is the same on the left and right sides of your corset.
If your lace can only be used on one side (e.g. corded lace) and the design only goes in one direction, then take a little time to plan out what part of the lace you'll use on the left and right sides – you want the design to look balanced, even if it's not identical.

Drafting the pattern

To begin, decide where on your corset you'll be placing the overlay; For this example we'll be placing it on an angle at the front of the corset, extending up to the side.
We'll start at the centre front and go through each piece one at a time till we get to the centre back.

Please note: My original pattern does not have any seam allowances added, so I can just trace the lines as they are.
If your pattern DOES have seam allowances included, then take a few minutes to draw in the stitching lines (this is where a grading ruler comes in handy). When drafting patterns it's much easier to do it without the seam allowances included.

Trace around the 1st pattern piece (front), marking the waist line accurately.

Move your tracing paper to the 2nd pattern piece and line it up along the stitching line, checking that the top of the pieces and the waistline match. Trace the 2nd pattern piece down to the waist and mark the waistline accurately.

Repeat step 2 for each pattern piece, making sure to trace them in the correct order. Remember to mark the waistline on each piece so you can line up the next piece perfectly.

You now essentially have a pattern version of the top half of your corset – just like if you were to lay the finished corset out so that the top edge were flat.

Decide where you'd like the overlay to be placed, and draw it on to the pattern. In my example I started at the 3rd busk loop and angled up towards the back

This is where the tracing paper comes in doubly handy – you can now lay your new pattern piece on top of the lace and mark in the shape of the edge and any design features that will help you with the placement, such as seam lines and bone channel positions. Doing this will make it easier to ensure that your placement is perfectly even on both sides of the corset when the lace is attached.

Cut out your new pattern piece – you don't need to add any seam allowances as they've all been eliminated in the manipulation process.

If you've used a sturdy tracing paper, you can simply use that piece as the actual pattern. If you've used something very light-weight, you may want to carefully trace around it onto a piece of card (or whatever you usually use for your patterns.

Trace the pattern piece onto your lace. You will have already planned what part of the lace you'll be using for each side, so carefully trace and cut each piece as accurately as possible.

Mark any important details such as bone placement lines etc using a fine chalk wheel or thread tracing.

Now it's time to attach the lace to the corset! As mentioned at the start of this article, we're jumping right in and assuming you have already constructed the shell of your corset so carefully place your lace pieces on the corset making sure to line up your placement lines so the pieces are positioned equally on the left and right sides. Use a ruler if necessary, checking that the lace details are balanced.

Pin the lace in place and carefully stitch along the border edge to secure it to the outer layer of corset fabric. 

If you're hand-stitching, use tiny stitches so they aren't obvious, and if you've already inserted your busk and attached your lining then slide your hand between the corset layers to ensure you don't stitch right through to the lining.

Beading the corset before finishing the binding

If you plan to bead the lace, do the majority of the work now - although don't attach beads right up to the edge until after binding, leave those areas till last or you'll just end up breaking something under the machine foot!

If you're making a single-layer corset then think about the threads that will be showing on the inside and try to be as tidy as possible.
Note: You are welcome to machine-stitch the lace to the corset if you like, but I think it's more elegant and effective to use invisible hand stitches – it's all down to personal taste.

You are now ready to continue constructing your corset and bind the top edge - if you're using external casings over the lace then apply them now.
Once your corset has been bound and had eyelets inserted, you can now finish any beading around the edge of the corset... and if you have plans for further embellishment then the fun starts now!

Embellishing your corset

Swarovski beads & rhinestones on a burlesque corset by Flo Foxworthy

As I mentioned earlier in the article, heavy beading should ideally be done before the binding is attached, this makes it easier to stitch through the fabric – it can be somewhat difficult (but not impossible) to stitch large areas of beading to a finished corset.

When beading a corset, use a strong synthetic fibre that won't fray against the edges of the beads. I like to back-stitch two or three times through each bead to make sure it's secure and won't snag easily on other garments.

When planning the embellishment for your corset, look carefully at the design on the lace and consider the effect you'd like to achieve. Do you want a delicate, feminine look or a bold colourful statement piece?

Lace and Swarovski crystal rhinestones on a red burlesque corset

It's fun to use a variety of colours and textures in your embellishment to add depth and interest to the garment. Pick out the details of the lace using flat-back rhinestones on spots, bugle beads on leaves, and groups of round beads on petals.. Try using unusual embellishments such as shells, mirrors or tiny silk flowers and be adventurous with your choice of colour!

Even a simple muted colour scheme can be enhanced using beads in two or three similar shades. Embellishments don't need to be sparkly – maybe pearls or frosted glass beads are more suited to your style. It all adds to the texture of a beautiful and unique garment.

The options are endless, and only limited to your imagination. Have fun creating something completely unique!

Fairy corset by Flo Foxworthy