Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Beginnings of a Beautiful Tail

I just didn't have the patience to sit in front of the sewing machine today. Too much coffee will do that to you. So instead, I worked with something I'm far more confident wielding: POWER TOOLS.

Last night I had a drunk-and-in-the-shower epiphany on how to make the tail work. And really, aren't those the best epiphanies? I've been trying to figure out the mechanics of the tail for at least four months, but last night it finally clicked. Thanks, Jack Daniels!

So before unintentionally falling asleep on the living room floor in front of the "fire place" with my Snoopie and my sketch book, I managed to scribble a quick mechanical doodle to be sure I'd remember what my costume muse had delivered while I was in my liquid state of mind.

Faux Fire Place

Late night schematics.

I woke up on the floor at 5 a.m. ready to rock. Actually, ready to lay in my bed, but that would have thrown me off for the whole day. So instead I went to Ace and Home Depot to procure some hardware. That took most of the morning. But after lunch, the games began.

First, a pattern. 

15.5" tall. The base will sit on my hips in the small of my back.
The point comes to just barely above my shoulders.

To be mounted on a gate hinge. I love it when you can carry a shape over multiple elements of a design and through to the tiniest details. Even if you don't consciously notice them, it helps things feel cohesive. The gold filigree hook & eye will be the connector on the back of the dress on the halter strap behind my neck.

Pattern traced onto 1/8" plywood.

If only I got along with mom's old sewing machine as well as I do with dad's old jig saw.

Front porch construction site arial view. All the pieces cut and edges sanded.

Together at last! The free-hanging arm of the hinge will mount against my back attached to a belt which I have yet to make. The other arm is sandwiched between the "OUTSIDE FACING BACK" 1/8" board and the 1"x6" spacer board. The holes I drilled  for mounting the wood to the hinge are a little off, so I had to label the boards to make sure I can line them up again once I take the whole thing apart.

The 1" gap will be the recess where the feathers and fabric fold into when the tail is closed. 

And with that, I quit for today. A night on the floor is less than restful. Time to put down the power tools before I slip up and drill a hole through something I'll regret.

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