Tag Archives: sewing

Recreating our own custom version of the Pennywise scare clown from IT for scare actor Cosplay artist Cliff Dorian


Being contacted to make a scare clown costume was not my idea of fun.

When first contacted I was in shock.

Thoughts ran through my brain like ‘perhaps I am being stalked by a scare clown’. This was when all the hype of scary clowns chasing people on back streets was all about. ‘Perhaps when he shows up for his appointment he will bring a large knife and stab me’ I know now how irrational these thoughts were but at the time I was incredibly intrigued. I have not met a more lovely celebrity than Cliff Dorian.

I didn’t realise that being a scare actor was actually a job let alone a money making enterprise. Which as much as it brings serious joy to the lives of those children and adults that see the Pennywise costume, it is also one of the many faces of Cliff Dorian notorious Australian scare actor.

Cliff arrived at our first appointment with no knives and seemed a rather gentle soul. As we sat and drank a cup of tea together we started discussing the design and how he really wanted to pay homage to Stephen King’s Pennywise and soon decided that we match enough to begin the design process together. I drew up a quick sketch with his measurements

Little did I know the long and extremely hard stitching journey I was being commissioned upon in producing the Pennywise costume. The days when your in the sewing room for several hours at a time are just a necessary function of my business to create whatever look I have been commissioned to make. Here I am with Cliff Dorian in one of several fittings over the creation process journey we went on together.

We had to think a hell of a lot about every facet of the design process as making each piece of the garment was totally different to anything else that I would make custom for the 21st century. Cliff was very particular about what he needed and was very easy to work with in discussing viable solutions to each part of the design process that we had. From the way the collar was frilled to how the pantaloons blew out. How to create something that will move with his body in a fabric that would be versatile enough to last wash after wash and performance after performance. With months of work in the sewing room we made something quite beautifully horrible.

We looked at everything that was being offered in the market and looked at how our costume would be different to other cosplayers doing the same thing. Cliff as a professional cosplayer wanted the best finish possible. We discussed even making the garment in silk but decided for functionality it would be better to use a cotton nylon stretch blend. we searched everywhere to find proper images of the original costume so we could make it as realistic as possible but different enough through fit and fabric that it is not an exact copy. As copying the actual design 100% would be breaching copyright on the Pennywise design. Which is both morally and legally wrong. So we continued the design process onwards for months back and forth determining every single detail to perfection. Pinning every piece in place and making multiple changes to the look to fit and to the style. Like the length of the jacket to get the right proportion to Cliffs body. Everything had to be just right. After I completed my part we sent the costume over to Amanda Smythe to do further customisation to get the costume to look like it’s come right out of a sewer and look like the alien monster that Stephen King wrote about. We had a blast working together and at the end Cliff and I attended one of Cliff’s multiple Halloween events. Halloween at Lithgow. Here’s the final result

Here we are having a cuddle at the end🤡

Professional photograph by Lighthouse Photography Sydney.

Professional scare actor Cliff Dorian

Custom Costume pattern making and sewing The Dressmaker Secret Culture.

Professional Costume further customisation added dying and special FX Amanda Smythe

Mask by Shattered FX

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Being Productive by tricking your brain


Productivity is the accountability of yourself on what you get done. Being productive isn’t just what you can achieve in your business. It’s how you can be productive at home as well as in your studies. 


For years I have procrastinated before completing massive projects. Once the massive project is finished I always look back and think omg I could of completed that project weeks ago but for some reason I work myself up. I think about every single aspect from what could go wrong to what could go right and meanwhile my house and washing becomes very clean as I procrastinate with other jobs.
I actually think productivity is very important so have invested in a guide called “being more productive” HBR guide to. Focus on the right work, stop procrastinating, and get more done. Harvard business review press.  This guide is written by numerous business specialists who can I say know exactly what they are talking about. 
Within reading the first 3 chapters I have already increased my productivity and am looking forward to the following chapters to help me get through the piles of work I have at home to complete. 
So just a short blog in dedication but I’ll drop a hint from the book. Firstly figure out how stressed you are. A little bit of stress is good to get you going but I was something like triple extra stressed. So then when you become extra stressed your productivity actually goes down. So for me it was as simple as organising my work area and getting a cup of coffee and not concentrating on all the work I had to get done. Just concentrating on one thing at a time off my list of work to do. So if you concentrate too much on everything at once your productivity is going to come to a screeching halt. You need to take one thing at a time. Be calm and relaxed and convince your brain you have less to do in order to do more. 


Size 14 Asian Elegance!Double Bow Tomoko Nagamichi inspired cocktail dress”One off”


Here we have an Asian style Tomoko Nagamichi (famous Japanese Pattern Maker)inspired Cocktail Dress. It is joined at the Waist with Double darts on the back of skirt and side darts as the fabric has been wrapped around the figure to remove side seams.Front Tucks for added comfort as you and I both know stomachs expand and decrease. This will mean you will have a little extra room and your dress isn’t likely to pop when you have an extra spring roll at the party.The dress is fitted mainly to the hip and arm and has extra fullness in the bodice for women with a larger bust size.The sleeve has inverted pleats allowing extra room and comfort of movement.On the front bodice we have the Tomoko Nagamichi inspired double bow. This can be tied however you like.There are French darts from the side seams to add extra elegance and poise to the design.The design is fully lined in a black polyester with an invisible zipper.

To Fit:

Bust:96-100cm

Waist: 80cm

Hips: 100cm

If you like this design and want to follow Secret Culture’s blog please go to http://www.secretcultureshop.com

This is Design 8 in Secret Cultures 50 Designs in 50 Days Challenge!


50 designs in 50 days 8 001
50 designs in 50 days 8 002 50 designs in 50 days 8 005 50 designs in 50 days 8 007 50 designs in 50 days 8 009

Buy it now $144.95

Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200877355835#ht_665wt_1186

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/120110759/size-14-asian-elegance-double-bow-tomoko


Margaret Olley an Inspiration for All Artists Everywhere


English: Margaret Olley at the Reopening of th...

English: Margaret Olley at the Reopening of the Maitland Regional Art Gallery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am absolutely fascinated with Margaret Olley so much so that last study period I attempted to paint her face on my textiles visual diary…You can buy them with canvas nowadays……Which is awesome:)

Back on topic.Margaret Olley is fascinating mainly because of how she lived and how she painted.Her works span back from the last 60-70 years at least.She would set up a space in her home and paint and then set up another space and paint.She might leave those sets as they are for some time and not move her subjects so that she continue painting her perfect set when she has time. Arguably it has been said that she actually got better over the period of her life which I heard somewhere or rather is unusual because we should all be good while we are young and peak in talent instead of peaking as we age.I hope that I am the same. I know with studying print making aswell as management, marketing and now finishing a diploma in fashion for the next 4 months my work load is humongous. Let’s not forget my husband expects a clean home and dinner on the table…….I took from Margaret this sense of joy and excitement that she never let anyone get in the way of what she wanted to paint and what she wanted to do.She was hard working and often woke up early in the morning to climb to the obelisk in Newcastle to make some painting of the water or whatever might take her fancy.On the 24th there was an amzing documentary on ABC called Margaret Olley “A Life in paint”.

You can purchase a copy on the internet from Catherine Hunter who created the doco (www.artbrief.com.au) or contact her privately via email chunter@yesno.com.au she is very lovely and has made many more documentaries in the past!

All her films can be found at the Art Gallery of NSW and various other galleries.

If you would like to pay money for this documentary it is awesome.If you are like me and watched it already she is a fantastic artist to research just for her spirit and love of art. Her dedication to Australian artists and portfolio of paintings may just inspire a print. Who knows her spirit might wash over you like I feel it has to me.It is strange because she is from the same age as my nan and looks and reminds me totally of her although my nan didn’t paint because she was more submissive and domesticated and the perfect wife.She was more a cooker and cleaner. My pa was the painter and he would paint for hours in his little room.He would first take a photograph of what he wanted to capture and then amazingly transfer that to a painting.He painted with watercolours whilst I am quite sure that Olley painted with acrylics although don’t quote me on that one.There was a part of the documentary that talked about artists and how they paint. This idea is transferable to print and to us!No matter who you are you have your own personality and your own order of thinking. Your own way of organising.How you lay your roller. How you roll on the ink. How much pressure you press into the tile or on the paper. What technique you like to use the most and even though you have been taught other ways you still think your way brings the best image and en-captures what you are trying to encapsulate. You will always have your own style when creating and that is what makes your art have meaning.When someone sees a good print they will first think wow that is a good print and then wonder how they printed it.The majority of our research has been based on how another artist has printed the picture and that meaning transfers another image to mind of the process.I am not sure if this is just me but when I see art that I like I imagine the artist creating that piece. What tools they used. How lightly they pressed those tools, how delicately pressure was applied to create that stroke or cut that stone.when I see a garment I like I think of the pattern pieces that were used to make it and how it was sewn. I think of where their inspiration comes from. This all seems to happen like the jolt of energy that we usually call a brain wave immersing my brain with images that somehow inspire me to create my own art.With Margaret Olley the idea of her life and dedication to art has excited me more than any other about art and her inspiration is something that we all can use a piece of. It is something that brightens the eyes and lightens the brain. You almost feel like your floating on a cloud of inspiration and whilst watching the documentary I almost felt like pulling out my own painting set and creating immediately although had to withdraw from that idea because I have so many other projects that are under way at current.I hope this might inspire you all and might help you find that sparkle in your eye for now and into the future!


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