Dragonfly Designs by Alisa

New Website!

While all my old content will remain here, all my new projects will be blogged about on my other website: www.alisakester.com  Join me there for more costuming!


I'm now on Facebook, so if you want to "become my fan" and get regular updates about my costuming and crafting obsessions, you have only to click this link:


Frequently Asked Questions

These aren't necessarily the questions I'd ask myself, but I do get asked them nearly every time I go out in costume, so...

1) How many costumes do you have?

Answer: Too many.  Too, too many - and more being added all the time!  If I had to guess, I'd say about 15 (as of 10/08), ranging from Can-Can girl, to Star Wars, to Bellydance, to Renaissance, to Victorian, to Fantasy, to the 1700s.  And that's not counting the multiple corsets, bodices, and skirts I mix and match!

2) Where do you keep them? Isn't your closet full?

Answer: The ones I wear fairly often have their own hanging space in my closet.  The ones I don't wear often at all are boxed on the top shelf of my closet.  Yes.  My closet is very crammed; it's only one of the ways I suffer for my costuming obsession. :)

3) Do you sell them/work for a theatre?  You should sell them -you'd make a lot of money!

Answer: On the rare occasion, I'll make one for a friend, or make a few accessories to sell.  The couple of times I *did* get talked into doing all the costumes for a stage performance, I sort of regretted it.  It very quickly loses all sense of fun and play and becomes work, when I do costuming on a mass or semi-mass scale.  I enjoy most just taking my time, with no one to please but myself.  And, of course, this way I get the fun of wearing the costumes afterward.  Seeing people's faces, having them ask for pictures, or wanting to pose with me for pictures - it's all the fun bits of celebrity without any of the not-so-fun (like not being able to pee in a public restroom without fans knocking on the doors!)

4) Where do you wear them?

Answer: Not so many places as I'd like.  Seriously, I'd like to dress in elf garb or a 1700s ballgown just to go shopping!  But I attend renaissance faires, fantasy conferences, and hope to start a local costuming group soon.  I need some fellow geeks to dress up with me and go to midnight film premieres, hold masquerades, and just indulge in general geekiness.  If you live near me (Skagit County - WA state) send me an email!  :)

5) How did you get started costuming? (Sometimes said with an expression implying they think I'm bonkers.  Which of course I am).

Answer:  I grew up making costumes for my Barbie dolls.  I remember once I made the entire court of King Henry the VIII.  Then I started making my own Halloween costumes, and it just sort of got away from me at that point...

6) How long did it take to make that?

Answer: Anywhere from a month to a year.  I can put a costume -even a really fancy, difficult-looking one together quite quickly, if I have a deadline.  Otherwise, I tend to go slowly, because I live an easily distracted life.  

7) Where did you get that? (Usually they're pointing to my hat, my fan, my jewelry, or some other accessory). 

Answer: It's amazing what you can find on eBay.  And also, non-costumers might *think* it would be difficult to find an authentic Tudor necklace, but there's an astonishing array of people out there making and selling this sort of thing.  And gradually, I'm getting into making my accessories myself. 

8) Where do you get your ideas? (It's not just writers who are asked this!)

Answer: Everywhere.  A non-costumer looks at a plumbing gadget and thinks of how the sink is leaking.  A costumer looks at the same gadget and thinks: "I could make a lightsaber out of that!"  I get inspired from photographs, books, movies, fabric swatches, and butterflies...it's all inspiration.

9) What patterns did you use for that?

Unless I say something different on the costume's write-up page, I probably didn't use a pattern at all.  I drape most of my own patterns directly on my dressmaker's dummy.  Sometimes I do use a commercial pattern as a starting base, but it's usually changed a great deal by the time I'm done.

10)  Where/how do you buy your wigs?

I've written a blog on that subject: check it out here.