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Another Star flashes across a Midnight sky... - Kambriel

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July 16th, 2012


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10:42 am - Another Star flashes across a Midnight sky...


In seemingly perfect timing as details of Neil Gaiman's newest (and absolutely enchanting, antique-inspired) upcoming editions of "Stardust" are about to be released, so too has there been a kind of reincarnation of this coat worn by the grey ghost spirit of Prince Septimus (Mark Strong) in the 2007 Stardust feature film.

Neil had this coat, treasured alongside some other Stardust wardrobe pieces in his personal collection, but rather than merely have them hanging around for posterity, he wanted them to be transformed into something that could be *worn* and actively enjoyed. It was a real honour that he entrusted me with this, and in reverence to the original pieces, I wanted to make changes that would be significant in improving their wearability and Neil-ness, whilst still respecting the creative workmanship & sentimental history of the originals.

Luckily, I was able to have Neil try the coat on in person when I was visiting him at his house a while back & the coat originally had rather spidery long + extremely narrow arms, so they needed to be both shortened in length & given a bit more room as well... You'll notice they have a split seam so they would flare out over the hands. I looked at them, and began to think, "What if I were to cut off the bottoms of the sleeves and turn them on their end, so that the flare could work *with* the shape of the forearm?"...

I felt the coat would also be more wearable (especially for Neil, taking into consideration all of the travelling he does, and how this tends to require fitting things into luggage in rather cramped quarters) if it was given a somewhat shorter, more tapered overall length. This would also help to reduce some of the weight of an otherwise very heavy coat. Whilst I was at it, I wanted to see if some excess wrinkling/sagging that the leather had undergone from stretching out in places through the years could be worked out a bit for a smoother effect.

A quick snapshot of the "before":


I'd be needing some coordinating material to work the new sleeves from though... I wanted something non-leather, so after going through samples of what seemed like every shade of grey wool known to man in a weight that would hold up to the heft of the leather, but never finding *quite* the right one, another thought occurred to me...

Why yes, Septimus' trousers did have a split seam, and why yes, that sueded velvet did have such a nice weight, and of course having originated from the same outfit, the shades would go...

Dare I sacrifice them??



Indeed, yes :) A moment's bravery and it is done... enter magical scissors that hath no fear!



Et voila ~ the trousers have transformed into a new pair of tailored sleeves! You'll also notice what used to be the lower edge of the original sleeves is now the upper edge of an extended standing cuff. I slipstitched most of the cuffs original side vents closed as well to give them more structure for a standing style.



And here is the newly re-shaped hem ~ shorter in the front, dramatically tapering down to longer, pointed tails in the back:



What you can't see is also the addition of several internal pockets as the original design had none. Ghosts have no need for pockets you see, but very-much-alive authors do indeed. No photos of those. I figure a man's interior pockets are his own private affair. ;)



Detail of collar embroidery:



I'm so glad to have been able to take this coat out of the spirit realm and bring it back into a new life ~ here's hoping it has many more adventures yet to come!

all my best,
~ Kambriel

(52 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:arielstarshadow
Date:July 16th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Damn, but that's made of magic and win.
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
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Thank you ~ it was a real honour to work on this for him!
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From:bauhausfrau
Date:July 16th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
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How wonderful! :D I love your transformation.
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
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It took a while before I was willing to cut into it, but in the end, I think it was worth it ~ especially if it gives Neil a chance to enjoy it more :)
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From:icprncs
Date:July 16th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
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You seriously are a genius. That's brilliant work. Can't wait to see a photo of him wearing it.

I love living in a world where I have a friend who makes gorgeous works of art for other artists. (And that I get to have some works of my own as well.) :)
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
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Thank you Lisa! I think one of my favourite pieces I've done for you will always have to be your luminous striped silk bustle which required summoning my inner Rumplestiltskin & those crazy checkerboard sleeves... :)
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From:mahariel
Date:July 16th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
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That is truly amazing. I love the sweep of the shortened tails especially.
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I think the shorter length will really suit him :)
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From:tigerinvaseline
Date:July 16th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
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Truly beautiful! I have just a small question; is the color of the coat in the very first quick photo actually different than your finished piece, or is that just a perceived color change because of the lighting ?
I love the way the new sleeves are flipped, they no longer look like they will get in the way of writing.
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From:kambriel
Date:July 16th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
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The perceived colour change is just an effect of different lighting, but on another level one can't help but wonder if perhaps the coat found out it was going to be worn by Neil and simply became darker.... ;)
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From:aoi_no_neko
Date:July 16th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
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That is impressive, leather is not fun to work with.
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
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As a long-time vegetarian, leather (or by extension, fur) aren't things I would choose to work with, that's why when I needed additional yardage, I went out of my way to find something fiber-based (with bonus points for being something I could recycle!). It did require some new techniques, especially with the hemming, but it all worked out really well in the end :)
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From:veil
Date:July 16th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
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beautiful, wonderful, magical!! xoxo
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
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Thank you Donna! Of course, it came to me with some of the magic already imbued :)
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From:rivervox
Date:July 16th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
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Wonderful work! It's still the same marvelous coat fit for a prince who happens to live in the 21st century. It would be perfect for when he goes on stage with Amanda.
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
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for a prince who happens to live in the 21st century

I love this :)
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From:diannadinoble
Date:July 16th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Kambriel, that is truly gorgeous - what a beautifully detailed coat! Great idea with the trousers too, Neil must be very excited to wear this :)
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
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The original details put into these film costumes were amazing, right down to working in the numerical motifs into the embroidery designs, the personalized enamel buttons, everything. I love it when such work is put into something whether or not it's ever really noticed in it's full scope. I'm sure the actors loved it too!
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From:voske
Date:July 16th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
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Awesome work!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!!
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From:mellymell
Date:July 16th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
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This is absolutely stunning and what a charge to get to work with one of the gorgeous costumes from that film!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
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Neil gave me several other pieces from the film as well to work on bit by bit as well ~ it's an honour that I don't take lightly, and I truly hope to do them justice :)

Edited at 2012-07-17 05:19 pm (UTC)
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From:badriyaz
Date:July 16th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
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I love what you did with it! beautiful!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
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Merci Madame! (Looks like we might get to see you at the end of the month... will give you all the details soon!)
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From:blueiduna
Date:July 16th, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
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This is so fantastic! You truly work magic. :)
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! In this case, I was given a wonderful chance to add a little more magic to what was already there :)
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From:xdarkstarx
Date:July 16th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Absolutely amazing, as always. :) Can't wait to see it on Neil himself!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
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Can't wait to see it on Neil himself!

Moi aussi!
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From:darklingwoods
Date:July 16th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Kambriel you magic maker you continue to amaze and delight with each new creation!

I'm in awe of your wizardry (there are those beautiful brave scissors!) and absolutely enchanted by the entire project! I'd love to see him model it with the new edition (or maybe a portrait inside!)
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
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You know those scissors well ♥

I'd love to see him model it with the new edition (or maybe a portrait inside!)

Ooh, now there's a thought!
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From:oldhalloween
Date:July 17th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
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He must be thrilled you took on this challenge since he looked so good in the jacket you made for him. What a wonderful old/new look for Neil. Oh...sent buttons today. :0 )
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
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This marks Kambriel / Neil Gaiman coat number four ~ two of the black wool posh frocks, a black velvet & striped wool version, and now the revamped Septimus (there's a black waistcoat in there for good measure too). Pretty exciting, as having him want me to do repeat work for him is truly one of the best compliments of all... it means so much :)
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From:meiow
Date:July 17th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
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VERY nice, and what a creative use for the trousers! :D
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
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The tops are still intact... Somehow I can't quite picture Prince Septimus in little lederhosen style hot pants though :D
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From:alumiere
Date:July 17th, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
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Stunning. Glad you were able to transform it so well!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
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I'm so glad it came out well... I'd have been rather horrified elsewise! ;)
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From:goldfishgeorge
Date:July 17th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC)
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Such beautiful work! Well done! :D
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much!
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From:sidhefire
Date:July 17th, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
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Lovely!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!
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From:mokosh_perun
Date:July 17th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
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Nice work! I like the shape of the sleeves much better for regular wear. Such a great movie. I often watch Stardust when I am sewing, the costumes were so fantastic. :)
The collector's edition of the book is so perfect, too!
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From:kambriel
Date:July 17th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
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The sleeves definitely needed some re-working beyond styling too as they simply didn't fit before ~ especially if Neil ever wanted to oh, comfortably bend his arm at the elbow... ;)

I re-watched the film whilst working on this, along with the behind the scenes extras, and I am so enamored with the intricacy of details that went into things like the set design of the lair of the witches. Even things that would likely never be noticed by someone watching the film, just having those details ~there~, go so very far in setting the proper mood and atmosphere.
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From:kakashi_morph
Date:July 17th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
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That is amazing work! I hope we will see Neil wearing it some day! :)
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From:carmidoll
Date:July 18th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
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so beautiful, you did an amazing job!
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From:miss_adventure
Date:July 20th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
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Such gorgeous work!
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From:unaverse
Date:July 20th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
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so amazing is this working of Art
clearly pinned by dancing angels....
it is inspiring to see the mythic
made material as such, aetheric
matter's not, what it seems
so it seams....legendary alive

P.S. bippity boppity boo</p>

P.P.S. Wow!


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