When I was five years old, I loved to dress up in black tights and a trenchcoat to play Mrs. Peel from “The Avengers.” My childhood dress-up box was well-stocked with florid paisley scarves, faux pearl ropes, giant hoop earrings, and scraps of chiffon and velvet. I learned to sew at my mom’s and grandmom’s knees and made goofy wardrobes for miniature mice. Then, as a teenager, I discovered thrift stores and started dressing in odd garb every day.
For an excuse to play in weird clothes, I have been involved in independent Renaissance faires, BayCon, the Greater Bay Area Costumer’s Guild, live-action Vampire games, net.goth Convergences, huge Halloween parties, Costume-Con, Costume College, the Society for Creative Anachronism, and the Bella Donna Venetian Courtesans, among other things.
Often I joke that I’ve been a beginning costumer for all my life, primarily because I hate to sew — it’s purely a means to an end for me. While I’ve studied various eras of historical clothing, nit-picky accuracy is not my bag, baby. I’ve judged sci-fi/fantasy convention masquerades for years, yet I’ve competed very few times. My greatest claim to costuming fame is that I created the GBACG’s first website and ran events for them such as literary teas and a Hogwarts celebration.
That said, I adore the art of costume and always have plans and dreams of fancy dress in my head. Clothing and costume are passions of mine, and I’m a clothes horse in the worst way. This site is a catalog of me dressing up in funny clothes. Enjoy!
Before you contact me, here are some answers to possible questions I’ve heard…
Email: Did you know that you did XYZ wrong / inaccurately in that outfit?
TLB: Well, I probably mentioned the level of reproduction I was aiming for in the dress diary. So yeah, I know and unless you have some fascinating original research on the matter (that is, you’re not just pointing out Janet Arnold or similar), I’m not all that interested in hashing over the details. Except over cocktails if you’re buying 🙂
Email: Where did you find that fabric / trim / feather / etc.?
TLB: If it’s not mentioned in the dress diary, then I have most likely forgotten where I found something. Materials often mature in The Stash for many years before I use them, so I lose track of exactly where I purchased an item. However, I don’t have access to any exotic resources — I do most of my shopping at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and on eBay and through sites listed at FabricWhore. I do make an annual trip to the L.A. Garment District for splurges.
Email: Will you make a costume for me?
TLB: No, sorry, I don’t sew for other people. If you read my dress diaries carefully, you’ll notice that I barely sew for myself ;-). I have very little time after work, and I am the World’s Slowest Sewer, so I have a hard time completing any of my own projects.
Email: Can I link to your site?
TLB: You bet! Thanks! No need for further permission, though please don’t copy my images (y’know, especially not the ones with me in them, because that would be creepy).
Email: Can I contact you about something not covered here?
TLB: Sure, you can email me at tlb(at)trystancraft(dot)com but be forewarned, I can be slow to reply.
A Note About Copyright:
Yes, everything I’ve written on this site and all of my photographs are copyrighted by me, Trystan L. Bass, whether explicitly stated or not. Please do not copy my stuff unless you have received written permission from me first. Also, I try not to infringe upon other people’s or institution’s copyrights knowingly, but if you see something that I’ve done wrong, let me know. For more on the topic, please read my article An Introduction to Copyright for Bloggers, Especially Costume Bloggers.