GT: First and foremost we’d love to learn about you. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do!
Carlye Starr: My day job for the past nine years has been a costumer/costume specialist at Busch Gardens. I have worked on a few thousand costumes in my time and this year even helped create the Icon for Howl-O-Scream. I also have my own side business, Spellbound Stitches, which has been steadily gaining speed. We are a costume/fashion house and this year we were signed onto the new haunt attraction “The Vault of Souls.” My company is the exclusive designer for the entire event. This will be the biggest design and build out we have ever done and it’s super spooky! When I am not working I love reading and watching all things horror and my favorite word is gross (try it out, it’s the best).
GT: That female pinhead! SAM! We absolutely love it! Can you tell a little about how you came up with your designs?
Carlye Starr: I was at a point of having done cosplay for over ten years and in all honesty I was completely burnt out on the comic convention scene. I feel like the subculture took a drastic turn and I felt the need for a change. It dawned on me that it was time to combine my love of design, horror, and pinup. Designing is my favorite thing to do and since I started costuming I have been doing mash-ups. I love the classic pinups and it’s fun to try and mix them with such scary characters.
GT: What about the process of making pinhead and Sam? Any tips and tricks you can share with our readers interested in making their own?
Carlye Starr: Making these two costumes was a labor of love and completely hilarious. I spent an hour in the nail section of Home Depot looking at different types of nails while mumbling to myself. Several very well intentioned people approached me asking if I needed help. You can imagine their faces when I said I couldn’t decide which nails would look best on my head. After I finally settled on the right nails for my fascinator I had to make sure it was safely padded to protect my head. I used a fosshape base, thick floral wire around the base for shape, and real leather (need a small piece of leather but don’t want to pay full price? Check Goodwill, they have a ton of donated biker outfits). The rest of my costume was hand patterned and put together with stretch pleather (this is to achieve the hip hugging shape of classic pinup wiggle dresses), F.O.E. (aka fold over elastic, check cheeptrims.com it will change the way you make costumes). Sam was really interesting to create. I am in LOVE with the metallic stretch copper from spandexworld.com. I wanted to try a long dress and Sam is totally covered so I thought I could properly translate it without losing his essence. I bought an orange airbrush paint from sillyfarm.com and airbrushed myself (no easy task when you have bad eye sight. I did this for Pinhead as well). The biggest thing is the overall picture. Make sure you have your make-up down, try it again and again. Make sure that it won’t melt off your face with the heat of con season. Make sure you have the correct wig and know how to put it on (I suggest sewing in combs into the front and back of the inside of the wig so that it stays in place). Most importantly though have the correct pattern. If you can’t make one or buy what you need hire someone who can.
GT: We love the gender swapped horror. Why did you choose these characters, and are there others you’ve worked on?
Carlye Starr: There are so many female cosplayers out there these days that EVERY female character has been done a 1000 ways. You can costume as any character you want and it just so happens most of my favorite horror characters are male. I have been a huge Hellraiser fan since I was little and Pinhead is my complete favorite! And of course who doesn’t love Samhain from Trick r’ Treat? I decided to take a swing at characters who aren’t as represented in the horror community with even male versions and turn them into female characters. I have also made a female Beetlejuice (I was doing this a few years ago before every girl and bag costume place started making them) and a Pennywise. My Pennywise costume had a Georgie aka my daughter Alice. I like to stick to my pinup versions but I do have a few plans in the works to make ball gown versions of horror characters.
GT: Important question time. Favorite horror movie and why. Discuss!
Carlye Starr: This is the hardest question to answer since I have so many and break them down into different sub categories. By far the most disturbing horror film I’ve ever seen is Taxidermia. It’s a Russian movie that I watched right before Human Centipede. I didn’t even flinch during Human Centipede after the terror of Taxidermia. I enjoy a lot of foreign horror films because they aren’t as dependent on the slasher genre. While slashers are great I appreciate suspenseful horror films like Let the Right One In and Ju-On. Naturally two of my favorites are Hellraiser (I actually find enjoyment in 1-4) and Trick r’ Treat (can’t wait for the second one). I also suggest checking out independent horror films, some are awful but a lot are great. I recent enjoyed The Houses October Built since I work on haunted houses each year. My favorite film of all time though is most definitely Interview with the Vampire.
GT: If our readers would like to find out more about you and you work, wheres the best place to find you?
Carlye Starr: I am on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter under Spellbound Stitches. If you want a more up close and personal experience with my costumes make reservations at thevaultofsouls.com to see all original spooky designs.