#HorrorAddictsGuide Excerpt: Sewing the Strange

Today I’m excited to share an excerpt from my piece in Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2! This book is full of so many fun activities, insightful articles, and explorations of the genre. I’m thrilled to be included! Beyond my writing experience, it’s somewhat known that I spent many years working on haunted events. I started as a performer, and grew into designing and building costumes, as well as being on the crew who conceptualized some attractions. While my costumes background includes regional theater, opera, various events, puppets, mascot-style suits, and a whole lot of stage shows, I tend to lean into the weird. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s something not everyone can (or likes to do). I’ve expanded the original blog post this is based on to share experiences from my professional and personal work for the book. Check out the excerpt, then pick up the book!

Sewing the Strange

by Selah Janel

I’ve always loved making stuff, and I’m lucky that’s translated into a career for me. I’ve done a lot of different types of costume work through the years including theatre, opera, event work, amusement park shows and characters, business commissions, photo shoots, wardrobe, stitching, designing, and consulting. I love a challenge, but I also have noticed that although I can do a bit of everything, I really thrive when it comes to weird projects.

I don’t know if it’s that I’m just more open to it or if I’ve learned I get more opportunities by limiting myself to pretty dresses or historical stuff. I’m not a costume snob by any means, and I suppose this eventually turned into me creating strange pseudo-stuffed animal creatures, circus freaks, a menagerie of bizarre, roaming creatures, and rocker-goth fairy tale wolves on stilts.

Welcome to my world.

I’ve done a lot of haunted events and a lot of the experimentation that comes from working on a budget has led to making myself a lot of offbeat items through the years. It’s one of those things I do because I can and it’s fun to bring out during the holidays when the family asks what I’ve been up to.

So, what do I make when I’m bored and want to break out of the mold? Well, just remember, you asked!

A few years ago, I built a Renaissance-ish dress that had a bodice and arm garters made from mask latex over fabric to simulate human skin—for that girly touch. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with the technique and all the questions that it brought about. When to paint, at what stage to sew, how to add on parts and get texture? Since I don’t necessarily need a closet full of Leatherface’s family-friendly clothing line, I’ve mostly limited myself to accessories. I tend to use these when I’m going to cons, sitting on Horror panels, or want an interesting trip to the grocery store.


Check out my post on my horror inspirations on HorrorAddicts.net!

Follow along the promotional tour with the event calendar!

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horror addict’s life.

Our month-by-month almanac with important dates, movie lists, puzzles, crafts, articles, and recipes will guarantee your whole year is occupied with delightful horror activities. Don’t miss our monster guide with articles about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and some creatures that just can’t be categorized. Enjoy interviews with creators of horror content and hear perspectives from different cultures and backgrounds. Read stories of real hauntings, nightmares, and vile vacations.

Allow us to curate your horror lifestyle.

With articles by: A. Craig Newman, A.D. Vick, Alyson Faye, Angela Yuriko Smith, Brian McKinley, CM Lucas, Camellia Rains, Carrie Sessarego, Chantal Boudreau, Courtney Mroch, Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Dan Shaurette, Daphne Strasert, Dee Blake, Emerian Rich, Geneve Flynn, H.E. Roulo, H.R. Boldwood, J. Malcolm Stewart, James Goodridge, Jaq D Hawkins, Jeff Carroll, Jonathan Fortin, Kate Nox, Kay Tracy, Kerry Alan Denney, Kieran Judge, Kristin Battestella, Ksenia Murray, Lee Murray, Lionel Ray Green, Loren Rhoads, M.D. Neu, Mark Orr, Martha J. Allard, Michael Fassbender, Mimielle, Naching T. Kassa, Pamela K. Kinney, Priscilla Bettis, R.J. Joseph, R.L. Merrill, Rena Mason, Renata Pavrey, Rhonda R. Carpenter, Russell Holbrook, Selah Janel, Steven P. Unger, Sumiko Saulson, Tabitha Thompson, Theresa Braun, Trinity Adler, Valjeanne Jeffers.

Available now at: Amazon.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s