bits and pieces

I got a lot done today.  A lot.  In fact, I got a lot done this whole week, and I definitely feel like I busted my ass to do so.  But things are starting to kind of come together now.

What I accomplished today:

patterned, constructed, and finished pants for my Lucia cosplay

added lace and chiffon to my Black Lady dress

hemmed three yards of chiffon for a shawl

patterned, constructed, and finished an entirely new blouse for my Black Lady cosplay

 

Some photos:

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I had forgotten that I bought this lace for this costume a while ago, until I was digging through my lace stash yesterday while working on the Celestia cosplay.

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I added a panel of black chiffon to the inside of the dress.  In the official artwork that describes Black Lady’s outfit, Naoko Takeuchi says that the piece inside the dress and the shawl are made of the same material – but the shawl is pink, and the dress is blue-black-ish.  Perhaps she just meant they are both chiffon.  Anyway, I took my own liberties, and made the costume to the image I had in my head.  I’ll go more into that later, when I post the full pictures of this costume.

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I hemmed a buttload of chiffon.  I have a peculiar process for getting a perfect tiny rolled hem on chiffon (I really just love to use chiffon, so I’ve had a lot of practice with it) and that was what took the most time today.  It’s a step-by-step process that involves tearing, sealing, and hemming each edge one at a time.  Mostly it’s the sealing with Fray Away that takes up the most time.

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This shawl is a gorgeous color, closer to the pink I used inside the dress than the other chiffon that I bought for a shawl. I picked some up a while ago that was a nice burgundy-red color, but I really didn’t get enough – I cut one yard in half and sewed it together to make a 2 x 1/2 yard piece, and it seemed so skimpy.  This time, I bought a full three yards and this shawl is lovely and big.

I also made a whole new blouse for the Black Lady costume, only because I happened across some organza at the fabric store that was much closer in color to the idea I originally had in my head – although the blouse, on the whole, is far from my favorite piece of this costume.  I was in the middle of attaching the gemstones on to the collar and cuffs when I ran out of hot glue, but this whole outfit is quite nearly done – hurray!

 

I’ll do proper posts for both this costume and my Lucia costume probably later this week, when I get around to taking pictures, but I don’t feel up to it tonight.  The Black Lady costume, at least, does not fit on my dress form – it’s kind of a squeeze on me, in fact, but I wanted it that way – so I have to work up the energy to put the whole thing on to take pictures.

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Kagamine Rin “Reactor” for Anime-Zap 2015 – construction

I have a short off-week this week, which sucks, but I have been working ultra-hard the last three days on my convention costumes.  It’s definitely crunch time – I have one more off-week between now and the convention and I’m going to be out of town for two days of that!  So I really have to finish all the big pieces this week, and hopefully I can work on the little things during my work week, as I have time – something I really try to avoid doing, but I don’t have a choice anymore.

Two of my sister’s costume picks were Vocaloid – the Camellia one I’ve already covered; the other is Kagamine Rin’s “Reactor” outfit – which is undeniably cute, and I was looking forward to making.

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I dedicated Friday to working on the dress.  Which, as usual, I tackled in a fairly stupid way.

I may have mentioned before, my “day job” is actually a night job – I work third shift on a week-on week-off schedule.  The big pro of this is that I get a solid chunk of time to work on costumes on my off-week.  The big con is that I am not a daytime person, and it’s extremely hard to force myself into a daytime schedule on days off, which usually results in a constant state of exhaustion and me doing dumb things and making a lot of mistakes that could be avoided.

So, Friday, I got up super-early (noon), went out and got some shopping done, and then got to work on this costume.

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I had draped the pattern that morning before going to bed.  Had I been thinking more about it, I would have made the dress pattern in three pieces – bust, stomach, and skirt.  Actually, had I been thinking about it, I probably would have just draped the dress on my dress form, because I knew those pleats were going to be finicky.  But, well, hindsight.

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I cut out and assembled my lining first.  Thrifted cotton sheet – $1.

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I thought the best way to assemble this thing would be to pleat my fabric first, and then cut out my pattern over it.  This probably would have worked fairly well if my pattern didn’t have a bust dart.  But I went ahead with it anyway.

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I cut out the pattern pieces and stitched around the edges to keep the pleats in place.  At this point it was still looking good to me.  I did each piece – front left, front right, back left, and back right – one at a time, to keep things straight.

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I wasn’t liking the way it was looking at this point, but I kept going.

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I got everything assembled, threw a zipper in the back, and stitched on some gold trim I had bought.  The pleats in the skirt are a little messy, but not so much so that I’ll spend time I don’t have trying to fix them.  This dress is finished.

Yesterday, I took on the jacket.

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I cut out my pieces, again being careful to get my colors and sides right… only to find out, after googling, that I had it wrong!  When I made the dress, I did the pieces black-white-black-white, like a checkerboard.  I didn’t realize until I was on the jacket that it was simply half-black, half-white – I made it a lot more complicated than it needed to be.  Well, it was too late to start over on the dress, but I had to take the jacket apart and swap some pieces to get it right.

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I used Wonder Under to get the black-and-white designs on the front and back of the jacket, and down the sleeves.

I drafted a sleeve pattern the way I usually do, and then assembled them.

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I sewed right through the top of my sleeve by not paying attention – d’oh!  I managed to steam most of the holes away, though.  But they were really obvious in this fabric, which was white cotton broadcloth and black kona cotton – chosen mostly because they were on sale at JoAnn’s, but also I wanted something that would hold a nice pleat.

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So, I added some of the same metallic gold trim as is on the skirt to the cuffs and collar, and this project was finished!  Not bad for two days’ work!  Actually, there are a lot of parts of this outfit I’m not happy with, but it’s unlikely I’ll have time to go back and correct mistakes.  I’ll be spending tomorrow finishing the costume I started today, and then hopefully on Tuesday I can finish up some bits and pieces of other things that I’ve not yet gotten to.  Then all that will be left will be little things like jewelry, accessories, etc.

I’m not done yet for today; I have two wigs to style before I go to bed… sigh.  So much left to do!  It’s only my own fault for waiting so long to start these costumes, but still!

Megpoid Camellia for Anime-Zap! 2015

Ah, it feels so good to cross things off lists!  Yesterday I tackled the white dress for my sister’s Megpoid cosplay.

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Here, if you need reminding, is an image of the costume in question.

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And here’s my version!  I spent all day yesterday constructing the dress, but admittedly I was working pretty leisurely on it.  The construction is simple and I probably could have finished in half a day.

I didn’t take many pictures of it during construction, but here’s a close up of the bodice and the inside of the bodice:

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I drafted the pattern on my dress form, to my sister’s measurements.  Since it’s a strapless dress, I built it more sturdily than my own.  The inner layer is an old thrifted white sheet, the fashion layer is white peach skin, and it’s lined with white lining fabric.  I added a hefty amount of boning (some industrial-size zip ties that my dad gave me for free; score!)  There are two bones to each seam and some in between seam, as well.  One thing I really hate sometimes is seeing a good costume – historical or otherwise – ruined by looking slummy because of a lack of proper undergarments/structuring.  Stays and corsets are important for historical costuming, and I guess for me that carries over into modern costuming as well; the silhouette is important.  So, anyway, that’s the reason for that.  (Sorry for the spiel!)

The skirt is a half-circle.  It took me some thinking to decide how to do the skirt of the dress, because the green petticoat was cut in a full circle only for fullness – I didn’t want the dress skirt to be that full.  In the picture, it pretty much lays flat over the green fluff layer.  So I played around with some fabric and the petticoat on my dress form until I decided that a half-circle would do.

And also…

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A hat!  I whipped this together in about ten minutes with some hot glue and an old black felt hat I happened to have laying around.  The green flowers I had gone shopping for last week, and I went to every craft store in town to find what I wanted – but I was working off memory and didn’t have a picture of the costume with me, so maybe I was being more picky than I needed to be.  Anyhow, none of the flowers I found were actually camellias, but they’re all a good close match.  The flowers on the dress were bought for this project; the white flower on the hat and the crystals were bought a while back on clearance, as well as the green striped ribbon.

This project is essentially finished (“essentially finished” – my catchphrase) and it’s nice to have finally completed something!  I’ve been working on bits and pieces of stuff but there’s a sense of accomplishment in having a costume all done.  All I have left on this one is to add a bit more green tulle to the petticoat (or maybe I’ll add it to the white skirt itself) to cover that little gap where I pulled the skirt up to attach the flower.

 

And what did I work on today…?

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Hint: it involves… yet more ruffles!  I’ll post about that tomorrow.