Luna cosplay – part one

So, an honest moment here.  This blog is not the best showcase of my work.  I do make some efforts at a more professional-looking blog, but it’s not high on my list of priorities.  Anyway, all of what I post here is probably only about half of what I make, and it’s not necessarily the better half – my best items are the ones I make for other people, where I hold myself to extremely high standards – higher than costumes I make for my own enjoyment.  So what you get here on my blog is a mix of the good and the bad – and naturally, there will be some total failures from time to time.

So… I had really big ambitions this past week.  It began with a wig.

I ordered a cheap blue wig from Ebay a while ago, for my Dark Althena cosplay, but when I decided to change to the Lucia cosplay instead, I realized that the wig wasn’t going to work.  Lucia’s hair is more teal, and the wig I had was definitely blue, and I find I’m extremely picky about certain things when it comes to cosplay.  So, I ordered another one in a more teal-ish color – no harm done, very little money wasted.

But that blue wig just stared at me.  I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stand the though of not using it – I did, after all, go to some trouble to style it and make it look presentable, including five days of soaking it in some fabric softener to get rid of the horrible cheap wig shine (as a result, my apartment still smells like a field of flowers some weeks later.)  I was really determined to get some good out of it, for whatever reason.  So I started thinking about costumes I could use it for and then I had this brilliant idea.

Duh – Luna.

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I did some study of her costume, and broke it down into basically four parts – an underdress, a dress, a vest, and a shawl.  I thought to myself, this will be an easy make – I can probably get the whole thing done in less than a week!  Heck, I can probably get it done in a day!  I had plans to call this post “one-day cosplay” and show off how much you can get accomplished in a short amount of time.

Well – that plan got shot pretty quickly.  I severely underestimated this costume, and severely overestimated myself.

Of course, I wasn’t feeling my best this week to begin with, and I should know better than to try and sew too much when I’m already sick and tired – I always make mistakes.  But I overwhelmed myself with this costume.  I spent a good four days on it, and it’s still not done – it is nearly there; it’s 95% done according to my Cosplanner.  But it irks me that I didn’t finish it the way I planned.  Because, in theory, it should have been an easy make – it’s just four pieces, after all.

Well – on to the costume.

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Unlike the Lucia costume, there are some pretty good reference pics of Luna’s outfit.  What it looked like to me is that she has on a white underdress/shift type thing, followed by the yellow dress, then the blue and white overdress/vest/whatever, and the shawl tied around her hips.  I went digging through my newly-orginized stash, and found that I had nearly everything I needed – the only things I bought for this costume were some blue and purple remnants, and the fuzzy stuff for the bottom of her dress.

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I started with the shift, and made it your basic white shift – almost identical to my 18th century shift, except it has no gussets under the arms.  It’s made from an old linen curtain I got at the thrift store (price tag read $2 for a pair) and I cut my pieces at the bottom so I didn’t even have to hem it.  Although, I realized later that it’s a bit too long, so I’ll have to hem it after all…

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The yellow dress is made of some heavy yellow linen I’ve had laying around for a while now.  I was a little bit at a loss for how to build this – the image of Luna in her yellow dress shows it as being seamless with no visible opening or how to get it on.  You can see that it has a black collar and presumably laces or buttons at the neck.  I decided to open it up the front and make it lace up, cotehardie-style.  The hem is trimmed with maribou; I though that real (faux) fur would be too heavy and the maribou has a nice fluffy look to it.

The belt and the shawl are both finished, and the vest just needs a collar and closures put on for that to be finished, too – so really, this costume came together pretty well.  Just not as optimistically well as I wanted.  I’ll cover the vest and the shawl in my next post about this costume.

Bonus – here’s a pic of me modeling my wig, looking not-so-hot at six in the morning:

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I can’t decide whether or not to be pleased with my progress on this costume as a whole – on one hand, I got a lot done in a fairly short amount of time, but on the other hand, I literally had no reason to make this costume except for that I wanted to challenge myself.  I could have been working on my Anime-Zap! costumes instead, because that’s coming up quite fast.  Oh well – at least I learned my own limitations, if nothing else.

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Odette photoshoot

the pictures from the Odette photoshoot I did a few weeks ago.  warning: image heavy post!

 

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we had a gorgeous full strawberry moon that Friday night… which was unfortunately so hidden in fog that I didn’t really get any good moon pictures.  sigh!  but it was a nice night and we took a lot of pictures regardless.

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this was at the Kemper Center in Kenosha, a really lovely old building.  lots of nice steps, doorways, and arches for me to pose nearby!

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I posed near a great many doors.

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I really like this picture for some reason, even though it doesn’t show my face… who am I kidding, that’s exactly why I like it! :3

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these are my favorite pictures.

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the last shot of the night, we finally got a moon in the picture!  well, I had fun anyway.  even though this was a “throw-together” costume, I’m really pleased with the results.

Refashion Costumes – Odette

I have a confession to make: I am a velvet junkie.  I have a legitimate addiction to velvet.  But I do refuse to pay $15/yd+ for the stuff.  So one of my best sources for velvet – and a lot of things – is thrifting.

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Thrift stores are excellent for velvet, because there always seem to be racks full of those plus-size floor-length velvet formal dresses that were in style about twenty years ago.  (Maybe they still are, I don’t know?)  I bought this 2XL black stretch velvet dress for a buck, with the intention of making a costume I’d been wanting to have since I was a kid – Odette from The Swan Princess.

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The first thing to do was to take in the sides by a good amount, and create some darts in front and back.  I also cut the straps down because the gown in question is off-shoulder.  Then I used the extra fabric I had cut from the sides to create sleeves.  All in all, the reshaping of this dress took me less than two hours.  It’s not perfect; the sleeves have four seams and the left one has what was originally a bust dart at the wrist, all due to the piecing I had to do.  But I think the result is quite nice, flaws aside!

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The shoulder piece caused me some trouble.  The first version I made was of a dark red satin I had in stash, and the problem was that the dress is stretchy and simply pulls on over the head, but the shoulder piece was not stretchy.  The next day I was out yard saleing and happened across a very lovely red velvet dress – a girl’s christmas dress, by the look of it – and couldn’t pass up such a perfect match of fabric!  So I scrapped the first shoulder piece and fashioned this one, which is not attached to the dress at all; it pins on around my shoulders (although the friction of velvet on velvet was almost enough to hold it in place without pinning at all.)  The brooch is another yard sale buy; it started out as a pearl brooch and I gave it a makeover with some nail polish.

This weekend we had a most wonderful coincidence of a full moon on Friday the 13th – not just that, but a beautiful strawberry moon.  So I threw this bad boy on and we went out into the night to get some pictures.  I’ll have those in my next post.

Cost for this costume:

black dress: $1

red velvet: $5

brooch: $1

total: $7

All in all, a very cheap, very easy costume to throw together with great results.

 

I’d like this post to be the first I do of a series like this – refashion costumes being something I enjoy almost more than traditional costuming.  Not only are they a good deal cheaper than going to the fabric store and buying yards of fabric, but I find them a nice challenge as well – taking something and making it into something else.  So look forward to more refashion posts in the future!

Anime Central 2014

To be completely honest, I was too busy being a big geek and running around looking at stuff to take as many pictures as I thought I would at ACen.  however, I do have a few (really, three) to share with you!

ACen was a blast.  I’d kind of forgotten how much of a nerdy otaku I really am, deep down inside.  and I haven’t really had much interest in cosplay for the past few years, as my interest in historical costuming took more precedence.  I saw a lot of amazing costumes, met a lot of amazing people, and took a gajillion pictures!  so many people stopped me to take a picture of me and my sister that I started to feel better about my costume, which I had been kind of feeling crummy about that morning when I put it on again.  but it turned out to be a success after all (even if dragging that train around for eight hours seriously made my arm ache!)

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I wore my Ciel costume on saturday, to great effect.  I sewed a loop into the underskirt, which is hidden underneath the pink overskirt when the whole thing is let down but lets me carry the train more easily, because, as I anticipated, my train was getting trampled all to hell pretty quickly.  and my hat was giving me grief for the first part of the day; I couldn’t get it to stay on top of my head, it kept wanting to go forward or backward.  but no great costume comes without its trials, amirite?

like I said, I took a lot of pictures in this gown, but this (dorky) one is the only one I have of me by myself.  I don’t feel comfortable posting other people’s pictures on my blog for privacy reasons.

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sunday I went as girl Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist.  FMA is one of my favorite animes from waybackwhen, and my sister recently watched the whole series through so it was a perfect couple costume for us.  (my sister went as Winry.)  I was looking for a costume that would be really easy to put together, and this one was – I made the coat out of stash fabric and the automail arm out of pantyhose and craft foam, and everything else I already owned!  the coat is a tad too small for me – hazard of sewing it all in one go without a proper fitting – but worked fine.  the arm turned out really cool looking, too, but owing to the coat sleeves being too small I ended up not wearing the arm to the convention… which was a little disappointing, because it took me the better part of three days to make!  the coat, incidentally, took me about two hours!  all in all, it was a fun, throw-together costume that I think turned out pretty well given the very little time and energy I had by that point.

I also made my sister’s Winry outfit, and I’m rather proud of it – I went to Goodwill and bought a pair of khaki pants and a khaki jacket and frankensteined them together into a jumpsuit type of thing.  it cost me about three bucks and took me about ten minutes to make – probably the easiest costume I’ve ever done!

 

my sister and I have already decided we’re going again next year… and I find I’ve been bitten by the cosplay bug again; I’m already planning elaborate and fantastic costumes that I want to make… with more time to plan ahead and a better handle on my budget, I’m thinking that next year’s costumes are going to be pretty freaking sweet ;D

exploding creeper!

hello again! I haven’t been too busy lately. I had my surgery last week, and I’ve been taking it very easy. but I have been juggling a few light projects to keep busy.

this is one that I whipped up over the last two days. it’s a birthday present for my nephew, who just loves Minecraft (who doesn’t?!) he’s got all kinds of Minecraft merchandise already, but one thing he doesn’t have is a creeper that actually comes apart.

it’s made of felt, the same way I’ve made other dolls before. the edges are done with a blanket stitch, and I cut all the pieces of the cubes individually, instead of making them out of one piece, because I thought that would help to keep the square shape better. it turned out pretty well.

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the most annoying part was painting on all those tiny squares. I used plain old acrylic paint, and it took me probably two or three hours overall (I took lots of breaks. :p) he just looked too plain in flat green, so I like the look of the paint.

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stitching and stuffing the “head”. I neglected to take pictures of the rest of the assembly process, but all the pieces went together pretty much the same.

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I wanted to get one of those little sound chips, like the ones you put in stuffed animals to make them say “I love you” or whatever, so that it would make the creeper sound when it exploded. but I couldn’t find anything like that and the party is on saturday, so I nixed that idea. would have been cool, though.

my next immediate project is a mother-of-the-bride gown I’m making for a theater friend. I’ll be working on that this week, and depending on how it goes I might post some pictures. the pattern and fabric is gorgeous, so I’m looking forward to starting on it.