Cosplay Update #1: Creating Jyn

Well, here we are, first cosplay update!  I spent the last four days with my mom working on the costume for Jyn Erso from Rogue One, to the point that I almost wish I had just “moved home” for my long weekend since I was back and forth almost every day.  Thankfully I only live like 15 minutes from my parents’ house.  🙂

I kind of had to chuckle when my mom apologized on Sunday night for not getting as far on the outfit as we hoped after we worked on it for most of three of the four days (and went cosplay shopping on the 4th).  I am so happy with how far we got and told her so.  The pants are done, the shirt just needs the sleeves shortened, and the vest is waiting until we get another part that I ordered this weekend.  I even got 3 of the 4 last pieces of the blaster sanded!  So, yeah, I’m happy with the progress.

Wednesday night I dyed some strapping for the vest.

I also inadvertently dyed the end of my wooden spoon brown.   At least it was a spoon designated for non-edible use.

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I dried the strapping on my tub on a piece of wax paper so it didn’t stain.  I wish I had taken a “before” picture.  The long piece was a natural cotton color and the short piece was a dark tan with two thin red stripes.  Obviously, they dyed really well.

To make the vest we pretty much followed this step-by-step write through by Jessica of Restill Cosplay on Facebook.  There were no measurements or anything, so we based the basic pattern off a vest I already own and had to create our own pattern from there.

This is the front of the vest after most of the doohickies are attached.  The top horizontal patches and the wide rectangular ones on the sides are what I dyed dark brown.  The pockets were an especially large pain to figure out, with the extra gusset on the side.  But they turned out pretty awesome.  The front panels are lined with one layer of cotton batting, and the back has two layers of that plus a layer of 1/4 inch foam, which will look pretty cool after it’s tie quilted.

Pretty, bright red lining.

Of course I had to try it on at various points in construction, and of course I had to take pictures.  🙂  And the pic on the right is my wonderful, creative, sewing wizard mother.

So that was Thursday.  Friday we took off sewing to go shopping and pick up a few things we needed, including of course more cosplay items and fabric.  Because, of course!

Saturday we got the pants for the costume done.  I had found a pair of black pants at a local thrift shop with really wide legs which we cut off and pintucked part of the front.  We made the legs taper smaller at the end, and added the strapping and a black band and a buckle around the knee where the pants were cut off.

And just a quick note on that, let this be a lesson to you to always check your stash of miscellaneous items before you go out shopping.

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We needed a strange type of buckle for the strapping on the leg and ended up buying two packages of buckles, which are the four items at the bottom of the above picture.  Upon getting them home and opening them up, we came to the conclusion that they would, in fact, not work for what we needed.  I raided mom’s little drawer of miscellaneous buckles and such, and found the two on top, which were pretty much EXACTLY what we needed and which the store didn’t have.  So we traded.  Mom kept the new stuff and we used her random buckles for the pants.  So yeah, always check your stash before you spend money.  😉

Sunday afternoon we were both really tired, but we managed to get the shirt collar done anyway.  I had bought a couple gray shirts a few months ago and we used one for fabric to remodel the other one to add the flappy collar on Jyn’s shirt.  Neither of us thought it would be as difficult to figure out as it was, but we still managed to accomplish it.

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So here is the final result of the weekend of work.  The details on the pants are pretty hard to see in this pic, but eventually I’ll get better shots.  Still work to do, but I’m really pleased with how much farther along it is.

Btw, I should clarify, pretty much any time I’m saying “we” in this post, I’m really meaning “my mom”.  She did ALL of the sewing on this (except the top stitching and hand stitching on the vest fronts).  I pretty much gave my opinion, offered a few ideas, watched, fetched things, and was a human mannequin.  I’m so blessed that I have a mom who loves to sew (maybe not so much after this weekend?!) and who is willing to put up with my geeky craziness and help me with stuff like this.

So that’s update one!  We’re working again on Wednesday this week to finish the shirt and hopefully sew the shirt for Merlin.  I ran to a thrift store after work today to look for some brown pants and possibly a brown jacket for Merlin, but I struck out on both, so I’ll have to do some more searching.

I just can’t!

Ok guys, here’s the deal.  I’ve got less than two months before I’m leaving for Dragon Con.  I am planning on debuting 3 brand new cosplays at the con, and my apartment looks like a craft store blew up in it.  But, none of it is card-related.  Every bit of my free time right now is getting devoted to working on my costumes so that I don’t enter into full-blown panic mode a week before the con, still trying to put the finishing touches on my cosplays.  🙂

So, I’m putting the cards on hold for a while, and instead will be giving you (hopefully) weekly updates on my costumes instead.  If you’re just here for the cards, I’m sorry, but there’s going to be a break.  You can ignore my posts for the next several weeks, or you can enjoy this peek into other areas of my life.

I am going to be wearing a costume every day at the con this year.   The first time I went two years ago, I only wore a costume on Saturday and Sunday.  But this year, all four days, baby!  It just makes going to cons even more fun if you’re all dressed up as some beloved character.  I am recycling my Amy Pond costume and wearing it again as the gal going with me this year is going one day as Rose Tyler.  So that’ll be fun.  We’re also planning on going one day as gender-swapped Merlin and Arthur from BBC’s Merlin (I’ll be Merlin).  I haven’t even started on that costume yet.  But, I’m thinking that one won’t be too hard to put together.

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The other two costumes are definitely in progress mode right now.  The one that’s almost done is a humanized version of Applejack from My Little Pony.

I’m pretty much done with the costume, except for trying out the different white face paint I got and adding some little tweaks.  I am planning on making some little apple gifts to give to any little kids that are especially excited about my outfit, but I haven’t started on those yet.

The last costume, which is definitely my most detailed (and expensive) cosplay to date is Jyn Erso from Rogue One.  Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I fell in absolute love with that movie last December, and almost immediately after seeing it I decided I wanted to cosplay as Jyn.

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The only completed part of her outfit I have right now is her gloves, which I bought on etsy.  I bought a kyber crystal necklace on etsy as well, but I want to rework the cord a bit.  My mom and I spent a good part of last Monday working on making her vest, and all that actually got sewn was putting the topstitching on the front.

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But, we got the pattern figured out and puzzled over lots of details, so hopefully we’ll make a lot of progress this week.

I’ve also been spending an exorbitant amount of time scrunched over a table with sandpaper and plastic.  I bought a few 3D printed kits of items for her outfit, including her weapons, and have been working on sanding them all down.

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I think all that’s left is sanding the final large pieces of her blaster, then I can actually start painting them.  Two of the blaster pieces warped a bit, though, so I’m going to try to un-warp them tonight before I start standing those.

And yeah, that’s the status of my cosplays for the moment.  Next update will hopefully have things a lot farther along.  I took a couple days off later this week to work on them, so here’s hoping for a productive long weekend!

My Steampunk Cosplay!

So I know it’s really late and I should be going to bed instead of blogging, but writing this post was on my to do list for the night and by golly, I’m going to get it done!  I had intended to do other things tonight, but then I got sucked into Youtube watching The Hillywood Show’s latest live stream video and the evening kind of got away from me.  To be fair, the craft project I had intended to work on smells bad so I really only want to work on it when I can open windows, and it’s raining tonight.  But if I get this post up, I will only have one thing on my list (besides the not-do-able craft project) that I didn’t get done, so yay for that.

On a side note, and I probably shouldn’t even mention this because that makes it sound like I’m committed to the idea and I’ll probably fail miserably, but I’m thinking that I should make a craft project goal for the week in addition to my card of the week.  I have so many ideas and projects that are either started or conceived in my brain that I want to do, so I should set myself some realistic goals for actually completing some of them.  I had intended to work on my craft goal for this week tonight before the siren call of Youtube and the rain challenged my plans.

Ok, on to why I’m really posting: my steampunk cosplay!!  Yay!  So I already showed you guys my Astrid cosplay from How to Train Your Dragon.  Well, I put together a steampunk costume (again with sewing help from my wonderful mother!) that I debuted at Dragon Con over Labor Day a couple weeks ago.   A few weeks before the con, my very sweet friend Emily of Truelight Images offered to do a photo shoot for me of my costume.  Downtown Sioux Falls offers some wonderful old buildings that were a perfect backdrop for a steampunk shoot, so we met up on a beautiful Tuesday evening and had a super-great time taking pictures.

Without further ado, my costume debut!  Btw, it was really hard to decide which pictures to share!  They are all so cool!

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I think this is my absolutely favorite picture from the whole shoot

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I love how powerful that shot on the right looks!

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I can’t thank Emily enough for all the time she put into these pictures!  From researching poses to taking the pictures to editing, I was just speechless at the effort she put in.  If you are in the Sioux Falls, SD area and need a photographer for family portraits, events, cosplay shoots (which she now says are her favorite kind!), please get in touch with Emily at her business facebook page: Truelight Images.  She will definitely make your shoot something special.

Ok, now I really need to go to bed!  I’m having issues typing and still have two more days of work this week.  Oh, on the plus side, between holiday time off and PTO, I only have 4 full weeks of work left for the year!  Yay me!  So I should have lots of time to work on those craft projects…

Oh, before I forget, I know this was just a bunch of glamour shots of the final product, but if anyone is curious about the process that went into constructing the costume, please comment and let me know!  I’ll put a post together about the process and construction if anyone is interested.

G’night!

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Adventures in Cosplay

I really should be going to bed right now, or at least getting ready to head that direction, but I’m too excited!  I got my pictures back from the photo shoot I did on Saturday and I just have to share them with someone!  So here I am blogging instead.

I was introduced to cons and cosplay via my favorite blogger Jen Yates, and I went to my first convention last spring.  Incidentally, that’s where I’m headed this coming weekend, back to that same con.  I debuted my first cosplay at the con last year on Saturday.  And let me tell you, I totally got bit by the cosplay bug!  I had so much fun, and it opens so many doors at for chatting with people who share similar interests, especially if you attend by yourself like I did.  After watching the costume contest on Saturday night, I went back to my hotel room and didn’t fall asleep until about 3 AM.  My mind was going crazy with ideas and inspirations and just general excitement about this world that allows adults to dress up as characters and not be thought of as weird.

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This was my cosplay last year, Kaylee Frye from Firefly.  She will be reappearing this weekend on Friday.

My Sunday costume for this year is a gender-bent 10th Doctor from Doctor Who.  I wanted an excuse to get and wear that epic coat, so I put this costume together.

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I hate to say it, but I’m not just that crazy about it.  It’s lacking much in the pizazz department, plus I know I’m going to be boiling in that coat!  But I bought the coat, so by golly I’m going to wear it to a con!  Maybe next winter I’ll use it as my winter coat.  It’s certainly warm enough!  I tried to re-construct the Doctor’s look as a female in such ways as ringlets instead of sideburns and a red scarf instead of a red tie, while maintaining the basic look.  I think I succeeded.

But the costume I’m most excited about is my Saturday costume.  This has been about a 9 month process from inception to completion (and I still need to add a couple finishing touches, yikes!), but I can say I’m very proud of it.  A huge thank you goes to my mom the sewing genius (hi, mom!) who did all the sewing on it and also had lots of great ideas and suggestions for various aspects of putting it together.  Also a big thank you goes to my friend Dory for taking the pictures and doing the editing on them.

Without further ado, I present to you: Astrid Hofferson!

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A couple comparison shots from movie to me:

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Darn it, the wrong leg is in front!

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This next one is one of my favorite pictures from the shoot:

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Threatening the camera was fun.  🙂

I should probably end there, but I love the vintage-y vibe of these last two, so I just have to share them.

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I am so excited to debut this costume this weekend!  I’m seriously hoping to find a Hiccup at the con, just so I can get a picture with him.  Lol!  Counting down the days…