Monday, 10 March 2014

White Rabbit

"I'm late!  I'm late!  For a very important date!  No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"

I managed to convince one of my friends to cosplay as the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland and I promised him that I would be his white rabbit :)  I didn't want to cosplay as Alice because I donèt really like her outfit from the cartoon and her outfits in the latest film are just plain crazy!  I mean, I would love to do one of those but I don't have the time or money to go off on a crazy fabric shopping adventure to find the right fabrics!  I had also decided that the white rabbit would be a half closet cosplay for me as I had come up with an original design for it which would be cheap and easy for me to make.

Recently I saw an artwork depicting Alice and I fell in love with her costume!  I will eventually do that version of her.

Conception:

I wanted to make my rabbit costume a little odd and punky (steampunky that is!).  The accessories and the costume bits are not supposed to match, rather they are supposed to make a jumbled, unfashionable mess!  I had played with a few versions of the white rabbit and I still haven't decided what it is going to look like in the end.  I guess it will be a surprise even for me!  Spontaneity is awesome!

Construction:

Leotard - The leotard was relatively simple to make.  I used the same pattern as I used for Sailor Jupiter.  I altered it so that there wasn't a hip line seam.  I used leftover material from the Jupiter as well.  I did not realize that I had enough fabric to make another leotard!  I messed up my seams by using a pointed sewing needle (I forgot to change it).  I was wondering why all my seams were puckering and it was because of my needle :S The elastics around the hips and shoulder are quite snug but the neckline is way too loose.  I think I will redo the neckline and add an elastic to it instead of the facing.

Sewing the neck facing
  

Waistcoat - The pattern for the waist coat was hand drafted by wrapping myself in saran wrap and tape, then drawing the pattern and cutting it off.  The pieces were laid flat on some paper to trace the pattern.  I added some ease and seam allowances as well as some extra width in the front for the buttons.  The tail patterns were improvised using the width in the back as the only measurement.  I used a red satin for the lining and a black matte sateen for the outside.

The waistcoat was sewn together with the right sides together (lining and outside).  I ended up having to slip stitch in the armholes.  The buttons were hand sewn and the button holes were done by machine.  I didn't really like how it turned out but it was my first time trying to do something like this.  Next time I will have to add in some shaping features like darts or princess seams.

Skirt - I bought a pleated white skirt at Hot Topic while visiting Toronto last fall.  It was super cute and I figured that I would get to wear it during the summer.  Once I started working on the white rabbit I figured that I could also use the skirt for the cosplay!

Work in progress

Ears and Tail - 

Pocket Watch and Chain - 

Top Hat - 

Socks - The socks are knee length socks that were bought at Hot Topic.

Shoes - I already own a pair of black pumps so I'm going to use those in this cosplay.

Gloves - I am going to re-use my Mokona gloves for this cosplay!  (I don't feel like making them)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Cosplay/Con Plans for 2014

This year is going to be fun if I can get everything I want done in time!  I have a good number of cosplays that I plan to make and a decent number of cons to attend.  I don't know if I'll get to do everything I want to do.  School has to come first and when summer comes around my job will take over my life (and I need a job if I want to fund future projects).  This list might be a bit ambitious but I will give it my best shot!

I would really love to attend Costume Con as it is in Toronto this year and its super cheap for students!  I haven't booked anything yet however as it is scheduled in April which is my final exam month.  I have to wait until the exam schedule comes out before I decide if I can attend it.  Anime North is a for sure con on my list!  I have yet to book the ticket but I am pretty sure that I'm going.  Of course I will also be attending my local cons, Otakuthon and Montreal Comic Con.  If I can attend other cons I will go but I doubt that it will happen.

Last year I started working on Sheeta (Castle in the Sky) so I guess I will finish it this year and wear it to one or two cons.  I started working on Mew Zakuro (Tokyo Mew Mew) which I am planning on competing in.  I managed to convince a friend of mine to cosplay as the Cheshire cat while I will cosplay the white rabbit (Alice in Wonderland) so I started working on that as well.  Sakura's shadow costume (Cardcaptor Sakura) is another project that I would love to make and enter a masquerade in.  Shunki (Saiunkoku Monogatari) and Sakura's cherry blossom kimono (Tsubasa Spring Thunder Chronicles) are plans for winter cons such as G-Anime (which I missed this year).  I would also love to finally finish Padme!

Mmmmm seven cosplays for this year?  Let's see if I can do this!  Bring on the thread! :P

Monday, 20 January 2014

Mew Zakuro

When I was watching Tokyo Mew Mew I decided that I had to cosplay one of the characters.  I chose to cosplay Zakuro because she is the mysterious one who as more wisdom that the other girls and is fierce at the same time.  I also really liked her design.  I decided to go with her transformed costume because I wanted to make the ears and the tail to get some experience working with fake fur.

Construction:

Shorts - Zakuro's shorts have an interesting design to them.  Instead of a normal pair of shorts, they have princess seams.  This meant that I would need a custom pattern.  I started out by getting my boyfriend to wrap me up in saran wrap, then taping over that, then marking off the seam lines and then cutting myself out of the plastic wrapping.  The plastic wrap still held the shape of my body even when it was removed.  To draft the actual pattern, I flattened each piece on a sheet of paper and traced around it.  I added my seam allowance and some ease.  I used a seam allowance of 1.5 cm and a design ease of 1.25 cm per seam in the crotch area.  The ease that I added around the hips was very minimal.

Pattern Drafting
Once all the pieces were drawn out I noticed that the left leg was different from the right leg.  I decided that since both legs were supposed to be the same design that I would discard the pattern for the left leg and just use the right leg pattern for both sides.  I ended up with a front center panel, a front side panel, a back side panel and a back center panel.  I made up a draft using some cheap leftover material to check the size and the lines of the shorts.  I edited the pattern to level out the bottom line of the shorts and raise the waist line in the back.

Final Shorts Pattern
The shorts are made out of a purple poplin fabric and they are fully lined. I took both pieces and altered them so that they fit to my curves better.  This meant that I had to take in the seam allowance a bit more in certain places, particularly in the back.  Sewing the lining and the outside together was an interesting exercise.  I followed the tutorial that can be found in the references link.  Once the lining and the outside were joined by the bottom hems, I added in the invisible zipper.  It was my first time inserting such a zipper and I did it without a special foot!  I just used the normal zipper foot.  For a glimpse at the tutorials I consulted, again they can be found in below.

Atached Zipper
Closed zipper
Once the zipper was attached, I drafted the pattern for the waist band.  It ended up being a little too thin for my liking but it still works.  The seams lines don't all line up because I didn't make the same adjustments for the waistband as I did for the shorts (I forgot >_>).  Once the waist band was sewn on I added some snaps in the back to close it up.  Yay!  My first pair of shorts, and the best part is that I can actually wear them as normal clothes!

Front View
Back view
Top - The top was drafted in the same way as the shorts.  I wrapped the saran wrap and the tape around myself (it was really hard!) and drew on the lines marking the pattern by looking in my mirror.  The top consists of sixteen different pieces, eight for the bodice part and eight for the under bust band.  I used the same amount of seam allowance as the shorts but changed my ease measurements.  I only added 0.2 cm to each measurement for the ease.  Of course when I actually made the first layer it was too large around the waist.  I had to alter it to fit and then changed the pattern so that my outer layer would match it.  I made sure that I had enough fabric to overlap in the back as I was using snaps to fasten it.

The piping used a thick cord and some white fluffy molleton.  I slip stitched it in between the two layers of the top.  The top is quite tight and stays up nicely.  I have to be super careful not to bend down too low as the snaps will un-snap.  I'm thinking of getting some topstick to use as a precaution.  It's super tight now but that doesn't mean it won't slip at the con!

Boot covers - 

Arm/leg bands - 

Choker - 

Wig - 

Ears & tail - 

Magical item - 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Thermoplastic Experiments!

My boyfriend and I acquired some Worbla and some Wonderflex a while ago.  We only recently had time to start working with them.  We started out with some Worbla samples that Kamui gave out at her panel at Montreal Comic Con.  I wanted to make Sheeta's belt buckle out of a thermoplastic.  I figured that something that small could be made out of minimal material and it would be easy to shape.  At first we thought the buckle was flat but after looking at many reference picture we determined that it was rounded.

I cut out a circle of craft foam and trimmed it to fit within the small rectangular samples.  My boyfriend heated the plastic and sandwiched the craft  foam in between.  Once it was hard again I attempted cutting it out.  I accidentally cut too close to the edge so we had to reheat the Worbla, reattach the cut off part and then cut it out again.  We then molded it into a hemisphere by heating it up and shaping it around a tennis ball.

Re-molded Worbla
As my boyfriend cosplayed the Shredder in the past I figured that we should upgrade his armour.  I drafted the pattern for the arm guards and the spikes.  The patterns were traced onto the craft foam and then cut out.  The Wonderflex was really curled when I took it out of the box so I had to use some heavy items to hold it down while I worked with it.  The craft foam was placed on the Wonderflex and I cut two pieces leaving some working space around the shape.

As the pieces were still curved, I had to use the heat gun to flatten them out first.  Once they had
cooled I sandwiched the craft foam between the pieces and molded them together with the heat gun.  The first time I did this I got air bubbles!  I tried to re-mold it but I ruined the Wonderflex.  I had used the wrong sides to heat together so it just tore apart.  Needless to say that I learned from that mistake and the second time around I had no trouble at all :)

Cut out arm guard base
Now I just have to figure out how to attach the spikes to the arm guards, among many other things :P

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Ottawa Pop Expo 2013 Photo Shoot

Ottawa Pop Expo is the smallest con that I have ever been to.  I must say that even though there wasn't much stuff to do in regards to panels, there was a lot of room to walk around in and thus a lot of room to take pictures!  I only went the Saturday (Dec 7) cosplaying as Vana :)  My friend, Lambert Le was acting as my personal photographer that day.  He got some really awesome shots that I want to share with you guys!  I also participated in the masquerade so I will eventually be getting those pictures as well.  I guess I'll make a different post when those come in.  Anyways, here are the pics!

This first one really shows makeup on my eyes.  This was my first time doing something a little over the top for Vana in regards to makeup.

First Snow
I was so excited when I saw Detailed-Illusion's costume of Thranduil!  I was following his work closely up until the con and for a brief amount of time it looked like he wouldn't be able to finish it.  I'm so glad he was able to get it done in time!  He took home the best in show prize so a big congratulations to him!

Vana and Thranduil
I wanted a picture of my spinning.  I had to be careful to not hit anybody with my long dangling sleeves.  The shadow is a bit weird in this picture but I really like how all the fabric is flowing.

Spinning
This one is just a plain full length shot of the costume.  The sun was a little bit too bright so my eyes look kind of weird.

Walking on Snow
This one is one of my two favourites from the bunch.  I just love how I'm positioned in this photo.  I love having massively full skirts that can pool around me while I'm kneeling/sitting.

Winter's Touch
My absolute favourite!!  I like that I'm slightly off center, I feel that it makes the picture more interesting.  I had shown Lambert an article the day before about portrait shooting and I think he was keeping that in mind when he shot this.  Riddle was caught in the background of this picture.  I decided not to crop it out because I think it's amusing.

Nature Lover

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Journal of Ottawa Pop Expo 2013

My friends and I decided pretty last minute that we would be going to Pop Expo Ottawa for the Saturday only.  I had asked them if they wanted to come with me as I really wanted to go and chill with a bunch of cosplayers that I had met previously.  One of my friends (Bandit Spurs) was entering in her first masquerade and so I decided that since it was a small con that I should enter too and gain experience on stage and in front of judges.

We left Montreal Friday night and stayed at the Southway Hotel, which was a pretty nice hotel!  The front lawn was decorated with shrubs and trees that were all lit up.  They even had a creche and a large automated winter village in the lobby!  I woke up early Saturday morning to get ready to head to the con.  One of my friends woke up with me and accompanied me to the con.  We ended up having to wait outside for about ten minutes as the building wasn't open yet.  I was wearing my completed Vana costume and no coat.  I was glad that I had three warm layers!  We were finally let inside and then we had to wait in line for the actual con to open for regular ticket payers.

As soon as I got inside I found the masquerade registration desk (they were only letting 25 enter).  I bumped into a cosplayer (Detailed-Illusion) that I had met at Otakuthon and went totally gaga over his Thranduil costume.  I saw a bunch of other awesome cosplays while waiting for the audio stuff to work.  While registering it was confirmed that Heroes of Cosplay was being filmed at the con.  I had to sign a waiver for them to be able to use any footage/images with my face in them. During the day I mostly walked around and check out all the booths in the dealers room. I got to have a bit of a photo shoot done with one of my friends who just recently took up photography.  We got some pretty awesome shots in the snow!

At four o'clock it was time to head into the green room.  It took a little while to register but as we were only about 25 contestants (not including the heroes of course) it wasn't too bad.  Once inside we were put into our dens.  I got put into den 2 with Bandit Spurs.  We were right after each other as entrants which was pretty cool.  At one point the producer for Heroes of Cosplay asked a bunch of us if we wanted to be in the background of some of the scenes that they were going to shoot.  We all said sure and headed out.  We were made to look like we were getting in line for the show.  I got to talk to some awesome local talent as well as some of the heroes!  Riddle and I bonded over the metric system (lol what nerds we are)!

As we walked back past the camera to mimic going into the competition, I accidentally tripped a cosplayer behind me, or rather he stepped on my train and I nearly fell on my face!  Of course that would happen on camera!

I was much more confident with the masquerade photo shoot this time around.  The photographer was really talkative and knew what angles looked best.  He guided me through the process (all the while blinding me with those bright lights!).  When I tried to get back to the den, they were filming a scene for the show.  I had to wait with Batman before I could pass by.  I got to exchange a few words with Jesse (I almost asked if I could touch his beard lol) and with one of the set crew people.

The judging was pretty cool.  I got looked at by all four judges, one of whom was MeltingMirror and another was none other than Yaya Han.  When they asked me what part I was most proud of I showed them my finished seams in my over gown.  I hand blanket stitched them as I don't have a serger.  As soon as I showed them it all four hands were to inspect.  I know the stitches are not even but it was my first time using that stitch so I was still pretty proud.  Yaya said that it offered a nice clean finish and even suggested using a french seam in the future.

The masquerade went really well in my opinion.  I only decided what I was going to do a couple hours before going on stage and even on stage I improvised.  I felt pretty confident as an elf because I've been pretending to be one for years!  I used the first thirty seconds of the soundtrack from Beauty and the Beast.  It has a very mysterious melody to it and I have always loved it.  I knew the song by heart, and I moved with it.  My friend recorded it so once that's uploaded on YouTube I'll share it :)  I didn't win anything but I didn't enter to win.  I entered to gain more experience and just hang out with really awesome people!

So that was my experience at Pop Expo!  I had tons of fun with friends, new and old and got to meet some really awesome people.  It was a really chill con with lots of room to walk around and lots of places to sit.  It makes me look forward to my next con!  Maybe I'll attend G-Anime... ;)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Otakuthon Masquerade Photos

Yay!  The Otakuthon Masquerade photos were finally put early this fall on Facebook.  Here are the pictures from my cosplay!  I only chose to do one pose because I was a little nervous and I didn't want to hold up the line for anyone.  Next time I do a masquerade I will try a few different poses so that I have more pictures! A special thanks to Maverick Delta for the photos!

I will punish you!

In the name of Jupiter!