Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Saber Maid

My boyfriend Corey showed me a photo of the Saber maid figure and since it was too cute, I just had to make it!  I love Saber's character and I do plan on making more of her outfits :D

Construction:

Dress - The dress was the scary thing to make since it is backless.  This was the first dress that I ever wore that didn't have a back to it!  Naturally because of the strange design, I had to hand draft a pattern for it.  I split the dress into two parts: the bodice and the skirt.  I made the skirt a full circle skirt.  I used the bodice from the hobbit dress that I made as my base of modified it to fit the neckline and the low back.  The dress was made using a light navy blue satin.  The bodice is lined with the same navy satin with an old bra hand sewn inside to provide "some" support.

Dress Bodice
The lining for the skirt is separate and acts as the underskirt.  It was made using a heavier white satin and edged in a crocheted triangular trim.  The dress closes in the back with a small invisible zipper.  The sleeves were made using the sleeve pattern from the same hobbit dress with a modification on the size of the puff.  The cuffs were hand drafted and close with hooks and eyes.  The final detail that was added was the ruffles around the neckline.  They were made using the heavier white sating and since the gathering stitches broke before I could gather it all together, I opted for pleated them to fit the neckline.

Forming the Pleats
Apron - The apron was made using a white poly cotton fabric.  It was had drafted, the main part being made from a weird rectangular/oval shape.  I had the gather it along all four sides separately to try and get the puffy shape that the figure has.  The ruffles were made using two long strips of varying widths fold in half and gathered.  The tie was also made from a long strip of fabric folded over itself.  I added some vintage lace as an edging around the inner most ruffles to sort of embellish the apron a tad.
Base for Apron
Stockings - The stockings were made using the same white poly cotton fabric as the apron.  Two rectangular strips of fabric were cut for each stocking; one piece acted as the back of the stocking to which the elastic was sewn to while the other was the front.  The front piece was slit in intervals to allow for the blue ribbon to pass through.  Ruffles and lace were sewn to the top and bottom of the stocking cuff, which was then sewn onto black nylon stockings.

Stocking cuffs
Wig - The wig was purchased pre-styled from ebay.  Once I received it, I had to make some slight modifications to it such as adding the blue bow on the bun and making the antenna.  The antenna was made using fabric glue and lots of hairspray.

Accessories - This costume had quite a a few accessories to complete it, namely the headband, collar and cuffs.  The headband was made using a rectangular piece of fabric, folded over itself and interfaced.  I added rows of lace along it to embellish it before sewing it to the purchased, fabric covered headband.  The collar was made from a long strip of poly cotton, much in the same way as the stocking cuffs were made (without the elastic though).  It was kept open ended with excess ribbon to be able to tie a bow and thus close the collar around my neck.

Collar
The cuffs were simply rectangles of material sewn together with a layer of interfacing inside.  The "buttons" were made using googly eyes from the dollar store that were painted black.  Lace edging was also applied to the cuffs and they close with small bits of velcro.

Shoes - Her shoes are black Mary Janes but unfortunately they are really hard to find in my size so I just substitued a pair of black pumps that I already owned.

Completed Costume

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Otakuthon 2015 Journal

Otakuthon has always been my favourite con of the year!  This year was so fun, I got to hang out with my friends, watch some awesome performances, eat yummy food and of course, cosplay!  Friday the con opened up earlier than normal due to the sheer popularity of the event.  I wore my Saber maid cosplay and for the majority of the day I hung out with other fate cosplayers in the dealers room.  There were four different Sabers so we all got together and took photos at Droo's photo booth.  Midway through the afternoon I had to run to do my shift at the cosplay repair room.  The cosplay repair room was hosted by Helios Makerspace which is a makerspace located in Montreal that was started by my boyfriend Corey and some of our mutual friends!  Friday evening was spent watching the World Cosplay Summit Canada preliminaries.  We are officially able to compete in the actual WCS!

Saber x4
Saturday I opened up the cosplay repair room as Saber maid with Corey and Cameron.  I was the go to person when a cosplayer needed help fixing their costumes, of which we had a lot because the masquerade green room started super early (like 2 pm)!  I didn't enter the masquerade mostly because I didn't get to finish my Magic Knight Rayearth costume enough for me to deem it competition level.  After my shift I went to Think.Nu's free photo shoot event where I teamed up with a bunch of other Fate cosplayers for another shoot :).  Bandits wore her Umi from Magic Knight Rayearth and she got some gorgeous shots!

Fate cosplayers unite!
I changed into my Fuu costume after the shoot and together, Bandits, Alex, Corey and I went to the masquerade to cheer on our friends.  There was some crazy competition this year, it was a good call on my part to not enter without my sword!  After the masquerade, Corey and I went out to dinner with some of our masquerade friends who we didn't get to hang out with much at the con yet.  Sunday we had our full Magic Knight Rayearth group.  My friend Jen joined us as Hikaru!  We had a photo shoot scheduled with Another Exposure and I can't wait to see the results!  We had so much fun :P  Sunday ended quite late for Corey and I because we attended the closing ceremonies as well as the feedback panel.  We just didn't want the con to end!!  I am totally looking forward to next year!!

Clamp :)

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Montreal Comic Con 2015 Journal

Montreal Comic Con was a big event for Corey, Bandit Spurs and I.  We were going to enter in our first skit together in the masquerade as a Legend of Zelda group and we had a lot to cover in the short amount of time.  Friday started off with Corey and I trying to finish off Link's weapons before we headed off to the event.  I had a photo shoot scheduled in the early evening  so I wanted to get everything done by then.  Alas, we still had quite a bit left to do by the time I had to get dressed and ready for the shoot.

Finishing Link's Shield
The shoot was scheduled with Cyberfox007 Photography.  I wore my Pocahontas cosplay since I didn't have very many nice photos of her.  Right after my shoot was Bandit's shoot in her Tifa cosplay.  After her shoot was done, Corey and I went to dinner with Lambert in Chinatown.  We got home pretty late because of that which resulted in us finishing the props super late.  I had to finish the back of the shield while Corey had to finish with painting the sword.

Pocahontas Shoot Results
Saturday I woke up bright and early as I had a shoot with Bandits and Theorem Productions (photographer) at 10 am.  Getting into Sheik is not the easiest thing to do either.  Corey accompanied me to the con; his job was to register us for the masquerade since that only opened at 10 am.  We had a great shoot and we successfully got into the masquerade as well!  The rest of the day up until the green room was spent wandering the dealer's room and grabbing photos of cosplayers.

Legend of Zelda Shoot Results
Before entering the green room, we had to go grab out props and set pieces for the masquerade from the car.  We had to make two trips carrying all the things with four of us.  The green room was pretty packed and went by really quick.  Soon enough we were getting ready to go on stage!  Our performance went by so fast, almost like the blink of an eye!  To watch it, click here! After our performance, Tsuki no StarDust, Corey, Lambert, Cameron and I went out for dinner.  While in the restaurant, I met Melting Mirror and Calamity.  They waved me over to sit with them until their food arrived.  It was a great "senpai noticed me" moment!

Sunday started off with my friend Lisa and I cosplaying as Princess Zelda and Shiek together, while her boyfriend Tommy put together a costume he dubbed Super Lion!  Corey didn't feel like putting on his Link costume.  We didn't last too long in our costumes as it was hot and Lisa got overwhelmed by the amount of people wanting her photo.  Corey and I went to the awards ceremony in the afternoon and our group won Best Performance in the Artisan Division!  It was a great way to end the day :)

Lisa and I in our LOZ Costumes

Pocahontas

Pocahontas has been one of my favourite Disney movies ever since I was a kid.  I loved her sense of adventure and her close connection to her surroundings.  She is a strong and powerful role model to young girls and I think there should be more princesses like her, who are not necessarily garbed in pretty dresses and are saved by their prince charming.  I really wanted to embody her character in a cosplay so I chose to make her 2012 redesign costume.

Construction:

Dress - The dress itself was separated into three different parts: the bodice, the shoulder strap and the skirt.  The bodice had a sweetheart shaped neckline so I took my pattern I drafted for Mew Zakuro and modified it.  The shoulder strap and skirt pattern were hand drafted first using my measurements.  I then made a mock up of the dress in order to determine where to take it in and fit it to my body.  I marked all the new pinned seams with chalk before I took it off my body.  Before I took the mock up apart, I marked and the cut the seam allowance from every seam that was pinned.  The mock up was then pulled apart and used as my official pattern for the dress.

Mock Up
I made the dress out of a tan fashion suede.  The bodice and shoulder strap were lined.  The skirt was made to fit using darts in the front and back.  It also sports a slit along the longer side of the asymmetric hem.  The dress closes up with an invisible zipper and a hook and eye fastener.  Beads were added to part of the front of the skirt hem and to the front of the bodice and shoulder strap.  Brown and white feathers were sewn in a random alternating pattern on the bodice.

Feather Fringe


Sash - The sash was simple to make.  A piece of fabric that had a curve on the bottom and a straight edge on the top was made out of a sand coloured fashion suede.  It has a hem along the straight edge and a fringe along the curved edge.  It snaps to the side of the dress for easy removal.

Belt - The belt was made using a brown fashion suede.  The pattern was drawn out to fit to my measurements and the curve of the waistline,  It snaps shut in the back and snaps to the dress in the front to keep it from riding up.  It was adorned with beads and some feathers one on side.

Boots - I wanted to make the boots completely from scratch so I used Butterick's B5233 pattern as a base.  The main portion of the boot was made using different coloured fashion suede whereas the sole of the boot was made using brown vinyl.  I inserted invisible zippers into the back of each boot and while it takes a hell of a lot of effort to close them over my legs, it certainly does the trick!  The boots are adorned with feathers and beads on the inside of each leg.  They were the hardest thing to make in this costume and unfortunately I think that they will only last another wear or two.  I will probably have to look for a replacement pair if I want to continue wearing her.

Adding the fringe
Wig - I bought a black wig off of ebay for about $12.  I made sure to find one that either had long bangs that I could push aside or no bangs at all.  The wig I ended up buying had long layers with no bangs.  It had a skin top right along the hairline but it was a little weird so I had to trim it to fit closer to the wefts.

Wig
Accessories - In the 2012 redesign, Pocahontas wears earrings.  I don't have holes in my ears so I decided to sew the "earrings" into the wig.  The beads and feathers were sewn onto a leather cord which was then sewn into the side-burn portion of the wig.  The necklace was made using sculpy and paint.  I made each piece separately and put a hole through each "bead" using a skewer stick.  The sculpy was baked for the allotted time required.  They were painted and then strung with a cord.  I used a needle to get the cord through the holes.

Complete Costume

Monday, 17 August 2015

Anime North 2015 Journal

Thank God we had nice weather this year!  I have yet to experience a wet Anime North but from what I hear, they are really not fun!  Friday started out with a bunch of us piling into my van and heading to Toronto.  Bandit Spurs, Coral Peachy and Tsuki no Stardust accompanied Corey and myself on this venture.  We arrived in Toronto in the afternoon and quickly settled into the hotel.  I got dressed as Sakura Kinomoto and we all headed to the con to pick up our badges.  We didn't have anything planned all that much so we went back to the hotel to eat.  I got changed into Howl since some of us decided to go back to the con to check out some late night panels.

Two Howls
Saturday morning started bright and early!  Bandits had a photo shoot with Theorem Productions which unfortunately I didn't make it to due to traffic :P  We had to drop her and Coral off at the road before entering the parking lot of the convention center.  I was dressed in my masquerade outfit of Pocahontas while Bandits was wearing her Queen Zelda and Coral was Sailor Mars!  Tsuki no Stardust joined us at the con later on during the day in their Father Balder and Masked Lumen costumes.

Group photo!
I hosted a Disney gathering with Megan (who was my Witch of the Waste at Frostcon).  We had so many people come, it was crazy!!  A mandatory pass of the dealers room was made and eventually Bandits, Tsuki no Stardust and I entered the green room for the masquerade.  As always, the green room was super fun and we met lots of awesome people.  I basically fed my entire den with the huge supper I had packed up :D  All of our performances went really well, you can see our lovely Queen Zelda here, our Bayonetta duo here and my Pocahontas here!  We were all pooped after the masquerade but that didn't stop us from heading to see some late night panels!

Disney group :)
Sunday was a bit of a late start, mostly because we had to pack up and check out of the hotel.  I wore my Saber maid outfit, Bandits was dressed as Tifa, Coral was wearing her Attack on Titan lolita outfit and Tsuki no Stardust was dressed in their Bayonetta costumes.  Bandits had another shoot with Theorem while I had a Fate gathering that I wanted to attend.  I am so glad that I did because I made so many great new friends there!  The masquerade award ceremony happened around lunch time and Tsuki no Stardust won two awards in their category!!  Later on I had a private shoot with Doll Face Photography.  She was really good to work with and I highly recommend her for future shoots!  We ended the day with a final group dinner and many funny conversations on our way home.  All in all, it was a great convention and I can't wait to go back next year!

Tsuki no Stardust with their Awards!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Nadeshicon and Ottawa Comic Con 2015 Journal

Bandit Spurs, Stardustdrive from Tsuki no Stardust and I decided to go on a little adventure to Nadeshicon for one day.  We got to the con just before midday and were the last ones to get into the masquerade.  Bandits wore her Maiden Zelda, Stardust wore his Youko Kurama and I wore my Shunki cosplay.  We spent some time taking photos of each other outside and then photographer other cosplayers in the area.  We wandered around the dealer's room for a bit and then spent the rest of our time in the green room.  We had quite a bit of fun and got to meet new people which is always great.  Our performances went decently well but none of us know if we placed in our respective classes.  The day ended with us grabbing dinner together before heading out on our journey back to Montreal.

Bandit Spurs as Maiden Zelda
Stardust as Youko Kurama


Myself as Shunki
Ottawa Comic Con was also a one day event that I decided to attend.  Bandit Spurs, Corey, his friend Tim and I drove out for the Saturday.  Both Bandits and I were testing out our newest costumes, hers being Queen Zelda and mine being Pocahontas.  It was a good thing we didn't enter the masquerade because She still needed to do some painting and one of my zippers broke!  We met up with Annie before she had to go to the green room and we all got photos taken by Cosplayers Canada who was offering some free shoots.  Later on we sat in on the masquerade to watch Annie and the show was relatively quick.  All in all, it was a nice day to walk around in costume and take in all the sights!

Anniechie as Esmerelda and myself as Pocahontas

Katsucon 2015 Journal

So many amazing costumes!!!  I can't even!!  This was my first ever Katsucon and my third US convention that I attended.  It was a really big endeavour with all the driving and the sheer cost of it.  Katsucon is not a cheap con to attend so keep that in mind if you are planning to go to it in the future!   Corey and I traveled with a photographer that I had met at Otakuthon 2014 (henrickson) and his friend.  We left Montreal late Wednesday night with my van and drove straight to National Harbour with a couple of hour long breaks to stretch our legs and eat.

We arrived in National Harbour on Thursday in the afternoon.  We checked into our hotel, brought all our luggage up to the room and went ahead with out business. Thursday night was spent walking around the convention hall and figuring out where all the events were happening.  Henry took some photos of con goers, myself included.

Howl taken by Henrickson
Friday came around and I started the day by wearing my Shunki costume.  It was my first time wearing the completed wig so I was a little concerned that it would fall off my head during the day.  Corey and I spent most of the day wandering around the con and taking photos of people.  We spent some time in the artist alley and the dealers room.  Later on during the day I went to enter my Shunki costume in the Hall Cosplay Contest.  While I was waiting to get judged, we met some Fate/Stay Night cosplayers.  They invited us to a room party where we met a bunch of other cosplayers.  It was my first time actually meeting and hanging out with new people at a con so it was a really great experience!

Meeting Kamui as Shunki 
Saturday started bright and early at the Clamp gathering.  I went in my Sakura Hime cosplay and I managed to get some really nice photos with a Syaoran and a Faye :D  I also got a polaroid photo taken of me!  I entered my costume in the Hall Costume contest for the Saturday and while waiting to get judged we met up with the same people that we hung out with the previous night!  The masquerade was the big event that night and some of the skits were freaking elaborate with all the set pieces and props.  After getting changed out of costume, we went out to dinner with our new friends.

Clamp gathering as Sakura Hime
Sunday was spent wandering the halls and taking photos of cosplayers.  I was dressed as Yukari from the anime Another, my first ever school girl cosplay!  Some of our new friends had a photo shoot for their Chobits cosplays and I suggested a few poses for them, which turned out beautifully!  Eventually we all had to say our farewells.  We weren't leaving util Monday morning so our hotel group went to get dinner before chilling by the gazebo for the rest of the evening.  The trip back home was long and exhausting but we all felt great about our experience.  I would totally do it again (though maybe with less driving)!

Sakuragi Yukari taken by Corey Clayton