Saturday, 14 March 2015

Chibi G-Anime 2014 - Part 1

Chibi G-Anime was a super small, really cute con.  My boyfriend and I went to try and fill up our con schedule.  There was a huge gap between Anime North and Otakuthon and we wanted to go to more!  I wore Sheeta all day and we found an awesome ivy covered brick wall that was perfect for a Laputa shoot!  Here are the results!

The Gardens of Laputa
Hide and Seek
Careful Steps
Princess of Laputa
One with Nature
Sheeta

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Anime North 2014 - Part 2

It was my first time attending Anime North (and yes I know, this is long over due).  I wore my Mokona cosplay Friday and Saturday Morning, then switched into my Mew Zakuro cosplay for Saturday afternoon.  Sunday I wore my Sheeta cosplay :) I attended two photo shoots over the weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Here I will post my Sunday photos!  Enjoy!

Ghibli Girls
Entire Ghibli Group
More Ghibli Girls!
Sheeta and her foxsquirel friend

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Howl

This was a sort of last minute cosplay plan (and when I mean last minute cosplay plan, it was decided two months on advance of the con).  My friend Locobu and I were going to attend Frostcon in Toronto and we decided that we should get together a group cosplay.  We were debating on different pairings when one of her friends said that she was going to cosplay the Witch of the Waste which led us to choose a Howl (me) and Sophie (Locobu) pairing.  It was great fun to be a fabulous wizard for a day!

Construction:

Shirt - Howl's shirt is really large and billowy about him so I decided to use a men's medium sized pattern to make the shirt.  I chose to use Butterick's B4574 pattern.  I used a white poly cotton material that I got for a super cheap price.  I followed the pattern instructions all the way to the last sleeve step.  Instead of adding an elastic cuff, I added an interfaced cuff using this tutorial here.  The cuffs are kept closed by large hooks and eyes.  I also added a ruffle on the blouse following the edge of the interfacing on the inside of the shirt.  The ruffles was finished by sewing a white ribbon over the top to keep it from fraying.

Adding the collar
Jacket - Having never made a jacket before I started off by looking through my patterns to work off of. I took Simplicity's 5840 view B as a base for the jacket.  I modified the robe pattern so that I would have a shoulder seam rather than a yoke seam along the front and back.  I also adjusted the length of the pattern so that it ended at around my hip level.  Then I added a collar to the pattern and modified the sleeve to have a false cuff on the outer layer.

Base of jacket
The main body of the jacket was made from a pink fabric of unknown fibers and grey polyester fabric.  I hand sewed each grey diamond applique using a slip stitch.  I figured that I would got for a quilting type of applique because I didn't want my stitches to be obvious (such as satin stitching).  The applique took the majority of the time constructing the jacket.  I had to sew over twenty individual diamonds!  The end look was totally worth it though.  The sleeves were constructed with the same pink fabric, a white poplin and a yellow poplin.  The yellow "trim" was treated as a sewn in stripe for the sleeve.

Adding the applique
The lining was made from a red stretch material and it was attached to the jacket before the collar was attached.  The neckline was left open on the jacket.  The collar was also lined with the bottom seam left open to match the jacket.  The collar was sewn to the jacket matching the outside layers together, then pressed and slip stitched closed on the lining side.  The yellow bias along the collar and opening of the jacket was sewn on last.

Lining
Pants - I was lazy and bought the pants.  Unfortunately the zipper doesn't work so well so I had to sew a Velcro strip in the front to keep it from opening up.  They are so comfy though!

Boots - These were also bought.  At first I thought they were super comfy but I realized that after wearing them for a day that my feet would start hurting.  I guess I might have to invest in an insole for those boots.  They were so perfect for the character though, I just had to get them!

Boots and pants
Jewel - It just so happened that I owned a blue jewel necklace for the longest time and I never wore it.  I kept it for some reason and it eventually ended up being the best jewel for Howl!

Wig - I used Arda Wigs' Inigo in light blonde for Howl.  It had some weird curls at the bottom of the wig so I decided to try the hot water method for straightening a wig.  It worked great and my wig is pretty straight now!  I messed up with cutting the bangs because for some reason it looked straight on my wig head but when I would try it on the bangs were never straight.  I eventually had to finish the bangs while wearing the wig.

Cutting the bangs
Completed costume (I forgot the jewel!)

Friday, 6 March 2015

Anime North 2014 - Part 1

It was my first time attending Anime North (and yes I know, this is long over due).  I wore my Mokona cosplay Friday and Saturday Morning, then switched into my Mew Zakuro cosplay for Saturday afternoon.  Sunday I wore my Sheeta cosplay :) I attended two photo shoots over the weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Here I will post my Saturday photos!  Enjoy!

Tsubasa Group!
Entire Clamp group :)
All the Mokonas!
Mokona vs. Kero!
Mokona wants wings too!
A larger Tsubasa group!
Masquerade Photo

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Sakura Hime - Tsubasa Shunraiki

I love the story of Tsubasa and I love the character designs. Sakura Hime has so many different outfits it was so hard to choose the first one to cosplay!  I decided on her Nihon kimono from the Shunraiki OVA.  I love the simplicity of the design and the colours!  It isn't a well known or often cosplayed outfit so I wanted to share some love for it.

Construction:

Tunic - The tunic was made by modifying and combining two different patterns, one for the body of the tunic and one for the sleeve.  I used Simplicity's 5840 view D for the body.  I modified the neckline of the body so that the tunic crossed over until my bust line then went straight down to my waist instead of it crossing over the entire way down to my waist line.  The collar that runs along the neckline was reinforced with interfacing and pleated every few inches to give it a more "wavy" shape.
Tunic Construction
The sleeves were made using McCall's M4491 view D pattern (It is not being printed anymore).  They are fully lined.  The sleeve hole was adjusted before cutting the fabric out so that attaching the sleeves wouldn't be a hassle and a half.  To help keep the shape of the neckline I added some snaps and velcro to act as closures.  The tunic is put on first and to help it stay closed I tie a white cord around my waist.

Pleating the collar
Under skirt - The skirt was made from the same white ponti di roma material as the tunic.  I lay down my fabric and drew a half circle in chalk.  I then drew in the waist line and cut out the skirt (one layer only).  The back seam was sewn, then the elastic waistband was attached and finally the hem was finished with a blind hem stitch.  The skirt if put on second over the tunic.  Once the skirt and tunic are in place the cord used earlier is removed.

Measuring the hem
Kimono - I used McCall's M4953 kimono pattern as the base for Sakuras.  Since her kimono is sleeveless I only took the body portion of the pattern and modified it to have the special curvature of the hem.  The appliques were added after the kimono was pieced together but before the lining was put together.  They were made from a pink satin and were bonded to the fabric using Heat'n'Bond.  I only later realized that you can't iron satin on the right side...   Once the appliques were fused to the fabric, they were stitched in place using a satin stitch.  I used a flattened out coffee filter as reinforcement for my stitches.  I learned the hard way that the Heat'n'Bond glue sticks to the needle and this causes a lot of threads to break or the machine to skip stitches.  I was recommended to used fusible interfacing next time).

Satin stitches seen on the coffee filter
The kimono is completely lined and made out of a light purple fabric.  The fibers were unknown but I think they had a polyester base since that was the ironing temp that I ended up using :P  The edging along the neckline and sleeves was made using a purple poplin fabric.  The ruffle was made using a white satin and it was attached to the hem via a dark purple single fold bias tape.  To keep the kimono from moving around too much I take the white cord and tie it closed around my waist.  I keep it in place under my obi.

Attaching the ruffle
Obi - I wanted the obi for Sakura Hime to be an actual obit that I could tie and have a pretty bow in the back.  I used the measurements for a traditional Nagoya obi and tried to the best of my abilities to make it work when I only had one meter of fabric to work with.  The obi is reinforced with interfacing and lined with a semi rigid cotton.  The final product is slightly smaller than the traditional Nagoya obi should be and I personally feel that it isn't as stiff as it should be but it still works.  I fold it in half along the length and then tie it in a bow.  I pass a purple cord through the bow and tie it in front to keep it in place.

Sash - The sash was made with a white, gauzy curtain material.  It frayed really badly so I ended up having to fray check the entire thing!  Since the sheer width of the cut was huge (I would say between 2.5 - 3 m) I didn't have to piece anything together.  I just sewed it up along the sides and the top, leaving just enough room to turn it inside out.  I was lazy and I just sewed it shut with my machine rather than slip stitching it :P  The entire thing was pressed using the synthetic setting on my iron.

Wig - Instead of spending money and time on buying and styling a new wig, I just reused my Sakura Kinomoto wig from last summer.  Actually it was my intention to use it again :)  They are essentially the same character anyways so it works out.

Sakura wig
Shoes - I still have to find shoes that would match this character.... maybe over the summer I'll purchase some geta :P

Completed costume (photo by Cyberfox007)

Monday, 2 February 2015

2015 Cosplans :D

We are now officially one month into the year 2015!  This year is going to be awesome!  I've got some groups planned for some upcoming cons, I am planning on entering some skits in masquerades and there are more people out there to befriend!  So let's take a look at my plans for this year!


The first on this list is a cosplay that I started working on almost a year ago.  Shunki is a minor character from the anime Saiunkoku Monogatari.  She may be seen in only a couple of episodes but she possesses a strange power and is super bad-ass when it comes down to helping out the main character!  I decided to cosplay her since I love that series and she doesn't get all that much love as a character.  Since she is a winter cosplay she will be debuted at Katsucon in a couple of weeks from now!

Next is Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, my first crossplay attempt!  I recently got to debut him at a small con with a Sophie and a Witch of the Waste!  Our group was so awesome and we got so many great reactions from people.  This cosplay was made specifically for the group I just mentioned but I will be wearing him at other cons this year as well.

I have a secret cosplay planned for this year!  Unfortunately I won't be able to debut it at Katsucon this year (I don't have enough time to finish it) which means I have to keep it secret until the Spring!!! Unless I manage to figure out a way to get it done in less than a week.... :P

Pocahontas will be my second Disney princess cosplay!  I will be teaming with my friend Anniechie who will cosplay Esmerelda.  I might be a very white Pocahontas but I will rock that costume and paint with all the colours of the wind!  I chose to make her redesign because she has some sort of footwear (which is ideal) and I like all the little details that were added to the dress.  She will be debuted at Ottawa Comic Con.

Be prepared for my first ever villain cosplay!  I absolutely loved Delphine's character from Last Exile but I hated her main outfit.  I liked her younger version better, even it if only appeared in the anime for a grand total of two minutes :P  I hope to debut her at Anime North this year but I'm not too sure if I will have the time/money to complete her by then.  We shall see!

Last but not least I will make Fuu for a complete Magic Knight Rayearth Group for Otakuthon!  I am really excited for this one.  I love flowy fabrics, magical girls and massive swords so Fuu was the perfect choice for me to cosplay!  Green is also my favourite colour so that is an added bonus!  I expect her to be my most expensive cosplay to date so I will have to try and start hunting down for those sales now!

I also have some commissions that I will be finishing this year.  Princess Zelda and Link are already started, I just have to finish them before Montreal Comic Con this summer.  Hikaru will be a joint effort between all member of our group as the girl cosplaying her has never cosplayed before!  Malon will be made for a very dear friend of mine and I hope to get it done by the time summer comes around.

I do want to make other costumes this year as well but I think that those ones will only happen in the fall.  All right, lets do this!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Sheik

I'll admit it, I never played any Zelda game in my life!  As kids, my brothers and I were not allowed videos games so we never had access to them.  If there was any game that I would play however, it would have been a Legend of Zelda game.  I ended up cosplaying as Sheik to team up with a friend who commissioned a Princess Zelda costume from me.  I was very afraid of tackling this costume as there are a ton of layers and it was quite difficult to pick out the details and colours.  I chose to cosplay a version which was described as "twilight princess concept art."  It is very similar in design to the Super Smash Bros character but with darker colours.

Construction:

Shirt - In order to make the shirt, I took my Green Pepper "Crystal Lake" Skating Pattern with sleeves and modified the leotard into a shirt.  I used a navy blue knit fabric that offered a decent amount of stretch in both directions.

Completed Shirt
Leggings - The leggings were made using a thick, dark navy blue spandex.  I drafted the pattern using this tutorial I found online.  These leggings are sooo comfy!  I can wear them as normal clothes which is an added bonus ;)

Legging Construction
Harness - The harness has an interesting design to it.  I had to draft my own pattern for it using the old saran wrap and packing tape method.  It's always difficult to wrap yourself and draw on yourself even when you have a long mirror to help you out.  Luckily, the harness is symmetrical and so I only needed to get one side of my pattern right.

Harness Pattern
Once I was cut out of the pattern, I traced it on newspaper and added my seam allowance.  I cut out the pieces from a black, medium weight material as well as a medium stiff interfacing.  I sewed the interfacing to the matching black pieces before sewing everything together.  I designed the harness to have a halter top to keep it from sliding down my body as well as a functional lace up front.  The back of the harness attaches to the tabard with pins.  The harness has decorative stitches along the seam lines to give the illusions that they are holding the garment in place.  It also has two long straps on each leg with velcro fasteners to facilitate the support of the thigh armour.

Completed Harness
Armour - The armour was pretty difficult to figure out due to the colours in the image kind of melding together and the armour having strange shapes.  I ended up going with a soft armour look using craftfoam covered in fabric.  The calf armour was easily drafted by saran and tape wrapping my leg and cutting out the pattern.  The thigh armour was sketched out first, then with some careful measurements I hand drafted a pattern on newspaper, making it larger than required.  I then wrapped the pattern around my thigh and made adjustments to the pattern until I liked it.

Thigh Armour Construction
The armour for the arms was drafted using the saran and tape method once again (I swear by this method for pattern drafting).  The forearm pattern that was produced was altered to have a part that extended over the back of the hand while the shoulder armour was darted to make the rounded shape.

Shoulder Armour Construction
Once all the patterns were created, they were traced onto the craftfoam and cut out.  The patterns were transferred to the fabric with extra allowance along each edge.  The fabric was then glued to the craftfoam with hot glue.  The extra fabric was turned to the back and glued in sections.  Along curved edged the fabric was clipped or folded over to create a smooth curved edge.  The thigh armour had white bias tape glued along the edge while the arm armour had the white detailing painted on.

Painting the Trim on the Forearm Armour
Once all the fabric was glued onto the foam, the eyelet holes had to be punched.  Some armour pieces had to be punched using a hammer and a eyelet puncher on my floor (which caused holes to appear in the wood tiles all over the place) while some holes could be punched using my leather punching tool.  All the eyelets had to be hammered in place which caused dents in my floor.  Note to self, must get a small piece of plywood for hammering eyelets ;)  The lacing that was used for each shoulder piece was embroidery thread, while all the functional lacing was black cord.

Calf Armour Lacing Detail
In addition, the thigh armour was modified with D-rings to attach to the harness while the shoulder armour was equipped with velcro to attach and be supported by the shirt.  After wearing the armour for a while I noticed that the craftfoam ripped along one of the D-ring attachments and that the velcro occasional would come off if the shoulder armour was removed from the shirt.  Some adjustments will be made to the thigh armour to try and prevent further damage and shoulder armour will only be removed when the short requires a wash.

D-ring Details
Craftfoam armour does not breathe so as one can assume, it can start to smell after a period of wearing it.  I use a fabric refresher on the armour to try and alleviate the smell.  I also let it dry out on my floor.  The under garments require washing after every use, even if it was only worn for an hour or two!  Therefore this is a costume that I would only wear once every con.

Bandages - The bandaged were made by taking a light weight curtain material and ripping it across the grain.  The fabric tears very nicely and doesn't fray easily so there is not need for fray check.  The forearm bandaged just required one length of the fabric while the thigh armour required two lengths sewn together and the chest bandages required three lengths sewn together.  The fingers would be taped using surgical tape.

Chest Bandages
Tabard - The tabard was hand drafted on a piece of canvas.  The edges along the bottom and the shoulders were clipped to try and give it the ragged look while the design on the front was hand drawn in pencil, primed with gesso and carefully painted with acrylics.

Completed Tabard
Scarf - The scarf was made by taking a wide length of a white knit fabric that draped nicely.  The two ends were sewn together to create an infinity scarf.  The scarf is looped around the neck twice.  The face covering part of the scarf is a seperate piece that ties behind the neck to cover the mouth and nose.

Shoes - The shoes are actually slippers with a shoe cover sewn over them.  I chose a light blue coloured slipper from Walmart as my base and drafted the shoe cover by measuring my foot and drawing out the pattern.  The pattern had a interesting design which required multiple parts to be sewn together.  I used a seam allowance of 1.5 cm which normally works out but this time it was a little too tight.  Next time I will use a seam allowance of 2 cm.  Some of the pieces had to be sewn by hand as the machine couldn't get into the really right corners.  The entire shoe cover was then sewn onto the slipper.  The cover extended up the ankle and laces up in front.

Shoe Cover Pattern
Wig - I used a long, blonde wig I got from cosplay.com as the wig.  As Sheik has a very strange braid, I tried to mimic it by inventing the weave which then turned into a normal braid.  The hair "bandage" as I call it was a long piece of ribbon, wrapped along the end and sewn in place.  The end piece was made using craftfoam and it was glued in place.  After a few times wearing the costume the braid came updone due to rubbing.  The ribbon wasn;t completely sewn to the wig which also caused some problems.  The next iteration of the braid will involve the ribbon being glued to the wig in hopes of it staying in place.

Completed Wig
Hat - The hat is composed of two parts, the first part being the base which is a simple cap sewn from a white knit fabric with some ripped bandages sewn along the top.  The second part is composed of two lengths of the ripped bandage fabric sewn together.  It is wrapped around the head at the base of the cap and pinned in place using bobby pins and straight pins.

Accessories - To be completed