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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Akari Update 2

Appliqué is a long and tiring process though it leaves great results.  I recently finished the appliqué for Akari’s under dress.  It was a task and a challenge all in itself.  Making the appliqué took 4½ hours while applying it and sewing it on took a couple hours at most.  The hardest parts were drawing the appliqué and sewing it on.  Sewing curves on an appliqué is a huge pain.  The stitching isn’t perfect, but I love it just the same.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out too.  The design looks perfect!  I’m really happy with how the outfit is coming along.

I have a couple progress pictures to share.  Enjoy!

Drawing out the pattern for the applique The finished drawing of the Aria Company appliqué before I cut it out.  I drew it on with quilter’s chalk.  Drawing the center oval took the longest because I had to place it just right while keeping the right shape. 

IMAG0424The Aria Company appliqué after I attached it to the front of the under dress with Heat ‘N Bond.  That stuff is a life saver.  It’s totally amazing!  It took me forever to get the oval perfectly centered.

Stupid Machine!

I really want to demolish my sewing machine.  The darn thing seems to think that it’s smarter than me and should tell me what to do.  The stitch are too lose, the tension is wacked, and the needle won’t slow down enough.  Every time I try to fix it something else goes out of line.  This is so frustrating!  It’s been happening all morning!  Why won’t my machine just work?!  Ugh!  I just want to destroy it right now. 

I’ll give it a break and resume sewing later.   I should be calm by then.  Maybe it will even start working again. 

Akari Mizunashi Update 1

Cosplays always take me longer than I expect to complete.  I’ve been working on Akari for the past few days, and I’m still in a relatively beginning stage.  Granted, I have accomplished some minor progress.  So far my cosplay construction has been more of a hit-and-miss training session than an easy pattern modification.  I’ve learned a lot about what not to do when it comes to sizing, scaling, and design/pattern moding.  Hehe…well I know what not to do, for this project at least.

It’s taken me three tries thus far (I’m currently on my third) to get the dress pattern to work and look right.  There’s a big difference between a cosplay looking right and working right.  Why nearly every anime/video game outfit defies the laws of gravity and physics I will never know.  It sure makes the outfits hard to recreate perfectly.  Even near perfection is difficult.  Nevertheless, the reward of a near perfect cosplay is what motivates me to pursue my hobby.  Pretty soon it won’t be too hard to recreate cosplays that nearly defy the laws of both gravity and physics. 

I have some progress pictures to share as well.  So far I have the main part of the dress almost worked out.  I cut the original piece too short so I have to add a bottom piece.  My current bottom pieces need to be redone too.  I cut them at an angle that slopes the wrong way.  -_-

Pictures!!!!!

Front

I’m making it as two separate pieces with a vent to get the slit right.

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Back

I’m making two separate pieces because I don’t know how to make the zipper work without the back seam.

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Wedding Present

I just out that one of my classmates and friends is getting married!!!!  I am so happy for her!  As a surprise, I’m going to make her a quilt.  I’m so excited!!!  I don’t have the design yet, but I plan to use lots of polka dots, dark pink, and black.  It’s going to be awesome!!

Whom to Cosplay

The vexing question of whom to cosplay ever looms in the cosplayer’s mind, of which I am no exception.  The more I cosplay the more difficult I find it to choose whom to cosplay.  My most recent dilemma is between two of my favorite characters.  I adore both equally and am having a very hard time deciding which one to cosplay first.  It is inevitable that I will cosplay both. 

I am forced to choose between Raven and Sango for my fourth cosplay goal for 2011.  Raven is from Teen Titans the animated series while Sango is from Inuyasha.  I must either choose Raven in her white outfit from episode 52 or Sango in her Demon Slayer outfit.  To make it worse, I like both of the outfits as well.  Though Sango is winning a bit more, I am in a quandary. 

To help with my dilemma, I have created a poll.  It is on the right hand side of my blog under my profile and will be in effect for a month (until February 11th).  You, as the reader, can vote on which option you would prefer.  Now like any good cosplayer facing the huge decision of whom to cosplay would, I have included pictures of both characters at the bottom of this post. 

Raven

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Sango

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Cosplay Goals for 2011

Every year I set goals for myself and my hobbies.  Cosplaying is no exception.  A day ago I realized that I forgot to outline all of my cosplay goals in my previous post “A New Year, 2011”.  So I’m going to go over the goals I mentioned in the previous post and add the rest of the ones I forgot.  Mind you, these are not New Year’s Resolutions, these are just goals that I hope to accomplish for cosplaying this year. 

First on my list of goals is to make at least three new acquaintances this year.  This can be at cons, the fabric store, or on my way to a photo shoot.  Either way I want to meet more cosplayers and costuming enthusiasts.

My second goal is a singular goal with multiple sub goals that correlate to whom I will cosplay this year.  Granted some of my cosplays will not fit into one of the sub goals, but the goal of this goal is to make new cosplays, learn new skills, and have fun doing so. That said, here’s the next goal, its sub groups, and possible cosplays that correlate to each.

Second on my list of goals is to make at least four to five new cosplays.  Notice I said at least.  Knowing my love for sewing I will probably exceed this goal by the year’s end.  To make this goal easier to attain I made sub goals for each cosplay.  These sub goals will make it easier to choose cosplays as well as help me learn new sewing and cosplaying skills. 

My first sub goal is to make a cosplay that utilizes at least four intermediate to advanced sewing techniques.  I chose this goal because I want to learn more about said sewing techniques.  I want to get better at sewing since it is the basis of most, if not all, cosplaying.  I already have my cosplay chosen for this sub goal and have gathered most of the needed materials.  It is Maria Ross from Fullmetal Alchemist. 

Maria Ross 21l3nzh0m 

My second sub goal is to make a cosplay based on a literary character.  I chose this goal because it is an adequate challenge.  I don’t know for sure who I’m going to cosplay, but right now I’m planning on Countess Meliara Astiar from Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.  It’s one of my favorite books and Mel is one of my favorite characters.  Since there is no artwork in the book, I’ll have to design an outfit for her if I choose to cosplay her.  I only have tentative plans on this goal, there are no pictures to share at the moment.

Third, my sub goal is to make a cosplay that incorporates some kind of armor.  In addition there have to be two types of armor used.  I made this goal more complicated because I want to try my hand at the new armor techniques I’m learning.  I’m anxious to see how I’d do at making foam armor though I haven’t got the second type of armor making process worked out yet.  I’ll decide the second method to use after I choose the cosplay to base it off of. 

Fourth on my list is to make a cosplay using fabric with a moderate to high spandex content.  This is were Sango and Raven come in.  I have to decide between the two for whom is going with this goal.  Though now that I think about it, I could just use Sango for goal three and Raven for goal four.  That’s perfect! 

So for goal three I’m going to make Sango from Inuyasha in her Demon Slayer outfit.  I’ll use the foam armor for the body armor and shin guards and a different type of armor for the shoulder, elbow, and possibly knee guards. 

Sango_with_Boomerang vlcsnap-2010-10-11-03h41m31s65

I might even make her kimono if I have the time and money. 

sango

vlcsnap-2010-09-13-04h35m29s55 For sub goal four, I’ll make Raven from Teen Titans Animated.

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theend_pt3_ss20Now that sub goal three and four are taken care of, I’ll continue.  

Sub goal five is to make a cosplay with a newly learned skill that does not apply to the rest of the sub goals.  I chose this goal because I wanted to use one of my new sewing skills I’m learning, machine appliqué.  For this sub goal, I chose to make Akari Mizunashi from Aria the Animation.  I’m working on her currently. 

vlcsnap-2010-12-13-16h06m25s3 vlcsnap-2010-12-13-05h35m39s166 My last sub goal is to make a cosplay from a modified or self-drafted pattern.  Knowing how to draft patterns is a very helpful skill to learn since most cosplays don’t have prescribed ready-made patterns.  Right now I know how to modify pre-made patterns.  For this project I chose to make Sophia Forrester’s Vice Captain Uniform from Last Exile. 

Sophia_fullbody Sheen 1Depending on how long I have till cons and fair, I might use Vorfeed from Lost Universe for this project.  I’m already working on Vorfeed, and most of what I’ve made is from a modified pattern.  It will be a while till I am able to make fully original pieces without the aid of an outside pattern source.

p-canal2VorfeedNow that my second goal with all its sub goals are fully explained, I’ll move on to my last goal.

 

Third on my list of goals is to attend at least one new con.  It is an ongoing goal that will continue till I either I stop going to cons or run out of new cons to attend, which ever comes first.  Either way, I am excited to see what cons I’m able to attend this year.  There are three local cons that I know about so I’ll stick to the local cons this year.  It should be really fun.  I can’t wait to debut my new list of cosplays too! 

Thank you so much for reading this humungous post. 

Vorfeed Update 4

I finished the second glove.  It looks as good as the first and even better.  I changed the layout of the top ribbon to bunching the lower arm fabric.  The gloves look more like the reference pictures now then before.  In addition, I don’t have to fix the bunching every time I turn around.  I really like how the gloves turned out.  They are still tight and hard to get on and off, but the initial struggle is totally worth getting to wear a pair of awesome gloves.

It’s just under a week till college starts again.  I am totally amazed at how quickly the time passed.  Even though this has been my fastest project to date, it has still taken me a long time, and I have more to do.  I still have to make the boots, cape, wings, and jewels and attach everything.  Not to mention style the wig.  It will probably take me another month to complete Vorfeed since college starts soon. 

I have to wait to finish Vorfeed because I don’t have all of the materials I need yet.  I still have to get the resin and dye for the jewels as well as the feathers for the wings and cape.  I need to get more interfacing too.  I’m having a really hard time deciding what type of resin to purchase, either Easy Cast or the Tap Plastic brand.  Easy Cast seems to be used more within the cosplay community.  It works best for casts no greater than 6 ounces.  The trouble is that Vorfeed’s jewels are at least 8 to 10 ounces each.  I thought of layering the resin, but I don’t know how well that will work.  I know it’s worked for smaller casts for other gem makers and cosplayers, but I don’t know how it would work for jewels of greater magnitude.  I shall look into it more before I actually make my decision.

I have pictures!!!!!!  Top row from left to right: front and back of dress.  Bottom row: my gloves!  I’m so happy with my project.  I really like the bow on the dress and will get a detail picture up next update.

IMAG0407 IMAG0408

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New Cosplay

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I recently found a  new anime named Aria the Animation.  It is a three season and one OVA anime.  I absolutely adore the show.  It takes a totally different approach to anime then the normal action and/or drama animes that flood the market.  Aria follows the life of Akari Mizunashi as she learns how to become a professional undine or gondola rower. 

aria

In Aria undines wear uniforms that match one of three companies; Aria Company (blue), Himeya Company (red), or Orange Planet (yellow).  The uniforms are adorable as are the main characters.  Each of the characters add a totally different personality to the show and would be great fun to cosplay.  I like all of the characters but my favorites are Akari Mizunashi (pink hair), Aika S. Granzchesta (blue hair), Akira E. Ferrari (brown hair), and Athena Glory (purple hair).  Of my favorites, I like Akari the best.  As such, I’ve decided to cosplay her for the next year(2011).  Since the outfits are so interchangeable between characters  I’m going to make more Aria cosplays in the future.  You can cosplay at least two characters with one outfit just by changing wigs.  But right now I’m starting off with Akari. 

This is Akari and her summer uniform:

Akari Mizunashi

Akari Back Akari Smile Akari Detail Akari and Aria Front

I chose her summer uniform over her winter one because it’ll take a bit less fabric, and I can wear it in the summer and winter. The summer uniform is also a bit easier to make then the winter one as well.  I do want to make her winter one too.  Depending on how long the summer uniform takes me, I might get her winter uniform done this year as well.

Alice, Akari, and Aika Akari, Aika, and Alice

Here are a few pictures of my other favorite characters.

Aika S. Granzchesta

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Akira E. Ferrari

 vlcsnap-2010-12-18-02h14m15s255Akira E. Ferrari vlcsnap-2010-12-18-02h04m19s201

Athena Glory

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Akari also wears a few other outfits that I might make as well, like an Orange Planet uniform as well as really cute kimono and a couple normal outfits.  All those are in the future though.  As are other possible variations of my other favorite characters.

My sister also wants me to make her an Alice Carrol cosplay as well.  Alice is another character from Aria and a close friend of Akari.  Here’s a few pictures:

vlcsnap-2010-12-13-05h21m05s130 Alice Carrollvlcsnap-2010-12-30-06h35m31s252  

I’m really excited to start working on my new cosplay.  As soon as I am done with Vorfeed, I will start working on Akari.  I’m hoping to have Vorfeed done this week and start Akair either this weekend or next week.  If all goes well, I hope to have most of my Akari cosplay done before school starts on the 17th.  I’m kinda sad that I only have around 12 days to sew almost nonstop though I am rather excited that school starts soon. 

Vorfeed Update 3

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I finally got my first glove done.  It took me 15 hours, but I finally succeeded.  ~_~  I never knew making a single glove could take so long.  I scrapped my first construction idea just before I started making my glove last night.  Instead of making my own pattern, I decided to modify a premade one I found.  I chose to do so because I realized that tracing my arm myself was harder then anticipated.  So I found my pattern and modified it. 

I modified the pattern easy enough (2 hours) but it took me three tries to get the sizing right.  My seam ripper was very active for the first five hours.  I had to almost completely redo the entire hand.  At first the fingers were to long so I cut them shorter.  Then the fingers were to small and the thumb was too big.  So I scrapped the pattern’s gussets and made my own.  Once that was over, I found that three of the fingers were too big along with the easily annoying thumb.  I was frustrated with the fingers by that time so I switched to the rest of the glove, mainly the ribbon detailing.

I now know that when making gloves ADD THE DETAILING FIRST!!!!  For the sake of your sanity add it first.  It is so not fun to fight with a half made glove hand, that you already mad at, while you wrap it around your knee just so you can get it to ly flat for a few seconds while you fiercely try to not pin your glove to your skin before the glove curls again.  Luckily I only had to do that with the first part of the detailing.  The second part was not nearly as hard or frustrating.  My main problem was trying to get the detailing to look accurate.  Compared to Vorfeed or any anime character for that matter, I have short arms so I had to squish the design without making it look squished.  It turned out quite well.  I even got the bunching to look right!  I love the way the detailing came out.  I might add a few more minor adjustments here and there. 

I was very encouraged over my success with the detailing.  So I sewed up the rest of the glove and tried it on.  To do my delight and amazement, it fit!  I was even able to get the glove on my hand without having to rip any seams out!  I was so happy I seriously spent the next twenty minutes admiring it and wearing it around just for fun.  Once I got the excitement out of my system, I finished the rest of the glove by adding the top puff and fixing the fingers.  The puff was easy enough to make.  I just made an oddly shaped rectangle, added elastic around the top, stuffed it full of tulle, and sewed it to the top of my gloves.  It doesn’t look that puffy, but I’m happy with it.  It looks like the character and goes with the rest of the outfit very well. 

The fingers weren’t that hard to tailor.  It was a bit hard to tailor the glove with one hand while wearing it on the other.  I ended up just estimating the amount to take in and added darts on the inside.  It worked surprisingly well.  I can hardly tell that I added darts to the fingers.  The thumb dart is easier to find though. 

Despite all the trouble and time it took to make the glove, I am extremely pleased with it.  It looks better then I’d hoped.  I can even get it on with a minimal amount of effort too.  Getting it off… well that’s another matter.  Now that the first glove is I just have make the second glove mirror the first.  As best I can that is.

Here’s a picture of my finished glove.  I don’t have any progress pictures though.  I’m going to get them on the second one.  I might even make a tutorial. 

Vorfeed Glove 1

Vorfeed Update 2

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The dress is done.  It looks beautiful and twice as good as I thought it would.  I was initially worried that it wouldn’t look right or even recognizable with my modifications, but everything worked out better then planned.  Also I set a new record for dress making, around 21 hours total.  My last record was around 22 to 23 hours total.  ^_^  I keep getting better and faster each time I make a new cosplay.  Practicing perfectly makes a skill even better. 

Now on to the hard part, the gloves.  I have an idea for how to make the pattern work around the non-stretch fabric.  I trace my arm and half my hand.  Then make a separate thumb piece.  I add a seam allowance, cut the pieces out, and sew it all together.  Then I make, cut out, and sew the puffs to the rest of the glove.  It should work.  I’m using a pattern and tutorial to make sure I get the construction and basic shapes right.  I haven’t quite worked out when to add the ribbon detailing.  I don’t know if I should appliqué it on or tack it on after the gloves are done.  Other than that, I have most of my glove problem worked out.  I’m sure it’ll work too.