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May Convention Preparation Part 1 – Cosplays and Such

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It’s been a while since I last updated about my cosplay progress so here goes.  All’s well right now.  I haven’t made much if any progress on my Akari cosplay or any of my other ones due to school, but I’m hoping to work on one to two of them this weekend.  It’s under a month til my first con this year.  ^_^  I’m so excited, but I have a lot to do in order to be ready in time.  I have three cosplays to finish, two of which are at least 40% complete, as well as style at least four wigs and help a couple of my friends with their cosplays.  At least school ends next week.  I’ll have a lot more time for sewing and resting. 

I recently added a new cosplay to my list.  I’m hosting a cosplay to Starbucks little fun event on the 15th and a couple of my friends are cosplaying pokemon gijinkas so I decided to make a pokemon gijinka.  ^_^  I’ve been wanting to make one for a while, but I did find a reason to until now.  I’m planning to make Latias.  So far I already have the concept art done and most of the fabric and materials I need are just lying around the house so I should be able to start it soon.  I’m planning to work on it this weekend as well as my Maria Ross cosplay. 

The wigs I ordered arrived at the batch order leader’s today.  Now I just have to wait about a week until I get them.  Then it’ll be a lot of wig cutting and styling amid sewing.  I have a feeling that I’m going to be getting about as much sleep during final week as I will during the next three weeks.  I still have a lot to do in order to be able to go to the con like get a badge, see if I can room with friends, find and get food, and gather the list of other things I need such as any extra makeup and items for my cosplay emergency kit (I’ll post a list of useful and needed emergency items later).  Ah, the joys of con prep.  ^_^  I still can’t wait to go, even with all I still have to do!

Cosplay Update – Maria Ross, Akari Mizunashi, and Other Cosplays for Con in May

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My Maria Ross State Alchemist pants are almost done.  I just have to add a bit of fabric to the bottom because I forgot to calculate in ease X_X, attach the cuffs, and sew in the hook and eye closures.  Then it’s on to the waist coat and killer jacket.  I’m seriously saving the jacket for last.  It scares me.  I’m not good at jackets and this is no ordinary jacket, it’s secretly a monster in disguise.  Shhh.

My Akari cosplay is getting closer to completion.  The dress is done so I just have to make the fuku, glove, bracelet, and boots.  I might make the hat too.  If have time and resources I’d like to make a President Aria plushie as well. 

I have a ton of wig styling to do once the wigs arrive.  So far they have been ordered and are being processed for international shipping.  I’m really hoping they come in time.  If not I’ll be up the creek without a paddle to coin a phrase.  In other words, I won’t have any cosplays to wear to the con. 

I still have to finish gathering items for all my cosplays.  I have a lot to get for my Temari, Anna, Fio, and Luka cosplays and I still don’t have every thing for my Akari or Maria cosplays yet.  @_@  I feel like I never stop having to get stuff.  I also have to help my friend with his cosplay and style his wig.  @_@  I seriously hope I can everything done in time for the con in a month.  Then it’ll be on to the next set of cosplays for my August con.  So much to do and not much time. 

Second Guessing

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I really need to stop second guessing myself.  My intuition is often right when it comes to modifying patterns/clothing.  I often have everything planned out and working out well until my analytical mind comes in and second guesses the modifications.  Usually I’ll change the pattern to match the analytical observations instead of going with my original modifications.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my analytical mind, I just wish that I would incorporate the analytics with the intuitive hunches better.

You’re probably wondering why I brought that up.  Well, it’s because I did it again.  I second guessed my intuition and now I have to fix my mistake.  Unfortunately, I didn’t account enough ease into the length of my pant legs for my Maria Ross cosplay so I have to add at least a four inch strip to the bottoms of the legs in order to be able to sit or walk or bend my knees without splitting a seam.  Gah!  I wanted these pants to be perfect, but they won’t be without the legs being too short and the cuffs not fitting right.  Ah well, I learned.  Now I just have to make sure I don’t do that again.  Pants are turning out to be a lot harder and more time consuming than I excepted. 

Maria Ross Update – It Has Begun

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All the hype and excitement from meeting the lady I mentioned in my previous post spurred me to begin working on the pants for my state alchemist uniform on Tuesday.  Since I already had the fabric and thread, I was able to immediately start tracing out the pattern.  I used two commercial patterns for my pants, Butterick 4861 (for the actual pants, I used a lengthened version of view A) and McCalls 6083 (for the pockets since the previous pattern didn’t have the right pockets).  The patterns were easy enough to trace on the fabric and the pants were easy to modify for length and new pockets.  It took me almost 6-7 hours to trace all six pattern pieces and add necessary modifications to three of the pieces (front, back, and cuff).  Time wise it wasn’t bad, but my back hurt afterward. 

On Wednesday, I was able to cut out all the pieces and sew most of the pant pieces together.  It was my first time inserting a frontal zipper with a flap like normal pants have.  I was surprised that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, especially when it came to sewing it in.  I was able to use a sewing machine this time which was really nice.  I usually have a very hard time machine sewing zippers into clothing, but I found out that if I use a regular foot instead of a zipper foot, the zipper will attach better and without much frustration.  It’s a wonderful revelation for me since I’m tired of hand sewing in all my zippers because the zipper foot wouldn’t work. 

I don’t have much left to do before the pants are finished.  I just have to cut out the interfacing for the waistband and cuffs, and attach and sew the interfaced cuffs and waistband to the pants.  The pattern I used for the pants calls for the waistband and cuffs to close with buttons, but I’m not sure if that’s the best choice for me since I’ll be tucking the ends of the pants into my boots and wearing the waistband under the butt-cape/waistcoat thingy’s waistband.  I don’t know how comfortable buttons would be in this case so I’m thinking of using waistband hooks and eyes instead.  I think I’ll go with the hook and eye method for the sake of comfort. 

There is not much else to say about this cosplay at the moment.  I’m still looking for acceptable boots to use.  I was thinking of trying combat or real army boots, but I’m not sure yet.  I’ll have to see if I can find some at a good price.  If not then I’ll settle for boot covers over a pair of black boots I already own.  There are a few more things for the main outfit that I have yet to get as well.  I still don’t have the right bias tape to use (I have dark gray instead of silver gray), buttons for the butt-cape/waistcoat thing, a gold braid and small ring as well as the lapels (I’m getting them embroidered for me since it will cost less than if I embroider it myself) and pins since I can’t cast them out of pewter myself.  Other than that I’m ready to go.  ^_^

Psyched

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I am so totally psyched!  I went to a cosplay workshop/hang out time today and met the lady who made an awesome set of Fullmetal Alchemist State Military uniforms that looked wonderful at last year’s August con.  It was so cool!  We talked a bit and swapped info.  I told here how cool I thought her costumes were and that I was planning to make a Maria Ross cosplay, but was having a really hard time with the jacket.  Guess what?!  She said she’d help me with the jacket!!!  Woot!  Now I can finally figure out how to make it and hopefully have the entire cosplay done for the May con this year.  I am very, very happy and excited.  I’m gonna go sew the rest of the cosplay now.

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.

vlcsnap-2010-12-05-03h21m24s39

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. 

A New Year, 2011

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With 2010 at it’s close, I am excited to see what the new year will bring.  A I reflect over the last year I’ve found that 2010 was a good year overall.  Sure it had its bad times, but there were pleasant times as well.  I was able to make four costumes for myself as well as for others.  I was also able to make new friends, meet lots of awesome people, and become a better seamstress.  In the grand scheme of things, I am happy with how 2010 went. 

But this post isn’t just about reminiscing 2010, it’s about looking forward to 2011 as well.  This new years gives me a chance to make more friends, acquaintances, and cosplays.  I am excited as I think about what I hope to accomplish this next year.  Mind you, these are not resolutions.  There is no need to make resolutions that I will forget and not accomplish.  Instead these are goals with game plans that I hope to accomplish in 2011. 

My goals for next year are simple and attainable.  Though they may take lots of time and/or finances, I know that I can accomplish them if I really try hard and work toward their completion.  It may not be easy, but I am up to the challenge.

First on my list of goals is to make at least three new acquaintances this year.  Whether that be at the fabric store, a con, or just on my way to a photo shoot, I know my goal is attainable even if I am on the introverted side. 

Second on my list is to make at least four new costumes/cosplays.  With my nigh constant additions of costume/cosplay possibilities, it should not be hard to pick out some suitable prospects.  As I’ve said in previous posts, I already have a definite and planned cosplay list for this year.  As always, it will change in some way or ways, but I plan to keep it pretty close to the following list as possible.  Of course, time and finances will play a deciding role in whether or not I am able to make any of the below listed costumes/cosplays. 

Planned List

Vorfeed from Lost Universe
Akari Mizunashi from Aria the Animation (Summer Uniform)
Maria Ross from Fullmetal Alchemist (State Alchemist Uniform)
Toph Bei Fong From Avatar:The Last Airbender (either her Earth Nation outfit, her Ba Sing Se dress, her noble dress, or her final dress)
Sophia Forrester from Last Exile (Vice Captain Uniform)
A princess dress of some sort

Possible List

Lacus Clyne from Gundam Seed (either her first dress, civilian dress, captain’s dress, and/or an artwork version)
Kaylee Frye from Firefly or Serenity (Mechanic Outfit)
Raven from Teen Titans the animated series (White Version)
Nausiccaa from Nausiccaa of the Valley of the Wind (End Outfit)
Sophia Forrester from Last Exile (Orange Dress)
A female Final Fantasy character or two (so far Aerith and/or Porom)
And I know there’s at least a couple others I can’t think of yet
 
Others as time and finances permit

I will include a couple picture albums of my planned and possible cosplay lists below.