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Category Archives: new discoveries

Wonderful Find

I was watching Aria the Natural, sequel to Aria the Animation, and I made the most wonderful find!!!  The summer uniform’s under dress is a strapless dress like I had originally guessed!!!  Now I’m not trying be conceited, I’m just really happy that my cosplay is more authentic.  I’m a stickler for details so the closer the cosplay is to the original design, the happier I am with it. 

From the picture, the under dress looks to be a strapless dress with a back zipper and frontal darts.  The small gap at the back of the dress shows the zipper.  I also found out that the the fuku has a small zipper on the left side.   You have to look closely, but you can see the small zipper closure.  I also found a picture that shows how full the bottom of the dress is. 

 vlcsnap-2011-01-30-16h13m51s25vlcsnap-2011-01-22-14h38m38s19

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I hope these pictures help anyone who wants to make an Aria cosplay.  The general design and fullness can be applied to all the summer uniforms.  You may use any of the screenshots I put on my blog so long as you credit the show and its producers.  If you want to credit me for the screenshots go ahead, jut remember that I don’t own the rights to Aria, its artwork, or any of the characters. 

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

New Discovery and Old Progress

While thinking up how to make my Voyage of the Dawn Treader costume, I stumbled across an awesome idea.  I’m always having to buy multiples of the same patterns because I modify just about any pattern I get to achieve a desired costume.  This method of pattern modification is rather expensive and I can’t afford to keep going that route any more.  So I came up with my own idea to the solve the problem.  After I read a really helpful tutorial on how to conserve pattern pieces, an idea struck me.  Cut out the pattern pieces to the desired size, follow the tutorial to back them, and use chalk to trace out the pieces onto the desired fabric.  This way I can make any modification I want to a pattern piece without wasting a pattern!  It’s so cool and brilliant!  Right now I’m trying out my idea with my newest project, Susan’s Narnia from Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  That brings me to my next subject.

I just started Susan’s dress today, tonight actually.  I’m using the above method to make the pieces I need for the dress.  So far it’s working wonderfully!  Right now I have the first two pieces cut out and am working on the third.  It takes me much longer to cut out the pieces because I have to lay out the original pattern piece and pin it down, trace the outline and markings to the fabric with chalk (I’m using paper chalk and it’s working just fine.  It comes off with water too), unpin the pattern piece and place it to the side, then I finally cut the piece out of the fabric by cutting along the chalk lines.  It’s so much fun!  It’s like a giant connect the dots and cut out the paper doll project!  I love it! 

I should be done cutting out the pieces sometime tonight.  I hope to pleat the front panel and sew the first part of dress by tonight/early tomorrow morning too.  Well, I better get back to work if I’m to get all that done!  Talk to you soon!

Wig Styling

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Who knew wigs could be so easy and challenging at the same time.  So far I’ve styled one wig two different ways.  The first time I made Sheeta from Castle in the Sky only I didn’t get the bangs done because of lack of time and funds.  I still had a blast wearing the wig though and a few people noticed my character. 

Back on track, it took me three tries to make this hairstyle.  The first time I had the style perfect but the wefts showed in back waaaaay too much.  The second time it was absolutely perfect only I made the braids too tight and couldn’t get the wig on my head.  @_@  I found that out the night before the first day of the con and the cosplay was due the next morning.  The third time was done, literally, at three in the morning the night before the con while the wig was on my head because I didn’t have a wig head, my unofficial wig head was asleep, and I wanted the wig to fit.  That was fun.  Not really.  I learned a lot about what not to do when wearing a wig.  Example; trying to see the back of your head via two reflecting mirrors while one of them is in one hand and the other hand is trying to singlehandedly, literally, braid a 40” wig is not a good idea.  Neither is pulling so hard on the wig that it falls off your head in the middle of braiding because your arms are too tired to hold themselves up.  Never style a wig either late at night or just before the con unless it is an absolute emergency as you will humiliated with out that wig.  Real hair works too sometimes.

The second styling of the same wig was an attempt to pull off a Civil War era hairstyle two hours before the fashion show where I was modeling my Civil War ball gown.  Again bad idea.  Not as bad as styling a wig late at night but close.  Give yourself at least, at least three to four hours to complete a Civil War hairstyle if you are styling it yourself.  Again I had to style it by myself while trying to, somehow, see the back of my head.  I didn’t have as many, if any, disasters as I did with the Sheeta restyling, but I ran in to problems later on.  Half way through the fashion show, the long worked on hairstyle started falling out.  By the time the second fashion review was over, the hair style was practically shot and the wig had to be hastily restyled every few minutes.  I now have to work all the knots and rats out of my wig once again. 

On a lighter note, my third wig to style/ restyle is my Toph wig.  On the third day of the con a very nice experienced cosplayer/wigstylist styled my Toph wig.  The only thing is, is I didn’t put the wig on straight before she styled the wig so the bun came out lopsided.  So I have to restyle it to A) have more volume and B) not be lopsided.  I’m really looking forward to this one since the same wigstylist sold me her spare wig head so now I can use a wig head to style my wigs. 

Sophia Forrester Progress Report 1

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As of a couple days ago, I now have all the fabric I need for my Sophia cosplay.  I still have to get a few more things like zippers, a bit of thread, and a few other minor items.  Still haven’t found her reading glasses yet.  I’m starting to wonder if they even exist outside of the anime.  The fate of her hair clip is hanging in the balance right now.  I’m not sure whether or not to have the hair down like in this picture:

as_39She wore her hair like this in the anime when she told Alex about her going back to the palace.  Her hair was also down when she talked to Claus about her plans.  I can’t give away too much of the plot.  -_^

Anyway, I could also have the hair pulled back into a twisted braidy-like bunish thing.  Like this:

          display_600_as_28 sophia

This is her most common hair style.  She wore it throughout most of the series. 

I do like how sharp and vice admiral like the second hair style is.  I just have one problem, the hair clip.  How on earth am I going to make, much less find, the darn thing?!  The back one is what I’m most worried about but the two side/front ones pose an equal, if not greater, challenge.  If I do the second hair style, I might not have to buy a wig for this cosplay, but that’s only if my hair grows out in time, which I doesn’t seem like it will.  So either way I’m probably going to have to buy a wig.  Now I just need to find a good, decent, honest wig seller who has high quality wigs at a good price. 

Switching topics, while I was at the store studying this picture:

Sophia_fullbody I discovered that the designs/appliqué on Sophia’s uniform are silver not white.  If you look really closely at her collar, you’ll see that the appliqué gives off a silver hue instead of a white one.  It even looks this way when the picture is printed off.  This was a major break through for me.  I also discovered that her collar is lined with silver fabric.  See below picture:

Sophia3 Both of these discoveries majorly helped explain why the fabric behaved the way it did.  Since the appliqué is silver, it can appear both whitish and silver when exposed to different lighting.  This also explains why the appliqué has a bit of a sheen to it as well.  These pictures help to illustrate my point.

            Sheen 1 Silver 2

Changing topics, I have had the hardest time finding the right fabric shade for the uniform.  The closest I’ve found is a silvery gray color by Kona Cotton.  Since it’s not perfect I might try lining the dress with a darker color fabric to get the desired effect.  I don’t know how well this will work so we’ll see. 

Other that that, I’ve had a relatively easy time fining what I need.  I even found some awesome looking pleather for her boots in the clearance section.  I don’t what I’m going to do for the redish orange soles yet.  I’m still researching that. 

Sorry my post is long and kinda random and jumpy.  There’s been a lot of things happening with this costume that I don’t know where to start or how to transition to my next thought.  My thoughts like to jump around.  I hope you enjoyed reading my post and look forward to the next ones.  My next post should be about Sheeta’s pirate uniform unless another idea pops up.  Thank you for reading and please tune in again to find out what happens next in the exciting adventures of my endeavors as a seamstress.

 

dilemmas

Thoughts for the Sewing Year

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I tend to be a bit of an over achiever. So when I heard about a local convention in August I jumped at the thought of more sewing projects. I got out my ever increasing list of projects that I’d like to make and desided on four to five of them just for the convention. Then I heard about another new convention in November and jumped at the thought of more costumes projects. So I got out my list that had grown again and started to go through it. I began to pick out four to five new costumes for the new convention. I then remembered the dresses I had to make for prom this year and a sewing contest. I counted up my projects for the summer and fall. To my astonishment the number was well over ten, that includes the other few costumes my friends asked me to make. It never dawned on me that that my love of sewing would turn into a pile of costumes. Just a story of my learnings as a seamstress. ^_^