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Long Awaited Update

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I apologize for the lack of updates.  I’m not dead, rather I’ve been extremely busy for the past month and nearly a half.  I’ll catch up as best as possible on what has happened in my absence.

School is over, finally.  The last few weeks of school was hell.  I ended up having to drop a class due to the immense mental and emotional overload.  I am definitely taking the next semester or two off from school.  I need to focus more on getting a job and apartment at the moment.

In better news, I was able to go to Anime Oasis in May.  It turned out to be a ton of fun, and I was able to meet new and old friends like.  None of my costumes were done on time unfortunately.  I was able to cosplay, just not the original line up.  Thursday the convention started and even though I arrived really late I was able to cosplay a casual version of Luka with my new, gorgeous wig.  Friday I ended up partially finishing and wearing Latias.  She was only about 45%-50% complete, but a few people recognized her which makes me happy.  I also cosplayed a formal version of Luka for a formal ball, which was very enjoyable.  Saturday was the most fun of the four days.  One of my cosplaying friends(Stephanie) let me borrow her Relm Arrownry cosplay for the day as she cosplayed Terra, both from Final Fantasy 6.  It was a total blast to cosplay Relm.  I definitely must add her to my cosplay list.  Sunday was a very rushed day as the hotel wanted the room cleared by 1pm and I slept in until noon.  I ended up cosplaying Latias again since I was not able to cosplay her much on Friday because I was working on her.  Overall, the con was a great success.  I was able to participate in some of the events, meet a lot of new people, make a few new friends, get a few things from the artist alley and vendor’s hall (plushy Azusa from K-On! *squee*), and have a good time.  I definitely plan to return next year and possibly enter the cosplay contest.  Next year though I will have the cosplays completed before the con.  I would like to be able to sleep instead of sew.  Another cosplay lesson learned.  That and Mountain Dew is a cosplayers best friend.  It’s better than coffee!

In cosplay news, I’ve started planning for my next con, Fandemonium in August.  I’m hoping to debut two to three new cosplays there as well as revamp my Toph cosplay.  I’m also planning three groups for the convention as well as helping a few of my friends with their cosplays and staffing for the con.  I will be epically busy for the next month.  It’s only 42 days (one month and one week) until the con!  So far the cosplay lineup is Toph’s Fire Nation and hopefully Earth Kingdom outfits from Avatar: The Last Airbender, my original steampunk character, and Akari’s Summer Uniform from ARIA.  I will be very happy to complete Toph’s Fire Nation outfit for the con.  So far I just have the wig and waist thing/belt thing left to finish.  I might back her over-the-shoulder-thing too.  Oh, I have to make the crown too.  I keep forgetting that one.  As for the steampunk, I’ve been dying to make my steampunk character for over a year so I’m really excited to almost have her done.  I’ll talk more about her in another post.  Akari is nearly complete too, and I’ll have an ARIA this time!  Sooo excited!  I’m really looking forward to this con, in case you couldn’t tell.

I really don’t have much else to catch up on.  To recap, school was hell.  I need a job and apartment.  The con was a total blast, and I was able to debut four new cosplays.  I’m really busy working on cosplays and other con prep for the next month and a week or more.  Yep, nothing else really to say except thank you so much for reading and taking your time to visit my blog.  It means so very much to me.  If you like my post(s) let me know.  If not that’s ok, just don’t post it here.  If you like the blog please follow it (right side there’s a follow button, please click it).  Thank you again for reading.  Have a great day and a wonderful week.  ^_^  Signing off.

Knitting Update and Pictures

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As I mentioned in the post “Knitting Project Update – New Yarn and Future Projects” I’m currently knitting a sweater.  It’s my take on the Nora’s Sweater from the Interweave Knits winter 2009 magazine.  Currently, I’m about halfway done with the project.  I have the back, back inset and about half of the left sleeve done.  I still have to make the right sleeve, front right and front left panels, and yoke not to mention sew it all together. 

So far the sweater looks beautiful.  I chose a rich purple for the base/main color and a redish purple for the secondary/accent color.  Originally the color differentiation started out as an accident.  I accidentally got two different colors of purple thinking they were the same color.  Nevertheless, I love the results.  The color variation adds to the sweater’s character while not distracting from the pattern’s graceful design. 

I have a picture of my progress to share.  I’m really happy with my work and can’t wait to see how it turns out, especially since I have to buy more redish purple dye so I can match the color variation of the back panel on the front panels.  The picture was a quick picture I snapped for my Ravelry account.  It’s not the best quality, but it shows the progress well. 

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I also have pictures of my previous knitting project.  I made the Aquitaine Pullover from the same Interweave Knits issue a few months back, but I never posted pictures.  So I took a couple and thought I’d share. 

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It was my first major sweater project.  I’m rather proud of it.  The pattern turned out well.  It’s also really comfy and the color match much of my wardrobe well.  I might end up entering this in a local fair if I get the chance.  I’d like to enter the purple sweater as well if it gets done in time. 

To conclude, thank you for reading.  Your views mean so very much to me.  I really appreciate it.  Have a good day and a wonderful week. 

Akari Update 7 – Wig

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After much searching and price checking and wig hunting, I’ve decided to buy a prestyled wig for Akari.  I found that I can save more time and money if I buy the wig instead of making it myself.  As this is the case, I found a prestyled wig that I can buy from Clarissa-Kids on Ebay and Taobao.  The Taobao wig is less expensive so I’ll be buying it from there, especially since I know a group of people who want to do a batch order to save on shipping.  The wig will cost around $25-$30 USD including shipping.  I’m really about finding this wig as I didn’t want to style it myself.  I’m new to wig styling and Akari’s hair is at least at an intermediate level so I’m really nervous about styling it myself.  I don’t want to ruin a wig and I certainly don’t want to have a mediocre wig especially if I enter this cosplay in a cosplay masquerade. 

Akari Update 5

I finished the appliqué for the bottom part of the under dress today.  It looks so cool!  The general shape is different then I expected, but I love it nonetheless.  Sadly I don’t have any pictures to share cause I can’t find a camera.  I’ll post pictures of the full under dress as soon as I’m done.  I should be able to find a camera by then. 

It’s almost astonishing that I’m almost done with my project.  I don’t have much left to do.  If I keep at it I should be able to finish the under dress and the fuku, maybe even the hat, by the end of February.  All I have left to do is hem the under dress, finish the slit, prepare and cut out the fuku (which shouldn’t be that hard), cut out and apply the appliqué to the fuku, sew the fuku, make the bow, make the glow, apply the appliqué to the glove, draft and cut out the hat, appliqué the hat, sew the hat, and finish the hat.  Ok, so I have a bit more to do than I thought, but I know I can at least get the under dress and fuku done.  Especially, if school continues to have lax amounts of homework.  I love being able to relax more after last week. 

The hat and glove shouldn’t be that hard though I dread making another glove out of non-stretch fabric.  This time I will include ease.  I’m still having trouble with the last pair of gloves I made.  -_-  Ah well, live and learn to not make the same mistakes again.  I don’t know how to make the gold ring for the glove yet.  I had thought of using craft foam, but I don’t know how well that will work.  I have to get the supplies for the jewel and cast it as well. 

As for the shoes, I might have found a good pair of base shoes, but they’re a bit out of my price range.  I’ll have to keep looking and hope I find the right pair fairly soon.  I only have till mid May to get this and three other cosplays done.  Yes, three.  The con is four days instead of three.  I’m so excited even though I’ll have to sew my heart out for a week or two before the con.  Ah, such is life. 

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.

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Vorfeed Update 1

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I’ve been working on my Vorfeed cosplay for the past few days.  It’s about 45% complete.  So far, it has taken me around 14.5 hours to make this cosplay.  The main dress is nearly done, and I don’t have much left to do otherwise.  I just have to scrunch the bodice, make and add the bow, finish fitting it, and make the hem.  Then it’ll be time to work on the cape, shoes, and gloves. 

The cape shouldn’t be hard.  I just have to make sure I get the layering and feather work right.  I still have no idea how I’m going to make the back feathers.  I have a couple ideas, but I don’t know how well they’ll work.  I still need to get the feathers though.  I need to find a good place that sells good feathers in bulk for a reasonable to good price.

As for the gloves and boots, they are going to be a bit harder.  Ok, a lot harder.  I’ve never make gloves before, much less full arm gloves with large puffy add ons on the top.  Not to mention, I’m using satin that has little to no stretch whatsoever.  I know the gloves are going to be the biggest challenge of the entire cosplay.  Even the wig looks easier. 

The shoes on the other hand look relatively easy, especially compared to the gloves.  I still have to find good base shoes and maybe a couple zippers, but other than that I have what I need.  I even have a pattern halfway worked out.  I just have to test it. 

Finally, the wig looks like it’s going to be one of the easiest pieces of the cosplay.  I’m really glad I chose it for my first time cutting a wig.  I am really nervous but calm at the same time.  I know I can do it.  I know it will turn out fine. 

Oh! I almost for got about the jewels!  I’m going to cast the two jewels myself as soon as I’m able to get the supplies.  I really hope it’s soon because I’d like to get a photo shoot before my friend leaves for college again if it’s possible.  She takes amazing photos.  I’ve wanted to do a shoot with her for a while.  If I don’t get the jewels done in time, I could always improvise…but I don’t want to do that unless I have to. 

Beside my minor aforementioned dilemmas, my cosplay is coming along beautifully.  I’m really happy with the way it’s turning out.  I can’t wait to see the finished project.  I don’t have any pictures to share yet, but I’ll get some up with my next post.  So far it’s nearly perfect with just a few quirks that the laws of physics won’t let me change.  Trying to make a shirt drape and split and fall at a slightly tilted angle just isn’t going to happen no matter how much I wish it would.  Anime characters are known to defy the laws of physics and this cosplay is not without it’s exceptions. 

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!