Costume Journal 2012 // Lady Mechanika

3 Jan

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’ve all had a relaxing and inspiring break – or not! For those of us who work in retail or hospitality, it’s usually pretty exhausting! But now here we have a brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box year… some assembly required.

This is a big one for me – I’m starting my third (and final) year of costume school, and while at this stage I’m not exactly sure how that is going to run for me, I do know that I want to devote more time and energy to my own personal sewing goals. After all, this is what I love doing, so why let procrastination ruin the fun?

So here it is, the big one, my personal Holy Grail for 2012. Something I can sink my teeth into, that will stretch my craftiness, my niftiness, my powers of fabric-persuasion:

 

Lady Mechanika

Lady Mechanika Cover #4

 

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Little Dala Horse Top

8 Dec

 

I get really hung up on details sometimes. Start out with a great idea, full of enthusiasm, pull out all my fabric, my patterns, my machines… get stuck because I don’t have the right colour thread. Or ric-rac. Or buttons, or some other little thing no one but me would ever notice.  I want so much for the end result to be perfect that I can’t even start for fear of not finishing!

This little top was made in about an hour out of some scrap fabric (just enough for midriff-length, no longer!) and a Dala horse stencil. Not thinking, no deliberating. I cut the fabric freehand around a pattern block, measuring on the fly and deciding necklines and sleeves as I went. The horses I stencilled on and dried with a hair-dryer, to prevent the project lying around waiting to dry. The neckline is bound with some calico bias tape I had lying around. Finished!

 

 

It was so refreshing, not *having* to think about every little detail. I didn’t have a clear image in my head of what I wanted to make, so the project was free to change as I went along. Does anyone else get so hung up on details that they can’t start? It’s an almost painful feeling!

Costume Flash // Queen of All Cosmos Cosplay

20 Nov

This one is going back a few months! The world of cosplay is not my natural habitat, but when you’re going to an anime & video game convention… you’ve got to blend in, right?!

The King and Queen of All Cosmos

The Queen of All Cosmos is a character from the Katamari series of console games. I’m not much of a gamer, but suffice to say the surreal wackiness and hyperactive colours in these games are something I can really get into! Basically, you control a ball (a ‘katamari’) that you push around a fantasy world and… roll things up. Really, it sounds silly even as I write it! Check out the Wiki entry (linked above) because there is no way to properly explain the addictive cuteness that is Katamari.

There are a few different ways you can approach cosplay, I think. Some costumers really like to create an outfit that is as close to the character as possible, and go to incredible lengths to make their costume as ‘realistic’ as possible. This can include wigs, spray painting on bigger ‘muscles’ and wearing coloured contacts. My personal interpretation is usually more ‘inspired’ than accurate. I like making costumes that suggest a concept, or a particular aspect of an anime or game. My Queen of All Cosmos maintains the colours and feel of the character, but I have played with the shapes of her costume to make it a little bit different.

I like to work out what elements make a character recognisable. Instead of making an oversized headpiece, I used a knitting pattern (available here) to make some earmuffs that suggest the Queen’s enormous head. Her son, the Prince of All Cosmos, is a very important accessory to this cosplay – so I crocheted him as well, from another pattern available online.

Crocheted Prince

Once you have these two important elements to establish the character, you can play around with the rest of the outfit a bit more. My version of the Queen is a skirt and jacket combo rather than a dress, with the skirt being shorter than the ‘real’ version. The top is a tailored jacket, with a scalloped collar embellished with gold buttons that echoes the shape of the original. I thought white thigh-high socks and sparkly pink sequin sneakers were an appropriate, though made-up, touch!

Queen of All Cosmos and King Kazuma

I can’t finish this post without mentioning my partner’s incredible costume. He is still fairly new to costuming in general, and he made this whole outfit (King Kazuma from the movie Summer Wars) himself! He is cosplaying a 6-foot tall anthopomorphic fighting rabbit, and I think he did an incredible job! The giant shoes and gloves are all made of foam, and the wig and headpiece/ears are one unit.

PS: If you are on Ravelry, find more details of my knitted/crocheted projects!

Earmuffs

Prince Plushie

Costume School // Making Millinery Flowers, Part 2

31 Oct

Hi everyone! Hope your week has been just wonderful! Between two jobs and coursework, I hardly know where I’m at anymore… so I’m sorry if this entry is a little bit later than promised.

So here’s a lesson we learned while letting your gelatine/stiffener dipped flowers dry: don’t spread them out on paper, hang them up! If you put them on paper, they WILL stick. If you’re not around to turn them over every so often, you will end up with lots of paper residue stuck on your petals. Not cool. Luckily I did turn mine over before leaving for the weekend, so I had whole bunch of crispy, paper-y, stiffened petals to work with.

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