Bringing It Home: Part One

Fall is my favorite season, partially because layering my clothes is a hobby. Mostly because I get a pause in the costuming schedule to remember that I have a plethora of other hobbies. But, this post is about what I did to end the 2014 season, so let’s look back.

First, I got a new sewing machine–the Singer Heavy Duty. I needed a new primary, since my older Singer has become unreliable, and I don’t want to have any unfortunate accidents with my pretty little Brother. The new machine, Jayne, has been lovely. I was concerned that she’d be too sturdy for my mid-size sewing table, but I haven’t had any issues.

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Late September’s events began with the local fairy festival for the Little Princess and me. Despite the silly number of wings we each already have in the house, the LP wanted to wear an off-the-rack “Green Fairy” costume, so I indulged her with new cellophane wings for both of us. I was a pirate fairy. Frolicking in an enchanted forest happened. It was a magical time for everyone.

Fairies!

Later that day, I transformed into a dancing pirate for the annual pirate-themed hafla. Good times were had.

Later that week, we had an event for National Comic Book Day at my office, complete with a cosplay contest. I decided to do the second half of an original Frozen/DC mash-up by my friend at belle la vie, as the Anna Quinn to her Poison Elsa.

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The project took less than ten hours–most of that being painting time for the mallet. The half cape and bodice were draped and sewn over two nights. The shirt and skirt were existing, and I added the diamonds with fashion tape. The mallet is a combination of floral foam, EVA foam, craft foam, cardboard tubes, bias tape, and a wooden pommel that was originally a decorative mug. This was my first Harley Quinn, and I feel like I can cross it off my cosplay achievement list.

The following weekend brought the RHPS Video Game Show. As per previous events, the audience was encouraged to dress up for the costume contest. I managed to pull a win with this Assassin’s Creed variation.

RHPS AC AC Jacket Side

The jacket took a couple of hours from draping to finishing. The white exterior might be waterproof, and I had just enough for this one day project. It’s lined with the wrong side of some kind of red [not-]silk in the hood, collar, and coat tails. The collar and armscye are piped with a braided red selection from a Jomar haul. The strapless top was a gift to which I added corset lacing. I wore black hot pants and fancy fashion tights with brown boots, belt, pouch, and my daughter’s bracers.

The cast member playing Janet borrowed my Zelda costume, so I made some updates to the vest and gloves and added a hair clip and new crown gem out of clay. I’ve never worked with clay before, so I was pleased that the pieces made it out and back the way they started. There was a lot of glue involved.

Zelda's Hair Clip Zelda's Crown Gem

The final week of September was devoted to the LP’s Queen Elsa gown. Over the summer, I’d picked up a glittery blue for the main fabric, blue lining, and blue tulle for the sleeves and train. I did some flat pattern drafting for this, based upon her last rennie gown that I made. My mom came in the day before the party to do the finishing and add stick-on snowflakes. The LP also wore the gown for Halloween, so here’s that shot, with the addition of a fleece shrug I made for the chilled weather.

LP Halloween

The second half of September was pretty busy for my craft room, but she didn’t get a break in October. To Be Continued…

Summer Wrap-Up

HAHAHAHA…It’s September.

/sigh

Moving on.

So July and August came and went in a flurry of activity, and in case I didn’t mention it, I have an Instagram account now. Those two things are only related because despite having an account and following really nifty people, I haven’t figured out what it’s for. Are any of you who know me surprised? Feel free to send suggestions for better management of social media. At this point, I just link each thing to each other thing so that I can access my own content from whichever app runs the fastest on my poor phone that day.

Blogging is a great way to record how I made stuff, since I make it up as I go along and rarely remember what I did from event to event. It’s also better than my physical closet, since I also forget that I have at least one costume for every fandom that is special to me and I really need to curb the desire to make so many. Mom brain is the worst. To provide insight on my “process”, I’ll run down what I consider to be a banner month.

  • I get an idea for what I think is a costume that will appeal to the event’s primary audience (ex: comic based character for a comic con, a companion for a Doctor Who marathon, something stupidly complex for Halloween even though I’m only wearing it to work for a few hours and only a dozen people care).
  • I work through the design, listing all of the pieces I plan to include. Then, I shop my stash and make a list of anything I don’t have.
  • From the inside out, I make, buy, or alter the costume’s pieces and props while working a full-time job and keeping my husband and two kids alive and moderately happy. This equates to two hours per weeknight with interrupted eight hour stints on Saturday and Sunday, IF I don’t have other events. HA.
  • The last couple of days before the event, my sleep schedule drops to a max of 5 hours (infants and toddlers do not give a shit how tired Mommy is), so I just double up the caffeine and power through.
  • The event happens and is a magical experience that I will never forget…until I do.
  • Upon unpacking the car after the event, none of the luggage makes it too much further than the inside of the front door and stays there until the following weekend.
  • I sit down at my handy dandy laptop, open up my WP dashboard and my Google calendar, throw down pictures on the page in chronological order (that random strangers were kind enough to take, since I’m horrid at it), and fill in the blank spaces with words that I hope make sense to my six or so readers (love y’all).
  • Lastly, I frown at the mess around me, close the laptop and go to bed.

“Where did this rant come from?” you ask. We just returned from the Baltimore Comic Con, and it was the best year yet! I’m slowly descending from the high, so I wanted to write it down before I’m slammed back into reality while cleaning up the costume shrapnel blast in my front room. Let’s go back to July.

My friend is on the local Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, and convinced me to attend their Disney night. Clearly, I needed a mash-up, so [after drafting a much too complex burlesque Mulan] I happily settled on Dr. Facilier (The Princess & the Frog) as Columbia. Bonus: I had everything on hand. Please note the face makeup is a cross between the floor show and Facilier’s voodoo look. I’m still proud of myself for this one.

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Near the end of the month, I provided craft supplies and support to my brother and his friends for Otakon. I also made another eye patch (Debito, Deadman Wonderland) and painted and sewed in a zipper for a Tokyo Ghoul mask.

August brought the beginning of the PA Ren Faire, and my Tiny Princess requested a Rapunzel dress. Since PARF switched things up to Henry VIII, I chose a Tudor style for the Tangled look. Her pouch is a stylized Pascal and may be the cutest functional item I’ve made yet. Husband’s existing green Italian-ish doublet was altered by adding a skirt. I had exactly enough green left and lined it with a floral black and gold curtain panel.

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On an exciting note, The Tudor Tailor had a sale last month, so I picked up their fitted gown and French Hood patterns for me and the hose pattern for Husband. I can’t wait to make new outfits in the off season.

Closing out this chapter was Baltimore Comic Con, which, again, was so very great. I had planned on three costumes to cover the now three day con, but I couldn’t decide what to wear on the first day and didn’t want to wear something I already had. I don’t often regret decisions…but I’ll leave it at that. On Day 2, I wore my new Dee of Rat Queens costume. I loved making this, and I was crazy happy at the number of fans at BCC. I had perma-smile when I wasn’t trying to pose like a badass.

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On Day 3, the fam pulled out our Saga cosplay and received a number of compliments both in person and online. It felt good. I had a malfunction with my wing attachments, so I added the jacket as we were walking out the door. Despite the sweat, I liked the look much better.

Saga Family
Photo credit: Comicsheatingup.net

It still feels good. I’ve said it before: I love my family.

You guys are pretty great too. If you happen to run across any comic con photos of me and my friends, please send along links.

  • Day 1, I was dressed in a Captain America cropped vest and jeans with Jessica Rabbit (50’s Housewife) and Selene (Underworld).
  • Day 2, I was Dee, walking around with Catwoman (TV – Julie Newmar) and Gamora (GotG).
  • Day 3, My family was the Saga family with Poison Ivy (as Elsa, Frozen) and The Bat-fan-girl.

Dress how you want, when you want. Thanks for reading!