Friday, November 6, 2015

Malta Comic Con Photoshoot: Juliet and Fionna

Long time no update, but vet school has been taking up a lot of my time. Coupled with the fact that I don't have a sewing machine at the moment, that means I don;t have much to write about. However, I recently was able to go back to Malta. Fortunately Malta Comic Con organised a photoshoot to promote the 2015 convention, so I brought a couple of costumes along.

The first costume to get photos was Sakizou's Juliet.
Model: MalteseLizzieMcGee Cosplay
Photographer: Photography by Sven Farrugia  

The photos were taken at Magazino Hall on the Waterfront. Part of the building will be used to house the convention, but we used the more run down part of the building for the shoot. I wore the worst shoes for this type of building: very uncomfortable white heels that made walking difficult and even a bit painful. That's what you get for wearing badly fitting shoes.

 I changed quickly into my Fionna costume. Luckily I wore the same wig for both costumes, which saved time. 
Cosplayer: MalteseLizzieMcGee cosplay
Photographer: JD Media

I've had this rusty old sword in my wardrobe for a long time, and thought it would be perfect for Fionna.

My dress did get a couple of marks from dust and dirt. Hopefully those will wash out! You can see the uncomfortable shoes in this photo: I bought them for Madokami (that project isn't progressing any time soon :( ) but they are too big and mega uncomfortable: I stuffed the toes with tissue paper to try to make them fit, and now they are even more uncomfortable.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Harley Quinn photos

Realised that I didn't have any photos of me wearing my Harley costume, so I took a few photos at home. There's a white wall next to the window with very good lighting. I'd prefer a wig with more volume in the ponytails, but other than that I'm quite satisfied with the costume. Next time I will wear black stockings or socks, because the legs of the bodysuit are a bit too short and my ankle shows.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Walkthrough: Princess Serenity

Before university starts, I wanted to finish the last cosplay project of the summer, but I didn't want to buy new material. I had a lot of white satin, a lot of pearl beads and acrylic gems, some white tulle, and gold satin. So I decided to make Princess Serenity's dress (Sailor Moon).
 The advantage of making this costume is that it also doubles as a Fionna the Human (Adventure Time) costume. It's not identical, but close enough, especially if I wear the bunny hat. I quickly sewed a fleece bunny hat, just in case I can't get hold of a wig for Usagi.
The first step was the cut the bodice and the skirt. I used a Burda style pattern for the bodice. it was originally a sweetheart neckline but I altered it. If I were to do it again, I would have made it straighter along the top, as currently it has a slight curve. I started by cutting the bodice from white cotton, so that I oculd alter it to suit the dress. I cut the half circle skirt immediately from white satin; it's the same material I used to make Sakziou Juliet's skirt.

Next I made the circles. This would have been easier if the top of the bodice had been straight. The easiest method is to decide how many circles you want. Measure along the bodice top edge (not including seam allowances), and divide it by the number of circles that you want. This gives you the diameter of the largest circles. Divide that in half to get your radius. I then measured out the smaller circle on my template. Next I cut out circles of fusible web, which I ironed on to gold satin. Then I peeled off the paper on the back, and ironed the circles on to the dress, securing them with a satin stitch (or as near as my sewing machine can get to one)
I could not attach the lining fully until I had completed embellishing the bodice, so I simply attached the lining at the top to create the scallops. In hindsight it would have been simpler to make the top of the bodice straight, then to tack on the circles. Before I added the lining, I used the seam allowance to create boning channels in all the seams except for the back seam. I added a boning channel in the centre front for extra support.
 The anime Princess Serenity has quite a simple design on her bodice, with just the circles and a line of beads under the bust. 

I wasn't making an empire line dress, and I preferred the more detailed look of the dress from the art books, so I added a lot more embellishment.

Firstly I sewed a piece of white lace on to the bodice. I had to fold it slightly to make it fit the curve of the bust. Next I sewed a line of pearl bead under the gold circles, and some gold-painted cord in loop shapes underneath (I think the technique is called couching).

I thought it still looked plain, so I sewed on some more beads and gems.
I took a break from the bodice and made the sleeves. Each sleeve is a rectangle of slightly transparent cloth. I folded the cloth rectangles in half and sewed them into a tube. I turned each tube inside out. Down one edge I sewed a piece of lace, then I sewed channels for elastic at the top and bottom of the rectangle. I threaded elastic through each casing, then over locked the edges and sewed them together. The sleeves were probably the easiest part of the costume.
The bow is made of tulle. I used My Cute Bow's tutorial. The bow is a little bit floppy and might be remade. It is basically two rectangles of tulle sewn together, and a piece of tulle shaped a bit like a swallow-tail butterfly. 
Before adding a zip, I overlocked the hem, and added an in seam pocket. Weirdly, the skirt pieces seemed to stretch, so that some edges were much longer. I think the dress needed to hang for longer, but I didn't want to waste time. I trimmed the hem, Overlocked it again, and sewed everything together. I tacked and sewed an invisible zip, and hand sewed the lining to the inside of the bodice. I also added some clear elastic straps. The final step was to sew a row of pearl beads all around the waist of the dress. 

Here's what the dress looks like. I shoved on my Female Titan wig because it was the first one at hand. I don't have an Usagi wig, so I styled it as Fionna the Human's ball gown (Adventure Time) with a fleece hat.
And a look at the details 
The only thing that I might change is to add an overlay of net or chiffon to the skirt. It would be a little bit expensive to do so, because chiffon costs around 6.50 Euro per metre, and I'd need around 5 metres for a half circle skirt, though I could get away with about 3 metres if I made a gathered skirt.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Old versus new: Khaleesi Daenerys vs Astapor Daenerys

My first Daenerys costume was well constructed, even if I didn't have the correct leggings, and my wig wasn't the right colour. In hindsight, platinum blonde looks so much nicer than white for this costume.

I also managed to get much nicer photos of my costume this time around. I didn't have the problem of my hair peeking out from under the wig, because I didn't braid the fringe (also, my hair is significantly shorte0.

 Getting better shoes also helped. Those Uggs just didn't look right. I'm still very pleased iwth the construction of the top and skirt of the Khaleesi costume.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback: Babydoll

I haven't done a post like this for a while. I've been cosplaying for about 5 and a half years now, so I suppose this is technically an old costume.
I actually remade this costume about 3 times until I was happy with it. \
 Made this before the film came out. I was quite inexperienced and tried making it out of jersey. The stripes were painted on. The skirt and top didn't even match: I tried dying the top blue, but it was the wrong shade. The wig was a cheap carnival wig, and I'm not sure what happened with the hair band. The shoes are on point, though, as was the sword belt. Oh, and I think I had a cardboard sword, which really wan't up to fighting ninjas.
I totally remade the costume out of cotton drill. I had to make the skirt twice because the first time I made it too short.  I used SecreLifeofaBionerd's tutorial for the skirt, and made the top from an altered Burda pattern.
The stripes were made from white bias tape. I used muslin to make the sailor collar and neck scarf. i actually dyed the scarf with watered down acrylic paint to get that strange bluish tint. The stripes on the collar were painted on with acrylic paint.
  I upgraded to a slightly better wig (not much better. Paid 30 Euro for it, and it shed a lot and the wefts showed a lot. Not a good investment). Whoa, my wig styling skills need improvement. Those ponytails ae very bunched up at the top (probably to stop the wefts showing).

I made the gun and holster too (can't find the holster, and sold the gun and costume so no photos of the whole ensemble). The gun was a simple toy gun with gold cor to tie the charms on.
The charms are not pretty. I used spray paint, nail polish, and acrylic paint to colour the polymer clay pieces. They were fragile, and the spray paint/varnish didn't dry properly, so the charms were quite sticky. They are also quite ugly pieces.

Despite the costume's flaws, I think it was a good piece of work for my skill level at the time (even if I sewed the sleeves on upside down by mistake). I finished all the edges, and sewed everything neatly. The buttonholes were neat, and I was recognizably Babydoll. Not 100 percent accurate, but I was working with limited images of the character. I don't know if I will ever revisit Babydoll; perhaps the glamorous show outfit she wears, or the amazing coral corset.