Slow Progress on Meiko

Cosplay progress had been a bit slow as of late. I am getting things done, just not quite at the rate I would like to. As such, though I had my vague plan for one cosplay a month, I can only claim Meiko to be half finished. I have been working a little on Fang in-between times, but not enough to make the difference.

 Regardless let’s show you what I have managed to get done =)

 The corset is well on its way to being done. In fact, all that’s left is added a trim to the top and, in all likelihood, hand sewing the bias down. It has 5 layers of fabric in it, so cutting out took a little longer than I had expected! Nonetheless, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s my first time making a steal-boned corset, but it all went smoothly and is comfy to wear. It’s a little wrinkled here and there, but it fits me much better than the mannequin as you can imagine!

 The skirt was an evening job, nothing too taxing! Layers of net half circle skirts simply bound together with a zip in the back. Unfortunately it is a little – and when I say a little, I mean quite a lot – big for me, so I will probably half to rip out the zip and redo it. But that shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes hopefully!

 I’ve been putting off patterning the jacket (which is the only other real major part to this cosplay) but I finally managed to push myself into it the other night. I’m still not too sure how it’ll turn out, but watch this space as it’ll all need to be done within 2 months, alongside other cosplays!

If anyone would like a more thorough post on how I constructed the corset, please do let me know =)

Lan Fan Progress

I’ve been working super hard in the last week or 2 to get everything finished for Expo and I’m on the last stretch now! I thought I’d go through all my Lan Fan progress today, she’s |–| this close to being complete.

The references aren’t great for her. Partly because half of them are manga, and for someone who wears mostly black and white, it’s slightly difficult to tell what’s what. The rest of the references aren’t bad, but she’s an annoying character who’s outfit changes ever so slightly as the series goes on! I’m cosplaying her from right at the beginning, but luckily, I found this detailed reference breakdown on DeviantArt which is what I’ve mainly been working off.

Let’s start bottom to top shall we?

For the shoes/boots I bought some cheap white pumps from Primark and made boot covers. These have yet to be stitched on to the shoes, but there’s still time! You may be able to see some glue from my first failed attempt when the fabric was just too short to really cover the shoe. You live you learn.

The trousers were made with Simplicity pattern something? (remind me to add this in later!). This gave me the slight poof I needed. I didn’t vary off the pattern, except to not bother with elastic in the legs. Since I’m wearing boot covers, ideally I want it to be as smooth as possible with no added bumps.
There’s little to say about the wasitband, except that, you know, it exists.

The top underneath I had been planning to make from scratch, but frankly I’ve run out of time for that. So instead I’m just going to wear a long sleeved black top. It’s baggy and mostly covered by the chest plate, so it’ll do.
Speaking of the chest plate, hmm. Mine has space for boobs. Ideally it shouldn’t, since Lan Fan is vaguely pretending to be male when you first meet her, so the chest should be flat. But circumstances the way they are, that isn’t something I can achieve. Instead, I used the breastplate armour pattern from Kamui (thinking about it, maybe I should have used the male one instead!) to give me the rough shape. I used black leatherette and wham bam it was done. One of the things that bugs me is that in the refs, sometimes it looks as though the edges of the chest plate are bound and other times it doesn’t. I’ve gone with not, if only to save time.

The armour is all craft foam covered in Worbla. I had quite a lot of fun making it actually, so I’d quite like to do a full armour project in the near future! I only used about 3 layers of wood glue to smooth it out, it may not be baby smooth but smooth enough I reckoned. I used a mix of silver spray paint and some normal silver paint to paint them (mainly because my spray paint ran out, oops, but it was left over from a previous project). I even bothered to weather them with some black paint, and they look so much better for it! Glad I did that and will continue to do so from now on.

The mask, ha! The mask. The mask is I suppose the reason why I’m doing this cosplay. Years ago (and years and years and years), I bought a cheap plasticy white mask from some art shop with the intention of using it for Lan Fan. I don’t think I ever expect to use it as was, but I certainly didn’t now. I used some air drying clay to build up the oddly square shaped nose and cut out the eyes and mouth. With this as a base, I used a large piece of Worbla to make the actually mask. I’m embarrassed about how bad the original chin looked – it was awful! So I had to cut it off and form a separate piece, which luckily all worked out in the end.
It got the same wood glue treatment as the armour and painted with acrylics. It’s not the best paint job, I apologise, so just don’t get too close!

The wig started off as a ponytail wig from Coscraft. I haven’t used the ponytail clip in, just the existing hair. I used a hair doughnut bun…thing…what are those things actually called? And copious amounts of pins to make the bun. It’s not perfect, but most of the time it should be hidden behind the hood.

The hood! The great masterpiece. It’s a tunnel of fabric. That’s is. Nice and simple.

Is that everything? I think so. Should be fun to wear. I’ll probably bring her out again next year, with the additions of the top home made and making the shin armour (which I decided to skip this time, oops?)

Edea, er, Progress!

It hardly feels fair to call this progress when it’s quite a simple cosplay! Nonetheless, lately, I’ve been working on Thief Edea from Bravely Default. I chose this cosplay partly because I had limited time to make something before EGX.
I used an old hoody I had (from a previous cosplay of Prussia from Hetalia) that had been lying around. I cut off the bottom and removed the pockets, then sewed the bottom back on higher up so I’d still have a nice finish. I used the cut off piece to make the hood a bit longer – it was definitely too short to start with! It’s not perfect, but it’ll do =)
The giant padlock was made of 3 layers of camping mat foam that I had lying around, worbla’d and primed with wood glue then spray painted. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the finish as I might normally, but I figure most people wouldn’t notice 😉

For doing the designs on the sleeves and the hood, I decided to try something new.
I used some interfacing on the reverse of my fabric as it was stretchy which makes it difficult to satin stitch on to – see last image for the difference between using it and not! I could have used an embroidery interfacing, but I had normal interfacing to hand and it made them almost like patches so that was fine. I started with a straight stitch to draw out the pattern which makes the fabric less likely to wobble as you satin stitch. I then used a narrow zigzag stitch to do the design properly. I did this from the back, which isn’t perhaps ideal as you can’t tell how it’s going to turn out, but it was the best option for me at the time.
I cut around the stitching and used a straight stitch to stitch each ‘patch’ into place. Ideally, I’d have probably wanted to use something like heat’n bond, but time was short and I wanted to get these done in time for EGX if nothing else!

Both the keys and sleeve design (I assume they’re meant to be locks?) were done in the same way. The locks took me about 40 minutes of work, the keys a little longer, simply because of the more fiddly design. Overall, I’m happy with them and they look much better than simply painting the design on. Actually quite pleased with how the embroidery turned out, last time I tried something like this it was a bit of a disaster! I suppose the design and the fabric make a world of difference.

Hopefully Edea will be coming out again at October Expo, but frankly, with the hoody done, there’s not much else to do! Really it’s just making a belt with some bags and I can dig up the other pieces from elsewhere =)

Fang Progress

I’ve got a few makeup basics/tutorials up my sleeve, but I thought I’d go ahead with something a bit easier to blog about today, plus I haven’t shown any cosplay progress in a while =)
Fang is a cosplay I’ve wanted to do for a while. Any remaining love for XIII that isn’t given to Lightning is pretty much all on Fang. I always intended to do her ‘properly’, in that I wanted to make her sari like an actual sari. I’ve changed the way I think about this now since this isn’t a competitive cosplay and I should just have fun making it, which involves making life slightly easier for myself.

 

Without flash
I was a bit iffy on choosing my fabric, I wanted something with a sheen or shimmer rather than pure cotton. I’m not sure I’m 100% happy with my choice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely fabric, I just think the colour is slightly off! I bought 100m of 4inch ribbon because that annoyingly that was the cheapest way to do it. I’ve started drawing and painting the design on but plan to spread this out over a longer period as I’m not in a particular rush with this. I’ve also got 2 different sizes of gold ribbons to sit either side.
With flash. Actually a much better representation of the colour
As for the rest of it, I made a small tank top out of some spare black jersey I had lying around although I have yet to slash the back (you can just see it in the above photos). Though it’s very simple, I’m pretty pleased of how well it fits. I’m probably going to buy some shorts rather than make them since you don’t even see them! (This is one of the previously mentioned ways of making my life easier).
I went bead shopping last weekend, only to find out that all the bead shops in London close on Sundays. How annoying. Instead I’m buying online which I will likely do soon. As for the boots, I plan to buy some cheapish sandles with a small heel and then make boot covers. I’ve got plenty of brown leatherette lying around, so that’ll be easy.
It’s nice to have a simple cosplay for a change.

Photos of Rosa Progress

No, so like, I have a perfectly good excuse for leaving it over a month. I’ve been revising and examing and I’m almost done now and found a break to blog!

So let’s show you some of my Rosa progress yes?

So these are the boots. All very simple. Need to add the purple bits and the top bits.

They’re also very comfy. I wore them for a week in France in the snow. And then thought I should probably stop wearing them to make sure I didn’t break them before Expo =p

Let’s alternate sides shall we?

These was a rough attempt at getting the bun in the wig. I need to actually move it down a bit since this sat basically on top of my head and did not look good.
I’m waiting to get some more hairspray and wax before I do this properly, so I can basically cement it in place. And by waiting I mean being lazy and not going to a shop to get some.

These are some of the gems I made out of polymorph. Love this stuff! First time working with it, so they’re not perfect, but I shall improve. Have since had layers of mod podge, ready to be painted.

Capes capes capes capes!

I love capes. So swishy ❤

And yes, these are Rosa’s capes.

Patterns are all hand drawn and tbh, I’m pretty damn proud with how they look together.

So on the left we have the belts and pieces, roughly tucked and pinned in place. More detail to go, but almost there!
I just wanted to see how it was all going to fit together. Pretty damn close to the reference methinks.

And on the right, we have the bits of how I made the jewelled part on the belty pieces (what do I call them??).
Cut up some bamboo pieces, spray them gold.
Coloured some clear gems I found with nail varnish, and then, well, there you go!

Also, decided to make myself a new gunblade for Lightning, since I’m entering her into the masquerade and into Eurocosplay qualifiers.

Okay, I know it’s made out of cardboard, but shush.
I couldn’t afford anything more fancy (or rather, couldn’t justify it) and it only has to last 1 day. Not even that, one afternoon.
I’ve layered it with paper mache newspaper. Needs priming, sanding if I have time and then painting.

I still have a fair bit to do, and one more exam on Friday, but that gives me a week to find things before Expo. Let’s hope I can do it!

And here are my Expo plans, because I doubt I’ll get time (or even have a need?) to blog again before Expo. So we have God Tier Rose (Homestuck), Lightning (FFXIII) and of course Rosa (FFIV). Also wearing a normal version of Rose on the mornings, whilst I have photoshoots, since I wanted something more comfortable to wear whilst doing them.
Come say hi if you see me! =]

 

Yeul Progress

(So I only left it just under 3 weeks, getting better…..)

Anyway, have some Yeul updates!

Firstly we have the skirt, though this is what it looked like a week ago. I have since cut it to the right length, just waiting for me to hem it tomorrow.

It’s a weird kind of skirt. Yeul’s skirt looks like it’s supposed to be a wrapped skirt, but that’s kind of impossible difficult to do (would require recutting everything, probably, and a lot of trial and error) so I decided to cheat a little. There is a zip in the back of the skirt (hidden) from which the wrap pieces on either side come from, so they at no point cross round the back (which would have caused problems).

So yes, quite proud as I haven’t used any sort of a pattern. Just common sense and some trial and error.

Needs dying, but that’ll probably be one of the last things I do as it’s fairly simple.

Next are just some small photos. One shows my recolouring of beads. Gotta love sharpies, saved me having to buy 3 lots of beads when I only need what you see in the picture of red and green (also 2 of the original yellow). I have quite a few left, but no where near how many I would have had.
Also is the beginnings of the head piece. Has a craft foam base and then I’m building up the shape with air drying clay.

 

Lastly comes me looking all gangster.

Innit. Bro.

But I’m actually showing you the various bracelets Yeul has. Not shown (as they’re not done yet) are the ‘straps’ (for want of a better word) that go across the back of her hands, they’ll be pretty simple to do though.

There are still other various beading bits to do. She has other strap bits further up her arms. The main trick with that will be getting it to stay up, but I’ll manage it somehow.

And then, that’s about all the updates I have for now!

Still left to do is the top (not started at all), the beads straps as mentioned, finishing the headpiece and hemming her fur butcape.
Shoes were bought about 4 months ago, though I don’t seem to have taken a picture. But they’re just shoes, I’m not altering them at all.

Tomorrow I plan to bring out the sewing machine, get the skirt sewing finished and do the fur. Keep putting off the top, scared to start patterning that out!

Gloves!

They be done!!

But first, just a brief point.
Last Saturday was Manchester Expo to which I gave Lightning her first test run. I put everything I had on the day before and I hated it. I just didn’t think I suited her at all. But it would have been a waste to not go and not wear it, so I went anyway.
And had a great reaction =3
Apparently I’ve managed to pull off that ‘doing her properly’ thing that I was aiming for. Sure, I had bits missing (the gloves and no gunblade) but everything else was done properly and not half-assed and was accurate as can be. I think that was recognised by people which made me happy =3
So I’m finishing her properly for Toko next week and will hopefully end up at least being satisfied, just about.

So anyway, gloves.
I had originally attempted to make them out of real leather. Bad idea. Zero stretch at all.
So then I realised I had several metres of a bright blue fabric to make them out of. Though it’d be easy, but from this fabric, the first attempt was too small around 2 fingers and the second was just badly shaped.
I decided to either wait and buy some more stretchy fabric or make pieces to go inbetween the fingers, giving me the space I needed.

Then I went on a brief shopping trip yesterday to buy some other cosplay supplies and ended up buying some small stretchy leggings from Primark. For £3.

Et voila. (Also shown is a previous attempt)

So let the lesson be learned. Gloves must be made out of stretchy fabric and all your woes will disappear.
Also, Primark is sometimes perfect for cosplay supplies (because I also got a £2 pair of shoes).