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 =)

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Getting back into the sewing of things

Bad pun? Perhaps.

Anyway. Between Expo and Christmas, I’d been on a bit of a sewing dry spell. In part because I was having a break, but also because I was seemingly rather busy with other things (including playing FFXIV, which isn’t really an excuse). So I made a few little things that I’ve been meaning to make for ages. They’re not cosplay, that started after Christmas.

I started off by making what’s supposed to be a ‘thread catcher’, but I was making it with the intention of having somewhere to store my wonder clips, rather than have them in a plastic bag! It looks rather cute I have to say.

It was made using some random purple check cotton I picked up (in part to make the thing I’m going to talk about next) and the lining is leftover fabric from my Midnight Mauve cosplay. It’s quite nice having the satin lining actually, and I’m a big fan of purple at the moment.
I had a bit of a faff cutting the pieces, if only because my table was bit cramped, and I accidentally cut the rectangles a bit smaller than they were supposed to be. But actually, it’s turned out the perfect size for the clips, so it’s no problem. This probably took me 20 minutes to make, 10 to cut, 10 to sew which makes it a great evening project. I plan to make several more of different sizes, just need to find the right fabric first!

The second thing I made has been on my list for at least 6 months, if not more. In fact, I even started making it many months ago, I believe I even blogged about it, and it’s a work-in-progress bag.

First things first, I can’t say I’m particularly proud of this piece of sewing. It’ll be very useful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a bit of a mess. Mostly because I didn’t square off my pvc very well so the binding is somewhat wobbly, but there’s always a next time. I don’t remember how long the zip insertion took, I can’t imagine long. The binding can’t have taken me more than half an hour though!
I tend to keep my WIP cosplays in a bag, usually whatever bag I got when I bought the fabric, but it’s not an ideal solution. My plan is to make enough large WIP bags to store the current cosplays I’m making (at most 5 at once, usually no more than 3). I’d also like to make some smaller ones to carry bits around in.

It’s really nice to do some simple sewing for a change, especially when I get results almost immediately. And I know ultimately, these things should help my cosplay making stay just that little bit more organised =)

2016 Begins!

Welcome to the first post of 2016 =) You may notice a small change in schedule, I shall now be posting on Saturdays. This will hopefully help me stay on track with posting, especially since I’m upping my posts to every week!

I have various cosplay plans for this year and I thought I’d show you the most likely ones, as it were. I’m sure I’ll add more to the list as the year progresses, but these are ones I’ve either already agreed to be in a group with or I definitely want to get done this year!

We have
Sandplay Meiko – From The Sandplay, Singing of The Dragon
Fang – Final Fantasy XIII
Zelda – Hyrule Warriors
Judgement Knight – Legend of the Sun Knight
Steampunk Kairi – Kingdom Hearts
Queen Rapunzel – (arguably) Tangled (art by LeleDraw)
Festival Rikku – Final Fantasy X-2
Lightning – Final Fantasy XIII-2

In terms of conventions, my plans run as follows
Minamicon
Kitacon
MCM Comic Con May
Amecon
EGX
MCM Comic Con October

But as always, I may yet make it to more events! These are the ones you can guarantee to see me at though =)

I have a vague plan to make 1 cosplay a month, but I have no idea how well that’s going to go! I’m on track so far – she says after merely a week into the year. I also want to do some other ‘normal’ sewing though, I’m just not sure when I can fit that in amongst everything else, oops!

2015 Look Back

2015 has been perhaps a slightly odd year for me (which is funny, because I said the exact same thing last year!). Perhaps every year is a strange year. Regardless, it looks like I didn’t achieve many of my aims from last year, oops! But the reasons for that are varied and I’m not going to get into it here =) Suffice to say, I don’t feel bad about it.

So in 2015 I did a grand total of *drumroll please* 6 new cosplays! (Though, Edea barely counts, Splash Haru wasn’t made by me and Lightning was half made last year but I wanted to include her anyway)

That’s not many. At least, in my head I’d done more than that, but I suppose it’s been a pretty quiet year really for me. The only events that I’ve been to, that I can remember now, are the London MCMs, Manchester MCM, Kitacon and a too brief afternoon at EGX. I suppose I just had my mind (and money!) on other things.

I think I always look back and wish I’d done more. More cosplays. More events. More competitions. More photography. Better sewing and props. More and better of everything. But alas, it cannot always happen that way.

2016 is going to be another strange year. There’s a chance I may be moving in September and that’s going to affect what I can do from then. So from January until then, it’s all systems go to get as much done as possible. I can still attend events, I just don’t know how much space I’ll have for making cosplay. I’ll let you know my proposed plans in the next post!

Hope you all have a very happy new year =)

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?)

MCM Comic Con October 2015!

Sorry for the slight delay in this week’s post! I’ve been trying to finalise my plans for the upcoming MCM. Doesn’t look like the weather is going to be very nice, especially on the Friday, which has given me pause to think!

But I can now confirm these plans – sort of.

Friday: Panty – Panty and Stocking
Saturday: Lan Fan – Fullmetal Alchemist
Sunday: Thief Edea – Bravley Default

Originally on Friday, I was planning to cosplay Jibril from No Game No Life. I didn’t quite get it finished for Kitacon this year, so I wanted an excuse to finish it. But with the weather looking a little rainy, I didn’t fancy walking around with only one shoe on! Though not much better in terms of coverage, Panty is a cosplay I’ve been meaning to do for a couple of years, but have never quite managed to get round to doing it. This time I’m going to take it easy and buy a dress. I already have shoes and jewellery from when I planned to do this at Kitacon 2014. If I wake up on Friday morning and the weather is completely awful, I may end going in civvies that day.

Lan Fan is another cosplay I’ve been wanting to do for years, and I’ve finally got the chance to with an FMA group that’s been organised by Nomes =)

Edea I’m talking along to show some Bravley Default love, though unfortunately I’m missing the main group on Saturday as it clashes with the FMA one!

Should hopefully be a good weekend though. Looking forward to seeing lots of my friends and meeting lots of new people at the Square Enix Collective meets each day.