Wonder Woman: Cosplay Progress

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This may be the most time I’ve ever given myself to complete a cosplay project. I have about three months to complete four costumes for Kokomo Con.

Technically, we are getting ready for two cons. I’m currently fixing pieces for our Vikings cosplay for GenCon. My son’s axe broke and I have to remake the head out of wood or foam.

I made the mistake of not saudering the openings of my chainmail, so now I get to go back and do that or more links will fall off.

Debating keeping the dreads. They kind of look like Lagertha’s hair.

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As far as the Wonder Woman cosplay goes, we don’t have much done. We’ve bought some fabric and patterns that we can alter. It’s a slow process. I feel like the older I get the slower things get done. I used to be able to cut patterns in one evening or one day, and so far I’ve been cutting patterns for three days straight. It doesn’t help that I have Supernatural playing in the background to distract me, but in my defense, I devoured four seasons of that show during the Labyrinth cosplay and got done on time.

Seriously, you just move slower in your 30’s people. So give yourself more time as you get older.

This will be the first time my son doesn’t group cosplay with us. I’m so sad. But he didn’t want to be an Amazonian. lol

 

Ah … good times …

He has decided to be Ash from Pokemon. At least it’s an easy costume. I’ll only be sewing the shirt and tweaking some gloves. Everything else can be ordered. He already has a Pikachu, which, true to character, goes with him everywhere, so he’ll be really dirty by the con.

I am going as Queen Hippolyta. My sister will be Antiope, and my friend Donna will be Menalippe.

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It has taken us weeks just to gather decent source material to reference from. We have the dolls for Antiope and Hippolyta. No doll for Menalippe, but she does have an action figure we are debating getting.

This is the first time we’ve cosplayed something before it came out on dvd. So we can’t play the pause the show game.

A thorough study of the costumes has revealed a lot of similarities and repeating patterns in each costume, which will make it easy to reuse patterns. That should speed things up. They look very different, but the designs are very similar. Stare closely and you’ll see it too.

Sorry no pictures, but I don’t think you guys are interested in a pile of fabric and patterns. Next week should have something to show.

Labyrinth Cosplay: Progress Update

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I’ve honestly lost count of how many weeks I’ve been working on this project and how many there are left.

This week, I made a lot of trips to Jo-Ann’s. Not that I don’t usually, but this one required more. It seemed like every night I was missing something–something required to work on the next step.

For starters, Somehow this fabric hoarder ran out of interfacing. And I also had to buy shoulder pads–how 80’s. If I’d read the notions section of the pattern, I would have known this, but I tend to ignore this part until I’m ready for it.

Then the clear coat for my brooch didn’t work, so I had to go get more of that, and it’s very hard to find in a gloss.

I also messed up my cuffs and had to start from scratch, which meant cutting more fabric, more interfacing, and more lace.

I was worried the week was going to be full of setbacks, but then towards the end there was a complete turn around.

I almost finished my jacket. It is looking super awesome. I just need to attach the bottom and glue on the jewels. I also found one of those stands to put it on instead of a hanger. That will come in handy when I sew the dress.

My favorite part is the lace. I just love how it ads depth and tones down some of that blue. I can’t wait to ad the jewels, though I’m sure that will be a pain in the butt.

I can’t wait to be done. It’s been a total headache. I’ve had to stock up on ale, snacks, and binge watch Supernatural just to get through it.

The other  major accomplishment: my sister finally chose fabric for her dress. We cut out the patterns and I’m super excited to get started on this.

I also finished spraying the brooch and it’s ready for jewels.

Note: If you ever need a super silver shiny spray paint, Krylon metallic silver is great. My brooch and the keys look like real metal.

My goal this week is to finish the jacket, work on the Hoggle mask, and maybe, just maybe, start sewing the dress.

 

Labyrinth Cosplay:Week Three Progress

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This was a week of ALMOST. I almost finished my shiny Bowie shirt.

It looks finished, but I still need to sew the buttons in the back. I found some really pretty buttons from JoAnns but they didn’t have enough in stock, so I have to wait for more to come in. At least the sewing part is done. I’m really happy with the way the shirt turned out. I think my sewing level might have increased from beginner to intermediate. I still can’t master zippers, but there’s always an alternative to a zipper.

I almost finished Rylee’s Hoggle pants. I just have to sew the patches and a button on them.

Other than that, my sis bought the clay to make Hoggle’s accessories. She hasn’t been feeling well, so that is as far as she got.

We also looked at fabric again. Monday, I’m going to buy the fabric for the jacket.

My goal is to finish the pants Monday and start on the jacket and finally cut the pattern for Sarah’s dress. There’s still so much to get done. I just realized I need to make the brooch that he pins on his ruffled shirt. I saw one online, but the colors of the beads are wrong and it’s 50 dollars. I could probably make it for 10-20. So another thing to add to the to-do list.

Stay tuned for next week, when hopefully, I have some more photos to share.

Labyrinth Cosplay: Week Two

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Even though I have 7 weeks left, I feel like time is running out, much like the thirteen hours in the Labyrinth. Probably because I’m moving a lot slower than I thought. It’s taking me roughly a week to finish one article of clothing. Considering I have a shirt, gloves, jacket, and dress to sew, this is too slow.

But I’m going to focus on what was accomplished and not what’s left to go.

It’s Hoggle

his shirt and vest is officially done. I’m really happy with the vest. I love the fabric, and the patterns were not as hard to sew in as I thought they’d be.

I was going to start the Jareth shirt, but I lost page one of the instructions, so I had to re-order the entire pattern for the instructions. I did cut the pieces out so they are laying in a silky pile waiting to be sewn.

Other than that, I attempted to sew the gloves, and I cut the patterns for his pants and the dress. This was a week with a lot of setbacks. But I’m going to keep plowing forward.

Labyrinth Cosplay: Week One 1/2

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I don’t usually dig the 1/2 thing, like Lion King 1/2, but this is technically not week one since I started a little bit before last week, so roll with it.

So what have we accomplished so far.

Goblin King

 

jareththegoblinkingI found the fabric for my shirt. It’s so shiny. I’m excited/not excited to start working on that. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be perfect because only the collar shows. That’s this week’s project. Other than that, my wig came in. I have mixed feelings. It’s a little dark. But it seems like the wigs either come in too dark or too light. What I’m more annoyed by is the length. It’s way too long on top–another common problem with Jareth wigs. I’ll probably have to take it in and have it trimmed.

My third crystal ball came in, so now I’m going to start practicing some new tricks.

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On a positive note, all of the jewelry pieces for Sarah are done. I’m so excited about this. I like to consider myself artsy, but jewelry making was just never something I excelled at. Cosplay has given me a chance to really test myself. I re-created the earrings, bracelet, and the necklace that Sarah wears in the film. The necklace was a real challenge. My sister wanted to order it, but I just wasn’t happy with the ones online. For 70 dollars, they really skimp out on the beads and they are more “inspired” by as opposed to being replicas. For probably the total cost of $20, my sister now has a replica that I think is pretty spot on. Let me know if you find one online that is more of an exact replica. I know that’s pretty egotistical, but I’m a stickler for detail.

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I cut the fabric for Hoggle’s vest. I had a hard time finding a fabric that has multiple colors. I don’t like painting fabric. I think this one looks great. I also almost finished his shirt. All i have to do is ad the grommets and ties at the neck.

On another note, my sister purchased a baby doll for Toby and ordered him a striped onesie. It’s coming along. I’m hoping to have the Jareth shirt done this week and maybe the vest. More next week.

 

 

Next Cosplay Officially Underway

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In March, my city is having a con. I believe it’s being held in a ballroom or some form of reception hall, so what better cosplay than Jareth and Sarah from the Ballroom scene of Labyrinth.

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With David Bowie’s death in 2016, it seems like a good time to honor his memory with a cosplay of one of his most iconic roles.

Even though the movie was made in 1986, the year I was born, I didn’t watch it until I was almost thirty. The first time I watched it, I remember thinking what a great cosplay this would be, particularly the ballroom scene.

So I will be cosplaying as the Goblin King. My sister will be Sarah, and my son will be Hoggle. I was hoping he’d go as Toby, partially for the easier costume, but he’s 8, so he’d be embarrassed to be a baby.

I have roughly two months to complete this cosplay. It will be particularly time consuming, requiring wigs, mask, sewing, props, etc. The costumes are elaborate. The dress and jacket are glittery and diamond encrusted. Everything Bowie is glittery and shiny, like a diamond in the ruff.

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Once again, I want to make as much of it as possible instead of ordering it.

The Wow Factor

We always like to have a wow factor. For this cosplay, it will not be enough to look like Bowie, but I must be able to play the part. We are going to learn how to dance and I will learn how to perform all of his crystal ball tricks. This is known as contact juggling.It takes several years to master it, but I’m hoping to be good enough by the con to at least do several tricks well. I’ve seen many cosplayers carrying the crystal ball, but none of them juggling them. So far, I have two balls and a third is in the mail. I’ve been practicing for about a month now, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I love learning new things, so this is exciting for me. I think it will come in handy at birthday parties or while I’m waiting at the dentist.

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I haven’t started sewing yet, but I found patterns for all of the costumes. The dress, believe it or not, was the first one we found. It is almost perfect, requiring few alterations. I also found a pattern for Bowie’s jacket. I already have the boots and pants. I could not find a pattern for a shirt with a jabot or a pattern for my son in his size that I could use for Hoggle. I finally found some online. For Rylee I will modify a pirate pattern circa 1986.

My hair is the right color for Bowie, and I wish I was brave enough to cut it, but my hair grows so slowly, I went ahead and ordered a wig.

I am brave enough to do the makeup, however. It will take some practice to get it right.  here’s round one.

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My sister was going to order the jewelry pieces but I made the earrings and the bracelet. I’m still struggling to make the necklace. Jewelry making is not one of my specialties. I think these turned out good. Not to brag, but I think of all the bracelet replications, mine is the best. I’m a stickler for detail and selected beads in the right color and shape. It’s harder than you think to find beads the right colors though.

 

That’s pretty much what we have done so far. It’s not a lot, but we’re trying to settle on fabrics and purchase those so the real work can begin.

Ready to Raid: Our finished Vikings Cosplay

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Six weeks and 300 hours later we finally finished our Vikings cosplay. We were literally working until 11 pm the night before the con, but everything was ready on time. We had so much fun though our arms are tired from carrying around our shields all day.

For starters, I want to show you our finished costumes.

Here is my son as Bjorn Ironside. He was so cute. He had so much fun with his ax he even broke it before the end of the night.

This is my sister as Porunn. We had a lot of concerns about this costume, but I really like how it came together. We were able to find a Simplicity pattern for the belt and the armor. We also finally figured out what was going on with those gauntlets. We really enjoyed our time being shield maidens.

Lastly, here is my Lagertha costume. It took three days to finish the armor and lacing in the chainmail. Thank goodness I took three days off before the con. On the plus side. I got all caught up on Reign while working on this. This is my favorite cosplay so far. I love the hair, the armor, the chainmail, the colors, especially the shield. I can’t wait to take this one to Indy con.

We had so much fun at the con. There were some really cool costumes, even a guy dressed as the Oxyclean guy. I’m afraid I don’t have a picture.

He spared no expense

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Go Joe!

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The Force Awakens

One of the highlights to the con is the costume contest. Guess who got first place for group costume.

Just wanted to share some highlights from the con. Thank you are for following. For those of you who were following my post on how to build a centaur costume, I will try to finish that next week.

Vikings Cosplay: Final Week

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With five days left before the con, this will be my last post until after the event. Just wanted to update you all really quick on what we got done … and still have to do.

Shirts Complete

All shirts are finished. This took longer than expected after embroidering and embellishing, but I think they look so much like the character’s outfits. Here are some side by side comparisons so you can see how we matched the fabric and details.

Here is Rylee’s shirt, and what I’ve completed of his vest so far. As you can see, the shirt is the same color and similar pattern, and we found a vinyl that replicated the square pattern of Bjorn’s vest. All I have to do is clean up some raw edges and put the grommets in the front and his vest will be done.

This is the best picture I could find of Porunn’s shirt without her armor. I’m not sure if you can see, but we matched the color of the fabric. Even though the sleeves and collar will be hidden by the armor for the most part, we did recreate the look, complete with the trim. We like to capture the nuances of an outfit, even the parts you won’t see.

I couldn’t find any pictures of Lagertha’s shirt without her armor. I actually had to pause the show to see what it looked like. This gives you an idea though. Embroidering the lines on the shirt took forever.

Armor and Gauntlets

I’m sorry to say I didn’t pause to take pictures of our progress so far. All of the fake leather is cut and just needs sewn. Above, you can see what Rylee’s looks like for his Bjorn costume. His is almost done. Kylie and I are finishing our vest this week. We did start our gauntlets over the weekend. I don’t have a picture of Porunn’s gauntlets, but I have  a pic of a partially finished Lagertha vambrace.

These were so fun to make, but it took five hours to get this done, and I still have one more to do!

Other than that, our swords are done, and I’m sad to say, it was late so I didn’t take any pictures.

What’s Left

With five days left, I’m not sure if we’re ahead or behind schedule. We still need to finish our armor, gauntlets, and Kylie’s belt. Other than that, we would like time to make scabbards for our swords. I may or many not have some more chainmail to link.

It does and doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things. Each item just requires so much individual time. That’s where the worry comes in. But I’m still optimistic we can get everything done on time. I have some days off this week to get everything done.

I can’t wait to post pics after the con. Please let me know what you think so far and wish us luck.

Vikings Cosplay: Week Three

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Let me just start by saying, this was not a fun week. We ran into some snags and realized things are coming along slower than they should. With only three weeks before the con, we need to start wrapping up some of our projects. But let’s not focus on what didn’t get done and focus on what did.

Shield Wall Complete

We are finally ready to make our shield wall. Bosses are attached and edging stapled in. All they need are something round to cover the staples.

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Swords

I’m really proud of how the swords are coming along, except how long they’ve taken to make. I was really anxious to make weapons, and I debated whether to make them out of foam or PVC before settling on wood. I’m really glad I decided to go this route instead of buying something from a Halloween store. Sorry I forgot to take pictures. I will next time.

It’s Sew Time

So, I’m finally sewing. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Turns out, most sewing machines are the same, so it didn’t take me long to figure it out. I modified a pattern to avoid having to use a zipper. I DON’T do zippers. It turned out great. I’m using the children’s Rey pattern to make Rylee’s shirt and leather vest. I took an 8-piece pattern and turned it into a 5-piece pattern by attaching several pattern pieces together that should have been separate. This eliminated so many steps–and the pesky zipper. His short is almost done. I just need to add the grommets and lacing and it should be done.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but here is a picture of the fabric. Just look how well this matches Bjorn’s shirt  in color and pattern.

I know that was kind of a short update, but just didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures. I’ve got to get back to sewing. So hopefully more to show next week.

Lagertha Cosplay: Week One

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Well, all year my sister and I have been teasing a great top-secret cosplay idea. The only problem: we didn’t get it done … or started. With weekly doctor appointments, our mother’s passing, and getting her condo ready for the market, there just wasn’t time. Not to mention all of that procrastination.

So last minute we decided to do a Vikings cosplay. My sister will be Thorunn, Porunn (whichever), my son will be Bjorn, and I will be (the fan favorite) Lagertha. I think it’s really ironic that once again, my son is playing the role of my son–only last time I played the role of father (Thranduil). And once again, he’s playing the role of my sister’s boyfriend–or would-be boyfriend.

For the record, we did not choose Vikings because it would be “easy” just “easier” than our other idea. To be honest, if we’d wanted easy, we’d have bought bed sheets and made Kylo Ren and Rey costumes … not too late to do that.

Vikings is just an awesome show and what better time to create a Vikings cosplay than right before the second half of the latest season. So excited to see Lagertha and Aslaug battle it out for Queen. Hoping Bjorn joins the plot this season. lol

Our Raiding Party

vikings-bjornSo, obviously my kid looks like Bjorn, and he’s my son, so who he was going to be was no debate. I wanted him to go as kid Bjorn at first, but to be honest, big Bjorn’s costume will be easier than the child’s costume. And he gets an ax.

imagesMy sister and I really liked the character Throunn. We’re probably the only fans of the show who do. Not sure why. She’s a fun character with an awesome hairstyle (sis already has the shaved head). She’s a slave turned free woman exploring her new found freedom, which makes her a little wild and reckless. Sadly, the fans hated her and the producer wrote her off the show, which happens to almost all of the children and women characters I’ve noticed. Ironically enough, this will not be the first time my sister has cosplayed as a truly despised character. Two years ago she went to Kokomo Con as Tauriel, the controversial OC for the Hobbit trilogy. While we loved her, she was simply detested by die-hards. So it seems my sister is drawn to a certain type of character. Can’t wait to see how she pulls this one off.

Obviously I chose Lagertha.  Mostly because I can relate with her. She’s a single mother and a fighter who tries very hard not to put up with male BS, but gets screwed anyway, and has a hard time getting the respect she deserves. Personality aside, I love the intricacies of her hair and outfits. And there were a lot of outfits and hairstyles to choose from but I’m going to do this one from Season 3.

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Goals

One of our biggest regrets with the Hobbit cosplay was that we didn’t personally make the costumes. At the time I didn’t have the confidence to sew. It had been almost fifteen years since I’d taken sewing class (and I wasn’t very good. My teacher let me pass for “effort”). I gained a lot of confidence building the centaur costume (completely and utterly by hand), so I feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do.

Sidenote: for those of you who think you’ll never use what you learn in shop class or home economics, if you want to cosplay, you will. It’s been fifteen years since shop and sewing class, but I can’t believe all the instant recall I’ve had while working on this project. I’m glad I took theatre, shop, and sewing in high school. A lot of people said I was wasting my time, but it turns out, I have some useful skills. (Also, as an adult, if you want to eat, take cooking class. Just saying).

Obviously we have our work cut out for us with elaborate hairstyles, wood working, leather working, sewing, and making chain-mail. It’s going to be slow going, but with five weeks left, I think we’ll be done in time for Kokomo Con.

Progress

So, after a week of settling on concepts, we finally made a solid week of effort.

So what did we get done?

Our swords, shields, and the ax are all cut and ready to be filed, sanded, and painted. The swords themselves took an entire day to cut out (I was still getting acquainted with the jigsaw), but the shields and ax we cut out in two hours after work.

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I have one sleeve of chain-mail finished (don’t judge unless you’ve done this). I can’t feel the tips of my fingers anymore. To clarify, I didn’t order a chain-mail shirt, or even chain-mail links. I am making my own links and linking them together one by one. There are many ways to do this, but I prefer the method where you attach them on a rod like so. There is a video on YouTube that shows this process. I made the thing to hold the rod out of PVC pipe. It took all of five minutes to make. As you can see, it is portable, sturdy, and adjustable. (you can put longer or shorter rods and pipes in the top and bottom to make it longer or shorter depending on how long a chain you need to make.

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Next week I hope to get some sewing done. Thanks to friends and family who deserve more than just an honorable mention, I have a sewing machine to sew the garments. It was absolutely free so I’m going to take very, very, very good care of it. Their kindness saved me time and hundreds of dollars, which helps a lot because leather (even fake leather) isn’t cheap.

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I’ll be sure to share photos and updates on my blog, facebook, and Twitter as the weeks go by. Stay tuned for next week’s progress.