Starbucks dad

Costume :River Tam
Source :Firefly (Serenity)
Progress :Complete
Worn At :London Film and Comic Con 2012

Costume Photos

Heroes Alliance

Tremble before the new Queen...

Posing 2


Group shot

River vs Operative



Strutting her stuff at the masquerade

With crew 3

With crew 2

With crew 1


Costume Information

Cost : £30
Time Taken : 20 Hours all told


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You actually have the coolest child in the world XD Can't wait to see your progress on this!

by Mungojerrie on Sunday, 13 November, 2011 - 13:30
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haha the swords looking awesome!

Keep up the good work!

by Numta on Sunday, 13 November, 2011 - 17:55
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Thanks guys. We don't really know what we're doing so just make it up as we go along so it's great to have so much encouragement.

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 13 November, 2011 - 20:21
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:lol: Most of cosplaying is making it up as you go along :D But She's gonna be an awesome little River :D Be awesome to see it :D

by j_mercuryuk on Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 - 09:13
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I really hope I get to see this in the flesh, she looks so adorable in her other cosplays!!
And River is just so awesome anyway =D

by Stubbled Grapes on Saturday, 19 November, 2011 - 21:11
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Aw, thanks.

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 20 November, 2011 - 22:29
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I love seeing pictures of you two working on this :D Can't wait to see it finished

by Crazedteensie on Sunday, 27 November, 2011 - 16:16
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Thank you - doubt we'll be halfway as good as yours! But, we're having a lot of fun and learning a lot as we go.

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 27 November, 2011 - 19:01
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The progress is looking great! I'm enjoying watching you two put this together. Firefly is a fabulous serious and definitely undercosplayed.

by Nomes on Monday, 28 November, 2011 - 01:00
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Thank you so very much. It really is most kind.

(Now I just have to work out how to edit down Firefly/Serenity for a nine year old, but I will (somehow))

by Starbucks dad on Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 - 00:14
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Very awesome , I wish you and your daughter good luck and welcome you to the world of cosplay ^__^

by TheGyroCaptain on Saturday, 17 December, 2011 - 20:07
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Progress continues to look awesome!

She'll make a brilliant River!

by Numta on Sunday, 18 December, 2011 - 12:08
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I'm so excited to see this! Good luck~

by CosplayGal on Monday, 19 December, 2011 - 09:51
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Oh River is looking amazing! Eleanor looks so happy to have little River weapons :D

by Aks100 on Tuesday, 20 December, 2011 - 00:23
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Progress is awesome! can't wait to see this ^^

by KawaiiKira on Saturday, 14 January, 2012 - 17:39
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Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Seriously, really grateful. As you can see, Eleanor's making most of it herself so having you chaps, all with a lot more of experience than her, being so complimentary means a lot to her.

by Starbucks dad on Saturday, 14 January, 2012 - 21:09
Avatar Image I saw you were having trouble with the nail heads and remembered I have a good reference for the dress. They look silver to me so you may not have to worry about painting them :)

by Crazedteensie on Sunday, 29 January, 2012 - 10:55
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Super, many thanks for the reference. It'll really help us in laying out the pattern.

The colour of the nailheads is driving me up the wall at the mo as in the reference pictures I've seen they could be silver, brass, or even green! The following reference doesn't help either:

The dress was given this description at the Propstore of London:

"A costume worn by River in the sci-fi adventure Serenity. This costume was worn by River in the memorable fight scene near the end of the film when River takes on the Reavers while Mal broadcasts the message using Mr Universe’s transmitter. It is also the same style of dress that River can be seen wearing on the UK poster & DVD cover. It consists of a short green coloured dress which is made from lightweight fabric with gold coloured stud decoration and has blood stains down the front and back (size 2), a pair of green underpants and a beige coloured bra (size 32b)."

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 29 January, 2012 - 14:13
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Ack. I hate not being able to edit comments. Anyway, this was the close picture for the colour. I've no idea what colour that's supposed to be...:)

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 29 January, 2012 - 14:16
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She looks brilliant! :D

by Crazedteensie on Monday, 13 February, 2012 - 17:50
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This looks fantastic!

by Nomes on Monday, 13 February, 2012 - 18:52
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Eleanor: Thank you for the comments and constant encouragement. Look forward to seeing you all at a convention. :)

by Starbucks dad on Monday, 13 February, 2012 - 20:49
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Love this...the detail is really good

by SamanthaKaiba on Sunday, 19 February, 2012 - 21:53
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Thanks - we'll be glad to never see another nailhead as long as live!

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 19 February, 2012 - 22:21
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Amazing work!

Really awesome River! =D

by Numta on Monday, 20 February, 2012 - 13:51
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Thanks Numta, appreciated. She worked really hard on this one.

by Starbucks dad on Monday, 20 February, 2012 - 20:02
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love this! absolutely fantastic work on the dress =D

by PaperTiger on Sunday, 1 July, 2012 - 20:10
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:) Thanks

by Starbucks dad on Tuesday, 3 July, 2012 - 21:46
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Loved seeing this! I got to be one of the judges for the masquerade so got to speak to her quite a bit about it. A very confident girl! You should be proud!

by sjbonnar on Monday, 9 July, 2012 - 13:50
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I thought I'd commented on this before, but it would appear I haven't! You were amazing as river,. and I loved your routine for the masquerade. Well done, it's a great costume!

by Wyrdsister on Monday, 9 July, 2012 - 13:54
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sjbonnar - many thanks for that. Yep, she's not a bad old stick really :)

Wrydsister - Too kind, thank you. If you liked her routine for River just wait for Hit Girl.......

by Starbucks dad on Monday, 9 July, 2012 - 20:24
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aw she's looks fantastic! You did such a great job on the costume and weapons!

by FuriePhoenix on Monday, 9 July, 2012 - 21:02
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Hands down the best River i've ever seen =D

by Numta on Monday, 9 July, 2012 - 21:44
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awsome River was awsome ^^

by nanahara on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 10:19
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You guys were awesome! So gutted I didn't get to see you!

by Manticore on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 12:15
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Eleanor: (me, not my Daddy for a change!)

Thank you all very much and I'm glad you all liked it and it was really nice to meet you all.

by Starbucks dad on Tuesday, 10 July, 2012 - 19:30
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Photos are did such a great job and you suit her so well ^_^

by SamanthaKaiba on Wednesday, 11 July, 2012 - 12:40
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Such a superstar! I love the photo entitled 'Posing!'

by Nomes on Thursday, 12 July, 2012 - 15:03
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Such a great River and you came away with some fab photos too!

by Amy-Lou on Thursday, 12 July, 2012 - 18:13
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Thank you, thank you, thank you.

She did enjoy this one a lot - well, apart from sticking 12 hundred nailheads on :)

I think she might make this one again, but up the quality, in a year or so.

by Starbucks dad on Thursday, 12 July, 2012 - 20:44
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This looked amazing! Brilliant work!

by TheStarlightFairy on Sunday, 15 July, 2012 - 21:40
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This is just absolutely fantastic! Amazing photos too!

by Plasticsharkattack on Monday, 16 July, 2012 - 00:12
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Many thanks - we were very lucky with the 'photos with Darren catching us at the 'Con.

by Starbucks dad on Wednesday, 18 July, 2012 - 19:15
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Totally brill my lovely :) Firefly & Serenity cosplays are the best!

by Frederica la Noir on Saturday, 6 April, 2013 - 19:01
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Aw, thanks :)

by Starbucks dad on Monday, 8 April, 2013 - 19:21
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Looks so awesome! Love all the detail you went to like with the weapons!

by InfiniteJester on Friday, 6 September, 2013 - 08:42
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Thank you. This is probably her favourite costume and certainly the one that took the longest :)

by Starbucks dad on Sunday, 29 September, 2013 - 17:50

To-Do List

Dress straps to doHighComplete
Outer dress to makeHighComplete
Sword to re-do prototypeHighComplete
Axe to completeHighComplete
Beading for the dress to work outHighComplete
Dress to makeHighComplete


Archive shot (Posted 13th February 2012)

Switched from main page

Hair colour test (Posted 12th February 2012)

Eleanor: It looks like we will need two cans of hair dye. It felt like air coming out of a can.

Archive shot (Posted 5th February 2012)

Switched from main page

Paint test (Posted 3rd February 2012)

Eleanors dad: Paint test was a success!

(we just need to paint another 1,186 of them now...)

Hurrah for the Ford motor company! (Posted 30th January 2012)

We're convinced the nailheads are an off gold colour. Burnished Gold maybe. Anyway, trip to Halfords to see what they had and Ford did a paint close to what we think we need. We've pressed some nailheads into some bluetack and given them a quick spray. For the moment they look good, but we'll see what they are like when dry.

Um? (Posted 29th January 2012)

Trying to work out what colour the nailheads should be. Gold? Brass? Bah! We've got silver at the moment so we need to paint them but gold looks too bright. Brass then. Probably.

They're here........ (Posted 25th January 2012)

Nailheads have turned up. Need to paint them first but we should be able to start marking out this weekend..

Redux (Posted 8th January 2012)

So we redid the voil, fitted the dress and we're sort of there. All sewn up. Just have to mark out the pattern and learn how to fix 1200 nailheads to a dress. Easy.....

Oops (Posted 22nd December 2011)

Eleanors dad: Fitted the Voil. Hurrah!...and then we trimmed a bit too much off......:(

Straps (Posted 18th December 2011)

Eleanor: We have now finished the straps! We now need to do the voil.

Voil work (Posted 18th December 2011)

Eleanor: We have started the voil we have traced around the other part of the dress so we can get the pattern about right.

Glue... (Posted 5th December 2011)

Eleanor: The glue isn't working for us. We did a experiment, and the glue stained the material so we need to find a new glue.

and another thing... (Posted 29th November 2011)

...I'm still not happy with the axe.

So it's the dress bit then.... (Posted 28th November 2011)

Eleanors Dad: So we have the panels with hems done which is good - we now have to put it together into a dress. Um.

We're going to use fabric glue at first just so we can re-position the panels if we get it wrong. So far our tailors dummy has been El lying on the floor on top of the fabric as we wrap her up in the panels. Not terribly sophisticated.

Once we're happy with the glued position we shall (drum roll) bring out the sewing machine! Oh yes, indeedy.....

(and of course if we're not happy and the glues dried we just throw it in the washing machine until it comes apart again)

Axe (Posted 16th November 2011)

Eleanors dad: The roughing up of the foam board went OK. Scrubbed it with a scourer, painted it and then scrubbed it again. Finally washed it with diluted brown paint. Came out nicely battered. Edges are still rubbish though so need to tidy up and put the string handle on.

To paraphrase: Our axe is problematic..... (Posted 13th November 2011)

Eleanors dad: Sword is finally there. We weren't happy with the 2nd prototype but 3rd time is a charm (bah. Update - no it isn't. We've just realised we're missing a slight curve at the start. Drat). We've used balsa wood which makes it light enough for El to carry around but is also easy to carve. We've trimed down the "blade" part so it looks less square and cut in the notches as against just having them painted on. Much better. The axe alas is a bit of a bust. Painted foam board just looks wrong. Far too "shiny". Back to the drawing board for that one.

Cutting (Posted 12th November 2011)

Eleanor: it's going to take a while to cut but the nail heads will take longer...

Measuring (Posted 12th November 2011)

Eleanor: I'm using an old dress to make a pattern

..and sew it begins... (Posted 12th November 2011)

Eleanors dad: Well we don't have a clue what we're doing (do we ever) but we have the material....

We've started....... (Posted 6th November 2011)

Eleanor: We have our prototypes! We're happy with the axe but the sword needs some work.