|Over an ordinary grey shirt, Tanith wears a brown sleeveless leather coat which transforms in front to a black lace-up tunic and has a shortish train at the back. Tanith's trousers are a dark blue demin and she wears long boots with a side lace. Her hair is long, blonde and wavy. She carries a long ninja toh sword and scabbard, which is concealed in her coat. She is a master swordswoman with hard eyes and strong arms.|
And my costume is about done! I haven't had the guts to chop off the arms of my lovely coat, so they're staying on for now. Just need to work on my real arms now and, er, pile on the muscle... again.
|Get a great pair of 'guns' and some 'sweet abs'||High||In Progress|
|Figure out how to chop up and sew together bits of coat||Medium||In Progress|
|Belt and buckle||£9.90||To Buy|
Waiting for the wig (Posted 27th June 2012)
A few days ago, I contacted the eBay sellers in Hong Kong because my wig still hadn't arrived. Even taking into account all the delays, it was still taking longer than they'd said. To their credit, they replied very quickly to apologise and told me if it hadn't arrived by July 1st, I could expect a full refund. So that's good. I'm tempted to go to the costume shop in Wellington now, but it's probably better to wait. Besides, due to recent events I can't be out of the house a lot.
The coat is wonderful. I predicted it would eventually work its way into my everyday wear, but actually I got to wear it to a gig, so it happened sooner than I thought. Lots of people were wearing leather there but nobody else had a full-length thing. I got called 'Morpheus' by one of the band (the band are called Krap, if you're interested. My mum knows the drummer, Spen). Morpheus is as good a nickname as any.
Must put coat away until Derek Landy's booksigning. It's going to be around the 17th of September I think - definitely at the weekend, anyway. I've tried to rope another fan of the books into coming with me. He might be cosplaying as well. He has a lot of suits and is tall enough, so maybe he'll dress as Skulduggery. Or Wreath; he can use one of his canes.
The getting fit thing has gone to pot, a bit, and I've become unactive again. So I resolve to make more of an effort, go swimming etc. I tried doing the bootcamp exercise on the Davina DVD, but the bottles I was using as weights were too big for my hands, so I struggled.
To be honest, I think my local gym isn't worth the bother. It's shut for most of the week and I have to pay £29 for an induction even though I went with my secondary school a few years ago and know how the machines work.
Coat's on its way! (Posted 10th June 2012)
Woo hoo! Shaun the coatseller has been paid and the leather coat is already in the post. I can't wait to see it!
Argh, I hope it fits.
Aaaargh, I hope I don't destroy it while I'm making alterations.
Other parts of the costume have come together. I now have the grey shirt, the black tunic, the laceup boots, the ninja sword, and some blue jeans that are so long they go past my ankles (but they'll be tucked into the boots anyway, so it doesn't matter).
So now all I need to wait for is the wig, which should arrive towards the end of the month. I hope it fits. Normally I buy wigs from that place in Wellington - they're pricier there but good quality. Buying them over the internet has worked out cheaper, but the wig is coming from Hong Kong and I have no idea if it's going to look like the picture or not or when it's going to arrive, or if it's going to arrive at all. Aaaaargh.
Have been doing some arm exercises, but I've neglected to keep up my exercise regime for the last week or so. Will have a look at local gym to see how much they charge and when they're open. At least now I have a real-life reference for Tanith Low's appearance - Derek Landy has likened Tanith's physique to that of WWA fighter Ronda Rousey. Obviously I can't get shoulders like that by his next book signing but it's something to aim for.
Now, to learn some stitches and parade around in what little I have of my costume as a confidence boost. I think everyone would look so much better if they carried a sword on their backs.
I am not a seamstress (Posted 3rd June 2012)
...Which should not have come as a surprise but honestly, I thought I knew more than I do.
First I typed in 'How to alter a leather coat'. Then I tried 'How to hem a leather jacket'. Then 'How to hem a LINED coat'. Then I looked up leather scissors. Then I had to find out what a whip stitch was, how to catch a stitch and how to knot thread depending on whether you have a single thread or a double. Virgin territory for me. "Ooh-er," I thought.
Doing my best to remain calm and form a plan, I cast my mind back to the sewing kit at home. My mother and sister HAVE had a crack at creating and altering clothing and other things, so chances are we already have some of the materials I need.
We probably have:
What we probably don't have are:
Oh well. This cosplay thing wasn't going to be easy. I have to say, it's making me appreciate what sort of work goes into something like making clothes. I usually just take it for granted. I know I'm only a novice and this sort of 'revelation' must be amusing to the professionals, but this is a new skill I'm trying to pick up and it's quite a challenge.
I'm going to practice sewing and stitching a bit before the coat arrives, and hopefully will be more confident by then.
Paying for my dream coat (Posted 2nd June 2012)
OK. According to 'Shaun', the seller, the original 1970s full length brown leather coat costs £18, plus £8 for the postage, plus about £2 for the cost of selling a postal order, which comes to a grand total of £28. Still a bargain.
I would normally pay for such a coat by Paypal, but it says I have insuficient funds and have to link up my bank account which could take a few days. But I think the postal order will be a better choice. It will be quicker and, to be honest, I'm still frightened somebody else will snap up the coat before I do. Hopefully they won't.
Operation Gun Show (Posted 1st June 2012)
Now I know the expo I'm aiming to go to is in February 2013, but I think if I can get good arms now, then all I will have to do then is keep them that way. I suppose it's like buying a fit and healthy puppy and then remembering to walk it every day.
I also know that Tanith is a lot older than me (biologically she's 83 but physically she's 23). Her sixty years of solid training and fighting skills would naturally give her well-defined muscles. But I have until February. It can be done. And I've got Davina's latest workout DVD that will help target my arms.
Am I going too far?
I don't know what level of obsession and dedication is right for cosplay. I just thought that if I was dressing as a master swordswoman I ought to have the kind of arms she does.
For those of you that are interested: the 'get-fit' regime officially started about two weeks ago when I bought the DVD, some shoes to go running in etc. The goal is not really to lose weight or burn fat, just get nice and trim. So far, I think I'm doing well (for someone who's supposed to be allergic to exercise). I've been jogging once, I've been to the gym twice, I've been swimming twice and I've used the DVD about five times. The ab-blasting exercise is particularly gruelling, and I have yet to do the whole 15 minutes. But damn it, I'm going to get fit if it kills me.
The only thing I have to be careful of is not turning into a gangster once I do notice any changes. I must NOT swagger around flexing and inviting people to the gun show.
There's also the small matter of eating healthily. I've been to Holland&Barrett and found some protein bars. Protein is a better source of energy than carbohydrate, apparently. The Holland&Barrett protein bars are banana flavoured and a bit difficult to chew, so I'll be getting ASDA's own brand instead, I think.
I have strayed from my healthy diet once or twice. A chocolate bar here, a bit of trifle there (hey, my grandmother made it just for me; I could hardly refuse, could I?). And there was that, er, whole pizza I had one day. Will not be doing that again.
Anyway. The costume! I have found a beautiful leather coat for only £18. The seller is having it weighed and priced this afternoon to find out how much the p&p will cost (me). And then the coat will be mine! Om nom nom nom.
I'm going to wear it to the Midlands Comic Expo some time next year. And if it's ready before then... well, the author of Skulduggery Pleasant, Derek Landy, will almost certainly be doing a book-signing, so I will go to that as Tanith! Hopefully he will be delighted. I might even get a photo with him this time. Woo hoo!