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Storme
Progress

Last online 1 month ago

Colchester

Joined: 31st Aug 2010

Completed costumes: 54

Photos uploaded: 330

Progress journals: 212

Events attended: 24

http://coscraft.co.uk

Things for the cosplay! I bought a super-cute pair of red chelsea boots (look at that laceup back!) and woollen beret from amazon. I have a yellow feather to cut down, and I will make the metal clip to attach it. I also bought this pair of lightweight and reasonably-similar-to-the-ingame-style 100% cotton cargo pants from New Look.

I'm going to dye the cargo pants with *some* of a packet of Dylon Espresso Brown dye, as I'm hoping to get a colour somewhere between the original stone-beige shade and the super-dark espresso colour. As before, however, I'm not super concerned with accuracy for this upcoming event, because I'll mostly be behind a stall anyway, so if it turns out somewhat lighter or darker than intended it's not a big deal.

Weathered tabard: I made a paper toile to figure out the pleats and seams of this, since the sleeves especially were confusing to me, and then I draped and cut a linen toile--I would usually adapt a pattern for most cosplays, but this time I just went for it with the mockup and it worked out pretty well. Most of the seams and pleats are machine-stitched for structural strength and then stitched over with embroidery thread for the decorative visible stitches. The dress isn't perfectly accurate and I might redo a few bits for future events, but I'm not going to sweat the details too much since this is just for wearing behind the counter at my stall at MCM.

(the little metal details for the tabard are getting made this week, along with the metal clip that holds on the feather. the shoulder patch-things are going to be done for future events.)

We went to MCM Scotland in Glasgow! Our costumes got a really good reception, but I really couldn't walk much in the shoes I had! As soon as we got back home the other shoes I'd ordered finally arrived, so I'll be wearing those for future wears.

All the bows and buttons are sewn on and the hem of the underskirt has been raised an inch! The dress is complete, needs a good ironing but I'm quite pleased with it!

Still deciding how to style the rest of the outfit when I wear it to Glasgow Comic Con next week.

The bulk of the dress is finished! All the ruffles and gathers are finished. The zip needs to go on (it's hanging weirdly in this picture because the dress is open at the back) and I think I'll lift the underskirt hem up by an inch or so -- I extended it because I'm leg-shy but perhaps I went too far. :D

Making the skirt has been an epic adventure in gathering fabrics! So many ruffles.

Using this Simplicity base pattern and doing the full ruffle/crinoline/broderie-anglaise dealio. I've bought plain blue cloth, however (couldn't find a polka-dot I liked) and my underskirt ruffle fabric is an actual Alice in Wonderland print because it amused me.

So far the fabric and fixings for the dress have set me back approximately £50. I've still to buy shoes, tights, and a wig.

The last bits of sewing and painting have been completed! It all looks right when put together, and it's such a relief honestly. :)

I washed all the product out of the wig so I could transport it for restyling at Animecon! The fringe still does the upwards thing even without product, it's kind of hilarious.

I also had to adjust Aeris's dress because I lost weight. There are worse problems to have!

The much painting is done -- Pez did it all, I take no credit for that -- and the black panel is sewn onto the base of the coat and suddenly it's all looking a lot more like the final product!

I have lines to paint on the black, the chest emblem to put on the leather jerkin, the chain-and-tassles to go on the coat, little silver buttons to go on the sides of the coat, and the inner lining to finish. But we're nearly nearly there, hooray!

I made the arm-straps and the choker. The choker even has a cute buckle, tho it's going to be on the back when I wear it.

The leather swirls for the coat have been edge-painted, the silver dots added to them, and then put onto the coat front.

And Pez painted the back! It's so awesome.

David progress! I am using the gloves that Pez used in her David costume, because I commissioned them for her from a knitting friend and they’re still awesome and perfect.

David’s pants are ridiculous, but they’re done.

I remade the leather jerkin so the neckline was low enough and it wasn’t darted to hell. I also reused Pez’s David belt (repainting it) because why not.

All the sewing is done on the coat! I have been painting edges on all the leather strips tonight, and I need to make the black lining/longer section of the coat soon. Pez took pity on my awful inability to paint complex patterns symmetrically and is painting the back of the coat for me, bless her.

Progress on David’s coat! I made the lining as a sort of template for the outside, so that once I had the panel shapes worked out I could just pin the panels onto that base to check the size/shapes/placements. Then I measured the panels to find out exactly how much bias binding I need to buy for the next step – endless edging.
I’m not happy with the brown side panels here; the brown suede is far too light (the perils of buying fabric online). Pez dug up the leather salvaged from her old Sigmund cosplay and there’s just enough of it for me to cut the two panels I need from that. It’s still a bit light-coloured but it will likely be easier for me to shade it darker. It is super heavy though. We’ll see!

I bought a pair of long white-leather boots on eBay -- non-slouchy boots were hard to find ! I've cut them down a little and added the flaps at the top. Next up: the kneeguards and the buttons on the flaps. I don't think I'm fussed about making them more accurate than that, because I am pretty sure I can't make close-fitting boot covers in a fabric that looks like the one here. So I'm deliberately ignoring it. :D

So far I've nearly finished the shirt (needs that collar stripe) and I've half-made the jerkin -- needs that gold pattern adding, and the zip at the back, and hemming.

I changed my mind on the grey fabric -- I started with grey suede, which had a nice texture but which was too muddy a grey, and it looked not grey enough for me. Now it's a heavy stretch jersey, which is a better colour by far. It's really ambiguous in the game what the grey bit is supposed to be -- armour? fabric? -- so I went with comfort.

The dress was all hand-made: I edited a dress pattern I had to make it strappy, and used fabric donated by a friend. The buttons are all fake; the dress does up by a zip on the facing, and then there are poppers holding the thing closed over the top of that. Pez did all the bias binding and the zip for me because she's lovely and a lot neater than me at those things.

The jacket was a white denim jacket from Dorothy Perkins that I dyed red and altered heavily for length and sleeve style. The belts are fake leather and buckles I had lying around.

The bangles were made by Pez in return for my cutting and styling her Tifa wig.

The boots and ribbon I already owned.

The basket was from a charity shop, and the flowers were bought in bunches from Wilkinsons and then cut down into separate stems. It was a good prop to hide my phone and money in all day.

Aeris's wig is a lacefront Emma in Toffee from Coscraft. I had expected to need to use extra wefts, but in the end I didn't need any; the wig was more than thick enough on its own. The bangs are back-combed and hairsprayed to get the style. The curls at either side were done with a curling iron. The braid is made by the power of science -- both halves are twisted anti-clockwise on their own, and then twisted around each other clockwise, so the forces are equal and it stays in a nice even spiral. The ribbon was made with leftover fabric from the dress.

I hate making bootcovers, so Pez made these for me. I'm super delighted with how they came out.

Killua's clothes aren't very complicated -- I used some old fabric to make his shorts, and bought a poloneck.

The skateboard was bought from a toyshop, and I've primed it to cover up the garish design that was on it: it needs painting now!

I bought grey base boots, then added the eyelets/lacing, the gold upper trim and the black cuffs. This was not hard, hooray for a simple costume bit!

Pez helped me plan out how to do the armwraps because I tried several times and couldn't get anything to look good; in the end, it seemed best to have each arm as one piece rather than as two separate pieces.

The buckles were silver and had to be sprayed gold. The rivets are simple split pins; the ones on the silver bits had to be painted silver to match. The gold/cream trim at the top is actually what you can see through all the gaps, so I need to make tubes for my arms from that next!

The bulk of the chainmail bag wasn't too hard, once I had the mail pieces ready and figured out how to chain them together. The black inner bag is made from the same wool used under the chainmail elsewhere (and in the skirt of the coat), and I just happened to have a zip the same colour as the belts that I could use! The mail is all chained through the fabric, because it looks pretty (and because the inner fabric is hanging from the chainmail instead of the other way around -- which means the fabric isn't having to support the weight of the chainmail; if it was, I would worry about the fabric tearing).

The armour piece for the front of it is currently primed and drying before it gets painted to match the other armour/metal pieces, and I'm about to go figure out how to cover belts with suede in a pretty fashion. :D

Tonight I made a tail! I slimmed down a pool noodle so it was a more appropriate thickness, then I chopped it up into segments. Each segment is shaped at the end so that it can move like a spine segment. There’s a cord through the whole thing, and a strap glued along one side for extra strength.

A lot of tutorials add extra wire through the length of the noodle, so you can move it by tugging on the wire, but I just need this to give a good shape and movement to my tail, not to move on command. The whole thing is then covered in fur -- this fur is the same as on my ears, and is too long and has darker tips, and looks sort of wolfish right now. I’ll be trimming most of it down to the silver, only leaving some darker tips at the very end.

Tails: you can make them in one evening!

A lot of progress this weekend; lots of painting on the various bits of 'metal' so far. The water horn that goes on the back was a special challenge; in the end, the body ended up being carved from polystyrene I managed to rescue from a neighbor throwing it out, and then that's covered in foam and then painted. The stopper is lots of rescued worbla scraps, all mushed together and then sprayed gold. Lots more to do, but the costume's starting to look more like it should.

I finished the chainmail sleeves -- you can see here that I had to put eyelets in the fabric so I could use leather to connect the mail to it, because connecting chainmail to fabric is awkward as hell.

Chainmail, and this, that's been taking up all my time.

Only a few more bits to go and I can start priming/painting them all!

Here's the worbla work on the buckle and one of the belt ornaments, and also the connections that are needed! The pauldron has a ring so I can connected it to the epaulette (and a safety pin to keep it steady) and the belt pieces have jump rings because they're there in the game (and some of them have armour pieces hanging off them). I say jump rings, but actually they're old curtain rings we had around the place!

(Using Worbla's Black Art because it's rather more forgiving of placement errors than traditional WFA -- the glue is less sticky, so bits put in the wrong place can be peeled off and repositioned. With pieces this fiddly, that's super useful.)

Since I haven't updated on the coat for a while -- a lot of it is done at this point! Yesterday I sewed on the various skirt layers -- which has made the coat very heavy, but it swirls pleasingly when I twirl. There are lots of little bits that still need doing -- like the belts that sit on the sides and which cover those joins between top and skirts, and the sleeves, and lots of other things that I need to make 'metal' trimmings for. So I need to crack on with those!

I started on the shoulder pauldron. We might sell it in our shop, but I don't often make things with worbla -- which you can see here from how I messed up! Basically I started by making paper templates, from which I cut foam pieces for the inner core and shape. Then I cut out slightly larger pieces of worbla and shaped them over the foam to get the two sides of the pauldron.

Then I tried to join the two pieces together, and, uh, didn't quite manage to do so as nicely as I'd hoped. I patched up the wonky area with black worbla (because it's smoother and so the join should be less obvious once this is sanded and painted). Then, because I had the black worbla to hand anyway, I made the little patch that's on one side of the pauldron!

Also, because this is me, I managed to blister my finger on the heat gun. At this point I have injured my hands for every single part of this cosplay, in new and inventive times. I hope nobody minds my Miqo'te having battle-damaged hands.

I've made the base of the undershirt! It laces up so I could get a tight fit while also using a non-stretch material. It needs the little bat motif adding, and also more chainmail to hang from under the bottom of the coat by the belts. But I'm pleased with it so far!

It's like knitting with metal. And I'm not a fan of knitting. Sigh.

(A bag. A top. And sleeve bits. Chainmail all over, dammit.)

Styling this was a lot more trouble than you'd expect, because I was having a very clumsy day.

And sewing ears on symmetrically is not a skill I seem to have. But the wig is finished!

To make the hair, I started with an Alex style wig (from Coscraft :P). I needed to create three partings; one across the whole width of the wig, one from the midpoint to the front, and one from the midpoint down the back.

The Alex style is very thick, but it’s not especially designed for being parted like this. I added the first and second false partings by sewing wefts directly onto the wig and then bending them back on themselves with heat to hide the weft base. The last parting – the long one from the midpoint all the way down the back – I made by sewing wefts onto a piece of bias binding, and again bending them back on themselves to get a hidden weft base. I then attached the whole pre-made parting onto the wig, and ta-da, a back parted wig!

I'd never made ears before, so I followed a tutorial by evil-siren on DeviantArt and I'm really pleased by the result! I've since trimmed down the fur along the edges and inside of the ear, and it looks even better than in these pictures.

So I need to put a few pleats in the skirts of the coat.

It turns out that to pleat real leather, you hammer it repeatedly. It's fun! And effective.

(And, um. Don't hammer your thumb like I did. Sigh.)

This is how far I've gotten today, from half a toile this morning. I need to buy green thread (whee) and wait for some cording/straps to arrive before I can sew the black side panels on. Tomorrow I can sew the seams on the hood and sew the inside facing pieces together, though. It's coming together!

I was a little worried about sewing the leather panels together; it turns out our old toyota machine is more than capable of handling the stuff, however. Hooray! I'm really pleased with how the seams look at the moment.

I've cut out my fabric for the coat; since I'm using real (unused desk) leather, I'm conditioning the hell out of it. This makes it more supple and gives the colour a bit more depth, and I'm hoping will make it easier to work with for sewing etc.

Having chopped up the toile, I now have pattern pieces (mostly without seam allowance, which I need to remember).

Now with skirts! I need to shrink down the hood a little, I think, but otherwise, whee, now I get to make pattern shapes out of this.

My toile only has one sleeve because the top half of the coat is symmetrical so I only need one side for patterns, and to hell with setting in two sleeve heads when I only have to do one really. :D

The coat is really tight-fit on the top half, and I'm a slightly awkward shape (see, eg, that dart at the back) so I'm making a toile that I can then cut up in the right panel shapes. I need to make the skirt of the coat for the toile too, I think, just so I can get the sizing right -- I have some lovely red leather to use and I really don't want to waste any of it if I can help it.

First step: draw out the actual panelling on the coat so I know what I'm doing. :D

Buckram for the base, then cording glued over it. There'll be pleather over this, then shading. Hopefully it'll look okay.

Veg-tan leather and fabric markers, not a complicated job. :D

I wanted to have these for Kita rewear!

That's an old Minidisc controller, plus some headphones from eBay and an old con lanyard. I could spend more to get an actual mp3 player the right shape, but ones which aren't *obviously* way too big and plasticky are £££. This will do just fine.

Patterning the sleeves for his shirt was an interesting thing; I've never made sleeves quite this shape before, and having to puff the top *and* have a shortish bishop sleeve made for a hell of a sleeve pattern. But it looks good on, I think!

I made the cravat (quite straightforward); Pez made me the cravat pin. Gloves are from eBay. I have riding boots that are perfect already.

I have also sewn his rattail extension into the wig base, just need to cut and style the rest of the wig. And then all that's left is his belt and his earring!

All cut.

(*weeps for the lovely but costume-inappropriate curls of the pre-cut wig*)

I had to roll all the edges for the cravats, and add the pleated-crepe trims to both ends of that and the cuffs. With that done, I had to test everything on together, of course!

(I have to cut the wig, and then that is the whole costume ready.)

I made the cravat pin dangly-thing and the feather-explosion lapel thing, both with materials bought in Hong Kong.

The coat is all finished, the false waistcoat is sewn in place, and it all sits as well as I could have hoped. The jodhpurs were bought (and shortened), the shirt is an old one of Pez's. I have the gloves too (not shown).

I still need to do: cravat, cuffs, cravat pin, lapel feather ornament. And cut this wig, even though I adore it and don't wanna cut it. Sigh.

Almost done -- need to sew in the false waistcoat (it's just pinned for now), but first I need to put the fastenings on it so I can double-check the placement. :D Everything else is done!

And braid has been sewn onto both cuffs!

Sewed all the braid along the edges of the false waistcoat panels!

Main edge of the coat has braid sewn on all around both sides now. :)

And I cobbled together a temporary version of his lapel pin to see how that'll look in situ.

Druitt progress!

I sewed the braiding sections for where the buttons go on the lapels, and pinned the braid around the edge of one lapel (and the cuff) to see how that would look. I was going to stop there for the night and then I decided I might as well actually do the sewing of braid.

So: the right-hand picture has braid sewn around about 2/5ths of the edge (from the centre back, down and up the tail and front, up the lapel to where it meets the collar).

Also today I painted some buttons for this coat, and bought pants and gloves for this costume!

I was extremely lazy (and went on holiday for a few weeks), but progress is still happening! Hooray for Dito actually having shorts and a hoodie.

Progress! The belt needs to be attached on both ends and the buckle added, I need to hem all the bottom and everything needs a press badly especially around the edge of the hood, but hey, very nearly there now.

A hell of a lot more needs to be done but it's not too bad as one day's progress goes.

I'm making a sort of false waistcoat for this (it's just going to be panels attached to the jacket instead of an actual full waistcoat, because this costume is going to be too hot to weat at Kita otherwise). I've made the panels.... and again, am stalled, nothing I can do until I get braid/buttons. :D

I decided not to be lazy, so I replaced the collar. It looks much better now!

(Cuffs, finished, tails sewn up. Everything else really might as well wait until I buy braid in HK, so that's it for the jacket for now!)

So I messed up -- this collar isn't the right shape to make it do what I wanted it to do. At this point I can still remove the whole collar and replace it, but the question is: can I be bothered? :D

(And I need to finish the cuffs, sew up the tails, and add the pocket flaps, yes.)

With sleeves! The lining and upper collar still need to be attached, and the whole thing has to be hemmed, and I need to add pocket flaps.

And then the braid and buttons. :D

Counting up and measuring -- I need 16 buttons and 14.5 metres of metallic braid for this and ~1.5 metres of white braid too.

(I am going to Hong Kong in a few weeks; those things will all be far cheaper there so I will wait until then to buy them.)

And this is what the base of the repatterned jacket looks like, before sleeves/collar/lining/facing. It's such lovely fabric to work with!

I suck at reshaping patterns without toiles, so I made a toile. The shorter front/pointier tale is what I need, the other side is the original cut of the pattern I was working from. :D

I am super lazy and bought the jacket for this cosplay in Tokyo! And it came with the pants but to get the jacket in the right size I had to sacrifice pants that actually fit me.

So I bought a pair of trousers that fit me and hand-stitched the seams in to match the jacket. This is a tedious task but it works.

I am making the laziest jacket here, and I don't even care. Yay. Lining and outer of the jacket, and I'll connect the raw edges and hide them under the bias binding that needs to go around the whole thing.

I have finished the cravat! And I have the socks and the shirt already. And Pez has a pair of suitable shoes, even.

All done bar the wig, and I need to wait for our next wig restock to get a very dark brown wig for that. :)

It took 3 evenings to make the skirt. Very simple pleated schoolgirl uniform sort of skirt, knee-length, and the suiting material holds the pleats fabulously. I'm very pleased.

(It needs another ironing, mind you.)

Base wig, not yet cut or styled (I've basically just tucked the excess hair behind my ears). Worn with Pez's Cosplay Fever glasses, because.

(also, mirror photo! I *do* actually know which side he flicks the hair towards.)

As finished as it's going to be until the day!

Silicon gel and wig: magical drill curl stability.

At least in theory. This is partway through the styling process; the bottom section curls in one direction, and the top section curls around that in the other direction. So it's a bit awkward, but it's getting there. More smoothing needed. Most of the problem at the moment is stopping the weight of it from unravelling the curls.

In other news, the jumper has been cut down; it is now a far better shape. Huzzah.

All I can do now is wish I were twenty kilos or so lighter so I'd be more the right body shape (damn lanky boys), but hey! All ready for Minami.

I found a new jumper!

This one is kind of the other extreme - it's HUGE, to the point where I'm going to have to take it in a bit or it'll just hang off me, and the colour isn't ideal. :D But it does have lots of fold-down on the neck, and it's probably long enough. Trade-offs, sigh.

I've nearly finished the jacket - need to finish the lower hem, trim those trailing threads, and sew on all the buttons (they're just pinned so I can check placement at the moment!). And then it needs a damned good ironing.

Necktie is done except for cutting buttonholes into it at the right points.

The wig was a little too long, and didn't have any layers through it. So, a happy half an hour with the scissors, and Togami has an actual haircut and not a bob (needs styling with product, but I'll do that on the day!)

The badge and the chain-and-t-bar has been made by Pez, because she's lovely like that.

Well, after some thought, I decided that the base wig I had before looked a bit thin on top (pale wig fibres, sigh), and generally wasn't quite FABULOUS and voluminous enough.

So I'm wefting it together with another wig. The other one is a slightly paler pink, but since the base wig has a gradient to darker-at-the-base anyway, this really just adds to the effect. Even just wearing it over the base wig looks better than before (I'll do this properly, but for demo purposes)!

Tasha, you're so awkward with your amazing hair.

White wigs = white wig hair, which always looks semi-translucent, even on good-quality wigs. So, to compensate, I'll steal wefts from another wig that has very similar fibres and colour (a Diabolik Lovers wig we have kicking around--yes, there are pink bits in this, but the bulk of it is white) and add them to the base curly wig I have. I also have a long white wig (again, similar fibres/colour) to use for the braid. After Minami, I'll get to frankenstein this wig together!

I have fabrics for the bits of this which are actually fabric.

I also have a base wig (it needs more wefts to thicken it out, and I'll have to add the long braid too).

I have bought all the fabrics and trims for his coat, and the grey silk shirt.

Those boots are going to be SUCH a pain to make.

Jumper arrived! It's generally smaller than I'd hoped, despite ordering the biggest I could (I mean, it fits, but the shoulders seem designed for someone really narrow, and there's not as much fold-down on the neck as I'd wanted). Bleah. It'll do in a pinch but it's not ideal, really.

I have a wig, and glasses, and black pants, and a shirt with the awkward long pointy collar, and have half-finished the suit jacket (need to sew the facing to the outside, and attach the lining).

I have a chain for the jacket, but need to add the t-bar.

I also need to make the badge, and the cross-tie thing.

I have a wig.

Eee! Now I get to try to do that drill curl.

(I also bought leggings, and a headband. But the wig is the pretty bit.)

Surprisingly, these were not awkward to find!

I've sewn a black band onto my yellow polo-shirt for a slightly bargain-basement Rikkai shirt effect; the scarves draped over the front aren't quite thick enough to hide the stripe's absence otherwise.

The hat is all done (some of the sequin trim I used on the jacket, plus about 2/3rds of a lilac feather boa and some hat pins). It looks pretty magnificent. Pez did Yagyuu's hat (which involved stretching it to fit over her wig!).

Niou's wig got some more fluffing, and Pez cut her Yagyuu wig, and then I actually ended up cutting+curling my Yukimura wig so I could lend it to someone who will be joining us for PoT funtimes at Kita.

Pez made power wrists for us all!

Everything else was purchased from eBay and at most mildly tweaked.

Well, I made two pimp coats for this (one for me, and one for Pez-as-Yagyuu). We're in cheap-cheap-cheap mode so we didn't pay out for velvet, and the only thing that looked about the right texture and in the right colours was velour. Conclusion: never working with velour again oh god. Stretch fabric is the devil; I knew this but somehow thought it would be fine with lining, and I was wrong. And something on the red velour actually provoked an allergic reaction until Pez reminded me I hadn't pre-washed the fabric, sigh.

Still, they're done (finally) and they hang *sort of* alright-if-you-don't-look-too-hard with the lining in, and that'll have to do because I don't think there's much I can do about them without starting over. Hopefully the shiny bling will distract, anyway. Mine has many, many sequins plus about a furlong of feathery draping, and Pez's has a collar (which *does* sit okay) and much blingy gold trim.

The base for this was a Ash wig from Coscraft, plus some extra wefts left over from another Ash that Pez butchered for her Black Jack wig.

Since the Myu has actual wigs, attempting to mimic that meant that I had a pretty good idea of what was needed (a nice change from trying to interpret anime spikes!). We were out of silver-white wigs I could use, so any possible dilemma of colour was easily resolved. The only really irritating thing for this was the fact that Niou's crown (where the hair radiates outwards) appears to be nearly at his front hairline; I actually made a new crown and sewed it on like a toupee, and moved wefts around to make the old one less obvious. There are extra wefts sewn into the whole rear part, so that the spiking there works.

The wig base isn't actually long enough for the rat-tail to just be integral (alas); there is a big weft of hair sewn into the rat-tail to give it enough length. On Pez's suggestion, I shifted the rat-tail's placement more to one side because Masa always flips the end of it over that shoulder anyway. It has a bit less movement than I'd like, but it looks good.

The spiking was actually pretty easy - first I gave as much volume to the roots as I could (much hair-spray, hairdryer, and some judicious back-combing). Then there is LOTS of hairspray (it's fine; most wigs I'd feel bad for saturating but it seems perfectly in-character for Niou) and spiking the tips.

Most of the 'finish' of this will be on-the-day, once it's on my head; I'm also putting a hat over most of this so it mostly won't be visible. :D I still care!

Well, I styled it cartoonishly, but in the end decided it looked absurd with the stiff spikes--and the front spikes would not sit in a way that worked on me. So I washed out the styling products and now have restyled it to be a bit more naturalistic (still a lot of hairspray, but it's less rigid). Pez's comment is that it's more 'romantic' in style, which is as good a description as any. It still needs a bit more tweaking to get the ends of the spikes right; I may have to resort to gelling them.

In other news, I varnished the scabbard and then all the paint flaked off, which probably puts the final death seal on the fake leather spray I used (it's the second time it's reacted weirdly to other products). So I think I may just cover the scabbard in actual leather; it'll look better anyway and I have just enough spare unsplit leather to do so.

This isn't the finished wig; it's starting to get there though.

Most of the hair has been cut to the right length now. The big challenge for the wig is getting Fakir's hair to sit in the right sort of clumps; this would be easier if I were trying to get it more naturalistic, but Pez and I are both planning on trying for cartoonish hair in these costumes. Which means spiking all those big peaks and quiffs. Cue lots of pinning and saturating with gels and hairspray.

Overall, it needs serious neatening up of all those untidy stray hairs (which will be easier when the base spikes have dried) and it needs puffing out a bit in the non-spiky areas and in the ponytail.

Sword all done! Pez has serious envy for how little effort I've had to put in to get a reasonably-decent-looking (if rather short) sword - I'm actually tempted to go back to the shop and buy another one of the plastic ones just as a backup for future sword-needs.

Belt purchase, wig styling to go. Everything else is done.

I have bought vaguely suedey-textured trousers and torn three artistically-placed rips in them. \o/ (someone apparently gave the charity shop a pair of suedey pants, a pair of leather pants *and* a pair of velvet pants all in my size. I bought ALL OF THEM because I will undoubtedly need them.)

Going to papier mache over the end of the sword. The scabbard is now brown; I will rub-n-buff the end of it silver later. Once that's done, I just need to buy the belt and style the wig. ALMOST DONE.

I caved into the insistent nagging in my head and bought more accurate boots and gloves than the ones I had around. Because I will only be disgruntled at the photos if I don't.

The shirt's all done; I've worked out how to bind beneath it so I can have a visible shoulder scar through the ripped shoulder. I need to buy a new belt; my trusty old one appears to have vanished.

I'm also going to look for some cheap pants in charity shops today, so I can rip them without hating myself for ruining clothes I might want to wear.

The sword is mostly painted. The little purple blob on the end I have two options for - either I shape the loop at the end into something plausible with papier mache (which might end up a bit larger than it needs to be, and will be hard to make smooth), or I lop it off and glue a pre-shaped blob on the end (which means hot glue, sigh).

And then, wig-styling. Possibly closer to the time; storing the wig is going to be annoying once it has the various locks and spikes set into it.

The shirt is hemmed and I have made the rollneck.

It's all about starting on the rips now! Because of the ridiculous shoulder rip, I am probably going to have to chest-bind with bandages instead of a binder. Sigh.

Edit: and finished the rips. Fewer of them than I thought before I checked the refs. Though Fakir apparently just can't be trusted with sleeves.

(img from nyxnyx17 on DA who drew the basic shape out.)

I figured that Fakir's outfit would benefit from having his sword; props are always more fun to pose with anyway. But swords are annoying to make.

Then I found a plastic sword with a black hilt guard (though the hilt itself--which even swirls in a similar way to the Lohengrin sword--is silver), which is a bit short but then so am I. So I'll be using that as a base; the plan is to rub 'n' buff the blade and paint the hilt. I'll also paint the scabbard; Fakir's is probably meant to be leather but as the sword *came* with a correctly-sized plastic one I am going to be lazy about making a replacement.

(Also, I spent part of my morning wefting together two wigs for Pez's Mytho. These boys have SO MUCH HAIR.)

I made the shirt using a couple of old patterns sort of bodged together, then adapted that so I could have the contrast colours. The back has a vaguely shield-quarters pattern appliqued on, because *of course* no anime character could just have a plain shirt.

The rollneck part is separate from the main shirt (and in fact isn't even made yet; the one in the photo is just a trial run). It has to be separate so that I can actually get the shirt on over my head!

Soon I'm going to have to rip this shirt up a bit for the full failknight effect (I've actually already had a go at tattering the right sleeve since taking the photo). It's going to be fun.

All the wefts I think I need are sewn in; it definitely has the right sort of shape (this pic has pins holding it into roughly the right style). Next up: styling and cutting. But that'll make it harder to store and I don't need to have this ready for a month, so I'll move on to making the shirt now.

This outfit of his is not actually very complex: black pants tucked into black boots, a grey-and-black shirt, bandages and black gloves. And an epic wig.

The shirt will have to be made and the wig will have to be... created. But the rest I have around the place already.

Fakir's hair is amazing. Voluminous, but with volume in places that are unusual to find in wigs - like above the ears, sigh. The crown of his head is on the right-hand side, but his hair parting is on the left; it's baffling stuff.

So: I'm using two wigs (from Coscraft) a Punky XL and an old Vervain wig I've used before. The latter was a bit tangled but mostly only on top and right at the nape--lots of the wefts were salvageable. The Punky XL has tons of volume, and as it's quite long, I can backcomb the ponytail to give it the right shape.

The main problem with the Punky is that, for all that volume, there's not a lot of hair length on top; to get around this, I;ve sewed in quite a lot of long wefts around the crown and above the left-hand side of the brow (all of which will sweep over to the right-hand side). I'll sew in more wefts tomorrow (I am out of patience with weft-sewing today); Pez has just found another wig I can scavenge some wefts from that will work brilliantly for the extra bulk at his temples.

I sort of suspect this wig is going to wear me, rather than the converse, but it should be fun anyway.

...are not here! :(

I somehow suspect they'll get here too late for me to use them. So I guess I'll be in standard boots on Saturday instead, sigh.

(Might go poke about, see if I can assemble the doll's outfit instead - raincoat (which I have, and which is great!) with skirt and shoes and tights. But I doubt it.)

First I straightened the wig (with hot water), then I styled it into the right parting, then I cut it to the right length.

The last picture is with the hairclip.

(I also made the button eyes! There's foam behind them to fit them better to the actual shape of my eyesockets.)

Foam + paint + stick-on-gems. \o/

Wellingtons and raincoat have been ebayed--there was a bit of a fierce battle for the raincoat, but I won in the end. I've tried to get short-ish wellies, to make my legs look a bit longer.

Big button bases for the eyes have been bought. I need to add foam to the backs--I'm going to try and make the shape of the underneath a better fit for my eyesocket, and then hopefully I can glue the buttons onto my face (I've checked; the holes in the buttons give me reasonably-good visibility). Then I'll have to paint on new eyebrows (the buttons will cover my existing ones) and a mouth-seam.

I have found a wig (mm, living in a wig shop)--it needs some styling work, but I think it'll work great. I'll have to make her hair clip, though.

Everything's finished! Coat, boots, trousers, baldrick. Pez made swords! And I bought some cheap fake gold pirate coins, for fun. :P

And so I did a wig and beard test earlier.

The wig needs a bit more styling but of the last-minute sort when I wear it, I think.

The beard, ah, the beard is fun. Tab recommended a wool hair seller for me on eBay. The hair comes in a long skein; I trimmed off short beard-length sections and glued the hair directly onto my face with Prosaide, in layers--Guybrush's beard is supposed to be a bit scrappy and straggly, so I didn't make a huge effort to keep it neat or even. :P It's surprisingly effective!

I'll start on this after Aya. So much fabric has been bought--I have all the stuff for the suit and waistcoat, and FABULOUS brocade lining for the suit jacket too! :D

All that's left to do here is to add the gold and grey band to the bottom of the coat, then sew the hem to the lining.

NEARLY THERE.

(Then I have to do shirt, wig, and belts. Whee!)

Need to:

* add back dart for pleat at rear of lining
* sew lining into coat (it's assembled, but needs stitching in)
* sew cuffs (they've been cut out, just need pinning and sewing together)
* sew cuffs to coat
* add gold trim to cuffs
* add burgundy trim to collar and front edges of coat
* add gold trim to hem
* add grey trim to hem
* add buttons on back
* add buttons on front

...I can do that in a week, sure. :)

Wore this to May Expo on Saturday. It was epic! I only found one tiny Snow White (seriously, I think she was about 4 or 5 years old at most) and her mother was so happy to have me take a photo with her daughter.

Since someone asked me: to cover up my eyebrows, we first trimmed them short (I've felt eyebrow-nude all week!) and then on the day Pez used prittstick (seriously; it's nontoxic and it works) to glue my brow hair down flat against my forehead. Then a layer of white snazeroo dabbed on; translucent powder to set it; then greasepaint over the top to make the areas more skin-coloured. Then normal foundation/powder, so they blended with the rest of my makeup. That meant we could draw in the new scary brows instead. :P Tutorials on this sort of thing are on youtube, and are totally worth checking out if you want to try.

Pez did most my makeup on the day in the loos at Expo, and Zombiemama stepped it to help with the eyeshadow and fake lashes; in an ideal world we'd do the makeup in a better place but hey, it turned out pretty well!

Sewing the collar on was nightmareish, but it's done. And Pez helped sew on the necklace, and so... it's ALL READY. Expo, here I come.

Well.

It took rather a high heat setting to press the wadding down this thin; I was quite worried I'd scorch the fabric. Whee.

The fabric sits looser on it than I'd like; I'dreally love it to have a crisper curve and top edge, but I suspect I'd have to sacrifice having fabric on it to achieve that.

It's only loosely pinned into place for this picture. It needs to be stitched on; then the pendant (which Pez has made <3) can be attached.

Ta-da!

I love the tiny pearl on the tip. :P Colour looks a bit weird in the pic; it's actually a very Disneyish yellow gold.

(The foam taped around the head is Pez's fault.)

Pez raised some potential issues with making the collar from fabric-covered fosshape; she was worried about the fabric drooping from the lower side. Which is a damned good point; I'd entirely disregarded that.

So! After a little experimenting, I'll probably end up using fusible web to secure the fabric to the collar base. And instead of fosshape I think I'm going to use plain old wadding; it will iron down nice and slim and stiff, but doesn't set as fast (or as hard, but that's the trade-off) as fosshape. Which gives me the time I need to iron it with the fabric and fusible web, and bend it into shape before it sets stiff.

Mmm, plan adjustments.

So far: made a paper template, then cut the shape out of foam and have since adjusted the size a little so it sits in the right place and is the right height etc.

Already it looks like a crown! Need to hot-glue the ends of the foam together, add the raised edges, then MAKE IT ALL GOLD muahaha.

All done, on both sleeves and cloak. I actually unpicked the sleeves and redid them, as my first pass was kind of shoddy.

TWO SOLID DAYS OF STITCHING LATER...

But that trim is looking *good* now. Aw yeah.

So that's the cloak and dress totally finished. Pez has made the base of the necklace. Tomorrow is crown-and-collar day. :)

I've had this shelved to get Expo stuff done--and so I won't pick this up again until after that. Ho hum. The next thing to do is the sleeves and lining anyway, which is going to be a bit of a git.

I also bought the boots. They're too tight around the tops of my calves (I expected this because my feet are small and so zip-up boots almost never go over my calves) but because of their design I can lace up over the area where the zip doesn't close anyway. So that's that done.

Might try and have this finished for Aya, I guess.

Measured the edge of the cloak for the fur trim. 4.2 metres of fur has now been cut. No wonder the cloak is so swishy. :D

(Fluff everywhere. And I have to handsew the trim along the top and bottom edges and there will be more shed fur everywhere. MY LIFE.)

Currently left to do:

* Make the crown (as before)

* Make the necklace (Pez is stepping in on this, since her sculpture skills are better and I asked. :P The red acrylic gem is sitting nicely in a disc of paper-clay at the moment. And I found a nice thick gold chain.)

* Make the collar (As before)

* Finish the dress (neaten up the raw edges on the inside. :P And I also need to stitch down the last of the fur trim on one sleeve; haven't quite finished that.)

* Finish the cloak (neaten the raw edges inside the hood a bit, trim the lower edge with fur.)

The fur trim, oh god. That lower cloak edge is VERY LONG and I have to hand-stitch and augh.

The right-hand side is what the cloak+hood looks like at the moment, the left-hand side is earlier today, before I'd hemmed the edges and the base of the central panel (and reshaped the fosshape peak of the hood).

There is SO MUCH CLOAK and it's all velvety and silky and feels very luxurious. And now I have to add a fur trim along the immensely long hem. Whee!

I need to:

* Make the crown (EVA foam, and a gold wax buff to colour it. And I bought a big fake pearl earring stud to stick on the front spike, too. :D)

* Make the necklace (Pez found me a red acrylic crystal of suitable size, and I'll make the rest of the pendant out of... something. We have lots of sculpty materials, I'll see what works. And more goldfinger/rub 'n' buff to colour it. I have gold chain to attach it to the collar, also.)

* Make the collar (fosshape! And then white taffeta over the top of that. I've some vague schemes to keep it in the right place, too.)

* Finish the dress (hem it.)

* Finish the cloak (line it, do some more adjustments to the snood shape, attach snood to cloak, add the panel at the front, trim the lower edge with fur.)

At some point I need to do a makeup test, and if I have the time I do want to make the little hand-cover things. And then I'll put everything on, and will be SO WEIGHED DOWN BY COSTUME OMG.

Fur trim added to sleeves, dressing gown cord (thanks to lovely facebook peeps for the suggestion) on top. I need to sew the hem, obviously, but it's looking pretty good I think!

The fur is really heavy. And the velvet is really thick. I may die of heat exhaustion at expo despite no wig. :D

The black velvet cloak is sewn together from the neck down, and part of the red lining is ready to be added. And it'll look good, I think - lots of fabric, lots of swoosh, and the fur I have for the trim (which is soft and thick and beautiful) will add quite a bit of weight too. Though it also sheds like a git, so I'm kind of not looking forward to sewing it on.

The really awkward bit is the snood around her face.

I'm using stretch velvet for the actual snood, because otherwise it will not go over my head. :D And to make the point on her forehead, I decided to sew fosshape in to provide stiffness.

Fosshape + stretch fabric is a recipe for sadness. My widow's peak is a bit lopsided, and I can't unstitch/redo it without wrecking the hood. Ugh. I'll figure something out.

Need to put a panel in the front of the cloak, as her cloak doesn't close fully; sewing that so it integrates with the neck of the snood and with the rest of the cloak will be... challenging. :D

I'll be fosshaping the collar, too, but I don't think that'll be as awkward; the fabric that's going to cover it is taffeta, and it's stiff enough that it shouldn't pucker like the stretch velvet did.

Well, that's the dress - I need to hem it at the base, obviously, but otherwise it's more or less done. I've started putting the white fur trim on the sleeves. Good god, so much fluff everywhere. :D

The event was a lot of fun!

I learnt a few things too:

1) An umbrella on a hot day is a parasol, and is AWESOME. Plus it makes an awesome auto-backdrop that blocks out random people in busy crowds.
2) If you've sprayed makeup fixing stuff on your face, trying to apply more makeup over the top to touch up a patchy bit is a bad idea--it goes clumpy. I had to wipe off all around my mouth and start over--thankfully this was before the parade actually set off, and I had a mirror (next time though, bigger pocket mirror) and makeup and sponges and so on. And Pez was a handy barrier.
3) People LOVE Death. :P
4) Next time, also, in heavy makeup: take a straw. This will make drinking much much easier.

I bought a bunch of kilt buckles from the fabric store; they make *excellent* buckles up the side of the boots!

I also added a ruffle to the back of the coat. It looks.. yeah, it'll do. :)

Makeup test was hard work (why am I doing this? I suck at painting things!). But eventually I wrangled things into a semblance of plausibility. I've looked over a few mine tutorials and I think I know why I was having a hard time with a) getting a solid enough white base and b) the colours bleeding at the edges. So that's promising.

The refreshing thing about doing this costume is that as long as I do the makeup and the ankh necklace and have black messy hair and black clothing, pretty much everything else is actually a matter of interpretation. Huzzah for a character who canonically changes appearance depending on who is looking at her.

Since I like her in Perky!Goth sort of manifestations, I'm going with the black jeans and tank top, a little black jacket to hide my chubby arms, my black not-quite-a-top-hat, a black umbrella and some black boots. Plus makeup, black wig and the ankh necklace.

What this means in terms of actual costume stuff is: I need to add some buckles to the boots I'm wearing (it feels wrong for her to have none); I've tousled up a wig so it looks right; I'm adding a little lace ruffle to the back of the jacket because I want to; I bought an ankh pendant from eBay (biggest one I could find at ~2 inches--I did think about making it myself from fimo but I'm a crappy sculptor); I really need to go do a makeup test. Fun times!

I had a shelved longish black wig (Vervain style from Coscraft) that I'd originally planned to use for my Yuri Lowell costume before--after the bangs were cut into it--deciding I needed one with more length at the back for Yuri.

So I tousled it up while spraying it in sections, and hung it upside down to dry.

Which was enough to make it more or less perfect, without any further work! I thought I was going to have to spend a while back-combing and adding more spray and working on getting the ends of it to look more, uh, separated and comic-bookish. But that happened sort of naturally. Yay for easy bird's nest styles.

...well. I may, if I have the impetus, fancify this sword further at some point. But it's certainly finished in terms of ready-for-Minamicon-ness; still looks a bit too like a giant cheese-knife but at least it's a somewhat decorative one. :P

(Pez's Sigmund sword is so very pretty. I have sword envy.)

I've adapted the pattern to put the pleat in at the back split (with some assistance from my tutor, who showed me how to make a pattern piece for adding a pleat and also advised on a way of making a pleat in wool that doesn't just fall out)--and have added gold piping at the edges of the pleat just to make it more visible. I'm so proud of the piping--I made it myself with pleather and string and it looks awesome. I still need to add the sleeves and front facing, do the cuffs and then line it (no idea how that's going to work with all the adaption I've made to the basic pattern :P but I haven't cut out the lining yet, at least).

I've already bought the gold buttons (the art is really inconsistent, to the point where I think different artists were envisioning different coats when making the sprites for MI2, but I've gone for six on either side down the front and two on the back) and I've also got the burgundy bias binding for the front edges. I'use the same gold pleather I used to make the piping as the line above the bottom hem, but I need to buy some gray bias binding for the very bottom hem. But I can'add those for ages--got to finish the basic coat first!

Wore this to Bunkasai and it didn't fall apart too much but I was a bit dubious about some of the armour (kept shifting and making unnerving-rivets-coming-apart noises. Solution: HOT GLUE FRENZY OMG.

Also, I am making a sword for this, to take to Minami!

The base of the sword is a plastic cricket bat (handy for the hilt!). I cut a hole in the bottom of the bat and slid two bamboo rods up right into the top of the handle, to get the length I needed (with cardboard around the lower half of the bamboo to give the right shape). Then, after all of that was hot-glued together, I glued it inside the foam casing I'd made.

There's currently only a tiny bit of effort at a hilt guard--Edward's sword doesn't really have much of one, so it's basically just a ring of extra foam where the hilt meets the blade. I need to insert some pieces down into the top (so the join between foam and bat is better hidden) but that will have to be glued in after I wrap some fake-leather around the grip.

Currently it looks like a giant cheese knife. :D I need to seal and paint the blade, wrap leather around the grip, and add in those bits in the hilt-guard (and seal+paint those, too).

I will probably want to add more decorative bits afterwards, but I need to touch-up the armour a bit and check that the other costumes I'm taking to Minami are good to go, so it may have to be a rather boring giant cheese knife. :P

...and that is that. It's finished!

(so tired! wig hair everywhere! need to try it all on!)

(...and oh god we entered the ECG and I need to actually rehearse on the off-chance we get through. Eee.)

Well, it took some epic bending-of-foam and glue, but the last two armour pieces are done.

The reference pictures seemed pretty clear that the overlay was in several overlapping bits on these (rather than one continuous piece of overlay, as in all the other pices). So, lots of bits of foam were cut out, sanded, sealed, buffed, sealed again, and then carefully layered up and glued onto the base in as close to the right order as I could manage.

(Edward's elbows are wider than mine, so my pattern's a bit more compressed sideways than his. But I think mine is pretty anyway.)

The straps were a bit awkward to do (in terms of having something that would fasten and keep the elbow piece in place) until I ditched the idea of a full around-arm strap and just glued the buckle and the other end as two separate pieces. That seems to work just fine, with enough hot glue to keep it in place.

I also went and sanded down and re-sealed-and-buffed-and-sealed the edges of the rest of the armour, since it was a bit messy. \o/

All that's left now: sewing velcro to my shirt and then... the wig. Which I haven't even started on yet.

And then tomorrow we wear these to Bunkasai!

And here it is!

(Actually, that front picture is of it not *quite* finished--there are now also the leather flaps holding the gold bit in place.)

(And oh, look, there's a Pez in the background of the second one. :D)

So, I hate fabric-painting and trying to make things symmetrical. But it's all done now! Looks pretty snazzy too.

(Left to do: wig, fixing on breastplate, elbow patterns and putting straps on those. Should be done for Saturday!)

So, after much searching I concluded that I wasn't going to find anything that would work for the metal parts of the belt ends. So I made them!

I formed them out of polymorph (using hot water to melt it at first, then a heat gun to resoften when necessary) and then rub-and-buffed them. We had an antique gold around, but that came out quite coppery so I covered that with a layer of Goldfinger wax buff. Once that was dry, I sealed the shapes with a layer of modge-podge.

Given the size of those, they wouldn't fit through the belt loops, so I had to put the belt in place and fasten the belt-ends in situ; don't worry, I did check I could still get into the tunic once this was done!

With that done, I could add the ribbon. And, yeesh, what a production. I tried buying ribbon of the right shade/texture but failed to find anything. Then I tried buying some white cotton webbing (right sort of weight and texture) and dying it the right shade, that also failed (it didn't take the dye at all, despite the fabric shop peeps being pretty certain it would). Eventually I bought some fabric and made 'ribbons' by folding it in half on the wrong side, stitching along one edge, turning it the right way out, and ironing it flat. A lot of effort for two strips of ribbon, but it's the right sort of colour and weight and I CARE.

Then there are little gold fake-leather pieces sewn onto the ends, and the little emblems are painted on. And finally, the belt is done!

So, the basic principle is to cut out the shape in foam. Since it has patterns on top, I also cut these out of foam. Each was painted separately then glued together into approximately the right shape.

The belts were made from leather straps which were purchased online and buckles also purchased online. It involved epic punching-of-holes, but once that was done then it wasn't hard to fold the strap over and rivet it into the right sort of shape. I also riveted the belts onto the appropriate armour pieces for strength, and the hand pieces are riveted onto the gloves.

Since armour isn't generally *flat*, I used a hairdryer to heat it enough that it was bendable. Once it cooled, it held that shape fairly well. The lowest picture shows all the completed armour so far (minus belts/fastenings).

I think I need to rework the cape a bit--the suede piece on the back is sitting wrongly. It wasn't really noticeable until I pinned down the capelet over the top of the suede, but now... it's bugging me.

So what I need to do is just unstitch the satin-stitching along the top right edge, pull the suede over so it sits better, trim the bit that's now extra. Then re-do the satin stitching along that edge. It's a bit of a pain, since I'll also have to remove the lining along the top inside edge and then re-attach it, but it'll be much better once it's done. So that'll be something for this weekend. :D

Pez very awesomely helped me with the paper template for the elbow piece, because I was staring at that curved-and-flared shape going O.o a lot. So now I have to cut that shape out, then work out the pattern overlays once I have the base assembled.

Still not sure how I'm going to attach the breastplate. Perhaps I'll just glue velcro onto it and then sew some to the cream tunic.

As for the rest of the armour: The upper arms are done (including the belts to hold them on), and the lower right arm is done (including belt to hold it on) and the lower right hand piece is riveted to my glove. The lower left arm has yet to be attached to a belt (I need to make it first) and the hand piece just needs riveting onto the appropriate glove.

That means that all the armour stuff left to do is: two elbow pieces to make, three belts to make and attach, one hand piece to rivet into place. Not too horrific, really!

These are for the armour on the lower arm and the bit of armour on the back of his hand.

I need to cut the pattern out of foam, then will come LOTS OF SANDING. Then modge-podge and painting.

(The breastplate and upper arm armour pieces need a bit of retouching--there was white dust in the last layer of varnish D: so I need to re-paint and revarnish.)

Elbow piece still scares me. How the hell do I make that shape? O.o

Good god, so much edging. But the sewing on this is finally done!

Well, at some point I might neaten up the line of navy stitches down the blue trim, since it's a bit patchy. The epic battling with the sewing machine earlier has put me off that for *right* now, however.

All that needs doing on this otherwise is the clasp and painting. \o/

Just to break this down into everything that's left... I need to:

Cut and style wig
Tidy up armour (and maybe add extra glue on connections; some pieces are not as stable as I'd like)
Sew velcro to shirt (for breastplate)

...Yeah, I need to get a kick on with these. Whee!

(Editing this as I work through it!)

Finished hammering in all the eyelets! A few of them didn't quite sit right, but they've been sewn down carefully (and with only a small amount of blood loss due to me being incompetent and leather needles being VERY SHARP) so it's hard to tell which of them were the problems. :P

Also punched the necessary line of holes around the scalloped edge at the bottom.

That's that complete! The belt isn't complete yet (I need to find (or more probably, make) the triangular belt ends and also the ribbon that ties the ends together) but showing it all together from the front gives an idea of how it looks!

(Looks sort of.. chubby, hanging there. Looks better worn. :) )

Painted the lower half of each trouser leg--couldn't get a fabric paint in *quite* the right colour, so I ended up using a mix of Royal Blue Dylon and the Blue For Darker Fabrics Dylon. Turned out quite well, colourwise, though I am still not great at painting on fabric generally.

I made the ankle belts out of the same leather as I used for the main belt--and Pez and I did a big order of many different buckles/rivets which included the ones I'm using here. It was surprisingly easy to make these, though I was a bit worried I wasn't quite going to have enough leather at first.

When it came time to put them on the trousers, I took another look at Edward's ankles and realised that he has a blue sort of cuff under those belts. Can't believe I didn't notice before! Luckily I had enough of the cape blue suede to make ankle cuffs out of, and they ended up being a good colour match for the fabric paint too. Sewed those on, then sewed the ankle belts into place on top of them.

(pinning through real suede and leather = ow.)

So, the trousers are now all done. Slowly getting there. :)

The trousers are all finished! I found a nice simple plain tarnished-silver button to use for them, which works really well.

I've started sewing together the coat--I'm making it in my sewing class, in fact! The pleaty bit in the split at the back is making me go hmm--I tried something out so I can probably bodge a workable solution anyway, but my sewing instructor looked at what I was trying to do and was all enthused in helping me make it, so yay. \o/

The belt is made from a strip of the navy cape wool folded onto itself and then edged with wide strips of green leather. I then satin-stitched along the inside edge of the lining, since that's what it looks like in the game. It needs the fastening and ribbon added onto either end, of course, but this is the basic belt.

Once I had the belt, I was able to start pinning on the zig-zags and criss-crosses of the leather strips on the tunic. Pushing pins through those layers was really painful.

Then I cut into the tunic and started hammering in the eyelets! There are gold ones above the belt-line and larger silver ones below it.

...and I ran out of the silver eyelets very quickly. Sigh.

Oh well. Another pack of 15 should be enough to finish the lower half, so that should only be one more evening of hammering and craft-knifing and banging my thumb. :D

The suede was glued into place (after measuring and adjusting it) and I've started satin-stitching around the edge of it. Ran out of thread, though. :S Will work on this again when I have more thread.

I'm not putting the edging on yet; I just attached it to measure against the suede. It'll actually go on with the lining, so not for a while yet.

(And I've put that navy stripe down the edging of the capelet thingy, too).

Well, having watched Pez and seen how much dust is involved, I'm going to cut out all the bits on all the shapes so I can do a reasonably comprehensive go at sanding down all the edges in one go. :D I've finished the cutting out for the upper arms (not that there was much left to do).

This, then, is the breastplate piece. As with the arm armour, the purple foam is the relief pattern over the navy base (and was a bit of a bitch to a) draw and b) cut out), and this will be rub-n-buffed with the 'Pearl Blue' colour once it's sanded down to a rounded shape and mod-podged to seal the foam. Then more mod-podge over the rub-n-buff.

I still need to cut out the lower arm pieces, the elbow pieces, and the hand pieces before I start sanding and dremeling. But it's fun, so far!

Sandy suedette all sewn down, and scalloping cut into the base of it.

The tunic doesn't have *that* much more to be done before it's done, really. What I need to do next is punch holes out in the appropriate points in the sand straps and the tunic (including in the scalloping at the base) and in the leather straps, and then hammer in the eyelets to join it all together.

Trousers again--I've not yet hemmed them, but I've finished the waistline, added buttons and tested the blue fabric paint on some scrap fabric.

The blue pattern on the front of each shin is going to be interesting to do, but it'll be an interesting change from stitching. I think I may water this blue down a little, though--it doesn't need to be quite this vivid.

The next step was to cut out and add the blue patches on the cape. I've used real dyed-blue suede for these, which is expensive and only available in small irregular-hide-shaped pieces, so I made templates from calico again before cutting out the actual suede.

These'll be glued down in place (pins will make the suede pucker) then I'll satin-stitch around the edge of each piece in a light blue (same colour as the edge for the whole cape).

At that point will come fabric painting--the gold swirls on the front and somehow doing the rest of the light-blue stitching all over the back and the collar flaps. Which may involve hand-satin-stitching, ugh.

As for the steps after this: I've made and sewn together the lining for the cape already. The double-stripe of blue at the bottom edge of the cape will be made as it was for the secondary band-cape-collar-thing, but with a wider strip of bias binding. The lining will be joined to the cape at the bottom by that bias binding.

Damned boys, why is every piece of clothing so complicated. :P

Edward's cape has, as well as the jaunty little folds of the collar, a sort of secondary collar-cape-band thing which sits under the fold of the actual collar. This is edged in a narrowish light blue double-stripe (I'll satin-stitch a navy stripe down the middle of the light blue later on. :P).

After I made it, I was struck by quite how much the cape looked like a nurse's cape at this point. Oh well, at least it's only temporary.

First step for the cape was to make a calico pattern so I got the shape right (didn't want to experiment on the expensive stuff!). I used the cape pattern from the cloak pattern set I'm using to make the Queen from Snow White, in fact, so I didn't even have to improvise too much. After that I cut out the pattern from a navy wool, and stitched it together.

Edward's trousers are a deep blue-purple, with blue patterning on the shins and green leather belts around the ankles. *Tasteful* colour choices.

To get fabric the right colour, I ended up using sheet cotton for the trousers--I'd have preferred something a bit heavier, but hey, at least it's easy to cut and work with, and I won't overheat. They're lined, at least (in a nicely similar colour), so they hopefully won't be too flimsy-looking. I've run out of thread in the right colour, unfortunately. Once I restock, I can finish the construction; then I'll paint the patterns onto the shins and add the belts.

Starting on the armour--first piece to make is the bits for the upper arm, which peek out from under the edge of the cape. Nice and simple, in theory!

I've just out the pieces from navy craft foam with the relief made from purple craft foam. I'll have to dremel+sand these pieces, and then they'll be painted with Modge Podge and then rubbed with Rub 'n' Buff (I've ordered sapphire and blue pearl rub 'n' buffs; if the pearl looks wrong I'll just switch to silver. The art's not consistent with that relief colour.)

It's taking me quite a while to make the blue tunic really; I keep fussing over the spacing. This edging is the stuff that broke so many needles, but I bought more of the heavy-gauge needles today so hopefully that should solve the problem!

I also got material for Edward's pants!

Just broke three needles in a row trying to sew the sandy edging onto Edward's blue tunic!

(And I've only done around the armholes and the vertical edges--I've still got all the horizontal bits to put on. Think I'll buy more of my heavier-gauge needles tomorrow. O.o)

I hate it when a combination of flaky connection and flaky drupal means I upload the same picture a ton of times. :S

Lots of darting and adjusting and trying it on and adjusting again. :) But the base of the blue tunic is all finished; now to add all the sandy suede and the brown leather criss-crossing and the eyelets... (damn these JRPG types and their fancy outfits!)

Tunic is getting there--the green edging is all done, and the base of the embroidery (most of his embroidery is actually just one line near the edging; those fancy bits at the collar and base just branch off it.)

And the chainmail mesh sleeves are done and attached--reinforced stretch stitch FTW!

So, still needed: the hooks and eyes (which I need to buy); the rest of the embroidery (I think I need to get used to this machine before I try the complicated bits!) and... no, that's it for the white tunic. Awesome.

(oops, didn't attach a pic for the last entry. So, here it is instead!)

I've made the main part of the white mandarin-collared tunic (still need to hem the lower edge and then edge it all in green and add the embroidery). I love the material I'm using on this tunic--it's a lovely soft cotton. It's all french-seamed, too. :P I also need to add hooks-and-eyes.

I've decided to add the chainmail sleeves to that tunic, rather than having a separate shirt (since there are so many layers to this costume already). I've cut out mailmesh-ish fabric in sleeve shape; need to work out which stitch to use to work on that material, though.

Right now I'm working on the blue tunic; I'm making it from a blue faux suede which looks fabulous but, eesh, it's hard to work with. The back of it is really heavily waxed, so it's semi-stiff and putting pins into it is painful (the new sewing machine has no problems at all with it, thankfully). I've made the basic tunic, just need to make sure to get the front opening right and add the slit up the back, and then I can work on adding the sand-coloured strips (more faux-suede, but thankfully not waxed the same way and so much more pliant).

I now have a pattern I can adapt for the dress (one with sleeves of the right style), and a pattern I can re-use for the cloak--I just need to work out how to do that tight hood-with-widows-peak.

I need to source the velvet soon--the black isn't likely to be hard to get even if I leave it late, but those purples aren't going to be quite so easy...

(The lowest three in the pile are for other costumes, but the rest is all for Edward).

Real blue-dyed suedes and real green-dyed leather (omg I actually bought genuine dead animal skin wtf). Also blue fake-suede, navy wool, cream cotton, blue lining, gold/sand fake-suede and dark-silver meshy stuff that will work as chainmail. I already have the brown fake-leather straps for the tunic and some green bias binding.

The only fabric things I don't have yet are the purplish blue for the trousers, the pale-blue edging bits for the cloak/belt and the red ribbon for the back of the belt. I have eyelets. Buckles and rivets are being ordered. Foam for the armour has been ordered.

Shoes, gloves, base layer, cloak clasp, brass bits for the belt back and wig all need to be figured out. But I've certainly got enough to really get cracking on making this!

...but we move house in a week and two days, so I will probably delay starting this until after we've moved. :D

Okay, I've spent a while scraping the net for screenshots, and peering at the game itself. I think I have a pretty decent idea of the structure of this outfit!

What I need for this:
* black high-necked base layer
* silver chainmail sleeved shirt
* cream high-mandarin-collared sleeveless undershirt with green edging
* blue breastplate with intricate silver raised patterning
* blue sleeveless tunic with gold/sand-coloured trim and lace-like base, with dark brown straps held on by eyelets (some brass, some silver) and a couple of rivets (in silver), and a blue belt with green trim and brass endpieces, fastened at the back with red ribbon
* darkish blue/purple trousers with lighter blue patterning at the front and green belt details at the ankle (each belt with a silver buckle on the outside of the ankle)
* mid-blue short cloak with lighter blue patches and gold patterning on the front patches emanating from a swirly gold cloak-clasp. Rear of block has some even paler blue patterning on the light blue patches, and a gold detail at the rear base. The cloak also has a flop-down collar with some lighter blue patterning on
* dark blue armour for the outside upper arms, with raised silver patterning. Held on with brown strap, fastened with a brass buckle
* dark blue elbow armour with raised silver patterning, fits all the way around arms
* dark blue armour for the outside lower arms, with raised silver patterning. Also held on with brown straps and fastened with brass buckles
* black gloves
* dark blue armour piece with raised silver patterning on the back of each glove
* dark brown shoes with paler brown areas on each side (pattern looks a little like a t-bar sandal from the middle of the arch)

..and a wig, probably. Wheee.

This needs to be done for May Expo!

* A dark blue-purple gown with wrist-length sleeves in a slightly lighter shade. Looks like a rich, heavy fabric--not necessarily a velvet, but similarly expensive-feeling. The sleeves are a bit like kimono sleeves; they drape all the way down to floor length, but are gathered around the wrist and closed on that front edge. On the leading edge, they're trimmed with white from floor to wrist and back down.
* Triangular back-of-hand covering--in the same darkish blue purple--looks like it might be the edge of an undersleeve, really? Extends halfway along each back-of-palm.
* Black heavy velvet cloak with a rich, blood-red silk lining. The base is trimmed with a white edge in what is probably supposed to be ermine. Hmm. Cloak continues up into tightly-fitted hood ending in widow's peak, concealing all of hair.
* white, very high collar. Probably satin; quite flat in profile (compared to most collars). front points of collar lead into white (white-goldish?) necklace/clasp with a large gold circular pendant/closure. Large red gem in centre of gold pendant.
* dress is belted with a heavy red braided cord. some official versions have a gold braided cord belt instead, but this isn't visible anywhere in the film.
* gold mid-heeled court shoes (seem to have a red gem set in the front of each shoe, where a buckle would be)
* spiky gold crown with a little pearly knob on the front peak!

Last bits of foam all glued on! Pez wanted to try it on, so I figure this'll do until I get some pictures at the ball tomorrow. :P

The patterns are all painted onto the bolero! Pez did the shoulder I hadn't done, and has done a way better job than I would have <3. The foam clasp piece for the front will be painted and affixed later on, but the actual *real* closure system is all done already. So, one foam piece, and it's finished.

Pez also found me a bag that I can use as a base for Rush's hip bag; for now I've just reversed it and added on a fake bag-front--I will rework the front of the bag into an actual functional-and-accurate-looking version when I have time, but I just need something plausible-enough for the ball. I've made the belts, worked out how to fasten the bag onto them for the evening, and the little gold-and-silver metal strips are being contructed from foam. Two more foam pieces, and it's done.

The one other thing left is cutting the lacings at the front to the right length. Which I'll do after the undershirt dries out from the (very careful) wash it's had.

\o/

You only rarely see Rush's shoes at all in the game--and his chaps conceal most of the back half even when you do get a clear view of his feet. But you can sometimes see that his shoes are brown, and they have a blue strap across the arch, and this weird cream sort of flap-thing covering the toes at the front.

On closer inspection of some screenshots, the blue strap across the arch has a narrow cream edge at the front (MORE EDGES!) and the cream part has a cream button on top. I think there's possibly also actually a second blue strap slightly further back on the shoe; my feet aren't as long as Rush's so I can't easily fit it in without changing the proportions of everything on the shoe.

So, I've ignored that (for now; if I have the urge later on, I might try and work it in) and just going with the front blue strap and the cream part. Both are made from offcuts of suedette we happened to have lying around (huzzah!). The shoes were actually cheap black ones; I sprayed them with a brown leather spray we also happened to have around. It works pretty well but it takes a long time to dry; on the edges around the sole it is actually still a bit sticky after five days.

The suedette was pinned into shape then hemmed (and edged on one side), for the blue strap), then glued down and/or stapled onto the sole--the soles on these are really thick so I was just able to use my staple gun pointing upwards on the base. The pins are just there to keep everything in shape until the glue dries.

I'm pretty pleased with these. Even though even the most rabid fans of the game have no idea what Rush's shoes actually look like, really. :P

This fabric is a pain to paint (lots of bobbles, hence the somewhat uneven edges and the thicker application than I'd really like). But the pattern over that shoulder is done!

The rest of the pattern is going to be Pez-made, because she's awesome. :P

Painting the diamond patterns across the shoulder and down the back: masking tape is god.

Man, I screwed this up a lot at first--first I thought there were more four-part rhombuses and only occasional diamond-within-diamond rhombuses. I did look this up after doing the front pattern, and that turns out to be exactly the reverse of the truth, so I sighed and started fixing... except I got the placement of the four-part rhombus wrong and then had to reverse my previous 'fixes'. Anyway. No more working without the reference RIGHT NEXT TO ME. I am very glad I own many acrylic paints and am good at mixing up colours. :P I'm just going to have to not wash this bolero in a machine, ever.

Right now I have done all of those four-part rhombuses and the external part of the diamond-within-diamond rhombuses; once this set is all dry then I can do the internal diamond bits. And the crown-pattern, and the sheep's head.

I hate painting patterns on fabric, have I mentioned that? :S

Rush's double strip of edging--actually one piece, divided in two by a line of machine zigzag stitching.

The sewing machine decided to pitch a fit and break the cotton a lot, because it hated doing zigzag stitches through the bias binding of the edge. Bleah. This took ages to do because of all the stopping and starting and rethreading and so on. But it is done, now!

Still to do: painting the patterns, the big plastic-looking bit of the clasp. Hmm.

Oh, and the shoes, which I've spraypainted with brown leather paint stuff. I'll work more on them when that's dry.

(I neglected to add a pic to my previous entry, but here they are, in all their doofy glory. And over the grey trousers and not just my jeans, this time. :P)

Changed plan for the fastenings; the flaps are now held closed by snap fastenings, because the hooks and eyes kept coming loose.

I couldn't buy more of the same biasing binding I used before around the leather, so I had to buy lots of a different-but-suitable one and redo the leg I'd already finished. Grumble.

Anyway, much unpicking and stitching later, both chaps are complete! Hooray.

The undertrousers ended up a pretty good dark grey--maybe a touch too dark, but nothing a couple of extra runs through the washing machine won't fix. :P

I wasn't quite happy with the cord (actually a shoelace!) that was holding the pink/purple jacket closed, so I bought a new length of cord for it--much better now!

I found hooks the right size and shape for Rush's bolero clasp--bow tie hooks! And so the brown bits and the hooks are done. Need to make the bit that they emerge from, though--and before that, I need to do the blue bit on the edging!

Also I have shoes and fabric to put on the shoes. But need to put them all together. :)

Basic chaps now edged entirely in cream bias binding, then flaps from the waist added and hemmed in cream bias binding, then the buttons are added to the flaps where necessary. There's a strip of brown fake leather added around the base of the leg, and *more* cream bias binding around that--a thicker binding for around the leather, because I figure it'll have quite heavy wear around the base.

The chaps seem pretty stable even just held up by the waist flaps folded over my belt, but I've added hooks-and-eyes so that it's a bit more secure just in case. I'll have to buy a couple of metres more of the heavy edging; I only apparently bought enough for one leg base, so: more edging. (SO MUCH EDGING. Rush's outfit has, no kidding, about 14 metres of various types of edging on it so far. The boy likes edges.)

So, yes, I have ONE entirely finished leg of chaps, and one that will be finished this weekend. :P

Meanwhile, the pants have gone through the first washing machine runthrough of the dyeing process, and are now on the second runthrough. At a peek between the sessions, they certainly looked much darker than they did initially!

The white undershirt now has blue edging on the sleeves (which was not very complex to do, I just had to get around to pinning and stitching it) and the edging on the bottom has been resecured and restitched.

The trousers Rush wears under the chaps--I changed my mind on which trousers to use, because the ones I previously considered were lacking belt loops and adding those is a pain. I need to dye the ones I'm now using to a darker grey, but they're a lot more suitable generally.

Rush's bolero has two white strips of edging around the edge. Right now I have one wide-ish strip of white, which I think I shall attempt to divide in two with a triple-stitched line of blue thread--gonna test this out on some leftover pieces first though. I also need to work out that fastening (plastic card or polymorph for the cream bit, and then strips of brown leather or fabric I guess?) Looks like the brown straps come from the end of the chest-crossing-piece and pass through little buttonholes on the front--then fasten somewhere inside somewhere? Hmm.

The chaps are sort of half-made--the basic chaps are made, now I need to edge them, put in the cuffs at the base and do the flaps for the belt. And add buttons.

Shoes--to be honest, if I can't manage plausible shoes in time for the ball, it isn't the hugest disaster in the world--I'll just wear boots. Ideally though, and even if I can't do so in time for the ball, I'll get some brown moccasins and add fabric over the front and that button to each one so they look like his.

I made a pattern from the bolero from my ballroom version of Rush. There's a layer of interfacing between the wool exterior and the lining at the front; without this there's not really enough stiffness to the fabric to keep the front sections in the right shape.

The edging is white bias binding. 3-and-a-bit metres of it, but thankfully it's not very expensive.

The base of this bolero is all done, anyway! Need to paint the diamond pattern across the right shoulder and the ram's head on the left shoulder, and work out the fastening.

Given the time constraints, I thought I'd have to compromise quite a bit on the fabric for the trousers and bolero. I was vaguely thinking I'd end up having to dye the chaps to get a suitable colour on a fabric that wasn't too expensive but was heavy enough, even.

Instead, I'm really pleased with what I got. I found a great blue for the bolero (with a sort of pre-worn slightly bobbled texture--I figure that suits Rush perfectly) and a very lovely dark grey-blue moleskin-type fabric for the chaps--probably a bit more expensive in style than would be ideal for him, but it's *gorgeous* and I shall be stroking my own chaps all evening. Muahaha.

I also dug out the ballroom version: I don't think I need to adjust the quilted vest as much as I feared, actually--I'll just lace it a little closer at the front. I *will* need to make the blue bolero a little smaller than the ballroom version, though, since the ballroom version is a little too roomy. I've removed the cuffs from Rush's undershirt, and I managed to find the extra blue ribbon edging I bought for the hem, so yay, Rush's cuffs and hem will match.

I'm making this in a couple of weeks. I am possibly crazy: SO MANY LAYERS and I don't work very fast.

But more pragmatically: I already made a 'formal' version for last year's ball (and then wore it to the dance at Kita earlier this year): http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/costume/view/29764

There's a lot I can cannibalise, reuse or adjust from that. I only *really* have to make the bolero and the chaps from scratch. I can even use last year's bolero as a pattern for this one.

(I'm also sort of tempted to just get my hair cut into Rush's style, but finding time for that is also an issue. Ah well. I can reuse the wig.)

So Pez and I wanted another easy craft-foam-mask cosplay to do this year. We threw around a few ideas of reasonably time-appropriate pairs that might work, and the idea of doing the Cosplay Fever guys came up.

And I went 'enh, we'd really have to get permission, I think', and we sort of shelved it right up until the Cosplay Fever Red launch... where we decided to just go ask Pete if he'd mind if we did it at May Expo next year.

Not only did he not mind, he colluded with us (and didn't let on to Rob in advance). :P Pete sent us the hi-res versions of the pics we used for the masks, and was so enthused by the idea that we decided we should move it up and do it on Sunday of October Expo.

It was a lot of fun: everyone who recognised us had fits of giggles, and I got to hand out instant pictures of folks for added amusement value. We even took a brief turn helping out on the CF stand and resisted the urge to sign the books ourselves...

I got foundation on the neck of the shirt when I wore it to Hyper, and figured I'd wash it off before I wore it again.

Turns out the black dye in the shirt material runs, whoops! Some of the black dye has gotten into the purple edging and it looks a bit mottled now--I think I know how to rescue it (have to wait for the shirt to dry out first though) but uh, yeah, so next time I will be pre-washing dark/bright materials before I start making things.

(The worst of the mottling is on bits that would be hidden by wig/grey tunic even if I *can't* fix it. So it's not like the costume is ruined. I'm horribly away of how much worse it could have been, though...)

So I wasn't actually intending on making the trousers, since I'd never made them before and it seemed like a complicated thing.

But.. not as hard as I thought, it turns out! I am so ridiculously proud of these--they look like real trousers and fit me better than store-bought ones and eeeee.

They still need the button/buttonhole (which I'll do when I decide what button to use!) and the bottom of the legs is unfinished because I'm going to decide the length of them once I buy a pair of piratey boots. If I *can* get away with them being just below knee length, then I can use them for a future MI1 Guybrush as well as MI2...

I've done the only bit of sewing I'll do for this costume--extending the headband. As a stretchy headband it wouldn't sit properly on the wig; I've adapted it into a tie-on headband instead so it won't put the same sort of pressure on the wig fibres.

So, uh, I think that makes this costume complete. Roll on Expo!

Launch party for the second Cosplay Fever book was yesterday! It was a good trial run for the costume, but more importantly it was fun to go and to chat with everyone there (we left at 7, and it seems like most people arrived after that. Ah well.)

Alas, the Machi wig is now a bit dishevelled and my pendant is wrecked. The plan is to remake the pendant using silver card instead of painted foam (the silver paint just cracked horribly when the foam bent :() and to reshape the wig and then spray that wing section until it is so rock-solid that a heavy wind won't dislodge it.

Hopefully this will make it easier to transport and to remove/replace during the day, because wearing wigs for the whole day makes me grumpy and ill.

All done! This will be worn to the Cosplay Fever Red launch party tomorrow.

Pattern has been cut out! Well, it's been traced and the traced version has been cut out; I'm too cheap to cut out from the original pattern.

I need to make a toile of the coat, though, so I can pin and edit the style--pull it in at the waist and make it fuller around the base. (the pattern I bought is much more like the SE coat, actually.)

So, guess I'll be popping into town to buy some calico tomorrow!

Right, so, notable difference between the Special Edition and the old style: Black trousers in the old, not navy as in the new. No patterns on the boots in the old artwork. And the gold patterning on the coat is just a stripe in the old work--I think the coat's proportionally a little longer on him. And it has buttons on the back, and a different cut at the base (one split either side and a foldy bit in the middle, looks like), and the cuffs are far less elaborate. Also his shirt has no collar in the old artwork.

Sooo.

I really prefer the old style art--I like the cut of the coat more, and the fact I can be lazier with the patterning etc is hella appealing. But it might look less interesting, and I do like the coat cuffs in the SE art. I also prefer his hair in the old art.

Hmmmmm. Think I'll start making it as per the old art; if it begins looking dull I can switch over. :P

Well, I bought a totally appropriate suit (it's reversible--black leather one side, cream snakeskin on the other, and I giggle just typing that), a shiny dark-snakeskin-patterned top, and some low-heeled boots. All from the wondrous place that is ebay.

Apparently there are now several large parcels waiting in my office for me at work. *rubs hands together gleefully*

The wig has been styled and trimmed. Needs more gel/spray to get it *properly* upright, but is pretty impressive even now.

Foam! Covered in glue so I can paint it silver and blue. And the glue is all cracked because it tightens as it dries and so bends inwards. Hmmm.

(Yes, the two pieces are made out of different coloured foam--grey seems a better backing for the silver piece, and white a better backing for the blue.)

The leather was glued down around the edges of the shoe to make the correct ankle shape. The buckles were just glued on, and then the tongues were inserted and glued into place (with much fiddling to get them to the right height and to match up with each other).

(I didn't realise how dark the first picture was until I'd gotten quite a bit further along, so it looks weird here. Oh well.)

Yay! Finished shoes!

Making the parting on the wig. Lots of pins and hairspray!

So I needed a shortish blond wig but I also needed enough hair in the same colour to make that hair spiral out of.

Somehow this seemed like a reasonable way to ensure I had both, without having to chop down a very long wig or search for colour-matching extensions. Though I'm going to end up with a leftover ponytail clip that I can't see myself needing any time soon. :P

The base wig needs to be cut down a bit anyway (it's way too long at the back, for a start). It also needs to be set into a zigzag parting. And then, that spiral needs to be created from one of those clip-on ponytails and attached onto the wig.

I'll cut the base wig shorter myself, but Pez is doing the parting and the spiral styling for me.

I bought a pair of blue boots on eBay as the base for these. I then hacked off most of the top of the boot--the remaining leather will be folded and glued down (once I get more leather glue tomorrow!).

The buckles are made of craft foam which I sealed with a few layers of PVA glue and then coated with chrome acrylic. It didn't look quite as smooth as I wanted, so I then added a layer of silver rub 'n' buff and then sealed it all with more PVA.

The tongue-flaps are cut from the top of the boots (because that way there's some backing on the reverse) and will be added after the folded-down leather is glued into place and the buckles are attached.

So I didn't take any progress pictures while making the bulk of this, because I didn't have a CI account. Oh well. Never too late, I guess. :P

The top and trousers are done. SO much blue velvet ribbon was handsewn onto the top--I couldn't find any other ribbon/bias binding in the right colour, but I think the effort was worth it.

The lace around the base of the top is actually cut from net curtain material (the best match I could find for the pattern, and believe me I looked a *lot*.)

The ruffles for the sleeves were cut out of a separate, very long piece of white cotton and then gathered. The edges of the ruffles on both top and trousers are sealed with fray-stop (it is awesome stuff).

The shoes and wig need to be completed (more on that to follow), and the giant pendant needs to be made. But I'm pretty happy with this all so far.

This cosplay could so easily be a closet cosplay, except that my closet doesn't actually contain enough snakeskin, leather, pvc or FABULOUS coats. Or any shiny suits.

So the ebay trawling begins. So far I've bought a top, a jacket and a headband. I've also bid on some plausible-looking trousers. I need to get boots/shoes, but I think I might want to do so after I've assembled the rest of the costume--shoes make an outfit, after all.

All complete!

I'm proud of what I learned making this. I learned that my hand-stitching is actually quite neat when I concentrate, and got more confident on the sewing machine. I'm proud of actually making the boot covers entirely by myself (staple guns and glue ftw!).

The blastia and belt were made by Pez (because she rocks). She also did part of the sword--I stained the scabbard, painted the blade and did the ribbons-and-tassels, while she did all the fancy work on the handle and hilt guard and also the gold work on the scabbard.

And finally, the whole thing was worn to Hyper Japan yesterday. There was a last-minute change of wig to a longer one (the luxury of living in a wig shop :P) which led to a frantic half-hour cutting-and-styling session. Worthwhile, though, I think. The chest-binding was done in a bit of a rush at HJ (and a cut on my finger re-opened so the tape had a lot of blood on it, whoops), but it held up all day really well! Standing up all day in heels is really tiring, though--I ache so much today.

The jacket has been trimmed with black wool around the edges. I've also cut out the pattern for the back (Need to cut the shape for the front, and then it all needs to be glued down--and then sewn down too if I have time). The belt is in progress (by Pez, again <3).

Those trousers and boots and boot covers are all sewn together now. They're a single hybrid entity. Putting them on and taking them off is... undignified. :P

The blastia bangle is made from foam. The edges on the more rounded side have been sanded down with the Dremel.

(Pez made this; since it's for my costume, this is where she thinks the progress pics should go for it.)

Boot covers are stitched onto trousers, and cuffs have been added! Now just need to add the buttons.

Boot covers have been affixed to the boots around the base. I'm going to have to attach the covers to the trouser leg (and the boot beneath it), because otherwise I can't get that opening to look right. I may end up just sewing them together, honestly.

That's the trouser/boot/cover all in one there. Taking them on and off as one piece is a bit awkward, but doable.

The cuffs need to be added (using the same light purple as for the edging of the shirt). I have buttons but I think these are actually a little small and I don't quite enough of them (especially since I appear to have lost two of them). I will look for better buttons today.

The tunic has now been lined (the lining looks brown in the art, so that's what I've gone for) and the black edging has been cut to a rough shape and pinned on. Next stage is to get it to the right shape, glue it down and then sew it around the edges to look neat.

And then I need to do the pattern on the back, which is going to be exciting.

I used Rub 'n' Buff on the bokken blade to make it look metallic. It'll get another coating and then I think I'll try and seal it somehow. I really like the contrast between the silvery metal colour and the dark-stained scabbard now!

Also the old hand-guard has been knocked off (Pez did that for me; I wasn't quite prepared to believe it would be as easy to knock off as it was) so that one in the right shape can replace it.

The base shirt is done! Well, I need to sew down the (fused-on) purple bits near the collar (they match up better than they seem to in the picture; the duct-tape mannequin is a bit unevenly stuffed). But I'm pretty happy with it!

(Note to self: try not to use a really stretchy fabric for edging again, even if it doesn't fray and is the right colour. Or if you must use something with that much stretch, then glue/fuse it into place before sewing it. Pins are not good enough.)

Meanwhile, the grey suedette overtunic base has been sewn together. It's based on a pattern for a tailcoat that we already had here; most of the amends were just to the neckline and the shape of the tails at the back.

Shirt is slightly further progressed (the front is now sewn together). I'll (finally!) make the cuffs tonight. :P

I'd tried this type of open-shirt binding (using micropore tape and the type of arrangement described at http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/tutorials/crossplayfm) before starting the costume but Yuri's shirt is *very* open at the front so I wanted to verify that I could keep the tape hidden and still have it look flat. I think it'll work fine.

(Whoops, posted this with the wrong pic first time.)

That lefthand circle at the bottom still needs to be stitched on, but the thread is damp (had tea knocked over it, whoops!) so in the meantime I've cut out the shapes for the purple bits at the top. The papery stuff sticking out around the edges of those shapes is actually fusible webbing. :P

I won't be sewing these on until I've made the outer tunic, because that way I can see if the positioning seems correct and (more importantly) if the sizes look okay.

(It's on a duct-tape mannequin which is balanced on a tripod, so the shirt isn't quite hanging straight; the base of the shirt is more symmetrical than it looks here!)

I bought a (really nicely shaped and surprisingly well-balanced, actually) bokken to use as a base for Yuri's sword - the problem was that the colour of the scabbard was way too light (a pale red oak vs the dark brown of that sword in the artword). So I tested a bit on the handle and the guard (since neither of those areas will be visible later on) to see how the stain looked.

I've used a 'natural teak' woodstain on the scabbard to get the colour I wanted. Two coats and it's actually already quite dark, but I might do a third coat after this has dried overnight; I'll see how it looks in the morning.

The light purple sections are complete for the lower right side of the shirt. Attempting to mirror the shape is really difficult! Will be interesting to see what happens when I try and sew it down.

(And I bribed Pez into machine-sewing the circle on the right for me after I failed several times in a row. :))

Yuri has magic boots that stay up in defiance of all natural laws!

I spent a while dithering over buttons; these turned out to be both cheap and to have a *bit* more detail than is visible in the game. I think they turned out pretty nicely, really.

And because the boot is split open the way it is, I had to pin the fabric on to work out the shape I needed. Once I've hemmed these, each one will be glued on at the front of the boot (because of the shape needed) but the black trouser leg will need to be inserted between the boot and the cover so it shows inside the split.

Working out the edging for the shirt now (it looks like it's a strange shape because it's balanced on a chair and the photo's taken at a weird angle).

Because of that jutting-out shape, I couldn't just use bias binding to do the edging. So the edging is made from a continuous piece of fabric, pinned to the garment and trimmed to fit. I'll be hand-sewing this (at least the most complex piece there; it's the only way to make sure I can be precise about that curve, I think).

(Mirroring this is going to be *interesting*!)

The shirt, now with collar and hemmed neckline. I think it's actually a little too loose at the moment--luckily I think it won't be too hard to take it in a little (especially since I haven't done the zip yet). Still, I'm really pleased with this so far: I made a shirt with sleeves and a collar! With neat seams and joins even in the armpit!

(Aaaand now let's hope I don't mess it up when I start either trying to adjust the size or adding the trim around the edges.)

Progress on the black shirt: the basic shirt has been made and sewn together (aside from the collar and cuffs). Once the edging is added, I'll be sewing the front closed; there'll be a zip up the back to allow me to put the shirt on instead (which is why the collar's not on yet; I need to work out how the zip and collar are going to work).

The neckline shape was awkward to do but I think this is more or less it (again, bar the collar). The cuffs are going to be in a different colour, but I'll make those separately and attach them to these.


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