Minnie and Mickey Mouse
Disney's Mickey Mouse and Friends

Cosplayer: BillieBlouse

Status: In Progress

Condition: Not Set

This costume has not been worn at any events yet.

16th October 2018: Progress Day 5 I was cutting up offcuts of fabric to make a variety of matching bags today just because I felt like it. I also cut out the pattern for Mickey's shorts which I adapted and resized from Simplicity 7568. But I couldn't get the 2nd part cut because apparently past me forgot that corduroy has an obvious striped grain so 1m, if I want it to go up and down the trews, was not gonna cut it - so I had to order more fabric and go onto a different part of the project. Then, I started to interface Minnie's Shirt, Skirt and bloomers, but realised halfway through that despite ordering 10m, the seller had only sent me 6m so I managed to get the bloomers and sleeves interfaced, but nothing else. I did realise I needed to order more interfacing anyway because I forgot how narrow it is and didn't actually take into account how wide the skirt pieces are - oops! So, I've still got loads to work on until the rest of my interfacing arrives, but it was a bit silly on both mine and the shop's parts that there just was not enough interfacing! It really made me wish I had a heat press all day while my shoulders were aching making do with a damp towel and a regular steam iron! // [Image: white bloomers, red and red/white polkadot sleeve facing patterns laid out ready for cutting on lightweight iron-on interfacing.]

12th October 2018: Progress Day 4 I revisited the bloomers pattern I used for Kiki's Delivery Service, but adapted it a little because I want them to be reversible and also because I will have black leggings on underneath, I didn't want them to be see-through so cut two lots of the patterns so they will be lined and once the interfacing arrives, because I want them to be extra pouffy, interfaced as well. I also cut out and used heavyweight interfacing on the 3 interchangeable belts I want to make for this Flipside Fashion. // [Image: White cotton sateen fabric laid out on a beige floor next to a bed covered in a pink/cream floral quilt. pattern pieces are laid, weighted and chalked out on top of the fabric ready for cutting.]

11th October 2018: Progress Day 3 I spammed through so much pattern cutting today. All of the plain red cotton and red/white polkadot fabric got cut out using my adapted and redrafted Butterick 6342 pattern. I learned a lot more about why commercial sewing patterns and ready to wear garments never fit me from working on redrafting this pattern. I have a tiny back, but huge boobs, so when patterns are graded up they tend to do so at the sides of both back and front... which means that the back of a garment is always too loose on me and the front of a garment is usually a bit too tight. The pattern happened to have been cut out in a 32" bust size and when I went to redraft the back, I realised that, once you added a little extra seam allowance, actually, that fitted me, so I just enlarged the front of the bodice both in the middle and at the sides to make up the 4-5" bust difference. // [Image: a length of red/white polkadot cotton fabric laid out across a beige carpet with sewing pattern pieces chalked out on top of it ready for cutting.]

10th October 2018: Progress Day 2 I worked on adapting and drafting various patterns including for the ear covers and resizing the blouse and skirt pattern from a Vintage Butterick 6342 Victorian/Bathing Suit/Bo Peep Costume Sewing Pattern. Whilst I didn't follow the tutorial, I did nab the wikihow Mickey Ears Template to give me a starting point: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Mickey-Mouse-Ears // [Image: Pieces of mouse ears laid out on a beige carpet. Black velvet hairband and figure 8 shaped fabric ear covers, black craft foam and worbla ear bases; plus cotton quilt batting circles.]

3rd October 2018: New Progress Day 1 Backdated Progress probably covers about 2 or 3 days of work, so technically this is day 3 or 4 of Progress, but as I didn't keep a proper record back in 2016, I'm resetting for 2018 progress. I got most of the pattern cutting on the accessories done, unless I was missing a specific material (like felt and craft foam for the ears), plus a few other bits and bobs. The gloves are fully cut out and just need sewn together, the bows are 50% cut out (I forgot to order upholstery weight interfacing, oops!) as I didn't want to cut the red/polkadot bows until I'd cut the tops/skirts/belts to see what offcuts I can squeeze the facings onto to keep the textile waste to a minimum. I managed to cut and pin the pyjamas, so they are ready to sew when I next go to work on it. And I got the batting and cover cut for the tail and the batting layer cut for the ears. I also got the small button brooches glued together. All the materials that needed prepped/pre-washing that I hadn't already done, I did the previous week as well (except for the wig and ear base felt as I didn't have them yet). For the gloves, I drafted my own pattern as I needed them to fit my tiny hands, but I bought Momo Kurumi's Glam Bow pattern from etsy for the bows: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/momokurumi [Image: Glove materials (white brushed cotton, cotton batting, orange scissors, tailor's chalk, pins, pattern weights) and self-drafted patterns laid out on a beige carpet.]

2nd October 2018: Planning So, I'm finding the to do list on CI quite time consuming and difficult to use, so I'm going to use my own systems (which include physical notebooks/planners and reward stickers) instead. I'm also in the process of testing various productivity apps for use in CosPlanning. For Minnie Mouse I'm testing both Cosflowy and Cosplanner, so will be reviewing those. So far, I dislike Cosplanner because it's largely unreadable for people with Neurological/Cognitive Issues and some Dyslexic folks and some of its features are the same level of time consuming to update as the CI to do list (but at least CI is black text on white which is relatively readable and convertible with screen covers or lighting change apps, even if some of the fonts are not ideal, especially this one on the journal input which muddles my brain and is the main reason I hate using CI for Cosplay journalling, but I'm trying to force myself to share stuff more and I want to use CI more, it's just not terribly accessible for Disabilities, much like the Con scene as a whole and the world we currently live in). Cosflowy has real potential, however it just crashes atm and is super buggy on Android, so will need a LOT of patches and fixes/updates before I'd consider upgrading to a paid version or recommending it seriously to others. So, the To Do Lists on CI will just be general element headings for the most part (like the Cosplanner Elements or Cosflowy Parts Lists) but the more detailed Itemised Shopping and To Do Lists will be linked to in the Journals or Descriptions on my Cosplays once I have a completed Process Book (which I will put up on my own cosplay blog/website) as it's too much of a struggle to itemise each thing I need to buy individually on the To Do Lists. Most people will find CI's systems time consuming, but may find it worthwhile, for me, it's wasting too many spoons which could instead be used on actually making the Cosplay or creating a workable Process Book and Cosplay Tutorial Blog.

1st October 2018: Backdated Progress When I started work on this in 2016, I managed to make the skeleton of the tail and the main base for the ears as well as order most of the materials and patterns that I needed. Any outstanding materials were largely ordered in the last week of September or first week of October 2018 and all planning was done on what tasks and things that I needed to do at the same time. Progress I had already made mainly accounted for patterning the tail and ears. I studied x-rays of mice which I found on google and them made myself a skeleton out of Formcard (a similar effect could be achieved with Friendly Plastic Beads like Polymorph or Coolmorph); then wrapped it in tinfoil and sellotape/parcel tape, cut up the side and flattened them out. Then I traced the shapes onto scrap paper, cut those out and transferred them onto an old polywallet before cutting them out of craft foam and hot gluing them together around a length of aluminium armature wire. Then I wrapped the tail in black electrical tape to simulate muscle and also to hold the skeleton in place. With the ears, I used the lid of a plastic tub to cut round shapes out of black worbla and also to shape the worbla over. And then I was struck down with a debilitating Functional Dystonia flare and had to put the bag of supplies to the side for a while until i was recovered enough to start working on it again.

[Image: A green Cutting Mat covered in the various stages of tail pattern drafting. (right) Yellow Formcard 3D sculpted skeleton pieces, (top middle) paper pattern, (bottom middle) tinfoil and parcel tape flattened patterns, (left) polywallet pattern pieces.]

30th September 2018: Motivation One of the first costumes I ever made which was not a generic Witch/Devil/Vampire or Fairy or other basic dressing up box adventure, when I was about 3-years old was Minnie Mouse. Complete with ribbon tail and painted egg-box/string combo nose… I had all these great plans in 2016, to Celebrate reaching a landmark 10 years as a Cosplayer, which included remaking a bunch of my favourite old Cosplays. I got really excited about making Minnie, I saved up for and bought 90% of the materials and supplies I needed for it; I prepped everything and even made progress on the bases for the ears and tail… And then I had the worst Dystonia Flare in my life to date. I became mostly housebound, sometimes bedbound and I could barely walk: let’s be totally open and honest here, what I was doing was not walking, it was dragging myself around by crossing my legs and swinging them through my crutches, balancing for a few moments then swinging onto the next checkpoint until I could throw myself into a seat then pull myself back upright by my crutches and start again after a short break. If I’d had a supportive and competent GP, realistically with hindsight, I should have been in a wheelchair at that point. I lost all the dexterity in my hands and couldn’t really pick stuff up successfully, let alone thread a needle; and there was absolutely no way for me to safely pattern cut or use a sewing machine! It took most of 2017 to retrain my brain and my body to do even very basic sewing again. And I’m still relearning things now; luckily this also means I’m training myself out of bad habits I’d picked up over the years through having taught myself to sew without ever reading any instruction manuals in the first place, and my sewing game is now much stronger for it; but it completely scuppered any life plans, let alone major Cosplay ones for a couple of years – and just when I was getting back into Cosplay too after a bit of a hiatus. I was not best pleased. But now I’m slowly learning my limitations in life and with how much time it takes for me to make a costume from desire to make the thing through saving up enough pennies to pay for supplies to make the thing, to making the thing and finally being able to wear the thing. I keep picking overambitious projects for too short timeframes based on what I used to be able to do and then having to re-evaluate my life choices and pick something else to do instead when I reach a certain point. Minnie is both something I’ve wanted to make for several years and a replacement project for something bigger that is just taking longer than I’d expected and planned for. But, you know what, I’m OK with that; it’s CosPLAY, not CosSERIOUS after all and I’ll just work my way slowly through everything at my own pace. Right now, the Universe wants me to work on Minnie Mouse...

[Image: A scan of a blurry analogue photo of Billie aged 3 or 4 with a bob haircut being led around by an adult wearing a red skirt dressed as Minnie Mouse in a pink/orange striped official Disney dress with a picture of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck surrounded by flowers on the chest. She has on Plastic Minnie Mouse ears with a red polkadot bow, white lacy socks, pink Mary Jane shoes, a lace/ribbon tail, black painted egg-box nose and is carrying a straw handbag with a pink gingham lining.]