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I have been cosplaying for around 8 years now.
It all started from my love of fancy dress! After playing FFX, I wanted to make yuna's costume for something a little different for halloween.

A little later a good friend of mine introduced me to my first manga and anime, cardcaptors sakura and I agreed to help her make a sakura costume. After researching all this on the internet we discovered the world of cosplay!

I was officailly hooked then and even though my work doesn't allow me time to make quite as many costumes as I used to, I still am today

Most people can tell from my cosplays that i'm a bit of a CLAMP addict, this is shared with most of the friends that I cosplay with. CLAMP designs always give me a challenge when making costumes and I learn something new everytime!

Last online 9 months ago

Stavanger, Norway

Joined: 25th Jul 2007

Completed costumes: 24

Photos uploaded: 132

Progress journals: 33

Events attended: 16

http://www.cosplex.co.uk

the_real_lex

I made a time lapse video of me painting one of kasumi's crane designs. Please check out my blog!
http://www.cosplex.co.uk/blog/?p=878

This gave me more fitting trouble than it should have!

If anyone wants to see the reference book I put together for the judges at hyperjapan. Please check it out on my blog.

http://www.cosplex.co.uk/blog/?p=673

For more info, See my Blog
http://www.cosplex.co.uk/blog/?p=630

Finally finished these crazy things. Please see my blog for more details.
http://www.cosplex.co.uk/blog/?p=623

Thanks

See my Blog for more Details!

http://www.cosplex.co.uk/blog/?p=601

For details, please see my blog!
http://www.cosplex.co.uk/blog/?p=580

This is the boot design that I plan on making, which has been based from 3 different images.

This is D's blue pendant. It's decribed many times in the books and can always be found in each of the designs.
I based the design off two images. The base of the pendant is a blue glass bead and twisted wire glued onto a cardboard background.
I then sculpted millput in two stages and left it to dry.
Firstly I painted the pendant with several layers of white acrylic paint mixed with PVA glue to even out the bumps.
I then finished off the design with Acrylic and enamel paint. The designs on the glass were painted with black enamel

I wanted the lining to be a very colourful patchwork of different fabrics and textures. Its made up of a mixture of flower patterned fabrics, textured linens coloured muslins, silks and taffetas.

Most of the fabrics were brought in shepards bush, but I've also worked in some left over fabrics from previous or failed projects. There is a bit of Kozue, Lux and Yuko in there!

I've made this hat three times already! But i'm finally happy with the results.
The Hat is made from two primark hats, glued together as a base. Buckram was glued on the top and bottom and cut into shape. Wire was added in places and around the edge to define the structure and piping was glued around to edge to give a nice surface to cover over.
I then covered the hat in fake leather, the seams where edged with a herringbone stitch and decorated with velvet trim.

I finished the Hat jewel with acrylic paints and fastened it to the hat using wire.

I was very lucky to be able to find gradient dyed silk chiffon fabric in shepards bush. This saved alot of pain when it came to making the skirt.

I played around with the fabric on my dress form, until I was happy with the shape, gathering and drape. The top edges were encased in bias binding and the skirts sections (there are two) were stitched to the corset itself, making it a dress.

The fabirc was hemmed using my overlocker! I made a quick pair of peach silk shorts to wear underneath the skirt, as it is of a see through nature!

I hand stitched straps onto the corset, these were made from interfaced purple raw silk.

The straps were then covered in chiffon to provide a base for all of the flowers. As I created the flowers I pinned them onto the corset and straps using the reference picture as a guide. I also added extra strips of chiffon and silk to bulk the design out, as well as a few other lace motifs I picked up from barnett and lawson (again dyed with inks)

Once I was happy with the placement (there was lots of rearranging!), I removed the corset from the dress from and hand stitched all of the flowers down.

It was then FINALLY COMPLETE!

The Flowers that decorate the neckline of this costume were one of the main reasons as to why I couldn't have made this costume without my embroidery machine. (without going clinically insane)

I designed three different shapes ( 5 petal, 4 petal and 3 petal) using embroidery software. This consists of sketching out the intial deisgn in pencil on paper, once I was happy with it, I then created a black line drawing of the deisgn. This was scanned into my computer and digitised using my embroidery software. I used a satin stich fill around the edges and a running stitch pattern in center of each petal.
Designing embroidery pattern is fiddly and always takes longer than expected, but you are rewarded in the end with something that can be repeated at a push of a button.

I could stitch 5 flowers at a time using my largest embroidery hoop. I layered two tone chiffon on top of purlpe raw silk and one again used dissolvable stabilizer to stabilise the design on the bottom.

Once the flowers were stitched, they were cut out, Soaked overnight and dried.
I gathered the flower at the center by hand to give it a 3D shape and finaly stitched on the embroidered centre section. I made 25 in all (as I ran out of fabric!)

I also made around 30 organza flowers (not pictured here), these were created by gathering and twisting strips of overlocked two tone organza. The Flowers were then finished off by sticthing a piece of lace into the centre to conceal the gathering.

Here is a quick picture showing some of the motifs deisgned by me and embroidered using my embroidering machine. I deisgned 6 motifs in total, a leaf, daisy, tulip, alluim, swirly thing and daffodill (at a best guess!)

They were all stitched onto organza and dissolvable stabilizer. Each motif was then cut out and soaked in water to remove the stabilizer over night. (First motif on the left). I initally tried to make them without the organza, which was a total failure as the designed then proceeded to unravel!

They were then dyed lilac with acrylic inks (Middle motif)

and finally highlighted using acyrlic ink with a paintbrush (Last motif on the right)

I took a gamble and dyed all of the lace using acrylic inks (FW artists inks), something I had never tried before. The results turned out well.

The technique mostly consisted of me mixing up a base dye of ink and water in a bowl. Using Rubber gloves I then dropped the lace into the bowl, lifted it out and squeezed out the excess.
I layed the lace onto a protected table (A PVC table cloth worked fine) and used kitchen towel to remove the excess dye to achieve the colour I wanted. I then left the lace to dye, usually overnight.
Any addition colour acents were added using paintbrush and more dye, this time less watered down.

I haven't tested it fully, but I believe that the lace is relatively water resistant. But I will not be risking this costume out in the rain!

Here is a picture of the corset completed. Now I need to add the straps, the the lace and flowers that travels from the bottom, up around the neckline and across the straps to the back.

Overall I am very pleased with how the corset has worked out!

After adding the base lace, I then proceeded to stitch on sections of the other "ebay" guipure lace and my own designed motifs based of the reference picture. These motifs were designed on my laptop and then embroidered by my embroidery machine. I will describe this process later using the flowers as an examples. All of the lace and motifs were dyed again using acrylic inks.

I posistioned the lace sections and motifs onto the corset whilst it was on my dress form and pinning to secure. Once I was happy with the layout, I took the corset off the dress form and hand stitched all of the lace down. I was careful to make sure that my stitching was not visable on the inside of the corset.

I worked the pattern in sections, using the reference picture to mimic the original lace as closely as possible. I used dyed russia braid for the stems and pieces of the "ebay" lace for the leaves.

I covered the entire corset in a layer of the MacCollouch and Wallis lace, which I had dyed Lilac with acrylic ink. (I will explain this more in another journal post)
Although the lace was not designed to stretch, it had some give in it. I positioned it over the corset whilst it was on my dress form, pinned it and cut off the excess.
I then hand stitched the lace onto the corset at the edges.

After the mock up was completed I could continue on to make the corset.

There are 4 layers to the corset, cotton lining, Bull denim interlining, Iron on interlining and Silk dupion.

I mentioned in an earlier journal that I did not want any eyelets to be visable at the back of the corset. Since most of the Structure is in the lining, the lining does up with eyelets, this provides the corset structure and shape.
The Silk layer is connected to the lining at the edges with bias binding and does up at the back with lacing through concealed loops. There is slso a modestly panel to conceal any potental gap (Added after the picture was taken)

The system is a bit hard to describe, hopefully it is easier to see in the picture!

Its now ready to be covered in lace!

I've been making corsets for years, however this is the first time that I have drafted my own pattern for one based off my measurements.
You can see a print out of the original pattern in the picture. I copied this onto squared pattern paper and altered the bust, underbust, waist and hips to my measurements. To ensure that the corset fitted I constructed a mock up using the bull demin, I imitated the boning in the seams with some spare rigilene plastic boning.

One I was hapy with the fit (It still require adjustment) I used a fabric pen to mark the seams and ripped the thing apart to provide me with a pattern for the final corset.

Shoes arrived! and Fitted! (First win!)
I managed to remove the decoration on the front with ease (second win!)

I then stitched some of the ink dyed lace over the fabric areas. I'm pleased with the outcome. (Third Win!)
I will finally finish them off with some hand made organza flowers that I will be making for the corset.

In the movie the actress is bare footed. Whilst this is very comfortable, it is not ideal for a busy ball!
The Hem on the skirt is also floor length, Which is also not idea for a busy ball!

So I have decided that I will buy a nomal pair of high heels but hem the skirt to allow me to wear the costume with no shoes.

After searching all of ebay, I decided on a basic pair of peach peep toes shows with an ankle strap. This is so that I can decorate them in a similar way to the corset. (i.e ripping off whatever it is stuck on the front of them)

Guipure or Venise laces are thick embroidered style of lace. I'm guessing that the manufactures embroider them onto a soluble stablizer to create the look.

I've choosen two laces with a wide netted background them. Both are flower and swirl based. I'm planning on using one as a base and cutting the other out and stitching it on top.

The lace of the left was bought from Ebay (it is yet to arrive from america!) at £40 for 1 meter. The lace on the right was bought from MacCulloch and wallis. A very expensive designer fabric shop in london last year. I bought half a metre for £30. Nice guipure laces are not cheap (my bank balance is crying!)
I do think the money is worth it, Since I'm never making lace from scratch again after making padmes skirt. NEVER!

Even at first look, the corset construction was pretty simple (in theory!). The structure of the corset is made out of a peachy skin coloured fabric, with a lilac lace overlay on top. The Flowers and neckline lace are then connected to straps, which are purely decorative.

I have chosen to make the corset out of peach dupion silk from cheapfabrics.co.uk. The fabric is very thick and strong, which is important for corsetry and I've worked with it many times before. (its the same fabric that I made kozue out of)
The corset will be lined with a co-ordinating cotton and interlined with bull denim. You can purchase bull denim from venacavadesigns.co.uk, along with other corsetry components. Its an incredibly thick corset interlining and has the bonus of being pretty cheap.
I'm planning on boning the corset with spiral wire, i used the material many times before and prefer it over other types of steel boning as it flexes in three directions.
The actual lace on this costume was no doubt; rare, expensive and not obtainable over the internet for love nor money. I have opted to buy 2 similar style laces and to embroider any additional applique motifs using my machine at home.
Since Laces rarely ever come in purlpe, I'm going to attempt to dye them using acrylic inks. My logic being that I paint fabric with acrylic paint, so can must be able to dye it with acrylic ink!
I have yet to decide how the corset will fasten up, I'm thinking that eyelets at the back will ruin the delicate lace look. I might try a consealed eyelet system at the back, or have it fasten at the front underneath the flowers.


On first pass this costume looks like a corset, with attached straps (though they don't seem to hold the top up) and a skirt.

There is mabye one reference for this costume on the internet, I was luckly enough to stumble across hi-resolution picture someone had taken of the costume when it was on display at an exhibit in LA. This does not seem to be the costume that everyone thinks of when you mention the fall, but in my opinion its the most beautiful out of all of them.

I ended up buying the DVD of the movie (tbh its an amazing movie to own) and using the computer to take several screen shots of the costume. I managed to get some good close ups of the neckline, as well as other factors like hair and jewelery.

One of the first things that I designed was D's hat ornament. Its a promenant feature in all of the Amano artwork, varying in each one.

I combined my favourite reference with a few features from some of the other atworks (Mainly added in the "wing").

The Ornament itself is made from half a plastic clear bauble (the type you get at christmas that slot together so that you can fill them yourselves, these were left over from my Kozue costume.
Alot of the base details were built up with craft foam and the "horn" was strengthened with wire.
The modeling work was then complete in 3 stages using miliput. Miliput is an epoxy modeling clay and is the clay of the gods themselves.

The Next stages involve a little sanding, painting and glossing.

I have decided that jessie's hair is somewhat more like structural enginnering than actual wig styling. Her hair is also Different in every single refrence image......

I decided that I wanted it to curve slightly to one side, the side was chose by seeing which side was more common in my selected reference photos. Slighlty to the left wass the winner.

To begin with i removed all the wefts and scalp from an old wig to obtain the mesh cap underneath.

I am using the same materials that i used as a base for my caterina wig. These include plastic "rigiline" boning and wadding (4oz). They are both lightweight and cheap!

I initally made the bottom section first, by cutting the shape out of wadding and gluing on the boning support. Making sure to use the natural curve of the boning to my advantage (it comes rolled up)

This was then pinned to the base and then additional plastic boned where added to form the top section (mostly by trail and error) The top section was then covered in wadding and the edges sewn and glued together.

The Wadding was then neatly sewn onto the mesh cap.

I have also added 6 hair extension clips (4 at the front, 2 at the bottom) so that the wig can be secured to my head ^_^

Next stage is to build up the top of the wig, to get jessie's widows peak and backcombed look.

Avoid characters who are 9 heads tall, They have stupid proportions.

Cosplay.com where accpeting submissions for a photo college in cosmode 24. Redkun kindly sent me and original edited photo for me to submit and it got published!

The picture is quite smallm but its still really surprising.

Schneizel AKA Gay face

This costume is alot harder to make than it first looked. I tend to rank things on a seth Scale (Don't ask me why..) With the difficulty of seth being a 1. I'd guess so far this is a 1.2.

Anyways rambling aside. This costume a bit like caterinas is made up of layers. which mean that all of the lower layers have to be constructed first. This Left the top layer, dubbed the "Shrug Tailcoat" last. I was not particularily happy about this since it was going to be the hardest piece to construct.

So far this costuem has....
Altered mens dress shirt, with attached scraf/cravat
White gloves
Long waistcoat aka Dress (Which makes me look like a purple christmas tree)
Petticoat (HAHAHAHA LOL)
White trousers


I am about half way through making the Shrug Tailcoat. So far it is going well. The tails are proving to be alot more complicated then I first expected, especailly when compared to the construction of the collar. The collar is constructed out of a piece of stuff buckram that is covered in velvet and red cotton using bondaweb. The collar then leads into the tail sections!

This costume will be pretty fun to wear, even it I cannot move my arms and will be dying of hyperthermia.. AGAIN..

ITS NOT COSPLAY UNLESS...
ITS NOT COSPLAY UNLESS...

URGH.

Emo boys makeup is quite epic, as in it takes ages to put on, with practive this will hopefully get quicker!

Since I'm planning on doing a few white faced characters (and that I really really wanted it) I decided to invest in a set of Kabuki/geisha makeup.

To get the even white painted look you require 3 layers of three different products >_<. First you use kabuki abura, which is a really lovely waxy slimy stuff which you put on as a base. I guess it help the white to stick and prevent you from sweating and rubbing it off.
Next is the Oshori, which you dilute with water to make a paste and literally paint it on! I used a sponge to even it out and remove excess water. Then left it to dry
To finish a layer of white powder!

I experimented with lots of different eyeliner brush combinations. I found that liquid eyeliner with a really thin brush worked well for me. I also tried gel, gel/liquid and pencil with larger brushes and angled brushes.

This stuff is quite hard to get off.. It takes some impressive makeup remover then some baby oil and then a shower the next morning.... But atleast it shouldn't come off on my costume too much!

So, First thing's first Ulquiorra is difficult to pronounce and Spell, so from now on he shall be referred to as EMO BOY.

After picking this costume I immediatly became stuck on what to make this bloody helmet out of. Armed with a set of reference pictures I was shown to the best modelling shop in London! (THANKS PHIL AND ANNETTE)

I picked up a hollow polystyrene sphere (comes in two halfs) Roughly the size of my head, a sheet of thermal shaping foam and a 1kg bag of "Air dough"

The polystyrene halfs where sliced up, heat warped and hotglued together to get the basic shape. I then used a craft foam to carve the details. The Horn was made from craft foam and is supported with plastic boning, which is glued into the base. The "fan" at the bottom was constructed out of the thermal foam and isalso supported by plastic boning. The raised details where added with strips of the thermal and craft foam. This gave a very solid base to cover.

The whole structure was then covered in the dough. "air dough" is a Air drying clay. It has the consistancy of squishy blue tack and works well in this example because I had a really solid structure to push and mould the dough against. It was softened and shaped using water and the whole thing was covered in four sittings.

I am a going to coat it in a couple of layers of PVA glue and then give it a coat of paint.

Oh and work out how to attach it to my head! Answers on a post card please!


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