Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2
Progress

First costume was for a fancy dress party. (Men had to do drag). I made a Poison Ivy costume and got loads of compliments. Then I went to Midland Expo with some friends and we said we would all cosplay. I decided to try another female character and did Sailor Mars. I enterd the Masquerade comp at London Expo 08 and had a great time. I didn't win because there were much better costumes. But I did get a special mention from the judges for being Awesome because they liked my costume and stage performance. ..Cosplay is so much fun. ^^

Last online 1 year ago

Birmingham

Joined: 19th Dec 2008

Completed costumes: 34

Photos uploaded: 314

Progress journals: 368

Events attended: 23

No social links provided

The face was done by blocking in the eyelids with black eyeliner pencil and then the rest of the large eye shapes added by Snazaroo black face paint. For the blue eyes I coloured in blue circles and black pupils using felt tip, then cut them out using a circle cutter. They were held on my eyelids with masking tape made into double sided. The brow crease and cheek bone lines were also added with black eye liner pencil and some brown eyeshadow added.

I'm sure I took some pics of progress making this. When I find where I saved them I will stick them up here. Anyway, to make the buckle I first traced the design off my pc onto a sheet of A4 paper and then neatened up the drawing with a ruler and set squares. I then transferred the base shape and letter A onto a sheet of thick ABS plastic and cut them out with a junior hacksaw blade and sharp hobby knife. Then I cut some square section plastic to make the raised border and just superglued these pieces on. Finally I glued a wide bridge of plastic on the back for my belt to slide through. This is how it holds on. Finally painted all over with silver hobby paint. Not the best paint job, but I was rushing.

Good job I have the serger. I was able to cut through the red crochet top and overlock the edges to stop them fraying. I hand sewed the sleeve and side panel to the top part of the jumper dress like the real screen costume. Thumb loops added too, these hold the sleeve half covering the hand at an angle. Ready for a test wear to see how it was all coming along. Addition of basic wide elastic for the belt, temp pinned just for the test pic.

I found a suitable chunky knit jumper dress to use for the base. I tried dyeing it with mocha to warm the colours up from momchrome grey. The dye only took slightly, so it has a slight sepia tone. Better than it started. We can only try.

1. Found a knitted mini dress which is acceptable as a start point. The plan is to colourise the chequered type pattern onto this using fabric paint and airbrush. ummmm.

2. Managed to source a red crochet top, this will be cut up and sewn on to give the red sleeve and side panel.
3. Bought Spock ears, since Romulans and Vulcans are the same.
4. Already have some thigh high boots.
5. Already have a Romulan dispruptor gun too.

shoes.. at least they are purple

Found nice base dress, Bodycon stretch jersey and found some lilac fabric matching stretch jersey. Also found suitable green neckerchief.

Front centre panel now finished and sewn in place. I have also put in a long zipper up the front, making the costume like a coat dress, for ease of getting the costume on and off.
The line detail on the centre panel is embroidered using just straight running stitch on the sewing machine.

poor pic quality courtesy of energy saving lights!

I have successfully removed all the embroidered badges using the trusty seam ripper and patience. Ribbon is removed too. Next step I need to find some orangy brown fabric to make the centre stripe down the front of the dress. Now seems a good time to introduce a zipper down the front too since this dress is going to be tailored to a tight figure hugging fit..

I am taking this 'Army girl' fancy dress to use for the Base. Needs some modifying. First to go is the Pink ribbon!

I made up some leather armbands using an old belt.

Sanding and smoothing finished, and now undercoated with base flesh colour 'portrait pink' acrylic from Daler Rowney. I need to mix some other colours and apply with airbrush to match my own skin tone more. But time is running out now so I may have to skip that stage for this cosplay. Quite happy with this even like this. From a distance on stage I think it will work. :D

new rebuilt cleavage. I have used coving adhesive as filler over the rough newspaper/pva shape. (I think Sephirayne told me about using this stuff - anyway, it's lightwieght and brill for filler on stuff like this and it sticks well to polystyrene and many other things. Easy to sand too. Thanks Sephy)
Next to repaint..

Having cut out the bridged part of the moulding I used pva glue and nespaper to rebuild the deep cleavage. Also as the polystyrene is very thin and fragile I have reinforced, lining the indside with more pva and newspaper.

Ok so I really want to try for cleavage with this cosplay. Obv it has to be fake (being a guy and all). But I would like it to not look fake. It isnt meant to be parody. Pic shows start point - I bought a 'Pamela Anderson fake boobs' fancy dress accessory off eBay for £10. Shame the mould bridges across the centre of the actual cleavage - so my first job is to try to fix this by cutting out this piece and rebuilding, and also trimming it all down smaller to fit the inside the shape of the bikini top. Pencil marking cut lines

Over the past few weeks have been getting the raw materials together. Really pleased with the animal print fabric off ebay - its faux fur, and realy looks amazing! 1 metre is enough since the costume is quite skimpy. Cheetah pattern looked the closest to Katys cos so thats what I have gone for.

These are my base for Ninas knee high boots. I was in two minds weather they are meant to be white or silver in the game ref pics. In the end I decided they are meant to be white.
So these are the base boots - they need trimming down and the straps have to be removed. wip..

Fabric bought - now I need to put this catsuit together..

Working from feet first I managed to cover most of my body. The seperation join lines between front and back were achieved by first taping a thin cardboard flange around my legs and body. This made seperation easy between front and back halfs when it had set. Whilst the mould was on my body it looked all one piece. But when I started getting out of the mould it started to break apart at weak spots. I guess the plaster bandage layers needed to be thicker - I had only used like two layers of bandage.
Photo shows my body mould parts layed out face down on the floor. Left pic shows the inside detail of the front half and right pic shows the outside of the back half lying on top.
Although my feeble mould has broken into large pieces I feel all is not lost. I aim to mix up some more plaster of paris and plaster bandages and piece it all back together on my body again so that it can all be strengthened and form one complete front piece and one complete back piece.

My first attempt to produce a body double involved the Duct Tape Dummy method. Results were very poor, so I abandoned this direction.

Instead I am going to try making a Plaster Bandage Body Mould. And then if this succeds I will make my body cast using the plaster bandage mould. First step buy loads of plaster bandage...

Successful trip to the market today - picked up some Midnight blue silk fabric. It is a nice medium weight and catches the light like two tone blue/black.

Also trawled Eby and found some blue lace trim for the neckline and rhinestone chain to make up the belt.

Have the shoes now too. Next onto making the boob panel...

This is the wig I am going to use. Lots of wig styling required to get Ninas look, but I like the length and shape of the bangs and the colour.

I have been asked how did I make the toe boxes which go inside my soft dance shoes to give them a pointe shoe appearance, so here is the explanantion...

What I did for my pointe shoe lookalikes was first I bought practice dance shoes - these look like point shoes but have no stiffeners inside at all. But the shape and general appearence is just like pointe shoes. So what I did was cut some thick cardboard shapes to fit over the top of my toes and bent the outer edges over at the edges. Then I PVA glued a few layers of normal printer paper over these wrapping all around my toes, forming the box shape. I added some more paper layers around the sides and top. The glue helps to stiffen and hold the box shape - a bit like real ones.. The toe boxe were formed over my toes and held in place until the glue dried sufficiently to hold the shape. (I wrapped masking tape around my toes first so the glue wouldnt stick to me.) Then when the toe boxes were glued enough to hold their shape I took them off and left them to dry completely. When they were completely dried I slid them up into the front of the dance shoes - the appearence is like pointe shoes with real toe boxes. The only thing was because the PVA glue dries hard the toe boxes feel a little hard and rough on the inside (just like the real ones) so when I put them on I first wrap a bit of kitchen towel around toes - this also helps prevent tights snagging on hard rough edges inside the toe boxes.

I have taken a pic of what the cardboard toe boxes look like in case it helps..

progress - with the dress on the dummy I drew on the curvey seam lines in pencil. Then cut and pinned. Front and back both curve in toward the armholes and this gives a lovely fitted shape to the dress.

Since the uniform shape is so shapeless, I have started re-tailoring the whole thing into more of a fitted dress shape. All the pockets have been carefully unpicked and also the sleeves. Pic shows the dress pinned where I want my new seams to flow and make it very fitted around bust and waist.

Nurse uniform dress arrived today. Dissapointed tbh ..Could it be any more shapeless? - it will need loads of alteration to get that sexy fitted look. So this how it looks before alteration.

Whilst on holiday I found a great syringe prop inside a gift shop. Its actually a novelty pen, but looks spot on for this cosplay even has the red liquid inside. The pen part is easliy removable. Just need to add a pretend 'needle' for theatrical impact.

making the insignia, layers - red fabric, gold fabric,tracing paper.

ok the embroidery was taking forever so for speed I painted in the outlining with black acrylic paint. Then cut around the badge shape and sewed it on.

Black collar fabric is cut from a pair of black velvet trousers I picked up from charity shop - (the dress is seen lying on top of the remainder). Inside the collar for stiffening is a layer of thick linen. After sewing the collar onto the dress it looked deep compared to picture ref so I turned it over and steam ironed.

This is how it looks with the finished insignia and collar

One whole day left to work on this. Im pretty pleased with the shape but it is really short! The hem is going to have to be literally just rolled over and sewd. Dont quite understand why it came out quite so short as the pattern shows 2 inches off this length should be available for the hem! I can live with it tho, just have to keep hitching it down. The matching red knicker parts are not included in the pattern. Still left to make are the black collar piece and the insignia badge.

The dress is all back together now with corrected pattern pieces. Test wear results - length is better but omg this dress is SHORT! Im gonna try to give myself a bit more length by inserting some extra fabric at the top shoulder seams. Also arms are still way too narrow, so I am adding some insert strips in the underarm seams. Although I have to say overall I am really loving how this dress is starting to look. More work tommorow...

After seam ripping through all the seams and getting back to the paper pattern I found why my dress wasnt working out. It's not wrong sizing. The fault was.. I had originally traced the pattern lines first onto some seethrough fabric and then pinned that onto the red fabric to cut - it turns out the seethrough fabric is too stretchy and has been distorting so my fabric sections are out quite a lot. Fix - So, I am now half way through editing all the fabric sections to make them match the paper pattern. I might be able to rescue this dress. By tommorow I will know...
Front half of corrected dress is now sewed back together.

:( After sewing all the pieces together, and seeing this dress wouldnt even fit a 12 year old!..I realised the sizing of USA is completely different to UK. (you have been warned)

So here is the stage at the mo..dress is being unpicked carefully so I can either cut some new sections from my remaining fabric, or patch together some extension panels to increase the size. Darn! I wont make that mistake twice.

Pic shows back of dress, also my accessories - phaser, compact size communicator ^^ and trusty away bag. Phaser is the Franklin Mint, which weighs a Ton! so I wont be carrying that around. I will either just take the small removeable black hand held type I phaser, or I might try to scratch build a lightweight phaser pistol.

I bought the proper Star Trek dress pattern for season I type dress - these are the ones with triangular looking sections. from USA. Pic shows the pattern pieces all cut out.

This is the necklace and nail polish accesories I picked up cheap on the high street.

The sheer cami suspender was easy to make..basically like a boob tube. I took the shoulder straps off a bra and suspenders off a sbelt. The hard part was matching the scalloped elastic around the hem. In the end I cut off some knicker elastic from some donated knickers. Pic shows carefully removing the elastic.

Finished boots with the buttons added. The soles should be painted red but I figured these are going to be re-used for other costumes so I left them.

Fabric is sooo hard to sew! This black wet look stuff must be some kind of plastic coating. The sewing machine absolutley hates it, keeps skipping and snarling up and snapping the thread. So Im having to hand sew everything. No update pics cuz time is short - Expo Tommorrow. (It WILL be done!) ^^

Boots after shoe dye. Nice and black. I am really pleased how they turned out. I did buy two packs of shoe dye as I thought one might not be enough since these boots are thigh length and the packaging says will cover a pair of shoes or small boots. But one pack was actually enough. The dye even dyed things like the zipper and elastic. Superb.

Method - I first cleaned off any polish from the grey boots by rubbing down with kitchen paper soked in gentle nail polish remover. Then as per the instructions I used the supplied abrasive sponge with warm water and lightly scrubbed all over. Left to dry. Then I decanted the shoe dye out of its plastic bottle into a glass jar so I could see how much was being used up, and because the plastic bottle looked like it could easliy tip over. The supplied application brush looked rough and stiff so I used one of my art brushes instead. The dye washed out of the brush with water. I def recommend this Dylon shoe dye, certainly changing to black worked fine.

If you are wondering what is stuffed inside the boots for the photo - I made myself these boot fillers a while back, they are usefull if you are trying to paint or dye long boots, they stop them from collapsing. Also can paint all over the boots without handling them - just hold them by the boot fillers. Made from long cardboard tube - empty wrapping paper tube - built out with scrunched newspaper and then wrapped in a layer of wall paper.

Thes are my donor boots which I am going to try to mod to look like Madonnas Louboutines. First step is change them from grey to black. Here goes with the Dylon shoe dye..

This is my sketch breakdown of the different layers in Madonnas costume - As far as I can make out she is wearing a bra top with hot pants, on top of that a sheer cami suspender, on top of that an underwired bra which looks latex or pvc and is halterneck with ring fixings.

I decided to try a ready made dress pattern for this. In theory should make it easier. Im hoping the instructions will show me how to do things like elasticated legholes - that dont look all crinkled (!) and a proper circle skrt. I really want the fall of the skirt to look beautifull..so I am trusting the dress pattern. (Dont let me down dress pattern!) This is it. :)

..how the finished chain and pendant looks.

pendant finished and painted. The silver is not as bright as the chain ..so I might see if I can make a mould and cast it in white metal sometime.

Base layer sculpted in Milliput..now leaving it to harden. Then I will go in and smooth out the holes and imperfections.

Pendant in progress. I decided to make the pendant out of Milliput. So I started by making a wire armature to give more strength. The paper printout is covered with selotape to stop it sticking. The armature is cut out of stiff wire for the spine of the pendant and the adder coils are bent out of paperclips. Pieces then carefully superglued into positon. Settingn powder sprinkled on to speed up drying time. Ready for Milliputing...

I made a pattern to fit the dress form lovely..Why then was it off by miles when I got my wife to test wear it. ¬_¬ So after pulling it apart and sewing extra bits on everywhere it looks like a patchwork quilt. But finally it fits. (why did you let me down o dress form!) I hope to goodness the skirt part goes a lot easier.

Not sure exactly how Im going to make the whole pendant yet, but this is my start - a clasp from a necklace..will be buried into the top part of the pendant to form a small but strong dangling loop.

Pattern making under way.


Got some nice quality Red velvet for the dress. Totally lucked out trying to find some Gold fabric for a contrasting front panel though. So the plan is to go with a sash belt idea instead. I did find Gold trim ..after lots of searching. So dress under way...

Fabric for the sheer cami suspender. It is beautifully soft net fabric and has 4 way stretch. (called Powermesh) I used it on my Chicago dress for Velma..so glad I kept the sellers details. ^^

Finished the artwork for the Blackadder Emblem - It was really tough researching for this, couldnt find a decent picture of it anywhere. Only found a tiny pic, which was very pixelated when I blew it up. Traced around the basic shape and then referring to the large ref photos I drew in the details and refined the sketch. Then coloured the red in and and scanned it into PS. Edited the scanned image to make it bolder. Finally adjusted the image size to the right size for the sleeves, flipped for the other sleeve, and a small version for the pendant which hangs from the chain of office.

Been making progress with my Chain of Office. Couldnt find anything remotely like it anywhere - Scoured ladies fashion shops in the high street. The best I could find are these flower chain belts from eBay. I bought the last two to make sure I will have enough parts. First step dis-assemble the belts into seperate flowers. Next I cut the flower shapes down into diamond shapes with wire cutters. Then rounded the sharp edges off with metal file. I got some tiny chain links from the jewelery making shop around the corner..and assembled the new diamond chain. This is just the base - Still to go on each piece of the chain is a large red diamante and a cluster of smaller white diamantes.

Why have I started on this first?..because I was bidding on eBy for a long out of date Butterick pattern for Medieval costume doublets and hose, which ended today. Darn it, No I didnt win! :/

Getting bits together - Red Gems arrived for the detailing of the ornate Chain of Office. From what I can make out it looks like silver ovals with red gems and detailing ..Im waiting for two metal chain belts to arrive which will form the base of my chain of office - needs modding from flower shapes, also need to make the Blackadder pendant which dangles from it.

Also in pic is the heavy black velvet fabric which I will use to make the doublet and circle cape. Im hoping that the silver ric rac will look ok for all the embroidery detail..I just cant imagine embroidering so much!

Found some answers last night incl a great How to Make an authentic Ruff from this web site http://www.elizabethancostume.net/index.html

Examining Blackadders Ruff closely, it looks like a plain white fabric with a pattern detail running along its outer edge - known as Blackwork: Black silk thread was used to hand embroider complex patterns using a double running stitch.)
Pic shows a blow up and what I think the pattern looks like.. Im not planning to hand embroider though! My sewing machine has a stretch stitch which looks close..so I will do some experimenting. Note that on the inside face of the ruffles the black thread does not show! My guess is that the fabric is doubled over - well thats how Im going to do it anyway. Suits me as the fabric edge will then be closed. So because the fabric will be doubled over and because in some freeze frames Blackadders ruff appears almost translucent I decided to experiment with white cotton voile. in the post now. ^^

Wig arrived today so I did a quick makeup test. This might be as good as it gets, my face is very different shape to Rowans and my blue eyes arent helping.. Hope this cosplay is gonna work!
Clothes are just standins for the makeup test. Although the wool and red taffeta fabrics are what has just arrived in the post. One thing I learnt from doing this.. using black eyeshadow makeup for the beard is not going to work because it rubs off onto the white collar too easily - this will spoil the white ruff awfully. So my next idea is to try painting prosthetic glue straight onto my face and stick wig fibres in it, then trim it all like a real beard when the glue has set.

pic shows - front and back of finished corset as it was seen at Midlands Expo.. ..I say finished but there are things which I spotted need tweeking and there is time now to go over improving, so I will probably work on it a little more..

Ref and planning.

Costume layers
Ok the first hurdle is done..figuring out the fabrics and getting some decent ref pics. Fotunately I came across a pic of the screen costume from when it was auctioned. First question what fabrics? - Thanks to the amazingly knowledgeable Odangochan, via my help thread, I now know that the screen costume was in fact Ostrich leather! - This explains the puzzling spot pattern which is def there in photos. Apparently the spots are where the Ostrich feathers would have been.. like a plucked chicken.. :/ So Im not worrying about accuracy in this respect -Instead I plan to use normal leather. Its waaaay cheaper too. ^^
The jerkin has split vents which are lined with wine red silk/Taffeta inserts.
Jerkin buttons down the centre with ornate buttons. Jerkin also has leather epaulettes and picadils.

Next layer under the leather jerkin is the doublet which is black velvet with piping on the outer edges inc shoulders (often doublets had detachable sleeves.) In the photo you can see the velvet sleeves and mandarin collar and just about see the bottom hem of the doublet which follows the same shape as the jerkin. Doublet sleeves have the Blackadder emblem embroidered in red and silver - an adder wrapped around a dagger. Also the blackadder emblem appears on Edmunds chunky necklace.

Next layer worn under this is a white shirt with lace cuffs.

Pants - also known as pumpkin breeches, or pansied slops - panes are the strips of fabric running vertically. Slops are same wine red fabric as jerkin vents, with matching leather panes, waistband, and breeches.

Not seen in this pic is a cape or caplet - this is a circle cape made of black wool with Lots of gold embroidery. The cape is carried over one shoulder with its teather running diagonally across the body. Also running diagonally across the body is the Baldrick - that is, the wide belt with ornate buckle which holds the rapier sword at the hip.
Finishing off the costume - leather over knee riding boots with metal spurs.

Time to get some raw materials in...

This is another work in progress pic -

progress reached by 16th feb, two days before show!

progress pic of the largest size kittys for the costume. The shapes are cut out of plastic card and then covered with sticky back holographic silver foil. Diamantes for the kittys were self stick. Whiskers are actually small lengths of solder glued on with Evo. (but I noticed after the first wearing the glue is not holding onto the foil very well.. so I will go back and fix them more securely.

progress pic making the mirror details (see earlier journal pic).

So, the raw mirror circles needed plastic bases making. I researched ..and discovered you could buy Hello Kitty keyrings and the fob was this little round mirror in black plastic casing. But I needed 5 for the costume and they were like 5.99 each. So thats why I made them instead.. First cut 2 circles out of black plastic card and cut the centre out of one to make a ring shape. Then glue the ring shape onto the cicle backing and file/sand the edges smooth. Then glued the mirror into the hole, and finally glue a bit of chain on the back for a fixing onto the corset. So the cost of making these 5 mirror details was like £2 materials..instead of £30plus

pic shows Hello Kittys being made.. I managed to scale up the various Kittys using the photo program and a bit of maths. The shapes are then carbon copied onto black plastic card which has been covered in masking tape. Then cut them out with scissors. Now in the process of glueing on the chainlink and diamantes. Its taking a lot of time!

pic shows back of corset, current state.

The belt strips and gold chain link are going on now.
This is a glimpse to show how it is coming along. :)

The three row silver stud belt - needs to be a two row belt around the waist and there are various offcuts of single stud strips placed around the corst. Similar story with the pink stud belts. All I could find were three row belts. Im guessing the original costume was made by cutting up three row belts.
I managed to cut them with the craft knife and scissors. The cut edges were all like grey leather so I went over every cut edge with acrylic black paint. Looks a lot neater. :)

pic shows making new holes so studs can be extended up the belt.

I know I am being really picky about detail..but if its there I have to do it! This is the belt which runs up the back, and I need the studs to be closer to the buckle on the shoulder. So I took some studs off some belt offcuts and moved them to this new position.

pic shows - current state,

Corset after the adjustments. Perfect! Now it fits me like I wanted. Happy bunny again ^_^

Ordered proper corset lace (those in pic are just boot laces to test.)

Great, finally I can start adding all the detail, just need to add some pillows first, inside the front for ma bewbage. Then blingify. :P

pic shows - unpicking the back panels..see below


First test fit of the finished base corset - Somehow it has grown bigger!! What the??.. Ok Im not gonna be thrown by this, there must be an explanation.. somehow the corset has gained width. A LOT! I can do up the lace panels completely closed and it still feels loose.

After puzzling over this I think the error must be coming in when I copy the pattern onto the fabric..I have been drawing around the tracing paper templates - this must be enlarging the pattern pieces by maybe a couple of mm all around, and because the chalk marker is also quite thick. Ordinarily this small amount shouldnt matter that much, except with a corset there are lots of panels and hence seams..with a couple mm added at every seam it is all adding up to make a significant difference. Plus the Satin fabric seems to have a noticable amount of stretch to it, unlike the rough wihich has abs none.

..Decided I could not live with the corset fitting loose. So I have taken it apart at the back and removed an inch from the two back panel seams. A lot of carefull unpicking and editing. But I think it will be worth it. Anywho its all done and back together now.. Second Test fitting tommorrow...

Today I went to see if I could get an adjustable seam edge guide for my machine. I didnt exactly come home with what I intended. ^^ The woman in the shop said a 'walking foot' attachment had a seam guide built in. Never heard of it. ..what is a walking foot? So she explained it pulls the top of the fabric at the same time that the bottom feed pulls on the bottom of the fabric. Official name 'Even Feed Foot'. Especially good for when sewing through lots of layers of fabric, it prevents puckering. ..or when sewing fabric which sticks slightly to the normal presser foot, like pvc ..or sewing other problem stuff like lycra - Say what!! So yeah I bought this attachment even though it was like 37 quid. Fortunately my wife has not killed me ^_^ Anyway..this attachment does come with a built in seam guide - looks like a bent piece of chrome bar. Hmm, it might work ok, but wasnt what I had in mind...

THEN I dicovered that my sewing machine actually has a small hole to the right of the presser foot plate. I tried a few spare bolts and found one which fits exactly - from an electrical socket cover. So I made up my own seam edge guide out of a piece of thick perspex. I added a wing nut onto the bolt which clamps the guide in the position I want. Test driven - it works! :)

Im so pleased with my eyelets, had to upload this latest pic. Prym eyelets Rule! ^_^

So, you can see the main corset panels are all sewed together now. The back lace panels have been really tricky..unpicked ummm at least 3 times I think. :S ..The original allowances I gave myself were too finely cut and so some of the raw edges were not being trapped by the turned over seams. Also the self facing came up too short and their seams would have fallen along the path of the eyelet holes - Had to replace the self facing strips with new wider ones.

On the plus side I have developed some speed by using the backwards a few stitches then forwards to start and end seams on the machine - no more tieing off all the loose ends, just snip them off. (Downside is if you have to unpick a seam like this - it is a Lot harder!)

One last note: hole puch pliers for the eyelets Failed badly!.. just really hurt my hands, so much pressure and it still didnt cut holes through the fabric. So I gave up on them. Instead I heated up a piece of thin metal rod and pushed it through. It actually melted neat holes and sealed from fraying at the same time. DONT try this mehtod if you are not an adult tho - get supervision..heating metal rods is dangerous! I can do it cuz I am an adult and adults can do stuff like this. :P

Pic shows - drawing out the pattern onto the black Satin fabric. My pattern pieces flip over to provide both left and right halves.
I have also cut the fabric shapes out now so finally I can start putting this thing together. Need to get my ass into gear as time is running out fast, like it always does. Still, what I havent put up yet are all the bits I have been buying for the detailing.. beads, chain, diamantes, stud belts etc. Hope I have bought enough quantities. Trying to keep the journal in some sort of order, so I will put the detail making all together.. after the basic corset is complete.

Pic shows how things are looking at the back now. I re-worked the back panel so now has two symetrical lacing panels. Looks much neater.. and like a corset! Happy again. ^^

Also you can see I had a practice at applying the boning, seen down the edges of the lacing panel. The casings are actually sewn onto the inside of the corset, but the two lines of stitching showing on the outside can make it appear they are on the outside. I did some step drawings to remind myself how the casings go together onto the corset. (wrong side, right side etc) Following how the manufactured pink corset was put together. You have to be quite carefull sewing the stitches close to the edge of the casing. But yeah I feel I have bone casings sorted now. :)

Also I fitted some cheap eyelets so I could test wear properly and used two xtra long laces tied together for now. Real corset lacing ordered.

I think its time to bite the bullet and start cutting the satin fabric..

The hook and eye fastener idea is not working. Just test wearing of the rough is causing the fastener edges to pucker. They do not lie flat and neat anymore. And this is without the laces pulling on them yet. Not happy about this! I really want the corset to look neat. So I have decided to ditch the hook eye fastener idea. Instead I will go with the standard corset design. ie slacken the laces to get into it.
I found if the modesty panel is wide enough I can wriggle into the corset without a fastener. Laces can be adjusted after it is slipped on.

This also makes it easier to fix the stud belts on later. :)

I remebered I had bought this pink corset (really cheap) ages ago. So I have been taking it apart carefully - reverse engineering - to see how they are put together and also I can use some of the parts..like the boning inserts for the lacing strips at the back, and the front busk parts - which turn out to be steel. Niiice. Ill have to pull the brass clasps off though cuz I am not having it opening. Just using to stiffen up the front.

Im surprised to find that the lacing boning on the pink corset was attached via seperate little casings just sewed tightly along the panel edges. ..I thought the construction was going to be a lot more complicated than that. Oh well. Suits me. So this is how I will fit the boning into my corset too.

Found these today in The Works (who would have guessed!?) Really pleased to have stumbled across these cuz I have been scouring eBy for small round mirrors and not much luck other than key ring fobs, which would have been more expensive. So here in the pic I spotted at least four on the corset. I just need to mount them onto something which can dangle on the corset. :)

Had a lil break over Christmas as I said I would make a dress for Mrs P for her Christmas pressie. She wanted a retro 50's style pencil dress. We went up to the market together to pick out the fabric. ..Red duchess satin. Using my usual costume making format - I started by drawing and making up a rough cotton pattern on her then cut the dress fabric following the rough ...Oh my gosh the finished dress looks 50s Fabulous! Shame I cant stick it up here and show you guys (cuz its not really a costume). Im so pleased how it came out and of course Mrs P is Very happy cuz she has a tailor made dress of dreams. ^_^
And now ..I shall resume on my corset.

My finished corset rough. As you can see it really earns its name. ^^ Yes the seam allowances are on the outside..I just find it easier to work this way during this stage.
You can see from the back view I am factoring in how the corset looks on Katy - ie the lacing panel is very extended at the top and close together at the bottom making a kind of V. When the bright pink details are added to the back of my costume Im sure this feature will be noticed so I wanted to have the same V shape going on mine. Although the modesty panel will actually be made parallell..so when I sell this baby on it has a better chance of fitting different sizes. Incidentally I was having a discussion about why the corset seems so ill fitting at the back on Katy..and my guess is that the corset, being a couture garment made for the launch of MAC Hello Kitty, wasnt made with Katy in mind. It is actually fairly small in the bust. One thing Katy is not..is small in the bust hence the lacing is extended at the top to make room for Katys ample bewbs. Katy we love you. ^^
Also you can see where I have placed the hook and eye strip. This will be hidden behind the two row strip of pink studded belt. Working out these end panels for the lacing holes to go has been the hardest. Thinking about strength of the seams..folding over to make the casings for the end boning with the holes in..fixing the hook and eye tape..and fixng the modesty panel..all with turnovers so no raw edges are showing. Theres a lot going on.
Corsetiers...I salute you. ^_^

Spent hours on the corset rough. Cutting the fabric pieces and slowly covering the paper pattern on the dress form. The boning detail is the hardest part -trying to match up where they appear on the real one to where my seams are. Conclusion..I think this will be easier if I just sew the corset together to get the basic shape and then make boning casings seperately and sew them on top afterwards.

back view of the rough paper pattern.

pic on left is Katy wearing the corset at the Brits - good view of the back - for ref. Im guessing the corset has an expansion panel between the lacing strips?..or she could be wearing something underneath the corset?

I think I have the basic shape pretty much laid down. Next step is to transfer the shape into fabric..

Making my rough paper pattern using wall lining paper..and sticky brown parcel paper.
Pic on left is Katy for ref. There are two Hello Kitty bum bags fixed at the sides - makes the hips look a lot wider. I hope it has the same effect on me - badly lacking in the hip dept!!

So I think I have the basic shape pretty much laid down. Next step is to transfer the shape into fabric..

Research done, loads of ref pics all around so I dont have to guess at detail. I wondered about using a cheap corset for a quick base and just adding the embelishments. But nothing on eby matches the shape..this corset design is really quite different from whats availble. It is a lot longer in the body..14 eyelets compared to the 8 on my burlesque corset. The lower portion extends quite far below the waistline, the lower front hemline is shaped like a waist coat, and the back tapers down to a V. Also The bust line peaks up to the centre. All of this means..I have decided to try making the corset right from scratch! Let the pattern drafting begin...

Glued the final details on today using liquid nails. Tada! this is my finished Key staff. Really pleased with the final result.

Had some big setbacks!
1. The Plastikote primer I used on the key staff still hasnt dried, but seems permenantly soft as in..you can scrape it off with your finger nail. Why! So I have sanded the whole lot off - which clogged up loads of sandpaper.

Anyway the good news is..I then sprayed with white car paint as primer and it dried quickly so I was also able to spray the top coat using metallic silver car paint. Its drying now ..And it looks ace! Tommorow I can stick the orb and decorations on. Feeling like its in the bag! :)

2. Fuku skirt has been really tough this time around! - even though I used the same pattern I made for Mars. Strange. Skirt just wouldnt hang right. Very unhappy with it. So I unpicked the whole thing, and tried to push the drape into submission by steam pressing knife pleats. Looked great layed out flat but as soon as I tacked it onto the bodice it just went horrible again. Agghh. No more black fabric to spare either. So I unpicked the whole thing Again! and pressed the fabric back flat - fortunately the knife pleats completely came out.
Solution - Finally I hung the bodice on a coat hanger off the door frame and started pinning the skirt from the front centre, putting the gathers in as I went. This seems to be the key! Pinning the gathers whilst the skirt is hanging upright shows properly how the drape is looking, so you can adjust the fabric until it looks just right, then pin to hold that position. Finally I handsewed along the pinned seam. Skirt is now draping properly. :) Just needs hemming now.

Still need to make two bows and sailor collar, make boot extensions, glue decorations onto staff.

But my heart broach and Star neck choker are finished. And I have made the chevron earrings..if I can fix them onto my clip ons somehow. Gloves also finished and wig styled.

One day left till Expo. I think I can do it.. even if I have to work on something in the hotel on Saturday. :P

Pic shows cutting the detail strips from mountboard, and then pva glued around the garnet orb holder. Really pleased how this turned out.

Also completed, but not shown, I have cut slots out of the mini baubles with a mini disc in the hobby drill, so these are all ready to be fixed onto the staff top..after it has been painted.

Key teeth details were cut out of perspex sheet. Then I cut long slots into the broom handle using a chisel and fixed the details in with liquid nails.

Pic shows the finished top detail after I filed the edges neatly down to the drawing lines and also rounded the corners off..lots of filing with the metal files! It has been fixed into the staff top - I cut a slot and secured with liquid nails.
The base construction of the garnet orb holder has also been added by glueing two layers of thick paper card. One of the baubles is also noticable on the staff. These were all done before the top was added - lots of filing grooves into the broom handle and then each bauble had to be cut in half, filled with Milliput for strength and pressed onto the staff.

Day three on the staff! I didnt realise it was gonna take this much work. Ah heck and Expo is coming up fast like it always does! :/

Pic shows cutting of the staff top detail. I used some thick perspex as it is pretty sturdy and the detail is fairly thin so needs the strength.

I selotaped a copy of the head detail drawing onto the perspex sheet. Then chain drilled, and then cut through with a hacksaw blade for the rough shape.

I drew the heart shaped staff head pattern using a screen grab for ref (where the top garnet orb part seperates from the staff)

Pic shows how the baubles will be used on my key staff.

Baubles from Poundland - I made sure they were plastic ones before I bought. So these will form some of the details. Medium size for the spheres down the length of the key staff, a large red one for the garnet orb, small golden ones for details around the heart shaped head of the staff.

Start of key staff - bought a broom handle. I drew some cardboard cutouts and selotaped them on to work out the detail shapes and positions.

Transparent sleeve caps on, handstitched onto the inside of the sleeve rolls. I havent had time to try it on yet but time is running out fast to Expo so it will have to do.

completed transparent sleeve cap. They are clear acetate sheet with a sparkly organza layer hand stitched on.

Had problems with the transparent sleeve caps.

Ideas I Tried out:

Organza on its own - flopped
Organza with net tulle backing - flopped
Clear acetate sheet - v plastic looking on its own, but holds its shape nicely
Clear acetate sheet with Organza glued at edges - almost! but dried glue is visible!

Final solution
Clear acetate sheet with a layer of Sparkly Organza - This involves making loads of tiny holes around the egdes. I used my Dremel type mini drill. The Organza is then joined onto the acetate sheet by hand sewing along the border of holes with invisible thread. Pics of completed sleeve caps tommorrow. :)

pic left - gloves made out of white stretch lycra, seperate thumbs, no finger gussets because there is enough stretch in the fabric. The glove rolls left are in stages of progress.. 1st the long sausage shape is sewed up out of upholstery foam strip. Then the foam sausage has been covered with black stretch fabric. Next the sausage shape is bent into a ring and the ends are stitched together. Finally the black fabric is closed over the join and sewed neatly. This completes the individual glove rolls - three made up for each glove.

pic right - shows the three individual glove rolls sewed together so they form a band of three. This is then finally sewed onto the glove top. Far right is the first completed glove.

Both gloves are now finished.

Pretty pleased with it even though im not 100 pc convinced the hair bun is right. But its the best I can do. Im not gonna risk changing it again.

Oh dear, there is good news and bad news... First the good news, the fringe actually looks pretty good. The bad news, the hair bun idea has not worked out.. having effectively a complete wig hangiing off the back of a really long wig was really heavy! So I hacked the length off the bun extension hoping to leave just the bun, but the hacked off ends just stuck out badly, so I had to take it all off. Pic shows what is left now of the short wig. oopse. Ummm time for plan B...
Plan B - ok so I am going to try the trusty odango method the same as I used for Nehelenia. So I have cut a large hole through the polystyrene ball and painted it black, and dark green. I shall leave overnight to dry. Hopefully the long cut off piece from the short wig will be enough to cover the bun.
Darn, I need to look in on some wig styling workshops at the cons. :I

Plu wig arrived today, 1M long dark green - which is really great cuz the ad said it could take up to a month to arrive from HK! Fotunately it has arrived after only 6 days. So I spent the morning styling. Fringe was veeeery long so I have chopped a good 6 inches off in a bit of a curve. Also I put some rollers in and steamed with the kettle spout. When the rollers come out I will see, hopefully it will look how it should.
Also - the first wig I had bought for Plu which was too short is exactly the same colour. So I am using that for Plu's hair bun and extension. I used a polystyrende ball and just fitted the wig over it and tied around with black elastic. You can see the hair bun extension in the photo and there is a spare polystyrene ball too.

..just needs transparent sleeve extensions adding now. Wondering what to use for these - just ordered some sheer organza, hope it will be stiff enough to hold its shape...

Dont ask me why..I decided to make my start by tackling the leg armour first. This has been pretty difficult to work out - (my first attempt at making armour) and also because the armour parts have to actually pivot and move around my foot movement. I need full manouverablity so eg I can crouch on one knee in the sniping position. ..After HOURS of cutting shapes out of cardboard and paper I think I have finally got the basics of my pattern down. So this is my rough working cardboard version of how my armour pieces will go together around boots. The toe section can pivot forward when the foot bends because of two crude wire hinges.
So next up is to translate this cardboard model into the finished costume version.

This is my best guess at the bodysuit underneath the hard armour, and what I will be using to make my bodysuit, although as mentioned mine will be made in two pieces for the practical reasons. It has been difficult to nail down the design as there are differences between Nova and Kerrigans in game pics, ref art and the promotional life size statue.

One piece catsuits are not the easiest things to get in and out of and especially with all the hard armour parts which will go on top of this, so following Adamolunas idea I think I will also go for a split at the waist. The lower half being like leggins and the top half being like a leotard with fastenings in the crotch.
This is how I envision my costume parts breakdown..

I did some photoshop on Nova - removing the hard armour and filling in the gaps to try and come up with the body suit design underneath. Looking at the cinematic of Kerrigan too - this is how I think the bodysuit looks, although there are slight differences between Nova and Kerris costumes..also slight differences between in game design and life size Nova promo statue. Well this is how I think it looks and is what I will be using as my pattern.

No expense spared :P This is a cheap source of foam padding. 70p buys a pack of sponge foam 7x7 inch squares. It has just about the right stiffness/flexibility I am after. Planning to use this as a resource to pad out bits of the armour eg between glove armour layers, and between armour parts and my body to stop rubbing. Also the stand up collar of the body suit needs to have thickness but be able to flex, this will do the job nicely. Looks like it will glue edge to edge with contact adhesive to make larger shapes too. :)

These are my base gloves. They are industrial assembly Grip Gloves - the fabric enables skin to breath and remain comfortable, whilst the inside palm and fingers are rubberised for grip..good for holding onto my cannister rifle prop. These will form the base for my costume gloves. I will make the seperate hard armour pieces and glue them onto the gloves so gloves will look accurate to the ref and work practically too.

Boots Check! ^^
I have just bought myself some military style boots. I resisted the urge to glam up this cosplay with high heels etc, even though I have seen some sexy versions of Starcraft cosplay. I decided I wanted to stick to the original costume design..the down and dirty practical military no nonsense look. Footwear wise I think this will be the most comfortable costume I have worn. Which is great because I will be able to enjoy wearing it all day. :)

These boots will form the base, onto which the foot armour plates will fix and the boots themselves will be coloured to match the metallic silver leg armour.

In stage pics of the Catsuit progress. Since the fabric hood looked bumpy it was left out of the final costume and I opted to just wear the front mask part. I quite like the look with just the wig - it is tempting to cosplay like Selina just got back home and has removed the Cowl.

Finished claws were then glued onto the gloves whilst wearing them to help position them exactly right, using Evostick Impact contact adhesive.

These are the finished gloves with claws attached.

claws painted with acrylic silver paint.

The claws were then glued onto a set of false nails with cyanoacrylate (superglue).

I made my claws up today. Material is some thick perspex which I rescued out of a skip. First drew my pattern shapes in cardboard then put masking tape on the perspex and traced around the shapes. I cut the rough shapes out with hacksaw and then filed them down to the lines with metal working files. Once the profile shapes were cut I then filed them down into sharp pointy claws.

Since the fabric cowl really wasnt working out I decided to just go with the face mask, along with the wig it actually looks close to the comic art somehow. I added some cat ears quickly. They are just cardboard cutouts glued on and covered with the same fabric. At least it definitely says Catwoman.

No pics of this. Good, cuz it really isnt looking like I wanted. The solid front part looks nice and smooth, but the cloth hood part is just not sitting smooth over the wig underneath. And the wig is not bunching out from the back properly but seems more like a pony tail. Funny thing is it all looks better with just the front mask part on. Tempting to just wear it like this - if time runs out I may have to. Wondering if I should start a new cowl - one that covers the head...

These are the finished Roses, after several coats of purple ink.

Oh my gosh sequins are taking forever to sew on!
So Im going to Emergency Plan B ..I'm glueing them on instead, and half the panel is now done.

One more day left. I can do this. ^_^

I used the Rough to draw around, transfering the shape onto thick lining paper. The curves on one side looked nicer than the other so I folded the paper down the centre line and copied the shape onto the other side to get a nice symmetrical pattern. Then cut the shape out and used it to trace around onto the back of my costume fabric. Seam allowance was then drawn outside these lines.

Pic shows my finished paper pattern for the centre panel.

Bearing in mind that this all stretches when worn!! ..So, wearing the bodysuit I pinned spare fabric on the front and kept adding adjusting and drawing on it to match the shape of the centre panel of the costume. When it looked right I unpinned it and lay it flat out to draw my pattern. This is how the rough looked at this stage.

Kodachi has a thing for black roses ..actually they are more a dark purple.. So using some artists ink watered down a bit I painted the violet colour onto the red roses. The silk flower fabric really soaked up the colour well and turned the roses a reddy purple. So I applied a coat of just blue. Now the roses are very dark purple. :) Tommorow they will be completely dry and I will see how the colour looks in the daylight.

Somebody mentioned parylising boquets of flowers??
Kodachi has been out and bought some beautifull red roses. ^_^
Now to mix a Powerful Potion for them!.. :P

..and here trying out the leotard with my white canvas dance/gym shoes. Obv my legs wont look as long and anime in these. They are very comfy though. ^^
I had a go at some gym poses for photo ops..dont laugh - I never learnt girly gym stuff at school. :P

The fabric I ordered arrived, but is a lot more blue green in real life. hmmm. Thats why it is always better to go to a market and see the fabric for real.

So instead, and because is ticking to Expo, I decided to buy a green leotard off eBy. And this is it. Im so pleased. ^_^ The colour is beautifull and the fabric is really soft. So all I need to do now is add the black edging detail with some black stretch lycra.

I tried the leotard out with white heels, cuz Im a glamour puss *_*, ..and also with my canvas gym shoes..

I finished making up my ribbon twirler ..3m of wide ribbon plus a Prym eyelet.

Still waiting for the fabric to arrive, so I set about making my ribbon twirler. I used a piece of wooden dowel, the turnbuckle and metal bits are taken from a keyring - I just removed the plastic toy and screwed the eye into the end of the dowel. I believe they need some loose linkage like this on the end to keep the streamer from tangling.

Just need to buy some ribbon now, stick an eyelet in the end and attach it.

This is my quick experiment at styling my long Nehelenia wig - I can see why Luke thought Kodachi was gonna be difficult to style now!

For this experiment I just dragged the hair around to one side, stuck a clam clip thingy on the back to hold it in place and tied some of it up on the side as high as I could. I dont think it looks bad. Pony tail is waaay too long but the look is getting there imo. At least this can be my back up plan if I cant get any closer..

This is the fabric I ordered. 4 way stretch lycra. Colour is called Greecian Green. Hope it is the same colour in real life. *_*

So I bought a new body suit, and this one is made from a beautifull stretch Satin fabric. :) So soft to the touch too.
The back is very low cut..so that needs filling in. Apart from that though it is a great base to start from. Next I will get to work on drawing up the patterns for the main centre panel, and also build the back up to the bra line ... :)
pic - base bodysuit

cheapo body suit arrived and...dissapointment. Fabric is Matt! ¬_¬

So after calculating this was gonna take a whole heap of Shwarovski crystals to cover the front, and hence mega expensive, I have decided to go for cup sequins instead. Yes this is a lot to sew on. @_@ If it takes too long though I will just glue em on! :P
Silver Sequins and Hot Pink sequins on their way.

ok ..Waiting for a nude colour bodysuit to arrive - that will form the base for my cos. Ill have to re-shape the top part cuz its more like a leotard. And Im hoping the fabric is the satiny shiney type..
Cant wait to start on making the diamante centre panel. I want to try to get that colour gradient her costume has ..from clear diamonds at the top through rose pink in the middle and finishing with fushia at the bottom. Ive seen the Shwarovski crystals I want to use on eB. I just hope it doesnt cost a bomb to fill the front panel. I might have to cheat a bit and use part crystals and part sequins. Sparkly again. ^_^

Finally the details were spray painted with gold paint. Wings were painted with white acrylic paint and masked off during the spray painting part.

I made the winged centre broach by cutting the shape out of art mountboard using a sharp craft knife. The stars tail was also built up using mountboard.

To make the stars 3d I cut the shapes out of thin plastic sheet using a sharp craft knife. Slowly the stars were built up. Pic shows stars half way through construction.

and from the front this is what it looked like. I printed out some five point stars of different sizes and settled on the size I wanted for the star on the tiara. In the pic the paper star pattern is resting in position.

I made the tiara by glueing two strips of plastic together around my head so the curve is right. Then for the rivet detail I used those brass thingies which you often used to hold fingers on paper clocks etc. First drilled holes in the tiara and inserted brass thingies. The bent over tails were long so I cut them down with snippers. Also decided since they will be sitting against my forehead I would smooth them over at the back - with a layer of superglue. Sanded down when it had set completely and then I stuck some thick sellotape across the back so it became nice and smooth.

I used like suspender elastic and covered it with purple stretch lycra fabric. Then I punched holes for the studs usingmy leather punch tool. Then added the studs. I added some clear plastic strips to hold the two choker strips in line with each other - held on by the studs. Finally added velcro fastening.
This is the finished choker.
note the remaining purple studs..which are for the arm band thingies and the cross over tummy straps.

These are the metal cone studs I bought off eB. I drilled a piece of wood to hold the studs whilst they were being painted. First I lightly sanded the studs to help the paint stick, and then mixed up some arcylic paint as near as I could to the purple fabric I have. Red plus blue gives purple. When dried I coated the paint with future floor polish as a tough clear varnish coat.

This is how I made the choker. Using ref pics I drew a paper pattern to fit my neck and marked positions for the studs.

Lots more done, still some things to finish though - as Kita is upon us I will have to edit the wip pics and journal after the Con...sew sew sew ^_^

The covers are sewd onto the bra now. I had to fold over a dart to make the lower parts fit around the boobs. Pretty pleased as they do look kind of like shields. ^_^

Also I added a hook and eye fastener to the collar so now it can be joined easily at the front.

Are these armour?? umm well making the bra covers/armour.
Started by drawing the patterns on thick paper. Pic shows the final shape after a few edits, comparing it to the ref. On the right are the finished pvc covers, made the same way as the collar.

Here is the finished collar. I cut two identical collar shapes and sewed them inside out around the seam line, leaving one edge open. (cushion cover method). Then turned right side out. It was difficult to get the points of the collar turned right side out - there was just too much fabric seam allowance inside. So I had to pull it all back inside out and trim as close to the seam as I dared. This made it a lot easier to turn it all back right side out. Then I had to sew all around the edges to get the seams to lie flat because the pvc was too springy and made it look like some kind of inflatable!! So finally this is how it looks now.

Prob will fix it onto the bra straps somehow and put a fastener at the front.

I started with the base pattern from Sailor Mars and edited it - now has wider front lapels and a better neck line, and shorter length at the back.
Underneath the cloth rough is the pattern copied onto thick paper - so it is easy to trace around and mark out the back of the pvc for cutting.

Finished shorts. I need to make the crossover straps for them though..

I just spent ALL day trying to make the pattern for the shorts! Why has it been so difficult? Just kept looking lumpy and puckered. Anyway, after numerous attempts editing my pattern rough I think I finally have the shapes almost worked out. Tommorow I shall cut the fabric and put the proper pair together. I dont have pleather to match the other girls Starlight costumes, so I am going to try with black PVC which I already bought for other things. But if it looks crappy I will try it with black lycra too.
Pic - pattern roughs nearly there..top line needs lowering, otherwise I think they are good to Go!

Ha ha Gold Pants! ^_^ ..Finished.
I used some of Galaxias Gold fabric to cover my briefs. Just in case bits of white might be spotted I decided to cover the whole briefs over in Gold. Using Stretch Stitch on the machine I sewed the top on to the inside of the waistband then folded it over the front..so no seam is showing. The rest is handsewn around the legs.
So now the shorts can be made loose and open at the top. :)

The mods shown should bring the base bra shape into line to match the ref.
The normal bra strap is going to be replaced by elastic strip - but retain the hook and eye fastener.

Testing collar pattern, base bra, and the underwear to make this costume work - which is covered over by some Gold test fabric - I decided I am going to cover the briefs with the Gold fabric and then have the shorts with an open V front and back - with some ruching to help form the V shape. (the shorts are just stand ins until I make the proper ones).

Ruffle knickers are just Made for an outfit like this. ^_^ Theyre so cute.
A bit cheeky at the back! thank goodness for the bustle. :P

These are the stockings I bought. I Love those vertical stripes, theyre so dancing girl and period looking! And they match with the stripe detail on the corset. Of course they will need straps to hold them up..so I will add some anchor points for suspender straps on the bottom of the corset.

This is the base corset I bought..might add some more pink detailing to it.

Lace arm gloves arrived today, woohoo. Theyre gorgeous floral lace full length. And the lace is stretchy so a wonderfull snug fit. Intending to make some pink bows for them to match with the corset.

I re-edited the pattern and eventually got the arm glove to look like it should. This is the second rough I made because the first one had so many alterations it just got messy.
Happy with the shape and fit now. ..Nearly time to break out the cigar. :P
Next to cut the leather..

Parts are starting to come together now.

Just got my boots, I love these. ^_^
Armgloves with Fingerless gloves
Wig test.

Please excuse: lack of makeup, and my laddered tights (cant bring myself to throw them away, so they are used for quick testing. :P Oh and body suit is a stand in cuz I havent made the corset yet.

So thats how Barb is shaping up so far. :)

Made up a rough to test the pattern out. ..Close, but no cigar yet! The gap is too wide in places - see comparison pic.
Prob the error occured because I used stretch lycra to get the first measurements off my arm.
Also my triangular tops could do with being a tad shorter and less pointy. Otherwise though..not bad for a starter. :)

Pattern drawn out on paper. Eyelet spacings,seam allowances etc have all been planned out. Next to cut a quick practice piece using some spare fabric - I dont want to waste any of the leather..

Start of making my armglove pattern - using some old lycra fabric, so I can keep slipping the arm glove off and re-adjust the pins, until eventually I have an exact fit on my arm. Because it is lycra I can slip it off my arm at the final stage with the pins still in.
Next I copied this shape onto paper.

I got this key in my winners bag from Midlands Expo, It just reminded me of the keys Plu has on a key chain around her waist in some artworks..so this key has been put with the other Pluto costume stuff. I know Im doing Super vers, which officially doesnt include the key chain, but I like the look of this key. Now I just need to find some more like it. ^_^

Here is the Leather coat I bought off eBy. £6.oo seems criminal for a good coat like this! Seems no one wants to wear leather coats at the mo. Oh well, at least it has supplied me with good quality real leather at a really low price.

Pic shows progress of diss-assembling the coat. Using a seam ripper I just took the sleeves off. Each coat sleeve is made from two long strips sewed together, so I diss-assembled these too. The amount of leather using one sleeve strip is almost exactly the right amount to make my armglove. I think I will make a rough template first though and then trim the piece of leather down so my armglove looks just like the screen grabs.

These are the fingerless gloves I found on eBy cost 6.60.
And Below is a screen grab where the gloves are seen pretty clearly.

I checked through various scenes, and the long leather arm gloves appear to be a seperate item, not attached to the fingerless gloves..

Materials for mic prop,

- actually same mic I used for Florence.. from pound shop, just snipped the lead off and it becomes a radio mic :P
- Pink craft paper
- Sellotape

Cossie now covered in sequin fabric. This was harder than it sounds! The sequin fabric is only two way stetch, so I had cut and tailor to fit around my curves, esp the around the back. This involved lots of pinning whilst wearing it and then sew a bit, test fit, sew a bit, test fit etc.
Well its done now.
Pink stripes and bustle next. Still an afternoon and evening left. I can do this! ^_^

The boning idea didnt exactly work out. :S
I finished making the boning parts and tacked one against the long side seam, then tried the costume on. That was when I discovered I would not be able to bend at the waist, ha ha ha ha. Duhhhh. Now I know why corset boning stops at the waist!
So, next I cut the boning in half so it finished at the waist, tried it on...hmm it did hold the cossie stretched but was poking out at the waist now. This is why corsets are NOT made using thin stretch lycra! Boy, fast learning curve with this one!

Finally it dawned on me the pulling down problem started only after the swimsuit back was sewed onto to the elastic back strap. So I unpicked the back seam and tried the costume on. The swimsuit back sprang down leaving a gap, but it wasnt pulling on the whole costume any more. *Huzzah*

Final fix - so I cut a fill in piece of black lycra and sewed over the gap between swimsuit and elastic strap. ..problem solved. Phew. Back on course..


Pic - the grey area shows the gap between the back elastic and swimsuit. I tried to photo the lycra patch but since they are both black doesnt show up well, so heres a sketch.

Dayum. Hit a snag..the costume keeps riding down and I keep having to pull it back up. The elastic halterneck is doing its best but is not winning, the swimsuit lycra is just too elasticy and the bra top ends up slipping down and exposing my serious lack of boobage. Not good. :S

So, Rescue plan - I am going to put in some boning up the side seams to hold the costume stretched lengthways.. Fortunately I have a small length of Steel boning in my goodie bag which my mom gave me. I have just made up some bone casings out of thick linen fabric. I didnt have a pattern or anything so I just ran some stright parallel lines with a bit of allowance. But the edges frayed badly, so I turned them inward, ironed flat, and then sewed them shut that way ..did I do a flat-felled seam?? Anyway Im pretty pleased with them. Looks pretty functional. Now to cut the steel and round the ends off with a metal file. Then sew em into the costume and hope it works..

Progress
Bra top and swimsuit now joined together. Also a new halter neck strap has been added.. it is 1 1/2 inch black eleastic strip which I joined onto the end of the swimsuit. Im really impressed with the new Stretch needle, the machine joined the pieces together on stretch stitch very happily.

Next stage - to cover with the sequin fabric. Hope this goes smoothly. I noticed my sequin fabric is only 2 way stretch. Obv that will work ok width ways around the body. But the bra cups could be awkward.. :S

As mentioned the bra cup shapes of the swimsuit are not right for this costume. So I took this base bra and sewed in a cuple of foam bra cups (white) to fill out the semi circles and make the topline look as it should. Also removed the bra straps totally. This base bra will be sewn onto the swimsuit. Fortunately there is enough stretch in everything that I wont need a back opening. I can squeeze my hips through ok. So the bra hook-eye clasp is now sewn shut.

pic left - bra unmodified
pic right - bra after mods

This is the swimsuit I am using as a base. eBay cheap ;)
I bought size 12..for the extra body length - in hopes that the top will stay up easier. But it meant I have had to really tailor in the waist to get a nice fit. Took off about 2 inches from each side seam! The leg holes were a tad loose too so I took the leg seams in by an inch.

Still..on the plus side - I did get to use my new Stretch needle in the machine. *__* Wow! what can I say! Swithched machine to stretch stitch with this needle and not one complaint from the machine. I may have finally mastered sewing Lycra. *___*

Oh..note that the bra cups shapes are no good for this costume. :/ And neither are the shoulder straps. So they need modding...

I did lots of screen grabs from Katys music vid on YT. So today I spent some time looking at these freeze frames of different angles and sketched the costume details. I spent time re-drawing the sketches until they looked pretty accurate.

So this is mainly what I will be working from to make my costume.

Found these on eBy. Diamante lashes you are MINE!
umm 5 quid..on their way. ^_^

Some close ups of Katys hair and makeup - taken from Japan awards interview on YouTube, screen grabed and enlarged ..Shows enough detail for me to have a good go at the makeup.. :)

Ok I decided after all to make the corset and arm gloves using real leather instead of the faux stuff. The plan is: buy another leather coat, cheap 2nd hand one off eBay, and use it to source my leather needs. ie take it apart and use the leather panels to make the corset with and the sleeves to make the arm gloves.

The good news is - I won another leather coat off eBy cheap - like 6 quid - the bad news is when it arrived it looked really nice, and fits my wife beautifully - so shes nabbed it! Darn! Back on the hunt for another cheap leather coat again. :P

Also, ordered some bits and pieces for the leather work - nickel O ring, D ring and cap rivets to make the choker, eyelets/grommets for the corset and arm gloves.

This is my first time working with leather but Im really excited about this costume now.

Postman delivered my coat yesterday. Woohoo. Full length leather amazing buy from eBy 6.99 plus postage. I thought I would have to alter it as the ad said size 14, but it fits. Wonderfull! The hem needs sticking back up and I will give the whole coat some tlc with special leather polish stuff I got from a leather worker. I dont know what it is but it really soaks in and brings the shine back to leather.
So, coat sorted! :)

This is the wig I bought for Barb. Im tempted to muck about with some colour, maybe acrylic ink, see if I can give it a darkened roots look. Patch test on an old cheapo wig first methinks.

Not much done yet!
But I picked up this bag of mixed pink and cerise coloured sequins from Poundland. They will go around the outer edges of the bustle frills. I looked at various add-on trimmings, but they would all work out very expensive - from experience of doing a tutu I know that the frill layers take veeeeery long lenghts of tulle, so they would swallw up lots of metres of trimming. Anywho all I want is some extra sparkle on the outer edges of the bustle, which you can see if you look at screen captures or vid playback. I imagine Katys costume bustle was made using net which already came with sparkle along the edges, but I think if I sew the sequins along the outer edges of my bustle frills it will appear like it should. Thats the plan anyway. :)

At last! I has fabrics.
I went to the market today and selected my fabrics, a medium weight Pink Satin for the side panels and some Neon Pink floppy netting which has sparkly bits, to make the bustle tail thingy out of.

Original Bows and Ribbon details - removed. The ribbony strips seemed to be glued inside the shoe fabric layers so they wouldnt just pull out of the slits like I expected. So I had to cut each piece off. The remaining slits in the shoe fabric are visible only if you look for them..but to be on the safe side I will glue them down tight, then and sprinkle some more pink glitter all over.

I snapped these up, eBay £1.04! ^^ the postage was more, at £4.50

They need a lil work.. the glitter colour has faded slightly different on one shoe, maybe in a shop window too long?? so I need to add another layer of pink glitter to make them match identically. And I do like the bows but they're not needed for this costume so I will carefully take them off. Then I think the shoes will be a good match for this costume.
I don't know why but I always relax about a cosplay once the footwear is sorted. ^_^

Thanks to Tab for helping me with the info..this fabric is called Fishscale Sequin Fabric.
I found this in an eBy shop. £11.99 plus postage of £1.99 for 1 metre It comes on stretch black jersey, Fabulous! Arived today.

Now to find the hot pink stuff... ^_^

Next stage - I sculpted Plaster of Paris (mixed with a bit of PVA) onto the horn bases. It set pretty quick, which was good because I was running out of time before Expo! This stuff is really nice to use, you can carve it as soon as it has gone off and before it sets completely rigid. I wanted a rough look to the horns, to catch dark washes of paint later, so I carved into them rough!
When they had dried I worked the shapes down a bit further with metal files and sandpaper. Finally sealed them over by brushing a coat of PVA glue on and they were ready to paint.

Having completed my head cast (see seperate album on how I made it) I set about making up my set of horns. I first drew Mauls face markings and horn postions onto the head cast, using ref pics of different angles..and a Darth Maul collectable figure also came in handy as a 3D ref source. Then I taped some cardboard bases onto these horn locations and edited/cut out the horn profiles until they looked like the ref pics. The profiles were stuck onto the horn bases with pva glue. The glue set in seconds and these cardboard roughs formed the framework for the horns to be sculpted.

Pic taken during final knifing putty application. After it dried I sanded the surface nice and smooth.
I have also carved out some indents eg nostrils, and around the eye sockets. It's a shame the eye detail isn't better - but I had put small clingfilm covers over my eylids during the mould process to make sure my eyelashes didnt get stuck in the plaster..also of course my eyese were closed during the process.
I will have a go at sculpting the eye detail a bit better into my head cast.
Otherwise though it is good to go with my head prosthetic projects.

1st stop Darth Maul horns..

Here is how the costume is shaping up - life support control panel now fixed onto breastplate. I removed the Velcro from the breastplate fasteners because I just dont trust it..always snags and pulls on nice fabric! Instead the wide elastic straps are now fastened with large size hook/eyes. So, breastplate sorted.

In the pics I tried an off the shoulder top. Looks nice without the helmet but with the helmet on the bare neck looks wrong. This means I am going to have to make a long sleeved full coverage top (for this pic I just have a plain black T-shirt on). 3 days to go.. But I'm feeling good about progress. ^_^

Pic - Breastplate after clear Gloss varnish has dried.
Two coats of Johnsons Klear brushed on - It's meant for floors but I find this stuff is an excellent clear gloss varnish which dries fast and doesn't smell.
Sainsburys sell it.

Third coat. Colour looks solid enough. Now drying, tommorrow I will coat it all with clear gloss to make it super shiney. Also need to drill some holes and fix the life support control box onto the front.

Notice: top left, black wide elastic strip sticking out - this is how the breastplate is fastened onto me. Wide elastic strips are hot glued to the inside, and the other end has velcro fastener. (in case you were wondering)

Next stage - first coat of Black paint. Nothing special here, just ordinary craft acrylic. It's quite well pigmented so two coats might do this..

You might recognise this - from my Toyah cosplay. - I did what I wanted with that, and so I'm quite happy to be re-using this breastplate for another costume.

First stage - the glossy finish has been sanded down with rough sandpaper - this will provide a better key for the black paint to stick to. It has also smoothened the breastplate a bit more - which can't be a bad thing cuz gloss black could show up any unsmoothness..

Struck out on eBy for Black Sequin fabric. They are all like manufactured dots on streatch backing, too regular. No No NO! I want proper sequins!

Next stop charity shop - see if I can find a proper sequined dress to cut up. I want this costume to SPARKLE!. ^_^

Will start working on a pattern rough (loads of spare fabric). ..Between the playboy bunny cos pattern and a med leg swimsuit I have, should be able to make up the pattern rough for the main bodice pretty easily.

Finally cracked the puff sleeves with forearm pintucks, - ok found out these sleeves are called 'Mutton Leg' sleeves.
The sleeves have taken the most working out, lots of experimenting. But also you can see from the patchwork of the whole 'rough' the robe took quite a bit of editing to get to the solution.
Phew!.. at last I can start cutting and putting the proper robe together.

Filling the cracks.

To make working on the cast more practical I mounted it on a wooden base..basically a piece of timber stuck inside the hollow cast and filled around the neck with plaster. The wooden support is mounted onto a round wooden base with a couple of screws through the bottom.
Now that the head cast has been mounted on a supprot stand it is looking more like one of those makeup dummys (a little less freaky!).

At this stage I have started filling all the small crags and imperfections in the cast using 'Knifing Putty' - This is another car bodywork product. It is an air drying filler paste. Not too smelly.
The cast has now been left alone for the knifing putty to completely dry.

Woo hoo Pants are now finished. I love the fabric..it is soft and comfy against the skin.

Pic of the costume parts so far - Finished pants, Inner Tunic and boots.

Next on to the robe.. I think this costume is actually going to come in on time ^_^

This is what one half of the pattern looks like pinned out flat on the silk (silk has been doubled over so I will cut two opposite shapes out). So two of these basically make up the pants. But the tops will need to be darted to bring the shape in at the waist. And I think I am going to elasticate the waistband to keep things simple.

The pants are quite baggy, a bit like like harem pants. They need to blouse over the tops of the boots, and be roomy enough to allow martial arts high kicks etc.
I made up my roughs out of spare fabric. Loosely following the shape of my jeans but going like three sizes bigger. After a few adjustments this is the final solution which fits well and looks right. I will use these as my pattern to cut the proper silk pants.

This how the full tunic is looking with a ref pic for comparison. I made it with side ties like the screen costume seems to have. I only put the ties down one side..The other side is sewed down to the waist. This makes it really easy to slip the tunic on and off - will come in handy when I have the prosthetic horns on.

(Sorry for the rubbishy pic quality - low light :S)

Yep, finished making the Inner Tunic today. This is how it is looking with a ref pic for comparison - really pleased how close I made it.

(Sorry for the rubbishy pic quality :S)

Here is my finished mandarin collar for the inner tunic.
I made it using two layers of thick linen to stiffen it, cut to my collar pattern and sewed together. Then I sewed two pieces of black satin-silk together inside out using the same pattern. Turned right way round and inserted the collar stiffening. Finally stitched the layers all together. There are four stitch lines which all converge as the collar narrows - because this follows the detail on the original screen costumes. I'm so pleased with how this looks. :)

Working on the Inner Tunic - This has a mandarin collar and extends down to just below the knees. Pic shows the rough in progress. After I spent ages working out the complicated shapes to get the mandarin collar looking right I realised I could have just copied my wifes Chinese jacket - Doh!
Anywho tis done now.
With the rough test fitting me nicely.. I have taken it apart and traced the shapes onto greaseproof paper. Inner Tunic master pattern is now ready.

Finally got some Plaster of Paris and so I could back up the casting. I didn't fill the mould completely - Man, Plaster of Paris is so heavy! I layed it inside about a couple inches thick. The cast seems very tough now.

pic - With the cast set rigid I started de-moulding. ..it's fair to say the mould did not survive :) just look at the mess, that is all that is left. In hindsight I should have Vaselined inside the plaster mould before I started laying up inside it. Becasue the car body filler stuck well to the plaster mould. I had to rip it off the cast in chunks. And also used the chisel a lot to scrape down to the grey of the casting. ..I felt like an archaeologist carefully picking out dirt to reveal an unearthed relic. :)
So this is how it looks now. It's a bit freeky looking at a cast of your own head! Next stage I will smooth and refine it a little...

Oh yeah..I also found some pleather, or vinyl leather or whatever its called. The same market guy sold me this remnant for 3 pound.
This is to make the wide belt.

Just got back from the rag market - woohoo!.. found the Black Raw Silk I was after. And it was only 3 pounds a metre. Also bought some Satin finish silk because the inner tunic has a different texture to the outer robes.
Wow this can really start going together now. :)

Just got back from the rag market - No one had wet look lycra! So I ended up in the shop next to the market 'Fancy Silk'. They have it so I got 2 metres (just in case)..I'm rubbish at estimating how much I need to buy. ^_^
Oh yeah, 8.99 per metre! @_@ thats probably why the market stalls didn't have any!

There is another idea I thought of..I could make my own boot toppings using the same fabric as the costume. They would be more form fitting like the comic art ones, and I could make up a faux lace up front panel so they could be quite accurate. I will defo experiment with this.

Bare legs or nude colour tights with boots

Here the two mould halves are brought back together. The location pins (cocktail sticks) make sure the two mould halves are aligned exactly, and the spring clamps are holding the mould flanges tightly together.

Then I mixed up more car body filler and layered it around the remaining seam on the inside of the flange. Access is through the neck hole (now you can see why I did stage 7 first).

So now a complete cast is formed inside the mould. But the car body filler layer is only about 20cms thick, ie as it is the head cast could break just like an easter egg. So one further stage I will back up this tough 'skin' layer with some more substantial plaster paris layers inside before I demould.

Now waiting for the shop to get the Plaster of Paris order in..Should be in soon.

Because I want the outer surface of my head cast to be very tough I decided to use car body filler as the first 'skin' layer. I put it on about 1.5cms thick.

The filler I bought from Halfords. It is called U-Pol, ..same stuff as P38, Isopon, etc. It is a resin filler which hardens by chemical reaction when you mix in the hardener paste. It gives you about 5 mins before is sets, so mix and work in small batches at a time! It's also VERY smelly stuff so it has to be done outside.

Here you can see I have layed up both halves, but stopped just short of the flange. Doing it this way most of the work is done whilst the two mould halves are easily accessible.

The mould dried out overnight. So next I put the two mould halves back on my head and carefully drilled some location holes straight through the two layers of flange - these will keep the two mould halves keyed together in correct position when I come to make the cast inside. Spring clamps held the two flanges tightly together whilst I drilled straight through (by feel). Sounds dangerous but I just used a hand held pin vice and slowly drilled through the two layers of flange. Then I pushed cocktail sticks through the newly made holes. Next I carefully removed the two halves of the mould from my head - the cocktail sticks stayed in one half - then reassembled the two halves back together on their own.
I decided to layer some more filler around the flanges to strengthen them. The moulds were then left to dry again by the heater.

Here are the two parts of the mould just drying out. You can also see the mess on the table (oopse).
The insides of the mould are pretty good, but I will fill some crags with polyfiller which have been left behind where the plaster bandages folded over. And also add some more polyfiller onto the outside to give it more strength.

Yes I completely covered the whole face. This is why it is dangerous. First I made sure I could breath ok through the nose holes before I covered over my eyes. Also had my wife standing by in case anything got scary..it didn't, and I found that I was amazingly calm waiting for the stuff to set.
Then after about 10 mins I gently prised the front mask part off - it seemed to unstick almost on its own just by moving my cheeks.
Hard part over.

Stage 3

Next I started covering the front.
At this stage the strengthening strip was removed because the plaster behind is now holding the flange rigid.
Last to be covered over would be my nose and then eyes

Stage 2

Next I cut up the plaster bandage into 20cm strips. It is real easy stuff to use but messy. You dip it in water for a few secs then squeeze excess water out and wrap it on. I managed to do all of the back just by feel. This stuff sets pretty fast - after about 5 mins.

Note: Before I started putting the plaster bangdage on I put body oil all over my head to stop it sticking to my skin, eybrows etc. (Vaseline also works well). The flange also is slippery on one side - because this is where the two halves will seperate. So the back part of the mould will stick to the rough side of the cardboard flange, but the front part of the mould will not stick to the splippery side of the cardbard flange.

Stage 1
First I cut out a silhouette of my head from cardboard (cereal packet) and trimmed it down to make a flange which fits all the way around my head. I then cut a long strip of cardboard and selotaped it onto the flange to hold it rigid during this first part. (ie the strengthening strip is only temporary for this part).

This is the stuff I used. I chose it because it said suitable for faces. Bought from craftybee.co.uk £6 plus p&p

These are boots which I will be useing as a base. Not much modding needed by the looks of things. :)

Have the Black satin for the skirt. Like Mars' it's the nice stuff..a bit more expensive but doesn't crease up like those cheap thin satins. This time I might go for a more pleated look skirt.


Also found a light up orb in the pound shop will be ideal for the time key crystal.

Ha ha Sith contacts arrived. Wow that was superfast delivery from ordering online only a few days ago. Thought I'd better get them in quick in case there's a rush on for halloween...

There's no going back now. I just hope I'm ok with contacts - I've never worn them before. :S

This is the set I bought, 'Fire' lenses set, comes with cleaning solution and lense containers. Cost £17.99 from thebodyjewelleryshop.com (Thanks Alyx for the link)

No pics - but I did some experiments sticking scraps of latex together.

I read somewhere that liquid latex can be used as an adhesive. Sounds good in thoery. However this is what I discovered..

I used standard milky off white looking liquid latex. I applied it onto the latex scraps and pressed firmly. I left the samples overnight to completely dry. Next day the pieces did appear to be glued together. So I went on to do some stress tests on the bond.

First thing I noticed was the two latex pieces still looked like two distinct seperate pieces that had been glued together - as opposed to a manufactured latex garment seam which looks like the two pieces have fused togehter into one.
Streatching the sample pieces the join held, but not convincingly enough for say a main crotch seam where there will be a lot of stress on a small area. I found that I could pick the corner of the sample and peel the two layers completely apart with alarming ease. Obviously the liquid latex hadn't bonded irreversably to the latex sheet!

Conclusion: Using liquid latex as an adhesive for latex sheet works like a contact adhesive - it bonds to the two surfaces and holds the two piecess togeher, the mechanical streangth of the seam is limited by the strength of the liquid latex gripping onto the latex sheet. Larger surface areas will have more strength. But small surface areas or areas under a lot of stress are prone to fail! Also there is a small 'step' produced at the seam where the two pieces of latex are layered together.

Solvent based adhesive: Seems to work more like a welding process. The adhesive seems to temporarily melt the two latex pieces enough to fuse them together into one as firm pressure is applied. Result - seams made using this adhesive are virtually unbreakable, and.. almost invisible as there is no 'step' because the two pieces fuse into one.


ok so the hilt has not been re- sprayed it has been HACKED!
Well, the reason is it looks like I won't be able to fit the lighting parts all inside the blade tube itself. Instead they are going to be mounted inside the hilt just in front of the blade tube. And because I want easy access to the workings incase I need to repair anything I decided to make the end pieces completely removeable. To keep the hilt strong and perfectly aligned I am fitting some metal tube inside the connecting parts. Metal tube (see pic)is actually 'reclaimed' vacuum cleaner tube - neighbour was chucking it out, so it is free! :)
If I can find some fancy hex bolts I will use them to secure these removeable end pieces firmly to the main body.

The two halves of the hilt have now been glued together (CA glue), and all the old screw holes and seam lines filled. I also cut a chunk off the blade projection plates (end pieces) to slim them down and make the lightsaber look a bit more screen accurate.
Hilt is now ready for spraying...

Because my blade tubes are a lot slimmer than the original red plastic ones I have made some spacer rings to hold onto the new blades.
Spacer rings inside dia matches clear tubes dia, with slight clearence (for a nice sliding fit); Spacer rings outside dia matches the dia of the plastic hilt inside surface.
I made the spacer rings up out of some thick perspex sheet (offcuts salvaged from someones skip). Used core drill to cut general circles out and then turned these down on a mini lathe to make an accurate fit. To make sure all the spacer rings were centered precisely for glueing I slid one of the clear tubes all the way through from one end to the other.

The design idea is for the blades to be easily removeable so I can use the lightsaber either single bladed, double bladed, or no bladed hanging from my belt. The clear tubes slide into the purpose made spacer rings inside the hilt. The blade projection plates (end pieces) then screw onto the hilt to lock the blades in position.

Pic shows the perspex spacer rings now glued in position inside the hilt and inside the blade projection plates (the end pieces).

Darn toy companies! - Hasbro used screws with triangle shaped holes!.. I couldnt find a triangle shaped srewdriver bit anywhere. So I had to drill the screws Means I will have to glue the two halves permenantly back together when it is time. At least this way I can fill the long seam line and screw holes.
This is what it looked like inside. The electronics board makes the standby hum sound, and a clash sound when you hit it. But the sound isnt very loud ..I prob won't be keeping it.

I completely stripped out the toy hilt, and removed as much of the moulded in plastic fixing shelves because they would just be obstructions to the new replacement stuff which has to fit inside. I left the small battery acces door as is though, becuase it is usefull.

Keeping all the lightsaber progress together -
This is what I am using for my base. It is the toy Hasbro Electronic Darth Maul lightsaber. Not bad on the whole, but the blades are very toyish. With some mods and a re-spray I think the hilt can be made to look pretty accurate. The blades obviously need to be replaced with something a lot better. Although I don't want to spend loads so I am looking at various options for my blades. If I can make them light up cheaply then I will.

Pic shows the toy hilt and toy blades (red plastic things), and next to it the clear tubes I bought to make my replacement blades with.

Having made the top part to fit closely I then grabbed more of the spare material and attched it on with tack stitching. I had the split seam at the back held together by the zipper temporarily tack stitched in place. So I started pulling the fabric tight and taking up all the slack with safety pins where the seams would be placed, eg down the side of the leg. I then marked along these pin lines with a pen to show where the seams would be, and then carefully cut the excess fabric off. Then I had to take some of the pins out to get the rough garment off. After a few more alterations to take in any more slack and to get the fabric to lie nicely in the curve of the back and across the bum the rough was nearly finished. (lots of taking it off, adjusting, pinning it back on etc). I finished the rough off by measuring and marking 1/2 inch from the pin lines for seam allowance, and trimmed the escess fabric down. This forms the finished rough pattern.
Now with all shapes and seams marked I diss-assembled the rough into its seperate parts. Then lay these pattern pieces onto the proper purple costume fabric, pinned and cut new streach lycra pieces out. Then I tack sewed sewed the new purple lycra pieces together and tried it on for a first fit. The costume still needed adjustments to get it crease free, and I found the lycra tricky to machine sew. It had the nasty habbit of puckering up underneath and I wasn't aware of it until the whole seam was finished - which meant unpicking it ALL the way back to the pucker and re-sewing it..Tedious! To overcome this - now I sew about every 6 inches (15cms) and stop! to have a peek underneath and check everything is still going ok ;)

Here are some WIP pictures I took during construction of the catsuit.

This is how I made the catsuit (and also how I make a lot of my costumes)

I started off by making myself a pattern 'rough'. The rough is what it says, it is made out of any spare material lying around. Normally you should try to match fabric types eg use spare lycra if making a lycra costume etc.


So - to start I took some spare material (this yellow stuff) and started cutting the shapes to cover my dress form, just because it is easier to do it on a dress form (or a duct tape dummy) if you have that option. Basically getting the shapes down and lining up where seams need to be across the shoulders etc. The seams are pinned first and then the rough is taken off the dress form and lightly tack stitched by hand.
Pic shows the rough being 'tried on' the dress form again to make sure it still fits well.
The placement of my seamlines here was my attempt at trying to make the whole catsuit as seamless as possible yet still fit closely around the bust. (like the comic artwork). I wish the idea worked better on the finished catsuit - I might try another version with different seam placement...

WooHoo, Gauntlets Finished!
Re-shaping and re-stitching completed. I finished off by giving them a good coat of Black shoe polish since Mauls gloves appear quite shiney. I din't put any on the palm suraces though cuz I don't want to loose any grip on the lightsaber during the skit. So instead I brought the worn leather palms back to black with a permemnant marker pen. Job done.

Chopped a lot out of the Gauntlet tops to get them closer to the screen costume. The hands looked a tad big on me too, so I slimmed them in at the wrist and flared back out. Sewing through the layers of leather was tough - but was possible with my trusty metal thimble.

Now the gauntlets are loooking like they should. :)

These are the boots I just snagged from eBy £10.
They aren't an exact colour match to my fabric. That would have been magical! But they are so nice I don't want to cut them down to the ankles to incorporate them into the leggins. (though admittedly that would have looked very cool). So instead I plan to just cover them with matching costume fabric, and wear them like normal boots. Will still look all of a piece, but like a realistic practical version. It will make it a lot easier to get into the costume that way too.
..I'll see how I feel with them covered.. :S

Re-vamped insignia - finished.

The old ones were completely the wrong shape (rectangles). And the yellow stripes were held on with just one stitch at either end - which was very visible. :S

Pic shows the finished new insignia. This is as close to the screen costume as I can make out using screen grabs of the film. Note the trapezoid shape. And this time the yellow stripes (also trapezoid) are stuck on with fabric glue for neatness because I used ribbon ( - which always puckers when I sew it).

Fabric glue: have to say - I am impressd with the fabric glue. When you first put it on it seems to not stick at all, but left alone for a long time to set it eventually sticks very strongly.
The fabric glue didn't bleed through the ribbon and discolour it either (like some other glues would).
ok Fabric glue your life is spared, I will keep you in my sewing box ^_^

Fleece insides stripped out, and exterior buckle details removed.

Also I have seperated the side seams of the top parts of the gauntlets. I'm narrowing the top gauntlet parts by quite a lot. I'm having to glue the side seams in the new narrower positions. Slow, but progress.

I had these quite wrong, so now I know what they should look like I'm re-making them the correct shape.
Pic shows new collar insignia in progress. The black inserts that go inside the red covers are made from thin plastic sheet cut to shape and bent to follow the curve of the neck. I made them this way to give really neat edges to the insignia. I have cut new yellow ribbon stripes and they will be glued on next. I guess originally these insignia would all be embroidered but I don't know the first thing about embroidery so I have to make them my own way. ^_^ Whateer gets the job done.

Since I have been invited to wear Silhouette for a charity costume event (Magna - Movie day) in Oct I decided now is a good time to dig the costume out and correct some of the mistakes I made when I initially made it. I always intended to go back and fix the faults and wear her out again. Now I have more time I can re-work those bits I am not happy with.

Re-vamp number 1: Wig - I realise I hacked that poor wig to death. I have a much nicer wig for this now.

Re-vamp number 2: Jacket collar reduced - I've taken an inch off the stand up collar because it was too high. Also means relocating the red/yellow insignia which were a bit wrong anyway. So I'm re-making them the right shape too.

Pic shows the new collar outline in chalk. Note military braid has also been removed since it wasn't fixed in exactly the right place. I will re fix that where it should be..under the shoulder epilet (instead of balancing on top of it!)

Gauntlets arrived today, another eBy snag! Bought these second hand vintage motorcyle guantlets, they cost me £7 pounds incl the postage. Woohoo, that's another piece of the costume I needed to source..

The top gauntlet parts look a lot wider than the screen costume ones so I am going to trim them down to suit. They are fully lined with lambs wool fleece and fit very snug on my hands, in fact maybe a bit too snug cuz it restrics the movement of my fingers. Fine for gripping motorcycle handles, but I want more movement in my fingers. Also I think they will be too warm to wear indoors like this, so I've decided to strip all the lining out. It will also make it easier to adjust the shapes of the gaunlet tops and re sew them.
Here goes...

I removed the reflective strips from the heels using a seam ripper - carefully does it.

...also removed the reflective name tabs from the heels.

On the front shin gaurds I sanded off the painted name tags. It left the leather very faded in those areas, but black boot polish brought the colour back nicely.

Woohooo, at last I finally won some boots off eBy. (previous attempts I kept getting sniped in the closing seconds.)
...They are not abs identical to the screen costume boots, but still pretty darn close.. They are Frank Thomas motorcylce boots just a slightly different design version. I'll happily modify these slightly - eg remove name tabs from the shin plates and the reflective strips from the backs.

Pleased at last I can get this bad boy costume started. Just gotta wait for them to be delivered. Come on Postie.... ^_^


Here is a pic the boots I'm getting on left and for comparison the screen costume on display on right.

Woohoo, I has Feathers!
:)
These arrived today from Hong Kong. They are black Coque feathers and have a lovely irridescent green shine. ..and they are reeeeeally soft ^_^

Since the feather capes on eBy are like £50 to buy (!!) I was really pleased to find these feathers at a good price so I can make my own. They come on a strip (fringe) sold by the yard. I bought two yards total £10.12 inc P&P. Hope that's enough for 3 layers of feathers..

Hood pattern 'rough' on wig stand ..shows it better.

Started making a pattern for the hood part out of some spare material.

I figured the hood would probably have two seams running front to back from the face mask part, along the same lines where the cat ears will be placed later.

(Hood pattern is face down in the pic)

Here is the view from the front.. Im really pleased how it is looking so far. :)

Next I cut lots of slits around the eyeholes and round parts to enable the fabric to be streatched round and glued onto the inside of the mask. This worked really nicely and gave nice clean lines at all the turnovers.
I then trimmed off all the excess material. I have left an allowance around the outside of the mask. This will be used to sew the hood part onto.

Here is the view from the back so far..

Next I started covering the mask with my costume fabric. The start point is crucial even though the fabric is streatchy ..I figured the start point had to be the bridge of the nose.
So I applied some Evostick Impact contact adhesive sparingly onto the mask and smeared it evenly using a lollipop stick so it was just a stickey surface. Then I streatched the lycra fabric over it and held in place until the glue dried. It worked without the glue seaping through to the good side of the fabric.
Moving outwrds from the centre I worked in small patches glueing the fabric onto the mask. Eventually the whole mask was covered, with no wrinkles.

Now working on the cowl..

I decided to make the mask part of my cowl firm so the eye shapes will not distort and so the mask will sit snug around my nose.
So I have made the front mask part by glueing two pieces of paper card which has been bent around the contours of my face and then stuck together with PVA glue. To get it to bend around my forehead I still had to cut some darts out because of the complex curves goin on.
The resulting surface after this was not smooth and round so I layered some filler/PVA mix on the forehead part. When it had dried I sanded it smooth and round.

Ta-Da! One nifty pair of fitted thigh high boots. ^_^

Step 3 - lay boot topping flat, mark along the tack stitching with chalk, pin the fabric either side so it cant move, then remove tack stitching and run through sewing machne along the marked seamline.
If you are handsewing only then dont unpick the tack stitching, just go over it more closely to make a good strong seam.
Trim excess from seam. Turn fabric back the right way round and slip shoes into the bottoms.
Finally streatch the fabric over the soles and glue in place with Evostick. Trim excess fabric off when dry.

Step 2 - using black streatch lycra, (turned inside out), pin up the back seam snugly fitted around leg and shoe. I like to use safety pins for this part. Then tack stitch it all.

I know this might be like telling granny how to suck eggs for some but it might be usefull to others who havent seen how to go about making boot toppings yet..

Here are wip pics how I made my thigh highs.

Step 1 - My donor shoes. Cheap off eBy. Colour doesnt matter cuz they are going to be completely covered.. So long as they are comfy and a good fit.

I saw this Fabric on eBy and thought it would look really nice for this costume, very vibrant, very strong, and very sexy. Discussed Star Saphire colours with Ryuk and he agreed it looks good for the modern version Star Saphire costume.
So, fabric ordered..its Game On! XD

Finished costume - cu shows the finished flame pattern on the boots which was painted with yellow acrylic over the stencilled outlines.

Also in this cu pic the lace panel detail of the hotpants can be seen.

This is a retrospective journal entry cuz I didnt have time to fill the journal in leading up to Expo.

My first attempt at painting the flame pattern on the boots wasnt good, so I stripped all the pant off with nail polish remover , which left the boots looking dirty yellow. I repainted them all over red with artists acrylic Cadmium Red. After a lot of thin coats handbrushed the Red colour was solid. Then using some of the cutout paper stencils from the first attempt I drew a better design onto the boots using a white pastel pencil. To help this process I found it was easier to draw onto the boots with them stuffed and filled out. I made my own boot stuffing things to fit inside the thigh boots. They were made using scrunched newspaper wrapped around some long wrapping paper cardboard tubes.

Working in sections I painted thinned PVA glue onto the shoes and sprinkled silver glitter onto the tacky glue.
Finally I have the Silver Glitter shoes I wanted. These really sparkle like crushed diamonds, I LOVE them! ^_^

After the Evostick glue dried I added a few layers of tissue and superglue to cover the lines. Then after some smoothing down with files and sandpaper I painted the new toes over with silver enamel paint, which wasnt a bad match but isnt my intended design - I wanted silver glitter shoes. So...

New round toe shape formed and taped together whilst the Evostick dries.

I chopped the tips off and cut the soles back to the new shape. The remaining shoe material is left to be bent down and trimmed to form the new toe shape. Then glued with strong Evostick.

Marked the new shape out onto the soles and made a template so they would both be the same.

These are my base shoes. I think they are too long and pointy, not Florences style, so I decided I would hack them down and round the toes.

Finished painting the ring. gold base coat and rubnbuff metal polish, pearls painted with pearlescent paint.

This is my salvaged lampstand. I cleaned it up and made a top part to hold the mic. I bought the mic, it was only 1.99. To make the mic holder I bent a piece of aluminium into a cirle and put a long bolt through it then bent and glued some black plastic card around the inside. Then I cut a piece of plastic tube from an old vacuum cleaner for the mic holder to sit on. I hot glued it all in place and then hot glued the assembled top piece onto the old lampstand. Completed by painting the mic holder to match using acrylic black paint.

Also in the pic - these are the flowers I bought to dress the mic stand..Florence always has flowers.. I shall attatch them at the show cuz I dont want them getting squashed in the car.

Ring now Primer coated with white Halfords metal primer aerosol.

Next I strapped the links onto the ring with wire twisted around tight. Then with it clamped in the vice I heated it up with a pencil blowtorch and soldered it all. I imagint this is pretty much how they made the real one. ^_^

Pic shows current state of my ring and the real Mawi one for comparison - Ok no cigar..but its close enough for me. ^_^
Now just need to paint it. ..tommorrow..

Worked on my ring today.. Florence has this huge 4 pearl ring. I found out it is made by Mawi, and they are chuffed that Florence has one of their rings.

Obv mine isnt Gold and Pearls..I started with a piece of 20mm copper pipe - just happens to fit nicely around my middle finger. The Mawi catalogue says the Peral claw ring is 18mm deep so thats how big I made mine. Then I cut some more slices out of the pipe and flattened them out into strips. I bent these strips into the links with long pliers.
The pearls are just plastic beads off a toy necklace. The pearl claws I made from plastic.

Cutting the shapes out - pic has exagerrated the reflective surface of the fabric ..it doesnt look like baking foil in real life!! It is white streatch fabric with tiny silver shimmery dots.

The sewing machine is having problems sewing the streatch stitch through it though, keeps puckering up. Maybe the tension is wrong, I dunno. I will have to hand sew some of the seams. Hate all the unpicking..takes so much time.

Making progress on the dress pattern rough. It has been more difficult to get the shape of my design than I imagined, but finally I have sussed it. The front of the dress is split under the bustline. Two cross over pieces will cover the boobs closely like I wanted leaving the V neck, and the main body will also be close fitting. Having to do a lot of guessing as I go cuz the real material has some streatch whilst the rough doesnt..

Here is a pic of the 'rough' in progres..

..rescued this lampstand which was being chucked out..looks like I found my Mic stand. :P

Just need to make a piece to go on the top that can hold the mic. Bought a cheapie mic from the pound shop.

Boots progress -
Gah! minor disaster. I tried painting the flame pattern like Toyahs all over the boots. It just didn't look good. So I stripped the yellow paint off (good old nail polish remover). Instead I am just going to paint the boots Red all over - Time is running out and I need to make my other Expo weekend costume yet.

Pic is the first coat of Red going on. Fortunately this artists acrylic paint sticks well to the PVC and doesnt seem to crack when you flex it. Good job!..

Hotpants - No piccie for this update, but I have tidied up the back of the hotpants, I hate ill fitting bottoms. So after 5 attempts I finally got the rear seam to look neat, what can I say.. LYCRA!! At least I got to try out my new streatch needle, and even though it looks the same as a normal needle it did the job without the usual missing stitches thing. Ok ..I'm convinced. :)

So yeah hotpants are now finished, and to keep the underpants exactly in line with the hotpants front lace panels I've tacked the two garments together in a few places.

Boots - Test painted some patches inside boot tops. When it has dried I shall see if the paint has stuck well enough and can bend with the PVC. If so I can go ahead and paint the boots..

Breastplate - Touched up and corrected small discrepancies in the flame detail.. And after loads of coats of paint the red is finally looking solid ..although I need to add a gradient Red into the Orange along the bottom half. Shall do that with my airbrush tommorow. Thankfully no masking is required.


Sheer top and Hotpants -
I cut the legs off the Leg Avenue body stocking and decided to try on what I have got so far.. For the pics the breastplate is just held on, no makeup (!), boots arent painted yet, and excuse the pins holding the lace panels on my hotpants, still needs sewing. ^_^

Wow this has taken so many coats of paint! :/ The red craft paint ended up looking too 'raspberry red'for my liking so I had to paint over it with some artists acrylic Red I had - but it is so thin Ive given it 4 coats and it still looks blotchy. Needs more coats until I get a solid deep red colour. Then maybe tomorrow I can seal it all over with a high gloss clear coat.

After final filing and smoothing I coated the surface with thinned PVA glue to seal it.
I then freehand enlarged and sketched the flame pattern straight onto the breastplate using the tracing sketch from earlier as a ref.

Then I started painting in the yellow parts with craft acrylic.

I modelled the abdomen building up with more filler. The whole thing is now looking generally good (to me), just needs the surfaces to be smoothed and perfected. So I have sealed in whats there by painting over everything with thinned PVA glue. Next I will fill in all the pits with plain filler.
I'm so chuffed how it is turning out, and it fits me so nicely! ^_^

First layer of filler - I mixed powder type home/diy filler from the pound shop, PVA white glue, and a bit of water. Mix to a smooth paste like butter and smooth it on with a lollipop stick. When it dries it sets pretty darn hard, in fact to model it and sand it down I was using metal files and heavy sandpaper.

You can see I also started refining the outline shapes in pencil over the curved tops.

Now padded out the boobs with scrunched newspaper balls and covered over with newspaper strips, glued with thinned white glue (because it dries fast). It's starting to take shape, and is getting more rigid.

I glued some thick (brown) cardboard between the stomach and rib cage sections. When the glue has fully dried I will round this step and add filler to give the form a nice anatomical flow. Boobs need to increased a lot. I think I'll do that next. Then I'll leave it overnight. Time for some rolled up newspaper padding...

As well as freeing the breast areas I cut the paper card breastplate at the rib cage so that I can give it sculpted anatomical lines, otherwise it would look too flat. I then pinned it around my dummy torso and stuck a second layer of paper card on top to help keep the curved form..

I made a lifesize drawing of the breastplate on greasproof paper (so I could wrap it around me). Now I have a good lifesize rough outline drawing of the breastplate.
Next I copied the lifesize drwg onto thick white paper card. This card is going to be pinned onto on my (female) tailors dummy so I cut some slashes in the breast positions so it can sit flush around the dummys torso.

These are the drwgs I made. I will use then as my pattern. Now I can get to work on making a lifesize pattern drawing..

I drew some tracings of the breastplate straight off the PC screen onto a polypocket sleeve.
I used this clear frontal pic to take the basic shape and proportions of the breastplate, bodypanel, whatever it's called.. I also traced the flame detail pattern onto my drawings - to be used later on at the painting stage.

I noticed the flame detail on the boots is actually a repeating pattern. I coloured my drawing in to help me distinguish the shapes.
So, I will enlarge these drawings now and make some stencils to paint the flame pattern onto the boots.

Printer is out of ink!! So I drew some tracings of the flame pattern straight off the PC screen using a polypocket sleeve selotaped on and a marker pen. :)

I can't believe I scooped these for 10 quid on eBy!

Well they have the crystal heel and platform, and I figure I can either paint the flames straight onto the PVC. But then the PVC is not a snug fit like Toyah's, hers look more like streatch lycra. So I'm considering weather to cut the PVC off and glue on new streatch lycra boot toppings. Dilemma... :/

Yep my Florence wig arrived today.. :)
This is the nearest one I could find. Ideally I would like it to have a hint of red. I wonder if it is possible to tint a wig - need to ask the experts...

Today I scoured the market (and its a big market!) for the dress material. Originally I planned to use a lightweight white Satin for the main dress. ..Im so glad Im able to handle the fabric at the market, because none of the satins would drape like I wanted. Instead I found a glitzy fabric which is brilliant white with loads of tiny reflective silver shimmer dots all over. Imediately knew this was the one. Only prob was the price at £10 per metre! Thats the most Ive paid for anything per metre!! Fortunately all I need is one metre.:)
Then I went on the hunt for white Chiffon, plenty of Organza around but no Chiffon!..until the last seller I went to, at last real Chiffon! *sigh of relief* Its so soft and floaty..
I am gonna LOVE wearing this costume, its gonna be so Glam! ^_^

Wig wise though - I completely struck out at the market. :/ Really surprised. There wasnt anything remotely close. So I have ordered the wig online. Tis on its way. ^_^
So excited about this cosplay.

After a lot of thinking I settled on a design for Florences stage costume. I have made up my own design using elements from the two different costumes she wears in her official music video for 'You Got the Love'

The satin white teddy suit she wears would be a lot harder to pull off as a crossplay so instead I am going with a Satin white mini dress with a Greek style drape to the front, hitched up at the sides. I will add the same shiney sequins/bead detail to the front though. Then onto that I am going to attatch a white chiffon batwing/cape, fixed around the V neckline. There are fleeting glimpses of this second costume seen in the music video.
Finished off with silver glitter heels.
Also need to make my mic stand prop wrapped in flowers.
Here is my design sketch showing how I imagine the stage costume will look.

I snapped up a lovely Auburn Red wig for this cosplay. It will need a lot of styling to make the front look right, maybe even addition of a lace front. I haven't done any difficult wig styling yet so I'm not sure if I will be able to make it look exact. I will have a go though. But if I can't manage to style it exactly, it looks pretty ok actually even just swept up with hair grips. I'm pleased with this wig already. :)

Bodystocking also arrived.
..dare I chop it at the waist :? ..or will it unravell?

btw this is not me modelling it. ^^

Wig arrived today, lovely two-tone blonde. Haven't been blonde yet ^_^

Made a start getting bits together to make the costume -

Found a long sleeved 'body' on eBy - waiting delivery.
Also found a suitable wig - waiting deliverey.

Wow sequins are taking a long time to sew on. Even though they come on a long chain of cotton. :S

..I had to buy another two packets of 15 meters too - this dresss is swallowing the sequins up!



Centre detail panel now fixed in.
I also added some black ribbon on top of the bias tape around the neckline - trying to keep the edges straight.

Pretty soon I should start sewing the sequins on!!! That's the part I'm looking forward to most, making it all sparkly. ^_^

Centre Panel - My first two attempts to sew the centre panel and crossover straps into the dress did not go well - I couldn't adjust all those angles by eye to make it look perfectly symetrical. So I unpicked and started the whole centre panel again. This time I made an accurate drawing first and then constructed the centre panel with crossover straps onto the paper pattern.

Pic shows the pattern and the completed centre panel next to it.

The completed centre panel is now ready to be inserted into the V neckline of the dress.

stage 1 of the dress is now completed - This is the main body of the dress in sheer black material with armholes that are edged with solid black trim. (see construction sketch 1 from preceeding journal entry below)

To make this main dress body I first made up a rough tunic dress shape to fit me using some spare material, to get the shape and fit of the basic dress and its armholes. Then using that for my pattern I cut the dress out of the sheer black fabric.

Those arm holes gave me trouble! Two attempts to sew black ribbon trim around the edges of the openings to make them look neat, just kept puckering the sheer material. In the end I unpicked and ditched the black ribbon trim.. Instead to get the dark band of edging around the arm holes I had to turn the material over and then back on itself, hand-sew all around, and then carefully trim off the excess fabric. But at last it looks right and I am pleased with it now.

In the pic also you can see the black bias tape I sewed onto the dress - to form the V neck line, and also mark out lines for the sequin details to follow later.

..Spent considerable time today drawing construction details, trying to figure out how best to assemble the different layers which make up this dress. ..It's more complicated than I realised.
Finally sorted how it will be done. Tomorrow I'm going in with the scissors ..can't screw this up cuz I only ordered 1 metre of this material!!

I shall also take some wip pics so you can see how comes together. :)

Normally I would go to the rag market for my stuff but I saw these sequins on eBy at 2.99 for 15 metres, and didn't think I would beat that so I clicked "Buy It Now" ^_^
I got three packs - I hope 45 metres will be enough.
Also I bought this sheer black streatch material for the main body of the dress.

Today I finished work on the undergarments..In this costume the dress is made of sheer fabric with sequinned pannels covering parts so the underwear/corset is an important part of the costume because it is noticeable under the sheer fabric parts.
I didn't have time to make my own corset. So instead I used a lacy basque, and modified it:
- moved straps from the sides up onto the top of the bra cups so they will be unseen behind the sequinned dress parts.
- sewed in some tucks to the front to make the basque perfectly fitted.

Panties - I have made up some hip padding - ( 2 shoulder pads sewed together make up one hip pad. ) These are covered with black streatch lycra and sewed into the panties. Should give my hips a more womanly look.

Also I ordered the sheer black material and 45m of black sequin trim today. (£10 in sequins!!) As soon as these arrive I can start putting the main dress together. :)

Woohoo! Shoes arrived today.
..I snagged these gorgeous 'Office' black patent T-bar shoes off ebay. £58 down to £15 = Result! ^__^

Hmmm should I change the T-bar details to silver? would anyone notice?
I'm just glad these have a 1920s look.

I got Chicago DVD as a Christmas pressie ^_^ so I did some more research on Velma's costume.
But sadly there are no costume ref pics in the bonus features. So I just sat close to the TV screen armed with the pause button and watched for any clues... Suddenly I had a Eurika moment as I finally understood the different layers that make up her costume.
So at last ..I know exactly how I'm going to make my costume now. Starting off with the satin corset, then to make the dress and add the sequined patterns. These patterns are beautifully interlaced - I have started by drawing some sketches using pictures for ref to give me something to work from.

Woohoo, found a seller on eBy who does sew on reflective blue tape - shall be able to use this for the glowing blue stripes on the costume. :)


Started looking into the design of Rossos double bladed weapon. Boy that thing is complicated. eg when the blades are open they are dead in line, but when closed they dont clash into each other. They must fold away from the centre line as they close. This is gonna take some clever engineering to make it work...

For the ray gun I bought a toy from the pound shop and painted it silver.
This is the toy gun before I painted it.

Today I modified my Silver boots. The calfs were waaay over size for my skinny legs so I decided to try and alter them.
To start with I carefully separated the inner lining back seam using a seam ripper, so I could get at the back seam of the boot uppers. It was a bit of a struggle to keep the boot seam turned inside out and poking through the gap in the inner lining, but I managed.
For the new shape I made a cardboard template which matched the original curvey boot shape on one side and had my new straight line on the other. I put this against the inside out boot seam and marked the new straight line in pen. Fortunately I managed to get the boots material through the sewing machine - it was really easy actually, but thats because my boot uppers were very soft. I had to hand sew the start and end of the run though cuz I couldn't get close to these with the machine. One end bumped into the top turnover, and the other end bumped into the heel part.
When it was all sewed I trimmed the excess material off and finished by hand sewing the inner lining back together.
Pic shows a before and after shape. I'm pleased how they look now, they look much nicer on me than the old shape.

Just snagged these ankle boots off eby for £3.00 ^^ I love a bargain!
They are more accurate than the shoes I have on in the makeup test shots.
I shall cut these down and chromify the heels and toecaps ..somehow.. tbc ^_^

To make the costume I started with a silver Zentai suit. This was way too baggy for me though so I had to cut out loads of material from the middle seam and the legs and re sew. This meant removing the whole back zip and re-attaching it. This hasn't been easy for me, even with a sewing machine it was really difficult and parts had to be unpicked more than once because of untidy puckering. ¬_¬
But I am happy with the general fit and look now.
Pic shows the um 'back' nice and tight huh? ..I meant the material! =P

As easy as they look I tried 5 different methods of fastening for these bracelts. Problem is getting them on and off - they have to be tight on the wrist yet somehow expand over the hands when sliding them on and off. Velcro, poppers, elastic, laceup - all of them looked untidy. This is the final solution which worked for me. It is another Gold lycra band which slides over my hand and then over the loose open bracelets and holds them clamped shut. It also gives the bracelets the enclosed all around look like the artwork design.

Photo also shows the detail patterns I stencilled onto Gold card with a fine tip permenant marker pen. Then cut the circles out with a circle cutter. These discs will be fixed onto the bracelets later, when I have made up the jewels that go in the centres.

Here cardboard strips are slid into Gold lycra covers, and the ends then sewed shut. The cardboard stiffens the bracelt shape.



Here is my lil bunny. I found her in a charity shop. I call her Flossy ^_^ ..and the finished magic hat prop. I thought people would like to see what she looks like close up - she's so cuuuuute. ^__^
Don't ask me how she manages to hide in the magic hat @_@ ...she's just a little star! ..anyway, a magician never reveals her secrets. ;P

I didn't want to wreck my top hat so I made a seperate one just for the bunny out of hat trick. Slightly smaller, made out of cardboard and covered in black paper card. In the background you can also see the bunny. I found her in a charity shop. I call her "Flossy". ^__^

Here the inserts have been covered in the gold lycra material, a combination of fabric glue and sewing gave the neatest result. I want the costume parts to all match, as they do in the artwork, so the hard armour parts are all being covered with the same Gold lycra material to match the bodice.

To make the final costume skirt pieces I settled on using Mountboard, which I got from an art supply shop. Mountboard gives the rigid and flat quality I need for the skirt panels - in the artwork and anime Galaxia's skirt is like armour and each panel swings seperately like little daggers. If I can manage I want my skirt to also have this quality of movement, so each piece has to be rigid enough to hold its shape on its on.

Here the mountboard has been marked out using the pattern and has just been cut out on a cutting mat.

This is the test fit of the skirt and bodice patterns together. I'm happy with the fit and shape so this is the pattern I will use to cut the Gold material.

I made the skirt pattern by cutting up cereal packets to get the right size and shape. It took two attempts, then I had the right shape which fitted my waist. And a bit of maths division to get the right amount of skirt pieces.. I'm pleased to say the skirt has the correct amount of pieces as per the artwork - 8 across the front and 8 across the back.
In the pic the cardboard pieces are selotaped together so I could wear it to test its fit.

Here is the Rough of the bodice in progress. Using the pattern I have just drawn I begin constructing a rough of the costume (just using some old spare material). Lots of alterations are made to this rough until it fits me exactly.

This is how I have to start. No patterns so I have to make my own. First stage - draw on greaseproof paper using the art ref to get proportions and details. I start with centre line and mark the nipples (sorry I don't know a polite way of putting that) It helps me make get bust shape in the right place.

Bought the material to cover the costume pieces with today..
Shiney Gold streatch lycra ftw. I am going to gleam. ^_^

Blade now covered with top layer of nice smooth card.

Made some more progress on the hilt details. I made a crossguard out of an off-cut of hardwood that was lying around. I cut a slot through its middle so it could slide down the handle grip and glued into place. Then I cut the 2 rain guard pieces (just below the crossguard) out of hardboard using a blow up of a screen capture to get the shape right, and glued these on too.
To make the teeth/spikes which are on the ends of the crossguard I used car body filler. It is pretty smelly stuff to use, and also contains chemicals you have to be carefull with, but we use what we're used to. Anyway..the pic left shows one spike which has been filed to shape and you can see the other spike is still just a blob of filler on the crossguard at this stage.
Both spikes are now completed.

The beginnings of my sword..
As usual I start with some ref images - this time grabbed from final episode on YouTube. I studied the pics until I understood its 3D form.
I then drew out and cut a cardboard template of the hilt - and modified it a few times until it looked the right size and shape in my hands.
Then I selected a piece of wood to be an internal spine for the sword, this will hold it all straight and provide the main strength.
I shaped the sword handle out of the wooden block using wood files and sand paper. I also thinned the blade spine down toward its edges. Then I cut out the sword blade out of some packaging cardboard. (always save large cardboard packaging when you have new stuff delivered..) Then I cut the cardboard blade in two and wedged both pieces onto the sword spine, so it pushed into the cardbaords internal layers. Then I glued the two piecs on permenantly using wood glue.
At this point the sword blade feels quite solid, but the surfaces look untidy so I will add a further layer of paper card on top to neaten it all up...

Had some fun last night trying out different skirts and blouse combinations. We decided a co-ordinated black and white theme looks really promising (and also very summery and 1950's).

On the lookout now for a large white hat and some suitable shoes to go with the outfit..

Now in progress. I don't want to be rushing last minute for Expo again so I've made my start now, this gives two months.

Ref pics gathered, (from trawling the net). Now I have a good understanding what Galaxia's costume looks like all around.

Started making up a 'rough' of the bodice.

Also started building a mock up of her sword out of cardboard first - just to get the right size and shapes worked out.

To make the shirt I drew the main shapes using one of my nice fitting shirts to get a pattern from. Then I cut out the shapes and drew a new shape for the stand up collar. Trying to keep seams and collar edges hiddeden..wow shirts are really involved!
Then I put my bewbs on and pinned the shirt so it fitted neatly around the bust - then sewed them in on the machine.
Ta da - finished shirt.
(Note buttons up on womans side ;) )

Final adjustments made to my second rough (made using Playboy Bunny pattern) now it fits me snug.

Pic shows the rough inside out and with original pattern pieces layed in position so I could transfer these alterations onto them (red).

Take 2!
Since I just found an authentic pattern for the Playboy Bunnny costume I started the briefs over again. I scaled up the pattern pieces and printed them out. Made up a new rough using these pattern pieces.

Test fitting
Since I'm not a curvy woman the flare over the hips is too big so I've adjusted the side seams to be more straighter. Also taken the bum in, now the rough is starting to fit right. :)
Resume tommorrow.

(Gotta get a move on with the costume - only 1 week left to get it finished for LFCC!)

Briefs/pants/bottoms what dya call these?

So for the briefs I am making some in like black satin. The material I got is quite heavy and even has like a soft flock on the reverse side, so I won't need to line it. (You really can't beat seeing and feeling the material you are buying in a rag market.)
For the styling I am using the panneled Playboy bunny costumes as ref. (Want to make a proper Playboy Bunny costume some day.)

Here is the rough pattern I have made. Basically just pin some spare material on me and draw with a biro. Cut and pin the material until it looks right and fits exactly.
e gads, these legs are Very high cut..hope I'm not gonna regret this! Time to transfer these shapes onto the black satin material.

Finished Top Hat, (just needs inner white lining glued in)

The trim around the brim is made from the waistband elestic off two pairs of knickers. The elastic had the right look so I cut it off pinned the two pieces together, held them streatched between a skirt coat hanger and sewed them together with the machine. Just for good measure the elastic trim has been glued to the brim - don't want it pinging off.

Hat is now covered in black satin, glued on with Evostick PVA.
The decorative hat band (ribbon) has taken about 5 attempts.. nothing so simple as sticking a piece of ribbon around it. Because the hat shape is fluted where it meets the brim as well as at the top the ribbon just would not lie flat. I tried various methods of making something that would look right. After a number of failed ideas this is the method which worked. - I made a paper template for the hat band, (it turned out to be a gentle curve). I used this template and cut the shape out a piece of thick iron-on interfacing. I then lay some shiney black lining material face down on the ironing board and lay the interfacing on top with sticky side up. Then I turned over the black material and ironed it down onto the interfacing. This produced a curved shiney black hat band fitted nicely to the shape of the hat.

Sanded smooth, and coated with PVA to seal the filler, cardboard, and the original black material (is it felt or plastic, I cant figure out).
The hat is now ready to be covered.

I applied some filler to smooth out the steps at the top, now has the fluted shape I was after. Using a lollipop stick and some of this 'Lightweight Coving Adhesive' (left over from a DIY job, this stuff is meant for securing the lightweight polystyrene type coving) - I found it is an excellent lightweight filler for cardboard. It is easily sandable, sticks really well, is premixed and dries really fast (so doesn't soak the cardboard).

The filler is now being left to dry thoroughly, then I will sand it to a smooth finish.

I bought some thick white paper card from the art shop.

I drew an elipse on the pc the right size, printed it off and used it to cut out a stiff cardboard top the right size and shape.
I wrapped a cardboard cylinder around it and glued with pva
I added a second layer on top of that to make the hat sides more rigid.
I added more bands of paper card around the top to build out the fluted shape at the top - getting progressively thicker in steps.
I added another stiff cardboard top overhanging the edges - using the same elipse shape slightly bigger.

..first off I sliced the top of the hat off at the headband position, as you can see.
The hat seems to be made from a tough plastic coated with black flock. The brim is the right shape so I'm keeping it as a base and will be adding my own shaped Top onto it.

This is how the fancy dress shop £4 top hat looks.
It isn't the shape I'm after so I've done some alterations...

Went to town yest and got some more basic material - black satin to make the high cut 'Playboy' style briefs with (the test pic is just black lycra).
And I've been puzzling over what colour/fabric to make the waistcoat out of.. I bought some grey bridal satin and some shiney silver 'showbiz' stuff to experiment with.

Also, my mum got me a Top Hat from a fancy dress shop. It was amazingly cheap but the shape looks more James Bond OddJob than magician.. :S and I want a vintage looking magicians Top Hat! So I am going to use this as a base to build my own Top Hat on.

Then I blow dried it still fixed around the pole with the hair dryer.
When I took the hair extension off the pole it was now one big spiral. So I then teased the hair into small sections and thats how the lovely locks were formed.

The tuft of spare hair is what I used to fix the odango onto the wig. Basically I just parted it into small sections and tied it through the wig net.
Then I wrapped the hair extension around the outside of the ball and tied around the base with cotton thread to cover the odango with hair.

Thats the first time I styled Kanekalon and made odangos. I'm really pleased how it came out.
I hope this wip helps someone out.

Next I carved the holes through the centre of the foam balls and then painted them with acrylic black paint.
When dry I threaded the hair extensions through the holes and fixed them in place in the odangos with the hot glue gun. This was a bit tricky because too much heat would melt the foam ball.

Styling
The hair extensions were just straight and a bit frizzy so I had to style them to match the lovely wavy cosplay wig.
So I wrapped the hair extension around a broom handle - like a barber pole and secured with elastic bands. I read you can use clothes steamers to style Kanekalon fibre. I don't have a clothes steamer, but I do have a steam wallpaper stripper - which operates much the same. So I used that to give steam straight out of the hose onto the hair.

Taking the foam piece and rotating it in the sanding former gradually the end rounds off. Then turn it over and do the other side, gradually the sphere takes shape.

Next I made a curved sanding former out of more packaging foam. Using the same jam jar so the size of the curve is the same as the odango.
Then I taped some sandpaper into the curve and the former is ready.

I'm told you can buy these polystyrene foam balls from eby but I didn't know that so here's how I made mine...

Step 1
Using a small jam jar which was the right size diameter for my odangos I drew around the lid onto a slab of some packaging foam.

Step2
Using a hacksaw I cut out the rough shape

Step 3
Using sandpaper I refined the foam into round biscuit shapes.

Step 4
I glued 3 biscuits together with PVA glue so that there was enough thickness to make the sphere out of. And left to dry.


Final step - I cut feather shapes different sizes out of black paper card and sewed some layers on and glued others on until the whole head was covered. The lower part of the neck is just material with feathers sewed on, so I can still move the head around easily.
Then I cut the eye shapes out of cardboard and glued them on. The eyes and the beak were painted with acrylic paint.
The viewing slot is now covered by double layers of black net tulle so you can't see it (or my face when I am wearing it), but I can still see through it well.

Edit: just found this other pic of the stage where I had just I covered the whole head and neck with black streatch lycra, glued on with Evo stick PVA And you can see the first layer of 'feathers' going on.

Next step - I added some thick polystyrene packaging foam (which luckily I had saved - I knew it would come in handy for something) glued to the forehead with PVA glue. Then using a hacksaw blade and sandpaper I sculpted the front head shape, eyebrows etc and blended it in with the rest of the cardboard head shape.

You can also see the viewing slot I left between the beak and the neck.


Odangos are made and the long hair extensions have been attatched. I managed to style them using the steam wallpaper stripper. I have taken progress pics along the way, but since time is runing short I will organise them after Expo.

Also I finally found some beads, thank goodness, now I can relax about those sleeves and necklace details.
..Better start putting this dress together! :P

Wow so much done to Raven Mytho. I have been taking progress pictures along the way - but I will upload these after the Expo since time is running short and I have to finish my Nehelenia costume too! Less than a week to go now. @__@ - why do I always end up in a mad rush!?

Ha, have the cosplay wig already, such a lovely colour. :D

Long wavy wig has arrived from China *relief! ^_^*

Also I bought some lovely material for the Ivory part of Nehelenia's dress.
Started making a 'rough' bodice out of some spare material and using a wedding dress pattern.

Just snagged a latex dress off eB nice and cheap (Like 7.50 cheap)

There is enough material in it to cut down and make the black swimsuit part of the costume. ..I know - I'm SO CHEAP!! :P

Got the latex arm gloves too. I Just need the yellow latex stuff now.

Work so far...
Trousers - are finished sewing and just soaking in black dye over night.
Jacket - is cut down, just sewing it now.
Been to the hab-dash today and got all the gold buttons, and some shoulder pads. Piping is a pain to find - NO gold piping and NO gold braid, urghhh! *mild Panic!* So I bought some plain and I'm gonna try painting it with acrylic Gold paint..hope this works.
Wig - needs styling, I have an old one which I can cut down - if it fails I shall be up town pronto tommorrow to get a new Black Bob wig.

Cutting down and marking the new jacket shape, ..and paper patterns drawn up for making the pocket tops.

My wife was having one of those mad clothes clearouts, I got there just in time, "..You're throwing this OUT!?!" 80 ..and as you can imagine I rescued lots of good stuff from the plastic sack before it went, ..including these which I'm using for the raw materials of Silhouette's costume.

Starting with the jeans, which I am about to tailor in, add fake pockets and then dye black. Then when dry I'll add the Gold trim and buttons.
Bustier I think I'll leave as is.
Jacket needs cutting down into her sexy lil bolero, and Gold trims adding.

Only 4 days, ..I CAN do this! :S

I stuck this pic in to show how I put it together. You can see it is hollow, made up of a latticework of cardboard, stuck together with white glue and brown lickey parcel tape. (- I am trying to keep the head as light as possible so I can dance and move around freely.)
Yes I used cereal boxes ^^ (you can call me stingy, but why pay when you can use this stuff for free!).

Made some progress on the head. It is taking more of a 3D shape now.

Started getting the pieces together.

I found a nice dress coat in the charity shop - this will do nicely to make the tail coat with. In this pic it is simply buttoned up around the back for effect.
It is actually a very dark blue, (in keeping with the artwork).

Fishnets - the diamond net pattern in the artwork is larger than standard fishnets but smaller than modern fence-net tights. I searched quite hard to find these. They are called 'Medium Net Tights' by Silky, and look spot on to me. They don't have a back seam so I'll probably wear them over a pair of sheer black seamed tights - cos I really want to ramp up the 50's glamour. *_*

I'm quite looking forward to having a go at making my own top hat. ^^

Ok I borrowed several bridal dress patterns off my mum today. Using parts from the different patterns I hope to be able to make up Nehelenia's dress...

Latex Stockings arrived today and I just HAD to try them out. Well. It was not easy geting into them at first cos even with talc powder they don't slide along the skin. But I eventually discovered a way to get em on. Phew!
These Latex stockings were only around the £10 mark off e-bay, a lot less then the £125 for Latex boots I saw, and coupled with a pair of patent shoes I'm sure they will look every bit as good. I haven't bought the oil which will make the latex glossy yet as I will be cutting and glueing and I want the glue to stick properly. But the makeup test is giving me a good idea what the costume will look like on me. Wow! I'm liking the look of this A LOT. ^^

Officially started!
Went around our market today and found the base material for the dress, a lovely thick fabric which drapes Beautifully and has a two tone quality Black/Green.
Also found some lovely Silver strapy high heel sandals for just £3. (I love our market! ^_^ )

Next I cut up some cardboard strips (old cereal boxes) and using masking tape and staples built up my cardboard mock up of the head. Actually I think I will use it as a skelton and just build on top of it.
The head piece is going to be worn like a hat. The neck piece is not solidly joined to the head because I want as much head movement as I can get.
That's how far I have got. Tommorrow I'll start making it all more solid looking, then I can do a quick test fit pic. ^^

Then I cut out the shape and voila! - my template pattern life size.

Ok, I have scaled up a drawing of Raven Mytho with some added datum lines. Then I printed it out in sections on A4 paper (which is all my printer will take) then sellotaped the sheets all together using the datum lines to match them up.

The head is going to be the most difficult part to make, so I am going to start with that first. I'm going to use cardboard just to make a mock up and get the rough size and shape that is wearable. I'll post WIP pics as I make any good progress.

Final step of turning the puffball into a classic pancake tutu is to sew through the 4 layers by hand. This pulls all the layers together and is what gives the tutu its firmness and is how it manages to defy gravity ^-^
It was a magical moment to slip the tutu around my waist - I have a Tutu!! ^-^

- attatched pic shows the complete tutu, next stage to fix it to the bodice.

I made up the second frill layer and fixed it to the same bias so it overlaped the first layer and faced the opposite way..this adds support to the top layer.

Then I made up frill layers 3 and 4 and secured them to another strip of bias.
Now..if my bodice had been made out of stong fabric I would have sewn the frill layers straight on, but I was using streatch velor for the bodice and I was worried the weight would simply pull and streatch the fabric, so I added an extra waist band of doubled over net tulle (incorporating a short strip of wide elastic for a bit of give) and fixed all the layers to this.
Note: getting this lot through the sewing machine was REALLY difficult. In fact I had to turn the machine slowly by hand most of the way!

- attatched pic shows all the frill layers now joined to the net waistband. The fril layers are all splaying out at this point.


With the frill layer held in tight gathers by the strong cotton thread I then fixed it to a strip of bias binding through the sewing machine.

- attatched pic shows the gathered first layer now fixed to the bias.

Each very long strip of net tulle has to be gathered right down to the hip measurement.

I simply passed an embroidery needle with some heavy cotton in/out - in/out the net tulle close to the edge, gathering the net tulle as I went ... It worked.

attatched pic shows threading the needle along the long edge of the net tulle in order to pull the gathers.

For each frill layer I cut 4 strips of 56 inch wide net tulle and joined them end to end - it is awfully long to start with but all this is eventually gathered down tightly to fit my hip measurement of 35 inches.
1st frill layer - 15 inches by 56 inches net tulle x 4 strips joined together
2nd frill layer - 14 inches by 56 inches net tulle x 4 strips joined together
3rd frill layer - 13 inches by 56 inches net tulle x 4 strips joined together
4th frill layer - 12 inches by 56 inches net tulle x 4 strips joined together

- attatched pic shows just a plain zigzag through the machine to join the 4 pieces end to end into one long piece.

Oh no's..the market didn't have any black interfacing..darn there goes my idea for the feathers around the tutu!
I experimented painting white interfacing with black fabric paint but it is soaking it up like a sponge. I'll have to try something else..
2 days to go - Ok mild panic is setting in now. @_@

Tutu frills are done. Wow, battling with the net tulle under the machine - it really wasn't happy with it, especially when it is double layered and gathered. Most of the time I had to slowly hand turn the machine to get it through! 4 widths of 56' net joined end to end to make one layer! Suprising how it gathers up though. I think I may stick with 4 layers - I held them around my waist and looked in the mirror last night, ..magical moment! *Yay I have a tutu* ^-^
Ok now to sew the tutu frills onto the bodice and I will have a workable costume...

One thing I did find in the market was some large black feathers for the head-dress. I need to fix them onto the hair spring clip somehow..

Lots to do still.

Phew, bodice is now joined successfully to knickers at last, it's starting to look like a costume. Zipper and fasteners also done, and I had to put boning up the back to stop the zipper buckling. :/

(Forgot to mention that the material I bought is a streatch velor fabric rather than stiff material, just cos I liked the look of this stuff when I saw it. :)Working with streatch fabric has its problems though, and I've got to use shoulder straps because the bodice won't stay up on its own. Ah well..

Now on to the tutu frills (looking forward to this part). That will leave just detailing.
Running out of time quickly, but I'm confident it will all be finished in time.

Oh, wig has come, and I fitted some hair slides to the Tiara. Tested it all on, woohoo! I'm pleased how it looks. :)

Shopping tomorrow in the city market for the 'Feathers'. I have a few cunning plans to try for the main feathers on the tutu. ;)

The main bodice of the costume has been Reeeeally difficult with me. I have unpicked,trimmed re-stitched it 5 times now! Finally, it is lying across my bewbs nicely now and the front seams are where they should be ..running diagonally across the nipple.
New dilemma - since I am sewing a bra into the costume should I also follow the bra strap height around the back?? It's higher than where the back of the tutu should be.. hmmmm, *is running out of time fast....*
aaargh, tutu bodices are HARD!
Aha! - how long is my zip? that will settle it. ^^

The ribbon ties kept going slack after wearing the shoes for a while. So I took them off then re-attatched them to some black elastic which I fixed too the insole. So now there is a little give when the ribbon needs it and it doesn't go slack anymore.

The soft dance shoes look similar to pointe shoes but have no stiffening. So I made up some toeboxes which fit inside and make the shoes look stiffer. I also added some black ribbon ties.
I'm happy how they look, and I think it's a good compromise between real pointe shoes and something more functional.

One last thing - I used normal black ribbon and it looks good but seems to undo itself and become slack even when the knot is tied very tight! Maybe ballet shoe ribbon needs to be a special kind..need to check this out.

I'm going to try to cosplay Kraehe for Midlands Expo in Feb 2009. I watched the anime recently and just love her character so I have to try.

- progressing with making a 'rough' preliminary costume to experiment on. I found a pattern for a tutu in one of my ballet books and enlarged it on my PC. Some of the info is missing however. Still, enough to make a start and make something that looks like a tutu.

Experimented with addition of Nylon boning up the side seams. Looks like I might get away with having the bodice strapless. :)

- I decided not to use my pointe shoes for the Expo. 1)because they are pink, and 2)because there is lots of advice from real dancers against using them for cosplay.
Instead I have bought some ballet 'soft dance shoes'. They are made of soft black leather, have a full suede sole and they look like pointe shoes except without any of the stiffening. I bought some black ribbon and am sewing them on to complete the illusion that they are proper pointe shoes. :P


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