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Teacup_Erinyes
Progress

I'm Bossy Otaku of 'The Otaku Trioka' Cosplay Group, which I founded alongside 2 others. We've been cosplaying together since 2007, when we met at a friend's costume party. The first MCM Expo we went to, my sister (Mini Otaku) decided that we should cosplay, so we made both of our costumes in a few days and they were, to put it softly, terrible.
Since then I have put in more effort than is probably sensible to keep The Trioka's Cosplays at the highest level we could manage, and I am now in the process of working towards competition standards. My greatest acheivement so far has been to have at least one person say about my cosplay "that's the best *insert character name here* i've ever seen" at every Expo I attend. Seeing how my costume can make someone happy makes me happy.
I'm currently writing a blog on cosplay make-up, with hopefully useful tips and tutorials for others to take advantage of, and taking commissions.

Last online 2 years ago

Coventry

Joined: 5th Jun 2010

Completed costumes: 31

Photos uploaded: 165

Progress journals: 47

Events attended: 21

http://teacup-e-cosplay.tumblr.com/

So, my figure has changed a lot since last I wore Meg, which means it needs a bit of a remodel again to have the same effect.
Starting with a new top. Going for another layer with a deeper cowl this time, so it's a bit more shapely, and I've cut down the existing top into more of a plunge to fit with this.
Also making myself some new hip-padding to wear under the dress, and I'm going to get around to the airbrushing I wanted to get done on it to emphasise the panels.
Lastly, the wig is getting another makeover, adding in some new wefts which should add a little more toning (I hate how it looks so bright red in sunlight), and some new shiny curls.

So I knocked up the dress for this a few weeks ago, didn't take me long at all even with the hand-sewn beads all over the trail (I may add more if I have time/get bored). The main work for this is dressing it, so the jewelery really.
The choker is complete all except the little chain detail at the back, as are the earrings (made from 2 sets of earrings, one with a clip on stud, and another with a drop pendant), which leaves just the bun-wrap to make and then I'll be set to wear it.

Actually almost done on the costume part of this. Just a little top stitching and the waistband fixing, then I'm done. Taken far longer than it should have but that's just what happens when juggling baby and cosplay.
Also just finished dying the fabric for Ron's jersey, so will knock that up this weekend.
Got my wig for this, which will require just a bit of layering and then attacking with a sharpie. ^_^

So on hindsight, many things went wrong with this costume that need seriously fixing to wear this in future, and since my wish-list characters are STILL taken for Kita (sigh), it looks like i'm wearing it again.
One I really can't do much about is my rediculous spiralling weight loss. This has been the reason many of my costumes lately haven't fit properly and is crazy annoying (I literally took in this one by 2 inches on each side just before the con and it still looks baggy... urgh). With any luck my health will behave by next time, and if not I will have to take it in even more.
I should however be able to solve the others.
The second problem is that despite an obnoxious amount of rhinestones, especially on the skirt, they all seem to have disapeered somehow on photos. This can only mean one thing... more. Not even kidding.
I also need to fix the mosiacs on the bodice. These were fine to begin with, and I didn't fix them solid like on the armpeice and headpeice, but with the heat of the day started to escape and ended up... literally everywhere. So yeah, gonna re-think and put them in as solid peices, possibly with the wings attached but we'll see.
The wings I think also need a re-think, but not sure which approach to go with there. I liked them being drapey but unless wind joined in they were pretty much invisible. So either switch them out to a tulle to make them stiffer, or back them with solid plastic and abandon the draping. wonders...
And yeah, the wig, urgh. This wig is fab and super pretty and perf for Blue but the antenae transformed it into a hot mess. So I'm thinking take the design one step further and tiara band that baby, attach the antenae better, and to the headpeice, so it doesn't have to go through the wig at all.
May also make some flat alternative shoes, just for ambling around (The NEC grounds are no where near as clean as Warwick University, and I should know :P).

Been working today on the headpeice and mosiac elements, which is super pretty though I do now have glitter modge podge all over pretty much everything. Actually doing these as real mirror mosiac, which hopefully will catch the light in a pretty way (more sparkles!), though I may throw in some gems as an extra touch on the larger sections. Will get some pics as I go, but only putting it up when I at least have the base coat of paint on.
Really struggled on Friday to get the fabrics I needed from the market (why is nothing in pale green this season?)but at least got some georgette to do the skirt with so I'll start that in the next few days hopefully. We'll see.

So excited to get going on this costume. Today I've gotten the leggings mostly done, apart from some finishing up and the waistband. Not going to lie, these were a pain, and took a couple goes to get the hem right, so I've now scrapped the facing idea since strech fabric doesn't really need finishing and will neaten the edges with decoration. I'm thinking I'll use some bead work to weigh the leg down so they don't keep flapping up when I walk.
It's really such a shame you can't see the texture of the fabric in the photo I uploaded, as it is so pretty, but my camera was struggling so it'll do for now.
Next on the list, gonna start work on the sculptural elements and try a few different ways to do them.

After months and months of searching I have finally bought the boots for this!
Getting them custom made from BBeauty Designs on Etsy, and they are so perf. For the same money I would pay for innacurate heels, I'm getting accurate ones and the custom spats to match. Still a lot of money but worth it.
So maybe I can get this costume done now, but I'm still not setting a date in case things go wrong again.

Still working on the ideas for the flower garland in Giselle's hair. Decided atm on a plan to use heat cut petals of the same chiffon I'm using for the shoulders and sewing each flower to a seperate hair clip for better placement and flexibility when styling the base wig (will also help the wig stay on my head with all the dancing about). So far I've mocked those up and set about silk dying the central flowers to a darker pink so they'll look more like natural flowers (may well end up with glitter invloved somewhere). Toying with whether I should wire the petals, but currently just leaving them as is.
The wig itself needs a bit of work. It's a brighter orange than I'd like but with all of the hyped up glitter and colour it's not the end of the world. It does however need straightening out a bit, as I like the waves it has but they need to be more focused around the bottom rather than all the way up.

Spent the last few days working on this, so expect pics soon.
Since the last update the dress has been finished in the new fabric, and still needs a little alterations as I've lost weight again, but only has the hem left.
I've gone a bit mad with the glitter again and so the bottom of the dress now has swirly andalaision designs around the front and sides.
The ribbon tie also has a version of the motifs from Prince Edward's sleeves embellished onto them and trimmed with more glitter.
I've been trying to re-imagine the dress as if she'd gone through the wishing well wearing this dress rather than the wedding dress, so everything that got emphasized in Edward's costume I intend to do with this dress too.
I also need to buy more chiffon to use for the sleeves and flowers, as I'm still not happy with it (gone through 3 different sheer pink fabrics now).

Right, so I've spent forever (since November) trying to figure out which version of Penny to go for, since she has so many colourful outfits. I've also spent much of that time trying and failing to get the purple out of my hair, and I'll be damned if I'm giving up now.
Bought some dark blue skinny jeans, black uggs and a blue top which although not a perfect replica is very close to several of Penny's tops/dresses. Going on the lines of getting something she 'would' wear rather something she has basically. Then just to make it more recognisable I plan to have a Penny Blossom and possibly a measuring jug of 'wine' as props.
Last attempt to bleach the purple out of my hair this weekend and then will attempt to make myself less pale next week before the event.
Later on the list is Gaming Addict Penny (so I can re-create the 'oh god i need help' clip), and Running Gear Penny.

Just typing out my thoughts really. With just over 2 weeks ago, there are now weather forcasts availiable for the dates of expo, which alerted me to my own stupidity. Usually I'd never do a cosplay in October unless it is warm enough to withstand the worst, ever since the horrifying experience of October 2008, but for some reason this slipped my mind when planning Giselle.
There are pretty much no Giselle costumes suitable for the current weather, as she's all about sunshine so I'm left with an option to change to a different cosplay, or to try and incorporate a warm jacket/cloak to Giselle. I'd been thinking about making a simple cloak, but nothing I came up with seemed to fit my idea and none of it worked with Giselle's regency aesthetic.
Then I got to thinking what Giselle would make for herself if she wanted to keep warm. She wouldn't keep it simple, whatever she wore would be fit for a princess with flowers and ribbons galore, like all the curtain dresses she makes once in new york. She uses what is around her, so I think she'd likely take influence from all her throws and cushions in her home in Andalasia, along with all the flowers of the forest.
So I got sketching and came up with the idea in the attached picture. It's a jacket, similar in style to regency period jacket fashions, but with a longer drape. It's reminiscent of her Turquiose dress, but in a pale stone colour to compliment the bold pinks of her dress underneath, and will be made out of much warmer fabric.
Any thoughts would be appreciated, but with any luck this will keep me warm and match the rest of the costume well.

The original fabric I'd ordered for this turned out nothing like the seller had pictured, and I've been unable to find a good alternative in my price range (which is virtually none-existant atm).
So a re-think is in order. Instead of the chiffon overlay, I've bought essentially the same fabric as the base layer seen in my other photos, but in dusky pink so I can use that as the main dress colour, and will use the original base as lining. It will be nowhere near as floaty or texturally interesting, but on the bias will atleast hold the right shape.
Bit of a pain in the neck, but hopefully will still look good. The picture here shows the new fabric against the original reference and base layer, with the lighter pink chiffon. Still darker than i'd like, but pretty close and I'm hoping under brighter lighting it will not only have the two-tone quality of Giselle's animation, but also look paler and more accurate against the orange of my wig.
The lovely irkat said she will make me the flower garland to match the costume so when I have my birthday money through I will buy the chiffon for the sleeves and send some to her for colour matching.

So, I'm still waiting for commissions to come through before I can afford to buy fabric for my October projects and therefore I am focusing a little on things that take no money at all.
I still can't afford the wig for this, but since little sis is considering buying one for her own Ariel cosplay it's less of a worry and I can crack on to make this hopefully for ThoughtBubble in November.
Everything looks very basic right now because it's just pinned onto my mannequin and without any embellishment etc. The top is obviously just white now, basically because I wanted to have the shape right before I get out my airbrush and start playing with colours.
Also, I've made a few adjustments to the design (not that the design isn't fab because it is), just to play a little more with the tail shape. The original design has just a shaped hem on the top to mimick the tail shape, but trying this with real fabric would require serious structural adjustments and would stop it from being loose and flowing like the draped fabric in the original songstress designs, while also preventing the shaping around the bodice. So as a solution I propose that it makes more sense to add a shaped sheer trim, as seen in the photo, to give the feel of the tail, made from the same fabric as the frills around the shorts and boots (It's only purple ATM as this was a trial using scrap fabric I had); This should mimick the matching fluke and waist fin on Ariel's tail from the movie.
Any thoughts?

I so wish I could make this now...
Will need a lot more commissions for Kigu-style things before that ever happens though ATM. le sigh
I've been playing around with some left-over materials from other things and makign my own, much smaller than historically used, Pocket Hoop Pannier. It's working ok, but need plenty of adjustments before it can be used properly, but I do like the idea of using it as it saves money on bigger petticoats, is historically relevent, and just adds that little bit of shape needed for Belle's dress (it also provides opportunity for big useful pockets, but that's just an added extra).
I've made it much smaller than the historical model as Belle's dress does not have that kind of rigid structure to it, which means that it needs more work to maintain a more natural shape that won't get uncomfortable to wear.
In the meantime, I've been obsessively sketching how I want this to look, so have a digital drawing of my ideas. Have included a quick doodle to explain the Pannier a little and what it does to the overall look of the dress.

Got the base fabric yesterday so I have this sort of mocked up. I have done so many half attempts at this dress with spare fabric from other cosplays over the years so have come to a conclusion on the best way to go about it quite easily.
Instead of using a stretch fabric for this I'm going to use crepe and chiffon on the bias (similar to my blue fairy dress) to minimise the need for seam lines and to keep the dress very floaty and lightweight. I decided on 2 layers as a way to make the dress a little different to other versions i've seen and to catch the light in a more interesting way. It should give it a two-tone look, with a bright cerise base and an almost coral lighter pink overlay.
I'm also going to give this a slightly fuller skirt than most of the film images show as it'll give it more body for dancing and spins.

You can all blame Pirates of the Carribean for this. I was quite happy to just use my own brain and work out the costume plan like I have been, sketching away, till I re-watched curse of the black pearl the other day.
Of course I couldn't just watch it for Johnny Depp like a normal person, and started looking at the way Elizabeth's gowns go together, wondering if I could put my Belle dress together in a similar way. This then quickly spread into research mode and I've had websites and historical reference books in front of me for 3 days now.
Common features of 18th century french fashion feed very well into Belle's design (much better than most other dresses she wears in the film), so I know that I have a good standpoint on this. The most basic being the style of the entire dress, so similar to the robe a l'anglaise that was common at the time that I'd be mad not to use it; for anyone who is unfamiliar this is basically like a coat, fastened to a stomacher at the front of the bodice and left open over the top of an inner skirt (on which the flounce is added), so it doesn't have any lacing or back fastening. The fabric at Belle's neckline, so often mistaken for a gathered collar, is based on a Fichu (seen on the added image tucked into the bodice) which is basically a silk square neckercheif, often with a lace trim, folded in half and tied or pinned at the bust.
The cloak also, while it appears to be a simple christmas accessory for the snow, is actually based on a historical garment. This is a Mantelet, which was often worn over a robe a l'anglaise or robe a la francaise during the time period (there are even paintings displaying them in red velvet with a white fur trim). Interesting little factoid there.
So I'll be playing around with these ideas when constructing this costume, and taking this angle means I can work with historical ideas for the petticoats and internal structure of the gown which should be fun.
When I get a chance I'll go for a rummage around Birmingham for fabric ideas and possible patterns.

This is what tidying your room looks like isn't it Izzi...?
Idk.
Just a quick play about. Edited to put the stripes in the wig and to make my eyes pink since I'm not buying a wig or contacts till I know I'm doing it and when.

If I don't do this now then I'll keep putting it off forever. As it is I'm already no longer the right shape for this cosplay (frelling curves!), so I'm getting it done before I'd have to use industrial strapping to look like gigi edgely.
Brief breakdown:
- This version of Chiana has glorious stripey leggings (why is it they always dress pip in crazy colours and stripes when they go into fantasy mode?), which I'll make by using grey and white striped cotton jersey and painting over the white sections with yellow fabric paint (it looks like that's how it's done for the ep aswell).
- Next on the list is that fabulous hat, which will again be baby blue stretch fabric for comfort, with the black stripes sewn on with homemade yellow piping, then padded to add the shape until it reaches the head. Fiddley no doubt but should look fun when it's finished.
- The jerkin is blue quilted cotton, finished with matching piping and eyelets to lace up the front. It has two sections, one which reaches down to the natural waistline and another flap below that which covers her down to the hips, hiding the belt onto which the sword holster and whip are mounted. This lower flap is not laced up.
- The sleeves appear to be attached onto the jerkin directly, but I'll decide whether to do this as I go along. They look to me to be made from China Silk (too reflective to be real silk) so I'll use that to make them - yay cheap!. They're also gathered at the shoulder seam to give them that billowed look and get wider towards the wrists where they are tucked into the glove cuffs (I'll likely elasticate the ends of the sleeves for security).
- The gloves appear to be in two parts, real leather gloves at the bottom and a rediculously big cuff of vinyl leatherette in a brighter colour, tied on with a buckle. So I'll be using the gloves from my Helga costume, and using the same fabric from the belt and boots to make the cuffs.
-The boots are really cheap looking vinyl leatherette, in a colour that looks practically orange. They reach up to mid thigh with a fold down cuff that reaches down to her knees. The boots lace up at the side, from below the ankle in a cord of the same colour. Interestingly these boots are low wedge heels and very pointy, so I'll look out for a base shoe like this to build onto.
- Another interesting thing to note is that although it appears from the front that the jerkin laces over Chi's chest alone, she is actually wearing a tube top over the top of her waist high leggings that is a close match to her skin colour, which is keeping her strapped in (this'll be useful to me as I'm no where near as flat chested so I can use it like binding).
- Props here include a fencing sabre, and a small dagger. I may only make the dagger and instead make the enormous blue fabric flower she's seen with near the start of the episode (it's sparkly and fun and I hate posing with big weapon props). More research needed... oh and I need to own the episode on DVD...

So, I've finished the sparkle on the wings finally and attached a harness section between them to slide into my bodice.
Currently I'm having issues getting them into the bodice so I'm going to re-sew some slightly wider channels to work with. Another issue I'm having is that I can't fully close up the zip without the bust gathering coming out, but I hope that'll be sorted when everything is fastened in place more securely. I will add a satin panel onto the wing harness though in case it won't shut and have spare ribbon around to fix things.
Note: I couldn't see this myself till I looked at the image but the wings weren't sitting flat so there's some creasing, but when I next do them I'll angle them further up so that the bottom half is not crushed against my back.
Dear Kami these things are hard to get on, but at least they stay relatively still once they're on.

A lot of work on these so far. You can see in the image that there are two main textures, one is the same fabric used for the sleeves (power mesh) and the other is irridescent film. I've also added glitter along the frame and veins to cover where the fabric ends where it's been glue-gunned onto the wire.
One wing is finished on one side, although it still needs glitter on the other side, so tomorrow's job is to cover the other side and then work on the harness.

Got the main frame for these done now. One is bigger than the other which is frustrating, but I'm not remaking them with the time I have left. I'm currently in the process of wrapping the frames in floristry tape, which will make the frame all an even white colour before I add glitter to the veins.
So hopefully will have those done in a few days.
Dress also is sewn together all but a few details. Had to re-adjust the shoulders and neckline so it'd fit but hopefully that won't show too much.

So the belt, trousers and base for the holster are all done now, leaving me plenty of time for the rest.
The holster is all one peice of sythetic leather, which I'll build the gun housing on top of. Basically, the shape of the holster that Helga wears would not fit a Mauser C96 properly at all (go Disney!) so there is a lot of adjustment needed to make it fit. My plan is currently to make the holster to look like Helga's (basically a big pouch), ignoring the securing flap as that wouldn't close and accepting that the handle won't be fully enclosed.
Since the gun will not fit flushly into the holster I have also decided to take some liberties with the pouch by fitting in a hidden pouch within it. It's a basic rectangular pouch of cotton leftover from a skirt I was making, designed to fit my make-up for helga perfectly, with a access gap in the back of the holster so I won't need to take the gun out to dig around for my lipgloss.
I do also plan to make a pouch for my phone to wear on the back of the belt so I won't need another bag.
With any luck I'll be done with Helga in the next week so I can work on the Blue Fairy without distraction.

Just sculpted some air dry clay onto the outside of the gun on one side. When I've finished the entire gun I'll sand it down for a smooth finish so it'll look metallic. For once I'm not using lightweight clay, as the weight will help the cardboard base feel more realistically balanced.
I really love the way this is turning out.

Aprox 2000 sequins now attached and I've almost covered the entire dress... so will use the other 2000 in another layer across the skirt, and across the trail I plan to attach to the back (to cover the wing harness a little). Anything left will go on the wings.
I apologize for the lack of any more progress images on this costume but to be frank, the pretty of it does not show it's best in a static image. If you want to know how it's looking, ask Dare2Shine or CakeyKelso, as they saw it in person over the Kitacon weekend. The sequins look so nice when the dress moves so I'm really looking forward to getting it onto stage.
Speaking of which, I've got a place in the Sunday Masquerade, so yeah, I am quietly panicking. I'm not a very confident person and I've always had my sister to support me, so my brain is telling my that my legs are going to collapse and all the rhinestones are going to fall off my dress and I'm going to start hysterically crying backstage for no reason. I'm sure that'll pass though once the costume is finished and I've run around the house wearing it a few times.
On the bright side though, I have all the supplies I need to finish this now, so when mum goes back to work tomorrow I can take over the house with wings. They should be done by the end of the week, as most of the framework is already finished so it's just a case of glueing the fabric in place.
The wand is on it's way but is taking a lot of work, mostly because I'm insisting on wiring in LED's to the star at the end. I'm making the base wand out of clear plastic tubes to create a hollow middle for SFX usage, and I'll then cover the whole thing in clay to give it an even gold surface. I'm making the star from the same material as the gems on the dress so that hopefully the LED's will glow through the same way.

So after a bit of research I decided to make the gun which she uses for the majority of the film, rather than the flare gun she has.
It's based on the Mauser C96 broomhandle pistol, which was a semi-automatic used by the German army in WW1. The illustration in the film is more or less a simplified version of the real pistol, and so a lot of the details are the same (exept the non-metallic section of the handle and the hammer, for which they seemed to ignore original detail). So for the construction of this, I used a photograph of an original C96 and sketched out a blockier version using the same proportions, taking the lines from a movie still as inspiration for where to simplify the design.
The image on this journal is what I came up with, using stencils of my simpler design to cut out cardboard plates, and using craft foam to cover curved edges. The barrel is rolled cardstock and foam, wrapped in parcel tape till it behaved. Eventually I'll sculpt a top layer onto the gun and sand it off to get an even surface to paint.

Just posting the image I did have before as progress here rather than in the main gallery.
So, this costume is really basic, the top drafted from a T-shirt I own with similar arm cuffs and the skirt a simple 3/4 circle both made from cotton jersey. The underskirt/tent is a 3/4 circle made from white cotton muslin and hemmed with a scallop stitch, cut down to give a neat edge. The collar facing and cuffs are both basic white cotton, invisibly stitched onto the main garment.
The bow is made from the same fabric as the dress, with a craft foam insert to give it the bold shape and attached onto a hair tie for ease.
Really simple costume, but one I really love wearing and really comfortable even after a full day.

Been working on this all day, and I'm almost getting somewhere. Reknewing my passionate hatred of bias binding tenfold.
So I've now added the silver strips around the neckline and bottom edge of the dress, and hemmed the main dress, much to my sewing machine's protests.
I've also made the little lower back panel that the wires feed into, and all the little metal sections down the side of the dress (out of the same bias binding used in the dress).
All I have to do for this now is to make the collar, wires and arm panels, then attach it all.
Been nice and cheap this one, only costing me the price of the binding so far, but hopefully I'll do her justice. May wear this again for Nemacon if Emma goes.

Just thought I'd give the wig a trial to see how easy I could shape the bangs and braid, and so far things are going well.
I've actually been wearing the style of make-up for quite a while now since I bought LimeCrime's carousel gloss (so pretty I don't want to ever not wear it), so it's sort of a make-up trial too (no rediculous eyebrows or lashes yet).

8000 rhinestones out of 10000 now attached.
Each one is glued on using fabric glue and some fiddly cocktail stick work, in an arrangement to look as if they are forming the stars of light on her dress.
Has taken me about 3 weeks to do that much, and I have 2000 rhinestones and 4000 sequins yet to attach. So halfway there.
All the sewing has been done except for the back seam, hem and bust gathering (currently just bulldog clipped in place so I know where the rhinestones need to go), which will be done once all the embellishment has been finished.
So the dress has aprox 3 weeks left till completion, then I have the gems to construct, the wings to finish wrestling, and the sash to sort. Might be done before May if I'm lucky.
Note for anyone else who might be mad enough to try anything like this: listening to the craftwork special day on 6 music while doing an incredibly tedious and repetitive task is really stupid. I feel like I've kinda lost another level of sanity.

Actually almost done on the basic costume. Just sewing together the lining of the coat and sorting out the trouser cuffs, then all that's left is to accessorise. I will get pictures at some point but that'll probabaly be when I test the belt and necklace, which are currently in the drying stage of sculpting.
Just had myself a little make-up test, which was probably super stupid as my skin has been a real state lately, which you may be able to tell from the photo. Was taken in a dark room with flash so is completely aweful, but you can see from my neck in the photo just how much bronzer and make-up I have on. I have decided from this two things:
1) I'm mad, and am probably going to look a real moron on the day.
2) If I'm going to do this, I need WAY more eye make-up on, and to use a darker colour for my brows (was being a wimp cos I'm all blonde underneath the wig and dark brows look stupid with blonde)

So, the entire dress is now cut out and ready to be sewn up and glammed.
The main dress is made out of Duchess Satin, cut on the bias to give maximum flexibility and to stay true to the inspiration for the character, Jean Harlow. It falls very prettily and reflects the light softly, which hopefully will really enhance the sparkle of it all without blowing up wierd in photos.
The photo to this journal is of my experimentation with spare rhinetones and scrap fabric for the way I will apply them onto the costume. I plan to add the Disney sparkle stars exactly where they were drawn on the costume with blocks of rhinestones and little crosses everywhere, along with the sequins which will be sewn across the entire costume. If this thing doesn't sparkle on stage I will seriously cry.
I'm using Power Mesh for the sleeves, cut out in the style of a half circle skirt for both arms to give plenty of body and movement to them. Each will be attached at the top edge by an armband of clear elastic to keep them in place on my arms when I'm dancing about. The same fabric will be used in the wings, with irridescent paint to show the lines and patterns the way they are drawn in the film.
All I have left to do is to find the darker blue fabric for the hip sash and headband and get hold of the wire I need for the wings. Then actually construct the thing.

Finally! Christmas is over and I am now allowed to sew things again, so I ventured out in the rediculous winds of the outside world to go and find fabrics to get started on this and the other 5 costumes I'm working on right now.
As far as Jasmine is concerned, I know where I'm getting the majority of the fabrics and will be putting in that order sometime next week, so the only things I picked up are the Satins for the coat/jacket. I know what you're thinking, "Satin?! Are you mad woman?!", but it really is the best option for this and since she is the daughter of a sultan it is far more appropriate than any more matte fabric that would have draped in the same way. However, I'm not stupid enough to buy cheap Satin like so many Disney Princess costumes I've seen before, so I bought some high-quality Duchess Satin from the lovely guys at the Bridal Satins stall in Birmingham Rag Market. £5 a metre with Cosplayer discount (yeah, they are that brilliant) and just the right colours I needed.
So voila, the jacket is now nearly completely cut out and pinned together to see how it will look. It's so pretty to wear, and billows out when you walk in it which should be an absolute asset in hot May weather, not to mention the fact that the fibre content should keep me cool too. All I have to do now is find some lining fabric and something for the sleeves and I can start sewing.
On the mannequin is also a mock-up possibility for the construction of the bodice and trousers made out of left over fabric from a dress I made years ago. I think this still needs a lot of work as the bodice shape is not working brilliantly and looks too bulky with the panels, so I'll try out a few other methods before I decide on one. The waistband however, even without the elastic, works really well in creating that deep V waist that reaches up to my waist at the back (this is hidden by the jacket and will help it stay up), so I'll keep that to be placed under the bronze decoration.

Also, little note: The background in these pictures is the fabric for the blue fairy. I literally cannot contain my excitement.

What do we think? Should I dye my hair that colour?

So yeah, I thought I was mad when I was looking at the amount of sparkles this was going to need, but this costume is truly testing my sanity, along with the bounderies of how much I am willing to give to cosplay.
I am really struggling with the idea of the wig, for a few reasons. The first reason is that my hair is naturally dark blonde/light brown, which is not so bad, but it does mean that any stray hair (which I find seriously hard to control even with gel, clips, braiding and wig caps), will show up really badly against the kind of light blonde I'll need for this, so I'm super worried that it's going to look terrible.
Secondly, finding a wig that's right is proving next to impossible. The usual places I buy wigs do not sell any without bangs or with a decent center parting, unless I want one is white or black, which it obviously isn't. I'll probably have to get one which is way longer than it needs to be to account for the waves I need to create, since not many wig sellers sell anything between short and long, but that's fine as long as it's thick enough and has no bangs.
So I'm faced with a problem. I will probably have to lighten my own natural hair to make sure it doesn't show up through the wig, which is already annoying as I've spent the last 2 years getting my hair away from dye and it's only just grown out.
The question now is whether to go completely mad and just go blonde so I can use my own hair for Blue Fairy. Any thoughts anyone?

Any one that knows me personally knows that I spend a good 2-5 months planning every cosplay in a rediculous amount of detail before I buy materials and fabrics so I don't have to hesitate and leave things till last.
It's not often that I even put a cosplay up on here until I have at least the basic garment cut out and pinned onto my mannequin, since I usually hate finding an interesting looking costume with no pictures or information, but I know that I am doing Jasmine for definate in May so I thought I'd put it up.
I'm not actually allowed to do any cosplay until after christmas, so I can help my family with nothing else taking up my time, which means I can't go fabric shopping yet.
I can't help myself though, so I have bought 2 wigs for Jasmine. The first is the base wig and will be styled as the top part of her hair, while the second is a super long wig, from which I will steal wefts to wrap over either a foam core or wire frame for the ponytail (I hope to acheive something as awesome as this: http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpjo0aXqXD1r0iqnoo1_500.jpg).
I plan to attempt casting the jewels for Blue Fairy, so will likely be casting Jasmine's too. If that doesn't work I'm looking into translucent clays to sculpt with, which should be interesting.
I really wish I could get going on this, but in the meantime, I'll be sketching and painting in my little cosplay scrap book.

Yeah, this is pretty much going to be the basis of this costume. The dress itself I hope will be very simple, though I do plan to have multiple layers for movement and general prettiness, so I do want to embelish this to within an inch of it's life. I can't wait to buy fabrics, and get casting for those gems, but I've promised my mum I won't cosplay until after christmas, so I'm stuck making plans and sketches.
So far I have almost 14000 sequins and rhinestones to attach by hand onto the dress, and glitter aswell. The sparkles are in 3 different shades of blue and also in clear, so they should catch the light beatifully, with any luck making the same sparkle that the original had.
Am I mad? Yes. Have I been watching too much SCD? Yes. In my defence I do want to make this for a masquerade entry so I want it to be truly beautiful, and if it doesn't recreate magic under stage lights there's no point to making it. It's a costume featured in one of Disney's most iconic and beautiful scenes, with all of the 1940's glamour to go with it, so I really want to do it justice.
I'm planning to have electronics in this costume which are better than with Cadie (totally didn't even get turned on), which hopefully will set off all the pretty in the hall. After all, if you can't turn a simple costume into a complicated sparkle-factory with Disney, when can you?

Just a quick update to note how the first trial with the wig went, now that I've completely sewn in the foam core and all that's missing is the general re-style, bronze band and the final self-made weft.
I have to say, I'm impressing myself so far. Yeah, it's not polished yet and you can still see wig cap through the gap where the foam core is attached (will be fine once the hair is styled better and extra weft is in), but it's already a vast improvement.
You can see that the ponytail is much higher and more angular. It has also accidentally meant that all the layers are falling in the right place to give the right shape and length to the hair fall. It does look a little frankenstein's bride-esque in places but I don't think that's a terrible shame for Meg, considering how rediculous her hair actually is.
Not to mention the fact that it is a million times more comfortable and light to wear than the last time I did this costume - I was even running up and down stairs to find my camera and not a twinge of discomfort. Odly enough it's actually more comfortable than some of my simpler wigs coughNaNacough.

Been working on the re-style for the wig, so today I chiselled the final shape for the foam core, covered it with viscose fabric the same colour as the hair and began to sew wefts across the top.
To fit the foam core in place, I've cut the wefts out of the wig where it should sit and will sew the foam core into the gap created. Both the base wig with the gap cut out and the ponytail can be seen in the journal image.
The reason I've decided to do it this way is to make the enormous ponytail a lot easier to wear, since the foam core is lighter than a huge mass of backcombed hair, and the way I've carved it should also mean that most of the weight is on top of my head, rather than at the back. Hopefully this adjustment will mean that my scalp doesn't bleed like it did last time I wore this wig and will generally be a lot more comfortable.
Other Meg progress I have made this week: Started to add a layer of clay around the Herculade cup so that I can carve the details into it and get that pottery asthetic. Also working on a way to cover up the innevitable florescent wristband which tends to look a little less Ancient Greek than the rest of the costume, using self made clay plates connected with elastic. It's a theory.
Waiting for my haberdashery order to finish off the dress, then I can get going on Tinkerbell.

So much of this project has to be done by hand it's frustrating, but I hope it'll be worth it by the time I'm done. The entire bodice section has now been completed, along with the new sash (check out that georgious satin compared to the previous incarnation).
The sash is going to have an in-built purse and mobile phone holder so I can be mostly handsfree and will double as padding to make it jut out in the right way from my none existant hips. The Herculade cup too now has an actual plastic lidded cup inside so that I can actually use it to remain hydrated.
So all that's left to be done on the dress is the neckline and straps (currently pinned in place with solid satin lining for suppport), the back fastening, and hems. A few little peices could do with a good press and some invisible stitching here and there, but that won't take long.
The biggist problem I'm having right now with this is that, as you can see from the journal image, my mannequin doesn't have as tiny or flexible a waist as I do, so the dress doesn't fit properly, making it impossible to tell how the dress is looking without actually putting it on. This is making adjustments difficult.
Next thing to tackle, and what's really going to take time, is the wig. Fingers crosses.

So, quite a lot done already. Just knocked together the bottom half of the bodysuit and so far jsut a few problems that i need to iron out; firstly i'm slowly realising i'm the wrong shape for this cosplay... too frelling skinny without bulky clothes for a start, but there's not much i can do about that. I'm kinda hoping that when the bra is sewn into it, the curves will hold in place a bit better. Secondly strech bodysuits only work with support, so the front and back cut outs in this costume are likely to kill it, so i'm probably going to have to glue it on and add stirrups at the feet.
I've also sewn the base sleeves together, but they look terrible so no reference pics yet.
Next step: the reverse applique sections on the hat and left leg.

Finally got started sewing everything together today, one day behind schedule, and the dress is definately having a anastasia moment before the pleats are all sewn in.
Shown in the photo is the current state of the top, bodice support and underskirt, with the new satin band and badges. Quite a lot really so i'll break it down a little. Bodice is without interfacing currently so it looks less smooth than i would like, and of course the mannequin is not quite the same shape as i am (and a lot less fleshy) so it doesn't quite show the final product. Underskirt is a basic chiffon that i'm using to act as a shift while also hopefully adding more body to my tiny boy hips. With any luck the triple-layer bodice and underskirt should make the costume slightly less than freezing in October.
New badges are all finished now, though i may bronze them a little more before October as they are looking a little too gold atm. Much smaller and neater than the old badges, which should make them a little more accurate.
Ok, type-farted this journal enough for now.

Haven't done much that isn't for this costume over the last week, although I still have to wait till monday before I can even get my sewing machine back out and knock it all together (promised my parents they could have a dining room for at least a few weeks).
It seems I really wasn't kidding about re-making everything. My Herculade cup is now onto Mark 2, building the base out of craft foam and PVA glue so that it's more accurate and solid. I'm then going to sculpt the details onto it with air-dry clay to give it the vase-look texture I want. It is huge, so I'm hoping I can mount a proper lidded cup inside and use it for actual hydration (yay!).
Just finished cutting a new sash out of super high quality heavy-weight satin, which hopefully should look way better in photos than the previous incarnation as it'll hold it's shape better and shouldn't be as annoyingly shiny (we all know how aweful cheap satin looks in photos). It only cost me £9 for more than what I needed so I don't mind the expense too much. I will post a comparison photo of the 2 sashes once the basic sewing has been done.
Also in the last few days I've picked up some strong cotton that's the same colour to make a boned bodice to incorporate into the dress so that it will keep the right shape (what's the point in having a tiny waist if the dress doesn't fit, for meg especially). Once I find some interfacing to strengthen the panels I'll start to hand sew the boning into them.
So yeah, apparently I'm quite mad.

So yeah... this was meant to be a quick fix up and polish but it's ended up being a complete re-make. There are far too many things I saw as being wrong with the costume that all needs re-making, but I don't mind so much as the original costume was just for a fancy dress party.
I've already started sculpting a block of foam to shape the wig onto, which hopefully should make the overall weight much less likely to tear my scalp again, and also should help the bizarre shape of her ponytail stand out. I'm going to be a lot less careful in keeping the wig for future uses, so will probably stick the thing solid, unlike my last attempt.
The new dress is all cut out now, so it's only the underskirt and the boning left to add into it. I went with viscose on this one as opposed to the poly-cotton I built my last meg dress from, basically because the drape is really pretty and it moves a little better, while also keeping the natural looking fibre content. My main aim for the dress was to have a more accomodating bust and to have the accurate slit seen during the date scene with hercules, so having a fabric that would stretch and fall nicely was essential.
So I have quite a lot done, but really a very long way off, and while making several other Disney costumes for the giant group in October. woot!

Disaster struck, my back is dead along with my sewing machine and i've run out of time.
Don't worry though, it'll still be done, just not this year. Hopefully now if the farscape group next year goes ahead I will join y'all then.
Seems this costume just doen't want to get made, but no way am i letting it beat me.

Finally finished the bodice for this now - what a nightmare. Combination of awkward construction, 100 metres of piping and thick fabric has nearly broken my sewing machine, and I've already had to hand sew the majority of the lining.
ExquistiteIrony.com weren't kidding on their analysis of this costume, it is very restricting, especially in the arm movements, so no doubt by the end of expo my arms are going to be in a lot of pain but all in the name of cosplay. It should keep me warm though, with all the layers of fabric, lining, interfacing and that blasted piping for insulation.
I've not had time yet to complete the trousers, or even start the piping work that's going to take, so construction of Winona probably won't happen (since its not vital to the costume, i'm not going to sulk over that). Having to force myself to focus on this project, not run off making disney princess costumes, and i've already had to cancel the group cosplay we were planning for October, so with any luck this will turn out well.

As annoying as it is to tackle a wig with the same style as my own hair, there is no way i'm going to bleach my hair white and dye the roots black, even for cosplay. So far I've taken a wavy shoulder length silver white wig, and another silver wig and cut and sewn them till they are virtually unrecogniseable, just to attempt to achieve the thickness the wig will need to hold it's shape.
The fringe is just the way I need it at the moment, but I'm having to compromise on the rest of it. I'm not getting the lift or the shape out of it that the season 2 costume requires, but it is holding the shape that chi sports in "John Quixote"; since her outfit from that episode is one that's next on my list to cosplay, i'm inclined to leave the wig as it is.
I've also sharpie dyed the roots of nearly the entire wig, so the only dying that needs to be done is the darker grey lower layers at the back, which i'll sort once the back is cut properly.

This costume is one of the most complicated i've probably ever attempted. When I started this 2 years ago I knew it was going to be complicated, but was so excited by the fact i had found the perfect bodice fabric I spent a few months just sketching and digital drawing and doing complicated maths beyond by abilities to get the pattern pieces right. I had to stop progress though when I ended up in and out of hospital again.
Now I've promised myself I will get this done, since after all the money and effort i have already put into it it would just be a shame to leave it. I'm seriously thanking my former self for all the work though; this would be hell to construct without it.
So far i've hand tacked all the basic piping details into the bodice sections (has taken me almost a month but it's finally done), made the basic trousers, undertop and gloves, and done a basic wig style. Not a lot when you consider the fact I've only really got 2 weeks construction time left and i've still got a full group cosplay to put together too. Frell.


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