naurarwen avatar


I started cosplaying in the early 2000s not long after going to my very first convention. I saw so many people dressed up as their favourite characters I knew I wanted to give it a try, at first it was just modified or store bought items. After some time my mother bought my my very first sewing machine as I had been using hers for a long time. I enjoy costuming as my favourite characters from movies, tv and books and have thrown the odd game/comic book character in here and there.

One of my very first costumes was Buffy and Tara from the tv series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which had been one of my very first fandoms to join. Later one I costumed as J’hiera from Angel, were a friend had made me the prosthetics. I later went on to costume from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Xena, Draco Malfoy is in fact one of my longest worn costumes and I love getting the chance to bring him back out.

One of my greatest achievements was when I made my Tonks Ministry of Magic jacket, it was one of the first items I had made entirely from scratch. I actually ended up making the jacket twice after the first one fell apart but then it was pretty old by the time that happened.

I have come a long way since I started this hobby and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve learnt several new skills along the way from making armour and props, to new sewing techniques.

Last online 2 years ago


Joined: 20th Jun 2009

Completed costumes: 54

Photos uploaded: 347

Progress journals: 39

Events attended: 18



Well this is a first for me making my own wig. I bought a wig which was the colour I preferred (closer to her hair colour further into the series) sadly it only had a side parting so I decided I'd take it all apart and make it into a centre parted wig instead.

Had a few issues with cutting the acrylic sheeting for the seraph blades. The dremel has decided it doesn't like it and instead destroyed one of the discs and sanding pieces because of the heat it generated. My cousin is planning on lending me his electric scroll saw and I've checked it out on google and can be used as long as its on a lower setting and you use the correct blade. Also looking at the thickness of the acrylic could possibly make the whole blade out of one sheet thickness instead of two sheet thicknesses. Will see how it goes.

So the acrylic sheeting arrived for my seraph blades. I had to buy 60cm x 10cm (they wouldn't do a width smaller than 10cms) and each sheet is 1.5cm thick. The idea is to cut the basic blade shape into each piece then using some sort of transparent adhesive stick two of the pieces together to give me a 3cm thick piece. Once that is done it will be the slow task of shaping the blades properly into them. I have a feeling their going to be somewhat heavy but I'm pretty much using the same materials they used in the movie as it seems they used a mixture of resin and acrylics to make the blades. So cross your fingers for me guys and lets see how this goes.

The jacket is slowly coming together but it would seem that there are so many different smaller details on it then I expected. If it wasn't for these the jacket would be almost complete by now I'm sure. Currently in the process of adding detailing to the sleeves. Still not sure yet if I will be adding the same studs I used on my corset or using split clips instead. Currently thinking the studs as the split clips I possess are sadly gold not bronze and I'm a stickler for detail.

The wrist guards took me half a day to make. I made a base pattern from paper first to my measurements and then cut it from leatherette. I added the spiral boning with casings to the inside then lined with black cotton twill. The zips were then fitted between the cotton and leatherette. I actually need to make the left wrist guard a tiny but smaller as I made it a little bit bigger as that arm is wider but made it a little bit to big so going to readjust the positioning of the zip so its smaller.

I actually have two different kinds of guns, both are cap guns but one is a front loading one and the other had the flip up top. The gun pictured is a James Bond style one that came with the attachment but with the torch attached. I sawed off the torch, filed down the raw edge and plan on adding a piece of cardboard to the bottom to seal the hole in it.

I'm actually doing this costume for a friend for LFCC, I originally wanted to make it for myself but haven't had the time/money to so this makes up for it atleast. I'll still get to make it :D.

I'll be using Simplicity 1773 with a few minor alterations here and there so it looks more like the one in the movie. The pattern suggests to use satin for the under dress and suedcloth for the outer dress but I'll be using a pale blue linen for the under dress but sticking with faux suede for the outer dress.

Currently waiting for the money for the fabrics from my friend but once they arrive I'll be getting to it. Before they arrive hopefully I will be able to replicate the pattern (so I can use it again in the future) in grease proof paper in my friends size. So can't wait for this project to begin.

With 8 days to the convention, and only 7 of those days to actually finish the costume its all hands on deck for this costume. After coming down with a nasty chest infection last week progress has been fairly slow but it seems the antibiotics have finally started to kick in.

So here's my to do list:


- Hot glue nocks to arrows
- Respray tops of arrows
- Finish cutting out fletching and adding detailing
- Hot glue fletching to arrows....carefully


- Made cardboard base
- Make fabric to same specs as cardboard base
- Add silver lines to fabric
- Find a way to attach the two together
- Add quiver strap (still need to buy something to make it from)


- Finish adding grey lines that can be added to outer jacket before sewing together
- Make up lining
- Attach lining and outer jacket
- Add remaining grey lines
- Add press studs and cord to hood and waist

I was going to add pockets to my jacket but have decided against this as its adding more work to something I already don't have a lot of time to do. I reckon as long as I can plan this out properly I should be able to get it all done, and also with a little help from my boyfriend.

So after spending a few days (only a few hours in total) trying to sort out the bodice to fit me properly as apparently I have a size 8 chest but a size 12 waist and a size 10 hips I finally managed to get a decent size bodice. My gold sequin fabric arrived this morning so spent the evening sorting out that.

The way I decided to do the bodice in the end was to cut out the tulle and sequin and attach the tulle to the sequin fabric before sewing all the seams. So far I only have the back of the bodice done and need to go buy some satin tomorrow before I can do the ribbon detailing on the bottom of the bodice so I can sew one of the side seams together. Also have to be careful doing the ribbon as one side of the bodice will have a zip in it.

So it seems that I decided to use my Padme wig for this as Katniss is likely to happen before Padme anyway and didn't really want to buy another wig. Its a little bit too long and possibly a little bit too dark but needs must. I had to use my boyfriend as my model as french plaiting a wig whilst its on your own head doesn't work out too well it would seem. Sadly the wig has no flesh top so I couldn't give it a proper parting but I french plaited from the left side towards the back and then plaited down the right shoulder. The picture is only of the back at the moment but just to give you an idea.

Well after posting pics up of my jacket yesterday I decided I wanted to bring the front a little lower to show off more bra. Obviously Abbie Cornish is a lot better endowed than myself so sadly I have to make do with what I've got. Currently in the process of removing one of the eyelets, shortening the boning and making the neckline come a bit lower. I think I got it where I want it now. Hopefully going to do a proper test of the jacket later with the rest of the outfit to see how it looks.

Stuff left to do on the jacket is finish the eyelets on the back, shape and hem the sides on diagonals (this will be done once I've tried the outfit on to get the correst length) and to add the hood which still needs to be made. After that its making accessories and weaponary that needs finishing.

Finally got one side of my seraph blade painted. Its not very well sanded down but thats cause I don't have long to get it finished so I made it as smooth as I could where I could. I used Daler Bowney system 3 original acrylic paint in silver (imit)

Here is the now plaster casted seraph blade. For those who haven't seen my original pictures of this it started off as a cardboard base which then had clay moulded to each side. I didn't quite think it would be strong enough as some of the clay started to crack so I added a layer of plaster cast (mod roc) over the top to harden it further. Once dry I am going to sand it down, paint it silver using acrylic paints and then use rub and buff to enhance some of the layers. The final thing will be to laquer it so I don't end up with silver paint and rub and buff all over my hands if I'm holding it for long periods of time.

I received the sample material for Sweet Pea from ebay. Its a black pleather with a black backing. It has a 1 one way stretch which I will use so it stretches horizontally. The fabric is £4.99 a metre. Still need to make a mock up to see how much I need though before I buy any.

I'm currently bidding on a web yoke on ebay so fingers crossed I win it. Its actually made using camo fabric but I'm hoping to either cover it with grey fabric or see if I can paint it. Will also need to buy some black webbing for my gun (when I get round to getting it).

So here is what I got done this evening. Didn't get to spend as long as I wished on it this evening but managed to get the front piece pinned on and then stay stitched (you can't actually pin it on), put it through my machine, unstitched all the stay stitches and in the morning going to hand stitch the edges together. Then that will be one side complete. Hoping to get the other side finished tomorrow then its just a case of adding all the buttons. Gah I fail at sewing buttons on.

Very sad to say that I won't have time to finish my resin weapons for LFACC now but hopefully will get them finished for the future. I did buy some weapons from my last convention though that I might see if I can get plaster cast moulds of. I quite fancy a short sword or something like that but not entirely sure what other weapons I'll have yet.

Well this is what I got done tonight. Had to stay stitch it down first because pins just wouldn't go through. Then I machine stitched it, took the stay stitches out with the stitch unpicker, then hand stitched the edges together. My poor thumb now has about a million and one holes in it

Well I've spent the last two days trying to sort out the lining into my jacket. I've nearly finished sewing down both sides and then need to sew the bottom and the sleeves. Still haven't fixed the epaulettes down and the front trimming can't be added till the lining is sewn in. Then just the buttons. Definitely should be done by LFACC as long as I get a move on.

Well I ended up not doing the pockets last week and because of C17 last weekend I didn't get anything done then either. Instead I had some time off till tonight from costuming. I've been doing costume research online but nothing actually creative. So tonight I did the pockets for Tonks and all went well.

I now have two fully functioning pockets on the outside of my jacket. Still need to add some sort of closure. Might see if I can pick myself some velcro or such to keep them closed. I also bought some lining fabric as the actual jacket fabric is very very see thru so hopefully that will arrive in the next few days.

Things left to do:

*Add epaulettes
*Fix in sleeves
*Construct and attach lining
*Add last of trimming to the front and collar
*Remove buttons from my old jacket and add to this one (sad times. RIP old jacket)

Altair is currently on hold in the mock up stages whilst I try and get another costume (Tonks) finished for the beginning of July, I also have a few bits of weapons that are needed for my Jace Wayland cosplay so till I get those finished Altair is pretty much on hold along with most of my other costumes.

Both pocket tops are now attached along with the middle length of webbing which goes all the way round the jacket. Going to try and do the pockets later tonight, might also add a small bit of velcro to the pockets to keep them closed, will work that one out later as may need to buy some velcro as don't think I have any in my stash of cosplay stuff.

So I have the front pieces now all sewn to the jacket. Its taken a few hours trying to get them all the same length and pinning them straight lol. There were a few times when they ended up on slight diagonals but got it sorted. Had lots of breaks in between too as meant to be tidying the house *shifty eyes* oops.

Front pieces to be added tomorrow. And yay to the rest of my webbing turning up means I can now go full steam ahead to get this costume finished.

Spent most of my night doing more of this. So far I've hemmed the bottom and front as well as made the collar. Obviously all the trimming still needs adding but have to wait for the rest of it to be delivered first and then hope it matches the detailing on the sleeves as Ive had to buy from another seller. If not will redo the bits on the sleeves if it doesn't look right.

The main body of the jacket it now made and I have started adding the detailing to the sleeves this time using polypropylene webbing, which is the same webbing used on horses rugs. Its alittle bit thick but I couldn't find the cotton equivilant in the same colour so this looks just as good if not a tiny bit unflexible. Jacket is now on a brief pause for the trimming as I've had to order some more from ebay.

Still do to:

+Trimming on the front, sides and back
+Add buttons
+Hem front and bottom

Honestly there must be a vinyl/pvc catsuit somewhere out there that isn't a fetish one with a zip round to the back. I have found one on ebay but it has one of these said zips so I'm still having a look round. I'm not really liking the pvc one I have as its really tight even though its meant to be a 8/10 so I'm thinking of getting a 10/12 instead just to be sure the nasty zip doesn't feel like its cutting me in half.

I know what still needs changing with this and seems as its only a mock up I think its going quick well. I need to make the shoulders alittle thinner as at the moment they over hang far too much. I have shaped one of the side of the tabard as it looked like I was wearing a bin bag. Also need to bring the side splits alittle higher. They are meant to come to just above his knee and at the moment they are just below my knee. One I got the main shape of this sorted I plan on adding the second skirt to it.

Still need to make a mock up of the under tabard too. Also still need fabric for the red under belt as well as fabric for that gauntlets, belt etc. Weapons are currently the last thing for me to make as want to get the main part of it done first.

I've finally started the mock up tabard, at the moment need to cut the sides out, add the extra skirt pieces and then hem everything. You can definitely tell this one is a mock up due to the masses of pen. I've used a tshirt to get the basic shape at the top. Obviously it needs some tweeking. Will get some better pics later on my camera as the one in my gallery is on my iphone and the lighting is cack.

Well after seeing a tutorial online for the hidden blade I decided to go along with it and try out this guys version of the hidden blade. Its actually a tai chi training sword and collapsable which is perfect for the hidden blade. I plan on using the three end parts and adding some sort of rings to the bottom so it can be attached to the gauntlet. Once I know how I'm attaching it I may have to shorten the end blade slightly as at the moment looking at it I think its going to be way too long.

So I got bored and decided to see if I could make a prototype hidden blade from cardboard. Using a Lucky Charms box, scissors, craft knife, elastic bands and sellotape I put this together. Its definitely given me some ideas for the final one. This one is definitely too big as I can't bend my elbow or wrist when I have it on which defeats the purpose. So gonna try and make another one at some point but a little bit smaller. Obviously the final one probably wont be made out of cardboard but its given me some good ideas so now its time to expand. Quite impressed as this prototype only took me 15 mins lol.

I have started cutting the fringe into my wig finally. Obviously alot still need to be cut but I wanna get it styled more at the front before I cut anymore off.

Finished my clay seraph blade today. I'm using this to make a mould out of latex so I can then make the final blade out of clear resin. Just hoping I've made the handle big enough to fit the LED into. Still not entirely sure how I'm going to get the LED to work yet as I need to make a hole in the resin for the button to be pressed.

Well now that the wig has arrived will have to get to work sorting out the fringe to start with. The wig is meant to be heat resistant though the tag said to keep it away from heat so will do a test on part of the wig I know I'll be cutting away anyway just to make sure first. Will proably do the fringe bit by bit and use my mannaquin head to do it then obviously keep testing it on myself as I go along. Kind of looking forwards to cutting the front of it as it keeps falling in my face.

THIS IDEA WENT OUT THE WINDOW. THE PLEXIGLASS WAS TOO THICK. Currently trying to work this one out, I'm thinking frosted plexi glass and a LED light unit. Already have the LED light unit as I took it out of a lighter that had one in so that saves me having to build one thing atleast. Not sure yet whether or not I will use a blue light or white light if the plexi is frosted. I'm kinda working this one out as I go along.

Well as I have posted on here at an earlier date the jacket I originally made has done its job and it basically on its way out, would love to repair it at somepoint and have two jackets as I adore the jacket so much I can't bare to part with it. I am now in the process of trying to remake the Ministry jacket for LFACC 2011 in July. Hopefully I will get it done in time though I'm not 100% on the material I have bought (can't get the original fabric from the seller anymore). Going to have to make some alterations to it for example making better pockets inside and out and by the looks of it the new fabric will mean the jacket needs a lining which I haven't decided on what material or colour to use yet.

Well I finally found a pattern for this, might even use part of the pattern to alter for my Altair costume. So step one is sorted :D will have to see what happens when it gets here. Hopefully it will be big enough its apparently a small/medium which goes to 40" my boyfriend has a 41" chest but I'm sure I can expand it if I need too.

I have bought this pattern to try for Cara obviously it needs alot of adjustments as the legs and arms are both flared on this pattern. So hoping to pick up some mock up fabric in the next few weeks to try it out. So wish me luck!

Well I have still yet to source a pattern for this. I'm trying to think of many different ways to do it. I haven't tried the denim catsuit pattern idea yet but will hopefully be getting round to that some time after Xmas. Need to start by unstitching the entire thing and then working on the pieces I want/need.

I have found some awesome agiels for sale on ebay. They make them unpainted for $55 and $4.50 for the brass chain instead of a standard chain. Its a fair price but I've yet to come up with an idea on how to make them myself at the moment so this is definitely a back up plan. Once I get them all I will have to do is spray them the right red colour and then laquer them.

The boots I got at amazing and I love them but they are so tight on my calves, stupid years of horse riding has given me far too much muscle so the likelihood of getting the catsuit under them is looking highly unlikey. I'm wondering if I can find a way to remove the zip, add a panel of leatherette and the have them lace up the size instead which may help the tightness and catsuit issue. Am terribly worried about ruining them though at the same time as they are an amazing pair of boots.

naurarwen edited Kenzi (3 years ago)

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naurarwen edited Katniss Everdeen (3 years ago)