Pants on fire

It’s that time again! Off to sew more stuff…once I re-craft the craft room, that is. Weeks after our guests have left I’ve still got the futon in bed formation and all my “stuff” piled on the cutting table off to the side. Granted, I didn’t have the fabric for these pants until Friday (and today’s my first full day sans planned activities since then), but still…I could’ve started on them sooner, I suppose.

These pants should be interesting seeing as, like the Rus Viking tunics I made, I have no true “pattern”…just tutorials and sketches I found online. I found some pretty good tutorials (http://sewsimplegarb.blogspot.com/2014/06/vikingrus-pants.html , http://pastimesofpasttimes.blogspot.com/2014/05/viking-rus-pants.html , and http://simbelmyne.us/sca/Viking/viking-rus-pants.htm –give credit where credit’s due and all that) so I think these will be successful pants.

Thankfully I don’t have to make multiple layers like the tunics. I’ll probably make some single-layer tunics next week or so, after we’ve bought more fabric. It’ll be good to get back to sewing again, though I’ll have less writing time while I’m working on that (I’m super slow when it comes to sewing). Also in my future are more multi-layer tunics, because my first attempts, while decent tunics, aren’t exactly easy-on/easy-off style tunics like the kind with buttons and all that jazz. Better for wearing over single-layer tunics if I can make them into jackets as opposed to full, non-buttoned tops.

Maybe I’ll make some different style garb as well. I mean, my husband and I can’t match 100% all the time…that would be boring–and a little creepy. So I’ll probably make an apron dress or two for myself and maybe some beaded things to go across. Again, Pinterest and Google will come to my rescue!

What I really want to try soon is making leather shoes, but it’s going to be a while before we can afford that much leather. Still, “authentic” shoes would be cool. Then I could totally go out with outfits completely made by me and brag about it 😉 Seriously though, I hope one day to learn enough about sewing and leatherworking to make full Viking outfits.

Almost weightless

I have almost done it! I finished the jacket last night, the pants this morning, and just have a couple small polymer clay things to finish tonight after work and I can call these cosplays DONE.

I think, perhaps, that I have learned a valuable lesson about procrastination on this most recent cosplay journey. As in, don’t procrastinate. I theoretically could have had all this done months ago. Months. I could even have had more time for a few extra details here and there. But nooooo, I had to write. I had to stare at the computer screen for hours on end. I had to nap.

No more. Next project (sewing-wise) is more SCA garb so we have more things to wear to events than just our rapier tunics. Perhaps I can even take some time to practice and learn embroidery so I can embellish the garb and make it more appealing to the eye. I’m not going to procrastinate though. I’m going to knock it all out as soon as possible. Pants next, then more tunics (with fewer layers this time), then maybe bracers, possibly shoes…as much as I can get done.

The only problem is that I have a critique of book 1 incoming after Phoenix Comicon. That means I’ll have to balance my time between reading the critique, going over the notes, revising and refining the manuscript, etc. and working on SCA clothing. But less staring at the computer screen and less napping for sure.

Now that I’m almost done with the cosplay work, I can settle down a bit and let the con excitement kick in–I hope. So far I’m still kind of nonplussed, but I think it’s because I’ve still got some work to do. I just keep telling myself that I’ll be done with the cosplay work tonight and then it’s cleaning up the craft room (aka the guest bedroom) and packing. A lot of the packing is done since we’re cosplaying each day of the con, but there’s still things like toiletries, makeup, meds, underclothes, etc. etc. etc.

I just hope we pack all the pieces of these newest cosplays. If not, I’m going to lose my ever-loving mind lol

The con is nigh…so why aren’t I more excited?

The con is nigh…so why aren’t I more excited?

I’m almost done with the jacket for my husband’s new cosplay. Almost. Just a few more steps, and it’ll be finished. So why am I not elated? Why am I not filled with excitement for Phoenix Comicon and the great things I’ll get to do there?

Part of it could be sheer exhaustion. Con prep hasn’t been the most fulfilling thing this year. It’s been stressful and rushed, largely due to my own poor time management. For instance, I should be sewing right now–but I’m at a step in the instructions that confuses me, so I’m really unsure on how to proceed. That happens to me sometimes: I can’t visualize what the instructions are telling me to do (despite the pictures provided), so I get stuck. I should be done by the end of today, though. There really isn’t much left to do. I just have to get up and get going. Kick my butt in gear. Get the fuck out of bed.

The upcoming con itself isn’t upping the excitement factor like it usually does. Maybe it’s because, though I’m going as a member of the media, I haven’t even heard official word from the con about how they’re going to handle guest interviews. Seriously? I mean, it’s 4 days from the start of con; how can you not tell your media attendees what process they need to start in order to interview people?

Another disappointment in the con is the rapid-fire cancellations of some of the guests I was most excited to see. Charlie Cox of Daredevil? Cancelled. Arthur Darvill? Cancelled. Jenna Coleman? Cancelled. Ming-Na Wen? Cancelled. Sure, they are active actors and have filming commitments that came up (well, Ming-Na had knee surgery, so it’s not really her fault), but those were all actors I wanted to meet in person, either in a quick photo op or maybe at an autograph signing…Except for Arthur. Him I wanted a photo with, but I also wanted to use the few seconds of posing to apologize for stabbing him with my foam spikes at Dragon Con. This kind of thing happens every year (the cancellations, not the stabbing with foam spikes), but it never ceases to disappoint.

Even the excitement of debuting our first steampunk cosplays (because let’s face it, my first attempt at steampunk ended up more burlesque) isn’t enough to get my engine revved up for Comicon. I had a lot of firsts with these cosplays. First time altering a pattern at the last minute to make it fit my husband. First time altering a corset pattern to have it fit *me.* First time sculpting with craft and EVA foam. First time leatherworking. First time airbrushing (see the pic of the fan at the top–yeah, not really well-defined flames, but I think it gets the point across…and it’s shiny). It has been a lot of work, and I might have to alter the jacket a bit to make it fit my husband, too (despite us measuring him beforehand–I am so sick of commercial patterns right now…wondering if the local community college has any classes on fashion design and patterning lol).

We’ve even got friends coming from clear across the country to visit us and join us at Comicon. That should have me super excited, because the four of us had a blast at Dragon Con. At the moment, though, I’m more…meh. No offense to my friends; I just can’t whip up any thrill for the con that usually strikes me each year.

I’m hoping that once the jacket is done I can sit down, take a deep breath, and chill for, like, half a day before the con is upon me.

C’mon, con jitters–kick in already!

Countdown

In two weeks, I’ll be in Mesa, probably awake early and anxiously getting ready for Day 1 of Phoenix Comicon 2017.

It’s not my first Phoenix Comicon–my 6th, actually–but I still get excited all the same, just as if it was the first. The anticipation of the crowds, the cosplay, the panels, the celebrities, etc., is exhilarating.

The only problem? Yeah, yeah, you guessed it: cosplay crunch. I still haven’t finished my husband’s coat for his steampunk Cyclops. I have no doubt that I’ll get it done in time, but I feel stupid for letting so much time go by. I have only myself to blame. I try to blame my broken foot for the delay, but let’s face it: we had these cosplays planned way back in September when we were at DragonCon. I didn’t break my foot until the end of January. So yeah, overall it’s my own procrastination that’s got me hustling.

I kind of do better when I’m rushed, though. I mean, I managed to crank out all of the sewing on the steampunk Dark Phoenix in less than two weeks, so what’s one little coat? Except I hate coats. Coats have sleeves. As much sewing as I’ve done, I’ve never managed to figure out how to “ease” a sleeve into place. I’ve had it explained to me a bunch of times, but I just don’t get it. Sew it with a special stitch then pull the bobbin thread? What? So I do it “my” way, which is totally not the “right” way, but it gets the sleeve on there. Sure, there are, like, bunched up parts in places, but the job gets done and that’s what’s important.

I don’t have any photos of the jacket yet (mostly because I’ve only cut out the pieces and haven’t started the ironing to put the interfacing on where it needs to go), but I should have something to show in a few days. Or a week. Before Phoenix Comicon definitely. Hopefully.

Aww, who am I kidding? I got this.

Phoenix Risen

I did it! I finished the sewing on my steampunk Dark Phoenix!

Now I all I have left for this cosplay is to airbrush flames onto the fan and my husband has a plan for some kind of “flamethrower” device for my arm. The “flames” would be the fan flames, so when I used the “flamethrower” I’d open up my fan and do that. I’m not sure what kind of device it will be, though; he hasn’t gotten a solid plan down yet.

The wig needs detangling like nobody’s business, and the corset is a tad big, but overall I love the outcome. I worked really, really hard to come up with this and put it all together. I thought about fabric colors and placement of those colors, of what I was going to do about the shirt (considering that I am too big for the shirt that the pattern called for), of designing the shirt, of, well, everything. This is my interpretation of Dark Phoenix, steampunk-style.

And of course, there’s the breastplate. It works great with the fabrics my friend sold me! I really love the shine of it all. This, combined with the makeup and steampunk sunglasses, will really pull it all together.

I’m grateful for the distraction that finishing this costume has given me. Annabelle’s passing really got to me. The initial painful sadness has gone, but I still miss her. At least I was able to be there at the end. Now I’ve got to keep her death from distracting me from my husband’s coat. I’ve still got to do that.

Light at the end?

So the corset’s (mostly) done–just need to put in the grommets and lace it–and the under skirt is almost done (could’ve finished it this morning, but I left some of the pieces at my parents’ house for some reason). Next are the bloomers, then finishing the belt loops on my husband’s pants and making his jacket. Oh, and riveting the fan holster that I decided last week I was going to make out of some leather we have.

There’s still a lot of work to go, but thankfully the majority of my outfit is done. It took a lot of cutting, pinning, and sewing…a lot of yardage, but surprisingly not a lot of actual time spent working on it considering that yardage.

The jacket is going to be the most complex piece I have left. I have to admit, I am dreading it a bit. Jackets tend to frustrate the heck outta me. I get to certain points and have to step away for a few minutes (or hours) until the instructions “click.” Sometimes the pictures on the pattern instructions don’t make sense to me at first, and I have to think about it. Like, I don’t understand spatially how things go together to make the finished piece. You have piece #X that needs to be sewn onto piece #Y, but the way it looks in the picture seems to defy the laws of physics. Or something.

I’ll be glad when these cosplays are done and I can move on to more SCA garb-making. As much trouble as they gave me size-wise, I enjoyed making the rapier tunics and would like to get started on new, more complex designs for “everyday” wear. Y’know, event garb for times when my husband and I won’t be fighting. I’ll admit that the layered tunics are heavy and a little hot when the temps get up there (it is Arizona, after all), so single-layer tunics will be nice for off the fighting field and pants would be a plus. Wearing pajama pants that aren’t quite long enough is a little embarrassing, even though I don’t even know if anyone can tell they’re pajama pants. People can certainly tell they’re not long enough, though: my socks show. A lot.

I also need to make us “period” (Viking-era) shoes and leg wraps to complete the looks. Or we need to find appropriate shoes that look Viking-era. I’ve seen lots of tutorials on how to make the shoes, but I’d rather avoid all that leather sewing and molding and stuff. I just can’t imagine it being very comfortable, but who knows. I might do it just to prove to myself that I can.

Oh yeah, and bracers. We have enough leather for bracers right now (would need to buy more for shoes), so I have to figure those out eventually. Not right now, because the cosplay comes first, then pants and single-layer tunics and leg wraps, but eventually.

Then of course there’s the embroidery I want to learn to do on our garb….

…Why do I take on so many projects at once? Lol

Making cosplay headway

Making cosplay headway

Feeling much less stress about the cosplay crunch right now! While I still have yet to finish the corset (ordered the boning for it this morning), I managed to throw together a shirt to go under it & the breastplate. The shirt actually turned out pretty decent, and though it’s a little big it’s quite comfortable.

It’s just one short month until Phoenix Comicon, but with only the skirts, bloomers, and a jacket to go I think I’ll be okay. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to procrastinate again; it just means the stress is lifted just a tiny bit. Skirts, bloomers, and a jacket sound much better than “a whole outfit plus another half an outfit.” I guess it’s just a matter of perspective.

I also plan on making a sort of holster for my folding fan, so I don’t have to carry the thing the whole con. I found this image on Pinterest, and I think it should be easy enough to make (plus we have pretty much all the materials I’ll need already):

fan holster

I haven’t decided if I want to use some of the leftover suede from the mask or if I want to do thicker leather. I think I’ll do the thick stuff, so it’s sturdier (and so I can rivet it instead of all that hand sewing lol).

Oh, yeah, the fan…I still have to airbrush it…crap. Maybe that stress is coming back after all…….