Crafty

And, thanks to my mania, I have inadvertently agreed to make at least one “tournament prize” that’s due…this weekend? I hope not, because I’ll be out of town until Sunday, but maybe my friend meant a future tournament.

See, I found this cool link on Pinterest for a fabric bento box using scraps and leftover fabric laying around. Small pieces required, so no need to buy huge quantities–and if you have enough scraps, you don’t need to buy any, really. Bonus: I have enough of my exploding TARDIS fabric left over from my Jedi TARDIS cosplay that I can make a bento box of my own–once I get bias binding for it. The pattern/tutorial, which is really cool and so far easy enough, calls for making your own binding. No offense to the designer, but eff that mess. I am going to go out and buy more binding since I’ve run out of the color I want to use.

How does this relate to the prize I agreed to make? Well, I told a friend of mine about it, and she thought it would be cool for me to make a prize (or prizes) for fighting tournaments. Which is cool and all, but, uh, where’s the time? Where’s the time, man?

I’ll tell you where it is: Work. Work and volunteering and gaming with friends and vacations and….and and and. Yeah. I keep forgetting that I have a social life now, and I can’t just stop what I’m doing to go sew/sculpt/draw/paint something. Oops.

I’ll get something done, though, even if it’s only one thing. I might have to do some marathon cutting/sewing work, but I’ll get it done.

It’s kind of fun learning new stuff, especially crafting. Perhaps this will be a good outlet for my creativity and extra energy.

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Mimicry

The sewing project that I thought last night I could do without pattern or tutorial? Woke up, started it, tried it, made one little mistake that was easily corrected, and nailed it. Observe the “inspiration” picture from the pin I found:

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For more experienced sewists, probably not too big of a deal. I, however, sometimes get mixed up without photos or patterns to go on, so I kinda sewed the pockets on upside down at first. However, that was, as far as I can tell, the only mistake I made. Behold:

I didn’t add a strap to hold it closed when it’s folded up (because it was like 3am & I was not quite functional enough yet to figure that bit out–next time though; next time), but basically I did the thing. A small folding desk organizer for my craft room–or for whatever I decide to stick in there. The best thing is, I didn’t spend any extra money on it. This puppy is made 100% from scraps and leftover materials I already had from previous projects.

So now Pinterest will become even more addicting. I’ve gotten it into my head that I can do probably more than I actually can, but if I can do even half the things I’ve seen that I want to do I’ll be able to use up a lot of the scraps that have been taking up tons of space in my craft room. I’ll be able to make gifts, maybe even things to sell on Etsy or eBay or something.

Just a little copycatting, and maybe I can be productive.

So stuffed

In the aftermath of two years of cosplay and garb sewing, I have a TON of scrap fabric lying around. Character prints, solids, fleece, cotton, satin … the list goes on. What to do with it? Well, I think I found at east a partial solution:

Stuffed animals!!

Yep. They’re relatively small, there are tons of free patterns and tutorials out there, and, if done right, can be cute with coordinating scraps. No need to go running to the store for more stuff; I can use the fabric that I already have on hand. I’ve already got ideas for using my scraps to create new gifts for friends and family. Birthdays, holidays, thank-you gifts…this could be something worthwhile if I can pick it up.

Will this lead to anything else? Will I find my “place” in stuffies? Probably not, but at least it will keep me occupied and entertained. I’m going to make my first stuffed animal today; I already know what fabrics I’ll use and who it’ll go to. There’s the small pesky detail of what to stuff it with, but hell, I can just use scraps to stuff the scraps, right? It might be a bit lumpy, but it could work…right?

Okay, so there may be some running to the store–eventually. Right now, I’m going to make do with what I have and have some stuffed fun!

The eyes have it

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Ever since I decided to do a Dark Phoenix cosplay, I’ve been obsessed with getting every detail just right–down to the eyes. Now, I still have to get the red contact lenses I want to wear, but otherwise I pretty much have the look I want down pat…and I decided to do a quasi-tutorial for it! 🙂 Bear with me on this, because I am definitely not experienced when it comes to makeup. This is just how I do my eyes for this fiery look.

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Ack! Scary, huh? Well, this is what I start with: Nothing. Good ol’ blank canvas. (A little broken out, but whatever. Most of my face will be covered with a mask during the majority of the day that I’ll be wearing the cosplay anyway.)

Next up: Brows. Some chicks play up their brows to the Nth degree, with penciling and stenciling and whatever. I just use a bit of brownish powder to fill in where my eyebrow tattoos have faded. Are they perfect? No, but I’m not wanting the focus on my brows. (For the cosplay I will probably use a burnt orange or a red eyeshadow for this part, but I’m working today so I’ll have to skip that part and just use regular brow shadow.)

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A little better than the faded tats, and a good starting point I guess. I don’t know if it makes much of a difference, but I like to start with the brows.

Next, I took some Nyx eyeshadow primer and put it all over my lids to get the stuff to stay on better. This is the one I used (recommended by a friend):

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Then, I went on to the base color. After buying a sample pack of loose powder eyeshadows, I fell in love with Dollipop Cosmetics. Their pigments are bright and long-lasting, and it only takes a very small amount of pigment to get amazing color. The first color I’m using? It’s called “Kirk.” Now I ordered this sample pack a few months ago, so I think some of the colors I have are discontinued, but they are constantly updating their pigments with newer and more amazing colors, so check them out on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/DollipopCosmetics

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Tiny packaging, I know, but like I said it only takes a small amount to get your color on.

Since I’m new at makeup stuff, I don’t have any fancy brushes yet. My solution (also recommended by a friend): Q-tips. I’m not doing any fine details with this look, so I don’t need anything too precise. I applied Kirk all over my eyelids, almost up to the brows. I also put some around the nasal corners of my eyes to give a little “pop.”

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Doesn’t look like much–yet. But wait, there’s more!

Next up I chose a kind of burnt orange color from my samples called “Leia.” This one I think is discontinued (last time I checked their page I didn’t see it), but Dollipop has a lot of similar colors to choose from still.

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This I applied to the lid under and along the crease. (I was aiming for just under the crease, but again I was using Q-tip so no precision application there…and besides, I’m going to blend it all at the end anyway.) This is my middle color. It’s a little rough, but I’m not done yet.

Now comes another Dollipop shadow from my sample pack, “Washu.” It’s a really vibrant red, perfect for my flame-y look.

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This I applied just over the crease, just under the lower lashes, and at the temporal corners of the upper lids. Again, doesn’t look too impressive before the blending, but I’m getting there.

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Eww! Wtf did I do? Yeah, it’s sloppy and funky looking, but here’s where the blending comes in. For this part, the Q-tips are really useful. I’m not sure what brush you would use to blend, but again, I don’t have any brushes just yet anyway. So I smudged away with those Q-tips, blending all those hard edges together.

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Much better! Again, still not perfect, but very fiery colors nonetheless. After I was satisfied with my blending (I even blended a bit more after this) I put on mascara. Here I’d just say go with your mascara of choice, because there is such a wide range of types to choose from.

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This e.l.f. stuff works pretty well for me, and it’s inexpensive too. Once it’s dried I don’t have much trouble with flaking or smudging. You can use lash curlers or false lashes or whatever you normally do, but I really don’t know how to properly use lash curlers and I’ve never used false lashes…so I’m not going to advise on those. I honestly don’t know.

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Almost done! This is the step where I take a makeup remover and clean up my cheeks where the loose pigment has fallen on them. There are probably “makeup hacks” to keep pigment from doing this, but I don’t know any. I just clean up my edges and make sure no pigment gets smeared all over my cheeks, making me look bruised and is just plain embarrassing.

Now here comes a great product that–you guessed it–a friend recommended: setting spray. Here’s what was recommended to me:

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This is to keep the pigment from smearing, smudging, or otherwise getting fucked up as the day goes on. I haven’t tried any other brands, but I can attest that this brand holds up nicely. I’ve had shadow hold up through entire work days or day trips out of town. Here’s the shadow after a few hours at work, where I even occasionally forgot I was wearing it and scratched at my lids. Eep!

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love it! This may only be a half-day’s worth of wear, but I’m confident that this look will last through the whole day at Phoenix Comicon! 🙂

Boob Pockets! A Tutorial

Did the title grab you? If you’re a cosplayer (or anyone really) who, like me, is lacking in the boobage department, you may get frustrated by some overbust corset patterns that are totally cute but totally too big. Where’s the cleave? Not here…

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Nothing. It’s a damn shame, because I worked hard on that corset. Pleather is a bitch to work with. And, seeing as how I don’t know how to alter corset patterns (yet), I thought I was stuck with it.

Not so! I came up with an idea that has turned out great, and I decided to make a pictorial to show how I “fixed” the corset to fit and look great…in time for Dragon Con, no less 🙂

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So this is the corset top. Pretty er, flat when laid flat, but still obviously not flat enough to push the girls up the way I want. My solution? Those little silicone cutlet things you can buy to go inside your bra. Buuuuut….how do I prevent a fashion faux pas and keep the buggers from falling out in the middle of the con? Of course! Boob pockets!

Thus my boob pockets were conceived. Now, this would be difficult and damn near impossible with a corset that has fused layers instead of sewn layers, so I have no advice on fused fabric corsets. I may be a noob on sewing, but I can sew through one or two layers without sewing through the top layer. So that helped a lot. It takes some practice, so maybe playing around with some scrap fabric first will help get the technique down. I’ll show you how I do it later on here. I also recommend sewing the corset first and getting the boning channels and bones in, because you certainly don’t want to accidentally sew either your boning channel or your boob pocket shut!

As you can see from the above photos, I made it so the cutlet would be removable for ease of washing…and for reuse of the cutlet with other bras and such. It took me forever to get the placement right and pick out the right kind of fabric for it. I mean, anything too rigid and the cutlet’s not going to fit right unless I sew it just right…and I’m not skilled enough to guarantee that. I decided on something stretchy, but not too stretchy. I had a pair of stretch leggings that never fit, so they were sacrificed to the fashion gods. This is how I got started:

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I placed a self-adhesive bra cup on the leggings and cut around it with the fabric folded so I got two even pieces (you can also just set the cutlet directly down on the fabric). I cut a little wider than the actual cup because A: 3 dimensions–don’t forget this in your design; and B: I wanted to give myself room to sew my basic pocket into shape before I placed it on the corset…that way I could position it easier without having to fight with an unruly cutlet.

So as you can see, I made sure the cutlet would “fit,” then I pinned around it with it between the two pieces of fabric. I left room for the cutlet to be taken out (don’t forget this!) and then removed it with the pins still intact. Now I knew that it could be stuffed in and taken out with the seam where it was, and I was ready to sew my pocket halves together, once again leaving a space open for the cutlet to be inserted and removed. Once that was done (I serged the seam, but you can zig-zag or maybe baste? I haven’t worked with stretch fabrics for very long…maybe a couple of weeks…so I’m no expert on which stitch is the best for this), I put on my corset, put the cutlet in the pocket, and started adjusting and pinning until I had the placement down. Adjust and pin carefully! You don’t want to puncture yourself, and you don’t want to puncture the top layer of corset fabric if you can avoid it.

I tried to get it roughly even with the first pocket. Since these pockets will be on the inside, they don’t have to be perfect. Besides, once you get the first one sewn, it’ll be easier to sew the other one in place evenly. Again, leave a space open for inserting and removing the cutlet. I’d put that in bold again, but I think you get the point. Next we get sewing.

So here comes the one-layer pinning and sewing. As you can see, if you’re careful, you can get the pins and needles/thread through the inner layer(s) without puncturing the top layer. On the pleather that I was using, that was particularly important because, again, the stuff is a bitch to work with. Once a hole’s there, it’s pretty much there.

You can sew it with the cutlet in or out, I guess. I sewed it with the cutlet in because I wanted to make sure it stretched tight and held the cutlet in place well. I didn’t want saggy cutlets, after all!

When you take the cutlet out, as you can see the pocket will pucker and look wonky. That’s okay. You want it like that, because that means it’ll stretch to fit the cutlet firmly. This is why stretchy fabric is so nice for this; you can accidentally sew it too tight and not have to worry about it, because it’ll stretch and you won’t have to seam rip any of your hard work.

In the bottom picture above, you can see that I also sewed the corset side of the opening down. I don’t know that this is a really necessary step, but I figured it would reduce the chance of the pocket ripping off and secure it better. Be careful not to sew the opening shut if you plan on removing the cutlet at any time.

Okay, you’ve gotten your pockets cut, pinned, sewn, placed, pinned again, and sewn onto the corset. Next, let’s see how it turned out…..

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Omg, look at that cleave! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Ready for Dragon Con, without risk of a rogue cutlet escaping 🙂

I hope this tutorial is helpful to someone. It’s my first time doing one of these, so I tried not to forget any steps.