Wild Wild

Yep, this weekend is the annual Wild Wild West Con (WWWC) in Tucson, AZ. I hadn’t considered going because even before my procrastination/broken foot I didn’t think I’d have time to finish our steampunk X-Men cosplays before the con. And what’s a con without cosplay, right? Imagine what a difference a few years can make.

At my first con (Phoenix Comicon 2012), I couldn’t fathom going to a con in cosplay. I thought cosplay was all skimpy clothes and I was (and still am, really) quite overweight. The next year, I did a cosplay of River Song from Doctor Who and it’s been cosplay every year ever since. So in five years I went from “I’m never going to cosplay” to “Wait, I can go to a con without cosplaying?”

firstcosplay

It’s been quite the journey. The first year, I purchased all the things I needed for cosplay. Then, in 2014, I hand-sewed an entire costume that was supposed to be steampunk but ended up more burlesque. My angel wasn’t quite a “hit,” but it got some looks and a few people liked the wings (even though, if I ever get back down to that weight, I need to redo the wings because they totally look like a grade-school craft project).

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I guess this costume was enough of a hit, though, because shortly after I joined Twitter a year or so later I had an a spam porn account follow me that was using the above pic for their profile pic. Creepy and flattering at the same time lol

The next year was mostly “casual” cosplays, with very little actual sewing involved. Still, I cosplayed most of the days I was at the con.

And then last year it began in earnest. For my birthday in 2015 I got a sewing machine, and a monster was created. I sewed my first machine-sewed cosplay in a few months (complete with corset–go big or go home!) and then sewed a second cosplay for my husband to coordinate with me after that. Then, about a month before Phoenix Comicon last year I sewed another two full cosplays, including designing a vest from scratch, and helped my husband make a prop for his (my prop we purchased online).

THEN, for Dragon Con last year, I worked on two more cosplays, this time with new props built for both of them. I made some alterations to the character design, because the character I was cosplaying had a crop top and shorty shorts, which I was not about to wear to a con in my current weight:

Those are the characters we went with. These are the results:

lot of design alteration occurred with these cosplays. I had to alter the shrug that went over the corset considerably before I sewed it, and my husband’s coat started out as a full-length solid-color trench coat pattern. We had some help from friends for the props, but they turned out well. We re-wore these cosplays and the Star Wars/Doctor Who mashups for Phoenix Fan Fest in October, so I had a break from mad sewing for a while.

Next up are the steampunk Cyclops and Dark Phoenix for this year’s Phoenix Comicon. We’ve started on the leatherworking but not much is done otherwise, partly due to my procrastination and partly due to the fact that, once I was ready to start sewing, I broke my damn foot. Still, we’ve got some well-made (and expensive!) top hats purchased and I have the phoenix breastplate made (still need to do the leatherwork for the harness on that), so at least we’ve got a start on them.

Yes, a monster has been born. Well, two monsters. I kindamaybesorta got my husband looked on couples’ cosplays after the Shamy cosplay (Sheldon/Amy from The Big Bang Theory). Still, I think I’ll manage the con this weekend without being in costume. I may feel a tad naked and out-of-place, but it should be fun 🙂

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Crunchy crunchy

Yep, Con Crunch is still on. Less than a month left to go before we leave for Dragon Con. On the plus side? I’m almost done sewing the boning channels for the corset. The negative? I have a shrug, a pair of Spandex pants, & a bodysuit to sew still. And I’ve never sewn with Spandex. Oh yeah, and when my boots come in the mail (I ordered the wrong size at first), I have to paint them black because they were out of my size in the black. So there’s that. Oh! And next Saturday is another propmaking session at our friends’ house (I feel like there aren’t enough thanks in the UNIVERSE to properly express our gratitude for their help and teaching).

I think I can do it, though, if I just buckle down. I’m trying to force myself to get to work and do more than I have been. It’s tedious sewing the channels because I have to pin thin paper to the fabric to allow the pleather to feed through the machine properly, which makes it hard to get even lines (and I end up with wider channels than I intended, meaning I’ll need thicker boning than the pattern calls for).

I think it’ll be easier for the pleather shrug, though, because I’ll be sewing the inside seams of the pleather and I don’t think there will be any outside seams to sew. That should eliminate the need for the paper pinning (I hope).

Enough of the whining for now. Off to the day job for a busy day, then back home for more sewing 🙂

Why stress when the worst is over?

I’ve been thinking that all is sunshine and roses, now that I’ve nearly finished the cosplays. Just a couple of snaps, a strap for my husband’s prop, and boom! Done. So why am I breaking out with horrendous stress acne?

I suppose it could be due to yesterday’s hectic work day, but then again I’ve had worse. No, I think it’s the impending Comicon that’s got me looking like I have humongous lumps on my face, neck, and chest. They’re not “ripe” (haven’t come to a head), so the pressure is quite painful…not to mention they’re not exactly pretty to look at. Gross would be a better description. Disgusting. Abhorrent. I could go on, but I’m too lazy to get a thesaurus right now.

Could it be the next two cosplays that have me broken out? Doubtful, because I have three months to work on them as opposed to the one month I had to work on the Naruto costumes.

Maybe it’s just the general stress and excitement of the impending con. I may or may not have interviews to do (can’t say for sure, because apparently some PR people don’t get in touch with the media until the night before the con, if at all), and I have to remember to use the Talk Nerdy With Us social media to take pictures, live tweet, and Periscope things as they happen. Not that I can’t use my own media at all, just that I have to remember that I’m working while I’m at the con, not just playing. And of course, there’s the photo op with Alex Kingston (aka the actress who plays River Song on Doctor Who). The excitement of that could lead to a type of stress-induced acne, I guess.

I know I need to calm down about whatever is bothering me. Just breathe. I just can’t figure out what’s bothering me so much.

Here’s hoping that the current breakout is the worst of it, and that it goes away before next Thursday.

A pre-Mother’s Day adventure

It’s off to some historical sites today as we take my mom & dad out of town to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early. Since my husband works tomorrow, we’re doing our day with my parents a day ahead of time.

I’m trying to mentally psych myself up for a day of walking, walking, walking. I considered exercising in the apartment “gym” (translation: about 3 or 4 different exercise machines) early this morning since I was up, but then I reconsidered after remembering that I haven’t really exercised in months and months and I’d likely end up sore beyond belief tomorrow…hell, I still might end up sore as hell.

Gotta get my stamina and fitness up at least a little bit in the next few weeks, though, because Phoenix Comicon starts June 2! There will be so much walking to do as we traverse downtown Phoenix to see all the sights (and be seen in our cosplays). I’ve also potentially got interviews to do; as a media member, I get to fill out a form letting the con know which guests I’d like to interview. The con organizers will forward my info to the various guests, and then they (or more likely their agents) will be in touch with me to set up interviews.

I’m super excited about this–more than just normal con excitement. I’ve only done one live interview, and that was a disaster. The band (I won’t name names) was so preoccupied with being late to the venue that only two of the five did the interview while the others started setting up for the sound check, and one of those two obviously did not want to be there. He was squirming in his seat, not making eye contact, and giving short answers to the questions. When I asked if they had a message for their fans, his response was: “Come see our shows. Buy our records. Buy our shirts.” Classy.

These interviews should hopefully go much better. I’ve got to figure a good way to keep my questions with me as we walk around, because I won’t have much storage space in my cosplays (just a tiny purse for the Jedi TARDIS and a small hidden pocket for the Temari cosplay). Maybe I’ll grab a small, small notebook at Wal-Mart or something sometime before the con so I can have my questions all written down. Or notecards. I have a shitton of 3×5 notecards…but my purse/pocket are so small I might still have to fold them up to get them to fit. Hindsight, I guess…

It begins again…

I’m back to it starting this afternoon: more cosplay!

I was going to start this morning, but I woke up kind of late (for me, anyway) and didn’t feel up to pinning and cutting fabric just yet. I’m going to tackle the pants for my husband’s cosplay first, then my kimono.

From what a friend of mine (who has more sewing experience than I) says, the coat is going to be a bitch. Oh well. I managed the complicated pants for the Sith Time Lord cosplay, so this will hopefully be okay. It’s not a Simplicity pattern so there’s no guarantee that it will be something I can do, but I’m going to give it my all.

The good thing is that even though my husband wants all this done by Phoenix Comicon, I have made no promises that I’ll be able to finish. I honestly don’t know if I can, but I’ll do my best.

My hopes are to begin pinning and cutting–hopefully on my lunch break–today, then the task of sewing. We’re buying the fabric in stages, so the coat will not need to be started until the end of the week when we get paid. Also at the end of the week comes more work on the gourd prop for my husband’s cosplay. We’ve got two big bouncy balls from Wal-Mart duct taped together in the general shape of the gourd, and on Friday when I’m off comes the start of paper maché-ing over the balls and tape to make it more gourd-ey. Once that’s done and dry comes the painting.

Oh yeah, and I need to sew the cosplays. Hubby’s getting a wig for his and we’ve bought a headband for me, but I’m divided on whether or not I want to get a wig or try to style my hair for it. It’s going to be difficult to style my hair, but we’ll see. I might be able to swing it, or at least some reasonable facsimile.

Here’s to more cosplay!

Can’t Con-tain My Excitement

It’s a little more than 3 months until Phoenix Comicon, our cosplays are almost done, and I’m getting increasingly excited about this year’s con.

I want to enter a cosplay contest, if possible. I may not win, but it’ll be great to take part and be able to say that I broke through some of my social anxiety to attempt such a thing. I also can’t wait to meet some of the con/cosplay friends I’ve made through my Cosplay Closet Essentials interviews for Talk Nerdy With Us and through the Blue Ribbon Army group on Facebook. (Don’t know about BRA? Check out my post on Talk Nerdy With Us!) And, of course, there’s at least one celebrity that I have to get a photo op with!

Also exciting? This will be my first year attending as a media member! Talk Nerdy With Us has given me so many opportunities, and this one is by far the best. I may be able to interview some great guests of the con, and it will be awesome to do a special Phoenix Comicon edition of Cosplay Closet Essentials. I’ll also get to meet one of my Talk Nerdy With Us coworkers.

In addition to Phoenix Comicon, I’ll also be attending Dragon Con in Atlanta this year (not as media, but it will still be awesome). I’ll get to see my BFF in Alabama on the way (can you say “road trip”?), and we’ll get to spend some time together at the con. I’ll also be able to meet more of the Talk Nerdy With Us team, as many of them are considering going to Dragon Con. TNWU con party!

I’ve gone from having near-crippling social anxiety to trying to gain as much attention as possible by dressing to the nines with cosplays that I have created and wearing an official BRA lanyard to identify myself to other BRA members and possibly make new friends.

Cons are amazing things, and I can’t wait for Phxcc!