Cosmetic confusion

Primer. Shadow. Foundation. Sealer. Huh?

Okay, so maybe I’m not totally clueless when it comes to makeup, but I definitely need some help when it comes to my next cosplay. I want to rock that Dark Phoenix, and to do that I’ve decided I need some kick-ass eye makeup.

My problem? This is apparently more complicated than I first realized. I’ve been told I need primer as a base to make the shadow last longer, then something to seal it after to get it to hold. Say what?

Makeup is pretty much the only thing left for me to get for my steampunk Dark Phoenix. I’ve gotten all the costume elements I need: hat, fabric, thread, leather, the breastplate. I do need to get the corset boning, but I like to order that once I’ve gotten the corset mostly made, because then I know the exact length I need (so I can order by length & not have to cut & cap the ends myself). So that leaves the makeup.

I have a particular look I want:

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I’ve found false lashes that are similar (not quite exactly like this, but will work), gold gel eyeliner, black eyeliner, black shadow, and brow liner/powder.

But primer? Highlight colors? What means this? I have no clue.

I’ve ordered some samples from a makeup company on Etsy (Dollipop Cosmetics–only have heard good things about them) for shadow to play with color & see what I can get that’s close to the above pic. As far as applying the false lashes and finding a primer that’s appropriate, I have been querying my cosplay and drag queen friends for advice.

I also might get some colored contacts to get that fire look to my eyes as well. Blue kinda doesn’t go with, well, anything I’m going to be wearing for this cosplay lol Something like this is what I have in mind:

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That would kick ass. Just need to make a leather mask to cover the lower half of my face (thus placing emphasis on my eyes) and figure out the makeup. Easy peasy. Not.

I’ll get it figured out by May. I can do this.

I think.

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Shopping on my morning off

I know, I know, I should be working on cosplay stuff while I have a rare morning off…

…but Photoshopping cosplay stuff is so much more fun! (Albeit time-consuming)

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I took my favorite Dragon Con photo of my husband and found matching Sith/Dalek backgrounds on the Internet. A couple hours later, and I have a print-worthy image of my handsome hubby looking pretty Sithy. Granted, I can’t make it a print because I don’t have ownership of the images I used, so no $$ to be made from this image (not that anyone would buy a cosplay print of us anyway lol)…but still, it was fun.

I’m going to try a couple of photos of myself that I like, see if I can find coordinating TARDIS/Jedi images online. That may be more tricky, because A) while I like some of the photos of me, I still think I look like a whale in them, and B) finding just the right color scheme will be difficult. For some reason, Sith Red is easy to find in a convenient Dalek pattern.

But I don’t have quite the time to do that this morning. Maybe tonight after I get home from work. Gotta put that afternoon shift in. Earn those monies so I can keep making the cosplays to have the pictures taken to edit. Or something.

Squirreling away for winter

Okay, so Arizona doesn’t get much of a winter. The point is, it gets cold (for me), and thus I felt the need to try to start on those scarf/hoodie patterns this morning.

The only thing I neglected to take into account was my loathing of pattern cutting.

Apparently, first thing in the morning is not a good time for me to try that. Not that I cut anything wrong, but I got bored with it and stopped halfway through. I guess I’ll have to finish another time. Maybe this evening? Or maybe lunchtime–though I doubt I’ll have a long enough lunch for that today. Rarely do I get more than an hour, and I like to spend that, y’know, eating and stuff. Silly me.

do want to get at least a couple of those made before the weather gets cold, though. I think it’ll be good to have some hoods to protect my poor, exposed neck (now that I’ve chopped off the long hair I used to have). That, and I have some fleece Star Wars fabric that is just begging to be made into one of those scarves. Begging.

I guess I need to think about getting started on the steampunk cosplays as well. I know I have plenty of time, but I also have a lot to get accomplished in that time. Two full outfits (one of which–mine–will take quite a bit of time), plus accessories such as belts, harnesses, and bags (because after all, can’t go out without some place to keep the phones/wallets/etc).

I’m hoping that on payday this week we can order the fabric for my outfit. I’d like to get it well ahead of time in case I don’t like the fabric I’ve found, because aside from Amazon I can’t find any bronze/burnt orange taffeta for what I have in mind. The burgundy/red I can find aplenty, and yellow’s a breeze, but I guess there’s not much of a demand for bronze. Which is a shame, because if the photo on Amazon is any indication, the bronze looks badass.

We also need to get spray paint for my phoenix breastplate. I’ve gotten it mostly sealed with the PlastiDip. There are a few places that the PlastiDip spray didn’t quite reach, but I think it’ll be fine once I get to spray painting the gold onto it. Then comes the fun part (after I’ve sewn the harnesses): seeing if contact cement will hold the harness straps onto the breastplate. Beyond that, I really have no clue how I’m going to attach the thing to my outfit. I’ve been told by a few people who have more experience than I that this is the way to go, though, so I’m going to give it a try. I’m also planning on using Mod Podge or some other sealant to finish it off once the gold paint is done.

So, long story short, lots to do this winter to keep me occupied. Plenty of sewing, fabricating, etc to do.

Oh yeah, I also have a possible sewing commission to do! It’ll be my first commission as far as sewing goes, so I’m hoping my potential client likes it. Still have some brainstorming to do on that, as I’m going to be modifying the pattern a bit, but I think I can do it. Modifying a pattern is certainly easier than trying to make up a whole one from scratch!

Materialistic

Is it so wrong to want just the right colors for a costume?

There’s a specific color scheme I’m looking for to make my Dark Phoenix steampunk cosplay, and it’s damn hard to find all of the colors I want. I can find the colors on Amazon, but in-town shopping is a nightmare. The biggest fabric retailer in town has one or two of the colors I want, but I really want to get all three colors from the same place. That way the fabrics have a consistent texture/quality, y’know?

I’m hoping that as fall closes in the colors I’m looking for will become available. I’m on the hunt for a good, deep red (preferably a dark red, but red-red will do in a pinch), a bronze/burnt-orangey color (this one is proving hard to find), and a yellow/gold color (bright yellow seems to be easiest to find, but not in quite the shade I’m wanting). Why do I have to be so picky?!

We won’t be wearing these cosplays until next March at the earliest, most likely next May/June, but I want to get the fabric together so I can plan and prepare. I also like to get moving on the cosplays so I’m not wasting time looking for the “perfect” fabric, etc. The sooner they’re done, the sooner they can be worn.

My husband’s luckier. He found all the colors/textures he wanted in one fabric store visit. All we need to get for him is some leather for the steampunk-y harness & belt I have planned. It’s a superhero steampunk cosplay–at least one of us needs a utility belt 😉

Part of the reason I want certain colors for mine is I want to incorporate at least one color from the phoenix top hat I bought at Dragon Con.

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Kinda hard to tell from the photos, but see the flames coming out of the phoenix’s mouth? The lighter color? That’s the kind of bronze-y color I’m looking for. I don’t need much of it, but enough to incorporate to tie the whole thing together. I think that color, in the right combination, would go well with a shiny dark red/red and shiny gold/yellow. (That would also allow me to tie in the wig, which I need to clean and style still…but that’s for another day.) My husband’s top hat was easier to match, because it’s just black leather with blue suede. We even found some blue faux suede in the same shade at the local fabric retailer. Lucked out there.

Maybe I’ll end up going to Amazon. I’m still leery of online fabric buying, but I suppose I can always return it if I don’t like the fabric. There’s just not that ability to feel the fabric, to hold it and see how it drapes and feels against the skin and whatnot. Textile shopping is a very tactile experience.

Dragon Con: Day 1

Well, the first day of my first Dragon Con came & went without much excitement. Well, okay, I got to see an awesome Patricia Briggs panel and bought a wig to go with my next cosplay (a wig that I am now obsessed with–it’s gorgeous!), but otherwise it was a pretty standard con day. Nothing out of the ordinary or overly exciting.

I didn’t get many pictures taken, mostly because the con was so crowded that it made picture taking nigh impossible. I have one decent pic of my Temari from Naruto cosplay and one eh pic of my husband (I tried, but I kept forgetting to take a better one when he had the gourd on properly).

Today will be our Star Wars/Doctor Who mashup cosplays, which I hope are a hit. I know a lot of people at Phoenix Comicon loved my skirt, but as I said, there wasn’t much room yesterday to take photos. I don’t know if there will be many photos taken of us today. I’ll try to at least get a couple of good motel room photos (complete with lightsabers!) after we’re all dressed & ready to go.

I have my usual insomnia, which means I’m wide awake at 3am & nobody else is. I’ll probably fall back asleep after a while, but for now I’m up.

I almost want to wear my new wig today with my mashup cosplay just because I’m in love with the fire hair, but it will have to wait. It doesn’t quite match the cosplay & I don’t want to find out what kind of a hassle a wig plus a hood will become. Still, it looks badass:

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Bad. Ass. Perfect for my next cosplay project: Steampunk Dark Phoenix! More photos on that as I get the costume designed and ready. It’ll be a long way off, because it’s just for next year’s Phoenix Comicon so I have plenty of time (for once).

Well, off to find something to occupy myself until either I fall asleep or someone else wakes up!

The voyage

Today’s the day! We leave for Dragon Con as soon as I get out of work, and I’m buzzing with excitement. Well, not literally buzzing. I’m, like, sitting here calmly drinking my energy drink with excitement. Maybe once the energy drink kicks in I’ll be buzzing 😉

Almost all of our things are packed and gathered around the futon, ready to be Tetris’d into the car once my husband gets off work. Then, once I get off work, we’ll be on the road. The long, long road.

It’s our first long road trip together…sure, we went to Anaheim for our honeymoon, but that was one relatively short day of driving. This here will be a test of our patience with each other–and with the other drivers. The other drivers will be the deciding factor, I think. Especially the truckers.

Not that I have anything against any specific truckers in particular. I’m sure there are responsible, courteous truckers out there who don’t block the lefthand lane, don’t cut people off, and don’t generally impede the flow of traffic. However, there are quite a few jackasses who ruin things for the rest of them. There’s a reason the movie Joy Ride terrified me.

In other news, the cosplays are now completely done! My husband and I finished the shoulder armor for my Magik cosplay last night. It’s not perfect (there aren’t as many spikes on this armor as there are in the comic book, but it’s pretty damn good for noobs who didn’t know what they were doing).

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Hard to see the spikes with this photo (the futon unfortunately is black as well…this is the best image I could get), but I’ll definitely have better photos after the con.

I don’t know how much blogging time I’ll get in before I get back. We have a pretty busy schedule for the con, so I might just get a day or two? If that. So be ready for a deluge of photos after the con ends…because there will be! 🙂

See y’all after the con!

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.