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.

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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…….

Wigging out

It’s the weekend of Wild Wild West Con, and even though I don’t have a steampunk cosplay to wear to it I think I’m going to wear my Phoenix wig from Arda Wigs (check them out; they have an awesome selection of wigs as well as cosmetics links and tutorials on their page: https://www.arda-wigs.com/ ). Gotta get used to wearing the wig for Phoenix Comicon, and besides, it’s cute!

I need to brush it to get the tangles out an make it look nicer, but I love it. Can’t wait to wear it with the rest of my Dark Phoenix cosplay at the con in May. Yeah, the bangs cover up the awesome eye makeup I did, but I think once I have the wig brushed and styled better it will look pretty good.

Since I started cosplaying, I’ve developed a fondness for wigs. The wig for my Magik cosplay (sorry, don’t remember the name of the con booth I got it at) is a little odd to wear because it’s long and heavy so I have to keep adjusting it, but I love it as well.

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I have to get a decent wig cap. I’m sure I can find one at, like, Wal-Mart or something, because I’ve seen stuff like that there for people who wear wigs daily. I think that might solve the adjustment problem. Still, it looks pretty cool and definitely changes up my look quite a bit. I’m still recognizable as me–can’t hide that nose very well, except once I get my mask done for the steampunk cosplay–but I’m also different. It’s kind of cool.

I’ve been debating finding a wig that would go with my Jedi/TARDIS cosplay, but that would be tricky to wear because of the hood. I suppose once I get accustomed to a wig cap and pins to hold the wigs in place the hood wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but I may end up with the same frizz/flyaway problem I have with my natural hair in that hood.

Cosplay is definitely addicting, even for a plus-sized girl like me. I like that I can alter costumes to be more modest (see previous post about Wild Wild West Con and my past cosplays for pics of the Magik character and the outfit I ended up wearing) and still be recognizable as the character. It’ll be interesting to see how many people “get” my steampunk Dark Phoenix (as I won’t be anywhere near the actual character’s design), but I think the top hat and breastplate will help immensely.

Oh, and another fun thing I get to try: spray body paint! My husband got me an airbrush kit for Valentine’s Day, so I might airbrush my arms with some cool flames to go with the outfit, and possibly my legs as well. Not my face–I’m terrified of getting airbrush body paint anywhere near my eyes–but yeah, some flames would look cool. Better practice posing 😉 And better get to sewing…once the stupid boot is off.

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 🙂

Failed designs

Frustration doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I tried something that I thought would be cool for my steampunk Dark Phoenix cosplay mask. Eyelets placed in the shapes of flames. Awesome, right?

Nope. My “flames” turned out looking vaguely like waves. Who wants watery waves for a fiery cosplay? So back to the drawing board on that one. I *think* I know how to make it look better, but it involves re-making the whole mask. The whole. Damn. thing. *Sigh*

Good thing I have plenty of materials. I just need to rethink the design.

The harness and belt for the steampunk Cyclops is turning out pretty cool. My husband and I got the straps and the X-Men medallion all dyed yesterday. We still need to attach a couple of buckles and rivet some things, but so far so good. We’ll also need to buy some more buckles and rivets. Oops. We thought we had calculated everything, but I guess until you start putting the stuff together you don’t necessarily know what you’ll need–especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. 😉

None of the sewing is done yet. I’m not sure how I’ll manage that with my broken foot (I use my right foot to operate the pedal for the machine), but it’s only a little over 3 more weeks in the boot and approximately 3 more months until the con. So there’s time. I mean, I’ve done more in less time…so I got this, right?

Cosplay reboot

Finally! I’ve gotten the motivation to work on cosplay again!

Okay, so it’s not the Cyclops steampunk pants I cut out the pieces for months ago and started sewing the interfacing on yesterday. But I’ve gotta get this done or it’ll drive me nuts not working on it.

I’m talking about my mask for Dark Phoenix.

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It’s not much yet–I want to wait until my husband is on his lunch break before I start hammering holes into the suede to sew in the interfacing for this–but it’s a start. I’m going to make two halves, sew them together, then use rivets to attach a darker contrasting leather around the edges. Similar to the image below (stolen from Pinterest, no idea who the original artist is), but without the ventilator bits. I’m going to see how eyelets work for that before I go cutting big ol’ holes in my mask. Maybe eyelets set in the shape of flames? Hmm…

steampunkmask

I think once I get this done, or at least mostly done, I’ll be able to focus on the pants. I hate sewing pants. Lol

It feels so good to be back in the cosplay swing of things. I’ve been avoiding it for so long because I got burned out after the massive amount of cosplay sewing I did before Dragon Con. My mind needed a break from it all, I think.

Still have two complete outfits to sew, plus two harnesses to fabricate (one for the phoenix breastplate, one for Cyclops’s X-Men logo circle X thingy), plus another complete outfit (a commission, my first cosplay commission and one I’ll have to work on without the person in person to fit and adjust–fun!) and other things that I’m sure I haven’t thought of yet.

At least these cosplays have minimal fabrication. A few straps of leather here and there, some rivets, some dyeing, hole punching, stamping, etc. Not giant 4′ swords lol

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:

phoenixmakeup

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:

fire-colored-contact-lenses

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.