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.

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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…

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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

Nitpicking

Every time I start work on my husband’s steampunk Cyclops cosplay, I find myself being distracted by some minutiae of the progress (what little there is) that needs to be fixed.

I had started basting fabric to interfacing, but I decided I didn’t like the way it turned out with the sewing machine foot I was using, so I stopped about half a dozen pattern pieces in and have been seam-ripping the basting in order to resew it better.

Why is this so difficult for me to get started? Normally I’m well into the project by now, especially one I am so excited to begin. I mean, if these cosplays turn out the way we have planned, they’re going to be our best ones to date. We’re plotting out the big picture and the small details. I have the cosplays envisioned in my mind; they’re taking shape on a conceptual level, so why can’t I bring the concept to life as I have in the past?

Perhaps I need to clean up my craft room. Maybe the clutter in which I normally reside is hampering my ability to progress at any reasonable speed.

I’ll give straightening up a go later on. My level of focus is on the “shiny object” scale right now, so organizing might not be the best thing to attempt at this time.

Ideas aplenty, but lost for motivation

Pinterest is both heaven and hell.

I have found dozens and dozens of ideas and tutorials for the steampunk cosplays I’m making for next year’s Phoenix Comicon, but I haven’t been able to motivate myself to get started on anything but the breastplate for my Dark Phoenix.

Well, I take that back. I cut two pieces for my husband’s steampunk pants and pinned several more pieces. And that’s about it.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to get started in earnest. It’s not like I don’t have the time. I just can’t seem to force myself to work on it for very long before I drift back to the computer. Or, like yesterday, to my adult coloring books. Because coloring is fun…or something.

Tomorrow morning I may have some time to get started in earnest before we go to my parents’ house for laundry & our weekly “family bonding time” visit. I’m also going to spray paint the phoenix breastplate gold. I’m really hoping the color comes out nice. I picked a spray paint that wasn’t super shiny (because I didn’t really want that “smooth” look; I’m kinda digging how so far the craft foam has a leathery texture to it) but still would bring some of that bright gold to the piece. Maybe once I get most of the breastplate done–or at least this part; I won’t be able to do the harness for a while yet–I can focus more on my husband’s outfit.

I’ll definitely post pictures once the gold is on there, because I’m excited for that part to be done. The breastplate looks good black, and there is a version of Dark Phoenix that has a black breastplate, but, well….

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Yeah, no. Not for me. Not unless I lose like 100 lbs before Phoenix Comicon 2017 (highly unlikely)…and even then, I’m not relying on Spirit Glue or dress tape or whatever it is that’s keeping that fucker on there. Hell no. No, my breastplate is going to be over a shirt and corset. I may like corsets in my cosplays, but I don’t like showing skin too much, at least not at my weight. (Not that there’s anything wrong with plus-size cosplay or even plus-size cosplay that shows skin…just not my gig.) And I’m not risking a “wardrobe malfunction” when that thing inevitably falls off of me.

Last night I figured out the color scheme for my dress and corset. I was having a hard time deciding on colors, because I wanted to incorporate a bronze-colored fabric to tie in to the hints of bronze on the top hat, but then I had the epiphany to import an image of the pattern I’ll be using–Simplicity 8159, by LoriAnn Costume Designs (Google her! She is amazing and she’s designed a bunch of patterns for Simplicity…and they all look gorgeous. I’ve become somewhat of a collector of them, even though I doubt I’ll get around to making all of the ones I have)–to Photoshop and play around with the fabric colors I want.

This is what the finished dress on the pattern package looks like:

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And this is the color scheme I am going for (keeping in mind that my Photoshop skills suck, but at least it gave me a visual on what I was doing):

8159-front-concept-colors

I’ll be omitting the hat, collar/tie, white gloves (I’ll probably make yellow ones), and book (of course), but here it shows that I’ll be keeping it mostly red and yellow (the more traditional colors for Dark Phoenix’s costume) with just that hint of bronze to tie it all in. And the brown binding will all be gold. I think it’ll turn out looking excellent, and can’t wait to get started on it.

Maybe that’s why I am dragging my feet on making my husband’s cosplay: I’m so excited to get mine started! His will look cool as well, but sometimes the men’s patterns frustrate me when I get to sewing and I often have to take breaks to work out how the pieces are supposed to go together. The patterns always have pictures/diagrams on what to do, but sometimes the mechanics of it don’t “click” with me until I’ve taken time off to think it over. Then it clicks, and I go back to sewing with a vengeance.

This weekend I need to get started on his costume in earnest. I have to, or else I might never get my ass in gear. I know I have plenty of time, but my costume will be time-consuming as well because of the massive amounts of fabric I’ll be working with.

Gotta get started. This evening. Or maybe tomorrow……

The gears are turning…

I think I’ve finally had a breakthrough on the steampunk Cyclops cosplay for my husband. I had been trying to figure out what to do about the “X” symbol and how to incorporate it while making it more “steampunk” when it hit me: Do a cog/gear with an X in the middle of it!

Granted, it’s a simple and likely common solution to that little dilemma, but I think if I find the right design to print out I can transfer it to polymer clay easily enough and bake myself a little X for his costume. The tricky part will be getting it even, because I suck at rolling the clay to an even thickness.

I am brimming with so many ideas for these cosplays that I almost hate that I have to redo the corset for my Magik cosplay. I want to get started on the steampunk cosplays and see what I can create from the patterns and fabrics I have. I’ve already got several ideas for how to make new things that I think will really enhance the costumes. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s the cold medicine talking. Either way, should be interesting once they’re done. I almost wish there was another con before Phoenix Comicon that we could wear them to.

Oh, wait! I think there is! Tucson has an annual Wild Wild West Con, which is a steampunk convention. Hmm….wonder if I can convince hubby to go for that one………..

I totally should be sleeping right now. Resting. Recuperating. But no, the little gears in my head are moving too fast to be stopped now. Soon, my creations will come to life!

Leaps and bounds

The cosplay is coming along swimmingly, at least as far as props and accessories go. I have the grey boots I bought painted with a layer of black (I’ll probably add at least one more layer), then I got the headband for the Magik cosplay made.

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I did it myself, with a little instruction from a friend. The sword is also well underway, with just a little more to go. It’s going to take some geometry and stuff…you know, the stuff you learned in school that you thought you’d never need? Yeah, all that. Maybe if they taught kids these days that it can be used for cosplay, they’d be more interested in math. Forget Common Core–teach Cosplay Core.

My husband’s Shatterstar sword prop is done (finished that last week)… 13654169_1089736687785176_64311181774611607_n

…so now I can finish the sleeves on his costume. After I make my pleather shrug, that is. And the Spandex stuff. Have to do those pieces first, because that’s not stuff I can do by hand as we travel to Dragon Con.

Well, back to it. Can’t take too long of a break or I’ll break my momentum.