tiistai 6. syyskuuta 2016

Princess princess~ and Tracon

...or actually a queen.

Good evening!

So, krhm, I didn't manage to update before Tracon and main reason for that was that I completely lost my motivation for Zelda after finishing most of the cloth parts. I feel a bit bad about rushing all the major parts of the costume but no can do.

My original plan to make the armor details out of foam was scrapped when I realized that the EVA foam I bought wasn't dense enough. When dremeling, the foam didn't shave off nicely but formed horrible "cliffs". I had to come up with new plan and with no better substitute I ended up making the details out off acrylic filler. For information, that stuff is meant for filling gaps between tiles, windows and such. Definitely not for sculpting! I don't recommend unless you're just as desperate for material that sticks to foam, is somewhat sandable and bends with the foam okay-ish. The times when I thought "I just made the most horrible thing I have ever done lol" when making this costume couldn't be counted with even two hands.

So, I had my details ready and around two weeks left before the con.. and 5 days of work per week. During last rush I painted the armors, finished my pants and socks and made the crown. Wednesday and Thursday of the con week were spent glueing and sewing all the attachments for armor pieces. Lots of velcro was consumed. I really like velcro for its easy usability but the attachments don't look very tidy. I ended up sewing half of the velcro pieces to some straps and glueing half directly to EVA foam. Contact glue works surprisingly well but I would probably pay attention if the glue would need to sustain lots of pulling.

So, Zelda was finished in time, excluding some golden details on the socks I decided to skip. I'm not happy with it and thank god I didn't apply for NCC as there's no way I would have had time to make a skit. If I were to ever apply to competition with this costume I'd remake everything :D

Con con con

I arrived at Tampere on Friday but didn't manage to sleep that long as we did lots of sewing and crafting the evening before. I hadn't tried doing Zelda's make up before the con so it was bit experimental. At least my lenses were blue! :3

Gosh the wig is yellow. I bet everyone who has tried to find natural looking but bright yellow wig has had the same issue. The wig will definitely be changed to something else when I wear Zelda again.

The weather wasn't very nice on either of convention days though it became quite decent just when it was time to leave on Sunday... This highly impacted the opportunities to take photos though we managed to squeeze a short session in when it didn't rain. We had planned before the con with Lunalle Cosplay Photography to take photos of my Zelda and I'm honestly glad since it was a big reason for me to finish the costume. Other reason being that Noora Cosplay had agreed to wear her Midna the same day so we could get some pair photos too :3

Here are some of the pics Lunalle took, enjoy the colors!

I think the highlight of my convention was taking photos of my friends. I'm not that skilled yet but there's something about trying to capture the costume in a best way that is very exciting. Its a shame we ran into lots of space and lightning problems as we had to take photos indoors due to chilly costumes and rain.

I wish I could say I'm not considering buying a proper DSLR instead of my current m4/3 but I have an itch... If only cameras grew in trees.

So, this was super short recap of what happened while finishing the costume and at Tracon. Next convention will be most likely Frostbite and before that there is Cosplay SM at Digiexpo. I have no clue what I'll start crafting next and it's a weird feeling after working on one project for so long. I wouldn't mind some pair or group cosplay ideas either. Most of all I want to work on something I can dedicate all my enthusiasm into and try to make the costume perfect. Meanwhile I might try to find some photography subjects :3

Until next time!


torstai 7. heinäkuuta 2016

Tiny bits of Zelda - and one other costume!

Hello! Long time no see again.

This costume came kinda out of the bushes for me. I had seen the design before but for some reason I started to pay more attention to it and its details. Before I noticed I had started to plan making it - soon I had planned a skit for it too!

The design being Princess Zelda from Hyrule Warriors. I haven't really played LoZ games properly as I never owned any Nintendo consoles that weren't handheld but the series has always intrigued me. I did have Oracle of Seasons for GBC when I was a kid but tbh, the game was super hard! :D Now I tried to take back time and bought Spirit Tracks for DS and have enjoyed it immensely. Just last boss to beat anymore.

So, time to craft my very first princess costume! I decided to start with the fabric parts as I saw they'd require some experimenting. And boy, the gold details on the skirt almost drove me crazy! And sorry to say, in the end I ended up doing the details with my first option - simple gold paint.

In the first pic you can see all the different options I tried. Gold paint, gold paint with glitter, two different kinds of iron-on gold sheets.. I had high hopes for the iron-ons but the glittery one was too glittery and the shiny one was too shiny :D  Now I have a meter of iron-on gold that could blind someone.

Before I could start painting any details or cutting out any pieces for garments I had tons of fabric-dyeing to do. I ended up having to dye all the fabrics again, except one. Just like for Terra.

Potato smasher and kitchen timer, invaluable.

I think I spent four or five days dyeing, since my first experiments ended up in trash and on second ones I had to deepen the color. Better be safe than sorry. rather too light than too dark. Those swatches in the first pic are most I could find, few might be missing. The ombre on the skirt was fun but tricky to do, still not sure if I got the color dark enough. It will have to do, as I already stenciled the gold details! I used three different shades of EMO-colors for the fabrics. Most shades only required from two to five minutes of dyeing, that's how potent the pigments are.

Yes, the gradient could still be darker ;_; Also pictured are the sleeves, that I just squeezed into a knot and dipped the ends to the color.

Below is the stencil I tried to use for the skirt details but which failed miserably.. The stencil plastic was meant for airbrushing and wouldn't stick to fabric at all, so I wasn't able to place it correctly. All those narrow lines, a nightmare I say!

The final details! I would've preferred the gold paint to have bit more shine and OOMPH to it, but no can do... I hope this will show enough. At least I spent hours on it as I had to cut the design in 3 parts out of book cover plastic. Next time I'm doing something like this I'll either borrow or get silk screen equipment x__x

The design for the tabard which I tried to replicate as well as I could. Few days later I found out someone had drawn the design as vector and offered it for download but.. at least this one's homemade and fits to my awkward proportions :D

I got to do embroidery! Whoo! All the cosplays I have seen of this design have just painted the details on the tabard but imo they're quite three-dimensional. I considered committing a suicide by embroidering the gold parts as well as the green parts... but. Let me say, gold thread is no fun at all. It kept breaking apart and the result was not so tidy. This was my first time doing more than simple stitches so I'm quite pleased with the result, even if it could be tidier and more even :D Mirrored designs, why you so mean.

I still had lots of golden lycra that I bought for Terra and used it for the golden parts of the tabard. I didn't want to topstitch the details in place so I ordered some Heat 'n Bond Ultra from ebay. I had seen lots of cosplayers use some miracle glue paper to add details to their costumes and wanted to try that too. It was easy to use and seems to stick quite well. If I still didn't have a bit of sanity left I would've made the skirt details this way too.

Ungh, my ironing board is so worn and ugly. Should sew new cover for it.

Above the design has been drawn on Heat'n Bond and ironed onto the fabric. Next I cut out the designs, peeled off the paper backing, placed the detail on the tabard and ironed it into its place :3

 For the jewellery Zelda wears I first considered casting the blue gems. However, as I managed to find the perfect shape acrylic beads from Hobbypoint there luckily was no need... 8 euros versus 70e something I would have needed to spend on casting equipment, easy choice. I do want to try casting at some point but it will have to wait. I have a feeling I can't avoid it forever!

The beads were clear but I covered them in blue nailpolish and might add few layers more.

The corset has advanced from this point but here you can see the second version of my patterns. I simply wrapped myself in food wrap and tape and drew on myself how I wanted the corset to look. Not an easy task alone.. Somehow the first edition of patterns had more than few centimeters extra, not sure if a human is more swollen at evening.. x_x After this I still made few more adjustments, mainly to the placement and shape of the seams.

The final corset will have a zipper in front that is covered by the panels which will be closed with threading. I won't add real bones, rigilene should do. I have been trying to lose few kilograms of weight and I have a fear this thing won't fit me at all in the beginning of September anyway. Why bother with bones :D

Oh, the corset fabric. I couldn't for my life find a nice shiny fabric in the right shade so I ended up stitching together a layer of lining fabric and some cotton for structure. In the pic above you can see the lavender shade lining fabric. Fun fact, I originally bought that fabric for my bunny armor's lining and I still have few meters of it.. It was cheap okay?

 Wig things. I first ordered the wig on the right which wasn't Zelda at all... Tried my luck, ordering a yellow wig, the one on the left. I had a fear the wig would be too neon but.. trying to find a nice shade of yellow wig isn't easy. Imo Zelda's hair has some darker streaks in it so I will test sewing some of the darker blond wefts into the yellow wig and see how it looks. It could use some more volume anyway :3

Ungh, yellow, horrible color.

And since I decided I need a Sunday costume, I'm making a cute school girl outfit. A first for me! I watched Haikyuu! and decided that since I have a wig, skirt fabric and contact lenses ready for certain manager girl I could as well try to make it for Tracon. Well, budget wise that was a perfect plan but I wasn't perfectly happy with the wig I had. So I ordered a new one that should be bit closer in color and shape. And because I just happened to spot this very pretty wool-blend fabric in Eurokangas scrap department(palaosasto? pieces department? :D what is it) I had to get it. In the pic on the left is the original fabric I planned to use but the woolblend in the middle just has nicer texture. No skirt made of Ventus' pants fabric after all...

I also tried to hunt for simple short-sleeved shirt with collar but wasn't happy with anything I found, so will have to make that too. Now just to find shoes... How hard can it be to find brown school girl shoes x_x

Phuuh, long text is long. I might update before Tracon, or not. Anyway, I hope I will bump to fellow Legend of Zelda cosplayers there!

Til later,

keskiviikko 4. toukokuuta 2016

Terra babe and Cosvision 2016

Hei kaikki! Hello dears readers!

So Cosvision 2016 was held 23.-24. 4. and I might have recovered by now. In all honesty I had been waiting for this event for around two years, ever since the last one was held in 2014. I'm not sure if any event can reach as high expectations as one can set in such a long time but still, fun was had, time was spent with friends and even a new costume was debuted.

It was so nice to spend a con weekend with smaller group of people. No hassle, more time, freedom to go wherever... For not so social person like me I even might be able to socialize more.

So, I originally planned to wear my old Warlock costume on second day but after checking the program leaflet I decided that a costume in which you can not sit is a bad idea. Also, the costume takes TONS of space and there's no way I could've transported all of that in a train. So just Terra it was. Prepare for many pics! All photos are taken by my bae Fukka, edited by me.

Some might remember that I already dyed fabrics for this costume back in last June. Costume progress got halted though as school started and I got discouraged by some parts of the costume.

I HATE long wigs and ponytails! Seriously :D My first attempt last Summer was so bad it made me throw everything into  bag and hide the bag in the furthest corner of my closet. Now, this year I actually had to get the wig working as the convention was to be in two weeks and ofc I couldn't go without a wig. So lots of hairspray and thinning scissor cutting later... I had something. The wig actually is too short but at least it stays up somehow.

I think I liked most all the dying and painting that had to be done. I dyed ALL the fabrics in this costume by myself, except the red cotton for the dress. Fifty shades of pink and purple. Stencils for the hip-wear and freehand painting for the dress and sleeves. And shoes, of course the shoes too.

The cape was an interesting object. I ended up making it twice. My first try last Summer was too narrow and the fabric too thick for my liking. I tried to hunt for a very lightweight cotton or linen for the new version. Eurokangas had a box of linens in the scrap section but no material information so i could just hope that the fabric would pick dye. In the end, it came out somehow.. My cold-dye-painted flowers however disappeared, I might try to do those again before wearing this the next time.

Honestly, I still have no idea how to pose in costumes so apologies! I only wore Terra on Saturday and Sunday included lots of photographing, but I was behind the camera. Trying out poses before the convention would never be a bad idea, just usually forgotten...

This costume had the most ridiculously bling-bling boots I have ever made. I ordered the golden lycra fabric one and half weeks before the convention and hoped for the best that it would arrive in time.. Bling-bling gods were on my side and it was delivered well before I had to leave. I managed to fail the golden border but luckily it doesn't show in pictures u_u All in all everything for this costume was made quite quickly and I didn't want any stress. Big crazy costumes are meant for stress.

But! I finally made my fav-girl from Final Fantasy series. FF VI was the first FF game I played and I instantly was drawn to this mysterious girl with green hair. Due to horrible reference images(you all know) I decided to make her Dissidia version. One day, I'll buy the green wig, tons of beads and other embellishments and go crazy with another version...

Oh yeah, I did make the sword but it came out ugly. So hence no sword in pictures.

Thanks for looking, next convention is Desucon and who knows what will happen there, what costumes are made and so on.


sunnuntai 24. tammikuuta 2016

Crossplay?? at Frostbite?


It's been a while, eh. Sure I started working on few costumes that never got finished but only after friend(thank you Fukka!) hinted they could use a character for their upcoming group I managed to pull myself together and finish something.
So I made my second crossplay costume, Ventus from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Prior to Fukka mentioning him I had no idea who he even was. Few Youtube videos later I was much more knowledgeable about the complex trio that is Sora, Roxas and Ventus.


Anyway! I'm going to show some(quite many) WIP photos I took and few words about the making of the costume. The effort I put into this was nowhere near the dedication into my previous projects but actually completing something after half a year boosted my morale a lot. Inspiration is booming and I'm torn between choices what to do next.

Prototype of the pants. I actually managed to sew the pocket wrong here, haha. Shows just how many normal clothing pieces I have done...

Ventus got a veeery short sleeveless shirt as I ran out of fabric, oops :D

I decided to start by making the pants and the shirt that goes under the jacket. To save myself from destroying the real fabrics I made prorotypes of the pants first and then proceeded to cut the real fabric. Choosing the colors and materials was quite hard as Kingdom Hearts has it's very cartoonish look that doesn't relate to real world that well. In the end most of the costume is made out of scuba fabric which holds it's shape well but is way easier to sew than normal stretch fabric.

I wish I had made the pants poofier..

I decided to make the white&grey layer of clothing under the jacket as a vest and attached it to the sleeveless shirt. For my life I couldn't find the right color of grey from the fabric store so I ended up using the lining fabric for both sides. Dying was out of option as I was on tight schedule..

Very carefully I stenciled the patterns onto the vest with normal white fabric paint.

At least it has a place for sewing supplies...!

One contributing factor why my cosplay making has been halted after moving to new apartment is that we don't really have any tables here... Sewing on top of a stool isn't very handy >>

The jacket brought me some head ache. Proportions were very important here as I needed to make the jacket short enough but still fit all the details in. Thank god the fabric was easy to sew and the sleeves just magically kept their shape. White bias tape was used for the lines and I managed to sew it on smooth mostly.. at few spots, mostly at the curved lines at the front some pulling occurred but nothing major. For quick 50% effort project it shall do!

The collar of the jacket didn't come out quite as it should buuut.. next time then. Fukka kindly sent me the zipper which had been originally in Organization XIII jacket, fitting! I sculpted the Keyblade master mark out of Black Worbla(which will hopefully get more experimenting in future) and the straps were just something I crafted fast out of black patent leather. A fun costume, so comfy if not counting the binding and the armor...

My favourite part of the costume are the jacket and the shoes! Those shoes, haha. I need to add more funny shoes to my cosplay list.

Measuring, cutting, fitting.

I decided to not spent a dime of extra money on these shoes and just gathered whatever I had at home. Some craft foam, camping mat, eva foam.. paracord and more scuba(or actually it was some thermo-feature sport fabric, anyway).
Quick patterns and lots of contact glue, paint.. The toes and the "sole" of the shoes could've fit together better but since I was crafting with "who cares" attitude and mainly to have fun, I decided to leave those as they are. I had my doubts if these things would even survive an hour of walking since everything was held together with glue.

Surprisingly, they did! The paint of course got some bruising, but for zero budget shoes I couldn't care less.

Crappy phone cam pic, eep.

The ankle parts came out a bit tall and I might redo them for next time this costume is worn. It'll probably be when the third member of the group gets their costume ready.. later this year, who knows? I definitely needs to craft a keyblade too before that..

Messy! Next time I won't use painters' tape, it shows through Worbla. Another reason to hate Worbla, ugh.

The rim of the ring was so smooth and neat when out of EVA, afterWorbla horrible and uneven ;__;

The one part I hated making were the armors. Who in the world would design armors this bland, eww. Mandatory still. Very quick and carefree crafting of Worbla. I tried to prime few of the parts with Gesso out of nostalgy but it's just as bad as wood glue.. on even surfaces it works but at the edges, just no. Definitely not my best armor work but hopefully I can redeem myself in the next big costume.

WTB thin EVA, please.

Even the painting of the armors was dull :D some weird yellowish gold, silver and blackish... whee.

Before any modding.

Tested if I could steal fiber from old wigs.. wrong colors >>

First try, eww :D

I needed to make a spiked cartoon wig for the first time and boy, was it different. It didn't help that the wig I had was horrible quality.. First try got a bath very fast and the second try really was no better, but without a new better wig I had no choice. The outcome wasn't quite right but at least I had a wig...

I know everything that is wrong about the wig and will definitely do better next time :D I was so relieved when I could just throw the monstrosity to a bag after the con day without needing to be careful with it.

Aaaanyway! I didn't have time to make the keyblade in the end(no materials either and school had started just a week before the con..) so after the wig the costume was ready. Frostbite wasn't a special con by any means but I loved seeing my friends who live far away and I was just glad to have a new costume on. ECG-preliminaries gave huge inspiration for future.

KH-dorks. Sorry Fukka :D
I managed to avoid proper photos of this costume pretty well and can only show one reeeally bad quality shadowy pic, but once we get the group together there might be actually a reason to shoot these.

Help me with posing, what is this???

So apologies for a boring entry(imo), I hope I can show something more exciting in the future. Like blue alien goats or heroines from old FFs?? Maybe! Yukicon will be my next con and I will try to finish one incompleted costume for it.. unless I end up starting my Cosvision costume already. Will see~