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Five Essential Cosplay/Convention Products…

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…that aren’t needle, thread, food, and water.

I find that, unless asked, you never hear about specific products that are not essentially related to the costume. When you hear someone talk about their essential cosplay products, you get things like clear nail polish for tight runs, or safety pins for costume accidents. While these are great things (and all various tips are wonderful) I wanted to focus more on the five products I use to get “photo ready” with my costume.

Most of these products I also use in real life every day, so they have more use than just for cosplay! If you are ambiguous on buying a product to use only three times a year, have no fear of this list.

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Arisia 2012 Con Report!

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I would have posted this up yesterday after I got home, but it seems like conventions get ten times more exhausting every day, and I’m definitely not used to four day conventions. I had a really… unique time at Arisia, not that this is a bad thing. It was a very different experience, and the crowd was different than I am used to seeing at Anime Boston. It was very strange to see the same people five or six times a day! But also more personable.  Anyways, here is my take and thoughts as I reflect on the weekend.

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Amy Pond Costume Breakdown

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While I prepare for Arisia  tomorrow by painting my nails, I wanted to do a quick breakdown of the costume I will be wearing this weekend! I’ll be cosplaying as Amy Pond from Doctor Who from the Season 5 double episode Time of Angels/Flesh of Stone. Click here for a photo of the outfit!

I’m looking forward to Arisia this weekend! Two conventions in one year makes me a happy person. Read the rest of this entry

Progress Update and Random Thoughts

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I’m sitting here with my best friend as she drills holes into plastic Monopoly houses to make them into earrings. We are having a crafty, costume-y night. All of my materials for Garnet have been purchased (I think) and now all that remains is to take fabric and turn  it into something wonderful. I’m embroidering outline of the vine design onto the bodice, glass of rum and Coke in my hand. Actually, that sounds like a bad idea. Let me put down the greatest offender here – my bodice.

In the past two hours, I have gained immense respect for other Garnet cosplayers, as well as those who have embroidered other parts of their costumes. Check out cosplay.com user AllieBeth’s fully embroidered Yuna obi and skirt. That is so amazing to me, especially since it’s taken me about two hours to sew seven leaves and a foot long straight line.

Anyways, I’ve got seven leaves, the hair clasp, and the base of the crown done. I feel like I am making so much progress in one night, even though the hardest part is yet to come.

 

Arisia is next weekend, and my wig for my Amy Pond cosplay still hasn’t shipped. So I’ll be the cherry red Amy and not the ginger red Amy. See you there.

When Cosplay Gets Rough (and Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Yourself)

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Since I started making costumes that weren’t bed sheets or old clothes ripped to sheds, there have been lots of problems. Almost every costume I make gets it’s very own special freak-out, courtesy of my dumb mistakes. It’s embarrassing how many times I forget to put my right sides together, and that’s just basic sewing 101. So you can imagine me working on the big dresses that I so adore.There is always something that goes wrong, and I am usually left crying in the corner for a few minutes until I realize – this is stupid.

Mistakes will always occur. This is why, to me, cosplay is equal parts sewing, trying to force fabric to defy gravity in weird ways, and covering up mistakes by finding multiple ways to do something. I plan out how I’m going to do something too the last detail – and then halfway through the costume, I screw up somewhere and work around it. If I feel myself starting to get frustrated or starting to screw up, I step away from the sewing machine and do something else for a few hours. Being mad and operating machinery is not a good combination. The only thing my frustrations have led to is more screwing up. It’s okay if your seam puckers or your invisible zipper doesn’t zip (my current problem). Get out the seam ripper, rip out the offending seam, go watch some TV, come back and make it better.

The other day I was freaking out and had a scary thought. “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this?” Then I metaphorically punched myself in the face. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t cosplay because you are bad, especially yourself. That is all the motivation I need to really work hard and improve myself. Everyone has room for improvement. Start with making it look good on the outside – don’t worry about raggedy threads on the inside (but please, for the love of God, press your seams). Work at one thing and become great at it – then find costumes with similar construction. Move on to more and more things and do them step by step, and pretty soon you will have a great portfolio. But don’t let your thoughts get to you. You don’t have to.

Progress Photos! At last!

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish cutting out my Waltz for the Moon Rinoa costume.

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Cosplay…

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…for me to squee about Distant Worlds.

For those of you unaware, Distant Worlds, as described on their website, is “the music of Nobuo Uematsu performed by a full symphony orchestra”. They’ve been traveling around the world for a couple of years, and I had the immense honor of seeing the show when it went to NYC last year. I saw it both nights it was there, and met Nobuo Uematsu after the show. Him and the conductor, Arnie Roth, signed my ticket and a copy of the FFVIII Piano Collection soundtrack. It was so cool. Before this, they never really went to the east coast, so I figured this would be a life-time chance.

Nope! Distant Worlds is coming to my hometown of Boston, MA on March 10, 2012! I have already made undignified noises and almost peed my pants when I saw, so I will refrain from doing that now. Tickets go on sale November 22! Unfortunately, it looks like Uematsu will not be in attendance this time 😦

To make this (sort of) related to the subject of this blog, my best friend and cosplay sidekick Anne is attending with me, and you can bet that we will be showing up in costume. We’re running through our heads the different FF gear that is sort-of formal without being full on formal. No opera dress for this, folks. So far we’ve been thinking of two sets of things we’ve always wanted to do: Wallmarket Style Aerith and Tifa from FFVII, or Seed Uniform Selphie and Waltz for the Moon Rinoa from FFVIII. I think we’re leaning towards the latter – Selphie and Rinoa are Anne and my Final Fantasy look-alikes, respectively. Rinoa’s dress was one of the first things I started to sew! I found the pieces of it in my attack and almost cried because the fabric I was using was cotton. Oh, twelve-year-old self, what were you thinking?