Sailor V Cosplay: Progress

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Sailor V CoverTime for Sailor V, yay!!! I’m really excited about doing this costume, its so cute! I am doing the manga version, which I think is the cutest.

So far I’ve bought all of the materials and made a muslin mock of the top. I got a navy bottomweight for the pleated skirt and accents, and red and white cotton with a slight stretch to it for the rest of the outfit. A thick yellow ribbon will hopefully serve as the gold lining on top of the gloves. I got plenty of red bias tape, and shoulder pads for the, well, the inside out shoulder pad armor she wears. :-P I will make a nice cover for them. Those shoes are of the devil and I haven’t found anything suitable yet.

Also I got a serger for Xmas!! I will go serge crazy on this costume! :D
Continue reading “Sailor V Cosplay: Progress”

Katy Perry Peppermint Dress: Progress

Katy Perry Peppermint Dress FrontKaty Perry Peppermint Dress Back

For Halloween 2012, I made Katy Perry’s famous spinning Peppermint dress from her most recent tour. Since I’m super into costuming now, and I always need an excuse to hone my skills, I took advantage of Halloween and decided to go all out! …Even though all I did was go to some bars with friends… too old to Trick or Treat or do anything really fun. :( Anyway, here’s a site with good reference pics, since I don’t want to get in trouble for stealing images. My gallery is at the end of this post!

So I started out by getting materials. For the base of the dress I got a white, slightly shimmery middle-of-the-line satin (not the good stuff, but not the crappy costume stuff). I also got white sheer organza for the candy wrapper accents and “petticoat,” red bias tape, a red zipper, and lots and lots of glitter and stick on rhinestones!

I started with the base dress. I happened to have a basic dress pattern set that I break out every now and then. I just modified it by making it shorter. I used leftover linen as my lining, and of course the satin as the outer fabric. The satin SUUUUUCKED. It snagged very easily, the fibers moved around as I cut it, and of course it frayed a lot. I wonder if its because I didn’t get the good stuff, or if all satin is this way. (I have plans to use bridal satin for my Anju dress next year, so I may be in for a rough ride!) Anyway, below are the progress photos of the base dress. I don’t have a real serger (yet) so I “fake-serged” some of the seams by doing a normal straight stitch, then used a zig zag stitch next to it and trimmed it. I also made a simple “petticoat” out of the organza by layering pieces together that I hemmed with my brand new rolled hem foot (squee!). I attached it at the waist. I then made the weird hip flare things and sewed them on by hand.

Then on to the bias tape. The real dress had nice satin trim, but I couldn’t find satin in the pre-made stuff, and there was no way I was making it on my own for a Halloween dress, so I settled for the matte stuff. So I started by lining the front of each side of the back seam, all the way down. Then I treated it like one piece of fabric and sewed the entire thing shut along the middle of the tape. (This is hard to explain in words, sorry!). Then I turned the dress inside out and sewed the back of the bias tape down on each side (making sure to mark the spot where the bottom of the zipper needed to be according to the darts in the pattern). So what I ended up with was a back seam lined with bias tape. Obviously in order to get in the dress it needed a zipper… all in the plan! I sewed the zipper on the underside of the seam from the top down to where I had marked. Once secured, I just ripped out the seam covering the actual zipper. This was my way of trying to do an invisible zipper, I’m still working on making it actually look nice though, my zipper foot skills are lacking. :-P Then I lined the top and bottom of the dress with more bias tape. To finish off the dress, I made thin straps and lined them with thin bias tape (but did not attach them yet).

On to glittering! Glitter sucks btw, if you didn’t already know that. I will probably never ever do such a glittery monstrosity again. Anyway…
I began by covering the red trim with masking tape to keep it safe, then sprayed the whole dress with a white glittery spray several times. While that was drying outside, I worked on the insane glitter accents. I started by cutting out circle sizes on posterboard using bowls as references, then traced the swirly parts. Out of this I made templates. I traced 6 small and 2 large swirly circles on red scrap fabric, and 5 medium circles on paper. I then began the process of gluing and glittering the red, white, and purple glitter on them (white for paper only). Afterwards I sprayed the f*** out of these with glitter sealant. I cut out the fabric pieces and glued them on the dress in the right spots. And sealed the f*** out of it again. For the paper, I glued them to craft foam circles I had already cut out. (In hindsight, for these foam circles, I should have bought pre-glittered craft paper, would have been soooo much easier.)

I then went over all the peppermints and added tons of bling. Should have used glue, but I was lazy and just dealt with the sticky back rhinestones. This was bad as many fell off throughout the night. But next time I’ll know better. Then I quickly sewed on the wrapper accents with leftover organza. I attached the foam circles with brass pin thingies to let them spin. Then I was lazy/running out of time and safety pinned the straps on (if this was for a con, I would’ve attached them in a more legit way) to finish it off. In the end, the sealant actually did a pretty good job. I did not shed glitter wherever I walked/sat/moved like I thought I would.

For the gloves I bought $5 red costume gloves, cut the fingers off, and hemmed the finger holes by hand. Then I added red and white lace to the edges. This created the overall look of her gloves decently enough. If this was for a con, I’d try making the nice leather gloves version. When I finally decided to get a black wig, I couldn’t find the right one anywhere (even though I saw it several times when I was looking for my Saturn wig.) So I got stuck with a really crappy wig I had to shorten and thin out. Oh well.

There are too many progress images to place in the post, so here is a gallery!

2013 Con Costume Schedule!

Its been awhile since I’ve posted because I’ve been busy making my Halloween costume and planning for next year! Anyway, I’ve thought about it a lot, and I think I’ve made my decisions on what costume to do for each con next year. There is a chance I’ll see something amazing and change my mind (new Game of Thrones in April!), but here is the tentative list. I will update this throughout the year.

Aela the HuntressMomocon (Won Best in Show Master!), Dragon*Con

Magical Girl Nyan Cat (was Super Secret Original Costume)Momocon, PAX East, Dragon*Con

Sailor VMomocon, AWA

Cardcaptor SakuraSeishun Con

Chibi Chibi MoonDragon*Con (group), AWA

This was a very hard decision, but after deliberating over and over on which one to do for the Friday Night Costume Contest (aka the big kahuna of contests for me!), I decided on Sheogorath from Oblivion. It is just a stunning and incredibly challenging costume.

Lady Comstock and ComstockDragon*Con, Anachrocon 2014?
I’ll be Lady Comstock from Bioshock Infinite, and I’m also making Comstock for my boyfriend. He’s growing out his beard!

Historically Accurate MeridaAWA

AWA 2012 Costume Contest Experience

Best in Show Journeyman - AWA 2012I finally did it! I won an award!!! My third contest and first award… and I got Best in Show Journeyman. Holy poop I did not expect that! I even got $150, which was totally unexpected because I never tried to find out what the actual awards were. I’m kind of reluctant to take it out of the envelope though, because its part of my award and its very special to me.

I have a lot of thoughts about this experience that I have to get out. First of all, I am amazed at the response my costume got at AWA. When I wore it to Dragon*Con, only people that got close and talked to me praised it. Very few people got pictures. Most of the parade pics are “accidentals” of me in the background. So I left feeling kind of defeated. My costume I spent 4 months on was nothing special. I know, Dragon*Con is extremely overwhelming since there are tons of professional level amazing costumes floating around. Still, I felt sad.

But at AWA I was super shocked that everyone wanted pics of me. It wasn’t just because my costume was good, it was because they got the reference and loved Skyrim. The Skyrim fangirl inside me rejoiced! When I went on stage at the contest everyone went berserk. And then I won the award… so yeah, needless to say I felt very good that my hard work and Skyrim Lydia were appreciated.

The overall contest process was very nice. I expected to wait at least an hour from checking in to getting judged, so I signed up for an early time so I could make it to a panel later. But they seemed on their game this time (compared to what I read about last year), and it went fast. Then again, I was under hot and bulky, and I think they may have let us cut in front of everyone to go first. :-P I stood around for awhile afterwards admiring costumes. At some point I went back to my car and changed into my Skyrim commoner dress to go to the leatherworking panel. 5 or so hours later I changed back. Waiting for the contest to start took awhile, but it was a breeze because of the awesome people I got to talk to. Also being in hot and bulky, I got to stand in an air conditioned back room. Maybe there is something to this hot and bulky thing… :-P

I guess if there’s anything negative to say about the contest, its that it sucks that judging and the contest are so far apart. Even if my costume wasn’t hot, I wouldn’t want to be wearing it the whole day for fear of getting it messed up. Plus I couldn’t sit in it. (And the one I have in mind for next year might not be “sittable” in either.) But I do know the judges needed that time to deliberate and get the awards personalized. Plus they need a buffer if time goes way over. I think next year I’ll sign up for the last judging time (as long as it doesn’t conflict with panels I want to go to) to decrease the amount of time between judging and the contest. Then again, going early gives you enough time to change in between, and the judges aren’t cranky yet. I dunno, its a year away so we’ll see. :-P

Now for mushy feelings!

I’ve listed before in other posts what my reasons are for competing. Winning is like the icing on an already delicious cake, it just makes it so much more awesome. ^-^ For me, winning is not about and has never been about the actual physical award. I’ve never looked up the previous prizes given or really thought about it. People that only compete for money or free stuff… well it is ‘Merica and they’re free to do what they want, but I guess I don’t think nicely of them. :-P It is honestly the recognition and verification that I “did good” that I want. To know that my hard work paid off. So winning Best Journeyman, the second highest award, especially never having won anything and being a novice (I entered as Journeyman but qualified as novice), was just amazing.

So yaaaay I won something!!! :D

AWA 2012!

Man, AWA was so awesome this year! I had soooooo much fun. I’m really tired though and really need to clean up my apartment, put costume stuff away, sort pictures, etc, so it might take awhile for me to document everything. I finished the costumes I was working on, so at some point I’ll go back and update those posts with final pictures. Anyway, I’ll document my happenings in this post!


Friday was the first day of the con, and I got there fairly early so I could register for the costume contest. I cosplayed as Sailor Saturn. Turns out she was on the photo scavenger hunt list, so that was a very lucky costume choice. Soooo many people took pictures of me! I’m kind of a closet attention whore, so I loved it! I’ll hopefully have pics of me all over the internet! :-P I was by myself for the whole convention, so the picture taking didn’t inconvenience anyone.

Speaking of being alone, its not as bad as it sounds. Its actually kind of awesome. I could do whatever I wanted, like panels and stuff, without having to convince anyone else to go. I was afraid I would be bored, but I was actually fully entertained the entire time (pictures helped fill up spare time). The only downside to being alone is having no one to hold your stuff or help you with costume changes.

Anyway, I did the Sailor Moon shoot, my first ever photo shoot. It was so fun and I got lots of pics! I also went to the Sailor Moon panel and left with the urge to watch the whole anime again. I also won a Sailor Mercury doll for being awesome. I bought 2 Sailor V mangas in the dealers room, since I learned that the mangas were all recently redone. (I might buy the Sailor Moon mangas on Amazon at some point).


Saturday was the best day! I showed up for judging in the morning and had a good experience. They were totally on their game, and I didn’t have to wait in line very long. I ended up hanging around talking to people about their costumes (which for me is the best part of doing contests). I had time to change into my Skyrim commoner dress and do normal things like buy stuff and take pictures. The leatherworking panel was super awesome. I’m excited to use it for my Aela the Huntress costume! Marie Claude also gave some great tips in general at her panel. I then changed back into Lydia and went to the pattern making panel.

After that was contest lineup. There was quite a bit of waiting around, but since I was in the hot and bulky category I got to wait in a hallway with the AC blasting. I also talked constantly with people about their costumes. Then the contest happened! Everyone cheered like crazy for my costume and totally freaked when I put my helmet on. :-P When they were calling out awards later, and I didn’t get best video game, I just thought “oh well” and cheered on everyone else getting awards. But then I ended up getting Best in Show Journeyman! I never thought I’d get that award, I’m so happy and grateful! Since my current post is super long and I have a lot to say about this contest experience, I’ll make a new one (here).

After the contest was a lot of picture taking and talking, and I went to Yaya Han’s panel on the sociology of cosplay. She’s so awesome! :D We talked about crossplay, which was something I’d never really heard of, and it made me feel better about wearing male costumes (like the Sheogorath I wanna do).

I didn’t do much on Sunday, but I went to the meet the winners panel and talked with a judge and other awesome people. I took more pictures, got a big Japanese candy grab bag, then went home.

So overall, I had a super fun time! I would almost say that it was better than Dragon*Con, but the two cons are totally different in nature so comparing them is hard. I will say that even though Dragon*Con has a huge amount of the most amazing costumes, I had a better costuming experience at AWA because since there were less people, my costumes got more attention and support. The cosplay panels and guests were super awesome, and I came out with knowledge I didn’t have before. I will definitely be going to every AWA I can from now on! :D

Aela the Huntress Costume (Progress)

Skip to latest update (03/11/13) >>

Aela the HuntressStill obsessed with Skyrim here! I am so excited about doing this costume that I’m already making a post for it! :) I’m wearing this one to Momocon ’13 and probably Dragon*Con ’13 if I don’t already have too many costumes.

Ancient Nord ArmorThere are so many amazing outfits in this game, especially with armor. This particular armor set stands out to me because its visually interesting and has a variety of elements, such as steel plating, chainmail, fur, stones, etc. I’ve noticed this has been a fairly popular cosplay – not surprised since people seem to gravitate towards the sexy ones, and this is one of the most revealing outfits in the game. Nothing wrong with that! Its just that this costume speaks to me for more than just sexiness for some reason. I’d like to attempt a very accurate version of it with nice materials. I’ll make a list of the elements and why I like them.
Continue reading “Aela the Huntress Costume (Progress)”

Past Costumes

Just sticking some pics of old costumes in this blog post since I don’t want to do write-ups for them. THESE ARE QUITE HORRIFYING SO VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! xD

Skyrim Tavern Wench




Daenerys from Game of Thrones


The Major from Ghost in the Shell

(Photo by Dave Nelson)

(Photo By Dave Nelson)

Major Ghost In The Shell

Satine from Moulin Rouge

It’s hot chocolate, I swear! :P

Sailor Saturn Cosplay – Progress

At the last minute (3 weeks before) I decided I need another costume for AWA. Saturday I’ll be mostly in my Lydia costume for judging/contest, and the Skyrim commoner dress in between for comfort. That dress will also be what I’ll wear if I go Sunday. So I realized Friday would be a good opportunity for something different. I’ve always wanted to do a Sailor Scout costume since high school, but never found the opportunity. But AWA would be perfect, so I decided to finally do it! I chose Sailor Saturn because in my opinion she has the most interesting/unique outfit. The wig will be easy to find since I can just wear a black medium/short one with bangs. The boots would probably be the most difficult, but I think if I find the right fabric and base shoes I can do it. It’d be great practice for when I do my handmade Skyrim boots in the future. I’m on the fence about the scythe though. I’m not really fond of large anime weapons, and I wouldn’t know where to store it afterwards. This is a work in progress costume, so I’ll be updating this post periodically.

Since I’ve never done a sailor scout before, this will be fun figuring out. Sailor Moon cosplay has been done a bazillion times, yet people still love it! I really want to make it look nice. I’m hoping mine qualifies as a “good” one. :-P It seems like a fairly simple costume overall compared to what I’ve done before, but still needs care to make it well. I’ve got a pretty good idea in my head of how I’ll be going about this, but I’ve researched tips online anyway. This tutorial looks super helpful. I’ll deviate quite a bit, but its a good base. I want to use a nice strong fabric for the leotard. I do ballet, and I like the thick, tight material some of my leotards have since it really slims the body. The bows, skirt, and neck flap thing (forgot the word! >_<) I've really debated about. I need a material that's stiff and will hold its shape, especially for the pleating. The shiny satin stuff doesn't do that and looks kinda cheap, yet I'm not sure how a matte cotton-y material would look, it almost feels "wrong." Saturn's coloring also seems to vary widely, but I think I'll shoot for very deep indigo and burgundy colors. So as I was looking through that tutorial I linked to, I noticed they put snaps on the crotch of the leotard, with the intention of pulling it over your head. I was thinking, why would you do it that way? Then I realized, this whole thing will actually be difficult to put on. Normally you pull a leotard on by putting your legs through the neck and pulling up, however the neckline will be small and probably won't fit around my hips. The pullover method they mention then seems smarter, however I'm not sure my stiffer non-stretchy version of the skirt will fit over my shoulders. I'll have to test whether it does before I attach it to the leotard. If it doesn't, I may need to do a zipper on the back. If so, hopefully I can master the invisible zipper stitch on my new machine. :-/ Update 9/13/12
I went to the store yesterday and got the materials for the base outfit (accessories I’ll save for later). I found some nice thick athletic spandex material that should achieve what I’m going for with the leotard (tight and slimming). For the skirt, bows, etc, I ended up getting a really nice quality Kona cotton. It has a high thread count, so its thick enough not to be see-through, holds a pleat very well, and almost has a slight shimmer to it in the light. The color selection wasn’t too great, but I got a decent dark purple and burgundy. They are a bit lighter than I wanted, but it should still be obvious which scout I am. I also got fusible interfacing and some white felt.

So far I’ve done the bows, and they’ve turned out really well! The stiff fabric combined with the interfacing has resulted in really nice sturdy bows.

Update 9/17/12
I worked on this costume quite a bit over the weekend. I’ve gotten most of the leotard/fuku done, woo! Since I didn’t have a leotard pattern, I had to make something up. I took my measurements and traced a pattern out on some scrap fabric, using the Cupcake fuku tutorial as a visual reference. I then cut out the real fabric, and after pinning and tailoring quite a bit, I finally ended up with a nice fitted fuku. In the anime I noticed the top part (where the boobs go) pokes out a bit and looks padded. It seems what most Cosplayers do is sew in a second layer for the top. I did that, but I also added a layer of felt in between to really make it stand out. As a plus, it provides modesty coverage! (the fabric is fairly see-through.) I did the unique petal parts of the sleeves as well. They didn’t quite turn out as well as I’d hoped, they are bunching a lot and don’t look uniform and pressed. I think its because I didn’t put interfacing in it and didn’t cut the corners enough. I’m debating redoing the sleeves, but the stitch I used was very small and will be a huge pain to take out. :-/
A major mistake I made was messing up the front under the bust where the V is supposed to be. I meant to do it, but I spaced out while cutting and cut it straight across. >.< Update 9/20
I got the skirt done, yay! I wanted it to look like the anime version, nice and stiff with very visible pleats, and I think it turned out pretty well. I used 2 yards of the purple Kona Cotton for it. I cut off about 14 inches from the height (fabric to use for later) and used the rest for the skirt. I put a layer of the fusible interfacing in between and folded it back at the original fold. In order to not have to hem it, I used the fold as the bottom of the skirt. I pleated the top and pinned the two ends together, made sure the radius of the skirt fit me right, then ironed the pleats. At this point, even with the interfacing keeping it stiff, the bottom of the pleats were fanning out really wide. It was quite silly looking actually. :-P So I fixed that by sewing a line down each pleat on the inside of the skirt to hold them in place. I put it on and put the white tube thingy (that lining at the top of the skirt where it meets the fuku) I had made earlier over it in the right spot and positioned it with pins. Then I cut off the extra fabric poking out the top and sewed the skirt to the liner. Of course I forgot about the bow and had to take out the seam at the back and add it. (My seam ripper is my best friend!)

I also constructed the star broach and necklace. I cut out the shapes from white craft foam and glued them together. Then I coated them with a thick layer of glue and sprinkled on a fine white glitter. Lastly, sealing it with a clear sealer from a can. To attach, before I glued the pieces together I sewed the first layer into the fabric of the bow and necklace.

Update 9/25
UGH I’m so tired of buying costume stuff! I’ve been to craft stores so many times in the past couple of weeks, they probably think I’m the creepy girl now that buys totally random weird stuff. Like yesterday I was getting the stuff for the Silence Glaive (scythe), and at Michaels I bought 2 styrofoam cones and black paint. I wonder what they thought of that. I’ll post a list of everything I bought and how much I spent on it later when I’m completely done. Anyway…

So for progress, I’ve done a lot over the weekend. I mostly worked on the boots, and they were a pain! My fingers are so torn up from pinning. >.< For the base I used really old dance shoes I've had since high school and never wear anymore. For the first attempt, I took scrap cloth and started pinning it to my leg with the shoe on. I thought it looked okay so I used that as a pattern. I cut out the purple cloth and super thick interfacing with the intention of making the boot sturdy. Well, that didn't turn out so well. The interfacing didn't wrap to my foot like the pattern did, so I had to add a lot of ugly darts. After spending a whole day on it, I ended up with a pretty ugly boot. The next day I gathered my scraps and decided if I was careful, I could start over. I found this tutorial, and it helped a lot! I eyeballed their pattern and adapted it to my own foot. For structure, I used leftover thin fusible interfacing for the main foot, and the thick stuff starting at the ankle up. This turned out much better since the foot part was easier to shape. I ended up with some nice looking boots! As of now, I need to line the tops and center (instead of hemming, I think it’ll look nicer) and add grommets.

I also worked on the tiara and scythe a bit. For the tiara I cut the shape from craft foam, added the edging, glued on a fabric backing, and shaped it with heat from the stove. For the scythe, I cut 2 copies of the blade out of white craft foam and glued a fabric backing to one of them. I thought this would make it stiff enough, but it was still a bit floppy. So I cut wire from a hanger and bent it to go along the center of the blade and hot glued the other half on top. The wire made a ridge in the foam, which is good because the blade has that shape anyway, and I’ll be painting 2 shades along that line. I then took a cheap plastic scythe I bought at Party City and cut off the plastic blade. Then I stuck the wire on my blade into the silver plastic end. There was a hole left from cutting off the blade, so I stuffed it with polyfil and lined the opening with hot glue. To make the base of the blade, I cut out petal shapes from leftover craft foam and hot glued them on. (Hot glue is awesome when working with foam btw!) This is as far as I got. I’ve already started sealing the tiara and scythe foam parts with a water and glue mixture to prepare them for painting.

Update 10/2/12
Done! I actually finished it around 5AM before AWA on Friday, but I didn’t have time to update until now. So I painted the scythe and tiara and they turned out okay. I had bought white gloves from Party City because I wanted to save time, but they were really terrible quality and had holes in the seams. I would have just fixed them, but the fabric was this ugly shiny stuff (hard to tell behind the plastic wrapping) so I just returned it. Having to hand make gloves was why I was up so late. :-P I also made the mistake of opening my wig on Wednesday night instead of earlier. The wig was a hot mess, it looked like someone let their dog play with it. Needless to say, I took that back, too. Luckily I got a better wig. Unfortunately it was too long and I had to trim it, but it turned out okay.

Anyway, here are the final pics! Click to view the full size.

Sailor Saturn Costume
Cute pose!
Sailor Saturn Costume Front
Front of the costume
Sailor Saturn Costume Back
Back of the costume
Sailor Saturn Costume Closeup
Me being silly in front of my mirror :-P

At the Con: I will update these as I find good ones floating around online!

View this costume at!

Skyrim Commoner Dress – Progress

Skyrim Commoner Dress

This is the costume I’m currently working on (as of September 2012). This is a simple but pretty dress that some commoners wear in Skyrim. For some reason whenever I see a character wearing this dress, it catches my eye. Maybe its the pretty blue. Anyway, I wasn’t inspired to actually make this dress until I did the Dragon*con ’12 parade and met Starlightslk, who was wearing another version of a commoner dress. To the non-Skyrim obsessed nerd, it was just a simple peasant dress. I AM a Skyrim obsessed nerd, however, so not only did I appreciate the reference, but I was very impressed with her execution. It was so well done and accurate, I couldn’t help but keep asking questions about it. Here is a nice picture I found of it from the parade on Flickr.

Seeing this made me really want to do my favorite commoner dress. It just so happens that Anime Weekend Atlanta is coming up in a few weeks, so I plan on wearing it there. I know there’s a good chance no one will know what its from or even care, due to the anime-ness of the convention, but oh well. Maybe I can charm some people to take pics. :) I also plan on wearing my Lydia costume in the contest since I didn’t win anything at Dragon*Con, so we’ll see how that goes! (I’m new to the contest scene, so I’m not sure how okay it is to enter a costume into more than one contest, not sure if it makes me look like a jerk or if its a pretty standard thing…) Anyway, the commoner dress will be an easy comfortable costume for me to wear when I’m not dressed as Lydia. (I’m not 100% done with this one yet, so I’ll update this post later when I finish. I’ll update the publish date so it goes up front.)

So I took screenshots and studied it carefully to figure out how I’ll do the pattern. One of the aspects of sewing I want to improve is pattern making, so this will be good experience. It looks like the outfit consists of a simple white wrapped smock, an open front skirt, and a tunic with a matching simple sash/belt. The shoes will just be my canvas Toms, which look surprisingly like actual shoes from the game.

I went to the fabric store and got the materials. I was looking for the cheapest white cotton fabric for the smock and ended up picking out this neat off-white cotton/muslin with little speckles in it. I felt it looked more like it was from the game, especially considering its supposed to be all dirty and stained. This would allow me to not have to mess with it too much. For the main fabric, I scoured the store and the best I could find was this light blue polyester blend. It had the right texture and was a steal at less than $2 a yard. I could have gone all around town looking for the perfect fabric, but this is supposed to be a quickie just for fun/practice dress that’s not competing in anything. I didn’t want to spend too much time and money on this. I did end up buying some fabric dye though. The dye was super cheap, and this could be a learning opportunity. So I cut a small swatch and tested out the dye. I watered it down a bit and didn’t let it soak too long since the dye was too vivid. Also I was hoping the polyester in the fabric would help prevent the dye from being too strong. Luckily it turned out pretty well. Its a bit too pretty of a blue compared to the game, but good enough for me. If this was for a contest or something more important, I’d add some dark grey dye and possibly a bit of green to get the right color.

Unfortunately when I went to dye the rest of the fabric, I messed up. I had three yards, so I cut it into three one-yard pieces to make it easier. The first one I put too much dye in and it was way too blue. I tried to bleach it lighter and it turned purple! Sigh. For the other two swatches I was so afraid of adding too much dye that it ended up lighter than I wanted. At this point I gave up with the dying. Like I said, quick dress, no one will know, might be weathered/dirtied up anyway, etc, so no point in worrying about it.

To make the tunic I needed a base since I’m not great at pattern making. So I got a cheap $3 small fitted t-shirt and drew the lines I needed on it. Then I cut it out and placed it on the fabric, leaving extra room on the edges for seams. Then I sewed everything together and added lining, resulting in a pretty good looking top. I also got crazy and added embroidery to it, though you can’t really see it due to the lightness of the fabric. Only major mistake I made is that I didn’t allow room for my hips (doh!), so you’ll see in the pics at the bottom of the post that it looks squished around my hips.

Update 9/17/12
At this point, I’m almost finished with this outfit. I made the skirt by taking a long piece of the blue fabric and hemming it, then sewing a waistband with the leather string threaded through so I can tie the skirt on. In the source it looks like there are 2 layers. Due to my dying blunder, I didn’t have enough fabric for this. So I just sewed the hem really wide to at least have the lines on there. I also sewed the belt and put some grommets in for lacing. As this point all I have left to do it the decorative stitching and the grommets for the tunic!

I also considered whether or not I wanted to weather it and decided not to. Again, this is a quickie dress; accuracy not needed. I figure if I end up doing one of the Jarl outfits from Skyrim [link when I make it] for the D*con 13 contest, I might return to this dress to practice weathering techniques.

Update 10/2/12
So AWA is over, and I can post that this costume is done! I finished it a week or so before AWA but got too busy to blog about it.

Pictures! Click to view full size.

Skyrim Commoner Dress
Front of the dress
Skyrim Commoner Dress Back
Back of the dress
Skyrim Commoner Dress Detail
Closeup of the embroidery on the tunic. Probably would have been better to use white thread to see it better.
Skyrim Commoner Dress with Khajit
Me with my adopted Khajit baby :)

Lydia From Skyrim – Progress

Lydia Skyrim
© Dave Nelson Photography

This costume is my baby! I’ve mentioned it several times in other posts. I originally did this one for Dragon*Con 2012 and entered it in the Friday Night Costume Contest. It didn’t win, but I got great tips. Read the details about the contest here. However, I later went to AWA 2012 and won Best in Show Journeyman! My first ever costume award!!! Read about it here.

Anyway, I made a PDF that I printed out for the judges. Instead of posting tons of images in this post, here is the link.
Lydia Skyrim Costume

I will write a more detailed explanation here though, split up by parts of the costume. If you need a visual, its probably in the PDF.
Continue reading “Lydia From Skyrim – Progress”