2014 Costuming Projects!

It’s the customary New Year’s post, and as most of my resolutions are the exact same as last year, I won’t bore you with that. Instead, I want to talk about my costuming projects for the upcoming convention & events season.

In 2013, I attended my first residential conventions, and one of my favourite things about Nine Worlds in particular was the amount of costuming there. I had a blast wearing a Steampunk outfit on the Saturday and my Sally Skellington cosplay on the Sunday. I even placed third in the cosplay contest! So, I’m really excited to be attending again. The post-con blues will even be delayed this time, as I’m going to WorldCon the weekend after NineWorlds!

Sidenote: I am SO EXCITED about WorldCon, it’s ridiculous. Expect to hear me talk your ear off about it, because I’m also volunteering with them and I’m really, really jazzed about working with the LonCon3 staff. Anyway, COSTUMES!

NineWorlds and LonCon together represent eight days of con goodness. I seriously wish I had the time to make eight outfits, but that would be way too much work. Instead, here are my plans, vague as they are so far:

Steampunk Costumes

One of my favourite things about steampunk outfits is that they allow so much freedom and creativity, and of course making a character is part of the fun. I want to build more things from scratch or from recuperated bits and bobs. The aim is to focus on a few bigger pieces (maybe a corset, a skirt and a pair of trousers). Adding various accessories to that should allow me to assemble different costumes from these – I’ve got lots of ideas and I’ll be posting about them in more details soon!

Xena Warrior Princess

A few years back, a friend of mine organised a lasertag birthday party where guests had to come dressed as princesses. So obviously I went for Xena because I had way too much time on my hands. I spent AGES making the costume out of pleather handbags from the charity shop and various other things I had lying around. Sadly, one intense session of lasertag absolutely ruined it (though we all had an AWESOME time), but I’d like to make a new one, including:

  • A corset – I actually tried to MAKE this last time and I only barely managed to get something that didn’t fall apart. For the long run, I definitely think buying a plain brown leather effect corset will be the best way to go. There will still be lots of customising to do though.
  • The skirt with the MANY flaps – This was long to make, but actually pretty good fun too, so I’m definitely making it again. The process I used worked pretty well, so I’ll do the same again and hopefully I can photograph or film it for interwebs posterity.
  • The ARMOURED BITS!! – This is honestly what I’m most excited about making. Xena wears a really nifty breastplate that ties around her back with many buckles, as well as armoured upper-arm bands and gauntlets, plus studded boots in some references. I failed miserably when I tried to make these out of pleather and cardboard, but I cannot wait to try these out again with Worbla or Wonderflex.
  • The Chakram – I’m also very excited about the chakram too! It’s such a recognisable weapon, and it looks like it wouldn’t be too difficult to make. I’m also looking forward to the painting job on it.

Sally Skellington

This costume is comfy to wear and already finished, so it’s definitely coming with me to both Cons. I also like that it can worn as a more or less ‘going all out’ cosplay depending on the style of makeup used. It still needs some more work though, I’ve been thinking of a few things I could do to improve it:

  • Finishing touches – Add visible stitching all the way to the back; go over hand-drawn designs (polka dots, pinstripes, etc…) with screen printing fabric ink and heat set to prevent designs running out in the wash; possibly take in for size, though I don’t know if that will be necessary.
  • Make new arms and legs – These are constructed out of white tights, meaning that they tear and smudge easily and the previous arms/legs are now pretty ugly, after having been worn only three times. The plan is to saw on the stitches design instead of drawing it on.
  • Construct a ‘sew thyself up’ mechanism – in the film, Sally fixes herself up when her limbs get taken off. My big addition to the costume this year will be fake ‘wound’ with stuffing fibres coming out of it, allowing me to pretend re-sew my arm with a big fake needle.  I have an idea that liquid latex will be involved.
  • Make a prop – some kind of container I can keep my stuff in, maybe an upcycled basket, or a fancy jar of some description.  I always think it’s a shame when I’ve spent time on a costume and the effect is ruined by a mundane handbag.