A-Fest

Probably my favorite selfie from A-fest. Cosplay repair assembly line!

Probably my favorite selfie from A-fest. Cosplay repair assembly line!

A few weeks ago, I attended Anime Fest! Anime Fest is held at the Sheraton Dallas, where A-Kon used to be before changing locations two years ago. I only attended one A-Kon at the Sheraton, so it heading back was a bit of a surreal experience. Honestly, it’s kind of a shame that they moved locations, as I like the old location better.

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Ran into the lovely Dallas Fan Girl!

On Friday, I headed in mid-afternoon (as soon as I could scurry away from work) decked out as a casual Captain Marvel. A-Fest did a brilliant thing this year and offered pre-registered members the opportunity to mail out their badges in advance. I really hope A-Kon gets on board with this idea, because it only took me 10 minutes to pick up my lanyard on Friday. Not having to wait in line absolutely wonderful.

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Panelists left to right: My Geeky Geeky Ways, Samurai Pizza Kitten Cosplay, Mia, and Liz.

The only panel I actually made it to on Friday was the Confidence in Cosplay panel, hosted by my friends over at Superhero-esque. Lots of discussion on body image, how to handle haters, and more! You can check out a video of the panel below.

I kicked off Saturday with a photoshoot with Aperture Ashley! Ashley’s done several shoots at A-Kon before, so she had some great spots picked out for maximum magical girl shots. I can’t wait to show you the final photos!

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I love this hall shot of my Jupiter! Courtesy of Overbeck.

Saturday overall was pretty chill. I wandered around with my friends Mia and Liz, said hi to lots of people, got recorded by Cosplay with Me for his con tour video (I’ll post a link when it’s up!), dropped by a Sailor Moon photoshoot, and just generally hung out and had a good time. I really enjoyed this experience, even if I did miss a lot of the people I hoped to see. Hopefully if time works out, I’ll be back next year! Thank you to everyone who said hi :) You can see more photos from the event on my Facebook page!

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Loved seeing so many Moonies gathered in one spot!

My con season is slowly but surely winding down. I only have two cons left this year: Dallas Fan Days in October and Anime North Texas in November. I may or may not have a new costume for both. We’ll see how time and funds are doing in a few weeks!

Selfie-con! I changed into my Ms. Marvel gown in the evening and hung out with Liz, Samurai Pizza Kitten, and Mia.

Selfie-con! I changed into my Ms. Marvel gown in the evening and hung out with Liz, Samurai Pizza Kitten, and Mia.

Are you still going strong with cons? Or are you winding down and getting ready for next year?

August Challenge: More like Captain Marvel-ous!

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The Basics: 

Pattern: Simplicity 1606 bodice and Sewaholic Cambie skirt, view A

Fabric: 1.5 yds of blue cotton sateen (stash), 1/2 yd red cotton sateen, 1/2 yd gold charmeuse (stash), 1 yd of cotton muslin

Alterations: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Lots.

Notions: Zipper. Cording for piping, harvested from pre-purchased piping in my stash (because I hate myself). 

Make it again?: Not likely. I love it and will definitely make more character-themed dresses, but not this one. Likely. I don’t know. Who wants one? 

Favorite parts: All of it. The bodice came out exactly like I hoped it would, which makes me super, super happy. 

Process: This dress is totally inspired by Contagious Costuming’s beautiful Captain Marvel dress. As soon as I saw it, I wanted it. I thought it was a perfect “frosting” project for this month’s theme, since I’ll probably only wear it out to geeky events. Fortunately, I had a fair amount of fabric in my stash that was perfect for the project. 

It begins...

It begins…

I knew off the bat that I wanted the Cambie skirt. It’s flattering and has pockets! What’s not to love? Figuring out which bodice I wanted was a little more difficult. My initial inclination was to go with Simplicity 1699, and in hindsight, that may have been a better option since the neckline is drafted higher. I opted to go with Simplicity 1606 instead since I had it in my stash and I wanted a little hand holding to perfect the fit of the bodice. For my first muslin (yes, first), I made size 22 since it corresponded to my full bust, but I was swimming in it. Then I went back and made size 16, which corresponds to my high bust. Much better fit, though I still had to adjust for pooling under the bust. This tutorial was a great help in that department. 

Once I had the fit figured out, I drew out the design and used my muslin as a pattern. I didn’t want to destroy my good fabric, so I made up a third muslin to test the fit. I went back and forth on adding the faux raglan sleeves, and ultimately decided to include them. I’m very glad I did, because I really like the look of them. 

After getting muslin #3 made up, I was ready to make the real deal. It honestly came together pretty quickly and easily since I’d already “made” it so many times. I did underestimate how much blue I needed, so I had to cut the length short by 2 inches. I also had to do some clever folding to get the skirt to work out. Oops. 

Piecing it all together.

Piecing it all together.

I assembled everything a little counter-intuitively. In a typical dress,  you’d make the bodice, make the skirt, then attach the two. I took Contagious Costuming’s advice and assembled the full front then the full back. This made satin stitching the star and installing the zipper much easier than if I went the standard way. 

I opted to reuse my first muslin for the lining. I just lined the bodice since I wanted this to be comfy for summer cons. Yay cotton. I attached the lining to the zipper and then finished off the sleeves using this snazzy technique from Colette.

At this point, I thought that I’d just be able to add the collar and be done. HA. No. After drafting and creating a collar that I was oh-so-proud-of, I basted it in place… and felt like my head was swimming in it. Despite being large in stature, I have a tiny head. Much sadness (especially after making my own bias tape and piping. Grrr). So I decided to sacrifice the collar (though my lovely fellow Monthly Stitchers suggested making a jacket, so that’s happening). Still, that left me with the issue of how to finish the neck without seam ripping. I opted to press my seam allowances under and top stitch it down. I also top stitched the edges of the arm holes for matchiness. 

detail front

Other thoughts: Even with all that work, I’m super proud of this dress. It’s hella comfy and I absolutely love how it turned out. I didn’t get finished with it in time for Fan Appreciation Day (I actually bailed since didn’t want the temptation to spend money), but I did wear it to Friday of A-fest and styled my hair after Captain Marvel’s fabulous faux-hawk from the 2012 run. I also nearly died when Kelly Sue complimented my dress. 

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And now for some obligatory dress form pictures. 

dress front

dress back

pocket detail

A fun little detail. I made the inside of my pocket red. Just because. Also: delicious seam matching.

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Another little detail no one will see. I finished off the edges of my pockets with some yellow bias tape to reinforce the seam and keep in line with the color scheme. I left the bodice lining floating, since it really doesn’t bunch up.

I’d really love to make more geeky character-themed dresses in the future. I always forget how comfortable they are, and they’re just as much fun as cosplay. Rogue and Wonder Woman dresses are definitely in my future! 

DIY Cutting Table

I finally cleaned off my cutting table for you guys! Behold, one of my new favorite things:

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And the clouds opened up and the angels sang.

You all know how much I love my pegboard organization system. It’s the best. But this cutting table may take the cake.

I knew when I moved that I wanted a HUGE cutting table. I spent many nights shifting around my poor cutting mat on the floor of my old apartment, squeezing into corners so that I wouldn’t miss anything (Seriously, cutting my Ms. Marvel dress was a pain in the butt). This mat takes so much pressure off my back when I’m cutting!

To create a cutting table like mine, you’ll need the following:

While I was researching, I noticed that a lot of people hacked together storage cubes to create desks (If you go that route, I highly recommend taking a look here, here, here, and here)! I already had a set of Target storage cubes that I was using as a dresser in my old apartment, so I built off of that. I decided that I didn’t want an actual table to sit at since I already have my sewing desk, so I bought additional storage cubes and pushed them flush against each other.

Several of the  tutorials I read (this one specifically) suggested making your table the same height as  your navel. I’m 5’11”, so mine sits at a comfortable 36″ without risers. You may have to adjust how you arrange your cubes (mine are stacked 3 vertically) and add risers if you’re shorter.

Once your cubes are flush, you have the option of making them more stable with flat brackets. I ultimately decided against this, since 1) I’m a renter and would like to move everything out eventually), and 2) my tabletop holds everything in place pretty well.

Now that your cubes are situated, grab some sticky Velcro! Place your velcro around the edges of your table and place the corresponding pieces on the bottom of your table top. Between the weight of the table and this Velcro my table is pretty solid (unless you push directly against the side). If you want something sturdier, you can use L-shaped brackets to attach your cubes to the bottom of your tabletop.

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Mmmm… Velcro.

One more tiny step: grab your kitchen drawer roll and place it on top of your table, then set out your cutting mat(s). I already had a small cutting mat, so I waited until Jo-Ann’s had a sale and bought my large one for $20. This means that I now have a cutting area 6′ long! Perfect for making ball gowns.

The kitchen mat I used to hold my cutting mat in place.

The kitchen mat I used to hold my cutting mat in place.

You’re done! Now go fill up those cubes and get to cutting. Here’s a look at how I filled mine:

My main sewing side. The top two rows are fabric and the bottom row is patterns.

My main sewing side. The top two rows are fabric and the bottom row is patterns.

The geeky/fun side. This holds most of my comics, trades, Japanese study materials, and manga!

The geeky/fun side at the end of the table. This holds most of my comics, trades, Japanese study materials, and manga!

Additional craft supplies. I have slots for my sewing books, wig supplies, paints, irons, PDF patterns, and some miscellaneous books.

Additional craft supplies. I have slots for my sewing books, wig supplies, paints, irons, PDF patterns, and some miscellaneous books.

I hope this helps some potential cube hackers out! Do you have a cutting/craft table? If so, please share!

A-fest Lineup

Hey everyone! Just a quick post this week. Time really got away from me while prepping for A-fest. I can’t believe it’s this weekend! Here’s what I’m wearing. 

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Friday: Unfortunately, I have a mandatory work meeting the first part of the day, so I’m going casual(ish). For this month’s Monthly Stitch, I made an “frosting” dress based on Captain Marvel’s new uniform. 

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I wore the wig mostly as a stand-in since my hair was pinned for another wig test, but I really like it. I may or may not have blonde hair tomorrow. I’m hoping to get ready fast enough to make it for the Confidence in Cosplay panel, hosted by my friends Mia and Liz at Superheroesque, My Geeky Geeky Ways, and Samurai Pizza Kitten Cosplay

Saturday: Guys, my labor of love for the last two months is finally complete. I’m going to be my favorite senshi! I have a photoshoot scheduled with Aperture Ashely in the morning and I’m planning to head to the Sailor Moon photoshoot as well. 

jupiter back_Fotor_CollageIf I’m not dead on my feet by the evening, I’m planning to change into my Ms. Marvel gown for the ball. 

Sunday: I’ve wanted to make a Sailor Moon-X-men crossover for a little while now, so I decided A-fest was the perfect opportunity for it. I’m reusing pieces of my Rogue costume and Jupiter to create Sailor Rogue, and she’ll be there as Sailor Jubilee! rogue 1

My brooch is still drying and I’ll also have green tights, but you get the idea. 

I’m super excited for A-fest! If you see me there, feel free to say hi and ask for one of my shiny new contact cards! You can follow my shenanigans on Twitter and Instagram. Hope to see some of  you there! 

 

 

Fashionista Award

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Well, I was hoping to post about my new cutting table today, but it’s currently housing materials for three projects and I’m not exactly in the mood to clear it off for pictures. So I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my email and saw that Dolly of Fashion that Pays nominated me for a Fashionista Award! I don’t really consider myself a fashion blogger (but I’ll get to that in a moment), so I was both surprised and flattered to be considered.

Da Rules: 

Reference the blogger who nominated you

Answer 10 questions asked of you by the nominator

Link back to the award creator and nominate 10 others for the award

Inform the 10 nominees and ask them to comment on the creator’s page to enter to win the award

Give 10 questions for your nominees to answer

Awardees: 

Since I’m a geeky gal, I decided to award this to other geeky ladies who have an interest in fashion. It was so difficult to narrow this list down to just 10 people, since I’ve met so many incredible and fashionable ladies via the Female Geek Bloggers community! Here are my awardees:

  • The Pyreflies — Jessica has such a fun, pretty blog. I love her series on fashion inspired by Final Fantasy!
  • xoMia — A fellow cosplayer and a friend, Mia has lots of tips on cosplay, beauty, style, and living geeky.
  • Nerd Burger — I love Cazz’s style. Front her brightly-colored hair to all of her geeky clothes. Her blog makes my inner geek girl happy.
  • Melificent — A recent addition to my blog roll. I stumbled across Melificent’s blog through Adorkable Apparel, but she’s also a Moonie! Love, love, love her recent post on Sailor Moon fashion.
  • GlitzyGeekGirl — Another local cosplayer and friend! Anna is a hair stylist and posts quite a few tips on beauty as well as some super cute (and geeky) OOTDs!
  • Fancy Dresscapades — I love meeting other seamstresses who are into cosplay. It’s such a natural overlap, but there’s not as many out there as I thought! Jennie’s vintage-inspired style appeals to my inner librarian. I seriously need her cats-eye glasses.
  • Joie Fatale – I love all of Joie’s posts, but her series on workout cosplay is one of my favorites.
  • The Designer Geek — I “met” Yissel via Twitter, where we chatted about construction of fashion. I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog and learning more about the industry.
  • Geek Glam — a recent addition to my blog roll, Stephanie combines her love of fashion with her love of gaming. Bonus: she’s also from Dallas!
  • Comics and Cookies — another recent addition to my blog roll. I really enjoy her weekly Geeky Fashion Fix!

Questions to Me: 

1) At what age did you know you were a fashionist, or knew you would be one day? (let alone blog about it!)

I honestly never thought about it! I was very much a jeans-and-t-shirt girl growing up. I started experimenting more with fashion since learning to sew, so I guess… 24? Sewing has really put me in touch with what flatters my body and what I’m willing to wear. After all, I’m not going to spend 10 hours on a sewing project if I’m not going to wear it!

2) What’s the no:1 thing f-blogging has taught you about writing/presenting to an audience?

I am far more critical of my mistakes and choices than anyone else. 9 out of 10 people don’t notice if my seam is 1/2″ off unless I point it out. There’s definitely a benefit to recognizing your mistakes. After all, without making mistakes, we can’t improve (well, I can’t)! But I have a bad habit of getting hung up on mistakes. I’m working on it!

3) Do you machine wash items labeled ‘hand wash’ or ‘dry clean’ only? ;-)

For my RTW clothes, absolutely. I’m much more careful with my me-made creations. That said, I often try to find fabrics that can withstand machine wash because I really dislike hand washing.  While I love natural fibers, I’m also veering away from straight-up cotton, because ironing before every wear is super annoying.

4) Do you consider yourself a savvy or impulse buyer, or a bit of both?

Oh gosh, I’m such an impulse buyer. I’m like Dora in Finding Nemo. Give me all the shiny! Reining that habit in this past year (I’m currently on a RTW clothing fast) has been quite the challenge. I’m hoping that when I go back to purchasing RTW clothing again that I’m able to look at my clothing choices more critically and think twice before buying.

5) What is your favourite trend; e.g. neon, colour blocking, monochrome, pattern mixing, leggings, big accessories, socks with sandals!?

Love, love, love leggings. Leggings with tunics or dresses is one of my go-to looks. It’s stupidly comfortable but also manages to look very put together! I also love color blocking and peplums. I’m looking forward to incorporating more of these trends into my fall clothing projects.

6) What is your least liked or just most disliked trend?

I don’t really have one at the moment. Prior to sewing, I might spot a trend and hate it, but I’ve learned to accept more types of fashion. I might not like a certain look on myself, but that doesn’t mean that a friend won’t rock the same look! Just as an example, I initially hated peplums, but I’ve really grown to like them. I think it’s all about finding what works for you.

7) What are your pet peeves or no:1 pet peeve about fashion, be it the industry or how it impacts society? E.g. ever changing sizing, fast fashion, keeping up with the catwalk etc

Fast fashion. It has ramifications on so many things: environmental impact, human rights issues, local economy (see page 3 for U.S. employment in manufacturing), and more. Getting into the homemade movement has really opened my eyes to the amount of work that it takes to create a wardrobe. It boggles my mind that companies can justify paying people pennies on the dollar for pieces of clothing. There are many industries where people no longer even have to touch the product they’re making, but the fashion industry isn’t one of them. Slow fashion is a movement that I wholeheartedly support.

8) What’s your favourite thing about your style?

Comfort. Even in my costumes, I always make comfort a priority. Once I’ve put on a piece of clothing, I don’t want to think about it. I’ve started working more with knit fabrics for this reason. I’m always behind clothes that wear like PJs!

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Speaking of PJs, here are two of my most worn me-made creations this year: my Renfrew top and my Tofino pants! I pretty much put this on the second I get home from work. Wig optional.

9) What you’re least liked thing about your style that you’d like to change/improve?

I don’t always look as put-together as I’d like. This is an issue I’ve mentioned before, and the longer I work in an office environment, the more I notice it. I’m on the down hill slide to 30 (guh), so I feel like I need to dress more like an “adult”. The problem is that I really don’t enjoy making office wear. I want to make fun, pretty things! Once this year is over, I think I’ll go back to purchasing office wear (specifically trousers) and spending my sewing time on icing projects.

One of my favorite work outfits that manages to look put-together. I really need to take a weekend and make a closet full of Mabels.

One of my favorite work outfits that manages to look put-together. I really need to take a weekend and make a closet full of Mabels.

10) If you could have helped come up with one of the major fashion innovations/trends in the past, which would it have been?

Corsets. I love, love, love corsets. So much artistry goes into corset making, and I’m really looking forward to learning to make them for myself!

My all-time favorite corset!

My all-time favorite corset!

Questions to my awardees:

  1. Who is your fashion icon?
  2. Where do you fashion inspiration?
  3. What is your go-to color palate?
  4.  What fashion trend do you absolutely adore?
  5. What’s your take on fashion hauls?
  6. Thrifting: yea or nay?
  7. Where do you shop the most?
  8. What is your favorite movie?
  9. What are your goals for your blog?
  10. What’s your favorite fandom?

Thanks again to Dolly for the award!

WIP Wednesday: July Edition

Apparently my cosplays are actually agents of Hydra. Every time I knock one out, three more spawn in its place. Here’s a quick look at what I’m *hoping* to have finished out in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed that I don’t get roped into twelve more 0_o

Sailor Jupiter: 

This has taken far more time than is reasonable. Do you have those costumes that are within your skill level, but you can’t seem to make it *just* right? That’s this costume for me. I have seam ripped those sleeves at least four times. But! I am going to finish this one. I need to in order to salvage my ego. Fortunately, I’m getting past the absolute worst parts (hopefully), and I’m down to the collar, hemming the skirt, and styling the wig. I have a shoot planned with Aperture Ashley at A-fest, so I’d better get busy!

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Sailor Rogue: 

I realized about a week ago that I’m not going to be able to knock out a full extra costume for A-fest, so I decided to work with what I have. The result: Sailor Rogue! I’ve had this idea baking in my brain for months, but this artist’s piece is what tipped the scale. Fortunately, I already have everything but the tights on hand! I’ll be using various pieces from my Rogue and Sailor Jupiter costumes, and I have some spare gold satin from my Ms. Marvel dress for bows. I like the gold/green look better than green on green. I’m tentatively planning to wear this the Sunday of A-fest.

Captain Marvel Dress: 

This is my planned Monthly Stitch project for August, and I’m hoping to have it done for Fan Appreciation Day. I’m not going to get around to a full Captain Marvel this year, so I’m stashbusting and reinterpreting her design for a dress! I adore this one by Contagious Costuming, which was my inspiration for this project. I’d love to incorporate the raglan sleeves, but I also need to knock this out pretty quickly, so I may just go with a sleeveless version. Any thoughts? I’m hacking the bodice with my Cambie skirt. Because pocketses.

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That actually should read Simplicity 1606. Derp.

Street Fighter Cammy:

This is actually a commission. A cosplay friend contacted me about a week ago asking if I knew anyone who could commission this for her in time for A-fest. I still had some green fabric leftover from Rogue, so I decided to help out. It’s pretty much just my Ms. Marvel leotard with adjustments made to the leg hole openings. I’m done with the base, so I’m hoping to have it finished by tomorrow.

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I have a few other things in the works (including some non-cosplay projects), but I won’t get started on them until after A-fest, so y’all will just have to wait until next month’s post ;) What’s on your project table right now?

Costume Notes: Marvel Now Rogue

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Hey there, sugah!

Completed: July 2014

Hours Spent: 6ish

Debuted: North Texas Comic Book Show Summer 2014

tumblr_n78j2eSKuq1sxq29yo1_500Why This Costume: …it’s another Rogue? Haha. I really enjoyed the Marvel Now run of X-Men, which featured an all-female team, including Rogue. This version of Rogue is (or was) very much the Rogue that I grew up with and loved. She’s the muscle of the group and is more inclined to punch first and ask questions later. I actually blame that series for getting me into recent Avengers runs, since she just disappeared from the X-Men title and I wanted to know what happened! Marvel pretty much owns my pull list right now.

Ran into the lovely ladies of Gone Catawampus! We've been chatting via blogs for a little while, and we finally got to hang out for a while on Saturday!

The lovely ladies of Gone Catawampus!

How I made it: Construction for this costume is pretty simple. It’s a basic tunic, leggings, and boots. For the tunic, I used my handy Kwik-Sew 3154 pattern. I traced over the bodice/skirt to get the tunic look, but I had to taper it down at the sides so that I didn’t flare out too much. I cut off a 2″ chunk of white moleskin for the center strip and removed an inch from the center of the bodice/skirt pattern. I borrowed the bands from my Renfrew to make the sleeve cuffs, and I drafted the hood using this tutorial.

The cutest little Riddler you ever did see. Photo courtesy of Gone Catawampus.

The cutest little Riddler you ever did see. Photo courtesy of Gone Catawampus.

I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of thigh-high boots, so I sewed them into my leggings. The leggings are my Kwik-Sew 3636 pattern. I cut it off a bit above the knee and cut up an old sock to create the foot of the pattern. Rogue’s boots are “described” as a deep green, but the color varies drastically depending on the artist. I didn’t want to drop a lot of money on this costume, so I went with some black moleskin leftover from my Ms. Marvel costume. I sewed scrap vinyl to the bottom of the “boot” so that I won’t slide around when walking. One of my favorite parts of this costume is that she’s drawn with flats.

Hanging out with Starman of My Geeky Geeky Ways. Photo courtesy of SNCS Live.

Hanging out with Starman of My Geeky Geeky Ways. Photo courtesy of SNCS Live.

The belt is an old black leather belt that I painted white and a re-purposed X-men belt buckle. The wig is the same Rogue wig I’ve worn several times this year, but I trimmed the bangs (I am terrible at this, by the way. Anyone have a good bangs tutorial?). I actually bought the Ferraris intending to make this costume, which is why I didn’t have a straight wig for my Kotobukiya Rogue. I also used my old utility pouch so that I wouldn’t have to carry a purse! I purchased the gloves from Party City.

Hallway shot courtesy of Captain AmeriDad of the North Texas Cosplay group.

Hallway shot courtesy of Captain AmeriDad of the North Texas Cosplay group.

Thoughts on this costume: I purchased the materials for this costume back in January, since I wanted to make this costume months ago. Better late than never! Overall, I’m pretty happy with this costume. I serged all of it, so it came together very quickly. It’s super comfy, especially with the flats. I can definitely see myself wearing this a lot when the weather cools down.

Thanks to Starman for the photo!

Thanks to Starman for the photo!

In case it isn’t obvious, I opted not to wear a corset with this costume. I just wasn’t feeling it that day. I thought about taking other pictures, but I wanted to post these to show the difference various kinds of shapewear can make. I used an old off-brand Spanx set that dug into my waist and made me look lumpy. In hindsight, I should have gone with something that went up to my ribcage or just gone with my corset. The more you know!