2015 Year in Review

We’re quickly approaching the end of 2015, so I thought I’d take today to glance back.

I made 7 costumes total for myself this year:

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Captain Marvel. Photo by Kristi Grunden
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Belle. Photo by ACCosplay
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Margaret from Persona. Photo by Aperture Ashley.
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Batwoman. Photo by Scott Van.
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Wonder Woman. Photo by Roger Enyart on FB.
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She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk. Photo by Mehreen Rizvi Photography.
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Lulu from Final Fantasy X (1, 2, and 3). Photo by Callula Cosplay.

All in all, I’m very happy with these builds with the exception of Batwoman. I mentioned in my Costume Notes that the bodysuit just didn’t work for me. While the optimist in me would love to revisit that costume and remake the suit, I think I’ll add it to my used costume pile, sell it, and move on. I still love that cape, though!

Here are a few quick highlights from this year’s adventures:

  • Started competing in Costume Contests. Won Best in Show at DCC in February (Captain Marvel) and Best Craftsmanship at ANT (Lulu)
  • Shared on several websites this year, including Geek and Sundry, Titans of CosplayWomen of Comic Book Cosplay, and CosCouture.
  • Opened an Etsy shop
  • Completed 15+ commission builds
  • Learned lots of new skills, including corsetry, some very basic leatherworking, and embroidery
  • Invited as a guest and cosplay judge at local events
  • Invited to local libraries and museums to teach Cosplay 101 workshops
  • Served as staff advisor to my college’s costuming club
  • Had the chance to do some cosplay charity work
  • Got to work with several new photographers, including the fantastic Mehreen Rizvi and Kristi Grunden Photography
  • Met several of my favorite cosplayers and got to pick their brains (Thanks again for the book tips, Riddle!)
  • Made lots of new friends!

This year has definitely been my best yet for cosplay. That said, there were definitely times where I pushed myself to the point of burning out. I’m taking a (very small) step back from cosplay next year to give my wallet and my schedule a bit more breathing room, and to also allow me the freedom to explore my non-cosplay interests again, including garment sewing!

Here are my for-sure builds planned for 2016:

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Clockwise from top left: Sailor Uranus, Hannah from Rat Queens, Bruce Timm Poison Ivy, and Wonder Woman.

I’d love to squeeze 1-2 more builds in there next year if time and funds allow, but I’m not going to stress if I don’t. I’m far more interested in making quality builds, and possibly revisiting/tweaking some of my older costumes. I still have so many that need proper photoshoots!

And since we’re quickly approaching the New Year, here are a few of my sewing, cosplay and blogging goals for 2016:

  • Invest more blog time in tutorials. I started doing this early in 2015, but tapered off. I’d love to do more Back-to-Basics posts and post some freebie patterns/tutorials!
  • Clean up and reorganize my craft space. It’s so, so, so chaotic right now that I can barely function. Over the holidays, my goal is to take a few days to reorganize everything. I’m hoping to also stash bust my old fabric, wigs, and supplies and post them on Etsy!
  • Get back to non-cosplay sewing. I sorely neglected this in 2015. I don’t want to kill my budget or time, so I’m shooting low and planning to make 1 non-cosplay thing per month. Eventually I’ll finish my tailored coat project!
  • Make the switch to WordPress.org. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. WordPress.com was a great way to get this blog started, but now I want to do more with it, like add Disqus and my shop widget among other things. I’ll probably do this when I get through my first 2-3 cons of the year.
  • Do at least 1-2 non-convention photoshoots. This is a holdover from last year. I let time get away from me, and as a result, I didn’t allow myself much time to do non-convention photoshoots. Now that I’m planning to cut back on my builds, I’d like to squeeze in more photoshoot time.
  • Revamp my commissions procedures. I… was not smart in how I handled commissions this year. While I’m grateful for the experience I got, they overwhelmed me quite a bit. This year, I’m going to try working in blocks. I’ll open commissions during my slower times and accept a limited number of spandex based commissions. I’ll probably open my first block of commissions in March, so keep an eye out!
  • Add more variety to my Etsy shopMy clutches didn’t go over as well as I hoped, so I’m planning to add a little more variety to my shop next year. I’m planning to add some pillow covers and infinity scarves, but I’m also open to other ideas! Is there anything you’d be interested in seeing?
  • Get a new dress form. This is less of a goal and more of an inevitable “to-do”. My poor dress form is completely warped and more or less unusable right now. Once I get some spare funds I’m getting this gal!
  • Take a photography class. Another holdover from last year. While my photography skills have gotten marginally better, I’d love to take a class on Craftsy and set-up a mini-photo shoot area in my craft room to practice.
  • Spend more time interacting with other blogs. This is another thing I let slide this year. I’d really like to get back to interacting with other blogs on a  regular basis again!

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Bring it on 2016!

What are your goals for next year?

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18 thoughts on “2015 Year in Review

  1. I think your Wonder Woman is probably one of my favorites! It’s just too perfect and adorable! But Lulu is amazing build wise! You had a fantastic year and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

  2. Cosplaying Hannah is one of my goals for 2016 too! Love all the looks from this year, and look forward to more next year.

  3. Your experiences with the Belle gown were like gospel when I tackled my first corset for Cinderella this year! You’ve made some amazing things this year – I can’t wait to see what the next year brings. Migrating from WordPress.com can be a headache – but it’s okay once you have your head around it, good luck!

  4. Your Wonder woman is perfect, but I have to admit I’m in love with all your outfits this year. I got into cosplay with my daughter (she is 6) this year and we have a laundry list of things we want to make, but I’m trying to be realistic this year and keep the goal list short with our first outfits being Raven and Starfire.
    Can’t wait to see how you do Poison Ivy. It is also on my future to make wish list. Curious to see how you do it.
    Can’t wait to see everything you make in 2016.

    1. Thanks, Samantha! Obviously I haven’t even started Ivy yet, but my plan is to make her base costume as a Playboy bunny style suit. I’ll share my process when I get started. Can’t wait to see how your costumes go!

  5. Hi there! Just have to say I love your blog and your work!

    I’m working on my own Belle dress right now, and love the breakdown you posted. I realized I’m using the same hoop skirt as you are, and wanted to know how the elastic waistband was working? I know your dress features a corset should help keep it in place, but I’m worried about the elastic stretching out over time and with the weight of the dress. (I’m planning on a bodice top rather than a corset, so the waistband wouldn’t have that tight top over it, if that makes sense.) I’m using a lot of heavy satin with embellishments on the skirt, so weight is definitely something I’m concerned about. How has the hoop skirt worked for you? Do you think I should replace the elastic with a gathered, non-stretch waistband for better use in the long run?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    1. Thanks, Laura! I did have some issues with the waistband of my hoopskirt. I’m rather tall (5’11”), so I had to wear it a little lower on my hips for the full flared effect. The hoopskirt did try to slide down on me a few times and my handlers had to help me hoist it back up. I’ll probably replace the waistband on mine before I wear it for a long period of time again. Hope that helps!

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