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Commission Notes: Super Sailor Moon

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Completed: February 2017

Hours Spent: About 40 hours

How I made it: I know, I know. ANOTHER FUKU. I keep promising myself/y’all that I’m going to cool it with these, but apparently they’re becoming one of my staples.

For a long time I told myself I wouldn’t take Super Moon commissions since I definitely prefer the gradient dyeing we did for Cosmic Coterie and lack an airbrush. However, my client was fine with the stripe approach from the 90s anime and I did a few other experiments with this build, which I’ll focus on today.

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Prior to tapering the hip rolls.

Let’s start with that pesky double hip roll again. I’ve made a couple of double hip rolls with upholstery piping, but I honestly am not in love with it. So I went back to upholstery foam and even further back to my Jupiter 1.0 days when I used Zan‘s pattern. I used her hip roll pattern piece for the front, and then tapered it down to almost 1/4 the original size. This gave me a chance to really control the depth of the taper and make it even (this is something that drove me crazy with our original group build). I know that Moon has a brooch that covers up the point of the V, but having messy work drives me batty, so I’m glad I was able to clean this up! The gold hip roll is 3/8″ smaller all around than the white one.

Both of the hip rolls are sewn into the seam. I basted the gold one about a half inch above my normal stitching line on the bodice to accommodate the clunkiness of both rolls. Once both hip rolls were in place, I then hand stitched the entire hip roll with a back stitch for durability, using my basting lines as a guide.

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Pro-tip: Don’t use ribbon or straight grain fabric for the stripes if you’re using the circle skirt approach. It won’t curve around the skirt properly and will lead to bubbles and wrinkles (like this when I hadn’t pressed my seams).

The skirt was a… special challenge. I wracked my head for weeks with this. My initial inclination was to level the skirt then cut off the portions I needed and use them as a template, but that would have required INSANE precision. Eventually I realized I was making it way too complicated and cut super long strips of fabric on the bias. I had originally ruled out continuous bias tape (so apparently this approach has a shit ton of names, because I was chatting with the girls and we realized that we were all talking about different techniques lol) because I didn’t want lots of seam lines showing, but I made sure that my seams were tucked into the folds of the pleats for the most part.

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To create the sleeve petals, I cut a strip of Worbla (1″ wide X 10″ long), layered it on another strip, and heat formed it over my dress form. Once it cooled, I glued each layer of the Mylar/Organza petals one at a time with e6000. I let each layer get to the point that it was dry to touch before I added on a new layer. Once all 3 layers were attached and mostly dry, I glued a strip of Velcro on top and fleece on the bottom to make it slightly more comfortable. There’s a matching piece of Velcro on the lining of the chest armor to keep it in place. Credit for this idea goes to MASK Props. I love how he did the sleeves for PockyPants‘s Chibi Moon

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The last major change I made on this fuku was on the butt bow. I used my trusty Pellon 808 interfacing instead of vinyl and like it a lot better. I hate that the bow isn’t transparent, but it holds its shape much better with interfacing versus vinyl.

That about covers this fuku! You can find more details on my other fukus here, and tutorials on how to make a Cosmic Coterie style fuku here.

What’s your favorite version of Sailor Moon? 

Nightmares and Drill Curls

I recently knocked out the first major portion of my Mami cosplay: the CRAZY ASS WIG!

This wig was such a steep learning curve. Part of the reason I specifically chose Mami for our Coterie build (aside from her adorable design and the fact she’s my favorite Madoka character) was because I wanted to flex my arguably tiny wig muscles and learn more about crazy styling techniques. Well… I definitely learned a lot!

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Recurring statement: EVERYTHING IS TERRIFYING AND I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M DOING

My main resource with this tutorial was SparklePipsi’s drill curl tutorial. There are a lot of tutorials on the packing tape method of drill curls, but hers is my favorite. Overall it’s a great comprehensive guide and has a lot of useful tips and techniques (pro-tip: make sure you get CLEAR caulk. I had to get mine off of Amazon because my local hardware stores didn’t have any). Plus, all her tutorials are beautifully designed and in PDF format for easy downloading and printing.

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Sad wig is sad.

So my first major tip if you opt to take the packing tape/jewelry wire route: you will need WAY less wig fiber than you think you do. I hacked my stubs in half, and they were still way too thick. So thick that they literally separated from the tape when I tried to curl it.

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F*ck you wig.

This lead me to my first big deviation from this approach. Every time I tried to start curling the packing tape, huge chunks of the wig fibers would start popping up. After consulting with my wig guru Vicki Bane, I went back and laid the wefts down while the packing tape/wire was in a curled shape. Placing the wefts on the interior while the tape is in a curled formation is difficult, clunky, and time consuming, but it’s really the only way to get the fibers to lay flat.

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Getting there…

That brings up the next technique: actually laying the wefts on. After I gave up on my first wig (RIP), I got a Chibi and two ponytail clips instead of another Leia (pro-tip: if you get the Leia as Suzanne notes in her tutorial, make sure to straighten it first). I tore apart the netting on the ponytail clips and laid two layers of wefts on at a time until I got the thickness I wanted. Basically, it was caulk, 2 layers of wefts, thinner layer of caulk, 2 more layers of wefts, hair spray.

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Almost…

I had the best results when I brushed out the wefts just prior to laying them on the tape and then gently adjusting them with my fingers (definitely keep water and paper towels nearby). I’m not sure if I was doing it wrong, but using a comb to smooth my wefts resulted in a chaotic caulk-ridden mess.

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Zip ties were my best friend when attaching the drill curls. Alligator clips are also super helpful for keeping the wefts in place while drying!

Suzanne’s tips about the clear filament (aka fishing wire) were super helpful! I threaded mine through each curl around the wires and then stitched it to the base of the wig. The curls were far too heavy to get Mami’s gravity defying bounce, but the the filament helped me place each curl exactly where I needed it to go.

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Without (left) and with (right) filament.

So what’s my take-away from this experience? Wigs are expensive and terrifying and I don’t know how people deal with them LOL.

Not really. This experience reminded me to constantly research, talk to people who know more than you, and to not to let fear of failure keep you from trying. I really thought that I’d have to scrap this project a couple of times and commission someone. I still see a lot of mistakes when I look at this wig, but I feel a lot more confident trying something outside of my wheelhouse now.

Have you ever chosen a project specifically to enhance your skill set? How did your experience go?

Costume Notes: Super and Regular Sailor Pluto

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Photo by Cosplay Illustrated

Completed: October 2016

Hours Spent: Approximately 30

Debuted: Anime North Texas

Why This Costume: After A-Fest, the Cosmic Coterie crew decided we wanted to switch up our fukus a bit and decided we wanted to go Super! Our affiliates expressed interest in joining us to have a full set of senshi again, so I offered to take the role of Pluto! (I got extra tall boots so we can be almost height accurate 😉 ).

I think most Moonies have a favorite inner and outer senshi. While Jupiter is my all-time favorite senshi, I have a soft spot for Pluto! I actually considered making Pluto before Jupiter back in 2014, but decided against it since I didn’t know how to build props (or who to ask for a commission) at the time.

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Purchased pieces: 

How I made it: 

Note: I made regular and Super Pluto pretty much at the same time, which is why I combined these costumes into one post.

I swear, every time I make a new fuku I learn something new to improve the process. I don’t want to get too heavily bogged down in details since pretty much everything you need to know is over on the Cosmic Coterie fuku tutorials (seriously, I’ve written a damn novel at this point). However, I do want to point out a few fit tweaks that I’ve noticed since making Jupes 2.0.

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Photo by Cosplay Illustrated

One of the biggest game-changers in my fuku process comes courtesy of Katie Cosplays. She noticed a few of our fukus in the past have had issues with puckering at the point of the V. Turns out, lowering the point of bloomers fixes that problem! When I redrafted my pieces for Pluto and sewed the skirt on, I actually turned to Space Cadet Cosplay for feedback because I was convinced I’d done something wrong. It came out right on the first try (don’t mind the puckering here too much. My belt needs to be shortened by about 8″)! Normally there’s at least a little profanity and seam ripping to get the hip roll just right in my experience.

Another issue I noticed with Jupes 2.0 was skirt length. The pleats lose their shape at a certain length, and I definitely needed to shorten the hem for my Jupiter. Some of my front pleats almost look like they have puckers, and it’s just because the skirt is a hair too long. I’m finding that about 8″ from the bottom of the V to the hem and about 10.5″ in the back works well for me. This one is 7″ from the point of the V to the hem. If/when I get around to re-making this fuku (I noticed some minor holes in the base leotard last time I wore it), I’ll lengthen that to 8″. The horsehair braid is also much more effective with the shorter skirts as well.

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Hanging with my trash nerds, Callula and 10th Muse at Marvelous Nerd Year’s Eve.

Working on the boots for Pluto was a fun experience and great practice for my upcoming Wonder Woman! I thought about buying pre-made Pluto boots, but the ones I liked best were close to $120, and all of them looked too short for me. My frugality won out, and I decided to make my own. I used NyuNyu Cosplay’s tutorial on how to draft the toppers. My first set of boots was a pair of knee high boots from eBay. These came out perfectly, but when I tried them on, they were a bit too short for my Amazonian legs. However, I did keep them for wandering around the con days. For round two, I bought some over the knee boots, cut them down to the right length and shape, and used scrap vinyl from Huntress to create the white topper.

I redrafted the Supers clear sleeves a bit with the input of the other Coterie members. We decided to go with clear mylar for the sleeves, which we did with Super Moon and Chibi Moon. While the vinyl I used for Super Jupes was more comfortable, the Mylar definitely holds its shape better. We covered the mylar with clear glitter chiffon using 3M, which did a much better job than the spray e6000 I used for Jupes. Tutorials and pattern are available here.

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Super Pluto selfie before ANT!

Koholint Cosplay reminded me both of the joys of sewing on an interfaced collar (seriously, soooooo much cleaner than non-interfaced collars) as well as faux mitered corners. These are so much cleaner than the ones I did on both of my Jupiter collars.

I’d like to take a minute to give MASK Props a shout-out for my insanely beautiful garnet rod. He pulled this together for me in a pretty short period of time while working on another big deadline, and it’s absolutely stunning. I’m so grateful to him for taking this project on when he toooootally didn’t have to! I’m planning to hang it above my craft closet for display purposes when it’s not in use.

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Cosmic Coterie group photo by Stereometric with guest David as Tuxedo Mask!

Thoughts on this build: All in all, I’m so, so happy that I was able to make this costume happen. Pluto’s been on my wishlist for nearly as long as Jupiter, and it’s absolutely thrilling to be part of a full set of senshi! Now that this is done, I’m looking forward to a nice long break from fukus, haha (well, aside from commissions lol). I’ll add more photos as I get them!

Do you have a favorite inner and outer senshi? Who are they? 

10 Essential Tips for First Time Commissioners

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Peggy Carter commission for Lady Amaraldi.

1. Be brutally honest with yourself:

Before starting commissions, you absolutely need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I willing to do? Are you good with wigs? What about foam? Or resin? Or leather? The idea here is to ask yourself what type of work you excel at and emphasize it. For example, I can do some wig styling, but I don’t consider myself an expert on it, so I don’t offer it in my commission services.
  • Is my work good enough for commissions? I ask myself this ALL THE TIME. The reality is that there’s a certain expectation of quality with commission work, and if you can’t meet that quality, then you don’t need to sell. My commissions are the same if not higher quality work than my personal costumes, because each piece is a representation of me and my brand.
  • Are you good at customer service? Being able to communicate with people is one of the most essential tasks of commissions. Many potential commissionees approach the commission process thinking they can get costumes cheaper than eBay or Amazon, or that different tasks are simple when in reality they’re quite time consuming. Being able to clearly and calmly discuss these issues with potential clients is an absolute necessity.
  • Do I have the time? This is one of my big personal hold-ups with commissions. Working full-time puts a big damper in the number of commissions I’m able to take on at any given time, and it also impacts which costumes I can make for myself. If I have a deadline for a commission coming up around the same time as a con, then I’ll likely have to re-wear a costume, because client work comes first.

2. Pay yourself FAIRLY

Again, this is something I struggle with, but I’ve gotten better at over the years. Due to the rise in fast fashion, many people misinterpret the skill involved in sewing (and any form of custom work, honestly). The reality is that creating a custom piece will ALWAYS cost more than something you can find in an online costume shop.

Much like car or home repair, labor is often one of the largest expenses involved. I used to barely pay myself minimum wage when I first started, and I was miserable. I felt like I sacrificed all my time to creating things for other people, and when all was said and done, I’d barely made enough profit to make it worth my while. Pay yourself an amount that’s commiserate with your experience and skills to prevent this issue. I pay myself $12-15/hour these days, much to the dismay of my friends and SO. I feel like this is a fair price FOR ME since commissions are my extra play money and allow me to get crazy with my personal builds. Keep in mind: this is a low-ball charge compared to some folks who do commissions as their main source of income, so don’t be surprised if you see higher charges as you do research.

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This leotard was one of my first commissions, and a big learning curve in how to handle pricing! Cosplayer is Jade Cosplay. Photo by Tobious Cosplayious

To come up with a quote, I use the following formula: Cost of materials + Labor (Est. Hours x $12-15) = Final Quote charge (normally rounded down in favor of the client). When I get a quote request, my pricing process looks something like this:

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3. Talk to your clients

This is often one of the biggest frustrations I see with potential commissionees. They get everything set up and send off their money, only to never hear back from the commissioner or have minimal contact. Their deadlines roll around, and they’re in a panic, wondering if their costume will arrive in time. I’ve been in this situation before, and it SUCKS.

A quick message or post to let clients know what’s happening is so, so, so useful. Be honest and open about time frames and when you expect to work and ship so that clients have an idea of when to expect their items. For example, if someone’s at the bottom of my commission queue, I’ll let them know that I won’t be in touch/won’t have progress to show for at least so many weeks, or I’ll let clients know that if I have to order materials online, that they shouldn’t expect to get updates until at least a week or two after said materials have arrived.

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Saturn commission that I recently finished. I send clients updates anytime there’s visible progress to keep them up to date on progress. Normally this translates to updates every 1-2 weeks once a project has started.

4. …but don’t let them walk all over you

On the opposite end of the spectrum, clients messaging every single day is only a situation that should occur if the commissioner fails to deliver or ghosts. If a client harasses you for photos/progress, reiterate that you need time to work.

Likewise, stand your ground on your policies and pricing. People will always ask to bend things here or there. Every case is different, but at the end of the day, you have to stand up for yourself in order to make commissions an enjoyable (and profitable) experience.

5. Remember: Your name is attached to EVERYTHING YOU SAY/DO

Social media is both a blessing and a curse for commissions. If you do it well, it’s an easy way to market yourself and gain clients and followers. But at the same time, you have to be conscientious of your online presence. Insulting another cosplayer’s work, shaming (of any kind), or bullying are obviously huge no-nos (and key indicators that you’re a crap human being, let’s be honest). But there’s more to it than avoiding the obvious. You have to evaluate what your brand represents and how much information you’re willing to share. For example, I’m not comfortable sharing much of my personal life online, partially because I feel odd letting the whole world know what’s going on in my day-today, but also I don’t want to impact mine or my fiance’s day job (or future job hunting).

Think about what works for you and for the brand you’re trying to create. Individuals have a bit more flexibility than companies, but branding still requires conscientious curation.

6. Promote yourself

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Shadowcat Cosplay for Taffeta Darling of Fangirls of Dallas.

Again, this is another task I’ve struggled with in the past, but it’s a necessity to generate business. A lot of my promotion work happens at cons. I often wear nerd-inspired outfits on Fridays or Sundays (a.k.a. lazy con days), so any time someone comments on one of my outfits, I try to plug my name and distribute a business card. Most of my friends and family will do the same thing!

In addition to in-person marketing, online marketing is a must! There are lots of Facebook groups that put clients and commissionees in touch with one another in addition to standard social media marketing practices.

Here are a few groups to keep an eye out for:

7. Keep track of EVERYTHING

One of the most challenging components of commission work for me isn’t the creation of costumes. It’s the juggling work of keeping track of commission inquiries, where they’re coming from, and staying up to date with all the orders you need to make (not to mention deadlines). I get commission inquiries through all my social media platforms, as well as through e-mail and in-person chats. To keep myself organized, I keep track of all this information through Google Sheets and Trello.

Likewise, HOLD ON TO YOUR RECEIPTS, both digital and physical. Anytime I purchase anything related to my commissions or business, I put it in a bin just for tax related purposes. I also keep track of money via PayPal and Etsy’s shop setup. I definitely prefer spreadsheets as a way to keep track of money, so I make sure to go through all my receipts as meticulously as possible so that my headache isn’t so severe when tax season rolls around.

My workflow looks something like this:

  • Client reaches out to me for quote, and I make a note of the client, along with where they asked and other relevant information in a Google Sheet.
  • Once the client has agreed to terms, payment, and details, I send them a commission agreement form with fields for measurements and shipping information.
  • After the client has sent me their down payment, I begin ordering materials and starting on their piece.

I use Trello to organize out individual tasks for each commission, since it’s easy to drag and drop checklist items when they’re completed.

8. Even if you’re not organized, GET ORGANIZED

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Sailor Chibi Chibi for Charming Darling. I completely misplaced the original gloves I bought for this commission, so I had to replace them. Derp.

This ties back in with point number 7. Again, I’m awful at this, but commissions have forced me to get better. There’s nothing worse than needing to work on a commission, only to realize that you’ve misplaced supplies. It’s an obnoxious hold-up and can cut into your profits.

I’m in the process of setting up a new storage unit in my craft room that doubles as a quick pressing station. It is only for commissions and business related purposes, so I won’t have to rummage through my other bins and storage units to find what I need. Knowing where everything is supposed to go will save you time and stress!

9. Have fail safes in place

Shit happens. Your sewing machine breaks. The fabric that’s perfect for a commission is out of stock. You (or a loved one) have serious health issues. Having back-ups will help you keep your sanity as you work on projects when shit hits the fan. I build extra time into my commission quotes for this reason so that clients are pleasantly surprised when their items get to them early, rather than infuriated when items are shipped to them months late.

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Negasonic Teenage Warhead bodysuit for Callula Cosplay (logos by her). Photo by Gear Owl Photography. Good grief this costume was an exercise in patience since EVERYTHING WENT WRONG. Thankfully, we got everything worked out and Dana looks awesome as Negasonic!

10. Take time for yourself

Burnout is a real thing with commissions. It’s easy to take commission after commission, and then realize you haven’t made something for yourself in six months. It’s okay to close up shop for a while and take time to work on things for you. In fact, you should do this every now and then to recharge your creative batteries. Your work will be better for it!

Have you commissioned costume pieces before? What was your experience like? 

Skirt

I’m very excited to share a new tutorial with all of you! The Cosmic Coterie crew and I are super close to being finished with our Supers upgrades for ANT, and we also managed to get two tutorials published today. The one linked here is on how we construct our skirts, since that’s one of the topics we get the most questions on.

I hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me or Cosmic Coterie!

Materials Needed: 2.5 yds matte bridal satin Contrasting thread for basting Matching thread for hem Measuring tape Tailor’s chalk Optional: 7 yds 1/2″ horsehair braid Draft 2 full circl…

Source: Skirt

Costume Notes: Angel Dust (Deadpool)

Completed: October 2016

Hours Spent: Approximately 10 hours

Debuted: Dallas Comic Con Fan Days

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Why This Costume: This costume was partly a matter of convenience, partly a matter of wanting to cosplay with Callula, and partly a nudge from everyone and their dog. As I mentioned in my last post, I was out of the country for a week on vacation at the beginning of October, and I knew I wouldn’t have much time to finish up a full build for Fan Days. I loved the Deadpool movie, but wasn’t really sure who to cosplay. I think at least half a dozen people suggested I make Angel Dust before it actually clicked in my head that I look like Gina Carano’s character. And as an added bonus: it was pretty simple to make!

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How I made it: All in all, this is a pretty simple build. I bought all the pieces and modified the corset, top, and belt to be more film accurate.

Purchased pieces:

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The corset was definitely the most time-consuming piece of this costume. This tutorial from Lucy’s Corsetry was a massive help with this project. I compared it to my Wonder Woman overbust corset and marked where I needed to cut. From there, I seam ripped the binding, removed the boning, and cut the corset down to the right shape. Once that was done, I cut the boning down to the new length, re-tipped it, and put the boning back into the appropriate channels. I used the excess fabric to make the straps and I used faux leather scraps from Lulu to make the bias binding, which is also what I used for the diagonal stripes. A lot of reviewers on Amazon complained about the sturdiness of the zipper, so I tore that out and replaced it with a heavy-duty zipper as well. I also swapped out the lacing for black parachute cord. Finally, I stitched some 1″ black webbing I had on hand to the center front of the corset and to the straps.

The only other part of this costume I had to sew was the shirt. I didn’t think to purchase a shirt before my cruise, so I picked up 2 long-sleeve crew neck shirts at Wal-Mart for $5 a piece. I marked where I wanted the neckline to go, cut it off, and made a neck band out of my 2nd shirt. I also cut off the sleeves to 3/4 length and made bands from my second shirt to finish it off.

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I styled my wig much in the same manner as my Captain Marvel wig: tease, hair spray, blow dry, and repeat for crazy volume. Though the braids are film-accurate, I think I’ll remove them for future wears as the side burns of the wig don’t come down quite far enough on me.

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Thoughts on this costume: This might be one of my comfiest costumes to date! Even though a lot of people had trouble recognizing my costume, lots of people thought it was cool and I had a ton of fun derping around with Callula and trolling Deadpools. Next time, I’ll pay a bit better attention to my shapewear (my silhouette wasn’t quite what I was going for), shorten the straps a touch, and tweak the wig a bit. Otherwise I had a lot of fun with this build!

What’s your favorite comfy costume? 

Sewaholic Davie

~Quick announcement!~: Cosplay geeks, Humble Bumble has an exciting book offer for us this month! Get up to $142 worth of craft-friendly digital books for as low as $15. There are tons of great topics in here, including foam smith books from Volpin Props and Punished Props along with Kamui’s prop making books. I’m especially excited to check out the wearable electronics and 3d priting books! And as an awesome added bonus: proceeds go to the charity of your choice! Check it out here (no, I’m not getting sponsored. I’m just an education junkie, lol).

Happy Friday! If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I was in the Caribbean on a cruise last week. My beau/now fiance(!) and I have been planning this trip since early in the year, and it was a much needed break after the insanity of the early fall semester.

I had grand plans to take the month after A-Fest off and make a bunch of new non-cosplay garments for the cruise, but alas, I didn’t quite live up to my grand expectations. Still, I managed to pack several me-made garments on the trip, including one of my backlog patterns: the Sewaholic Davie!

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I’ve been eyeballing this pattern since it came out back in March. Everything about this pattern appeals to me: the knit design, the A-line skirt, the princess seams, and the minimal number of seams. Nothing about this pattern is complicated, but it’s super cute and very flattering! I’m pretty sure that it took me longer to print and assemble this pattern than it did to complete the FBA and sew the whole thing.

Aside from the FBA, the only change I made to this pattern was making the front portion of the sleeve black. I thought the color blocking went up to the shoulder, but it doesn’t. Herp derp. I thought the grey blocking this way would look more flattering on me, even though I tend to wear most of my dresses with cardigans.

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Since this is essentially a wearable muslin, I opted to skip the topstitching and keyhole. I’m not really a fan of the keyhole on this design, but it’s easy enough to eliminate by just stitching straight up the seam. Alternatively, you could cut the center piece on the fold.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Davie

Fabric: Mystery reversible scuba knit. I honestly can’t remember where I got this from.

Alterations:

  • Added 1.75″ FBA
  • Altered front to have black sleeve
  • Added 2″ length

Notions: Clear elastic, purchased bias tape

Make it again?: Absolutely! I’d love to make every variation of this dress for fun and work, and maybe even make some nerdy versions. A Rogue-themed yellow and green number would be perfect for casual con days!

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Favorite parts: A-line shape, speedy to make, and easy to wear!

Changes for next time: I definitely fudged a few details with this make since I kind of wanted a palate cleanser project after A-Fest. For next time, I’ll need to raise the arm hole about an inch, possibly more. I think the FBA lowered this more than I realized. I’d also like to tweak the arm hole finish for next time. I might finish it off with bias tape like the neckline and see how I like it. I wasn’t happy with just folding down the edge. It looks messy to me. I also need to make a swayback adjustment.

Other thoughts: All in all, this was a very fun (and fast) make! I’ve worn it a few times since finishing it up, and I’ve gotten several compliments on it. This one is definitely going into my tried and true collection, and I’m hoping to knock out a small collection of them in the near future! Who knows? Maybe this will be my new Cambie 😉

What’s your favorite tried and true pattern? 

Costume Notes: Negasonic Teenage Warhead

Today I’m featuring another recent(ish) commission I completed. This one was for Callula Cosplay!

The Basics: 

Pattern: Kwik Sew 3052

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Photo by 10th Muse / Gear Owl Photography

Fabric: Stretch pleather from Yaya Han’s new Cosplay Fabrics line (available at Jo-Ann’s), yellow moleskin from Spandex World, and stretch netting from Golden D’Or.

Notions: Invisible zipper, stretch elastic cording, fabric stabilizer

Make it again?: Already have! I made a second one for 10th Muse of Cosmic Coterie a little while back!

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Photo by Ash Snap ‘Em Photography

How I Made it: As with most of my spandex bodysuits, this one involved a mock-up out scrap fabric and using a Sharpie to draw in the seam lines. Once the seam lines were drawn in, we cut the pieces apart and used the mock-up as a new pattern.

Callula’s learning how to work with spandex, so we’ve been working off of a version of this pattern that’s altered to her measurements. Each time we make something we tweak the fit a little more. Eventually it’ll be perfect!

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Photo by 10th Muse / Gear Owl Photography

 

For the most part, this suit came together quite well. I did encounter some trickiness with the netting wanting to shift as I was stitching. In hindsight, I should have done more underlining with the yellow fabrics. I did that for 10th Muse’s Negasonic and it was much easier to handle.

There’s also a lot of inset corners with this suit, especially around the shoulders. Atelier Heidi’s tutorial is a great overview on how to get these points perfect. I also used topstitching to secure the edges.

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Photo by Cosplay Illustrated

For the piping, I cut 1″ wide strips of the yellow moleskin and filled them with elastic cording. I used my zipper foot to install them on one side of the fabric before stitching pieces together. Twinklebat has a great mini-tutorial on this process!

By far the trickiest part of this costume is the front belt-looking piece. I’ve seen cosplayers handle it a couple of different ways, but I opted to embed it into the fabric. This required quite a bit of finangling, as there’s lots of inset corners to work around, and it’s a highly visible part of the costume. For Callula’s, I had to go back and hand stitch most of this section down since I flubbed a few places.

Callula made the awesome patches for this costume!

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Photo by 10th Muse

Thoughts: All in all, this was a fun build that came together pretty quick. I can’t wait to knock out Angel Dust so we can beat each other up for photos and troll all the Deadpools!

Bows Tutorial – Cosmic Coterie

Big news to share! I’ve been working with the Cosmic Coterie on creating a comprehensive fuku tutorial. We’re releasing it in increments over the next several weeks, and the first one up is our bow process! I digitized all of our patterns to take the guesswork out of creating these.

You can check out the full bow tutorial by clicking the link below. I hope you guys find this helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Cosmic Coterie!

Major credits go out to SparklePipsi. Her patterns and process gave us lots of ideas on how to tackle ours!

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Sailor senshi bow tutorial

via Bows —

Costume Notes: Super Sailor Chibi Moon

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All photos by Ash Snap ’em

Completed: August 2016

Hours Spent: About 40 hours

Debuted: AnimeFest 2016

Why This Costume: This was a Cosmic Coterie group effort to complete Super ChibiMoon for the lovely PockyPants! ChibiMoon is her favorite character, so when we had a chance to do some recasting, we decided that she should get a new fuku!

 How I made it: Since this is Yet Another Fuku (sorry in advance, but MORE ARE COMING!), I’m going to focus more on the elements that made Super ChibiMoon a challenge and set her apart from a standard fuku.
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Pro-tip: the gold roll is slightly smaller than the white one, so I used the largest and 2nd largest cording available at my local Jo-Ann’s as appropriate (I believe it was 1″ and 22/32). we also used the smaller cording for the glove rolls! Saturn is Pocket Sized Cosplay

One of the main differences Super Moon and ChibiMoon have compared to the other senshi is the double hip rolls. A single hip rolls is ALWAYS a challenge to get clean (especially when you work with foam), but the double approach added yet another wrinkle. With our Super Moon, we originally went with the same foam we used for the rest of the senshi, but it was literally impossible to sew by machine, and still an insane challenge to sew by hand. I pricked myself sooooooo many times. My thimble was a lifesaver!

To make life a little easier for myself this time around, I picked up some upholstery piping, covered it in a layer of quilt batting so that the ridges wouldn’t show through the spandex, and then covered the whole thing in gold and white spandex. To create the tapered points, I cut the ends of the piping at an angle and covered them with tape since this piping frays like the devil. Once both sets of rolls were complete, I hand basted them together, then basted them to the leotard. While I could get the hip roll combo through the machine, I ultimately opted to hand stitch it to get as close to the roll as possible and finished up the interior edges with my serger for durability.
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PockyPants’s husband, Mask Props, airbrushed the skirt and collar pieces I cut. This skirt proved an interesting challenge in terms of the hem. With circle skirts, you’re supposed to let them hang to allow the bias to stretch out (which we did prior to painting), then level the hem and finish it. Since we had to paint the skirt prior to sewing it, I had to take length off of the top of the skirt rather than the bottom while also making sure the gradient looked consistent. It’s definitely a challenge, and I still see spots that I’d like to go back and fix before our next group wear, along with the hem for our Super Moon.
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 Another issue we addressed with ChibiMoon is the paint on the collar. Our Super Moon’s collar paint bled horribly on her chest armor after a full day of wear at A-Kon. Fortunately, we got most of it out, but to help prevent that issue with ChibiMoon, we hit it with a few layers of Scotch Guard. So far it’s held up pretty well!
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I’m particularly pleased with ChibiMoon’s butt bow. We took our standard butt bow pattern and enlarged it by about 30%, and I also drafted the cascading tails. I picked up the same mirror organza we used for Super Moon and used French seams for durability. Super Moon’s butt bow utilized serged seams, and unfortunately the opalescence of the fabric shows all the overlock threads. A French seam this time around resulted in a much prettier and stronger finish! Can’t wait to get on a making one for Super Moon as well 🙂
We also wanted to take advantage of the sheer nature of the fabric to match the manga artwork, so we took a cue from Ohheyabear Cosplay and lined the bow with a thick vinyl. The result is lovely, albeit heavy, so it tends to droop throughout the day. Mask Props is going to rig us a clear U shape device to support the weight of the bow for next time.
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Couldn’t resist adding this one. Moon is Dani Peddington Cosplay!
 Thoughts on this build: All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out! I’m so happy I could help PockyPants embody her favorite version of her favorite character. There are some fit tweaks I want to make for next time, and I can’t wait to document those for an upcoming sailor fuku tutorial I’m working on with the Cosmic Coterie girls!
Which senshi form is your favorite (classic, Super, Eternal, etc.)?