Costume Notes: She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk

Photo by Alan Tijernia.
Photo by Alan Tijernia.

Completed: October 2015

Hours Spent: Approximately 10 hours

Debuted: Dallas Comic Con Fan Days

Why This Costume: I’ve been interested in making Jennifer’s classic suit for a while, but the final push for this costume came from my mom. Apparently the cosplay bug bit her after going with me to Dallas Comic Con last year as Supergirl, and she wanted to team up with me for another costume. When she mentioned that she liked She-Hulk, I knew we had to team up as She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk!

Photo from David on FB.
Photo from David on FB.

How I made it: All in all, this is a pretty simple build with the exception of body paint. Aside from the leotards, most of the pieces were purchased.

Purchased pieces:

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As I mentioned in my review of M7217, Yaya Han‘s Ultimate Bodysuit pattern is pretty straight forward. For regular She-Hulk, I underlined all the white portions with white spandex scraps from other projects. My outer layer of white is moleskin from SpandexWorld. The black on Red She-Hulk was leftover scraps from Callula Cosplay‘s Huntress.

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Red She-Hulk joined the Dark Side of the Force!

I wanted to give both of the Shulkie leotards a bit of pop for more visual appeal. To do that, I made the purple portions on both She-Hulks with milliskin from SpandexWorld overlaid with purple jersey cut from a pair of men’s basketball shorts. There was a bit of stretch to the jersey, so I cut the width of the pattern on the stretchiest part of the fabric. I attempted to dye the shorts, but I didn’t notice any real change in color.

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On regular She-Hulk, I also added a strip of grey piping to between the white and purple sections. Check out this tutorial for detailed instructions on adding piping to spandex. It’s somewhat time consuming, but the results are so pretty!

Finally, I ditched the pattern instructions for a centered zipper and used an exposed zipper, as mentioned in the M7217 sewalong on the Cosplay by McCall’s blog. Such a simple detail, but it really makes the suit stand out!

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I knew right away that I didn’t want to paint my entire body for this costume (just painting my face and doing makeup took about 2.5 hours), so I turned to We Love Colors for tights that I could use for the arms and legs of these costumes. For regular She-Hulk, I used olive as a base layer, and covered them with a pair of emerald tights I got off of eBay. I plan to swap those out with emerald tights from We Love Colors next time I wear this costume. My mom wore a double layer of scarlet red for the legs and a single layer in the same color for the arms. We both double layered for the legs due to opacity issues. I would highly recommend ordering a smaller size for your arms!

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To make the tights work for the arms, I cut a hole out of the crotch and sewed a strip of 3/8″ elastic around the crotch hole to keep it from stretching out. I didn’t have time to do this on Red She-Hulk, and oh man, it makes a big difference as the day went on. Once the hole was in place, we wore the tights as a crop top, with the butt side in the front to accommodate the bust. After that, we used embroidery scissors to snip holes for the fingers and used Fray Check to keep them from running too much.

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Body painting was definitely my biggest challenge with these costumes. I’d never painted myself before, and it was a much bigger undertaking than I expected. I’m so glad I did a makeup test in advance! I was pretty pleased with the coverage I got from Mehron’s Paradise collection. Definitely, definitely, definitely let your paint dry between layers and seal it! Also, take allergy medication if necessary. My allergies are bugging the crap out of me right now, so I kept having to touch up the inner corners of my eyes and my nose.

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Derping it up with Callula Cosplay.

My makeup lasted quite well throughout the day, though I did get some on my costume by the sheer nature of it being white. Here are a few tutorials I found helpful for body painting:

Photo by Scott Vanz.
Photo by Scott Vanz.

Thoughts on this costume: I had so much fun wearing this! Jennifer is such a bad-ass babe, and it was awesome to embrace that. My mom and I are both trained in martial arts, so posing for our photoshoot was a lot of fun. Our photographer asked us to do a little sparring match for a video, which was one of the highlights of the day. I can’t wait to come up with our next mother/daughter costume!

Have you ever done a costume that required body paint? What did you think of it? 

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Life According to Instagram: May 2015 (+ Con Announcement)

FotorCreated1. The lovely Taffeta Darling asked me to help out as a cosplay guest at Keith’s Comics for Free Comic Book Day. It was a really fun experience, and I even got my first sampling of contest judging! I had a great time at Keith’s and would love to visit again next year.

2. I finally put the final touches on all the Gotham costumes this month, including my friend’s Spoiler.

3. The beau and I decided recently to shake up our date nights. We have a habit of staying in, ordering takeout, and watching Netflix for our dates, so this month we decided to hit a local gourmet BBQ restaurant. The ribs were delicious! I forgot to be an obnoxious foodie IG-er, so this was my look for our date.

4. The middle of the month was kind of rough for me between work being INSANE and trying to finish up commissions. My BF was super sweet and surprised me with a whole set of plush direwolf pups!

5. Since graduating, I haven’t read as much for fun as I used to. I recently started bringing books to work to read during my breaks, and my BF and I read a chapter of a book a night together. It’s kind of our own mini-book club. So far I’ve made it through 4 books in the last 2 months. It’s nowhere near as fast as I used to read, but it’s a start!

6. My mom graduated with her Bachelor’s degree! I’m so proud of her. She put off her own education when she had us, but going back to school has been a dream of hers for years. She’s taking the summer and fall semester off and then going back for her Master’s in the spring 2016 semester!

7. Thor is still adorable, just in case you were wondering.

8. I finally got around to cutting materials for clutches! I’m hoping to get these knocked out the week after A-Kon and my storefront set up shortly after that. I’ll let y’all know as soon as they’re up!

9. I wrapped up May with a trip out to Dallas Comic Con Fan Expo! I didn’t stay long on Saturday with my overheating incident, but Friday was pretty fun. I got to visit Ksenia Solo of Lost Girl, wandered around the dealer’s room quite a bit, and chatted with Riddle’s Messy Wardrobe. She was such a sweetheart and even showed me how she made her Elizabeth book so I could replicate it for Margaret.

tumblr_np9p6l0fei1sxq29yo1_500Today kicks off A-Kon for me! Well, I got in on Thursday, but today is when all the good stuff starts. I’m wandering around today as Belle in the morning and Captain Marvel in the afternoon/early evening. On Saturday, I’m wearing Margaret the first part of the day, and when that gets too hot to deal with I’ll switch to Bombshell Wondie. If you guys are there please feel free to say hi!

Are you on Instagram? Let’s be friends!

Dallas Comic Con Wrap-Up

Better late than never, right?

In May, I attended Dallas Comic Con. This was the first time the convention was actually held in Dallas, specifically the Dallas Convention Center. I was absolutely thrilled with this, since the new location is a short taxi cab from my apartment (it’s going to be such a bummer to move).

My costume line-up for DCC.
My costume line-up for DCC.

Friday

The con kicked off on Friday afternoon. I hosted and attended with Mia, and we mostly used the evening to scope out the new location and catch up with cosplay friends. I dressed as a “casual” version of Rogue so that I could wander around and play photographer.

Bathroom selfie. Just because.
Bathroom selfie. Just because.

I was immediately impressed by how space was utilized in the new Dealer’s Room. At the Irving location, traffic jams happened on a regular basis due to people snapping pics of cosplayers as well as popular booths. That said, a few locations were less than ideal. Specifically, where comic book artists were located, but more on that in a bit.

The Cosplay Hideout (hosted by the North Texas Cosplay group) was also a welcome addition that we utilized all weekend. It was stocked with lots of cosplay repair supplies, including tape, hot glue guns, bobby pins, and pretty much anything else a cosplayer needed! It was also a welcome place to hang out and relax for a few minutes.

Saturday

Saturday for me is always cosplay day! That’s when most cosplayers come out and bring the costumes they’ve spent months preparing. I wore my Ms. Marvel costume, which was surprisingly comfortable. I had hoped to make flame fists to represent Ms. Marvel’s Binary powers, but I didn’t get around to it in time. Turned out okay, since Aperture Ashely was able to photoshop that effect in for me!

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I always look forward to checking out the cosplay contest on Saturdays. I’m stage shy, so I don’t compete, but checking out the costumes is always fun. DFW costumers are a really talented bunch!

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Still one of my fav photos from DCC. Captain Marvel is Cerberus Productions.
With Glitzy Geek Girl as Lady Thor and Mia Moore as Ramona. Love these ladies!
With Glitzy Geek Girl as Lady Thor and Mia Moore as Ramona. Love these ladies!

Sunday

I don’t often attend cons on Sunday (gotta save some energy for work on Monday :P), but DCC was still rocking! Some of their biggest panels were on Sunday, including the Firefly panel at noon. This was the main reason I attended DCC, and as a Browncoat, it made me super happy. Joss Whedon even sent a video to the con saying thank you to all the fans!

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All the love, Joss, even if you do have a habit of killing characters I love.

My parents also attended DCC with me on Sunday. It was their first con, and they had a blast. I made my mom a Supergirl costume as a late Mother’s Day gift, and she really enjoyed wearing it. Now my dad wants me to make him something. And my brother. And my grandfather. *sigh*

Me and my mom :)
Me and my mom 🙂

The only really disappointing thing for me was that I’d hoped to meet Dan Slott since I just finished reading his run of She-Hulk. Trying to find him was absurd. He was hidden off in a back corner of the Dealer’s Room and by the time I found him, his line was insanely long. I instead opted to go to a friend’s panel, but it was still a bummer. The space increase was great, but I’d like to see better organization and signage in the future.

I did find LeeAnna Vamp while looking for Dan Slott. She is so pretty and super nice!
I did find LeeAnna Vamp while looking for Dan Slott. She is so pretty and super nice!

All in all, this was a great con. The new location was a much needed improvement, and I look forward to seeing more Cosplay Hideouts at future cons! Also, I need to start hosting friends more often for cons. It’s absurdly fun.

You can see more pictures from DCC on my Facebook page! I’ll get around to posting about A-Kon within the next week or so.

Costume Notes: Ms. Marvel

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Completed: May 2014

Hours Spent: 10~12~

Debuted: Dallas Comic Con 2014

Why This Costume: This costume started out as a stashbusting project. I had a little over a yard of black spandex that I got from Spandex World last year as well as some gold spandex. The easiest and most obvious answer was to make a Ms. Marvel costume!

Honestly, I resisted making this costume for a while since my first introduction was via the X-Men animated series in the ’90s and she’s painted more as a bad guy. Since getting more into comics over the last year, I picked up her greatest hits issues. She’s such a badass character and has gone through a lot of great character growth, especially in recent years and in her Captain Marvel form.

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Of course, I caved and had to find Rogues to steal my powers. This lovely Rogue is Hopie of Twinzik Cosplay.

How I Made It: This is a fairly simple costume. If you’re into cosplay but intimidated by spandex, this is a great starter project.

I made the leotard from Kwik-Sew 3154, though the pattern now appears to be out of print. Many basic leotard patterns could work for this. I did make a couple of alterations. The pattern closes in the back at the neck with snaps and has a large hole in the back. I just cut the back straight up, ignoring the hole. I also added an invisible zip in the back. For the arms, I finished them off the same way as the leg holes, taking 3/8″ elastic and folding it over.

To measure out how large the bolt should be, I drew the outline of my leotard front on the wrong side of my gold fabric and sketched it out using a disappearing fabric pen (I swear, I had a picture of this, but it disappeared into the camera vortex). I opted to topstitch the bolt, since that’s what matched my reference image. It looks scary, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Check out this tutorial for tips on how to stabilize your fabric and stitch it down. Do remember that the top of the bolt should start on your left shoulder!

The boot covers were made using a Kwik-Sew leggings pattern and previous spandex boots as a base pattern. I stitched the boots directly to my dance tights using this tutorial. I absolutely loathe fashion tape, so this method worked out really well! To keep myself from slipping while walking around the con, I hand sewed vinyl to the bottom.

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The sash is just a really long rectangle sewn together. I do think it would have looked a bit better cutting the edges at an angle for a better drape. Next time!

The mask is made from Worbla, using this tutorial. I just made a template out of craft foam and then traced it onto my Worbla. After heating it, I molded it to my face, ensuring a precise fit. Then I just spray-painted that bad boy and used a matte varnish to finish it. I attach it to my face with Spirit Gum, though I think I should add a bit of elastic as well, since I sweat the Sprit Gum off pretty quickly at the con.

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It’s a little weird to see myself with blue eyes and blonde hair 😛

My wig is a used Arda Buttercup that I picked up from Nicole Marie Jean a few months ago and my gloves were purchased from We Love Colors.

Thoughts on this costume: I really, really like this costume. Even though I’m in a corset/heels/massive push-up, it’s still pretty comfortable. I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know Carol ala the old comics and run into other fans. I would like to do some touch-ups and make some new things for this costume. I’d also love to make the Captain Marvel suit at some point in the future, since I’m really enjoying that comic.

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Oh, one more fun thing to share! I ran into great Captain Marvel cosplayer at Dallas Comic Con and posted our pic to tumblr. The writer of the Captain Marvel comic, Kelly Sue Deconnick, reblogged us! We got nearly 200 likes and reblogs in a day 0_0. It was kind of weird, but super cool. Carol Corps represent!

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This fantastic Captain Marvel is Shelby of Cerberus Productions.

You can see more images of this costume and others on my Facebook page!

Costume Notes: Supergirl

 

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Somewhere, the fanfiction universe exploded a little.

Completed: May 2014

Hours Spent: 12-15~

Debuted: Dallas Comic Con 2014

Why This Costume: This is the first full costume I’ve made for another person. My mom is a pretty rad lady, and she really loves Supergirl. She expressed interest in attending a con with me a while back and wanted to dress up. As a thank you for helping me with some stuff/generally being awesome, I decided to help turn her into one of her favorite characters. We ultimately decided on a a “classic” Supergirl that’s loosely based on the 1984 Helen Slater film. Being an 80’s teen, my mom really appreciated the throwback.

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The kids’ reactions to Supergirl are the greatest. This little boy could not stop staring at the “real” Supergirl!

How I made it: Basic construction of this costume is pretty simple. I used the Green Pepper Crystal Lake pattern (a.k.a., the Sailor Senshi pattern) with the long sleeves and the attached circle skirt. I snagged the blue and red spandex from my local shop, Spandex Wherehouse. I absolutely love this place. Low prices for high quality fabrics. I had the gold fabric on hand, so I swapped out the yellow for a more eye-grabbing pop.

I raised the neckline and the back a bit to make it more accurate. The pattern is designed so that the wearer slides in through the top, so I had to modify the crotch so that it closes with hooks and eyes, letting my mom slide everything on overhead. Anything for easier bathroom breaks in costume!

I realized as I was sewing on the sleeves that I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the sleeve length. Derp. I had to size up a tiny amount, so I should have grabbed an extra bit of fabric. Live and learn. Anyway, I had some scraps left over, so I used the cuffs from my Renfrew and used Tasia’s method to finish the sleeves.

The most time consuming part of this costume is the emblem. For this, I followed the tutorial from the Dangerous Ladies. Mine isn’t perfect by any means, but I am so grateful for this tutorial. It’s a lifesaver. The emblem took me about 4 hours start to finish. I nixed the emblem on the cape due to lack of time, but I’ll probably work on it before my mom wears this again.

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Prior to attaching the emblem to the leotard.

The belt was a pretty fun accessory to make. I made it out of craft foam and glued spandex using contact cement (tutorial on the process here). The belt attaches to the leo with velcro.

For the cape, I measured out the neck from the leotard and basically drafted a partial circle skirt for a more “in-flight” look. The cape and skirt were finished with a rolled hem on my serger. The Dangerous Ladies recommend making capes easily detachable for safety and storage, so I used sticky back velcro on the inside of the collar.

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Attacking the Bat!

 

The wig is the same wig as my Ms. Marvel costume (which I’ll post later this week). It’s an Arda Buttercup that I picked up from Nicole Marie Jean a few months ago. I just lightly curled the ends for more body. I also made spandex boot covers, but we were having trouble making them stay, so the boots she’s wearing are from Amazon. I’ll have to play my boot cover pattern a bit more before she wears this again.

Thoughts on this costume: I’m very pleased with this costume. Aside from the detail work, it was a very quick and simple project to put together, but it still gave me the chance to try out some new skills. Plus, I really enjoyed making something for my mom! She absolutely rocks that costume. I’m tempted to make a Power Girl to match!

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Chibi supergirl was super kawaii.
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Mom as Supergirl and me as Bombshell Wonder Woman. So much fun!

You can see more pictures of this costume and my other costumes from the weekend on my Facebook page!

Lilith: Borderlands 2

Completed: May 2013

Hours Spent: 40+

Debut: Dallas Comic Con 2013

Why This Costume: My friends approached me about a group Borderlands cosplay last year. I hadn’t played the game at that point, and one of my pals suggested I go as Deathtrap to compliment another friend’s Mecromancer. Props and armor are definitely not my specialty (I’m starting to experiment, but I still have a ways to go), so I spent a while scouring for someone to go as. Once I started playing BL1 and BL2 with the BF, I knew I had to go as Lilith. Such a saucy character. Plus, she’s a total badass. I was also interested in uping the ante on my sewing (when I post my Korra notes, you’ll see why…), and thought this costume would provide me a good opportunity to do so.

How I Made It: This one took a lot of time and effort, so I’ll break it down into pieces.

The wig: One of my good friends who loves the wigs did this one for me (she hates sewing, so I sewed some of her Mecromancer costume as an exchange). Sadly, the wig started falling apart by the end of the day, so I made a new one. The new wig is a Magnum in Maroon from Arda wigs with Rose Pink wefts.

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Neck piece: I had some trouble finding a pattern that I liked for the top of the neck, so I found faux leather and created some (the idea for this goes out to Nebulaluben). I created a basic grid on batting, then sewed it to the faux leather. To finish it up, I ran a stitch along the edge to make it look more polished and sewed in the neck cord. The whole process took about 2.5 hours. I used the remaining grid for the arm piece, and the leftover faux leather for a skirt.

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Ignore those lines. I used a bookmark to draw them out 😛

The base of the neck is made of a grey vinyl. I created a muslin from scrap fabric with the help of a neck pillow pattern. Once I got the top piece cut out, I sewed on the grid pattern and then hand stitched on some buttons. I decided to attached the neck to the vest using velcro, so I created a double layer of the vinyl and stitched in some sew-in Velcro to the bottom of the neck base and to the vest itself. Once that was finished, I sewed the base pieces together, leaving the inside of the neck undone.

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My first go at the neck piece. The leather was super thick, inflexible, and looked like car seat lining.
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My new vest at the velcro stage. The velcro held up pretty well and made this piece much more comfortable to wear.

For the fur flap, I carved a mini-arc out of the remaining vinyl and sewed some fur trim to the underside. After putting in a few stitches to the vest to keep it all in place, I attached the fur piece to the inside of the neck and voila! I did put in some batting to give the neck some volume.

Vest: This was actually the first part of the costume that I completed. It was a pretty simple endeavor once I figured out what the eff I was doing. I modified a cardigan pattern I already had. Originally, I planned to go with a brownish fabric, but after screwing up the sides, fraking up the lining, and hating the color, I went with something else. The fabric I wound up using is some leftover grey linen one of my friends had. I got some fusible interfacing to stiffen it up and sewed on the front pocket, complete with Velcro (yup, it’s fully functional. I adore pockets). I used batting to fluff the whole thing up and lined it. It’s very comfortable and very warm (sadly, not great for Texas summers :P).

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Top: I picked up a plain pink tank from Wal-Mart while I was out grocery shopping and played with it a bit. I shortened it up to just above the navel and used the leftover fabric to create the right sleeve and the layered look of the bottom. To create the illusion of seams, I drew lines with a thick Sharpie. Depending on how long other costumes take, I may revisit this again.

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Wait for it…

Leggings: I originally made some leggings using a Simplicity pattern, but I didn’t like the fit of them. After mangling the fabric (my cat knocked over my old sewing machine, so it couldn’t zig-zag stitch properly), I opted to modify some cheap grey leggings. And by modify, I mean cut holes in, draw on, and distress the crap out of them.

Chaps: This was a fun endeavor [insert sarcastic eye roll]. For the life of me, I could not find a pattern for cowboy chaps. Seriously, none. Instead, I modified my legging pattern. I found a reddish-brown vinyl that was decently priced for this. The pattern I used is designed for stretch fabrics, so my initial cut was a little small, particularly around my ginormous calves. I cut out long strips for the inside to accommodate. The sides of the chaps were extra long and I flipped them over to make belt loops. I used the remaining fabric for arm accessories.

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Keep waiting…

Accessories: Oh, so many of these. I seriously started feeling like putting this costume on was like a puzzle. For the boots, I relied on eBay. I found a pair of military-style zip-up boots that come just below the knees. I LOVE THEM. I opted to go for grey since I thought I’d get more use out of grey boots (yay artistic license!) than brown ones. They magically match the neck-piece and have a kind of faded look to them already.

I used scrap fabrics for the arms pieces. The black from the neck piece really came in handy.

For the knee and shin guards, I did some experimenting with Worbla. I had some shin guards from my Taekwon-Do days, so I used them as a guide and traced them onto craft foam for my pattern. I followed Kamui’s tips in her breastplate tutorial: layer Worbla, craft foam, more Worbla, and heat together. I used my leftover Worbla for other costumes. I also attached the shin guards using Kamui’s other tutorials: lots of Velcro, rings, and straps. I opted to use more Velcro on the straps rather than create buckles.

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My armor pieces (and pieces for another costume) after molding, Gesso, sanding, and painting. The whole process took about 2 days.
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Armor pieces with velcro and straps.

I initially made foot guards from Worlba as well, but I couldn’t get them to lay just right. To fix that problem, I re-made them from the grey vinyl and sewed in elastic.

Protip for heating Worbla: Using a blow dryer is awesome if you don’t have a heat gun, but time consuming. Be prepared to burn the crap out of your fingers and potentially blow your breaker if you live in an old apartment.

For the tattered yellow sweatshirt, I just picked up a bit of yellow fabric and made a casing for 2” wide elastic. Distress, sharpie, and enjoy.

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BAM! So much distressing!!!

Tattoos: I’d never done body paint before and I’m a terrible free-hand artist, so for my first go, I opted to make temporary tattoos with Papillo paper. To do this, I located images of Lilith’s tattoos online, then spent several hours in Photoshop cutting out the specific images. Once all that was done, I saved it as a JPG and flipped the image for printing.

The result was terrible. I had a horrible reaction to  the paper and felt like my skin was on fire. I finally caved and washed it off in the bathroom, which I’m sure the maintenance staff *loves* me for. I’m not sure if I didn’t apply the tack properly or if for once in my life I developed an allergic reaction.

During my second go with this costume, I used Temtu in Frost. I free-handed the tattoo, so it took a couple of hours to paint on, but it lasted all day at Dragon Con. If/when I wear this again, I’ll take the time to cut out the images I have of Lilith’s tattoos for more accuracy.

Cell shading/distressing: This was yet another terrifying experiment for me. I kept procrastinating this because I was *terrified* to mess up my costume. Ultimately, I wound up running some sandpaper lightly over most of my costume pieces, spraying and smudging some heavily diluted brown acrylic paint, and then re-creating the lines from the game.

Thoughts on this costume: This has been the most intensive (mostly) solo project I have undertaken to date. I love all the new techniques I had to learn to create this costume and look forward to honing those skills. There’s still a few things I want to go back and fix before I wear it again,  but overall, I’m pretty pleased with the results. For the most part, it’s very comfortable. At the Dallas Comic Con, a random guy donated his gun for photos, which was cool. I also ran into an amazing Mad Moxxi, cosplayed by the lovely Enasni Volz as well as a Dr. Zed and Claptrap. Loads of fun.

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The lovely Enasni Volz as Mad Moxxi.
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Hanging with Zed and Claptrap (a.k.a. The Dudestream and Kelticism). Ignore my derp-ing 😛
Our group at Dragon Con.
Our group at Dragon Con.