Thursday, April 30, 2015

In Progress: Marauder's Map Dress

The front of the dress is pretty much done at this point. I'll probably go back and add more details here and there after I get the whole thing covered and the belt made, but the amount of detail will depend on how much time I have left over.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Received: Harley Quinn Wig

I love getting a new wig in the mail! So far, I've ordered all my wigs from's wig store and I've been very happy. This one is "Holly" in natural blonde. If I had one complaint, it would be that there's no option for expedited shipping (which I've only wished for once, so it's still not that big a deal).

This is the wig I'll be putting in pigtails and dying the ends of with Sharpies for Harley Quinn. I fully expect to have photos of my hands covered in red and black ink because I imagine it will not be a neat and tidy process.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

In Progress: Marauder's Map Dress

After adding snaps to the front of the dress to hold it where I want it when the belt is on, (then removing one of the snaps because it was on backwards), it was time to start drawing. Never mind that if I screwed up the first part (the negative-space "The MARAUDER'S MAP" part with the castle border) I'd have to totally re-sew the dress... No pressure. But I think it went well:

That's where I'm going to leave it for tonight. I think the part I did the best was the "Mssrs. MOONY, WORMTAIL, PADFOOT, & PRONGS are proud to present..." part, but I'm quite pleased with all of it.

The footprint trail at the top left is there because I marked where the shrug would come to (so the "Mssrs." part wouldn't be obscured), and wanted to cover it up before I forgot about it. I'll add more to it later, put it in a room, and add a name to it.

I didn't check the time the entire time I worked on the drawing part, so I don't know how long this took me. I'll keep an eye on the time tomorrow to figure out how much I can get done in an hour, and then I'll know how covered the dress can be by the time I need to wear it in a week.

In Progress: Marauder's Map Dress

I made a dress! It's the first time I've made a dress, so it's far from perfect, but it's a dress, it fits me, and I made it!

All spread out, it's not particularly flattering.
Yay, I made a... potato sack?

The shrug and belt are stand-ins for the ones I'll be making.

Side shot. I swear I'm happier than I look.
I used McCall's pattern M6954 (without doing the arm and neck holes the way it told me to) and a linen (50% linen, 47% rayon) from Joann Fabrics.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Upcoming Cosplay: Marauder's Map Dress

Harry Potter Day is on May 4, and my library is having a big program for it to celebrate! (There's going to be a LIVE OWL there!) We are encouraged to dress up, which obviously means I need to make something.

Originally, I wanted to be Bellatrix because that would be fun to wear and act. Then, I thought, "I don't really want to wear a corset for 8 hours at work." So then I thought Luna Lovegood would be fun, but I waited too long to get started and I can't make all the things I would need in that time.

So I had given up. I had decided maybe I would throw together a Slytherin scarf and call it good. (Only Slytherin because everyone on staff did the Pottermore sorting test and even though I've always gotten Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff on that, I turned out to be a Slytherin this time.)

But then I saw this on Pinterest:

marauder's map dress - Google Search
Found in Google image search. No source; sorry.
And I thought, I could make a really simplified version of that... maybe. So that's the plan.

I have a super easy (supposedly) pattern from McCall's, five yards of khaki-beige linen, two different spools of neutral-colored thread, and eight days. (Granted, I also have five and a half of those days off from work, so it's more promising than it sounds.) Let's do this!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Superheroes and Glasses

Name a superhero who wears glasses. And I mean clear-lens corrective eyewear, not sunglasses or goggles or visors or corrective lenses embedded in masks and helmets. And I DEFINITELY don't mean eyemasks like... well, like about 75% of classic superheroes wear.

Nice try, but Clark Kent is not a superhero. Neither is Peter Parker. Or Barbara Gordon. Or Dave Lizewski. They're all the plainclothes personas of superheroes. Superman, Spiderman, Batgirl, and Kickass do not wear glasses.

Or maybe you went X-Men and suggested Beast.

(I've been told that two Green Lanterns wear glasses, but I've yet to find an image proving that, so help me out on that one.)

Okay, so as a person who won't compromise her glasses for cosplay, I have three choices when it comes to superheroes: either paint myself blue and crossplay as Beast, be a "secret identity" of a superhero (all of whom - except Clark Kent - are unrecognizable), or be whatever other superhero I want to be, but with glasses.

As you can tell from the link in that last paragraph, I also believe that you can cosplay whatever character you want, whether you're the same race/sex/height/weight/whatever as them or not. Which means I also believe that you can be Spiderman with glasses or Batman with face tattoos or Kickass in a wheelchair or Asian Wolverine. But I was hoping to find ONE good option of a superhero with glasses.

And by "good option," I mean a superhero who is supposed to be wearing glasses and is recognizable by most people who would attend an event where I would be cosplaying as this superhero. Not Animal Man. (I had never heard of him before searching for a superhero with glasses, and would never recognize him in cosplay form.)

Look, I get it. Most superheroes don't have bad eyesight because whatever makes them "super" (Superman's being-a-super-alien thing, Batman's extraordinary amount of money, Spiderman's mysterious spidey-DNA) makes them not need glasses, plus they're inconvenient to wear in super-battle. So those superheroes who wear glasses in plainclothes either do so because they used to need them and want to keep looking normal (Peter Parker), or as a really lame disguise (seriously, Clark Kent, it's a little ridiculous that you think that's working). But it's annoying to the glasses-wearing cosplayer like me anyway.

Time for a silver lining, though. The nice thing about my glasses (and the rest of my look) is that I can pull off a librarian / 1950s version of superheroines/supervillainesses if I want to. I have both the body shape and the glasses for it.

Upcoming Cosplay: Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The newest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer has been out for nearly 24 hours now, and I've already decided who to dress as for the movie premiere. Now seems like a good time to point out that I'm not really a big Star Wars fan, but Birk is excited about going to the premiere so I'll be going with him, and dressing up will make it more fun for me.


That is Rey. That's pretty much all I know about her. I'm not alone, though. It seems to be all the internet knows about her, too. We know what she looks like, what she drives, and her name. She seems to be friendly with the little soccer ball droid named BB-8, but I don't know if that's really the case.

At any rate, I can make that costume and be comfortable in it (even while sitting in a movie theater for a few hours). I can even grow my hair that long before Christmas if I don't touch it at all. (Looks like another summer-fall-winter like last year when my hair was racing to be Margaery-length for NYCC.)

There are also a few other cool features to being Rey:

Still of Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

Being on what seems to be quite a desert-y planet, she has a scarf that goes over her head (which might come in handy if the line for the theater goes outside in December) and a visor (which is supposedly created from a Stormtrooper's helmet visor) and, see those boots? I have boots like that already. Plus, she seems to have a pouch of some kind on her waist, so I don't have to have an awkward purse; I can just carry my stuff in a piece of my costume. I love when that works out!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Upcoming Cosplay: Sera from Dragon Age

A while back, Beth suggested to me that we should do Dragon Age characters. She plays the game, I don't, but they have some pretty awesome - by which I mean detailed and complicated - outfits, so I was on board. Beth is going to be Leliana, and I'm going to be Sera. (At first I was going to be Isabela, but I switched.)

So far, Beth has made my shirt/tunic and leggings, Chris has made my quiver and bow, and Beth is working on my leather vest. I bought shoes. Oh, and now I have the wig, so I can recreate her haircut without having to actually give myself a terrible haircut.

Birk and Beth sorting out how to attach the chainmaille for Leliana

Sera's shirt/tunic in progress
Blonde wig acquired... makes me look like one of The Californians
Wrapping me in cling wrap and masking tape to make a vest pattern
The pattern for the vest is drawn onto the clingwrap and masking tape prison, I mean pattern

Cut out and put back together: the front of the vest pattern

Cut out and put back together: the back of the vest pattern

Beth sews together a practice vest to make sure we did everything right

I try on the practice vest... hallelujah, we did everything right!
Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the quiver and bow... they're really spectacular. But you'll see them in due time. Next up: Beth is sewing the vest together in leather, Chris is making my archer's accessories (archer's glove, bracer, and leather pouch for my waist), and I'm giving my wig a haircut. All in time for Tidewater Comicon, which is four weeks from tomorrow.