The day before Day 0 of Fanime, I decided to attempt to fix my sleep schedule and get everything I needed done by staying up the entire night. To help keep me away and motivated, I kept an hourly journal.

Hour 1
Music: Lord of the Rings Musical
Goals: Finish trim on Black Mage capelet
As I near the end of Hour 1, I mostly feel lonely, and a little frustrated. I'm sitting here sewing a costume that I'm not even going to wear, and I'm doing it for free. I feel like everyone gets to sleep except for me. Of course, I know other people aren't sleeping too, but because I'm alone here, I feel alone entirely. It's very discouraging.
Goals: Incomplete
Incidents: Bottom bobbin ran out of thread twice, completely ran out of navy blue thread, had to substitute green, bottom bobbin's tension was too loose and kept coming undone (fixed).
Hours without injury: 1

Hour 2
Music: Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog
Goals: Finish trim on Black Mage capelet, attach hook and eye to capelet
I managed to finish my Hour 1 goal in the first 20 minutes of Hour 2. I'm feeling more confident now, more accomplished, since I actually got something done.
Finished my Hour 2 goals with ten minutes to spare. Just enough time for a bathroom break!
Goals: Complete.
Incidents: Couldn't find a thimble for hand-sewing the hook and eye, substituted a screwdriver (it worked).
Hours without injury: 2

Hour 3
Music: The Killers, Fall Out Boy
Goals: Add another layer of paper mache to Black Mage Staff, find beads for Black Mage pendant
I suck at paper mache, this is a fact I've known since freshman year of high school.
 Luckily, I'm an expert at the theory of paper mache. I know all of the technical aspects, what's the best way to do things, and how to structure things, so it was easy to teach my boyfriend what to do. He's really good at it, and did a majority of the staff, including cutting out the structure and starting the paper mache. A few friend came over earlier and helped out with paper mache and a few other things too (saved my butt, really), and I was starting to think that I wouldn't need to do any of the paper mache myself. Unfortunately, everyone had to go home or elsewhere, leaving me to finish up.
Miraculously, I figured out a pretty solid pattern of laying strips of newspaper down  that worked for me. The (still drying) result looks good so far. It's definitely going to need another layer for strength, but it looks solid. It's a good thing that the staff doesn't need to be smooth or I'd be screwed for sure, because that's just not happening.
I found a plethora of potential beads for Black Mage's pendant. I only wish they were bigger. Now I have plenty of time to play around with the actual design (since the artwork is so basic). The colors are hard to work with because it's red and green (don't want it to look Christmas-y). Also I haven't decided yet what style to go for, battle-torn or fantasy. Since it is "Final Fantasy", the fantasy style makes sense, but it's my boyfriend's costume, and I know he'd lean toward battle-torn.
Let's see what I can come up with.
Goals: Complete
Incidents: Cut a piece of wire almost too short, it was barely long enough, made it work.
Hours without injury: 3

Hour 4
Music: None (forgot to put any on)
Goals: Get photos of near-complete Black Mage, start work on Maid Yoko's apron
I can't really say how far I aim to get on the apron in an hour. I know that the entire thing will take longer than an hour though.
Getting photos of Black Mage was hard without someone to wear it, mostly because of the whole head-hat-eyes situation. The photos that I got just make it look like Black Mage has NO neck. Ah well, it's kind of cute.
I'm pretty much just procrastinating at this point. Halfway through Hour 4, and I'm just sitting on the compuer, not really wanting to start another project. I guess I'll start taking my marterials out at least. Everything's already cut, I just need to sew, and I think I also need to pleat. Ugh.
I ended up doing ruffles instead of pleats, which the design called for anyway, I've just been substituting pleats for ruffles because they're cleaner and I wasn't sure that my machine could handle ruffles. Thankfully, my new(ish) sewing machine does exactly what it needs to in order for me to get ruffles, and everything worked out fine in that regard.
Goals: Completed
Incidents: Getting the Black Mage hat/head to rest on top of the dress form was difficult, turns out that not all of my apron pieces are cut out (missing the waist tie), and my ruffle ended up too long (wasted time and energy ruffling unneeded material)
Hours without injury: 0 (stabbed myself in the finger pretty hard with a pin)

Hour 5
Goals: Finish Maid Yoko apron, cut out, iron, and pin waist tie
Not much to say here, this part was easy. I completed the entire apron, including making and attaching the waist band, and I also made the red bow that goes on the back. The bow was interesting, since I was 100% winging it, but it turned out really cute.
Goals: Complete
Incidents: Sewing machine decided to random jam really badly. Oops.
Hours without injury: 0 (stabbed my thumb with a needle while hand-sewing the bow)

Hour 6
Goals: Make Maid Yoko wrist cuffs
This one's gonna be a long one, I know it. I hate making things that go on my wrists or around my neck. Around the neck is worse, since it always comes out too small and I can't wear it at all. Hopefully I'll have better luck with wrist cuffs.
I'm getting way more done than I anticipated. I finished the cuffs, added buttons to both them and the shirt sleeves, and made the two hair bows.
Also, it's getting light outside, and my wrist is bleeding from where I stabbed it with a pin like eight hours ago. Hmm.
I also painted chopsticks for Maid Yoko's hair. I took old chopsticks (probably from Panda Express) and painted them with paint that my mom gave to me (I think a friend gave it to my mom, I'm not sure).
Goals: More than complete
Incidents: Stitching on one of the wrist cuffs fell apart, and when I fixed it, I didn't exactly do it right. It's not too noticeable though, so I decided to leave it.
Hours without injury: 1

Hour 7
Goals: ???
I can hear my mom waking up, she's talking on the phone. I was going to shower to stay awake, but my mom showers in the morning, so I may have to wait. Maybe I'll eat while she showers. Ideally, I'd get some cleaning done, but HA let's face it, that's just not very likely.
I still have to fix my shirt for Mercedes and find a pair of pantyhose, but I'm not sure how to do either of those, especially the shirt. As for the pantyhose, I'm going to WalGreens later today, so I'll probably just pick up a new pair there for a dollar or so.
I can hear my mom complaining on the phone that she's tired. It made me chuckle a little bit. I too am tired, I even considered sleeping, but it's far too late for that now. If I went to sleep now, even if it was just an attempted "nap", I probably wouldn't wake up for another twelve hours or so. No, I'm just going to stay awake. Somehow.
So I've been waiting for Mom to shower, but she's still on the phone. Man, I could have showered and been out by now, though I was looking forward to a long shower to help me wake up. I've just been sitting on the computer while I wait. It'll be nice when my boyfriend wakes up and I can text him, then I'll feel less lonely.
Mom's up, telling me I need to clean. Man, the hours seem to be ticking by slower and slower. I first noticed it when I got a ton of stuff finished in Hour 5. At night, I never would have been able to finish that much stuff in an hour. Maybe I'm more focused when I'm half asleep? Well that makes no sense.
I just killed about five minutes taking pictures of stuff I got done. I'm not sure what else to do, my brain is working a like one quarter capacity, and it's probably going to stay this way until I shower.

The following hours consisted of coffee, food, a shower, and napping.

Fanime Prep (Days 828 - 833)

Woah, it's been a while. This time, my lack of blogging is actually because I'm been working on things!

My White Mage robe is complete and will be worn to Fanime on Saturday for the Final Fantasy gathering. The design is a combination of a few White Mage designs, but was mainly based on Final Fantasy 1. It includes 58 triangles.

I used me sewing machine to make an intricate embroidered  pattern to sew down the triangles. It's a pre-set thing, I just press the pedal, the needle moves, and this comes out the other end. (This triangle is not finished, I folded the bottom under afterward.)

 Here is a closer image of the White Mage hood, you can see the cross that I used as a pendant. The cross came with a shirt that I got at a thrift shop, and it will be returned to the shirt after Fanime.
 I used my fairy bottle as a potion bottle instead. I originally intended to have a (blue) ether/mana potion, but I couldn't find a good blue material to use, so instead I have a regular (health) potion.
And finally, I have a Phoenix Down. This webcam picture really does it no justice at all. I bought a bag of yellow, orange, and red feathers at JoAnn's for a couple bucks and glued them onto craft foam and cardboard. It's more like a Phoenix Wing really, because of the weight, but it's very cute, and I like it a lot.

I've been doing some other things for Fanime too, including my Maid Yoko cosplay, and my boyfriend's Black Mage cosplay. I'm also staying up through the night to work on things and as a last-ditch attempt to fix my sleeping schedule before Fanime, but more details on that later.

Days 801 - 827

So I've made some progress, believe it or not. With Fanime right around the corner, I don't know how much I'll post, it's crunch time! The top and skirt of my Maid Yoko cosplay are finished, I still need to make the apron (which is already cut out and pinned), the back bow and hair bows, and the wrist cuffs.

I bought the fabric for White Mage and began cutting out the pattern for it. It's going to be rough getting the same pattern to fit both my boyfriend and myself, but luckly it's a loose-fitting garment, and we're both roughly the same height and have close to the same bust measurement, haha. I just hope our Mage costumes don't come out looking like Snuggies.

Some time this week, we're shopping for Black Mage fabric and other various materials, and then it's super crunch time! Wish me luck!