NorCal Winter Gathering, etc.

Animal Crossing Villager
(Christmas-y edition)
Photo by WinterWish Photography
So for the first time in a year, I attended a NorCal gathering! I was really, really nervous about going, to the point that several times, I almost changed my mind and didn't go at all, because it was my first time going to a gathering by myself. I mean, a lot of my friends were there, and I knew that, but this was the first time that I arrived alone and didn't make any real plans to hang out with anyone. I didn't even coordinate cosplays with anyone, I just went on my own, and for some reason, it was terrifying. I was so scared that I'd just be ridiculously awkward and end up sitting by myself for most of the time. Luckily, I was so, so wrong.

I had so much fun hanging out and chatting with everyone that I could and hopping around from friend group to friend group. I almost wished I had group-hopped more because I didn't even get to spend time with everyone I knew. Ah well, next time!

I finally got to wear my Animal Crossing cosplay, or at least what's done of it. I was sewing like mad to fill Etsy orders in the weeks leading up to the gathering, so I didn't get to work on any personal stuff. Technically, all that I had to finish for my cosplay was the hat and the shoes, but that hat just didn't get done. I managed to paint the shoes with what felt like a billion coats of paint, but the top coat/sealant made them crack. I tested out the flexibility of the paint after each layer, and there was zero cracking, but after I wore them for less than half an hour after putting the top coat on, they cracked instantly. Guess I have to figure something else out. Since it's the holiday season, I substituted a Santa hat for my missing one.

Originally, I had planned to wear a short blue wig that I've had forever and rarely used, but with the Santa hat, I felt like that would have been too many clashing colors, so I swapped it for a wig that I bought from Epic Cosplay recently. The wig is technically for my Sarah (Last of Us) cosplay, and I still need to dye and style it, but it was a good stand-in in the mean time.

Photo by WinterWish Photography

Wigs & Things

So I finally got it together and decided to order a wig for my Koffing cosplay, since I've had the costume for I think almost two years now and have only been able to wear it twice because of my lack of wig. (Once I used my friend's wig, and the other time I used my natural hair, which looked horrible.)

So I bought this purple wig

and these tan/blonde wefts.

The hair extensions already came in the mail, and they're so much nicer than I expected! They're sold by CosplayDNA on eBay, and they're super soft and also heat-resistant. I bought two sets just to be sure I had enough, and they're only five bucks each with free shipping. I plan to curl them and attach them to the bottom of the purple wig to mimic Koffing's gas clouds. (This was actually my boyfriend's idea!)

There's mixed reviews about the seller that I bought the wig from, a vast majority are good reviews, but I always check negative reviews just in case. Negative reviews usually give more detail than positive or neutral ones, so I always feel like it's good to check them, no matter how few there are. Anyway, the biggest complaint among them was that the wig received was not the right cut or style, so I'm prepared to have to style it some.

I'll do another post when the wig arrives in the mail (any day now) so can decide whether or not I live it before I link to the seller.

Cyber Monday

Hello again, it's been a while, hasn't it? I haven't done much of anything cosplay-wise since I finished the beaded feather for my Ho-Oh cosplay. Instead, I've been pouring my energy into making hats to fill my Etsy shop. Speaking of, I'll be having a Cyber Monday sale! $1 shipping on everything, even if you purchase multiple hats!


And for good measure, here's a bunch of pictures of the hats I've been working on! Mostly Pokemon, but some other stuff too.
Jigglypuff
Snorlax
Oshawott
Tepig
Kalos region starters
Chespin

Fennekin

Froakie
Deadpool

Honekoneko
(Panty & Stocking)

Stitches
(Animal Crossing)



Dat Feather

It occurred to me that I hadn't posted a photo of my completed Rainbow Feather/Wing for my Ho-Oh cosplay! All I did was clean up the edges a bit and extend the purple/pink part into a better shape, but I think it looks so much better now!


The "Fake Nerd" Stigma

I don't see why I can't dress
like the bottom two and still
be passionate about
nerdy things.
This is only tangentially related to cosplay, but it's still sort of related, and I know it's been talked to death, but it's been on my mind for a long time. To be honest, I'm not even sure if I can define what a "fake nerd" is because it's such a weird concept to me. Theoretically, it's someone who pretends to like stereotypically nerdy things like anime, comic books, sci-fi, and cosplay. But... Why? I don't understand why anyone would pretend to like something they didn't. I guess to fit in? And if you're going to try to pick something to pretend to like to fit in, why pick nerd culture? I'm getting off-track, but basically yeah, none of this makes sense to me. (Quick note: I'm going to try really, really hard not to abuse quotation marks, but I'm probably going to fail.)

To get right to it, I hate the fact that anyone who has an interest in stereotypically nerdy things now has to "prove" that they're a "real nerd" and not a "fake nerd". It's not enough to say, "Hey I like this thing," you have to be able to say, "I like this thing because I watched every episode and read every comic book and met the cast and had them sign an obscure piece of work they did." You have to be able to back up your fandom with random factoids and quotes and statistics.

Here's why I have a problem with it, I personally am in that bizarre middle ground, where talking to "normal" people makes me feel like a nerd because they have no interest in anything I'm interested in, but talking to "real nerds" makes me feel "fake" and outcast because I'm not up-to-date on everything and can't remember every detail from a manga that I read three years ago. As a result I'm kind of stuck in this in-between, outcast from both groups and feeling pretty lonely. And there's no way I'm the only one.

The "fake nerd" stigma, coined by the nerd community itself, creates a whole new sub-culture of people who aren't "allowed" to be casually into nerdy things, and can't network to find other casual nerds without being criticized for not being hardcore enough. I'm exaggerating a little here to make a point, I do have nerdy friends that I can hold basic conversations with, but I also occasionally feel left out by the same people, whether intentional or not.

The loudest argument for the "fake nerd" label is, "These people who bullied me in school for liking this stuff are now claiming they're fans of it because it's 'cool' now." And yeah, that sucks, they're hypocrites, and everyone hates hypocrites, but I don't understand how excluding and criticizing them now makes any "nerd" better than the jerks that did that to them in high school. It seems like suddenly being the better person doesn't matter anymore, and it's just about revenge for the sake of... Of what? Of "giving them a taste of their own medicine"?

I guess I don't really get it because I was never outright bullied for liking nerdy things. I didn't have many friends and was eventually homeschooled and had next to no friends at all, so if anything I was excluded a lot, but never outright bullied. I get where the "real nerds" are coming from, it's hard to accept people who previously wouldn't accept you, it's hard to overlook hypocrites, and it's hard not to project that onto anyone who acts similarly, but come on. Not everyone who wears a "Star Trek: Into Darkness" t-shirt has only seen the movies, and not everyone who owns a Starfleet Academy uniform is ready for a Star Trek pop quiz at the drop of a hat. It's time to let the "fake nerd" thing go and at least pretend to accept everyone again.

"Heroes of Cosplay": Final Thoughts

Jinyo was my favorite cast member,
and he wasn't even officially a cast member.
It was really difficult for me to not post about every single episode, because every episode brought up new topics and points of interest. I stand by the points that I made in my first post about the show, it's still a pretty accurate portrayal of the cosplay community, or at least the darker side of it. I do wish that the show highlighted the more enjoyable aspects of it, of course namely the actual craftsmanship and the comradery. I imagine it would be near impossible to show how easy it can be to talk to new people at conventions with the cameras everywhere and the legal side of things (having to have everyone on-camera sign a waiver), but that would have been cool to see too.

As for the people on the show, I'm going to try not to go on too long about them. They did not come across as good people, except during their backpedaling at the end. Of course a lot of that could be the editing, but editing can't put words directly in people's mouths, they definitely said some unkind things. That said, we all occasionally say mean things, especially when we're upset, but a majority of people make up for it either directly by apologizing or indirectly by being good people otherwise. It's very possible that a majority of the cast's good moments and good qualities were edited out. Ultimately, because I don't know the people on the show and have never interacted with a single one of them in my life, I'm completely indifferent to them.

All of that said, "Heroes of Cosplay" taught me some things, both about cosplay and about life in general:

  • If these knuckleheads can crank out those amazing things in a week, I can do something better in several months.
  • Procrastination never pays off.
  • Communication is key, they showed us how easily things can be taken out of context.
  • Cosplay competitions are not as scary as they seem. Again, if these knuckleheads can do it...
  • Don't let yourself take advantage of people who care about you.
I'm sure there's more, but that's just off the top of my head. For any non-cosplayers that bothered enough to watch to the end, it did wrap-up with a good message, "Cosplaying is for fun, and it's for everybody." It's pretty obvious that this was some backpedaling damage-control, but it's true nonetheless. In a perfect world, that's what people would take away from the show, but of course it's not. The takeaway is that the (competitive) cosplay world is a ruthless, cutthroat community that's ready to tear apart anyone that doesn't fit into the ideal of a "good cosplayer". In some cases that's true, but it's not the norm, and hopefully the show won't scare away too many new cosplayers.

Again though, I do stand by what I said in my first post, if anything, this show has brought the existing cosplay community closer together under the premise of, "Well at least we're not like that."

Ho-Oh Progress

So I've been working on some details for my Ho-Oh gijinka, with the eventual goal being to enter this cosplay into some competitions. I've been beading a Rainbow Feather/Wing onto the bottom of the back, inspired by the Rainbow Wing item from Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal. It's my first beading/embroidery project like this, the closest thing I've done before is the beading on the bra piece, which wasn't nearly as complicated. I was also sure to (fairly accurately) keep track of how many hours everything took.

About half an hour of work; I'm slow
 I started by drawing the feather on a piece of paper and pinning the paper to the fabric. I've seen progress photos from other cosplayers that basically do this, but they use patterning paper or tissue paper, which makes sense, it's thinner, but I didn't have any, so I went with binder paper. I sewed the beads on top of the paper just on all of the lines.

After tearing away the paper
 After finishing the outline, I tore the paper away. It was a little nerve-wracking because I kept worrying that the strings were going to break. It worked out though, just like I thought it would, the holes in the paper from the needle and thread made sort of perforated edges and made the paper pretty easy to tear. I had to pull some small pieces of paper out from under the beads with tweezers. Then I cleaned up the lines, basically by running a string through all of them. I made a little diagram thing that maybe explains a little better. I hope it makes sense.
Add caption
With cleaned-up lines

 Then the hard part began, filling it in. I didn't have an embroidery hoop (yet), so it's kind of messy, and because the fabric kept bending, I made too many rows of beads, so it curves a little bit. All things considered though, I think I did pretty good!
10.5 hours of beading

 
And I'm nearly done now! Eventually I borrowed an embroidery hoop, which helped me speed up so much! I'd still like to clean up the edges some, there are parts sticking out that I'd rather not, but other than that, yippie!

Twenty-two hours later...
Also, I re-did the chain on my headpiece. I don't have any close-up pictures of what it looked like before, but basically I changed the chain to a more detailed one and added a chain across the top to help keep it centered. I was worried that the extra detailing would be too overwhelming, but after messing around with it, I decided it looked much better than before.

Of course it sits funny on the wig head.

Cosplay Plans

I realize I've been posting less and less, so here's what I've been up to!

Kin-Yoobi 2013
Photo courtesy of Sturdy Pine
First, my WiiFit Trainer cosplay is more or less finished. I would like to re-dye the pants, they should be darker, but I have plenty of time to do that. I think the next time I'll wear it will be Fanime 2014, so... Yeah, plenty of time.


My Animal Crossing Villager cosplay is still where it was last time I posted a photo of it. I'm avoiding doing sleeves. I did get a ton of little bug props for it though, so that's cool.


Emmy's super cute!
Also, my "secret" cosplay is on hold, so I'm not keeping it a secret anymore, it's Emmy from the "Professor Layton" series. I'm at a similar standstill with her, I don't want to do sleeves. I did a mock-up of her skirt-thing, and am in the process of doing a mock-up for the top but yeah, sleeves.

Also, I started another cosplay, so I technically have three and a half things I'm working on right now (the half being eventually re-dying WiiFit Trainer pants). Everyone's all into "The Last of Us" right now, and I'm no exception, except the gameplay is not my style. At all. Can't shoot. Can't be stealthy. No thank you. But the story is so good that I'm all wrapped up in a Let's Play of it on YouTube. Cosplays of it are already running rampant, I've seen quite a few Joels and Sarahs (still dying to see Clickers though), but I was drawn to a different character, sweet little Sarah.

D'awww

The cosplay that I want to do of her is slightly spoiler-iffic (to anyone who hasn't watched the opening cutscene), so I'm not going to really explain, but there will be progress pictures. Currently, I'm trying to gather up everything I need for her, starting with that shirt. It's a band shirt of a band that doesn't exist (Halican Drops), so I've got to make it. I already bought a gray t-shirt (that's the easy part) and ordered some iron-on vinyl to make the print on it myself. I considered doing some at-home screen-printing methods, but they looked like they'd actually end up being more expensive than iron-on vinyl, because I don't have most of the stuff I'd need and it's over such a large area, and vinyl will get me almost the exact same effect. Plus, I already have experience working with iron-on vinyl, and I would have to learn an entirely new thing with at-home screen-printing. It's just simpler this way (for me at least).

Forgot to round the corners before
taking a picture.
Also have to fix the lettering more.
I also have plans for the rest of her outfit, she wears purple pajama pants nearly identical to a blue pair that I already own, so I'm just going to dye mine purple. (Purple is my favorite color anyway, so now I'll just have purple PJs instead of blue ones, it's a win-win, basically.) Originally for a prop I was going to have Joel's watch, but it turns out I'll actually have a Joel with me who can wear the watch, so I instead I'm making the birthday card that Sarah got for Joel. (For those who played who might have missed it, it's an optional find in Sarah's room in the beginning, not in any cutscene.)

So yeah, the only thing I don't have plans for yet is the wig, which is frustrating because my hair is the same color but I don't feel like getting a haircut that will make me look like a 12-year-old. Also my hair is curly. And my bangs are pretty much permanently pink. Yeah. Wig time. I'm sure I'll find something that I can work with. I don't have much (any) experience cutting wigs, but I've paid attention when my friend has done it for me, and it's worth a shot. I'd really like to be able to do it on my own.

In any case I'm looking to debut Sarah (with Joel) at Sac Anime Winter 2014, along with potentially the "Magikarp: A History" panel. We keep saying we're done with that panel, but we just can't stop, so we're gonna try to take it to more conventions until it completely runs out of steam and we feel done.

On top of everything else, I'm trying to design and make more fleece hats to sell. I've actually been selling a few online recently just randomly here and there, and it's very motivating. Hopefully I can keep it up. I'm aiming to do a couple of craft fairs in November (maybe a few Artist Alleys at conventions too, depending on a bunch of stuff), so if you're interested, keep an eye on my hats Facebook page.

And finally, not sure if I ever included this in an actual post, but I made a Facebook page for my cosplay too. Like it for updates and stuff, or whatever people like cosplay pages for (I like them for updates and progress pictures)!
Gold Rose Cosplay

"Heroes of Cosplay": My Response

Disclaimer: A lot of people are going to disagree with my opinion, and that's fine. Read this with an open mind if you can.

"Heroes of Cosplay" is a reality show on the SyFy network, and before it even premiered, it garnered a lot of hate from the cosplay community and mainstream media alike. The first article that circulated through the cosplay community was this article from the New York Post, which made cosplayers out to be costumed freaks living in a fantasy land who can't distinguish the line between fantasy and reality. (Let's face it though, as cosplayers/nerds in general, we've all known that one person...) Even SyFy's own episode description is definitely making fun of the people on the show. After a few previews and trailers were released, cosplayers immediately turned against "Heroes", claiming it was an inaccurate portrayal of the cosplay community, too focused on competitions and drama. And it's true, the first episode was very competition-heavy, and did not showcase very much of the craftsmanship.

It took me a few days after the series premier to catch up (I don't have cable), and in the mean time, I tried to avoid taking other people's opinions on it to heart, waiting to pass judgement myself, but it was impossible. Nearly every social media was flooded with opinions on the show from cosplayers. I took it all with a grain of salt, still waiting to for my own opinion, but the time between reading everyone's opinions and watching the show myself gave me the opportunity to mull everything over.

The most valid complaint is SyFy's editing and the blatant, scripted lies, both of which I can't disagree with. This tumblr post sums all of it up nicely, but since I don't have links or screen caps to back it up, I'm not going to bother re-posting everything here. There's no arguing against the audience being lied to, but that's reality TV. It's not excusable, but it's pretty predictable.

Next is the scripting. It's not even so much that the show is scripted, it's the fact that the scripting is bad. Scripted lines are thrown into regular conversations and sound really out of place. Here's my take though, the ideas behind the scripted lines aren't completely out of left-field, they sound like poorly-worded thoughts that sit in the back of many cosplayers' heads when they work on something. Case-in-point, Jessica and Holly's discussion about whether or not to show cleavage. For a lot of girls, that is a question they have to face when creating an original character. Some girls will make the decision immediately and without much thought at all, and other girls will wrestle with it for a while longer, but it's a question that comes up occasionally.

Cosplayers also complained about the gender ratio, eight women to one man, male cosplayers aren't being fairly represented in the show. However, I don't think that it's that far off. While there are definitely more men than women at most "nerd culture" conventions, there are far more female cosplayers than there are male cosplayers. Maybe it's the attention-heavy aspect of it that draws more women than men, or maybe it's the still-prevalent stereotype that men can't sew that's keeping them away, but whatever the reason, there are far more women in the cosplay hobby. That said, one guy and eight girls is still a ridiculous gender ratio, the show really could have done with one more guy to properly represent the ratio. As a side-note, anyone claiming that the guy is the only "true" cosplayer (I've seen this) because he isn't an "attention-whore" is full of nonsense because he said himself that he's doing it to get his name out there, the exact same thing that every single one of the girls on the show said.

Finally, the loudest complaint (and the one I find the least valid), is that the show focuses too much on behind-the-scenes drama and trash-talking. Before even watching "Heroes of Cosplay", I was prepared for the worst. I imagined comments like, "Eww her hair/wig/dress/material is the wrong color, why did she even try?" or "Look at that fat cow, she should kill herself." (You know, typical internet comments.) I was surprised when I was very, very wrong. Yes, some of the cosplays said less-than-favorable things behind the others' backs, but really, it wasn't that bad, it was more of, "Typical, she's not finished. She does this every time." or "She shouldn't be out drinking when she has things to do, but I'm not her mother, I'm not going to keep track of her."

Regardless of what was actually said though, it's not an inaccurate representation at all. The cosplay community as a whole is catty, especially since the internet social media became easier for more people to access. All of the "drama" (if you can call it that, more like "baby's first meltdown") consisted of things that I've seen, heard, or even said or done, and I don't consider myself to be some niche part of the cosplay community, I consider myself an average cosplayer. I have almost no internet presence or fame, and I don't go out of my way to make drama. In fact, I do my best to stay out of it, but it's impossible to avoid entirely. The weekend before "Heroes of Cosplay" aired, I was at a small convention, and I heard worse things said behind people's backs than anything that was said on the show.

That said, yes, cosplayers completely have every right to be upset at the show for portraying their hobby as drama-filled and competition-heavy, because nobody wants to be seen like that. But I think the real reason that cosplayers are upset about it isn't because it's "inaccurate", but because we don't like our dirty laundry being aired. We don't like seeing ourselves in mainstream media getting stressed-out and insane about costuming and our fantasy world, even if it is true. The worst of the drama-starters and the trash-talkers don't like seeing what they look like to everyone else, and we all know they're the ones who are the first to voice their opinion, especially when they don't like something.

Overall, whether or not I like the show enough to keep up with it, it's unfortunately a pretty accurate representation of the loudest side of cosplay. Those of us who keep to ourselves are quiet and swept under the rug, and those who involve themselves in drama are the loudest and most talked about/seen. The same can be said about any community. The cosplay community is definitely going to take a harsh reputation hit from "Heroes of Cosplay". We're going to get an onslaught of news articles making fun of us and new people trying to cosplay for fame and bringing drama. As a whole though, I think the community will be okay, if not better than before. Now, instead of squabbling with each-other, everyone's turned against SyFy and even some of the cosplayers on the show that are "representing us unfairly". Instead of looking for drama within our communities, we have a weekly fix of televised drama that's relevant to our interests. The established community is already growing tighter, which may discourage newbies who are genuinely interested, so let's try not to do that, but overall we can be stronger. (And nicer to each-other, maybe?)

Secret and Not-So Secret! (Days... Blarg, I give up)

So I got the wig in for my secret cosplay, and it's beautiful and totally perfect!

On the not-so-secret side of things, I'm also cosplaying an Animal Crossing Villager and the female WiiFit Trainer. Villager has been on my to-do list for a long, long time, and with the male villager being in the next Super Smash Bros., now seems like an excellent time to get started!

I'm definitely jumping on the Smash Bros. bandwagon with WiiFit Trainer, haha. I've had a WiiFit since the year it came out, and I used to play it a LOT, but I had no desire to cosplay from it until Trainer was introduced to Smash Bros. however, I figured it'd be a fun, comfortable cosplay and I definitely plan to go around making Nintendo characters do yoga, so there's that.

Secret cosplay wig

WiiFit Trainer wig

Animal Crossing stuff (in-progress)

Pre/Post Fanime & Secret Cosplay (Days 1182 - 1197)

So while I fully intend to write at least a short Fanime con report with photos and things, I haven't gotten around to it, and I don't want to put off posting regular things anymore. I decided to start on a new cosplay while I still have creative steam left from Fanime, but I'm keeping it a secret. Secret cosplays have always baffled me because by keeping it a secret, you limit your resources. For example, I can't just Google search the character because then if and when someone uses my laptop, they'll see it in my searches. I also can't save reference photos, and I can't get input on any of my decisions either, and my boyfriend can't help me find random pieces in the thrift store like he usually does. And the dumbest thing about all of it is that my secret cosplay isn't even that spectacular-looking, it's really plain! Which is probably a good thing, because i'm not getting much help.

I have no idea why I'm keeping it a secret, but it's kind of fun for whatever reason. Mostly because my boyfriend is dying to know what it is, and I refuse to tell him. In any case, I'm watching a wig on eBay (auction ends in two days, so I'm waiting to bid), and I bought fabric!

Oooh, secret, yeah, are you intrigued yet?
Hint: It's not Pikachu.
Oh yeah, pre-Fanime, I finished everything the Monday before and actually got a full night's sleep before the con for the first time in probably three years.

Almost Ready! (Days 1169 - 1181)

Progress!
With Fanime coming up soon, I've been making tons of progress! I'm so happy that I decided to only make one cosplay this year instead of my usual two or three. I'm nearly done with all of the beading, I just need to finish the hanging strands, and I need to make another store run for those.

More progress!




Even more progress!
This part of the beading is finished.
I just need to add a few more things on the back.

By the way, this is the awesome beading setup I've been using It's all my mom's, save for the measuring tape, and it's pretty awesome. I line up rows of beads on the bead board (the gray/blue thing on the left), I can line up up to four rows at a time, but usually I only do two, it saves me a lot of confusion. Other than the bead board, I think the most useful tool is the silver spoon thing that's laying on top of the bead board in this photo. It's just a long scoop with a pointed end, and you use it to scoop up small beads, like seed beads, that are too tiny to pick up with your fingers.

In addition to beading, I put a few more finishing touches on previously "complete" pieces. I put bobby pins on the inside of the headpiece so that I can wear it without the pins showing, and I put small orange feathers on the arm bands. I was debating whether or not to use the orange feathers for a long time, but I really love the way they look.

I also did a few test-runs of makeup I'm thinking of using for this cosplay, and ultimately, I decided to simplify my makeup a lot. So I wasted money on three pairs of false eyelashes, whoops! I'm kicking myself over it, but I'm not going to over-complicate a perfectly good makeup just because I'm cheap. Speaking of being cheap, I still have to buy more makeup because what I've been using for test runs is super low-quality.

Beading (Days 1164 - 1168)

So almost all of the construction on my Ho-Oh cosplay is finished! All that's left is to figure out how to secure the headpiece properly, and since the construction is finished, I moved on to beading!

Most current progress picture of the whole thing.
My face was exceptionally weird looking.

Beading progress.
After thinking I had finished half of the beading on the top, I decided to try it on. In addition to still having a small construction issue (which I fixed quickly afterward), I realized that when I'm wearing it, the top has a completely different shape than it does when it's on the dress form. So now I'm going to have to take off a bunch of the beads, put on the top, and mark where I want the beads to go. Which really, I should have done in the first place.

For a while, I was struggling with whether or not I even liked the beading on the top, or if I should just leave it plain. Ultimately, I think I like it. It looks very different on the form than it does on me, and the beads give it a lot of sorely-needed depth that it lacks when I wear it. However, I feel like if I start taking beads off to fix them, I might give up and take all of the beads off and leave it that way, haha.

Beading doesn't take too long, I work on it a couple of hours at a time, and it goes by pretty quickly. My arm is a little tired from it, but other than that, I have no real qualms with it.

Headpiece (Days 1144 - 1163)

Not much progress, but it's something. I started work on my Ho-Oh headpiece. It's nearly complete, it just needs a way to attach it to the wig. I'm thinking bobby pins or large combs. Either way, here it is so far.

From the front.
The chain doesn't hang that far in my face,
it sits differently on my head,
and I have a bigger forehead.

And the back.
It'll be a little curved once attached,
to sit on the head better.

Days 1142 & 1143

So I forgot to add something to the bottom half of my Ho-Oh cosplay before I proclaimed it "finished"; these totally awesome jingly coin things!
Purdy...
I wanted to be able to make jingly noises when I walked, and this is the proper way to do it (they're actually intended for use in belly dance). The original artwork that I'm basing this on had things around the belt that matched chains that went across the wings. I decided to forgo the wing chains when I changed the wing design from a scarf to Isis wings, so following the original design for the belt would no longer make sense, since the matching part is gone. The only way the coin belt would be even more perfect is if the coins had something Pokemon-related on them, but since it's a real bellydancing belt (as opposed to something I made), the coins have faces on them instead.

The belt was given to me by my mom, who had it for a Halloween costume. I took a lot of time untangling it, and actually had to move some of the chains around since they were spaced unevenly. Then I hand-sewed the entire thing on, since I had forgotten about it and couldn't use the machine because the belt was in the way. The entire thing is pretty heavy now (the chain holding the coins up is metal), but I rather like it. Before, the belt would ride up on my waist and sit oddly if I moved too much. Now the weight of the coins keeps everything resting properly.

I also began work on the shirt piece, since I ran out of ribbon to finish the collar. I patterned everything out, loosely based on a simple shirt pattern that I own, and added sleeves from a different shirt pattern. No pictures so far, but it did turn out better than expected. My only problem with it now is that in comparison to everything else I have, it looks so plain, just solid red. I'm trying not to worry too much about it though, since I think all of the pieces of this costume started that way. Over time, each piece naturally grew more and more detail until it looked finished. So I'm not going to force detail onto the top, I'm going to wait for inspiration to strike me the way it did with the other pieces and let it grow on it's own. If everything else gets finished and the top still looks out of place, I'll worry about it then. For now, I'm just focusing on getting the construction done.

Progress Photos (Days 1132 - 1141)

Don't worry, this looks a lot worse than it actually is.
I've been working on Ho-Oh some, and I'm surprised at how quickly I've been making progress. I'v finished the bottom half of the cosplay (the skirt-thing, finished everything except the embroidery, which I'm saving for last), and I've moved on to the top. I'm starting with the neck piece, but I ran out of gold ribbon, so I can't finish! Not sure what to do now.


Favorite features so far: The wings and the fact that I sewed on hooks and eyes so that I could pin up the back and it won't drag everywhere, but it can be let down for photoshoots.


I'm a pro at sewing on snaps.


I got so excited when I got the bottom half finished, I put on all the pieces I had and pranced around in them. The top is just a stand-in, of clearly. The wig is the one I'll be using though.









Progress on the neck piece.
This is what the back looks like when it's pinned up.
(Not really pinned though, hooked up, just easier to say "pinned.")


Everything with the back pinned up.
Everything with the back down.
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