Saturday, June 14, 2014

Costume: Lolita!Labor 9 (Hatoful Kareshi)

Hatoful is one of the best written and put together stories out there. You heard me. The bird dating, it's a fine piece of literature. I know. I know. It's unexpected which is part of why it's even better. Anyways I wanted to do something from Hatoful and with the Austin lolita group Halloween party coming up this is what my mind jumped to.

Unfortunately there is only the one image of the Scarecrow to go off of so I had to get a bit create and also go off of some of the things that are in the text as well (like the blade arm she drags). Originally I was going to make the skirt myself and put my head in a jar (since there's a whole running theme of protag-chan's head being put in a jar) but I found a great skirt on the comm sales and decided I didn't want my head in a jar after all. I tried to keep the idea of a mishmash of parts going by folding down only one boot. The shoulder pauldron is made from craft foam, some cheap faux leather and various odds and ends spray painted silver. The blade arm is made from craft foam covered in metallic spandex and the blade itself is spray painted foam. The hood is made from a linen because actual burlap would have been waaaay too itchy. Overall I'm very happy with this though I'll probably line the openings of the mask with black mesh to obscure my face for when I next wear it.

Series: Hatoful Kareshi
Construction Time: A day
Cost: $50
Materials and Construction: Linen "burlap", Red yarn, thread spool, nuts and bolts, paper card, craft foam, spray paint, metallic spandex, sweater, blouse, skirt, socks, boots, gloves
Debut: Halloween 2012
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Unnamed Heroine (Amnesia)

I love Amnesia, it's such a good, if crazy, story and the character design and art is just candy for the eyeballs. Naturally I was stoked when the anime was announced and one day in Joann's I saw the PERFECT fabric for her dress. So I though, eh why not?

The dress is simple though the amount of pintucks meant it took this side of forever to make. I just use a black jacket I've had for years since I've always known noone was going to recognize this one in person let alone that my jacket is kinda off. It's a pretty niche show/visual novel. The flowers are actually fake ranunculus as that looks more like anime roses than actual roses. I still can't find hosiery that looks like her's but I've been experimenting with layering different types. Hoping the white fishnets and loose weave black ones I've just gotten recently will pair well with my red ones and look closer to hers. The wig actually has pink tips but they're pretty faint just like hers are.

I wish hats and wigs didn't hate each other. This beret hats staying on.
The wig actually has pink tips but they're pretty faint just like hers are. The tint of her hair is not nearly as pronounced as it is with like every other character.

Series: Amnesia (Visual Novel)
Construction Time: ~3 days
Cost: $114.36
Materials and Construction: 
$1.80 Black diamond tights
$5.00 Red heart tights
$6.50 Black lattice tights (were replaced by black diamond)
$1.73 White fishnet tights
$1.08 Black knit beret
$10.37 2 sprigs pink ranunculus
$1.95 Cruise blue thread
$3.20 22" Icy blue invis zip
$3.24 ciel zip (unused)
$5.99 White purse
$13.58 Wig
$34.62 Contacts
$25.30 Blue radiance wrinkle free cotton
On hand:
white sateen
craft foam
Debut: SDCC 2013
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Shelke Rui (Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus)

As often as I cosplay characters and such from Dirge, I don't actually like the game. There's very few games I rage quit because I'm having such negative amounts of fun but Dirge is one of them. I eventually pushed through and beat it. Years later. Because I was dying not knowing how it ended (I'm not sure the story was even really worth it because it it was ooooout there). But the shooting mechanics are just horrible and it is a shooter. That said, I've named my car after one of the characters and have done two outfits from this game now. I love the design and a number of the characters are either awesome (Shelke, so snarky), adorable (Oh Mr. Commish, oh you) or cool (I hope my car will be as loyal and kick butt as you, Nero). I also realized I'd never actually done a straight up costume from FF7, just that lolita!Reeve.

So hey, why not do Shelke? I like her a bit better than Aeris and despite basically being Shalua's body double right down to the glasses and matching crippled left arm I can't actually stand Shalua. So Shelke. She's sassy and snarky and we both look significantly younger than we are. And I dig her bodysuit and internet hat (which I haven't actually made yet but soooon). Most importantly was that I'd just retired Yuna and had that Final Fantasy gathering at A-fest coming up and no FF costume any more. I always forget how few FF costumes I have. It also meant I could carry around my Cait Sith plush I made.

It was pretty simple but I was working up to the last minute to finish. The bodysuit is some form of matte navy stretch from Joann's and some leftover grey sateen. I had plenty of silver 4 way spandex left for all of the silver and all of the armor, the belt, the thigh buckles, shoulder pads and neck and glove interfacings are craft foam. The flourescent lines are for once not a reflective tape but glitter ribbon it gets a similar look without the need for flash and still sparkles so yeah. The ribbon is on top of black bias tape. The wig is actually my Yuna wig but restyled. That's why I love heat styling wigs, you can restyle them~. There's also some black metallic spandex as the chest belt and there's armor on the back which I have absolutely no pics of but looks fantastic. ToT
I need to do some repairs as my costume was torn in a few places by some LoL fans at PAX East and I want to redo the logo on her chest plate but that's not too much work.

Edit: I've since made her Internet Hat and Sabers. :D

Sang Le Cosplay Photography

Series: Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus
Construction Time: ~1 week
Cost: $52.98
Materials and Construction: 
$15.13 2 yd Navy interlock
$1.07 Black Velcro
$3.56 Black invis zip
$3.79 2 packs black bias tape
$11.37 2 rubber pipe insulations
$1.08 White flip flops
$16.98 Shoes

$9.99 Welding wire
$4.99 Wire stripper
$5.98 2 Solder
$6.60 Pipe fittings for handles
$.99 Paint
$.99 Wire
$3.99 Soldering iron

$2.28 Bath cups

$.76 hosiery, black

On Hand:
Grey sateen
glitter ribbon
craft foam
hot glue
metallic spandex
 Cait Sith plush
Debut: A-fest 2013
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation (awaiting repairs from being trampled at PAX East)

Costume: Haruka (Free!)

I love Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. That show. It is such a beautiful story of school age friendship. Also I love swimming and feel for Haruka and his desire to just do ALL the swimming.

The first interation of this costume was a rush job for A-Fest 2013 with whatever materials I had on hand. The wig was my Scout's Ma's wig that I slicked back and the swim trunks were made from left over black metallic spandex and some purple lining I heat and bonded on (had to do that while wearing them, it was an interesting experience). I didn't have time to make the jacket so I decided I'd do some freestanding binding and cover that with a towel draped around my shoulders. It wasn't the most beautiful costume but it worked and apparently everyone thought I had the towel and only the towel. (Success?)

I've since remade the trunks in actual swimsuit material, got a jacket from eBay (because I rather drop $30 than spend $20 and four days making it and likely have it get ruined by chlorinated pool water) and got a more appropriate wig and some blue contacts too. I still rock the towel at times though, especially when outside in summer. :D

Let's just say I love this costume even if I myself don't look like Haruka. It's because Free! is so fun and the meet ups are a freaking blast. Even if we spend most of them swimming instead of taking photos.

Series: Free!
Construction Time: ~2 days
Cost: $66.45
Materials and Construction:
$11.50 Wig
$31.06 Jacket (ebay)
$11.94 purple nylon tricot
$11.94 black nylon tricot
On hand:
flip flops
binding material
Debut: A-fest 2013, Redone at Katsucon 2014
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Serena (Pokemon X/Y)

No joke I adore X/Y. The story speaks to me on such a level that I'm pretty sure they had the present 20 something market in mind in addition to the normal kids because like you have no idea how logical (though still batshit in the end) Team Flare's premise and Lysandre's plan are. Or maybe you do if you've played it. There's also the part where I look a lot like Serena, like I don't even have to wear a wig with this sucker.

The costume is pretty simple since Pokemon designs (wigs aside) tend to be pretty practical. The shirt was a shirt from Target I modified. So far I've worn it only in winter so my photos all feature fleece lined tights but I have the black version of my Kirara fake stocking pantyhose for summer. The hat, purse and shoes are from eBay though I did paint the pokeballs on the shoes. The "sunglasses" are actually craft foam since I couldn't find any prescription sunglasses that looked like hers. The skirt is made from red stretch sateen since I had it and it is a decent bottom weight. I love that this costume has pockets and a purse.

I feel like in addition to Phil the Camera guy there should have been a selfie option in the game.
Looking at it now I realize I should take in the waist of the skirt so it sits at my natural waist but other than that all I need to do now is wearing it and get pics! Or I might remake the top too using a very dark grey for the bodice and then black for the collar. /perfectionism

Series: Pokemon X/Y
Construction Time: ~3 days
Cost: ~$42.44
Materials and Construction:
$8.28 wig
$3.98 Grey blouse
$12.50 black converse
$8.62 Pink purse
$3.12 black faux thigh highs
$5.94 Pink hat
Black top
On hand:
craft foam
red sateen
fabric paint
red zip
pokemon plushes
Debut: Ikkicon 2013
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Iori Rinko (Gundam Build Fighters

I love Build Fighters, okay?? And Rinko is just the cutest Wing-mom ever. I decided to do her summer outfit since A-kon is in June and I was worried about melting. I ended up being cold while we were inside soooo I totally could have done her normal turtleneck and jeans. Oh well.

It's a super simple outfit. I got the shorts from Goodwill (they're listed as a size 13 which had both me and cashier laughing) and the sweater from from eBay which I then had to take in by about 4" on each side and an 1" on each sleeve. The wig was recycled from Vivi and I tried to dye it a bit more navy but that didn't work out. The hardest/most awkward part of this costume was faking the chest. Real talk, I'm an A and even with the inserts I use for EDI it just wouldn't even put me near Rinko's league. So I went with the old school drag queen method of rice and pantyhose and there's a reason it's the go to cheap-y method.

Even so I still am not quite up to Rinko's level but anything more than a D looks utterly ridiculous on me. It was fun wearing her though, I just need to further tame that horrid wig.

Series: Gundam Build Fighters
Construction Time: ~1 day
Cost: $18.87
Materials and Construction:
$6.59 Sweater
$5.00 Shorts
$6.20 Bra
$1.08 Rice
Oh hand:
Debut: A-kon 25 (2014)
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Kirara (Gundam Build Fighters)

When we were first introduced to Kirara all I could think was "I really wish I wasn't so much like her". Considering how I've now cosplayed her that has obviously changed but it's the truth. I was staring down someone who would do anything for her goal, even if that means spiking a kid's drink and sabotaging his kit while he's busy being sick. I hated that her plan seemed so... underhanded yet strategically sound. Oh sure, she didn't actually win, but still. It's something I would have considered doing in the same situation (other than probably not spiking a kid's drink with ex-lax since I'm pretty sure that's a crime). And then the episode ends and we figure we'll never see her and her cute outfit again as she was just the villain of the week.

But we do see her again. A lot. She manages to achieve her dream of being an idol without any further drink spiking and she proves to actually be a good person who helps Sei and Reiji along the way and gets to spend lots of quality time with Everyone's Boyfriend Ricardo Fellini. She isn't even really taken in by his suave charm, she's annoyed by him and especially by how he doesn't recognize her out of costume (he grows on her). By the end of the show I loved her as much as I loved Rinko and Miss Baker. And her outfit was waaaaaay cuter.

So I decided to be a Gunpla Idol for A-kon. It was a weird outfit to put together though. The top is a strapless bra from a bag of bras my friend gave me (I don't want these any more but I figure you might could use these for costumes and dear god she's been so right). I used craft foam to change the shape of the bottom of the band then covered the whole thing in white rayon lycra. The shorts and gloves are made of the same lycra. The pink detailing is craft foam covered in broadcloth and then glued on. The ruffles and butt cape are made from white broadcloth. The butt cape attaches to the shorts with velcro and attaches to me with a bit of spirit gum. The stockings are actually pantyhose which are made to look like thigh highs (I love you whoever decided to make that a thing so I don't have to jury rig those myself any more). There's no ruffle on those because the ruffle would have been hella unflattering and uncomfortable for walking. I didn't do the star on the torso since I was going to be doing Haruka right after and didn't want remains of spirit gum or irritation from that to show while wearing him.

But that stuff I'm guessing you don't care about, the star of this costume is the wig. Or should I say Dat Wig? I literally had someone come up to me and go "OMG I saw your wig progress online! It looks so good!". Which was weird, soooo weird, but also cool. Originally I was going to use a wig I have for lolita and order a long weft from Arda to make the pigtails from. I ordered the wrong color but when I got it in I thought they just didn't have one to match (they do have one that matches the original bob wig I was going to use as a base I just ordered Dusty Rose instead of Rose Pink because I'm an idiot). So I ordered a long Luka wig from the eebs and honestly the color is probably a better match anyways.

Step one (after waiting impatiently for a month for it to get here) was to cut it short and shape the base. That pic is after the initial cut, after that a friend let me borrow her razor comb while we were watching Sailor Moon so I could make the back look like less of a train wreck. I've since been brought over to the side of the razor comb (also because srsly you can get them for a few bucks on the eebs. Yes I get everything from eBay).

I'm pretty sure that in the show it shows that this wig (because it is a wig for Kirara too, not her real hair which is purple) is actually put up in pigtails and then she takes them down sometimes for formal occasions. As someone who does lolita a lot and knows about wig comfort and making it so you can wear these things for long periods of time, put them on quickly, easily care for them and travel with them I knew that if Kirara existed in real life she would have several wigs. One wig would be the long and down one for formal events and then a short one with clip in curly pigtails. Because once you put a wig in pigtails you never take it out of pigtails (it is SUCH a hassle) and it's harder to travel with such a precisely styled wig and they're harder to wear too.

This is the wig Kirara would wear in real life. It is also, very sadly, sold old and removed from Bodyline's website so I don't think they'll be restocking it. Also I didn't want to drop $50+ on a wig and shipping for Kirara which wouldn't actually match the show even though it is literally the wig Kirara would have bought (Bodyline is a well known cosplay/lolita/punk company based out of Japan which offers pretty decent product for a reasonable price).

So for my purposes I new I wanted detachable pigtails and they needed to jut out from her head in a really crazy way. So I made a headband with antennae out of worbla and bolts and wore that under the wig. The pigtails slide on to those antennae which also means they have some movement despite being solid shapes. The pigtails themselves are shapes cut out of... this weird heat and form fabric I got in Austin awhile back. It was $5 for the whole roll so I figured why not? It's basically like fabric with plastic woven which you can heat with a heat gun or hella hot water and shape like worbla. I patterned the shape on newspaper then cut them out of the heat and form fabric. I really wish I'd made them bigger/longer but I was worried I was going to run out of the wig fiber I'd harvested from when I cut it. I actually had fiber to spare. :/ I originally tried using fabric glue and modge podge to get the fiber to stick but ended up going with hot glue and that worked best. the ends were then reinforced with gel and the whole of the pigtail sprayed with a LOT of hair spray. It took about a day/The Great Gatsby and all of the special features on the Blu-ray. The stars are made of card stock and spray painted gold. Because I know the show has them yellow but pssht please gold looks way better in real life. When in doubt go for metallics.

Series: Gundam Build Fighters
Construction Time: ~5 days
Cost: ~$60
Materials and Construction: 
$27.57 Wig
$4.32 2 yd White Broadcloth
$1.08 1/2 yd Pink Broadcloth
$3.12 white faux stockings
$3.94 razor comb
$8.75 pink weft from Arda
On hand:
White strapless bra
white shoes
white rayon lycra
craft foam
hot glue
heat and bond
gold vinyl
hair spray
weird thermoplastic
Debut: A-kon 25 (2014)
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Jiji (Princess Jellyfish)

This started out as a closet cosplay for wearing around when we're partying and such at night. It's super simple and comfortable to wear and we like hanging out as the Amars together. Originally it was a straight up closet cosplay but I've since invested a little money in it for a new sweater that was just about a perfect match. I just had to take in the sweater since it turns out it was a men's large not a women's so it was far baggier than I wanted. That wasn't too hard though. Also I know the otter socks are kinda out of place but they're super cute and really look like something a grandma would wear which is exactly Jiji's style.
I'm pretty sure she dresses like a grandma in an attempt to attract foxy older gentlemen. And okay yeah I toned down the mismatched colors a bit because I just can't handle looking like that much of a train wreck. If she could better coordinate colors and had longer hair then she would literally be anime me.

I actually used a scrap of what glissenette in order to do the glare of her glasses, just a few dots of hot glue to get them in place and bam, I can still pretty much see but you can't see my eyes! :D I did end up needing to look over my glasses a few times but that was because we were cruising artist alley looking for fine art of handsome older gentlemen and I was on the hunt for Lysandre art (of which there was none, sob).

Series: Princess Jellyfish
Construction Time: ~1 hour
Cost: $20 (For the sweater, off of eBay)
Materials and Construction: Blue Scout Mom's wig, glissenette for glasses, a bit of hot glue, pink blouse, sweater, brown capris, socks, shoes
Debut: A-kon 25 (2014)
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation

Costume: Beauty Class Trainer (Pokemon X/Y)

My feet didn't have enough style points to really pull off those shoes. My legs are still sore from wearing those and EDI's shoes for half the weekend.
I already had a Serena costume by the time the thought to do this one rolled around and I was thinking of just wearing Serena again to A-kon 25 but one of my friends was debuting her Serena at A-kon and I didn't want to step on her toes. I know people can wear the same costume at the same time but I really prefer not to. There was also the part where the people who'd cosplayed the random trainers at Anime Matsuri had clearly had a lot of fun so I had that in mind when looking at other options.

And then I ran into one of the Beauty class trainers in Lumiose and was like "Well heck, I won't even need to buy anything and I can reuse those shoes from military ball that I haven't worn in a decade and then I get to carry around my sunglasses and a snack to boot!"

Yes I do have my 3DS in my back pocket because streetpasses and being able to challenge people to battles.
I did have to buy a baguette and oddly enough a black camisole since it turns out I don't have one of those after all (what have I even been wearing with Xion then??). I also decided to make a Drifblim because it would have been weird for a minor trainer to be walking around with a Fennekin and I wasn't sure if I'd find a Fletchinder or Fletchling plush at con (since Fletchinder is what one Aimee uses and I dig that little bird dude). Also because Driffles is one of my fav pokemon. :D

Originally the plan was to put a helium balloon into Driffles so he'd float buuuuut it turns out the broadcloth was too heavy. Going to try a wire that attaches either to my bra band or into my hair to hold him to he can float. He's just so expressive though, so much fun to take photos of! I also took my little Litwick with me and got an Eevee at the con.
Don't mind me, just going off to lead some children to their death~
I know, I'm far more suited to being a Hex Maniac. Also we totally battled a dude in the Anatole's parking lot and we one shot won with Fly and got his pocket change. That's how you get laundry quarters in the Pokemon world, folks! Also I'm going to do Diantha next because F Yeah Kalos is the best. Also I totally won't even need to buy anything except another set of clip in bangs and some extensions for her.

Series: Pokemon X/Y
Construction Time: A day
Cost: $5 (camisole and broadcloth for Driffles)
Materials and Construction: Clip in bangs (from Puchiko), black camisole, jeans, belt, shoes, paper bag (from the comic book store), baguette, soda can box, sunglasses, pokeball, broadcloth, heat and bond, cotton balls, a tiny bit of hot glue and balloons.
Debut: A-kon 25 (2014)
Final Appearance: Still in Rotation