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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “Sewing

My New Years Resolutions – One-Per-Month Cosplay Challenge

It’s been a while since I posted a genuine cosplay article on here, because in all honesty, I’ve been very lackadaisical with getting on with costumes. Not because I’m disinterested or even disorganised, but actually I’ve found that I haven’t had the proper motivation to make a whole costume. 2019 at first seemed like it was going to be even worse for me, I will not be attending any major UK conventions, which is a really sad thing to say. Instead of being down in the dumps about that, it’s given me a bit of an idea. Instead of wasting my New Years’ Resolution on the usual guffins, I’m going to vow to up my cosplay game.

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Last Minute Christmas Presents for a Cosplayer 2017

Ho, ho, ho – Merry Christmas one and all! With Christmas Day being exactly a week today, I figured it was a good time to look into presents you can give the geek in your life. However, you’ve probably heard lots about what to buy the gamer, or the comic fan, or the Star Wars nerd in your life – So I figured I’d share with you some present ideas that would make the cosplayer in your life a very happy person. So if you’re stuck for those last minute presents, whether it be large or small, check out what I’d consider some great presents for a cosplayer in 2017!

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Next Cosplay Project – Apollo Justice

As part of my continued quest in attending conventions across the UK, next year I shall be making a good number of new Cosplay costumes. Now that Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to look to the future for our next lots of costumes and what I will need for them. How shocking that Christmas is over so fast, eh? All of that build up. We’ve even left the decorations up on the front page!

The first in my projects is to do a costume from the Ace Attorney series. I figured that much like I did with my Edward Elric costume, I would document what I’ve been doing for this new project. So, let’s begin by discussing the character. (more…)


Cosplay Update – Wait, what am I doing..?

So today I thought I’d just give you all a very quick update just to explain how well the Deku Link costume is coming along.

So, last time I showed off a few pictures of what’s happening, but to continue with that, I thought I’d actually give you a quick run down of… Um… Oh gosh.

Making the tunic thing skirt

So, Deku Link as you can see quite clearly here has a…

... Tunic.

… Tunic.

 

What am I doing with my time? Well, I made the skirt from scratch, the same as I did the hat. Quickly then, how did I make the skirt? How long did it take?

Did I ever mention that my mini sewing machine which I bought from Amazon is broken? It’s so broken, that even someone who uses sewing machines on a regular basis said “… Just go get a new one. A proper one this time.”

So, I’m going to be saving up a few quid each month to get me a proper sewing machine. I’m going to start with a basic Brother model and if I like it enough, I’ll probably be doing more sewing tutorials (… Not because I like sewing or anything, but for cosplay. Um… Shut up. I’m liking my sewing sessions now.)

Simple fabric for the simple guy.

Simple fabric for the simple guy.

So first of all, I got me a large piece of material and folded it in half. I’ll explain why shortly. The material I used is the same material as that of my hat. The reason for this is it’s quite hard to tell if the fabric is different. I decided it wouldn’t be, so all of the clothing pieces are made of some form of green felt.

Measurements taken: Waist. Widest point of hips. Waist to just below knee.

With this information, I knew the different measurements I’d need to work on this tunicskirt. I’m sorry, I’ll never stop insulting this piece because for crying out loud, I’ve just made a damned skirt for myself. I’m not Scottish, thus it’s not a kilt I’m afraid. Plus, it’s the wrong fabric. I’m doomed to be called a skirt wearing guy. But it should be for something adorable. I hope.

 

Why did you fold it in half?

I folded the fabric in half to save room mostly, plus to get the two sides even. As such, when I finished cutting it, I knew I had to just sew the two sides together.

I realise as well that many people would do two separate pieces of fabric for this, thus leading to a possibly neater piece of clothing, but I’ll be honest: I didn’t think of that at the time. I just wanted something that’d look the part and be sturdy enough to be worn.

I hope no one tugs on it on the day of début, mind. That would be incredibly embarrassing!

 

Back to making it

Okay, so with my fabric cut out, I needed to make the hemline. If you don’t know what a hemline is, basically, you fold fabric in on itself and sew it. You do this so you don’t get any nasty looking straggly bits and loose threads just poking out all around the place.

Once the hemlines were in, I had to sew the two ends together.

But wait, I sewed this on the wrong side?

But wait, I sewed this on the wrong side?

Yeah, you should always do the sewing on the bit of the fabric you don’t want to see. See, when you finish your project, you’ll then turn it inside out to show what you actually want on display. In my case here, I didn’t want to be showing off the side of the fabric above, but instead the smoother side of the fabric. So, you should always sew on the wrong side of the fabric.

You can see how much of a ham job I did of sewing this, eh?

The last thing to do is to make an elastic waistband. That’s simply done by cutting some elastic to about 92-94% of your actual waist measurement from earlier. So, grab a calculator if you need to and type your waistsize in either centimeters or inches (depending how you work, I guess!) * 0.92 or * 0.94. In my case, my waist size was 34″ at time of writing. So I did 34 * .92 which gave me 31.28. I rounded that to 31.5 – Just because I could.

My rather cunning waistband.

My rather cunning waistband.

I cheated when I made this band! You might notice that not only is it quite a thin band, but it’s… got this black thing around it. What is that black thing? It’s duct tape. Seriously, that’s what that is. I duct-taped the band together and it’s held it together incredibly well. I’d not recommend you do this for your project, but that’s what I did.

So I sewed the elastic to the wrong side of the fabric once more and then I pulled over a bit of the fabric that was above the waistband over it. Then I sewed that again. Do you realise how much sewing I did thanks to this project!? I’m seriously finally getting the hang of sewing thanks to making this from scratch.

So how does it look?

This was as good a picture as I could get. I apologise. Seriously.

This was as good a picture as I could get. I apologise. Seriously.

Well, it’s… a skirt.
Great…
I won’t get picked on. Ever.

 

Well, there’s been a bit more since then… But I thought I’d actually explain how everything was done so if you ever felt like getting into cosplay and think sewing is a hard thing to do, it’s not. But what I’d seriously suggest is YOU GET A GOD DAMN SEWING MACHINE.

Sewing just the hems took me a good 25-30 minutes on each part! Seriously, it’s so tedious, but it is pretty relaxing in the long run. Just have your earphones in, sit down and get on with it. That’s what I did.

Oh, right…

 

Costume Number 4.

What is my 4th costume now going to be, now that I’ve dropped Felix? I thought I’d gather the bits and pieces for the costume. But the most important piece of the costume is this:

Oh crap, the camera almost saw me properly then!

Oh crap, the camera almost saw me properly then!

Yes, that is just an orange beanie hat. So, what do you think this is going to be for? I can tell you, that’s a pretty big give away, as it’s one of his main features. Other things to note, he raps. No, I’m not cosplaying as Eminem. I don’t know if Eminem has ever owned an orange beanie, but if you’re reading this Eminem – Don’t worry, I’m not going to do a dreadful cosplay/impression of you. That’d be downright disrespectful on my part.

Another thing about this rapper with an orange beanie hat, he’s gotta believe.

 

Have you all guessed what costume 4 is yet? What did you think of my quick but pretty useless “tutorial“? Let me know what you thought as ever and of course, I look forward to showing you more cosplay updates in the very near future!


Cosplaying woes

No, don’t worry, this isn’t bad news per se.

I went to go join Bristols Last Cosplay group today, the walk was supposed to have started at Forbidden Planet in Clifton.

Unfortunately, I got there and no one was around. It made me a bit sad, but I waited and still no one. Undeterred, I went for a wander in my outfit and even received praise. Horray!

Because of this, I didn’t actually take pictures of the costume. I went home and instead: I started working on some detail.

My gloves, now with buttons

My gloves, now with buttons

So, I taught myself how to sew a button onto something. I’d say the button itself came out quite well. I’ll quickly go over the button hole to make it more of a standard “Button hole” look with some sewing, but I am pretty happy by this. This, to me, was especially important. I bought the gloves at an extra large size, even though I only have relatively small hands for a bloke.

This wasn’t a blunder on my part, I ordered the extra large size to accommodate my “Metal arm”. However, it meant one glove was too big and the other would be “Just” right. So I figured I needed to put buttons on. This part will be hidden by the coat, anyway!

My cosplay boots

My cosplay boots

Worked on these a fair bit, finished off today by painting the bottom of the shoes and whallah! We now have Ed’s boots. The only problem with these, however note this is being as minor and as detailed/thorough as I can, is the red is a bit too bright.

In fact, it’s almost orange. Now, if you look at a design of Eds boots, you’ll see it’s a sort of dark red. I could go over these once again with a darker paint… Which I might do. But for now, this will do and hey, if anything, I feel that it stands out more and goes well with the overall costume!

You might just make out the soles of the shoes are dark red.

You might just make out the soles of the shoes are dark red.

I also completely shaved off my massive beard I was growing out. By massive, I mean it. It was pretty over sized! My face now feels colder… but I look a lot slimmer facially! More work to do on weight, but I’m constantly going in the right direction.

So, that’s it. As you can see, there wasn’t much in the way of woes today. Not really. It was just a bit upsetting to go out, make the effort to get dressed up and not find other cosplayers. However, a few people stopped to chat to me for a while, examining what I had done, asking me questions and generally being interested. It’s the exact reason why I started to cosplay in the first place – To meet people who are interested and who want to connect to anything that’s not “The norm”.

I might have looked like an oddball… But I’m proud to be an oddball. I hope, if you consider yourselves an oddball, that you are proud to be an oddball too. How many times can a person say oddball without it sounding absolutely ridiculous?

What else?

I also ordered some black vests from Amazon – Same as Edward wears.

Then I got me a long black glove. That’s strange, but there is a purpose for it and it’ll make itself known soon.

Also, preparation of the arm is on the way: Look!

Well, the hand has been started at least.

Well, the hand has been started at least.

I considered the hand to be the hardest bit to make. The rest are basically big, long, shaped slabs of thermoplastic. The problem with the hand is I need to still be able to flex my fingers and my hand. This is why I bought the long glove. I’m going to wear the long glove and bend the thermoplastics around the gloves. I’ll allow the “Sticky” properties of Worbla’s to stick to the glove and then I should be able to have a tighter fit with the hand, too.

The plus side with Worbla, you can make many mistakes with it. You can just cut it back up, re-heat it and back to work!

Right, that’s it for today! Over to you – What do you all think? Am I doing something REALLY backwards that you think you know of a better way of doing? Are you concerned for my sanity by doing all this!? (I’m certainly not. I’m very content with this little hobby of mine!) Come join in the discussion. I’d love to hear from you.


Making the costume (Pt. 1)

This is a follow up post to the 2 part post on starting a costume. Please see the bottom of this article for links to the first and second post on “Starting A Costume” which goes into detail about research.

During this week off, I have been collecting bits and bobs towards making my Edward Elric costume.

Edward Elric

This is possibly the most used picture of this fellow all over the internet. It’s a great reference shot!

So, I have collected various parts, including: A wig, pocket watch, gloves, a book and the boots.

The gloves and boots have yet to arrive, however they’ll be included in “Making the costume Pt. 2”. Yeah, I said it, this is going to be another multi-part post! I’m sure the title gave this away to the reader, though!

The next part will focus on making more of the details, however for this part of the post, I will focus entirely on one of the main parts of the costume: The coat.

Sewing Patterns

A coat is an item of clothing, so the first thing to suss out: How do you make clothes? Most people use something known as a sewing pattern, which you can buy from some retail outlets and online shops.

A pattern is normally printed on what seems like “Tissue paper” as I’ve been informed! However, I’m a tech geek. There has to be another way? Well thankfully for me in this instance, when I typed in “Edward Elric Coat Pattern” and was flicking through images, I just so happened to find some “How to make Cosplay Items” instructions on how to make Ed’s coat! Fantastic. I decided I’d not link them here, just in case – but you can find the patterns on the first page of a Google search.

Right then, we now had a rough guide so it’s time to work on drawing out the pattern. But hold on a second, what can we draw our patterns on?

I went to a local large hobbyist store, called Hobbycraft. However, if you do not have a Hobbycraft, do not worry, this isn’t a necessity. See, the problem with patterns, especially ones online, they are likely not going to be your size. Most good patterns have fantastic size guides, which tells the user everything they’d want to know. As such, I needed something to draw the patterns onto which would be large enough for me. I’m not tall, at just 5’6″ (1.6764 metres (Thanks again, Google!)) in height. However, I’m still a pretty stocky bloke! So paper stuck together, be it A4, A3, newspaper or otherwise, would just get fiddly. I bought some “Craftpaper” which was on sale at Hobbycraft which came in at over 8 metres in length! Happy days.

So, these here are some patterns which I drew up. No, no, go ahead, soak it all in. I don’t mind.

Hood pattern

Hood pattern

Front pattern - Decided the back wasn't different enough to warrent a whole different picture for it!

Front pattern – Decided the back wasn’t different enough to warrent a whole different picture for it!

Even the glasses can see these are sleeves.

Even the glasses can see these are sleeves.

Okay, so now we have some patterns, the next thing to do is to cut out all of the individual parts. I have decided, for bandwidth sake, to make this into one picture rather than the separate pictures I took of the different components.

Oh yeah, the patterns..!

Oh yeah, the patterns..!

I made a mistake!

Mistakes are common, especially for beginners and I am certainly a beginner. The fact I am undertaking such a hard costume and pushing myself to make the costume is setting myself up to fail, however I think so far, I’ve done decently enough following the patterns.

I actually made three mistakes which I’ll explain now.

  1. When cutting the first sleeve out, I followed the instructions far too literally. As such, I made it far too small. This could have been a massive waste of material to me. Okay, not massive, but still a waste of material. What did I do?

    I turned it into a pocket. This was a very easy adaptation, where I simply sewed together 3 of the sides, having used my mini sewing machine to do so. The pocket is strong enough to hold a book in, I was even able to swing it about (… Is that the “man way” of testing durability, or am I just a complete moron at times? :( Answers on a postcard, please.)

    Here’s my pocket with a lovely book inside. Not a bad way to save that material! It helps as of course, Ed carries his book inside of his coat!

    You again! You're not a book! Get outta there!

    You again! You’re not a book! Get outta here!

  2. When cutting the front pattern, I only cut one side! This was no problem, as all I did then was trace along the outside of the side I had cut out and then cut the second side out. Simple. Please note: If you make this mistake – Make it so the wrong side is facing you, so that you can mimic two sides.
  3. I made the parts far too big (As you can see in my collection of pictures above) But this is really not an issue at all. If anything, as a novice, I’m glad I’ve made -that- mistake and not the other extreme of not cutting big enough!

Sometimes, I feel like this too.

Thanks for sticking this post out, the next post, we’ll have a sewn together coat along with the first time of wearing it (Whether or not I’ll still have a beard at that point remains to be seen. It keeps appearing then getting shaved off over the past month or so! Seriously, it’s been more of a flake than the chocolate in a certain 99p ice-cream… That no longer costs 99p.)

A 99 Flake… Darn it, I want one now.

 

And now I leave you with some related posts including the posts from the first parts of this mini-series!