zfreelance: (Peace!)
The Great Big Cosplay WIP Post

So, this year I am making two costumes for Dragon*Con: One for me and one for my wife, [personal profile] zeccy.

This is Anders from Dragon Age 2. I am not dressing up as the character, himself, but rather as a female version of him. Because I can.

This is [personal profile] zeccy's costume, Isabela from the same game. Because look at those fucking boots. JUST LOOK AT THEM!

FYI- I am not a sewer. I can hand stitch something, and can (kind of) use a sewing machine. But creating garments from scratch is beyond both my abilities and budget. Not to mention my patience. This has caused me to become something I like to call a Goodwill cosplayer. I cruise closets, delve into castoffs, and frequent half-price Mondays in search of articles of clothing that, while not perfect, can be altered to suit my needs.


Me first!

These are the boots Imma wear, which are made of black suede.
PROS: Comfy to wear for long periods of time.
CONS: They don't exactly belong to me, and thus I cannot tear them up. So, boot covers.

The rivets I'm going to set into the boot covers. These are black elastic with white stitching.

The underdress that wandered into my possession via our local Dillard's closing approx. a hundred years ago. Will be chopped up and made to look more like the reference photo.
PROS: There is no real need to sew or alter this, making it the easiest part of my costume.
CONS: Coloring 100% polyester is fucking hard.

The robe. In a past life, this was a dark green shift/dress/thing that had a convenient seam right up the front. I split the seam and set about altering the color.
Fun fact- bleaching green linen creates pretty pretty colors, as long as that color is orange. I don't even know.
After dying it to the color I need, I will hem the edges with gold colored ribbon, and then try my hand at creating a few princess seams to make it more form-fitting.
PROS: Linen takes color beautifully and breathes well. This is important when one is going to be wandering around Atlanta in September.
CONS: Orange? Really?

This is the found object ensemble, featuring the newly dyed robe and tucked-back blue overshirt. I have a lot of work left, but the beauty of Goodwill cosplaying is that you aren't starting from absolute scratch.

This the gold ribbon being hemmed onto the robe with Liquid Stitch. It would probably have been easier and less messy to sew it on, but at this point my family's Bernina sewing machine was on sabbatical in Switzerland.
PROS: For someone as thread-illiterate as myself, Liquid Stitch is a great substitute and stopgap for what would otherwise be a mindnumbingly tedious undertaking.
CONS: Liquid Stitch takes a long time to dry, and as you can see in the photo, it does stain the fabric darker. Luckily, the ragged look works for my costume, but for lighter or more delicate fabrics could very well end up ruined. Also, it dries stiff, but I'm hoping that will work itself out.

This is some acetate ribbon that I was planning to use to hem the edges of the blue overshirt. However, when bent, folded, ironed, breathed on, or looked at wrong, this is the result. I do not like this.

I got a little frustrated.

I have a lot of the materials needed for the costume compiled, and I am awaiting the arrival of my wig.

- Add princess seams to robe
- Hem the blue overshirt
- Set some kind of inlay in the collar to make it stiff
- Sew gold cord and beads onto collar
- Measure and sew boot covers
- Add loops to coat and belt
- Make/cover pouches
- Cut and color wig (once it arrives)


And now for Isabela!

The base for the dress. I have to adjust the collar, remove the sleeves, and add rivets to the bodice. I also plan on adding the skirt to the bottom, where the corset will hide the seam.

The basic template for the boot covers. Cut from a massive bolt of real leather provided to me by the father of a friend, who just so happens to own a textile factory.
I am largely creating the costume in [personal profile] zeccy's absence, so I can only do so much without her here to measure. I plan on creating the boot cover in two parts, joined by a fabric that will cover the knee. The leather is very soft, so the whole confection will probably be a mess of elastic strips and Velcro, but I am going to make these boots look good, even if it kills me. >:(

The medallions for Isabela's necklace and earrings. I was planning on creating these from craft foam, but saw these and figured that Isabela would approve.

Isabela's shoulder armor, cut from craft foam.
PROS: Dude, I think craft foam may end up being my lord and savior. So cheap, so flexible...
CONS: Fine details may end up feathery and lopsided, as that same flexibility makes it difficult to cut with precision.

The shoulder armor and elbow pads, cut and painted. Paint hides a multitude of sins/screw ups.

- Fit, cut, and do great magic with the boots
- Cut off sleeves and collar of shirt
- Add skirt
- Make/cover existing waist cincher
- Add rivets to front of dress
- Set shoulder and elbow armor on buckle contraptions that have yet to be created
- Make gold collar (craft foam)
- Make torc (scuply clay)
- Make buckles for boots and armor (sculpy clay)
- Find/create hip and head scarf
- Find brown gloves and make better
- Wrist and bicep armor (craft foam)
- Find and kill the concept artist for Isabela


So, yeah. I still have a fuckton to do, but it is coming along, albeit slowly. One extremely productive week or two should get everything largely finished. I've had some near-meltdowns and rage fits, but I'm largely optimistic.

I'm also contemplating how difficult it would be to create Anders' staff and Isabela's knives, but those are strictly under the heading of "If I Have Time/Sanity Left Over". I'm thinking the answer will be no, but I'm still looking into it.


Also: If the photos end up looking needlessly massive, blame Photobucket. I can't get it to work right.
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