Cosplay: Mary Read (AC4)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand another cosplay I’ve been working on. It’s Mary Read/James Kidd from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag or aka ‘AC4’.

AC4_Mary_ReadThis lady sure is one heck of a badass. Historically and as portrayed in the game. While there are some creative licenses with the donning of her alter ego ‘James Kidd’, most of her story stuck fairly close with her historical record (or what we have of it).

Stout of heart and strong beyond the measure of most in her day, Mary was just about as rough as any pirate she crewed with. Because of her daunting story, I was rather hesitant to choose her as a muse to recreate.

For one, she had a fair amount of garments. All of which are period styled. Boots were purchased but most else must be made. I somehow lucked out and purchased one pattern packet that included nearly all of the garments I will need to make. The pattern is, discontinued – and with good reason. The measurements and estimates for fabric are mostly off. If I hadn’t the knowledge I already acquired through my own trial and errors with similar garments, a ragequit would have been swift and violent.

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Stenciling + Painting Fabric

Sample: Yang Xiao Long emblem (Standard outfit)

My stenciling process in some pics…the difference an x-acto makes 😀 excuse my ghetto setup of pizza box canvas, paper plate palette and makeup sponge. The shape (fabric) was already cut, sewn down and ready to go. I painted it first instead of applying the trim since I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up the painting portion orz

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1: Print and laminate design.
2: Cut (best with some sort of fine tipped blade) positive space (where paint will be applied).
3: Position and secure (with tape or something).

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4: Prime surface with white. It’ll help the colors retain their brilliance. You may need several coats depending on the paint + fabric.

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5: Begin with lighter color (of the gradient), apply enough layers for desired brilliance/color. Make sure to dry between coats!
6: Begin applying darker gradient, working from opposite end to where the colors are to blend. Using light strokes, little by little, smudge some darker color onto the lighter. You whatever will get you the best results for blending: sponge, fingertip, brush, etc.
7: Dry, detail/outline/etc.
8: Let dry/cure for at least 48 hours prior to washing (if you applied particularly thick coats, best to wait the while to wear as well)

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Above is the first version (last Feb, rushed) versus new version in which I had time and supplies to do the stenciling properly. You do not have to apply the gradient techniques to a solid-color paint job. These were just my own method of fabric-painting so feel free to use what works and discard what does not for your particular project. Hope this was helpful 😀

Ahhh!

I’ve been in a sewing slump. Most of my work has been completed for Katsu – with the exception of a coat and a basic gown. I have so many little details to craft and complete for nearly each costume. Ugh…I detest this part. Sewing entire outfits in a day is my strength, carefully handcrafting little bits and bobs is NOT.

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mascot

This little guy is to be ‘Kamiki Tsukumo’s Precious Mascot’ from the manga arc of 青の祓魔師/Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist. I had to somehow rig up a pattern and manage to bring this thing to the 3D world. I remember why I don’t make these anymore. they seem like a fun idea when you start, and then you find you need to make a pattern, hope it works, have five million colors of felt/thread and worst of all: sew by hand. My ultimate weakness orz I cannot fathom how those who do many hand-sewing projects do it. The patience and accuracy is astounding! I applaud thee!

Spoiler: I also made the outfit that goes with the above manga scan.

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While mostly complete, it is now with the matching mini-plush mascot and a brooch. I may forgo the headband as I really am not inspired to make it (can’t be arsed). This image is also missing the inner shirt and petticoat.

Anyway, back to the grind. Gotta get back to sewing.

Nerd Life

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Because I’m the sort that gets something in her head and suddenly has a one-track mind for said goal. Taking a short break from sewing to…veg out. After this whole wisdom teeth removal business blows over a bit, I’ll get back into the fray of always sewing, all the time until things are done. In the meanwhile, 3DS GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMES! Yes. And truly American snacks of candy and soda. Because Murrr’ka.

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This is mostly a little tip for anyone who enjoys those novelty mint tins you can get at Hot Topic/GameStop/etc. Nintendo’s pretty good about their packaging. This controller shape is particularly HANDY!

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On 3DS XL for size comparison

I fill mine with some bandaids, a bit of ointment, bits and bobs from my first aid kit at home. It’s smaller than an actual controller and flat, fitting pretty well in bags, pockets, etc. Thought this might be a cute little tip come con season. You can add emergency pins, some tape strips, hair ties, just about anything small that you might need during your convention adventures, traversing through the various halls and atriums.

Just make sure to finish the mints first, clean the tin out before refilling it with your own things!

Rainy Sunday

It’s been rainy all weekend. Wet and gray and oddly enough, warm. Odd. But ok…? Je ne sais pas. Aside, we opted to manage some errands and grocery shopping while it was a little drizzly. IKEA for some bits and bobs, random stop into Barnes and Nobles, PetSmart for prescription cat food – which was moot since the location didn’t have the vet. Pitstop into Best Buy and finally groceries.

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Well, let’s say I cannot control myself in B&N. No matter when/where I go to one, I always leave with books. Which is great for the reader in me, not-so-great for le petit apartment. Had to get this RIDICULOUSLY cute leatherette bound pocket size Hobbit + LotR set. YES. All of the YES. Tolkien is my jam. Forever.

Originally, I went to find Bill Nye’s Undeniable which sounded fantastic from … well, it’s Billy Nye and he’s just a treasure. This enthusiasm for knowledge is absolutely contagious! As always, I pick up the latest volume of Fables because the series is probably the only one I follow other than a handful of manga.

Le Tomato has been into collecting vinyls lately. And thus the trip to IKEA for some frames. And then picked up two at B&N. WHY?! I don’t know…he’s been into it? He likes old stuff, what can I say.

Fantasy LifeAnd then……………………………………………a random pick up at Best Buy. I remembered a few friends mentioning the game was fun so picked it up on whim. Been on the up-swing with using my 3DS. Re-started my town in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. So let’s try out this Fantasy Life.

Will probably pick up Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call eventually. Had no idea how that one rated/played so decided to try Fantasy Life for now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIKEA. What can I say? My second home. A few random things: a mini-shelf, bird-cage (for headbows), candle, little bendy lamp, the pillow in the book photo anddddddddddddd a bunch of kitchen items I hadn’t photographed. I don’t know why but it seems like little updates via cheapo decor and storage seem just right to spruce up any staling space.

I had to finish up on this project before I can dive into Fantasy Life for the rest of the night…

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I’ve been working on this thing for the past three nights. Just a peek for now as it looks….well a wee bit lacking without it’s bolero top. I’ll be compiling a build post…or sorts. I never remember to photograph progress photos so…it might be sparse per garment. And with that, OFF TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT!

Cosplay: Yang (remake)

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Ahh, I made this earlier this year (Feb) but I’ve been itching to remake it as it didn’t fit at all. For some reason, I made it entirely too LARGE. Ugh.

Now, months down the line and several garments later, I was able to remake it, tailored to a certain degree. I had a little more know-how and managed to make a better version. At least I think it’s better than the previous.

I did, however use the same fabrics since they served me well for the first version (and I just didn’t find anything better-matching  to the reference images). Finishes for the new version are however, much nicer(?). I added the trim along with finished the waistband for the ‘battle skirt’ better/sturdier.

Check out the photos below for the previous and new version! I’m still rather flabberghasted at my choices for techniques I utilized in the previous version. What the heck was I thinking?!

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Cosplay

As much as I avoided this in the past, the more I dove into EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita – Japanese niche fashion), the more I started really looking at cosplay as a sewing/learning outlet. I grew up learning to sew from my aunt and the skill was always there, even with the several years between where I wasn’t even in the same room as a sewing machine.

So the year I picked up EGL myself, I also found myself dipping into cosplay as well. Most of which started simply enough: basic school uniformed character. Mainly being able to gather items that looked close enough to what the anime/manga art offered. From there, slowly easing into it with altered purchased articles, etc. I never bought a cosplay – not when I had the skills and tools/materials. But when I started watching various anime…and played various video games…inspiration for construction experiments came to be. I’ve extended myself as far as to make garments for friends and family – just to learn how to make the garments. I started getting more bold and more inclusive with what I made – making more, buying less premade articles.

I do however, avoid stretchy materials with a fervent ardor. I honestly…really hate…working with stretch.

Anyway…I’ll be chronicling things/outfits I’ve made+put together somehow. This blog just keeps obtaining more odd content hahaa.

Amaimonette