The Making of Elsa – Frozen – Part Three

Time sort of slipped away from me and I didn’t quite realize how long it had been since my last post, oops!

I’ve been busy with projects throughout the past few weeks. My primary focus has been Elsa but I’ve also been working on a bunch of mock ups and original designs, some of which are historical based and others that are somewhat casual. I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t worked on something for at least an hour – it’s been great.

Most of my precious hours of productivity have been eaten by Elsa. This costume has been such a huge undertaking, even more challenging and time consuming then I had originally expected! But I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to make something really detailed. It’s always been a dream of mine.

So that’s what I’m going to talk about today. I originally planned on only having three posts about the making of Elsa, but I’ve given up on that and will be happy if I end up with five. I have tons of photos and information to share about this, and I don’t want to scrunch it down.

You can read my previous posts about this project, here and here.

This particular post is on the drafting process for the cape/train. I will talk all about embellishing it in a later post (I actually hope to make a video on the process but I haven’t gotten to it yet)

For Elsa’s shirt and cape (or as some people have been calling it, her train) I chose to use stretch mesh. It’s a material that looks like tulle, but feels much softer and stretches in all directions. Sadly it doesn’t drape as nicely as chiffon or organza, but since it’s stretchy it will work better for the shirt.

I won’t even have to worry about adding a zipper, or hemming anything since it doesn’t fray!

I purchased eleven yards of stretch mesh, one yard for the bodice, and ten yards for the cape.

I cut the ten yards into three chunks, two that were three yards long and one that was four yards long. Then I pinned them very roughly onto my dress form to make sure I had enough length.

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It doesn’t look like much, but I was actually really happy with it haha. I had plenty of length, and I could tell I had enough fabric for the volume I wanted as well.

I knew I wanted my cape to be six panels, with a seam down the back. So my next task was cutting each length of fabric in half, so they could create two panels. Instead of cutting them in half the way you would expect, I cut them diagonally so I could save the length.

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Then I pinned the longest panels onto my dress form. I made sure to adjust my dress form so it stands at my height, plus a few inches to account for the heels that go with this costume.

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I repeated this with my other pieces of  fabric, and then I had something that looked a little like this:

DSC_3030Now I was ready to start shaping it! I pinned all the panels together and trimmed one side down until I liked the shape. Then I took it off my dress form and used the side I had trimmed as a pattern for the other half. In the end, it looked like this.

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(sorry for the messy background)

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The whole thing got sewn together, and then I was ready to start figuring out the snowflake pattern! I must admit that I took some artistic liberties here. I really loved how the cape looked in the movie, but when I began sketching out the snowflake pattern in real life, I realized if I made it accurate, the pattern would be very blocky.

And I don’t think of Elsa as a blocky character. She’s all smooth and shiny and sleek. So, for obvious reasons, I wanted it to look smooth and shiny and sleek. I tried to keep the shape of the snowflakes similar to the way they are shown in the movie, but softer and with more detail.

I laid the cape flat on a giant sheet of paper, then traced around it and marked out all the seams.

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 I used a ruler and french curves to draw out the giant snowflake.

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Once I was finished, I taped wax paper over the entire design, and pinned the cape over top of it. Since the fabric is sheer, the design is easy to see through the cape. This way I have a guide for embellishments.

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Now moving on to getting the smaller snowflakes onto the cape!

I started by going into photoshop and figuring out (roughly) where the snowflakes should go, and what size they should be.

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I decided to conquer these panel by panel so I wouldn’t get to overwhelmed – right now I’ve just started, so I only have one panel complete. Luckily that’s enough to make an example out of.

I laid my cape piece over paper and traced out the area I needed to add snowflakes to. Then I used my guide to draw out circles in the rough areas where snowflakes needed to go.

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I measured the size of each circle and marked them clearly. Now I knew exactly what size of snowflake patterns I needed to print.

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When it came to printing I went into photoshop and did this:

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I ended up needed to print off four pieces of paper for this particular panel.

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Then I cut them out and taped them into the right places.

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I ran out of wax paper, so I improvised and used a layer of plastic wrap taped over the designs.

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Then I pinned my cape over top of that and was ready to embellish! During the embellishing process it looks a bit like this

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I hope you enjoyed!

~

The Making of Elsa – Frozen – Part Two

When I started this project I knew right away that the bodice would be the most challenging part of this entire costume (though not the most time consuming – that award will go to the cape, i’m sure). I thought about a lot of different methods, and had originally planned on buying a sequined material which I could use to imitate the squares on her bodice.

But after looking at a half dozen stores filled with sequins I realize that was the wrong route. Square sequins come in two different sizes, and a dozen shades of blue. But they were too sparkly to be accurate, and they weren’t rectangular enough to achieve the accurate texture of Elsa’s bodice.

I was trying to explain what I wanted outloud when I said “It’s almost like scales” and that was the Ah-ha moment! I actually know how to create scales (thanks to several ‘mermaid tail tutorials’), so although I couldn’t buy material with the design I wanted, I could make my own!

But I will talk about that more later on, my first order of business was to make the bodice.

I decided to make a mock corset, it looks like a corset, it laces like a corset, but it doesn’t have a busk and is filled with plastic boning. This way it’s more flexible then a metal boned corset and will sit on  my dress form better (a requirement for adding texture later on).

I used the block drafting method, where you divide your measurements by four and create four pieces which end up being a half mock of your body. I did this last year for my RMT corset – but it went much better this time around!

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I added seam allowances and cut my first mock up.

It was actually pretty decent, but a little to large in some places, and slightly small in others.

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I made the required alterations, then cut the pattern down so it had a more accurate shape.

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I was actually really happy with this, I just had to take a little off the waist.

I tore apart this mock up and marked all the alterations onto my paper pattern…it looks a lot different then when I started!

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Then I went ahead and cut it out, twice. One for lining, one for the top material.

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I sewed them all together and pressed my seams open, so I would get a very smooth finish. I added fourteen pieces of plastic boning to the lining, and then I sewed the top seam right-sides-together.

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Once that was done I pinned the bottom so everything lined up, and sewed bias tape on.

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The bias tape was hand sewed over so the edge (and interior) were finished nicely.

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And after that, I was ready for texture!

I started by purchasing some odd things – acrylic paints, tacky glue, a half yard of cotton canvas, crappy paintbrushes, and flexible caulking.

My original plan was to press square shaped stamps into the caulking to get the right shapes. But that did not work at all. Plan number two was digging out channels with a toothpick…but it was impossible to get the lines straight.

Finally I realized I could cut pieces of fabric and apply caulking over them to get the effect I wanted.

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Step one was was prepping the corset – I ironed, then lint rolled the whole thing. I wrapped plastic around my dress form and pinned the corset on as best I could.

DSC_2947Then I cut the canvas into lot’s of strips, all of varying thicknesses. Some were under a quarter of an inch wide, others were over an inch.

I also squirted out a generous amount of glue (I used the entire bottle) into a plastic container, and got an even amount of water. My set up looked like this

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I used a 75/25 ratio of glue to water, which I would brush onto the fabric. Then I would cut a piece of canvas, stick it to the fabric, and paint over it with a more watered down glue/water ratio to make sure the corners didn’t lift. Whenever I wasn’t using the brush, it would sit in the water so the glue residue wouldn’t dry.

Because I wasn’t drying the brush inbetween, the glue got more and more watered down as I went on.

Overall I didn’t have any issues. It’s sort of tricky since you have to be careful not to use too much water (takes ages to dry) but too much glue will really stiffen the fabric.

It’s also a really slow process.

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Once I was finished I left it overnight to dry. The the next day I popped open the back of a bottle of caulking, and used a brush to pull it from the tube. Then I painted a thick layer over the entire corset, I also ran the brush around each square to make sure they were defined.

I found one layer was enough to cover the canvas texture, but still leave each square raised slightly from the material.

After that dried I used a sponge brush to apply a base coat of acrylic paint.

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I’ve done a tiny bit of highlighting and lowlighting so far, but I still have a lot of painting to do (and a lot of glitter to add) before i’ll be happy with it. That’s something that will take me a while to complete, so the photos of it finished will be included in a later post.

I did end up adding grommets, seven on each side, and tied with blue satin ribbon. Overall i’m a little annoyed because it’s about an inch too large, it doesn’t give any sort of shape at all. I think I will end up taking it in an inch at the back, then adding new grommets.

But here is how it looks at the moment

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I’m not happy with it yet, but i’m confident I will be by the time I label it “complete”

Thanks for reading!

The Making of Elsa – Frozen – Part One

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you probably know I really like pretty dresses. And if there is one thing I like more then pretty dresses, it’s challenging pretty dresses. So it’s probably no big surprise that I fell in love with this design and had to cosplay it.

This post will be about the skirt, the next will talk about the bodice, then the cape.  The shoes and wig stuffed somewhere in between.

I started by draping the pattern on my dress form. I purchased silk for the skirt, so I knew it would be very flowy, but the material I used for my mock up was not, which made it tricky to visualize. The process did go very smoothly, though. And after a few minutes I had something that looked like this:

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I turned this into a mock up and I was actually surprising pleased with the result! The volume was exactly what I wanted, I just had to add an extra half inch on each side for ease, and lengthen the hem.

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When it came to fabric choices I had originally planned on purchasing some sort of printed spandex, but after looking in several stores none of them were “quite right” and I eventually gave up and figured I could purchase a silk or linen of some sort and weave metallic threads into it.

Well, not long after I had given up, I found the perfect material stuck in a bin of silk organza. I really don’t have the slightest idea what type of material this is, but I know it’s silk, it doesn’t stretch, it feels like a mix between chiffon and organza, and I bought the very last of it.

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It’s also quite sheer, so I bought three yards of peachskin to line it with. I picked a peachskin in a completely different color, instead of teal I bought a blue that matches the material I bought for the cape. One of my biggest peeves in Elsa’s design are the color differences, which i’m afraid might look unintentional and mismatched in real life. Hopefully this will help tie the dress and the cape together.

I made my alterations to the pattern directly onto the peachskin, and it looked like this!

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As you can see it’s a seven piece pattern, cut once  from peachskin and again from the silk.

Although I bought four yards of the silk I really wish they had another half yard. I didn’t quite account for the fact that silks are only forty inches wide.

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Once I finished cutting everything I sewed together both layers separately, leaving the side seams open. Instead of attaching the lining and top fabric together at the back, I wanted to do it at the sides and finish them with french seams.

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Once I was confident everything was right, I lined up the slit of my top material and my lining. I turned over both edges so they faced each other, and pressed them quite thoroughly before pinning them together. Then I stitched them together by hand, since the material is so delicate.

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After that I did up the side seams, and began work on the hem.

For the hem I did the same method that I used for the slit, i’m not sure if there is actually a name for this?

Here you can see the top fabric turned under and pinned down, I repeated the process on the inside with the lining material so there were no raw edges.

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And after that, all it needed was a way of closing and a waistband! I actually woke up and it was snowing, which was the perfect inspiration to finish this.

I simply made a waistband with finished edges, then sewed it onto the top of the skirt. I finished the raw edge with bias tape…and i’m really super proud! I think this is the first garment I’ve really attempted to finish nicely, and I hope it shows.

 I had left six inches open in the back of the skirt, finished the way the hem and slit were, so I could easily add the grommets. I debated between grommets and a zipper, a zipper would have been more subtle…but I feel like if Elsa actually existed, her bodice would lace up. And if her bodice laces up, it looks nicer to have the skirt lace up too. So that was my logic there.

I added a bit of lacing and it was done!

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It took around ten hours, and was by far the easiest piece of this costume. Let’s just hope the rest goes as well as this did.

Thanks for reading!

Merida – Brave – Fall photos

Tonight I saw the most recent disney princess film, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot more then Ithought I would. So much so that I see another princess (or should I say, Queen) cosplay in my near future.

This post isn’t really related to that, but it was the film that reminded me of these photos of Merida. Photos I should have posted a long time ago, since they were taken a month ago!

The leaves were the colors of Meridas hair and I thought it would make for some lovely pictures. Sadly by the time we got around to taking these a lot of the leaves had fallen, but the pictures themselves still have that orange glow to them which I like a lot.

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The Making of A Fighter (School Look)

So much for two blog posts a week, huh? Well in my defense I HAVE been productive these last few weeks – i’ve also been stressed and worried like crazy about getting things finished on time. Overall it hasn’t been too much fun. But at least I have something to show for my efforts, and I would like to share it with you guys.

This costume is a female Fighter from Granado Espada.  Wearing the Ivory School Look. 

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I saw this design ages ago and fell in love. Sometime last month I decided  I wanted to create for Otakon and began work immediately. But things went very poorly and I lost all confidence in the costume…it wasn’t until last week that I felt a burst of energy and resumed work on it. Getting it from 30% to 95% in five days.

This is easily the most complicated project I have ever done – it wasn’t difficult, but it was very tedious and more challenging then I had expected.

Overall it was really messy to make and I didn’t take very many photos. Because of that this post will be quite vague and far less detailed then my past “the making of” projects, sorry!

I started out with a sketch. Since this costume has a lot of pieces (skirt, undershirt, collar, tie, vest, corset, and socks) that layer atop each other, I had to do quite a bit of planning out. 

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I decided to start by drafting the undershirt, since it was the lowest layer. I wanted it to be super loose and gathered, like a tunic. This way it could be pullover without any sort of closure and super comfy. I draped it on my dressform, then added several inches to each piece so it would be loose.

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Then  I turned that into a mock up, which didn’t go too well,. I don’t have photos of it, but it was pretty awful.

The second attempt looked MUCH better!

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The real one was made from satin with an overlay of off-white chiffon. The neckline was made from a lovely light gold stretch knit, which was lined with non-stretch satin so it would hold the shape.

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The sleeve covers are made from suede.

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Each one is decorated with 1 and 2 mm gold leather cording. This stuff was a huge pain to sew on but I really love it!

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Each sleeve is stuffed with cotton fluff. Attached to the neckline I have six little tabs, each one is edged in 1mm cord and shaded with ink to give them more depth.

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And that was that! Later on it got hemmed and I added a ruffle, but nothing too exciting.

Moving onto the fake fronted corset.

I took my measurements and flat drafted this the same way I did my RMT corset.

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I thought a lot about closures – originally I wanted lacing, then  I though a zipper would work better. I ended up going with snaps, but for my mockup I used a zipper.

I made it out of fish fabric because of reasons…

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It fit perfectly so I turned it into a pattern and cut it from heavy, fake suede. The front and back panels all have golden detailing on them, which I wasn’t sure how to recreate. I thought about embroidery, but my skills in that area are quite tragic – so I decided to paint them on.

I used a marker to sketch out the design, then I went over it with tacky glue, and lastly several layers of gold paint.

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They really lacked depth, so I went in with copic markers to create shadows and such.

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Then it was assembled…

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Still needs some work, but that will come later, it’s time to talk about the skirt.

The skirt was probably the most challenging part of all. It has so many pieces and they all had to be sized and laid out just right. It was very tricky to get right!

I made a mock up and drew on the designs.

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Then I transferred that onto proper paper and added room for seams, the hem, and stuff like that.

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The skirt required six pleated bits, which were all made from the two way stretch knit. Not the easiest fabric to pleat properly!

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everything else was made from heavyweight fake suede.

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I went ahead and tried on what I had made so far, and it looked like this:

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The skirt was very short and didn’t stay up right. Luckily I fixed both of these things quite easily, the skirt got a waistband (which closes with snaps – but is pinned in these photos), and an underskirt which added 2 inches of length.

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Then I resumed work on my corset. I ended up sewing down the laces, which seemed really silly but looked good.

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I sewed up one side of the front and adding 14 snaps to the other side, which keeps it closed.

With that finished (or just about) I  moved onto the vest. I draped this on my dress form and it looked very silly.

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Luckily it looked a lot less silly once made from proper materials!

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And put all together, just missing trim, buttons, and topstitching.

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Once worn all together it looked like so!

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Sadly I do not have photos detailing the making of the collar and socks, but those were pretty simple. 

I also added buttons, and then it was done!

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Full body photos will be posted soon. Thanks for reading!

Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 3

And here is part three, the final post on this project and right on time as promised. 

If you haven’t been keeping up with this project you should read Part One, and Part Two to get an idea of how I got to this point. I also have a post on making a matching Momo Hoodie for my dog that may interest you as well!

This was well on it’s way to completion in my last post, so this one will be significantly shorter. All I really had to do was make the front pocket and hood, the hood being the most complicated part of this whole project.

My one big desire with the hood was to make it without any stiffening! Even though I wanted ears that stuck up and huge horns I still wanted it to be cuddly and soft. Worrying about wire and boning channels wasn’t very an attractive thought so I did my best to avoid them.

It started out with a sketch. My plan was to make the hood in four pieces, each side would have a “notch” for the horns and then the ears would be sewn into the same seam. Then they could be stuffed and would hopefully stick up…that makes sense, right?

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I made a mock up for this (which is talked about in part 1) and fiddled with it quite a lot before deciding it needed ears. The ears were actually more difficult to draft then the horns!

It required a lot of sketching and then it eventually became a pattern.

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Which looked like so when cut out

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Each piece was sewn together, and then the backing of each piece was fused to a sheet of  medium weight (washable) interfacing.

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They were sewn right sides together and then top stitched, leaving me with cute little ear shaped pocket.

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The side with interfacing was then pleated inward giving them a bit of a rounded shape, and making them more bison-like.

Taking a break from those, I went ahead and cut out the hood! The hood ended up being 6 pieces (not including the ears/horns) the lining was made of two pieces, and the top was four. I borrowed my Merida hood pattern for reference since making these are really quite tricky.

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When it came to assembling the hood, I started by sewing the proper side of each horn on. For lining these up I just set them out the way they should look, then sew it right sides together, as per usual!

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The ears were  sewn on right beneath the horns.

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And then I sewed the adjoining horn piece onto the other side of the hood. Once that was finished both sides of the hood got sewn together

(this is really hard to explain my goodness)

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Then each horn was stuffed with a lot of batting!

The lining was sewn to the front, top stitched down the back and around the neck. Then I stitched around the horns and across the front.

And that was all, really. the horns and ears stuck up just the way I wanted.

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It was missing an arrow, which I drafted up an aligned with the center seam. This was probably the most frustrating/challenging part of the whole project since giant horns were in way and I couldn’t get the foot close enough to the base…

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Aside from finished hems, the only remaining thing to do was the pocket. I sketched out what I wanted and then created it in three different sized to see what I liked. In the end I went with the first one I made, so it was all a bit of a waste…

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I made them the same way I made my arrows, lined with flannel and topstitched on.

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I also hemmed the sleeves and sewed on a 2″ band across the bottom. It looked pretty cute if I do say so myself!

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And lastly, I sewed on the hood, which looks like so!

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The shorts were completed as well, a bit higher waisted then I would have liked, but perfectly wearable!.

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So that finishes up that project! It took about a week and was quite fun. I have a few other projects that are nearing completion, and I can’t wait to share them!

Thank you for reading, I hope to have fancier photos of this posted in the near future.

Momo (ATLA) inspired Hoodie

If you’ve been keeping up with my recent posts, then you’ll know about my current project – an Appa pajama set!

Well this is a side project to that project, which is also a side project…it’s uhm, slightly confusing? To make sense of it all, I would like you to meet Momo! Momo is a companion to the main character in ATLA and joins the entire cast as they go on adventures. Momo is a flying lemur whose main purpose is looking adorable.

When I was designing my hoodie I originally wanted the hoods to be interchangeable, allowing me to switch between sky bison and flying lemur.

This idea was trashed moments later when I realized the markings of lemurs in ATLA are entirely different then the sky bison’s.  I mentioned this to my brother and he made an offhand comment about making a Momo hoodie for my dachshund Guinevere.

It was a silly idea. The type that probably shouldn’t be taken seriously.

But I decided it was brilliant, and that my dog as in desperate need of a hoodie that would match mine.

I used this handy reference sheet created by Nylak on Deviantart for reference, since getting consistent photos is really challenging.

I did a whole bunch of marking sketches and sadly ended up having to drop the wings. I couldn’t figure out a way to make them work without looking silly.

My first mock up was made by cutting apart an abandoned dog sweater we bought four years ago and never used. The mock up was a big failure, far too tight, impossible to get on. Mock up two wasn’t much better – it was too big and there was way too much space between her legs, and the neck gaped like crazy.

I ended up tossing them both away and flat patterning it. I took a whole bunch of measurements and did a lot of guesswork on a sketch.

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Then I got out a ruler, some newsprint, french curves, and a pencil. Which is apparently all it takes.

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Eventually it ended up looking like this.

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Which turned into a relatively successful mock up. Sadly I didn’t photograph any of my mock ups, since they weren’t very exciting.

I made a few hood/ear mock ups, but this was the one I ended up basing my pattern off of.

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Fast forward an hour and I had a perfectly usable pattern for a lovely little Momo hoodie.

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Once cut out it looked like so!

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I started out by creating all the markings. I used the same method that is talked about in part 2 of the appa pajama project. Lot’s of pinning, sewing things right sides together, fliping them right side out and topstitching em’ down.

But it all starts with pinning.

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I took a moment to sew the legs onto the body of my pattern.

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And then the markings got topstitched down.

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The stomach piece was stitched up half way, then a zipper was inserted.

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I sewed on the brown neckpiece, then did a fit test. It came on and off with great ease and Guin didn’t seem *too* bothered by it, so that was good. On the downside it was too loose on the bottom, but I fixed this right afterward by taking in the side seams.

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Then I moved onto the hood. The ears alone have more pieces and are more time consuming to make then the entire body of this costume. It’s quite silly.

The striped bit of the ears are made up of 8 very tiny pieces of fabric.

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Which get sewn together to make stripes in the rough shape the ears need to be~

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Then the ear front gets stitched on. It looks like this in the in-progress stage.

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Then they get sewn right-sides-together onto a smooth backing.

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They are sewn into the hood, and loops of boning were added to make them stick up.

DSC_0989The tips were sealed with fleece so they wouldn’t poke Guin at all.

Once it was sewn on I had an adorable Momo hoodie! It isn’t fully complete in these photos, it’s missing the band around the hem, but that was finished up shortly after.

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A fun project if you have a few hours on hand!

I shall attempt a photoshoot with our coordinating costumes in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 2

Onto the fun post, assembly! I announced this project on tumblr and a lot of people showed interest, so I tried to make this as detailed as possible. That way it could work as a guide, or tutorial for anyone who wants to make one themselves!

I talk about drafting in Part One, so read that if you are curious!

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I  altered and used a pajama pattern from See&Sew, it’s pattern number is B4326 and it was very easy to figure out.

But If you don’t want to buy a pattern, there are quite a few tutorials on drafting your own online. You could even cut apart a sweatshirt (one you no longer need/want) and trace it to get a pattern.

In the last post I finished off the drafting process by copying arrows onto poster board. This was done so I could trace around them more easily.

You want to trace out all the markings and arrows onto the wrong side of  your backing fabric. I was using flannel, which I’d recommend for this task. I would also highly suggest picking a material color that either matches the color of the markings, or matches the base fabric. (mistakes will blend in better!)

Don’t be an idiot and buy what was on the fabric websites clearance page not like I did that or anything….

Make sure your material is pressed ahead of time. You don’t have to use flannel, but I would suggest material that isn’t slippery (NOT silk, satin, taffeta, peachskin, lining fabric, etc.) or thick (fleece).
Broadcloth would work just fine if you wanted a cheaper alternative. 

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DSC_0801 Make sure leave over a inch of fabric in each direction of your outline.
Then pin your flannel tracings onto the fabric you want to show, in this case i’m using brown minky.

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Once it’s cut pin the proper pieces together, make sure to remember the “right sides together” rule! The outline should be facing upward, and the soft side should be in the middle.

Then, pin, pin, pin! Make sure the material on both sides is flat and smooth,  and try to put the pins in places they won’t need to be removed/interfere with sewing the outline.  If you don’t you’ll run into problems later on.

Once you have carefully pinned the damn things you can sew.

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It’s slippery and annoying with pins, without them it’s hell.

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Then it was time to sew. I used a 2.5 stitch size and put a new needle on my machine to make things go a little smoother. Start at the top and work downward. Make sure to sew slowly and don’t stray from the outline~

 I would suggest starting with the easiest ones first, working towards the most difficult pieces.

DSC_0805Turn at each corned ensure the points are all right on and proper. These look really odd if you mess them up. Also, do not remove pins as you go! Leave them all in until the end.

(this was the first one I did, and I hadn’t discovered the importance of that just yet) 

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Once the arrow has been sewn around it can be cut out. You want the edge to be no more then a half inch, but no less then a quarter inch.

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Like so. You should also clip your corners so they look sharp! I did this, but I didn’t photograph it, for some reason.

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If the corners are being pain in the ass a pair of pliers and a knitting needle can help! I don’t like tweezers, they just went through the fabric and pulled out fluff. Pliers worked much better for me. If you choose to use a needle, be gentle.  

(I’m overenthusiastic and always poke through the material, destroying the corner)

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Then press the backs with an iron and that’s it.

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Then repeat with the more complicated ones

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For this one it had so many close corners I cut it from the back, working off the line I sewed rather then the original outline.

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When flipped, it looked so odd!

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It looked pretty odd rightside out, too, actually.

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For the bigger pieces I ended up making 3 inch slits in the backs, which is where I pulled the arrow heads through. 

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These curvy ones actually didn’t give me any trouble at all, it was a pleasant surprise.

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Once I was finished with the arrows  I cut out my pattern and began pinning the pieces on very carefully. One of the bonuses about working with minky (in addition to it fraying something awful) is that it’s stretchy! So pinning is important.

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For the back piece, I drew a line down the back and used that as a guide. I felt silly later on for cutting this on a fold when I could have just done a seam, it get’s covered either way!

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For the shorts I did things a litte differently, instead of sewing the crotch seam first, I did up the side seams.

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Which gave me something flat to sew the arrows onto, AND I didn’t have to add a seam in the middle of the arrow.

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Once again I started with the easiest arrows first, just to practice on. I did 1/4″ topstitching, but it varies in a few (okay a lot) of spots. I felt like this was a lot more difficult then sewing around the outline, the minky was really slippery and just a pain.

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I had to go quite slow, and every time I messed up I had to stop, rip it out, tie off the thread, and start again.
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Not sure how I completed it without breaking something, but I did.

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After this was taken I did up the front seam of the shorts, and made the waistband. I flipped over 1/2″ at the top, sewed it down, then flipped it down an inch so the raw edge was hidden. I sewed along the edge and then added elastic to the waist.

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I did the final two seams after this was taken, and then did a rolled hem on the bottom cuffs. Similar to the top, they were hemmed a half inch, flipped, and then hemmed an inch.

I moved onto the hoodie right after, sewing the arms onto the back.

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Then I sewed on the front, did up the side seams and I had two wearable garments!

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It still needs a hood, pockets, hemming, and a few other details, but it’s getting there! the next (and final) post should be very short in comparison to this, and it will be up later this week.

Thanks a bunch for reading! x

Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 1

I have started writing myself weekly to-do-lists with hopes they will keep me more productive. Last weeks definitely worked out well, as I took about 120 photos between two projects.

One of my weekly items is to write at least two blog posts a week and I hope to keep to that! 

 …

This project is a little different from anything I’ve ever made before, it isn’t made to be worn to a convention, and it doesn’t even have any ruffles!

The idea came when I was chatting with a friend about avatar hoodies i’d seen on etsy, and how wonderful and creative they were. As much as I liked them, I couldn’t imagine spending that much money on something relatively simple. 

Later that day I was in the basement and came across five yards of ivory, double sided minky material, which I took  as a sign to make my own. A few hours later I had doodled up a design inspired by my favorite creature from Avatar the last Airbender.

ATLA  is a series I really enjoyed, it’s funny and lighthearted and almost every episode makes you smile or laugh. Sadly  my favorite characters are either short, very tan, or male, and I don’t feel like I could do any of them justice. So this is what I decided to do instead….

This is Appa, who is a  Flying Bison. He serves as the main form of transportation in the series and has some comedic value as well.  

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 It originally started as a plain hoodie, but with how soft and lovely the fabric was (and how much of it I had) I decided it was better suited for a pajama set. So I doodled up a pair of shorts to match! 

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As you can I see I have my front/back sketches, and a bit of what the sleeve pattern should look like. 

As luck would have it, I had a pattern that would work perfectly hanging around. I bought it way back on a $1 sale at joann’s, but it actually retails for $2.50, so it’s quite cheap, even without a discount! The pattern was very basic, so much so that I threw out the instructions after taking this picture…

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I also tossed the pocket and hood pattern since I didn’t like either of them. The pants were cut into shorts, and the dress was cut into a top.

Then I pinned the butchered pattern onto some muslin and cut it.

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The pattern was ridiculously easy, assembly took less then five minutes since it is literally six seams to make the top, and five for the shorts.

I ended up finding the top too big, and the shorts too long. Both got taken in several inches until the suited me a little better. The shorts aren’t pictured since I neglected to photograph them.  

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Once it fit I got out a set of french curves, a ruler, and a pencil, which helped me draw out the arrows and iconic Appa markings!

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Once that was complete I traced them onto the other side, did up the sleeve arrows, and took a few pictures.

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I was really happy with it! I ended up running into machine troubles an called it quits. The next day I attempted a hood and horn pattern but it was kind of a fail? The hood needs a lot of work and the horns were pretty laughable. 

The left one is smaller, and I like it much more. I’m actually fond of the shape, it’s just too large. I also feel that the hood needs ears to balance out the harshness of the horns. So I really need to go through and re-draft this bit, hopefully it won’t give me as much trouble the second time around. 

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Instead of re-making the entire pattern from paper, I altered the one I had bought. 

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This basically required ripping apart the mock up, pressing it, and laying each piece atop the corresponding paper pattern piece. Then I just cut of the paper around each piece and it was fine. The alterations were really minimal, just removing a few inches at each seam, and changing hem lengths. 

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Once that was done, each piece of my mock up was cut apart. I cut out each arrow and traced them onto poster board. The reason for this shall become obvious in the next post!

I also remeasured and smoothed out any of the “rough around the edges” and made sure they were symmetrical and all that. 

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And with that complete, I was ready to move onto the next stage.

But you will need to wait a few days for that post!

Thanks for reading. 

Merida (Brave) Cosplay Photos

I pride myself on doing a (relatively) good job of documenting, and posting about the process of making my costumes…but somehow I always neglect to post photos of the FINISHED product! It’s madness, and it’s time for it to change. I have been updating my DeviantArt over the last few days, and shall do the same here on wordpress. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can get the vast majority of my nicer-cosplay-photos posted.

I figure i’ll work my way backwards, starting with the most recent costume and ending with pictures of Napoleon that were taken almost a year ago…

Which means starting off with Merida pictures! The photos were taken on a trail that runs behind my house, with my father standing in as the photographer. I edited them, posed, made the costume, you know, all that stuff.

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resized

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editt

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