28 August 2016

Little Sister - 2015

Here is the second post in my "Backlog" series; my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock that I made the summer of 2015.

I was originally going to make Little Sister for my little sister (haha) to wear with me and be my assistant when I planned to bring Big Sister to Boston Comic Con in 2015. When that plan fell through due to a car accident days before the con and I wasn't able to finish either costume, I later decided to finish it up for myself to wear at a small event.

This costume was very simple to make, but I have some progress pictures of it and figured I should post them anyway. For pieces that I failed to take progress photos of, I added in detail shots from the finished costume to hopefully make up for that!

I made this costume with a navy poly-cotton blend for the base dress and a white cotton broadcloth for the details. At the time my hair was very long so I did not use a wig when wearing this costume.

For the bodice, I used the same pattern that I had for Nonon, since I needed puffy sleeves. The only thing with that pattern is that the neckline goes down a little further than what would be accurate for a Little Sister, so I adjusted the pattern to fix that.

For the skirt I just drafted a simple circle skirt and attached it to the bodice. At this point the base dress was finished and closes in the back with a zipper.

Now onto the white details! I drafted a Peter Pan collar (which for whatever reason took me several tries).

Bias tape was sewn onto the raw edges of the sleeve cuffs.

I drafted the apron pretty quickly, though I don't remember exactly how I did it. I traced out the shape of the top front and transferred it one to fabric. This part is double layered and hand tacked onto the bodice. The skirt part of the apron I think was just a rectangle that I hemmed, gathered, and attached to the top part.

I hand stitched the four large buttons in place.

And with that, the construction of the dress was completely done! But Little Sister's live in the torn down, abandoned city of Rapture, so there's no way any of them would have a nice pristine dress for long. It was time for weathering!

I had left the bottom of the skirt completely unhemmed, so I took this further by hacking at it with scissors to really make it look worn down. The fabric was polyester, so I was able to use my sautering iron to melt the fabric in different spots and create holes.

I rubbed lots of brown paint into the fabric to mimic dirt stains. Red and black paint was used to create smears and splatters of blood and ADAM on her apron and dress. I also gave the whole dress a nice coffee bath, which means it'll smell horrible forever, but it also looks very aged and worn.

And with that, Little Sister was complete! It was a very simple sewing project, but it was a good way to practice my skills and a great learning experience on weathering clothing.

Last three photos credit Guinness Cosplay

21 August 2016

Fishbones - 2015

I realize I was very negligent on posting during the entirety of 2015 so I'm taking today to write up abunch of old projects so I'll have something to post when college starts and I am too busy to makeprogress/write blog posts

(I apologize I really did not take many progress photos during this project so I'll try hard to explain as best I can!)

I'm starting this series off with a prop I was commissioned in June 2015: Jinx's Fishbones from League of Legends!

This project was pretty daunting, but I had a lot of ideas of how to tackle this beast. I figured a large PVC pipe would work great as a base and I could use EVA foam for all the details! So that's exactly what I did!

I purchased a 4" inner diameter PVC pipe that was 2 feet in length and spray painted it black. I decided I wanted the cannon to be 3 feet total in length, so I started planning it out. Here's a few of my beginning sketches.

I scaled my original reference up to the appropriate size and started patterning! Here's a picture of my patterns all laid out.

Now all I had to do was cut the pieces out of EVA and glue them together, right? Wrong! This project was much more complicated than that.

I had decided I wanted to make the trim that appears on most of the pieces 3D. Meaning I didn't want to just cut out and glue strips of craft foam onto the edges. No, I wanted them to look triangular. The best way to do this was to use a dremel to carve long strips of foam down into the proper shape. I had used EVA foam a bit when I worked on Big Sister, but I had never actually tried to manipulate the appearance of the foam apart from painting it, so this technique was pretty new to me.

I cut several long strips of foam at my preferred width. I marked the center of each of these strips and used a cylinder cement dremel tip to carve the foam at a 45 degree angle. I did this on both sides of the strip until I had a piece of trim that looked like this when laid on the body pieces.

This process was ridiculously tedious and messy! I spent hours working the trim into shape as my back hurt and black dust quickly covered my work area. (Note: please wear Safety Goggles and a respirator when sanding foam! The particles are nasty stuff).

This process was so lengthy and uninteresting that I actually procrastinated working for a long time.

When I at last finished all my strips, it was time to attach them to their corresponding pieces. I did this by measuring out how long each piece would be before trimming them and attaching them in place using hot glue.

After all that was done, I started work on the shark's head. I cut out small triangles to act as the top and bottom of the jaws. I sanded the edges of each head piece at a 45 degree angle to make them easier to glue together. From there I used the dremel to carve the head to make it look less blocky and more shark-like.

I glued the teeth in place, added the eyes, and ta da! The head is done!

I just love how it looks~

Now all I had to do was add the hole details on some of the top pieces (This was done by drawing out where I wanted each hole to go then cutting them out with an X-acto knife) and assemble the shark!

I used contact cement to glue the foam bits together and attached them onto the PVC pipe using the same method.

Then, I primed the whole thing with Plastidip and Mod Podge (one coat took an entire can of Plastidip, so instead of biting the bullet and buying two more, I switched to using Mod Podge).

Once that was dry, I handpainted the silver details with acrylic paint before weathering with black acrylic paint and a stencil brush.

And after around 30 hours of work, Fishbones was complete!

Here's a photo of me with it to get a sense of how huge it is!

And some more finished photos!

Sadly I didn't get too many photos of it before I sent it off to its new owner, but I hope what I have does it justice!

As always, if anything I said wasn't clear, don't hesitate to ask!

14 August 2016

Miraculous Ladybug

Hello everyone! I finished my Ladybug cosplay a few weeks ago, so I figured I'd share my process!

I started watching Miraculous in November 2015, around the time it premiered in the US. After watching an episode or two as they released on Nickelodeon, I bit the bullet and watched the rest of them in French! I couldn't wait any longer, I was too attached to the show and especially the characters. Though I love both Ladybug and Chat Noir and plan to cosplay them both at some point, I decided to start with Ladybug since I identify with her more than I do with Chat, and my physical features are very close to that of Marinette's.

I decided to start on the wig. I purchased an Umi Sonoda wig from Lucaille, originally with the intention of using it for the character it was made for, but when it arrived I decided it was much too greyish for Umi and would work much better color wise for Ladybug.

I had purchased some cardboard paper mâché eggs from A.C. Moore around Easter time, as I thought they would make the perfect base for Marinette's little poofy pig-tails. I painted these the same color as the wig

I divided the wig in half, sectioning it off into two separate pigtails before cutting off the majority of the length to make the whole process much easier. (I, of course, saved the fibers that had been cut off, as I would need these to later make the pigtails). Using Arda Wigs' pigtail sectioning tutorial (found here on YouTube), I evenly split the pigtails and covered all wefts that may be showing as a result of the fibers being pulled aside.

Using the hair I had chopped off from the original length of the wig, I made little wefts by taking small chunks and hot-gluing the ends. This made the wefts easier to deal with and easier to attach to the eggs.

I then cut holes in the bottoms of the eggs before gluing them onto the pigtails. I used hotglue to attach the tops of the wefts to the top of the eggs. I left the ends loose for now.

Then, using Got2b freeze spray, I styled the fibers so they laid nicely over the eggs, trimming the fibers where necessary to get the shape I wanted. The ends were sealed with Aileen's clear tacky glue to keep them from coming apart.

For the bangs, I simply swept them to the size and hit it with a blast of Got2b to secure it. Not pictured is the ribbons that I later added with hot glue.

Ladybug's mask is made from Black Worbla. To do this I cut out the shape I wanted, then used heat to form the worbla in the shape of my face.

Next, I made the suit! I started off with Yaya Han's Ultimate Bodysuit pattern, which I altered so that it would fit my body shape. I made the bodysuit out of a matte red four-way stretch spandex.

Once the suit was fitted properly, it was time to start the tedious process of appliqueing all the spots!

To do this I purchased tear-away interfacing and temporary basting spray to help keep the spandex from stretching and warping as I worked. (Overall, I used a process very similar to the one mentioned here.)

I cut the interfacing to be the same size as my fabric pieces, then attached these pieces together using the basting spray. From there I made a stencil using a compass so that all my spots would be the same. I used this stencil to draw spots on the interfacing to use as a pattern when sewing.

I used the basting spray to attach squares of matte black four-way stretch spandex to the 'right' side of the fabric, right under where each spot would be sewn.

Then, working from the 'wrong' side of the fabric where the interfacing and spot 'pattern' is, I sewed around each of the circles with a small zig-zag stitch to secure the black fabric in place from the back. From there I was able to cut away the extra fabric, revealing the spots!

Then, all I had to do was sew up the side seam, and I had a complete sleeve!

Now I just have to make the rest of the suit....

This process was incredibly tedious; I worked through at least 12 episodes of LOST just working on the spots!

Eventually I finally finished all of the spots and could start assembling the suit! This is what it looked like before I added the hands and feet!

I'm very pleased with how this turned out! It's very comfortable to wear and it closes with an invisible zipper in the back!

Last three photos credit Chris Goss