Friday, June 27, 2014

nycc 2013- whovian cosplay - clara oswald - the snowmen - part 6 (the end!)

Here is the final push.  Last blog post on this cosplay.

Some accessories to talk about.

Clara's red shawl

I was able to find some nifty person on who made this for her daughter's cosplay. 

I made an attempt to make it, and even had to enlist a friend who is a faster knitter than I am to help me.  

But after I was done, I felt that the yarn I selected was too heavy.  It would be great for wearing the dress outside in the winter or late fall, but for inside a body packed convention hall, it was too bulky and not practical.  I couldn't tie it around my waist with ease.  

I then opted to purchased a pashminka ( you know those $8 fake pashmina shawls you get on the streets of NYC) in a complimentary color and use that.  

But still I ended up throwing it in my bag.

Perhaps down the line, I'll try making the shawl again with a much lighter weight yarn.

The wig

The wig I ended up with.

Don't shoot me, cosplayers.  

I know my wig is more black and Clara's hair is brown.  

But the color suited me better, and I knew I could re-use it again of other projects I have coming down the pike.
I purchased a wavy shoulder length wig and some hair extensions that matched.   

First I pinned the sides up . 

Then, I purchased a hair bun donut  . . 

cut some of the extensions and wrapped them around the donut to make a faux bun.

This bun I sewed onto the wig.  I also used a couple of the extensions to fill out the sides and create some braids to wrap around the bun.

The earrings

Clara has those very delicate earrings.  I couldn't  find a ready made alt, so I used a pair of vintage earrings I had in my own collection for the time being.

The bag

I wanted to find a bag much like Clara's brown leather case she took into the coach with her where she changed her outfits from bar maid to governess.  But I couldn't get one with the budget I was on.

I did end up using a reddish bag ( modern) that I found at GoodWill, just so I could carry things around in.  I'll have to dig it out of storage and take a photo.

But here are a couple some folks might want to get:

That one isn't really screen accurate, but it does have a nice vintage feel and the red does go nicely with the barmaid outfit.

Or  perhaps this one?  

This is closer to the screen version one, though I suspect it is much smaller.

The shoes (repurposed)

I reused my good ole black flat lace up boots.  My skirt was longer than the screen version -  and I knew I'd be on my feet all day and wanted something comfy.

But, if you all are looking for some more screen accurate alternates . . here ya go.

Here’s a more screen accurate alt for Clara’s boots for her red dress “The Snowmen”

Here’s another one too :

And a couple of the photos of the final cosplay. 

This was fun!  I hope to ( when I get more money) tackle more of Clara's historical outfits in the future.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

theatre/inspiration - curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

Recently, my friend Deb and I went to see a National Theatre Live broadcast of 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.


 From Barnes and - about the book


Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.
Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

I haven't read the book, though now after seeing the play, I am very eager to. 

The play was exceptional.  Well acted, amazingly staged, beautifully done by all parties.

My friend's son (as are many kids and people we find lately) is on the autistic spectrum.  She saw many aspects of her son within the portrayal of Christopher, the main character.

I think the play also speaks to parents, to kids, to those who have always felt just a bit different and misunderstood by others ( regardless on whether or not they are on the spectrum).

Haven't we all been there at one point or another in our lives?

At one point, Christopher quickly rattles off a laundry list of all the things he plans to accomplish in order to become an astronaut. Some of them daunting to an adult to even think about tackling, but to him, it was a means to an end.

He sums up the speech to the audience by stating simply and emphatically that he could do anything - could be anything.



I wish my kid grows up with that mindset.  Believe me, we are working on instilling it in her.

Official trailer for the NT Live Broadcast.  

It's still playing, folks.  Click on the link below.

Making the production video

And it's coming to Broadway -  fabulous.  Hope lots more folks go out to see this.  It's worth it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

nycc 2013- whovian cosplay - clara oswald - the snowmen - part 5

Nearing the end stretch!  Still with me?

For the bodice of Clara's barmaid outfit, I actually took the bodice of this dress on the right and the sleeves from the dress pattern on the left.

 This was the most difficult part, at least for me, so I did a muslin mockup first.

You may notice that I cut the front panel of the bodice bigger than the pattern intended so I could have it overlap for the front closure.

This was also the first time I'd ever worked with boning before.  
That was interesting -  a little challenging.

I had opted for the plastic featherlite boning that came pre covered.  I was able to sew this directly onto my bodice without having to create any channels.

Here are some helpful boning web pages/blogs that I've recently discovered ( after my cosplay construction, of course!): 

Here is the bodice with the sleeves pinned on:

Since I still am not a person used to making buttonholes, I cheated and cut the front panel of the bodice wider, so it could overlap.  I hid a zipper inside, using buttons sewn on the front just for show  and snaps to hold the excess fabric edges closed.

Note: If I re-make this bodice, I must remember to cut extra length for the bottom.  

Originally the bottom edge of the bodice is hidden with a skirt when the entire original pattern is made.  

I decided to take some bias tape and fold it over over and hand sew this over the raw edge.

I also used the selvedge ( is that the right term?) from the fabric as the edging for the sleeves and neckline of the bodice to save some money.  I layered some bias tape with it and machine sewed it on.  More of the bias tape peeked out when I sewed the selvedge onto the neckline.

All in all, not a bad effect.  However,  it is another piece I think I need to re-do – perhaps some single fold bias tape, instead of double fold tape. I think that will prevent the edge of the bias tape from becoming untucked.

I think also, something else I will consider on putting on the bodice, and perhaps the skirt -  are waist tapes.  I found throughout the day, both shifted and I had to constantly fix them.

More on waist tapes and their uses here: 

Here are various views of the finished dress.

I believe I need to also take in the bodice considerably ( I've lost a bit of weight since I first constructed this).  I also need to resew the buttons more center.  I was sleepy and sewing late the night before!  Yikes!

More to come!

new york comic con 2013 - the world's end cosplay

I am a fan of Simon Pegg

I am a Peggster -  and damn proud of it.

  I admire him greatly and have been a steadfast fan since I learned about his work in 2007.

Oh yeah, have I ever mentioned he is pretty awesome to his fans?  

He has been nothing but a gem to me, and to others I know who have encountered him through out the years.

Yet another cosplay for NY ComicCon 2013 was one

This was a film that Simon had co-written with Edgar Wright.  He also starred in the film.

I decided to make a go at a female version of the main character, Gary King, who was played by Simon.  See the fellow in black in the center of the still below.

My good friend Sacha decided to go as Andy Knightley, Gary King's best friend, and portrayed by Simon's real life best mate, and co-star in numerous projects: Nick Frost.  

You can see Nick in the photo below to the right of Simon  - wearing the trench coat, pink business shirt and button down cardigan.

OK.  So after assembling all the black items in my wardrobe I could find . . 

1 black knee length trench coat
1 black jean miniskirt
1 pair of black fishnet stockings
1 pair of black boots

I went ahead and made a few extra additions to the cosplay, taking notes from the film.

First, was Gary's out of order sign which he nicked off the door of the disabled toilet in the beginning of the film.

So, some yellow acrylic paint, foam board, a black sharpie, string and letter stickers . . 

And ta da!!. Here is my finished sign.

Here is Sexy  ( yeah, I call her that because she's TARDIS blue) modeling both the out of order sign and part of my Clara Oswald barmaid cosplay I wore that year.

The next few items for The World's End cosplay were . .  .

Gary's 2 necklaces ( as seen in photo above).  Making the necklaces was not as difficult as locating the charms in silver.  For anyone curious, they are a winged Isis, an ankh and the eye of horus.  

Thank goodness for all of those bead shops in Manhattan.  Took me going through a few of them, but finally found a store that had what I wanted.

The finished necklaces.

Now, as much as I had wanted to purchase a Sisters of Mercy tee, I was hard up on funds, so I decided to make my own for the time being.  I also wanted to cut the shirt a bit to give it a lower neckline, and it would have killed me to have done that to the actual tee.

Instead, I opted for a dark T shirt iron on transfer. 

Me wearing both the necklaces and T-shirt.

Now, what is a trip down the Golden Mile without a map?

I had to find an image online and just blow it up via a color copier at Staples. 

I later took a blue sharpie to it to cross off the pubs that Gary and his friends made it through.

Edgar Wright, wonderful man that he is, has posted a downloadable version of the Golden Mile map on his blog.

The last thing I made was Gary's hospital ID bracelet. Though most people didn't see this, nor the bandages on my wrists b/c the coat covered it most of the day, I like to be thorough.

My version. Made out of regular printer paper & clear contact paper

Had to purchase just a couple of other items . . 

a pair of black aviator type sunglasses

and since Gary couldn't go anywhere without a drink . .  

I had water in this and spent most of the day at NYCC drinking out of this and stumbling about.

So here is a final pic of all of the accessories -  including some silver rings I had purchased and my friend's specs she used as Andy.

And the final result?

And, well we got the seal of approval from Simon, you can't beat that, right?

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