June Update

Blog update time!

I haven’t spend adequate time updating either this blog or my photography blog in what feels like forever, but I wanted to check in with everyone and let you all know that I do have post plans.

I just have to like, you know, light a fire under my ass and get going.

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Planning on reviewing these Skullcandy headphones I ordered, stay tuned!

I’m going on vacation in a couple weeks with most likely minimal to no internet connection, and to be honest, I’d like to take a social media detox anyway. But I’d like to have some posts queued up through that time.

So stay tuned cause I have plenty to share and review and show you guys!

xo,
Viv

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Motor City Comic Con 2017 Recap

I can’t believe it’s already gone and past but this weekend was a blast!

As you all know, this year I went as Melisandre of Asshai from Game of Thrones and while I didn’t have as much a visceral reaction as my Miss Frizzle costume from last year from con-goers, it was nonetheless super fun to walk around as The Red Woman.

I definitely felt lots of stares from lots of people and I could feel myself  standing straighter in this costume, especially on Saturday when I wore heeled boots that I later deeply regretted while standing in line for the costume contest for a good two hours.

Regardless, like I said, I had a lot of fun in this costume. I took a few photos with a couple fellow Game of Throners and the even became FB friends with the guy cosplaying Oberyn Martell, who along with his wife, invited me to their GoT/Renaissance Festival group which was awfully nice of them and pretty exciting for me to make new connections.

As you may notice in the photo with Oberyn, however, my boob busted on Saturday, so my mom fixed it with a safety pin, but it was too tight and it pulled really ugly like. I adjusted the costume for Sunday so that it looked better. It’s my fault to begin with, however, because I serged too deeply at the titties when I was doing adjustments, which results in the fabric tearing from the stress of something like my giant boobs.

I posted this side-by-side of my face and costume on r/GameofThrones and I got some great reactions, especially about my eyes. I used Desio colored contacts (prescription!) to capture Carice van Houten’s eye color for the cosplay, and it seems a lot of people were really entranced by them. Which is fantastic, because I also tried to mimick her minimal makeup for the show and prominent lashes.

I think I actually did my makeup better on Sunday than Saturday.

As for other MCCC activities, I did participate in the costume contest, which I didn’t win, but I made sure to try to make at least a few laugh. I had these guys who were making balloon art make me a little black balloon person that I kept underneath my dress while I walked on stage, and after saying “the night is dark and full of terrors” I “birthed” the demon.

NO, I did not pop a squat and birth it like in the show. But I did whip it out from beneath my dress and throw it into the audience. LOOOOL to be honest I thought it was hilarious. Thanks to my friend Betsy for that brilliant idea.

I did all my shopping on Friday and bought a lot of enamel pins and apparently only Harry Potter art. And, I nearly forgot, a handmade Ravenclaw ceramic mug (not pictured). Also not pictured is an 11×17 Quidditch poster.

Overall, It was a wonderful weekend and I’m so glad I decided to get a weekend pass this year. I was able to attend several panels anddddd BONUS: I MET RON PERLMAN AND HE SIGNED MY HELLBOY WATERCOLOR. Life was really good this weekend.

 

Melisandre’s Necklace Cosplay

I’ve had my entire costume for MCCC done for about 2 or 3 weeks now but I’ve been so bogged down and busy – and, to be honest – lazy, that I haven’t really been in the mood to update any of my websites, even though I have content to talk about.

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AAANYWAY, enough with excuses. The last piece of my Melisandre costume was making her necklace. As you guys saw in my previous posts, I’d already acquired the stone I wanted to use, and I have an extensive store of scrap leather, so there were only a few extra things I needed:

  • thicker wire, for links
  • beeswax, for hardening the leather
  • leather strap, for tying the necklace

I found this method of hardening leather on YouTube, which worked really well.

It allowed me to shape my leather easily and didn’t make it so hard that it’s scratchy or unmaleable. I bent the pieces upwards at the top and bottom to create some give room – and also because Mel’s show necklace has that look as well.

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However, hardening the leather was one of the last steps. I picked out a lighter cognac colored scrap that I then cut 6 equally sized hexagons out of, and one larger hexagon, to accomodate the stone. In the show, Mel’s necklace is sized all the same, however, my stone is larger than hers, so I had to make adjustments.

I also cut out the inner portions of the hexagons to make them hollow.

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After hardening the leather, I chopped about 1.5 inch pieces of golden wire for the links. Using jewelry pliers to bend the wire back on both sides, I hooked the pieces to adjacent hexagons and tighten them down to keep them in place.

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I added about 6 inches of leather necklace straps to each end of the necklace in order to be able to secure it around my neck. As for the stone, I used a thinner brown colored wire to wrap it around the top and bottom of the big hexagon piece.

Additionally, I used a scrunched up piece of paper towel to tap-tap-tap gold and copper mixed acrylic paint to the hexagons to mimic the rustic look of Mel’s show necklace.

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Before I forget, I also purchased red extensions and a couple different blue contacts to wear to complete the look. My hair is currently very discolored, and it will be hot red in time for MCCC. Here’s a look at the contacts I’ll be wearing – they’re presription! Got them from Desio. I’ll probably do a review later – and a video review, hopefully.

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Melisandre’s Dress Cosplay Costume

It’s finished! I spent all of last week putting my skills to work and constructing my Game of Thrones Melisandre costume for this year’s Motor City Comic Con. Generally, I like to tease what I’m going as and post after attending MCCC, but I put more work into this costume than any of my previous cosplays, so I’m not really concerned about timing this year. Plus, I’m just so excited to share!

Alright, so in my last post I briefly talked about the fabric and the ‘ruby’ jewel (her necklace will be a separate post) I bought. As a refresher, here’s the photo.

I used my slopers from college, when I was heavier. The funny thing about these slopers is that they’re from when I was 10 pounds heavier than I am right now, but I had to make a lot of adjustments to make them fit correctly, which is kind of encouraging because I’ve been beating myself up for the past 4 years for gaining weight – but that’s a story for another time.

The first thing to note about this dress is that it’s basically a floor-length wrap dress, which is great because there’s no zippers involved, just ties. I initially drafted it with darts, but after looking at photo stills from the show, I noticed her dresses actually had princess seams, which honestly made everything easier. Praise be to the princess seam gods for saving fabric!

Since it is a wrap dress, I extended the center front piece several inches  toward the center, to allow for appropriate coverage so my tits and hoo-ha don’t fly out, and also because that’s how Mel’s dress looks in the show.

After drafting the patterns, I laid them out on my fabric and extended the pieces 47 inches from my waist – an extra 3 inches longer than my waist to floor measurement. This is for the hand-sewn hem I did. I also flared them out in one direction each, to add volume to the dress. I didn’t flare them out in both directions because I didn’t want to waste fabric and also because this dress doesn’t need THAT much volume.

All of the pattern pieces have a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

These are NOT set up according to how they’ll be sewn together.

For whatever reason, I decided this dress needed a lining at the top – it really doesn’t, in retrospect, but school taught me to line everything, so I did. I used the same pattern pieces as I did for the dress, but I didn’t extend them past their size.

Sewing everything together was a tricky and slow process for once in my life. I usually rush into sewing and mess something up, but I kept my mess-ups to only 1 this time around.

Anyway, as you can see in the photo below, I sewed only the ticked parts at first, while the dress was still “flat”. After sewing those parts together, I flipped the dress and attached the dress at the shoulders and the lining at the shoulders, before then finishing up the un-ticked parts. This ensures that you can an easy sewing process because if you sewed everything up at once, you’d have to do some weird tube sewing things that are more work than they’re worth IMO.

Here’s my initial try on photos, without sleeves, and then after I attached sleeves. You can see it’s kinda baggy and loose prior to adjustments, especially above the boobs. There’s a lot of excess fabric there.

I pre-adjusted my sleeve pattern from my original sloper because I’ve lost quite a lot of weight in my arms. These fit nearly perfectly, but I did have to tuck a little fabric in on itself at the armpit area on the sleeve.

A couple notes about the sleeves:

  1. I originally designed them to be square in the drop, but decided I’d taper them off into points instead. Mel’s dresses in the show seem to have to the square kimono style that Michelle Clapton seems to love way too much. I’m personally not a fan of the weird mixture of English medieval and Japanese styles, so I tapered mine.
  2. Her sleeves in the show are floor length, mine are not.
  3. Mel’s sleeves also feature a white ‘hem’ of sorts. Mine do not, although I could go in and create the illusion with a simple straight stitch.

1. How the sleeve looks with bias.
2. The lined inside of the sleeve.
3. Hand stitching the lining to the sleeve.
4. Serged armpit

I made bias strips instead because I love bias strips for their versatility and also because I wanted really nice clean edges. I ended up being to handstitch the lining around the elbow because of the way I sewed it in. I also serged the armpit after I sewed it with my sewing machine for overall bulk reduction and cleanliness.

I also lined the neckline of the dress with bias.

I did not extend this bias all the way down, however, and instead opted for doubling over the edges and stitching them down.

While I didn’t take pictures of this, I DID attached a sewed up bias piece that wraps around my waist about 5 times to a spot at the waist that meets with the slightly extended bias on the part of the wrap that overlaps so I can tie the dress shut. I also attached bias to the inside of the dress – like you might find inside a robe, that keeps the underlapping piece in place.

After that, it was just final adjustments, including stitching the hem by hand. I didn’t want a visible hemline. In the photos below you’ll see:

  1. Preliminary final photo. No adjustments made, no safety pins to hold anything in place and no snaps sewn in yet. This was just a fitting to see what I needed to adjust.
  2. After serging off excess fabric at the chest and securing a closing point for where I’d place a snap.
  3. Final shot after sewing in a snap. I haven’t decided yet, but I think I might sewn another snap on for extra security. I puffed my chest out a couple times and it snapped open, so I gotta be careful.

So that’s about it. I’m really excited! I have to figure out the mechanics of making the necklace and then I can post about that too. I ordered prescription colored contacts from Desio that I’m hoping and praying get here in time.

I’m also trying to decide whether I want to try texturizing the dress. You’ll notice that Mel’s dresses have subtle designs – mostly texture – and the fabric I used is flat. I’m going to get the point across of who I am regardless, but it’s just a thing that bothers me. Oh, and shoulder pads. Her dresses are structured in the shoulders.

I also need to order red extensions eventually. I was planning on braiding up the yellow part of my hair (if I decide to continue with multiple colors) and attaching extensions but we’ll see.

Update: Projects and Goals

I’m currently definitely using this blog post as a procrastination method. As well as watching Game of Thrones with commentary on.

BUT ANYWAY.

Motor City Comic Con is coming up in about 2 and a half months and that means it’s costume construction time! As I think I’ve mentioned here before, I enjoy cosplaying redheaded characters (because I dye my hair red).

I initially thought about going as Miss Frizzle again, but a different version of her. Maybe the Jurassic episode or the weather.  Then a few months later, I bought green khaki flowy khaki pants and I happened to wear them with a black shirt when my hair was orangey, straight, and down and I looked exactly like Kim Possible – which I also very much considered.

But ultimately, I’ve wanted to cosplay a Game of Thrones character since I started getting into the series. With the past season, my admiration for Melisandre has grown. She’s a character that gets a lot of hate (I’M LOOKING AT YOU BETSY) but I find her to be really interesting, especially after getting a POV chapter from her in the last book.

So I’ve decided I’m going to make a Melisandre costume from scratch – even though Simplicity does have a pattern set available for Cersei/Melisandre style wrap dresses. I don’t really feel like spending money on it when I can make a custom piece for myself – PLUS, I apparently love stressing myself out with pattern drafting, so there’s that.

I did purchase red fabric from Joann’s for Mel’s costume, but it’s not heavyweight, like her show costumes, so I’m trying to figure out a way to texturize it in a way that is appropriate to her character and to the costumes she wears in the show. I also have to decide how I’m going to replicate her iconic necklace – hot glue and spray paint? leather? metal? I already found a great stone for it though.

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Fabric for Mel’s costume & the red “ruby” for her necklace

Yesterday, I went to Habermans to see if I could find a better fabric to replace the one I already have, and instead came home with 2 gorgeous pieces I found in clearance that I’m planning on using to make another RenFest costume for this year. I still haven’t finished my “practice” dress that I started last year in preparation for Kristen and Ryan’s wedding (SORRY JOE) but I’m planning on finishing that sometime in the next few months before I start on this new one.

I also thought these fabrics would’ve been perfect for a Cersei costume, but they didn’t have enough of the plain golden fabric and I bought everything they had left of it.

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Also, I’ve been super-slacking on my yearly goal of one fully rendered sketch per week. So much so, that I now have to do 7 of them. (SORRY JOE….X2? X7?) But I’ve started building up my Copic marker collection in the hopes that it’ll help motivate and focus me on the task. Sigh. It makes me itch thinking about it though.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment. I haven’t embroidered anything since shipping off a couple “fuck the patriarchy” pieces to my friend. And I almost wish I’d decided to do Cersei just because I kind of want to embroider  all those intense lions and damasks on her shoulders. Maybe next year.