I am alive! We’ve just been without internet for the past three weeks. Hopefully we’ll have it again soon. Posting from the phone is not easy!

Aside  —  Posted: June 30, 2015 in General

Refocusing

Posted: June 6, 2015 in General
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I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about my costumes. The ones I’ve finished. The ones I’m working on. The ones I’ve figured out how to get done but haven’t actively worked on. I’ve been trying to figure out which ones to wear to which convention. And that’s when I noticed it.

There are a handful of costumes that are faithfully based on the original character that I feel confident and have fun wearing.  Only a handful that I get excited at the thought of wearing. The other costumes I get excited about are the ones where I’ve put my spin on it. The ones that are truly my ‘living fan art’.

It’s helping me a lot. It’s helping me focus on which costumes to work on and which to wait on. It’s helping me decide when to wear what costume. Although Halloween is still up in the air since I have no idea what I’ll be doing at that point. But it’s really helping me focus.

Speaking of focus, mine is still on the Fangirl. She’s just waiting right now. I thought I had some spare lining fabric. Turns out I do, but it’s all bits and pieces. Tomorrow I’m heading to work to get a yard of lining that between the sale price and my employee discount I’ll be spending $4 max on it. One of the perks of working at Jo-Ann’s. The problem with working at Jo-Ann’s is constantly being surrounded by fabric and craft supplies that are on sale with a bunch of coupons in your pocket and your inbox and an employee discount.

I can’t wait to get this skirt and bustle done! Once it’s done, I’m going to get working on the umbrella again. I don’t want to have parts lying around half finished. Then, on to the shrug. I just hope I don’t have to make too many alterations. I want to have this costume finished so I can put it all on and see how amazing it looks!

Then, the focus will return to the Dude! :D

In the zone

Posted: June 3, 2015 in Character
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The last few nights I’ve been staying up late working on the Fangirl. I’ve been posting updates over at Doctor Who Fangirl. I’ve also been taking pictures as I go. I’m going to be making more detailed an coherent posts here once I have the time to sit down and compose them. Right now I’m just focusing on getting as much work done as possible. I’ve been hitting that zone where time just flies by and you don’t realize it. It’s so nice!

Yesterday it was announced that not only will Sylvester McCoy be coming back to DragonCon, but Paul McGann will be going as well.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was my reaction when I read it yesterday. Soon after I realized that since I’m going to get to add two more autographs to my 500 Year Diary, I need to get my Fangirl finished. Actually that thought hit me after I realized I need to get listening to Eight’s audio adventures. But that’s not the point.

The point is I’m going to try to get the new Fangirl done for DragonCon. It’s really not going to be too bad. I’ve got One, Four, War, Nine, and Eleven finished. Eight, Seven, Six, Five, and Three are almost done. It’s Two, Ten, and Twelve that need the most work. And they’re all using the B style of the pattern there on the left.

Two and Ten are going to be contributing to the skirt. Two is gong to be the main part with some great mini-houndstooth calico. Ten is going to be the ruffles in the back with the blue pinstripe suit fabric. Originally I wanted to reverse it, but I need more for the main part than I have Ten fabric to spare. I’ve got Ten’s fabric. Tonight I bought enough Two fabric to do the ruffles. Then I got home and really looked at the pattern and realized I’d have to switch the two. I’m going to get another three yards tomorrow so I can get working on the skirt.

Twelve is the shrug. It just screams Twelve. Between the lapels and the lining showing in the lower sleeves, it couldn’t be anyone but Twelve. Thankfully I have the fabric for Twelve. I’m definitely going to get started on that this week.

Hopefully I’ll be posting updates more often now that I have this costume to get together for DragonCon. A lot of work will be happening in the next couple of months!

The Ten Coat: Research

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Character
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Ever since I found out that I can get Ten coat fabric at Jo-Ann’s, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can make it myself. Like I’ve mentioned before, the Abby Shot coat looks good, but it’s just not the right fabric. That really bugs me. Being made of wool, a thicker wool by the looks of it, it does not lay like the fabric does on the original coat.

Last night I decided to start reading Steve Ricks’ blog Making My Tennant Coat from the beginning. It is the place to go if you are thinking of making a coat of your own. I’m just up to the point where he’s starting to assemble his Mk. IV coat after making a test coat. Reading through the process of the test coat has reinforced that I need to make a test coat first.

There is going to be so much work put into this coat. Seeing as I have no idea where to start making a pattern from scratch, I’m going to start with the same pattern I used for Harry’s Inverness coat. I’m also going to try to find a book or two that can guide me in this process of altering a pattern so I don’t have to use a ton of muslin before I get it right.

But reading Steve’s blog really helps. I now have a much better idea of all the details that went into that coat. I’m also mentally keeping track of little things that I might be able to get away with leaving out. Just little things that don’t affect the overall look, but wouldn’t make the coat completely screen accurate. Which I am fine with. I have realized that there are some things that don’t need to be completely screen accurate. The overall accurate look is what I’m going for.

So, slowly, soon I’ll be posting about my own journey toward making my Ten Coat. I’m hoping between reading Steve’s journey and notes, and taking my time, I’ll be able to create the coat I want to go with my Blue suit and finally have the Tenth Doctor outfit I’ve been wanting for years.

Gaz changes

Posted: May 16, 2015 in Rundown
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Being at Marcon gave me time to mull over costumes in my head and Gaz kept floating up to the top of my thoughts. I think I’ve finally nailed the outfit down. Well, maybe not nailed, but figured out the basic parts that will be there in one way or another. Looking over my posts, it seems I’ve made quite a few changes and additions, so I’ll just give a new rundown.

First, there’s the Coachman’s hat. I love that hat and it’s going to look perfect with Gaz. I’m going to get an ostrich plume for the hat. I love the look of those feathers and the hat just screams for it. Well, when it’s on Gaz. I’d like to get a purple one, but it’ll probably be black. We’ll find out!

Second is one thing that hasn’t changed: the wig. I put too much time into straightening that Ferrari to not use it. Hehe. But seriously, it’s the perfect wig for Gaz.

Next, the choker. I made a cute choker with some beads I have and the celtic knot skulls pendant. It looks good. I may tweak it slightly to get it more how I want it. But it’s good the way it is right now.

Fourth, shirts. After a little miscommunication and frustration at the beginning of the year, I finally got the hoodie I ordered to wear for Ohayocon. It is perfect! I’m just going to wear a t-shirt or tank top underneath it. I decided the corset was just not quite needed here.

Now we go lower down to the skirt. I have been struggling to figure out what to do here. For a while I was thinking leggings alone, leggings with a skirt, a long skirt. But I’ve finally settled on a knit black skirt I have that will work wonderfully with this look.

Finally, the legs. Once I settled on the skirt everything else just fell into place. I’m going to get some good nylons to cover the inches of leg that will show between the skirt and the socks. The socks are a great pair of Leg Avenue black and purple striped knee highs. To finish things off, I’ll wear my flats that I use for the First Doctor Bathing Beauty.

Oh! I somehow almost forgot my awesome walking stick! I don’t know how I could forget the wonderful black stick topped with a silver skull. It’s going to be that great little touch that really will make the outfit that much cooler.

I’m thinking of trying to either find or make a little bag that I can throw essentials into yet goes right with the outfit. I love my Con Bag of Holding, but I feel like it would kinda take away from the overall look. I am really looking forward to getting this together and hoping it looks as good as I think so I can take it to DragonCon and have a blast!

Website updates

Posted: May 15, 2015 in General
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Lately I haven’t been making a big deal of it, but I have a website that goes with this blog. The name is the same, Cosplay Notes, but the purpose is different. It is where I try to keep a detailed record of the costumes. Here I talk about the progress and such. There is where I have source pics, an overview of the costume, a breakdown of what materials were used and where they came from if possible, and any pictures of the finished costume.

Recently I decided to give the site a complete overhaul. I’m still working on it. You can still access the site, but it’s limited. As I get a costume page done, I get it linked up, and refresh the site. This not only updates the overall look, but gets all the pages in the same format. Over the years I keep changing how I want the pages to look, but those changes have been getting smaller as time goes by. I’m hoping I’ve finally settled on how I want everything to look.

So, if you’ve been curious about an outfit or costume, hop on over to the site. All the changes are done and everything is there for all to see. Both good and bad. (cringes)

Marcon 50: The Props

Posted: May 14, 2015 in Conventions
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After the “Choosing Fabrics” panel, I had “Props, Props, and More Props”. This time it was guys of Fyberdyne Laboratories who were the panelists.

These guys are amazing. They each have their strength and they work together to make amazing costumes and props. They brought a bunch of the props they’ve made with them and talked about how they do these things. While they are amazing pieces and costumes, I admit I didn’t really learn anything specific from them. But they did remind me of something important when making props and costumes: keep an open mind.

What goes into making the final product may not be what you think you need in the beginning. For example: taking a Kindle Keyboard and turning it into a Hitchhiker’s Guide. I was sitting there when something hit me. For my Dude on the Grid outfit, I want to have a glass with a blue “beverage” and a blue LED ice cube. I’ve been trying to find a way of having it look like there’s liquid in it but leaving the ice cube free to move around in it. I realized something important in that panel: I can make two different glasses, one for the halls and one for the stage.

The one for the halls will simply have blue on the inside of the glass to allow for free movement of the ice cube. This will keep it light so I don’t have to worry about weight. It’ll also make me happy in the halls. The one for the stage isn’t going to be seen up close. Yes, the judges will probably see it up close before the contest, but on stage no one is going to be remotely close. I can get some resin, tint it blue, and suspend a LED ice cube in it so the button is exposed. That way I can turn it off and on as needed. Also it’ll look great from a distance and impress the judges. This outfit is really starting to combine a lot of different costuming techniques and media. I may have a chance at placing with it.

They’ve given me a whole new way of looking at making props.

Like I mentioned before, I learned a lot at Marcon this year.

My first panel on Friday was “Choosing Fabrics”. I figured between my costuming and working at Jo-Ann’s, I should go. I am so glad I did. I knew two of the three panelists, one through Prydon Academy and the other lives here in town. Two great resources! I now know a lot more about fabrics and will be relying on Jo-Ann’s more as a fabric source. No one has ever talked about Jo-Ann’s in such a positive light and so much in my experience. Usually they talk about other stores that aren’t around here or websites. These three proved that Jo-Ann’s has plenty to offer, you just have to know how to look for fabrics there.

There were three big pieces of information I got from that panel. First, I now know what fabric to use to make a proper Tenth Doctor coat. In the home decor fabric, there is taupe suede. It is the most accurate fabric out there. I’m not going to say it is the fabric that was used, but it is probably exactly like it. Now I just need to figure out a pattern, save up money, and get that coat made. I am so excited! I was planning to settle for the AbbyShot coat that is also available on ThinkGeek. I say settle because it’s made from wool. Anyone who watches Doctor Who can see it is not wool!

Also, I can use the fabric to make the hakama for my Doctor in Kimono. That really has changed my approach to the rest of the outfit. The fabric for the haori is the same as the suit fabric. I’m going to go ahead and use Kona cotton for the juban, for lack of a better term. Since there’s going to be a couple, it’ll be good for my budget too. I can’t wait to get started on this outfit!

Second, I have a hope of getting a good leather coat made for Harry! Jo-Ann’s has vinyl that looks like real leather on both sides without the cost or weight of real leather. This is what I need for Harry’s coat. When I mentioned that’s what I’d be using it for, it was unanimous that I need to use the vinyl instead of real leather. I’m guessing it’s also back in the home decor department because what we’ve got up in apparel is not light at all. Now I just have to figure out what to use for his Warden’s cape and either find or make a simple black backpack.

Third, linen is going to be my new best friend. Linen not only soaks up the sweat, but it allows it to evaporate. That’s why it helps people stay cool. I am going to look into using it to line the Dude’s sweater. I’ve been planning to line it to give the solid white inside from TRON: Legacy, provide a place for pockets, and have somewhere to put the magnets to keep the disc on his back. Linen would help to keep me cool during the day and especially up on stage, when I eventually get up the courage to do it.

I also have a great chart that breaks down the basic fabric types and I think I need to laminate it and take it with me to work it’s so full of information. It is definitely going with me any time I’m not quite sure what to get.

That panel has lit a fire under me and I am eager to get going on my costumes. Now if I just had the money to go with that fire.

Marcon 50 was amazing. And some of the best moments of the weekend were due to my costume choices.

On Friday I was Dr. Abbey. I had a Literary Costuming panel followed by the Alternative Zombies panel. Dr. Abbey was the obvious choice. When I walked in to the room before the Literary Costuming panel, the previous panel’s panelists were chatting with attendees and one of my fellow panelists was already there.

When I walked up to the table, I noticed something. She was wearing a lab coat over an orange t-shirt with “Do not taunt the octopus” on it. When she looked up, we were both stunned for a minute and then started laughing. We were both dressed as Dr. Abbey! I said I was glad I went with my CEPHALOPODS UNION #462 shirt. At least people weren’t seeing double.

Double Dr. Abbeys

Don’t we look good?

Saturday wasn’t quite as successful. With prompting, one person did recognize me as Tim. I think I’m going to keep Tim set aside unless I know that he will be recognized. Part of wearing costumes, for me, is that recognition factor because I know I’ve found another fan. Tim just doesn’t have an easily recognizable look. But it was fun being him again.

Sunday wasn’t very long, but it was fun. I was Harry because I was on the Harry Dresden panel. I made two of my fellow panelists smile broadly when I handed them my business card. One of them wants to do a Butters costume for next year, including the Polka Suit if possible. Even if he doesn’t get the suit done, it’d be awesome to have a Butters to go with my Harry!

I also learned a lot about fabrics and got some great ideas for costumes, but that’s another post. For now, I’m going to keep looking forward and get the DragonCon costumes ready to go!