Nush is wearing a cosplay costume - army green pants, a purple and white tunic with long front and back panels with gold trim, black waist armour, a red belt, and a white turban with red trim. She is crouching and facing the camera.
COSPLAY, DIY, FULL SCALE

FULL SCALE #8: [COSPLAY] – Wrathion (World of Warcraft)

FULL SCALE #8: [COSPLAY] – Wrathion (World of Warcraft)

Hello hello. I am here! I promised a post, and boy is this a big one. Time for more cosplay!

First a little background on the character: Wrathion is a character from the Warcraft game universe, more specifically the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Players will be familiar with this character as his storyline is important to in-game world events, and you even undertake quests to save his egg from destruction as part of some levelling up quests. He is the last of the Black Dragonflight – the corrupted dragon species, the leader of whom – Deathwing – tried to destroy the world and was thwarted by heroes (players) in Cataclysm (Expansion 3). He is only three years old when we first meet him in Mists of Pandaria (Expansion 4), so his dragon form is a ‘whelpling’, or cute-little-baby-dragon-with-tiny-wings. But as dragons live for hundreds of years, his human form is an adult male. Keep in mind that he is only three, so is still a child. He is however, extremely knowledgeable, and has a network of spies that he presides over, making him an important player in game world.

The reason I enjoy Wrathion so much, is that he is intriguing – he has no real true alliances, he still exhibits childlike qualities, but he determined to redeem his species and change how people view him. Though he makes some questionable decisions affecting the game world as a whole (and setting up for Expansion 5 – Warlords of Draenor), he remains singularly different to the other major players in Warcraft lore.

I would like to point out, that as a person of colour, he is one of the few characters available for us to cosplay without colouring our skin. WoW is generally good like that, with a whole rainbow of skin tones, but it is nice to have a brown character to cosplay. Dragons are also genderless, which makes Wrathion ripe for Rule 63 and genderbending cosplay, and indeed he is a popular choice for many at overseas conventions, though with significant edits to his outfit.

Read more on Wrathion here and here.

Wrathion Cosplay 2

OK, let’s get into it. I was very late in making this, and had no idea how hard it would be until I actually started, but hey! This is kinda what I do – flail around until I get a burst to get moving.

So let’s break it down. Basically, it’s a pair of army or parachute pants, and a long sleeve colour-blocked tunic with long front and back panels. Doable.

Wrathion Cosplay 3
Woo! Back view!

The pants have dark red stripes on the inside of each leg and wider bright red panels on the outside. I actually added some pockets into the pants, and put in some sneaky slits in the side panels to allow pocket access.

Most cosplay costumes need to be sneakily altered/adjusted to allow for pockets/pouches so that you can carry your shit.

These are standard tapered pants, with more volume in the top, and an elasticated waist. Both colours are poplin.

Lookit! My sneaky pocket slits!

The tunic was also not difficult – the purple is a stretch fabric of some kind and the white is a bengaline. Simple alterations of a standard long sleeved t-shirt pattern, with the centre extended.

Wrathion Cosplay Side Panels and Sleeves
Lookit! My beautiful and painstaking painting. This was actually rather fun and relaxing.
Wrathion Cosplay Sleeves
Detailing in gold paint. Do before sewing together!
Wrathion Cosplay 4

OK. The weird side/waist armour things. Eck. Not my favourite part of the final look, but necessary to achieve accuracy. They are meant to be scaled armour pieces. The bases are made of this lovely thick black denim, then covered with a scale-embossed vinyl. The bigger panels are overlaid with smaller scales made from the vinyl. Edged in some crappy gold trim. The three pieces are lined up and attached together, so that there’s a set of three on either side.

They also kept slipping down despite being pinned to me. Definitely needing a redo if I wear this again.

This goes for the arm armour (lol) too. Vambraces? Maybe. Idk. They are also a triple set, without the extra little scales. They have a couple of strips of elastic holding them on my arm so then didn’t slip too bad.

The belt is a strip of red poplin edged and detailed in gold paint (I ran out of trim, and there are two different golds used in his outfit anyway). The brown leather cross-body belt is made up of leather scraps.

The front and back panels. These damn buttons had to be lined up and sewn individually, and my poor friend that I was making a cosplay for at the same time, was kind enough to help me mark the placement of each. Thanks Benny. I got lucky with the tassel trim here, and the wide gold band is not too bad. Detailing done in paint.

While we’re here, I’m going to briefly mention these damn epaulettes. They’re crap, I know. Ergh. They worked at the time and that was what I needed.

Snazzy.
This is a better view of the back. Sitting was pretty comfy actually.

OK. Thank you. Onto my favourite piece – they absolute crowning (literally) piece in this ensemble. The turban. Ah!!! I had never made a turban before this, and I wrapped the basic form in ten minutes with three strips of cloth! When you’re determined, you’re determined. And son, have you met me?

The first cloth strip was short and I used that to tie around my headform (Gloria!) and used the tails as the flaps detailed with gold that you see sticking out under the turban. This was never actually attached to the actual full turban so it moved a bit. The next two were long pieces so I wrapped one around the head to build up the height, and used the third one to make the flat loops that give the bulk and final form. There are some stitches around the crown to give the indentation, but not much else is holding this together. The red strip is a completely separate loop that I detach – it simply slips over the top and holds everything in place. Glorious.

Make hats. Truly. Such fun.

Wrathion Cosplay Crouch
Goddamn girl. This is my best facial expression pic, as well as the one where I look most like the character. Should make this the feature. Imma do that.
Wrathion Cosplay Crossed Legs
My boots! As seen in my Winter Soldier cosplay. Super versatile, these.

Look. I tried making spats with leather scraps, but it didn’t work OK? OK. Now enjoy the turban, and let’s jump into the final details.

Wrathion Cosplay Selfie 1
It me!
Wrathion Cosplay Selfie 2
It me again!

The necklace is made from the same scale-embossed vinyl, but it turned out better than the other stuff made from it. Cute red gem is not just for decoration – it’s accurate! So are the red eyes, though Wrathion’s are more full glowing eye, but this is what I could do.

As I was doing a Rule 63 cosplay, I took some artistic license with a few aspects. Namely, the scale make-up. I wanted to have fun with this cosplay – that is ultimately why we cosplay isn’t it? I also wanted to make a reference to Wrathion’s dragon form, which is black and glowing orange. These selfies were taken at the end of the day so the orange part has faded a bit, but the scale effect is pretty cool.

I think the eyeliner and lip colour are actually accurate to what he looks like, and he doesn’t really have hair in his human form, but mine is long so I made a simple braid. I also added a pair of coiled snake earrings as I don’t have the hoops he wears.

He does wear gloves, but I left mine at home. Oops.

Wrathion Cosplay 1

WELP. So this was awesome. It was my first ever Comic Con, my first time cosplaying with this much intensity, and two people recognised my character!!! I am validated.

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As always, details below. Thank you for holding out for this post (I am slow, I am sorry. It’s like 12.45m on Monday now), and thank you for coming along on this journey.


Fabric: The Remnant Warehouse
Contact Lenses: Primal Conctact Lenses via The Party People
Boots: Rubi Shoes (bought years ago)

Location: OZ Comic Con – Sydney
Photos: Niamh Kyriacou and Benjamin Pinto

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CLOTHING, DIY, FULL SCALE

FULL SCALE #7: Floral Bodice

Yes, flowers for spring.

But at least, I’m not making any grand statements about new trends and fresh ideas. Calm down.

Hello after a very long time. Many apologies. I was away in Europe – as you know from my previous post, and then when I returned, I got caught up in life and settling back in. Apologies for the poor quality photos from Versailles, but we only had a phone camera on hand. Thanks to Kenny, for kindly taking photos.

On to the DIYs. Oh, how I stuffed this one up. Lordy.

So this floral fabric had been sitting around in my stash (read: pile) for a very long time. It was only a short piece and I didn’t know what to do with it. When we were planning our trip to Europe, I decided to do what I always do before holidays, and make a bunch of crap. Cos why not?

 

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Floral Print Bodice Top | Photo: Kristy Wan

I decided not to pattern match. I like the mish-mash effect and it makes for a more unique piece.

 

I have used this bodice pattern a million times over and it’s really simple and versatile. You can get it here at Crafty Alex’s Etsy shop. I like this sweetheart style – it’s a really versatile style that can be used with crop tops, bodices, dresses, swimwear and much more. It’s also super flattering for my shape (perhaps not when I stand like this :/ ), and is comfortable to wear when you you are off-centre like me. My entire left side from shoulder to pelvis is wider than my right, so my centre line is a bit off. This kind of top really helps disguise that though, so yae.

 

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Floral Print Bodice Top | Photo: Kristy Wan

Check out my super uneven skin tone. This is what I meant earlier by I really screwed this one up. Even though I’ve made this top so many times, I didn’t adjust the heights properly so the zip is weird. I’m loving these straps though – lingerie elastic is amazing.

 

I need to wear brighter colours more as they really lend well to lifting my mood. I tend to be quite introspective and live in my head a lot so getting out and getting outside is key. Bright colours and fun patterns help to add some joy to life, and since my personal style is pretty unique anyway, I’m not fussed about things not matching or fitting with trends. That kind of mental freedom is precious.

 

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Floral Print Bodice Top | Photo: Kristy Wan

The top does roll about a bit, but that is because I stuffed up the length as well as the heights and it is a teeny bit too tight. When I wore it in France, poor Kenny had to keep zipping it up  – the zip unzipped if I took a big breath. The top does have cups sewn in so I don’t need a bra – that alone is a new and exciting thing. It is rare for me to not need to wear one, so having inserts is super cool.

 

I was not sure what to pair this with as it was too cold for shorts or a skirt, but these crepe de chine pants from Grana worked pretty well. Thanks to Grana and A Pair & A Spare for these pants – I won them in a competition and they are comfy as hell.

They also have pockets. Winning.

Styling this sort of top can be awkward. While I don’t care too much for trends, I do often imagine myself to be skinnier than I am, and when I make my clothes a touch too small, it makes styling worse. Growing up in an image conscious culture makes me very aware of my body, and while I love it and what it can do, I also know when it doesn’t look nice in clothing, and it makes me anxious to try and work stuff out to look even halfway decent.

 

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Floral Print Bodice Top | Photo: Kristy Wan

The fun thing about this top is how it looks different in different lighting situations. Here in direct sun, much of the pattern fades out and the remainder look almost tie-dyed on (Are you seeing that? It does, right? Or is that just me? :/ ). And earlier, with being back-lit, the colours are more vibrant. Fun.

 

The zip didn’t fall down too much on this outing, and we were doing a lot of walking. As some of you may have guessed, we went to the Botanical Gardens, which are free to visit and very very cool. Yae plants. The photo above is in the Fernery, where they have many types of ferns. Plants! Nature! Sunshine!

I didn’t get too roasted either, which is always a plus. And I got to hang out with Kristy, who is a very cool human in very small packaging. Us small humans need to stick together.

 

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Floral Print Bodice Top | Photo: Kristy Wan

This is probably my favourite photo. My hair was having a damn good day. Go hair. Go me. Go Kristy.

 

Having seasonal clothes is awesome, but I will probably make this a year round piece because I’m special like that. Stuff your trends and rules.

I also want to apologise to anyone who follows me regularly. I promise I’m trying to post weekly, but between working, looking for work, making things, taking photos, and waiting for photos, weekly is pretty tough. But I will try.

Thanks for reading, and do get in touch if you have any questions.

 

Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Fabric: A remnant piece from The Remnant Warehouse

Photos: Kristy Wan | Fubbai

 

 

CLOTHING, DIY, FULL SCALE

FULL SCALE #6: Half Circle Skirt

I love wearing circle skirts. Have I said that before? Well. when I first entered the world of circle skirts, I thought of them as poodle skirts and that only one style was possible – full circle, knee/calf length. How wrong I was.

There are many kinds of circle skirts and they all have different shapes once worn. This one is a half circle (I think. Judging by how much it rises when I spin) and sits much flatter along the body before flaring out. It also has less pleats when it’s worn and shows off your shape more.

The gardens in Versailles were amazing yesterday and these little maze gardens allow for amazing alignment and symmetry. They really do go on that far behind me.



I’ve already posted about shape and size in my previous entry so I’m not going to rehash that here. I will say though, that circle skirts have helped me accept and embrace my shape.

You can’t really see the little black polka dots and that is upsetting, but this is my favourite photo of the lot. This skirt is the best I’ve made with the cutting and sewing both turning out super well. Those hems are boss.



This skirt was amazing to wear – the cotton is very light and breezy, and the fit and fall of the skirt lent itself well to the comfort factor. Creases easy, but the creases fall out just as quick.

I always feel like I make mistakes with everything that I sew. But this one is pretty good. The zip went in fine and the hand stitching of the hook and eye closure above the zip is ridiculously neat. 


The sheer respectability of the length of this skirt means allows for it to be worn in many situations. Although, the lightness of the fabric means it will need an under layer if worn in winter.

Look at the fountains! I love the length and drape of the skirt. I am so pleased with how this turned out!



Still. It was amazing to wear to Versailles and it held up well throughout the day.

Yes, I’m in France. #eurotrip

Photos: Kenny Cheung (thanks Kenny – Kenny is my crazy juggling friend. Go check him out)

Location: Château de Versailles

Fabric: on sale at The Remnant Warehouse

CLOTHING, DIY, FULL SCALE

FULL SCALE #5: Lace Bralettes

Ergh. Bras. Lord. Where to begin.

Most girls get their first ‘bras’ when they’re around 12 or so, and they’re training bras – basically soft sports bras to get girls used to the idea of wearing something on their chests constantly. I won’t get into the debate about whether bras are really necessary or just a thing forced on women by the patriarchy, but I will say that I am usually straddling the fence on the issue. They are annoying but useful. Nuff said.

Some bright spark recently decided to make ‘bralettes’ a thing. This bright spark is probably now rolling in it, if they weren’t before. Generally, these type of trends come from stylists/brands/fashion houses so they already have mucho cred. Back on topic. Bralettes are basically soft bras – usually made of lace as is the current trend – with no underwire, structure, or padding. The idea is to have soft, form-fitting undergarments, that both conform to societal standards (by covering those abhorrent lady nipples from view *shock horror*) and provide comfort and ease for the person wearing them (yes, person. Many non-females also wear bralettes. That is a separate topic). Continue reading “FULL SCALE #5: Lace Bralettes”

CLOTHING, DIY, FULL SCALE, MOVE

FULL SCALE #4: Fitspo Wear

fitspo‘ – an abbreviation of the portmanteau ‘fitspiration‘ meaning something that inspires or motivates the desire to be fit and healthy. For many people, this is usually a celebrity on Instagram, or a personal trainer or even a friend or loved one who is healthy and exercises a fair bit.

 

This issue is a tough one for me. The idea of ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’ is a bit of a double-edged sword. Well, most swords are double-edged, right? I mean there’s no blunt side? I digress. Growing up in Sri Lanka, the idea that being slim was good and healthy was something difficult to grasp. My sister, like my parents in their youth, has a high metabolism and struggled to put on weight for much of her teens and 20s. She also has beautiful long hair and clear skin. All of which combined to be ‘good’. I used to look at her wish to be just like her. My mother commented once how she noticed I was withdrawn as a teen – I stepped back a bit because I compared myself to her and didn’t like what I found. Doesn’t help that mother always noted how lovely she was in her youth (she really was. She still is. #goodgenes). Our culture also prizes ‘fairness’ of skin, so exercising outside in sun wasn’t seen as good or healthy as the tendency to tan was too high and could ruin a complexion. Luckily for my sister, she is already darker skinned.

Here’s where the issue is. I have recessive genes  -so while I am fairer skinned, I have curves, thick unruly hair (which thankfully I can wrestle into place now), and easily blemished skin. I was always too big. To those who know me, this is a hard idea to wrap their heads around. But this was and always will be my base programming. I was always too big – too much belly, too much butt, too much everything.

I was an energetic kid, always bouncing around causing trouble. But once puberty hit, that just wasn’t enough. I started dancing lessons at age 7 (very late in dance years). And something clicked. A light flicked on in my brain and even now, this is when my body is most comfortable, and I am most comfortable with it. As I grew older, dancing became more intensive, and it wasn’t til I moved to Sydney for uni that I realised exactly how helpful it was in keeping my ‘too big’ self in check. My mother still says that if not for my dancing, I would be massive. Because apparently, there’s something wrong with that.

I remember doing athletics in school  – by doing athletics I mean I ran in some 100m and 200m races and relays for athletics meets, and the distance runs for the school road race. I didn’t do too badly either. I guess I just like to keep moving. And I’ve got a helluva stubborn determination when needed. How else do you think I get anything done? Sheer willpower. No joke.

I started circus when I came to uni. I was too shy to join a dance group but the idea of a group of ‘social outcasts’ appealed to me. Sadly, it wasn’t as welcoming as I’d hoped but I stuck with it. 6 years and two relationships later, I finally found my groove. I needed to understand ‘me’ before understanding how this ‘me’ interacted with others.

Being fit and healthy isn’t about being the skinniest person in the room, and I sad to say that it took my 25 years to fully understand that. It also took me almost as long to accept that I wasn’t actually that big in the grand scheme of sizes. I’m 160cm (5’3) and weigh anywhere from 52-56kg. That’s tiny. Practically minuscule to some. Jesus. Hell, I probably weigh more than that, but it is very likely that some of it is muscle. See, when I ‘found my groove’, I trained. I started to get myself out of a rut and start learning things my way. So even if I took longer than others, and didn’t quite follow a set path, I worked at it. I started to build up more muscle, I started to train with people, I got myself some more gear, and people started to help me and take me seriously. But I had to help myself first.

It didn’t quite hit me until someone called me ‘tank’. Someone thought I was strong. And not some random either, someone who was training with me. Me. Strong. And that felt so much better than someone saying I was skinny. The idea of ‘skinny’ makes you feel small and like you fit in with society. ‘Strong’ makes you feel capable, dependable, reliable, and I like the idea of those so much better. I carry things. I open jars. I move heavy stuff. I am useful, and that, if nothing else, is really what every human wants to be.

 

Creating ‘activewear’ or exercise clothing can be daunting. I wasn’t very experience with sewing lycra or much stretchy stuff before this. And this stuff had to work. It had to work hard and be able to take the punishment. I work my lower body hard sometimes and have popped seams on leggings and ripped open tights before. Yes, I can repair them, but it is nice to be able to make a good quality product the first time around. And yes, I sew my SEAMS with a zigzag stitch. Unlike all you straight-stitch-using heathens. I do this for most, if not all, fabrics. Deal.

 

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#movement #dance #fitspo Black supplex shorts with wide elastic waistband

I am a dancer. I always will be. But grace and movement are allowed to be associated with strength and power – being strong isn’t about being muscular and beefed up. Different workouts give you different muscle types, and the types I had founded in my youth lean themselves very well to my newfound exercise methods.

This was the second time I was working with supplex. The shorts below were the first. Supplex is awesome. Ridiculous stretch capacity, hardworking fabric, and surprisingly easy to sew. Pressed well, cut well, sewed and turned out neatly. Very pleased with this. I need to fix up the waistband elastic though, as it isn’t as secure as I would like it to be. But these turned out great. Cheaper than the $60 NIKE ones I saw H.Bean wearing sometime back.

 

I have to come accept that it is OK to say that I am a circus person. A circus performer even. I hoop. I do acro-balance. I also do fire. I can paint faces, make balloon hearts, and appreciate the art of juggling (even though learning it holds no appeal). I am allowed to belong to this community. I train in my own way and I am not as fit or strong as many others around me, but that is OK. I am still fit, and healthy, and yes, strong.

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#hoop #circus #galaxy Acrylic paintwork on black supplex shorts

Oh my god, galaxy. Can this trend die already? I am fed up. Really fun to paint though. This was my first foray into supplex, but not into galaxy painting. Supplex is a high density, stretch lycra-type fabric. It is synthetic and feels cool to the touch, but is much thicker and has a denser weave than standard lycra. Sews like a dream. These have a fold-over waistband, and I am way more pleased with how this turned out than the elastic waistband. And the paint is super easy. 5 colours, bit of glitter, and hey presto, galaxy. There’s a matching cotton top. 3/4 sleeves. Nuff said – it was for a small performance. Don’t judge me!

 

I still look at other people and feel down – my ridiculously skilled and disciplined friends, my training buddies, random people I meet, hell even dudes on Tinder – but the important thing is that I can pick myself up now, and find my own way to keep fit. Even if it’s slow or disjointed, at least I’m moving. And to me, that is most important.

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#stretching #lunge #fitspo Orange/black stripe lycra with black lycra lining and wide elastic waistband.

Gah. Does my butt look big in this? Yes. Yes, it does. But that’s cool. This print is the bomb. Got a huge remnant roll on sale and still have so much left. This is standard weight 2-way stretch lycra, and I lined with simple 2-way black stretch lycra – that’s what the cuff bits are – I don’t like those. This also has an elastic waistband, though it seems to be holding out more. The lycra, unlike the supplex, does not squeeze me in as much so my belly flops around; but it is super skintight and feels like a compression suit which is awesome for exercise.

 

So after all that, who do I tag for #fitspo or #fitspiration – my friends and fellow circus people inspire me constantly; they motivate me to try things and be creative. But really, I’d tag #fitspo on myself. Me. Small, confused, barely keeping it together sometimes, and brimming with potential energy. Because when I achieve something, however small a fitness goal it may be for someone else, I amaze myself. I continue to be awed and inspired by what I can achieve, and if I can keep achieving and feeling that awesome positivity, then hell, son, I’m going to keep trying.

Yeah, it’s a bit pretentious, but hey, haven’t you heard? You’re allowed to like yourself now. Modern times and shit. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t expect someone else to.

 

Photos: Karen De Lara – @k.dela

Location: Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Fabric: The Remnant Warehouse

 

Note: I’m trying a new thing with how I describe the clothes I’ve made. I like to include some stories with my posts but this one may have gotten out of hand :/ I am not sure if this style is going to stay – it depends on how I am feeling at the time.

Follow me on Instagram: @islandnativelife | @anushkawikramanayake

COSPLAY, DIY, FULL SCALE

FULL SCALE #3: [COSPLAY] – Winter Soldier

One week ago (it’s still Sunday right now!) I went to the last day of SUPANOVA Sydney 2016. I’ve been to SUPANOVA before – back in ’08 – but never in costume and never as a proper nerd/geek. I’m not a high-intensity super nerd, nor am I a fully fledged comic book geek. But I am invested in my fandoms, and currently I am very invested in both the MCU and ‘Stucky’ (I do not care what you say, Stucky is awesome).

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I like making things and I have experience making costumes, and when my friend Sophie asked me to accompany her to SUPANOVA, I decided why not. I took forever to choose a costume and then it hit me. I hate talking to people, I like being menacing, and this costume wouldn’t need any race-bending – not like much skin was being shown anyway. As far as cosplay goes, this one’s very modest.

So, after much blood (yes, I cut my finger), sweat (not so much, it is winter after all), and tears (only in my mind), I give you Rule 63 Winter Soldier. Yes, Winter Soldier. Not Bucky Barnes. As much as I like Bucky, Zimniy Soldat allowed me to glare and people and not talk to them.

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Rule 63 Winter Soldier, SUPANOVA Sydney 2016

*Rule 63: the rule that for whatever the character, there exists an opposite gender variant.

**That shield is not mine – it belongs to Action Reaction Entertainment.

OK. Now let’s get real crafting nerdy. I’m going to break this down into parts to properly explain how things were made. I don’t have photos of the individual bits sorry.

JACKET: I bought this at Vinnies for like $12 and it was off-white with some blue patches. Kinda cool actually, and it’s denim which gives it the nice structural shape and good rough texture. It took 1.5 cans of spray paint to get it black.

MASK: This is a standard plastic white face mask from the dollar store. Sprayed black, cut in half and had the upper half glued onto the lower half. The neck portion is a piece of ribbed lycra sewn into a tube and then glued to the inside of the mask. Need to add air-holes – was a bit hard to breathe.

ARM: Right, the arm. Before spraying the jacket, I tried it on, traced out the arm pattern, cried a bit internally (because I hate ‘ruining’ clothes) and cut it off. Then I painted it silver (paint + sponge), and attached two loops of elastic (1 inch wide). This is important – they loop around my chest and shoulder to hold the arm in place and to give me some support. They get quite constricting after awhile so I may have to adjust it for future cons.

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Metal arm progress. #firstevercosplay

 

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Rule 63 Winter Soldier Arm Close-up, SUPANOVA Sydney 2016

The metal plating is actual metal. Sheet Aluminium (Bunnings) and contact adhesive – that stuff is GOLD. I traced out the design on paper, drew it onto the metal and used tin snips to cut them out. Sheet aluminium is fairly flexible so it curves and bends easily and can be made to hold a shape. What’s hard is clamping it in place for drying. Lucky I had Sophie to help bend this into shape and glue it on. Once the plates were on, I filled the gaps with smaller plates, repainted the gaps with silver paint and whacked a great big red star on. The star’s too high and the plates aren’t quite right but I’m happy with how it turned out.

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This is a long post. I also made Sophie’s costume for SUPANOVA – my #firstevercosplaycommission ! She chose Asuna from Sword Art Online (SAO), and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

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Asuna, Sword Art Online (SAO), SUPANOVA Sydney 2016

*Sophie made the sword.

Another breakdown. This costume was tough. None of the parts were standard so it needed some creative fiddling.

SKIRT: This was the easiest. That said, I hate box pleats. They are awful and a pain but look really cute. This has an elastic waistband and is very simple.

CAPE-DRESS-GADGET: Lord. Why. The lower cape is a simple half-circle. The rest was cut as one piece and that actually worked out well. It ended up super tight due to the super long zip, but it balanced out with the room around the neck. The awkward shape of the bottom was complicated and bias-ing this edge was a nightmare. Sophie also drew the pretty silver designs because at 3am, I was not having it.

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Asuna progress 1. #firstevercosplaycommission

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Asuna progress 2. #firstevercosplaycommission

SOCKS: They’re socks. I sewed some ribbon on. Cute.

SHOULDER STRAP GADGETS: These were cut out of interfacing, ironed down onto the back of the red fabric, and then cut out. They have gold stitching on the edges which isn’t visible here.

BELT: It’s a belt. A long piece of white with silver bias along either side.

GARTER: You can’t see it, but I made a very simple yet successful garter to hold up the socks. You can get garter clips and lingerie elastic quite easily in most fabric stores, and the soft lace we got for the top was stretchy and comfortable.

This was a big success for me. I am pleased, Sophie is pleased, and many many people at the expo loved it and took pictures! 😀

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Long blog. Here are some more pictures from SUPANOVA. I had an amazing time and am hoping to update the Winter Soldier costume for Oz Comic Con in September. If any of you show up, look for me!

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Totoro & Me, SUPANOVA Sydney 2016

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Captain America, Age of Ultron, SUPANOVA Sydney 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a huge Totoro fan. This was a terrible Totoro, but at least he was friendly.

This is dude has got to be the cutest Cap ever. Apparently, he bought the costume and had it altered to fit. Really friendly, very adorable. Can’t seem to find him on Instagram to tag him. 🙁

 

So. A very long post. Thanks for getting to the end. Leave some comments, and let me know what you think.

 

Photos by me and Sophie. Or Sophie and I. Whatever. Deal.

Follow me on instagram: @islandnativelife

Follow Sophie on instagram: @makalusophie

CLOTHING, DIY, FULL SCALE

FULL SCALE #2: Kimono Cool

I like kimono cover-ups. Not the traditional Japanese clothing, but the festival fashion spawned summer cardigan thing. They are super comfortable.

I’m not one for runway trends and season must-haves. I make a lot of my more interesting clothes so my wardrobe is definitely not going to have many super polished, professionally made stuff. But kimonos are legit cool. And 1970s inspired laid-back chic is very appropriate for Australian summer. And apparently bang on trend.

They are also shockingly simple to make. Two simple folds, three major cuts, seam, hem, press, and embellish. Done. Half an hour.

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The first kimono I made only has fringe embellishing on the sleeves because I didn’t buy enough. But this fabric is a beautiful corded chiffon with an amazing black and white tropical fern print so yeah.

The scariest part was opening up the front, but once that was done, everything else was easy. This is also some fairly neat sewing on my part. The seams and hems are very tidy and well pressed. They are still laying flat over a year on from making, and nothing is coming apart.

 

There’s something about floaty sleeves and tropical prints that is uplifting.

I cannot remember which of these came next but this one is a long kimono – it goes down nearly to my knees if you count the fringe. It also has fully fringed edges, meaning both sleeves and bottom hem. Another light chiffon fabric, the print is what caught my eye. The colours and starbursts are exciting and the contrast fringe really pulls it all together.

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This one is my second favourite, though I really shouldn’t love one piece more than another. This is a shorter kimono in a beautiful ocean blue silk chiffon. The tropical print once again makes me happy, and the odd, stiffer fringe
is an interesting detail. I seem to pick some weird colours when I really want a contrast. But this works well, and the silk chiffon is cool to wear in the summer heat. Warning: crushes easily. See pic.

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This last one is more recent. Made at the end of last year, it is free of embellishments, allowing the gorgeous print to stand out. Another chiffon, this kimono is butterfly sleeved, which gives it that beautiful drape when it sits. The colours too are incredible, and the ‘jungle roar’ style print makes me happy.

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So yeah, kimonos. Heaps cool, heaps comfy, and heaps easy to make. Make heaps. Stay cool.

 

 

Photos by Karen De Lara: instagram.com/k.dela