Updates and the American Sewing Expo

I realized upon scrolling through recent posts that I haven’t done a costume update in quite a while, mostly because there hasn’t been a whole lot about which to update. For example, I hosted a prospective grad student back in March, at which point I’d been working on Jocasta for 3 months. Last week this student asked me about the costume, and of course, it’s still not done!! BUT! I am happy to report that I’m about 85-90% of the way through the ansata, after which I just have to re-interface, line, and bind the tabards. Then the costume will be done!

Then I just have to make a pouch.

And some librarian tools.

And a lightsabre.

And a holocron.

And then figure out what I’m going to do about my hair. (Does “clown grease paint” sound a little iffy to anyone else?)

…erm, yes. I do have some Pikachu progress, but unfortunately only one picture to show for it:

IMG_1567 (533x800)^Pants and top, with an old bridesmaid’s dress bodice standing in for the actual bodice for now. I’m planning to disassemble it and use it for pattern pieces because it’s just about the right size and shape. Who says you’ll never use your bridesmaid dresses again?

I’ve lost count of the number of fabrics I’ve dyed for this cosplay. Actually, no, I haven’t. It’s 3. Which is a lot fewer than it feels like! In addition to dyeing the yellow fabric pictured above to make it a bit more golden/orange, I also dyed dupioni silk AND DID NOT DESTROY IT! Seriously, I’m considering this a huge accomplishment. And then I darkened some basic cotton for the chrysanthemum kanzashi I’ll be making for the hairpiece. I’m also pseudo-stenciling flowers onto another fabric for the skirt-thing and gauntlets.

Short version: None of the fabrics needed for this costume exists in pure form in the natural world. I’m having the same problem finding stuff for Raava. Do they not make white upholstery fabric?

*mental montage of kids, dogs, liquid spills, new-blue-jean dye stains. . .*

Oh. I see your point.

On a different note, I visited the American Sewing Expo today! It was a little underwhelming, actually, probably because 1) the last dealer hall I was in was GenCon’s (56000+ attendees, remember?), and 2) I didn’t attend any seminars but mostly roamed the dealer hall and heckled Karmada, who was giving panels and serving as one of their “costume experts.” Because ASE had a focus on costumes this year, I went in my lolita, and then spent the day explaining that I wasn’t actually in a costume per se, or dressed as a specific character, but was actually wearing a Japanese street fashion. I got a lot of really nice comments on it — people especially liked the kanzashi — my favorite of which was from a woman at the McCall booth who said she’d recently been to Harajuku in Japan and had seen girls dressed in the exact same style. Yay, I’m doing it right!

I also met Andrea Schewe, who designs patterns for Simplicty. She was really nice and very enthusiastic about costuming (yay!), and also kind of looked like Meryl Streep (bonus points!). She’s also responsible for the kimono pattern (Sim 4080) I used for my lolita top. As I told her, and several other people, I’m still enamored of the awesome sleeve-lining technique in that pattern, which I never could have come up with on my own. Amusingly, when I told this to the people at the Simplicity booth, they were surprised, and pleased, that I’d managed to figure it out — apparently they get “help!” calls all the time about that part of the pattern. 😛 I don’t usually say this, but… trust the pattern, everyone! It will all come out well in the end!

In theory.

Not a lot else to report. As one of the guests, Karmada got to set up a series of cosplays in their display area; every outfit but the black one with the burgundy bodice is hers:

Photo by LunaLadyofLight Productions

Photo by LunaLadyofLight Productions

At far left are her and her cosplay partner’s World Cosplay Summit costumes from this past year, Watanuki and Kohane from XXXholic (yes, someone did name a manga series XXXholic. No idea. . .) Anyway, shiny kimono-y goodness!

And now, I’m going to put on Mulan and stitch some more ansata. Which reminds me: who’s excited for the premiere of Star Wars Rebels?? Meeeeeeeeeee!

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