Thursday, March 31, 2011

March progress and March progress

I had planned to be in good standing with my projects this week, but then my job totally crashed everything. Past few weeks have been pretty unstable. I've had to spend extra hours at work, which had an effect on my costumes. And it seems that the uncertainty is going to continue few more. I pushed our Jedi costumes in the back of the closet and tried to spend free hours I had finishing the backpacks for Snowtroopers. To be honest, they are really killing me. Tampere Kuplii is just weeks away and some parts that I thought would work on them didn't live up to expectations. Now I need to come up with a plan B and at the moment I have no idea what it could be... Nyaaa!

But something I was able to do considering Snowtroopers and their first public appearance. That thing was a flag. We are not going to have rifles or any sort of weaponry what so ever with us. The blasters we left to be nice crafting project for lazy summer days. Instead we are going to roll with Empire emblem on a stick. The base of the flag is just regular cotton and the paint is basic white wall paint. I tried to make the logo look worn out and messy, but didn't quite achieve the look I was going after. I need to wear out the emblem maybe by scraping it with something and washing the color out. Easily portable stick has been found and is waiting for minor alterations. I'm going to paint collapsible fissing rod black and make some security attachments.

Somehow I squeezed sewing in my schedule, so I was able to do something with March also. The jacket is fully appliquéd and the pants are finally done. Last year I already worked with the accessories; the pendant and the “bell” on the tip of the hood. Even if they are almost done, I think I’ll redo the pendant. I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but now that I compare the proportions of the jacket to the pendant, it’s just way too small! Gladly it’s pretty fast to build, so that is least of my worries. Bigger one is the hood, for which I have made nothing more than a trial pattern.

I still need to check that the tips of the silhouettes are sharp.

Super-skinny pants. I haven't had courage to test if I can sit on them or not...

I think that it will be safest to leave the hood construction after Tampere Kuplii, if we anyhow manage to survive it. I was happy to notice that the weather could be quite nice! We might not look like we actually have crawled through a slushy battlefield afterwards.

Edit: Things happen, so I'm back to business with the backpacks! Esa took the parts I was hesitant about and made them work. Now I'm sure there is a chance that the costumes will be ready in time, hopefully even before the eve of Kuplii!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Third moment uploaded

After a long silence Sasori & Deidara moments number 3 is finally out and viewable on Youtube. I will also announce that there will be less ninjas in the future. We have few ideas for the moments but the Akatsuki interviews have been shelved, for now.

-yoki out

Comic relief!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Upcoming cosplay from March Story

We got our costume plans for the summer conventions somewhat cleared last weekend. It seems that instead of Luminara and Barriss we are going solo to Bakacon. Yoki has been growing her hair out for Snufkin and I know she is dying to wear the costume again, so it’s Snufkin for Yoki! Now that I actually need to do a single cosplay I thought it would be good time to reveal my project, which I started last autumn as a time killer. I have done a lot for the costume and also have featured the making process here many times without giving series or character information out.

The character I’ve been working on is March from March Story. March Story is written and drawn by Koreans, but in my books it’s manga. The comic was first published in Sunday GX and first volume was released by VIZ last autumn. I’m looking forward April, because the second volume should be out then. I think March Story is one of the few comics I have fallen crazily in love with. Cosplay-wise it’s also the only costume I’m making based on a character which might or might not be recognized by anyone at all. The visual side of the manga is great, but the story is also good! If you are interested in tragic stories spiced with humor, carnivals and bloody and thorny things I think you should check the series out!

Cover of the first volume of March Story.

We laughed with Yoki some time ago, that our cosplays are rather monochromatic and March is no exception. It’s also bit challenging to do a costume based on only few colored covers and panels, which vary rather much. But then again, that’s the fun of it too! I’m now working on the jacket, which is coming together nicely. I’m doing the black shapes by appliquéing them. Only thing I’m feeling bit insecure is patterning the crazy hood. I’m not good with hoods. I tried to avoid them while back at school and now I’m feeling the consequences of not paying attention to them.

I’m going to make a better update from the costume in a week. By then I hope I have solved the problems with the silly hood. The earlier posts featuring this costume includes information about how I striped the pants, constructed the suitcase and did the buckles for colonial shoes.

In the convention post I stated that Snufkin and March have similarities. Don’t they?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Luminara Unduli, the knee buster

I recently started one of this year’s big projects, which is Luminara’s robe. It’s not a big project only because of its size, but also in the way I’m going to execute it. I thought that I would now, after making some progress clear out why the “Project Luminara” is big and why it got a slightly barbaric nickname.

I’ve wrote about searching right fabrics for our Jedi duo’s robes some time ago. While with Barriss I got really close to what I was looking for, the selections in fabric stores didn’t fill the requirements of what I visualized to be the correct or acceptable material for Luminara. And I went through few of them in the bigger cities in Southern Finland. In the end I chose wool flannel, because it seemed like a good bargain and the brown was subtle enough to act as a background for the upcoming pattern.

First try out with the possible construction modeled on a mannequin.

The original robe material for the movies seems like it was woven. I never thought weaving it as an option, if anyone wonders. I’m not that good with looms or that crazy. Printing was the first option from the start. My dear home town doesn’t have good craft store, so it was time to travel, again.

I went to visit Yoki on my free days, found a shop I was looking for and fell in love a little. It had like… everything! And the staff was really helpful. It’s been years from my last bigger scale printing experience, so I happily took notes from professionals. I ended up dragging along three kilos of printing emulsion next to smaller containers of black pigment and pearl cover paste in plain and blue for Barriss’ cape. No casualties on this stage yet, if sore neck is not included.

No casualties occurred when I started to cut the templates for the print either. I was not going to use a screen or a stencil; instead I cut wormy and bulky pieces out from clear plastic film (Thank you for clearing the word out, Batsy!). These pieces I placed randomly on the fabric to create the pattern. Compared to screen printing, I chose this slightly slower method, because I can skip the screen washing and as long as I’m able to keep the printing space prepared, I can work when ever I feel like it. When the tools you are working with is the fabric print and a piece of foam it’s really quick to pull them out, work a while and then be going. For example, one morning I arranged the plastic pieces on the fabric while I waited my eye liner to dry. Small progress is progress still.

The printing is the brutal knee buster! I work on the floor, because my sewing table is not nearly big enough for five meters of fabric. If I want to stand up, I’ll need to stretch for few minutes before my left knee feels like cooperating. Either the working posture is horrible or I’m just getting old.

I calculated that with this speed and overlapping projects I’m ready in two weeks with the printing. Then I’m going to dye the whole fabric to make it darker and possibly if I feel like it, create more texture to the robe with needle felting. Big project is big. And I’m wearing a support bandage on my knee.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

There is no spring without Snufkin

Snufkin starts his journey usually before the first snow fall. One year was different. Moomintroll wished that his best friend would wait until the Moomin family had fallen asleep for the winter months. Snufkin respected the wish. His road had vanished under thick snow drifts, but he didn't feel sorry. He didn't look back. Traveler only sees the adventures lying ahead.

"Sleep well and do not worry. At the first day of Spring, I am here with you again."

We had a small photoshoot last weekend and the weather was warm (-7°C)! I could actually stand there without my nose falling off or my fingers turning into icicles. Couldn't say the same while we were wearing the troopers.

There will be a new photoshoot later this spring, maybe even a new video. I do not promise anything though, since Hiron suffers from serious cosplay frenzy (points at the convention list) and I have my studies.

-yoki out

Mayday! Snow in the shoe!