Sunday, January 12, 2014

The year is 2014. The place: Cosplay workshop, naturally

When year 2013 was almost over I thought of writing an overview of our cosplay year, but then the busy schedule at work with normal Christmas hassle got in the way. For me 2013 was precious with Eurocosplay qualifiers and finals, but I also had quite productive year altogether.

I made four new costumes, finished and debuted two that I had started the year before, competed solo for the second time in my life and enjoyed the hobby more than ever. Yoki crafted two costumes based on her original designs, competed in an original creation class and was picked for Hall cosplay competition, had to make some sacrifices to cosplay goddesses in the form of hair and varied one of her previous costume designs for two different events.

Year 2014 seems to start with a nice buzz. The first convention is closing in and for us that is Desucon Frostbite at Lahti. We are attending only on Saturday and Sunday and will bring two costumes each.

I have been making a costume from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and will hopefully finish that for Saturday. Yoki is still pondering which costume to choose.

On Sunday I was thinking of wearing Amira with one new, major addition… You can’t imagine how happy I am about this… I’m going to have Karluk portrayed by Yoki!

Amira is a character who can support herself just fine, but Karluk being her counterpart and companion I thought it would be ideal to have him around. I carefully introduced the idea to Yoki, saying that I would make the costume myself and she wouldn’t need to worry about that at all. Other that wearing three layers of clothing... and contact lenses, which she just simply hates… But she agreed and I’ve been making Karluk’s attire from the back cover of the second manga issue for few weeks now.

I’ve enjoyed the sewing process a lot! Making Karluk’s costume really brings back memories from Amira, because the materials and some of the techniques I use are pretty much the same. With Karluk I’m making less by hand, but will embroider details on the under shirts and the hat. I’m trying to keep the embroidery styles different, since Amira and Karluk are from different regions. The designs on Amira’s clothes are more or less formed from lines. For Karluk I’m using organic designs and shapes filled with color.

With Karluk I’m also using my freedom as a costume maker to alter and to interpret the costume design. There aren’t many colored illustrations of Karluk and I think the cover art I’m using is the most reliable one there is. I’m combining the clothing details from the chapters and also historical aspects to create the set.

The biggest issue was finding green wool(ish) fabric for the outer robe, chapan. It felt like no one has middle blue or green wool this winter. Gladly one old corner store with its ancient fabric collections saved us! The stripes I sewed from blue and red wool with white yarn details. It took me about three evenings to make the jacket, which was surprising since I thought the decorations would take forever. I think the projects last year really had a positive impact on my sewing technique!

The under garments were the first to complete. I made trousers and an undershirt from linen with embroidered collar. Then I made the long tunic with pin-tuck panels on the edges and on the cuffs. The tunic I made from fine wool mix with nice, silky finish.

The hat is also on its way. I’ve actually made one hat already, which was part of my performance at London Comic Con. Sadly, it wasn’t the style needed so I ended up making a new one. Which is great, because I really do love hats!

Right now I struggle with finding a suitable wig for Karluk. If I can’t find one soon, I’m probably going to dye one from my collections. But next to that and the boots I have under construction, the costume looks quite good!

Death and Karluk are the first new costumes of the year. I have few ideas for upcoming projects and hopefully will debut them both this summer. For the fall we have a pair cosplay coming up from Yoki’s Varjella. I also would like to finish a project I’ve been dragging with me for almost three years now…

Finally, I would like to wish you, my fellow hobbyists a great and productive year 2014!

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