Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For the love of instructions

I stumbled on this thread at forums. "Public cosplay do's and dont's?", started by Amanita contains good points for beginners, but also for "seniors". Convention season has started, so I think this is a good time to recall and think over these issues. Events usually take place in locations where there are outsiders and we all like to give a nice impression as cosplayers, right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

All the colour!

Oh yeah, it’s not even June yet and we have rather many finished items for our cosplays! It's really refreshing to be ahead of the schedule. Usually we have made the last, finishing touches to our costumes minutes before heading to a con. Even if things are looking good now, I think I’ll go with the presumption that we will stretch the completion to the last day as always. But I don’t really care. I enjoy working on these current costumes.

Why? Because I can use my expertise and imagination with them. The great thing about Joxter and Muddler is that we can lean on many sources. More than copying the appearance of the characters from the animated series, I use them as inspiration. Usually we try to copy the design of the character as exact as we can. With these Moomin characters there is a lot more “feel” to them than any other costumes we have done. Using Tove’s writing and all the visual sources available we try to bring them to life in a way which would honour the original work, but also satisfy us as fans and me as a costume creator.

When we were searching for the fabrics we didn’t only look based on colour, but also feel and texture. For us Moomin world is all about nature, so we chose only natural materials from cotton and linen to wool. These materials would also be easy to weather to suit the mobile and carefree lifestyle Joxter and Muddler have. Because Moomin world isn’t modern, I used old folk clothes as inspiration for the designs on the clothes. Most of the details aren’t visible, like Muddler shirt which I patterned based on type of a peasant shirt and the robe attachment on Joxter pants. It just matters that they exist, because it brings more “real” to the characters.

Here are some real and almost ready stuff. Next I’m going to start dyeing and weathering and Yoki will start knitting Muddler’s scarf. We also need to solve the footwear issue as soon as possible.

Radioactive hat.

The wig is at the moment cutted. Finishing touches and styling lacks.

Shirt from linen for Muddler.

Muddler's leg warmers in action.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back in business

First things first… All the English readers this question is for you! Is it possible to eat a chocolate covered waffle with strawberries whole in one sitting by yourself? We thought that we have to try them while in London and possibly out of greed and gluttony bought one for each. That shall never happen again, trust me on that. It was really good, but not in big portions. So, are they meant to be shared? Next time we are going to split one and enjoy them with delight.

Now, back to business!

Because our first duo’s costumes are looking quite good, I think I can reveal that we are going to be Joxter (Juksu suomeksi, Joxteren på svenska) and Muddler (Hosuli suomeksi, Rådd-djuret på svenska) from Moomin in some summery convention. Ha-ha, I must say. We moved the completion of Snowtroopers to the fall because they would be hot to wear in summertime. Instead we are going to wrap ourselves in wool, leather, thick cotton and multiple layers of clothing. No mask is the best improvement I can think of.

Here are some pictures from the progress. The most interesting parts including Muddler’s “shoes” and headpiece are still under planning, but I think they’ll start to take form during this week. The real problem we are facing with these guys are their lack of carriage. We can’t possibly drag along a giant tin can, so we need to think something else. I suggested to Yoki, that she could carry a paint bucket, which would actually be a purse. We are still going trough Tove’s cartoon strips and books in hopes of finding some references. Hope we bump into something which would solve our problem. Moomin fans, suggestions are welcome.

Highly recommend!

Straigtening project for Joxter's wig.

Yoki collecting reference pictures.

Joxter's hat in the making.

Yoki knitting Muddler's leg warmers.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Costumes for summer 2010 concluded

During the weekend we discussed about our costume plans for the summer. We decided to put our Snowtrooper costumes aside for the spring and work on them in summer. I’m relieved about that. First reason for my relief is that we won’t suffer horrible heatstroke. The Snowtrooper costume, with helmet and all equals HOT. Second one is purely construction related. In summer we can work outside. I think Yoki is still finding foam dust floating in her room and we worked with the foam over a month ago. Third is that we would be in a terrible hurry and I want to make the costumes perfect before taking them to public. Looking at our schedules for the next three months, the process would be scattered here and there. And for this costume its bad, with all the different requirements for space and materials. We noticed that
it’s lot easier to work continually for two weeks than try to achieve something during the weekend, then put everything aside to take them out and start over the next weekend. According our current planning, the Snowtrooper duo will be debuted next autumn.

With this long explanation and convincing arguments, I think we are now justified to start working on new costumes, yes? Yes! We have a lift off!

Because our plans for conventions are still wide open, we chose two duos to be made. It might sound weird that instead of one and a half costume we have now four. But these ones don’t include plastic sheets or spray paint fumes. It’s mainly sewing, which sounds great to me. I have the structure and pattern plans almost done. And this gets better. We have the wigs ready for every costume, th
anks to my collector soul! They need to be styled, but we don’t need to see the effort of finding nice wigs and use hilarious amount of money on them. The hardest part is finding shoes. Lately I have been really keen of observing the shoes used in cosplay here in Finland. I think having believable shoes for the character is one of those finishing touches beside things like cosmetic contact lenses… which are also on their way to the nearest post office.

I fight the urge to reveal our complete plans. I need to have some result before I can do that, like some pieces of clothing. But I dare to give some info and I’m actually quite sure that we’re going to finish these guys easily for the summer cons. Yes, guys. Yoki didn’t get to show her feminity still. One duo is actually listed on my earlier post. The second duo is from an older series and it’s going to be a nice splash of colour for our monotonic costume history. There is actually no plain black or white clothing on either person from the duo.

The result of spontaneous material shopping.

We have already collected some materials for our colourful duo. I have cut almost all main pieces for the clothes, while Yoki has started the knitting project. But the real work starts after Easter. We are going to jump on a plane and get a head start to spring, eat a lot of (English) chocolate and enjoy the holidays! Happy Easter everybody!