Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Preview of Yoki's original costume design

Since my costumes are ready and packed away for Frostbite, the last two weekends we have focused on Yoki’s original character and her costume design. Fuyu Jaw're, the character Yoki chose is from the same storyverse as Sio Imano, a character she dressed as at last year’s Tracon and Neva Imano introduced at Desucon.

Yoki had a clear vision of the costume and the materials when she started the project. Everything had to be “real” looking, in sense on natural materials and no shortcut fastenings with Velcro. When we started to draft out the costume, it felt like making and planning a stage costume rather than a cosplay one. But naturally when there is no character sheet with visual appearance, it had to be created through a back story, personality and values.

Because Yoki has busy, busy study schedule before Frostbite, I'm writing this post from the costume construction on her behalf.

The costume Yoki had created in her mind has actually three to four layers, depending on how they are counted; an under suit with leather tabard, a full length robe, a belt with chain accessories and a capelet with a high collar. The components could be worn in different combinations, like tabard over the robe or the under suit with capelet etc.

The robe is drawn based on the pattern we made for our Snowtrooper dusters with few adjustments. The hem is long with an opening over the left leg. The sleeves are wider and few centimeters longer. The bust is the same, but it fastens with small buckles instead of Velcro. The material is off-white linen with pale blue viscose lining.

The capelet was drawn over basic pattern with two folds on the back. It’s made from dark blue velvet, blue viscose lining with silver pleather trimmings. The capelet fastens with similar buckles as the robe.

The belt has satin band with a metal ring on as a decoration and lacing on the back. The belt is supported with two layers of iron-on interfacing and plastic boning next to the eyelets.

The under suit is just a basic, sleeveless top with two piece “skirt” from dark grey linen. The skirt part is constructed from two separate rectangular shapes, front and back, which attach to each others with small buttons forming one sophisticated loincloth.


The tabard is made from silver fake leather with fabric interfacing and viscose lining. The front is constructed from over 30 individual strips. On the back is lacing with plastic boning. Connecting the front and the back is three bands of pleather on each side.  

The wig is silver grey, almost waist length beauty. It doesn’t need styling more than combing, some balsam spray to keep it from tangling and hairspray to set everything so that Yoki won’t have a mental breakdown with all the hovering hair strands.

The base make-up is rather basic; foundation, fixing powder, eye shadow, mascara and eye liner. The turquoise triangles on the temples were painted with Grimas water make-up and fixed with transparent powder. The eyebrows were our major concern. We were worried that we couldn’t get them light enough to match the wig. We thought of using the glue stick- acrylic paint method. because Yoki’s eyebrows are dark. But we had to give up the idea, because we wanted to keep the look natural.

In the end we went with white khol, which actually worked really well. Even if the real color is slightly visible, it fits to the darker shades on the wig. Or then we just happened to have a suitable lighting. At Frostbite the finishing touch will be turquoise contact lenses, which are the same brand as my green ones. So another lens color review coming next month with hopefully loads of photos from the costumes and from Frostbite in general!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New costume completed for Desucon Frostbite

As I stated earlier, I have a new costume to debut on Desucon Frostbite. I was hesitant to reveal it, since first time in my cosplay history I chose to order a prop instead of making one and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get it. It was nerve-racking to wait for the shipment. I don’t know how people do it. I had to check the site every day twice for any new information on the shipment schedule.

My long wait, three weeks of agonizing anticipation finally paid off last week, when Yoki claimed the packet from the post office. Yoki did it, because it was actually ordered by her as a Cristmas present for me. Three words: best present ever!

Before I reveal the character, let’s play a little game. I bet this is an easy one, but I’ll give it a go. I will list photos below from props or garments the character has. Feel free to quess who it might be.

The shoes for the character are actually the same I'm going to use for Alicia. Originally I bought them for flee market without any particular character in mind.

The wallet is made from scrap pleather I had. The transparent plastic is something that can be used over tablecloths or in make-up pouches. We have used it for making stencils.

It's a fez. I bet I have mentioned that I love making hats, so I just couldn't resist. The fez is made from iron-on fiber fabric, batting, black lining and burgundy twill.

And this is my present! Big thanks to Yoki! The Eleventh Doctor's sonic screwdriver from Forbidden Planet.

The character is the Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who series as a female. Naturally, because even if there is some similarity between me and ever so intriguing Matt Smith, I really can't say that I look like him. Someday I might try to get Yoki to portray the Tenth, because the similarity between her and David Tennant is most certainly there

Also a female version gave me rather free hands for redesigning the Doctor's outfit. I wanted to keep the costume bit childish and fun, but also smart.

The jacket is waist length with shoulder patches. The shirt is rather regular dress shirt I made based on a basic shirt pattern. The fabric is light pink with burgundy pin stripes. It was the closest I could find to the original. The skirt is graphite grey wool mix with half circle, over-knee pattern. The bow tie I made from some left over cotton satin I had and the suspenders I bought from local department store.

The wig is few years old. I just haven't had chance to wear it yet. I wanted to keep the hair style short and tomboyish, even if my first option was long and curly. Somehow the short hair seemed to resonate more the feel of the character. With long hair the outcome was too lady-like and mature.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Desucon Frostbite within sight

First convention of the year 2013 is approaching steadily. Desucon Frostbite will be held at Sibelius Hall, Lahti for the second time in mid-February. We are going to recycle a bit and have two new costumes to debut. Even if our blog have hibernated through these cold winter months, we have been productive at our workroom!

First costumes are from Moomin TV series. Yoki will wear Snufkin, which dates back to 2008 and I’m going with my "new" Alicia costume. I’m currently adding some wefts to the wig to make it fuller and slightly longer. That is actually the only update the costumes need.

The second costumes are from different sources. Yoki is crafting an original character costume from her stories with white robe and blue capelet. She will also be wearing a white wig, her ultimate pet peeve. Thanks to my hoarding abilities, we had a perfect color and style on our storage for the costume. There is still work ahead with the undergarment, but I'm quite confident that everything will be ready in time.

I'm still not sure how my second costume will turn out or rather if I get one important component in time, so I'm going to get back to that later. But if everything goes well, the outfit will be cool!

Even if Yoki’s costume is still under construction, we were able to fit the robe. The pattern for the robe is altered based on our Snowtrooper dusters, only with different cut on the front and slightly wider sleeves. Yoki put on the robe and then suddenly… cosplay.

We both burst into laughter. With her new haircut Yoki looked exactly like a character from a comic book we’ve had for ages! Well, for twenty years or so. We had to dig up the comic for comparison. Does anyone else have weird moments with accidental cosplay?