Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cosplay is a bang, un!

Cosplay frenzy has taken over me once again! And it’s pretty nostalgic frenzy, too! It all started a week ago, when I realized that there was only three weeks until Cosvision and I had two costumes under construction that I might not be able to finish in time. And they would be too “big” to transport by stuffing them into one suitcase. So, I kind of started a new costume… But this character I’ve already cosplayed and I think he was actually one of the reasons why I got hooked to this hobby.

Of course he is Deidara! We made Akatsuki outfits for Sasori and Deidara as our second costumes in 2007. In 2010 I updated the undergarments and we had a small photoshoot. Then we have all the videos we made dressed as the characters on our Youtube account.

After the first costumes back in 2007, I considered making the flashback version of Deidara. The idea got pushed back, probably because it would’ve been solo cosplay as Sasori’s "camouflage form" was not on our to-do list. But now since I’m going to attend Cosvision without Yoki, I remembered young Deidara. A week later, here is what I’ve got!

I wanted to cast new mouths for Deidara's hands and got rather satisfying results considering it was my first time making a partial facecast on myself. I thought that making a mouth in resting position would be easier and faster for a first timer. Also I wouldn't need to make positive cast from the mouth and sculpt a whole different expression for the latex cast given the time I have before the convention. At Cosvision I'm going to wear only one mouth, because I need one fully functioning hand without a lump of latex glued on the palm.

The only things left are to construct the sandals, add some finishing stitches on the clothes and try out the make-up. I also thought about sculpting the first clay sculpture Deidara presents to the Akatsuki who came to claim him aka. the fat spider.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Textile printing for the God of Poverty

Our last textile printing projects date back three years, when we crafted four laborious costumes in a year. The first ones were Luminara and Barriss and the second batch was Ivy and Yoshimitsu and they all required printing designs or uniform patterns. After we finished Ivy and Yoshimitsu it was clear to me that fabric printing was something I would't have on my to do-list for quite some time. Apparently three years was the required recovery time for me and I’m back on my knees with printing pastes, templates and tapes!

I’ve started three individual projects this year for spring and summer conventions. One of them doesn’t (thankfully) include printing, but two of them just crave it. Textile printing was the only possible choice for me when facing the problem of not finding suitable fabrics, since they most likely don’t exist at all. And after a long time, I really enjoyed this particular printing project even if I had some small setbacks.

The checkered skirt fabric is for a costume I started about a month ago. Recently I’ve had more spare time than I normally do and I’ve spent some evenings reading and watching new series. Even marathons have occurred. One of the new acquaintances was Noragami and since I'm quite fond of pleated skirts and whacky side characters, I immediately fell for Ebisu Kofuku.

I’ve been dreaming of purchasing screens and all the fancy stuff to go with, but with this project I just used the easy stencil and a sponge technique. I used both emulsion and paste colours to achieve the wanted look. For example the skirt fabric has two sets of stripes crossing. The magenta ones are emulsion based so that they are “sheer” and the yellow ones are made with cover paste.

First I made calculations based on the references, taped the long horizontal lines with blue masking tape. Blue is the best in this case, because it doesn’t stick too strongly to the fabric or leave tacky glue behind. After the horizontal lines, I printed the vertical ones and let them set properly before moving to the yellow lines. The yellow lines cross the magenta ones from the middle. After the colours had dried I ironed the fabrics to set the print.

The costume itself is actually ready with basic white shirt, pleated skirt and matching tie. I finished the garments probably a week ago. The brown multipurpose/-character shoes and black knee socks I snatched fron my closet. I still need to have another look at the wig. I think I need to style  it some more. I also thought about crafting Kofuku's shinki, Kokki.

I took a quick snapshot of the costume with my phone. Shame that the ruffles aren't visible from that angle...

I didn’t have any particular convention in mind when I started to make the costume. I just got exited about Kofuku and her outfit, which finally filled my easy-fun-and-cool summer costume void. You could argue about pleats being easy and fun after you have unpacked them from your cramped suitcase, but I try to reassure myself that irons and ironing boards can nowadays be found from the cosplay dressing rooms in major conventions.

I’m not going to reveal the other costume projects yet. They are still so all over the place and I want to have something real to show before making a fuzz about them. But I will reveal that I'm going to fullfil a costume dream I've had since I started cosplaying... I'm goint to sew my first kimono!