Tag: OddTogs

Star Wars – Jedi Youngling

So while I’m getting my son dressed my husband has put the New Hope soundtrack on in the background. The moment my son picked up his lightsaber the Force Theme came up in the background and I swear my husband choked up.

Mama’s Little Jedi is gonna kick Anakin’s ass.

Costume and Youngling made by OddTogs
Photo and Youngling by AMW Photography

Edna Mode & Batman – MCM May 2015

Edna Mode meets Batman at MCM Expo 2015. NO CAPES!

Edna Mode – OddTogs
Batman – The Dark Knight Cosplay

Buttercup – Beading Begins!

Previously on All My Sparkles: The base dress is done and the first round of applique has been glued in place. I’m happy with the fit, and have slowly been gathering pieces required for the crown and jewelry. What needs to happen next is the beading on the dress though. There’s a lot of it!

I decided to go with ivory pearls rather than optic white and have stuck with this throughout.

Once I’d got this far with the beading, the giant white space over my chest was becoming really obvious. It definitely needed filling. I found some decent silver applique pieces, though when they arrived they were really bright in comparison to the rest of the costume, so I put a layer of paint over them.
Above – Before and after reshaping to better fit the dress. Below – After painting it blends in much better with the other pieces.
Each bead is placed on a white translucent cup sequin and then stitched in place. I used the same sequins on the shoulder pieces to blend them in where there were very obvious silver sequins originally, and added more pearls.
The top of the oversleeve splits also have small pearls on each side.

The underdress Buttercup wears is a scrunchy affair. To do this I bought silk chiffon, soaked it, scrunched it and left it to dry. I heat-set the pleats, created narrow piping from ivory satin and attached it to the overdress at the front and back.
Below – Close up of the piping – I embellished this with a ric-rac ribbon and small pearls.

Quick trying on session to show the fit and size of the skirt! This was before I embellished the underdress.

Next up – The crown. All my pieces have finally arrived! 

Buttercup – Sleeves and Silver

So last time I jumped in on this outfit it was basically a top with some stuff pinned onto it. Since then it has fortunately progressed to the point where it’s actually look pretty damn sweet! This horrendous photo of myself is the only one I got after the skirt had gone on, but does show that it’s in roughly the right position on me bust wise. More when my chest is actually hoiked up where nature (alright, Gossard) intended it to be. 

I’ve also had a breakthrough on colour! As previously mentioned, this thing looks anything from blue to shiny white to silver in photographs. Fortunately for me I have a friend in Seattle, and this dress is on display at the Seattle EMP in their Worlds Of Myths & Magic exhibit. She said this thing glows shiny white. It’s like Galadriel appearing in Lothlorien. So bowing to her eyes-on opinion I’m going to forget about attempting to dye it.
The sleeves are medieval/fantasy style, split oversleeves that hang to impractical lengths and are once again embellished around the edges, and undersleeves that are tightly fitted. The fabric I have is slightly more opaque than the original, and the underfinished side doesn’t look quite as nice. I did toy with the idea of lining them with the same fabric, but decided to forget about that idea as it would remove all ability for light to shine through. It also wouldn’t flow as nicely, so I machine hemmed them and put them in.
This is the back drape of the dress as it stands, with sleeves. It’s pinned to overlap at the top just to keep the bugger on the dummy as the sleeves are quite heavy.
The dummy is slightly shorter than I am so it won’t be dragging on the floor quite as much as it is here.

Finally I can start putting all of the applique pieces on this monster! First up is this silver edging. It is actually far more matte finish than I thought originally so I may go over it with a bit of paint to highlight it and bring it up to the shoulder pieces earlier pictured.
For the early stages I glued the trim in place with a fast-grab, washable fabric glue. The applique needed to be cut and shaped accordingly, with bits added or removed where necessary to move it around the corners. There will also be much sewing on of pearls and sequins with this, so the later stitching will also give it that added security.
I have also started work on the crown so check back soon for some babbling about that! Mostly there will be swearing as making jewellry is always a challenge for me.
The Back – To be laced or zipped.

Count Dooku – Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones

Count Dooku, or Darth Tyranus. This was a commission for a friend of mine and took a go to get right. The first tunic I made, I didn’t like the look of the fabric, and on top of that the bloody arms were too tight! So I took apart the whole thing, repatterned the sleeves entirely and created this.

This has an extended centre dart to allow for the client’s shape, and a centre back seam for the same thing.

This has a velcro close to halfway down the tunic, allowing for ease of movement. The collar closes with hooks and eyes.

The belt patches are top stitched with dark thread, then attached to the belt with contact cement. The belt closes in the back with lacing.

The cloak is a linen/cotton mix from memory, really nice to work with and a great drape but lightweight enough to fly properly. It was interfaced with dark interfacing and wadded to get the right look. This took a lot of work at the toille stage to get the collar to stand up properly, adding in fabric, fitting, recutting etc, and I’m really pleased with the end result!
The lining is a standard antistatic lining. I had real trouble matching the original finish with the lining so went for a good colour instead. Again, it hangs well and moves nicely so I’m pleased.

The back collar is where the real fitting work happened. Result – Win.
This is the finished result, heading out to my client today! I’ll post photos up of him in his full kit once I get them sorted.

Elitism & How To Win At Cosplay

Verb. Speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.
Noun. A disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or act.
The Cosplay Elite. The shining, beautifully formed costumed people who look like they’ve just stepped from the pages of a comic book, a musical, a film, a TV show. An inspiration to many and the curse of some. We all have our role models, some are better known than others. I could name a few of my personal Cosplay Elite, my cosplay role models and inspiration for one reason or another, but I think they know who they are.
Hello, lovelies. OddTogs calling. Today I am back on my soapbox to talk to you all about cosplay elitism. This is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot from one side or another, and something I get called on a fairly regular basis, usually meant as an insult. Yesterday’s example was “you who are ‘Cosplay Elite’ enough to have judged many a cosplay contest”, something I find particularly entertaining as I’ve only done a couple here and there.
But setting aside the troll for a moment, or more appropriately, hitting him with the ban hammer, there is always that concept of what is elitist behaviour and the use of that word like it’s an insult whenever one person sees someone else as trying to be better than other people.
In my view, trying to be better than yourself is no bad thing. Comparison is in our nature, so is competition, and a drive to improve our skills. For me personally, improving my cosplay skill set – mostly fabric based – is vital to my business.
What that drive to improve – and in other’s eyes, be better than other people – means for me is that I have a thriving business, working in a job that I love beyond reason. What it doesn’t make me is a better cosplayer, costumer or person than anyone else. 
I like to be good at things. I like to be able to produce good quality stuff that fits. I like to practice things like hair, makeup, voice, mannerisms to get a character right. Last year I got two ex Forces friends to go through things with me for Anderson – how to draw a gun, in this case a Lawgiver, pose properly, and reholster. I now know what trigger discipline is. Is this required to be a good cosplayer? No. Do I like that I personally know all that stuff so when I look at photos of myself I have a sense of pride that I mostly know what I’m doing? Yes. And most importantly – Do I expect other people to care about doing all of that? Hell no. I get what I want out of my hobby and that makes me happy. I expect no less from other people than that they get what they want out of theirs, whatever that may be. 
Cosplay is, first and foremost, about the fun of it. If you want to wear the same hotpants and leather jacket as Amy Pond, fine. If you want to swipe a set from a charity shop, fine. Whatever works for you. If that jacket – any jacket – makes you feel happy like Amy Pond running with the Doctor, then you win at cosplay. What you wear and how you look is as valid as the person next to you if it makes you happy.
So how if this is my view can I judge cosplay contests, or work with the Galactic Knights, a costume group that requires accuracy for trooping?
Very simple. In contest, we’re looking for costume accuracy to the source material and the skill in reproducing that. We’re also looking at how it’s presented, how entertaining they are, ingenuity in design or representation etc. Cosplayers who enter competition are asking to be compared to each other. That’s what they want to get out of their hobby. With fabric costumes I know what I’m looking at, how well a seam is finished, how well a pattern is reproduced. I have friends who specialise in armour, prosthetics, wig work etc, many of which are areas that I suck at (for now).
Generally, one of the most interesting things I find is the months of prep leading up to the competition.  The swearing, the crying, the offers of help, begging for divine intervention, and then that sense of triumph when you’re stepping on stage, into an event, because it’s done. Whatever mountains you had to climb to get there, it’s done. You win at Cosplay.
With the Galactic Knights there are other things in play. The Knights, as well as other costuming clubs such as Sentinel Squad UK and the Rebel Legion, have costume requirements for trooping. Not for membership. Anyone can join the club, people on the boards are more than happy to help with advice when asked for to finish a costume, but the costume must be produced to a high standard for clearance. Why? Because we’re asked to attend events as those characters. We are asked to perform at events as those characters. With that comes certain perks, free or reduced entry, free board, travel expenses, because we provide a service to the event – we entertain, and to be believable we have to look the part. Clothes matter here to enable us to do the job.
Judge Dredd & Judge Derp:
Winning at Cosplay
With the Galactic Knights, you won’t see Judge Dredd take off his helmet in public. He does that to maintain character, believability, both for himself and the people we are out to entertain. He is scarier for it. Even more so when he does take the lid off. And because that is his hobby, the reaction he gets from crowds is part of the enjoyment, he wins at cosplay.
So before I ramble off, having already rambled on, I am reminded of Wheaton’s Law – 
1) Don’t be a dick
2) Have fun
3) That’s it.
If you’re having fun, you win at cosplay. And if all being called ‘Cosplay Elite’ really means of me is that I like to challenge myself, then I’ll own that too. Because that’s what I get out of my hobby, for me. A challenge. If that makes me elitist in the eyes of some, that is their business and their problem. I refuse to see it as an insult anymore.

Boromir – The Surcoat Continues

Another Boromir update! The above shot, from AlleyCatScratch.com shows the waist detail. I started by chalking a guide line on the inside of the piece, folding it and stitching it at 0.5cm. Each of the four pieces were prepped like this.

The four pieces were then sewn together with the seams being pressed open. The centre back seam was stitched to just below waist length and left for the back split. The side seams were sewn to hem length.
Once the four pieces were sewn together I fitted it to my model, over a thick jumper and the chainmail. It needed taking in on the centre back waist and sides, so I marked it up and did all the adjustments, then trimmed it to just above his toes.
Once I was happy with it I looked at the edging, shown here – 

Aside from the trim, which I still need to find, this has what looks like a slight piped edge. I found very thin piping cord and rolled the edge around it to create this –

Full back and side shots over the chainmail, after adjustments – I now need to do the shoulder pieces and the basic construction will be done. 

This screencap from the film shows a cap sleeve (If anyone can remember the correct term, shout me, it has slipped my mind right now!) and a relatively narrow shoulder, then yet more trim. Now the cap sleeves are on it just needs hemming, the decorative stitches adding to the waist and the trim adding. I’m considering embroidering the trim as I have yet to find anything close.
Next up – To London! Fabric sourcing for the gambon, overshirt and trim! 

Eowyn – Dernhelm, The Cloak Dyetest #2

Dye Test #2 – Again with leftover dye from other projects! RIT Dyes Golden Yellow, 4fl, Evening Blue, 2fl and 1fl of Black.
It’s now perfect for dirtying down and distressing, and a definite improvement on this – 
I may put it in with a watered down black to take some of the shine off of it, but I’ll see about that when it’s shaped and made up.

Boromir – Fellowship, Surcoat Begins

Sourcing materials! Dark blue leather, brown leather and chainmail.
The entire skin is larger than my cutting table!

Surcoat patterned and cut – I’m going to add in the waist seam for strength and the decorative top stitching. I’ve also patterned the gambeson and acquired a horn and replica sword.

Next stage: Sourcing the other materials. To Goldhawk!

Boromir – Fellowship Outfit, Referencing

Building this alongside my Eowyn build (and a few million other projects) – Boromir’s outfit from Fellowship of the Ring. Photos sourced from AlleyCatScratch.com

Dark blue (some sources say black, it always looked blue to me) surcoat, red undershirt with dark red or black collar and heavily embroidered sleeve cuff.
Padded silver gambeson – This is never actually seen given that it’s covered by chainmail, gloves, gauntlets and the over shirt. It’s still damn pretty though, and protects from the chainmail.

Here you can see the chainmail sleeves are actually attached to an undergarment to save on weight. I may do this at some point but for now I’m using full body chainmail.

This is the full costume, worn with his first cloak instead of the Lothlorien cloak.