September 13, 2016

Star Guardian Lux cosplay WIP

Here's something I've been really excited to share about! Yes, I've been working on a new cosplay! Some people around me have already know about this but I didn't want to like announce my cosplans because at first I wasn't sure if I was going to start making it, secondly, I was just super slow at making the costume. It's been a year since I've started working on it..... you be the judge. But really, this is actually the first time I'm making an entire costume from scratch and it's really challenging, especially when you're pretty much a perfectionist. I was really busy with college as well so I only had to work on it sometimes on weekends or long holidays.

This post is basically a documentation of my costume making progress so far. I'm almost done with the costume and its accessories, but the prop is only like 5% done. (T_T) And just to inform you beforehand, I'm going to bribe you with pretty pictures of the costume so far and the rest are all crappy phone images that I took while I was working on the parts. Couldn't be bothered to take nice pictures of it, sorry :P

Here's the progress on the costume so far:
I am left with the 'petals' to sew on then creating 2 huge ribbon bows, one for the front and one behind.

The top is zipped from behind, the zipper head starts from below. This was my first attempt in sewing sailor collar and this curved design was really tough to sew. D: I have minor mistakes here and there which you won't see because they will all be concealed. :D (Actually I'm just too lazy to unpick anything)

The skirt is layered with 4 layers of tulle inside. The top layer fabric is satin so I thought that if I didn't have anything below it's going to drop on my figure, looking limp and not magical girl like. Btw, I chose satin for most parts of this costume for the magical girl look and satin is pretty hard to work with *cries* but it's so pretty *cries*

For the 'petal' of the design, I'm planning to sew them to the hem of the top. Galvanized wires are inserted into each side of the petal pieces and will be sewn down. I've asked another coser about sewing wires into the costume and how to take care of it afterwards and she told me to just dry clean it and it should be fine. (Or I'll never be able to wash it :X)

Lux's headband. I didn't want to use the hairband method because if I plan to wear it for hours the pressure will definitely give me a headache. Here the band is crafted with EVA foam and the star is made of acrylic sheet (more info below) and I attached these hair extension clips which I bought from Taobao to each side of the band. For this character her headband ends around her ponytail so the wig itself will be able to hide the ends of the headband. The 'wings' around her headband will be attached separately using the same method. These hair extension clips hold really well, I clipped them onto my brother's hair and he jumped around and it stayed firmly.

Oh by the way if you're wondering how the character design is like, here's the reference picture I used.

From here onward are crappy phone photos so please bear with me. :P

I actually first started working on the costume from the skirt. The skirt pattern is a circle skirt. If I'm not wrong the length is about 35cm for can google up the pattern if you're interested to know. The tulle beneath are all cut into circle skirt pattern as well with some having a larger waist diameter so I could gather them up. I first baste the tulle layers altogether then pin them together with the satin and sew. Both are tricky material to sew and it wasn't easy for me to control at time, but overall it looks pretty fine. I did this in school where there were mannequins around, I wish I have one at home so I can work on costumes easily...

Here's how the headband looks like before it was spray painted.

I posted this on Snapchat but I thought I'd post it again since that one's gone after 24 hours lol.

At first I tried to find Christmas stars that would fit the size I needed but there wasn't any. Then I happen to come across this Facebook video on how to make an origami 3D star. I took the pattern and manipulated it to get the size and shape I wanted. While crafting it's always good to use a paper pattern you have an original pattern which you can use over and over again to create similar duplicates. I still keep every piece of my paper pattern so far...just in case.

Anyways, once I've got the pattern I transferred it onto the acrylic sheet, cut it out then score the folding lines. It's basically what you see step by step in the series of images above. I chose acrylic sheet because it's really lightweight and it's easy to work with. For some of the stars I glued a piece of foam behind then cut exactly according to its shape so it has a base behind which I can attach the star onto something else.

This was taken halfway while I was sealing the EVA foam. When working with foam you need to seal them before you can spray paint them. Foams are porous material that will absorb your spray paint if you don't seal them beforehand. There are various methods out there to seal foam, but I went for the cheapest solution which was to mix white glue with a tiny amount of water and spread evenly over the surface with an old paintbrush for about 5-6 layers. The downside of this cheap method though, is that sometimes after I spray painted, the pieces accidentally got stuck onto the newspaper I laid below to protect the ground and when I try to peel it off the entire glue just rips off. (T T) This is why your paper patterns are important so you can redo those pieces.....

For spray paint, I like to spray about 1-2 layers of thin white paint as a base so that the colour that I'm going to spray later becomes more vibrant. Ah btw I spray painted the white foam pieces white too so that they look glossy..... Please don't ask me why I did that lol ^^;

Here's the ankle guard! This piece was rather challenging since it's my first time working on this kind of accessory. I first wrapped pieces of paper fitted around my ankle then sketch out the pattern that I want. I wore the boots that will go with the costume for this because you will need to consider the extra layer for the pattern or else it will be too tight. Once I got the pattern done I heated the foam with a clothes iron (HAHAHAHA) then shape the foam around my ankle. Be careful when you do this though, because clothes iron might leave unsightly marks on the foam lol. I heated mine from the inside so it wouldn't show but it is best if you get a heat gun. To attach the ankle guard I hot glued two strips of velcro on each side. Be generous with your glue because it's better to be safe than sorry haha XD

I was really happy with the outcome of the pair of ankle guard..... Until I tried walking with them on. Impossible, I tell you. I don't even know how Lux does it, going into combat in these unconventional ankle guards.

What I meant is that when you wear them on, the wings on the side will hit each other and you don't want that to happen..... so unless you can walk with legs crisscrossed all the time or you walk like a penguin. (_ _;) I'm pretty sure I'll only wear them when I camp at one spot during the event and take them off when I need to move around.

Also, for the strips around the top of the boots, they are actually foam base with PVC leather wrapped around it. I don't really want to sacrifice these boots yet because they are pretty costly so I'm just attaching them firmly around the boots instead of sewing them on.

Hope you enjoyed reading the progress up till now. I'm actually done with all the accessory parts but since I worked on most of them when I was back in Malaysia, I didn't bother to bring them over to Singapore because I'm only planning to wear it on Comic Fiesta this year *hints* come find me *hints* There's still 3 months time till the event and I hope by then I can really finish everything up because I'm planning to do a cosplay pairing with my cousin haha! We're both going to cosplay characters from League of Legends and I'm really excited about it already :D

Part 2: Star Guardian Lux prop WIP
September 12, 2016

STGCC 2016

It's a long weekend here in Singapore, since it's a public holiday today (Monday). Thanks to that I was able to take a break on Saturday and went to STGCC. I still love going to events such as this, meeting up friends and checking new stuff out. Although I must admit that nowadays I get tired easily...I only stayed around for around 4 hours this time round, which makes me wonder 'Am I getting old for this?' or maybe I just miss my usual group of friends who'd go to events with me back in Malaysia.

I've been going to most events in Singapore alone but this time I had a friend who was working at a booth! If you've seen my previous post, you would've seen some photographs I took of her Sonico cosplay. She's really fun to talk to and we're already planning for another cosplay shoot soon~

As I was really busy with my projects before the event, I didn't bother to check to event details like I usually do. I only found out who were the guests and the booths available once I got there. ^^;

And look who I found! It's Sakimi Chan! Her artworks are crazy good but given the long queue and that I wasn't looking to buy prints when I was there I skipped her booth. (._.)> I'm still glad I saw her IRL ehehe

Some really cute Overwatch and Steven Universe prints! I'm really bad at FPS games and have only played Overwatch once at my cousin's place but I remembered some of the characters thanks to that. I got her a Mercy sticker because we both love playing support roles in the games we play. ^^ Also, is anyone watching Steven Universe? It seems like an interesting show but I haven't got to watch it lol

So many badges! Personally I don't collect badges because I don't know what to do with them, even if they are really cute. I'm more of a sticker collector so you'll see me buying stickers at every event.

I've recently watched One Piece Gold and it was amazing!!! I only started watching One Piece a few months back and I'm glad I caught up to the latest episodes in time to watch this movie with my friends. I don't really want to spoil it here, but Chopper in a monkey costume was the cutest thing ever! (*v*) Now I feel like I need a Chopper figure D:

Saw more figurines around and also this store that has second hand comics, game consoles, games, figures and merchandises. This was one of the highlights of the event for me. It's so so so cool seeing all these vintage stuff for sale and I really wanted them...but I know I don't have the time or money for it. (._.) I went back to the booth several times just so I can take a look once more, though I eventually bought a One Piece figure there which wasn't second hand if you're wondering lol.

Most of the time when I go to events I find that the hall lighting are usually quite bad for photography. Unless you're desperate enough to bring a whole set of lighting equipment and camp at one area for the rest of the day. STGCC was the same for me too but I wanted to take pictures of cosers so I went all the way up to the shopping area where there was ample of natural light to take some pictures.

Look how cute they were! I love Boku no Hero Academia series. The art and the story are really good, but I wish I can see more of Deku's character development. I saw these cosers going up the escalator while I was catching Pokemon and they caught my eye from far away. Don't you think they're really cute? And their height matches perfectly like what I think the characters would be IRL. (*v*) Btw, Marina area is a very good place for Pokemon Go hunting~

I'm so excited for Cardcaptor Sakura's new series. My best friend lend me the dvds to watch the entire series and also the whole of Tsubasa Chronicles which got me hooked on till today. Don't you think these cosers are so cute??! I kept getting interrupted while trying to take a picture of them until the Syaoran coser noticed and signalled his partner to look over to my direction. Ah so sweet~ Thank you so much!!!

The thing about photographing at events, in my perspective as a girl is that some male photographers would ignore your presence and block your view. I mean most photographers are pretty nice but there are times where you come across rude ones...or perverted ones. :/ There was once I saw through someone's LCD preview screen that he was taking an upskirt shot. Female cosers please be careful of this!

Look, I dolled up for the event! Nowadays I don't wear falsies as often anymore so whenever I happen to wear them it's like I've scored extra points of effort lol. Even when I wear them it's only for the top eyelash, I can't remember when was the last time I wore bottom falsies...

Also, also, *coughs* would you look at that

This is the figure I got at the vintage toy booth I was talking about earlier. They had Luffy, Zoro and Usopp's figure as well but I just had to get Sanji's. It was SGD15 for one (which is the most expensive thing I spent on other than the event ticket) and I'm really happy I got it. I know Sanji is not like the most popular One Piece character out there but I love how funny and kind he is to females lol. And I wish I can try his food hahahaha~~~ I placed the figure on my desk right beside my laptop and it's like screaming the 'Mellorine~' vibes lol

Here are the rest of my loots! Pretty sure you can see what I'm obsessed with right now lol. I got the sticker set with Lucario for my brother since he used that as his main in Pokemon X and Y. The Mercy one is for my cousin, and the rest are all for yours truly hahaha! I love collecting stickers but I don't really use them... because they feel so precious to me. :')

This was a really long post but I'm glad I had so many pictures and things to talk about! I am already preparing for another blog post and I'm happy that I can share about so many things lately. Although it's submission week and I should be doing my projects but I want to write these things down first before I get on to do the boring stuff lol. Thanks for reading!
September 8, 2016

Sonico Cosplay Photshoot

Rarely I would have such opportunity to do this kind of photoshoot, but I happened to bump to a friend in school today and she was cosplaying as part of her social experiment project. I was lucky enough to have my DSLR with me today so naturally I just had to grab the chance to do an impromptu mini photoshoot with her. We only met recently through a mutual friend and she's still pretty new to the anime and cosplay scene, but I'm glad there's a new friend that I can talk to about all these things, haha!

Honestly I was having a pretty bad day since morning, with lots of project and group work matters. But thanks to this little surprise, my day was brightened up. There's still this magical feeling of happiness from taking these photos as I'm typing this post at 1am lol. Being able to do things I love even for a mere 20 minutes shoot is like a boost of motivation for me to do better for the rest of the day. :)