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Monday, March 25, 2013

Mega-Con 2013 Cosplay, Part 2

By: Kandis Hamrick

Last week, you saw Vicky's Ranibow Dash costume for this year's Mega-Con. Well, I also went as a pony. Rarity is often accused of being snobby and rude, but I think she's simply misunderstood and I adore her. I mean, she's a brilliant fashion designer so what's not to love? Normally, Rarity looks like this:

My original plan was simple, find a cute white dress, make an applique for her cutie mark and use temporary spray-in hair color. Then I was at Party City and found beautiful fairy wings that reminded me of the "Sonic Rainboom" episode when she gets gossamer wings and enters the best young flyers competition wearing the following:

So I decided to go all-out. I bought ribbon, tulle, feathers, sequined elastic and a tub of rhinestones for some bedazzling. I found wide wired ribbon in dark purple to use as a belt. Since it was wired I was able to tie a big bow and curl the ends to resemble her tail rather than having an actual tail.

I hand-stitched the tulle to the ribbon belt as an overskirt I did pink and yellow in the back with the pink being full skirt length and the yellow being half that over top. I did the same with purple and green in the front. 

I used the purple sequin elastic trim as a head band and put pink ostrich feathers in my hair. I used a piece of felt as the base for my very large necklace. I painted it pink and then used rhinestones to bling the whole thing out. I also used some of the same rhinestones to make my earrings. To top the whole thing off, I got purple and green feather boas.

I was afraid that since I went with a costume from a single episode, I wouldn't be recognized but I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, at one point a fellow Pegasister actually got on her knees and bowed to my greatness.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mega-Con 2013 Cosplay, Part 1

By: Victoria Kulig

This past weekend was Megacon  in Orlando, a rather large annual convention that includes Anime, Video Games, TV shows, Comic Books, Scifi... you name it, it's there.

Conventions are fun in and of themselves, but they're much more fun when you add Cosplay to the mix. Cosplay is 'costume play', in which we dress up and enjoy being a character.

It's incredibly fun, creative, and people create some pretty elaborate costumes.

I put a costume together in about a week after I finally made up my mind to go--so even though some costumes are elaborate and take months to create sometimes, if you put your mind to it, you can put something together that is comfortable, functional, and easily identifiable without a huge time investment.

My costume this year was Rainbow Dash, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Here's a photo of her, in case you aren't familiar.

Obviously, I'm not really a pony. So I just used parts of her character and coloration to create my costume. Rainbow Dash is a very athletic pony, and prides herself on how fast she is.

So I decided I'd go with an athletic outfit--gym shorts and a T-shirt--with some rainbow flair. I couldn't find anything in the right color, so the next best thing? Buy white - and fabric dye.

I went to Wal-Mart and found some inexpensive, white, cotton workout clothes, then found some fabric dye that was the appropriate color. I followed the directions on the packet to the letter.

I had to use my sink as I didn't have any pans large enough. I was a little concerned that the dye wouldn't be dark enough, as the packet indicated it was enough dye for a 1/2 lb of fabric. However, it came out just fine.

The next step, was to add some flair. I had picked up some rainbow ribbon, and I used it to add a line down the sleeves, and down the side seam of the shorts. I added it to both to give an almost uniform look.

Then I hand painted her cutie mark onto the front-right of the shorts using fabric paint. Now all I needed were wings!

I didn't really think I'd enjoy wearing actual wings throughout the convention so (after numerous discussions with Kandis) I decided I'd make a backpack and paint wings onto it. That way I'd eliminate the need to carry a purse, and not have to wear wings.

I followed a tutorial on creating a simple drawstring backpack, which you can find here. I used some more rainbow ribbon for the straps. It was a very simple bag to create, and took maybe 30-45 minutes. Then I used fabric paint and stenciled on some wings.

Here you can see the bag and the shorts, ready to go.

Now, I love the look of knee high socks with athletic shorts, so why not rainbow?

And we can't forget about Rainbow Dash's hair. It's one the most identifiable things about her! A good friend of mine buys her wigs from a company in Oklahoma City - so I new that if I wanted a quality wig, I should try them. I did check locally but was unable to find one that was decent, or in the right colors.. so I did splurge a bit on a good quality wig from The Five Wits. Then I splurged a little more, and had my hair stylist style the wig for me so it would be more comfortable to wear.

Another item I decided to go for--to stylize her a bit more--was her pet, Tank.

Tank is a turtle who won a contest to be her pet. I thought he was adorable, so I found a little stuffed turtle, and gave him a propeller and goggles.

Now I had a full costume, with cute accessories. Put it all together, and you get this!

Pretty cute, right? I thought so! Of course when I got to the convention, a vendor pointed out to me that I was missing something vital, and decided to help me out....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back to Basics: French Seam

By Kari Lott

This is a great seam if you want to have a nice finish on the inside of your garment.  This is super easy to do and is my favorite way to make the inside very clean and prevent fraying.  Where you would ordinarily pin the right sides of your garment together, when creating a French seam you begin by pinning the wrong sides together.  Once pinned sew a ¼ inch seam, press the seam out and trim the extra fabric.  Be careful when trimming to make sure you do not trim too close to the seam or the fabric will fray and the seam will unravel.  Next, you must turn and re-pin with right sides together.  Sew again with another ¼ inch seam and press the seam.

And there you have it... A beautifully finished seam.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Back to Basics: Pinning

By: Kari Lott

Pinning is an essential skill that everyone must know in order to sew.  You need to find pins that work well for you.  Some people like the small dressmaking pins with the flat metal heads, while some prefer the medium or large quilting pins with the round heads.  Personally, I like the 1 ¾” quilting pins because they are large enough to grab quickly, and they all have bright yellow heads so they’re easy to see on your fabric or on the floor (and if you drop pins as easily as I do, these will be a lifesaver).

Any time you sew two pieces of fabric together, you should first pin them.  This ensures that the fabric doesn't slide or become misaligned when sewing.  If you take the time to pin properly, your sewing time will be reduced and your garment will come out looking clean and well put together.  When you pin, make sure you are pinning perpendicular to where you want your seam.  If the pin is straight, you can sew right over your pins and take them all out later.  If they are not perpendicular or if one is not pinned completely straight, you either need to stop when sewing to take them out, or risk breaking your needle on a crooked pin.  It is easier to take the time at the beginning to pin correctly than to risk frustration and setbacks when you are in the middle of sewing.