Tagged: tales of

March & April Musings

March and April have passed, and once again little old blog has dust on it. But I’m starting a new job soon, which will hopefully give me more structure so I might have more time for this poor thing soon!

The past few months have been a little busy: in March I was a guest at Newcastle Film & Comic Con! I did a couple of panels and was a judge on the Sunday. As said for Sunderland Comic Con I’m not really used to Comic Cons, but it was an amazing event and I loved being a part of it. The event was so busy and so alive, it was great!

Myself and Jen Tate delivered a panel on Sewing & Patterning for Cosplay, banging our heads together and giving some advice on how to get started with cosplay sewing. It was actually really fun to do, and we had great feedback from it! It always feels odd doing a panel on something I’m not a particular expert in, but hopefully people found it useful and at least a little entertaining. I also helped present a WCS and International Cosplay panel with Aranel, explaining how to get into competitive cosplay and what competitions are like. Both panels were on huge subjects!

Across the weekend I wore Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura and Mahiru Koizumi from DanganRonpa 2, both nice breezy costumes for a light weekend. Sakura was fixed up from last year and Mahiru was new, but I only had to make the dress and tie, which were both pretty easy. It was nice not stressing over costumes for once!

With the nicer spring weather coming in too I had shoots for both Sakura and Mahiru recently! I’ll likely post a full gallery soon, but for now here’s a diddy preview:

sakura1 mahiru1
Photos by Arphrial & Felixize

So what’s up next? At the moment I’ve been madly working on Estelle from Tales of Vesperia for the upcoming Tales of Ambassador competition at Japan Expo in July. My original plan was to do Ludger Will Kresnik from Tales of Xillia 2 referred to in my last post, but the costume on me just.. looked bad. Like, really bad. I had good feedback but I have a very curvy shape and just wasn’t confident in wearing him correctly, so I’ve swapped to a nice curvy character instead.

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The costume was basically done, though, so my boyfriend will be inheriting it and wearing it instead. I can always wear Elle with him, anyway, and I’m glad it’s not going to waste. The costume was tailored ridiculously and I’d be sad if it went to total waste. I still have a few things to finish (bags, trousers, wig) but that’ll be all done in time for Japan Expo.

For Estelle, I’m hoping to complete her and get a shoot for her soon, giving the costume a good test wear and also to get some new cosplay cards printed in time too! At the moment the costume is about 70% done, but it’s been a huge project so that’s nowhere near finished.

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As with Alisha last year, it’s been a huge test of patience to make this costume properly. The most important thing to me was finishing the dress off nicely: I didn’t want any messy edges, so I’ve been handsewing the trim in place and finishing with mitered corners. Me and handsewing aren’t the best of friends, so it’s been tricky, but the result so far is pretty good. It’s also been bloody hard to pattern, but I think it’s looking pretty good and not too “floppy” which is a common problem with this costume.

In case you couldn’t tell, me posting is procrastinating on working… or something. Heh. I’ve also been working on updating some of this blog too, updating the costume list and adding a gallery, so stuff is happening, it’s just not all that obvious.

Til next time blog, hopefully with more Estelle progress to come!

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Sunderland Comic Con & Beyond

So errr, February came and went, and now it’s mid-March.. sorry blog!

February was a lot of fun, with a guest appearance as a judge at Sunderland Comic Con for their first event! While I’m not a huge comic buff it was a really cool event and tons of cosplayers turned up for it. They had some great guests, signing sessions, drawing classes and sets going on and it was a really nice different atmosphere from the sort of anime-centric events I’m used to. I was there as a judge alongside Felixize, with Aranel and Leolarua on the Cosplay Team!

Seeing as I’m not a huge comic book fan, I decided to pull together a nice, laid-back costume and went as Minnie the Minx from The Beano! I grew up reading all sorts of British kids comics every week, so there was nothing better. I’ll admit I added a cutesy aspect to her (mostly for the wig), but it was a nice change to wear something so casual!

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I also wore Jude Mathis on the Sunday, but his selfies are much less interesting so let’s stick with Minnie.

This month is going to be hectic too, for a few reasons: firstly, I’m moving house at last! Our current flat is riddled with mould and I’ll be glad to see the back of it. Secondly (and thirdly, I guess) I’ve been busting my butt to try and finish Ludger Will Kresnik from Tales of Xillia 2 in time for another guest appearance: this time at Newcastle Film & Comic Con! I’ll be there with Felixize and Aranel again, this time with Isamiaella and Jen Tate too! I’ll be helping run some panels and sticking around to talk to you lovely lot.

Ludger is coming along nicely, but I’m not super confident wearing him. I had a bit of a lull a few days ago when I tried everything on and it didn’t look “right”, but I’m going to try and put some fixes in so it looks better on me. So far I’m planning on remaking the trousers, restyling the wig and adding some shaping under the costume itself, in a vain attempt to make myself look more like a man. Which probably won’t work, but I’ll give it a try.

‘Til next time bloggeroonie, ’til next time!

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Photoset: Alisha, Tales of Zestiria

Tales of Zestiria came out in Japan today!! This is the first Tales of game I’ve ever imported on launch, and I can’t wait to get to know the characters and world better. The designs are all absolutely gorgeous, and the world looks amazing too.

I took some photos of my Alisha earlier this month, so here’s a nice photoset. The location was perfect – the game has a medieval fantasy theme, so we adventured to a castle for the photos. Alisha is a knight, after all!

Photos by Felixize

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Learning Curves: Fixer-Upper

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Kicking things off with the first photoshoot of 2015! Felixize, Arphrial, my sister and myself went off on a castle adventure to get some photos of Alisha from Tales of Zestiria to prepare for the game’s launch in Japan on 22nd January!

This is just a glimpse of the shoot for now, I’ll be uploading a complete photoset later. But before we went off for photos, I fixed a lot on the costume. Looking back at the previous photos there was a lot I wasn’t happy with, and with no other costumes on the go I figured I’d take the time to fix her up. It’s still not perfect, but what an improvement a few hours work made to the costume. I won’t go on too long, but I wanted to write up a few improvements I made.

The original costume was very “boxy” for lack of a better term. It made me look wide. So after careful pinning, I took in the dress by a few inches at the waist, and took in the side trim on the tunic to make it more fitted. It’s not that noticeable on first glance but it makes the costume hang much nicer, too. The bodysuit had the shorts shortened and the neck taken in to help create the point on the collar. Also small changes, but ones that made a huge difference – my legs looked thinner, neck looked longer, etc.

I also remade the socks completely. Before I wore plain white socks with the suspender panels pinned to them. This time I made them from scratch and attached the suspenders with snap fasteners. The tops were made as single panels and attached to black legs. They’re much more accurate and more comfortable to wear, too!

alishawig

But the biggest improvement was the wig. The wig is actually the same one as before, just with a bit of effort involved. The fringe was far too thick before, and the ponytail was too condensed. It looks like two lumps on my head instead of hair. So I thinned, trimmed and roughly styled it to match the reference. Her hair is quite messy on the reference and I hate “anime style” wigs, so I went for a more natural take on her hairstyle, but still with the different lengths. I look back on the wig before and wonder how I ever thought it looked okay… I think the updated style is a HUGE improvement, and really ties the whole costume together.

Surprisingly (and frustratingly) none of the armour needed any fixing, despite being my first attempt and not being something I’m good at. Ho hum. I was both glad and a little peeved that everything still worked and looked good, where the sewing (the bit I was most proud of) needed fixes left, right and centre. I guess I’ll know for next time!

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Still, when I made Alisha I had around 5 very rough references to hand, and despite having next to nothing to work from I don’t think the costume turned out badly at all. It’s actually kind of nice now that there is more information and references to see how it compares! The main differences are things like the bodysuit – Alisha has a blouse and shorts instead, with a suspender belt to hoist her stockings. But all of this is covered by the dress and tunic anyway, so I’m not planning to remake it.

Other little details like the front of the pink dress I guessed from previous Tales designs, and to my joy it’s pretty much spot on too. So everything worked out pretty well. Again, not everything is accurate, but from the few references I had at the time I’m pretty happy with it. And as long as I keep improving it I can’t see any reason not to be!

2015 has been a nice year of reflection and improvement so far – let’s hope it keeps up!

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2014 in Review

So 2014 is coming to a close, and it’s been an eventful year. I figured I’d do a little evaluation and share some musings so if nothing else I can look back at this next year and see how things have changed.

With regards to cosplay this year has been pretty busy and that’s entirely my own fault. I made 15 new costumes and revamped 4, biting off far more than I could chew! Regardless, I’m still quite happy with how they turned out. Here’s all of the costumes I made this year in a fancy collage;

2014cosplay

Looking at this I can barely even remember making some of these, and despite what you might think I actually took a few breaks from cosplay this year. January-April were actually quite relaxed, and I added a lot of costumes because “why not!”. But it’s been a fun (and tiring!) year.

A lot of costumes were really easy; Colette, Maya, Karol, James, Sakura and Anna were all made in less than a week each, and while they might not be as polished as I’d normally want, I’m still quite proud of how they turned out considering the time frame they were made in, especially considering most of them didn’t use patterns. Sometimes you just don’t need them anymore.. I’m pretty sure I can make circle skirts in my sleep, haha.

I have no idea what I’m writing, so I’m going to catergorise some thoughts to try and make it a bit easier to read. I just want to put my thoughts somewhere. Continue reading…

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