Rose City Comic Con 2017

The last blog I wrote I said that I would talk about the costume contest at Rose City Comic Con and my time there. Well, that was back in September of 2017 before Rose City Comic Con! It is now April of 2018! I’m starting to see a trend. Don’t worry, everything is still fresh in my mind; but I do need to catch you up so I can start talking about my most recent project.

Friday:

I usually sleep pretty well the night before the con starts. I don’t usually cosplay on the first day so I’m not nearly as nervous or anxious about going. Friday my friend Carolyn drove up from Salem. Her plan was to stay with me the whole weekend and we carpool to the convention. The day before I made a schedule of everything we wanted to do; panels, autographs, photo ops, and lunch breaks. I’m kind of a stickler for schedules. I like having a time frame but also know that we didn’t HAVE to go or do everything at that exact time.

20180417_173158
See… I’m a stickler for schedules!!

As soon as we got to the Portland Convention Center we went straight up to the panel room to see Brent Spiner! We had not eaten lunch yet so we made sure to bring snacks and lunch with us so we could eat before the panel open. Best idea ever! He is a really funny guy!

20170908_134100
He gave people poses who had flashes on their cameras. No flashes people!

After this we were able to roam the floor a bit and check out all the neat Artists and Vendors. Some of our favorites were GeekStar CostumingEmerald City Wigs, and Charlie Donkin Art. You will be hearing more about him later. Definitely check out GeekStar Costuming. They make amazing earrings and necklaces that are very light and are laser cut. Absolutely fun to wear!

We had a photo op with Brent Spiner and John DeLancie and while waiting in line we met two girls who had some amazing Star Trek cosplays! We always seem to meet really 20170908_164201(0)cool people when we are in lines. That is actually how Carolyn and I met. We met in 2015 at a Wizard World convention waiting to have our photos taken with Stephen Amell!

One thing that sucks about photo ops is the speed they push you through. You don’t get to really chat with them or anything like that, but you do get your photo with them… sometimes get to say something… and then back out you go. However, after you retrieve your photo, go stand in line for the autograph. At that point you will get to have a much better conversation or longer interaction with the celebrity of your choosing. Which is exactly what we did next.

Now the sections that the celebrities are at are some what partitioned off… at least between each celebrity… sometimes. The lines are usually split with a short metal pole, fence type, thing. Not entirely sure what the “correct” name is for it. At the top of each curtain partition it says who the celebrity is. As we were standing in line for Brent Spiner’s autograph I look to the right of his section and see Mr. Dominic Cooper who play Howard Stark in Captain America and the Agent Carter series! *sigh* It was very hard NOT to look at him! I just kept leaning over to glance at him. Carolyn kept laughing at me. It was then that I made the decision that I HAD to get Dominic’s autograph and give him the photo of me as Peggy Carter!

 

20180417_174505

We finally get Brent’s autograph and to the left of him was John DeLancie. Although I had his autograph scheduled for Sunday we decided to just get it done now and not have to worry about it. We didn’t have anything else to do so that was good.

After we finished with the autographs we walked over to an open space that was across from all the celebrities. As we were putting our stuff away Carolyn taps me on the shoulder.

“Janice… the twins are over there” as she points behind me to their table. I look up from what I was doing and stared directly at them. James and Oliver Phelps. The guys who played Fred and George Weasley on Harry Potter!

“Do you think they would mind if I just went and said HI??” I asked. She told me she didn’t think so. I picked up my stuff and ran over. There was no one waiting in there line so I was quite easy to spot! I shook their hands and told them how much I loved them… and I don’t remember what else cause I was absolutely star struck. I think Carolyn had to talk for me a bit. Thing was… I was not able to get their autograph or get a photo of them since it was a bit much. $100.00 for the Autograph… $100.00 for the photo. Couldn’t do either at the time. Saying hi to them was the next best thing and I’m thankful I got the chance.

One of my favorite artists, Charlie Donkin, was there and we stopped by to say hi and pick up a picture. I told him of my Steampunk Snow White I would be wearing the next day as I saw his Steampunk Disney art. Which is absolutely beautiful. I made a mental note to stop by his artist booth again the next day to show him Snow White.

The day was over and we headed home. My friend April came over to hang out afterwards. Our minds were still going through memories of just our first day. The next day was going to be longer and a little more stressful. Both Carolyn and I planned on dressing up in our cosplays. Me as Steampunk Snow White and her as a character from Tron! Needless to say… sleep was very difficult. Even I couldn’t sleep well, but Carolyn didn’t get hardly any. Her stomach was hurting (possibly nerves or from dinner). So she ended up having to stay at my place while Jon, Esther, and I went to the convention. I was heartbroken that she wasn’t with me. However I hoped and prayed that she would be there the next day!

Saturday:

My husband and two year old daughter, Esther, came with me so they could watch me during the costume contest. I normally dress Esther up in a pretty elaborate costume. This year I chose to make her a toddler Moana Cosplay. It was quick, easy, and definitely a hit with the folks at the convention!20170909_143607 She was even featured on their main website!!  It was  a good thing the weather was pretty warm that day since that costume was a bit on the “just a diaper” style.

The first thing I wanted to do was get Dominic Coopers autograph, however, by the time we got onto the convention floor, I needed to be standing in line for the costume contest entry. Before we headed over there my daughter and I were stopped by the photographers for Rose City Comic Con to get our pictures taken in front of their gorgeous black and red backdrop. Esther… she was a natural!

21430589_1522079261213787_2495477603367851134_n30768616_10215751845098634_1473299601_o

As we headed toward the are where the costume contest entry was, Esther spotted a Cosplayer dressed as Tafiti from Moana! It was a stunning cosplay and the reaction between the two of them was wonderful. 20170909_105033

There is preliminary judging prior to the contest. Part of it is  “does the costume qualify” and  is 90% of it made by the cosplayer. They also ask how everything was created, with what materials, how long it took to create the entire look, etc. It is quite the process but very thorough.

As I was getting pre-judged, my husband and Esther went to the large panel room where James and Oliver Phelps were going to be speaking. I was hoping I would make it up there before they started but if I didn’t, I at least wanted my husband to save us seats. Now I told him to find seats in the middle front, but apparently there were already a lot of people there.

He found a seat, but it was all the way to the left. It was towards the front, so I”ll give him that. When I arrived they were already on stage and taking questions from fans. I felt terrible walking in to the middle of it. Especially since my costume was a little on the noisier side. It was a great panel with a lot of laughs.

We stayed in that panel room for the next celebrity, Mr. Carlos Valdes. He plays Cisco Ramon on the CW show, The Flash. Great show and he is a great actor. Plus side… Danielle Panabaker who plays Caitlin Snow on the same show was going to be with him! When everyone (almost everyone) vacated the panel room I tried to move more towards the center.

20170909_123752

Before I could get over, a flock of people moved forward and took up every seat. All I needed was one seat. It was there that I saw my friend Deborah and her dad sitting 5 rows back from the middle front. I started talking to her and then her Dad gave me his seat and he sat on his walker (it had a little seat on it). I was so happy I cried a little. I couldn’t stop thanking him for that!

We roamed the convention floor for awhile before I had to do my photo op with Carlos Valdes.

21433191_1522754297812950_621277820100979679_n

I was going to get his autograph right afterwards, but since I really wanted him to meet the person underneath the costume, so I changed the timing for the autograph to Sunday.

One other thing that changed (and why I could move things to Sunday) is Karl Urban (Bones in Star Trek). He had to cancel at the last minute because of a family emergency. This was understandable but definitely sad. Because of all the switches we had a good 5 hours before the costume contest. Most of the time we chilled out on the 2nd floor with my sister and nephew, eating good food and letting my daughter run around as Wonder Woman! She was getting chilly as Moana!

I did, however, go back over to Charlie’s booth again to show him my costume.

20170909_172828

He didn’t even know what to say. It was so very humbling to see an artist like him admire my costume and be speechless over it. He was amazed at all the little details. It was right then and there that I knew what my next cosplay was going to be. I’ve normally done cosplays as either my own design (like Steampunk Snow White) or straight from the original character (like Rey, Galadriel, and Tauriel). This time I would be taking something he drew from his own mind and render out a 3D version of it.

21558702_1661360203887786_1452451571465293298_n

It was Steampunk Belle. Isn’t it amazing? ——–> There are so many little details that I’ll be paying attention to. I can’t wait to start work on it!

When it came time for the costume contest, a lot of time was spent waiting for them to tell us where to go and when to go in. There were three categories of costume designs; tailoring, soldier, and tinker. Tailoring was my category and we are usually the first ones to go up on stage. But until then we sat in a hallway and we all chatted with each other. We might be competing against one another, however, in the world of cosplay, we all just want to learn from one another. At least that is how I look at it.

When it came time for us to go on we stood behind the stage and tried to get rid of our nerves. It can sometimes be a long process, but because of the preliminary judging, all we had to do was walk up on stage, do a little move or so, show off the costume, and then walk off stage. Even with that little bit of action, it was still very nerve racking, especially if it is your first time. This was my 2nd time so I wasn’t nearly as nervous.

As the announcer called my name, I walked onto the stage, bowed a little, took a few steps and used my spy glass to look out at the audience,  then took a few more steps and showed off the ruffles of my skirt.  As I walked off stage I stood against the wall with the others until everyone was announced and did their walk.

Video of Steampunk Snow White in Contest

At that point they announced the winners of the tailoring category. First they announced an Honorable Mention, a costume which they felt had some great work and even though didn’t become runner up or win, was still needing to be, well, mentioned! After that was runner up (2nd place) and then the Winner which stays till the End for Best in Show prize.

Honorable Mention was a girl who cosplayed a character from the video game Overwatch. I’m unsure of which character it was particularly, but if you watch the video, and you know anything of Overwatch, then you should get it. At least I think it was Overwatch. If i’m wrong, feel free to inform me!

Then they were about to announce runner up. As I stood with my back against the wall, I looked to my left and right, admiring all of the fantastic Costumes that everyone created. I was honored to be among some of the most amazing creative people. There was no way I would get picked when so many of them were way better than me.

“Runner up goes to…. Janice Angell for her Steam Punk Snow White!”

The look of pure shock that hit me was probably quite entertaining if you could see it. The girls next to me had to nudge me off the wall so I could go up and receive my prize! Such a blessing and humbling moment for me as I walked up and heard the applause! It was definitely a great moment for me! The prize? $200.00!! 20170909_212701

First place went to a cosplayer who was Helga Hufflepuff from Harry Potter! She deserved that. The dress was so elaborate and beautiful! To take a character who is not mentioned a whole lot in the movies, and make a costume for her, especially when all you see is painted liked pictures, is amazing!

Video of Prize Reveals

The night was over and we were all worn out.

Sunday:

Carolyn was feeling much better and was eager to get back to the convention center. She still had an autograph to get from Katee Sackhoff. Because of winning $200.00 from the costume contest I was able to afford to get James and Oliver Phelps photo and autograph! Such a blessing! Plus, because I had $60.00 in credit from Karl Urban canceling I decided to use that to get Dominic coopers autograph. It was starting to look like all we were going to be doing was photo ops and autograph. That was just fine with us.

Untitled-1

First step was getting my photo with the twins (James and Oliver). However, of all the times they had for photo ops and autographs with everyone we needed, everything was clashing with the times to get Dominic Coopers autograph. I asked Carolyn if she wouldn’t mind getting his autograph for me and giving him the pictures of me as Peggy Carter. She agreed to. I thought, if I have any time at all and he’s still at his booth, then I will come by and at least say Hi.

I go in for my photo shoot with twins and again, very fast, but, it was very nice to be in, what Carolyn and I call it, a Weasley Sandwhich. They are very tall so they leaned over and in towards me a bit.

Carolyn met back up with me in front of the celebrity booths to give me Dominic’s autographed picture. From there, after fawning over what he wrote, we went to the twins’ table so I could get their autograph. 20180417_174629We weren’t far from the front of the line, but that just meant we had to wait longer for them to get back from the photo ops. When they returned.. and it was my turn, we shook their hands… again… and I told them about how the autograph and photo op would never have been possible if I hadn’t won 2nd place in the costume contest. Then, miss Carolyn decides to show them the picture of my cosplay! They were very impressed and said congratulations. I even mentioned to them the Helga Hufflepuff who won!

This is where things kind of get fuzzy. I don’t remember what we did next or in what order. What we did get a chance to do is go back to Dominic. What he wrote on the picture was “To Janice: All My Love, Dominic Cooper”. 20180417_174610Seriously… make a girl swoon why don’t ya!! Carolyn gave him my photo of Peggy and said he loved it! So of course I have to go say Hi. He had no one in line as I approached the booth so I knew I didn’t have to completely rush what I was going to say! But to look at him and try to speak, was going to be difficult. He started saying something about whether he should sit or stand and how people thought he was a little short and preferred him to sit (they were stools so it made them taller). I actually preferred him standing cause it wasn’t as tall as he was sitting down. Made it easier for me to look at him. I then told him how Carolyn was a sweetheart and got the autograph for me and that the picture she gave him was ME. He was like “That was you?” I nodded. He said told me He loved it and thanked me for giving it to him. I had another one as well that went with it (I had Carolyn just give him both) and I told him I had a hard time deciding which one to give to him, that’s why he got two. He said “I’m seeing Haley in a week, could I give her the other one?”

My heart was pounding in my chest. I’m not sure if I was able to speak let alone smile. I felt like I was giving him the “deer in the headlights look”. I of course said yes. Oh, who is Haley you ask? Haley Atwell plays Peggy Carter on Captain America and starred in her own show for Agent Carter!! So you could imagine my excitement when the person who played the character I cosplayed was going to receive a picture of me in it!!  Let’s just say, I feel like that was my top FAVORITE moment of the weekend! And now I’m regretting not asking him for a hug!!

We also stood in line to get Carlos Valdes’ autograph. This one was a wonderful interaction as well. 20180417_174531As we got up to him and he took the picture to autograph, he said “wow… this is awesome!”  I then asked him to give me a hug. I”m used to them just hugging from over the table. He got down for his chair, walked around the table, and gave me a hug! *SWOON and proceed to melt!* I still remember how his hug felt. Since he is not much taller than me it wasn’t very awkward. It was so sweet… and Carolyn was kind of shocked cause apparently it was a long hug. I think it might’ve been… I was just too speechless to think about it.

Anyway, that’s how the weekend went. As you can imagine we have been talking about those memories since. This was one of the best Rose City Comic Con’s I had been to and I can’t wait till next year! I mean this year!! Right! September 2018!!

SP Snow White: Photoshoot #1

It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks in the Angell household. On top of my husband finding out he had to be in Korea another week, I had physical, massage, and counseling therapy, along with a meet and greet at a preschool with Tinker Fairy, a photo shoot, and then a talent show. I will get to the photo shoot in a bit, but let me start off by saying that even though I was busy, I felt like I was accomplishing something. What that was, I still do not know *laughs*.  I will be sharing about the talent show in my upcoming post so keep an eye out for that. It will include a video!!

c620d96a2b1f0e0dd1b1204030daabf6
Cathedral Bridge, Portland, OR (Source: Google Images-Cathedral Bridge)

Wednesday, the 9th, I went out with my sweet, amazing cousin, and photographer, Jenelle Newton. We took a drive to Cathedral Park in Portland, Oregon for my photo shoot. I had this place in mind for this particular shoot for quite some time now. It has a regal elegance to it that is unmatched in the city. It’s a bridge that goes across the Willamette river. The towers across the road are giant cathedral like archways. This same look is underneath the bridge as well, hence the name Cathedral Park.

DSC_0049
Cathedral Park, Portland, OR (Picture by: Janice Angell)

We were hoping to be there at 2pm and work till 4pm, however we didn’t end up arriving at the park until closer to 3pm. This meant we only had one hour for me to get the rest of the costume on and make some magic happen. We probably should have thought through this one a bit more. Jenelle came prepared with some poses that I could do and a mirror as a prop. I’m so happy she thought of that cause that was a really, really neat idea.

We did a few shots up near the lamppost and the stairs that lead back up to the parking lot. No matter what, this park has some great backdrops for photography. Jenelle did quite a bit of editing and so did I. I changed some levels (brightness, contrast, shadows, and highlighting) along with adding some vignetting effects.

DSC_0062We then walked down to a weeping willow tree that sits right below one of the archways under the bridge. Weeping willows are one of my favorite trees. I keep asking my husband if we could put one in our yard, but honestly, I want one already grown. This was really a perfect setting. Unfortunately both Jenelle and I did not realize that my gold collar was lying flat. Because this is a “Snow White” the collar has to be standing up. We did poses with the gun, map, the spyglass and all my other knickknacks. Jenelle was great at creating poses that would work for this particular cosplay, even though she hasn’t even read the story yet. By the way… I am almost done with that and will soon be posting the finished work… after some editing of course.

From the willow tree we walked down below towards the train tracks. I was a little nervous about getting pictures on the tracks… but we really needed to. I mean think about it… Dwarves, mining, Snow White… it just fits! I don’t have the dwarves in my story, but I do mention them. As we were on the tracks we were very cautious and looking around quite a bit to see if the train was coming. It is an active track so I was a bit concerned.

While doing our thing there was a drone with a camera flying in between the trees on the other side. It was facing us and all I could do was just stare at it like “what do you want?”. Honestly it was quite hysterical. The sound of those things are a bit annoying, but I know someone who can get some amazing shots with those. Makes me wish I had one just so we could do some different stuff! What would’ve made this shot even better is fog!!  Pretty sure we will be utilizing one the next go around.

DSC_0090Near these train tracks is this giant cement housing which serves as not only a support for the bridge but also… well I’m not exactly sure what it is. I do know that it has doors that are being blocked by a metal gate. This picture was taken on a day that I took my kids with me on a scouting mission. If this looks familiar at all to you… then you either live in Portland, OR… or you have seen the show “The Librarians” on TNT. It’s a great show and features Christian Kane. He’s one of my favorite actors and also plays in Leverage. Both shows are directed by Dean Devlin and are absolutely fantastic! Anyways, this spot is used quite often for scenes in the show. I’m not sure if it is this side or if they have the same thing on the other side of the river, nonetheless it’s a great place.

Back on topic… we though the stone would make a great back drop for some of the photos, along with the crest emblem that is on the side of the structure. We also used the ledge for some great shots with the mirror prop. This involved Jenelle having to climb on the edge and trying to get a decent angled shot in the mirror. It took awhile but she got it.

Our next thing was to get some good shots close up. We wanted to do shots with the goggles and with my birdie on my shoulder (one of my favorite props). These turned out amazing and are some of my favorite shots. Don’t get me wrong, I love the full length ones as well, but these shots just seemed to capture Snow a bit more.

At this point it was already time to leave. We had so much more we wanted to do but never got a chance. Now we have better ideas for a second photo shoot which will be coming up, probably after Rose City Comic Con. Our next location will be at Edgefield McMenamins which has a very Steampunk feel to it. We will be bring the fog machine along to get some more action shots!

So there you have it!!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Again… Be sure to check out my facebook page and twitter for updates and conversations regarding current and future cosplays. Yes… I’m already thinking of and planning the next cosplay! We never stop thinking!!

SP Snow White-Part 3: Accessories

Steampunk is one of those genres/cultures that detail matters. That’s part of the reason I was extremely apprehensive about starting this cosplay. It had to be unique… but it had to also work with steampunk. The main outfit works well with the genre… but it needed those details to really make it work. That’s when I added in accessories. Each accessory has a unique part in the story.

Oh… did I not tell you?  I wrote a story about her! Don’t worry, you’ll get to read it as soon as I finish it. For now… here is a synopsis.

The Kingdom of Landel in the land of Aldoran was once ruled by fair a King; his daughter, Snow White, along side him. They were joyful and at peace until the King married. The new Queen sought to rule the kingdom on her own. After the passing of the King all that stood in the way was her step daughter… the most fairest in all the land. The Queens mission… remove Snow! She had a plan to conquer the kingdom… little did she know the true hearts of those that served the King.

Sounds a lot like the Original right? Well, almost. I mean she is Snow after all. However, in this story there is magic, potions, and deception! Forget the apple… it’s a thing of the past.

17015674_1449430778414064_3938004586006908426_oOne of the first accessories I needed to get started on was the hat which I made out of stiff stabilizer, red velvet fabric, a fake birdie, black head band and some gears and chains. The hardest part was making sure all the little details stayed on the hat and wouldn’t keep falling off. They did just that… quite often. I had to use a glue called quick-bond that worked better for metal. Here is the link to the YouTube video I made for the hat: SP Hat Instruction.

20170710_23043420170518_234324The necklace I wanted to make took a lot of tries and a lot of mistakes. Tip: #1 ModgePodge in a thick layer will crack, #2 Do not put Dimensional Magic on fresh ink, #3 Don’t get stressed. The drawing for the pendant came from a lady in my cosplay group I am in on facebook. I had asked if anyone could draw out a steampunk anatomical heart and she took up the project. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that she did cause it turned out amazing. The picture is on a base made out of baking clay. I tried using metal pendants but none of them were big enough. This pendant is what spurred quite q bit of the story line as well so it’s a very pivotal piece.

20170524_230212The bracer with the nautical compass was a little bit of a challenge. Trying to put a flat metal object on a small rounded forearm is not that easy. Luckily I have an engineer for a husband. He cut out two pieces of light wood that sat underneath the compass and took up the space between the base. I added a coil to give it a bit more steampunk flair but it was a last minute detail so it is not pictured until the completion.

20170521_163755The watch bracer has a particular part to the story. The hunter gives it to Snow to protect her. It makes her invisible to the Queen for a certain amount of time. When the clock stops the spell is no longer active and the mirror in which the queen uses to determine if there is anyone fairer than she, will know that Snow is alive. This brace involved a few layers of gears, clock face, and clock hands. The two glass bottles on the sides is what houses the potion to keep the spell active.

20170520_202408
Base painting!

On to the gun! Goodwill or any thrift store that sells toys is an amazing place to find cheap Nerf Guns. It doesn’t have to work, but you do want it to be the right look.

20170523_163933

Honestly I could’ve got a smaller one, but I really liked the revolver idea. I did a couple base paints with some Krylon spray (best stuff for plastic) but I ended up painting over that as well. One thing that is problematic is the paint you use to do the detailing with. I tried to used normal craft paint and it does not stick to plastic well, especially the metallic or chrome kind. It is definitely possible to accomplish, just be sure to do a few coats over it. When I mean a few… it may take a lot.

I added a few old O2 canisters from the little spray duster cans and put on some silver jar cap looking things. This allowed me to add a bit more in the way of aesthetics. I also added a scope. The scope made me very frustrated. The first time I did it I used wine bottle corks, painted them and drilled a hole through them. I then glued them together and added flat copper wire around each end and in the middle covering up the seam.20170526_221729 Getting the wire to stay attached to the cork and the corks themselves staying together was not working. So instead I cut the length I wanted out of a 1/2 inch pvc pipe, painted it and then added a couple pipe clamps to each end. Now the scope is a heck of a lot sturdier.

I unfortunately do not have a finished pic of the gun with the new scope, but once I get my photo shoot pictures I will.

Every steampunk character needs a pouch to hold whatever goodies they are in. So I made one for snow.

20170521_163747

20170521_163719.jpgIt holds the keys that belong to her heart. If you need to look back at the pendant for this… do so. It also holds some mapping tools and a few potion bottles… oh… and lets not forget a map of the Land! The leather pouch was my own pattern and it is hand stitched. Before stitching leather… be sure to make holes first. Much easier. Less painful. I also created the belt at this time so I could add the extra keys, a holder for the spyglass, and a place to hang the birdie in the cage.

20170521_204209The bird in the cage is done by modeling clay. I’m honestly surprised it has stayed intact but that’s good. The map, which is placed in the pouch, was something of my own design.

20170713_115113

I had never once made a map from scratch before, but I had to try it. I love how it turned out and I coffee stained it the night before the photo-shoot. However, when I got home and when to take out my belt… my map was no where to be found. Yep… that’s right… I’m making another one.

Right next to the bird cage is a strap that goes from under the skirt and attaches to the belt to bustle the skirt up.  At first this was going to be a mechanical piece. We were going to have a pulley system that I could crank and it would come up or go down. Despite our dozen efforts to get it to work, it was just not doing what we wanted it to do. Oh well. Sometimes you have to just move on when things get too stressful and change it up.

There you have it! A complete cosplay.

20170710_225617

There are still a few things I may be adding but it’s finished and I could never be happier.

Remember that these things take time. Do not rush yourself. Take it one step at a time and NEVER stress on something for too long. Take a break and do something else. Then see what you can do.

Keep a weather eye out… I hope to reveal some photo-shoot shots soon!  Take care and … live long and nerdy!

SP Snow White-Part 2: Sewing Construction

The dreaded act of sewing. Okay… it isn’t that dreadful, but some would think it is. I have done it enough that it’s not nearly as intimidating as it was when I was in High School. However, this cosplay was definitely the most challenging for the sewing aspects. It was great practice and now I know more then I did before I started it.

Let’s start breaking down the steps as to how I made the Corset, Skirt, and Jacket.

Corset:

simplicity-costumes-pattern-2172-envelope-front

Corsets: a girls best friend or their worst enemy. Sometimes both! I’ve struggled a lot with even wanting to work on a corset at all, but I knew at some point I would need it. Better now and learn then later and screw up a chance of making something AWESOME! First I needed the pattern.

This is Simplicity 2172. The corset in this pattern had an upside-down v-shaped bottom. It was great for that style, but not for Snow. So my first step was to take the pattern from Simplicity, retrace it onto pattern paper and make the adjustments accordingly by adding a point instead. Although it’s time consuming, doing this is great and it makes it possible for you to customize patterns to work for you!

Because I have made videos of the corset and skirt I will just give you a few tips on each. One the corset, be sure to iron your fabric prior to cutting out fabric, and always… ALWAYS use the triangles that are on the patterns. They are very helpful in matching up seams. Also, with boning, use wire cutters. Do not be me and use scissors! Here is my link to the you tube video of the Corset Construction.

A-Line Skirt

M6911

For the skirt I used McCalls M6911. I did not do the overlay or the design on the skirt… just the skirt itself. This skirt has a train and needs to be hemmed to fit you. I kept my train long and only hemmed the front.

Tips: Be sure to pin your pieces together with you sew. With long fabric pieces like skirt and dresses they can slip and slide a lot, especially if it is a sateen material. I used a flat matte Satin.

Here is the link to the YouTube Video for A-Line Skirt Construction.

Jacket:

I did not, unfortunately, get pictures or video of the construction. The pattern is again Simplicity 2172. There is a lining and I always suggest using a silky or satin fabric for the lining and not the cheap apparel lining. 20170513_213909The cap part of the sleeve I added the Red tear drop things from cut out felt. I sewed those on before I sewed the caps to the sleeves themselves. Again, be sure to follow all instructions in the pattern.

The collar was the hardest part. I cried and argued with my husband about how to draw out the pattern, what to make the collar with, and how to make it stand up. He was a gem and drew out a crescent/u shape pattern out for me. You will have to adjust  and measure for how big you want the collar. What I used was thick stabilizer. It’s the same type of stuff I made the hat out of, which you will learn in the next post about the accessories. It’s stiff but flexible enough to still be manipulated and shaped. I covered it with a Gold pleather (faux leather/plastic leather) and sewed around the edges. It stands up nicely and I love how tall it turned out to be!

I was so please to finally put on the whole thing, minus all accessories. It felt good and I wanted to wear it around the house all day! It is a rewarding feeling when you make something from the grown up and put your own spin on it!  Now get out there and make some magic!

Be sure to check back either tomorrow or Thursday for SP Snow White-Part 3: Accessories! 🙂  If you have any questions, be sure to comment and I will do my best to answer! Thanks for sticking with me!

SP Snow White – Part 1: Design

Never, in all my years of sewing, would I have ever dreamed about doing anything Steampunk related. Why? Well the culture for steampunk is quite unique. You get one thing wrong you may as well say bye bye to your cosplay career. Okay, so it isn’t all that harsh, but it is very specific to certain things and I really wanted to get it right. However, thinking that way made me stress out a lot and at times I didn’t even to work on it. I would stare at my designs and think ‘What am I getting myself into!’. My dear husband who is my supporter, my engineer, and the one who thinks I can do anything, told me I should just go for it and not worry about what others may think. So that’s what I did.

Before any good cosplay there comes a design. Whether it be from an already known character or one that is made up entirely by the cosplayer themselves. We call these originals, which is what Steampunk Snow White is. She is an original. She has her own story line, she has a unique to herself costume, and best of all… it’s the only one that looks like this in existence.

I started out by going through different pattern designs for steampunk. Simplicity Patterns has some of the best so I picked a few of them.

The first two patterns didn’t really fit with what I was going for, but I kept them for future uses (I have plans for more Disney style steampunk).  The other two I looked at more and tried to decide which one would best fit my character. This included drawing out and recoloring to come up with what I wanted.

16708413_1431515286872280_7761561803739736386_n

The first design was a basic recoloring of the third pattern. This was simple and easy to do and the color scheme was quite nice… but the more I looked at it, the more I felt something was missing. Now, I started this design process in October of last year. It didn’t stare at it every day or spend every waking moment trying to figure it all out. No. I took my time, cause I knew that Rose City Comic Con was another year away.

16508914_1431515303538945_5449121228789335476_n

 My next step was trying to figure out what was missing. I then decided I would go with out the short jacket, create a cape with collar, add short puffy sleeves, and give it a bit more of a steam punk flair. Note.. this drawing was not as good as my first cause I was rough sketching it while doing something else. 🙂  I showed this to my husband and he liked it… but thought it just wasn’t quite there yet. I agreed. 16708473_1431515353538940_7812896027988799963_nSO I thought… why don’t I mix a couple patterns. I liked the skirt from the first design so I wanted to stick with that.. but I did want something more cape like.

I was FINALLY getting closer!  I loved the jacket in the fourth pattern cause it was longer, like a cape, but still had steampunk flair… and it covered my arms! That was a huge plus. The corset is from the fourth pattern as well but the bottom would have to be changed to a point rather than the upside down V the pattern was.  I almost called this my final design but something was still off. I wasn’t sure if it was the coloring or the design on the skirt or the corset that was wrong, it just wasn’t perfect yet. By this time it was around May and I needed to start sewing and getting to making it as I only had a few more months left before RCCC 2017. So back to the drawing board I went. 16711868_1431515370205605_8912810837188683293_nMy husband was a huge help as he gave me ideas to help me think of other ways I could do this. One thing I did know is that the ruffle front, below the corset, would probably be the one fabric item I would want to throw out.. so that’s when I came up with this!

Although this design says “final” on it… it really wasn’t. However, it was a heck of a lot closer then all the rest. That’s when I started sewing and getting the big part of the costume done. Now i still wasn’t finished. There was a lot of steampunk details that I needed to add. The hat was one of the first things I created… but trying to do the veil was a pain in my butt. I decided not to do the veil which made it possible for me to add other little details to the hat. 20170608_085829Once I was finished sewing the corset, skirt, jacket, and collar piece I needed to work more on the detail. By this time it was around June… my kids would be visiting for the summer and we were about to go on vacation for a week in Kansas. I wanted to get the majority of all the detail work done before they arrived.

This was only a few details but it was finally coming to fruition. I had a bigger and better idea of what I was going to do, to really make this character come to life. The details were as follows:

Necklace with anatomic heart design
Leather belt with Pulley attachment to lift up skirt
Spyglass
Potion bottles
Chains
Nautical compass on Leather Wrist band
Leather wrist brace with clock on it
Gun
Leather holster for gun
Map

The more and more I added, the more excited I was getting about the finished product. I did not get it done before the kids arrived, like I wanted to, but I did finish it while they were here. There were some details that got changed, for example; Leather belt with Pulley Attachment to lift up skirt. We tried very hard to create a pulley system and nothing was working, so I opted for a leather strap that is on the inside of the skirt that comes out and up to the belt. You will see pictures of that later.

No matter what project you are working on Design is always an important step. Your finished product my not look at all like your first idea, but you have to start somewhere!

Don’t forget to follow the blog to stay updated with the next post SP Snow White-Part 2: Sewing Construction. Also be sure to like my Facebook page Angell Cosplay and follow on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

 

What I’ve Been Called For

This weekend I get to work with a Cosplay group called Cosplay Characters for Kindness. They raise money for different charities and attend many charities events for children and adults. At first I was nervous about trying to submit my cosplays to the group, but I just had this gut feeling that it was something I really needed to do. They approved them quickly (I submitted Tinker Bell and Peggy Carter) and I’m now finally a part of a wonderful group for some wonderful causes.

We are raising money for Magic Wheelchair at Cherry City Comic-Con in Salem, OR. This is one of my favorite organizations as they make cosplays for kids who are in wheelchair. I don’t mean they make their clothes… no… they make the WHEELCHAIR a costume!  It is incredible!!! It started off with them having two kids in wheelchairs that really wanted to be involved in Halloween, so they created their chairs into costumes! This was one of their first ones:dragontitle
(Source: Google Images-Magic Wheelchair)

AMAZING right??  But wait… there’s more! Last year at Rose City Comic-Con in Portland, OR they revealed a Green Arrow bike for a little girl!  🙂 Although we didn’t get to witness the reveal while we were there it was wonderful getting to see her in it going around the convention center… biggest smile on her face!!Green-Arrow-Wheelchair
(Source: Google Images-Magic Wheelchair)

Just one more! This one they did for a little boy who was battling cancer. They asked me to show up as Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and asked the 501st Legion to join us as well. It was such a pleasure and an honor to witness this reveal and meet the little boy and his family. screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-7-30-58-am
(Source: Google Images – Magic Wheelchair)

At the Harvest Hustle was where I finally realized why I cosplayed in the first place. It wasn’t for me or the compliments I get, it is for the kids. The reaction when they get to see their favorite character is a huge moment for them! It’s like when you go to Disneyland for the first time and you see the one character you adore the most!!  My fan-girl moment was when I finally got to meet Captain Jack Sparrow!!  I will always remember that time.  It’s the same way with cosplayers… we do it for the memories that we can give others!

I will update about how this weekend goes sometime next week… maybe when Esther is napping! 😀  Being a mom is hard work. Being a mom and a cosplayer… THE BEST JOB EVER!!

 

Please visit these pages, like, and give them some support!!  We can make a difference!
https://www.facebook.com/cosplaycharactersforkindness/

https://www.facebook.com/magicwheelchair/

https://www.facebook.com/cherrycitycomiccon/

https://www.facebook.com/RoseCityCC/

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Quit

​Is there anyone else, aside from me, that gets made fun of for cosplaying or going to comic cons? I thought for sure that after becoming an adult (which was 16 years ago) that I wouldn’t have to deal with immature people making fun of me just to make themselves look and feel better. Just recently I heard someone say that cosplaying and going to comic cons was childish and immature. 
Cosplaying is an art. It takes time, focus, and a great deal of talent in order to create something that you don’t really have a pattern for. It’s not just a costume, it’s a masterpiece. When I go out dressed in whatever I have made, people get to see an art form. It’s like going to a gallery filled with sculptures and paintings that you’ve never seen before. You stop and admire the art that someone put their whole heart into. 

The first cosplay I fully made was the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time. It’s what started it all. The day I finished that costume was the day my father passed away. He always told me that I was talented and that I could do anything. So I did. He never got a chance to see my finished work, but I can hear his voice saying “that’s amazing”. So when I hear someone saying that cosplay is childish and immature, it hurts. It cuts deeper than some could ever imagine. When I was faced with that, I almost gave up until those that were the closest to me reminded me just how far I have come.

I’m 34 years old. I enlisted in the US Navy when I was 18 and honourably discharged on September 11th 2001. I’ve moved to 3 different states since I married the love of my life and best friend.  I have my bachelors in Creative Writing and English, graduating with the highest honours. My husband and I own a house, have a 6 month old baby girl, 2 beautiful and amazing step kids (one who loves to dress up as well and asks me every year to make a costume for her), and I started my own business. I have accomplished a lot, but it wasn’t on my own. I believe in an omnipotent God who guided me and saved me through many areas in my life. He blessed me with a talent to sing, play guitar, write, act, and create beautiful costumes. Through Him I am able to Cosplay and I use it for His Glory! 

Imagine being in a place where people think that Christians look down upon comic cons and cosplayers. This is what happens today. At Rose City Comic Con last year I was walking into the front door when a sidewalk evangelist was protesting the comic con and saying that everyone who went was going to hell. I was shocked. I’m a Christian. I’m a follower of Christ. This disgusted me more than anything that someone could mislead so many people just because they don’t think its right. I don’t see anywhere in the Word of God that says a person can’t have a hobby, read comics, or make costumes. If your a Christian and you do read comics, go to comic cons, or cosplay, be aware of the characters you are portraying. Make sure they are good and clean, and that it doesn’t take away from the Lord. 

When I go to a comic con it’s almost like my mission field. God has blessed me with being able to create some amazing projects and has given me the strength to remind people that it wouldn’t be possible without God. I know what you are thinking… here she goes with that Christian rhetoric… yes, I talk like this, but I’m also there to make friends and to spread the love of God without judging.

To those of you who feel drag down by others because they don’t understand what you do or why you do it, don’t let it get to you. Keep going. Push forward. DON’T QUIT. It’s easy to quit and let them win, but you can’t do it. And for those of you who are the ones that make fun of this craft and the comic conventions… do me a favour… you try to do what we do. It’s not easy, but it sure is fun!!