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Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Kitty Cloak Tutorial

I posted my cat’s elven cloak in this post.  The cosplay kitty is rather popular over on my DA page, so I decided to do a tutorial!  It’s my first tutorial, so if it’s awful, I apologize, and feedback is always appreciated.  Also, pardon my craptastic drawings.  This cloak will work for any of your more patient four-legged friends, and here’s a secret:  it’s just a basic cloak pattern.  You can plug your own measurements in there, and make it human sized.

First, find your kitty and get some measurements.  Measurement A is how long you want your cloak to be, from the nape of the neck.  Measurement B is the height of the hood, from the shoulder to the top of the head, plus a little extra for ease.  Measurement C is around the neck, or how wide you want the neck of the cloak to be.  For your furry friends, make it pretty loose.  If the neck gets caught on something, you want them to be able to slip their heads out instead of getting trapped and strangling themselves.

Now, we will make the pattern.  You should make your pattern out of paper and then transfer it to your fabric.  Mark out a small circle with an opening, the circumfrence of which is equal to your neck measurement plus your ease.  I’ve marked one inch of ease on my drawing.  You can make the cloak a full circle, or leave an opening on it as I have in my drawing.  Next, draw out a larger circle around the smaller one, using measurement A to determine how far apart they should be.  (I know, my drawing is not a perfect circle.  It’s because I’m lazy.)  Mark this on your fabric, and cut.

The pattern for the hood is cut in two pieces.  Measurement B is the height of your hood.  Use 1/2 of measurement C plus 1/2 of your ease  to mark out the neck.  The odd little dip in the drawing is there to accomodate the shoulders.  It doesn’t need to be very drastic for a pet, because they don’t have as defined shoulders as a human, but the pattern should be lower at the front, and then rise a little in the center where the shoulders will be.  The front of the hood will be a straight line.  Don’t forget to add in a little seam allowance, then cut out your pieces and stitch together the back seam, which is marked with a dotted line in my drawing.

Next, pin the hood piece to the neck of the cloak, right sides (the pretty sides without the seams showing) together, making sure that the center back and side edges match up.  Stitch together.  It’s a little less clear in my drawing, because I’m not sure how one draws an inside out garment with seam lines showing.  Now, try your cloak onto your pet, and mark out where the ears should go.  Take off the cloak, and cut a line for the ears to fit through.

Since my cloak was an elven one, I closed it with a leaf pin, which I made out of gold fimo and then glued a safety pin to the back of it.  However, you can use whatever closure you want.  A good idea is to use enough elastic so that the cloak can be slipped over your furry friend’s head.  Now, finish your seams and your ear-holes up however you like.  I chose to leave mine raw, because I knew there was no way in hell I was getting my cat to wear it more then once.  And now you’re done!  

If you use the tutorial, be sure to send me a picture of the finished product!

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Feature Friday: Zuko and Mai

Ok, ok.  So it’s not technically Friday.  I’m not use to this stuff yet!  Anyway, this week’s post is from Digital–Love,  (check out the page!) over on DeviantArt.  Hooray for adorable couples cosplay!  Also, Mai, another character I’ve wanted to do myself.  Noticing kind of a trend here with these features… Mai also has a DA account worth checking out.  (Her Flame Princess cosplay could be the subject of it’s own Feature Friday someday…)  Their costumes are just beautiful, and Digital–Love got that scar just right.  They also picked a setting that is gorgeous, and looks like it could have been plucked from the show.  Incredible!

 

Fictional Knits: Slytherin Scarf

I’ve been doing a series of knit projects I’m calling Fictional Knits:  Knit accessories from shows and movies.  My latest installment is a request from a friend who wanted a Slytherin scarf!  So I pulled some green and grey acrylic from my stash, and made her one.  It’s modeled by my long-suffering cat, Yuffie, who is being photobombed here by our other cat, Peace.

Slytherin Scarf

Cosplay: Kitty Cosplay!

…And by Kitty Cosplay, I mean I made my cat a costume!  Today’s post features my beautiful kitty, Peace, dressed up in a LOTR cloak cosplay, complete with a leaf pin!  And I only have one picture, because after I took it, I had to chase her down and drag her out of the closet in order to get it off of her.  She is not a patient kitty.  But she was richly rewarded with treats for her troubles.  Update:  Tutorial!

“Kitten, you fool of a Took!”

Feature Friday: Makoto Kusinagi

Makoto Kusinagi from Ghost in the Shell

This week’s feature is a fantastic cosplay of major Makoto Kusinagi from Ghost in the Shell, by Blondie1419 over at Deviantart!  Go check out her page.  This cosplay is another great example of how details can make or break a cosplay.  She chose a great iteration of Makoto, and did a great job making her costume, but what really makes it stand out is the perfection of her hair, eyes and attitude.  She nailed the texture of her hair.  It’s just perfect.  It does exactly what it does  in the anime.  The colored contacts are another seemingly small touch that just makes the cosplay stand out so much more than if she hadn’t had them.  All of her poses convey the characters atitude so well.

It’s a great example of how the smallest details not only make the cosplay more accurate, but help you get into character.  Alas, I’ve never been able to do colored contacts, because I wear glasses and the cost of getting perscription colored contacts is prohibitive.  But maybe someday…

Blondie1419 as Makoto Kusinagi

I love her with baby robot SO MUCH

 

Anime Review: Eden of the East

Eden of the East

Eden of the East

Today I finished watching Eden of the East, as well as the two movies.  Spoilers potentially ahead, so be aware.  Eden of the East is a series about Akira Takizawa, one of nine people chosen by a mysterious “Mr. Outside” to be given 10 billion yen and a concierge named Juiz to answer every request, and tasked with saving the nation of Japan.  Should they fail, they will lose their lives.  It is mostly from the point of view of Saki Morimi, a young girl who finds Takizawa naked outside the White House, with nothing but a gun and a cellphone.  He has no memories, and must navigate the game of the Selecao, with the help of Saki and her friends, to successfully save Japan and his own life.

The concept behind this anime is a very thought-provoking one.  What would 12 random strangers do, given a huge amount of money and a task to fix the nation?  The Selecao seem to be picked specifically from diverse backgrounds.  There is a bureaucrat, a model, a rich kid, and Takizawa, who was selling newspapers from a bike when he was chosen.  Predictably, they all have dramatically different ways by which they think they can save the nation.  Seeing an anime that actually challenges the audience to think about these concepts is very refreshing.  What could 12 people with 10 billion yen each do to save the world?  What could 100 million people do with one yen each?  Eden of the East explores concepts such as the recent phenomenon of Hikikomori, or NEETS: shut-ins who are not currently engaged in training, education, or work.  The gap between the youth and those in power is also highlighted, as well as the impact of social media on our culture.  They also present the idea that regardless of what extreme events happen, life tends to return to the status quo depressingly quickly.  When all is said and done by the end of the second movie, the efforts of all those who participated in the games has remarkably little lasting effect.  But the anime also seems to imply that however small the change, it is nonetheless important.

The art style is very appealing in Eden of the East, and the characters are well-developed and interesting.  In the second movie in particular, we get to see how Juiz’s personality has adjusted to the personality of each Selecao.  The show will really make you think.  As far as the female characters go, it’s a little disappointing.  Aside from Saki, whose purpose seems to be to assist and support Takizawa, the females in the show seem to fade to the background.  It would pass the Bedchel test, I think, because of brief conversations Saki has with her sister regarding getting a job, but the rest of the series revolves around Takizawa.  There are two other women on the Eden of the East team, one of which is a computer expert, but it doesn’t seem as though as much effort was put into developing their characters.  Still, at the end, Saki shows enough courage to not allow Takizawa to leave on her again without showing him how she feels.  It is unfortunate that one of the only two female Selecao (and the only one to actually play the game) goes about her task by systematically mutilating and killing men who are convicted sex offenders because she was once attacked herself.

Eden of the East

Guess what’s about to happen here.

It seems like they chose a convenient and stereotypical way to explore what a woman’s solution to changing the world might be, and sacrificed a potentially more interesting and thought-provoking alternative.

Eden of the East

He’s showing everyone his dick in this picture.

I’ve come to accept that every anime is going to have its WTF moment, and with this show, it’s Johnnies.  In one episode, Takizawa meets these odd, skeletal, gooey creatures that he calls Johnnies.  We never find out what they are.  EVER.  Seriously, if there is some layered symbolism here with these, someone

Eden of the East

WTF is this?!

let me know, because I have NO IDEA.  Johnnies are a recurring theme, because the show seems a little obsessed with dicks.  We even have “The Johnny Stalker,” a women who cuts off men’s dicks.  Takizawa refers to his army of NEETs as Johnnies.  And they all walk around naked.  Overall, I would recommend that anyone watch this show.  It’s very interesting and intelligent, and it will leave you thinking for quite a while.  Great animation means that it’s also a treat to watch, and at 11 episodes and two movies, it’s not that much of a commitment.  Give it a watch!

Eden of the East

Do you see the Johnny in this picture?

Tira- Soul Calibur IV

Tira

Tira: SCIV

Soul Calibur IV

Tira and Ashlotte- the two costumes I made for Soul Calibur IV

Soul Calibur IV

I am SO PROUD of these shoes.

           Tira from Soul Calibur was my first real cosplay, that wasn’t thrown together in a day.  Soul Calibur’s costumes are a bitch to make.  There are approximately 50 million details in every costume.  Every time you think you’ve got it down, you find more detail you need to add.  There’s trim!  And colors!  And the fabric overlaps in weird ways!  The character creation area is very helpful though, because it lets you get a look at the costume from all angles.

Soul Cailbur IV

Tira’s hat

Soul Calibur IV

The entire SCIV group

         I chose Tira because I love me some crazy chicks.  We did the cosplay for a gaming carnival a group at my college was hosting, so we had a whole group together.  I personally made Tira and Ashlotte, although I did end up doing a lot of work on the other costumes as well.  I chose to wear a black tank top under my cosplay, because, well, no one wants to see my rolls and it’s freaking cold out here sometimes.  I’ve never had a problem with tweaking a cosplay to be more flattering, because I think that if you look bad in the costume, people will focus on that and all of the accuracy will be for nothing.  But changing it a little to be more flattering to your body type will make people more likely to notice the work you put into it.

Feature Friday: Bayonetta

Bayonetta

Today’s feature is a cosplay that I definitely want to do someday (although I’m hoping to lose a little weight first!).  Bayonetta is a character that I rarely see done right, but Daelyth over on deviantart really nailed it.  She captured all of the detail that most people miss, like the two tones in her costume.  Really just every aspect of this costume is accurate, and her attention to detail is insane!  Check out the costume and all her other works at her page!

Don't make me shoot you.

Daelyth as Bayonetta

Incredible costume, incredible photo!

Looking incredible on the con floor!

Akatsuki Cloak Commission

non-specified akatsuki member

My hubby’s Akatsuki cloak

This is my hubby, Don.  He asked me to make him an Akatsuki cloak, and I finally finished it.  It’s the third one I’ve made, and I have one more to go.  After that, I am NOT MAKING ANY MORE OF THESE.  They have the unique distinction of being both incredibly boring to construct, and also frustratingly fiddly and difficult.  I will admit to slacking off on his a little, given that I’m three deep in these.  I got him to wear it, but he didn’t want to do any accessories, so he is not a specific character.  Also, he didn’t want his picture taken, so I didn’t get a whole lot of time to make sure it was sitting on him straight when I took the picture.

cloak in progress

The cloak itself is very straightforward to make, and pretty simple.  I drafted one pattern that is very easy to fit to others with just a few tweaks.  It’s just a black cloak with a red lining, and a standup collar that is heavily interfaced.  The fiddly bit happens when I get to the clouds.

akatsuki cloud

pure evil.

If anyone knows an easier way to do these, they should let me know.  I used fusible web on red fabric, then cut out the cloud shapes and ironed them onto the cloak.  Then, I used bias tape to make the white outlines on the clouds.  I had to stitch the bias tape down by hand, catching the outer edge of the clouds underneath.  I used a parka zipper as a closure, which is kind of cool because it can be adjusted from both the top and the bottom.

I made my Akatsuki robe for my Konan cosplay, and another for my friend Talbert’s Toby cosplay.  I don’t know for sure what character Don will end up being for his cosplay, but he and his friends are supposed to be doing a group cosplay for Anime Kaigi, so he’s going to have to pick up some accessories at some point.  These things are super comfortable, and as a cosplay it’s nice, because it just covers everything.  I’m not going to lie, I wear mine around the house as a bathrobe!

My next projects will be my Anime Kaigi cosplays.  I am doing Mei Terumi from Shippuden, Litchi Faye-Ling’s doctor’s outfit from Blazblue, and Sophia Forrester from Last Exile.  I’ll probably do all of my accessories first.  So, what cons are you all going to, and what will you be wearing?

Konan cosplay

My friend’s Toby cosplay

Feature Friday

I thought it would be cool to do a featured awesome cosplay on Fridays.  (Right?  That’s something that people with blogs do…  I don’t know what I’m doing.)  So, for my first feature, here is a super awesome Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service!”   This version is from Witchiko over on Deviantart.   Her cosplay is adorable, and I love that she made the plush kitty as well!  The photos are all beautifully set up.  Her entire gallery is amazing, and you should all go look at it.  It’s very inspiring.

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Witchiko’s Kiki cosplay

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