Ana Amari Biotic Rifle:Construction

My first ever gun prop was a success! This was made roughly over a two week period using,
EVA Foam (5mm and 2mm) from CosplayShop.
Contact Cement (glue) also from CosplayShop.
Rubber Tubing from B&Q
Blue Clear File Not exact item (example)

I am so happy with how this prop has turned out and its defiantly my best one yet! I’ve learnt a lot through making this and whats really stuck with me is how useful blueprints are in cosplay. I will be using them for every prop I make from on!

Construction

I started by scaling and printing out my blueprinted and then taping it together. I taped it using masking tape on the back as it was stronger and not transparent and then for the front I used cello tape as it was transparent and wouldn’t effect any of the lines.
Ana BlueprintThis was then cut up into separate pieces based on how I had decided to construct it. I did this by laying the full pattern out and with a pencil I drew how many layers I’d need for each piece and then divided up the patterns into manageable sizes that would work and fit together well.
I’ve seen the combination of patterns and their sizes done differently from other cosplayers I looked at for reference but this is how I did mine. The red outlines represent the large patterns I cut out first, these we traced to foam and then cut into smaller patterns for internal details.
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The layering ranged from one to five layers depending on the area and pattern. For example the cover over the top barrel is just one later of 5mm foam while the butt of the gun is five layers of 5mm foam with an additional two layers of 5mm foam detailing the top triangle.
I’m currently painting the gun but once thats complete I’ll try and add an image here that shows how many layers each section was as well as foam thickness. And if I’m feeling extra kind I’ll outline all of the details I put in too which helped me simplify the design.

I then traced my patterns out onto the foam and cut everything out gluing them together with the contact cement. This was my first time using the contact cement and boy dose it have a strong smell to it!
Work in a well ventilated area or open some windows!! The trick with contact cement is to apply a thin even coat on the contact points (marking these out does help), leave it to dry for two or so minutes and then bind it together. If the glue is slippery and the contact points aren’t sticking you haven’t left it to dry long enough!
And soon enough the base gun was there.
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This was when I laid out my mop handles which would form my barrels for the gun later on. This was a huge boost of confidence and gave me an idea of the scale I was working with.
I then drew out an outline of what I wanted dremeled, this was only 0.5cm and I marked along the outside of the foam with a pen to give me an indication of when to stop dremeling. You can vaguely see these markings in the below picture.
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This was all glued together with contact cement, I applied it everywhere there might be contact for these pieces as I wanted no chance of it falling to bits.
Next I started adding details on top of this with the 2mm foam and some 5mm foam in places. I used the blueprint as a guide for this.7b85fc3037d036843d69e2d2a00bdececcd2024d_hq
Next up I added another small layer to the gun extending the pattern down slightly because I trimmed too much earlier in the build:sweat_smile:. You can see this gap in earlier pictures. I had to use a little bit of hot glue in the gap just to firmly hold things in place and also ‘fill’ the gap in where it was exposed on the edge.
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I also swapped out the foam I planed on using as the pipe for some rubber tubing. Which I think is such an improvement!
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Next up I made the canister thing as the bottom of the gun. I used the blue print patterns for this but just made the sides ever so slightly wider so they could be glued at the seams without shrinking in size too much.
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There’s air trapped inside it with the smallest hole in the seam so when you squeeze it it makes a hissing sound, I find it wayyyy too entertaining.
This was followed by another ‘mop-up’ (see what I did there mop-up instead of mock-up, I’m hilarious)
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This made me so happy!! There was light at the end of the tunnel yet!
I also fixed up the lower barrel mop end with some clay as it broke a little when I stomped on it to free it from the mop…
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And somehow it came together and looked pretty damn great!
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Next was putting the gun together, because I knew id have to take the gun on the tube I wanted it to be detachable so that I could take it apart to travel on the tube.
Originally I had wanted the gun to assemble with magnets inlaid into the foam for a seamless and sturdy finish. Unfortunately with the con only being two weeks away at this point and me not being able to find magnets in sizes that would fit/strong enough/reasonable price this changed to a good old friend of mine.
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No magnets? Industrial velcro it is.

So heres how I attached everything with velcro,
I’ve used coloured outlines which will match the opposite sides of the velcro to each other, hopefully this makes understanding how it was put together easier.
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I had a strip of velcro (toothed side) running along the top of the rifle (red). This is where the barrel would connect to.
There was a patch (toothed side) just below that (blue) which is where the cover folds over and connects to.
Then below that on the front of the gun is a circular patch (toothed side) (green) where the lower barrel would attach to.
A close up of the two lower velcro placements can be seen below.
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To put it together I would first get the lower barrel and stick it to the main rifle piece using the green velcro patches. The lower barrel piece also has two support beams(? I have no idea what to call them) which can been seen in pink and yellow (both soft side).
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When connected through the velcro in green the gun now looks like this.
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The next piece is the cover, this is the blue piece that literally just covers part of the barrel which is saw as a great opportunity to use as a weight to keep the barrel in place.
The light blue velcro (soft side) will attach onto the barrel.
The dark blue velcro (soft side) seen previously, will watch onto the base of the gun.
The pink and yellow velcro (toothed side) Which is actually just one strip attach onto the ‘support beams’ mentioned earlier.
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Below is a better picture of how it all attaches before being put together.
Watch was my drawing quality takes a turn for the worse.
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Are we still following?
Ignore the pink line line with the light blue at the bottom it was a mistake. Basically the cover just folds over connecting with the velcro along the way. The light pink line of velcro (toothed side) on top of the barrel is where the scope will attach later on. Theres a line of velcro (soft side) along the bottom of the barrel which attaches to the line of velcro on the base gun, this is seen in red.

The scope then attaches to the top of the barrel seen as the light pink lie in the previous picture.
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Which looks like this! Yay!
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And you’re all done!
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Finish it off with a shoddy paint job and you’re good to go!
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But in all seriousness I love this prop so much its defiantly my favourite to date!
If you want to know how to draw your own prop blueprints (with no fancy photoshop) I have a tutorial all about that Which you can read here!  And if you want to know how to scale and print those blueprints I have a another tutorial for that here!


I haven’t posted in a month and I am so sorry about that, it was such a rush to get all this done then I was away at the con wearing Ana and now work is super crazy every night!

I plan on having the last construction post for Ana to be up for next week maybe earlier and then I can start talking about new projects which I been saying I would do for months .. Ha ha.

Anyway back on board with regular posting! I love you all and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Nightingale Armour Remake 2017 Part 1

And so my hobby of cosplaying from Skyrim comes in a full circle.

I think it was mid way though 2015 where I played with the idea of re-making my Nightingale armour set from Skyrim. The armour is by far my favourite set from the game. I am very pleased with my first make of the set, it was my first self made cosplay and was very ambitious considering I hated textiles at school at the time.
Bodysuit arrived mased made
That selfie remains to be the best photo of me ever taken. I was 15 then, now 18…
I think whats so appealing about the Nightingale Armour is just how badass it looks. You’re a medieval ninja, whats not to love!!
I wanted to do it better, more details, see how I’ve improved as a costume maker and get some more in character photos.


I’m so happy with the accuracy of the remake so far, it’s already taking a better shape and is more form fitting.

I think something that’s really important to note about the Nightingale armour is that’s you’re far better off referencing source material rather than other cosplayers. There are many details that go into the main pieces and everyone interprets them differently. There’s nothing wrong with using other cosplayers material to guid you however! I referenced Dewbunch a lot when it came to patterning my set.

The main two reference images I used were,

This image from the official Skyrim art book. (Also available in the Man, Mer, Beasts Book)
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And this amazing picture which shows the set front and back without the cape!
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Worklog!

I started by wrapping myself in plastic wrap and painters tape covering the areas I wanted to pattern. I then cut myself out, put it on my dressform and taped it back up again and began drawing my patterns.
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I focused on just patterning the ‘breastplate’ portion this time round. Earlier in the year I had attempted to pattern both the breastplate and the belt portion of the armour in one go, this didn’t work as they layered to closely together making for a very tight fit. I also patterned everything far too small on that attempt!

I then cut these pattern out and numbered them all making a note of what number corresponds with which patterns.
I was happy with the shape and moved onto making a mockup. I just used regular old printing paper in an A3 size.
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It was still sitting the way I wanted it to do I tapped it all together for a try on!
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It fit perfectly!!
I only made one alteration and that was lowering the neckline by about 1.5cm, it was cutting into my neck a little bit and there needed to be at least 0.5cm for the standing collar.

Next was time to transfer everything to foam!

I used Cosplay Shop EVA Foam in the 0.5cm size.
THIS FOAM IS AMAZING
This is the foam Kamui Cosplay is currently using (endorsing) for all of her cosplays. It’s not expensive, I bought three 0.5cm sheets and a 0.2cm sheet all for £35 including shipping.
When I’ve completed this cosplay I’ll make a full review!
Because I will be covering this in stretch faux leather I wasn’t too worried about damaging the foam so I pinned my patterns to the foam before tracing and then cutting out.

It’s cuts so well too!!! None of that raw edge fraying foam you get with yoga mats. It’s so dense and doesn’t rip unless you put a lot of force on it.
This foam is actually the love of my life
Next I tapped all of my pieces together and tried it on again, happy to find it still worked perfectly!!!
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I then patterned the belt and skirting which I don’t have patterning photos of but here’s the finished belt with paper patterns for the skirting

I did another fit test using tape to connect the belt pieces and was once again really happy with the fit and how everything sat.
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At this stage I had gone through the two rolls of foam I first ordered and had to wait for my next order to arrive. this time ordering three 5mm rolls and one 2mm roll. When they arrived I transferred the patterns to foam and did a mock fit test.

These picture make me so happy!!! The accuracy is great and I’m so happy to see how I’ve improved as a costume maker in three years!
I’m currently cutting out raised details from the 2mm foam which will boarder some of the edges of the armour pieces to give it some extra texture and more depth making it look layered in areas.

My stretch faux leather sample should be arriving in the post over the next few days and if I’m happy with it I’ll order enough to cover the whole set. This will be glued down with contact cement, I haven’t used it yet but I hope it lives up to its ‘I’ll stick anything together’ reputation!

I’ve also drawn up a blueprint for the Nightingale Bow, you can see how I did that in My previous post.
Nightingale done

I’m yet to scale and print it but I’m very happy with how it looks!

I’ll be reusing my cape, bodysuit and boots from my original Nightingale Armour set which means I won’t have to do any sewing for this cosplay, save it all for my ball gown.


Next month I’ll be attending MCM Comic Con in London where I will be wearing my Ana Amari Cosplay, so I’m busy working on that now to get it all finished in time. Jamilla will be Widow Maker and I’m so excited to get a shoot together and meet each other finally!

Ana updates coming but my next post will be about the fabrics I have got for my 1860’s ball gown which I’m so happy with!

 

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Tutorial: Drawing Blueprints MacBook (free)

I got halfway through writing this tutorial using Auriel’s Bow as an example but gave up due to it being too complicated/detailed and just couldn’t be bothered finishing it. But a week later I decided to try again this time using the Nightingale Bow as an example. This was perfect as I’m planing a particular remake that will benefit from this blueprint, hint hint!

This tutorial will go though step by step showing how to use a MacBooks built in function and a free app to make blueprints for props. I’m not that great when it comes to using photoshop programs and I didn’t really want to spend money on buying one to then learn how to use. So when I stumbled upon these functions through some online forums I was more than excited to test their worthiness for making blueprints.

Tutorial Time

 

The first thing you want to do is download a free app called “Paint X Lite” from the App Store. You won’t need the full version for this.

Then you want to find a reference photo that show what you want to make at a flat angle. Its better your reference photo is flat as this makes drawing it out easier because you have a full view the prop.

Below I have included what is a good reference image looks like vs a bad one.

Notice how the second picture isn’t quite flat which obscures the outside lines, while the first picture is completely flat showing the overall shape as well as the fine details. I think its also important to note that if you can its best to get a reference image that has a transparent or white background. This will mean you use less ink when printing and don’t have to spend time whiting the background out yourself.

I got my reference image from the Skyrim Wiki which I linked earlier. The background is transparent which is a great bonus.
step 1

Then you want to save that image, I saved mine to a folder containing all of my reference images and progress pictures keeping things together.
step 2
You then want to open your image up and it will look like this.
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Next you want to click on the little briefcase icon at the top of the page. This is called the “Markup Toolbar” and its what you’ll be using to draw the blueprint.
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Now because the Nightingale bow is mostly black using a black outline is going to be difficult. So for this I decided to use red as a base outline colour but any contrasting colour will work.  You can change the colour of the pen by selecting the two boxes (circled) at the top of the page and changing them to a contrasting colour.
step 5
To begin drawing your outline you have two options. You can use ‘shapes’ which is similar to Vector drawing. Or you can select ‘sketch’ which is just as it sounds but cleaning up lines is easier. Sketch is highlighted in blue which shapes is highlighted in red. For the first part of this tutorial I’ll be showing how to use the shapes option but I’ll switch to sketch later on. Use which ever suits you!
step 6
When using shapes once you click the diagonal line in the drop down box a line will appear with three dots on it, one on either end and in the centre. I’m going to refer to these as ‘side nodes’ and ‘centre node’, because I actually remember information from Year 12 maths!
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Mastering how these lines work takes a little bit of time but here are a few basic rules to get you going.
You can make the line smaller by clicking and dragging a side node closer to the centre node. This also works in reverse by dragging a side node away from a centre node making the line larger.
You can pick up and move the lines anywhere by moving your cursor over the line until it becomes a hand indicating that you can pick it up, you can then move the whole line anywhere. Alternatively you can just drag one side node to the spot you want it and then move the other side node into the position you want it as well.
The centre node it key for making curves. By clicking and dragging the centre node in any direction to create a curve. You can create tight curves by moving the centre node closer to one of the side nodes or gradual curves by keeping an Evan distance between the centre node and the side nodes.
Its all about experimenting! The lines are movable (within the same session) once you’ve placed them if you make any mistakes.
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For example above I have stretched the two side nodes to the outside of the bow over a curve. By clicking and dragging the centre node to the curve and moving it around until it lines up with the outline of the bow it forms a curve exactly like that on the prop.
step 10
By continuing to do this all the way around your prop it’ll be outlined in no time.

TIP, sometimes using smaller consecutive lines will make going around tight corners or sharp angels that much easier.

Here I have finished outlining the outside of one half of the bow and can start on the details inside the bow.
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Before I start that though I’m going to change the line thickness to something smaller which will make the details that little bit more accurate. It also means that there won’t be any thick lines to overlap or get too close to one another.
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You can change the line thickness by clicking on the icon that is just three lines in different sizes on top of each other. Self explanatory really!
step 13
Once you’ve finished with the inside details take a step back and appreciate your hard work. Or in my case prepare yourself to start on the OTHER half of the bow.
step 14
All done! It looks almost done but theres still one major thing to do. And thats get rid of the original colour on the interior of the blueprint. In order for this to print well it really needs to be white but if your happy with it at this stage then thats okay too!

Close out of the image, it will save on it own don’t worry! Then right click on it and click on ‘Open with Paint X Lite’
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Paint X Lite (I’m just going to refer to it as PXL from now on) will open up you image like it has done below.step 15
PXL is essentially Microsoft Paint for MacBooks. You’ll find most of MSPaints tools available on this version. By the way if you want to zoom you can’t manually zoom by using the touch pad but instead got to ‘View’ next to ‘Home’ and then click on zoom or unzoom. It took me far too long to work that out on my own…
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Unfortunately as there isn’t a layering system (at leat with the free version I’m unsure about the full one), the next task is to use the eraser tool and start erasing all of the original image but being carful not to erase the lines you have drawn. These lines can be touched up later so you don’t have to be overly carful, just as long as you know the general shape.
As I had to use a contrasting colour for the first outline I wanted to change the red lines to black as I find it reads better on a blue print. I also didn’t want to unnecessarily use up coloured ink. You can try and use the paint bucket tool to select sections of the outline to colour black but the method is time consuming and you’re better off using the next technique.
step 17
Here I opened up the image in mark up again and this time started using the sketch tool to draw over the red lines (I ended up drawing over all of the lines again).
The great thing about the sketch function is that you can draw the lines in any length and when you finish a line the side and centre nodes will appear meaning you can change the shapes it if you didn’t do something they way you wanted the first time.step 18
Another awesome thing is being able to draw curves more easily. Like when a drew the spiral pattern above it didn’t flex into a straight line instead maintaining the spiral design. Its also important to not the top left corner, sometimes if the line you draw is similar to a straight line it will flex into a straight line to undo this from happening just click on top box (the blue one) which will be the shape you originally drew and it will flex back into that shape. This also happens with drawing curvy designs and they may flex into circles, again just select the box that has a picture of your draw design and it will change back.

Then just keep drawing over the lines until your finished!
Nightingale done
Take a step back and marvel at your awesome new blueprint!
Making this blueprint took me around 3 hours, remember the level of detail and the size of the prop you’re working on will impact on how long it takes to draw it up. Once I had some music playing the process was kind of relaxing and not as bad as you might think. Its fun to do once you get the hang of using all the different tools.

But now you have your blueprint, how should you print it?

Well I have a tutorial for that too! Scaling/Printing Blueprints (Posterazor). It really easy and simple to use and doesn’t require any fancy maths or photoshop. Which is perfect for people like me who are terrible at that stuff.

And thats how I draw all of my blueprints up! I hope this tutorial helps with your own projects and if you use this tutorial I’d love to see the outcome!
If theres anything you think I can add or explain better please tell me, I’m always looking to improve my work and make documenting my work beneficial for others.


Thank you for reading
-Nivera

I got into Wimbledon College of Arts!

 

This is a post I could have written early February but as I hadn’t received official confirmation or a written offer I decided to leave things until I knew I was in for sure.

Lets start at the beginning, through UCAS I applied for 5 universities/colleges all for their offered costume courses. My main two choices were Wimbledon College of Arts and the London School of Speech and Drama. I had thought about applying for RADA but decided not to later on.  I received interviews from both of these courses as well as interviews for two of the other courses outside of London (The last school asked for more documents from me which I didn’t send as they were last on my priority list). Wimbledon (my first choice) offered me an interview second to LSSD but as the interview for Wimbledon came first it was the first one I attended. This was on the second of February, and to my knowledge it was apart of the first sets of interviews they were offering.
The second of February came around and I went to London with my portfolio and my other costume related documents as well as my 1500’s ensemble. My interview went really well and there were defiantly a few times during the interview where I could see the tutors eyes light up at my response to her questions and when I explained my method of work. This left me pretty happy afterwards and was told I would hear back from them in about two weeks. Which I didn’t think was too bad a wait. So I left my interview and hoped on the tube ready to go home. it took about 50 minutes to get to my stop (after a few station changes) and literally as I got off at my stop my phone rang. I almost didn’t answer as I was really tired after the day but I’m so glad I did.
A woman was on the phone from Wimbledon and she said that they had just finished up the interviews for the day and wanted to give notice to those they were offering places to. She said that the tutor (who’s name I’ve forgotten!! I’m terrible) was very impressed with my interview and my portfolio and wanted to notify me that I would be receiving an offer from them. I nearly cried when I hung up the phone, I’m not kidding. To be offered a place so quickly at my first choice school was mind blowing and has really given me a confidence boost in terms of my work.
After receiving my offer from Wimbledon I withdrew from my other applications and accepted Wimbledon’s offer. Which makes me ridiculously happy, I’m going to study costume in London!
But, yes of course there had to be a but.
Because I haven’t lived in the UK for three years I must pay international fees. I’ve been a British citizen since I was born and all of my mothers family live here but that three year rule tripped me up.
The fees literally double to nearly £19,000 a year as an international student which is something I really don’t want to pay.
However if I defer my entry to next year (September 2018) I will only need to pay one year as an international student as by the time the second year rolls around I will have been here for three years depending on how they calculate everything. I’m currently waiting on a document from NZ to arrive so once thats here I’ll ring the International department and talk things through with them and possibly a tutor.
Regardless of all of this, IM IN. And will be attending if its this year or the next.

But I want to know what other people think, should I go this year or wait a year to cut my costs slightly. If I do wait for next year I want to speak to one of the tutors and ask what I can be working on during my year away. That way they know I’m 100% interested but also keeping with costume making. I will be working during the year and would love to travel around Europe before study but this will all depend on what my fees look like.


 

Ana Amari update coming soon followed by a new costume.

Thank your for reading and feedback is always appreciated!
-Nivera

Pattern & Fabric Haul (February 2017)

This post is a little late but I decided an update on Ana was more exciting!

Late in February Mum and I went to Hertfordshire to visit my grandmother and other family there (a trip we try to make once a month). While there I decided to have a look for some fabric shops as I needed to buy some fabric for the crinoline pattern I recently purchased for my 1860’s ballgown.
I used Pinterest to look for crinoline patterns and found mostly discontinued patterns or companies that wouldn’t ship outside of America. I found simplicity 9764 (apart of the Fashion Historian collection) and immediately saw that it would be perfect for my ballgown as it’s silhouette was made for the 1860’s but also found it was discontinued. I really wanted this pattern and found it for sale on a few sites although some of these listings were selling used/cut patterns which I wasn’t a fan of. I eventually found an unopened pattern on Ebay for around £15 which I was more than happy to pay considering USED patterns could sell for £30 upwards. It arrived a few days later in perfect condition as described and I took t with me to Hertfordshire and then on to the fabric stores to help with fabric measurements.
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The store I went to was called Neddle Craft, its a small stores but has a lot of different fabrics and notions pilled in. I was really pleased to see they has sewing patterns in stock too. Because of this is decided to look through them and see if I could find the matching Simplicity corset pattern to make and wear with my 1860’s dress. I had been unsure about making the corset previously but felt having a pattern would make thing much easier. And amazingly the store had all patterns marked down to half price that day so it was was an easy decision to get a few more while I was there.

The Patterns!
Simplicity 1139
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The perfect match!! These ‘Fashion Historian’ patterns have been around for a while from what I can tell so there will be some variation on what their code numbers are depending on what pattern books they were released in and the country, I think? Thats the only reason I can think of that would meaning change the code numbers!
So if your looking to buy these patterns keep that in mind!

I also decided to get a skirt pattern that would fit over a crinoline and petticoat and found Simplicity 1818.
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I decided to buy a skirt pattern because it would give me a better idea of what the shape and construction of a historical garment should look like. Looking back on my 1500’s dress where I drape drafted a skirt pattern (god the initial shapes were awful) I decided following a proper patter would be a better option. It also meant that for future reference I’d know more about shape and silhouette and how a pattern contributes to that. Just looking at the construction notes on pattern shapes in this pattern has already mad me go “Ah! that makes more sense” a number of times.

Next up is Simplicity 8286 a bodysuit pattern that closely resembles the McCalls Yaya Han bodysuit.
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I also own the Yaya Han bodysuit pattern but as its disappeared on me (probably in a box thats apart of our overflow furniture yet to be delivered) I decided to give this one a go. Bodysuit patterns are really useful in cosplay and there is something I’d like to make in the future that would require one. Though it is low on this list of priorities right now!

And the final pattern in Simplicity 8276, a onesie pattern!
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I’ve wanted a new onesie for a while now and I was sooooo damn happy to see Simplicity release this pattern last year. I’ve seen so many cosplayer in the past (post pattern release) try to construct and pattern a onesie trying to replicate the original Kigurumi onesies. And I can defiantly see why it would be so difficult. But this pattern cam along and a sigh of relief was herd among all cosplayers.
I would like to make one based of the Pokemon Vaporeon. I will take inspiration from 4Kigurumi’s Vaporeon Onesie but I can tell you now my material cost will not amount up to what their onesie is listed as in price. I’ve already looked at material costs for this and I’ll be WELL under.

 

Fabric and Notions!

For the crinoline I bought 4 meters of bleached calico.3qbvC4Il.jpg-large
I wanted a really sturdy medium to heavy weight fabric and this was just perfect for that. I did consider buying it in another colour but as the crinoline wouldn’t be seen in most is not all of my photos white was the perfect natural colour to go for.

24 meters of inch wide twill tape.
Yup 24 meters, did I stutter?
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A you can see the lady in the store gave up rolling it neatly, I don’t blame her. I probably would have tossed it in the bag un-rolled!!!. You should have seen her face when I told her I needed 24 meters. She asked if I read it wrong and really meant 2.4 but after viewing the pattern she believed me.

I also decided to get some new thread for this and took into consideration that there would be a lot of sewing involved so a lot of thread was needed. 800 meters should do?
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This threat will be used for the petticoat (9764) and corset (1139) as well which will be made in white as well. Maybe I’ll add some trims to the corset, I’m not sure at the moment.

And lastly some hooks and eyes.
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I could only find large hooks and eyes in my collection and as the pattern called for small ones I decided it was best to buy these ones.

And that it for this haul, I will be ordering some fabrics online for my next costume(s) so if I get enough I’ll do a review of sorts for the website.
Ana will be finished in about a week I’m thinking so I’ll have an official line up for what I’m making over the next few months up when thats complete.


Have any suggestions? Or prior experience with the patterns I’ve bought?
I’d love to hear it!

Thank you for reading,
-Nivera

Ana (Overwatch) Work-log 2

Its been just over a moth since I last updated on my Ana cosplay and I think I’ve covered a lot since than and would say that the base costume is now complete! Yay!

After completing the coat I made a start on the jacket thats worn beneath it. I unfortunately don’t have many photos of its construction as I completed the base in one day but it was pretty simple. (loose threads I know)
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It’s essentially a large ‘vest’ pattern with an diagonal opening on the front. I purposely made it extra large so it would look baggy. I also satin stitched the faux leather on to trim the zipper and around the edge of the collar. The collar is lined with interfacing and then padded with one layer of quilt batting to thicken it out, the middle portion of the collar is sewn with faux leather to add some more depth. In the above picture its only pinned so it does appear bulky.
On the collar you’ll spot a little triangle emblem.

This was sewn on with top stitching thread and I guess you could call it embroidery ? Maybe, its my first time doing anything of the sort. My grandmother was excited to see me trying this technique out but had some constructive criticism for me in the future.

The zipper I used was a chunky 18″ black zipper I dry brushed silver to give a worn look, it only needed the one coat. Even after frequently using the zipper I haven’t noticed and paint chipping or loss of colour.

The hood was again pretty simple, I traced a previously used hood pattern and made it a little larger (I wish I had made it bigger now) with the details cut from faux leather, ironed on with heat n bond and satin stitched down to create that bordered edge I love so much.
I think I’m obsessed with satin stitch, but it just looks so nice.

I also made her pants. I used Simplicity 8134, the crotch was really low for some reason
(I honestly don’t know why, I didn’t change the pattern at all and I did not get the patterns around the wrong way so that was a little confusing) so I had to bring the crotch up a little not too much as I did want some baggy-ness going on.
And I’m actually really pleased with the result.
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I also sewed little belt loops onto it and added cuffs to the bottom of the legs so they would sit close to my knee. I made a belt as well from left over brown fabric I had in my collection  the colour was different to the others I had used which I like, I think it makes a nice contrast.
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This photo leads us onto her pack which hangs off the belt. And boy did I make this hard for myself. I basically didn’t think about layering what so ever and ended up with six hours of hand sewing to pay for it. Ugh.
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I drew up the pattern for it on A3 measuring as I went and I was pretty happy with the size and shape of it. Excuse the paint, its what I used to eventually paint the real thing .
I used faux leather vinyl (you know the seriously thick stuff that’s like sewing rubber) for the top (facing side) and then black heavy weight cotton (possibly canvas, I can’t remember) for everything else.
Please don’t sew vinyl by hand, you will destroy your hands.
For the top details (I have no idea what they are!) I used vinyl backed with the cotton, this gave it enough thickness to spring away from the base layer giving it a 3D effect.
I then just used normal (thin) faux leather for the loops below that.
All sewn by hand, Haha ha…
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The paint job isn’t finished just yet but its the right size and shape and for that I’m really happy with it. I wanted the paint to match the blue fabric I used elsewhere on the costume as much as possible and was lucky to find one of my tubes (without any mixing) was an exact match.
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It’s pretty well perfect!! I usually hate mixing paint so this saved me a lot of time.
To get the lines perfect I use painters tape along the lines I drew to ensure there would be no leaking. Though there was little it’s easy enough to remove.
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I also sewed little loops onto the top of the pack so the belt could be threaded through them which would hold it up.
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I’ve also made a start on her rifle which I made using the blueprint from my previous post.
I’m just waiting on some contact cement (glue) before I can put it together. The parts that have been cut out are what I consider to be ‘main pieces’ and once those are together I’ll build on it with the smaller details.
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I got to use my Dremel for the first time on this so that was exciting and a bit of a learning experience. I messed up a few times but the holes and gashes I made can be fixed easily with Apoxie Sculpt later.

And that’s it for now!
My next goals are her armour, eye patch and gloved sleeves. With those done the cosplay will be finished with only her rifle left to make. I’ll buy the wig the next time I get paid. I still need to hem and weather the coat but that can wait for now.


More updates coming soon , I’ve half written a fabric/pattern haul post so that will be out in the next few days too.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Tutorial, Scaling/Printing Blueprints (Posterazor)

Hi! If you’re here looking for how to make Ana’s Biotic Rifle check out this construction post! This blog post just covers how to scale/print blueprints using the Biotic Rifle as an example!
Thank you for checking out my blog!!!


Today’s tutorial is all about using the program ‘Posterazor’ to scale and print your blueprints for cosplay. If you’re like me an photoshop isn’t your thing then this program is perfect for doing the work for you with little maths involved!

So what is Posterazor?

Posterazor is a free program available for download (Click Here) that was originally made so that you could make posters at home by uploading and image to the program, choosing the size by spreading it over (x) pages and then printing it.

More recently cosplayers have found a use for the program by using it to print their blueprints for props. It’s made extremely easy as the scale is just based on printing paper size. So you can lay paper out in your printing formation before printing to check your scale or just referencing the programs display.

It’s super easy!

Tutorial Time!

Things you will need:

•A PC or laptop that can run the program

•A Printer

•Printing paper (depending on how many times you need to run prints this may be more or less)

•A PDF program (I used PDF suite 2013)

•A blueprint or reference image you want scaled

•Craft knife or scissors for cutting out the printed design

•Sellotape(clear) and painters tape (any thick tape will do) for taping the cut pieces together again.

For this tutorial I’ll be making Ana’s Biotic Rifle from Overwatch. Thought of course this tutorial can be used for any blueprint!

Biggest thank you to Cosplay Amino user Beariore for sending me their blue print they made for their Ana cosplay.

(Optional)

The first thing I did was download the PDF files Beariore sent me.

I decided to run a test print at this stage to test the size of the original blue print.

Sox my cat for scale.

I decided it was too small and wasn’t thick enough at the base of the gun and some added length wouldn’t hurt.

(Main Tutorial)

I fired up old MS Paint and pasted all of the portions into it (in order so they lined up) and then scaled the page down (the white around the gun) so that it was as close to the gun as possible. This is so that when the image is used in Posterazor there won’t be too much white and the blueprint will fill the pages better.

Less waste, save the planet :earth_americas:

It looked like this when I was done, though the image has been intentionally blurred.

*I’ll get to that at the end of the post.

Next you want to open up Posterazor, there is a tutorial for using it on the site but I’m aiming to make it more clear.

Now you want to click ‘Input Image’ the file icon. Go through your files and find where you’ve saved your blueprint and open it into the program.

It’ll look like this once it’s uploaded.

Click next and it’ll go though printer formats. I personally don’t change anything on this page I’ve never needed to.

Click next again and it’ll come to image over lapping settings. Again I don’t change anything for this setting either as it makes lining your blueprint up once printed so much easier. There’s some trimming involved but I really do recommend leaving it this way.

Next is the easy part! Deciding on final size.

A grid format will appear over your image, using the width and height boxes you can change how many pages the image will be printed over.

Height refers to the amount of pages going up in the grid as indicated by the height arrow.

Width refers to the amount of pages going lengthways across the grid as indicated by the width arrow.

I was printing in portrait view but it will be similar using the landscape option too.

As the original print I tested with was only 4 pages in highly I thought 5 would be a good test. And as I wanted it to be wider I added another column (grid) of pages to increase the width.

Once you’re happy with the final size you can click next and then you’ll be brought to this page.

Click on the tick box ‘Launch PDF application after the poster is saved’.

And then save your scaled blueprint.

Your PDF application will then be launched with the blue print spread over the amount of pages you selected in the program.

I just made sure to check everything was okay and nothing was blurred or looked wrong.

Then you can hit print!

Before cutting anything out lay your pages out in order (ignore the overlap you just need to get an idea of size). Take a step back and check that this is the size you want. If it’s too big or small, go back into Posterazor and edit and repeat. If it the right size then celebrate and get rest to cut that thing out!

Here’s a size comparison of the original PDF size Beariore sent me (top) and then my newly rescaled blueprint (lower)

I really like the new size!

Cutting your blueprint out

I used a rotary cutting tool to cut my rifle out but ideally a craft knife would be better (I’m always loosing them). Or scissors.

Once everything is cut out you can start taping it back together. I used transparent tape for the printed side and then backed that with painters tape on the other side to give some extra support.

If you decided to go with the overlap option, trip the border edge (0.5cm) and then line up the over lap and tape it down. Because the overlap is printed it make it so much easier to line up.

Once you’ve finished taping you’re all done! And you’ll have a neat little blueprint ready for prop making!

Here is my finished Biotic Rifle.

And you’re all done! Get out there and make some blueprints and props! If you use this tutorial tell me what you’re making! Or what do you want to make? I’d love to hear!

*The complete image of the Biotic Rifle pattern was intentionally blurred for this tutorial as I don’t own the image. Like said earlier Beariore sent the (Original) image to me and after tracing over the image, addicting linework, scaling it, converting it into a PDF, scaling it again and then printing it.

All rights to the original image obviously belong to the original Reddit user/poster. If there are any issues please contact me, I’m more than happy to sort things out!


I’ve been really awful at documenting (taking photos of) my progress for Ana recently so here’s a tutorial for Posterazor which I originally threw together for Cosplay Amino.
I have got another project on the go at the moment being the Deathbrand Armour from Skyrim (Dragonborn DLC) and patterned it all, cut the foam base for it and got to the worbla stage and… lost interest. I have a few other projects in mind at the moment of what I want to move onto next starting with my 1860’s ballgown which IS happening. But I’m conflicted as to what I want to make as a cosplay. I’m heading to Hertfordshire on Monday and will go to some fabric stores there so I’m hoping that out of the cosplays I have in my head one will have all of the required fabric there and I’ll make that one! Maybe? It’s probably the worst way to decided on something but I really don’t know or feel overly inspired by anything right now.
Red? Blue? or Yellow?
The red tribunal robes is something overly detailed I want to make and suffer though, blue is Sombra who’s a very fun character and with my blue obsession I have right now the cyber skin is perfect and then the Ancient One who easily makes my list of favourite characters of 2016.

I could easily change my mind in the next few days but a new fabric haul is on its way. I will make up of the weeks I haven’t posted! I recently got a new laptop so I’m still setting that up, why is the file system on mac so weird?

AND I’ll have a post/vent about my university applications and acceptances!

That’s all for now, thank you for reading
-Nivera

Ana (Overwatch) Work-log 1

Progress, Progress, Progress!!

I had actually finished making the mock up for this cosplay at the time of posting my fabric haul for it but decided that I had so little content for it (and I ended up changing the final patterns anyway) that it wasn’t worth including in that post or making a solo post for it either.

The mock up

I decided it would be best to make the main coat up of four patterns in total. Front (2) and back (2).
I started off by flat pattern drafting my pattern. This was my first time using the technique and actually went pretty well!

I’ve been using all of the packing paper from when we moved as patterning paper, it’s really durable and something to hold onto
I then cut these patterns out of my mock up fabric which was an old sheet.

Once they were cut out I threw them under my nifty new sewing machine connecting all the seams. I marked were to stop, as these were the slits in her coat.
I doesn’t look like much nut the silhouette was pretty similar and that made me really happy! From the mock up at this point I realized that I needed to make the back seam larger as it pulled ever so slightly across my shoulders.
Next I moved onto patterning the sleeve, which I professionally stole from a sweater I had on my wardrobe.

I then made it a little larger around the arm opening and sewed it onto the coat.
The cuff needed to be rolled up as it was far too long, I later shortened it and added a cuff to the end.
A few days after completing the mock up mum and I went to Exeter and bought fabrics (seen in my previous post).

The Cosplay

The I begin the real cosplay, I added (really I took off) some more shape to the patterns by slanting them off at an angle. Which emphasized the slits in her coat. I also drew on the coloured details onto these base patterns.

Then using cooking paper I traced these details and numbered them, making a list of what pattern went where, size and color.

Cooking paper works great for tracing as its semi transparent and firmer than standard printing paper meaning it won’t tear and also doesn’t ‘bleed’ when markers are used on it.

I then cut these numbered patterns out (using a rotary cutting tool, which was so easy!), the patterns were then pinned onto fabric and cut out. Then I had to use those patterns once again to cut out heat n bond interfacing which took forever.

Once this was done (and it took hours) I was able to begin ironing on the pattern pieces.
Starting with the front pieces.
Then the back! I decided to pin them in place (as seen in the pictures) because I didn’t want the patterns to shift places and they were placed according to my drawn out patterns and measured to fit.

When everything was ironed on I pined everything together and tried it on.

I then unpinned everything and began satin stitching the edges of the coat details.
This took hours.

But I think it looks fantastic and I’m really happy I took the time to do it!

I ran out of blue thread half way through the third panel I was doing but was lucky enough to find it stocked at a small craft store in my town. It saved my life.
I then sewed the front and back pieces together and the shoulder seams.
This meant it was time for the sleeves!
I returned to my botched sleeve pattern and ended up taking about an inch and a half off which would later be made up with a sleeve cuff.
I cut out the fabric for both sleeves and the sleeve cuffs. I seed the sleeve seam and then used a gathering stitch on the end of the sleeve which I gathered down to the size of the cuff. The cuff was then sewn to form a loop.

I then seed the cuff into the sleeve and it was ready to be sewn onto the coat.

The first one went on perfectly but as I was working late that night (1am) I sewed the second on on inside out, I decided it was bedtime at that point! And sewed it on the next morning.

Then came the collar which was also pretty botched.

It worked! But I’ve now decided I want to make it more accurate which will only take an hour or two but I want to move on from the coat at this point.

And that’s the coat finished!
Next I’ll be making her shirt (or is it a jacket?) which I’ve almost finished patterning.


Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Ana Amari, Overwatch Hero (Fabric haul)

One of the first hurdles I struck when planing this cosplay was deciding where I was going to buy  my fabric. Now normally back in New Zealand that wouldn’t have been a problem with my small town having two fabric stores and Nelson (The closest city) having a Spotlight which is a large arts and crafts store. But unfortunately in Barnstaple  (A town at least three times the size of my old home town) there are no fabric stores, nope not a single one. This meany I had to really search for stores nearby and luckily found “The Exetre Fabrics Center” which is a large shop with a variety of fabrics scattered about the store.
I was very pleased upon entering the store to find it stocked a wide range of fabrics and not just quilters fabrics!! We had already visited two stores that listed that they sold fabric only to find it was just a quilters store. I didn’t get any photos of inside the store but it really was packed with rolls and bolts of fabric. This did make it a little difficult to find what I was looking for because the fabric were so closely packed often hiding other rolls or bolts. I wouldn’t have found some of the fabric I bought unless I had cleared some of the space.

For those who aren’t aware I was buying fabric for one costume this time round. The character is Ana Amari for the game Overwatch.

The first image is a concept for her character while the second on is an in game image. As you can see there’s a colour variation between the two designs, because of this I decided to shop for lighter fabrics as seen in the second picture which I can darken if I feel necessary later on.

So after a long look around the store I found myself back at the cottons sections for the store and began my search for fabrics.

For her base cape I bought some medium weight cotton in a very light grey (almost tan) colour. Or if you want to be fancy we’ll call it ‘mushroom white’.

The weight of the fabric is really nice and I think it’ll drape really well.

For her pants (or trousers, I have been corrected so many times since moving to England :unamused:) the lower half, knee below. I bought some super bland black spandex.

It’s not an exciting fabric and I’ve worked with it many times before, it’s reliable for close fitting costumes without being uncomfortable. Nothing more to say!

For her chest strapped bag I bought some medium/heavy cotton in dark brown.

This is going to be perfect for putting my phone in at conventions and means I won’t have to carry a proper bag!

For her headscarf (there is a proper name for it but I just can’t remember right now!) I bought a light/medium cotton in this lovely vibrant blue colour.

This fabric will also be used for the blue details on the cape.

For the hood/collar/shirt and possibly sleeves I bought a medium/heavy cotton in a dark grey almost black colour.

I was going to use faux leather for this but decided that because I’m already detailing the hood and parts of the cape with faux leather I was best not to as there’s such as thing as using too much leather in my opinion and it wouldn’t look right.

And finally I bought some light weight cotton in a few shades darker than that of the cape for the cape details.

I decided to get a shade that was similar rather than too dark because it complimented the rest of the costume much better and evened the colour scheme out.

I’ve drafted all of the patterns for this cosplay and only failed at making the pants/trousers. So I decided to buy a pattern.

This is Simplicity 2061 and I’ll be making view B but altering it so it sits just above the knee and adding some volume to the legs.

Last but not least I bought some thread.

Unfortunately upon getting home I realized that I had forgotten to buy some ‘heat n bond’ fusible interfacing for the coat details which I’ll then sew on using a satin stitch. I’m going to call the store tomorrow and ask if they have any or can tell me where I can buy it as I can’t find it anywhere for a decent price!
I also need a large zipper for her shirt and various buttons which I forgot but I’m sure I can get those after finishing up the base construction and adding them later.

Photographing dark fabrics is difficult depending on the lighting (I had some poor lighting taking these sample shots) but the fabric pile photo does give the true fabric colours justice with minor variation
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I also made an edit of the original concept design with my fabric selection so maybe that will help with seeing what goes where!
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I just have to alter my drafted patterns tomorrow and then I can get started on this project!
I have to say as an overall review of that fabric store its one of the best I have been to. The staff are very helpful and are knowledgeable on fabric properties. I will be coming back again some time in the future!
I may have also added to my list of things to make while in the store but I’m not going to even think about them until I have this and another project complete!

And that’s all for this post! It’s great to be back updating weekly again!
Thank you for reading,

-Nivera

Originally posted to Cosplay Amino (NiverasWings) but altered to fit my WordPress blog 🙂

I live in England now!

Let’s start off with an apology for the lack of posts. Its been roughly four month since I have made anything which means I haven’t had content to post. Although finally about a month after moving that has finally changed and regular weekly posts will continue.

On the 5th of December I flew out of New Zealand from Auckland Airport bound for Sydney and then onto Dubai. I have to say the Dubai is one of my favorite cities to visit and it was so nice to spend more time there during out stop over. We arrived early in the morning so we just relaxed for the rest of the day and went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in the hotel which had the most amazing decorations, you really felt like you were in Italy! The next day mum had booked us in for a Desert safari which was just awesome! After about a 40 minute drive out of the city and into the desert we arrived to watch a falcon show, its amazing what they can train them to do! Next was the off road desert drive, which was insanely fun!
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But, then our truck broke down and we were literally stranded in the desert.
10/10 would do again.
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But it gave me the opportunity to get one of those really ironic holiday photos so I’m not mad.
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We got picked up half an hour later by another truck and then drove to the top of a large sand dune to watch the sunset.
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It was really pretty and my photo doesn’t do it justice! The whole sky lit up and the sand glowed, stunning!
We then drove to an area where we would have dinner. But first was the highlight of Dubai, we got to ride a camel!

They are so strange to ride, you get on them when they’re sitting down and they really lurch when the get up throwing your forward and then back, and your so high off the ground! Their fur is also really soft, I was expecting it to be rough.
I also got to hold a falcon after the ride.
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Later on in the evening we had dinner and watched some belly dancing, which I now have huge respect for (not in the way I’d want to try it myself) but Oh my goodness that woman was so fit she literally danced for half an hour straight bending and twisting with such energy. modpn091
After the dance finished we got back in the truck and headed home. We flew out of Dubai and onto London the next morning arriving on the 7th.
Later on in the week on the 12th mum and I drove back to Heathrow and picked up out cat and dog (Sox and Doof) and then drove to our new home in North Devon! Our furniture arrived on the 23rd and we ended up moving into the main house (we were living in the cottage) on Christmas Day.

Since then the house has been overflowing with cardboard boxes and packing paper which I’ve found is great for using to draw patterns onto for sewing. I’ve also been painting my room to a light blue colour, which I finished today so all of my things will be moved into that room. Both Sox and Doof are now settled in the new house maybe Doof is a little too settled… I’ve never seen a dog sit on a windowsill before!

I also go to use my new sewing machine!! Its a Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist and I love it so far, I’ll be making a review once I’ve completed a costume with it which shouldn’t be too far away. I’ve also started on my mock up for my Ana Amari cosplay which is going well so far I just need to adjust the sleeves to make them more poofy. Then I just have the hood, collar and pants to pattern and I’m set to start with everything else not requiring a mock up.
We’re heading to Exeter to buy fabrics next week for Ana and hopefully my 1860’s ballgown depending on what the fabric selection is like. I’d also like to get some fabric to create the crinoline too but I also need to source some inch wide plastic boning first and I don’t want to be paying too much for it, I refuse to use ring-band boning ever again its useless. So a fabric haul post will be on the way as well as a complete mock up for Ana.

In other news my Uni applications are in so I don’t have to worry about that anymore, fingers crossed for that! I’ve changed up my physical portfolio a little bit so I also want to make a post about its new layout and my sketch book for this year.

I have a lot planed and a lot of work to do this year but I couldn’t be happier to be back to making costumes again, those four months were killer. 2017 is going to be a good year and I’m really excited to see what it brings!

Thank you for reading and here’s to another year!
-Nivera
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