Costume for Theatre and Screen Starts Tomorrow!

I started University just over a month ago and our first unit was not relevant to making costumes so I’m just going skip over it as its not that interesting!
Tomorrow marks the first day of my costume course which is really exciting. We’re starting off with corsets so I’m happy to have some previous experience going into the unit.
Each week (I’m planning on Saturday) I’m going to be posting a diary type blog post where I’ll talk about what I did in that week which I’ll be filing under one category. I’m really interested in documenting my progress both in and out of class so later I can look back on my posts and hopefully see some progress.
My at home project for October was making 18th century foundation garments which I’ll slowly being releasing posts of this month. I’m hoping to make a 18th century Redingote this month to go over said foundation garments so I’ll also be updating the designing process and the pattern drafting here too. Unfortunately October and September were really slow months for me and I was unable to update but thats defiantly changing this month onwards with weekly posts again.

And thats it really! Just a short sweet update on things to come!

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

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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Costume/Cosplay Plans for 2017 Updated

Since I accidentally deleted my last post about my costume/cosplay plans from earlier in the year I decided to make a new one. A few things have changed but have mostly kept the same.

Ana Amari (Overwatch Hero) 

This is Ana’s Classic Skin and has to be my favorite of all of them. I love the style and colors and it would be reasonably comfortable to wear. This costume will be my priority as I have waited so damn long to make her since her release.
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Ana’s weapon is the Biotic Rifle which I plan to make with the cosplay.
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Sailor Pluto (Sailor Moon)

I think I could make this cosplay pretty quickly so its coming second to Ana. I plan to wear this cosplay and duo with my friend Jamilla! To what will be my first convention in the UK. I’m really excited for this and excited to meet Jamilla!!

COSTUMES I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE BUT AREN’T CONFIRMED… 

Ancient One (MCU Doctor Strange)

Okay so I saw this film a few days ago and loved it! It was visually stunning and all of the acting was great. I’ve been a MCU fan since The Avengers (2012). And have wanted to make SOMETHING from the cinematic universe for a long while. And the yellow robes worn by Tilda Swinton’s character the Ancient One really inspired me! I do like the other robes worn by her in the film but I think the yellow ones are just so striking and I love that!
I’m still not sure if I will make this costume, I feel like I should be focusing on more historical costumes. However, I will have a lot of time before I begin University. Another annoying thing at the moment is that there isn’t many images of her yellow costume but this is likely down to the film having just been released.


Nightingale Armour (The Elder Scrolls Skyrim) 

Yes I have already made this cosplay but I feel like my skill has improved so much I really want to remake it. I’m still not decided on what materials I would like to use it’s between faux leather (Which was what I used previously) or 2mm EVA Foam.

I’m more leaning towards the 2mm foam option because I would like to complete another foam based armour set before I move onto worbla builds again (this is excluding Ana). I really love Piece Of Cake Cosplay’s  set. Their set is made from eva foam covered in faux leather. Which is something else I would like to look into.
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I really would like to do one ‘last’ Skyrim cosplay before The Elder Scrolls 6 (Which won’t be for years Ha.ha) so I think it would be awesome to re-make my first Skyrim cosplay but better! Hopefully!  Jamilla and I have also thrown around ideas of doing a Skyrim duo at some point next year so this would be my cosplay of choice.

Tribunal Robes (Skyrim mod by Zairaam and Natterforme)

This wouldn’t be a costume plan/list/possibilities post without the ridiculously impossible idea now would it? But hey at the beginning of the year I thought my dress ensemble would be impossible but I pulled through, somehow.
Recently I’ve been looking into fabric manipulation and creating unique silhouettes with fabric and remember this really beautiful design from  Skyrim mod I downloaded a year or so ago.
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Its just so gorgeous!!! Probably won’t ever happen but I can dream! And I would defiantly go with this colourway…

19th Century Ball gown

I really should make a historical costume next year. I’m currently taken by the beauty of 19th century ball gowns they’re just gorgeous! I would like to make an original historical recreation but for now I’m taking inspiration from these beautiful blue ones.
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And below is a painting of Princess Albert De Broglie.
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I think from memory one of Janet Arnold’s books has a similar shape and style to these dresses so I’m hoping to use that are reference, if not I’ll wing it with many mockups!


It’s been around two months since I last worked on a costume and I am so bored with living in an empty house with nothing to do. As soon as we have moved into our new house I’ll be playing with my new sewing machine and ordering fabrics for Ana and Pluto.
With only 18 days left in New Zealand things are really beginning to sink in. We’ve started saying final goodbyes to our friends and I know I’ll be a mess at our local airport.
So here’s to my next 18 days of Kiwi life~

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

July Craft Haul

Today was a trip to Nelson to get the rest of my french hood and dress materials. I also bought a new hot glue gun as mine decided to self destruct and explode yesterday. It was a near death experience believe me!

On my list was

  • Meter of Black velvet
  • Half a meter of red flannel
  • 6 meter of white mock up fabric (top pop poplin)
  • Half a meter of white buckram
  • Half a meter of white cotton gauze
  • Bead divider box
  • Small and medium red glass pearls
  • Small and medium sea beads
  • Hot glue gun
  • Expanding foam
  • PlastiDip or NZ equivalent

First up was the hardware store where I bought a new glue gun, expanding foam and Plastidip.

I ended up getting two cans of the expanding foam which should be enough for the base of both should armour pieces on Demongaze. The ‘LeackSeal’ AKA PlastiDip will be used to coat my sword paired with Demongaze, multiple layer will be used but one can should be enough!

Next was Spotlight and not matter how many times I go there I still don’t know the full lay out of their fabrics section. (Though that may be down to Spotlights lack of organisation). So anyway I go in there with my list and decide to get the beads/pearls out of the way first as they would fit in the basket and I wouldn’t have to carry round fabric at that moment.
First I got the sea beads, the larger ones are for the bodice neckline embellishments and the the smaller and whats left of the larger ones are for the french hood.
Sea beads
I bought two packs of the larger beads and just the one of the smaller size.
Also! The Square buttons I ordered arrived a little smaller than I had imagined but will work all the same.

I also bought three packs of small and medium glass pearls for the neckline and french hood.
Glass pearls
And for all my future beading I bought a bead box with a bunch of dividers in it.
bead box

I always buy fabric last in stores if I can help it because I hate carrying around rolls/bolts, its almost impossible to carry more than three at a time and being my clumsy self I can guarantee I’d hit something… or someone.

First I bought one meter of Black Velvet this will be the veil of the hood, which was a lovely $45 a meter. Looking back at it now after looking at prices online wasn’t too bad but I was a little annoyed at the time.
Velvet
The most boring purchase was 6 meters of Top Pop Poplin which is my go to for mock up making now at $5 a meter and less if I catch it on a sale or end of roll run off. This is for the gown mock up.
top pop poplin
I bought 3/4 of a meter of Cotton Sateen which will be used for the lining of the hood (not the veil).
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I wanted to buy 3/4 of a meter of Buckram for the base of the french hood but ‘apparently’ Spotlight doesn’t stock it. The staff member I asked was rather standoffish and pretty well useless at helping when I had questions about fabrics and their locations in the store.
So I improvised and bought the heaviest weight interfacing they had which I plan to double.
heavy interfacing
Lastly I bought the roll run off of some red flannel which will go along the top edge of the skirt to add some bulk to the cartridge pleats making them larger in the slightest.
Flannel


I did forget to buy some black bias tape for the veil as well as lace for the french hood but I should be able to buy those in my local sewing store.

Also after playing around in MS paint I think I have a final beading design for the neckline of the bodice.
Final beading design
The gold and black squares are the buttons I bought. The red dots are the medium size sea beads. And the Silver dots are the medium glass pearls. The central gold and black square is covered on both sides with the read sea beads but this pattern stops with the next squares. This is because I wanted to make a feature of the central square.
From the research I have done this seams pretty accurate in a historical beading embellishment design but I’d love to hear feedback on this!

And that’s all for today post, I’m hoping to have the bodice fully embellished by the end of the week ready for school next Monday. I’ll likely work on that in the evenings and work on Demongaze and the gown mock up during the day.

As always, thank you for reading
-Nivera

Costume Schedule Update June 2016

Short update today!
A few things have changed in my costume ‘To Make’ list for the year. Larger projects have been replaced/postponed  with smaller ones. So what’s now happening and what has changed?

The updated list 

Demongaze (WOW Deathknight) 
Both the front and back
Still happening and is still a work in progress. This will be my Armageddon Auckland 2016 Cosplay Cup entry so I want to get it perfect for the event.

Ophelia (Dress based off the painting by the same name by Georges-Jules-Victor Clairin)
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Again still a work in progress, this was the project that would have work put into it and then put away because something more important came up. I actually worked on this all weekend and made some great progress on it and should have a complete mock up soon. There isn’t a due date for this but the sooner the better or other project will take over.

Young Girl’s Loose Gown (Patterns Of Fashion Book 3) 
Clear picture
And now for the projects I haven’t started yet! This gown is needed for completion of my full Elizabethan costume. Ideally this needs to be finished by the 16th of September which is two weeks before the Toi Whakaari Costume course submissions close.
I am also making the dress worn underneath the gown seen in the picture at school as apart of my scholarship submission.

Sylvanas Windrunner (WOW)

This lovely lady got onto my list a few moths ago when I fell in love with her character. I think I’ll wear her for one day at Auckland Armageddon 2016 in October IF I have time to make her. But damn I need to work out if I want to strut about with confidence wearing this cosplay!

Sailor Pluto

So recently I’ve been binge watching Sailor Moon/Crystal(Until my internet crappd out and I can no longer stream videos, RIP Game Of Thrones and all the anime I used to watch). Annnnd Sailor Pluto stole my heart and I would love to cosplay her! I would love to wear this to Armageddon Auckland but I might not be able to as all of my cosplay days are taken should everything else come along on time! However, one of my lovely Twitter friends and I are planing a meet up when I move to England next year and she wants to make a Sailor Mars cosplay so we may end up meeting as Sailor Scouts which would be awesome!

What’s no longer happening

Sansa Stark
option 2

Honestly I’ve lost motivation to make her beautiful garden dress from season 3. And because the fabric is so lovely I don’t want to attempt it when I’m not motivated to make it in case I ruin it. So for now I’m going to keep the fabric and possibly make her later or make something entirely different from the fabric, who knows!

Trash For Fashion Show
This was just a project I considered doing if I had time and I certainly do not have the time for it any more. So it’s no longer happening. Not that I made any major progress anyway.


I hope this clears up what’s happening from now on and what to expect in the coming year. I am really looking forward to completing costumes in the next few months. That is if my mother doesn’t kill me for buying more fabric for more costumes when there are incomplete ones laying about…

And that’s it for this post, thank your for reading and I’ll have a new costume progress update next weekend.
-Nivera

National Youth Drama School (NYDSNZ)

Before I get started I thought I’d pop a little disclaimer in here to say that there are some ‘gory’ images following. Novice special effects make up artist gore so judge as you will! 

I can’t remember if I mentioned in my earlier posts but early December last year (The morning I flew out of NZ I think) I got accepted into National Youth Drama School or NYDSNZ. The course I got accepted into was the ‘Zombified, Special Effects Make Up Course and Costume Design’. I was extremely excited to be accepted and thrilled to be apart of the first class to take the course as NYDS had never offered it before.

So I arrived at Havelock North High School (Where the course was held) on the 16th of April ready for introduction evening prepared for classes to start the next day and let me tell you it was overwhelming. To be somewhere surrounded by people so passionate about the arts was amazing! After the introduction assembly students were sent home to get ready for the start of classes the next day. I was staying at the dorm with about 60 other students and was a little surprised by how ‘open plan’ the dorms were.. Lets just say I’m now the champion of the sleeping bag shuffle AKA me speedily getting changed in my sleeping bag hoping no boys walked in. The girls in my room were nice enough some a little dodgy with their talks after lights went out which often left me raising my eyebrows from the safety of my sleeping bag.

Day 1

I’m going to be totally honest and say day one wasn’t the best start. We were given on outline of what we would learn during the week and I almost cried. The extent of what we would be ‘taught’ as apart of the costume side of things would be all about ‘distressing’ costumes.
I paid close to $500 to learn to rip up a T-shirt..
It made me so mad. Knowing then and there I wouldn’t gain a damn thing from the costume side of the course. What also made me angry was the lack of artistic liberty we were allowed to take with the special effects make up. Yes the course is course is called Zombified but only learning about making cuts for 7 days got tedious and I would have loved to branch out and do something different like making the face look more animal-like or changing the face shape, anything but f*****g Zombies. Here’s what day one’s efforts looked like.

Picture one is the most basic of cuts (Wax), two is suppose to be a burn of some sort..I wasn’t listening for that tutorial! (Liquid Latex with Gelatin over top to give it the wet look) and three is something along the lines of an animal mauling me (Effects Paste)
Five O’clock was home time, I found if I got back to the hostel quickly i could shower for as long as I liked with out anyone giving a damn as long as I was out by six to make it to dinner. All nights (Excluding Tuesday) had evening entertainment where all students would return to school to witness whatever it was! So on Sunday Night I attended my first ever Poetry Slam! And it was awesome! It truly exceed my expectations and I really did enjoy myself. They are something that I will look for when I’m studying in London because they are such a joy to attend!

Day 2

Day 2 we sort of brain stormed what sort of a character/zombie we would be. The idea I stuck with was ‘Miss Underworld’ an obvious rip off the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. We then told the costume teacher the idea we had and she went op shopping for the clothes we would eventually rip apart. Later in the day we did real zombie make up on our faces leaning how to make them look aged, dead and generally ugly.

My own mother didn’t recognize me in that photo. And our friends that we were staying with! I look hot. And that’s the dress I destroyed over the next few days. It was probably some girl’s formal dress at one stage and I felt a little bad tearing it to pieces!
The evening entertainment was a one man comedy show about an extremely lonely man who bought a sex doll to talk to and the skit was about him explaining his awful love life to it/her. It wasn’t made sexual at all and was extremely funny to watch.

Day 3

Day 3 was more make up orientated so there was a lot of that going on and not much of anything else. I think that was the day I felt comfortable in the class surrounded by everyone and got my confidence back so that was a nice feeling. Special Effects paste was my favorite material to use as it didn’t hurt as bad as Liquid Latex to take off and wasn’t as messy to take off as the wax.
Day 3 1
I don’t post enough selfies to WordPress do I?
In between the make up I was shredding the dress and that’s all that happened on day 3.
Tuesday being the night off I went and had dinner with my mother and the friends she was staying with (They lived 40 minutes away).

Day 4

Very much the same as day 3, unfortunately I don’t have the shredding process of the dress so all I can really do is post pictures of the makeup!

Both wounds are made from effects paste. The top of my had was more so me just playing around with effects and colours than me trying to replicate anything.  *More dress ripping without pictures*
The evening entertainment was ‘Tutor Night’ where some of the tutors preformed for the students with all sorts of acts. A Shakespeare scene, interpretive dance, singing, poetry performance and a comedy act. It was great to watch and I really enjoyed it.

Day 5

Day five was again more stupid special effects make up which I was sick of the day before and just worked on my costume for the most of the day. I sprayed the dress with red paint in the shredded areas to give a bloody and messy look. I also stained a pair of white gloves red and a tiara.
Day 5 1
Another selfie look at that!
That night was Student night where the students got to show off their talents. There were so many fantastic acts and performances.

Day 6

Friday was the night my class would be sharing their work at the first of the two sharing of work nights. We had a little skit planed where we all came out one by one like a cat walk and then when finished all at once we would run from the stage into the audience. Cheesy I know.
So that day I continued fixing up the paint on the dress and making a sash that read Miss UnderWorld on it. and when that was done I started on my make up for the night.

And before you say it, I know I look gorgeous.
I had a great time scaring people and had fun putting together the costume.

I would also like to mention that the special effects teacher Nicole told myself and another student that our work wasn’t ‘Up to her standard’ and that was should take it off because it ‘wasn’t good for her reputation’. 

Day 7

The last official class day, which no one really took seriously as we had the stage combat kids in our class too and we just mucked about with them. It got really emotion for some the students who were attending their last year of NYDS and it really took me back and I realized how much of a family the school was.
The only make up work I did was a ‘hole’ in my hand.
Day 7 1
The idea was that the rest of the image from the scrap of paper would be underneath my hand aligned with the ‘hole’ but some idiot ripped up that bit of paper. It still looks pretty good though!
That night was the last night of the sharing of work where the rest of the classes preformed. It was great to see what everyone was working towards over the week and the amount of talent in the school.
After the sharing of work there was a dance held in the gym. It was a lot of fun and was even more fun to see the drunk tutors dancing away.

Day 8 The Last Day

The most emotional day of them all. We had an assembly and watched videos from each of the classes and then summary videos from the two screen acting classes and screen writing class. Then the tutors surprised us with a music video they made without any of us knowing! It’s Time by N*YDSYNC 2016 It brought so many of us to tears with laughter in the auditorium and the crying continued when the NYDS class of 2016 was dismissed.

The Zombified Class of 2016
End Group Photo

National Youth Drama School was an amazing experience, being surrounded by people so passionate about the arts was exhilarating.
HOWEVER
The work provided was not substantial enough for someone attending the school with a lot of pre-acquired skill. There was no effort to challenge these student and I was in all honestly bored to tears by day three. Nicole the special effects teacher is not a good teacher and was a poor choice, she speaks broken English and is hard to understand at the best of times and insulted students on their work. She also sold one time use contact lenses for $35 which is ridiculously pricey not to mention that she didn’t ask if any of the students required prescription lenses or had worn lenses before. Zero thought of student safety right there.  Angela the costume teacher seamed to be nice and agreed to help me with my scholarship submission ect after the course has ended but after two attempts of trying to contact her I haven given up.

To sum NYDS up:
I paid close to $1000 NZD to rip up a T-shirt and learn basic special effect make up skills. If I had been given a proper course outline before starting I would have asked for a refund and gone on Pinterest for 30 minutes instead.
I actually made a Pinterest Board  summing up the week doing just that.
End Cover

Weekly posts will continue from now on.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

30 Day Cosplay Challenge in one post!

As its the start of 2016 I decided to do the 30 day cosplay challenge now and then again at the end of the year and then compare results! I hate spam and would hate to trash through my followers readers with this challenge everyday so I’ve decided to combined it all into one post!

Day 1 Your first cosplay.
My first cosplay would have been Celaena from the cover art from Throne of Glass. This was explained in an earlier post this one!  Because I never got photos from it and am far too embarrassed by it to recreate it I’m not sure it counts!
In 2014 however I did an Attack on Titan cosplay (bought) which I wore to Wellington Armageddon. The cosplay wasn’t character specific but I got called Sasha a few times so that was positive I guess! I also tried to be Mikasa once! (lets not go there any further) Here are the photos I still have!

Day 2  How many costumes have you done?
Celaena, Attack on Titan, Nightingale Armour, Dark Brotherhood Assassin, Dragonborn Dragon Scale Armour. So that’s 5 but I’m only really proud of the last three. I have completed many sewing projects however they weren’t costumes! I only really found a passion for making costumes in the last 10 months or so therefore its kinda expected I haven’t completed many costumes as most of the ones I have made myself are rather complicated. Simple isn’t satisfactory when it comes to costume making for me.
All three Photoshoot 2015

 Day 3 Your most recent cosplay
The Dragon Scale Armour from the Elder Scrolls Skyrim. My first armored project which I am very pleased with!
cropped-3-dragon-scale1.png

Day 4 Your cosplay communities, where do you go to talk about cosplay?
(WordPress) Here is the most obvious place, where I write full blogs about the costumes I construct and is also more photo heavy than my other social media. Along with tutorials too.
Twitter (@NiverasWings) Short tweets that usually express my frustration of success with what I’m working on. Photos are more filtered there and only the best ones are posted.
Cosplay Amino (@niveraswings) Medium length blogs depending on what I’m writing about, my tutorials tend to be longer there. Again photos are filtered there with only the best being posted.
I don’t have a Facebook page and don’t plan on getting one.

Day 5 Blatant self plug! Link us to your cosplay page
Twitter!  Cosplay Amino! Is an app but that is a link to the web version

Day 6 Your favourite cosplay (that you have done)
I have to go with the Dragon Scale Armour from Skyrim! It was a lot of fun to wear and surprisingly comfortable. It also lead to me getting my first shoot with a photographer at a convention! And it will always be the first cosplay I entered in a cosplay competition.
8

Day 7 The character you have cosplayed that is most similar to you (if none that you have cosplayed, then one that you will cosplay)
This question is hard as all of my costumes I have made are from RPG (Roll Play Games) such as Skyrim so you ‘pick your own path’ and such. A character that I will (possibly never) cosplay who is (kind of) like me would have to be Jenassa from Skyrim! She’s sassy and I absolutely adore he sassy comments in game. I honestly can’t think of anyone other character so she will do! Sorry Stu~

Day 8 Your cosplay plans for the rest of the year (if you have no more for this year, then do next year!)
My previous post  explains what order I will likely be making costumes for this year.
2016 plans

Day 9 The dream cosplay that might just happen
I have always wanted to make a costume for an original character/design I have. Of course being me I haven’t actually drawn this out yet so I can’t post a photo, I would try and explain but that could get really lengthy!

Day 10 The dream cosplay that will never happen
Uhhhh! I honestly can’t think of any! There are costumes I like a lot but I don’t want to make them. If I like something enough I will put it on my list and if I buy the materials it will be made. Maybe something will come to me in the next day or so and I’ll add it then!

Day 11 Something cosplay-related that you will never do (eg. crossplay, cosplay from a certain series
I don’t see myself ever crossplaying and or gender bending a character. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I will never cosplay from DC Comics. I don’t see myself ever doing a closet cosplay. I hate AU cosplays so I will never do one of those.

Day 12 Your cosplay idol(s)
Beebichu cosplay who inspired me to make my own Nightingale Armour! She’s lovely and we occasionally talk over cosplay amino!
Lighting Cosplay Just an amazing cosplayer who can throw together brilliantly detailed costumes in little time! Her costumes are just brilliant!
Kamui Cosplay is another brilliant cosplayer who’s work with worbla is fantastic, she’s contributed to the community so much with her books full of tutorials and tips to help other cosplayers along the way.
Yaya Han is also amazing with a lot of fabric based costumes and the detail that goes into them is just fantastic her tailoring skills are inspiring!

Day 13 Your cosplay specialty (ie. something that seems to apply to a large amount of your cosplays, it could be a specific series, or a common feature in their appearance, such as glasses)
Elder Scrolls cosplays, to date including my unfinished costumes I have made 4 from the series. I do want to make more but am limiting myself this year and only making costumes that will have a huge impact and show a range of skills in my portfolio.

Day 14 Your cosplay-making habits (eg. singing while working on cosplay)
Procrastinating?!?! I listen to music (usually from a playlist) and I often talk my self through what I am making out loud while working. When I’m alone of course!

Day 15 Your least favourite thing about cosplay
I don’t like the negativity in the community towards people of color (Everyone can cosplay dammit) I don’t like hate in general within the community.
Un-ironed costumes.

Day 16  Do you belong to any cosplay groups?  If so, what are they?
I haven’t cosplayed as apart of a group yet but I do attend cons with my friends so we just roam the halls in our totally unrelated costumes with each other all day and that’s fun enough for me!

Day 17 What events have you cosplayed to?
Armageddon Expo Wellington and Armageddon Expo Auckland.
New Zealand is very small so we only have one con per say but that con is held several times over the year in different cities.

Day 18 What is your best cosplay memory?
Attending the Auckland Armageddon Cosplay Competition in 2015. I didn’t win any prizes but I enjoyed myself so much and met so many amazing cosplayers and it was just really cool to hang out with them over the weekend!
cropped-group-photo.jpg
Day 19 What is your worst cosplay memory?
Getting an image of mine reposed without credit and having that person semi impersonate me by not correcting over 40 comments from people complementing her on how ‘pretty she was’. That just disgusts me.
I’m still working on having the image removed.

Day 20 Have you won any cosplay awards?
No but I only entered my first competition late last year and am looking forward to entering Demongaze into the Wellington competition.

Day 21 Show us your best cosplay derp photo!
Is this derpy enough? I couldn’t find anything else!

Day 22 Have you worn cosplay in a regular situation? (eg. at school, to work)
I wore my Attack on Titan jacket to school once, surprisingly my fashion and textiles teacher loved the style of it and keep asking questions about it which of course I and the other anime lovers in the class found hilarious!

Day 23 Your most expensive cosplay
That I have made would be Dragon Scale Armour which cost just over $100 for materials ect. Aside from cosplay my Young Girl’s Loose Gown has to be the most expensive and I haven’t bought trims yet! The brocade is worth it though!

Day 24 Your most comfortable cosplay and most uncomfortable cosplay
Dragon Scale Armour wins this one again, yes I couldn’t sit down without taking the skirting off but most of the cosplayers I chatted to were standing anyway!
Dark Brotherhood Assassin looses this round.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, top sewing a non stretch fabric such as medium weight cotton on top of a stretch fabric such as spandex does not work!
Basically my movement was restricted because of the non stretch cotton on the spandex making it a little tight! To top it off I had two seams split into holes about 2 inches long on both my inner thigh seams. BUT I HAD AN INSTANT FOREBODING THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN and luckily packed a pair of dark leggings in my con bag and put those on underneath my body suit which made the splits unnoticeable.
Always have a plan B.

Day 25 The cosplay you put the most effort into
Dragon Scale Armour again! About 6 months of work and of course having to work with new materials and learn at the same time!

Day 26 Any unfinished costumes?  Will you ever finish them?
Temple Priest robes from Skyrim (Dragonborn DLC)
Its highly unlike I will finish this cosplay as I now hate it. End of.
Lucina Fire Emblem Awakening
I will finish Lucina and I am planing to wear her to Wellington on the day I don’t have to wear Demongaze so she will be my comfortable cosplay!

Day 27 How many wigs do you own? Which is your favourite?
I have never worn a wig for cosplay ever. My hair has worked for all of them so far and will likely only need two wigs this year for Celaena and Lucina!

Day 28  Where do you work on your cosplays and where do you store them when they’re done?
I work in the dining room which has a large dining table for me to spread out my things on. I have taken over the whole room, its a good thing we have a smaller dining table in the kitchen! I ‘store’ some of my costumes on my wall if they are too long to hang in shallow closets. I do this by just putting a pin in the wall and hanging a coat hanging off it + costume. The costumes I can’t hang get put into storage boxes under my bed, folded properly of course.

Day 29 What is your favourite cosplay item? (eg. a pair of shoes, a wig)
My liquid leather bodysuit! It’s been used for quite a few of my cosplays now and will be used again for my Demongaze Armour and Lucina this year!
I bought it from River’s Edge Dancewear which has since closed down.

Day 30 Describe cosplay in three words.  No more, no less.
Practice. Perfect. Preform.

And that is my 30 Day Cosplay Challenge completed in a day!
I think it will be interesting to compare at the end of the year.
-Nivera

Back to New Zealand/Work Schedule

I have had an amazing six weeks in England, seeing family again, looking at university’s, going to various museums in London and spending all of my money at Goldbrick fabrics.
I feel like I have achieved at lot since being there. I now have a better understanding of what courses I’m interested in as well as the direction I want to explore when it comes to making costumes and the skills I learn through those projects. I also feel like I have revived this blog with more frequent posts even if they are just about me rambling over period costumes. There will be a lot more posts this year with the large amount of costumes I have decided to make as well as the courses I have been accepted into such as  National Youth Drama School which is being held in April.

My last full day in England was spent at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre a place I have dreamed about visiting ever since I got into acting when I was 13 or so.
It was an amazing experience and I loved the tour! I was semi star struck you could say when I saw that Janet Arnold the author of the ‘Patterns of Fashion’ series had a plaque dedicated to her! I didn’t realize that her patterns are actually used when making some of costumes for the globe. Those costumes which are all hand sewn might I add!!! Which is an amazing task considering this is what they have achieved through using sewing techniques from Shakespeare’s time.

  
CntrSBPP

In other news, we’ve bought a house over here in North Devon which will take away so much stress in the next coming eleven months. Its a lovely two story house with a large garden perfect for my cat and dog and its already been decided that the old garage will be renovated into a small studio for me to work in on my costumes!


Work Schedule for 2016
This is a little repetitive but it gives you an idea of the order I will be making costumes this year.

The first costume I will be starting on is the Demongaze Death Knight Armour from World of Warcraft.
I ordered my black worbla from Cosplay Supplies  in the Jumbo (XL) sheet size. They got my shipping address wrong on the first payment slip/receipt so make sure you check that if you order from them!! I wouldn’t have gotten the worbla had they used the original address. Because the site is based in America the cost of shipping gets worse the further away you are so I ended up spending $50 on the cheapest shipping method.
My wallet hates me, I hate me.
I’ll be starting on the breastplate first but I’m also really excited to start on the sword Frostreaper which I will be making from 3 layers of 6mm EVA with dowel running down the center for support. This costume is aimed to be worn at Wellington Armageddon Expo (Now NZ Comicon) June 6th. This gives me six months to work on this costume. Lots of time!

In my textiles class I should be starting on the Young Girl’s Lose Gown.
I have all the fabric to get started on the final product I just need corset material and the material I will use to drape draft the pattern up to scale which will most likely be Top Pop Poplin. I’m thinking about looking online for the lace I want to go around the neckline and sleeves as I can find any nice samples. I’m hoping to be able to make the dress alongside the gown but as I will be working on Demongaze its not likely I will be able to.
fabrics and dress

At some point before Autumn I will make the dress from the painting Ophelia by Georges-Jules-Victor Clairin. I want the photo shoot to happen in Autumn so I can best match the background of the painting. This dress will also count as a historical dress which is a great bonus because my portfolio lacks historical components at the moment. I adore the color and style of this dress and am really looking forward to the photo shoot!
Fabrics for blue

I will likely make Sansa’s dress for my second project in my Fashion and (but not limited to costumes) Textiles class. That is of course if it meets the standard requirements. I really love Sansa’s dresses and decided I had to make one! It also counts as a historical-ish dress which is great as that is my focus for the year. At the moment I’m thinking of printing fabric myself so I’m looking into methods of doing that at the moment.
dresss and fabric purple

Celaena, Queen of Shadows. I love the Throne of Glass series (And recommend it if you enjoy fantasy novels with awesome kick ass female assassins, the books are amazing!) and have debated cosplaying Celaena for a while (more about that in an earlier post). I’ll use left over worbla for this cosplay and am planing to wear it to Auckland Armageddon expo in October.


 

That’s the schedule for 2016 now for the task of making all that and sticking to it! I’ll be home officially tomorrow, after unpacking I want to start patterning the breastplate and roll out my 6mm eva foam so it will be flat and ready to cut once the patterns are drawn for that. I’m now considering going for 4 layers of eva for the sword, fingers crossed I have enough foam for that with the blade being about 1m in length (That’s the measurement in my head and I will confirm that later.

Thank you all for reading and here’s to 2016!
-Nivera