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).
cotton sateen
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

Advertisement

Demongaze Armour Part 1

Having only arrived back at home in the past 3 days and only being in NZ for the past 6 I was extremely excited to start on my newest costume,the Demongaze Death Knight Armour from World of Warcraft.

I started patterning on my dressform by using the typical armour making technique by covering the area I wanted to pattern in glad-wrap (Plastic food wrap) and then covering that with painters tape. The glad-wrap acts as a barrier so they you aren’t directly applying the painters tape to the dressform. This way it comes off easily and maintains shape a lot better. The painters tape then acts as your pattern paper, which you draw your patterns on with a vivid marker pen.

I swear the WOW community is the best when it comes to easy reference images! I was luckily enough to be able to find a 3D movable image of the armour I’m working on. The link to that is Here however I’m not sure if it will work on mobile if you wish to view it on that platform. You can also un-equip armour which meant I could take off the shoulder armour and helm as they were in the way of me seeing the breastplate and back plate.

I made a quick (poor) sketch of the armour before starting the patterning. This just helped me to plan out the order I would be making things and how they fit together and to work out seams ect.
1Ir8IVVA

Once I had the page set up and zoomed in on the area I was patterning, I set to work.
I started with the breastplates lower section (nicknamed ‘the under boob or mid tit plate’) I can’t find the patterning progress for this plate and that’s probably down to me stuffing up on the first attempt which is fixed now.
Underboob armour
I’d just like to quickly say that I’m not bothered about pinning the foam in this build as everything will be covered in black Worbla anyway, had I not been covering it I would be a lot more cautious about this as it does leave a marks and they’re hard to remove.

Next to pattern was main breastplate (or the booby cup as Kumui cosplay would call it!) I will be shaping it with a ball ornament to get a round shape in needed places.. The piece then merges up to the shoulder seam. I’ve left this piece of the armour as painters tape because it will be made from folded Worbla (two layers) this is because shaping foam to that shape could be difficult, the double layer just makes it sturdier.
I also patterned another section of the breastplate which comes up from the center of the under boob armour piece which goes up to meet with the end of the main breastplate piece making a ‘V-neck’ shape when mirrored. (Better photos of that later on)

Next is the 3rd layer of the breastplate which comes off the 2nd layer. I was really careful patterning this piece as I had to make sure it would be long enough to meed the belt but now be so long that it exceed where the belt would sit. And I think I got there!
full chest 3rd layer
And that is the breastplate patterned! I only had the backplate to work on. I started with the top which I made sure to connect with the shoulder seam on the breastplate. I then continued with the 2nd and 3rd layers using the same techniques.

After finishing the backplate I went back and made foam copies of the ‘V-neck’ piece as I realized it wouldn’t need to be made from folded (two layers) of Worbla.
Full fron armour
And that is what the front looks like! The painters tape section will be mirrored on the other side with Worbla so you’ll just have to be that little bit imaginative for now!

Above is the finished front and back armour pieces.


The bottom two layers of the breastplate and backplate need another layer so that I can add depth details but I will explain that more in my next post. I’ll be getting sculpting materials Tuesday so that I can add the Worbla over top of the foam and start the molding and shaping process.

And that’s the first official progress report on this cosplay.
Thank you for reading
-Nivera

 

Young Girl’s Loose Gown 1610-20

Please ignore any posts previous to this one where I refer to this gown as being from the Elizabethan era. My maths was wrong and I’m just 7 years short of that deadline with this gowns date. However that’s not to say gowns of this style weren’t worn say, 10 years earlier to squeeze them into that time from which no doubt they were worn. If someone could link me an accurate timeline of costume history that goes through the eras names that would be wonderful! I can’t find a full list anywhere.
Wikipedia has failed me.

Remember my trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum? Where I desperately looked for the gown I’m looking to replicate from Janet Arnold’s ‘Patterns of Fashion Book 3’? THE BOOK THAT DIDN’T SPECIFY THAT THE GOWN WAS NOW IN STORAGE
Yeah that one.
As of three days ago I only had the replicated image of the gown from the book to go off as I couldn’t find any sources with photos of the original dress. But I found a website that documents all of the V&A’s costumes,objects and all manner or fancy old things they horde there. And would you guess what I found!? You guessed it! The gown, in storage…
The link to the gowns specific page is here which links onto another page which has photos of it Yay Photos!. Can’t be bothered opening a link?
The photos are below.

This gown is at least 405 years old so be kind, she’s precious.
I’m really pleased I found these photos as its given me a much better idea of what the gown will look like put together.
In the era the gown is from as soon as a child could walk/hold their own weight they were given ‘proper clothes’ which were miniaturized versions of what adults would have been wearing at the time. So In reality this gown would have been worn by a young girl. But the same style would have also been worn by adults which still makes it an appropriate costume for me to make and wear myself.

So in review,

I am going to be making a ‘replica’ of this gown. Replica with the addition of me using dark reds instead of olive green. (I am a very pale person, olive is not a good color for me I’m afraid). I’m not using the same materials unless we’re counting the dress worn under the gown in that case I would be.
The fabrics being used are red silk and a dark burnt red brocade.
fabrics and dress
The silk (I think?) being used for the dress worn under the gown. And the brocade being used for the gown itself. The shoulder wings and the hanging sleeves are both attached to the gown and will be made from the same brocade fabric. I will be getting trims for this dress when I get home either at Spotlight or I will order some online.
The pattern for the gown is in the book ‘Patterns of Fashion 3’ and can be seen below along with the blurb for the gown.
patternblurb
I have decided that I could possibly make the gown part of this costume in my Fashion and Textiles class at school, that way I can get credits for it! I’ll need to talk to my teacher to make sure it meets the standards requirements but it should work for it.


And that’s it for this update, I will be starting these costumes when I return to NZ in two weeks time.
Thank you for reading
-Nivera

 

2015 Costumes in review and next years schedule

This year has been successful as I completed a number of costumes and left a few behind to be finished at a later time. I thought it would be fun to go through all of this years costumes and then make a list of whats going to happen next year.

2015

Sisters at Sea
The first costume I made in 2015 was a replica WW1 New Zealand Nurse uniform for a school play which I also stared in. This costume was made in class time and took roughly 3 weeks of work.

Temple Priest Robes (Skyrim)
This cosplay was being made at home while I worked on my WW1 Nurse Uniform at school. Honestly I lost interest in this costume because I was disappointed in how the dyed robes came out. The color was dull and I really should have tried re dying them before I sewed layers upon layers of bias tap on but it was far too late for me to do this when I realized I hated it. I have this costume hanging up at home in a different room from my sewing room so I don’t have to look at it and that seams to be working! I may finish this costume next year but honestly I have more important components that need to be in my portfolio. I am not happy with this costume at all

Dragon Scale Armour (Skyrim)
Once I had given up on the Temple Priest robes I started on the armour made from 6mm EVA foam for this costume while working on the (battle) dress in my fashion and textiles class. This was my first time working with EVA foam both to try it out and prepare myself for working with worbla in the future. It was certainly a mission that’s for sure. Lots of painting involved and I think I improved a little on that skill. I loved doing the photo shoot with my photographer it was an amazing experience and can’t wait for next years shoots. This costume was finished just before the convention I wore it to in late October.

Dark Brotherhood Armour (Skyrim)
Over all this costume was made in 3-4 days and was a reasonably easy build, not so easy to wear. The major mistake I made with this costume was top sewing a non stretch fabric (cotton) onto a stretch fabric (spandex) which restricted the moment I had in the suit to very little. I did love wearing this costume and got some great photos with people at the con including JenofMidgard who is so lovely! I will need to re shoot this costume next year as I stupidly forgot the belts in the first shoot. And I will of course have my hood up in the photos, another thing I forgot.

Lucina (Fire Emblem Awakening)
This costume is un-finished but I defiantly have plans to finish it next year in between projects or when I’m bored of a project and need a break from it. I’m pleased with hows its looking so far and will do a photo shoot in it at some point.

Nightingale Armour, Re-paint (Skyrim)
This costume was completed in 2014 but I decided to repaint it all for a photo shoot I was having in late November for the other two costumes I had made this year. I re-painted the whole costume with liquid ‘kiwi’ shoe polish until the paint layer was even. I then went around the outline edges with a white paint pen to add some extra detail.

And that’s it for costumes made in 2015 I don’t think I have missed anything. Moving onto next years costumes!

2016 These costumes are in a vague order

Demongaze Death Knight Armour (World of Warcraft)
What will be my first worbla build along with working with other new materials . My first full post on this is here where I break the armour down and talk about how I’m going to go about making it.

Young Girl’s Evening Dress (Historical dress)
This dress will be the first costume with a historical aspect for my portfolio. I love the era this dress is from and had to make something from that era. I adore hanging sleeves and wanted to make the dress and the cloak/cape as soon as I saw it.
pretty dfresee

Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones)
I love the character of Sansa and decided I wanted to make one of her dresses while watch the series. I really like how modest her dresses are and like the styles of most of them, not so much season 1 as she was still quite childish. The dress I decided on was the one she wears a lot in season 3 similar to the Dragonfly dress.


Ophelia, Georges-Jules-Victor Clairin (Ophelia in blue)
Another goal of mine for next year is to make a dress based of a painting. I’ve always liked the famous painting Ophelia by John Everett Millais but decided that dress wasn’t what I wanted to make so I kept searching and fell upon the painting by Georges-Jules-Victor Clairin which I think is fantastic and I just love so much about the work. Because of the back ground of the painting I want to have a shoot for this dress in Autumn so it has the same striking effect the painting has. The dress looks simple enough to make and I should be able to drape and draft it on my dress form.
336px-Clairin_-_Ophelia

Queen of Shadows (Throne of glass series book 4 cover art)
This is a recent costume I decided to make and a full post about that is here. I have lots of plans for this costume already and will likely buy fabrics for it in London.
full front


And those are the five costume I will be making next year. There are some other costumes too which I will be making in my Fashion and Textiles class. I’m thinking about making a Tudor corset in that class but then again I’m making one that’s in-sewed into the dress for my Elizabethan dress so at the moment I’m debating if that is a greater skill shown to making a separate corset. There is also the Trash for Fashion show in March(?) which I will be entering obviously with an original concept. I am working on drawings for this so I may have a post about that later in the month.  And I will be entering the Bernina Shakespeare Costume Design Competition which I have started looking into for a character and inspiration.

And that’s my vague plan for this year!
Thank you for reading
-Nivera

 

 

Fabric Shopping Haul London and a trip to the V&A

I had an amazing day in London today taking the tube first to the V&A and then (a few hours later) to Goldhawk road for fabric shopping.

Starting with The Victoria and Albert Museum, it is much much larger than I expected! But I was probably a little too hyped for the historical costumes. A disappointing amount. So in the V&A there is an are called Fashion where they show the progression of fashion from the 17th century to present. It was honestly a small display and I was quite annoyed there was nothing from earlier periods in time on display. Luckily there was a display on the 4th(?) floor on theater and performance which had twice as many costume even if they weren’t historical they were amazing to look at.
Europe Display Photos

This display was really interesting with all of the costume on display being originals except the dress which was a miniature replica. The photo of the room was called a ‘Room of Mirrors’ it looked cute so I snapped a photo of that too.

Fashion Display Photos

I don’t think that last photo was from the fashion display but Oh Well. I think this display has so much potential if they just got rid of half the most recent clothes on display and just filled the museum cases with historical garments. But no lets focus on plain boring clothing. I’m hoping when I visit the Globe theater in a week or so there will be more historical garments on display there. And no I was not able to find the original dress that I’m working on replicating in any displays. It likely got moved to a different site since the first publication of Patterns of Fashion 3.

Theater And Performance Costume Display Photos

That silver dress is just gorgeous and my photos haven’t done the finer details justice. This costume is for an opera called Iolanthe and the character the would have worn it is the Queen of the Fairies. That was the last display I looked at before I decided it was best to go and get my fabric before any stores closed.

Fabric shopping on Goldhawk Road FABRIC HAUL

You only need to go to one store

Goldbrick Fabrics

 

This shop is amazing!!! I didn’t need to go anywhere else! This shop is like descending into heaven if my local fabric store (Spotlight) were hell. The walls are stacked with fabric of all colors, textures and prints. I spent a good 10 minutes just wondering around looking at everything before I started looking at my list. You could say I very quickly made friends with one of the staff members (who is a fellow cosplayer). She was so helpful with deciding what fabrics would work best for my Elizabethan dress. Showing me the most perfect burnt red brocade fabric for the cloak with hanging sleeves matched with a slightly lighter red fabric (I can’t for the life of me remember what it is but it is historically accurate)
Mp9FsW_C
The dress fabric is darker I took these as soon as I got home so the lighting wasn’t that great. 6m of the dress fabric and 4m of the brocade fabric used for the cloak and hanging sleeves.
UPDATED Natural lighting
fabrics and dress
Next on the list was the dress fabric for Sansa Stark. The staff member who was helping me squealed when I showed her the photo immediately showing her co-worker who was also just as happy! We weren’t able to find any lilac fabric with a gold pattern on it so we settled on just the lilac fabric. I think it was a silk blend… possibly.
xQC_1HxB
Again, poor lighting equals shoddy looking fabric. The fabric is a little shiny and a rich lilac in natural lighting. I bought 5m 50cm of this fabric all in one bolt of course.
UPDATED Natural lighting
dresss and fabric purple

I also got fabric for the caped cowl to go with my Demongaze Death Knight armour from WOW. Finding fabric for this at first was difficult as we were just wondering the store looking for the right coloured fabric which was a dirty purple color from photo reference. We then found a heavy weight lining fabric in a dark purple that would drape perfectly.
VXceJ5zp
I think this is the only photo of my fabrics that the lighting hasn’t effected. It looks amazing and it think it is perfect for the cape and cowl on the Demongaze Death Knight armour. I got 3m of this fabric and it was given to me! I am so thankful for the people at this store they are so lovely and kind!
UPDATED Natural lighting
fabric for vcaopes
And finally I got some black faux leather for my Queen of Midnight cosplay. And its the thin stuff! Not the thick rubbery faux leather you get in NZ. The inside is soft and I don’t think I will need to make a lining for the corset I am making from, unless there are a lot of seams in which case I will. I bought 1m of it and am really hoping that will be all I need..
sSFI7OEQ
Best photos despite the awful lighting I think. Its really nice and lightweight too which means I shouldn’t get too hot wearing it at conventions and for its photo shoot.
UPDATED Natural lighting
assassin and gfabric


And that concludes my fabric haul, I can not wait to get back to NZ and start on these costumes! I will be ordering my black worbla in the next week or so and hopefully it will have arrived by the time I get home.
I will be buying all my lining material as well as corset material when I arrive back in NZ. And hopefully get some trims for my Elizabethan dress.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Costume making books, my collection

I don’t have any books just for sewing however I do have a large-ish collection of books for making historical costumes. I thought I would share them because I know that when I first started trying to finds books on historical costume and books on making them it was extremely difficult.
Starting off with my favorite book which is apart of a series (of four) written by Janet Arnold. I have the whole series which I was given for my birthday and for placing 1st in drama for my year level (shameless self boasting I know) My favorite is ‘Patterns of Fashion, the Cut and Construction of Clothes for men and women c1560-1620’, I have referenced this book in earlier posts about the Young girls evening dress I am making which appears in this book. I adore the clothing of this era and with the skill and time I plan to make more dresses from this book.pfp3
The other book from the series are,
‘Patterns for fashion 1 Englishwomen’s Dresses and their construction
c1660-
1860′
pfp1
‘Patterns of fashion 2 Englishwomen’s Dresses and their construction c1860-1940’9780896760271
Patterns of fashion 4 The cut and construction of linen shirts, smocks, neck wear, head wear and accessories for men and women c1540-1660pfp4

I do adore the other books but they really are self explanatory based on their titles. All fantastic reads.
However, I wouldn’t recommend these for a novice sewer or someone who hasn’t drafted/scaled up or draped a pattern before. These books do come with patterns but either have to be scaled up or draped drafted making it a difficult task for someone relatively new to sewing. I have decided to drape and draft my patterns from theses books as at the moment I don’t have the materials or patience to scale the patterns up and then adapt them to my size. But again I will see how my  mock ups go making sure to TEST EVERYTHING.

‘Historic Costumes and how to make them by Mary Fernald, E. Shenton, Eileen Shenton’
HCAHTMT
 This book was first published in 1937 but was re-printed in 2003. And no my copy is not an original. I revived this book for Christmas this year and was pleased to find that it is full of pictures and diagrams of the costumes it offers patterns for. Again this book requires you to scale up patterns or drape and draft them (or any other method really). All patterns are labeled with each ‘raw edge’ of the patterns being labeled with a letter which then corresponds with the instructions on the previous pages. Which is a fantastic system which the ‘Patterns of Fashion’ series lacks which requires you to actually look at the patterns and figure out what goes where with the somewhat brief descriptions. The only negative thing I have to say about this is that I really wish the pages were bigger. I don’t have a problem with reading anything in the book but I just feel like it was a stupid size to be made into. If I had the book open on my work table and just needed to glance at a pattern to see how it needed to be pinned I wouldn’t be able to without squinting. And that’s all.

‘Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns: Book 1&2 (Dress pattern 2)’

I received these books for my birthday and decided to write about them together because I haven’t really looked into them that much. The books are divided into two parts: theoretical and practical then later going into patterns as well as drawings similar to Janet Arnold’s books.
These books also take a lot of note of the embroidery on garments often offering the original embroidered pattern on the pages in amazing detail which I found very interesting. The patterns are very clear and these books are well worth looking into.


And there you have it, my historical costume book collection. I do also have access to the books at my college library which are also helpful for inspiration and I found a particularly good one which clearly goes through the movement of historical men and women’s costume.
Apologies for the lack of ‘real’ updates on my costumes as all my recent posts have just been what I’ve been up to (along with that embarrassing story)  so I’m happy to announce that I will be going to London this Tuesday for fabric shopping ! Goldhawk Road here I come! I will also be going to the Victoria and Albert Museum before shopping because I recently figured out (according to Patterns of Fashion 3) That the dress I want to make, the young girl’s evening dress is on display there! I am a little doubtful as the book as published a few years ago but I will go there with hope and I’m sure I will leave feeling extremely inspired regardless if the dress is on display or not.
Tuesday night I will start work on my fabric haul post from the days shopping and if its not up that night I plan to have it posted Wednesday.

And that’s it for this blog post, I hope you have enjoyed reading.
-Nivera

 

Fabric shopping in London: The list

I did attempt to go shopping earlier in the week for the fabrics I need for my upcoming costumes. I wanted to go to Goldhawk Road first but my mother insisted that we go to this in her words ‘really great’ fabric market… that was dodgy as hell. I can’t really remember where it was but basically the town we were in had one of its main roads closed off for this market (it was not just a fabric market) and it stretched off down the road. So we walked down the road looking at all of the stalls selling rip off items, poor replicas and and some items that didn’t look all that legal only to find disappointment. Apart from the fabric being really poor quality, none of the sellers had anyway of measuring or cutting the fabric.  So I decided rather than being ripped off I would promptly leave.

The plan now is to go to Goldhawk road after Christmas possibly the same day I go up to Wimbledon College of arts and if there is enough time to go up to the Victoria and Albert Museum we’ll do that too. If not I will just go another day.

So what am I buying for and what is my list?

Costumes I am buying for

Demongaze Death Knight Armour
(yes I finally worked how to get the hood onto the 3D model)

Sansa Stark
Sansa dress 1

Young girls loose gown (Elizabethan)pretty dfresee

The fabric list

Demongaze armour

  • Bodysuit fabric, dark purple scaled pattern would be ideal in a stretch fabric. For this I will be using Yaya Han’s body suit pattern (previously used in my Dark Brother hood cosplay)
  • Cowl and cape will be made from a midnight blue medium-heavy weight cotton fabric.
  • Cowl accent could possibly be faux leather or craft foam. I will probably make this decision based on what I can find in the fabric stores.

Sansa Stark

  • Iris purple fabric with an ornate pattern
  • Iris purple lining fabric
  • Buttons similar to the ones pictured
  • I will be using the Simplicity pattern 1487 for this dress

 

Young Girls loose gown (Elizabethan)

  • I think the colors of garnet red and mahogany red would look really nice together. I want one of those fabrics to have an ornate pattern. The effect I want is for either the dress to have the ornate patterned red and the cape to just be a simple red with out a pattern or vise versa.
  • I also want to get trims for this costume to go on the dress and the pecks of the shoulders ect.

 

I think that is everything but I’m sure I will add to it if I have forgotten anything.
And that’s what I will be buying in London, I really look forward to making these costume next year and sharing them on this blog.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Portfolio Photo Shoot

Today I had a photo shoot near the forestry at the back of my house with three of my costumes for my portfolio. My Nightingale armour was first followed by my Dark Brotherhood Armour and then finally my Dragon Scale Armour all designs are from the Elder Scrolls Skyrim.
I’m really pleased with how the photos have turned out and am getting 12 of the 20 photos printed to A4 for my portfolio.

And here they are !

Nightingale Armour

1234

Dark Brotherhood Armour

5

7
6

 

Dragon Scale Armour

810
9
11
12

I love these photos so much the photographer did a fantastic job!
I will add more to this post in the next few days but I’m having issues with WordPress at the moment.


I really loved doing this photo shoot and can’t wait to do others in the future!
I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos.
-Nivera

Demongaze Costume Armour Planing

I always try to plan out costumes as best I can before starting them and I decided I would share how I do that. This works for both armoured and fabric costumes.

This is the full armour from front and back
Both the front and back

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to attach the Demongaze armour to myself when I wear it. So yes I have decided on this cosplay for next year! Strapping armour to yourself can be really tedious depending on the complexity of the armour its self. I found this out with my Dragon Scale armour from Skyrim. Looking back at it now the way I strapped the breastplate to myself is really ugly,
Side
my skill did get a little better as I made the thigh and skirting armour as I could hide it a lot better. I want to improve on this skill with the Demongaze amour by better hiding the strapping and clips and buckles ect.

So lets take a trip into paint and watch me ramble and through ideas out there so I won’t forget them later!

The Breastplate

Making 1
Okay so the image above is a quarter turn view of the armour, the dark black area under the arm is obviously armour-less (I will be wearing a bodysuit under all of the armour so the fabric of that will be showing here) Below that we can see a thick dark blue line following the side of her torso to the belt. I think this would be the best place for a seam/split of the worbla, you can see the the breastplate is layered over another piece of armour covering the stomach, then there is the ‘wrap around’ armour underneath that which would connect at the seam.
Making 2
This image is an angled view of the back of the armour, the main plates of the armour are distinct with the silver trim. The blue surrounding that armour is the ‘wrap around’ armour I talked about before, you can just see the thick dark blue line where I want the seam to be by the girls arm. Ignore the dot in the top right corner I didn’t see it before uploading the image!
Making 3
Above you can see where the armour goes over the shoulders, I’m hoping to keep the breastplate as one piece by having the shoulder pieces of the breastplate connect to the front and back plates, have room for the arm hole and then the split down the side. Similar to this…
cardbaordFound on Pinterest without credit

But with a lot more shape to it. I would make the breastplate without having a split but because it has a lot of shape to it it will be easier to get on with the splits. I would likely have two small safety buckles (like the one I used on the back of the Dragon Scale armour belt) on each side of the split, four in total for the breastplate.

The Belt

Above are images of the front and back of the belt. I think the easiest way of making this is from worbla (like everything else in this build) and EVA foam. The belt will have a safety buckle at the front (same as the one mentioned before) which will be hidden by the skull, I will attach the skull with a hook and eye set on the inside of the belt. The belt also has a small plate of armour at the back (circled in the right picture) which I will make a part of the belt, I will probably have a small piece of elastic going between my lets to connect the bottom of that to the front of the belt underneath the skull.
Belt Skull

Front and side view of the skull on the belt. I would probably make the base out of 6mm EVA foam and then cover with worbla. The horns would either be made from insulation foam or tinfoil and DAS clay.

Thigh Armour

Front,side and back of the thigh armour (left leg). This again will be made from EVA foam sandwiched between worbla I think then to make the raised silver detail I will make a pattern out of 6mm foam and then dremel it down to shape with clean edges and cover with worbla. There is a band of armour that goes around the leg so I will be making this fitted to me as well as having an elastic strap higher up on the inside of my thigh to keep it on my body. And because gravity is a bitch that won’t be enough to keep it up and it will likely slip down as I’m walking. //Flashback to SNK Cosplay of 2014// To prevent this I will have yet another safety buckle on this cosplay. One end of the buckle will sit underneath the belt on my hip so that it will line up with the top most point of the thigh armour, where there will be the other end of the buckle underneath of the top most point of the armour so that they can clip together.

Boots

Above are the boots, I don’t know why but WOW has a thing for really bulky boots. For these I’m planing on making proper boot covers to go over my amazing black boots which I have used for four costumes so far. I’ll then make the silver face and armour from worbla and EVA foam which should stay on without elastic because it has two points of connection with the boot. Under the foot and the top opening of the boot.

Gauntlets

The gauntlets from front, side and back. I think these should be pretty simple. Made from EVA foam with EVA foam raised details and then covered in worbla. And I’m sure there is a tutorial out there for gems but I will talk about that later. I think making them in one piece in then being able to slide the on is the easiest option to go with. I have seen some tutorials of worbla gauntlets with zippers so that could be another option.

Shoulder armour/pauldrons

THESE ARE EITHER GOING TO BE LOTS OF FUN OR LITERAL HELL. The shoulder armour is basically a giant skull with horns and glowing blue eyes and I love it! I’m going to make these attach to the shoulder of the breastplate using the same method Jessica Nigri did to mount her large shoulder armour.

The above images show where she has added more foam to the shoulder piece to make it sit higher (which is a reoccurring thing in WOW armour) The bottom of the added foam has Velcro which connects to the Velcro on her shoulder harness (which will be the actual shoulder armor for me) As well as that she has a safety buckle on the shoulder armour and the other end of the buckle is on the harness shoulder piece. This is there to add more security to the shoulder armour and also to keep it closer to her head holding it more upright. I will be playing around with this technique but I’m sure I will do it differently as my breastplate is a lot different.
As far as making the skulls goes I will probably make the base from 6mm EVA foam and then cover everything in worbla. And i really really want to add a LED circuit to those skulls so the eyes will glow blue. My idea is that I could have four LEDs two for each skull obviously and then have the battery pack and circuit at the back of my neck (on a harness of course, perhaps built into the back plate?) which would be covered by my hood. I really do need to look into this more as I haven’t worked with LEDs before unless you count that time in the Technology center in Year 8 but I never paid attention any way.

Horns, look cool but are a maybe

Horns (head)
This is a close up of the horns and the only photo I have of them. I think they look really cool and add to the armour quite a bit. The blue horns to the top of the head are actually apart of the race wearing the armor but I don’t have any other photos so this will be the image used for reference. The base of the horns look like they cloth on them likely to be apart of the hood/cowl. I think I will make the horns from insulation foam or expanding foam and then cover with worbla. I would make them to attach to a headband which I can wear under the hood and have holes in the hood so that the horns can poke through and hopefully cover my awful craftsmanship of attaching the horns to the headband.

Bodysuit, hood and maybe a cape

Bodysuit
In the first picture I have circled areas where you can best see the (chain mail, other armour… something) underneath the main armour. This is where I plan to make a body suit. Because I have an extreme pet hate for cosplayers who make incredible armour and then wear normal clothes of the same color under it (example: Long sleeved black shirt and pants)  instead of just making a body suit. It looks so tacky !!! The texture looks like a large scale print which is burnt purple color, though I doubt it would be an issue if I just went with a dark blue color. But I want to try and replicate the scale effect. This will be my second armour cosplay with a scale print… Fabric choice will likely be spandex/spandex blend.

Hood and possible cape
Below I try to justify why I should make the cape
The second image shows a close up of the hood. The hood looks reasonably fitted and so does the scarf (cowl is the right word I know). The cowl is what makes me want to add a cape to the costume. Simply because capes are awesome. Also by having a cape I can cover up the back of the costume a lot better, not saying the back of the costume will look bad but if I do have a battery pack for the LEDs it would be nice to have some more coverage. I don’t think a cape would make the costume look bad either just add to the awesomeness of the armour. I would use the same fabric for the cowl and cape because crossing materials is another pet hate of mine. If I can find enough of the right fabric I defiantly will make the cape. I think the best length for for the cape would be just below the backs of my knees (apparently that’s called your ‘popliteal’, see you can learn things through my blog) I think I will fry the edges giving it a weathered look ect.
I think the beast fabric would be a cotton blend but I will see what I can find in the fashion district!

Gems

I briefly thought about making all of the blue gems glow with LEDs but decided that it would be way too time consuming and considering I haven’t used LEDs before a bit of a dumb idea. Besides I think having the eyes on the skulls glowing is a really neat effect and I just want to keep it to that one area. The boots also have a face on them along with glowing eyes but I’m just going to over look that and make those gems as well.  I have seen many different tutorials that use hot glue to make gems by heating the glue in a microwave adding color and then re-heating the glue and shaping it to the shape you want. Another option is mold casting gems but that can be expensive so if I do go with that option I might talk to my friend who also cosplays and see if we go halves on the costs for those materials. The surround of the gems will be worbla painted silver to give the gems that inset look on the armour.

Paint
I will most likely use acrylic paint when painting the armour. Its the best paint to use on worbla and wont crack and will take damage without showing it. There is a really neat art shop in the town over from where my grandmother lives in England so I really want to go there when buying paints. I will put together a pallet of all the most dominant colors in the armour and print it off before I pack my things so I can take it with me. Color pallets are so easy to make I don’t know why more cosplayers don’t make them when buying fabrics and paints.

Frostreaper, Blade of the Fallen Prince

weapon 2weapon
Not armour but apart of the costume all the same. There are two ways I am thinking of doing this build. The first way is with 6mm EVA foam likely sandwiched together (rough sides in the middle) and then shaped down with a dremel. Or making a vague (and I mean vague because there is so much detail on that sword) outline from balsa wood and then covering that in expanding foam and carving that down to shape, then covering with worbla. From what I can tell from other (low quality) screen shots of the sword only one side has incredible detail. From this I have decided to keep the sword looking as it does from these angle and then just improvise on what the skull looks like at the back instead of  mirroring the entire sword on both sides.


And I think that covers everything I will be making in this post. I can’t start on this costume until next year after I have come home from England but I’m sure I will have posts related to it while I’m on holiday. I am very excited to start this armour.

Thank you for reading this very long post
-Nivera

Toi Whakaari Costume Design Workshop 2015

Also known as the 3 days I spent in the capital city with no adult supervision with my great friend Eden. I was so happy to go to the workshop at the National Drama School although I must admit the summary of the workshop had me confused. “No traditional sewing techniques would be taught” But this is a costume course what are we going to do all day!!! I thought. But of course Toi Whakaari had it sorted.

When we all arrived at Toi Whakaari we joined in a school Kōiwi with all students and staff. It started with a school ‘sing along’ of sorts where we sung together adding different beats and sounds to it as we went as well as one of the third year students rapping about the school during the song. It was an awesome experience and really showed what a close family the school was and I found that really fun and interesting. After the sing along teachers and students stood up and shared news and experiences they’d had over the holidays. We then split into our workshop groups and went our different ways. My group (costume students) had a tour of the whole school first. And oh my god the school is much larger than I ever expected! Four stories, about three (I think) different preforming stage areas and many large open spaces for the design students to work.There was a basement stage as well as a huge workshop for students working on their life size sets they were to build. We of course got to see a lot of the costume design room where the students work. It was a great space with everything you could ever need!! The students at the time were working on tutus and we got to see some of the tutus made by the previous years students. I want to make one now!!! The school is made out of and old shed (a large one obviously) and the roof is made almost entirely out of opaque corrugated plastic roofing (Pulling out all the technical terms I know). This meant that the school had very little need for lights in the plaza and top level classrooms. Everything was so open and light and it was just a great area to work in. Not to mention the view from the top levels was just stunning.

aOOFiVSn c6Li2Fzi

After the tour we were introduced to our tutor for the two days and we begun the workshop. The first day was just practicing drawing the body from real life and then drawing dress over top, which wasn’t anything new to me. We also had a discussion about the differences between Costume, Fashion and Wearable Art. Which was interesting as we had a few students in our workshop who participated in WOW and other wearable art shows.  And that was the first day.

The second day was much more interesting. We were taught about how the body can be changed and its relation to how the costume changes around that. We tested this by wrapping each other in quilting batting to create grotesque, unnatural and strange modifications to our bodies and then drew each other with these modifications. Which was fun and interesting.
We then were given a challenge over lunch to buy a garment from a recycled clothing store and make an Alice costume using this sort of technique. We read the first few pages from the novel  ‘Alice in wonderland’ and had to choose ‘a moment of transformation’ within those pages. An example would be where Alice grows or shrinks or when she in soaked by her own puddle of tears. I decided to focus on the change of Alice’s dress when she falls down the rabbit hole (I can’t find my original drawing I did for this, I will post it when I do) I went with the theme of everything being surreal and cartoonish and I had the image in my head of Alice falling down the hole and her dress ballooning up around her, then when she reached the bottom I could see her hastefully trying to pat down this now overly poofy dress to no avail. My design consisted of Alice with her dress puffed up around her in the classic Disney dress. At the end of the day we all shared our designs and our basic mock up on the dress form and then reflected on the workshop.

It was a great two days and I met some awesome people while I was there and I felt really inspired by what I saw. Below are photos of costumes made by the third year students.

2v7a9gas cNvSo5Ih d9QGDbci

fwZRNs5z GC-ajtUr JozeiG6P

ld6CkLTN OcQqgQ8q wMPs80hh

YjYB69Uy Ytfkaer1

I absolutely adore historical costumes so I was so glade the school put these on show during my time there. Of course all credit goes to the students at Toi Whakaari who made these beautiful costumes. My poor and rushed photography skills don’t do them justice.

In summary the workshop was amazing and I have definitely learnt from it. When ever the next chance comes up to got to Toi Whakaari again I will jump on it. Its a great school with an amazing environment and is the sort of thing that is going to make me miss living in New Zealand.

Thank you for reading
-Nivera