Long Time

Oof, it’s been a while again. I’ve been focused on trying to grow my Instagram page for the last year (a fruitless effort, I realize now), and so I’ve been neglecting this poor little space. Plus, the last year has just been… awful, quite frankly. I don’t even think a recap is in order, since it’s mostly just been bad. But, things will get better. I’ve been working on costumes again, which has been great, and am hoping to have a few new things done by Katsucon. That, at least, has definitely been a silver lining. So, here’s to things getting better as the year goes on. I’ll be around here a bit more often.

Pets!

My dog and cat have been a constant source of affection and irritation (sometimes at the same time) during the pandemic. Both of them are adorable, and both have decided that our son is the real enemy that they need to ally against. So, both of them have ended up being much sweeter to my husband and me. Both Mari and Usagi bring me so much joy, and I just had to share how cute they are.

Cat laying on my hand
Usagi laying on me holding my hand with her paw
Dog peeking under a table
Mari laying on my husband and peeking under the table

Best Laid Plans

Well, I wasn’t going to make a new costume for Halloween. My plan was to wear a cute Haunted Mansion dress I’d bought, and leave it at that. But then, Arda Wigs and Silk Baron, two of my favorite and go to vendors for cosplay materials, announced a joint Halloween costume contest, and that plan went right out the nearest window.

So now, I’m making Sailor Jupiter’s dress from the Victorian Sailor Moon comic by Hell Strawberry. I’m so excited to work on this! I already had a wig for Jupiter, since I think I planned to make her school uniform at some point, and I love doing vaguely historical costumes. It’s going to be a rush, since I only have a few weeks to get this done, but I’m excited for the challenge!

Plans for a Sailor Jupiter costume
Sailor Jupiter Plans!

Good Old Days

I’ve been digging through my old cosplay photos for Instagram, and it’s been awesome looking back through all the memories. Doing group cosplays with my friends are definitely some of my favorite sewing moments, and I love each of these so much.

Cosplay group from Angelic Layer
Angels ready for the game

We picked costumes based on what anime we were watching together and what shows were our joint favorites. I loved getting to not only enjoy new shows together, but then creating awesome costumes together to celebrate our fandom.

Slayers cosplay
Probably my favorite picture of our Slayers costumes

Now that we’re all adults with kids, joint costumes have been put to the side, and I don’t know if we’ll do more in the future. But I’m so happy we got to do these together.

Rozen Maiden cosplay
Rozen Maiden dolls

Cosplay For Days

I’ve been doing the SheProp September Cosplay Challenge on Instagram, and it’s actually a lot of fun so far. I haven’t gone back and looked at my older cosplay pictures in a while, so it’s been nice to go take a look at what I made back in the day.

I started cosplaying when I was a sophomore in college, back in ye olden days of 2002. I had never sewn before, and was using my mom’s old Singer sewing machine from the 60’s, but somehow I managed to make Asuka’s school uniform from Evangelion. I don’t have a lot of pictures of my first costume, but I still have the uniform in my basement sewing room.

My first cosplay as Asuka
My first cosplay ever

I had no clue what I was doing when I made this outfit. It really was a complete miracle it stayed together through a convention, but somehow it did. I made a lot of mistakes on this costume (didn’t finish any seams, didn’t make the waistband right, didn’t really know how to use a pattern), but my favorite one was how I replaced a bobbin. I didn’t know how to use my mom’s sewing machine, and she was on a trip to Italy with her best friend while I was making this, so I was kind of just winging it. I genuinely thought you had to use a screwdriver to take half the bobbin casing apart every time you had to change the bobbin. When my mom got home and saw my finished costume, and I complained that switching the bobbin was the hardest part, she showed me what I should have done. Apparently, there was a little panel you could just pop off. I still laugh about that goof every time I change a bobbin now.

Sewing Stuff

And it’s been a while again. I’ve been keeping ahead of pandemic depression (and depression about pretty much everything else going on in the world right now) by doing excessive amounts of costuming.

And you know what? I actually made a lot of progress. I am officially finished with all of Carmilla’s undergarments! I finished a cool red petticoat, which was officially the last thing before starting on patterns for the dress. The corset could probably still use some fit adjustments, which I may go back and make, but for the moment, I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

Red petticoat
Red Petticoat

It’s also been really nice bonding with Usagi while I sew. Any time I head to my basement sewing room, she tags along to keep me company. And obsessively lay down on whatever I’m currently working on. But that’s just cats though. In her mind, she’s definitely helping.

Cat laying down
“I’ll just lay here, on top of this thing you’re putting pins into. That’s totally helpful, right?”

Work In Progress

I am finally finished making the undergarments for Carmilla! It’s taken me a few months to get everything in order, but I think I’m finally there. I have some adjustments to make to the corset and shirt. The shirt is a little big in the shoulders, and the corset is a little big in general, so I need to do a little work to see if I can pull everything in a touch. I also need to remake that lumpy bum roll, especially since my dumb ass didn’t realize that the red ribbon I used for the ties wasn’t color safe. Some of the inside of my corset and the bum roll itself is now a festive shade of reddish-pink. Luckily, I have the same ribbon in white, and enough leftover fabric that I should be able to redo it pretty quick. I also need to spot clean my farthingale to get rid of the last of my channel placement marks. The big blue lines everywhere definitely take away from the overall aesthetic.

My Elizabethan undergarments
Elizabethan Undergarments

Other than that, I may just add a few niceties. I may add some trim to the farthingale to hide the boning channels a little better, although I have to decide if the insane amount of hand sewing I’d have to do is worth it for a costume part that won’t be seen. I also want to add some buttons on the front of the corset to help hold the shirt in the right place. And I may add a little extra structure to the corset’s cups, just to keep everything‚Ķ ahem‚Ķ in the right place once the dress is on too. Although, for modesty’s sake, I think I’m going to end up taping myself into this dress regardless of what I do with the undergarments.

Elizabethan undergarments from the back
And from the Back

But, for now, I’m going to move on to patterning a petticoat, then mocking up patterns for the real dress. I’ll probably take a little break before I keep going, just to clear my head a little and give myself a chance to be happy with what I’ve accomplished so far.

Sewing Friend

It’s been nice to actually sew again, and one of the best parts has been spending extra time with my kitty. Usagi has been my sewing companion for the last 16 years now. She’s moved through four houses and four different sewing rooms with me, and through it all has always wanted to check in and see what I’m doing while I’m costuming. Even though she can be a thread-eating, fabric-stealing pain sometimes, I love that my little old lady still likes to come to my sewing room and hang out while I work.

Cat sitting on sewing supplies
Keeping me company and sitting on my patterns, as usual

Sleepyhead

I’m too exhausted today to write a real post, since my job is currently being a massive pain to deal with. But here’s a cute picture of my Shiba trying really hard to ignore me and sleep. I sometimes wish I had her life and could just nap whenever I wanted.

Shiba Inu sleeping
“I really need my 16 hours, mom.”

Paper Towels!

You know things are weird when the highlight of your week is finding a half a roll of paper towels in the guest bedroom from the last time you cleaned up cat vomit and realizing that YOU’RE NOT OUT OF PAPER TOWELS AFTER ALL!!! And this becomes the high point of your days a few weeks in a row. You start talking about it like it’s a major life event. Remember when we got married, and when we brought our son home, and when we found that extra roll of paper towels last week. Sigh.

Anyway, the pandemic quarantine is really starting to get to me, clearly. So here’s a cute picture of Mari looking adorable out in our yard. She was not happily smiling. She was disgruntledly chomping at me because I was trying to stop her from eating grass. Super cute either way, though.

Shiba Inu in the grass
Enjoying the sun, eating the grass.