Thursday, May 26, 2011

And now for something completely different...Cosplay!!

Cosplay? Ever hear of it? I think it must be short for Costume play, and it's what you do if you are going to Fanime Con (or probably any other anime/comic convention).FanimeCon 2011 is this weekend in San Jose, CA and I was commissioned by Teen Wonder to build a costume with her for Vocaloid Kagamine Rin

Rin and Len are Vocoloids - she's the female  one on the left. Far right is a costume you can buy online that ships from somewhere in Hong Kong. The nicer ones run about $98 USD plus expensive shipping. I'm sure you can find a good deal somewhere on ebay, but according to Teen Wonder it is actually cooler to make your own cosplay outfit than it is to buy one.  I'm sure we've spent at least $98 if you count the shorts, shirt and haircut...

There are some people out there very serious about their cosplay. And a few tutorials, but not a lot...and the ones that are out there for things like a vocaloid headset are pretty hardcore with LED lights and special paper clay materials - like check out this cool yet unachievable for me site for some tutes:  This young woman probably enters the contests for cosplay that include a performance element rather than just "Hall cosplay" which is walking around in your costume like Teen Wonder plans to do with her friends.

So here is Teen Wonder in her Rin costume:
Comprised of a white vocaloid headset with attached bow, white bobby pins, new haircut especially for mimicking the anime style (no product or stying in this photo), a sailor style collar with yellow trim and tie, arm covers with faux light panels, white tank modified with gold trim around arms and a treble clef embroidery at the collar,  black shorts, custom belt and loopy part, and black legwarmers with trim.

Process: Start with a lot of googling and web browsing to understand what I'm up against.  Then a search for white headphones, and then a trip to fabric/craft store to buy the following:
-  black, white, and yellow satin (actually I had to order the yellow satin online as well as the belt hardware),  - yellow trim ribbon in 2 sizes.
- Belt webbing - we wanted yellow, but they didn't have enough so we went with orange,
- Notions: thread, interfacing, elastic, snaps.
- Electric blue lame.
- Oh and craft foam in white, gold glitter and blue glitter.

Other supplies from home: cheap white headphones with attached microphone (from ebay), E6000 glue, masking tape, yellow fabric paint, some poster board (maybe it was matboard I had onhand)...

Helpful tools - SERGER. I love my serger so much!, Embroidery machine for the treble clef detail, snap plyers (I just used a hammer but I cracked one of the pearl snaps), a paintbrush to help with the belt detail.
And of course a sewing maching, plus some hand stitching supplies...

Next: draft some patterns based on tutorial information online.  I made a pattern for the collar and for the legwarmers and arm covers (just a smaller version of the legwarmer) - just drafted on butcher paper off the roll.

Then get to work!  I didn't take photos along the way (kind of under a deadline!)

Belt - webbing with triangles painted on with fabric paint (dimensional worked best for coverage); simple D loop hardware.  The drop-down strap has clips on both ends per Teen Wonder's request.

Treble clef collar detail - should be bigger, but this was a last minute add-on so I used the stitch pattern already loaded on my Janome 10001.  Len is the male vocaloid in the cartoon above and he has a bass clef (cute, huh?)
The yellow bow has the hooks for attaching the collar, and I'm not too happy that they show on one side...but well, I don't have time to futz anymore (or the inclination to be honest) - it still looks pretty good.

The crowing glory!  a cool headset with earboxes constructed with stiff poster or mat board and masking tape. Then covered with the craft foam, including cutouts to represent the lights that go on the headset though we are faux rather than real lights (the arm panels can also light up if you are really serious about this.), and finally a very stiff (pellon) satin bow attached at the top.

So between business travel, church retreat, the Maker Faire, and this project...I haven't been able to work on much else. Even though I have been taking this week off from work. Backlog of the mundane really cuts into the stay-cation model, doesn't it?

And now I am signed up to "chaperone" the Fanime trip to San Jose. This is scary because it is a student organized club activity - meaning no adults in charge, not a sanctioned school event with all the waivers and stuff we usually get irritated by but which now I wish we had for this weekend. No contact lists, no rules about checking in or buddy systems, no curfew. Nothing but a drop off at a hotel with just a couple of adults staying there to "chaperone". I had to put my foot down and demand emergency contact information on a full list of students as well as their own cell phones.  Still working on an enforced curfew. I know nothing will happen, but it's like carrying an umbrella.

Teen Wonder is so funny. I think to assuage my anxiety about the lack of orgnaization or control over some 25 teenage nerds she says this: "Mom, you aren't officially responsible, and besides there are a lot of the group who are already 18."  What do I hear? "Mom, even though I'm only 16 and so are a lot of my friends whose parents you know and who expect you to keep tabs on them, there will be 18 year old boys in the group who have a lot more experience"  Yeah, she is a really good kid and thinks that the presence of 18 year olds will make me feel better.  But I was not such a good kid, and I know more about 18 year old boys (and girls) than she thinks I do. And perhaps more than she knows at least in some ways although that is impossible to say.

Anyway, Fanime Con 2011, here we come!

p.s. And because I need a Whoop Whoop! for this achievement in crafty innovative costume construction, I've linked to Sarah's linky at Confections of a Fabric Addict


  1. You deserve a GREAT BIG Whoop Whoop for that costume! It looks quite awesome to me - way to go!!

  2. Oh my goodness, are you going for the Mother of the Year award? Not only did you make that fabulous costume, but you are going as a CHAPERONE?????? You get a whoop whoop from me, for sure, but I'm also thinking about sending you a big box of Valium..... ;-)

  3. Very creative mom!! Whoop,whoop!

  4. Great job on the costume! The last paragraph made me laugh so hard I almost snorted my tea...what she said and what you heard. LOL. Know how that is:)

  5. Very COOL! I used to go to SciFi Conventions and have rubbed elbows with alot of anime fans. (LODOS WARS RULE) Love, love the sailor collar! Sew On!

  6. Good lord! The costume is fantastic. And I know it's the wrong genre, but may the force be with you this weekend.

  7. Wow! Great job on the costume. It looks true to the character. Have as much fun as you can as chaperon! :)