Monthly Archives: June 2010

Grell’s LBD

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, it’s true. Grell seems like he would be good at breaking silences (or making awkward silences) and I finished him way ahead of schedule. For the longest time I called this his Moulin Rouge dress, but every lady needs that one little black dress and this one is his. Or as little as a LBD could be in the Victorian era, anyways.

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Not pictured are the lovely thigh highs and garters that also go with this, because both tend to look like scrunched-up and forgotten piles of trim if someone’s not in them! The dress itself is lined in poly shantung and the fashion fabric is this lovely floral brocade I picked out at the last minute when I realized that the fabric I’d first picked reflected light like a black hole. I have no clue what the striped fabric on the shoulders and on the shoes’ bows is, only that it was on clearance and is something polyester that likes to rip along the straight of grain even when I’m trying for the cross.

For whatever reason, it’s really hard to find affordable fire hydrant red pumps this season. The shoes were the dreariest off-white pair in my size, but were also $7 and I had plenty of the Nu-Life spray left over from reaper Grell.  The opera gloves in the design don’t have the rhinestone trim like the pair I bought, but this is Grell here. I honestly couldn’t tell what was going on with the earrings and the choker except for the basic red and black shapes and the skull. They probably would have stayed a lot simpler if I hadn’t found those cute little bow charms, and of course I couldn’t just leave them there…

And the hair. It’s hard to see, but that huge mass of flowers and ostrich feathers is attached to a removable hair piece. X_X I’ll probably devote an entire angst-ridden post to it.

Much love,



Taking The Time Needed

It’s been a while, guys!  Sorry about that, but I’ve been a good little cosplayer and finishing two costumes in roughly a month for A-kon, and starting upon another for San Japan.  Let me say this first, I do not recommend rushing costumes.

Nope, not a recommendation at all.

Here’s the deal.  You start up a project thinking, ha, I have enough time and all the things I need, so I can do it!!, which is probably accompanied by a ridiculous Sailor Moon or Naruto pose.  And honestly, the project looks simple – a piece of cake.  All you need to do is sew a few piece of fabric together, put on a few buttons and tada! you’re finished.

The cake is a lie, people.

First off, you’ll have some mini-disaster sewing.  Maybe the bobbin won’t work or the thread isn’t right,soyou’llhave to fix that bit.  Then the costume isn’t fitting right, so pull out the seam ripper and take apart the entire costume and start again.  Oh wait, there has been this super awesome, ulta-rare, chocolate covered addition to the character design, so you need more fabric, but that costs thirty dollars, but the money’s work it becuase omg it’s sooooo coooolll!*

The point I’m trying to make is, you need to balance out the time requirements because they will sneak up and bite you in the behind.  Hard.  I was finishing up a hat for Yuuko Friday night in the hotel because I didn’t delegate time well.  Also, last minute additions will add a stain to your budget, so taking the time for sales and such will help save your bank account as well as keep you from settling with something inferior to the design in your head.

I find it hard to compromise my characters because of my budgets because the reasons I want to cosplay Lotti (Pandora Hearts) and Yuuko (xxxHolic) is because I love them.  I don’t want to disrespect them by putting out something that looks inferior to who they embody.  Yuuko and her sexual but expensive nature and Lotti and her Victorian era madness.

With an inferior product, I am disrespecting myself and my abilities.  I am not a costuming student, nor am I, entirely, a proficient sewer, but I have a healthy amount of respect for myself and what I deem good.  I refuse to put out something that doesn’t show that I put hours and money into a project.  That I thought out the placement of each piece, that I chose each fabric after much deliberation, and that I worked, hard, to get the finished project out there.

So, remember, respect yourself and the character you are cosplaying.  Take the time to get it right!

❤ mamaesme

*The entire paragraph is based on personal experiences over the past month.  The entire paragraph.  (I seam ripped one costume five times.)

Capricious Reaper Update

For whatever reason, A-kon makes me change the way I think about cosplay. And it’s always for the better, but I didn’t think it would happen before I’d even hit the road for Dallas this year.

 Grell Sutcliff, Dissidia Kuja alternate version, and Fai Fluorite are coming with me to A-kon this year. Capricious Reaper isn’t on that list.

 I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted to before my own due date for the costume, which was tonight at 10 PM. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do everything with the very short time I get between moving back from university and the convention, but I ignored that until this morning (that, and we have a very strict no-bad-Kuja-cosplay policy here at House of Pavonine Cosplay that began sometime around March). I was placing heavy pressure on the costume: pressure that came from sources that shouldn’t matter as much to me as they do. I have a tendency to be like Kuja sometimes, and a little too much of that is going on with me right now.

 I didn’t realize this about myself until this costume, but my Kuja cosplay has gotten to the point where I value the way I represent his character more than I value getting to play dress-up in his clothes. I’d rather not wear him than wear a costume that I believe doesn’t meet my personal expectations for representing him.

 I also learned some things about myself while making the costume. Most importantly, I am not a crafts-heavy costumer (which is pretty much 99.9% of Capricious Reaper, and I should have realized this when I developed a method for sewing armor last summer). I like it, but I can’t keep going at it with the same pace and consistency of quality as I can with sewing and tailoring.

 That sounds like that’s not too far up Kuja’s alley, but there’s a lot more sculpting in his clothes than it appears. I don’t know when it will be included on my costuming schedule, but I think it’s time I tackled his original costume.

Much love,