Living in 2 different places is difficult. i work a 4-day on, 4-day off schedule and live in Portland on my off-days and Snohomish with my aunt during my work-week.
my aunt has a lot of space for crafting and is quite crafty herself, and snohomish is a great deal closer to seattle than portland is, so i have chosen it (for now) as my SAKURACON COSPLAY EPICENTER (do you feel the tremor, uh huh, uh huh)...
i am doing four costumes this year. well, four costumes for me. i will probably end up making about twenty since i usually help out my friends with theirs.
the costumes i am making for MYSELF are:
hsien ko/lei lei (darkstalkers)
she presents a number of challenges due to my own perfectionism. there were very few cosplayers of her before it was released that she would be in marvel vs capcom 3 a little while ago and now suddenly a google search turns up dozens. kind of disheartening since i was excited to cosplay her since i hadn't seen many do it, and was excited to do her justice.
another issue is that she is blue and will require full-body makeup, which is difficult to avoid transferring to the cloth of the costume itself. i have an airbrush and have tested out spraying myself, but full opacity is at a point where things start to crack and could easily degrade very quickly in the heat created by thousands of bustling congoers in synthetic fabrics.
i am considering a simple thin layer that will be less cartoony and more generally dead-looking.
i have plans for making the claws in a way that they will be fully controllable and distinct as she moves them and still be able to take my arms out of the sleeves to play with weapons.
the biggest issue i've had with it so far is the "elbow" she forms between where her hand should be grabbing the magical chain of the claws - of course i'm not going to be using a chain to support them, it will be a jointed arm-brace attached to a harness that the upper arm hooks into. the issue, though, is that all the weight of the claws and accoutrement rests on the power of the wrist alone, which is hardly ergonomic. also, keeping the fingers free to control the claws while still being able to hold the weight up is awkward. this is still in progress, but i am determined. have the wig done already.
used a heat-resistant fiber blue wig and dyed it slightly darker with a mixture of black permanent ink and rubbing alcohol. cut it blunt, curled it out and hairsprayed the hell out of it.
our darkstalkers group is going to be fairly large, or at least is planned to be fairly large; we have had a few logistical issues due to weight loss/gain, not really ever seeing each other, commissions falling through, and financial issues. hopefully we can pull together in the next 2 months (!) to get this all sorted.
the second cosplay i am doing is Misaki from Angelic Layer:
a friend of mine has a hikaru costume already and wanted to do an angelic layer group.
i have always wanted to cosplay misaki but felt i wasn't cutesy enough, but my hikaru would hear none of that and encouraged me to do it. i may end up making two of these uniforms so that my friend amara can be tamayo. i have the wig finished.
bought a cosplay.com wig (scruffy) and extensions, cut the wig and wefted the extensions into the front for the side-pieces. the reason i went with extensions and a shorter wig as opposed to buying a longer wig and cutting it is that a lot of the time longer wigs have shorter layers in the front, and thinner hair towards the nape. since misaki's hair is very short near the nape i wanted it to be dense, so i opted for the shorter wig. the extensions work best for big solid blocks of hair like she has in the front.
the third costume i am working on is Maria from Arakawa under the bridge:
she is a very fun character and amara emphatically suggested i cosplay her since "i have boobs" and she is going to be nino and julian is going to be kou (although there has been a bit of debate last night if they wouldn't be better as p-ko and mayor, and i personally really want to make the p-ko wig because it's damn cute).
i already have most of the fabric for her, it's just a matter of putting it together. i still need boots, too.
wig is finished - this bandana is not the one i'm going to use.
the one i will use will probably be very strange looking because maria has the anime character knack for wearing things that defy physics. her scarf, if it is as thick as it looks, would have a huge knot right at the back of her neck which would make a lump in her hair. she doesn't. also the tails of the knot stick out unnaturally huge on the sides of her head. i'm thinking i will rig something up with an elastic strap underneath and the tails just hanging out to solve both issues.
wig is a dark pink long straight from cosplay.com which i hacked bangs into.
not much else i had to do, although i might add some curl to the bottom.
debating whether or not to cover up my huge squid tattoo for this costume (i have tattoo cover but it tends to transfer to fabric no matter how much you try to seal it. found out the hard way as a bridesmaid)!
and the last one i am working on is sanrio's little twin stars - kiki.
amara and i came up with this adapted design
she is going to be lala (with the pink hair, probably will borrow my maria wig for it).
the undergarments will be cotton and the overtunics will be layered sheer for an ethereal effect. the star i am making will hook onto my bra straps so it can remain at the proper height and also i will rig it up to work as a backpack (because it really sucks not being able to carry your stuff around when you're in cosplay and see something you want to buy and don't have your wallet).
not sure what we're doing for footwear yet, though.