Monday, April 15, 2013

Stark Suit Costume Information


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Here's a post that can hopefully help you get started on a Stark suit like this or something similar! 
First Concepts, inspiration, and ideas:

Iron Man/ Tony Stark is definitely one of my favorite Stan Lee characters so I definitely wanted to do a costume inspired by him or some genderbent version (he did have an official female version in a alternate universe too). I really loved the costume designs in Iron Man 2 (although it really wasn’t that great of a film overall) and chose to do the racing suit since its pretty much a unisex outfit that a girl could easily wear too. 
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Robert Downey Jr. wearing the Stark Racing Suit in Iron Man 2
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Concept art I did of how a gender-bent version would look.
Materials:
This costume was planned last minute so I went cheap on the materials. I got some cheap black pleather and blue and black cotton. I also bought 3 zippers (there are zippers on both arms and of course one on the front).

Patterning: 
Gosh figuring out this suit pattern was a bitch. For the lettering I did some vectors on the computer, printed them out and used them as a pattern. For the rest of the suit...figuring out the pattern was...well... it took a lot of thinking. I ended up using an old t shirt and drawing out a rough sketch of the lines and shapes on the suit (well at least for the top area) . The most complicated pieces were on the upper area of the suit. Once I had figured out which piece was black and blue I cut them all out and separated them. I used them as a very rough pattern for the pieces on my suit. The leg pieces weren’t too difficult to figure out and pattern too. 
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Letters and numbers on the suit.
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SUPER GHETTO T SHIRT PATTERNS YAY!
Pictured below are some vectors of the rough outlines I used as patterns. THIS IS NOT AN EXACT PATTERNThese are OUTLINES to use as a reference/guide to your final pattern. Even though I cut my fabric like this a lot of it was adjusted and cut away!!
Sewing:
This was definitely the most tedious and troublesome part of making this suit. I had to put SO MANY pieces together correctly. Just be prepared for  A LOT of pinning. The blue fabric was lined with black so the color on the inside of the suit was consistent. All of the pieces were just pieced together with a regular stitch then finished off. The patches/lettering on the arms and legs were zig-zag stitched on. 
Arc Reactor: 
Figuring out how to make an thin and flat arc reactor that would stay on my chest was a bit difficult. Most people tend to modify a tap light but the problem is, its way too thick to be a convincing part of a costume. Instead I used a thin sheet of translucent plastic and some foam board. With a decent paint job is looks convincing in photos. The lights were just some LED’s connected to a battery pack (pack was not ON the prop) which I could hide in my bra. All I did was use some fashion tape to stick it on and it stayed most of the day. Unfortunately I kind of broke it during a rave so I’m going to have to re solder some of the wires on it and re glue some things. I'm also considering re making it sometime next year.
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This is what it looks like when I have it attached to just my chest and the battery pack is somewhat hidden below.
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The lighting shows up fairly well in photos.
Other comments and disclaimers about this costume:

This is definitely NOT a screen accurate version of the suit. I made so many mistakes on it and I am planning on re doing it next year with accurate materials and sewing techniques. Heck I didn't even finish the gloves the first time so I definitely want to get it right the next time I wear it!!
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Anyways I hope you enjoyed reading this. I hope this helps for some of you guys and gals in making something similar to this! 

Kumoricon 2012

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I had a blast at Kumoricon this year! It was definitely a chill yet fun con hanging out with my closer friends, attending events and cosplaying!
Day 0
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I headed out for con wearing my Stark suit which was a BAD IDEA since the weather was incredibly hot. Luckily I live about 15-20 minutes away from where the convention was at so I didn't have to travel far. After arriving I quickly checked into my hotel. It seemed like a lot more people decided to come to the convention space on day 0 than last year. I went down to registration around 4:30 and I didn't even have to wait in line! Kumoricon always seems to be easy, simple and fast when it comes to registration. After that I headed out with my good friend Tom to photoshoot.
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The rest of the day was spent rehearsing for the cosplay contest and hanging out in my hotel room.

Day 1 
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I decided to wear my Stark suit again for the whole day. Instead of going to opening ceremonies I waited in line for the dealers hall and artist first and checked them out. I didn't really find anything I liked in the dealers hall at all (which is a total surprise since I usually find some pretty good merchandise during Kumoricon) but there was a lot of stuff I liked in the artist alley so I ended up purchasing a poster from there.
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A lot of people have been asking where I bought this poster and to be honest I have no clue what the artists name is. I know she goes to Kumoricon and Sakura con every year so you can probably find her at any major west coast convention.
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I mostly was hanging out with the lovely Bad Wolf Cosplay that day (dressed as the classy Tarlok from LoK). We ran into a lot of Korra cosplayers that day! I actually got to meet snevib (I saw his cosplays on tumblr) and his friend Peter dressed as Mako and Bolin. We pretty much became bros by the end of the con. Oh and also I have cosplays plans with both of these guys so expect some awesome duo cosplays in the next couple of months/next year!

That day was also the day the new Doctor Who season premiered so I ended up attending a premier/viewing party that night, went to some meetings, raved and headed to bed.

Day 2 
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Day 2 is ALWAYS a crazy and fun day thanks to the cosplay contest! I had to get up super early to be able to get into my plugsuit, rehearse with my group then head to dress rehearsals. I also had to help Shay get into her suit and help fix her wig! Most of our day was occupied with the usual pre contest rituals and photoshooting. 
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Here are some of the photos we got with Tom Good 
Are group also got some super awesome video footage filmed with Shinwh0! Check it out! 
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The Cosplay Contest was great! I always seem to have a lot of fun with my cosplay group (probably because Shay and I get super enthusiastic about all of the entries hahaha) and it was fun seeing my other friends go on stage. It was sad that there werent a lot of skit entries this year (there were sooo many walk ons). But with less competition we managed to snag the Best Drama skit award! We were so happy because we worked really hard to get a skit award this year instead of a costume award (I was the only one who entered for costume judging too). I was really proud of myself too because I wrote and directed most of it. 
This is our skit if you would like to see it (sadly the beginning and end it cut off a bit but its still fairly easy to get if you are a Evangelion geek)!
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Also Tom Good took this hilarious photo of use victory dancing onto the stage. Its too hilarious not to share.

The rest of the night was spent celebrating our victory.

Day 3
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I was pretty much exhausted but I was able to get up fairly early and change into my Jedi Rei cosplay. I helped talk/participate in a photo panel with several local photographers that morning. It was a really small yet fun panel since it was mostly my friends sitting in a circle and talking about personal style.

I also did quite a lot of photoshooting with Tom GoodShunichi Al Hayashi and Jeremy from Open Your Eyes Visuals
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If you would like to see more photos of this cosplay please go to my Rei Ayanami gallery.

Overall...
It was a fantastic con! I always seem to have a good time at Kumoricon even though it is a very small convention. Sadly I don't think I will be returning next year since my plans are to either attend PAX Prime or Dragon Con. Maybe  I will come back when the convention moves to a larger location!

My next event will be Aki Con October 26-28! 

If you want to follow my progress and plans for Aki be sure to follow my Facebook page!

Birdy the Mighty Costume Information


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Hey guys sorry for the SUPER LONG wait. I’d like to tell you guys more about my Birdy the Mighty suit construction since I was getting so many questions after Fanime!
First Concepts, Inspiration, and Ideas:
Once again this is one of those costumes that I took a lot of time to research and think about before I actually attempted it. I’m always very tentative when it comes to starting on suits. My work with my plugsuit had made me more confident in what I would be doing. Anyways I really had no clue where to start... and honestly I never thought about doing the cosplay until I remembered I had seen a photo of a Birdy promotional cosplayer in a magazine a couple years ago. I went and looked up the image and saw that the suit had flesh colored spandex and wasn't just taped up to her body (which is mostly what I saw when I searched around for Birdy cosplays). Although the cosplay wasn’t as good as I thought it was the spandex looked fairly good and I realized that I could make it better if I tried. 
Specific Materials: 
All the the material for the suit is 4 way stretch spandex purchased off of Spandex House. I purchased Lining in HSL-02 for the flesh color on the suit. I also got Milliskin Matte in Royal, Supplex/Tactical in SLX-07 and Milliskin Matte in White.   
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Patterning:
I seriously winged a lot of the patterns in this costume, especially with the gloves. For the legs I based the pattern off of a Tights with Heels pattern from an issue of Cosmode (Glamour Issue 01 to be exact). The gloves, sleeves and blue parts were easy to pattern because all I had to do was modify existing ones and made sure it fit correctly. The most difficult part was the flesh parts. I first made everything else (the “boots” sleeves, neck piece, torso piece) then went ahead and pinned it all together with the flesh colored fabric. This was really a trial and error process for me. The first time through I went and attached everything only to be unsatisfied with the piece which I ended up seam ripping and completely re doing it again. 
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Here are some photos of the most difficult pieces I cut out and pieced together for this costume. Hopefully you can use it as a reference to your own pattern.
Sewing: Sewing spandex is honestly a lot more easy than vinyl so this was a relatively pleasant experience. All of the seams were reinforced though because the suit was SUPER tight. Before I reinforced them I tried to see if I could do kicks/difficult poses and some of the seams ended up popping!! I made sure all of the seams were reinforced like crazy. 
The Cape/Robe:
The cap/robe was a total last minute addition to the costume. Birdy also occasionally wears this when she wore it on her home planet so I decided to make it. The outside is just blue cotton and the inside is lined with a sea green cotton. The red designs were fabric painted on with fabric paint. The silver piece on the front was sculpted and painted then I attached a pin to it.
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Wig, Headpiece, Other Parts and contacts:
For the wig I purchased a heat resistant silver white wig off of ebay and used the sharpie/rubbing alcohol method to dye it. I used for pink, one orange and one red sharpies to mix the desired color. I dip dyed the back, and then used a paint brush to carefully get the front section done. I also used heat (used a hair dryer and also ran a hair straightener through it) to set the color and make sure it wouldn't bleed because red/orange sharpie pigments tend to bleed A LOT and I have ruined costumes in the past because of this. After setting it with heat the color rub off was minimal and I only have a slight pink tinge on my suit from where the suit touches the front of the wig. Making sure the color doesn’t bleed will help you so much!! For the headpiece I just modified a headphone frame and used cardboard/paperclay to finish it up. I honestly didn’t like the headpiece much so I am probably going to redo it when I wear this costume again. The blue gems/triangles on her gloves and tiny gem on her neck were made out of clay, painted with nail polish then glued on with E600 (seriously best glue ever go get yourself a bottle if you don't have one). Contacts are Anime CPA2 Blue Cosplay Contacts you can buy them here:http://shoppingholics.com/goods.php?id=800 
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Other frequently asked questions about the costume:

“Did you paint it on a bodysuit?”
NOOOO AND WHY WOULD YOU EVER ASSUME THAT. Fabric paint on a suit does not look like that. If you ever wanted to paint on a suit don’t do it in large patches.

“If you did paint it on, what brand of fabric paint did you use?”
Some brands of fabric paint are very stiff on fabric when it is dry and it’s also difficult to get an even application over a large amount of space. Just buying the right colors of spandex and piecing it together is honestly the better and easier option rather than getting a zentai suit and painting it.

“Is it comfortable to wear?” 
I love wearing bodysuits. So comfortable. The only annoying part was the neck area for me.

“What do you wear underneath the suit/what should I wear underneath the suit?”
All I wore were Silicone Nipple Covers that I purchased from Victoria’s Secret.  But for more support I would recommend a seamless or adhesive bra. I also don’t recommend wearing panties underneath the suit, you can see the lines and it just looks terrible.
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Thank you for reading this post and I hope it has helped you! If you have any other questions feel free to contact me! If you would like to view a full gallery of my Birdy cosplay just click here.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fashion of the Week (6/24-30)

Now that its summer time, I can finally take  the time to dress up when going out. :) I have been wanting to do lookbook photos but honestly its a pain in the butt to get a tripod set up or to ask someone to take a couple of photos. I finally found a better alternative to get fashion posts up. INSTAGRAM.


YUP. Its simple and easy. All I have to do is take a couple snaps in the mirror then quick edit them. It only takes a couple of minutes to do it instead of the painstakingly long process to get more high quality photos on lookbook. Don't worry I will still post regularly on lookbook but not as often as Instagram! :3 

You can follow me @bramblehomie. Or you can follow my photos on twitter or tumblr. 

I'm also going to start doing posts of clothing details for my outfits. So starting now lets get started with this weeks outfit breakdown!


TUESDAY
Shirt: Billabong
Shorts: DIY
Diamond Pattern Socks: Target
Platform Sneakers: H&M
Bag: Mossimo
Accessories: Forever21


WEDNESDAY
Shirt: Not sure I think Wallmart?
Bow Jeans: Taobao/Somewhere from Asia? Bought off of someone.
Floral Shoes: H&M
Bag: Mossimo
Monster High Headphones: Ross


THURSDAY
Shirt: H&M
Shorts: cut up Abbey Dawn jeans
Pinstripe socks: Target
Brown Oxfords: Forever21
Bag: zoe&zac


FRIDAY
Shirt: Wet Seal
Skinny Jeans: Ross
Liz Lisa Style boots: Minimaos (site is not available anymore :C so I'm not sure where you can purchase them)
Bag: Mossimo


SATURDAY
Blouse: Forever21
Shorts: DIY
Polka dot socks: Target
Platform Sneakers: H&M
Bag: Mossimo
Head bow: Gift (you can probably find a similar one anywhere!)
Accessories: Forever21

That is all! Hopefully I will be out and about enough to make these posts every Saturday! :3

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cove Palisades Photoshoot Trip (pic heavy)


On June 22 my friends and I went on a long trip to eastern Oregon to take cosplay photos! We drove from Oregon to Cove Palisades state park. It was a long and rainy day but the photo results were great!