When I first bought a sewing machine, my primary goal was to sew skating costumes (be careful what you wish for, eh?), but the very first thing I sewed was a cosplay style costume for an event in LA. I was ready to go down the path of being a cosplayer/costume sewer exclusively, but life happened, and going to costume parties and events stopped for a while. The sewing bug bit hard, so I started sewing more every day garments. But I’ve always had the desire to create fun costumes and be someone else for a day. So when Wondercon synced up with my birthday weekend I decided the time had come, the stars were aligning, and some fun sewing had to occur.
I have a list of the costumes I’d like to put together, but lately I’ve been having more fun designing cosplay mash-ups. So, although I’d originally convinced my sister to dress up with me as Elsa and Anna, the sisters from Frozen, I was able to get her to go along with me when I altered the plan slightly – we’d be doing Elsa and Anna, but as Jedi.
I used the (no longer updated but still amazing resource) Padawan’s Guide website to make sure I was hitting all the critical points – tunics, tabards, obis, belts. I had originally planned to make the outer robes as well, but I didn’t have time. Definitely something that can be added to the costumes later though.
I had lots of fun making the costumes – I used 4 of my machines in this process – my main sewing machine for construction, my serger because why bother with a more complex seam finish on a costume, my embroidery machine for details, and my travel machine because I had to fit parts of my sister’s costume the night before the convention. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to use such a wide range of techniques on a single project, but I really loved it! Here are some mid-construction shots:
I’d planned the costumes for months, slowly sourced materials, tweaked my designs on a weekly basis, but, of course, sewing didn’t actually happen until the week of the convention. I was literally styling wigs the morning before I packed up the car. Partially because I didn’t have time before that, partially because it was my first time styling wigs and I was waiting for my supplies to show up, and partially because the idea of styling the wigs was a bit intimidating.
I really loved making the costumes, and learning new skills like how to use my embroidery machine and how to style wigs. There are some part of the costume that I need to edit (I really need to do something about my hairline and probably need to add to the bangs on the Elsa wig, the belt for the Anna costume didn’t turn out at all, and I didn’t have time to make the robes) and a few things I want to add (no spoilers!). We have a bunch of friends who actually want to jump in and create a whole Disney/Jedi troupe, so I think we’ll actually get some decent use out of these costumes at future conventions. And I may have been inspired to do some different Disney Jedi characters for times when I don’t have an Anna to drag around with me.
I haven’t done a major cosplay at a convention before, but I have to admit that I had an absolute blast! My sister was a bit apprehensive at first, but I think she had more fun dressing up than I did. Which is awesome because that means I can convince her to do more costumes with me. *bwahahahahaha* *rubs hands together in a sinister fashion* I think one of the best feelings was when that first little kid screamed out “It’s Jedi Elsa and Anna!” All of the little kids at the con were going nuts over our outfits – both girls and boys. A lot of the artists in Artist Alley were also pretty excited, which was a totally awesome feeling as well. We even got to do a really fun photo shoot with our friend Justin. Having people recognize and appreciate your efforts, and really just get what you are trying to do is a totally great feeling. It’s been a while since sewing has made me feel awesome and happy and excited, but these costumes have totally kicked the sewing bug back into high gear.
So all in all this was a totally amazingly fun, if somewhat stressful, experience. I’m full of ideas and plans for future costumes that I want to make, though I really won’t have much time to do the making in the next few months. It’s back to skating costumes for a while, but in the meantime I’ll be doing a lot of research and planning for future cosplays!