Let’s Talk Pattern Drafting – Sleeves (Part 2)

I have a good excuse for missing last week’s post! I had surgery on Monday! While I could’ve probably pushed myself to get something out on Tuesday, I prioritized my health (for once!) and rested up instead. Now it’s… the following Thursday. Happy Tutorial Thursday, y’all!

So, I trust that everyone went out and made their basic blocks last week, because we’ll actually be needing them this week for our sleeve drafting! If you haven’t, mosey on over to part 1 in this series and get that pattern ready!

Now, sleeves are the bane of most people’s existence when it comes to sewing, much less drafting a pattern. Being able to make a good sleeve is a skill that you will never regret honing, so we’ll start with a basic sleeve block, talk about how to adjust some weirdness in the fit that may arise when you attempt to put it on the basic block and discuss a few neat adjustments you can make to get different shapes in your sleeves.

But first!

Let’s Make A Basic Sleeve

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Pattern Drafting – Sleeves (Part 2)”

Let’s Talk Pattern Drafting (Part 1)

The first time I made my own piece of clothing without a pattern and without modifying another existing piece of clothing, it worked out better than I expected, truth be told. It still felt awful to wear and tugged in all the wrong places, but it was something I could put on. It was this shirt right here.

Ah, 2003. It was a simpler time for cosplay!

Looking at this shirt, it’s probably not readily apparent where the flaws are. I know that they’re in the fit of the shoulders and arms, primarily. The sleeves are a little too snug on the bicep, the top of the shoulders is weirdly flat and it’s hard for me to actually put my arm over my head like in that photo. It looked okay and felt terrible, but hey, I made it myself!

So how did Baby Jay at the ripe ol’ age of 14 manage a semi-functional garment? The pattern looked something like this:

Note: This is not a real pattern, it’ll look awful if you try to use it as such!

Now, how do I know that’s what it looked like over 15 years later?

Easy, it’s the same exact pattern I used when making Anders in 2012:

And again with Nathaniel in 2013:

And all of our Attack On Titan jackets in 2014? You guessed it!

What about Kenny Crow in 2017?

And… Leo?!

Okay, but surely in 2018 I did Leo differe–

Nope! Every single one of these costumes started with that same rough shape, even if some pieces got changed around slightly. At this point in my cosplay career, I’m not afraid of making really bizarre patterns or things that are super tightly tailored, but that’s because I have the foundation necessary to tackle weirdness and alterations.

How does one build a foundation?

With BLOCKS of course!

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Pattern Drafting (Part 1)”

Let’s Talk About Forrest’s Wig

When starting on Forrest, there were a lot of things that I would be doing for the first time (or pseudo-first time, at least!) and not least of which was the wig. Forrest has very distinctive, huge sausage curls in typical Nohrian royal fashion, so I knew rollers wouldn’t cut it. I’d have to go bigger and fuller for the right look.

Trust me, Forrest, I’m as uneasy as you are about all of this.
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Making Of: Buster Sword (Part 1)

Ah, do you hear that? It’s an excuse to make an iconic piece of video game history without actually wanting to cosplay the character myself. Don’t mind if I do!

The commission for Cloud’s armor and the Buster Sword came through and I absolutely could not wait to get started. He wanted them to be durable so that he didn’t have worry about about them getting damaged during wear, so I decided to go with a foam core and thermoplastic shell. Since the Buster Sword was going to be the biggest user of materials and had relatively few fussy, rounded pieces, we decided to go with Wonderflex. It’s about half as expensive as Worbla but works best with flat pieces.

Here’s a step-by-step follow-along on how to proportion this oversized toothpick properly!

Continue reading “Making Of: Buster Sword (Part 1)”

Let’s Talk About Gelatin Molds

This post originally appeared on the GlitzParty Cosplay Facebook in 2017. It has been preserved for posterity to aid other cosplayers here!

We’re still unpacking and getting our workshops set up, so you’ll all have to wait a little on the next part of the armor patterning tutorial series. Instead, we have some quick experiments to catch you guys up on that we did over the weekend! Let #TutorialTuesday commence!

We’ve been interested in molding and casting for years but the cost-barrier was too high for us to gamble on. As with a lot of advanced cosplay techniques, we would have to have at least $100 to potentially waste testing out new materials and how they work. We tried some low-grade molding and casting over the years with varied success, but we finally had an extra chunk of change to spend on some Smooth-On products and took the plunge a few months back.

Though our results tend to be usable, we’ve still lost a fair amount of material to things that we were only going to make a few of. We also found that in trying to stay cheap and reusing the same clay, we were unable to make totally smooth/even blanks to cast from. Always perfectionists, we found that most of our casts needed some TLC once they popped out, which really put a damper on our cold-casting since they can’t be sanded down lest they lose their metallic layer. Iterative molding would be more expensive than it was worth and we didn’t want to constantly be firing our clay for permanent bucks. We had to find a better way.

Enter the gelatin mold.

Our weekend experiments were done following an interesting Instructable we stumbled upon a while back for gelatin molding and casting. It seemed like the perfect way to do iterative molding and keep with our reusable molding/casting theme.

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Let’s Talk About Armor Making – Planning For Armor Pieces

This post originally appeared on the GlitzParty Cosplay Facebook in 2017. It has been preserved for posterity to aid other cosplayers here!

#WhoopsItsWednesday instead of #TutorialTuesday this week. Things have been really hectic but we wanted to continue a little of last week’s tutorial since so many people found it useful! Once we have electricity (still working on that!) and are settled into our new workshop, we’ll continue with some more detailed tutorials on how we go from these blueprints to actual costume pieces!

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Armor Making – Planning For Armor Pieces”

Let’s Talk About Feathered Armor

This post originally appeared on the GlitzParty Cosplay Facebook in 2017. It has been preserved for posterity to aid other cosplayers here!

This week’s #TechniqueTuesday is a throwback to the two versions of Anders we made from Dragon Age. When we planned out our first two DA costumes, we had extra time and money to put into learning some new skills. After doing a fair amount of squinting at references, we decided that leather would be accurate for the setting and type of attire. We also thought we could try some cool stuff to make all the shoulder fluff.

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Let’s Talk About Staining and Aging

This post originally appeared on the GlitzParty Cosplay tumblr in 2012. It has been preserved for posterity to aid other cosplayers here!

when distressing clothes for cosplay, there are two main points to consider: the colour and the texture of the cloth.  one without the other is not usually sufficient.  if you stain something but it looks otherwise pristine and new, you won’t have the safe affect on the viewer as you would with both.  similarly, you may not end up noticing the physical distressing if the colouration is otherwise really clean.

i’m going to break this into two different parts in separate posts.  any questions can be dropped into my ask and i’ll answering them as i go. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Staining and Aging”

Let’s Talk About Vulpes Inculta’s Hood

This post originally appeared on the GlitzParty Cosplay tumblr in 2012. It has been preserved for posterity to aid other cosplayers here!

Anonymous asked: OMG where did you get that awesome Vulpes hat

i made it, actually!

i’ve had this question come up a few times lately so i guess i should address it.  lately being at the con, mostly.  if you heard from a young lady wearing it that she bought it in the dealer’s room, you probably also believe she works for NASA, so disregard the rest of this post and go about your business.

firstly, i am not the vulpes inculta cosplayer.  i am the arcade gannon cosplayer.  glitzkrieg is the vulpes.

secondly, the hood was made from scratch from an actual coyote pelt.  we bought it pre-tanned and sliced it up for hood-making.

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Let’s Talk About Cardboard Core Props – Plasma Defender (part 2)

This post originally appeared on the GlitzParty Cosplay tumblr in 2012. It has been preserved for posterity to aid other cosplayers here!


now, we left off last time with the centre piece cut out of the cardboard with channels going through it for the electronics, when they arrived.  in this photo we can see where i began to built up the second layer, complete with inlays to flesh out where the detailing would be.

at this point, you want to plan the depth of everything on your prop.  how thick does the thickest part need to be?  are there any inlaid pieces? cutouts?  how much cardboard is needed to keep everything the proper shape?

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Cardboard Core Props – Plasma Defender (part 2)”