Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summoner Yuna Tutorial/WIP: Sleeves Gradient Dyeing

I followed Teeny's sleeves diagram seen on the right. This method is great especially when you're making the sleeves out of material like cotton, because then it's not too see through.

I originally cut mine on the length grain but messed up and ended up cutting it on the cross grain, but in the end it didn't make too much of a difference anyways. (For more information about fabric grain, check out this link!)

For the gradient look, I used RIT dye (powder) in Petal Pink. (I'll explain the dying process in a bit.) I realize that the sleeves are actually cream with the gradient dye, but I used white cotton. I dyed it before I put the sleeves together.

There's two reasons I do that, one is I cut more than I needed to to begin with. The reason for that is just in case you mess up or something, you can always chop it off. If you cut it exactly and you mess it up, you're stuck with it. The other reason is that I had originally sewn up another pair of sleeves (which I ended up disliking, the fabric was just wrong) and I'm not sure what kind of fabric is was but it wrinkled so easily and barely accepted the dye. That and I messed up when I cut it and didn't like the way I had ended up making it.

How long should you cut the fabric? Remember when you fold the fabric on the horizontal fold like the image, and place it on your arm (like you're wearing it) that's how long the fabric will be measured. How long you make it is up to you. For mine, if I stretched my arm out horizontally, it hit about mid thigh, and if I placed my arm on my waist right under the bust, it was just above the knee.

Dying Process
- This is a basic gradient dying tutorial, so you can use this for other colors if you want. This is just the method I used. This is the first time I did a gradient dye on fabric and it came out nice. If you have any suggestions to make this tutorial better, let me know!

Pre-treat your fabric! I personally didn't, because I just cut white fabric, but you should get your fabric as white as you can (you can use dye remover like the box suggests if you really want).

1. I folded the fabric like in the design. I dyed my fabric outside on the deck because I hear all these staining stories xD
2. I boiled a pot of water and poured it in the bucket I was going to dye my fabric in. If you don't want to ruin the bucket, just place a large plastic bag on the inside like I did. Just make sure the plastic bag doesn't have holes in it or it'll defeat the purpose of using it! The water doesn't have to to be bubbling boiling, just so it's hot!
3. You're going to use the fabric dye in rounds, not all at once. Take a water bottle you don't want and fill it up with the hot water. Use with caution! I shouldn't have to say this, but the bottle will be hot. Pour a little bit of the dye powder in the water bottle. I want to say less than 1/3rd of the packet.
4. The pour a little bit of the dyed water into the bucket. You don't want it too red, but not so little that it just looks barely tinted. Then I used a dowel rod that I had lying around the house to mix the water.
5. Before you dye the fabric, completely dip the fabric in warm/hot water before you dye it. You don't have to dye it in boiling water and I wouldn't recommend it, unless you want to burn your fingers. Don't worry, the dye won't run up the fabric from doing this.
6. Remember you're starting from lightest to dark. The gradient begins after where the sleeves would be, so I'd say start about 1 ft or so after the fold. Dip the fabric into the water. You don't want a line to appear so dip it in and out around where you're starting. You don't need to take the whole fabric out of the water each time, just so there isn't a line.
7. Continue doing this until you get to the end. Don't forget to add more dye each time. If you run out from the water bottle, simply add more hot water and dye, shake and pour some into the bucket. Then dip the fabric. I used the dowel rod to mix the fabric into the water.
8. For each layers, I switched between fabrics. I would dye one layer on the sleeve, then dye the other fabric. I wouldn't recommend dyeing both at the same time. I discovered that since I folded it and dyed it, the inside of the fabric was slightly lighter than the outside (which isn't too big of a deal since you can't see the inside anyways).
9. Leave the fabric out to completely dry.

Post-treat your fabric! All I did was rinse out my fabric in a bucket of cold/warm water. I basically dunked it in and out of the water, and swirled it around a few times, then poured out the water and repeated the process. Rinse it until the water is close to clear. I wouldn't recommend throwing it in the washing machine if you haven't sewn it yet because it will most likely fray like crazy! Also, it's not a lot of fabric to begin with so it'd just end up being a waste of water.

Notes: - Wear gloves! I didn't, because I didn't really put my hands in the water, but you never know!
- Wear clothes you don't care about. Even if you're very careful, you never know if the water could splash up and hit you.
- Post treat your fabric!
- Keep in mind that the color will become slightly lighter after you post treat your fabric. With that in mind, when you dye, dye it a tint darker. You don't need to over exaggerate it. If you want it to be a slight pink, you don't need to dye it pink-reddish. It won't fade THAT much.
- DO NOT directly pour the dye into the bucket of water, pour it in the water bottle first. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Not only will you be more accurate when it comes to the amount of color you pour, sometimes if the powder doesn't dissolve in the water, you'll find random spots of color where the powder ends up clinging to the fabric.
- I did NOT use a lot of water dyeing this. I probably used less than 2 pots of water, and ended up using less than 1/2 the packet.
- Dyeing is pretty much based by sight, so I can't give you an exact measurement of powder to use or how long to leave it in.

Check out the next post for how to sew it together!

Summoner Yuna: Tutorial/Work in Progress

I'm currently working on my Yuna cosplay, her FFX Summoner version. I wanted to do a partial tutorial/how I approached it. I just followed the game art version, not the FMV or CG version. There are slight differences in all of them, ex. in the game art version she has a light blue bead on the decoration dangling off the hibiscus flower while the CG version does not.

The version I'm using as my inspiration is the image on the right.

I'm going to write them in a series of posts, only because I am still currently working on it. I used very few patterns for this, but looked at some tutorials for ideas.

Credits: There are a lot of wonderful tutorials for Yuna that you can find all over the internet if you look. One of the places is on Cosplay.com That link shows you a lot of reference pictures for Yuna. Even the little details like her bracelets and rings and such. It also has great images for her obi and skirt design.

Another is a tutorial made by Teeny of TotallyToast. She includes a lot of design pictures on her approach of Yuna's costume. She made her based on accuracy (which is great for a perfectionist such as myself xD) and her cosplay is really remarkable.

Friday, August 6, 2010

2011 Cosplay Plans Update

Soo my cosplay plans changed a little. I'm still doing Yuna, Ringo, and Miku. I may not do Ciel Phantomhive anymore. I decided not to because Black Butler is still very popular so there will be 9483578495 Kuroshitsuji cosplayers.. I'd rather be one of the few people cosplaying a certain character. It's more fun that way haha. If there are so many of the same cosplay, unless yours is one of the best of them all, it'll just be looking at the same thing. So I have 3 new ideas. I also figure that if I go to Otakon next year, I need 3 epic cosplays xD

One is Zhen Ji from Dynasty Warriors 6. She's one of the few female characters you can actually play in the game. She resides in the Kingdom of Cao, and her husband is Cao Pi. (hehe one of my favorite male characters) She's one of my favorite female characters. Sun Shang Xiang being my first of course.

Anyways, I was on Skype with one of my friends I met from AnimeNEXT. Somehow we got to the topic of Dynasty Warriors 6. He wanted to cosplay as Cao Pi and I said I'd cosplay as Zhen Ji (I like her outfit anyways ^^).

So we're going to do that for Otakon 2011, unless my other two cosplays I have planned fall through, then AnimeNEXT 2011!

The next cosplay idea I have is a Sakura one from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. I have to finish reading that actually.. But the storyline breaks my heart, even though I partially know what happens in the end, but still! I love the idea of a Sakura x Syaoran storyline.

This one is in the making actually, I'll most likely have this one for AnimeNEXT as well. I already began making the dress portion of it last night for no reason xD I just wanted to see if I could actually do it.

It's actually coming out pretty decent actually. It's long and flowy :D The only problem I have is that.. I didn't use a pattern when I made it. I sort of took a piece of fabric and started snipping and sewing away. Soo.. we'll see how it comes out in the end! ^^ If it works, I'll use it, if not, then I won't.

Last but not least! I wanted to do another cosplay, where the character had sort of a baby face or looked like a child. Mainly because.. I'll only look like a 12 year old for so long xDD Don't worry I'm not that young.. but I get that a lot hahaa, so I figure do all the children looking one before my face matures and I don't look like that anymore..

So I decided to do a Chii cosplay. I've always wanted to cosplay as Chii. There's one Chii cosplay that I make, it's my dream cosplay. But! My skill level isn't there yet.. So I don't want to make it at the moment. This is her from Tsubasa Chronicles, hence the animal-like ears. I'm probably just going to do her persocom ears.

As sad as it is to say, this is one of her simpler ones xD I love a lot of her other outfits, but they're lolita-esque, so many of them are poofy, and I don't really know how to make the cosplay round like that.. And it doesn't help that I don't have a dress form either.. D: There is one other one I really want to do, but the way the picture is drawn, it makes no sense.

I really love this one, I like the idea of Chii as a princess, she looks really cute and elegant. But! This would only make sense to me if the opening was in the front, but the way the picture is drawn, it's open in the back. That and if it were opened that way, you can't have a petticoat. Without a petticoat, the dress wouldn't poof. Without a poof, it wouldn't be much of a princess dress.

If I can figure out how to do this one then I will. ^^ Oh CLAMP.. You and your gravity defying clothing.. >< But yeah.. these are my new cosplay plans.. So I'll end up having to do.. 6 cosplays next year?? o_O

I'm hoping to finish Yuna before next weekend.. Miku is pretty much done. Ringo is an easy one. Then there's these three.. xD Zhen Ji will probably be the hardest. Sakura, I pretty much have the base dress done. Chii.. I may just do a circle dress for the one.. Not sure yet..haha

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tifa Lockhart Photoshoot: TheBigTog

I wanted to share some pictures of my Tifa Lockhart photoshoot to you ^^ It can be seen on my deviantArt as well, but this is for those who don't have it.

Cosplay made by my mom.

Series: Final Fantasy VII [Advent Children]
Character: Tifa Lockhart
Cosplayer: Me
Photographer: TheBigTog (his flickr)
Event: AnimeNEXT 2010

Please do not use these images without my or the photographer's permission. Thank you! If you see these images used without my permission, please let me know!


Click the image for full resolution.

Circle Lenses Seller Review: ♥╮Barbie Eye╭★隐形眼镜

So I needed some green contact lenses for my Kurama cosplay (which I wore a few posts ago). When it comes to buying circle lenses online. There are a lot of people who sell them online. I'm not saying all of them are reliable, but you can find a lot of sellers. Some sell them really cheap, some more expensive.

I hate to say it, but it's sort of luck sometimes when you order them. Unless it's from a reliable website. Other times, you have people selling them on websites such as Facebook.

The ones I wore are Dolly Eye Green. I ordered them from Ceramic Barbie on Facebook. Her group can be seen here. One reason I ordered from her is that she has a lot of good feedback. The lenses are.. not cheap haha. But, you get what you paid for. I previously had one bad experience with circle lenses, but this time I didn't.

This girl is a real sweetheart. She replied quickly and was very patient with me when I had a lot of questions. She also includes a free contact lens case. I would definitely recommend buying from her, unless you're one of those people who are skeptical about buying from Facebook or something. But that can't be helped.

The only con I can think of is shipping, which really wasn't that big of a deal for me since I ordered long beforehand. She orders by batches, and then has to order from the company, wait for them to ship it to her before she can ship it out. So if you need the lenses within a week, this probably isn't the place to look haha.

- Excellent service
- Quick reply
- Very patient

- Have to wait for batch to be over & company to ship over lenses

Price: 25$+ free shipping

Would I order in the future? Most likely. ^^

eBay Wig Review: superoutlet-2009

I needed a wig for a Miku Hatsune "Magnet" cosplay. My friend and I are going to cosplay as Miku x Luka from Vocaloid 2 for this cosplay picnic next weekend. I was basically frantically searching for a wig last week because sometimes shipping takes around 2 weeks, more so because the wigs I tend to like are overseas in Asia.

I debated on getting a straight wig to put pigtails in (probably not the best idea) or to just buy the wig in the pigtails by itself (usually sold as a combination of a short wig and long pigtail clips). The issue with the latter is it would be more expensive, almost double the cost of a straight wig. I fell in love with this particular wig.

I pieced together some pictures from the product page. Usually when I buy wigs, I want to make sure they are heat resistant. You never know when you need to straighten/curl a wig.

This is the reference picture on the right. It's always a little tricky with Miku wigs, because in some songs, her hair is a darker or lighter shades than other songs.

Looking back on it, I sort of wish I got this one for only 45$ + free shipping. But a partial reason I didn't want to get it was because I don't know many cosplays with a bob haircut in that particular color. And what would I do with blue colored pigtails by itself anyways?

Anyways, I had a positive experience with this seller. I ordered on July 25th, they shipped it the next day. I received it on August 2nd, so I got it within a week ^^ The shipping on eBay said 1-2 weeks.

I really love the quality and color of the wig. I didn't receive a wig cap like they said would come with it (as a free gift). But I already had a wig cap prior to this so it wasn't a huge deal for me. I won't go complain about it xD The one thing I was more interested in getting was the wig brush which I'm glad I have. It's so much easier to comb a wig now.

The quality is not bad. I'm not sure what type of fibers they use, because they don't list it. But it has sort of a chalky feeling, if that makes any sense. It doesn't feel like real hair like my red Kurama wig did. I wish I could upload a photo of me wearing it, but my camera makes the wig color look blue.

Rating: ★★★☆☆/ 3.5 out of 5.

- Fair quality
- Shipped quickly
- Wonderful color, matches image
- Heat resistant
- Comes with a wig brush [and wig cap]

- No tracking number
- Didn't receive a wig cap
- Has that synthetic feel

Price: 22.69$+9.99$ shipping = 32.68$
Item Location: South Korea

Would I purchase from them again? That's debatable. I didn't like the feel of it, and it tangles easily. I would have to really really love the color and not have been able to find it somewhere else. The wig color I received is not as bright as the one in the reference image, but it'd probably look be better in a brighter light. And you can't expect the color to be 100% exact as the image on the screen xD

If you wish to purchase this wig, search "GREEN BLUE Long straight cosplay party wig B207 F7G" in the eBay search bar, or look through superoulet-2009's eBay profile.

EDIT: This wig I received looks greenish blue, however for some reason, it photographs blue! Here is the post I made for the costume.

Kurama Photoshoot

Just wanted to upload some pictures from a photoshoot I did wearing my Kurama cosplay :D I actually cut the bangs this time. Still want to fix it a bit more, sort of rushed it again.. Hopefully I get to do my KuramaxHiei "shipping" photoshoot this summer as well ^^.

The outfit is made by me.

Series: Yu Yu Hakusho
Character: Kurama (Dark Tournament Outfit)
Model: Me
Photographer: Alan Banas

Do not steal or use these images without my or the photographer's permission! Thank you!

"The more impatient we are, the more mistakes we make."

"Suicide is not the answer.
There is neither honor nor redemption in that."

"I, too, have lived many years in shadow.
I just hoped your life could be more noble, than mine has been."

"Logic is panic's prey."