Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

A day late, but Happy Halloween!!

I did not, unfortunately, get to dress up due to some medical issues in the family. That also kept me from doing a charity event I was very excited to do. :(

But, before I had to go off to the hospital I took some of my mom's black and silver eyeliner and played around with the creepy Cheshire Cat smile I wanted to do but couldn't afford the facepaint for.

 I had planned on doing a gender bend Red costume from Pokemon, and having my husband wear a Pikachu onesie, but that obviously didn't work out. I did, however, have a friend takes some pics for me a few weeks ago. 

And here's a reference to what I based my gender bend off of. I didn't do the white on the color or the gray on the gloves.

Well, I hope you guys were able to have an awesome Halloween and were able to dress up!

If you have pics, please share them I'd love to see what you guys were able to do!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


So my last post was all about the Black Bat.

 batgirl artWell, the reason I made that one my top priority is because I can mod it easily and use it as a Batgirl (Barbara Gordon style) as well.

There's not much that needs to be changed. See my previous post for more details.

In this post I will only be talking about the things that I didn't cover for Black Bat. Like the difference in boots, gloves, cowl, cape, and belt.

I guess that may look like a big list. Maybe it is. Oh well.

Either way I feel obligated to highlight this AMAZING cosplay. I'm basically hoping that if mine is a fraction as cool I will feel successful.

So let's start top to bottom again.
First up: the cowl

Now, here's the problem. Cowls are hard. Like, they seem really hard. And I haven't quite decided on actually doing a cowl. For what I want this for, I could probably get away with just a mask. Which for now, is actually what I'm going to do unless I get hit by some sort of inspiration and loads of money.

BUT for your sake, I have found some tutorials. First up is one made completely out of duct tape. Which might really be the only way I'll try it hahaha.

And here is the first part of a video series. Honestly I only saw part 3 so I'm
hoping that when I start over I'll have a better idea of what to do LOL

And this is a video tutorial for Captain America, but hey, the basics are the same, right?

I actually think it's the same guy doing both but whatever.

Let's talk a little about the wig.
I happen to have gotten lucky and swapped out a wig of mine for an Arda wig - the Buttercup in Dark Copper Red. This is a very natural red, which is what I like about it because there is a lot I can use it for. It has a part in the front which can be re-styled to give the appearance of bangs if you don't go with a cowl, and use a mask instead.
My original choice had been a Ferrari in Maroon. However this turned out to be MUCH more purple in person. If you are looking for a more vibrant red, they have a color reference page you can check out. They also have comparisons of the colors side by side. I would actually recommend buying samples of the colors 
The next stop is the cape!
As in the other post, I'm not that great at sewing. And although I could learn, my friend Rachel is like, the master of capes and cloaks and stuff. So if I don't have her apprentice me, I'll be having her make it haha.

The basic thing to understand about Batgirl's cape is that it two toned. It is only black on the top. The underneath part should be as close to the same color as the gloves and boots as possible.

Also keep in mind most artwork will have the edges of her cape jagged. Not ripped, but very sharp. But, a lot of artwork also has it with smooth edges.

There are a few other things to consider. I'm not well versed in my Batgirl outfits, but I have seen many versions where her cape is no longer than her butt. I feel like this coincides with how young she is hahaha but I don't know enough about her character or history to say for sure. You Batman fanboys feel free to jump in.

For my personal preference, I'm going with a mid-thigh length cape that has the sharp edges.

I already outlined how to do the bat symbol in my last post. I'll be using the same bodysuit with the same symbol on it for both.

Now let's check out the gloves.

Or not. Because I don't have a whole lot going for them yet. Mostly I have gathered information on how to make bracers and just regular gloves.

However, I haven't spent the time yet to figure out how to make the spikey parts. I'll work on that next.

Anyways, here is a homestuck glove tutorial that I think is really cool. Don't know that it would work too well with heavier, super hero gloves, but I'll have to try it out.

So the next step is the belt of course!

Ah the belt. So. Much. Easier. Than the Black Bat one hahaha.

Using this tutorial, I'm basically going to start scouting buying a belt with a changeable buckle. When I find it, I'll link it. For now at least I know what to do when i find it! Hah!

I'm doing Barbara Gordon's belt, however, so instead of all those pouches I just need to make some little line things to glue on. Fun times.

And the last bit of the costume: The Booooooots~~

Now, again, in my other post I linked several boot tutorials.

Here's one more that I forgot to link. Just in case it's useful.

 The biggest thing about Batgirl's boots is the top design. She doesn't have just regular superhero shoes, she's got the cool bat design at the top.

Which makes them unique, fun, and probably harder to make hahahah.

Well here goes nothing!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Black Bat

So I think it's time for a breakdown of my current project.

I have a lot of cosplays I'm juggling but the one on my top top priority list is the Black Bat. She is cool. Her character design is amazing.

Now let's take a look at her character design - or a version of it. Whatever. This is the version I'm picking don't be an elitist.

So, it's actually not a complicated cosplay. I need something easily recognizable for doing charity type events, and Black Bat could be easily adjusted for a Batgirl.

But we'll move to that later.

For now, let's take it apart from top to bottom.

First step: Hair!

I'm contemplating cutting my hair since it's already dyed black atm. BUT that will cut into some other cosplays I like to do and it requires more frequent haircuts to maintain. (Keep in mind my last haircut was probably 5 months ago...)

So here are a few of my options. Considering I"m planning on a Domino from Xmen, and a female Hawke from Dragon Age, getting a short black wig is probably my best bet. If I have to sacrifice a bit of accuracy for $30-$50 a pop I will. It saves space and if the wig looks good I think it is fine.

I'm an Arda Wig fangirl, so here are the ones I would go with. Keep in mind, personally I don't think they take the best pictures of their wigs hahhaa but I own three and I love them all. Beautiful quality. They run a bit big though, so I usually have to alter mine unless they're long wigs.

 Magnum black Arda jaguar
The first wig on the left is Magnum in black - Personally I think that this is the best match for Black Bat. Also - I had this hairstyle in high school so I'm quite fond of the look hahaha

Jaguar in black - This is shorter in the back and longer in the front. I like how wild this could look, and Black Bat definitely has some fly-away hair.
Inigo in black - This would be good if you don't mind styling it a bit. Maybe flip it out a little here or there...I don't know. It wouldn't be my first choice but it is still really cute. They didn't have a picture of it in you get green.

Let's take a look at her mask next. 
Black Bat's mask is slightly different then most generic superhero masks. Mostly because it has those huge wings.

So taking another mask and modifying it really won't look that good. Your best bet is to probably start from scratch.

 Mask Tutorial
 Mask SiteThere are a lot of good tutorials. I haven't tried any of them yet, so here they are. Let me know what you like best! I've left some off, because I don't have the money to make a leather mask or anything fancy....but visit these sites for some good ideas.

To save myself money and hopefully time, I'm most likely going to go
with the whole, thin craft foam and heat gun method....This post here is probably what I'm going to try -->

So let's move on to what's next...
Black Bat's cowl and cape!

Now this might prove some issues. For me. Because I'm not a seamstress. But - she's got the neck cowl that's basically just a bunch of material wrapped around her neck. I could probably even do that on my own lol.

If you can sew the material around the neck, you could probably just put it on top of a regular cape. But make sure to get the ends right. Black Bat's cape is shredded at the end, and that makes a big difference.

Now that we skipped that, we've got the suit to worry about.

 body suitAs I said, I'm not a seamstress. When I did my Rogue cosplay, I had my extremely talented friend Laurie make the suit for me out of scratch because she loves a challenge hahaha. But the nice thing about the Black Bat, is if you can't sew your own bodysuit, a plain black one is not hard to find.

Ebay. Is. My. Cosplay. Friend.

Or Amazon. Or ever Etsy. But Etsy can be expensive because they're very talented people taking a lot of time and love on the crafts they sell.

Anyways, my husband is all for the shiny pleather or latex superhero suit. Which totally makes sense, because it really does look better. But, I LOVE this costume. And you know what I want? To wear it all the time without being too uncomfortable.

So I found this vendor on Ebay, Nawty Fox, that sells some dancewear - like leotards and stuff. This is the one I'm going to be buying. 

Make sure to know your measurements!

I have a strange body type, so form fitting or one size fits all things don't work. BUT I know enough about sewing to be able to adjust the size. Which is my plan. I can't make it from scratch but I can modify it!

Now that we have the suit - we need to get that bat symbol on there!

The thing with Black Bat, is that I've seen several different styles of bat symbol used.
Personally my favorite of all time for her is the outlined bat symbol. My favorite artwork of her has that.
BUT I'm doubling this for a Barbara Gordan Batgirl, so I'll be doing a traditional stymbol.

So here is a tutorial I found on sewing an applique on your stretchy suit. It is fairly complicated for a girl like me with few tools and not much experience. I will be calling upon the powers of my friends to help make sure I can do it right hahaha. Lucky me ^_^

 Great, so, if that works let's keep moving down - and do the easy thing first. The arm wraps. 

I've seen people do a lot of different things. Just buying gauze at the store, or ace bandage wraps or things. Or trying different materials. The thing is, in my mind, the wraps are used, and frayed, and I think they should be more course, thick material.

I was looking for fabric to make little togas for some Hogwarts house elves, and found a really good cloth. I used the extra to cut into strips and I love them.

Let's take the next step, which aside from sewing on the bat symbol, I think is the hardest: The Utility Belt

So there are a lot of options with the belt. One of the problems with Black Bat's belt, is that the pockets go all of the way around lol. Or at least they seem to. She does wear a long cape, so you could always cheat.

Now, there are a lot of options if you don't care about them being functional. You can make them out of craft foam, and just carve in fake details and paint over. You could make little boxes out of cardboard and cover them in fabric and make it look like they open when they don't. You could make full leather pockets, you could make full fabric ones etc etc etc.

It's mostly just personal preference. So find something you like, and imitate it.

Here is a great video which talks about some ways to make the belt itself, as well as the pouches.

And then there is this tutorial for a Huntress belt. This is easily convertible to anything you'd like to make. 
 Huntress Belt

And we've got this Captain America belt tutorial, but if you're
ambitious it's definitely possible to modify and use for other projects

We're on to the last part now - Boots!

Boots are fun. I love boots. So much. I have a boot buying problem. In that I want all the boots.

But realistically finding one good pair of boots to use across your cosplays is a solid idea. you buy a good enough pair, all you have to do is make yourself boot covers and slip them over if you do it right.

 bootsThe other option I've seen most people do is buy a pair of throwaway shoes and make boots covers specifically for them.
Such as on this tutorial.

There's one here as well. 

And this one too.

 boots tutorialHonestly, I'm just using a generic pair of flat heeled knee high boots. I got them for the express purpose of cosplaying and covering them with boot covers.

I'm short, and not wearing heeled boots make me look stubby. But again, I'm going for comfort on this so I'll deal with being a bit stumpy.

Well, this is what I'm up to! This is more for me than you, so I apologize for the lack of useful things that you might need. :P