Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clockwork Droid Construction: Part 1

I've finally decided to go into some detail about my Clockwork Droid costume.  The reason I never did so before is because it was very complicated, it was almost all new for me (had to construct things I never had before), and because there is a LOT to it.  I'm not even really sure where to begin ...

I made this costume way back in 2009.  My husband wanted to be the Tenth Doctor for Halloween, and I couldn't figure out what character to be.  As you probably know by now, I like to do original costumes.  Also, my husband is terrified of clowns.  Of course, the answer was simple:  Clockwork Droid!  I wanted it to be a surprise, though, so I made the entire costume in secret.  My husband had no part of any of the original construction.

Today I think I'll just start with the start of the clothing construction.  For the vest and coat, I used a blue satin lining and a black stretch velvet for the outer layer.  The pants were only the velvet, no lining.  It should be wool or other heavy material, but I have a very high sensitivity to wool (we're talking a nasty rash), so I avoid wool at all costs.  The velvet actually has a nice weight to it, but if I were to make this again, I'd use something else.  It's too shiny!  Ah, well, live and learn!

The vest, coat, and pants were constructed using Butterick #3072.  I had to alter things quite a bit because it's a men's pattern, and also because the vest in the pattern was too long. 

Vest Lining

For the cuff of the coat, I used red velvet and two types of gold trim.  I believe that all of the gold trim came from JoAnn Fabrics.  Some of it came from the upholstery section.  The entire thing was then sewn together to make a cuff.

Both the vest and coat have buttons.  Gold buttons are insanely expensive, so I hiked over to my local craft store and purchased wooden half circles and some metallic Krylon spray paint.


The coat also has a TON of extra stuff.  There's trim all down the back, the back of the arms, and the pockets.  I did make pocket flaps, but no functioning pockets (there is a pocket sewn into the lining, but it makes the whole coat droop.  Boo.)

The sleeve has a funky patch on it, too.

For the shirt, I just bought a men's white shirt at the thrift store and added cuffs.  I made the cuffs out of white flowy material (I don't actually know what this material is, sorry - it's very light weight and kind of flutters in the breeze ... Ha.)  I believe what I did was serge the bottom and then gather the top.  I then sewed it to the underside of the shirt's cuff.

I apparently didn't take a ton of pictures during the midst of construction, so here are some more finished photos of the vest and coat.  If I could do it again (which I can't because I glued it down), I would use cording for the red trim on the coat instead of this red ribbon which I ended up using.  It's the one thing I hate about the coat, and if I could take the entire collar off and redo it, I would.  Unfortunately, I had to glue a lot of stuff to both the vest and the coat, otherwise, they wouldn't sit correctly.  Oy.  I did handstitch all of the trim on the back of the coat - it was a nightmare, and I've actually ripped it and restitched it a few times.  I've remade the vest twice now (it originally attached with hooks and eyes - it now zips up.  Also, it would kind of bubble out in the middle due to the long zipper, and I actually ended up stitching in two coffee stirrers while at Dragon*Con last year - it no longer bubbles.)  I've also made the pants three times, and even now they've got a safety pin in the back because they keep slipping down.


Vest Buttons/Trim
Coat Buttons/Trim
Coffee Stirrers to the Rescue!

Coat Back

Trim on Arms


Pants Trim - A plain satin ribbon

Keep checking back - I'll post more in a few days, including the many incarnations of the mask.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10,000 Hits!

As of this morning, this blog has received 10,000 hits!  Thanks to all of you who read.  I'll be posting some new stuff as soon as I start working on the Eowyn dress.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unsupportive Cosplay Community?

In the past few months, I've been reading a ton of articles on negativity in the cosplay world.  Men attacking women.  Women attacking women.  Women telling other women not to attack women.  Women attacking men for attacking women.  I just don't know what to think.

I'm not a well-known cosplayer or anything, but I have a lot of costumes up at Cosplay.com.  I've been blogging for almost three years about my costumes.  I've made friends in the cosplay community, and I've sat on two cosplay panels.  I know that negativity is out there, because I've read first-hand accounts of girls getting ripped apart for their weight, their skills, or their looks.  To me, it does make sense that the famous cosplayers attract negative attention, just because they're so prevalent in the community.  Anyone who has such a big presence is always going to end up with at least a few trolls.

However, I've never experienced it.  Not once has someone make a negative comment to me about my costume, either in person or online.  The worst comment I've had is, "hey - V for Vendetta!"  Oh, and that time at Dragon*Con when the BritTrack Costume panel didn't know that I was a Doctor Who character.  I may have had a comment or two in passing someone at a con or something (there are always a few drunk assholes), but if that happened, I clearly don't remember it.  Everything that has been said to me has been overwhelmingly positive.  Sure, there have been some creepy encounters (like the guy who stuck his tongue all over my Clockwork mask) or rude encounters (like the people hitting the Fruity Oaty Bar Girls in the head), but nothing that was overtly sexual harassment, or aimed at me because of my gender.  In my experience, assholes are generally assholes to everyone.  Maybe it's because I'm not well known.  Maybe it's because I'm not drop-dead gorgeous.  Maybe it's because I don't put myself in a situation where I'd attract unwanted attention (I don't wear skin-tight costumes).  I do know it's not because my costumes are so amazing that they're above reproach - they're good, but the girls who seem to get these comments are essentially professionals.

So, my question to all of you is this:  Have you ever had someone criticize you or make negative comments about your costumes?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


When I made the Merida Halloween costume for my friend's daughter, I used a gorgeous fabric for the underskirt.  It's stretchy, but just feels amazing.  I thought it would make a great nightgown.

I started working on it last night, so I don't have any photos yet (it's not finished), but I think this nightgown will be my embroidery practice.  I am leaning towards the blue Eowyn victory dress, which is heavily embroidered.  I'm already familiar with embroidery, as I've done quite a few bedspreads and a table cloth, and I've also counted cross-stitched dozens of birth announcements.  But I've never done my own pattern on a dress.  This will be very interesting ...

I should point out that even though I'm not doing the Eowyn armor, my husband is still making Eomer.  I'll probably update about his costume every now and then, as it should prove to be a learning experience.