Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ghosts of Sewing Projects past

 Greetings from a very soggy Cape Cod afternoon...
lately I've been in a kind of sewing funk,  I keep wanting to do some sewing, but never actually getting around to it. Whether it's the time of year, the seemingly relentless cold and snowy weather as of late.  Tasha from By Gum by Golly has a good post about  losing your sewing mojo.  I need my mojo back!  She also does a follow up post with tips to jumpstart your creative process.

Anyway, I thought I would pull up some pictures of previous sewing projects.  (these usually revolve around things for my kids)

Autumn as Fem Hungary
My daughter is into Anime.  For those of you who don't know what it is,  a simple explanation would be "Japanese style Animation" but to those into it, it ranges from a mild addiction to a full blown obsession.   (A popular example of the genre would be Pokemon, but there are literally hundreds of other programs.)   The Graphic Novels are known as Manga. People dress up as their favorite characters (called 'cosplaying') and attend Conventions                
or  sometimes just wander around in groups at the local mall or other places.  Anime Boston is the biggest convention around here, and is like Mecca that thousands of Otaku* make pilgrimages to each year.

*(Japanese for people who are obsessively interested in Anime/Manga) 

Last year, my daughter chose for her cosplaying  Fem Hungary and Fem Denmark.   These characters are derived from an Anime series called "Hetalia" the characters of which are incarnations of different countries  (so you have America, Germany, Canada, Russia, Hungary, England etc.)  and they have personalities that match what the countries would be. (Germany is strict and law abiding, Japan is mysterious and quiet, America is loud and get the picture.)  To make it more complicated (and believe me, with Anime it ALWAYS gets more complicated)   there are fan-based characters that are the opposite gender of those in the series  (most of the characters are male, so you have a whole bunch of female versions: Fem England, Fem Hungary etc)  

So Autumn chose her character inspirations and we set to sewing up the cosplay stuff.    Usually with these, there isn't any one pattern I can find that will exactly match the character, so I play around with a few different patterns to get the different elements of the outfit and morph them together.   For Fem Hungary pictured above, we used a Dorothy pattern (Wizard of Oz)  along with a pattern for a prom gown for the skirt and sleeves.  She also had a pinafore apron, but unfortunately it doesn't seem like we got it in any of the pictures.
Autumn as Fem Denmark

Here is her Fem Denmark cosplay.  There was very little sewing involved for this look (sigh).   I made the hat, Autumn made the battle-axe. The rest of the pieces were repurposed from her regular wardrobe.

 This is my son Peter, who cosplayed the year before as Russia from Hetalia.   One of the taglines from the show is "Become one with Russia" (as Russia is good at absorbing many little countries)   This tagline was also an internet meme, inspiring fan-based pictures and posters.

During the convention various and sundry women (and one big burly guy) came up and hugged Peter so they could 'become one with Russia.'  Still not sure if he planned this out.....

For his cosplay we repurposed a knee-length khaki trench coat and added dark brown blanket binding for the edging.  I cut off about an inch of the khaki fabric from the hem to make the cross strips on the chest.  The scarf was a silky poly blend in lavender.   (Peter says we should have made it longer)

One non-Anime related costume I made for Autumn was for Halloween. She planned to be a vampiress and saw a really elegant dress online she wanted to copy. This was difficult because it had these pointed wing like things that came off the bodice that seemed more or less free-floating.     The material we used was a shiny black satin, and the red lining was a silk blend.  I used a regular dress pattern for the bodice and skirt, but added the wing appurtenances by drawing my own pattern pieces and extending the front bodice sections. I used thick plastic from some laundry jugs to give them form.
She got red contacts and white powder make-up to make herself look very pale. 

(lower section of the dress)
This was the dress she found online we based the costume on

So that's my trip down memory lane for today.    I am going to go find my boxes of patterns and play with them a bit to see if I can get over my creative slump.
Thanks for reading!

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