Saturday, October 11, 2014

One of the best reasons to keep cosplaying

I had to think a long time before posting this photo online, since I don't know the little girl in the photo (and also cause my face looks like a bag of poop due to photo being snapped in the middle of a laugh). But I did it anyways.

This little girl was so happy to see me dressed up as Anna at the cinema (my job, this was during "Children's Day") today, she didn't know what to do, she just couldn't stop smiling. And she almost didn't want to let go of my hand after we took the photo!

It's when I see photos like this one that every hour I've spent stressing out over cosplay is suddenly worth it. It's worth everything.

This kind of reaction is priceless.

Cosplay is amazing.

Look at her smile!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Elsa - Frozen

Snow Queen Elsa - Frozen
Character: Snow Queen Elsa
Origin: Frozen
Year constructed: 2013
Debuted at: My: NärCon 2014

Because I fell for this character instantly. Even before I watched the movie, I saw her design, her hair, and most importantly I saw a clip of Let It Go. Bam. I was insta-crushed on Elsa. I watched the movie and was even more convinced, and full of delight I showed it to my little sister Evelina, and she fell equally for it. So we quickly decided we would cosplay Elsa and Anna together, making it the first serious pair cosplay we ever did. We had done Alexstrasza and Ysera before, but it wasn't that serious of a due cosplay and we only wore it once.

To this story should also be noted that I work at the local cinema in my town, and my boss being awesome and all that he wanted us to cosplay during the Frozen premiere (the premiere was very late in Sweden, in the end of February 2014). This made us even more excited to do a good work, and I'll talk some more about our night at the premiere below :)

A cheater's way to a corset
I started with making a pattern for Elsa's corset. I only wanted it to look good didn't put any focus on it being actually functionable (which was stupid and I have no idea why I did that). So I used duct tape to create a pattern which I could then draw out on my fabric.

I have no photos of this, but I recieved a good advice from my friend Christina Erring (Chrix Design) to use thick cable ties as boning for the corset - since I for some reason only wanted it to LOOK like a corset and not work like one. No idea why. I boned the corset like a regular corset (I actually know how to make proper corsets, once again, don't remember why I cheated this one).and sewed it in a satin-y fabric as base. This would later be covered with shiny fabric.

My mannequin is a few sizes too large for me (bought it on
second hand), so the size looks ridiculous.
Base of the cape, soo long.
The skirt was sewn in blue thai silk since I wanted the natural lines in the fabric that Elsa has. Had I remade this costume again I would have used another fabric though, and I would have made the skirt tons longer and painted the ombre. I would change so much haha. The undershirt is made form a gorgeous see-through material which looked like snow up close. Probably my favorite thing about the entire cosplay haha.

A thing to be noted on the slit in the skirt; I am well aware that I made the slit on the wrong side of the dress, but I have a good reason. I have a lot of trouble with my kneecaps dislocating, and as I was making this costume my right leg had just recently dislocated, making my knee swollen, red and ugly. Knowing I would wear this costume in the near future, I made a choice to switch side of the

slit, since I was more comfortable in showing off my "good" knee. A lot of people pointed this out to me, that I had done WRONG, but I don't really care since I did this for my own comfort.

The cape was made from a shiny organza, which I hand painted snow flakes on and sprayed with glitter. As you might know by now, I am a fan of making my own twist on costumes, rather than going full by the book. Which is why I made the snowfalkes less discreet than in the movie, and fewer in numbers. I don't have a good photo of it, but I also bedazzled it with toooons of rhinestones. It was almost three metres long and acted as my private floor cleaning dust-gatherer during cons! The cpae was made detachable so I could easily take it of should I need to go outside or remove it for other reasons.

Started adding squares on to the corset
Back to the corset. I cut out small, square sequins out of a satin-y fabric in two different colors. These were clued on to the corset and shaped around me. This took hooooooours and I wouldn't have finished in time had it not been for the help I recieved from my boyfriend Erik and Herman! The corset is closed in the back with a corset-and-eyelets method, once again something that doesn't excist in the movie but that I added myself because I liked it.

Every part of this costume was covered in rhinestones. Sadly it doesn't show very well on many of the photos, but trust me when I say that many thousand rhinestones were added piece by piece by hand on the entire costume. It was probably my favorite part to make <3

Some of the rhinestones I bought!
The rhinestones I bought from eBay, and came in eight different colors and shades, varying from teal to sky blue, silver and turqouise. All were square to add the square shape of the sequin-fabric.

The pattern on the shirt was drawn out by using pulverized glitter - I painted the pattern with glue and sprinkled the glitter on top of it, and sealed it with a very thin layer of spray glue. Spray glue is awesome since it doesn't leave a thick surface, but rather seals already fastened items (lightweight). The entire costume is spray-glued to add the copious amounts of glitter attached haha.

The shoes were made from a pair of shoes I had at home, sacrificed to make the icicle shape of Elsa's shoes. Again, I took a lot of liberty with the shoes to make them how -I- wanted them to look rather than them being screen accurate. The snow flake shape is worbla which I glued to the shoe, and then covered the shoes in rhinestones and glitter.

Shoes mid-creation!
After the general shape was made for the shoes, I spray painted them with chrome silver. The first version of the shoes were light blue, but I liked the silver look a lot better.

In this photo you can see of the shoes is taken mid-crreation, as you can see there are no stones or paint on the back of the heels.

I was actually starting to make ballerina shoes in the style of Elsa as well, to be able to switch to something if my feet would start to hurt, But sadly I didn't have enough time.

I don't have any progress photos of the wig, but the base is a Matilda from Arda-wigs, and an additional Imladris that I sewed into the wig to add thickness and lenght. They were both in platinum blonde. I had actually never ever done baked-in braids before, so I had to practise a loooooot before I started working on the actualy wig.

Close up of my corset with rhinestones.
I was honestly never happy with how the wig turned out, I restyled it almost five times but I never got really happy with it, sadly.

As I have said before, this entire costume was actually stolen from me. It was in our car when we had a break-in and the car was stolen from us. It wasn't that bad (except for the wig, which I really miss) because I was never really satisfied with how the costume turned out. It was waaay too rushed and the fabric choice and methods were poor. Should I remake it today I would use completely different methods for almost everything. But hey, you learn from your mistakes!

Even though I wasn't very satisfied with the cosplay in the end, I have had toooooons of fun in this costume. Mostly because of the time I spent with my sister as Anna, both on cons and also on the cinema at the Frozen premiere. It's amazingly fun to cosplay sisters with your real sister, trust me. Also it's so EASY to cosplay with someone you've known for your entire life, cause you don't have the barrier of politeness that you might have with friends. If my sister's wig was messed up, I could just tell her "Hey dork, your wig looks like a butt you gotta fix that" and she would just shrug and fix it, haha. You don't have to be so sensitive with your sister cause you know each other so well, which makes cosplaying together soooo much easier <3

Back to my experience at the cinema; it was amazing. Nowadays I cosplay at my job basically at every big event, simply because they let me and I I love it so much, but the Frozen premiere was our first time. This is a blog post I wrote the day after the movie premiere;

"And so, the Frozen premiere here in Sweden was over. It's been an incredible weekend and I have had so much fun it's crazy. I guess I was expecting to some extent that the children would be somewhat happy to see us, but I was -not- prepared for how outright extatic some of them would be! I promise you, some of the young girls we met (and some of thte boys too actually), were so excited they just screamed out loud and ran up to us, wanting to take photos and talk to us. I love kids (I should since I'm studying to become a kindergarten teacher) and to know that we brought so much joy to them was the best thing that could have ever happened.

As for now, I'll put Elsa on the shelf for about a month, until it's time for NCV, and after that I have no idea what will happen to the costume. It stings a little since I have so much love for Frozen and Elsa especially, it was a long time since I bonded so much with a character, haha, mostly because of Idina Menzel's excellent voice acting and performance of Let it go.

Let it go means a lot to me on a personal level, since I just got through two of the hardest years in my life. There has been a lot of turmoil and shitty times but finally things seem to settle and to me Let it go just represents all the crap I went through, and the way everything worked out well in the end. Might sound a bit silly, but I connect a lot to music and songs, and Let it go will always have a special spot in my heart 

Another reason why I love cosplaying from Frozen is because I get to do it with my younger sister. I love cosplaying with her, she's one of my absolute closest friends and sources of inspiration and to be able to cosplay actual sisters with her is just the best thing ever. All hugs and kisses to you, Evelina!"

That said, I would love to remake Elsa some day in the near future, she needs redemption both because I rushed her and because she was stolen :( I might make a Sailor Moon version of her next summer, along with a huge group of other Disney Sailor Senshi, that would be really great!

Click for larger versions!
Photos by me Gustav Borg, Daniel Ahlberg, Jonna Stendahl, plus me, my sister and boyfriend.

Me and my sister at the cinema during the Frozen premiere

My boyfriend as Kristoff, and me and my sister at the Frozen premiere!
Gorgeous photo-manip by Gustav Borg!

Adorbs sister <3

Duckface selfie at the cinema!

Me, my sister and bf ad the Frozen premiere
That one time when all the Elsas let their hair go, except for one because she wasn't there in the story yet.
Photo by Daniel Ahlberg

A commission I did for a 9-year old customer,
a kid's size Elsa dress. She was so c
From when my fb-page reached 1900 likes,
sister selfie!