Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rose Tints My World

Rose Tints My World
(Photo: Woodlawn Theatre)

Science Fiction, Double Feature

Rocky Horror is something near and dear to my heart. I've had an obsession with the show for years and years, and when I turned 18, I joined a shadowcast to live out my dreams of performing the show on stage. Even though I don't perform anymore, October just isn't complete without a trip to see Rocky live, and whenever I go to a convention, I HAVE to see Rocky or Repo!

I'm really not sure why Rocky Horror appeals to me so much. It's campy, it makes fun of B-grade science fiction, and the cult following means the show is still alive and well decades later. There's something unabashedly fun about dressing up, shouting, and throwing props. The movie itself is even great to me - I love the music unironically, and I've devoted a lot of brain space to memorizing call-outs, the dialogue, and choreography.

Rose Tints My World
Performing at my first-ever Repo! The Genetic Opera show (left). (Photo: Smolder'n' Scully Sins)

Halloween Tradition

My Rocky Horror experience this year was the stage show, which differs from the movie in several important ways. The stage shows are rarely direct replicas of the movie - it stands on its own with a few musical additions, different costumes, and usually, a totally different feel.

This year's stage experience was special because it starred three ladies from RuPaul's Drag Race fame - Bianca del Rio, Courtney Act, and Michelle Visage. I love drag, I love RPDR, and seeing these ladies in person was like a dream come true! The small nods to the Drag Race fans were perfect and not overdone. In fact, although I mainly bought my tickets to see my favorite drag queens, the entire cast was super talented. And, as an added bonus, the entire show was circus-themed, with Frank-n-Furter as the ringmaster! As a lover of circus arts and a die-hard Rocky fan, I couldn't have been happier with how the show was staged.

Rose Tints My World
It was great when it all began, I was a regular Franky fan!

Columbia Rose Tints My World

For the first time, I also had the opportunity to dress up as Columbia, my favorite character from the show. Costume Supercenter, an online costume shop, contacted me to try out a costume from their site, and I chose my favorite glitter monster!

Cosplay is for everyone, regardless of skill level, and I think this costume proves it! While I don't have the skills or confidence to sew my own sequinned jacket yet, I trust myself to modify pieces to my heart's content! The costume itself came with a hat, bowtie, jacket, top, and shorts. I purchased and modified the hat (more on that later), wig, fishnets, socks, and shoes.

The costume itself is not as high-quality as a professional seamstress, but it worked out perfectly for me. I really like the jacket -it's the right shape and color, and even has coattails! The shorts are not my favorite, so I would like to replace them with handmade shorts in the future, but they are comfortable and look great in photos. The top isn't the correct shape, but I love how sparkly it is!


The hat that came with the costume was poor quality and too flat to even fit on my head! I knew from reading reviews on Costume Supercenter's website that it would probably not work out, and made plans to create my own hat. I bought a felt top hat online, purchased sequinned fabric and a ribbon, and glued the fabric onto the hat. I love the result and it was pretty easy - if a little tedious. I feel like the hat makes a huge difference in the costume overall!

One of my favorite parts of Columbia's original costume is her sequinned tap shoes. I bought some similar character shoes and added sequins myself.

The last step to this costume was Columbia's distinctive, over-the-top makeup! I'll go into more detail in a future post, but suffice to say that extreme makeup looks are my new favorite thing. It's hard to tell in these photos, but my blush and lipstick were BRIGHT! I also covered my eyebrows with glue for the first time.

Rose Tints My World
Sneaky theater selfie! We weren't allowed to take photos of the show, sadly.

I had a fabulous time at the Woodlawn's Rocky Horror Show production, loved seeing some of my favorite queens, and had such a great time putting this Halloween costume together!

Do you have any Halloween traditions?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cosplay: Daenerys Targaryen (Qarth Dress)

SDCC 2014
Photo by The Nerdy Girlie

Daenerys Targaryen

After my first Dany costume, Liz expressed interest in creating a matching costume. When her Jorah started coming together, I got the itch to create this version of Daenerys (widely known as her Qarth dress) so that we would have matching outfits from the same part o the show. After learning that we'd get to attend the Game of Thrones beer tasting event at SDCC, I rushed to create the costume before the convention!

I wound up wearing the costume lots throughout the weekend. Between the beer tasting, the Game of Thrones museum, and the costume contest with celebs from The Walking Dead, I wore it almost every day!

SDCC 2014
Photo by The Nerdy Girlie



Daenerys Targaryen Eyebrow Tutorial
Dem eyebrows! Liz helped me achieve Khaleesi brows - tutorial here.

The Process

I started with the belt and shoulder pieces. In the show, they seem to be made of gold. I've seen lots of cosplayers use worbla, craft foam, leather, metal... all types of materials! I was really intrigued by the idea of using hot glue, which I've seen several cosplayers use. I wanted to see if hot glue would work, since it's such a super cheap and easy-to-use material. All I had to do was follow the pattern, which other cosplayers have created before me. Drilling all the holes in another material seemed a lot more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. I was super pleased with the results of the hot glue!

I finished my belt for Dany's Qarth dress! Just gotta paint it now. Can you guess what material it's made of?  #cosprogress
The belt before painting and Plasti Dip.
Next, I worked on creating the dress. I started with the Simplicity pattern meant for this dress because I'm still pretty new to sewing. I modified it to be a little more accurate - the front and back had to dip a lot lower, and I added the cape. I had to hand-sew the shoulder pieces to the dress. They were a little flimsy, so I'm planning on adding kilt pins inside them when I upgrade the dress.

I actually ran out of thread so it's time to stop for the night, I guess! The end is in sight - a little more sewing, some painting, and Dany's dress will be done.
The dress is coming along!

Finally, I painted the dress with a sea sponge and gold metallic fabric paint. This step took a lot more time and a lot more paint than I expected! Several days were spent working on the painting. Finally, I created the beaded part and the costume was done!

Did some painting and sewing today. My sewing machine and I aren't on speaking terms currently but hopefully tomorrow I can hem the dress and finish painting and it'll be complete!  #cosprogress
And it's finished!

Honestly, I'm not very pleased with the outcome of this costume; that's one reason I've been putting off this post for months! While it looks pretty decent in photos, the draping of the dress was all wrong. I should have painted the chiffon fabric first, but I wanted to make sure that the dress would turn out alright. As a result of painting the dress last, the chiffon and the lining stuck together, and the fabric became stiff and lacked movement. I would like to try and get the fabric to drape and move correctly, so I am going to experiment with washing the dress gently to see if that helps. Next, my sewing machine was constantly having issues throughout this project, so a lot of the seams are barely held together and messy. And, as mentioned earlier, I'd like to upgrade the shoulder pieces to be a little more secure.

For some reason, this cosplay doesn't seem that impressive to me. Despite how much time and effort it took and making all the pieces myself, it feels a little underwhelming. I wonder if that also has an effect on how I feel about the outcome.

Despite the issues with the dress, I am still glad that I made it for SDCC! I think with a few upgrades, I'll be much more satisfied with the costume and feel more comfortable wearing it again.

At the Game of Thrones beer tasting, I got to meet Pedro Pascal! Awesome experience and totally unexpected. He was so super nice and liked our costumes! #SDCC2014 #SDCC
With Pedro Pascal at the Game of Thrones beer tasting!

Who is your favorite Game of Thrones character?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Link Love

Link Love

What cool things have you found online lately?

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