Saturday, November 26, 2016

Doctor Strange Cosplay - Boots and Belts

Happy belated Thanksgiving, friends!!

I hope you all (minus you poor international peeps who don't have a Thanksgiving -- I'm sure you're still very thankful ;)) had a wonderful time with family, ate lots of good food, and gave thanks to God for it all.

My Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful, as well as the week-long break that surrounded it.  I've just got two more days of break before heading back to the grindstone for three weeks, hopefully to finish the semester off strong.  But before we think about finals and all that nonsense, let's talk about some leather accessories in this second-to-last post about my Doctor Strange costume. :D

In the wise words of many a cliche movie: let's do this!

First, the boots -- a vital part of any superhero's crime-fighting get-up.

(seriously if you know of any superhero that doesn't wear boots you're probably wrong)
(WAIT Quicksilver wore running shoes)
(okay point overthrown)
(but he's dead SO IT STILL STANDS)
(dear quicksilver rest in peace but you shoulda worn boots k hun)

Sorry, little rabbit trail there but it illustrates the importance of boots for superheroes.  You die without them.  WHICH IS WHY I got an extra cute pair for my fem Doctor Strange:

As I did with my fem Captain America costume, I went with heels to further accentuate the feminine look I was going for.  Plus make me almost 6 foot like Benedict (bahahah i'm not even kidding these heels are 4").

I looked around a ton online to find exactly what I was looking for, for under $30 (because budget), but everything I liked was just too expensive.  So, after a while, I figured I'd just go with some black suede heeled boots I already had... which would have looked nice, but not nearly as nice as these.

SO a few weeks before the movie, I stumbled upon a listing of this pair -- on sale for $20!!  Now, I had already seen them a thousand times, never less for $40, on various marketplaces online, and it was just chance that I happened to do some more research the very day they went on sale.  So, I mean, it sounds stupid?  But I think it was a God thing.  He cares about what we care about, and don't you forget it. ^_^

As far as looks, these are exactly what I was looking for.  Comfort?  Mmmmm not so much, but after a few days of wearing them, I broke them in/got used to the height of, like I said, four inches (I usually top out at 3.5).  BUT TWENTY BUCKS.  So I'm very pleased. ;)

Now, for the other item of business for today: the many belts of Doctor Strange!

The materials for these I bought from various places.  The main attraction, the braided double belts with the tassel down the front, I got from Amazon as two 55" belts, which I then altered with cuts and velcro to create the final shape.

To round out the collection (there's a total of 3 belts in all, I think), I also got a simple dark brown braided belt from Amazon to alter (seriously belts are too expensive in real stores), and a 1/2 yard of some black faux leather from Joann to create the background belt.

For both the braided belts, I utilized the belt loops from the original belt constructions to hide the seams where they would attach with some velcro.  Plus, this emulated just a little bit the metal-embellished look of the real costume!

When I started unraveling the main braided belt to create the tassel, I ran into some problems.  For one thing, it literally took *for* *ev* *er* -- like, I woulda been unraveling that thing for two days straight.  PLUS, what I did unravel looked really limp, not at all like the lush tassel in the original costume!

SO, I headed back to Joann and bought some plain black yarn to unravel and use instead by attaching it to the main belt at the braided section (seen below).  It didn't take nearly as long to unravel the yarn, AND looked twice as pretty!  Yay for problem solving on both time and money budgets. ;D

For the "background" wide leather belt, I just did a rectangle type pattern, sewn into a tube and finished off on the sides.  This simplicity was entirely due to time constraints (I was also working on a pretty major essay due the day before the premiere... bahahahah priorities).  I'm considering going back now and taking my time to make it more detailed and screen accurate.  But, as it was, it served it's purpose and I don't think anyone cared except me. ;D

OH!  And one last thing that was just a detail, but really did make all the difference (to me, at least -- hah!!): I used some brown paint (don't laugh i'm very creative with my methods) to distress/age the belts from flat black into something much more dimensional.  Like I said, to me, it really made the belts look SO much more convincing, as well as better match the real costume!

(before on top, after on bottom)
And after all that (seriously, who knew this would be such an intense part of the costume???) here's the (almost -- minus the tape!) final look:

One more post to go in the saga of fem Doctor Strange -- see you then!! :D

Friday, November 11, 2016

Doctor Strange Cosplay - The Cloak of Levitation

Hullo once again, strangers from distant lands, friends of old!

Today is the day I begin to fill you in on the rest of the making of my fem / gender-bent Doctor Strange costume, as promised. :D  For starters, we're going to discuss the epic Cape of Levitation.

(Just gotta say, after seeing the movie, I love this cape so much more... ;D)

SO!  After some preliminary research, and buying and returning some fabric from Joann, I ended up buying 3 yards of a fabulous cotton twill from Etsy for the main part of the cape -- and for the few darker accents, I used the crepe side of some crepe back satin I had leftover from my very first cosplay, actually: Arwen!

I folded the fabric in half width-wise, and cut the hem into a half circle, as well as rounding out the neckline. Later on, I cut more of the length off the edge bottoms, to better emulate the real costume's asymmetry.

The next step was to create the "yoke" of sorts around the neck and shoulders.  I played around with draping for a while until I came up with something I liked (with the amount of fabric I had left).  I then cut out the pieces and sewed them down with the edges folded under.

Next, I worked on the shoulder "patch" for a while, getting the drape and color contrast right, then sewing the pieces together and to the cape.

feat. Arwen fabric! ^_^

Next I moved on to the collar, by far the most difficult part of the cape to make -- it took me a good 8 hours or more to get this thing right.  Yes, I know.  I'm crazy. ;D

First, I made a purple mock-up of the collar (perfect color right???), then moved on to the real fabric.

empty spool because i love completion
I added interfacing and straightened out paper clips wire to add some structure to it... but then realized that I really just was not happy with the shape of the collar, so I went back and made lots more alterations, adding an extra seam and a sort of godet in the back.

Once I was mostly happy with how that looked (I honestly could have spent another 8+ hours working on it but no time UGH), I secured the wire to it with some tack stitches, sewed the lining to the facing, and then sewed it all to the cape!

Now, we're almost done.  Next was hemming, and one last ironing (besides all the seam pressing done throughout the making of the cape which I didn't mention) to get all the wrinkles out...

And the final touches: you might have wondered how exactly I got the cloak to stay on my shoulders, seeing how it's not connected in the front?  Well, allow me to share my secret weapon: magnets!  In this picture I was just checking placement; I actually superglued the magnets to the back of the tunic so I could wear the costume without the cape if I wanted, without the magnets showing.  And then I superglued the magnets to the ends of the cape collar so they would secure together perfectly when worn. :)

The VERY last touch?  Some gold accents at the edges of the neckline...

And Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation is complete!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Doctor Strange Cosplay - Sneak Peek

The past 3 weeks have been the busiest and craziest of my college career so far, I think.  Which is also why I've been MIA the past weeks, and haven't been able to update you lovely people on my Doctor Strange cosplay progress.

But, I am happy to say, that fem Doctor Strange was completed in time for opening night (and Halloween).  And it went over really well, I think!!  Here's a low quality sneak peek, a quick shot from the theater Thursday night:

(the belt is off-kilter sorryyyyy)
And my gender-bent Doctor Strange cosplay is completed (unless I decide to make a few upgrades later... eheheh)!!  It was such a crazy project to tackle, quite possibly my most complex to date.  And I learned SO much in the making of it -- from officially creating my first cape (with an absolutely preposterous collar), to utilizing magical separating zippers.

Also, it's undoubtedly my most high-quality cosplay to date, which is such an encouragement because YAY actual improvement in my skillz!! ;)  But, heh, also my most expensive, I think.  I used every dime of my $100 budget -- as well as putting in approx. 50 hours or more of work on it, I'd say.  Yes, I am crazy (mwahahaha), BUT I truly do love it. ^_^

And before I sign off... GUYS.  It's not over yet because I still want to show you how I made this costume!  So, in the coming weeks, I'm planning to write up a few posts on how I made/procured the rest of it.  And I also hope to do an actual photoshoot with the costume over Thanksgiving break (halleluJAH)... but, we shall see. :D

OH and I also want to write up a post with all my crazy absurd thoughts on the movie (did I mention I discussed it with friends for like 4 hours afterwards) -- but for now, just know that it is basically a fantastic mind trip with some objectionable content that I have a lot of thoughts on... ;)

SO how about you???  Have you seen Doctor Strange yet?  Do you plan to? :)