Category: Costuming

Dragonscale belly dance skirt/bra project notes and tutorial…ish.

Two posts in a week? When it rains, it pours. And guess what? It’s another super wordy post! I love seeing myself type, I guess. As always, for the straight tutorial, skip down until you start seeing bold.

I made a swords-and-sorcery-inspired costume. For some reason, I enjoy the late ’70s and ’80s fantasy comic-book/video game aesthetic. It’s just so gloriously over the top. It’s not gritty or dark. It’s colorful and shamelessly self-indulgent. I wanted a costume for a party that would be utterly ridiculous, colorful and silly. Like something out of Elf, maybe, or early Thor comics. Or even Everquest, come to think of it.

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A Wind Waker Halloween Costume Journal (Princess Zelda): Dress

Man, long absences all over the place. Well, my excuse this time is that I got married (I know I still need to do more posts about that…) and went to Burning Man and thought that we were moving, but we haven’t yet. Which means another Halloween with my friends! Yay. It’s not that long until Halloween, at least in the complicated costume-making realm, but a friend of mine said she was going to be pajama Link from Wind Waker. I jokingly said I’d be Zelda, when another friend piped up that she wanted to be Tingle. Yep. Tingle. Then we got a Ganon, and were good to go.

By the way, this is a long post. If you just want to look at the pictures… I try to caption them so they get the info across and you don’t have to slog through my incredibly wordy prose. So read on, skim on, however you choose to experience it.

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Dragon Hoodie

I made this. No, there’s not really a tutorial, sorry, just wanted to share. Mostly I made a basic hoodie with extended, widened arm-gloves. Oh, and little ‘spikes’ inserted into the hood and arm seams. The rest of the ‘spikes’ are small triangles of fabric sewn together, stuffed, and attached by hand. The tail is quilted, and the scales are leather scraps glued and stitched down for extra security. That took freaking forever.

Obviously, my inspiration was Calgary Cosplay’s dragon hoodie. Well, mostly just the arms and scales. The head is constructed much differently because I wanted a different look. Also there’s no front zipper, mostly because I didn’t want to buy one.

I wanted to make my own so that it would fit me better than the Calgary ones, seeing as I have my own measurements. Also, it was a whole lot of fun to puzzle out and make. I really like the over-sized forearms!

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Beaded costume/bellydance belt tutorial

Confession: This wasn’t meant to be a tutorial at first. Originally, the belt was supposed to be over a sheer paneled floaty skirt; the idea was that I’d make it, photograph it, and maybe try and sell it if it turned out especially amazing. But I just started hating that idea, until I decided to leave it as a belt. Then it just seemed a little too simple to keep to myself; it’s time consuming, but by no means a work of artistic genius. Finally, I kept changing my concept as I worked, which led to some severe uneven-ness in the beading, and some crazy wonky grommets.

So instead, how’s about a tutorial so you can make your own? I might still offer a 2.0 version in an Etsy shop or something in the future, since they are super time consuming for such a small accessory, but it’s nice to share how to make things.

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Trash costuming: Rams-horn headdress

I love using up trash in my projects, for a few reasons. Number 1: It’s good for the planet. Number 2: I’m not quite as worried about testing my limits and screwing up; if I can’t salvage a project, at least it was trash already. Number 3: I’m simultaneously lazy and extremely frenetic. When a project occurs to me, I need to get started on it NOW, nothing silly like going to the store.

So, when I decided I wanted an elaborate hat for cool festival nights, I wanted to get started NOW, and I didn’t want to spend any actual money. I cheated a little; I’m a habitual crafter, so I already have things like wire and spray paint sealant. But the horns themselves are a wire coat hanger armature covered in strips of cardboard and tape, old brown paper bags, and paper mache paste from flour and water. (Side note, I’m recently learning about the raw awesomeness that is paper mache.) The crown is braided copper wire salvaged from an old lamp/headlight. Originally I was going to make a dreadlock wig out of leftover tulle scraps and wool roving, which I may still do, but I was a little bit burnt out after the paper mache (it took so long!) and just wanted a finished project.

This isn’t a tutorial, exactly. I have a couple of photos so that anyone who is so inclined can have an idea of how I did mine, but you should do yours however works best for you.

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Miscellaneous tips and tricks for costuming/sewing on a budget

Whenever I’m working on a costume, I think “this is super cheap. I should share it.” And then it doesn’t quite fit into the tutorial, or it’s a weird tributary of eddying thoughts that strays far away from the main flow of the post. So here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up about obtaining materials on the cheap, that hopefully go beyond your standard “go to the thrift store. Thrift. Good job.”

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