Thursday, January 28, 2016

Small Hiatus

I apologize for the small hiatus.  I'm currently in the process of editing the sequel to Seeking the Storyteller and since we're in a bit of a time crunch, didn't have a chance to write up any blog entries until it's done.  Don't worry, I'm still around.  You should hopefully see more from me in mid February.

See you then!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yes I Made That Jacket: Nocturne

It's 2016 and I'm realizing that I don't have as much cosplay material on this blog as I want.  So I'm going to start keeping up with costumes that I've made and make "Yes I Made That Dress" a more regular thing.  So with each cosplay I finish I'll have a new one!  And in the meantime, since I'm still working on my latest commission, here's the last commission I finished.

Some History:

Nocturne is one of the many games in the Shin Megami Tensei series that has a small but seriously loyal following.  Along with the Naoto and Marie hats I usually make, requests for commissioned items from this game are pretty common - because sadly there isn't much in the way of merchandise out there.  I was asked to recreate the main character's Track Jacket for a friend and their upcoming cosplay.  

Making the Jacket:

My not so secret is out!  I don't make my own patterns.  Honestly, it's really not a secret.  I never learned how to do this and I don't see the point when I've gotten so good at 'frankensteining' existing ones together.  Instead I have a HUGE collection of patterns from many different companies in my sewing room basement.  Simplicity 2208 is the one I used for this commission, with very few alterations.  You can also see the fabric I picked up for the jacket.  Comfy sweatshirt material and knit cotton.

Piping was something new I got to try for this jacket, and it's actually a lot easier then I thought it would be.  Just a couple pieces of yarn, braided together to get the correct shape and sewn into place and it duplicated the look quite well.  Definitely something I'm going to keep in mind for my own future designs, because I love it as a small detail. 

Next up, the detail on the sleeves...

The little dancing cats design doesn't exist that I can find, and I'm not really one for special ordering fabric because it's so expensive!  So instead I decided to see if a stamp would work.  I made the stamps out of extra thick craft foam and carefully stamped the figurines onto some test fabric first.  Then I went back in with a paint brush and filled in the thinner spots. Worked pretty well for a guess!  Paint used is a simple craft acrylic paint - if you put it on thin enough it just soaks into the fabric and won't crack at all, and it will survive normal washing.

(In the future I'll be correcting this method by adding felt on the stamps, so it holds more paint.  Keep an eye out for that on the Markiplier dress coming up.)

Next part I sewed on the patch piece over the seam of the sleeve.  I avoided making this panel it's own piece and put it on top so there wouldn't be an issue of stretching in the future.  I wanted to avoid cracking or stretching the design throughout wear on the outfit, so that detail lasts longer.  

Finished Product

And finally, with it all sewn together we have the track jacket!

If you'd like to commission me for a dress or have any questions on how I make these pieces, please send me an email or message me through my etsy store

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review: Young Black Jack

What's it about?

Black Jack is one of those classic anime characters you see with the old school stuff.  Astro Boy, Goku, Sailor Moon, Ranma, Vampire Hunter D... Black Jack is one of those pillar characters that I'd heard about back in college, even when I wasn't completely sure what anime exactly was. I never really got a chance to look at his anime and manga before and now with this new series coming out, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Young Black Jack is the prequel to the well known character, showing how he became the well known surgeon.  Set in the 1960's, Black Jack is a medical student who has a mysterious past and is the outcast genius with his fellow students.  During the middle of a strike with all the students, a horrible accident occurs and there's no one left to take care of the patients so Black Jack has to step up and perform his first surgery.


I'll be honest, I'm not much into the medical drama category of shows.  With the exception of House, I've never really gotten into them.  I wanted to give this one a shot - based on the history of the character and pure curiosity, but I couldn't really get into it.  I gave this show a couple episodes, but had to let it go after that.

That isn't to say this is a bad series.  It's actually beautifully animated with all the same dramatic tension styles that one tends to see in sports and shonen (young male aimed) style anime.  We have a mysterious lead character, who we'll for sure learn more about, something he excels at and is needed for, and an interesting setting.  Black Jack himself reminds me a lot of Spike from Cowboy Bebop, that almost pirate type who can do the things you hire him for, charges a lot of money but in the end really has nothing to show for himself other then a good drunken story to tell.  That is a compliment to the series and if that's the type of character you love, then give this one a shot.

Me personally, I couldn't find anything to latch onto.  The show also has a large amount of almost 'pandering' to the audience.  They are clearly banking on the fact that this character is the attractive unique type, with his scars and frequent closeups of the animation of his eyes.  He feels the need to strip before a surgery, further driving home that the scars are everywhere on his body, and the opening to the anime is basically him being shirtless - the demographic for this new anime is clear and it's really not me.  I actually found the pandering distracting more then anything else.  But I can appreciate the other stylistic choices, such as the stunning animation bits of him lacing up wounds and mentally figuring out where to 'attack' next to make the surgery a success.

In the end, this is probably a pretty good anime, just not really my cup of tea.  But if you're in the crowd that likes medical drama and bishonen (attractive male) characters, give it a shot.  I'm sure there's quite a bit you'll enjoy.

Watched on?
Streaming on Hulu, subtitled.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 - A Year of Cosplay

2015 was an awesome year with us visiting several conventions and many states!  We also finished quite a bit of cosplay that year!  Below are the ones we finished and you can expect blog entries in the future going into details.  If you have any requests about how things were done, or things you want to hear about, please comment below.
You can also check out our Facebook cosplay pages for the most up to date photos and details on where we'll be next and what we're making next!  
And now in no particular order...
Dragon Ball Z Goku Dress - Designed by Brichibi, commissioned

Nautical Ballgown - Designed by Snow, commissioned

Rose Quartz from Steven Universe - commissioned

Track Jacket from Nocturne - commissioned

Captain America dress - designed by Snow, commissioned

Death the Kid from Soul Eater dress - designed by Snow, commissioned

Lady Tremaine from Cinderella pinup - designed by Snow

Dr Facilier from Princess and the Frog pinup - designed by Snow

Stevonnie from Steven Universe - t-shirts altered by Snow

Kingdom Hearts Wallscroll Dress - designed by Snow

Mario and Bowser dresses - Mario designed by Brichibi, Bowser designed by Snow

Winter Soldier Dress - designed by Snow, commissioned

Baymax dress from Big Hero Six - designed by Snow, commissioned

Scorpion from Mortal Kombat - closet cosplay

Princess Godzilla - commissioned

Sailor Moon Wallscroll dress - designed by Brichibi

Looking forward to all the cosplay we'll have and make in 2016!  See you then!