Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yes I Made That Dress: Legend of Zelda Dresses

Some History:

Within the last 1-2 years Joanns and Hancock fabrics have seen an explosion of licensed fabric from the likes of Nintendo and other popular properties.  When the Legend of Zelda fabric was announced my wifey and I jumped on it and started visiting our local fabric stores on a weekly basis to see if we could find some.  When we finally did I'm pretty sure we cleaned them out, making sure to buy enough for the dresses right away, before it disappeared again.   

Now while these dresses aren't simply cosplay, we still wear them to cons and outside on a normal basis.  So we picked patterns I could easily upsize to our sizes and ones that we wanted to wear.  I love some of the retro designs coming out, so it really seemed like a great way to do both!

Making the Dresses:

Seeing as how there's really no costumes designs to duplicate here, I went full on with following the patterns' instructions, or at least the pictures.  For Briana's dress we used Simplicity 1061 because she wanted the cute over jacket too and mine was Simplicity 1155 because I wanted to try the top pleating.

For extra fun we didn't really try to match the different prints based on colors.  Instead her dress was made of the first two we found and mine was made of the other two. They match because they're all Legend of Zelda, but the colors contrast a bit more then I would normally pick so it was a bit of a fun adventure seeing it come together. 

For the bolero/jacket we actually ran out of fabric and it needed a collar.  So I took some of the fabric from mine to add an extra punch. 

For my dress, this was the part I was waiting for and dreading.  I'm not very good at pleating, but mostly because I haven't had much of a chance to practice with it.  So what better time then now?

I really love this close up shot.  I was concerned the two patterns wouldn't match or look right, as I mentioned above, but forced myself to cut out the pieces and pin them together anyway.  Upon seeing this on my dress form I was so happy I did, because I love the contrast and how pretty it looks.  I also made sure to try and line up the stained glass windows so they were all facing the same direction, something else I haven't had much time to practice with.  All in all, both dresses came out even better then I was imagining. 

Oh!  And my partner found the perfect accessory at Hot Topic to go with her dress!

Finished Product

So now we have a very punk and retro-ish set of Zelda dresses we can wear on Sundays at conventions and they're super comfortable!

And bonus!  My partner now has a neat jacket she can wear normally!

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, April 13, 2016

Review: Bitten - Season 1

We'll be in Wisconsin this weekend for No Brand Con!  If you're there, stop by and say hi!  We'll have a table in the Dealer's Room and be running several panels!

What's it about?

Elena Michaels isn't just a photographer working to juggle her modern life with her soon to be sister in law's wedding, she's also hiding a secret from most of her normal work.  Elena is a werewolf.  And not just any werewolf, she's the only female to have survived such a change. 

In an effort to put that supernatural world behind her, she's moved to a bustling city and settled down with only a couple midnight runs under her belt.  However her previous life doesn't want to let her go and when the pack calls, she has to return home to help, whether she likes it or not. 

Trigger Warning - This story, as good as it is, is the story of a rape survivor.  What I mean by that, is Elena's transformation, from the beginning, is communicated in the same way as a rape story.  And, subsequently, the story of her living with it and still very much dealing with the people  related to that event - because they're now a very integral part of her life that she struggles with attempting to leave behind.  Whether it was the author's intention or not, this was something that was communicated very clearly in the first episode and actually made me a bit squeamish on the series.  

That said, it is still quite good. 

I will be honest, I'm generally not one for werewolf stories.  They've never really caught me and I'm usually more interested in the other supernatural creatures that fill their world, with a few exceptions.  So why did I watch this series?  The series is based on a set of books by Kelley Armstrong called "Women of the Otherworld" and takes turns focusing on different supernatural women in the same world.  I particularly liked the witches her in books and tried this series in the hopes that the characters I like would eventually show up.  (I honestly just skipped the werewolf-centric books when I was reading the series.)  In spite of this, the series caught my attention and held it, keeping me interested with the pack dynamics, well thought out characters and underlying motivations. 

Elena is a well rounded character and likable, certainly not the damsel in distress you might expect when the majority of the cast is made up of attractive men to surround her.  Instead, she carves her place in their world with power and ferocity and manages to assert herself to be one of their own. 

That said, there are some downfalls in the series.  It's obvious this series was made to draw the same crowd as Supernatural and True Blood, which comes with the tropes of the genre.  I'm quite happy they stayed away from the roadkill episodic characters and went for an overarching story, even if it appeared to drag at times to fit the run time.  Other down sides are the fact that this series is based on a series of paranormal romance novels, so the amount of sex is a bit higher then normal and there were some scenes where it really didn't fit and could have been left out, but then considering the audience I'm sure they were more appreciated by others.  

My only other complaint was toward the end, the series dropped into mostly action (good!) and convenient cell phone calls (bad!).  Phone calls in the series are a bit too common, with Elena receiving them, or providing them, quite often to move along the plot.  While this might be a clever narration device, it was used a bit too much in the series and really started to wear on me.  Yes, the information was important, but each time it was given with a phone call and I found myself wishing they could be a bit more creative in their execution of the action. 

But yes, as a whole I did like the series and I'm quite interested to see where Elena and her pack go from here.  Not to mention I'm still hoping some of the other strong women from the series show up in the future. 

Watched on?

Streaming on Netflix


None for this show, but I am a great lover of the paranormal genre and there are many other women in this series that deserve attention.  So you really should check out the Women of the Otherworld series. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Release!! Hunters: Beneath the Chapter Release and Preorder!

We're happy to announce that our second book in the Hunters series is now available for preorder!

"Was this why? Was this the reason he'd told her to be quiet, because this needed to happen?"

The middle of winter has given the residents of the warehouse plenty of time to mull over their last adventure. The Storyteller has been found, but has left behind only more questions and no real answers. Just when the group exhausts all of their resources, a new organization comes to the surface that could tie up all the loose threads. 

Unfortunately, the Chapter isn't what it appears to be, and the Hunters are now left to deal with a new threat that hits a little too close to home. What secrets is the Chapter hiding, and is it worth uncovering the truth?

Once again we have an amazing cover created by Rain-Arc Rhapsody, with formatting done by Deverish Workshop.  (Please be sure to check out their pages as well!)

So, you ask, where can you get the book?  

We have a couple different options for you with discounted preorder pricing!  Just click on the link below for whichever you'd like.

Physical and ebook copies of Seeking the Storyteller also available now!

All copies of Beneath the Chapter will be released and shipped on or around April 30th this year.  If we get our copies sooner, so do you!