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Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

Filtering by Tag: fran

Ohayo (gozaimasu) 2019

Michael MacWolff

Hello again, my dears! I’m back from one of the best Ohayocons I’ve been to in a long time, and I want to tell you all about it! If you’re wondering about the post name (although most of you weebs probably already know this) “ohayo gozaimasu” means “good morning” in Japanese, which is relevant for this con in particular because I stayed up much later into the wee hours of the morning than is customary (there’s a reason #GrandpaMike is a thing between my friends and I).

Friday

Actually, the story really starts on Thursday when some time in the afternoon/evening, our furnace decided to die… for the second time in a week. It was late enough that we didn’t have heat for the night, so Jordan, Donner and I grabbed lots of blankets and sleeping bags and snuggled in the living room in front of the fireplace, which we kept lit as long as we could manage with the wood we had.
So Friday morning was not exactly a great start to the weekend, since it was cold, I had to wait around for the repair guy to fix our furnace before I could go anywhere, and I was out about $200 before I’d even left for the con.

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Once that was all dealt with and the car was packed, it was finally time to head out… to Akron. So this Ohayocon was special because it was my good friend Speck’s con debut! The main reason she cae with me is because we won free badges from an Ohayocon event at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in which our team was the first to correctly complete the scavenger hunt (we weren’t the first ones back but the teams ahead of us didn’t get some of the answers right). So with a free badge she decided it would be a great opportunity to check out this whole con thing that I’d been telling her about all these years. The third free badge, which unfortunately couldn’t be used by our last team member as he’s currently in France, went to sunsetsirises after winning having a little giveaway event on my fb/instagram/twitter.

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When we finally got down to C-bus on friday afternoon, I got into Newt Scamander, which is the first time I’ve actually worn this cosplay! You all might be surprised, given my penchant for magical creatures, but I usually dress in an OC cryptozoologist chatracter who everyone just assumes is Newt because we are basically the same person. Both Hufflepuffs, both like dressing in vests and wearing bowties, and of course our shared love of magical critters, and huge collections thereof. But since I managed to snag the Newt cosplay on ThinkGeek when it was on supersale (seriously I paid $30 for the coat, bowtie & vest and it would’ve cost more than $30 just for the coat materials so SCORE), I decided it was time to actually cosplay him for real, instead of just being his spiritual doppleganger. Unfortunately, since' I’m not proportioned like a normal human being, the vest didn’t fit properly… it also didn’t have real pockets which annoyed me but that happens all the time so I got over it. So naturally I spent the few days before the con constructing a new one since I already had appropriate fabric for it that who even remembers what I originally bought it for because that’s the story with 80% of the fabric in my collection.

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I patterned the vest myself because like I said, I’m not proportioned like a normal person (torso is too long & skinny so big vests can fit 12 of me in them and small vests stop at my navel -_-). I made real welt pockets because I am that extra, and because Newt carries some sort of pocket watch or something like that which needed someplace to sit. And of course I lined it with adorable dinosaur fabric because that seemed appropriate (headcanon: accepted). I was a dummy and forgot to make a facing for the side with the buttonholes so I had to jankily fix that after I’d already done the buttonholes themselves so you didn’t see a weird white edge along that side, oops. But ultimately it came out looking good. (standby for Sunday photos to see the whole thing cause that selfie is the only one I got on Friday since I wasn’t wearing him for long).

We went to the formal lessons, taught by the wonderful Trickssi and got some refreshers for use at the fantasy ball later, and stopped by the Fate photoshoot that afternoon before going back to the room. I had every intention of going to the Fate shoot except our room hosts didn’t get there until later and I was not about to try to put on a white satin dress, petticoat, and hoops in the heckin parking lot cause we all know I would have dropped it and been reaaaaaal mad at life. This is the only photo I actually took at the Fate shoot since we didn’t stay long (though I did ogle a lot of the other cosplayers there).

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This was an awesome Mashu Alter that I chatted with for a hot second because he looked amazing and I couldn’t figure out who he was cosplaying from behind, but the lance and armor were beautiful and the shield was a dead giveaway once I saw it up close.
(Also, you may want to take note of that Achilles in the background because you’ll be seeing him again later).

After perusing the Fate folks for a bit, we went back to the room to change, grabbed dinner, and headed to the drag show!! I wasn’t aware that friday’s show was actually a Drag Race competition, hosted by the magnanimous Oriana Perone and we arrived in time to see the dance battle that took the contestants from 8 to 4, and was definitely a good moment to catch. The 4 remaining did a cute Mad Libs version of The Princess and the Pea, where they lived “prickly ever after” and was hilarious on the whole. But the most impressive performance was next as the bottom two contestants (one of whom was that Achilles in the background up above) Lip Synched for their lives. You can watch the video here because I cannot adequately describe how incredible it was, but needless to say, no one got eliminated. The final round was a makeover competition between the final 4 in which they each had a model and had to create their own Sailor Scout and come up with their “special move.” The winner was an amazing Haruhi (Ouran) cosplayer who presented “Sailor Fab,” and the “one-Kiss Kill.” If I can find them on some social media platform I will link you all to them because they had the perfect combination of attitude, dance moves, and cute face to have been deserving of the win.

After the drag show we went to the Fantasy Ball, also hosted by Trickssi ,and had a lovely time dancing and even made a new friend! Highlights from the ball include me still not figuring out the Tokyo Polka despite my efforts, since they were just finishing teaching it when we arrived at the lessons but one of these times I’m gonna get it! Also, I almost couldn’t get back off the floor during the Cha-Cha slide after the “how low can you go” part. Lastly I almost got whiplash when I heard the opening chord to one of the songs and was like “BASTION MUSIC???!?”

At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat

At the formal Ball! Sadly you can’t see Speck’s fabulous sequin dress under the bright pink coat

After the ball was over, we headed back to the room and celebrated Christmas with my roomies, changed again, and headed over to the EDM dance party for the night after stopping at the hotel bar. I was super into the music and going pretty hard so I’m glad Specks made me stretch my legs after the rave. We also ran into that same Achilles cosplayer and the winning model from the final drag race competition on the way back to the hotel room, so I stopped and complimented them both on their fabulousness from earlier (they were both exceedingly attractive so that provided some extra motivation for me to stop and say something since I’m often too awkward to talk to people).

Saturday

Saturday morning was a bit rough since we closed out the rave and as such didn’t make it to bed until after 2, and my wonderful inability to sleep in meant I was awake at 7 and couldn’t get back to sleep. But it wasn’t all bad cause I got bearkfast at the hotel and had plenty of time to shave and do my makeup for Fran before we headed over to the con to check out the leatherworking panel that morning.

Saturday was fun and pretty chill for most of the day. We hung out for a while, got coffee, ran into some other Fate cosplayers, I finally got to see Genki since she didn’t make it over to the con Friday night.

We ran into this awesome Cu & Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.

We ran into this awesome Cu & Irisveil in the dealer’s hall.

I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!

I spotted another adorable Fran in the hallway!!!

We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo

We also ran into this Mashu Alter again and I got another photo

I was also delighted to run into  Holy.Grail  in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.

I was also delighted to run into Holy.Grail in her adorable Nursery Rhyme cosplay (she was our Jack the Ripper at the Apocrypha shoot at Youma). I ran into her earlier in Ereskigal as well, but sadly didn;t get a photo.

After spending most of the afternoon hanging out in Fran, it was time to go change (she’s super comfortable but I was ready to not have to wear a wig any more), and I put on my Witchsona for the Saturday night drag show.

The show was absolutely phenomenal, all of the performers were amazing, and the outfits were amazing, and everything was just awesome. It was particularly great to see the Haruhi cosplayer who’d won the drag race the previous night get to perform and hot damn I’m pretty sure they paid for their whole con with all of the money the audience was giving them. Oriana was also a star in her Daimonds/Titanium mashup, that the whole audience lost their mind when she came out in her sheer cloak that had lights in it which looked like a galaxy. Also the shimmery silver number underneath the galaxy cloak was just as impressive! All in all it was one of the best drag shows I’ve been to.

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I love this outfit so freaking much and I can’t help but slip into diva mode when I’m wearing it. I walk differenty, carry myself differently, it’s great. My favorite thing was that I had 3 separate people comment on how fabulous I was, and two of them even asked for photos! I wasn’t expecting that at all since I wasn’t cosplaying a known character so it was definitely a nice confidence boost.

Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.

Leading the Wolf Pack to dinner.

After dinner with the Wolf Pack we went back to the room and changed yet again for the Saturday night rave. I wasn’t feeling the music quite as much because the beat was really inconsistent, and also super fast most of the time so I had a harder time dancing to it than Friday night’s DJ. Fortunately that problem solved itself almost immediately because I was waylaid by to exceedingly attractive young men who cam and started dancing with me. As you may have guessed, that same Achilles cosplayer (whose name I finally learned was John) was one of them since we kept running into each other all con, and the second was the winning model (not the Haruhi cosplayer but the one that was done up to be Sailor Fab, whose name I also learned, was Andrew) from the Drag Race the previous night. Specks also made friends with an adorable 10th Doctor cosplayer so she had a dance partner too since I was a little preoccupied. After the rave we chatted with John for a while (since Andrew left to go to a friend’s panel) and finally went back to the room to call it a night. Well, that was the intention anyway but when we got back to the room I realized that the one occupied spot in the other bed wasn’t actually Salem, but her Majima pillow, so I figured she & Genki were still hanging out over at the con center. Since I’d been spending most of my time with Specks and not as much with them I figured I’d go hang out for a while. There was also some ulterior motive that I might here from the two boys again, which to my delight I did. So after hanging out with Genki & Salem for a bit I chatted with Andrew, who was shortly joined by John, and we ended up having a big ol cuddle party on one of the couches in the convention center. Honestly it was a highlight of my convention because they were both very sweet and genuine (and a-fucking-dorable) and we just chatted and snuggled together for a few hours getting to know each other. By the time 5:30ish rolled around I finally decided I needed to go lay down in a real bed, since as much as I was enjoying snuggling with the boys, I totally would have fallen asleep and woken up so sore I wouldn’t have been able to move.

3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys

3 very sleepy, very snuggly boys

Sunday

I actually managed to sleep in a bit Sunday (compared to usual at least, cause I was till up by 9) and we got the car packed up and got some brunch with my good friend Nick, who lives down in Columbus these days. We ate some delicious tacos at Condado, then hung out at the convention center for a while before taking off. We did hit up the Potterverse shoot, since we were in Newt and Umbridge that day. It was a pretty small shoot but it was lots of fun. We also met up with our Doctor friend from the previous night, who was no longer dressed as the Doctor (I believe he said something about “Cells at Work?” I’m not familiar with whatever it was so that might not be correct). He did get one of our only photos of the two of us dressed together (though we haven’t seen any from the Potterverse shoot yet, so there should be more floating around at some point).

Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.

Thank you for the photo, Dustin! And thanks to whoever made created Portrait Mode cause it’s lovely.

I did manage to connect with Andrew again for a bit on Sunday morning before we left (John was already gone by then), which was nice. And that was pretty much my con! We did have a long trip home because we had to detour down to Dayton for work-related stuff, and we drove together so I had to drop Specks off at home before I could head home myself. Thankfully the roads were clear after the snowstorm we got hit with on Saturday so it was a fairly uneventful drive home.

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When I did finally get home, I left the packing for Monday morning, and cuddled with my own boys. I also promptly fell asleep on Jordan’s lap while he watched Aliens. It was definitely a fun and exhausting weekend and I’m already missing my con friends, new and old, but I’m not missing going back to a normal sleep schedule XD

Now that I have my first convention of the year under my belt, it’s back to work! I’m going to be finishing that Silas armor soon (hopefully) and I have a couple of other projects lined up, both personal and commissions. I do, however, have my commissions open again so if you’re interested in ordering anything from me now is the time so start that conversation!

Youmacon (at last)

Michael MacWolff

Hello friends!

Sorry for the long hiatus… I realize you’re probably used to that at this point but I’d love for that not to be the case lol. Since I last posted a bunch of stuff has been going on, which is mostly why I haven’t been posting. Youmacon was a couple weekends ago, and it was super fun! I have a couple photos to share from that, and eventually I’ll have my hands on some more when I get photos back from the shoots I was involved in.

The other big thing that’s been going on, and the main reason I haven’t been super active online lately is that Jordan, Donner and I have moved! We didn’t move far, we’re just a few minutes down the road from our old place, but the new house has a bit more room, which will hopefully be filled up in the not-too-distant-future with an expanding family. We’ll see how that process goes. Anyway, things are kind of a mess right now but when I have most of it put away I’ll make another post to show off my new craft areas!

So Youmacon. I had a blast at Youma; despite having a pretty full cosplay schedule it was a pretty chill con, which is always nice. The impromptu Fire Emblem gathering we had was waaaay better attended than I was expecting! Look at all these folks!

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And look at the wealth of game representation we had! We planned the Tellius stuff around my friend’s Lord Ike and my Ashnard, but we got folks from Blazing Sword, Fates, and Geneaology/Thracia too!

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This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for.

We also got some fabulous derp photos with all of the caped characters (and Rhys (and Reyson)).

Look, a flock of birbs!

Look, a flock of birbs!

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I’ve also wanted to get something resembling this art forever and I finally made it happen!

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Also, while we were hanging out waiting for the official shoot to start, we got our photo taken by the folks at MLive!

Apparently they think my friend is a very salty solution lol  Here’s a link to the article , there are lots of great cosplays to see!

Apparently they think my friend is a very salty solution lol
Here’s a link to the article, there are lots of great cosplays to see!

So Ashnard got to have lots of fun this year, and the other major thing was my debut of Fran! I’m so excited with how this cosplay turned out and I love her so much I want to wear this all the time!

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I had so much fun wearing this cosplay even though it was a bit of a chore between the somewhat unruly weapon and the giant hoops, but I was so happy it didn’t even matter.

I definitely learned some things wearing it the first time too, so I can improve my experience next time. Mainly that the horn needs to attach to the wig, because as soon as I started sweating a bit the lace front tape just gave way. I’ll still use the tape to keep it in place but I need a strap or something integrated into the wig to keep it on my face when the tape gets loose. I also need a pair of flat shoes because I would have worn this on the con floor way longer if my feet didn’t want to die in those boots after the 5-6 hours I was in them. When I took them off to eat some dinner my feet were so happy lol.

We had an awesome Apocrypha group and did some shooting with Robbie; I’m super stoked to see the results since he always does an amazing job. It was cold as shit out by the river but it was so beautiful! You know I’ll share them as soon as I have them but for now, ta-ta!

A Beautiful Monster

Michael MacWolff

Alright, as promised last week, I wanted to show off the making of my new cosplay for Youmacon. For those of you who don’t already know the details, it’s Berserker of Black (Frankenstein’s Monster/Fran) from Fate/Apocrypha!

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Now despite all the cosplays I’ve made in my life, this project was pretty daunting for me. I’ve never really made a dress like this and I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. Thankfully, once I did a little research online and started drafting my patterns, it wasn’t as scary as I thought.

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I started with the structure that would be underneath the dress: the hoop skirt! This is basically a waistband with some hooks & eyes, several lengths of satin ribbon with loops sewn into them, and some galvanized steel wire. I had to adjust the size of the hoops several times before I was really happy with it, and I ended up using packing tape to keep the ribbon in place with respect to the wire hoops. So yeah, it’s kinda janky but it’ll work. I had some help from this tutorial to get the basics. She uses thin, flexible PVC instead of wire, which probably would’ve worked better but since I already had the wire and I’m a cheap S.O.B. I figured I’d try it this way.

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With the hoops themselves done, I needed to soften the edge of the lowest hoop a bit so my dress didn’t end up looking like some sort of flying saucer, so I used a loooooooooong piece of tulle that I gathered (by hand, I might add) that falls just beyond the lowest hoop.

I also lucked out in that I already owned this cute white petticoat to use over the hoops and under the skirt of the dress. It’s even the right height, YAHTZEE!

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Now came the fun part of patterning the dress. I had a decent idea how to do the bodice and the skirt, but I wan’t so sure about the actual breast cups so I cheated and just built them off of an old bra.

Yeah, the UFO shape is what I was trying to avoid. This is from before I added the tulle and reduced the bottom hoop a bit.

Yeah, the UFO shape is what I was trying to avoid. This is from before I added the tulle and reduced the bottom hoop a bit.

With the pattern done and tested (both on my dress form and on my body), I was ready to put the dress together for real!

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The red details were attached using a satin stitch, the same way I usually do those types of details on my csplays (maybe some day I’ll own an embroidery machine…. yeah I’ll keep dreaming). Also, the center bit is actually lace instead of ruffles because I thought it would look nice. Also I was too lazy to make ruffles and already had some lace trim that would work.

The breast cups are literally attached to the bra you saw in the last photo, and I hand-sewed a bunch of the top part together on the dress form just to get it situated properly. The last bit to add to the dress was the top part with the sheer black fabric and strappy bit… which apparently I don’t have a photo of it after I added that part, oops.

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The gloves are in two pieces, with the actual gloves parts being an antique pair I found at a thrift store some time ago. The sleeves are a separate piece made from rayon/spandex knit and the red sections are literally from an woman’s t-shirt I thrifted (since they don’t make stretchy enough fabric as Joann’s in this color).

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Next up we have some headware! Yes, those are headphones that I built the ear thingies off of, and the veil actually attaches directly to the band across the top. And the unicorn horn is cardstock with worbla over it, and miraculously enough it’s lightweight enough to stay on my face just using lacefront tape.

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And moving right along we have some legggggggies! The base boots are actually something I’ve owned for a long time because any time I find heels at the thrift store I can actually fit in they refuse to leave my basket. I’ve even performed in drag in those boots, but sadly they’re old enough that the outer layer of the faux leather is literally disintegrating everywhere so they’ve been making a huge mess of the house. I finally chopped the tops off (cause they don’t need to be that tall anyway) and scrubbed as much of the outer layer off as I could manage. The front metallic bits are craft foam that I attached permanently to the front of the shoes (contact cement), because obviously I’m not going to be using these for anything else anyway with shit constantly falling off of them. The legs are metallic 4-way stretch knit (yes, I broke down and bought the Yaya Han shit cause it was the best thing for the job and thank christ I had a coupon). To keep the leggings from riding up, there’s a small piece of velcro that attaches them to the front of the boots. And to keep them from falling down, I pretty much turned my hoop skirt into a garter belt, and there’s ribbon with buttons that goes down the back of my legs, with an little elastic loop to hook around them on the tops of the leggings.

With all that done I was too excited not to try the whole thing on! (sans gloves so I could hit the button on my phone)

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I’m so pumped to wear this, cause it’s super pretty on it’s own and you’re not gonna see my dumb face most of the time with her hair like that. I do have two details to finish: the egg & the weapon.

The egg is finished I just need to make it attach to my hip somehow (probably velcro).

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The weapon is gonna take a while longer to finish because I’m a little overambitious with it. I really want the globe at the end to light up, which only makes sense if the plates are extended out. So naturally I’m using giant styrofoam bowls and a translucent globe light fixture to achieve that.

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Thankfully the rod is fairly straightforward, even though it is rather detailed. Also thankfully I found an actual fixture to attach the globe with, which means it’ll be easy to remove.

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Details on the rod include: cardboard mailing tubes, MDF discs, Foamcore board discs, worbla, wooden knobs, toothpicks, dome stickers, an actual light fixture, and a Mason jar lid. So this is the most “me” part of this cosplay, obviously, given the random trash incorporated into it :-D

That’s all the progress I have, since the plates on the top are nowhere near ready to start painting, but soon I’ll have a fully functional light-up mace! Soooon. Hopefully soon. Dear god I hope it doesn’t take as long as I’m expecting. Pray for me.