Saturday, July 30, 2016

Addams Family Cosplay: Wednesday Addams

It's been a long while since I've actually finished my costume for the San Diego Comic-Con Masquerade. I've actually delayed in posting this dress diary until after the convention, in an attempt to keep it somewhat secret. I wrote this post in pieces, as I worked on the dress.

When my friends said they wanted to do an Addams Family skit at SDCC, I immediately knew which characters I wanted to create. My friend, C, who was our exalted leader laid claim to Morticia. C is fairly tall and wanted the chance to play a tall character (ala Angelica Houston's Morticia). I put in my bid for Wednesday.

Given our height differential, I was pretty sure I could get this role as it would make me seem more of a "little girl.". LOL  I had my own backup Adams character, but I really wanted to play Wednesday. The costume would be relatively easy to create and the look is fairly iconic that I would be able to wear this costume more than once :-)

I initially made the pattern from a simple sloper pattern. In the following photos, I've already made the first set of adjustments to my pattern (having forgotten to take photos from earlier steps). The blue tape indicates the adjustments I made to the original pattern.
  • Changed the slope of the neckline for the front and back.
  • Changed the angle of the left back shoulder, as one shoulder is slightly more muscular than the other. (Which means that I have to cut the shoulder slightly bigger than the other.)
  • Lengthened the front & back pieces
  • Increased the angle of the side seams for both the front & back.

The mockup for the dress fit rather well.

After I was happy with the mockup, I started with the actual fabric. I used a 85% linen / 35 % rayon linen blend. 100% linen wrinkles if you even look at it funny, and I wanted it to survive being packed repeatedly with minimal ironing. The lining was just a black rayon fabric.

When making the dress, I started the lining, in case I had to make any last minute adjustments. I had to mark which shoulder was for my left and which was for my right because they are different cuts. (Even I got confused at one point and had to 'reverse' my markings.)

I serged all of linen & lining edges, just because I could. Also, this was linen and I didn't want any additional fraying.

The garment and lining are created separately, but I did not "bag line" the finished product, but the lining is carefully tacked in at the shoulders and each seam is sewn separately with an edging.

I created the collars & cuffs much earlier (see this post) I pinned the collar and sleeves to ensure that it looked about right. I eventually basted these pieces onto the dress AFTER I added buttons and buttonholes, because, I didn't want them to get too dirty.

Then it was a matter of aligning the buttons and button holes. I used this handy-dandy buttonhole gauge to evenly space out where I want the buttons. First, I pinned where I wanted the first button, then used the spacer to mark out the exact number of buttons I wanted to use. Pins and chalk marked the rest.

The button holes were easy to add. My sewing machine does a very good job at button holes. However, sewing on all of those buttons took several evenings.

For a bit of fun, I added a special bit of Addams' to the top button, right next to the collar. I think Wednesday would approve.

The finished dress looked awesome. It was finished with a pair of tights and an existing pair of black shoes that I already owned

In addition to the dress, I opted to style a wig. My hair isn't long enough to make two sets of ponytails. So I purchased a very long wig that was approximately the same color as my own hair, which is the same color as Wednesday, and started braiding. It took a long while to look correct, but it was well worth it. 

Ironically, I have a ton of different black wigs of varying lengths and cuts, despite my own hair being black.

Here's the final outfit along with the Marie Antoinette doll.

Here's one of the photos of the whole group taken backstage.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

SDCC Masquerade 2016: The Addams Extended Family

The primary reason we went to San Diego Comic Con this year was to compete in their yearly masquerade with our cosplay group, which numbered 14 people.  The theme was the Addams Extended Family.

But, you might ask, "Why 14 people? There are only 7 in the Addams Family!" (It'll make sense once you see the video.....)

Organizing 14 costumers is no mean feat.  Our wonderful group director (who played Morticia) managed all of the aspects of our group skit / presentation --- including putting together our choreography, arranging our music,  scheduling our many, many rehearsals, and coordinating with the masquerade staff. On the flip side, each individual is responsible (more or less) for their own costumes and props --- although we all chip to help whenever it's required.

Over the course of many months, we got to know our music arrangement and rehearsed our skit. (You didn't think we just made costumes and strut them on stage, did you?)

As our group was scattered between northern and southern California, we had to arrange last minute rehearsals with the entire group once we arrived at SDCC. Some of us had practiced by watching the rehearsal videos.

 On the day of the masquerade, there was a lot of preparation.

It took about 4 hours to do our last few rehearsals, the "final" rehearsal on the secondary stage to show the masquerade staff, AND then finally, to get into our costumes --- makeup, any prosthetics, and finally our costumes. We all helped each other get dressed and ready.

Some of the group had to change from their day cosplay to their actual masquerade outfits.

There was a total of 35 contestants. We were #23. So, we had a bit of a wait before we even got onstage. The curtain went up around 8pm.

We were not allowed to wander the hallways in our costumes, so we stayed in the Green Room along with everyone else. It was a bit of organized chaos. :-)

While we waited, I took a few photos of the contestants. There were some amazing costumes.

Fortunately, the masquerade show let the contestants view the rest of the masquerade from the green room.

Uncle Fester, Lurch, and Cousin Thing watch  the MCs announce the next act.

The presentation before us was a couple who played Kylo Ren & Rey. Their skit was the fight scene from the movie. However, unbeknownst to "Rey",  "Kylo" got on his knees and proposed to her on stage! It was pretty amazing and she said YES. I bemoaned to my fellow group members that we had to follow THAT act......

When we finally went onstage, it seemed that everyone got the jokes inherent in our presentation. At least one person loved our skit so much that they tweeted this......

Here's the full video.

Here's how it was shown on the big video screen. I kinda like see'ing the MC (Phil & Kagia Folio)'s introduction.

(Can you name all of the Adams?)

The end of our presentation didn't mean the end of the masquerade. We had to wait for everyone else to finish. We couldn't get out of our costumes, but we did chill for a bit.

Cousin It playing with Grizzly's beard.

Eventually, the winners were announced.

We took home a medal for the Most Humorous (and given the laughter from the audience, I did think we nailed it!)

(From the next day's newsletter)

Ecstatic, we stumbled out of the convention center after midnight. We were exhausted as it had been 8 hours just for the masquerade; happy with our presentation and our win.
Photo - ©Ryan Orange. LA Weekly

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

San Diego Comic Con 2016

Last week, I packed up my bags and left for San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) at the San Diego Convention Center. This year, we went for two days, but what a packed two days.

Primarily, we were going to go compete at the SDCC Masquerade which was held on Saturday evening. Here's my luggage for this weekend. (The Viking had his own props and costumes in his own luggage).

As our main concern was to perform in the masquerade, we took it easy for the convention, opting for cosplay watching and shopping in the dealer's room, especially since the masquerade would take up nearly all of Saturday. We weren't too concerned about making any panels as lines for them are extremely long and we had to be available during certain time slots.

Luckily, there's plenty of cosplay to see and things to buy. Many of the costumers were just beautifully done and well made.

Some were hilariously funny.

Poor Scooby!

Many of these costumes were still well constructed, like this pink Chewbaca! The pink seriously hurt my eyes but it was definitely an eye catcher, and the costumer made the Chewbaca suit to specifications!

I wish there was a pink Han Solo to go with the Wookie!

There were amazing "takes" on various iconic costumes, like this Samurai versions of Star Wars characters.

And, oh the mashups!

Mandalorian Lilo

The Dealer's Room had a number of celebrities walking around, some incognito, some in costume, but some were just out in the open, greeting fans (like me)!

The floor had a wide range of exhibits. There were plenty of Star Wars to see, like this Lego version of a storm trooper.

For Star Wars fans, they had a lovely exhibit of some of the costumes from Rogue One. In fact, they had built an entire temple, which contained the Rogue One costumes, figures, and vendors selling licensed Star Wars merchandise.

As a costumer, I might have taken the opportunity to take A LOT of reference photos of various movie costumes for cosplay reference....

In addition, there were dioramas for any and all fandoms.

Statues, collectables, name it, it was there.

The detail on many of these are just is the price tag!

Overall, it was a lot of fun on the first day, but the crowds are intense! We took plenty of breaks from all the people, ate and made sure to hydrate well. We were only on the main floor for a couple of hours before the masquerade, which I'll post about later.