Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It has begun...

Hey there all you cos-crazy people!!!

So... something I've wanted to do for quite some time is to start my own costume pattern line. And recently I made a goal for myself to get the first one ready by no later than the end of March. Well, at least to the point where everything is drafted... maybe not all put together and packaged. But tonight I've started the first one.

Here's a sneak peek...

I know... I know... it isn't very much... just a waist band and a pocket yoke... so obviously I'm drafting a pair of trousers... but for what??? Well... that's a secret.

But if you were wanting a certain military uniform to wear in a fantasized post-industrial revolutionary Europe wherein alchemy is utilized by the government and scientific fields... well, this would be a pattern for you.

It's actually pretty challenging since this one has to be a unisex costume and the sizes will range from XXS-XXL. (that's SEVEN different sizes!)

So I'm hoping to have that ready to be published/sold by the end of June.... maybe sooner... we shall see.

In other news, I finished the drafting the duck's jacket for Turducken. (Which is what I call the opera I'm working on.)

And on that note...

Daffy from Drafting,


A lazy weekend....

Okay, so not really...

Saturday, I spent the day at work... then hung out with my sisters who were in town. Sunday I went to sword fighting practice -- yes I play with swords! Did you expect anything less? Maybe I'll film some stuff and post it... hmmm....

I also finished watching all of the Boukenger series and have moved on to Gekirenger. BTW... I really love the fight choreo style for Geki... it's so fluid and lyrical... costumes are a little plain though... but I guess that's to give the stunt persons room to move. Also I'm assuming that since the suits are made by an athletic wear company (in the show) the quite sporty style of the suits should be expected.

You'll soon learn that I'm a huge sentai fan. (for those of you who are going "huh?" the sentai series are the original Japanese shows that Power Rangers are borrowed from) One day I hope to own a sentai costume or 2 or 4 or 12.

I also watched the latest episode of Once Upon a Time. Again, I tell you, it's a such a great show and the costumes are beautiful... if you're not watching it, you're depriving your poor eyeballs of costume candy.

I also attempted to film a video, but the lighting came out a little too dark so I'm going to re-film it soon.

So yeah, it wasn't really a lazy weekend.... More like... a very non costumey productive weekend.

And now I'm off to bed so I can get up for class in 5 hours.

Snoozing and Sentai suits...


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ducks and Duchesses!!!

Okay not really a Duchess... actually the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. (even though there IS a duchess in the story). Anyway, I started working on the pattern for the Queen.

And here's a picture of my favorite place to work...

.... sitting on my bed with a big work desk (aka piece of cardboard). Yay for stocking feet in the pic. I have an area set up in my den, but it's by a window and it gets cold in there. Plus on my bed I can stick pins through the cardboard and into the bed to hold down patterns and stuff.

By the way, I use Husky 3.5 Plastic sheeting (the clear kind) to transfer my patterns onto. It's less than $10 at Wal-Mart for 250 square feet and makes perfect, indestructible pattern pieces.

Just lay the plastic over your pattern piece and pin (this is where pinnable surfaces come in super handy) and trace away.

Here are all the bodice pieces traced and cut out. I'm using Simplicity 3782 as my base. I'll need to alter the collar and probably the skirt so it will lay flat and not be gathered. Plus it'll need adjusting to get the red and black panels to line up correctly on the bodice and sleeves. And the waist needs to be squared off.

So there's my start.

I've also started my school project... well one of them. Bill the Duck from "The Chicken Opera". No, seriously. That's the name. But one of the characters is a duck... I may have mentioned this already... and I started working on his jacket.

I'm using a Burda pattern 2726 as the base... but the plan is to change the front to have more of a tuxedo vest front with a shawl collar... After all, we want him to be duck-like.

I've also had to grade this pattern like crazy because the closest pattern we could find was the smaller size envelope and the actor is not those sizes.

So here are a few shots of that.

Ducks in coattails and makeshift lapdesks,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Once upon a time....

there was a costumer named Jason. During the fall primetime lineup one season, he started watching a little show based on fairy tale characters who've forgotten who they are.

Yes. That is the plot line. Due to the evil queen's curse, all of the happily ever afters never happened and the characters are now living in modern times with no recollection of their past lives.

The series cuts back and forth between the present and the fairy tale times -- filling us in on how the characters came to be the characters we love.

I love this show. Not only is it well written, heart-warming, and engaging, it manages to do so without being trashy, raunchy or risque--making it an actual "family friendly" show.

But let's get down to what I love the most about this show.

The costumes.

The costumes are fantastic!!!

And what I really love is how the show has opted to portray all of the witches, and evil queens as glammed out hotties instead of shriveled haggy old women.

I also like how the costumes are nice mix between fantasy, traditional and modern clothing...

Here's some pictures!!!

Here's Emma Caulfield (you know her better as Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the Witch from Hansel and Gretel.

Another of Emma

Little Red Riding Hood. (This is the first time they've shown her as her fairy tale self -- in her modern day incarnation she's kinda trampy... heavy make up, shorty shorts, etc. But here, she's absolutely stunning.)

Maleficent, from the Sleeping Beauty story (who has yet to appear in the series)

A couple of the Evil Queen.

There are a lot more costumes, obviously... but check out the show. It's really good!

Sorry Glinda, these bad witches aren't ugly...


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Hey all!!

So, for those who don't know... A turducken is apparently a kind of new thing where your stuff a chicken into a duck and then stuff that into a turkey and roast it. It's probably delicious... and horrible for your cholesterol.

But anyway.

I thought of that because in my costuming class, I'm working on costumes for the upcoming opera--which is a children's opera about barnyard animals. Don't ask me, I just make the costumes.

In this opera there's a turkey, a duck, and some chickens. (along with other various barnyard animals). And that's what I was working on today. The turkey, the duck, and the chickens.

So the turkey and the duck are married in this show, and they're both going to be dressed in a sort of stylized Victorian look--which will hopefully look cool when it's all done.

And I started drafting the duck's tailcoat today.

I'll have to remember to start taking my camera to class so I can photograph everything and post it here.

But now, after a full day of school and and then a shift at work, it is time for a nappy.

Turduckens and Tailcoats,


PS. I totally forgot to mention this, but I have a new cosplay planned for All-Con 2012.

Skullboy from Ruby Gloom (which is awesome and you should watch it)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Basic Makeup kit.

Hello all!

So one of the things I want to do is a series of makeup tutorials specifically for cosplay. I’ve looked on YouTube and, surprisingly, there really aren’t that many... And they’re mostly for a shoujo girl look. So my plan is to show you how to do several kinds of makeups for specific character types... And probably certain characters, too.

To start off, you’re going to need a basic makeup kit. And I’m going to break down the list of everything that a basic makeup kit needs. I’ll also give you some optional products as well. P.S. The suggestions here are going to build a kit for a basic, natural looking makeup and will be the basic kit I’ll use for all future makeups.

Now, if you’re new to makeup, you’re gonna quickly see there are TONS of DIFFERENT kinds of makeup out there like creams, liquids, powders, etc. There are also TONS of different brands, like MAC, L’Oreal, Urban Decay, Ben Nye, Cover Girl, etc.

Whether you use powders or creams or whatever, the results are usually the same--it’s all just a matter of personal preference. The same holds true for the brands. Usually, the department store brands, like MAC, Urban Decay, Clinique, etc. are a better quality. The color is more pigmented so you don’t have to use as much to get a bold color.

But you can achieve just as good of results with drug store brands like L’Oreal or Maybeline. Just try to stay away from the super cheapo brands cause they’re not as good.

The important thing is you find products you like and that are within your budget.

So here’s what you need in your basic makeup kit:

Foundations: These come in all kinds of forms. There are liquids, creams, powders, sticks... This will even out your skin tone--giving you a perfect flawless complexion.

You want to find a shade that’s as close to your skin tone as possible. Actually, you may have to end up getting a couple of colors if you tan during the summer and get pale during the winter.

Or if you’re doing a specific character, like someone who is pale, you might want to pick a paler foundation.

And if you’re going to be doing skits or the costume contest and you’ll be under bright lights, you can actually go a little darker with your foundation because the bright lights will wash you out.

Powder or setting spray: This is what you’ll use after you put your makeup on to help it stay on. It also mattes your face so you’re not shiny in pictures. You want to find a translucent powder so it doesn’t alter the colors of your makeup.

The setting spray is just something you spray on your face to set your makeup.

Eyeliner: You’ll want to line your eyes to help emphasize them and draw focus to them, especially with anime characters. The color depends on your hair color and skin tone. If you have blonde or red hair and light skin, you’ll want a medium brown pencil. If you have brown hair, and medium skin, a dark brown pencil will work. If your skin is dark and your hair is dark, a black pencil is best.

You can also match your pencil to your wig color... Like if your wearing a blue wig, you might want to wear a slightly darker shade of blue liner.

You can also use a pencil to fill in your eyebrows.

These come in pencils, liquids and gels. Pencils are easiest to learn, though they take some getting used to.

Lip color: You don’t want to forget your mouth. Guys, try to find a matte shade (meaning no shimmer or sparkle or gloss) that’s close to your lip color. Girls, go for a natural color, but you can get away with a shimmer, or a gloss.

Cheek color: You want to have on a little bit of blush, unless you’re character is dead or a robot or something. Guys here you don’t wanna pick anything too bright or pink... Unless it’s a part of your character, like playing a young boy.

Now that’s it for the essentials, but let’s take it to the next level... The next few products are optional, but will help to give you a better result.

Highlight and Shadow: These are essential if you want to use makeup to change the appearance of your features. You can narrow and slim your face, change the shape of your nose, make your eyes look bigger... All kinds of cool things.

You can even use the same type of makeup as your foundation, just in different colors. Your highlight should be 4 or 5 shades lighter than your foundation and the shadow should be 4 or 5 shades darker.

Lip pencil: If you plan on changing the shape of your mouth, you’ll want a lip pencil in a natural color. It’ll also help your lipstick stay on longer.

Concealer: Concealer is fantastic for covering any problem areas that your foundation isn’t covering... Like dark circles under your eyes, blemishes, beard stubble...

Tools: You can also get things like makeup sponges and brushes, but they aren’t necessary if you’re just using your makeup on your own face. However if you’re sharing makeup, or putting it on others, you’ll definitely want to get some brushes and sponges.
It’ll also depend on what kind of makeup you’re using.

So that’s it, your basic makeup kit. Stay tuned for more.

Makeup and More to come!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A day of inspiration!

I don't know if it's the idea of school, or the new year, or the upcoming conventions, or maybe just the stars in the proper alignment (if you really believe that) but I've been feeling so creative this past week.

Or maybe it's just the fact that I know the next several months are going to be super busy for me.


I've got some great ideas for tutorials and videos that will correspond with this blog -- like how to make a duct tape dress form and stand, how to put together a cosplay makeup kit (plus tutorials on different makeups), and even a few tips about sewing patterns. Hopefully I can these all filmed pretty soon.

I've also got a few costume projects in the works that you'll see lots of progress pictures of... (more on that in a bit).

Also, today was my first day back at school. On my drive over I was actually excited for my costuming class. And I realized that maybe I made a smart move by enrolling in a class that I know that I'll like right before the class that may give me trouble.

I know I'm not really a morning person, so my thought is that with a fun class to look forward to (and wake up for), that'll get me out of bed and to school. Then since I'll be there I'll go to my Anatomy class -- which actually might be kind of fun too. I actually enjoy learning, but only if it's stuff I'm interested in.

Anyway, back to my costume class. Since I've been costuming forever, and this class is for beginners, I'll probably know how to do most of the stuff. In fact, my instructor who's also the head costumer of the theater dept has pretty much said that I can work on costumes for the shows while class is going on and can pick and choose what lessons to pay attention to. That's pretty cool.

She's basically going to put me on opera duty--meaning I'll be building costumes for the upcoming opera... which should be neat cause it's all animals but personified... What my professor said is that its supposed to be something between Lion King and Lady Gaga. I forget the name but it's some original piece. So it's either going to be totally awesome or a complete nightmare. We shall see.

I wonder if this is what she had in mind???

School books and Swan dresses,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So tired...

And as soon as I write this blog I'm going to go to bed. I just paid my tuition for this semester of school and I'll actually be taking classes on campus... Which will require waking up early and stuff... I used to be okay with getting up at a decent hour, but it's been so long that I'm not so good anymore--just these past couple of days of being up for early shifts at work have been killer... or maybe it's because I started walking with my dog to try to get the both of us back in shape...


Cool thing is I'll be taking an Intro to Costuming class. Crazy, huh? A guy who's been costuming for 15 years is taking an Intro Costuming class? Well, the truth is, what I know, I've more or less taught myself. And back when I first enrolled in college, back in 1996 (yes, 96) the class wasn't offered for theater majors. Well, after many, many, non-college years, several false starts, and a few years more of playing stagehand, I've been back in school and now I'm almost done with this little A.A. in Theater.

So for funsies, I'm going to take this Intro to Costuming class. I'll probably get to make some cool costumes and work on some fun costumey projects--maybe even learn a thing or two. I'm sure when we cover patterning, I will, because my patterning skills are less than stellar. And even if I don't learn a thing, I'll probably manage to get an A for the class, so there's always that to look forward to.

Dreams of Dress Dummies and Dog Leashes,

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, New Blog

alright, so I've been meaning to do this forever and just haven't done it.. but now with the costuming and such moving along, it's time I started.

Actually, I set this up back in March of 2010 but never used it. In fact I've literally just spent the last hour trying to remember how to get back into this account.

So, what's new with RNMS? Well, this year -- all 13 days of it -- nothing major. I just took on a commission for Disney's the Red Queen, so expect to see that soon.

Also, I'm going to attempt to make a new mask for Jack Skellington.

I'm thinking bottom left corner, but Top left got a lot of votes on facebook.

Alright, so it's 3 am and I have to be at work at 8 so I'm gonna try to sleep.

Look forward to more posts and stuff.

Queen of Hearts and King of Pumpkins,