Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spotlight on Instructables

Hello, internet. It is I, Sabine! Did you miss me? I certainly missed you.

Today, I want to showcase a website that is near and dear to my heart: Instructables. Within its many pages, you can find so many well designed, well photographed tutorials for, well, everything that it's just absurd. Here are a dozen or so choices for really neat costume and prop tutorials, ranging from super simple to super involved. Ready? Let's begin!

For a really slick looking costume piece, how about Amber's jacket from Suckerpunch?

On the prop side, there are dozens of versions of Iron Man's arc reactor, but this one, featuring a cool infinity effect, is my favorite.

This was a triumph: an amazing replica of Chell's portal gun.

Another epic (literally) prop: Thor's hammer, made from a dying star (sort of).

Weapons geeks of all kinds, here's a whole category for you: Nerf gun mods. A little something for everyone, including vampire hunters and steampunkers.

Captain America fans: trying to replicate that goddamn shield on a budget? Here's one made of duct tape and cardboard that still looks great.

If you've got a lot of time on your hands and love Doctor Who more than life itself, you can make your very own K-9.

Here's a utility sort of tutorial that has limitless applications: DIY scales with spray paint.

If you're into steampunk or innovative original costuming in general, one to watch is ModMischief.

Speaking of steampunk, if you want costume pieces, look no further. For example, here's a neat little wristwatch, so you can check the time in your airship.

Another Doctor Who note: looking for a sonic screwdriver that's all your own? Here's one you can make for about five bucks.

If we have taught you anything, may it be that you don't have to start from scratch to make a cool costume piece. Here's a mod for a glowing Green Lantern ring out of one you can pick up at Toys-R-Us.

Video game costume tutorials run rampant on Instructables, and here's a really cool one: a costume from Dead Space 1.

And, last but not least, knit your way to Doctor Zoidberg. Whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop!

I hope you enjoy/are inspired by these few little examples, and that you'll go exploring on your own. Geronimo!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cosplay Linkspam, 27 September 2011

Greetings, fellow cosplayers! Shadowen, here. Remember me? Possibly not, seeing as I’ve been MIA for so long. The good news, though, is that I have ALL THE LINKS for you today, including more stuff from Dragon*Con, some cosplaying resources, and a blast from the costuming past.

First up, we have and The Superhero Costuming Forum, for those of us who like a little social networking with out cosplay. looks to be heavy on the anime, and the SCF does pretty much what it says on the tin. these are probably old news, but I wasn’t aware of them, so I’m passing on the info to you, my loyal readers. Check them out!

If you’re hardcore DIY, or you just like seeing how stuff is made, go here to learn how to make your very own Daft Punk helmet, then wear it to the club and see if anyone asks for your autograph.

Also in the realm of rock’n’roll costuming - and reminding us that cosplay isn’t just about our beloved SF/F - check out this stunning Velvet Goldmine/David Bowie cosplayer. One costume, twice the glam!

To thrill my little vintage geek heart, The Azarian Collection has a big photo gallery of costumes from our favorite campy 60s superhero shows, including pieces from Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman costume, plus links to other geek retro sites.

Shadowen =/= gamer, but I salute my otherly nerdy brethren and respectfully point you to this detailed and entertaining primer for PAX in Seattle.

For my fellow fans of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman - and for anyone else who likes pretty things - check out these lovely masks inspired by the Endless.

Are you now or have you ever been a Hench(person) of the Mighty Monarch? If so, The Venture Home News is asking you to send in photos and video of your adventures in villainy, presumably for a promotional spot on the glamorous life of henching.

AND NOW: more Dragon*Con

The winners of the Hallway Costume Contest were posted, sadly without pictures.

Comics Alliance has their pick of the best costumes from the con, including the truly amazing Grand Galactic Inquisitor as photographed by friend of the blog arymabeth.

And here’s a Flickr set of photos from D*C.

For extra entertainment, we have Chad Vader’s 75 more costumes at Dragon*Con 2011.

And finally, The Really Really Long Video from Dragon*Con 2011.

Time to start working on costumes for next year! ....after I pay rent.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cosplay Linkspam, 12 September 2011

As part of my illness recovery process, I’ve been catching up on The Guild, and is enabling us to express our love for everyone’s favorite dysfunctional gamer with the official Codex costume. Although, to tell you the truth, I’ve seen homemade ones that looked a hell of a lot better.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: A metric shit ton of stuff from Dragon*Con.

@merrypranxster is sharing three sets of pics on Facebook and is asking people to tag themselves in the photos. So check them out and see if you can spot yourselves or your friends.
Set One. Set Two. Set Three.

Our beloved arymabeth also has a ton of pictures on Flickr, including many of yours truly and the beautiful Sabine. See them here.

There’s a bit of overlap, but you can also see my pics from the con under the “Dragon*Con 2011” tag on my Tumblr. View here.

Finally, because we are all about some Venture, The Venture Bros. Blog has pics and video from the party and costume contest. You can see arymabeth and I right in the middle, next to the naked Monarch.

I’ll be honest with you, fellow cosplayers, the bog is a little up in the air right now. No idea what’s coming next. So if our devoted readers have any ideas, suggestions, or questions, drop us a line in the comments or at In the meantime, back to the sewing machines! Only 359 more days til Dragon*Con returns!


Dragon*Con 2011

Greetings, fellow cosplayers! I have risen from the depths of con recovery to bring you some brief costume postmortems and a few notes from the trenches.

First of all, on the subject of con recovery, yours truly forgot to pack her much-needed allergy medicine. This fact, combined with several other factors, led to a sudden case of the dreaded Con Crud. So, when I say I’m recovering, I mean actually recovering from illness. Bear this in mind, fellow cosplayers: don’t forget your medications and remember to take care of yourself.

But you don’t care about my myriad health problems. You care about costumes. So let’s talk about costumes.

Dr. Girlfriend
See the final costume here, courtesy of the lovely arymabeth.

-I did a stupid thing and packed the dress next to my steampunk goggles, which had been spray painted. The result being a swipe of gold paint near the back hem. Those goggles will be packed in plastic, in the future.
-The zipper puckers, but I already knew that. What I didn’t know was that the seams on the sleeves had started to come loose and need to be reinforced.
-I lost some weight between making the dress and wearing it, so it looked fantastic. With the little problems and screw-ups, though, I’ll need to remake the dress if I ever want to do this costume again.

-It looks like crap, up close, but it stayed in place. I pinned up a section of hair and used a hat pin (read: really long needle) to secure it. The needle stuck out both sides and was a pain to get in, but it worked and looked fine. I’ll have to remake this, too, but that’s partly because it’s now signed by Doc Hammer and James Urbaniak. I felt a little better about it when Doc said he’d signed a lot of butter tubs.

-Wearing gloves make doing everything twice as difficult. It does, in fact, make using a touch screen phone impossible. Between coming off and on all day, handling things, and digging through my purse, the gloves were totally worn out. Glad I bought cheap ones.

-Squishy in-soles saved my life. My feet were killing me by the end of the day, but the boots were generally tolerable. I just had to make sure to sit down and take them off every once in a while.

-I wore Spanx to help smooth the silhouette, and, though they worked great, they were horrendously uncomfortable by the end of the day. Still, the price we pay for beauty.

Black Canary
Final costume here, also from arymabeth.

Black bathing suit, black fishnets, black combat boots, black mask. A decent success, for something thrown together at the last minute. And when I say last minute, I mean I made the mask Wednesday night and spent part of Friday looking for spirit gum in the dealers’ room. The boots were a hell of a lot more comfortable than the heels I wore the rest of the weekend. The bathing suit, which was several years old, was completely shot and didn’t fit all that well. I may invest in a proper leotard to future super hero costuming. The mask, I think, turned out to be the best part of the costume, though the whole thing would have been better with a blonde wig.

Lady au Pair

-Would have been fine, but the same weight loss that made Dr. Girlfriend look great made this dress baggy and ill-fitting. Also, I cut the bust too small, so the neckline kept gapping. I had to secure it to my bra with a safety pin.

-Got banged up in the suitcase, but looked great.

-See above.

-In the absence of sock glue, I tried securing the tops of my thigh-highs with spirit gum, which did absolutely nothing. The rubber on the stockings, however, held great. The moral of the story: buy good stockings.

-Was made at the last minute and did not match. It looked okay and kept the costume from being a total loss, but I’m less than proud of it.

I apologize that there are no pictures of the final Lady au Pair costume, but... there’s a reason for that.

Costume planning has already begun for next year, so stayed tuned for more tips and tutorials. Later, we’ll return with your regularly scheduled linkspam, including many MANY pics from Dragon*Con.

For a more detailed, less costume-oriented run down of the weekend's events, check out my LiveJournal.

Now excuse me while I go start a serious round of antibiotics.