Supporting Your Cosplayers

So, BioWare is having a fanart contest for Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin, and to help out, they released reference shots and textures of Tallis, and linked to the costume designer’s blog where he describes in detail the whole process of making the costume. Considering cosplaying still gets shat on by a pretty wide swath of gamers, it’s pretty awesome to me that they are actually reaching out to cosplayers, which I don’t think any other game company has done in any sort of public, widespread way. Sucker Punch sent my partner some concept art when he wrote to them about cosplaying a Reaper, and I’m pretty sure Final Fantasy X-2 was deliberately made to be cosplayer candy, but that’s about it as far as I know.

But what’s interesting about BioWare, the Dragon Age team in particular, is that they aren’t just providing references and having contests, they’re keeping cosplayers in mind when it comes to the actual design of the game. Here’s Mike Laidlaw on Twitter:

The key is to strike a power chord between followers looking great and cosplay-able and player agency. Plans: I has them.

Glad to hear it! I can’t wait to see what they come up with.


Gwen Thackeray Cosplay: Skirt

My next cosplay project is Gwen Thackeray from Guild Wars. As soon as I saw the character design for Gwen, I was smitten. And now that I have actually played some of Eye of the North, I know that Gwen doesn’t just have an awesome outfit, she’s an awesome character, too. And so: cosplay!

The outfit consists of a top, a skirt, an underbust corset, a choker, tights, boots, and gloves. (I also need a wig.) The first piece I made was the skirt. Many, many pictures after the cut!

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On Day 3 I did exactly one thing: put a lapped zipper in the back pieces of the corset.

A lapped zipper is like the zipper on your jeans, it’s hidden by a flap. I found this video tutorial that is pretty clear and uses only normal 5/8″ seam allowances (as opposed to creating an extra piece to cover the zipper or whatever) to create the lap. It took a bit of time and was difficult, but it came out looking pretty great.

— lightweight separating zipper
— maroon thread
— seam ripper (AS ALWAYS!)

I picked out a beige separating zipper only because they didn’t have the kind I needed in dark red/maroon. I had a maroon invisible zipper (and even picked up an invisible zipper foot!), but the pattern called for a separating one, which will make it easier to get the thing on and off anyway.

Here’s the result of following the tutorial:

The four back pieces joined in the center by a lapped zipper.

Nice, right? You can barely even see it!

A close-up of the lapped zipper, my hand holds back the flap so the zipper can be seen.

Oh wait, there it is! Stupid beige. Oh, well, I’m glad it isn’t so visible normally. I was concerned about folding the fabric + the interfacing over like that (and it was harder to sew than it could have been because of the cotton duck crap), but I think the thickness makes the flap sturdier and covers the zipper better.

The inside of the back of the corset, with brown interfacing and zipper visible.

This is the inside (thanks, flash, for making my crappy seams invisible! Haha!). Since I can’t iron suede, I used my handy wallpaper roller to press the seams down a bit. It doesn’t work all that well. Anyway, as you can see, the zipper is not quite long enough (I am still debating whether to use bias tape for the edges or just sew the lining on normally… this would take 5/8″ off top and bottom), so I think there will be more hook-and-eyes in my future.

OTAKON OR BUST: Days 1 and 2


So, Otakon. It’s the biggest convention I go to all year, and this will be my third year attending. I have done two cosplays each year; the first year was Temari’s second outfit (from Naruto, naturally), and Shiki from The World Ends With You (the Nintendo DS game). The second year was Nausicaa, from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Red from Dragon Quest VIII.

My thing with cosplay is that I have to really like the character, or I won’t be motivated and the costume won’t come out well. Out of my costumes so far, only Red’s was a kind of unhappy with (though this dissatisfaction stemmed mostly from the hair, which was impossible to replicate with the supplies I had. I need to learn hair skillz!). For some reason, after last year I was unmotivated to cosplay in general, but now that I’ve started my costume for Otakon 2010, I am back in the game.

A friend recently started playing Final Fantasy X-2, which reminded me of how much I liked the game, especially all the neat outfits Yuna, Rikku, and Paine fought in. So after much deliberation, I decided to cosplay Trainer Yuna. It’s a colorful outfit that will be challenging to make but will be really eye-catching when it’s done. Over the next month I’ll be chronicling the process of making the costume. What follows are the first two days’ work of creating the costume.

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