Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Queen Koopa Cosplay, Pt. 1

We are gearing up for Classic Games Fest in Austin at the end of next month, and we all know what that means - new cosplay! I wanted to go with a classic character (since it is Classic Games Fest), and my son is absolutely obsessed with Bowser. It went hand in hand. However, having learned from previous shows we have attended, I knew I didn't want to be hulking around in some huge costume with a mask and the whole nine yards all day. I wanted to be unique and put my own spin on the character, which meant some brainstorming and research. I eventually ended up with Queen Koopa - an 1800's inspired female human Bowser costume.

 I honestly have never, ever boned a corset. The thought of it scared me half to death. It sounds so daunting and intimidating. But the only pattern that matched my idea at all included boning a bodice. So I decided to tackle it head on and just learn. The pattern I chose was Simplicity 4092 dress B, of course with my own alterations, though not many. Mainly I was planning on altering the length, which I would have had to do any way because of how short I am.  I imagine this was meant to be a "Pirates of the Caribbean" costume, given the time it came out, but it fit my needs fine.

I ended up using poly satin for the main fabric.  Not only was it very cheap per yard, but it also had the sheen I wanted, and wasn't see-through.  It is extremely slippery to work with, however, and isn't for the faint of heart or perfectionist!  It all turned out in the end (so far).  I also used broadcloth for the lining, and muslin for the interlining.  You can also see in my materials box a pendant I made for the front of the dress.  I found a clearance pendant, hammered out the image it contained with a chisel, and made a new one out of Sculpey clay.  Baked it, and sealed it with clear nail polish.  Voila!

Do the hardest part first, right?  That was my theory, along with the fact that's where the pattern told me start.  Between boning, cutting all the pieces and putting it together, it was about 4 hours.  Not awful for my first boned bodice, and it all lined up perfectly!  I measured myself exactly, and chose the pattern size accordingly - but I could tell it was too big. I altered it later to fit much more snugly around my body.

I added the sleeves, as well as some hand-dyed lace I made a few months ago when I first started planning this cosplay.  I tried to dye shoes to match, but they just fell apart.  Shoes + hot water = glue melting.  That's another story.

While I knew that I wanted the skirt to be shorter than it called for on the pattern, I decided to make it the length it was supposed to be made and then cut it to my desired length afterwards.  I can always save the fabric for another project later.  Let me tell you, pleating a skirt with poly satin is no joke. After adding the overskirt to the bodice and altering it to fit me (it was about 2" too large), I was left with this!
 At this point I was pretty reluctant to cut the skirt down, but anyone who has been to a convention knows it gets hot, people are everywhere, and tripping hazards are many.  I stuck with my original design and chopped it knee-length.

Instead of ruffled lace, I added black leather with grommets for the trim, and I added ribbon across the front of the bodice to mimic Bowser's lines on his stomach.  The top one is crooked, and it will drive me insane until I fix it, so that's the immediate next thing to do.  I still have two more days of work in it, including the underskirt, some more trim around the sleeves, and the green part of the overskirt.  Hopefully I will be done by the end of the week!  

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