Sunday, January 8, 2017

Doctor Strange Cosplay - The Final Touches

Hello for the first time in glorious 2017, friends!

I hope you all had wonderful Christmas and New Year's celebrations. I know I did. But now, with just a week left before another semester begins, I'm ready to finish up the chronicles of my Doctor Strange cosplay and start the last half of my sophomore year of college off strong. :)

So, without further ado, let's jump right into a quick post, all about the final touches for my Doctor Strange costume!

First off, and most importantly, we have the necklace, Eye of Agamotto, aka the Time Stone for the MCU's purposes. :)

So, this was from eBay for $10 (yay china), and I kind of love it. It is a tad smaller than the actual prop, but, because I'm smaller/shorter than Mr. Cumberbatch, the smaller size looks much better with my costume, and much less costume-y than a properly sized replica would have looked (big and bulky). Needless to say, I was quite please with this purchase. ;)

The color wasn't exactly what I wanted (a bit too bronze-y rather than gold), so I went ahead and added a touch of gold paint to bring out the color a bit more -- and it really helped. Makes it look much older and much more accurate to the real color!

The other thing I had to add to finish off the Doctor Strange look, were the metal accents near the cape's collar.

This was quite a last minute thing, and the pieces are so far from screen-accurate it's hilarious, however. I think they do look better than nothing. ;)

Also: why yes, these are the cape clasps modeled after Anna (from Frozen)'s cape. ;D

Again, I added a bit of paint to bring out the gold color and age them up a bit.

Finally, the only thing left to add to the costume were pants, so I just utilized a pair of black jeans already in my wardrobe, and they worked splendidly (did I mention this costume cost my a grand total of a few dollars over $100? *cries* *but worth it*).

Welp guys, I believe that wraps up Doctor Strange!

OH except for pictures, of course! I actually visited some friends over New Year's and we did a mini photoshoot with the costume (nothing too fancy), so keep an eye out for those pictures to surface sometime in the near future... :D

Until then!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Doctor Strange Cosplay - Boots and Belts

Happy belated Thanksgiving, friends!!

I hope you all (minus you poor international peeps who don't have a Thanksgiving -- I'm sure you're still very thankful ;)) had a wonderful time with family, ate lots of good food, and gave thanks to God for it all.

My Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful, as well as the week-long break that surrounded it.  I've just got two more days of break before heading back to the grindstone for three weeks, hopefully to finish the semester off strong.  But before we think about finals and all that nonsense, let's talk about some leather accessories in this second-to-last post about my Doctor Strange costume. :D

In the wise words of many a cliche movie: let's do this!

First, the boots -- a vital part of any superhero's crime-fighting get-up.

(seriously if you know of any superhero that doesn't wear boots you're probably wrong)
(WAIT Quicksilver wore running shoes)
(okay point overthrown)
(but he's dead SO IT STILL STANDS)
(dear quicksilver rest in peace but you shoulda worn boots k hun)

Sorry, little rabbit trail there but it illustrates the importance of boots for superheroes.  You die without them.  WHICH IS WHY I got an extra cute pair for my fem Doctor Strange:

As I did with my fem Captain America costume, I went with heels to further accentuate the feminine look I was going for.  Plus make me almost 6 foot like Benedict (bahahah i'm not even kidding these heels are 4").

I looked around a ton online to find exactly what I was looking for, for under $30 (because budget), but everything I liked was just too expensive.  So, after a while, I figured I'd just go with some black suede heeled boots I already had... which would have looked nice, but not nearly as nice as these.

SO a few weeks before the movie, I stumbled upon a listing of this pair -- on sale for $20!!  Now, I had already seen them a thousand times, never less for $40, on various marketplaces online, and it was just chance that I happened to do some more research the very day they went on sale.  So, I mean, it sounds stupid?  But I think it was a God thing.  He cares about what we care about, and don't you forget it. ^_^

As far as looks, these are exactly what I was looking for.  Comfort?  Mmmmm not so much, but after a few days of wearing them, I broke them in/got used to the height of, like I said, four inches (I usually top out at 3.5).  BUT TWENTY BUCKS.  So I'm very pleased. ;)

Now, for the other item of business for today: the many belts of Doctor Strange!

The materials for these I bought from various places.  The main attraction, the braided double belts with the tassel down the front, I got from Amazon as two 55" belts, which I then altered with cuts and velcro to create the final shape.

To round out the collection (there's a total of 3 belts in all, I think), I also got a simple dark brown braided belt from Amazon to alter (seriously belts are too expensive in real stores), and a 1/2 yard of some black faux leather from Joann to create the background belt.

For both the braided belts, I utilized the belt loops from the original belt constructions to hide the seams where they would attach with some velcro.  Plus, this emulated just a little bit the metal-embellished look of the real costume!

When I started unraveling the main braided belt to create the tassel, I ran into some problems.  For one thing, it literally took *for* *ev* *er* -- like, I woulda been unraveling that thing for two days straight.  PLUS, what I did unravel looked really limp, not at all like the lush tassel in the original costume!

SO, I headed back to Joann and bought some plain black yarn to unravel and use instead by attaching it to the main belt at the braided section (seen below).  It didn't take nearly as long to unravel the yarn, AND looked twice as pretty!  Yay for problem solving on both time and money budgets. ;D

For the "background" wide leather belt, I just did a rectangle type pattern, sewn into a tube and finished off on the sides.  This simplicity was entirely due to time constraints (I was also working on a pretty major essay due the day before the premiere... bahahahah priorities).  I'm considering going back now and taking my time to make it more detailed and screen accurate.  But, as it was, it served it's purpose and I don't think anyone cared except me. ;D

OH!  And one last thing that was just a detail, but really did make all the difference (to me, at least -- hah!!): I used some brown paint (don't laugh i'm very creative with my methods) to distress/age the belts from flat black into something much more dimensional.  Like I said, to me, it really made the belts look SO much more convincing, as well as better match the real costume!

(before on top, after on bottom)
And after all that (seriously, who knew this would be such an intense part of the costume???) here's the (almost -- minus the tape!) final look:

One more post to go in the saga of fem Doctor Strange -- see you then!! :D

Friday, November 11, 2016

Doctor Strange Cosplay - The Cloak of Levitation

Hullo once again, strangers from distant lands, friends of old!

Today is the day I begin to fill you in on the rest of the making of my fem / gender-bent Doctor Strange costume, as promised. :D  For starters, we're going to discuss the epic Cape of Levitation.

(Just gotta say, after seeing the movie, I love this cape so much more... ;D)

SO!  After some preliminary research, and buying and returning some fabric from Joann, I ended up buying 3 yards of a fabulous cotton twill from Etsy for the main part of the cape -- and for the few darker accents, I used the crepe side of some crepe back satin I had leftover from my very first cosplay, actually: Arwen!

I folded the fabric in half width-wise, and cut the hem into a half circle, as well as rounding out the neckline. Later on, I cut more of the length off the edge bottoms, to better emulate the real costume's asymmetry.

The next step was to create the "yoke" of sorts around the neck and shoulders.  I played around with draping for a while until I came up with something I liked (with the amount of fabric I had left).  I then cut out the pieces and sewed them down with the edges folded under.

Next, I worked on the shoulder "patch" for a while, getting the drape and color contrast right, then sewing the pieces together and to the cape.

feat. Arwen fabric! ^_^

Next I moved on to the collar, by far the most difficult part of the cape to make -- it took me a good 8 hours or more to get this thing right.  Yes, I know.  I'm crazy. ;D

First, I made a purple mock-up of the collar (perfect color right???), then moved on to the real fabric.

empty spool because i love completion
I added interfacing and straightened out paper clips wire to add some structure to it... but then realized that I really just was not happy with the shape of the collar, so I went back and made lots more alterations, adding an extra seam and a sort of godet in the back.

Once I was mostly happy with how that looked (I honestly could have spent another 8+ hours working on it but no time UGH), I secured the wire to it with some tack stitches, sewed the lining to the facing, and then sewed it all to the cape!

Now, we're almost done.  Next was hemming, and one last ironing (besides all the seam pressing done throughout the making of the cape which I didn't mention) to get all the wrinkles out...

And the final touches: you might have wondered how exactly I got the cloak to stay on my shoulders, seeing how it's not connected in the front?  Well, allow me to share my secret weapon: magnets!  In this picture I was just checking placement; I actually superglued the magnets to the back of the tunic so I could wear the costume without the cape if I wanted, without the magnets showing.  And then I superglued the magnets to the ends of the cape collar so they would secure together perfectly when worn. :)

The VERY last touch?  Some gold accents at the edges of the neckline...

And Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation is complete!!!