In-vested in costuming

Hah! Get it? In-vested? Because I’m working on my RC vest?


Originally, I had intended to work on the second pouch for RC today. However, as I was looking at my workspace, with all my materials and reference photos after getting home from church this afternoon, I realized that I didn’t have quite enough webbing to make the straps on the back pouch. At least, not if I made the pouch the size it needs to be to look right on me. (Psst…here’s a not-so-secret…I am not the same size as the videogame character I’m dressing as. While a smaller bag would work just fine on someone with a more petite rear, it’s going to look miniscule on me)

I decided that a trip to JoAnn’s was in order.

Another one. Despite the fact that I had gone on Friday.

I headed over to Maggie’s, first, though. I wanted to take a look at the explosion of green that her patio garden has become, and check  out the progress she’s making on her Silent Hill nurse costume. She’s finished sewing the dress and has made a little nurse hat (so CUTE!), and is currently working on creating a face mask that the bandages will be able to sit on. Afterwards, she’ll do the distressing of the costume.

You might be thinking that my trip to Maggie’s was more to put off doing actual costume work than to see what she’s doing. If I’m honest, you’d be a little right. Just a tad bit. Don’t get me wrong…I still had every intention of getting as much work done as possible. I just needed to get out and move around a bit before I got down to business.

And, you know, I needed straps for the bag. And velcro. And I’d forgotten to pick up batting for the darn RC vest.

We grabbed lunch first, dropped some cold medicine off for one of Maggie’s roommates, and headed back out to the JoAnn’s at Seven Corners. I was surprised that there wasn’t really a crowd in the store when we went. Being Memorial Day weekend, I was expecting seething masses of grannies and assorted crafters, all frothing at the mouth for good deals during the weekend sale. We must have just missed them.

I stopped back in at Maggie’s for a little while. SyFy has been running a marathon of Star Trek movies – not necessarily in order, which I found odd – and the reboot movie that JJ Abrams made was on over on HBO. We ended up watching that one. As we watched, I started thinking about costumes.

Not the ones that I’m already working on, though there was some of that.

No, I was thinking about my final Dragon*Con costume. You see, I hadn’t decided on one for the last remaining day. So far, my list stands as follows:

  • Thursday (registration) – Peanut Butter – this is to go with Maggie, who will be going as Grape Jelly. Not costumes, per se. More outfits.
  • Sci-Fi Janitor – it slips my mind at the moment which of the two I am going as…I can’t remember which one constantly gets hit with the broom. This is the costume for parade day which, I believe, is Saturday.
  • Wise Man and Bird Hat (from Labyrinth) – This costume will only be worn for half a day, since it’s going to be warm, harder to move in, and the location of our hotel means we can actually do a costume change mid-day.
  • Kaylee coveralls – This is what I’m planning to wear for the first half of the Labyrinth day.
  • Rebecca Chambers – the only one of the new costumes that I’ve started work on so far.

That covers three of the four main days of the con, plus the not-quite-a-con-day that is Thursday. I needed another one, though.

I remarked to Maggie that I kind of wanted to make a costume that was a little more feminine than the other ones. Kaylee and Rebecca aren’t really feminine costumes, apart from the obvious fact that they are female characters. It’s not often that I want to wear a girly costume – and, honestly, I wasn’t necessarily aiming for pink and frilly – but every now and then it’s something fun and different to do.

My brain wasn’t really working when I tried to think of possible characters to go as, so I wound up doing what I normally do when I’m stuck for an obvious costume idea. I browsed through Maggie and Derek’s movie collection. As I went through the titles, my eye landed on Dogma.

I smiled. I turned to Maggie and said “I should go as God, from Dogma.” She laughed and agreed whole-heartedly. Apparently, she thinks I’d be adorable in the dress. I might not even have to wear a wig for the costume, as long as I can find some clip in hair extensions that match.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, so I couldn’t remember exactly what the costume looked like. I did some research earlier tonight, when I took a break for dinner, and there are two different costumes. There’s the longer, breezy Mother Nature type dress that gets blood on it. Then there’s the much more Meg-like outfit – a shiny jacket and high necked corseted top with a fluffy tutu-type skirt with embroidered flowers on it, and bright flip-flops. And a pair of plaid boxer shorts hidden under the skirt.

Yep. Definitely going as God.

No one else will get the joke of a newly ordained minister going to a convention dressed as the Creator, but I will get a good laugh out of it. Plus, it actually goes along nicely with Maggie’s additional costume – Paul Bettany’s costume from Priest.

I swear that’s not why I picked God. It’s just neat that they worked out that way.

Anyhoo…I did actually get some work done today, wonder of wonders.

A rough outline of the back piece for the vest.

When I got home and looked at my stuff again, I decided I’d just jump in and start tackling the vest, instead of making another pouch. I’d already started marking general pattern lines on the pink tank top. I went ahead and finished marking the design out while the tank top was on my dress form and proceeded to attempt making a paper pattern for the vest.

I had to tape together one and half sheets of paper from a spiral-bound pad of watercolor paper that I had in order to draft the back piece. After I made my initial pattern pieces, I went ahead and cut the patterns out of some random black polyester fabric I have. It was free, which is always nice, and there used to be a ton of it on the

The pattern on the left has been looks different now.

bolt. There’s not so much anymore, as it’s my usual go-to fabric for when I need to make a throw-away mock-up of a piece, before I cut the “good” fabric.

There were inevitable changes that I had to make in the pattern, in order for it to fit properly, but I believe I’ve finally figured out the right proportions and fit. I went ahead and sewed the mock-up together. The version you see here is the second incarnation of the front half of the vest.

I was going to try to finish the front part of the actual vest tonight, when I realized…I’m still missing a vital piece for the costume. I need to get rectangular, metal rings (yes, I know “rectangle” and “ring” don’t really go together, but there’s no other way to describe it) for part of the strapping on the sides of the vest. Unfortunately, I can’t sew the front of the vest together until I get them. Which means I’ve got to go out to the store AGAIN tomorrow. I’m going to check someplace other than JoAnn’s, though. I think I’m just going to run down to Michael’s or A.C. Moore. I had looked for the rings at JoAnn’s before and didn’t find them. Hopefully, they’ll have them in one of the other places I’m planning to check. If they don’t, I’ll just have to use some of the D-rings I have. Not entirely accurate, but they’ll do in a pinch.

I’ll probably go ahead and at least cut out the pieces for the vest tonight. That way, as soon as I get the rings I can go to work finishing the rest of the costume.

Keep in mind, too, that I’m having to do all of this work while people are doing laundry right in the middle of my workspace. Just another one of the challenges one faces while costuming, sometimes.


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