Friday, 30 December 2016

Favorite events of 2016

As I mentioned in my costume review I felt that 2016 was more a year of a events than a year of costumes, and I had some great fun experiences.

The first troop of the year was Nordsken in Skellefteå. I debuted my x-wing pilot, and had a great journey together with friends in the Nordic Legions.

For the first time I could take part in "Den ultimata historiska megapicknicken" (the ultimate historical mega picnic) on June 6th.


Me and Carolina were colour twins, only a century apart or so, and my blistered feet (from a couple days before) were greateful that my Kensington shoes are so comfortable. In the end this was one of only two historical events this year, so I really need to go to more events so I can dress in my historical costumes.

The main event of the year was Star Wars Celebration in London in July. Unlike when I go to American Celebrations I mostly spent the time with members of the 501st and Rebel Legion, and mostly the Nordic Legions. Since we are so spread out it was a long time since I had seen some of them though.
Me and Camilla has actually known each other since well before any of us joined the Rebel Legion. We did the first RL even in the Nordic Countries together though, and she is the reason why we switched the name from the Swedish to the Nordic Outpost, since it was a bit strange to have the CO of the Swedish Outpost living in Denmark.

In October I finally had the opportunity to troop at home, in Falun. I did two apperances at film music concerts, and I brought one of the nieces with me so I wouldn't be the only trooper.
Another small troop that I went to, that turned out to have big consequences was to appear at the Nordic Championships of the X-wing miniature games. To be honest the troop wasn't very exciting, the players were more interested in playing than seeing a pilot walking around...
...but I thought the game looked interesting, so back in Falun I got in contact with people playing it. Now I spend most Thursday evenings playing the game, and one of the persons I got to know works as responsible for gaming culture in Studiefrämjandet. We started to talk and we both agreed on that cosplay is definitely included in gaming culture. One thing led to another, and on December we had a first meeting for people interested in cosplay in Falun. There were quite a few people, both beginners and experienced cospalyers, that showed up, and now we are going to try and build a cosplay scene in Dalarna. On January 3rd we will have our next meeting where we are going to plan ahead for the coming year.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rest in peace Carrie Fisher

I just got out of the cinema where I had watched the simple, but cute and enjoyable Sing when I got the news that Carrie Fisher had passed away. The net is flooding with obituaries right now, and if you want to read an official one here is the BBC news.

Personally I was surprised of my own reaction. I do not mourn people I don't know personally, but I felt truly sad about it. I had hoped that no news about her condition since her cardiac arrest meant good news in the long run. Still it's also very much a community thing, and Star Wars fans the world over are sharing their stories about her, and what she has meant to them. Princess Leia is someone who binds us fans together, and we are now grieving together.

Carrie Fisher was also a remarkable person, always frank about her mental illness and weight issues. I never met her, I didn't think it was worth the money to just have a quick hello with her, but I'm happy that I got the chance to listen to her on stage at Celebration Europe in Essen. Even if you recognized her stories from the countless interviews and stage shows she has made, she was still a true professional and made it sound all new again. If you have the chance you should go and watch her "Wishful drinking" right now. The last time I had HBO it was available there, otherwise you can probably find it somewhere else.

As a costumer Princess Leia has been important for me. I've loved making her costumes, even if I haven't always felt comfortable being quite as spunky and feisty as the original. People usually ask me how many women SW fans there are out there, and I've always been in circles where there are a lot of them. The Rebel Legion has always been the home of Leias and I think any organisations always get stronger when there is a gender balance. I'm sure that Leia will remain the uncontested queen of sci-fi.

Rebel Briefing Leia

Endor Leia

Classic Leia

TFA Leia - version 1.

1970's party Leia
Tudor Leia

General Leia Organa-Solo

Thank you for the smiles and pride you have brought a lot of Star Wars fans out there.

Monday, 26 December 2016

2016 in review

It's time again to look back and see what I did during 2016. It has felt like a year when I didn't get much done, but I think that is just because I dropped off the HSM challenge, so I didn't have any small projects that I worked on. In general I got more Star Wars than historical things done, which is also because I can't fit into my corsets/stays at the moment, and then it's no fun making new clothes that should go over them.

What I will remember 2016 for though is the social things, the events and the people that I met due to costuming/cosplay. I even got the chance to troop in my own hometown for the first time!

Time for the recap though, and lets start with the project list that I had going into 2016.

Star Wars
X-wing pilot
TFA Leia

16th century
16th century gown including underwear

18th century
pocket hoops
pet en l'air
And here is what I actually got done.

Star Wars

X-wing pilot

This was a fairly easy build, since I only painted the helmets, made the strappings and the flak vest, but bought the rest. It also turned into my favorite trooping costume, and I wore it for most events in 2016.
TFA Leia
I finished TFA Leia well in time for Celebration, and it was great going around with Elise and Jocke. Still it's not a favorite costume of mine, but at least it's done. If nothing else I have something to wear for the Episode VIII premiere.

My quest for a comfortable and easy to pack costume led me to Mon Mothma. It's so comfy and easy to put on, and no boots! This is the ROTJ version and I will definitely start work on her Rogue One version as soon as I get more photos of it.

The x-wing pilot suit is also the base for the Ice Cream Maker guy, so at Celebration Europé in London I could finally be part of the "Running of the Hoods", and as you see someone noticed my wig, my moustache and travelsize ice cream maker.

Apparently mixing Star Wars and historical costume was a thing in 2016. I came up with my idea when I was in London in April and realised that Celebration Europé would be held in London in the same year that the anniversary of Shakespeare's death was celebrated. The final costume was more Tudor than Elizabethan, but it was a fun project trying to combine the two.

Historical costumes

My project to make a 1520's German/Scandinavian ensemble started out well, I did finish this shift in early February. There are things with it that I really like, for example the smocking, but I also dislike the shape of the neckline. I'm not sure if I want to make a new shift when I continue on this project.

I had an Edwardian blouse, and I wanted something to wear with it, so I settled for a pair of bloomers. I've gotten more and more interested in this era, so I think some of my 2017 projects will definitely be Edwardian.

My 1520's project got as far as the undergown.

I haven't finished this one yet. The main thing with the pet was to try and make a pattern that I could use for a more serious project. When I had come as far as seeing that the pattern would work I haven't felt a rush to finish it. I'm bringing it to the monthly craft café that I go to, and there I sit and chat and do some sewing, but I'm not working on it inbetween.

With that done I don't think my year was too bad when it came to finished costumes. It was not as productive as 2015, but it's mostly because I haven't made all the small stuff and accessoried, but instead focused on larger projects.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

TFA Leia approved

I think it's a new record for me to have two new costumes approved for Rebel Legion, within one week of each other.

I felt it was time to finally submit TFA Leia, after all it's been finished since July. The one thing it's missing is the ring, and I had hoped to have it done before submitting. I have brass wire at home, but I haven't found suitable blue stones, and at the moment I'm not feeling inspired for it. Since it was an option component for approval I skipped it and sent it in. To be honest this is not a costume that I think I'm going to use much, the fabric of the jumpsuit makes it hot and uncomfortable and it's always a hassle with a wig. Still it's done and if there comes a request for TFA characters or so, then I can use it.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

TFA Leia belt

When I sent in my application photos I realized that I had never posted about my belt and belt buckle.

The belt itself is a black 5 cm leather plain leather belt. The belt buckle is permanently attached to the middle of the belt and I have the belt's own buckle in the back. It's never seen since it's under the vest anyway.

For the belt buckle I'm very grateful that Heather Tanner made a lot of research and posted this sketch on the Rebel Legion forums.

I printed it on paper and then cut it out in worbla.
 The whole piece is in 2-4 layers. The base shape are two layers of worbla, and then the side shapes add another two layers.

To create the the two ridges I used narrow bands of worbla and formed them with my hands while they were still warm enough to be moldable. I also tried to smooth out the edges with my fingers.

I didn't take any progress photos of the next steps. I attached the buckle to the belt with a piece of worbla. I then masked the belt and the holes in the buckle and covered it in a couple of layers of gesso. I overdid the gesso a bit, so the holes shrunk a bit too much.

The final step was to paint the whole buckle with silver spray paint.

TFA Leia application photos

Since I had my living room set up for Rebel Legion application photos, for Mon Mothma, I also decided to finally send in photos of my TFA Leia as well. I haven't fixed the ring yet, but it's optional for this costume so better to have it done in case I want to use it for an event or so.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Mon Mothma approved

When I woke up in the morning the 14th, at 5 am in order to drive to Stockholm and see the first Rogue One viewing at 10:00, I was greeted by the happy message that my Mon Mothma had been approved. Even if I thought that I had done my best I still get very nervous when I send in costume applications.

The trooping in Stockholm was quite chaotic, but I got the chance to see the film twice, and had fun taking photos with the audience. The Leia, R2, Mon Mothma combo was quite popular.

A little bit due to the chaos I didn't get any photos taken at the troop, so I can only show the official RL costume frame.

Of course a 2017 project will be to make the Rogue One version, and a friend has told me that there are full body photos of her in the Visual Guide book, so I will have to buy that one.

Some details that I picked up during the film was that the Rogue One version doesn't have a cord in the back, just in the front, and she's wearing a sleeveless undergown.

As for the film itself....

....without spoiling anything I can honestly say that I loved it. I cried both times and just wanted to rush home and watch Episode IV. It is a war film more than a space film, so I would not recommend it for young kids that have grown up with the animated series, or at least I would recommened parents to see the film first and then judge if it's appropriate or not.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Mon Mothma approval photos

This is just an upload of the photos that I used to send in my RL application for this costume. I did my best considering that it's December, so very dark outside, and I only have myself and my mobile phone to work with.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Mon Mothma - attaching cords and jewellery

With the outer tunic done it was time to finish the ornament she wears.

I used one long grey ribbon to form all the large loops. The round pieces on the shoulders allow the ribbon to twist around it itself and go back the same way. I sewed the round piecec together and only used a bit of glue to make sure that the end of the ribbon, where I had cut it, didn't start to ravel.

I glued a magnet on the underside of the jewellery pieces that I had made out of fimo clay.

The knob was put over the ribbon roundels, with the magnet peeking through to the underside. I also attachted a magnet to the underside of the outer tunic.

The magnet keep the whole thing in position, but it's easy to take off .

For the round centerpiece I used several pieces of string in yellow and silver to bind the frame of the centerpiece.

Those strings were glued on to the shoulder knob.

So with that I'm done with Mon Mothma, I hope I can take some photos of me in the costume the coming days,