Today is my birthday and I’m having such a wonderful time with my friends, sewing our Sailor Moon costumes and eating like pigs. We had a huge crepe breakfast this morning made with a genuine French-Canadian family recipe, with strawberry coulis and chocolate gravy and banana compote and dulce de leche. We laughed over silly shit and cut out sixty million bows and drafted our Senshi bodysuits and skirts. We are all tired and our fingers are aching and sometimes we sit in silence working and other times we’re watching TV while we work and other times we talk and talk and talk. This really is my idea of a perfect day, sewing with friends, and I’m so happy that my friends come together for me on my birthday weekend. I only wish circumstance didn’t pull Emmy and Maya away!
(I also can’t wait for that strawberry-banana swirl white chocolate cheesecake Christine made for Kat and I. Mmmmmmmm!!!)
There will be progress pictures later. Until then, happy International Women’s Day and happy birthday to me and thank you to all the wonderful people who take the time to look at our work here on Tumblr. I’m very excited for our Sailor Scouts group!
And an extremely happy birthday to Kat, too, our Madoka and Sailor Venus and superstar, who had her birthday yesterday. LOVE YOU FOREVERRRRRRRRRR!!
What is your opinion on Brother sewing machines? I've recently been gifted one, and I'm wondering if it would be a good starter sewing machine?
Every company produces great machines and every company produces flops. While I have not have much positive personal experience with Brother, I know a handful of people who enjoy their machines just fine. Whether yours is a good starter machine or not depends on what you intend to do with it! A plastic-frame machine has a much shorter life than a metal-framed machine, but they are also cheaper and maybe better for a beginner because you’ll discover what you really want in a machine by time it dies and it’s time for an upgrade. However, if you intend to be doing a lot of sewing with tough materials, you’ll probably want something that’s a little more durable. I’m of the opinion that computerized machines are still pretty useless for the majority of hobbyists because it’s just another expense/thing to repair, but if you plan to do a lot of niche stuff, a computerized machine might not be too bad.
Anyway, without knowing what machine you got I can’t really say one way or another whether it’s a good fit for you, but as far as I’m concerned, when you’re a beginner any machine will do. If it’s easy to thread, it’s great for a beginner, if it’s hard to thread, its great because you’ll master it and have less trouble with tricky machines in the future. If it’s a little thing that sews like a dream, it’s great for a beginner, but if it’s a big ol’ monster that needs to be tinkered with constantly, it’s great because you’ll know that machine inside-out and be able to troubleshoot on your own with just about any machine in the future.
Your first sewing machine should be the machine you get to know like you’re gonna be married to it. Dive right in and test it and see what it can do. Try out all different sorts of fabrics and stitches and tensions and try the button-holer and all those things. Open up all the doors and cases you can and see how it fits together so that you’ll notice when something is “off”, learn the sounds of your machine so you can hear when something is off. Learn everything you can about your machine and it will be the best beginner machine possible.
Sorry to bother you, but what was the name for the clips/combs you used to keep your Mami hat in place? Thanks!
They are quite literally called “hair combs” or “hat combs” but anything that looks vaguely like this can be sewn/glued in to act as anchor to keep a hat in your hair. My Mami hat has three spaced evenly around the brim so that it is anchored in from all sides.
I could probably do a cartwheel without losing that hat.
So, here's a possibly silly question: I'm making a cosplay in the future that requires a long, long flowy skirt. Would using the method you showed in your Single Layer Cape tutorial work on skirts as well, since one of the steps makes a giant half circle?
Definitely! What you’re making sounds like a basic circle skirt, which is the same basic concept as how we do our capes :) A google search for “circle skirt tutorial” will bring up a whole lot of them. Keep in mind that as long as you change the waist part, you can technically make it as many full circles as you want for ultimate flow!
I use an Emerald 116 by Husqvarna, and it is the love of my life. It’s a kick-ass little beast, real basic, metal frame, no computerization crap. I’m at the point where I can do most repairs to it myself, and I’ve taken it apart a few times to do a thorough deep-cleaning and it runs like a dream. It’s a bit noisier than the day I got it 5-6 years ago, but I love it dearly. I will never use any other company but Husky.
My serger is a Janome Harmony 9102D, which I got because I worked for a fabric company at the time and employees were offered distribution pricing –– at the time it was valued at about $1000 and I got it for a few hundred. (I never, ever would have paid what it retailed at. Ever.)
All of Christine’s machines are crap; she’s gone through like 3-4 in the past few years and keeps buying new ones! She doesn’t have a Husky seller nor repair in her city so she hasn’t taken my glorious advice to get a Husky! Tsk tsk.
Actually I have gone through 3-4 of them in the past 15 years. I’m currently working with my mom’s old(as in it’s about 40 now) Kenmore. And my serger is a Singer from the late 70’s. If you can find an older machine, get one, they are beasts.
I’m working on getting a Janome because I personally like the brand, and as much as I love my mom’s old machine, it can only do one type of stitch. Also, why the hell would I buy a machine that I can’t get serviced locally just because Jenn is loyal to the brand.
P.S. stay away from new Singers, they are crap crap crap.
Would a strip of "fusible fleece" be a good stabilizer?
For some projects, certainly! For others, there may be a better alternative. What are you working on?
AHAHHA Jenn didn’t realize this was a follow-up to something.
Don’t worry I got you Jenn, in the case of the cape no. You’ll want something you can sew in, so that you still have flow of the cape, with out the super stiffness that the glue in the fusible fleece would have.
Any tips for thinning/hiding underarm flab? (aside from exercise, dur hur) I find Under Armour to work good for my particular costume, but is there something much simpler that I haven't come across?
Check that you’re wearing the right size bra. Most people shop almost exclusively at major retailers like LaSenza or VS, companies that only stock a limited range of sizes to maximize profit. These are places that will put you in sizes they sell that “fit” you even if they don’t REALLY fit you. Wearing the wrong size bra for years can cause breast tissue to migrate under the arms, creating that lovely underarm fat thing.
So: get your reputable bra size at a good lingerie company, even if it means your bras are pricier. I went from 32DDs and a lot of passive discomfort to 32Gs and much more comfort. My wallet weeps a little but my life is improved in that area. Your breast tissue will migrate back in place in time. I recommend the good folks on Reddit’s /r/abrathatfits.
And realistically this advice won’t help you immediately, but alas, it’s all I’ve got. Under armor (or any kind of compression garment/spanks) is where it’s at for quick fixes, as well as tweaking the cut of one’s shirts to lay nicely.
So Steph's back. Any plans to make her new costume?
I can’t even think about it until 2015, honestly. We’ve got enough on our plates for this year that I’m sure some of this year’s costumes will get put on hold. I freaked out a little on Christine when she suggested we do Powerpuff girls because ohgodsomuchtodo.
The only DC costume I have on my list is N52 Supergirl.
I know you've done lots of superhero cosplays, and I was just wondering if you made them yourself ,and how you made them. Sorry there's just no good tutorials for gloves and I though you would be the best person for advice
Yes we make everything. As for gloves, this is the pattern I use. Gloves are very hard things to sew, I will not deny that. They have very small seam allowances and 6 pieces that all look the same. All I can suggest is to just take your time and work slowly. My first pair of gloves was completely hand sewn because I just couldn’t get it to work with my machine. Even after all these years, I will only make gloves if i absolutely have to.
Are you making the Kill la Kill weapons? If so, how?
I am doing the scissors, but the method is a secret that involves a weird cat thing granting my wishes.
Actually I have no clue what I am going to make the scissors out of yet, nor can I really put anything into it as I work in my back yard to build props and that is currently buried in 4 feet of snow. It’ll probably be MDF or something like that. When dealing with giant scissor blades, I need something durable but still light enough that Jenn and I can hold them out at each other for extended periods of time.
Yeah, it is, but how fanservicing it gets in cosplay depends on how you build/wear it and the pictures you take. We’re doing the school uniforms, too, so while there might be a little bit of butt peeking out from under our skirts, it’s not gonna be as over the top as their battle outfits, you know? As far as anime characters go, their “default” outfits are pretty standard, and it’s honestly tamer than a lot of things we’ve done in the past. I mean, once you’ve done a bunny suit costume, which is a costume that is sexualized for literal service, it’s a little pointless to split hairs over anime fan service.
And honestly, even if we’re not generally known for what fanservice-style cosplay we’ve done, we used to do a lot of cosplay from superhero comics, where some artists would literally trace from pornography. Is something with panels like this really all that different from something with moments like this? Is this or this really all that different from this or this? Even if I thought there was some moral high ground in not doing “fan service” costumes, I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on given that I’m best known for cosplaying Supergirl, who is probably the most over-sexualized fictional teenager in history. It got so bad within official media that the editor of her book had to issue a “I never want to see Supergirl’s panties again" mandate.
Like, I’m never gonna argue that Kill La Kill is any deep, emotive visual drama with layered, complex writing or nuance or anything, but I can’t really make that argument for most of the things we’ve cosplayed from. Will Emmy grab my boobs for a few pictures? Probably, lmao, but it’s all in good fun, and we’re gonna be kawaii as fuck.
Also, who doesn’t like schoolgirl uniforms? Or butts? Butts are cute.
Hey a question for Jenn! So normally like with your Mako draft you'd only have the seams for the side and cut the front part of the shirt on a fold like the back? I'm just wondering because I the pattern I picked up and have been looking at has it as a front seam as well but it seemed like you were all "lol this isnt right" about it when you first posted it.
The only reason why my Mako draft has a front seam is because I didn’t have enough scrap fabric left over to cut it on the fold. The final pattern will be on a fold, so no seam down the front or back. The entire shirt is four pattern pieces: front, back, sleeve [x2] and collar [x2] :) If your pattern has a front seam, cut it on the fold so it will be one piece but make sure to account for the seam allowance on the pattern; you’ll have to move the pattern “off the edge” of the fold just enough to account for that, which is usually about 3/8ths of an inch.
Also, our pattern does have darts at the bust (on the side seam) to give a little bit of shaping around the breasts. We’ve done this on all our previous schoolgirl uniforms (Persona4, Shunya girls, etc) too and it’s worked out well. My Ryuko pattern is almost identical to Mako’s, too, save for altered sleeves (long sleeve + cuff) and additional darts under the bust to ~emphasize~ the boobies.
You Ladies are doing Kill la Kill cosplay? Is there anything about the series in particular that made you gals want to cosplay it?
The reason? Schoolgirls! ;)
No, more seriously, Mako and Ryuko are basically hyper exaggerated version of Emmy and I, so we thought it’d be fun to do some comfortable, easy costumes to goof around in that suited us. The other fun thing about them is that we don’t have to be too serious when it comes to posing, and Emmy gets to make ridiculous faces. Also, Satsuki is Maya’s favourite character in the series, and both Emmy and Maya are into the studio that produces it. Christine picked her character (whose name is eluding me, as I am behind on watching it) because lots of pink and the fact that she has the supplies for it already.
Hey, I saw you guys had started on some Kill La Kill. Could you maybe recommend some fabrics for a Ryuko uniform cosplay. I figured a poly/cotton drill for the skirt, but I'm not sure for the blouse/jacket/jumper/whatever it even is since the sleeved need to be pushed up, and polycotton might not fold(?) right.
You’ll ideally want something that is majority polyester because otherwise the pleats won’t iron nicely. (Assuming you want the same fabric on top and bottom, anyway.) Drill would likely work. I’m using a lightweight polycotton twill, personally, ‘cause I like it.
As long as your sleeves are loose enough to bunch properly you won’t have trouble with them being pushed up :)
Hi! You have great cosplays! I love Supergirl... and Jen has so many versions =) Is there a chance of a photoshoot with all dangerous ladies cosplaying as Supergirls at the same time?
It’s a possibility someday. I’ve sold a number of my Supergirl costumes, but I still have Turner, Battle Damage Turner, and Classic/Matrix. Christine still has Evil Supergirl. I think we have a Supergirl vs Evil Supergirl “combat” shoot loosely planned with Droo Photographer but we’ve all been in scheduling hell lately.
I started one like sixty million years ago and never finished it. The unfinished draft and finished cape is still in a box somewhere in my apartment even after two moves. I’m probably never going to touch it again, so unless I borrow Christine’s Classic Peej costume, these lousy progress pictures of the draft are all you’ll never see :’(
You guys are AWESOME! Have you ever thought of doing some lady dwarf costumes?
I personally want to do a lady Fili, but all three of us have enough on our plates to take on a Weta costume as a project right now (or in my case a second, as I am still working on Galadriel’s white hobbit gown). If it does happen, it will not be for a very long time.
However! I do have a Thorin to my Galadriel that is actually shoulder height to me with out my heels on.
in post/40460613413 how did you deal with bunching around the ankle then the foot was not stretched out? Or did you just let it bunch there?
There is no bunching in the final project. In the progress pictures it is bunched because it wasn’t finished being sewn/pinched. Because the stretch runs both ways it smooths out even when the foot is flexed.