Thursday, October 02, 2014

Pre-CF Mini 2014 + Korra Costume W.I.P!

I thought I'd start being more active at blogging, but as usual I got lazy... :P But I'll still try my best!

Since I'm in Penang, it's only natural for me to start attending cosplay conventions here up north. Finally, last weekend, I made my Penang cosplay debut at Comic Fiesta Mini! And I was joined by Anthea, who's just 1.5 hours away from me in Sungai Petani! :D

Together, we shall conquer North Malaysia! :3

Anthea was staying at my place for a few days for the event. I was gonna debut a new costume and Anthea's opening her booth, which I finally got a chance to help out at.

First of all, we've gotta talk about my cosplan. It's been almost 5 months since my last cosplay, and about 10 months since I last made a new costume. Since starting university, my cosplay has gone into a hiatus. Here's a cosplan that suffered tremendously due to my leave.

Korra (Northern Water Tribe/Book 2 Version)

Ever since the next Avatar was announced to be a girl, and her front profile was shown, I knew that I had to cosplay Korra. (same reason why I'm automatically casted as Katara, haha) But Korra is the Avatar, and she was such a tough, spunky girl with an attitude, it was like she was made for me! I had this cosplan in 2012 before going off to India (I wanted to be a hipster), but clearly I didn't make it. :P When the next book was announced with her new outfit, I wanted to make the new outfit instead (and be a hipster again)! I had the top tailored but in the end, did not cosplay Korra in 2013.

Finally it's 2014 and I'm back from India! No more excuses, I've gotta make this costume happen! What better motivation than to set my debut for Comic Fiesta Mini. During my Raya holidays back home, I procrastinated the construction of my costume, again (but that was because I had insufficient materials! ;w;). One day, I was musing with a friend that the costume I was making is one  that Korra doesn't wear often anyway. Guess what the Avatar Gods gave the fandom the next day.

Mulan inspired Haircut of awesome

THANK YOU, AVATAR GODS. I knew I had to cosplay this, too! I mean, she has the same costume as the one I'm working on! Except for the slightly different butt cape and that belt. But I knew that I will definitely make a new butt cape.

Fast forward to Day 1 of Comic Fiesta Mini, Cappy tells me that they released a trailer. WHAT. But I checked Youtube and Tumblr before I went to sleep at 2.30am impossibruuuu! D:

"I can't believe it... Toph?"

I immediately started stealing screenshots of Korra in her dark blue outfit from every angle to make sure I was gonna get her Book 4 costume right. You can't imagine the motivation and excitement I had to complete the "new costume" within that night!

Cut back to last Wednesday, when Anthea arrived in Butterworth! I had a really busy week last week, with lots of work and exams. So in between all that, it was hard to find time to work on my costume.

The usual suspects

We went to Tesco and shopped for groceries for the week. I also bought more materials for my cosplay! We took the Rapid Penang bus and it was the first time for both of us. It was quite an experience. xD It was nice having Anthea around! She cooked breakfast and dinner for me, uhuhu. ;w; (even made breakfast for my housemates!) Although it's mostly just pasta and sandwiches, but it's good! Then while I'm off at school, she's slacking at home watching Gekkan Shoujo, hmph.

I didn't really take much pictures of my work in progress. But I'll still be sharing here how I constructed my costume. (since, like my Fang costume, I'm pretty happy about my handiwork! :D)

Korra Costume W.I.P

Blue Top + Pants
I always wanted to sew my own costume, but I can't draft patterns, so I opted for a tailor. |D My pants on the other hand was a slim cut elastic pants from Giordano that was given to me. I wear it to class, haha. It was just a temporary replacement for my costume. I'll get proper baggy-ish pants for Korra later. Other than these two items and my boots, I hand-made everything else!

Blue Lens

I'm using EOS Fay Blue! (will post a review for it soon) You'll see more of it in my other pictures. It's rather pretty! My previous pair of blue lens for Korra expired, and Luxury Babe's lens design had some changes, so I got these.

Hair Loopies (whatever you call them)
I referred to this video tutorial, where the owner claims that her technique makes the best hair loopies, and I agree! They are light, so they won't fall, and they hold the hair pretty well! Even with my notorious thick hair, my loopies never fell off through the day and I never had to retie them.

Made with the leftovers of one of my favourite things in the world :D
(note the Pokemon in the background, ohoho!)

Cut the plastic straw to length, then glue the fabric on!
(I used UHU glue cuz ain't nobody got time for fabric glue
[actually, I'm just poor, that's why] )

Ta-dah! I'm using my real hair for Korra. :D
(the white strips were made using the rounded elastic bands for dimension, like the real thing!)

I used a pair of dark blue pantyhose, bought from Daiso. I cut off the panty part of it, measured the lengths, then sewed one end of it so my thumb fits through so it resembles Korra's half gloves. The grey parts were made with regular grey cloth (uniform-ish material for body), and fastened with metal clip buttons.

Butt Cape (whatever you call that fur thing that wraps Korra's... butt)
I used brown felt bought from Daiso so that I didn't have to serger/overlock or sew the edges, hah! Plus, it had a fur-like consistency, but was thin and easy to use. But I feel that working with some sort of cloth would be better, so that the cape will resemble more like a skirt and would move better when you twirl around with it (if you know what I mean), especially for the book 4 cape which looks like a circle skirt of some sort.

Had to join two pieces of felt together because they were too small for my butt

White fur also bought from Daiso! It's a type of shawl that's kinda stretchy. Blue waistband sewn from my waterbending cloth, and it runs through a hole in my butt cape.

Butt Cape ver.Book 4
As mentioned earlier, Korra's butt cape in Book 4 differs from her usual one.

Look at that odd shape!

Note how the cape flares up so nicely. And all that white fur underneath! (not seen in the previous butt cape)

I ended up sewing a new butt cape out of the same materials: brown felt and fur shawl thing. As mentioned earlier, I think this butt cape appreciates the fluidity more than the previous one, hence my circle skirt comment. It also comes with a belt thingy that has some sort of emblem in the center.

The new cape! The emblem was cut out from strong cardboard, with blue fabric and white felt glued on it to follow the pattern. The blue belt was sewn onto the felt.

Blue Apron
That thing that comes in between the fur cape? It's just blue fabric, cut into shape, then tucked into my pants or safety pinned in place. Mwahaha. :P (was planning to give it a shoelace waistband, but I was lazy) I was lazy to sew the edges, so I just burnt it, MWAHAHA.

Protip: Use a candle with a burning flame to burn those edges so the cloth wouldn't fray! :D

I actually found a rather awesome tutorial on how to make Korra's boots. But I couldn't find the right materials to do it, so I ended up getting a second hand knee-high boots, which I folded down and added the white fur trimming (using white felt). And for the book 4 version, I just removed the white trimmings and pulled the boots up high. :P

Using Rianka's picture as I forgot to take close up shots of the boots. :X

I really loved the boots because they made me look so slim and tall! (platforms ftw!) Especially from the front, because you can't even see the heel. But I'll probably sell this off again and find a new one on Taobao, as these boots are slightly small and squeezes my feet badly and really hurts it from all the concentrated pressure at the front half of my feet. I spend 50% of my time complaining about how pain my legs were, probably, haha. A shame, really. =(

Waterbending Prop
I had a few ideas on how to represent waterbending. Initially, I wanted to attach cloth to chinese fans and use them either with the fans closed or open (ala WCS China 2011). There's the gymnastic ribbon idea too. THEN, I came across THIS a month ago. It looks bloody amazing! I learn that they were called "poi", and I've actually seen a lot of cosplayers use it for different sort of sketches. One of the deviantart artist I follow used it for her Azula cosplay too! There's even a tutorial on how to make it! I knew that I just had to make these! One of water and one of fire, no less!

Of course, by the time I found the tutorial video, it was too late for me to start hunting for materials. During our trip to Tesco, Anthea and I managed to pick up a yoyo and a nice flowly fabric to use for the mean time. Which worked pretty well! I just had a 2 meter-ish cloth and tied it to the yoyo. I shortened the yoyo's length to my arm length, and started twirling the cloth around with it. It helps that the yoyo's string was white, so it usually blends into the background and makes it look like I'm bending. :D The yoyo wasn't heavy enough to carry the fabric's weight though, so I couldn't do much stunts with it. But it's good enough for pictures!

LOOK AT THAT FLOW *crying for the awesome*

And that, is how you become the Avatar!

Since I didn't want to clutter everything into the same post (I hear the crowd yelling tl;dr! Well, DEAL WITH IT. B) ) I'll be writing about the actual event in the next post!

Quote of the Day: "When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change." - Avatar Aang, Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

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