Days Til DragonCon

Dragoncon Diary #5

We are now down to 35 days until Dragoncon … that is only 5 weeks! The excitement and panic is in full swing!

Last week I was in San Diego for a work conference, so my progress was pretty much nonexistent. But I have cleared my weekend schedule for every weekend for the next month to work in the cosplay sweatshop, a.k.a. my family room/cosplay studio.

Bombshell Batwoman was my main focus this past week. I had a major setback which resulted in a major improvement over the original design . . . so is that actually considered to be a setback at all? I attempted to apply the vinyl heat transfer onto the completed dress. The bulky folds and seams caused the transfer to unevenly adhere, and it didn’t line up properly on the front of the dress. This is what I feared would happen. So, I had to disassemble the dress and redo the bodice. Sigh.

I also had very limited fabric on hand, so I needed to rip the seams apart to salvage one of the layers of each piece of the bodice. (I had double layered each piece because the fabric was thin and needed a lining.) Then I reapplied the vinyl heat transfer on the single layer, unsewn fabric pieces. It worked like a beauty! Once I figured out the best process for this step, I moved on to the tedious task of cutting the small lettering out with an X-ACTO knife and applying those.

vinyl heat transfer dragoncon

The most difficult part of this whole process was definitely putting the curved stripe on the collar. Thank goodness the collar has two sides, because I really messed up the first attempt! After my botched attempt, I figured out how to make a curved template/pattern out of painter’s tape, which I transferred to the vinyl, cut it out, and peeled the tape pattern off. The ironing process was tricky, but I was patient and worked slowly and carefully. I really didn’t want to make another collar if it didn’t work this time, and I was quickly running out of a piece of red vinyl that would be large enough to make the stripe all in one continuous piece.

template dragoncon

Now that all of the pieces are complete, (and they look great by the way!) I can start sewing the dress back together. I should have this one finished by the weekend.

Vinyl Heat Transfers for Bombshell Batwoman dragoncon

The final piece will be the prop, which is the bat. It was tricky to find a wood bat period, let alone a wood bat with no logos or writing on it. (Thank goodness for eBay!) It is currently with the person who will be etching it. Hopefully it will turn out great.

Bombshell Batwoman Dragoncon
Bombshell Batwoman by Ant Lucia.

As far as my other projects…

I had to return the previous fabric for Prince Gumball, it just wasn’t the right fabric choice (this seems to be a trend this year – thank goodness for great customer service from Fabric.com, FabricDepot.com and HancockFabric.com). I ordered a new selection, which should arrive this weekend. Then I can get started on sewing that tunic. Since this is for a friend, so I’m having him come over to complete the grueling task of cutting out the pattern and the fabric. That is probably my least favorite part of the sewing process, only behind ripping out the seams of a botched sewing job – another popular trend for me this year.

I was feeling a little pressure with the all of the sewing that I had on my plate this year. To be honest, sewing is probably my least favorite aspect of cosplay. I really enjoy fabricating things out of Worbla, PVC, foam, and other materials. I love to take a pile of uncommon materials and turn them into a really cool prop, or armor, or some other part of a costume. That is the magic that makes me love cosplay so much. So, I have decided to eliminate the Road Trip Harley Quinn costume that I had planned for this year. I consulted with the other girls that were part of this group, both of which are very busy with work and had not started their costumes yet. So they were ok with eliminating it. I was not enthusiastic about the sewing and especially the body painting process at con. My body painter is not going to be at Dragoncon this year, so I don’t want to worry about finding a new artist and if they will be as good as my artist. I also don’t want to worry about the scheduling. I have a lot of costumes planned, so it will be nice to just pop on a new wig and minimal makeup and move on with the next. It’s a bummer that I will not have a Harley Quinn costume to wear for the artist, Amanda Conner, who is a guest. But the pressure is off and that is good.

This has allowed me to go ahead and add a new costume in its place. Another idea that I had been kicking around for a while was Agent Maria Hill from Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. I have had the material and patches on hand for a while, but I have decided to – gasp – purchase a pre-made uniform from CosplaySky, because I don’t have the time or patience to sew the uniform anytime soon. I made this decision after consulting with a couple other S.H.I.E.L.D. cosplayers that have also purchased this same uniform, and they were happy with the quality and the fit. I will just need to purchase a couple of small accessories to upgrade it, work on the boots, and possibly switch out the patches when it arrives. This costume is comfortable and versatile, so I think I will get a lot of wear out of it between cons, movie premieres, and other events. I think that this is a good choice… there is minimal prep for makeup and hair, we look similar, she is a Marvel hero, she crosses her arms a lot and has resting bitch face… it’s perfect for me!

Agent Maria Hill Dragoncon
Agent Maria Hill in The Avengers. Photo credit: Marvel.com.

This weekend I am planning a few solid days of cosplay work, which I am looking forward to sharing with you in my next Dragoncon Diary entry. In the meantime, you can check out more progress reports from other cosplayers in the video series Days ‘Til DragonCon, brought to you by Word of the Nerd, in conjunction with Shattered Stitch Cosplay and Saturday Morning Cosplay.


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Keep calm and cosplay on!

About the author

Shanon Connelly

(a.k.a. “Super Muffin Girl”) is an avid board gamer, cosplayer, and all around nerd girl. She has been cosplaying for over 10 years, attending several conventions every year. She recently started a YouTube gaming channel, "Time to Play!", which previews and reviews board games. Follow Shanon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@supermuffingirl).

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