Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kinda OT, but it's kind of cosplay related so there!

So the second Macross Frontier movie came out in Japan yesterday along with some movie exclusive merchandise being sold in theaters.  Normally I don't care too much for anime memorabilia since I'm more of a gamer, but the Sheryl Nome earring cellphone charm is something I'm dying to have.  If only I can buy it directly through the internet!

(from the Japanese description on the website)

It looks almost exactly like the Sheryl Nome earrings I've made for myself, but man... I want it!  Sure, I could probably make my own charm, but... I made my earrings out of sterling silver, amethyst, and Swarovski crystals and that's not something I'd like to make a cellphone charm out of due to that being expensive.  The charm is around $11 USD, which is pretty affordable in my book.  I wish I had a friend in Japan that could sell me one since shipping would be so much cheaper that way and I wouldn't need a shopping service.

(from the Japanese description on the website)

Not entirely sure what this is, but from my guess it's a small notebook of sorts.  Either way, I still want Sheryl's!  It's so cute... and pink!

(from the Japanese description on the website)

A cute purse charm based off of Sheryl Nome which includes her symbol, purple gem from her earring, and a white ball of fluff representing her white bunny form.  This is so friggin' cute and I want it.  I really wish I could just buy these right now as there's so many cute promotional items out from the movie!

I am both happy about this new movie, but also really sad because this is the end of Macross Frontier. :(  No more new Sheryl Nome albums, outfits, or anything! DX  Although I've read spoilers on how the movie ends, I still want to see it with my own eyes even if it does take a whole 'nother year for it to come out on bluray disc. ._.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Serenity progress 4

I've been meaning to write a blog on cheap ways to make jewelry, but I'll get around to that either later today or tomorrow once I've fixed a pair of my mother's earrings.

It may not look like much (unless you click for the full view), but I've added a ton of cream colored pearl cabochons to the edges of the circles.  It's totally optional, but I want my dress to look more realistic than "cartoony" as some may prefer.  ...Still waiting on that package to arrive with my lace.  If that package is lost, I'm seriously going to cry, man.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Serenity progress 3

This thing took a lot longer than I would have liked... I remember working on it from when the sun was up to when the sky was pitch black.  So I think I've spent almost five hours doing the gold beading and adding the first white strip?  The white strips are white textured rope braid and my sewing machine hated sewing through it.  Ugh.  There's still two more strips I have to add, but I'm not doing that until my lace eventually comes in, which'll hopefully arrive within the next few weeks.

I've made a mistake when sewing the strip on and because of that, I hate this bodice so much.  Guergh... nothing I can do about that now, sadly...

Not even done and this thing is already heavy as heck because of the white rings and glass beads.  When this part is finished, it's going to be even heavier so I may end up having to install some clear bra straps if it doesn't stay up due to the added weight.  It stays up just fine right now, but... not so sure about later.  I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to pack this thing in my luggage when it's time to go to AM2 Con and Anime Expo this summer.  The fabric for the skirt is also quite heavy since there's going to be 12 yards of fabric going into that monster... GRAAAAHHH!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


There's been a death in my family recently.  I'll be busy over the next week helping prepare for the funeral and wake.  I'll be doing a ton of cooking for out-of-town "family" until next Thursday.  I won't be updating too much until everything is over.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Serenity gown progress [Part 2]

Hahaaaa... wow.  This is quite annoying.  Firefox won't let me update, so I have to do it on a browser that I hate.  Ugh.  Anyway, I've spent most of my free time today working on this bloomy dress bodice.

The rings were always a nightmare to attatch to this dress.  This is my second time making this dress and it's never any fun doing this step.  I've come up with an easier method of making the rings, but it's always a huge pain in the butt to sew them on.  Rings are made out of white pleather (that I had leftover from when I made my Crisis Core Aerith shoes), white glitter casa satin, and heavy interfacing for added stiffness.  At first, I used straight stitches to attach them, but the edges didn't lay the way I wanted them to so I went over them again with a zig-zag stitch.

The whole process was a complete nightmare and is always my least favorite task when making Serenity's dress.  Boning was added as well since the lining was starting to fray so bad that if I didn't add the lining soon, I probably wouldn't have been able to at all, so I inserted the boning into the casings and serged the fraying bottom edge of the lining.  I'm glad that part is over with at least... now I just have to reinforce the tops of the rings.  After that is done, I can start beading this thing.  I'm still waiting for my lace to come in the mail, but I'm afraid that it may take another month to arrive and I need it now. Grrr!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'll update with more content tomorrow, I promise!

I've been busy with sewing and trying to diet and exercise more, so I haven't had much time to update this.  So until then, have a kitten:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Serenity gown progress [Part 1]

I've been busy for the past few days working on this gown and answering a ton of emails (which were questions about wigs), but now I have some free time to update this blog, yay!  Today is a dump of progress photos and descriptions on how I did things.

This is the pattern I made for the bodice of the dress.  I'm cheap (and personally I find pattern paper to be a waste of money), so I used some ancient cheap wrapping paper I bought for $1 and drew the pattern onto that.  Newspaper is another cheap alternative for pattern making, but the ink can rub off... so whenever I use newspaper, I always wash the garment when it's done, but yeah... I PREFER CHEAP WRAPPING PAPER.

Pinned the pattern to white lining fabric.  I'm using a cheap white posh lining since it feels nice against my skin and... it's cheap.  Joann's carries a matching casa lining for their casa fabrics, but honestly, why pay $5.99/yard (before a coupon) for lining when you can pay $2.99/yard (before a coupon)?  The stuff goes beneath the outer layer, so to me it's pointless to spend a lot of money for lining.  Anyway, the lining I'm using was left over from two previous princess costumes I've made.

And of course, the pattern pinned to the white casa satin (outer layer).

Pinned the pattern to the underlining.  For my underlining, I'm using white organza (because I have 9 yards of the bloomy stuff laying around).  Underlining generally serves to hide seam lines in a bodice once they've been pressed open and they're practically a necessity if the bodice you're making is white (which mine obviously is).  Another reason I'm doing this is to add a little bit of strength to the bodice for when I add a buttload of embellishments to it.

So I cut everything out and sewed the underlining to the casa satin (on the wrong side of the fabric, of course).

And of course... you sew it together.

Pressed the seams open and voila!  This is the underlining sewn together with the satin.  If you don't press your seams, everything looks pretty... crappy when you're finished.  The fabric just won't lay right.  At all.

And the lining sewn together.  I was an idiot and made my images too small today and you can't see the casings I've made for the boning... but they're there.  Didn't press the seams open for that reason.

Carefully pinned the satin and the lining together (on the wrong side).  I forgot to mention way earlier, but I do not recommend this project to a beginner.  All of the fabrics I'm using are either delicate or fray like no tomorrow.  ...Which brings us to what I did next!

SERGE IT!  SERGE IT GOOD.  My biggest pet peeve when it comes to sewing aside from loose buttons are fraying edges.  Fabrics such as satin, organza, chiffon, and certain linings fray badly so a serger is a must in my book.  The fabric was fraying quite badly so I ran the top raw edges through my serger.  For those of you who don't have a serger, there are sewing machine attachment foots or you can use the good 'ol zip-zag stitch method (which is folding the raw wedges older then securing them with the zip-zag stitch).  It's quite time consuming and annoying to do... which is why I basically said, "SCREW IT!!" and bought a serger.

The bodice after its been turned inside-out and pinned.  I'm about to iron where I've placed the pins so it lays flat.  After that... well... that's where the "fun" part begins.

The white moon ring... thingies!  I made a stencil to make mine look uniform and neat.  I wanted my rings to be a good enough size so I wouldn't have to sew on like, 20 bloody rings so I did my math, figured out I'd need 12 rings and they measure around 2.5in.  There's 13 in this picture because I made an extra just in case I had to cut one in half for the back.  And of course, the peach ring thing is my stencil.  There's still a lot of work to do to prep these things before I can sew them on... ugh.

So yeah... that's what I've been up to!  Hopefully the special lace I've ordered will come in the mail later this month so I can finish this gown within the next few weeks.  I've learned my lesson about lace when I made my Crisis Core Aerith Gainsborough dress last summer... making your own trims from scratch is not fun no matter what.  I almost went insane making all the trims for that... I'll probably post pictures of that thing later.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No regular update today. :(  I have a lot of work to catch up on.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Review on Square Enix jewelry

It's related to cosplay, so why not?  Since I notice that I can't find any reviews on the official Square Enix line of Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts jewelry, I'll write my own.  ...this is similar to my mini-review on, but meh!

On the left, is the hideous Chinese bootleg made out of some kind of mystery metal (lead, anyone?) and on the right, is the authentic licensed product made out of sterling silver.  I own both of these (actually, I threw the fake one away upon seeing how crappy it was), so I'm speaking from experience.

 (Picture from Square Enix Online Shop)
Yuna's necklace is made out of .925 sterling silver with an aquamarine in the middle of the center flower.  The main pendant measures around an inch long and overall, the necklace is a little over 18.5in. in length.

 The back of it has the words "©SQUARE" "X2" "SILVER .925" imprinted on the back.  As I said earlier, the necklace is sterling silver, but it doesn't have a rhodium plating to keep it shiny so it'll need to be polished on a regular basis.

The fakes cost around $10 and under, but the authentic one would cost anywhere between $192-$215 or even higher now that they're out of circulation.  So if anyone tries to sell you an "authentic" one for $20-$40, it's a fake and very overpriced for a bootleg.  The fake one is very heavy and hangs very low (it's about 30in. long) and is very big--as in three times the size of the authentic one (see my first picture).  Another thing... the authentic ones come boxed:

My photo is kinda blurry, but it reads "FINAL FANTASY X-2" and "SILVER NECKLACE YUNA" on the front.

This is the side of the box.  It displays Square Enix's information and it has a holographic sticker that reads "SQUARE ENIX PRODUCT."

So now that you're in the know... DON'T GET SCAMMED!!  The bootlegs are good for cosplay, of course but for the love of nothingness... don't pay more than $10 for one!!

Another product I'm going to review... is a very rare product since I only know of one other person that owns it.  Rare because it could only be purchased from the Square Enix Japanese store, which is Kairi's necklace from the Kingdom Hearts series.

 (Picture from unknown source)
Like I said, it's very rare so there isn't a bootleg to compare it to.  The pendant is made out of a moonstone and .925 sterling silver (and it's stamped on the back).  The small tab in the back is also sterling silver and has ©Disney stamped on it.  The necklace cord is made out of black leather.

The size is adjustable so it'll fit a range of sizes, unlike Yuna's.  My only gripe about this item is that the black dye of the cord bleeds and bleeds badly.  After wearing it for a few hours with a white shirt, the back of my collar was gray!  I was pretty peeved by this and had it cleaned so I no longer have this problem.  If you're expecting a giant pendant... this necklace isn't for you as it's quite small (as Kairi's is in Kingdom Hearts II).  Like I said, it's a very rare piece and from my knowledge, it's no longer being produced and I have no idea where you'll be able to find it for sale.  To give you an idea on just how much this particular piece costs, it goes for about $230.

Square's jewelry is pretty damn expensive, but the quality is good (although I still believe you're just paying for the name).  Do I recommend these to cosplayers?  Hell no!  I however, did not buy these for solely for cosplay reasons.  I bought them because they're two of my most favorite characters and I love their jewelry.  For example, I wear my Yuna one whenever I'm wearing an outfit with a lower neckline and wear my Kairi sometimes (and with my Kairi cosplay).  Of course I take pretty damn good care of them and make sure nothing gets broken or scratched.

So yeah... they're not the smartest investment if you only wan them for cosplay purposes (unless you have money to burn and are super anal about the accuracy of your cosplays.  If you're a collector (like me), I think they're a good investment.  Hopefully someone will find this useful.

...I still want Serah/Snow's engagement necklace.  The handmade replicas just don't suit my fancy, nor do the gigantic clunky eBay replicas.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cheap eBitch--er... eBay jewelry finds

I've received my moonstone ring for this cosplay, yey!  And best of all, it only cost me $3.49 and it's sterling silver!

This is the ring I bought.  It looks a lot nicer in person, though.  I figured I'm better off buying a cheap ring rather than using a ring my mother gave me in case it gets lost during the con (and because the one she gave me is expensive).  So I thought, "Why not get a cheap one to do the job just for insurance?"  I searched eBitch and found this ring that worked perfectly.

The seller sells a lot of pretty, cheap, sterling silver jewelry in their shop and if you're interested, here is the store.  Right now I'm bidding on a beautiful moonstone necklace from them and hopefully... I'll win it.  I want it so bad!

Friday, February 4, 2011


In addition to working on a ballgown, I'm also making a cosplay of a certain character from a series everyone knows about.  I only have the hearts done so far:

I had left over materials so I made a blue set.  I'm only using the pink ones for myself, however.

Serenity material dump

Last entry I mentioned buying the rest of my materials (not counting the missing 2.4 yards of chiffon required) for this gown, so... photo dump of what I have so far!

Beaded casa organza.  I use this for the cape because I wanted that fancy "magical moon princess" look (and because it was left over from another project I have since abandoned).

What the cape looks like!  It fastens up with a strand of plastic pearls.  The artbook picture didn't have anything to indicate it closes up with anything, so I used pearls.  I think it's a nice touch, though. :)

Top: white casa crepe
Bottom: white casa chiffon
The top fabric is going to be used for the "petticoat" of the gown, while the bottom will be used to go overtop.  The artbooks depict Serenity's gown as "sheer but not sheer" so I went with these materials to get that effect.

The trims and beads for the dress.  The white rope braid trim is going to be used for the three rows of bands on the bodice of the dress.  Since having three random plain bands on a bodice usually looks really stupid in real life, I bought braided rope trim so it'll look more realistic and texturized.  White and gold glass beads will be the pearls... I wanted to use plastic beads because they're light weight, but couldn't find any that didn't have a weird coating on them that'd rub off, ick!  And of course... thread, pins, and needles are what'll put everything together!

White pleather (to make the circle ring things), a whipe invisible zipper, boning, and white glitter casa satin.  Using pleather because it doesn't fray and it's stiff for the rings.  White glitter casa satin because... well... it was left over from another project, looks pretty, is thick, and matches the other fabrics perfectly. lol  And of course, a zipper to close everything up and boning to help the bodice retain its shape.  The bodice is going to have lots of heavy beads, so boning seemed like the best idea.

This is a better shot of the glitter casa satin. :)

The jewelry I made (and a hair comb for a hair comb I still need to make).  The earrings are made of Sculpey, the crystal and gold chain were something I had left over from another abandoned project, so I made them into the imperium silver crystal necklace that shows up in a grand total of one page of the manga. XD  The pearl bracelet was made from part of a skirt that had a random strand of plastic pearls on it.  I took it off, cup the pearls out, and made it into a light weight bracelet.

All of this will be made into this:

So here we are... all the materials and progress I've made on this ballgown so far.  Oh!  And I almost forgot to mention that I have completed the wig and hair clips for this project, which can be found here, here, and here.

So yeah... lots of materials going into this project. XD;;  Everything for the dress was bought at Joann's ('cept the pearls) from the casa collection.  Without coupons, the whole thing would've been astronimical in terms of price, but I bought everything for 50% off the regular price.  Coupons are a life saver!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Went to Joann Crafts

So last night I was able to make my cape and jewelry for my Serenity gown, which is a plus since I'm falling way behind schedule.  I might enter it into the masquerade at Anime Expo since I've been told the grand prize is $10,000 which is way better than gift certificates to a certain cosplay wig and shoe store.

Today I went to Joann Crafts to get the remaining fabric for the gown, but good lord, they need to stock that store better!  They only had 4.6 yards of white casa crepe and I needed 6!  I was quite annoyed by this because this means I have to make another trip down there and I'll waste a coupon I shouldn't have had to.  Another thing they were out of was light blue casa chiffon!  Looks like that Sheryl dress will have to wait... but man... still annoyed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Hello and welcome to my blog!  I blog about sewing, jewelry making, wig craft, and tutorials.  I'll have more detailed information up soon as well as my first entry.  Thanks for dropping by!