#Mothra #Cosplay Day 11: Second Thoughts, Third Thoughts and More

Inside of the Right Wing black fields complete

Inside of the Right Wing black fields complete

Inside of the Right Wing black fields complete

Today is the eleventh day I’ve been working on my Mothra cosplay. I spend between 4 an 6 hours working on it when I do it. Since I work full time I only have Sundays to work on it. At this point I’ve put in a minimum of 44 man-hours (woman-hours in my case) of labor on the costume.

I know that many of the pictures I take each week seem very similar to the ones from the previous week. More than just documenting how to make this costume, I’m chronicling the actual time and effort that goes into making one of these costumes. Progress is often slow and more than once I’ve looked at it and felt that I’ve gotten nothing done, that it’s moving along too slowly. Painting both sides of each wing means that I’m actually repeating a lot of work, but there will be a front side and a back side to the costume and I can think of no way around it.

I had some second thoughts about the costume this last week. Am I painting it right? Will it look ok? What if it looks ridiculous once I’ve got it made? I’ve put so much time and money into it already. Then I look at the pictures I’ve taken and realize that I love what I can envision it as being when it is complete.

Then, while I was putting the pieces of the whole costume together in my mind: The wings, hat, boots, high-low dress I intend to wear underneath; I realized I had overlooked something fairly important. Oh not for the costume, that’ll be awesome (IMHO). No I realized that I had no way to carry ID or cash or anything else in this costume. The wings will get in the way of a purse or bag and there’s no way to wear one under the vest. From a practical standpoint this is a fairly major oversight.

The only thing I can figure is either scrounge up an old fanny pack we have somewhere around here. Then it occurred to me that I could possibly stitch a pocket into the vest. I’ll have to see how that works out because I need to be able to carry a few items with me.

Front of Left wing before black fields complete

Front of Left wing before black fields complete

As for the cosplay itself, this week I finished up the black fields on both wings. Looking at the left wing I felt that some of the fields that are to hold color were a bit too wide so I thinned them out by making the black fields a bit wider. I’m putting the black down first because when I paint the colors they won’t show up as badly on the black if I go out of the lines as the black would over the colors.
Front of left wing, black fields almost complete

Front of left wing, black fields almost complete

This is a learning process for me. It’s my first real cosplay, the first one that I’ve made from scratch. Thus it will have all of the mistakes a first costume has, it’ll have all of the mistakes a novice makes when crafting something like this. It’s easy for such an item to fall out of favor as experience leads to better cosplays down the road but to be honest I cannot imagine topping this cosplay. Not for concept anyway. What I’m glad of is that I still love this cosplay even after weeks of work and knowing that I still have weeks of work left to do on it.

As far as the budget goes, I did go ahead and buy leather needles. I got an assortment for $4.99, which brings my total for materials up to $80.00.

Painting the inside of the sleeve

Painting the inside of the sleeve

Next Sunday I expect to start filling in the bands of color on the wings. Once that’s done I’ll iron them and sew them onto the vest. Speaking of which, I still need to paint the vest a bit more. Worry not, gentle reader, there will be pictures. For now, please enjoy these. K

#Mothra #Cosplay Day 5 Holding Steady on #Budget

Tracing the pattern on the backside of the wing.

Setting up for Cosplay Sunday

Setting up for Cosplay Sunday

Thanks to the ghosts of science projects past the Mothra cosplay is holding steady at around $70.00 for supplies and materials. Black fabric paint is being shared with a Midna cosplay as well as, yes, a Godzilla cosplay that are also being made by others in the household. One of the real tricks to keeping a budget reasonable is to not be afraid to repurpose things. Have an old pillow you’re going to throw out? That synthetic stuffing would stuff a tail or other cosplay piece. We found an old broken office chair that someone was throwing away and with their permission we took the leather upholstery off of it and now we have a couple of nice sized pieces of leather to use on some cosplay.

Finishing tape wrapped wing extender with wrist loop.

Finishing tape wrapped wing extender with wrist loop.

This week I started by making the sheath for one of the wing extenders I constructed last week. Save your fabric scraps, they’re perfect for something like this. It took me quite a while to get the extender into the sheath because I made it so tight. Upon modeling it I discovered that it was not quite rigid enough to support the end of the wing. This was disappointing as I had scrounged the 12 gauge wire specifically for that purpose and bought finishing tape to wrap it with. Unwilling to have floppy wings I went rummaging through the garage as well as the shelves of craft left-overs from previous projects. I found two small dowel rods (They run around $0.48 each if you have to buy them) that hadn’t been used on a science project a few years ago.
Leftover fabric for sheathing.

Leftover fabric for sheathing.

I made the sheathing a bit tight, I didn’t want the extender to move a lot. Next time I’ll leave more room for the corner. It was tough to thread the extender through the sheathing. The dowel only just barely fit but I think I like it. It’ll support the leading edge of the wing almost all the way along my arm.

I’m learning as I go on this cosplay. If I had to do it over I would put all of the pieces together before I started painting. The multiple layers of fabric make it difficult, if not impossible, to see enough of the pattern to trace it onto the backside of the wing in places.

Tracing the pattern on the backside of the wing.

Tracing the pattern on the backside of the wing.

With that in mind I’ve begun to assemble as much of the wings as I can before I continue painting. Since I’m putting layers of fabric on the wing in spots I’m tracing the outlines of the pattern as I go to cut down on copying errors. Most of my time today, after attaching the extender sheathing to the left wing was spent attaching the inner portion of the sleeve to the right wing, hemming it and sewing the furry textured material onto the inside edge of the wing. With the remaining time I had today I copied the pattern to the inside area of the right wing.

While I would have liked to get so much farther today I had too many other things to do to really devote a lot of time to working on the cosplay. I’m learning a lot and getting a bit done every Sunday and I’m having a lot of fun with it too.

Although it would add to the price of the finished project, I’m seriously considering buying the Mothra theme song from iTunes so I can have it play as part of the cosplay when I’m at a con. Or do you think, gentle reader, that would be over the top?