#Mothra #Cosplay Minimalist, Adjusted Budget Holding

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

Inside of the Left Wing is done

With the holiday weekend affording an extra day to work on the Mothra cosplay I was hoping to get the paining finished on the wings. Since I have to mix the colors myself from the available fabric paints I have it takes a lot longer than one might expect. They are turning out beautifully but it is taking such a long time to paint them.

I ran out of blue and orange paint so I had to pick up more. This pushed my budget ever closer to the hard limit of $100.00 for materials. True when I started I was hoping to keep it around $50.00 but that starting budget was quite unrealistic and only goes to show how little experience I have with making cosplays. I should have just started with the more reasonable budget of $100.00, and a more seasoned cosplayer probably would have.

Even with a budget of $100.00 I’m still looking for bargains and using coupons to buy my materials. Goodwill, and store coupons are great resources for getting materials and keeping to a reasonable budget. This weekend there were some particularly good coupons for some of the local craft stores due to the holiday. That’s something to keep in mind when considering starting a new cosplay. If you plan it right you can get your materials during a big sale.

Better planning in general would have helped keep the cost down. I didn’t know how much paint the fabric I chose would soak up so that is costing me in additional paint. I’m sure someone who has been doing cosplay for a long time would have chosen different fabric, treated it differently and planned things out better than I have.

We did get a cheap table cloth, a plastic picnic table cloth to put on the table while we paint. It protects the table and makes it less nerve wracking when we paint on the only good sized surface in the house for crafting.

Outside of the Left Wing

Outside of the Left Wing

All that being said, I still love what I’m doing and I love my costume. I’m learning a lot and having fun. My goal now is to get it finished up within the next two weeks. That includes touching up the paint where necessary, affixing the wings to the vest and stitching loops on the hat so that I can use bobby pins to keep it on my head in a crowded convention hall.

There are some flaws to the costume. I pretty much won’t be able to carry anything, so any tchotchkes or memorabilia I may want to pick up will have to be handled by one of my companions. The cosplay is designed to be portable though. I can roll the wings and vest up into a compact bundle to transport. The most difficult piece to transport will be the hat, due to the feathers.

Both Wings

Both Wings

We got our tickets to ECCC (Emerald City Comic Con) today and I’ll be wearing it there for certain. I’m still looking to debut it at the RCCC (Rose City Comic Con) in three weeks. We will see how well it travels then. K.

Cosplay Mothra: Minimalist on a budget

feathers for antenna

If you’ve been following my humble blog, gentle reader, you know that I enjoy going to comic cons. I also have a cobbled together steampunk cosplay that I wear. You also know that I am a huge Godzilla fan. As a result of these things I have decided to try my hand at a Mothra cosplay.

There were several things I considered before deciding how to go about my cosplay. I didn’t want to go with a full face mask. That would be too hot and involve way too much construction. I also didn’t want to limit my visual field with a bulky mask. Wings are also a logistical nightmare at a con where there are hundreds if not thousands of people all together enjoying the geek-fest.

I sat in on a couple of cosplay panel discussions at the last couple of cons and got some really good pointers. Like thinking about how you’re going to sit in a car with your costume on, or how you are going to use the restroom. These are good things to keep in mind.

So with those constraints, along with a rather limited budget, I began trying to puzzle out how I could make this work. It occurred to me that I could go a minimalist route and possibly make something that would adhere to the spirit of Mothra and cosplay without being a full body suit topped with a huge heavy mask. Then it came to me: I could make a hat. Now I’ve never made a hat before but I know they have fascinator forms at craft and fabric stores where they sell bridal supplies. (Also I don’t know what delineates a hat from a fascinator so forgive me if I’m using incorrect terminology. This could be an elaborate fascinator for all I know.)

I looked at my Mothra figure and got some white faux fur, a scrap or two of black felt, two ostrich feathers and since I couldn’t find blue gems in the size and shape I wanted I bought two pendants that had plastic gems that were close.

Materials for Mothra fascinator/hat

Materials for Mothra fascinator/hat

I also had some royal purple scraps but they did not fit with the theme. I’ll save those for another project. This is what I started out with. I got two fascinator forms because neither was the size or shape I wanted. I hand stitched the two together and used a couple pieces of scrap fusable interfacing that I pulled off the back of the remnants of another project to complete the size and shape I wanted.

Two fascinator forms

Two fascinator forms

Over the top of what is now the superstructure for the headpiece I pinned a strip of black felt and two pieces of the white faux fur. To cut down on weight I hand stitched all of this together.

black felt & white faux fur

black felt & white faux fur

Now I could have gotten a bunch of ostrich feathers cheap on eBay but I only needed two. I had to balance my need to watch my budget with my limited space and against the likelihood of needing white ostrich feathers in the future. I spent a bit more than I needed to but I only got two ostrich feathers. These are very light weight and the perfect size and shape to make Mothra’s antenna. I used an exact-o knife to cut through the forms as well as cutting a slit in the fabric overlay so that I could hot glue the feathers into place. I stuck them just slightly through the fascinator superstructure and used liberal amounts of hot glue to hold them in place, both underneath and on top. Then I laid the fabric back over the top and stitched it down. The hat/fascinator is remarkably lightweight and well balanced since the antenna lay at just a bare 15 to 20 degree angle off the hat.

feathers for antenna

feathers for antenna

Next time I’ll get the plastic gems off the pendants and hot glued on the headpiece.

These will do just fine for eyes.

These will do just fine for eyes.

I have some ideas for how to make workable wings too, by workable I mean the kind you can wear to a comic con without requiring a lot of airspace. I’m using the term wings loosely here. I will keep you updated, gentle reader. K.