Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The construction of Maya - part 1

Wow, it feels like this was so long ago now! And I guess it was. But looking back on the construction of my first costume, I learnt A LOT of things. Not just about sewing, but about cosplaying in general. I'll talk about those things more when the time calls for it...

The first thing I did, was scour the net for adequate reference pictures. Close-ups, screen-shots, concept art, I studied them all. My love for the game and the character really pushed me to want to capture the details as much as my skills enabled me to.

This is what I started with, and the only thing I didn't like about it, was the hair colour. I chose to try for something that looked a little more like what her hair appeared like in game. I think the wig was the first thing I ordered. It was a cheap one off eBay. And when it arrived, I wasn't too happy with it. It was much darker than I thought it would be. But, being short on funds at the time, I thought there may be a way to make do. So I stowed it away with my tiny collection of supplies. It was a start.

I thought I would start with the bodysuit first. Originally I had the idea of buying a turtleneck leotard, and appliquéing the patterns on. Well, in theory, this would have been great! And was a nice easy way for me to ease into sewing. Well, after trying it on a couple of times during the appliqué process (to see if I had the patterns sitting correctly) it stretched horribly. So it sagged in places, and made it look like it was 5 sizes to big for me. *sigh*

Well, I had no clue about creating my own pattern. It was around this time I began searching around for other Cosplayers who had created this outfit, in an attempt to get some advice. I didn't have to 
search for too long. The lovely Lithium Cosplay had recently finished her Maya costume, and had done a superb job in my opinion. With her tips and advice, I bought myself a leotard pattern and took deep breaths! I decided to do a similar thing as previously planned. I constructed a plain black solid base, and appliquéd the patterned pieces onto it. This also helped solve the issue of the yellow spandex being slightly transparent when stretched. I ended up hand stitching a lot of the appliquéd parts on, as my lack of knowledge in the seamstress department made it a struggle with my machine. 

The progress was tedious, it was a struggle to find time whilst also caring for two small children. So after much frustration, I again turned to the WWW in search for answers. Rah from Rascal Cosplay was my saviour this time, as she was also working on a Maya outfit at the time. She put me onto the right road when it comes to sewing spandex with a sewing machine.

After these two incidences, I quickly learnt that I needed to be a bit thorough in my researching if I wanted this suit to look good. I was quite surprised at the communities willingness to offer me advice and help. I have to admit, I was extremely reluctant at first to ask around. My lack of knowledge made me truly feel like a noob (well, yeah, I know I was). But, I came to realise something very important. Something we all need to consider from time to time when encountering those seeking advice. No matter how silly the questions sound, or how tricky a concept may seem to grasp - we all started somewhere. Ad not everyone endeavouring to enjoy this hobby starts out with the necessary skills to get you going.

I have no problems with offering advice or help to the new (and even older) member of this community.  If it helps them have as much fun as I do when I dress up, then I'm all for it! Besides, isn't that one of the reasons why we do this? To have fun?

1 comment:

  1. Good article! I get a good feel for how the cosplay community really is a community, especially since you are equally willing to share what you have learned so far and help others whenever you can :)