Expect semi regular posts from now on. I have several completed projects to add to TimberGirlDesigns and many upcoming as well.
Yes it has been awhile, once again, since my last post. Why haven’t I kept up with my blog? Well several things have happened in the last year. I completed the Spartan Trifecta with a fantastic team of friends, got proposed to at the end of the Tough Mudder Race, bought a house with my husband, and been working on several artistic projects as well. Needless to say, I’ve been a tad distracted and busy.
I would like to tell you about one my latest completed design. Last year I cosplayed Ryuk, from Death Note, at Denver Comic Con. This would be my most complex costume creation up to date. If you’re unfamiliar with the anime Death Note and enjoy a twisted story, I would highly recommend it. It’s only one season and has a conclusion. The characters are highly entertaining and the plot line makes you think a bit about your own morale system.
The last time I picked up a sewing machine was when we moved it from the apartment to our house. The last time I used one however… Well that was over 16 years ago. So clearly the first thing I should do sew sticky feather strips to tulle. The idea behind it was super easy. Take the tulle and sew on straight lines of feathers. I forgot about the glue or tape that was used to fix the feathers to the ribbon. Or the fact that needles don’t really want to go through feather shafts. In conclusion, I had many very sticky and broken needles.
I did begin with a feather shawl I bought a couple years ago. I ended up cutting it apart and piecing a new feather shawl together. That’s where I got the hint of blue and the nice ribbon up top.
I decided to dive into Worbla for the first time. Our local fabric store, Colorado Fabrics, has it in stock and the store really caters to cosplayers. I ended up purchasing a small Worbla’s Finest sheet as well as a Worbla’s Black art sheet. In the future I’ll probably stick to the black sheets as I felt I could manipulate it more successfully.
So the first step for working with worbla is to create a surface that can handle the temperature of a heat gun without burning or melting. I ended up making an aluminum surface with aluminum tape. The surface worked out extremely well.
I wasn’t concerned with getting everything completely identical to the anime or manga but I wanted them to be close. The completed belt consisted of several pieces.
- Chain Of Skulls
- Skull Belt Buckle
- Skull Cross
The Belt was tricky. Some pictures have Ryuk with a brown belt. Others have it with a black belt. I fortunately the perfect belt at a thrift store near home. 🙂
My Chain of Skulls was easy to do but tedious. I bought a chain and a bag a skull beads. I took the chain apart at specific increments and added in the skull. The best part of this process was I had to crimp the chains to force the skull. Otherwise, the chain was too thick.
For the skulls I ended up creating my own dough (yes again). Then slowing molding the worbla over the dough. It worked out extremely well. I wrapped the skulls in foil to keep the worbla from permanently adhering to the mold.
The Skull Belt Buckle was an adventure. The most challenging aspect to this was the skull. The skull was molded from a clay skull piece I created. Thus is was hollow. I needed to adhere it to the buckle without applying too much heat or force. If either was too much then I got a very unshapely skull.
Making the Skull Cross was probably my favorite aspect of the belt. I personally think it looked pretty wicked when it was black, but I did end up painting it silver to match Ryuk’s character.
The wig was the most intimidating aspect of this project. Prior to this cosplay I had only colored in roots and created a frizzy mess with wigs. I waited until the last week to start this project but also had a fantastic time working on it. For Ryuk’s hair I used a Jareth Classic Dark Blue wig from Arda Wigs.
The week before delving into this project, I took extra wefts of hair and sewed them together. I wanted there to be some extra length for curls as well as with a hidden wig cap since I was going to to an updo.
Next on the list was sewing the wefts. Luckily, hand sewing is a skill of mine.
Now I needed to get the hair in an updo without having the wefts or wig cap show. I ended up using a TON of hairspray. a comb and a couple ponytails. It took me a good while for me to get the hair in the direction I wanted. It was extremely easy to see the wig wefts at times.
Once I had the sides of my faux hawk done I decided it was time to work on the curls. To curl the hair I used twisty hair curlers. To make sure the curls maintined their bounce I boiled water, dipped the hair in and then immediately took that section of hair and dunked it into ice water. Perfect. I had beautiful curls. Once again I did use hair spray as a long term solution.
To get my faux hawk’s style there was a lot of teasing and hair spray. I added in the braids on the side to bring in the chain ‘feel’ from the belt and shoes. I was quite pleased with the result.
I found a perfect heart from The Crazy Merchant to use for Ryuk’s singular earring. His boots were procured from a consignment store adventure in Washington D.C. And of course, Cosima wanted her own costume, so scraps were decoratively placed on her.
I did not make everything for this costume. My sewing skills are not up to par for that challenge. I found my shoes in a consignment store. My corset, leggings and gloves were found online. Perhaps someday I’ll have the mad skills to whip up a full body suit
Denver Comic Con