Thursday, May 24, 2018

Voltron Paladin Pidge - Pre-Production

It's been far too long since I made progress on this particular costume. Re-reading the pattern for the shirt and pants got me into planning mode. The planning was somewhat interrupted dealing with an issue with ants in my apartment. >_> Apparently, my honey in the pantry called out its siren song to them. Luckily they've mostly been near the ceiling, but also unluckily it's hard to spray up there. Now, I have the heebie-jeebies all the time and I keep doing that paranoid check...Are there more!?

Like I said, super distracting. Anyway, so I'm going to share my thought processes and "think out loud" type moments. Starting with the pants.


For the pants, I'm adding elements from other patterns like the "Yoga Stirrup" from Bernina and the hidden pocket from my Sloan pattern. So I started sketching out how those would work with the pattern I have since the waistband is constructed differently in my base pants pattern. During the re-read of the pattern, I discovered that the pants I want to make include a side pocket! I was like "neat! I could use that to help support the thigh armor. From my days with the Halo Spartan armor...I recall how tricky that part was to keep from slipping. But in the end, I decided that instead of pockets, loops would be better to secure those parts. I was thinking velcro tape 

Now the knee joint I was planning on sewing it directly onto the pants. Thinking of how, I had a brief moment of madness thinking I could use a button on the kneepad and add button holes to the leggings. Then I was like...oh yeah, I was going to put these on the suite directly! I did a vague sketch of my plans for that. I'm going to use some kind of fabric covering for the foam armor. I'm debating whether or not I want to use vinyl stretch or simply performance wear spandex. Either way, it will need extra trim which I will fold under and sew the seam allowance directly to the knee of the leggings. 

Next item is the shirt. The shirt pattern came with a sort of slouch turtle neck version and a hoodie version as well as the round collar. I tried to see if the pattern could be manipulated to create a mock turtleneck but in the end I decided to not burden myself by complicating the already complicated pattern. (Princess seams are pretty but no joke.) So instead I ended up buying one of these: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/537476536774327292/ and a pair of black costume gloves. 
Now my big discovery as it were was the shoulder pads. I was mucking about with a spandex shirt I have for another costume that had a similar neckline to the one I'm making. I couldn't find the dress shoulder pads I usually test things with but I did find a pair of fluffy socks still in the package. I stuffed that under my shirt and over my shoulder with the heel of the sock toward my shoulder. I was floored...it was the EXACT shape I was looking for.  It raised the shoulder line, pushed it out like proper sports padding would and made the shoulder do a slight mutton chop shape just like in the show! I just need to cover the shoulder of the shirt with my colored foam piece and let the under padding do its work! I tested it with other socks and it works. That's the shape and thickness. Just about an inch or so thickness and a boomerang shape. I'll probably sew them onto the dicky.

Along with the shirt I had to consider the arm bracers. Looking at other builds the hand plate is usually independent of the whole forearm piece. Which makes it a "natural" slide prevention. 

Now keeping the upper arm bit from slipping was something I was trying to solve for. This is where my button and loop or buttonhole made more sense. I intend to make the bicep piece "seamless" so that I just slide it on. The wide collar on the shirt makes it easy to manipulate under the sleeve. 

The forearm is currently planned to be seamless as well. It may also need a button hold somewhere but the glove piece may be enough. 
My other issue is the wrist movement or limitations that the design poses. My doodle highlights my problem. Palm out and back will force the wrist bump to either bend and squish or potentially slide the whole piece up. 

Lastly a part I haven't thought of really before...the shoes.
So I doodled based on what I see in official art. My two options are 1) Boot cover over flats. This would be the easiest option as there are plenty of tutorials. Alternatively, I could MAKE A SHOE! 
I want the challenge. I've sewn baby boots and I have patterns for adult shoes. I have the perfect pattern for the shoe. (Actually I just went back to the site I got it from and found a better one.) Abella Women's Shoes from ithinksew.com. (Samantha like my notes are also good.) Then create the sole it needs to fit into. Could be fun. :) 

This weekend I hope to start sew the pants and shirt. 

Busy Busy and Art Exchange

Work has been all consuming of my time and a drain on my creativity. I still get bursts of creative energy from time to time.

Some things I've made since my last post:

Rhinestone Necklace

                    Rhinestone Shoes
Crochet African Flowers

Stuffed Fox
Touching up VN sprites
Written the First chapter of the next two VN routes
So more productive than I give myself credit for. :)

Also exciting is that MAX (Multi-Artist Exchange) has been revived again after 2 years. I've been a part of this art exchange for over a decade. We're open to new folks joining so check it out at https://comicadia.com/. I have been working on updating the guide for them.

Last night I purchased some of the fabric I'll need for my massive ballgown. Good golly miss molly. I had to get 19 yards of tulle. NINETEEN! That's almost 50 feet of fabric. What have I gotten myself into!?
It also got me going into pattern reading which I started doing for the activewear patterns I have for Voltron. It made me mildly productive and inspired.
(Although now I'm really wishing I could make a Lotor cosplay. Like I knew he was a purple elf from the original series but...dat buttermilk voice. >_> Buttermilk...mmmm...so want to watch some British baking now. :D)
(Lucius: >_> I will cosplay Lotor...I could pull it off. I already have the ears and hair. Just need to purple myself.)
(Mod: Halloween has a theme?)
(Lucius: Terrible 80s cartoons that turned around? Perfect!)

 Anyway...next post will be about the sketch plans I made for Voltron Armor re-imagined!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Since Halloween...

Ho...haven't updated in awhile.
So updates.
I noticed I haven't made any progress on Voltron. I think I actually got the wrong size pattern for the pants. >_> Dees hips are no longer a "misses" size. Also I've been lax on my diet. I'm back up to 150 lbs. and I haven't been doing my exercises. So I'm not tabling it yet, but I may be more of  a "Pudge" than a "Pidge". LOL! Also, I've got another project going on.

I'm making a full-length ball room dress and my own rhinestone jewelry. It's been fun so far. I also plan on rhinestoning shoes. Kind of a Cinderella thing going on with that.
I have the pattern for this dress: Simplicity's Cinderella Dress
For the visual novel, I've made good progress. I've finished the second route out of six! Sent the first chapter to be reviewed by a friend. I'll be able to better assess the art needed once a lot of the writing is done.

But for the past week, I've been distracted by a sudden interest to make custom content for Sims4. I can re-color things easily enough but I thought I'd try my hand at making custom food.

Yeah...more of a challenge than I thought, but I've been up to 3 in the morning the past few days trying to suss it out.
I think I need a break from it.

OH right, I also had a lovely vacation at Universal Studios in Orlando with my family. It was awesome.
For now, I think the past few sleepless nights have caught up with me and I need to go to bed.

OH before I forget...my Halloween Costume! :P

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Happy Halloween!

I'm terrible at being regular about this. Probably because I write all day and get kind of burnt out on it. But I'll give some updates.

One because Halloween is just around the corner, I've been working on a costume. I made a cute lolita-inspired dress so I can be a broken doll.
(I'll post pics later.)

My mom also got me a used serger that she got for making a baby outfit for someone. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet but...I also have to remember how they work. :/


Pidge Cosplay


I got the fabric and the legging pattern may be a bit too small. I'm praying that the spandex compensates. Although...we all may live to regret that. LOL.

Apartment Complex

I've been working on re-organizing my apartment so I have more room to work in and can have people come over. Still trying to figure out a system for my project storage. I have a lot of backburner things in giant plastic tubs. It's kind of tough.

Financial Pressure

Things are a bit tight since that new car. I'm also most likely not getting a raise this year so I trying to find a way to make money without having to get a 2nd job. I'm also taking an online course on finding your passion. Looking back at my last creative burst, it was July during Staycation. :( That explains a lot.

She BAKES!

I'm also learning how to make bread. I can make Challah and Hawaiian Sweet Roll bread pretty well. Learning how to make meringue too. It's tough.

Trouble Brewing

My VN has a wiki now! Trouble Brewing Wiki, right here.
It has my progress report on that. I'm trying to be consistent with it but by aforementioned financial struggles, job stress and the whole re-organizing project has gotten me pretty down and exhausted and depressed. I try to write the VN now and again because it can be therapeutic, but it's getting hard to do that. I am starting to look for assistance on this project. I have some plans.

Right now, I'm taking some time to improve my situation which does cut into creative time.
I'm trying to publish my story that I wrote like 7 years ago. I just have lost a lot of confidence in my creative work. I'm sure it's because of my depression which magnifies my problems to unreasonable levels and make me less fun to be around. It sucks and I wish I wasn't this way. I wish it was just me being a whiny drama queen looking for attention (which is how I think I come off to people when I complain about my depression or seem to be using it as an excuse). I wish I could just flip a switch and cheer up. The reality is that depression is different for every person. And it is an epidemic for my generation. I've been in therapy for a year now. I am making progress.

So pray for me if you think of it.
Thank you.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Voltron Paladin Pidge - Day 01

So I've flushed hours of my life on Pinterest, scoping out different things necessary for this project.
Today, I've purchased the spandex and the patterns I need to make the top and bottom of the jumpsuit. I decided that because the costume is "cut in half" by a belt that wearing a jumpsuit would be unnecessary and uncomfortable. I did that for my Halo cosplay...but that was when I was younger and more foolish. Look, PANTS.

I was planning on making just a turtleneck shirt and pants then draw on the seam lines. But then I was like...wait...those are Princess Seams. Those are seams used for a SLIMMING effect. In order for that shirt to be FITTED AF, it'd have to be real princess seams. And if using seams for the shirt, I can't just do regular leggings. It took some snooping but I found a good patter. I'm gonna SHARE because I'm NICE like that.

The ones I'm using personally are these McCall's Activewear patterns:
I picked these patterns because I didn't feel like using my printer paper. You can see my rabbit hole of pin research on this board:
I did also buy the PDF pattern for the Sloan pants...I'm using the waistband media pocket idea...because that's brilliant!

So. Phase 1 will begin once all my supplies are delivered. We'll have a turtle neck fitted shirt and gloves plus leggings with added stirrups.

Gains and Losses

So I took a Staycation the first week of this month and used it to buy a new car and work on some projects.
I did gain some weight back but I'm already down again and heading toward the next goal: 140 lbs or less. (As of today I'm 144!)

Loss of Weight

When I started the weight loss program I was 157 lbs and creeping ever closer to an unhealthy 160. My first goal was to get down to 150 lbs. It took about 6 weeks of dieting and hardly any exercise to do that. Once I reached that I wanted to go for another 5 lbs. It took another 5 - 6 weeks but I did get down to 145 for a total loss of 12 lbs in about 12 weeks. Which is what I wanted. Losing about 1 lb a week. 

At one point I did start doing some arm toning exercises, but I fell off the bandwagon because my weights were too heavy and I hurt myself. One of these days I'll go get 3 lb weights and ease back into the 5 lbs. 

The weight loss was a personal goal but also prompted by a desire to get back into cosplay and not feel too uncomfortable in some of the tight outfits I have planned. 

Loss/Gain of Car

This was a struggle. It was my first time buying from a dealership instead of a relative. I also had to trade in the car I'd been driving for the past 8 years. It came with me from Michigan. I traded in the Toyota Avalon for a 2016 Toyota Corolla...a much smaller, less powerful car. But it's new. And red!
I call her Epona

Gain of a Pony



I put the head on! Well I re-did the head completely first (save for the ears and horn). And then hand-sewed all the parts to the body! Now all it needs is a mane and tail and my FIRST pony plushie will be done. The head is still not my favorite looking, but that's kind of what you get when you mix and match patterns. But Loyal Defender doesn't look too bad. And I totally cheated and printed his cutie mark on some quilt batting. I'll definitely be doing that for a few cutie marks for other ponies...except on felt. 

Visual Novel Progress/Gain of Off-brand Cintiq

So, I have had a 13" Cintiq for 6 - 7 years now. I've been spoiled and can't go back to an intuos or pen tablet. Now the brightness and color don't nearly match my current monitor plus I have to turn down the resolution a lot. After some research I found one of the many off brand pen monitors and found one that was 1) much larger and 2) equivalent in specs to mine. I just got the new one today and haven't set it up. But it's big...and beautiful. I got some art gloves too so I don't sweat all over this one. 
But should this pan out, I'll have a Cintiq for sale...for an equivalent price for which I bought the competitor brand. (I spent nearly $1000 on my tiny cintiq and spent more than half of that for a larger one.) 

Also in that time I made huge progress in my visual novel project Brewing Trouble which I've been working on for about a year. I got all the main crew's first draft sprites done. 







 

For now I'm just plugging away at writing the thing. I've finished the prologue and pre-choice portions. (By finished I mean drafted and programmed. Still plenty of editing to do.)
I'm half-way through the common route (which occurs automatically if a certain parameter is not met.)
I'm also putting together a wiki for it.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Progress by Inches...literally

Exciting day. I've lost 12 lbs of weight and I have noticed that I'm slimming down. I'm working on toning my arms now but I feel like I'm in a good place. I'm going to continue striving to get my weight down but spandex IS on sale this weekend, so before the 5th I intend to re-measure myself and figure out how much fabric I need for the Jumpsuit...which will be stirrup pants and a turtle neck.

The only "hurdles" right now are a) I'm also trying to buy a car this week so I expect to be emotionally drained. b) My laptop battery isn't charging so I'm waiting on a new charger. (2nd one for this particular laptop.) And c) Steam Summer Sale. FML. I expect to be gaming a lot. AND sewing plushies.

I finished the body for Loyal defender and wings and redid the head. I actually am at the point where I need to sew the head to the body. ...Oh and sew the ears and horn on too. Then make a mane pattern. Then I'll have my big pony plush pillow. ^^

Also have to put a mane and tail on Willow.

I have only one week of vacation...it's not long enough.