Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tales of Costumes PAAAAST!: Suki from Avatar the Last Air Bender.

So I used to cosplay. Yes, to those mundane friends of mine who found this blog via Facebook, I was one of THOSE people. I was one of the ridiculous folk who dressed up as imaginary characters at conventions. Trust me, this IS as weird as it sounds when you've never been exposed to that universe. Hell, I wasn't really fully exposed to that universe until I turned 25. So imagine my surprise at the notion that it even existed!
In my defence, I have to say that cosplay was really a fantastic way for me to learn how to sew. And that's pretty much what it was; fodder for me to get my feet with with ye olde sewing machine. I had some epic failures in cosplay *cough* which I rather not put on view here at the moment. But get me drunk one night and I may post the "What was a thinking!? Seriously!?" entry just to remind myself that, well, I HAVE improved over time.
But that is for another day.
...and another bottle of tequila.
And luckily for me, every misstep also led to a learning experience and a project that turned out even better than my expectations could lead. Over the years my interest has waned from cosplay and into more historical recreation.(You can thank the SCA for that one). I tend to take more delight these days in creating my own designs. But that doesn't mean that I don't admire a good chunk of cosplayers out there that have technical skill out the Yin Yang! Trust me, there are tons...I'm looking at YOU, Besty.
I only dabbled a bit.

Suki from Avatar: The Last Air Bender cartoon is definitely one of my better cosplay adventures.  This was done back in 2007-ish at Anime Expo. Trishana, my partner in crime in the above photo, was the one who came up with the idea of doing this cosplay.  She was a huge fan of Avatar. I was just starting to get into the show. Honestly, even though I loved the show, The main reason I did this costume was because I REALLY wanted to build the armor.

Ah, my old apartment...
Anyways, the armor and wrist guards are made of craft foam. No fooling. There's an amazing tutorial online RIGHT here that gives you step by step instructions on how to do this. I pretty much followed it to the letter. the breast plate slats are sewn/glued onto a muslin base I built. Pretty much the same with the wrist guards. The medallion is sculpty.

Believe it or now, we dyed the fabrics all on our own. Definitely came out better than previous adventures into dye. In retrospect, I wish I documented my progress on this costume since I learned so many new techniques. Unfortunately I was so swept up with working on it, I didn't bother to take my camera out for this. Regardless,  it was an adventure making the Suki costume.
One that didn't end in tears and bottles of tequila, either.
Baby Steps.

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