To the Bone

Finally got the boning in for my corset yesterday. I got all the bones in the channels with no problems, and got the top binding sewn on. My biggest problem? The damn grommets.

Now, according to the directions (and according to several corset making groups I’ve followed on Facebook), the best way to gradually make openings for the grommets is to use an awl–a special leatherworking tool–to open up the space between threads.

I, however, do not own one and did not bother to buy one. I went the long way about it and thus am going to have the cracked and blistered hands to prove it come daylight.

Still, I’m determined to finish this corset. If I’ve gotten far enough to get the boning in, I have to. I wouldn’t be able to rest knowing it wasn’t done (which is probably why I’ve had insomnia all night and have not slept in 23 hours).

I got roughly half of the grommet holes made and the grommets in place, but I can’t set the grommets until it’s later in the morning when people are awake and won’t complain about hammering. I also made one tiny boo-boo where the fabric ripped about half an inch, but I think that once the grommet is set in place it won’t be as bad, and then I can sew it back together. Just need to find thread that matches well.

I hope to be able to post pictures of me wearing the corset soon. I think once I can see how it looks with the hood I made I’ll have a better visualization of how the overall ensemble will look, and it will also give me a better idea of what to do with the skirt. I have the basic design down, but I need to hem it (which I have a plan for) and finish the waist (somehow).

This is the time when I should be going to sleep.

I’m not though. I’ll probably mess around on the computer for a while longer. I’m wired as all get-out & not much will settle me.

Productive procrastination

Today I spent a lot of time meeting and then exceeding my #NaNoWriMo word count for the day. I spent exponentially  more time finding other things to do.

They weren’t all useless things. I did several different Cosplay Closet Essentials interviews, so I’m good pretty much through the new year on those. Just have to compile the questions/answers into a file and then copy/paste to #TalkNerdyWithUs when it’s time for a new post. Met some interesting new people (well, met them online–not in person) and learned a lot.

Then I thought, “Y’know what? I need to work on my own cosplay page. It’s high time I picked a name for myself and spruced up the page.” So I did. Spent a few hours adding photos, organizing photo albums, and changing the name/web link/info. (FYI, the link is ). It’s not perfect, but then again neither am I. So there.

I also started cutting out pattern pieces for some Christmas presents I’m making. Because that is totally conducive to achieving my goal of getting 50k words written by the end of the month.

I’ll get there. Eventually. I have a couple of half days at work this month, in addition to the fact that my husband will be working late shifts for most of the month. I should have plenty of time.

Provided I can limit the distractions.

The Conqueror

Well, I did it. I conquered my fear of screwing up and started on the boning channels for the corset. I actually got everything up to the point of putting in the boning done, and once I have the spiral steel bones it will (hopefully) finally come together.

I have to say to any aspiring cosplayers (or artists, or writers) out there who are apprehensive about getting started: Don’t be! Y’know why I stubbornly refused to use a sewing machine for so long? I was afraid of breaking something, like a needle. Know what happened the first time I tried using my new sewing machine? I broke the damn needle. But I didn’t freak out. I didn’t cry or panic. I got the instruction manual, looked up how to change the needle, and changed it. Boom. Done. The thing I was afraid of happened, and I kept calm and fixed it.

You can do it. Just try. Don’t be afraid. Or be afraid, but don’t let it stop you.


I am embarrassingly behind on my critiques for the Facebook group I’m in. These critiques have helped my writing tremendously. It’s amazing what reading snippets of different writers’ styles will do to help develop your own style.

I used to be able to knock out three or four critiques in a couple of days, but lately it’s taking me longer and longer. I think I’m so bogged down with other writing, cosplay, and art projects that I have trouble focusing.

The Whispers of Death novel is very near to being ready for submission to agents and publishers. It makes me nervous to even think of sending it out. Though I don’t think I’ll be particularly crushed if I get rejections (and I really think I have something worthy of traditional publication), the idea of actually doing this, of getting the process started and making it real is a bit daunting.

The cosplay is coming along nicely. The skirt is started, and self-drafting is tough, but I think I’ll get it figured out. I have a friend who can help me, and I think once I get the corset finished and can see how much belly bulge it sucks in (if any lol), I’ll better be able to finish it to a better fit.

Unfortunately, the art project is stalled worse than the critiques. I’m trying, but I’m artistically “stuck.” I’ve got drawer’s block. I’m thinking of moving on from the latest drawing I’ve started (which is frustrating the hell out of me) and moving on to other characters in order to have more to send in to my client. I think that once I’ve finished with the novel prep I’ll be in a better frame of mind to draw more.

Oh yeah, and I have NaNoWriMo next month. It’s coming up fast, so I need to prep that as well.

Why do I do this to myself? Lol

The Tale of the Tape

Just measured myself for the skirt I’m self-drafting for my next cosplay. Ouch. The numbers burn.

I can still, as the illustrious Tim Gunn says, “make it work,” but I have to rethink my approach. It will be tougher to get “right.” Unless I can lose weight.

Then again, if I lose too much weight I run the risk of the skirt being too big in the end. If I choose one of my alternate approaches, it could be taken in. It would be difficult to do for someone with my (lack of) skill, but possible.

Yeah. I think I’ll do that. Make it so I can take it in if I manage to lose weight. If.

The Write Stuff?

I mentioned before about the Cosplay Closet Essentials posts I’ve started writing for Talk Nerdy With Us. So far the results have been positive, but how long will that last?

As an artist, I’m plagued with insecurity. Is this painting any good? Is the cosplay I’m sewing going to turn out? Will my novel get published?

Will people like the articles I wrote?

Don’t get me wrong; I love the interviews. I love doing most of the work myself: approaching the cosplayers for an interview, writing up the questions, editing and posting the articles for review. It makes me feel good when I’m able to organize something myself. But is that something good enough?

Artists, at times, can be fragile creatures. We put our souls into our drawings and our paintings, our sculptures and our clothing, our poetry and our prose. Think of Harry Potter: every piece of art that is created from the artist’s muse is like a horcrux. Souls torn into a million pieces, each one weakening the artist a little yet making the artist strong enough to live forever.

Some people might say that an interview isn’t the kind of writing that can be considered “art.” I disagree. I put just as much of myself into an interview as I put into a detailed drawing or my latest cosplay. I don’t just phone it in–except for phone interviews. I guess technically I phone those in. But that’s beside the point.

These Cosplay Closet Essentials posts are my horcruxes, just as are my paintings, drawings, and stories. So think about that the next time you read an article that you don’t agree with.

You could be dissing a part of someone’s soul.

Jumping the proverbial gun

I started sewing the corset panels together this morning. Why do this when I don’t have all the materials to complete it, you might ask. Well, it’s simple: if I didn’t start it, I was going to chicken out and possibly buy a cheap, pre-made corset and just sew the fabric I want on top of the corset, which would look weird. So I started what I can do, and will finish once I have the boning, casings, and binding purchased.

Next up: the skirt. This will be probably as much of a challenge as the corset, as I will be self-drafting most likely. I want to make a sort of fishtail/mermaid skirt, with the exploding TARDIS fabric for the train. I need to decide for sure, though, because it will be tough to figure out how to keep the train from getting stepped on at Comicon. There’s the option of putting a small loop on the inside to pick up the train while I walk, but that might look silly. Then again, who cares if I look silly? It’s my cosplay, my fun.

That’s the great thing about cosplay: the fun. It may take hours, days, weeks, months of work (more like months for me, because I’m taking my time & because I have Attention Deficit Artistic Disorder (not a real medical condition, but it should be)–but in the end, it’s about having fun with costumes. I mean, it is COStume PLAY, after all.

It’s too bad I haven’t ordered the boning/casings yet, because I would love to be able to get this done before Halloween, or at least before the next nearby convention. I think that Tucson Comic-con is in November–maybe I’ll try to be done by then.

Of course, next month is #NaNoWriMo. So I’ll be preoccupied with getting as much writing in as possible. We’ll see.

Fit to be tied

I started on the corset for my TARDIS cosplay last night. It is intimidating, because I’ve never made a corset before and thus have no idea what I’m doing…but when does that stop me? Lol Managed to cut the fabric pieces I need and get some of them basted together (For those who don’t know, corsets, for the most part, need multiple layers to be sturdy. I’ve heard of corsets that had only one layer, but I would not attempt that on my own. Anywho, it involves cutting out several of the same piece and sewing/basting them together before putting the actual pieces together.)

This is a big undertaking for me, but I’m going in with a positive mindset that, if I follow the directions carefully, I can do it.

The tricky parts are yet to come. I have to buy the correct boning, get some kind of boning tape/casings, get grommets and laces, correctly put on the grommets, and put the whole shebang together. Lots to do, but if I think about it one step at a time it’s less nerve-wracking. I know there will be some flaws (translation: a lot of them) like puckering, bunching, and possible fit issues, but I’ll get it done. I’m too stubborn not to.

Sadly, though, it’s almost time to head off to work. *Sigh* The things we do to pay for the things we love to do lol

Sew far sew good

I’m making progress on my #TARDIS #cosplay. I bought the Simplicity pattern, but I plan on making a few alterations. Gotta be me, y’know?

I have plenty of blue fabric to work with, but I’ll need more of the #explodingtardis fabric if I’m going to finish it the way I want.

The corset is going to be the trickiest part. I’ve never made one before, and even though the Simplicity pattern is supposed to be, well, simple, corsets are notoriously difficult for beginners like myself. I’ll definitely need to make at least one mock-up to be sure I get the technique and fit down pat. I’ll also have to wait until last to do that part, because I plan on losing weight. A shrug with a hood won’t look too weird if I lose a bunch of weight, but a corset won’t look right at all.

The skirt should be fairly easy to make and alter. I’ve made a skirt before, so I can play around with that.

Not that there isn’t a ton of time before the next con I am going to. I just really am enjoying this, and I hope to go back to previous cosplays and improve on them as well before Phoenix Comicon 2016.

Since I have a slight case of Artistic Attention Deficit Disorder, I can’t seem to stick to one project at a time. I also have an art commission project that I need to work on, now that my knees feel much better and I can sit comfortably.

Lots going on. Lots to do. Gotta love it.

Stitches in time

Hello. My name is AJ, and I’m a cosplay addict. It’s been 10 minutes since I’ve sewn anything for a costume.

The sewing machine for my birthday was both a gift and a curse. I love being able to sew now, and I’m gaining confidence every time I use it; however, the pedal kills my knee and hunching over the machine kills my back. Still, I’m making new things on my own, and it’s great. I’m obsessed.

I’m not just making cosplay. I’ve also made myself a scrub top (two, actually, but I have to lose weight to wear one of them–stupid pattern doesn’t match its own measurements) and a few pairs of fingerless gloves to wear for typing, drawing, or just plain whenever my hands get cold. They’re my own design, too, which I love. I can actually design things and not take weeks to make them. Now it’s a matter of days or even hours, depending on the size of what I’m making. It’s amazing.

Unfortunately, sometimes I get carried away. I wake up stupid early in the morning (usually thanks to my cat, Rory), and with nothing to do on some of those early mornings I end up sewing. Or plotting sewing. It’s crazy.

I suppose it could be worse. I could be addicted to drugs or alcohol or something equally destructive. This, at least, is a creative outlet that makes me happy.

Hello. My name is AJ, and I’m a cosplay addict…and I have no intention of stopping.