Sunday, January 18, 2015

Team Aqua grunt cosplay WIP for you, land crabs!

Greetings! :'D

You've probably guessed already, but this post will be about the progress I did on my Team Aqua grunt cosplay. The idea of cosplaying Team Aqua all started with... Shiro Samurai brainwashing me into it, as usual. x) We had been wondering about it for a few days : Should we or should we not? And suddenly we found the almost perfect shoes and they were cheap! It was settled : there was no going back. After all, we had the shoes now. What you mean, we make excuses to cosplay?

Team Aqua female grunt.
One of the best things with this cosplay is that wig choice and make-up are completely free, since grunts have different hair cuts and faces. Yeeeehaaaah! :'D
Back in summer last year (oops, that was so long ago), Shiro Samurai and I headed to his mum's to sew. We found the perfect blue fabric for pants and scouted for a pattern. It didn't take too long and soon came the time for fabric cutting! We kept in mind that we needed extra fabric for the bandanas.
And so the measuring began. At first it was just like usual and little by little, panic came. We just might not have enough fabric for such wide pants! None of us wanted tighter pants that would fit on our legs like a sausage's skin... Shiro Samurai's mum helped us and after careful measuring and using all the fabric, we made it! <3 We were close to the sausage skin pants though. the horror

Pieces cut out. The bandana-to-be is on top.
We didn't have time to actually start sewing on this day. :C
We came back soon enough though and started sewing. First came the pants and then the bandanas. ~
The pants were really easy to do but I still managed to screw up in the end so I had to cut some fabric and re-do the hem because it was fugly.

Pants in progress, before sewing the waist and hem.
They look super-size. :c
Soon I could iron my pants to flatten the seams.

And my pants were done! The sewing part at least.

After this we did the bandanas; just zigzaging and doing a straight seam so that it would look good. It was pretty quick but we had to stop there for the day and go home. We took our stuff with us, along with some white fabric paint for our bandanas.

Painting time! First we cut out the pattern for the Team Aqua symbol and pinned it on the bandana. We were careful to mark the middle well so that it wouldn't be off-center.

Drawing the pattern on the fabric.
And painting.
The two parts in the symbol that are supposed to be bones (I guess? Pirates, black flag, bones?) just started to look more and more like butt cheeks to me... So the symbol became butt cheeks. *rubs face with hands*
One thing though: the paint we used was actually the wrong type because it was meant for light fabrics and our bandanas were dark. It took forever and many more layers of paint than it should have taken. :C The paint just became half-transparent as soon as it dried, ffffffuuuuuu.

Later on, we came back to Shiro Samurai's mum. We looked for black and white fabrics but strangely enough, we couldn't find any black fabric that would work! We had decided to cut out the stripes for the T-shirt and sew them together instead of painting them. Painting would probably use up way too much paint! So stripes it was.
Cutting out stripes from the pattern was horrible. We got impossible angles, impossible pattern shape to pin on the fabric and to top it all, we were in a hurry. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing and being in a hurry just made my whole work shitty. I can't work under pressure, simple as that. On the moment I wanted to think that I had done pretty well but I didn't know yet how mistaken I was.

Pieces cut out.
Pinning pieces together to sew them.
We were supposed to use the overlock machine and Shiro Samurai had no problems with it. I was very scared of using it because the overlock cuts excess fabric while you sew. A single mistake and your stuff is ruined. Since I have absolutely no confidence in my non-existent sewing skills, I decided to keep my pieces in place with a straight seam before overlocking them.

And them it was time for the scary as f*ck overlocking.

Careful now... careful now!
Is it alive? :c
But as I was trying my best, Shiro Samurai pointed out to me that something was wrong...

Yup, several centimeters are off the shape. I didn't even know how I was supposed to sew this with such a huge mistake so I just gave up on it for the moment because I didn't want to make it even worse. Meanwhile, Shiro Samurai kept working on his shirt and had no problems whatsoever. I didn't understand what I had done wrong and how I could have screwed up so much: it wasn't even possible to sew it! I needed help to try to fix this but I didn't dare ask in case it was hopeless.
I stayed a long time without progress (several months) and just feeling so bad about it. Eventually I found courage to ask Shiro Samurai's mum if she could help me with this mess. She could, but I had screwed up indeed.
She just fixed the f*ck-up for me and I have pretty much no idea how she did. ._.

After this it was time to rage on do the sleeves... *sigh*

Sleeve stripes sewn together.
Sewing to the body.
And of course, I messed up again. :C

Can you see this?

I swear that no matter how careful I am, it always happens to me. I just can't make sense out of the pieces and where they go and which way...

Yeah, no comment.
I fixed it and finished the thing... or so I thought. When I tried it on it looked pretty retarded. I went to ask for help for, like, the 10000th time and Shiro Samurai's mum showed me a very simple trick.

"Just sew straight here."
Amazing! Just a straight sew had fixed the retarded floppiness!

This time we're done. :<
The rest of the progress was done even later - in 2015. I feel pretty ashamed about such delay, but I started a course and my free time shrank like hell. At least the course is worth it, hoho. ~

Finally I got some time to go and paint my pants. I did this at Jäätynyt Enkeli's place because it's much more roomy. First, Shiro Samurai and I drew the pattern on the pants. It was tedious, it killed our backs and the ring that was on the elastic waist was pure hell. TT^TT

Ring pattern drawn on paper. Just to make sure we won't draw squares instead of rings.
Eventually we made it. I didn't paint my pants at the same time as Shiro Samurai because I always had something in the way. OTL Eventually I found a moment to dedicate to pants on an evening. I started painting and found it really tedious and hard. It simply took forever and I didn't enjoy it.
Later on, Shiro Samurai came to check on my work (I was painting the second leg) and noticed that I was painting in a very different way than he was. He showed me how he did it and I tried using the same technique. At first it felt hard and unnatural but I eventually got a hang of it - and it suddenly became much easier! With the right technique, it went fast and it was actually enjoyable! Note to self: it's better when someone actually tells you and shows you how it's done.
I had a moment of panic when my brush rolled out of my hand and I got some stains on my pants. I'll try to wash them but on the moment I didn't have anything. Oh well, in the worst case I will have to remember to only show one leg on pics and pose always turned the same way. XD

About the paint: after our experience with the bandanas, Shiro Samurai and I decided that THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT!! In other words, we bought paint for dark fabrics; our pants only needed two layers! Woooohoooo for the dark fabrics paint! <3
Now we'll remember to always be careful about the type of paint and the type/color of fabric.

Once my pants were painted I waited a couple of days to be sure that they were completely dry. Then, I flipped them inside-out and ironed them on the "wrong" side to fix the paint. Shiro Samurai was a nice guy and ironed my butt cheeks bandana for me while I was painting. Thanks! <3

And this concludes my progress post! Now I just need sunglasses, a Pokéball and let's sail! :'D

Thanks for reading, people! <3 Bye-bye!