Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cosplay Tips 1: Updated!

Hello all. This will be a continuing series of tips and suggestions I have for cosplayers and anyone interested in cosplaying or just dressing up for Halloween. I'll try to do a few examples if necessary for each of these posts. So, without further ado, here is

Cosplaying tip #1: Wigs and Hair
One thing that I find difficult about cosplaying is the hair. Many Anime characters have gravity defying hair or hair that is an unnatural color. Thanks to wigs, the task of looking like you have 6 inch purple spiked hair is made much easier. However, good wigs tend to be expensive, and not everyone has the time to style wigs or the money to buy a wigs styled like their favorite anime character. So my main solution is: choose a character that has hair similar to your own. For example, I have long blond hair. This is a fairly popular combination in anime and it gives me some versatility.  Some of the characters I've cosplayed in the past were Patty and Liz Thomas and Maka Albairn from Soul Eater along with Chi from Chobits. It's true, my hair wasn't perfect, but it was enough to get the point across

Wig allow a lot more versatility, but also have a lot of their own problems. For one thing, the fibers most wigs are made out of behave differently from real hair. This can have it's advantages, namely when you style the wig, it stays styled, unlike real hair. However, this also means that wigs behave differently from real hair. I found a really nice book about 'wig crafting' recently that has lots of different suggestions for how to style wigs. It's called "World of Wigcraft" by Katie Bair. I haven't had the opportunity to try out anything from it yet, but it was very informative and I hope to use some of the tips in the future. If you are interested in making your own wigs, I would highly recommend you buy "World of Wigcraft." Some of the things that I found the most helpful were using hot water to style the wigs instead of a curler of straightener so as to not melt the fibers and not treating wigs like real hair since they aren't attached to a scalp like real hair and lay differently.

I've noticed one of the main struggles with wigs, especially long ones, is that they tangle fairly easily. One could just try combing the wig out to get the worst of the tangles out, but this isn't always the best choice. If you've got a wig that's super tangled or just really messy the best choice is to wash the wig. Here's what you'll need:
-A tub, I just used my bath tub, but you can use a sink or plastic tub if you have a shorter wig
-Shampoo, I'd recomend using a less expensive shampoo for this since you'll likely be using a lot
-Wide tooth comb, I used a plastic shower comb for this

 Start by filling the tub up to a few inches deep so you have enough water to submerge the wig in.  Get the wig thoroughly wet, both the outside and the inside of the wig. Pull the wig out of the water and apply some shampoo to the ends of the fibers on one section of the wig. work it through the fibers and then use a comb to gently work the tangles to the ends of the fibers. Always work from the bottom to the top of the wig to avoid pulling out as many fibers as possible. If the fibers start feeling less wet, dunk them in the water again and reapply the shampoo. It's easiest to work on a small section at a time instead of the whole wig. I did one side in sections until it was mostly tangle free, then switched sides of the wig. Once you finish with the outside of the wig, flip it inside out and work on the inside fibers the same way as for the outside ones. Afterwords, turn the wig right side out again and fix the outside fibers if needed. This process can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours depending on the length of the wig and the severity of the tangles, so be patient. You don't want to get impatient and tear out too many wig fibers when you do this. Once the wig's detangled, wash all of the shampoo out and gently pat off excess water with a towel. The wig can take several days to dry, so make sure to put it somewhere where it can hang freely and let it air dry. Make sure the wig is 100% dry before storing it.

I used a straight wig for this, so I don't know how this method would work on a wig with curls. If your wig has curls, make sure to use cold or lukewarm water as hot water can make the wig fiber change shape. This should ensure that the curls will stay better intact on your wig.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Very Own Lolita Outfit

For my senior project, I decided to make a Lolita dress. I'd been wanting a Lolita dress for some time and I was thinking of making one. However, I hadn't had the funds or the motivation to make one. So when the time came to choose my project, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I originally was thinking of just making a dress, but I knew just a dress wouldn't be enough. So I decided to make a jumper dress, a blouse, a head bow, bloomers, and a petticoat. They all turned out very nicely, despite some difficulties I came across. My mentor, Miss Carlyfornia, helped instruct me in how to make it all. Here are a few pictures of the dress and bloomers.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hello to All

In this blog I intend to talk mainly on the subjects of Anime and the Lolita style, along with cosplay, sewing, dolls, and anything else relevant that catches my fancy. I plan to put up pictures of my Lolita and Anime related clothing, as well as tips and suggestions for making or putting together your own cosplays and Lolita outfits. Please enjoy reading this blog as well as commenting. Thank you all.