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Saturday, February 20, 2021

2019 Recap + 2020 Plans

I still can't believe we're on the other side of 2020. Sounds fake, but okay.

Obviously this is way old by now. But 2019 was the last normal year of costuming and I actually did a lot, so continuing the process of catching up on old stuff I still wanted to go back and recap it.

2019 was a really busy year. I'm pretty sure it set a new record for costumes + events, or at least was a strong peak.

In February I went back to The Revolution in Huntington Beach, but in costume for the first time.

Using last year's French Revolution Zombaes costume as a base, I made new petticoats, neckerchiefs, jewelry, and a hat for the event.

I also made it back to the Great L.A. Air Raid in a different 1940s ensemble.

The pearl necklace, blouse, cardigan, coat, and oxfords were all from my closet. The coat was from my closet and modified with a fur collar from the stash. I turned a brass airplane stamping into a brooch, and bought a pair of vintage U.S. Navy uniform pants. We got there later than last year but stayed until the dance ended and the MPs started rounding people up, and went to the after-party on the Queen Mary which was a blast (and turned into a rare, impromptu photo op).

In March I went to WonderCon as per usual. The first day I did flight suit Carol Danvers and my friend did the SHIELD disguise variant.
We pulled the costumes together in about two weeks between seeing the movie and the event. It was the first time we've done costumes while the source material was still fresh, and it was fun getting to take advantage of all the Captain Marvel hype. Despite how casual the costumes are, we got a lot of great reactions and had a great time. We were also super fortunate to take part in the Marvel photoshoot.
I bought the flight suit and patches, and used a blonde wig, aviators, and boots I already had. I fixed the fit issue with my wig (which I've been using for a few years now for Cap) by cutting a slit in the lace behind the ears so the lace could sit further forward over my actual hairline. It was my first time doing a pulled-back hairstyle with a lace front, and also the first time fully gluing down the hairline, and I'm really pleased how well it worked.

The second day we were Jay and Ice from Hocus Pocus, which was kind of a dud.
The people who got it absolutely loved it which was great, but not many people got it, so after how popping the Carols were the day before it was kind of eh. On the plus side, we did run into a Dani at the end of day which was super fun.
The only thing new about the costume after making it the previous October was getting new pants (which ended up too big and now need yet another replacement), using an alternate plaid shirt, and finishing Winifred's spellbook as an extra prop. I wore the same jacket I used for a photoshoot the year before, which looks absolutely perfect, but it was way too uncomfortable for an event so that'll need an alternate eventually.

In June I went to Pirate Invasion again after skipping the year before. For convenience, French Revolution Zombaes were the base again. My friend went pirate-y with hers, and I did more or less a variation of the HB Revolution ensemble with an upgraded hat, the FRZ wig, and some flashier jewelry.

The event was unfortunately generally underwhelming and at some points actually disappointing, which also ended up meaning no photos, but the costumes were fun.

Most shocking of all, in July I made it back to San Diego Comic Con for the first time in something like five or six years. It was completely unexpected and fairly last minute, as far as what planning for SDCC usually requires. A friend was on a panel and invited us along, so we were able to get badges for just that day and share an AirBnB with her. It was an Avengers cosplay panel and she was wearing her Scarlet Witch, so I did flight suit Carol Danvers again and my friend did Captain America: Civil War Natasha Romanoff to go with the Marvel theme for the day.

We also got to do the Marvel photoshoot again.
The flight suit from WonderCon needs a few repairs so I actually wore a different suit (same design, newer manufacture date) with the same patches, and used the same boots and wig and sunglasses, and added a black undershirt and dog tags.

We spent the rest of the weekend just being tourist-y in San Diego, checking out the outdoor stuff at the convention center and exploring Old Town. (And I did my first ever 10k for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing that Saturday!)

I had also prepped Civil War Sharon Carter for SDCC as an alternate costume choice.
I continued dyeing the blue/brown vest, but it turned out kind of terrible so I ended up buying two more of the same Banana Republic vest in slight color variations. I managed to get the actual screen accurate gray/gray vest (!!!) but it's just a little too small, so that's being saved for "someday." The other new vest was the gray/brown variant, and a black fabric marker took care of the brown trim so it looks pretty dang good. The costume is technically complete now, but the shirt was never ideal (too crisp white) and got stained somewhere in transit to/from San Diego so it needs to be replaced.

In August I had Labyrinth Masquerade again. I still can't believe this has sort of become just a normal yearly event now. Friday night was the return of French Revolution Zombaes.

FRZ got an upgrade with weathered dresses, the wigs from HB Revolution, and new makeup. They still need to be weathered a lot more, but it was fun to get it started.

On Saturday we debuted 18th century Beetlejuice.

Things were hit and miss. I finished Lydia (minus the neckline ruffle) and I'm really happy with it. For Beetlejuice, the mockup process took longer than expected and I ran into some last minute pattern problems, so I had to change plans and do a quick chemise gown instead of the zone front I had designed. But it still worked.

I turned 30 (gasp!) which was and still is kind of horrifying. So I guess I get to join the Cosplay Over 30 community now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In October we went to L.A. Comic Con, but not in costume. A family emergency the day before took all the energy and excitement out of me, and I'm really glad I still decided to go to the con because it was a nice distraction, but I'm also glad I skipped a costume and went plainclothes instead. Alexei "Smirnoff" from Stranger Things had been the plan, and I more or less finished the costume (but no photos yet), so like Sharon it's just waiting for some upgrades and an opportunity to be debuted.

So the 2019 breakdown was:
  • c. 1780s middle-class ensembles: new shift, new petticoats, new shoes, new hat
  • 1940s ensemble: new pants, modified coat, new accessories
  • Flight suit Carol Danvers: completed and upgraded (new flight suit, added undershirt and dog tags)
  • Ice: new button-up shirt, new pants
  • Sanderson spell book: completed
  • Civil War Sharon Carter: completed
  • French Revolution Zombaes: weathered dresses, new sashes, new makeup, new wigs
  • 18th century Beetlejuice and Lydia: completed
  • Alexei: completed
And for 2020...

2019 burnt me out in a lot of ways, and I'd vowed that 2020 would be the year of "chill" costuming: casual research on to-do costumes, little upgrades and tweaks to existing costumes, and picking just one major (though still smaller than usual) sewing project for the year. This plan lasted until about February, and then quickly fell further and further apart.

So the new plan was kind of no plan, but tentative stuff that has been dabbled with:
  • continue design work on Gibson Gothic, Sword-and-Sandal Superheroes, and/or Lost-Hope Ball
  • continue fabric/pattern/construction research on the Sanderson Sisters and Billy Butcherson
  • Civil War Winter Soldier: plan construction for new jacket
  • Civil War Sharon Carter: new shirt
  • Alexei: new pants, maybe new wig
  • Ice: new pants, new jacket for events 
  • French Revolution Zombaes: continue weathering dresses, continue experimenting with makeup
  • 18th century Lydia: add lace collar, maybe additional accessories, practice new makeup
  • 18th century Beetlejuice: new zone front gown
  • continue research on WWII reenactment portrayals: WAC, WAVES
  • random small vintage projects: blouses, shorts, pants, skirts, etc.
Stay tuned!