Any one who’s been following my twitter will know that I have been going on and on about making my Ms. Marvel costume for London SuperComic Con (or LSCC for short).
Anywho, I was once told that to call something cosplay it required at least 70% of items worn needed to be home made or modified. I have since learned that while this is true in the highest levels of cosplay competition it does not really apply to amateurs, like me, and the word has taken on a more generic meaning similar to ‘fancy dress’. I guess it’s in the same way cosplay encompasses all aspects of dressing up now, not just those related to Japan.
However for the LSCC I decided to actually make my costume, well as best as I could without a sewing machine!
Ms. Marvel, secret identity Carol Danvers, costume involves a sleeveless high neck body suit with a lightning bolt on the front, some thigh high boots and a red sash to preserve some dignity. She also has long yellow blonde hair and a mark to protect her identity.
With this in mind I set out to create the body suit from a long sleeve top from good ‘ol Primark (from which I removed the sleeves) and cut a lightning bolt into satin fabric in the right sort of gold colour.
Sewing this bad boy was a real pain! The fabric frayed terribly and didn’t stretch at all meaning by the time I had hand sewn the shape to the stretched top I was left with a kind of wrinkly effect. This wasn’t so bad once I was wearing the costume, but I certainly learnt just why superheroes wear stretchy spandex!
Phase two was creating the sash. This was achieved by cutting a meter of red sating fabric in half and sewing it together – not too tricky. I would have loved to have hemmed the edges but sadly I just didn’t have time… but I think I may have gotten away with it.
The final part was adding the accessories, painting on my mask (I've previously recommended MAC Fluidline for this), putting on the wig and sewing my stockings to my tights, yes you heard right, that was quite an effort, but with my size it is exceptionally difficult to get a pair of over the knee boots to fit!
Finally I was ready to leave the house!
Here’s the final look:
The experience of being dressed in something that I had made was fantastic! Furthermore there was the added bonus that people actually knew who I was!
I wandered around the convention taking photos for Den ofGeek, doing my day-job (I WISH!), and posed for photos with fans of Ms. Marvel and some people with an interest in cosplay.
A highlight of this was when a man asked if his tiny son could have his picture taken with me. I nearly cried it was just so cute!
I also had my picture taken at the Panini Marvel Graphic Novels stand with Iron Man, Captain America and Thor… or at least their cardboard equivalents.
Then I went to artist’s alley and after asking for autographs I had my pictures taken with several comic artist and writers – some of which even complimented me on my costume, including Peter Nguyen, Mike Carey, Mike Norton and Paul Cornell!
I must confess, and this sounds very vain, but I felt great! Typically I suffer a lot with body image problems and have to say that going outside in a silly outfit, wearing a mask is extremely therapeutic for resolving this (even if temporarily). I would definitely encourage anyone to try it.
I can absolutely see why people get hooked on this.
For the final part of the day I *reluctantly* took part in the cosplay competition – my first. It was terrifying! And I had no idea what to do, and I made a complete mess of it… but it was still fun and having done one, I would very much like to do some more. I just need to work on some poses and get some practice with my sewing machine!
I'll post a gallery of my favourite cosplays from the convention in the near future and I'll also post about retro-cosplay and what I wore on Sunday in a few days too. Until then...