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A little funny for your Friday! This is funny and accurate and why I typically h…

A little funny for your Friday!
This is funny and accurate and why I typically have pieces in my passenger seat or trunk to put on at the destination.

Historical Costumers vs Cars

How exactly does one so fluffy get in and out of a car? Ladies of the Great Basin Costume Society demonstrate this clash of centuries.

Decision time! It's 2015, and as such, I've decided to make a few Back to the F…

Decision time!
It's 2015, and as such, I've decided to make a few Back to the Future costumes to celebrate. I have the fabric and pattern for Lorraine's prom dress from parts 1 and 2, and I want to make one of Clara's dresses from 3.
Here's where I need help. I truly can't decide which one!
Clara's dress from the dance is adorable and so perfectly her:
However, Clara's purple train escape dress is iconic:
The dance dress fabric might be hard to come by. The train escape dress has all of those pleats.
I'm in a pickle.
Which do you think I should try for?

Tutorial for cosplay:

Tutorial for cosplay:

Timeline Photos
Nabbed this from All Cosplayers Are Equal. Truth. ~JezzabellGem

A quick shot of all of the steampunk accessories I've made tonight for Fezziwig'…

A quick shot of all of the steampunk accessories I've made tonight for Fezziwig's tomorrow! I'm trying to decide what I need to make more of for Christmas and my shop. What do you think?

I love the sentiment behind this. I feel this way when I make costumes. Yes, par…

I love the sentiment behind this. I feel this way when I make costumes. Yes, part of it is that there's a certain look - be it steampunk or Disney or a Stetson - but part of it is that it has to fit the person and their style as well.

Timeline Photos
"I'm the lead designer for Stetson hats. I've never met someone as crazy about hats as me. My goal in life is for everyone to understand that there is a hat out there for them. I'm not even selling hats. I'm selling romance."

I've spent a little over a week now knuckling down and getting my dress done for…

I've spent a little over a week now knuckling down and getting my dress done for Fezziwig's! I've never been a Disney princess before, but I'm hoping my steampunk Belle mashup dress goes over well. The gold skirt needs a waistband finish, the bustle is done, the bodice needs a few details... today is all about the details. Can't wait to show it off!

After costuming half of the show for Eastridge High School just a few weeks ago,…

After costuming half of the show for Eastridge High School just a few weeks ago, myself, the production staff, the crew, and the cast had the opportunity to go to a preview showing of the Disney film "Into the Woods," which comes out on Christmas.
I won't spoil it, but I promise you this: I didn't see any of the designs when I came up with Brendan's Baker outfit, but WOW was Mr. Corden's quite close.
The costuming for this film was a style I've come to know as "predictably Atwood," where Colleen Atwood phones it in and gets an Oscar nomination. I enjoyed the Baker's Wife's "Act I" outfit with its piecemeal jacket and quilted skirt, the direction she took the Wolf, and Rapunzel's ribbon dress which clearly was reminiscent of being bound to her tower. I was disappointed by Little Red's dress, which was basically the Reaping Dress from the first Hunger Games movie, but her capes were cute (if easy).
I need to own "Into the Woods," to be sure, and it'll definitely be one that I'll put on in the background when I work on projects in the future (possibly while I'm doing more work for my wonderful kids at Eastridge!)

Timeline Photos

Spending my day resting up and starting my dress for the Minnesota Society of Co…

Spending my day resting up and starting my dress for the Minnesota Society of Costumer's Steampunk Christmas Carol party, better known as Fezziwig's! I'm prepared to blow everyone away with my dress this year. Now if only I could find a pattern I love... oh well! Guess I better draft one!

A really great run down of prop weapon safety. Reminds me I need to find my half…

A really great run down of prop weapon safety. Reminds me I need to find my half inch orange tape!


-The following cosplay message is brought to you by me.Hey Everyone, just a quick and important reminder about weapons safety, especially guns. For me personally the more weapons and guns I can carry the better. But you need to always be conscious of it from detailing them to holding them. It’s also equally important to be aware your surroundings and who you’re dealing with. Come along with me as a touch on a few points. If you’re like me then you like to modify things to look a tad bit more authentic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a bright orange toy gun from the dollar store painting it black and detailing it to look a tad bit more real. However you need to be responsible with it. IF THERE’S NO ORANGE TIP, THEN MAKE ONE! Use fingernail polish or tape or something. If you don’t want it on the gun for a private photo shoot then cool but when in public it’s the responsible thing to do to have that safety indicator on there. Don’t worry your cosplay will still be awesome with it on. If you’re using Airsoft guns, REMOVE THE MAGAZINES! That’s one of the first things security and people look at. You don’t need the magazine to complete your look. If the open space bothers you that much then place a piece of foam or paper over top of it. Again, you’ll still look awesome!When posing for photos DO NOT POINT YOUR GUN AT SOMEONE unless you have their permission to do so! You know it’s fake and they may even know it’s fake but sometimes even having a fake gun pointed at you can make someone feel uncomfortable. Instead do a cool “low ready” position pose or the Rambo shooting in the air pose. And if you really want to point it then point it past the person but never directly at them. Always practice alternate poses so you’re ready for different situations. Also while posing, KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER! That’s number one rule in gun safety 101. Again, if you’re in a private situation and that’s needed to get the proper photo then ok but when in public trigger discipline should always be followed. If you want to demonstrate how your gun can make “pew pew” sounds then point it at the ground or in the air. Never “pew pew” directly at a person unless they have prior knowledge of the weapon and they’re comfortable with it.Sometimes you’re not going to be able to store your weapons in a bag when transporting. So if you’re in full costume be mindful of it. DO NOT TAKE YOUR GUN OUT OF THE HOLSTER OR BAG on a crowded bus to see how good it looks. Wait until you’ve gone through security and have been checked. Prior to that, if you’re approached by security or more importantly the Police, DO NOT REACH FOR ANYTHING unless told to do so. Again, you know these weapons are fake, no one else does at this point. Lastly and most importantly DO NOT BE A DICK TO SECURITY, OTHER AUTHORITY OR ANYONE IN GENERAL! Yes it’s a hassle to get checked. Yes it sucks having those orange ties on your awesome looking black gun. Yes it sucks that you can’t bring this or that in. Yes it may “feel” like you’re being singled out or treated unfairly but you’re not. The truth of the matter is that this isn’t about you. It’s about the safety of others. Unfortunately because of the irresponsibility of others we are burdened with this. And because of that the powers that be don’t know if we’re one of the responsible ones that can be trusted or if we’re one the problem makers. So don’t blame the conventions or security or other authority. Blame the ones that ruined it for everyone else. Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed this message. Have fun, Cosplay on and Cosplay Responsibly! :)-The opinions expressed by Knightmage do not necessarily reflect the views of the cosplay community.

Ecstatic to have been a part of the team that brought this wonderful show to lif…

Ecstatic to have been a part of the team that brought this wonderful show to life! Thanks to everyone who helped out!

Timeline Photos
The Into the Woods cast on closing night -- thanks to them, the orchestra, technical crew, backstage crew, directors, sponsors, volunteers, families and all the others who made this incredible production possible! — with Erin Foy and 3 others.

Assembling a Costume: Step 3


Well THAT was a long jaunt between posts!  Since the last time I posted, I attended the local CONvergence in Bloomington, Minnesota, and had the opportunity to attend San Diego Comic Con.  It was a GREAT experience, especially in costume! { Read more }

Assembling a Costume: Step 2

Hello again!

CONvergence is A WEEK away and I’m working away on my projects!  Now that I have most of the items ordered, I thought it was time for another installment of this series.

In case you missed it, step 1 was Research.



{ Read more }

Assembling a Costume: Step 1

Hello all!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve checked in with you but, I promise, that doesn’t mean I’m not hard at work!

With the local CONVERGENCE science fiction convention coming up, I thought it’d be a good time to give you a peek behind the curtain.  I wrote up pieces about a few of my costumes after-the-fact last year, but this year, I thought I’d get a jump on it and show you what my costuming process looks like from the very beginning.

I have a few costumes on deck for this year, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll focus on two:
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill from Marvel comics and “The Avengers” film from last year,
and Queen Susan of the Horn from The Chronicles of Narnia and, specifically, the “Prince Caspian” film from 2008

{ Read more }

What I’ve Been Working On, Fall 2012 edition

It’s been a busy summer, blog world!  Sorry I’ve been such an absentee.  Here’s what I’ve been up to.

{ Read more }

teamphotoblog: Olympic Nails!

I geek out about the Olympics. Like, a lot. I was bouncing on Friday night when I was prepping for the Opening Ceremonies, getting foodstuffs ready for the thirty or so people that came over to my mom’s house to hang out and watch the British show us how it’s done.  And by “bouncing,’ I mean, “in tandem with my cousin.”
So late last Tuesday night, before doing my costume pics, I did my nails for the Olympics.  After surfing Pinterest, I landed on the idea of making each one of my nails one of the Olympic rings.  I laid down a base coat of China Glaze “Fast Track” from the Hunger Games collection, which is lovely and gold.  I made the rings with the middle of a Q-tip and edged them with silver to cover for the fact that I smudged them a few times.

[singlepic id=220 w=320 h=240 float=center]

[singlepic id=221 w=320 h=240 float=center]

I got my inspiration from this pin from polishpedia, and it turns out this is a popular idea, because now I’ve seen it on HelloGiggles!

And now that I’m getting better at design-y things, and my nails are getting longer, this could be a lot of fun.


Gallery Update and Outtakes from the Shoot

It’s been a long time coming – I was able to wrangle a photographer to take some more costume photos!  The gallery is refreshed with lovely CONvergence goodies – Jubilee, Rufio, and Katniss.  Special thanks to my BFF, Jenn Farmer, for bringing her good camera over and taking these shots!

A few of them were perfect for the gallery.  Here’s the few that are perfect outtakes.

As Jubilee, I was being overly critical of my “superhero” technique.  I didn’t remember how Jubilee rolled, but I knew it wasn’t with “kamehameha” or “hadouken,” and certainly not “jazz hands,” but we have shots of those.

As Rufio, I was climbing on the pieces of the yet-to-be-assembled play structure in my yard.  It was not, as they say, structurally sound.  Once I scaled it, however, I found I had an audience – my two-and-a-half year old Tiny Roommate and her father, watching from the kitchen window.  So I started making funny faces at them, and they turned out to be the best shots we got of the costume.  I love them.

As Katniss, there was a lot of spinning involved for the ruffles on the Girl on Fire dress, so some came out as a blur, and some came out with me stepping out of frame.  I used a couple of those anyway because the dress looked amazing!


CONvergence 2012: Hey! I made that!

One of the treats of the convention is walking around and seeing your work out there on other humans.  Here are just a few of those from CONvergence 2012:

Sam as Codex from the “Do You Want to Date My Avatar?” video

Meredith and Ryan as Mal and Inara from “Firefly” (Congrats on the engagement, you two! And nice Kaylee costume, Corryn!)

I also dyed and embellished the shirt for Ash from Alien.

In case you missed it, here are my other costumes from CONvergence 2012!
Jubilee from the X-Men
Penny from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog
Kaylee from Firefly
Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
Rufio from Hook

CONvergence 2012: Hipster/Modern Jubilee from the X-Men


Source: via Maggie on Pinterest



Jubilee was a last-minute decision, someone I suddenly wanted to be in the heat of coming up with ideas immediately before CON.  I have short hair that’s perfect for the role, and this year’s theme is “Wonder Women,” so a comic book superheroine was in order.  I had recently purchased the cranberry skinny jeans at Target – a sale rack impulse buy at $7.  I’d had the blue corset for a couple of years.  A friend provided the glasses.  The gloves were a painstaking process of wanting to go one way with it (fiberoptics, LED or EL wire) and deciding to instead go easy on myself and use glitter.

It’s the jacket that sold it for me.  When I got the idea for Hipster Jubilee, I thought about it good and hard for a little while, wondering if I’d be able to execute the look properly.  So I hit Etsy.  Every hipster’s got to have something vintage, right?  So I looked for vintage yellow jackets.  And there it was.  A vintage canary yellow Jonathan Logan jacket with a wide lapel.  Perfect color.  Perfect fit.

I spent the entire night giving and receiving high-fives.  Worth it!

CONvergence 2012: Katniss’s Girl on Fire gown from “The Hunger Games”


Source: via Maggie on Pinterest


The “Girl on Fire” interview gown is described extensively in the book thusly:
“Because my dress, oh, my dress is entirely covered in reflective precious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue that accent the tips of the flame design.  The slightest movement gives the impression I am engulfed in tongues of fire.
I am not pretty. I am not beautiful.  I am as radiant as the sun.”


I read “The Hunger Games” immediately before I saw the film.  As soon as I read that passage, I was excited to not only see how it would translate to film, but to think about how I would design the gown myself.  I didn’t know for sure that I was even going to have this costume on hand until the Operation Glass Slipper warehouse sale.  I’ll need to go more in-depth about this wonderful organization later, but the long and short of it is that I was allowed to comb through racks and racks and racks of gowns and I found one that SCREAMED to be remade into the Girl on Fire gown.  I combed through a bin of formal shawls and grabbed complementary shades of reds and golds.  The technique I used on the skirt is an old one – you might recognize it a little from my Platinum Benedikta red carpet gown from two years ago.  I loved the technique when I learned it, and this seemed like a great time to make more ruffles.

Since I was toeing the line between the book representation and the film, I wanted ruffles along the bottom cascading up in fire shades.  The ruffles themselves are edged with bright metallic copper thread on the outside, and a variegated red-to-yellow thread on the inside, giving the edges of the ruffles a shimmering effect.  Once I finished the ruffles, I hung the dress on Eloise (my new dress form) and thought that something was lacking; that there was a disconnect between the flaming colors of the ruffled skirt and the more floral bodice.  That’s when I busted out my white chalk, drew a flame design wrapping all the way around the dress, and sewed it in with the lovely metallic copper thread.

While working on this process, I was suddenly reminded of why I learned to draw flames: the St. Paul Winter Carnival.  My dad was a Vulcan – the keepers of heat during the dark cold of winter, and the bringers of heat and spring.  It’s been a long time dream of mine to be a South Wind Princess in the Winter Carnival and, while that dream may have to go by the wayside as I get nearer and nearer to not being an eligible age, if I were to ever do it, I’d have this dress to wear, this gorgeous flaming dress.

CONvergence 2012: Rufio from “Hook”


Source: Uploaded by user via Maggie on Pinterest



My love for this film has only grown in the twenty-one years since it came out.  I think that that’s probably because I’ve grown up, but made a concerted effort at not growing old.  It’s part of the reason I costume – it’s an excuse to play dress-up!

Rufio was FUN.  I got to run down hallways yelling “BANGARANG!”, hear folks shout “RU-FI-OOOOOOO” after me, and walk into party rooms and crow like Pan.  Totally worth it.

The costume itself is a pair of black jeans, a shirt with a ruffle neckline, and a faux-leather jacket with a few accessories.  Doesn’t sound too tough… and then you add the distressing and fringing elements.  Making all that fringe took a while, but as I cut and cut, the jacket looked more and more like Rufio’s, and that made it more than worth it.  The black jacket with a red lining was LUCK.  I found the jacket, shirt, and jeans at the Goodwill in Woodbury, MN.  Pure kismet.  The fringed “belt” is the bottom of an old turtle neck my mom gave me to use for fabric.  The moccasins were a Christmas gift from a while back, and I was lucky to find them in one of my boxes of stuff.  The tooth necklace, though – that was my roommate, Kathy, who majored in anthropology, and handed it over as soon as I told her my idea for this costume.