|[pc: Edwin Fabian]|
I pretty much decided right from the start that I absolutely HAD to go to the first ever Silicon Valley Comic Con. The only other big convention I've ever been to was the San Diego Comic Con, and that was where the cosplay bug first bit me, so I was pretty thrilled that there was finally going to be a big con up in the Bay Area. And then I found out that Nathan Fillion was going to be there, and that was that, because I seriously love Firefly like no other. So the obvious thing to do was to make the Browncoat that I've been wanting ever since I first saw the show.
I started with my bodice sloper from Lynda Maynard's class at Canada College and added in a yoke, then Frankensteined it together with the collar and front of Simplicity 2895. It turned out pretty well, considering there's no tailoring to speak of in the collar and lapels, but it's definitely a costume coat. It's too flimsy-feeling to be real outerwear, but that was a good thing since it was ridiculously warm in the San Jose Convention Center. Mr. Cation and I made the questionable decision to bring SHB along (baby's first con! And wearing the Blue Sun shirt I made for him, except that it was more of a 3/4-sleeve crop top since he's grown a lot in the last half-year) so that he could be exposed to the germs of 30,000 other con-goers...um, I mean the wonders of geeky fandom early in his life.
I had grand plans to make or thrift Captain Malcolm Reynolds' classic burgundy button-down shirt, too, but that never happened. Instead, I settled for wearing my hand-painted Serenity shirt with khaki tightpants.
|I found a Kaylee at the con! Also, this is the only picture I have of me wearing the coat, since shortly thereafter it became way too warm.|
|Not a bad likeness, considering that I didn't pay hundreds for a leather hide, right?|
It was so fun being at a big con with all sorts of excited geeks and cool art and merchandise in the exhibit hall, and of course getting to see Nathan Fillion in his panel. He was funny and self-deprecating and had fantastic quips, and was wonderfully patient with people who were nervous and overly excited to ask questions. We didn't feel like paying almost $200 for a photo op/autograph, though, so that's as close as we got to him.
Fabric: A thrifted JC Penney faux-suede curtain panel as my fashion fabric, pieces of a thrifted leather skirt (leftover from my aviator hat) for the cuffs, and part of a thrifted cat-print bed sheet for the underlining. I think Malcolm Reynolds would totally have been on board with thrifting, and cats would definitely be Browncoats and not Alliance, right?
|Inside-out: SHB is slightly obsessed with cats so he had to find and point out to me all the cats on the underlining.|
|Facing tacked to the underlining, with frolicking cats.|
|I almost forgot to put in a side seam slit like the original coat.|
|I used grosgrain ribbon as my hem tape. I'm considering threading a chain or something into the bottom hem to help it hang better, since the faux-suede is so lightweight. But given that the event is over, I'm unlikely to anytime soon.|
Notions: Interfacing for the collar and facing pieces, brass cloak clasps for the closures.Hours: Probably 15-20? There was a lot of stitching seams multiple times, what with all the basting of the underlining, Hong Kong seam finishes, and topstitching. I also hand-sewed the facing to the underlining.
Total cost: $5.99 for the curtain panel, maybe a couple dollars' worth of sheet and skirt. The clasps were the priciest part at $14, bringing the total up to about $25.
Final thoughts: I've been wanting to make a browncoat ever since I first saw Firefly back in 2008? 2009? And I finally did it! It's not as perfect as I would like, but it was cheap, green, and fun to wear. Also, I could not for the life of my find my Teflon foot while making this, so all the suede and leather was not happy. Of course, as soon as I finished I found the dang foot. Because of course.
On the second day of the con, Mr. Cation stayed home with SHB and I got to cosplay my heart out with my good friend Alice, who wore my Galadriel costume, and Elaine, who went as the Winter Soldier Lite. She had a black leather jacket that I added a silver sleeve to, in order to suggest Bucky's mechanical arm. It was perfect because she actually does speak Russian! I decided that, in the vein of finishing up incomplete costumes, I would finally make the trident and crown for my Ursula costume. I spray-painted PVC pipe for the former, then added gold duct-taped foam tips, and used more gold tape on foam to make a crown shape, which was then attached to a headband. Since I didn't want to deal with contacts all day (ever since pregnancy, my eyes have randomly decided they hate contacts), I just wore my glasses and dubbed my outfit Hipster Ursula. At the last minute, I decided to add some googly eyes to a piece of gray fleece and crammed my "poor unfortunate soul" into a Mason jar to make a hipster potion to complete the hipster look.
|[pc: Edwin Fabian]|
|And here's proof that hipster Disney characters is actually a thing.|
We had such a good time attending panels (including a fantastic one on cosplaying when over 30, and another very useful one on types of materials one could use for building armor and props), wandering the exhibit hall, and both stopping people for pictures and being stopped for our pictures! It was Alice's first time cosplaying and I think it was a generally positive experience. Unfortunately, there was one really creepy guy at the end of the day who spoiled an almost perfect run on non-creepy interactions (why is there always one???). Sigh.
|Thinking about being creepy? Just STOP. #cosplayisnotconsent |
(We found "Do Not Pass" Gandalf!!!)
The nicest part of the day was when little kids stopped me for pictures. I loved cosplaying Dr. Blitzmeyer at my last con, and LOTR characters at all the movies and the symphony, but those were either not well-known or mostly adult audiences. There's just something about dressing as a Disney character, even if it's not screen-accurate, that makes it so much easier to engage with people. Which, of course, is why I love cosplay: it's a chance for shy, introverted me to pretend to be someone I'm not!
|I heard a little girl walking by with her mom say, "Mommy, look, it's the sea witch!"|
[pc: Edwin Fabian]
There are still so many Disney characters I still want to cosplay -- Maleficent, Cruella, Jasmine, Mulan, Captain Hook, The Queen of Hearts, and Queen Elinor...there's just not enough time! Also, can you tell I like villains, the color red, and strong female characters?