Monday, June 22, 2015

A beginner making beginner mistakes

The entrance exams for the Uni are over! I applied for two universities in Finland, for cultural anthropology and for game development. I am especially excited about the latter one, as the school is one of the most appreciated and high-end schools in the country. But I will not get ahead of myself. It's tough to get in, so what will most likely happen is that I will start the studies of cultural anthropology in the autumn.

I now have a little more while to make the Sona cosplay. The helmet is progressing nicely, and I have finally gotten my hands on the PVC and latex sheets. So bodysuit is a go as well.

Since I have now been working with them for some time, here - have some beginner mistakes I made, and tips/shoutouts to other beginners of what I would do differently, or what I found particularly helpful.

Also progress pictures because you like progress pictures.

1) Ordering from another continent will almost always cost extra

Starting out with Worbla.

Someone somewhere will be laughing at me when I say that, but I didn't take it into my calculations that shipping from another continent means that the customs will want to have a say in it. I don't know how this works in other countries, but for those from Finland; try to order from EU area if you can. Otherwise there will be an extra 25% to pay.

2) Use good quality scissors

Not for Worbla though, use heated air.

When I initially started out a rough sketch out of excess PVC, I had awful scissors and the cutting was pain. Use good scissors. This, too, is a given, but hey, beginner here. Buy a new pair if you have to, it will make cutting so much easier and won't ruin the PVC.

3) Have an excess amount of the material you're working with

I initially worried about ordering too many PVC sheets and generally ending up having too much of it (there is a chiffon-related story here). However, the moment I started to do the sewing work, I realized that there's enough PVC for three or four bodysuits for a petite person such as me, and that none of it is too much.

This is heavily related to the number four:

4) Don't be afraid to make mistakes while testing the material

The amount we've experimented with Worbla is over 9000.

The first thing you should do with the new material is "something". For myself I attempted to make a prototype of the middle part of the bodysuit. Six hours later I had myself a waist corset out of black PVC. Did it look pretty? Not really, going to save it for private use. Did it teach me things I should be very aware of while making the actual bodysuit? Yes.

The second prototype I did was a simple shirt with long sleeves, just to test out how to make proper slim-fit sleeves of PVC, and to test out the potential of the vinyl glue. (Test results of the latter: VERY potent.) For the third - and last - prototype I am going to make a pair of PVC trousers to test the same thing with the leg parts of the bodysuit.

Three and four go hand in hand. Order excess material and be prepared to get experimental! Will help you in the long run.

5) Take enough time

That is not even half of the amount of PVC I now possess.

Oh, how often this gets said in the context of cosplay. Oh, how few actually heed the advice. Oh, how few of us actually learn from our past mistakes...

I started this in... what? January? February? Now it's one month to the debut, and I can only hope that everything will be ready by then. Start as soon as you can. Finish stuff as soon as you can. No matter how complete your cosplay will be by the time of the convention, you will be making minor adjustments to it the day prior. You don't want to spend that time making major ones!

(There is a story related to my Aeris cosplay here.)

And, as an additional advice: ask advice where-ever you can, from people who are more experienced than you, from anyone who might be able to help you. I know I could not do this alone.

The final form of the base model.

Also, I'm currently playing FFXIII and making Twitter updates about it. Feel free to follow it, and expect me to forget the existance of my Twitter account at some point. I'm really hard trying to remember it, but it isn't really going well.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading this! I'm currently working on my first armor set from world of Warcraft and its also been my first experience with worbla. For the longest time I was so worried to use it bc I spent $40 on it.... Which seems like so much to me. But it's nice to read and see other beginners learning and experimenting for once! I hope your costume is coming along well!! 😀😀