Poe Dameron Shirt & Belt V2

Since I’m revisiting many parts of my Poe Dameron cosplay, I decided to re-do the belt as well. I bought a brown leather belt from Amazon and a plain, blank¬†belt buckle from Tandy Leather. The belt had a raw edge, and the belt itself was a little more red than I wanted, so I used some brown leather dye to darken the edges and add some weathering to the rest of the belt. For the buckle, I coated it with a couple coats of matte black nail polish and then layered a few coats of silver and gunmetal grey metallic acrylic paint over that. I took a fine grit sandpaper over it to scrape off the majority of the silver color. I’m not sure how screen accurate it is, but it looks like all of the Resistance belts and Poe’s belt I’ve seen.

The left side is the plain silver buckle, and the right side is the finished version.

poe-fullsize

This is the photo I used as a reference for finishing the buckle. Kind of close? Maybe?

And here is the buckle on the belt itself! I think the belt is still a little too reddish for my liking, so I may do some additional work on it with more dye. We’ll see, I guess.

Remember my Poe Dameron shirt from this post? I dipped the shirt in a tea and coffee bath to see if I could change up the color a bit. I can notice a difference, but I don’t think the lighting in the photos captures it very well, unfortunately.

The left photo is the shirt before (with just the taupe Rit dye) and the right photo is after the shirt soaked in a tea and coffee bath for about an hour. The shirt doesn’t seem to have a peachy undertone anymore, which is good, and the tea/coffee bath fixed the issue where the dye hadn’t quite soaked through in some areas because the fabric was creased. So, I’m happy with how it looks and I think I can call this one good to go.

General Hux: Hat & Tunic

I haven’t posted in a few days because I’ve been busy working on a few costume pieces. That just means there’s going to be a lot of posts coming up!

I received my General Hux costume from CosplaySky on Monday, and I’m actually pretty happy with it, for the most part.

hux

The greatcoat is well-made, but I’m going to need to get it professionally tailored because it’s very big in the shoulders (which isn’t a fault in the coat’s construction – I just have small shoulders). I’ll also have to take off the rank insignia bands on the right arm since they’re only supposed to be on the left arm. I’m also going to remake the bands, since they’re not quite what I’d like.

The trousers are great and probably won’t need any alterations. They’re super comfy.

The tunic is a good start, but needs tailoring as well. The neck and shoulders are really big on me, and the same thing applies with the rank insignia bands – the ones on the right arm need to be removed. The shoulders don’t have epaulettes, either.

The belt is very cheap and doesn’t even have a buckle (just silver vinyl) so it’s not really useful, even for a “close enough” costume. The gloves are pretty cheap, too, so I’m glad I bought a different pair.

But, considering the price, this is a steal. Even with the cost of having to get the greatcoat tailored, it’ll be a deal.

Anyway, I decided to try my hand at tailoring the tunic myself.

These are the original rank insignia bands. They’re made of the same fabric as the tunic, and the white bands are satin fabric. They’re pretty wide, and they’re only sewn on at the sleeve seam and then tacked down in a couple other spots, so they kind of flop around on the sleeve.

tunic-before

And this is the original tunic. You can see the rank insignia “floppage” pretty well, here. The neck is also really big, and you can see that the shoulders are kind of big, too. The zipper is also kind of chunky and more noticeable than I’d like.

The first thing I did was take my seam ripper to the rank insignia bands and removed those from the sleeves. Then, I removed the collar from the tunic. After that, I ripped out the zipper. I was left with random pieces of my tunic, and kind of went into freak-out mode thinking this might not work at all.

tunic-epaulettes

New epaulettes!

I took apart the rank insignia bands and used the black fabric to create the epaulettes for the shoulders. I just hand-sewed them onto the shoulders.

tunic-aftercollar

Altered collar and new zipper.

I took in the neck at the back center seam a little, and then took in the front at the zipper a little, which made the neckline a little smaller and ended up kind of pulling the shoulders in just enough so that I didn’t look like a football player or an extra on an 80s sitcom. I thought I’d need to adjust the collar size, but I didn’t need to after all. I reattached it to the tunic and modified the little flap that fastens under the collar so that I could tighten the neck a little when I wear it. It’s not as snug to my neck as it probably should be, but it’s much better than it was.

tunic-rankinsigniaafter

New rank insignia bands!

I installed a different zipper – a black one that is much slimmer, so it doesn’t show up as much. Then, I made new rank insignia bands by using 5/8″ black grosgrain ribbon and white fabric piping trim. I sewed the rank insignia bands on by hand and sewed them all the way around so there’s no more “flappage” happening. Then, I sewed up the open seam on the right sleeve where I had ripped it open to take the rank insignia bands off.

tunic-after

After some cursing, trial and error, and determination, I think it looks better!

Later in the week, I received my General Hux hat from theEmpiresNewClothes. Let me just say that this hat is absolutely fantastic and is so well made. My head is kind of small, so usually hats are just too big for me, so having one made to fit me perfectly is such a treat. Katie did such an amazing job on the hat, and I could not be happier. I can’t recommend her work enough! If you need a First Order officer hat or an Imperial Officer hat, definitely order one from her. She can even make one using fabric you’ve used for the rest of your costume.

The pin is the one that came with the cheap First Order officer hat I bought off of Amazon. It looks really nice on my awesome hat, doesn’t it?

17458299_10154340825528038_1548171933669201436_n

I tried to pull my best Hux face, but I don’t know if I’ve got it down quite yet. I may have also been too happy to make an angry face since I love this hat so much.

Anyway, that’s some of what I’ve been up to the past few days! I’ll be taking in my greatcoat for tailoring this weekend, so that will be the last bit that needs to be altered. I placed the order for my belt, but I’m not sure when that will arrive. I’m hoping I’ll be able to wear my Hux cosplay by mid-April or early May, at least.

Poe Dameron Shirt V2

Now that I’ve worn my Poe Dameron cosplay quite a few times, I figured it was time to start fine-tuning it. This is usually how I am with my costumes and cosplays – I make a “good enough” version to get going, and then find ways to improve it.

One of the things I decided to upgrade is the shirt. My current shirt is an off-white linen mandarin-collar shirt that buttons down all the way. It’s definitely close enough, but not quite right.

s-l1600

The version Poe wears in the film is based off of a Kurta, and there are no buttons on the neck or collar, and no buttons on the sleeves (as far as I can tell). The shirt is also kind of a taupe/olive color.

I found this shirt on Amazon and thought it could definitely work. For around $20, it was worth a shot. This is what it looked like before:

It’s also off-white, and it has buttons, but the buttons and button loops were easily removed with a seam-ripper, leaving a nice Kurta-style shirt with no buttons anywhere!

middle

Ta-da!

Then, I decided to dye it with taupe Rit dye to get it to be a little closer to the right color.

It’s definitely darker (and the photos don’t really show it very well) but maybe not as olive as it should be. There were also areas of the shirt that didn’t get dyed (there was a wrinkle along the sleeve seams that the dye didn’t quite seep through) so I might give it another quick dip in some more dye…or, I might not worry about it since the jacket will cover the sleeves anyway.

This was my first time dyeing fabric, so I’m actually happy with how it turned out. I was expecting a huge mess and somehow screwing up everything, but I think I did alright.

Map to Luke Skywalker

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron is given a data storage unit that contains the map to Luke Skywalker’s location by Lor San Tekka. Because the internet is a wonderful (yet strange) place, there are 3D print files available to print a version of the data storage unit. Madeline (of MADsCosplay) printed out a bunch and gave me one, which is the perfect little prop for my Poe Dameron cosplay.

On the left is the raw printed version, and on the right is the sanded version. They don’t look much different, I guess.

On the left is the version shown in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo, and on the right is my finished version. Mine ended up being a lot more weathered, but I think it looks pretty good. I just used acrylic paint and sealed it with a coat of Mod Podge.

IMG_4987

Here are a bunch of different views of it.

map-movie

The above is a still from the film, and it doesn’t seem like any of the 3D print files I’ve seen look very much like this one (they all seem to be based off of the Visual Dictionary photo), but that’s fine with me. I’m just happy to have a fun little prop to go with my cosplay!

Work In Progress: General Hux

general-hux

I thought that my frantic completion of two costumes within a month would use up all of my costuming energy for the year, but I was wrong. I decided on my next cosplay: General Hux from the latest Star Wars trilogy. This will be my first Dark Side cosplay.

So, why General Hux? Well, he’s a ginger, and I’m an honorary ginger myself (thanks to a box of dye every 6-8 weeks). He has a seething hatred for Kylo Ren, and so do I (he’s a punk-ass bitch). He’s evil, but he seems to be incredibly organized and is obviously good at what he does or he wouldn’t be a general at such a young age (which isn’t at all like me except for being organized – I’m definitely not evil or a general). Also, I’m a huge fan of the unofficial canon theory that Hux has an orange cat named Millicent.

13411739_10153584739813038_5027554924375896366_o

I’ve already asked my orange cat, Jack, if he would cosplay as Millicent, and he said “Meow,” so I think that means yes.

star_wars_vii_the_force_awakens_general_hux_cosplay_costume_1

I’m not sewing my costume since I’m kind of burnt out, but I’ve started gathering everything I need for it. I ordered the General Hux costume from CosplaySky and while the greatcoat doesn’t appear to be screen accurate, the rest of the costume looks like it will be fine. I’m also fine with the greatcoat being “close enough” for character appearances and conventions. My guess is that I’ll have to make some modifications to the costume, but it’ll probably be less work than trying to sew it myself.

il_570xN.1191771261_f2lj

I ordered a First Order officer hat from theEmpiresNewClothes, since I wanted to have a really nice hat for my costume. It’ll arrive in a few weeks, and I’m excited!

IMG_4936

I ordered these boots from Amazon, and the only unfortunate thing is that they’re only available in men’s sizes, and the smallest size was 8-9 (which ends up being 10-11 in women’s sizing). I usually wear a women’s 8.5 or 9, so I think I’ll have to wear some thick socks and good insoles so the boots don’t flop around on my feet too much. I just hope I don’t look like a clown when I wear them. They’re big, but hopefully not too noticeably large. In any case, I think they’ll work out for the costume pretty well.

I ordered these gloves and they arrived today, and I love them! The costume from CosplaySky has gloves, but I wanted a nicer quality pair, and preferably leather because they hold up a lot better. These did the trick, and they don’t have any embellishments or elastic or decorative stitching, so I think they’ll be perfect.

IMG_4944

I have a metal and enamel First Order pin that came with a cheap First Order officer hat from Amazon (the hat is too big for my head and it isn’t very well made) that I’ll attach to the other hat I ordered when it arrives. I wasn’t expecting it to be so nice, but it’s totally worth it even if the hat itself isn’t very good.

IMG_4951

When I was trying to take the above photo, Jack plopped down on the floor and started cleaning himself. Ugh, Jack, you need to be classier. Millicent wouldn’t stop to clean her butt in the middle of a photo.

FrankieCon IV

philbetts2

Photo by Phil Betts. From left to right: Mark Fisher, Henry Fisher (Kylo Ren), Kris Heding, Madeline Anderson, and Jordan West.

On March 11th, the Minnesota Force attended FrankieCon IV, a cool little convention at Frankie’s Chicago Style Bar & Restaurant. We talked to people about our group and mingled with people and had a generally awesome time!

I’d love to come back next year for FrankieCon V!

15129618_1492339994140842_2460659144996757350_o

Photo by Steve Fuchs. Starting the morning right with caf and sass. From left to right: Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, and Kris Heding.

17239712_10154314580548038_7824920526611166285_o

Batman serves justice in 30 minutes or less. (Batman is Caleb Noble, and one of the most fun people to run into at cons – take my word for it!)

17218702_10154549488273823_2353182241454913536_o

Photo by WitchDoctorGraphics. From left to right: Madeline Anderson, Kris Heding, Jordan West, and Pari Elizabeth.

paribailey

Photo by Pari Bailey. From left to right: Mark Fisher, Pari Elizabeth, Steve Fuchs, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, and Kris Heding.