Kylo Ren – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Sometime in late December/early January, I had a dream that I made a really cool genderbend Kylo Ren costume (complete with an awesome scar). I laughed it off because I’m not really a Kylo Ren fan. But, then I couldn’t stop thinking about it and how much fun it would be to create, and so I decided to go for it. My goal was to create the costume pieces close enough to the ones used in the movie, but not go too crazy trying to make them screen accurate – mostly because my skill level wouldn’t allow me to be able to perfectly recreate everything. As long as people could recognize who I was trying to emulate, then that would be good enough for me.

So, let’s break down the costume pieces!

Undertunic: I bought a black long-sleeved tee shirt from Target and removed the sleeves to use one as a pattern. Then, I bought a bunch of black linen-like fabric and used a sort of pintucking technique to two large pieces of the fabric to create about 26 1″ rows on each sleeve to give a sort of pleated look, but not actually creating pleats. While I used the sleeve from the tee as a base, I had to make it a bit bigger since the tee is made from knit fabric (so, super stretchy) and the linen I used had no stretch at all. With a little bit of adjustments, I made a mock-up pattern from some scrap fabric and cut out the sleeves from the pintucked fabric. Then, I just sewed them in place of the old sleeves in the tee.

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Vest: Using the Simplicity 1499 pattern as a base, I made a mock-up of the vest using an old bed sheet. I had to make quite a few adjustments: I had to make the front collar a bit higher, had to add some fabric to the underarm area, made the shoulders a bit pointier, created a whole new collar, and took in the sides a little bit. Once the mock-up was complete, I cut out the pieces from the same linen-like fabric I used for the undertunic, and then made a lining from black cotton fabric. The basic construction didn’t take too long, but then I wanted to create a quilted grid pattern. That part took quite a while, but I think it turned out well.

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Cape: I bought this really cool stretchy black fabric that has sort of a wet look to it, so it’s somewhere between looking kind of metallic and also kind of like leather. I used Simplicity 8201 as the base for the cape (just the two back panels, really) and made a mock-up using an old bed sheet for the front two panels. Then, I sewed in woven cotton laces at the shoulders to create “opera straps” to tie behind my back to keep the cape on my shoulders.

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Leggings: I bought faux leather leggings from Torrid.

Belt: I bought a stretch corset belt from Torrid, but I’ll eventually commission a proper Kylo Ren belt from my friend Paul at PHProps.

Boots: I bought some cool boots off of eBay that have multiple straps. They’re awesome, and I plan on wearing them outside of my Kylo costume for sure!

Gloves: I used my black leather gloves from my General Hux costume.

Wig: I bought the “Jane” wig from Arda Wigs in Black. It’s such a cute wig that I kind of want to wear it all the time.

Lightsaber: I went with the Black Series Force FX Kylo Ren lightsaber. I want to add the texture to the blades to give it a fiery look, but I want to make blade covers as opposed to modifying the actual blades. That’ll be a project for another time.

Makeup & Scar: For my makeup, I did a smoky eye using my Tarte Sex Kitten palette. The rest of my makeup was pretty much my normal daily makeup. For the scar, I used Mehron’s Rigid Collodion to create the base. I did a few coats of it. Then, I used a pinkish/nude eyeshadow to make the scar look a little pinker, and then used a medium brown eyeliner pencil (softly blended) to add depth to the scar.

This is the costume put together:

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I had my friend take a couple of photos of me wearing the costume, but I didn’t wear any makeup for these photos (the makeup test was done on a different day). I’ll edit this post to add more photos later.

 

I’m hoping to debut this costume soon, and then I can have some photos taken with makeup and everything. But, I have to say I am extremely happy with how this costume turned out, and I think the undertunic and vest are my best work so far.

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Twin Cities Pride Parade & SaberCon

I meant to post this a while ago, but I’ve been so caught up in last-minute costume stuff for CONvergence that I forgot!

Two weekends ago I attended The Saber Legion‘s SaberCon (two days of it, at least) and it was a lot of fun! I realized I didn’t take any photos, so I apologize for that.

June 25th was the Twin Cities Pride parade, and I walked with the Geek Partnership Society‘s float as part of the Minnesota Force. I’ve never been in the Pride parade before, and I can’t describe how incredible it was. There was so much positive energy and excitement from the crowd! I had an absolute blast, and I hope I get to do it again next year.

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Photo by Tatiana Allen.

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Kylo photo-bomb! Photo by Tatiana Allen.

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Minnesota Force! Costumers from left to right: Jeff Allen, Tatiana Allen, Jordan West, Jo O’Hanley, Madeline Anderson, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, and Paul Haga. Photo by Madeline Anderson.

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Minnesota Force! Costumers from left to right: Jordan West, Rin MxCruz, Madeline Anderson, Jo O’Hanley, Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, and Paul Haga. Photo by Madeline Anderson.

General Hux Tunic Update

Summer is pretty much here in Minnesota, which means it’s time for more events and conventions, but also warmer weather! Unfortunately, that means I’ll likely forego wearing the greatcoat with my General Hux costume since it’s wool.

Even though I already did a fair amount of tailoring to the tunic, I decided to take in the sleeves a little and shorten them. They were still quite long and wide, and it looked a little ridiculous. When I was wearing the greatcoat over my shoulders, it kind of hid that, but I wanted to just fix the sleeves once and for all.

I’ve never taken in sleeves with a lining, so it took probably ten times longer than it would have for someone who knew what they were doing.

The photo on the left was how the tunic looked before, and the photo on the right is how the tunic looks now. It’s not super easy to see the difference in the photo, but I did take in the sleeves about an inch or so, and took in the cuffs a few inches.

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Close-up of the tailored sleeve.

I think it looks better, and it definitely looks less baggy on me.

MSP ComiCon (SpringCon) 2017

I’m posting this so late – sorry!

A couple of weekends ago I attended MSP ComiCon (SpringCon) at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. It’s a fun two-day convention that’s focused on comics and collectibles, and I volunteered at the Minnesota Force table off and on over the weekend.

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General Hux sees you’re not using a coaster. Photo by Shane Erickson.

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The Dark Side: GRRRR. Photo by John Neitz. (Costumers: Kris Heding, John Neitz)

Saturday night the Minnesota Force was supposed to make an appearance at the St. Paul Saints Star Wars Night, but the game was canceled due to the rain. It rained nonstop all day, and it was so cold. It would have made for a miserable time for everyone, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sad that the event was canceled. It’s supposed to be rescheduled, so hopefully it will happen sometime in July or August.

On Sunday, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to recreate the photo of Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron sitting in his X-Wing drinking coffee, so I attempted to put on my “If you can’t beat the First Order, seduce them with your wily charms” face and held up my coffee. I’m an idiot.

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Rey and Poe: READY TO KICK ASS. Photo by Lindsey. (Costumers: Lindsey, Kris Heding)

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I love this photo so much. Photo by Lindsey. (Costumers: Lindsey, Kris Heding, Eve Zabronsky, Phil Glover)

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Hanging out with Jedi, like you do. Photo by Ryan Christensen. (Costumers: Kris Heding, Pari Elizabeth, Ryan Christensen, Eve Zabronsky)

I bought fun things, too: General Hux and Captain Phasma “Black Series” figures, a pair of purple Lego lightsaber earrings, and a set of Jabba the Hutt and Salacious B. Crumb plushies. Oh, and a stack of Catwoman series 2 comics. Fun times!

AniMinneapolis 2017

This past weekend I attended AniMinneapolis for the first time. Another first for me was entering the masquerade! I’ve never entered a masquerade before, and I thought, “Why not?” and gave it a go. The past couple of weeks I’ve been working on V3 of the belt and glittering a new pair of boots (tutorials to come later) so I’ve been a little absent from blogging and posting on my Facebook page. Sorry, everyone!

Friday I went as General Hux, which was fun. I tried to make an angry face before I left home.

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Still trying to master the “Are you not using a coaster?!” face. It’s harder than it looks.

Saturday was masquerade day, so I put on my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume and headed to the con for pre-judging! That process was more fun than I expected. It’s fun to talk to people about the creative process! The judges seemed impressed with my makeup and with the fact I hand-sewed most of my gown.

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That’s my pre-masquerade run-through nervous face.

Masquerade was immediately after run-through, and my boyfriend took video of my appearance. Only issue is that my gown is so white that the light just reflected off of me and I look kind of like a blob. That’s okay, you can kind of get the idea.

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The music is part of “The Princess Appears” from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Rebel, Rebel” by David Bowie. My friend Jonathan put it together for me, and I love it. Especially the pew-pew at the end!

I didn’t win anything, but I’m glad I got to compete. Now that I’ve done it once, I might do it again.

Sunday I just dressed normally – well, sort of normal. I wore my twinkling stars skirt from ThinkGeek and I swear I’ve never gotten so many compliments on an item of clothing. I guess if you want a conversation starter, that skirt will do the trick!

Poe Dameron Wig

There’s a downside to having short, red hair: it doesn’t work with very many characters.

Up until very recently, I went without a wig when I cosplayed as Poe Dameron, which didn’t really sell the character very well. It looked more like General Hux stole Poe’s clothes. (Maybe he did. I don’t know. Poe’s generous with giving people his clothes.)

I found a wig on Arda Wigs’ website that was definitely a good starting point – the Benny Classic in Natural Black.

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Thankfully, Arda Wigs sells wigs that can be heat-styled, so I went to Target and bought some foam rollers and other supplies since I haven’t really had to buy any hairstyling stuff since I was a teenager. I guess that’s what happens when you have short, straight, boring hair.

This is what the wig looked like when I received it:

Definitely more Sherlock than Poe at that point.

The best part of this project was finding reference photos.

Poe DAMNeron, amirite? Ahem. Anyway…

The first thing I did was use a curling iron to kind of straighten out the couple of big curls in the front, since I knew I’d have to curl the hair differently anyway, and it was just easier to start with all of the hair pretty much straightened. Then, I started from the nape of the neck and up, and used the smallest foam rollers to curl the hair. I actually used my Jamberry mini-heater to apply heat to the hair since it’s small, quiet, and doesn’t blow everything around like a hairdryer does.

The wig took really well to the heat, and the foam rollers worked perfectly. It was a long process to curl the hair, but the end result was pretty decent.

When I tried on the wig, though, it looked a little bit like I was an old lady who dyed her hair black. Not quite the look I was going for. I made a few adjustments to the wig by trimming it a little and taming the poofiness in some areas, and ended up with this:

It definitely looked a lot less old lady-ish after that. When I tried it on again, it looked a lot better, but the part was too far over, so I did a little more work to get it just right.

Much better! I did a quick test run with the upper half of my costume just to make sure I looked Poe-ish enough (please disregard my normal cat-eye makeup):

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Not bad. Here’s the before and after:

And here it is in action!

Still has a little more volume than it probably should, but I think it looks pretty decent. It’s weird to see myself with dark hair! I kinda like it.