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Monday, June 28, 2010

Making a Vest

I've been writing on and off about my attendance to one of the biggest anime conventions Otakon this July 31 - August 2. I've planned to do two cosplays over the three days. So far I am done with Lei Fang (post of how that came along). The next one is Yomiko Readman from Read or Die (ROD) which is the above character. I love her because she's this introvert quirky bibliophile secret agent with the power of paper. My awesome friend introduced the OVA to me and suggested I cosplay her since I look similar to her down to the glasses >_> .

That was last year and this year I'm determined to finish this costume. Her outfit seems very everyday plain the fact that I'm so petite it makes it very hard to find clothes that doesn't look like a kid's. This is where I got to bust out the sewing machine and what not. I found an awesome and rather easy instructions for a Vest Tutorial on Threadbanger and it even comes with a Youtube video.
I used a T-shirt that fitted nicely on me and penciled a pattern using that on newspaper leaving about an inch for seam allowances. There was one back piece and one left/right piece which are exactly the same. I was happy to find the perfect shade of tan brown at an awesome fabric store P&S Fabrics on Broadway. They recently moved across the street but if you're in the area in NYC... they have a lot of fabric, buttons, yarn, thread, ribbons etc etc. One thing I love about the store is that they have knitted/crocheted swatches of the yarn they sell so you can feel and see if you like the results.
This is my family's sewing machine. It's one of the industrial version that either my mom or grandma got from a factory that was closing down. This baby is at least 20 years old and it still keeps on trucking! My mom and grandma takes very good care of it and knows the ins and outs. I'm still a novice but my mom was surprised on how quick I was picking this stuff up to the point in which she said I can easily surpass her skills. That I highly doubt because she makes all the samples that everyone else in the garment factory follows and the go-to girl for any questions. I realize I need a new pin cushion for the top so I think I'll browse around Etsy for a cute one.
After about two hours of sewing and mom teaching me how to sew buttonholes the vest comes to life. I love how it came out though it was a bit tighter then I wanted. Must do larger seam allowances. I washed it and waiting to iron it at my boyfriend's place. My mom was extremely proud =D
Here I am in my impromptu cosplay. My mom took the photo so it was kind of not good ... hehe... The shirt and dress are from my closet and the red tie was something a dear friend brought for me a while ago. The vest look pretty good. This week I'll be working on the coat which is a whole other headache...

I do hear and read a lot about family who don't support watching anime/cosplaying and the like. I'm very glad my family is not the same way. They're more amused and shrug it off as "kids will be kids" or it's a "generation thing". One great thing that came out is my mom and I bonding over making my costumes. She loves that I'm learning from her and though it's for costumes she's thrilled nonetheless.

Until next time... let loose the creativity ...


Jennifer Juniper said...

I love the vest - you did a great job!

Pili said...

Wow, you really did a great job on it!
I can't wait to see proper pics of both costumes!

sMacThoughts said...

You have taught me this term "cosplay" which I have never ever heard before! And you are an amazing seamstress quite quickly.... good for you and have a great time!

La Alicia said...

nice job!

sMac, I believe cosplay is a shortened version if costume+play

Little Lovables said...

wow, it's adorable! I love that vest, and would totally wear it