Halloween: Couples Cosplay Oct 30
2013

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Halloween: Couples Cosplay

Hey there, everybody!

Today, I want to talk to you about cosplay. Couples cosplay. On Halloween.

Back story: I really really REALLY love Halloween. Halloween is my favorite holiday. It is MY christmakwanzakah…topped with candy. Candy that I get to eat if there are leftovers from the Trick-or-Treaters.

But the best part? The best part is the COSTUMES. I love seeing what people choose for their costumes, but it is really excellent when they get creative and go all-out on their outfits. Rather than just going to a store or going online and picking out a costume, I find more satisfaction– and fun– gained from the process of making a costume.

Here are some shots of Halloween costumes of the past:

A quick version of Raz-- will update those goggles and make an accurate hat someday. Bacon not pictured because... eaten. :)

A quick version of Raz from Psychonauts– will update those goggles and make an accurate hat someday. Bacon not pictured because… eaten. 🙂

 

Madison Square Garden, 1969 My Dad was really proud of this one.

Mick Jagger: Madison Square Garden, 1969
My Dad was really proud of this one.

Sectumsempra'd Draco: A lot of people openly stare at this costume in public. My response is usually either "Don't just stand there! Get Madam Pomfrey! I am dying, you stupid Muggle!" or "This is what your beloved savior did to me! Potter deserves the Dementor's Kiss for this!!"

Sectumsempra’d Draco: A lot of people openly stare at this costume in public. My response is usually either “Don’t just stand there! Get Madam Pomfrey! I am dying, you stupid Muggle!” or “This is what your beloved savior did to me! Potter deserves the Dementor’s Kiss for this!!”

Those pictures are from 2010 alone. Like I said, I love Halloween and I get very…enthusiastic. I usually do two or three costumes per year because it is so. much. fun.

This year, I’m really only wearing one:

Link, Zora Tunic, OoT

Link, Zora Tunic, OoT

But really, I am MAKING two because my lovely boyfriend Ari is going to be:

Dark Link, OoT

Dark Link, OoT

That’s right– we’re both going to be Link. Just because it is couples cosplay, it does not necessarily mean we have to actually BE characters who are a COUPLE. Couples cosplay can be anything you want to make it. You can cosplay characters in a male/female, male/male, or female/female relationship OR you can pick characters who simply pair well together in any way that makes sense to you. We are cosplaying characters who are, in the basic sense, a MIRROR of the other. Ignoring the fact that one is evil and one is not, and also ignoring the fact that one is supposed to kill the other– I like to think of it as a metaphor of meeting your match. Ari and I are similar in a lot of ways that are important, but different enough that we each bring something new into the relationship and keep each other on our toes. We like a lot of the same things, take each other’s side on many different topics of conversation, but we also challenge each other where it counts. The point: we’re well matched. Equals. And, as Navi instructs Link in the Water Temple to conquer himself, Ari and I learn how to conquer our own selves. We can stare down our flaws and inner demons without running. We stand together in the face of our less-than-perfect selves– and we triumph.

…or maybe Link is really cool, and it is an easy and awesome costume to make so we made TWO. 🙂

Now enough of this English major-y mushy stuff. Let’s get down to the actual making-the-costume stuff.

I have experience making a Link costume before, and I used a reference this time that I used in the past: http://meowaboutcosplay.com/guides_tutorials/link.html

The last time I used this link as a reference, I produced this:

Dark Link-- the power of the Ocarina falls into the wrong hands

Dark Link– the power of the Ocarina falls into the wrong hands

I followed the instructions from the link for the most part, but as you can see, I did not have time to produce proper gauntlets so I settled on black armwarmers from my wardrobe. I also did not make the scabbard and belt for proper sword storage, so I apologize for that as well. The rest, I would say, turned out quite well, and I received a lot of compliments for my work.

For Ari’s Dark Link and my own Zora Tunic Link, I more or less followed the same reference link again. I was responsible for making our tunics and hats; Ari was responsible for making the gauntlets– out of pleather generously offered by our mutual friend, Lizzy, when she was done with the pleather for her costume-making endeavors (Daenerys and Khal Drogo, GoT). I already have brown boots, my prop sword, and my ocarina; Ari was responsible for his own boots, sword, belt, and other props he wanted.

The base of the tunic pattern was cut from one of Ari’s old t-shirts, elongated and flared to give the costume its classic Link tunic shape. My tunic came out a little baggy, but it is easier to take in a garment that is too large rather than deal with a garment that is too small… a lesson I learned the hard way because Ari’s original tunic did get cut too small and would not fit him. I had to start his tunic all over again from scratch.

Ari’s tunic follows the tutorial down to the last detail and is entirely stitched by hand with love.

Can you see that love in those hand stitches?

Can you see that love in those hand stitches?

I took a lot of time sewing the shoulder and side seams and they came out so even that a few people have told me it looks like it was done by a machine. Major ego boost. I took a little less time with the hem because I started feeling the time crunch by Sunday the 27th. The sleeves– for both tunics– was the hardest part for me. A few people I’ve talked to about the process also struggle with sleeves, but after you fudge with it a while it works out okay! When I originally cut the pattern for the sleeves, I had forgotten to allow room for the seams and had to re-cut that again too. Luckily, I had enough scrap fabric for that. And then I just pinned everything together and kept trying things on to make sure everything sat correctly– because that is what you do when you don’t always have a model to try stuff on for you or if you don’t own a dress form. Maybe I should consider getting one of those…

For my Zora Tunic, I decided that I was going to take some artistic liberties. I cut out the v-neck as the tutorial instructed, but instead of a collar, I did a trim using a really nice blue/black/gold ribbon from JoAnn’s fabric store that I used previously for a Celes Chere costume. I also used that on the hem of the tunic, on the sleeves, and on the hat (the hat which I also needed to re-do because, again, I made it too small). Because I have this concept in my head of the Zora Tunic being more detailed and prettier than what is shown in-game. Also, because I like it.  And, because I spent most of my time sewing Ari’s tunic by hand and Lizzy offered to show me how to use her Brother sewing machine, I did most of the sewing for my Zora tunic by machine.

I went 27 years not knowing how to use a sewing machine, doing all of my costumes by hand and taking forever, and then I was able to do the bulk of my costume this year in less than an hour. It’s like a whole new world of cosplaying has opened itself up to me and is ripe for the conquering. I see my own sewing machine in my future too…especially if I am going to work on a Princess Zelda or Opera!Celes Chere next…

Anywho, here are the materials I started with:

Fabric and stuff, ready for transformation

Fabric and stuff, ready for transformation

I used 3 yards apiece per tunic, a cut-up old t-shirt, thread, a lot of pins, sewing needle, pretty ribbon, scissors, seam ripper (an amazing device!) and a fabric marker. And I must say… when you get a white ink fabric marker to mark dark color fabrics, actually make sure it is white ink because apparently, JoAnn’s sells a fabric pen that says, specifically, white ink, on it but do not be fooled… it comes out blue. Light blue. I had to return it and get a different marker (Uchida DecoFabric). And then, ahem, after I messed up Ari’s tunic the first time and had to start from scratch again, I also needed to pick up new fabric. 3 yards is plenty of fabric to make the tunic, the sleeves, and hat, but if you need to redo the tunic then another 2 yards enters the equation. Also pictured are the leggings I picked up. Unpictured are the white undershirt and Ari’s leggings, undershirt, boots, belt.

Final product photos:

The cat is not a prop, but I have considered dressing her up as Navi or Tingle or something...

The cat is not a prop, but I have considered dressing her up as Navi or Tingle or something…

Overall, I am pretty darn pleased with everything. I will update this post on or after Halloween once I am able to take some cool photos of us in our costumes!

Good night and happy Halloween everybody!

Night night

About Margaret

Level 28 Gamer and Cat Lady.
Special Skills:
Scholarship with Specialization in English Literature, bonus points in Shakespeare.
Sewing with Specialization in Cosplay and Genderbending.
Athletics with a Focus in Judo.