Little Petal

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Two years ago I talked about Little Petal and how impressed I was with their dresses.  

They are here again at Awesome Con so I have finally broken down and bought one of my very own.  I chose the Amazon Warrior dress to go with my Amazon Warrior quilt.  The best part is the dresses are convertible!

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These are just a few of the ways you can wear the dress.  To see them all, take a look at the listing on their site.

In addition to making amazing dresses that embrace a body positive image, Little Petal also raises money for great causes.

For the month of May they raised money for Planned Parenthood and last night they held an amazing Awesome Con after party with the proceeds benefiting To Write Love On Her Arms- a nonprofit for those who need help with addiction, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Empowering women and raising money for good causes?  This is definitely a company we can get behind and support.  If you would like to support Little Petal as well, visit their Little Petal website here, their Facebook here, their Instagram here, and their Tumblr here.



Adding whimsy to cosplay

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Happy Wednesday! I am here in Chicago this week, prepping and waiting for C2E2 to start. If you are attending the show, I can be found in Booth 273, along with Blacky Cat Creations. My friend and I have been checking out some local museums, landmarks and amazing food. I love to cosplay when I vend at shows. Even though I work with polymer clay, sometimes I see accessories I love but someone else makes really well.

Prism Moon Designs on Etsy makes amazing horns, antlers, antennae, and alien pieces.


Beautifully crafted with amazing detail, her work shines brightly in a sea of clay. Her prices are reasonable, and she does take custom orders.


Her work can be found here:

Indiana ComicCon is coming up!

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Good day and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. This week I’ve been on supersonic prep for two shows I have coming up. This is my second year at both events, and they are two of my favorite ones!

This weekend you can find me at Indiana ComicCon, which is April 14-16. They are featuring some amazing guests, including Val Kilmer, Cary Elwes, Nichelle Nichols and Jewel Staite. More details of the show can be found here.

Continue reading »

Custom Felt Witch Hats

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I know it’s not the ~typical~ season for it, but too bad cause these things look awesome!

This is just one example of a custom designed felted witch hat made by etsy shop owner HandiCraftKate. You can customize each of the main 3 parts (brim, colors, and end curl direction) to suit your needs. Wanna be a rainbow witch? Done. How about a frosty Ice Witch? Done. Or perhaps you’re less witch and more Pixie or Druid? She even makes custom woodland inspired things like these lovely fox and deer hoods.

All her hats are handblocked from 100% wool, and will keep you warm and looking cool come this fall. Her items are on the higher scale ($200+) for cost, but you’re getting a wonderful and unique piece that will certainly last. I highly recommend giving her shop a look through.

DIY Zelda Shekiah Slate

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With less then a month until the release I just cannot contain my excitement for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 😀 So, in case any of you out there feel the same (or just wanna make a really great cosplay prop), today I’d like to share a great step by step DIY video for how to make your own Shekiah Slate.

You will need several supplies to make this excellent looking prop, including:

-EVA Foam
– Hot Glue Gun + Hot Glue Sticks
-Acrylic Paint (Orange, Black, Blue)
-Spray Paint (Gold, Brown)
-Xacto Style Knife
-Clear Plastic Tube
-Sand Paper
-Wood Filling Paste
-Tiny LED Lights
-Wire Cutters
-Electrical Tape
-Plastic Sheet

There are a few more tools you could get to help you make it easier, but as you can see by the materials list, this project is gonna take some time to make. Worth it though for the awesome prop piece you’ll have by the end. ^_^

Cosplay Crafting: Breath of the Wild Bow

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Yes, yes, I’m a sucker for any and all things Breath of the Wild right now. My excitement for this game is probably the highest it’s been for any game in at least the last decade. So, I wanna share with you other fans and cosplayers a fantastic tutorial that had been created for making your own Breath of the Wild style bow!

Made and designed by , this is one excellent tutorial on making Link’s bow as well as custom fantasy bows in general. The base bow they got was from Amazon and is not practical for hunting/shooting, but great for cosplay. Obviously metalic paint was used, but you’ll need to get your hands on craft foam (a cosplayer’s best friend) to make the added on guards at the very least. You’ll find the whole detail process here, and I highly recommend it if you were thinking about adding a new costume to your closet this year. 😉

A Demon of a Good Time

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Hello Sunday readers!

This week we are at MAGfest! The Music and Gaming Festival that takes place at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD is one of our favorite events of the year. It includes non-stop gaming, fabulous music, and wonderful geeky camaraderie. Every year has a different theme and this year’s is Castlevania so I figured we could take a look at some cool, appropriately themed crafts.

Many of the results of my search ended up on fuse bead art, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a rather large fuse bead color stash.

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

But I like to mix things up a bit and my first craft of choice has always been stitching. Hence, my love for this Castlevania stitched coaster from the Sprite Stitch Forums:

I haven't tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it's time to give it a whirl.

I haven’t tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it’s time to give it a whirl.

Or, for the more ambitious, this Pixel Hobby Dracula by Deviant Art user EveningEmma is super amazing:

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

Or if you are into the cosplay scene, this combat cross prop made by Deviant Art user weaselhammer would complete any Belmont clan costume:

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

I have a lot to work to do if I am to build up my collection of evil-bashing art, so I guess I better get onto it.

Stay crafty!


Closet Cosplay 2: Leia

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Its Rogue One premiere day here in Ireland! Like last year, I’m out to it in a casual costume. Last year I went as Han, which turned out to make the evening a heck of a lot more heart-wrenching, so I chose a character who I was fairly confident would not die in this movie, Leia. So here are some closet outfit suggestions from me to you in case you want to represent Her Highness on your way to the cinema.

The classic and easy option is her senatorial gown that she spends most of her time in early on.


All white dress, white shoes, and a silver belt and you will definitely be giving a nod to the original trilogy’s heroine, especially if you add the classic Leia buns. But I’m more interested in another, warmer option out there- that of her Hoth outfit.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-11-33-31 White shirt and pants with an off-white fuzzy “Wampa” furred vest and grey boots and you’re done! The hairstyle for this will be a bit more difficult, with the long braid around the head, but this will keep me much warmer as I venture out into the rain that has finally come to Dublin.

Rogue One is looking like it will be amazing. Have a happy Star Wars week ya’ll!

~ eliste

Cosplay A to Z: Choosing a Commercial Pattern

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One of the things I think many beginner sewers have difficulty with is choosing patterns to sew with. For today’s article, I’m going to assume you’re working primarily with fabric for your costume.

Choosing a pattern can make your life easier or not, so today we’re going to talk about my 4 S’s of pattern selection.

It goes without saying that size is important. Pattern sizing is not the same as fashion sizing, and so at a basic level, you need to ensure you are using the correct size. If your pattern size is the same as what you bought in a store, you’re probably going to have problems.

But in a more abstract manner, size is important in different ways. Maybe you don’t want perfectly fitting clothing. Maybe you want oversized clothing.

Is your character a cartoon with blocky features? If so, maybe you want to ensure that your pattern is going to be oversized to give that less human, more pixelated look. Some designs may be created that are made to hang large on a frame. Looking at the fit of the design on the model can help you get an idea about whether it will really bring your character to life in the way you want to.


Shape goes to the basic shape of a pattern. If you were to represent your costume in 2 dimensions, what shapes would it take?

If you’re looking for a skirt, the first question to ask is does this give the right kind of skirt? Is it a-line? Is it mermaid? Does it go in where you want it to go out? For instance, a short school uniform-type of skirt has a very different shape than a pencil skirt worn by the school principle.

If you’re wondering whether a pattern would give similar shapes, you can easily try drawing them out to compare.


Silhouette takes shape to a step above. It is about the lines on the edge of the body and the curves or straight lines they make that that point. You want to check that the pattern you choose gives you the same silhouette as a character.

For retro and historical patterns, you may find that the correct silhouette is not achievable without proper undergarments. For instance, the 1890’s saw the use of spoon-busked corsets. These are very distinct silhouette and corsets that use any other type of busk will not give the S-curve of the 1890’s corsets. Further, any clothing not designed for a spoon-busk may need alterations to accommodate a different style of corset.

The Victorian silhouette

The Victorian silhouette

I think silhouette is best explained by Jessica Rabbit. Any pink sparkly dress with a red wig will evoke the comically drawn Jessica, but only a specialised corset and dress will depict her incredibly tight waist and buxom features for an accurate silhouette.


Seam Lines

The last, but certainly not least, consideration is where to the seam lines lie on the pattern?
You can save yourself a lot of effort if you can find a pattern that has similar seam lines. It will be more easily alterable to gain the silhouette you want, as well as looking more like what the character uses.

I will caution that seam lines are not always a requirement for many costumes, but for some, they can make or break a costume. In some instances, seam lines can be the difference between a screen accurate costume and not.

For instance, while any black bodysuit could be used to represent Mara Jade, she is always depicted in the comics with very specific patterns. I had to adapt a bodysuit pattern to add these seams in and take extra seams out in order to get an accurate costume.

All four of these things may not exist in a single pattern. However, if you can find a pattern that has 3 of them, you’re going to have a lot less work to do to make it fit and look accurate than if you just pick the first jacket pattern you find in your size. You could choose the first jacket pattern you buy, but take some time, and you may find one that is not only 1940’s styled, but has princess seams.

There are thousands of patterns in existence, and combing through them can be time consuming. However, taking that time at the beginning of the process can significantly make the construction process later on easier.

~ eliste

Cosplay A to Z: Measure it out

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One of the fundamental issues with getting a good costume is starting from a good base.
If there is any sewing involved, that base needs to be accurate measurements.

Measuring a body is more tricky than many people realise. It is one of the first things they teach you upon stepping into the world of pattern making, and for good reason. We have pudgy bits that defy attempts to keep things where we want it, but without accurate measurements, it is difficult to know where to begin.

Here are some tips on how to get accurate measurements for your costumes.

1. Don’t measure yourself
It is a little known fact that you almost certainly cannot get accurate measurements of yourself by doing the measuring yourself.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, you cannot actually see some of the measurements to take- like your back. It is physically impossible without a multiple mirrors to be able to see what’s going on at your back. Likewise, one of the key things in measuring is that you are doing it accurately, and you cannot view where the tape is sitting on your back to ensure it sits straight/at the right height/etc.

Further, if you were to somehow set up mirrors to deal with this, you would have to contort your body in order to get those measurements. As soon as you move your body, you lose accuracy in your measurements. That is not to say that you need to be stock still, but bending arms or legs, twisting your head, all of these things will alter the measurements that get taken. So at the bare minimum, you will get better measurements if you get someone, anyone to take them for you.

2. Learn how to measure
Measuring is a science. You need to be precise. You need to keep using the same spots for measurements, and you need for it all to be harmonious.


Note that this person is actually measuring their waist wrong.

One of the simple ways of doing this is to add guides to your body. Tying strings around your waist and where your arms and shoulder meet can provide good guidances.

Additionally, there are little things you need to do like keeping your measuring tape level with the floor when you’re measuring, keeping your measurements all in one metric system (cm or inches, don’t mix), and

If you’re not sure how to measure, then look for guidance. Between the internet, books on garment making, and traditional sewing classes, you should be able to find someone out there to give you guidance in this respect. Even better, get whoever you are going to have measure you sit down and learn it too. I recommend finding a costume buddy, because then you can do it for each other.

I highly recommend learning in person. There is nothing that quite replaces being able to feel a shoulder bone or the divet in the neck. You can see it, but feeling it really puts it in your mind forever.

3. Learn where to measure
Most costume companies will ask for three things- your chest, waist, and hip measurement. This sounds easy, but this is actually not going to give you a particularly accurate costume.

The more information you have on your measurements, the more accurate a costume will be. These three measurements, while crucial, only give a basic understanding of what your figure is like.

They don’t explain that your waist is higher than most cause you’re only 5’ and while you might have a fairly standard sizing in these three areas you actually need that, but with about 4 inches lopped off the overall length. Further, if you’re a busty girl, it will be obvious from the other measurements that using the large bust measurement will make your costume way too large overall.


This is the basic minimum that is needed IMO. But if you are drafting you will need more information than this. There are many guides like this that can be found with simple Google searches.

So you need to take all the measurements necessary to make your costume. This may be all the upper body alone, or it could include lower body. Maybe you don’t need sleeve measurements cause it will be sleeveless.

My word of advice is that it is always better to take more measurements than are needed. It is best if all measurements are taken at the same time by the same person, so if you think you’ll use the measurements a second time before re-measuring get everything you can before you lose whoever is helping you. At least if they do everything, if there are errors, they will be consistent throughout.

Like with learning how, the tools are out there. You just need to find them.

4. Don’t rely on old measurements
Got some measurements done in college 2 years ago? Great! But don’t just expect them to be the same now. If you’ve gained or lost 5lbs or more, your measurements will likely change. Even if you haven’t changed weight, exercise and diet can have changed how your body is put together.

In fact, even if your clothes still fit you, that is not a guarantee that your measurements have not changed.

My point is, if you haven’t had measurements in a while, then you should get new ones done.

Once you have all of your measurements done, make sure whoever is making your costume has all of them. Even if they only ask for three measurements, send them all. If they don’t use them, you won’t have lost out on anything, but if they do, you should get a costume that is as close to your size as possible.

Further, you can use this as a way to determine if a costume seller is really up to the standard that you want them to be. If you contact them and they are unwilling to work with custom measurements, that is going to tell you something and then you can make up your mind about whether it is worth getting a stock sized costume that you may have to alter to fit, or whether you want to hold out for someone who will make a costume that will genuinely fit you.

Happy measuring!

~ eliste