Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Five Years Service & #Cosplay Revisited: Rey Mark II #StarWars #TheForceAwakens

Wow, it's the end of January already. That went surprisingly fast, and I can't say that I'm sorry. I want Spring to hurry along!
While I am still picking away at Keir's Shadow, January has mainly been taken up by job hunting and completing a second Rey cosplay, this time for fellow SW fangirl Patty Hammond. This was my first 'commission' piece, so nerve-racking in two respects: firstly that I wasn't doing it for myself or my kids so hoping like mad it would be well received, and secondly because there was zero opportunity for fittings during construction. This would be done purely on given measurements.
Why is that a problem? Because patterns are made to mythical averages. If you look at the image below: the ringed measurements are my eldest's, and as you can see they're not all in line under one average size. One size does NOT fit all, lol, despite assertions by clothes mand pattern manufacturers. So it's very much a case of going for the middle of the road as far as possible, or taking the largest measurement to dictate the general size.

And this time around I was making the gauntlet as well, which I skipped on my eldest's version, opting for a bought leather wrist band because I just couldn't get hold of the leather (or even fake leather) to make it in time for BristolCon. No excuse for the Rey Mark II as I'd just been out and bought some fake brown leather for eldest's planned Tauriel cosplay.
Second time around I have to say it all went a lot easier. I'm still quite a novice seamstress, and mostly self taught - I believe learning on the job by actually doing it makes the knowledge stick better than just reading a manual - but having been through the patterns once I at least knew what was coming.
Three things I learned:
1. I still hate plackets (don't ask).
2. When you've tried taking a shortcut on instructions before and they failed, maybe actually stick to the instructions on the second attempt.
3. After plackets, I hate double sided fusible webbing.

But I got there, and actually it made me want to go back and redo my eldest's Rey cosplay because the second turned out far better. Doing practice runs for every cosplay would be on the expensive side though. And the recipient was happy with the result!

Status Update

The 28th of January marked my 5th anniversary here at Spacefreighters Lounge. Five years! It only seems a few weeks ago that I logged three years service here (somehow I missed marking four years). I've come so far. On the days I feel I've failed in so many ways I remind myself of the sixteen titles I've published, the publishers and authors I've seen come and go, and the changes that have altered the paths of my fellow crew members here. We've weathered some storms and ridden the highs and lows of being an author...and we're still sailing onward. While I'm taking more of a back seat in this craziness called publishing, I am still so very proud of our achievements.

I'm still picking away at Keir's Shadow, going to sleep replaying the bits in my head that aren't working. I've found this can often help me smooth out stuff - I'm not sure how since I rarely then dream about the story, but come morning I sometimes have a solution. I guess it sets my subconscious mind working on the problem.
However, a slight accident a couple of weeks reduced my already restricted computer use. Somehow I cracked the screen on my laptop despite it being stowed away and untouched for almost a week. Weird! After spending a day ensuring all my stuff was backed up and any computer only tasks completed, it went in for repair and I only picked it back up yesterday. That was a nasty not-so-little expense to add to my publishing accounts (and of course put me straight into the red for the first month of 2017. Ouch.).

Quite by accident I discovered that pixabay.com (a site of legally free images) had approved an image for use that I'd submitted. Yay! (They'd only rejected about 30 others, so I kind of missed the one approval, lol).
Details on the gauntlet for the Rey Mark II will be posted to my Tumblr blog here while I move onto my Luigi cosplay for youngest - I've already done most of his costume with only the overalls to go. I'm also continuing with a secret project long overdue. FYI, satin is a pain to work with on small scale! ;)
Rey gauntlet

Luigi costume
Chook Update
I know you've missed hearing about them! Our girls sprung a bit of a surprise on us a couple of weeks ago by starting to lay. In January! Last year we were coming up to March before they would lay, and only after we'd put a rubber egg in the nest box as hopeful incentive. We think it's just Pitch who is laying, but at a rate of two every three days it's a good start. Nothing beats a home laid egg!
First egg of 2017!

Pitch (although perhaps we should rename her Splodge or Snowflake) with Scoop by the bin.
Back to the sewing!


  1. Congrats on your 5 year anniversary here at Spacefreighters, Pippa. It's been fun!

    Always love seeing your cosplay expertise and chix pix!


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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.