For as long as I can remembered, I've looooooved the fantasy realm and historical clothing. When I first got into cosplaying and sewing, I wanted to dive head first into those things. I was ready to live my dream!!
That came to quick halt. The small town and area I grew up in discouraged me. They told me that "there aren't any black elves" or "no black person can sit in a court". I was young and didn't know better. I let those that are blinded dictate my creativity and I went elsewhere. I still cosplayed and was the "weird black girl" but I slowly began to find myself.
Fast forward to now 2019! Yes....I'm ready to get back to cospaly. I was lucky enough to attend MarsCon in Virginia and met some amazing people. After talking with them at length and meeting other POCs in this genre....I decided to finally create a costume I've had in my old notebook since forever. Zestari the wood elf is coming to fruition!
Okay so where do I begin? What kind of elf? Color scheme? ALL IMPORTANT QUESTIONS! I had only gotten as far as a list of names for my OC and just several versions of outfits for a 'wardrobe' for this character. Well...I figured....time to make them all and say screw it.
So I was going to start with her 'formal attire. I decided that greens/metallics was the way to go with this one. I even found a pattern that I liked and will pair with a cloak as well. Time for fabric choices!!
Now I'm spoiled from the places back in NOLA. I had Jefferson Variety at my disposal, Jo Ann's just a few minutes away....even people I knew with just tons of fabric. However a girl must adapt to her new surroundings so after some tips, leads and just scrounging the internet for places that aren't an hour or so a way.....I found some fabric!
So the fabric on the left I found locally at a place called Not Just Linens. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed it at least for the contrast of the gown. The owners laughed as I came to a halt, walked over, and immediately said that I needed x amount of yards. In fact I've been there a few times now and now they call me the 'costuming girl'. It's kind of cool. Anyway, that fabric is a thick and heavy uplholstery fabric that I just couldn't pass up. Perfect for those cooler months up here for things!
But I digress!! The fabric on the right is some lovely velvet from Fabric.com. Now I normally never, ever, ever, EVER order fabric online but....I'm a sucker for sales. And since they take returns, what did I have to lose? And know what? I loved it! In addition to these fabrics I acquired some simple satin lining as well from Jo Ann's.
Now it was time to assemble and I'm still working on my skills. This style of costuming is new to me to say the least. I wasn't ready. What it was set as and my body shape (lack there of) is where I needed to make some adjustments. It was a process and frustrating but I kept going with it. Sewing helps me with my anxiety and depression and I dove head first into this project.
Well it's not steamed but I made it this far...and I'm already aggravated. This is before the bodice was attaced to the skirt however the lining was already in the top. I took a break at this point and just stared at it.
And stared at it.
And started at it some more.
Finally I got off of my butt, put away another project, and decide to get back to it.
The sleeves drove me mad. I took off part of the sleeve becuase it just didn't fit was I saw in my head. Then I had to take the bodice off of the skirt TWICE because it just wasn't sitting right. It was tugging all weird and I wasn't having it. With some help from the mother in law....I finally got it how I wanted. At least I thought I had.
It was time to add the darn lacing in the back. Uggghhhhh. Thank the gods above for the grommet press that Mr. Hemmer got me or I would have been doomed. And trust me....I have frustrations just like anyone....and a hammer is great but I don't have time to screw up fabric I like with my terrible coordination. Plus I like my fingers.
Ta da!!! Sort of.
Ignore my bra peeking out but here we are!! I need to adjust the lacing....again....but it's almost completed. The only thing that is left is hem the bottom. And boy do I need to adjust some of that. I am a short girl and need to take up some of that length. I'm just happy that it's actually not a lot to take up from it. In addition to my shoes I should be good to be honest.
So this is just one of a few outfits for my elf Zestari! I get to debut her in Baltimore at the Spring Fairy Ball and at the Baltimore Faerie Faire in April. Now I just need to get the cape done! May the sewing gods have mercy on my soul because that one is a hot mess.
Now ignore how tired I look in this photo but what elf is complete without a proper wig and ears. I got my ears whlie I was at MarsCon in January from The Elven Caravan. The thing I fell in love with right off the bat is that they custom color your ears. Now if you're a person with melanin....you know any you see that you just order are not your shade and I know that with my kids I don't have the time to try and not mess up some ears while tries to keep them out of paints. They were a blessing and made my costuimg so much easier on me. It was then to the wig selection!!!
I didn't know what to do to be honest. I didn't want to do black or brown. I wanted her to stand out a bit. So I decided to live dangerously and do the unthinkable: I went to Amazon. I mean I figured I might find the color I want and still stay within my budget, right? And I have prime so I'd get it super fast and I can send it right back if its garbage! It was just a matter of picking a color....and the color was some shade of green. I found one that stuck out and went for it. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. All I need to do is figure out a style and get to work.
I found three that I liked but I'm still trying to pick somethign that will fit her personallity.
Of course....I have to add in one more little tid bit: a girl needs a bag. I don't want to be running around with a whole purse let alone one of my many Betsy Johnson bags. So I started this to have something to put my phone in and well cash, ID, and a card. I think it'll work.
Now stay tuned for more to come!! This is just the beginning for my OC elf cosplay. <3