Hajime means "beginning" in japanese, maybe I should have had her as my first project? That'd been neat!
I'm moving slow in progress on my costumes right now, and it's just how I want it actually. Financially, I can't really do that much right now, and a lot of what I can do needs to be practiced for or tested first so the slow pace hopefully means that I'll get a good result in the end!
Anyways, this is the outfit I want to wear to my next convention which will be as soon as the end of october this year. She's Hajime from the new animé Gatchaman Crowds. I'll be working in the videogame team at Confusion in Gothenburg 25th - 27th october, come say hi if you're there!
Even though I'm not planning to compete with this cosplay, I'll be making a lot of the items anyways.
I already have a pair of black tights, I got the perfect shoes for a really good price through a swedish Ebay site called Tradera, and I found the shirt in a local store for 10 kr! I need to change the collar on the shirt and make a yellow bow-thingy but other than that it's just the skirt that I'll be sewing.
I love that they're not in leather<3
I made a visit to Sundbybergs Textile Centre on wednesday and met up with Josefin and Miranda, two talented swedish cosplayers I met at Närcon that also lives near Stockholm and we ended up spending most of the day together. I had so much fun! I was on a tight budget that day but I did get what I needed for Hajime and also some new needles for my sewing machine:)
Apart from her school outfit and her Gatchaman Notebook I'll be making her backpack! Josefin told me that you can actually buy this on Ebay, but I want to make it myself because I'll learn a ton about sewing and It feels a bit too easy to just buy it, I love a challenge:)
Here's my fabric and zipper for the backpack. I also bought some stay tape for when I'll sew in the zippers, some Vlieseline for the collar and interfacing hems, and a zipper for the skirt!
As for the beak, I've made it in craft foam, smoothened it out with joint filler and I am now in the process of primeing and strengthening the surface, but this time I wont be using PlastiDip. I will try woodglue in many thin layers. This woodglue thing isn't something I've come up with myself. A lot of people have tried it but mostly on worbla. Some say it sucks and that everything goes to hell when it rains on your prop. and for some it works perfectly. I decided to try myself on a scrap piece of foam. 4 layers of wood glue first, a layer of acrylic paint and then a clear coat. I tried rubbing water on the surface, scratching it with my nails, and even leaving it in water for a couple of minutes. It didn't show any sign of peeling or something like that. I'm starting to think there´s only some types of wood glue that works since people seem to get such different results with it. Anyways, I'll be trying it on my beak and we'll se how it goes! If it just peels off even though my little experiment worked, I'll get some PlastiDip and redo it:)
Here's some progress on the beak before I started coating it with glue:
By the way, you haven't missed the photos of my Ashei that I've uploaded on Cosplay.com and on my facebook page, right? Here's my two favorites!
Copyright © Shila Forsman, All Rights Reserved
Shila Forsman Photography
Photo: David Johansson
Now that I've had some time "away from it" I realize that getting that silver/gold/green mix was hard to pull off, but I frickin' did it and I'm so proud of myself<3

Mini update

Not much has happened since the last time I wrote. I've done some of those little things such as looked up what kind of lenses I need, ordered some fabric samples for future cosplays and bought fabric and shoes for a casual cosplay I'm hoping to finish this year.
my fabric samples
here's how the color of Quinas coat looks
left: official game art   middle: concept art   right: in game
I ordered two different pink fabrics that I thought could fit for Quinas coat(which is the only fabric I'm missing for that cosplay) but none of the two really fits. The jeans at the top is too dark and saturated, and the manchester at the bottom is the exact same shade as the one I'll be using for the "skirt". So I thought I'd try dyeing the manchester to get the right shade, we'll see how that goes:) I'll try beetroot and if that doesn't work I'll buy some fabric dye. Apart from these samples I've also looked up a white fur for Asheis yeti-suit.
The casual cosplay that I mentioned is a character from a new anime called Gatchaman Crowds. I love the way it's drawn and the character design, so if you haven't already, go check it out!
I hope I have some progress to show you soon :)

What's next?

After NärCon I felt both very psyched and also very nervous and insecure about cosplay. Do I want to continue with this new hobby of mine? Yes! The question is if I have the time to compete. To keep a deadline. I'm a bit unsure about that since it was kind of stressful to complete my Ashei for the competition and I was so afraid of what people would think of it. I wanted everyones approval, someone saying "yes, you may continue with this". Quite stupid now that I think about it but most people probably feel that in the beginning, that those who are already well known and experienced has to give an OK-stamp in the ass of all the new dolls coming down the aisle.

Despite that, I'm already planning for my next projects, Lodovica from the comic Sky Doll and of course I want to continue on my Quina Quen!
I don't think I want to wear Lodovica for a convention since it is so revealing. I really love the character and I think I could pull it off really well, it's just that I've realized what a huge issue it is for cosplayers with revealing outfits to attend conventions and other events. It's the same problem as anywhere else - just because a woman or a man shows a lot of skin some people suddenly think they have the right to touch them and say sexist comments. I've seen this happen to a fellow male cosplayer, and heard a lot of stories about it happening to girls as well. They did actually bring up "Cosplay is not consent" at NärCon but it was really brief and they only said that we "have to look out for each other" and nothing more. If you're interested in reading more about CINC, you can visit this facebook-page.
my Lodovica reference
I do have enough self esteem and a strong opinion about this so I would definitely not approve of it happening to me. They'd get a piece of my mind. The thing is, I want to remember a convention because of the fun things that happen and all the people you meet, not some dude or dudette grabbing my ass or making sound effects for my boobs when I walk, yes these are actual things witnessed at NärCon.
If I'd have someone around me, helping me if something happens and making sure no one does anything inappropriate I might consider wearing something revealing for a convention. We'll see. Right now I feel that I want to make this costume, and have a really awesome shoot with it, reinacting scenes from the comic and looking fabulous with my friend Arty Anna as Noa!
So what's next? Well, I got my XL sheet of Worbla to try out, I've ordered some fabric samples today and I'm planning for a cosplay workshop at Anna's place this fall! I might make the Yeti version Ashei for Gamex too if I find the right kind of fur for a reasonable price :D
Ashei in her Yeti-suit