I’ve never cosplayed a character as hated as Nora. 

Our photos got around the internet and even on fanpages of Noragami  that I myself follow (well, since I AM a fan after all). So it couldn’t be helped that I read comments such as the ones I screencapped here, some even worst than “fuck off” but I did not bother digging it up anymore.

It bothered me at first because I felt like it was an attack on me. But a few hours after I saw those comments my brain came back and realized I’m too old to get affected by this crap, and it’s not me who is hated at the first place/

But still, what crude and uncultured people!

There is more to Hiiro/Nora than her clingy psycho ex-girlfriend facade. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered cosplaying her. 

Nora did not have a lot of chance to show her back story in the anime series but the Nora from the manga is a complex character. She’s cute, silent, deliciously devious, loves Yato very much,  likes visually beautiful things but above all,  a powerful weapon in a body of a 12 year old girl. She may be something I aspire to be in real life, minus malicious intents and murder. 

Though I admire Nora’s work ethics, I’d never justify the innocent killings that Nora might or might not have been involved in, but I find her “I’ll get it done” attitude admirable and beautiful. 

We need people like that. Someone willing to do the dirty job. 

Writing this now makes me wonder that perhaps my morals is a bit on the gray side too

Over all, this cosplay taught me to look beyond what I see on the surface and to watch what I say in public space.

Pretty deep experience for a hobby most people see as a shallow thing. 

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From the series Noragami (Stray God)

Yato : Jin

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Nora: Alittledecadence

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Photography: Resh

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Photography/Assist: Kat Langomez

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Assist : Dom 

  • Lesson 2B : Introduction to Patternmaking

    Pattern is a blueprint for constructing clothes, or in our case, costume.  A pattern is divided to units needed to create a complete garment. It is usually in paper (personal use)  or cardboard (industrial use), and contains all markings and special instructions needed for cutting and sewing a garment together. 

    Patternmaking is the art and science of making patterns. It is what makes a fashion designer’s or costume designer’s sketch in to a functional garment by drafting 2 dimensional shapes plotted on a piece of paper and  guided by a body’s measurements which when transferred on cloth and sewn makes a 3 dimensional, functional unit of clothing (or costume, whichever). 

    For example: 

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    1. Shows the design I picked. It’s Elizabeth from Persona3

    2. Is the pattern I drafted for her dress, and since it is for me I used my own measurements as a guide in drafting. 

    3. Shows the pattern transferred to cloth. 

    4. Is the finished project.

    There are a lot of ways to do Pattern Making, but we’ll discuss only the mostly used techniques :  Draping and Flat pattern drafting. 

    Draping is the process of positioning and pinning in place pieces of cloth, usually muslin,  on a dress form or mannequin,  taking it down and laying it flat and tracing the shapes made to a piece of paper. 

    Draping = 

    Forming garment on a mannequin using muslin + pins -> Putting down muslin, flatten it -> Trace muslin on paper to form pattern -> Transfer pattern to cloth using tailor’s chalk -> sew

    Flat pattern drafting : as the name suggests, is drafting 2 dimensional  shapes which when put together forms a 3D structure that conforms to the human body’s shape and contours. 

    Flat Pattern drafting = 

    Draft pattern on paper -> transfer pattern on cloth -> sew

    Draping is advance, and in my opinion involves “instinct” . I don’t see a wide application of it in cosplay so I’ll teach flat pattern making instead

    Oh, before I forget!

    Pattern making softwares exists too but these are very expensive and sometimes not useful to those who do not know how to draft flat patterns at the first place. These softwares are for industry professionals, though some of my armorer or propmaker friends might’ve heard of Pepakura before? I haven’t tried this program with a garment but Pepakura can help you pattern for armors and the likes for sure. 

    Why study pattern making? 

    Yeah, why? It involves math, a good understanding of the human body and critical thinking! Why subject yourself to that?

    In my opinion, since I am at that age where I have to do grown-up stuff daily, if you can have someone make a costume for you - go ahead and do so. Time is very important. 

    However, knowing how to make clothes from scratch is a very valuable skill. Not just for cosplay but also in practical,day to day living. Learning Pattern Making will take time and practice, but you’d be thankful for it. 

    Besides, the rules and laws of pattern making for clothes can be applied to armor and props weapon construction as well as seen on my previous projects:

    Alicia : Valkyria Profile

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    Ja’Far’s Balalark Sei : Magi

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    It’s a very interesting subject with lots of practical and not very practical applications, hahaha!

    Basic Tools needed for pattern making 

    1. Pattern Paper

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    You don’t have to buy a roll of pattern paper. Any paper which is wide enough for your project will do, like Manila paper. I’ve even seen other cosplayers use newspaper! As long as it is a flat, uncrumpled surface you can write on, you can use it to make patterns. 

    Personally, I like working with pattern paper because of its large surface. I don’t have to tape pieces of paper together to accommodate patterns for gowns and such. (Plus, it’s my profession so it’s just right that I take care of my patterns by using the best materials too ^^)

    Locally, pattern paper can be bought at Carolina’s Lace Shoppe, VC Trading, and Fabric Warehouse. They cost about 40-45 pesos per roll (10 pieces per roll). I live in Philippines, so if you are from elsewhere you have to do research on this by yourself. 

    2.  Rulers

    You’ll need all kinds of rulers. Starting with a 

    Yard stick : For making long continuous lines. Available at VC Trading, Kamuning Market and Carolina’s, National Bookstore.

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    Tape Measure : for measuring body parts. Available at VC Trading, Kamuning Market and Carolina’s, National Bookstore.

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    Armhole Ruler : For making curves for the neck and armhole. Available at VC Trading, Kamuning Market and Carolina’s 

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    Hip curve : For slashing stupid  students and making curves for the hips. Available at VC Trading, Kamuning Market and Carolina’s image

    (Optional) Styling design ruler. This is a hip curve, armhole ruler, grading guide, ruler in one. It is also quite expensive than most rulers. 

    I got mine in front of FIT in New York. It’s a gift from my boyfriend but I think we have this in Philippines too. I’ll edit this once I find out. 

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    if you can’t find an armhole ruler or a hipcurve, you can skip buying those for the meantime. You can freehand curves, but it’s still best to have a solid guide. 

    Of course you’d be needing your own body measurements too! If you haven’t read it yet, Lesson 1 is all about that. 

    Note : 

    Reblogging and linking this tutorial is very okay but I will be very upset if this tutorial is reuploaded to a different site. Or reworded then uploaded to a different site. 

    I want to turn cosplay to a productive and positive hobby and this is my way of doing it.

    Cosplay is a big part of my life and it has helped me be who I am today. This is my way of giving back. I am receiving nothing by doing this, so the only thing I’ll ask back is proper credit. 

  • I’m pretty spontaneous and adventurous so when I was asked if I want to wear this costume made by one of the pioneers of Mecha cosplay in Japan (since 1996?!) my answer was : “Sure. But I have to change after because I already committed to my friends that I’ll cosplay with them that day.”

    Though it’s an honor getting to wear a masterpiece by the event’s guest I cannot replace time with my friends with just prestige. 

    The event organizers said “yeah if it’s not a hassle for you!” At that time I thought it wasn’t a hassle because I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up a few things just from this experience anyway. Goldy is a master crafter. Just by seeing AND wearing his work I am sure to learn a trick or two. 

    Changing from plugsuit to harnesses+shingeki uniform and blue hair and eyebrow to blonde hair and eyebrows in one day wasn’t a hassle. I thought it’s do-able anyway. Reality never really hit me till the day I was going to wear the costume itself. The excitement, nervousness, expectations exploded in one go. I wasn’t able to fit the costume a day before the event because of flight delays. I had to leave early the night we were supposed to do fitting (the night our guest arrives from Japan) because aside from my convention duties (I was judging some contest too), I need to fix stuff for my group cosplay members and  I had a seller’s booth as well. On top of everything I was so concerned about fitting the plugsuit because we girls know an ill-fitting plugsuit = camel toe.

    No one wants camel toe. And I had my period that time too, a really strong flow (TMI TADAAAAH! BRING IT ON UNIVERSE, I CAN TAKE MORE WTFKERIES. WAS THAT YOUR BEST?!?!?).

    I was so nervous the next day. 

    I always wanted to cosplay Rei Ayanami but I find making the plugsuit a very daunting task. So when the opportunity presented itself (presented by a master crafter no less) I didn’t let it pass. I’ll be an idiot to do so. 

    Ah, I’ve rambled on again. This was just supposed to be a short entry on how serious we seem on stage but really just act like dorks backstage :P It was a challenge keeping Rei’s emotionless face with these folks around. 

    Credits:

    First photo is a few seconds before Goldy-san and I appear on stage. (Photo by Yue-san)

    Second is a shot of us on stage. (Photo by Harabelle Malco, with some brightness editing by me)

    Third is us backstage. Friends know what your real cupsize is :P (Photo by Charmie? Chelli?) 

    Eva01 (test unit) and Rei Ayanami plugsuit made by Goldy Marg, professional Armor, costume and props maker, instructor, cosplayer and Cosplaymania 2013’s guest of honor (also super badass, funny guy).

    Wig borrowed and styled by Jin-sama. Part time Naruto, full time artiste. (with e) :))

    This happened at Cosplaymania 2013 :>/  I’ll write more about my Cosplaymania adventures soon.