Biting Off More Than I Can Sew

One of my strongest memories of my mother’s creativity and crafting abilities was the amazing Halloween costumes she made for me. I never had a store-bought costume and I always looked the best (or at least I thought so.) I had a homemade princess dress that fit over my snowsuit and heavy coat so I could show off my costume while not freezing while walking between houses during the cold Colorado Halloween. My angel costume also was sewn to fit over the warm winter clothes. My bird costume was designed around a sweatshirt and sweatpants. Other costumes, like the strawberry, box of popcorn, and black widow spider were based around a large box or sack that could be filled with insulating material. In short, my costumes were awesome and also practical for how I would be wearing them.

What does this have to do with inspirational fortune cookies and crazy projects?

COSTUMES!

I have been inspired to create a particular cosplay-style costume. Sadly, since I am inexperienced and only really have time to start now, I won’t have this ready for Denver Comic Con. My goal is to have a fantastic Halloween costume instead. (Anyone want to invite me to several Halloween parties so I can show this thing off?)

So what has inspired me to dive headfirst into such a time-consuming, detail-oriented, potentially expensive hobby such as cosplay? I went to see the Wonder Woman movie.

It’s a great movie that, while far from perfect, is a fantastic step toward showing female characters as humans who do not just exist for men to ogle. Wonder Woman’s thigh jiggled when she did a superhero landing, like a normal thigh would move. Many of the Amazons, while totally capable of kicking your ass, were older, with visible crow’s feet. That alone made me so happy.

I originally wanted to be Wonder Woman, but I don’t look like Wonder Woman in the slightest. The actress is a model, not to mention tanned and brunette. I am none of those things. That cosplay is also bound to be popular, which makes for a lot of pressure to be perfect. No, being an Amazon of some sort would be a much better fit.

As I watched the movie, I thought that one actress, the one playing Antiope, the Amazonian general, looked somehow familiar. But she’s an older actress and I would recognize her if I had seen her in a recent movie — non-young actresses are uncommon unless they started as young actresses and have stuck around long enough (and consistently) to still be working above age 35. I didn’t immediately recognize the name from the credits, either, so I put it out of my mind. Until, that is, I saw one particular meme on facebook.

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Pinterest

Holy crap, she’s Princess Buttercup! That explains why she looks familiar. Also why she didn’t look familiar — that movie was made rather a while ago and I don’t actively recall seeing Robin Wright in anything since then.

So it is settled: I am going to attempt a General Antiope cosplay. I have no idea how well this will go. I’m not even sure I have the artistic skills to do this. But it’s a thing!


Remembering my mom’s skills, I asked to borrow a couple things for working on this cosplay: her sewing machine and grommet setter (if needed). She has friends who frequent estate auctions, where items are often sold in lots of mixed items — a set of plates, a shelf, and a box of underwear were one particularly memorable combination. This friend had bought a lot that included an old sewing machine, which my mom purchased from her for the price of lunch. I now have my own vintage sewing machine!

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Clementine examining the new toy
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The greenish-gray sewing machine in all its glory

This beast weighs thirty pounds and dates from the eighties at the latest. It’s in good shape, only missing one spool post. I have no idea how well it works — that’s another post.


I am absolutely floored by the detail and skill that goes into some of the cosplay costumes that I see. That is more or less my goal for this project. Will I likely get there this round? Probably not, but I have to start somewhere. At the very least, I want to make a costume I can be proud to show off.

For Themyscira!

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One comment

  1. Oh wow – congratulations on your Kenmore! It looks like a 158 model, so made by Jaguar in Japan in 1972-1974. These are some of the very best machines out there. Just give it a good clean and oiling, it may be a bit stiff if it wasn’t used for some years, but it will come back to life!
    To find out which model it is exactly, flip it open from the base to expose the underbelly. There should be a plaque there somewhere. Kenmore model numbers look like this: 158.1576. The first number identifies the manufacturer, the second one is the model. You can find more info on them on the Sears website.
    Have fun sewing, Wonder Woman! 😀

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