So I’ve been playing Dragon age for the last few weeks-er-Months-er, okay-year.  I have been addicted to the series consecutively longer than any other.  That being said, some of the characters have beautiful outfits.
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If you’re not familar with gaming that much you’re probably like “this looks just like the armor in skyrim. . .”. If you’re a 40 year old mother who still calls her son’s PS4 a gamecube you’re probably like “this looks just like those pokemans . . .” BUT TRUST ME, DA has beautiful armor.

Let me preface everything with: I’ve only ever cosplayed once. Once was enough to scar me for the next 8 years. My High school’s Nippon Club (Japanese culture club) was designing a float for the homecoming parade. We had decided out theme was ‘Final Fantasy’, because who cares about homecomings ACTUAL theme. Because Nippon club; Final Fantasy.

Now we only had one good/pro high school cosplayer (to my knowledge) in the club, the rest of us were anime loving kids with no idea what we were doing. The club was only established so so well. There wasn’t really a precedent. There wasn’t any past experience to draw from. All we knew was we were going to dress up like video game characters and play One Winged Angel while the more normal high school students looked at us with their pom poms, super straight hair, and Greenday tees wondering what on earth was happening.

Basically, we had no idea what we were doing but we were really excited to do it.

Anyone who was 14 during the digital era knows you leave behind a slew of embarrassing usernames and emails. All of mine involved Sephiroth, villain of the iconic Final Fantasy VII Play Station game. (recently announced to be rereleased despite no other Final Fantasy yet topping its sales. Do I sense a reemergence of Sephi’s fangirls?).

Back on topic though, I decided I HAD to be Sephiroth for this parade.

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Are you wincing already? You should be. Let me give you a verbal picture. Imagine an awkward 14 year old with glasses and acne who has no idea how to dress but wears 3 inch heel boots everyday no matter the outfit. Now imagine she’s trying to put together a costume of a man with a full leather outfit and long white hair, all last minute with parents who have no idea what’s going on at all.  (“Oh Xandi and her anime. What’s a Sephy?” “NO MOM! NOT A SEPHY. SEPHY IS THE ONE WINGED ANGEL OF DEATH!” “That’s . . . nice sweetie”)

Needless to say the costume was horrible. Don’t get me wrong. I had great fun in it. Best and only homecoming of my life. Got home that day and my feet were killing me (I think I remember a strange foot massage from a Korean exchange student?), the silver spray on color I’d put on my wig was coming off on my black trench coat (read: that semi waterproof weave, not leather.  My mother still continues to wear this coat I bought for that parade. As stylish as she is let that tell you what it looked like. A 50 year old woman still enjoys wearing that coat. It did not look like his.). My beige inside out tee was hot and sticky and my voice was hoarse from belting out The ‘My Name Is Cloud’ Song for hours,

(if you’re not familiar with it already. Now imagine it on repeat. All day. Did I mention this was one of my best days that year?)

Other than that I have been a cat for every since Halloween since I was at least 7. Costumes and I don’t have a good past.

Naturally (going full circle back to where we started) being obsessed with a game like Dragon age and going to conventions you see a lot of great costumes. I mean look at this!

Me, having the hobbies I do, have felt the itch stronger and stronger to make costume pieces, but all the armor is intimidating. I tried making fake metal once. It was long, arduous, and I think currently molding on my windowsill.

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Exibit A.

So intimidated as I was,  I brushed it from my mind and thought about polymer clay instead. Earlier today though (yes today. My first full actual day off with nothing i need to do and I spend it watching videos about cosplay armor.

Now I’m browsing Facebook and one of my friends happened to like this video by The Cannon Lady of what looked like a girl cutting out those foam alphabet mats you put down for babies. She’d captioned the video “Time lapse cutting Eva foam for my second A-Kon cosplay”. I was intrigued. I looked through her costumes and timeline and found a link to a sit talking about Worbla alternatives. (I have no idea what worbla is, but now I know alternatives to it.) It doesn’t really matter how I ended up here because it sent me on a Costuming spiral that I’m going to have to follow up on, whether I use it for cosplay or doll making or whatever.

In case you’re a n00b like me and are curious how to make theatre armor or simply are dying to know how baby alphabet foam mats turn into battle armor I’ll provide you with my links I followed.

Now the article author really likes Sintra, so I took her advice and googled what on earth this stuff actually was first.

I actually watched some of her other videos first to better understand what this material was. (after all all I had was a name and a promise it could turn into armor. See earlier sentiment “we had no idea what we were doing but we were really excited to do it”). I feel like a lot of the lessons she’s learning I’ve already experienced bending plexi glass and metal (so I skipped around a lot), but it really gave me a good idea for what the material was and how it behaved.

Now she keeps mentioning foam as an alternative to this material. I’m sitting here thinking “craft foam?” (because remember until last week I worked at a craft store. When people say foam you think one of three things: kids craft foam, floral foam blocks and spheres, or foam for sewing guitar cases and seat cushions.

So i’m trying to picture this stuff

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turning into this

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I was having a hard time.

Back to youtube.

I’m watching this guy do essentially what I did to my green 80’s footlocker, but to a piece of foam. My fingers are twitching and I can’t sit in my seat. I NEED EVA FOAM. (pretty much exactly how I felt about a tube of silicone last week. Still playing with that. Results still to come!)

Well I managed to not run out to the hardware store tonight (but Lowes does have it, so I’ll be back there dodging the overly helpful associates again this month. Maybe after tax returns . . . ). If I combine everything I googled today I think I can make an armor plated 1950’s tea dress. (I may have spent all morning googling patterns to make dresses I can’t afford). So Stick around and maybe you’ll see some odd things!

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Battle Dress anyone?

EDIT: Simply because I found this link about chainmail seconds later and want it to be with the information I’d probably associate it with.

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