Tilting at Windmills: Dragon*Con 2012

4 May

Now that I’m over the hump of hellish quasiTudor projects, my mind turns to this year’s Dragon*Con. This is definitely the most ambitious costume plan I’ve ever had. I’m nervous, and super stoked, and also loopy from not sleeping a wink last night, so rather than try to think of further introduction, let’s just look at the list.

The Gryffindor Pirate – historical meets Harry Potter
This is an idea I had many DragonCons ago, in 2005. I was drunk at the time, but the idea survived the drunkenness and the hangover and several years. This is the first costume:

I can’t explain the weird white frame. I was young and foolish and in possession of a new photo editing program.

It was very last minute, but since I either had or could borrow the major ingredients, it turned out pretty well. This year I’m revisiting it, and a friend is putting together a Slytherin Ninja to go with. We’re planning to enter the Young Adult Literature Track’s costume contest, so I really want to do a great, imaginative job.

Since Harry Potter is fantasy, I want to marry historical patterns with fantastic fabrics. DC is indoor and air conditioned, so I don’t mind fabrics I’d never touch for faire. Unless I undergo a drastic mind-changing event, I’m looking at setting it in the Golden Age of Piracy, around the early 17oos. I think that I can alter my Elizabethan corset pattern to make stays reasonably correct for this by lengthening the front, narrowing the back at the shoulders, and setting straps back far enough to force my shoulders into an uncomfortably erect posture, which seems to be a huge fetish of this period. I may need help drafting this pattern, but I know people! And I can always buy a pattern. I’m sure they exist.

Then there’s a simple pair of knickers, or a couple of floofy skirts hiked up, or both depending on how I’m feeling, any of the seven thousand pair of piratey boots I own, Gryffindor accessories including my wand in place of other weapons** (maybe two wands, if I’m feeling saucy) and an eyepatch, and the item that I hope will be the pièce de résistance: the coat.

I’m thinking a man’s military coat or a lady’s riding habit. I really like the look of the former, but I may do the latter instead, because I find it a huge pain to try and fit patterns for men to my body. And yet I keep doing it. Because I don’t know.

I’m thinking of adding a detail I came up with for a different character: a very obvious “patch job” in the back of the coat right around heart level, with dried blood still around it, like the previous owner was stabbed in the back and divested of his/her very fine garment. Although since this is Potter-themed, perhaps it shouldn’t be blood but rather green glitter/shimmer, like the remains of an Avada Kedavra? Would that play, do you think? Since it’s a costume contest I’d have some time to explain my choices to the judges, but I kinda feel like if you have to explain it, you’ve failed costuming an eensy bit.

Colors are, obviously, scarlet and gold, and the predominant theme is lions. I got a truly fabulous belt at Goodwill a couple weeks ago. It’s nothing more than thick elastic, with a gold buckle, all covered in gold dics of heavy, metallic gold plastic (good quality plastic, even) embossed with lion heads! I don’t have a picture because it’s all packed up. When I get home next week I’ll see what I can do about posting one. Either I’ll wear it at my waist as a belt, diagonal like a sash, or take the little discs off and use them for buttons or decorations or in jewelry.

I’m going to go absolutely stark raving mad with the fabric, get some of those fantastic, sparkly brocades that I always drool over at the fabric store, and trim all to hell. Really ostentatious and intimidating. For inspiration I’m looking to Calico Jack and  Blackbeard, both of whom understood the power  clothing has to make the legend: Jack got his nickname from being such a snappy dresser; Blackbeard used to braid lit firecrackers into his beard before going into battle.

Of course, I’ve got no patterns, no experience in this century, and no real ideas where to start. So, you know. We’ll see.

The Southern Oracle from The Neverending Story

Sweet tap-dancing baby Shiva. A friend of mine, of similar height, coloring, and build as me, suggested this last year, and we both squeed a lot, and then when I brought it up again a couple weeks ago we squeed some more, so it looks like it’s a thing now. She’s researching those amazing wings, and I’m supposed to be looking at how to make the feline hindquarters/tail happen, but we all know I’m not. I did look at some cat pictures, though. Anyway, suggestions for either of these things are encouraged. The rest is easy: blue bodysuits and makeup, and a bit less between-meal-snacking for me. And, naturally, a tiny Atreyu doll to stand between us.

The Seeeecret Project

This is part of a group, thought up and organized by my friend Daniel. mr. scone and I are both involved; including us, there are 10 people confirmed.

I’ve been forbidden to say exactly what this costume is, which breaks my brain, because I want to TALK about it. I’m putting together both mine and mr. biscuit’s costumes, and my little heart is just bursting to tell people about them! BUT I CAN’T. I can tell you that it’s a post-apocalyptic theme, the primary colors for my costume are red and hot pink, and the colors for mr. biscuit’s are red and blue. If you can guess what either might be, I’ll give you a cookie*. Today I bought a pair of bright pink tights to rip up and wear like sleeves, and last week I bought a bunch of suede hair wraps at faire. That’s all so far. Other things I need include a long red duster (ideally fitted at the body), or pattern for same, lots and lots of red duct tape, some good-looking fake scars, and boxing tape.

*not a legally binding guarantee
**Way back when the world was young, myself and a couple of friends formed our very own version of the Marauders in which I was Prongs. We still call ourselves this. Shut up.  For Christmas that year, Padfoot got us all Alivan’s wands, because at that time Alivan’s was the only source for wands. I’ve always preferred the sleek, elegant style of wand they designed to whatever bullshit was in the movies. I, naturally, was given the James Potter wand, which they apparently no longer sell. Which is bullshit. But anyway, I love my wand. It’s 14″ mahogany. Gorgeous.

4 Responses to “Tilting at Windmills: Dragon*Con 2012”


  1. Sewing is hard « What Is This I Can't Even - June 24, 2012

    […] yet here I am, just after finishing one major project, planning three more major projects due by Labor Day weekend and also I’m rehearsing a show that is a four hour roundtrip from my house and also […]

  2. I Am An Actor (TM): in which I make a paper mask and it kind of sucks but that’s OK « What Is This I Can't Even - July 18, 2012

    […] a nice change. But since I have nothing to post about on this front, and I’ve been working on The Secret Project pretty much exclusively, I’m kind of at a loss. I mean sure, I could format and post any of […]

  3. Dragon*Con 2012: Pictures « What Is This I Can't Even - September 4, 2012

    […] had ambitious plans this year. As I mentioned very briefly, two of my three planned costumes fell through. Which two? […]

  4. Dragon*Con ’13: There are many copies, and they have a plan | What Is This I Can't Even - April 10, 2013

    […] be making a pink bodice from the Reconstructing History stays pattern (which I bought for the Gryffindor Pirate but never used), with a stomacher made of some band t-shirt or other. That’s going over a […]

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