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Darth Sunshine

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Posts posted by Darth Sunshine

  1. It's been about six and a half years since I debuted this costume, and I wanted to talk about how the Siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl I used for the gold trim is holding up.  I was getting everything ready to troop with my Visas costume for the first time since the Before Times a few weeks ago, and found that the top part the golden trim on the veil had begun to crack and flake off a bit.    Everything else looks great, but this particular piece is subject to more wear and tear than the others since the veil gets stretched a bit when I put it on, and sometimes I tug on it if the veil rides up during a troop.


    Fortunately the Lumiere paint in True Gold, a popular choice for painting the gold details on, is a good match to the EasyWeed in Gold, and it touched up nicely. However, I'm going to replace it so that it's back to looking 100% since this is a part of the costume people tend to scrutinize carefully when they try to figure out how I see out of it. 


    So to anyone researching this costume:  buy some extra chiffon for your eyepiece for so you can replace it as needed if you choose to use Heat Transfer Vinyl for your trim. And be mindful of tugging on this part so that the vinyl will last longer.

    • Like 1
  2. I was approved in both the RL and 501st with an Ultrasaber Shock.   It's bigger than I'd like and bit awkward in my hands.  When I tried to replace the pommel with a more accurate one it managed to make it look bulkier and odd.  But it shipped super quick, was in my budget, and is still working well after a couple of years.    I'm planning on replacing it with a Vader's Vault Rev-n at some point to have something more accurate and a better fit for my hands.  A friend of mine has one and I love it, he has a couple other sabers from them and also heartily recommends them.

    I have a Saberforge, the sound stopped working after a few months and then the light stopped working after a year.  A couple of friends of mine had issues getting theirs shipped in time for an event recently... and they had ordered waaaaaaaaay in advance.

    • Like 2
  3. Gotten a few questions about my makeup, so for future reference here's what I use.


    Foundation - I didn't do anything to make myself pale. That's just my skin color and the foundation I use on a regular basis. >___>;;;  


    I contour my cheekbones to give myself a gaunt look, but I haven't done the whole full-blown veiny dark side look yet.


    Lipcolor - I use Maybelline's Superstay 24 Hour Lipcolor in Constantly Cabernet.  It really lives up to its name; this will stay on for hours and hours and hours. (I usually need a remover to get it off).  It's perfect for conventions.

    • Like 1
  4. Is there any reliable way to contact the admins?  I pm'ed Darth Brute a week ago but haven't received a reply. I also sent an email to the Webmaster and Detachment Leader.  The email to the Webmaster was bounced back, and have heard nothing from the Detachment Leader.  :(

  5. It'll definitely last a day at a convention. I used Ben Nye paints before switching over to alcohol based, and had no problems with it fading over the weekend.  I had to do touch ups from time to time between conventions, but I think the only times I had to repaint mine were when I changed the shade of blue I was using.

  6. The gloves were done with Jacquard Lumiere silver fabric paint.  I used thin strips of tape to determine where I wanted the stripes to go.  When I was happy with the placement, I masked off the tape with more tape, peeled off the place holders and painted them.




    Still haven’t sent in submission pics.  After I saw full body pictures from my first round of submission photos, I realized the hem was a little uneven and long overall.  But soon… I’ll get there eventually, so sad I missed out on the shirts. ;w;

    • Like 1
  7. The sash is all one piece.  I chose a thin viscose with a soft drape since it appears sort of bunched all the references.  I made the first version out of three layers of viscose, but then remade it because it quickly stretched and warped with no stabilizer.


    I cut one long piece of a regular cotton to act as a stabilizer, one piece of viscose cut to the exact same shape as the cotton, and a third piece about an inch wider.  This extra wide piece was the outside, and I allow it to fold on itself however it wants, creating that bunched look.  For more details, check out Vera’s self-scrunching obi tutorial. - http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26587




    There are four snaps total. Two at the ends to hold it together, and one in the middle and the end to stabilize it.  That way I don’t have to worry about it shifting.



    • Like 1
  8. Regarding the veil and trim –


    I really really wish I’d documented this part better.  The veil was the most frustrating part, but I just didn’t think to stop and take a lot of pictures.  It’s kind of hard to describe how I did it, because a lot of it was just sticking it on a wig head, draping, pinning, stitching and seeing what happened.  But hopefully just knowing how I shaped the back will help people out in the future. 


    The back of it is all one piece.   I cut the top of it on a fold, and started a seam in the middle a few inches back from the forehead seam.  The front of this piece is curved slightly forward.  I cut it at first where it’s outlined in red. The green is where the final cuts roughly ended up being after I stuck it on a wig head, and cut it to where it should hang.  It was self lined with another identical piece.   I wouldn’t recommend tracing this pattern; it’s just a quick sketch.   









    The trim was done using Siser Easy Weed Heat Transfer Vinyl.  I won’t go into the specifics of applying it, because you can find all that information elsewhere.  But basically, it’s a super thin vinyl with adhesive on the back.  You cut it out (by hand, or in my case, my friend’s did it with their plotter), place it on your fabric, and press it.  It bonds permanently to the fabric.




    It’s super thin stuff, and won’t affect the way your material drapes…. Unless you cut some excess and fold it under and press it like I did.  I’m glad I folded the trim of the eye piece under, but wish I hadn’t done that with the sleeves and hem of the veil, it made them a little stiff.  :/

    • Like 1
  9. Some notes on the outer dress -


    Like a lot of people,  I used Simplicity 7078 for the outer dress.  I picked my copy up from ebay.  I modded the neckline by grabbing a jacket pattern with a turtle neck from my pattern stash, traced its neckline over the dress pattern, and used the turtle neck pattern as it was for the collar. Worked out well on the first try.


    As I mentioned before, some friends of mine made giant vinyl decal stencils; the results were awesome.  I didn't have to worry about lining up a stencil correctly each time, or trying keep the paint even with each new section.  I just hit each panel with several light layers.


    Unfortunately, I was running out of paint when I did a couple of the back panels.  I didn't notice until after I had taken all the stickers off. :'D  (Sunlight really makes them pop, regardless of how heavy the paint is, so they looked fine next to the other panels out side where I'd been painting them. Inside, where I peeled them off, it was kinda dark and I couldn't actually see the pinwheels on any of the panels.)  So those pinwheels came out super pale.  A very kind friend of mine used her CO2 laser cutter to make a stencil for me to touch those pieces up with. The stencil material I chose is .125" thick cast acrylic. I do not envy those of y'all who had to paint the entire dress this way....




    When sewing, I used binder clips to keep the pieces together, since vinyl doesn't recover from pinholes the way other fabrics do.  I used bits of parchment paper when I had to clip them to the "right" side of the fabric; other wise they stuck and left nasty indents.




    Pressing this fabric was very time consuming.  A direct hot iron warped it, so I had to place a cloth between the seams and iron, press them, then lay a heavy book on top it and let it cool.  Felt more like working with thermoplastics than sewing, lol.  (Although since this is PVC, I guess I was doing a combo of both.)



  10. Thanks ya ladies! :D  Still haven't sent it in yet; waiting to get pictures back. It might need a couple of small tweaks, but no more than a day's worth of work. In the mean time, here are some construction notes.

    The inner dress is based off of Simplicity 2917.  I removed the front center seam, lengthened it, and then took out a lot of the fullness to make it A-Line.  I was quite nervous to keep taking it in, I'm used to making very full dresses. XD


    I used the sleeve pattern piece it came with as a starting point, and free handed the bell sleeve pattern. The unmodified sleeve for version B might very well work for KoTOR II Visas as is.  Rather than leaving the hem of the sleeves straight,  I tapered it to avoid a pointed look. 





    One of the FAQ's I got over the weekend was how I did the gold trim.  I'll get to that in another post.

  11. I'm very happy to say it's done! Things stared coming together very quickly once Spring Break started. So much so I didn't really have time to document it here.  I'll have pics to share tomorrow of the full outfit, and eventually post more on how I made mine for future reference.

  12. Well, I had to set this aside (again), because school was so intense, and then a lot of house repairs had to happen.  But I was able to pick things back up a couple of weeks ago.  The inner dress is almost done, just needs some hemming and the trim.  I figured out how I'm going to get the veil to stay on my head, I just need to figure out how to better pattern the back; I'm not too happy with the shape.


    It's getting there...







  13. I know the phone on my camera always likes to make things way brighter than they actually are.  It does look like it's as dark as the CRL example though, and it's got the right blue undertones. If you're worried, you can ask Heavy1973 for her opinion, she's the Visas costume mentor.


    And yeah, using fabric paint on textured/fuzzy surfaces is a paaaaaaaaaain. It's definitely something to try and avoid. x__x


    I'd recommend paint for the gloves since they're put under a lot of stress when you put your hands in and out of them.  Heat transfer vinyl might be hard core enough to stick to it permanently, but I know that vinyl appliqued on using a craft store adhesive like Wonder-Under would start peeling after a few wears.  The paint will crack eventually, but it'd be easier to touch up.

  14. As long as the fabric is the correct color, has an appropriate texture, and is matte, it doesn't really matter what it is. The CRL doesn't specify an exact fabric you have to use for the inner dress.  A lot of different kinds of fabric could work for it.  I looked at satins, cottons, viscose, jerseys, silk... a whole bunch of stuff.  If the linen has a really loose weave, that might be an issue, but it's hard to tell from those photos, the first one makes it look pretty smooth. 


    I think most people who've gone the applique route are using vinyl for the trim, since it can't fray. The adhesive used for appliqueing will prevent fraying, but not forever. It's not uncommon for people to use things that do fray for appliques, but the edges have to be "sealed", usually with a satin stitch. I've opted for heat transfer vinyl, which is basically a super thin vinyl with adhesive already on the back.  It's commonly used for t-shirt appliques.

  15. I finally have some progress to report! 8D


    The outer dress is at a stand still at the moment.  We ran out of the vinyl we were using for the pinwheels, and ordered a new roll.  It was different kind this time; we didn't really know what we were using last time, it was unlabeled and found the back of a storage unit.  The new stuff didn't work out so well, and ended up destroying the three dress panels we applied it to.  I also had a serious allergic reaction to it.  I'm pretty sure this build is cursed. :*D


    I ended up deciding not to dye my inner dress fabric myself, so I've kept looking these past few months.  I finally found something today!  It's a polyester with just a bit of stretch, so it has an awesome drape that'll work nicely with the veil.  It's a good match to the concept art version. 




    Both fabrics are darker than they appear in this photo, my camera never gets colors right.  

  16. Well, I still haven't acquired a good material for the inner dress. Once again I thought I had something, but when the full yardage came in and it turned out to have a lot more stretch than the swatch lead on.  I haven't had a chance to try dying anything yet, so for now I'm working on the outer dress.


    I'm pretty pleased with the way the paint I picked up is working with my vinyl. In some lighting, the pinwheels look etched or embossed in rather than painted on. I'm using Duplicolor Vinyl and Fabric Paint in Charcoal Gray. It seems pretty hardy. I stretched the heck out of a test piece, even tore it in some places, but the paint didn't flake, crack, or peel.  The stencil is basically a giant vinyl decal, made for me by some very awesome friends. :)


    36868471121_a6bd0b8164_b.jpg20150518_165446_zpsoyesvxlu.jpg~original by Andrea Vao, on Flickr


    They're 4 inches wide, which is pretty good scale on me.


    I have a few more photos, here are some links so I don't flood the page with too many giant photos of pinwheels. :)



    Outdoors 2

  17. It breaks my heart to do it, but I'm going to be delaying this project yet again. When the swatch for my outer dress fabric came in, I took the fabric I had bought for the inner dress and photographed the two outside, something I had not previously done with the inner dress fabric. Turns out is has a nasty habit of turning bright pink when photographed in the sunlight. I've haven't found anything suitable at the local stores during the two months I've been trying to replace it, and none of the swatches I've ordered offline have turned out to be an appropriate color or material.


    The seller I ordered my outer dress fabric from sent me the wrong fabric, and it took them over two weeks to correct their mistake. So I'm sitting here with just a little over three weeks to go til the convention I had hoped to have my approval in time for, with only only a fraction of the materials I need, and the only thing I have finished are the gloves. Time to call it; it's not happening.


    I'm going to be turning to my nuclear option for the inner dress fabric; I'm going try to dye it. It's been something I've been trying to avoid at all costs for a variety of reasons, but it's the only option I'm left with unless something magically shows up in the local fabric district sometime soon.


    On the upside, by delaying it, I may get to do something cool with the outer dress. My friends who own a few CNC machines and were going to make the pinwheel stencil for me are getting a laser machine in March, and they think the might be able to use it to etch the pinwheels into the vinyl I have. I'll post pictures if the test run is successful.


    Sorry for the wall of text, this has just been an incredibly frustrating project, and I'm extremely disappointed that I failed to meet my goal for All-Con. Hopefully It'll all come together in time for Dallas Comic Con.

  18. Well, I lost control of my life because of school, and didn't get to start sewing this fall like I had hoped. I have an event coming up in a couple of weeks that I need to fix up some old costumes for, and after that I'll be diving right into this.


    I went back to look at that stretch vinyl again, and decided it's not right for this project. I ordered a number of swatches online, and think I've found my winner. It's a "stretch" vinyl, but there's hardly any stretch to it at all, but that bit of stretch it does have makes it a little less stiff than my other candidates. It also has the all-important black backing. It does have a subtle texture to it. However, to get it to show up on camera I had to shine a light directly onto to it, and took this photo like, six inches from the surface, so I'm not worried about it.




    I'll order that once I've finalized my outer dress pattern. Other than that, I just need to order my gloves, and look for sash material. I keep forgetting about the sash whenever I go shopping for some reason...

  19. Yeah, it's not a very helpful photo. XD I wish I'd taken more photos while I was there. I'd compare the drape to a heavy jersey knit (based on memory anyway). If I have a chance to go back soon I'll take more.

  20. I've been really busy with other projects lately, but this one is always on my mind. I've been keeping an eye out for a good outer dress fabric, but I haven't had a lot of luck. I found this black backed - black vinyl at the same place as my inner dress material, and wanted to see what you guys thought. It has your typical leather finish (it's not crazy glossy or anything), and has no texture like the other one I found. Thing is, it has a bit of a stretch to it, so I'm wondering if the drape is too much for Visas, and if I should look for a stiffer vinyl.



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