Friday, January 16, 2015

Lady Loki: burdened with glorious purpose…and gold duct tape.

Effects courtesy of Katie's friend.

Last year, my friend Katie and I attended the Albuquerque Comic Con, our first comic convention. We jumped right in and cosplayed, as a Vulcan and Bajoran:

It was so much fun, and we decided quickly to go as our favorite characters from the Marvel movies this year. She started creating a Thor costume, and I got to work on my Loki outfit and accessories. 

I knew I wanted to do a classy Lady Loki version. A quick Google image search reveals that this is a very popular costume in a wide variety of styles and taste levels. While I got ideas and inspiration from other women's costumes, I mainly based mine on this outfit from the Avengers:

He is a beautiful man.

My first major find was a gorgeous Calvin Klein dress at TJ Maxx for only $50:

Regular price=so much more!

Black boots I already had and black leggings from Target completed the base of my costume. Jewelry was surprisingly easy to find at Target as well: 

Then came the crafting!!! I am a sloppy seamstress and actually HATE hand stitching, but I love costume making, so I deal. 

To break up all the black on my legs, I sewed felt together, edged it in (what you'll soon find was my favorite material) gold duct tape, and stuffed it in the tops of my boots:

I found some beautiful shiny and swishy green fabric and some brown faux leather at Joanne's. After kinda sorta measuring out what I wanted for my cape by holding it up to my shoulders, I cut the remainder off, not at all ensuring it was in a straight line.  I used said remainder to make a belt/sash with the faux leather. There were so many pins and it was excruciating.

I suffer for my art.

I also never quite finished the sides, but you know the great thing about capes? You can pin everything in the back and most people won't even care.

For the cape, I simply hand-stitched two of the corners of my rectangle of green fabric into the shoulder seams on my dress. I was really careful with this, because I actually want to wear my cute dress as a cute dress someday. 

I finished all of the above in time for Halloween in New Orleans, where I happened to be for a conference and my 30th birthday. Keeping the facts in mind that I'd be flying with my costume and out and about in crazy masses of humanity, I kept the rest of it simple. For the epaulettes and the base of horned "helmet" headband, I simply used gold duct tape covered craft foam. The horns themselves are bunches of pipe cleaners covered in--of course--gold duct tape.

Kelsey did my Halloween eye makeup for me!
For Comic Con, I happened across the perfect epaulettes at Party City:

Aaah cheap bracelets are the best.

I also wanted a much higher quality, more true-to-the-movie helmet. There are approximately one million tutorials on the internet. I took the most important ideas from this one, which used a cheap plastic costume construction helmet and a styrofoam heart cut in half for the horns. I found the hat at Party City for $3. Despite it being early January and thus prime time to start Valentine's Day store displays, I could only find a styrofoam circle. Katie and I both doubted strongly that I could make that into horns, especially when the best tool we had on hand was a box cutter, but turns out whittling lessons from Dad when I was little came in handy!

In possession of horns, I set about turning my cheap, flimsy construction hat into a helmet using craft foam, hot glue, and, naturally, more than an entire roll of gold duct tape. My method was to glue a piece, try it on, look in the mirror or my web cam, eyeball it, glue some more. Totally worked.

I tried spray painting the horns to avoid having duct tape seams everywhere. However, while I was waiting for the first coat to dry, the internet informed me that most spray paint reacts with the styrofoam and dissolves it, which it totally started to do on the shaved horn tips. So, what came to my rescue? Ah well, the seams weren't that bad.

Next, I wanted a scepter. I followed this tutorial almost to the letter. I wanted a shape closer to his, however, so I googled "loki scepter," looked at ten million images, and freehanded it.

Katie and I had an embarrassing moment in the hardware store,  where we had to admit that the faucet handle was just for a costume and it didn't matter whether it was a "universal fitting" one or not.
Blade shape closest to the tutorial.
Slimmed-down blade shape closer to Loki's movie scepter.
For my final major craft project, I wanted a tesseract. Of course, the internet provided a Tesseract Tutorial. I couldn't find a a blue LED at Michael's, so I bought one that I hoped was white and I painted the inside of the baseball display case a watery blue after spraying it with the frosted glass paint. Sadly, the LED was in fact yellow, and it looked really bad. However! My habit of keeping free conference/career fair goodies paid off, as I found a pen with a blue LED handle. Took it apart, wrapped it in wax paper, and it turned out pretty well, especially in pictures!

I added a "dagger": my sonic screwdriver in a duct-tape sheath.

Katie's costume was fantastic: she made her headpiece out of craft foam, her Mjolnir out of a spray-painted yoga block and wooden dowel, and she sewed, pinned, or hot glued her entire outfit! 

Thor and Loki were blessed to attend ABQCC with their friend Rebecca, who not only was truly the most patient person and held their stuff and took their pictures all day, she also knew every single costume and character. "Rebecca, who is that?! What is he supposed to be?!" She rocks.

We made it our mission, after seeing a Tiny Ironman in line, to get pictures with every Avenger. We totally did. 

Tiny Ironman!

Black Widow!



Captain America!

Aaagh I'm surrounded!

Tiny Black Widow!

Besides being awesome with my buddies Thor and Rebecca, the highlight of Comic Con was most definitely meeting William Shatner for ten seconds. We exchanged hellos, smiled, I said, "So nice to meet you!!!", he said, "It's a pleasure!", and someone yelled "NEEEXT!!!" It was meaningful.

This makes me laugh so much.

Katie is the best cosplay partner, and we're already thinking of costumes for next year! Any suggestions?

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