2018 Year in Review

Wow, I made 12 costumes in 2018—that’s nearly a cosplay a month! The sad thing is that this is technically considered a light year for me. I usually complete 12-15 per year. But I’m slooooowly learning to cut back a bit an choose quality over quantity. Or to be more accurate, 2018 taught me to finally learn that lesson in 2019, haha!

img_2400My first convention of the year, as per usual, was Anime Los Angeles out in Ontario. I made two cosplays for this convention, the first being the Ice Café set from Love Live. We had a big group, and I did Nozomi. I’m really proud of these costumes—not only are they cohesive, but I think we all really improved the cleanliness of our sewing. These costumes look so pristine!

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My other costume was Sailor Jupiter in a Sailor Moon Café group. We bought the dresses, and Lindsay and Kelly made the aprons and headbands. These were such fun and easy to wear costumes, that we also wore them at Fanime. This was a nice reminder that you don’t need to do tons of complicated sewing in order to enjoy a cosplay.

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We also bought these Love Live Bouquet Set costumes from AliExpress, so I don’t count it within my 12. Though I did need to do a fair amount of alterations (and so much rhinestoning!).

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Probably my most popular costume of the year was the Suffragette Disney Princess group. For all of us, this was our first foray into making historical costumes. And because I’ve been low-key obsessed with the historical fashion community online, I helped most of the group members with ideas and finding historically accurate patterns. We definitely cannot call ourselves historically accurate—I used $2/yard faux dupioni—but we were definitely historically inspired. And it meant so much to all of us to cosplay with a message. It’s not just “Votes for Women,” but also a reminder that the world is most definitely not equal. Feminism is important, as we continue to deconstruct the patriarchy and build a better and more fair world.

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Macross Delta is one of my favorite anime of all-time. I LOVE IT! The plot, the characters, the MUSIC—it’s everything I enjoy in an anime. So of course I had to make Freyja Wion for Fanime. Again, these costumes are from the café (have you noticed a café theme this year yet?), and oh my goodness there are so many more details than I imagined. This tested my attention to detail, and I really made the effort to make sure everything was proportionally accurate. Freyja may not have been the best fit for my body type (Mikumo would suit me better), but I just love her never-ending positivity. She really inspired me to get out of my negativity spiral and choose to see everything in a more positive light. This was doubly important as I struggled with a lot of digestive issues this year.

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With all the complexity and rhinestones and organza of Freyja, it was so nice to make something as simple as the Aqours Detective set also for Fanime. Brown plaid? Yes please! This was my first time cosplaying Hanamaru, who is my second favorite character in Love Live Sunshine. I loved cosplaying her so much, and I definitely plan to cosplay her again in the future.

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To continue the Aqours hype train, Lindsay and I made Water Blue New World for Anime Expo. This song was in the second season of the anime, and Aqours performed it live around the same time that we made this costume. We spent so much time scouring the deep recesses of the internet for references of the live versions. We’re both really happy with the end result, despite all the struggles.

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Sailor Jupiter wasn’t my only Sailor Moon cosplay of 2018—I also made Sailor Uranus’ princess gown. Lindsay has absolutely adored this art for years, so it was a dream come true for us to cosplay our favorite outer scouts. The dress is simple, but I love all the details of the gems, rhinestones and rose petals. I also re-accessorized it to wear to Labyrinth Masquerade a month later.

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I absolutely fell in love with 1895 fashion when I made my Suffragette Ariel gown, so I had the crazy idea to make a 1895 evening gown in three weeks for Costume College. I still need to add all the embellishments, but I’m glad I made it wearable in time for my first ever Costume College. Remember when I said that 2018 taught me to prioritize quality over quantity? I keep shooting myself in the foot and taking on more than I can practically accomplish. Or I accomplish it, but I lose my sanity. That’s why my cosplay New Year’s resolution is to take on fewer projects and really prioritize what matters most to me.

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I found great early 20th century men’s trousers that fit me at a secondhand store in Burbank, so of course I threw myself into making Newt Scamander. I managed to make the vest, buy a bowtruckle, and even rationalize finally buying the Rosie boots from Royal Vintage (no regrets on the boots though—I wear them to work all the time, and they’ll last me forever). I bought the teal wool for his coat, but I haven’t started sewing it yet. I have no experience making wool coats, so this will be a fun challenge for me.

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On the day that Carrie Fisher died two years ago, a friend and I bought fabric from Joanns and started making our own Leia cosplays. A year and 10 months later, I finally finished mine in time for LA Comic Con in October. I was (and still am) terrified of stretch fabric, and this fabric was so difficult to sew. I made it, though, and I’m so happy with the final result. This is my second ever Star Wars cosplay—my first was Duchess Satine from the Clone Wars TV show.

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The last convention of 2018 was Chara Expo, and oh my gosh were we hyped! Three of my favorite bands were all performing at one convention, and my all-time favorite voice actress (Mimori Suzuko) would be there as well. I love her from playing Umi from Love Live, but she also voices Hikari from Revue Starlight. Four of us made the Revue Starlight school uniforms. We originally wanted to make their battle outfits, but we gave ourselves an intervention and ultimately decided to make their simpler school uniforms (thank goodness). Oh, and I got Mimori’s autograph and sobbed right in front of her like the total weeb that I am.

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The other outfit was Poppin’ Party! We had a full group of 5 members, and this was 100% a team effort. Nessa, Suzanne and Marissa spearheaded ombre dyeing the two tiers of circle skirts, and Lindsay and I tackled the construction process and mass cutting out of fabric. We altered our vests individually, and did all the finishing details at home. These costumes look FANTASTIC, and I definitely want to wear these again (but definitely re-style my wig first). Poppin’ Party is such a fun group (as are all the bands in BanG Dream), and I really want to cosplay more from this franchise. I can’t remember a single big-name all-female rock band in America, so it’s so refreshing to see a Japanese anime that has SIX different all-female bands.

And that was my 2018! As I noted earlier, I dealt with a lot of digestive issues over the past year, and that had a huge impact on me. My social life, work ethic, and energy all suffered. But I’m finally getting it under control and feeling much better, and I’m ready to start a new year re-energized and full of positivity. I’ve re-evaluated my priorities, and I hope I can stick to my goal of quality over quantity in 2019!

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