Hey there, everybody!
Today, I want to talk to you about cosplay. Couples cosplay. On Halloween.
Back story: I really really REALLY love Halloween. Halloween is my favorite holiday. It is MY christmakwanzakah…topped with candy. Candy that I get to eat if there are leftovers from the Trick-or-Treaters.
But the best part? The best part is the COSTUMES. I love seeing what people choose for their costumes, but it is really excellent when they get creative and go all-out on their outfits. Rather than just going to a store or going online and picking out a costume, I find more satisfaction– and fun– gained from the process of making a costume.
Here are some shots of Halloween costumes of the past:
Those pictures are from 2010 alone. Like I said, I love Halloween and I get very…enthusiastic. I usually do two or three costumes per year because it is so. much. fun.
This year, I’m really only wearing one:
But really, I am MAKING two because my lovely boyfriend Ari is going to be:
That’s right– we’re both going to be Link. Just because it is couples cosplay, it does not necessarily mean we have to actually BE characters who are a COUPLE. Couples cosplay can be anything you want to make it. You can cosplay characters in a male/female, male/male, or female/female relationship OR you can pick characters who simply pair well together in any way that makes sense to you. We are cosplaying characters who are, in the basic sense, a MIRROR of the other. Ignoring the fact that one is evil and one is not, and also ignoring the fact that one is supposed to kill the other– I like to think of it as a metaphor of meeting your match. Ari and I are similar in a lot of ways that are important, but different enough that we each bring something new into the relationship and keep each other on our toes. We like a lot of the same things, take each other’s side on many different topics of conversation, but we also challenge each other where it counts. The point: we’re well matched. Equals. And, as Navi instructs Link in the Water Temple to conquer himself, Ari and I learn how to conquer our own selves. We can stare down our flaws and inner demons without running. We stand together in the face of our less-than-perfect selves– and we triumph.
…or maybe Link is really cool, and it is an easy and awesome costume to make so we made TWO. 🙂
Now enough of this English major-y mushy stuff. Let’s get down to the actual making-the-costume stuff.
I have experience making a Link costume before, and I used a reference this time that I used in the past: http://meowaboutcosplay.com/guides_tutorials/link.html
The last time I used this link as a reference, I produced this:
I followed the instructions from the link for the most part, but as you can see, I did not have time to produce proper gauntlets so I settled on black armwarmers from my wardrobe. I also did not make the scabbard and belt for proper sword storage, so I apologize for that as well. The rest, I would say, turned out quite well, and I received a lot of compliments for my work.
For Ari’s Dark Link and my own Zora Tunic Link, I more or less followed the same reference link again. I was responsible for making our tunics and hats; Ari was responsible for making the gauntlets– out of pleather generously offered by our mutual friend, Lizzy, when she was done with the pleather for her costume-making endeavors (Daenerys and Khal Drogo, GoT). I already have brown boots, my prop sword, and my ocarina; Ari was responsible for his own boots, sword, belt, and other props he wanted.
The base of the tunic pattern was cut from one of Ari’s old t-shirts, elongated and flared to give the costume its classic Link tunic shape. My tunic came out a little baggy, but it is easier to take in a garment that is too large rather than deal with a garment that is too small… a lesson I learned the hard way because Ari’s original tunic did get cut too small and would not fit him. I had to start his tunic all over again from scratch.
Ari’s tunic follows the tutorial down to the last detail and is entirely stitched by hand with love.
I took a lot of time sewing the shoulder and side seams and they came out so even that a few people have told me it looks like it was done by a machine. Major ego boost. I took a little less time with the hem because I started feeling the time crunch by Sunday the 27th. The sleeves– for both tunics– was the hardest part for me. A few people I’ve talked to about the process also struggle with sleeves, but after you fudge with it a while it works out okay! When I originally cut the pattern for the sleeves, I had forgotten to allow room for the seams and had to re-cut that again too. Luckily, I had enough scrap fabric for that. And then I just pinned everything together and kept trying things on to make sure everything sat correctly– because that is what you do when you don’t always have a model to try stuff on for you or if you don’t own a dress form. Maybe I should consider getting one of those…
For my Zora Tunic, I decided that I was going to take some artistic liberties. I cut out the v-neck as the tutorial instructed, but instead of a collar, I did a trim using a really nice blue/black/gold ribbon from JoAnn’s fabric store that I used previously for a Celes Chere costume. I also used that on the hem of the tunic, on the sleeves, and on the hat (the hat which I also needed to re-do because, again, I made it too small). Because I have this concept in my head of the Zora Tunic being more detailed and prettier than what is shown in-game. Also, because I like it. And, because I spent most of my time sewing Ari’s tunic by hand and Lizzy offered to show me how to use her Brother sewing machine, I did most of the sewing for my Zora tunic by machine.
I went 27 years not knowing how to use a sewing machine, doing all of my costumes by hand and taking forever, and then I was able to do the bulk of my costume this year in less than an hour. It’s like a whole new world of cosplaying has opened itself up to me and is ripe for the conquering. I see my own sewing machine in my future too…especially if I am going to work on a Princess Zelda or Opera!Celes Chere next…
Anywho, here are the materials I started with:
I used 3 yards apiece per tunic, a cut-up old t-shirt, thread, a lot of pins, sewing needle, pretty ribbon, scissors, seam ripper (an amazing device!) and a fabric marker. And I must say… when you get a white ink fabric marker to mark dark color fabrics, actually make sure it is white ink because apparently, JoAnn’s sells a fabric pen that says, specifically, white ink, on it but do not be fooled… it comes out blue. Light blue. I had to return it and get a different marker (Uchida DecoFabric). And then, ahem, after I messed up Ari’s tunic the first time and had to start from scratch again, I also needed to pick up new fabric. 3 yards is plenty of fabric to make the tunic, the sleeves, and hat, but if you need to redo the tunic then another 2 yards enters the equation. Also pictured are the leggings I picked up. Unpictured are the white undershirt and Ari’s leggings, undershirt, boots, belt.
Final product photos:
Overall, I am pretty darn pleased with everything. I will update this post on or after Halloween once I am able to take some cool photos of us in our costumes!
Good night and happy Halloween everybody!