A year of costumes | 2021

I made an awfully large amount of costumes for someone who only attended one convention this year. And a one day convention at that.

My first costume of the year, was finishing a Harley Quinn outfit from Birds of Prey that I had started the year before during lockdown. When I originally started it, I tried it all on when it was almost completed and decided I hated how I looked in it. So it got thrown in a pile of half made things and forgotten about. I pulled it out again at the start of the year and decided to see how it looked with the addition of a wig and makeup and it turns out I didn’t hate it quite so much. I still need to find a belt for it but for now I’m calling it done.

Next up was another costume that came from the half made pile. Although this one was started in 2016. I decided that for Overload NZ, to finally finish my Cynthia costume. All that needed doing was making some sort of hair piece to wear on top of a bald cap which I put together the day before the convention. I looked absolutely insane walking down Queen Street to the convention the next day with my clown orange dress, over the top make up and animal beanie with ears which I thought would hide my bald cap and make me look ‘normal’.

Overload may have only been a one day convention but I managed an outfit change. I had a photo shoot teed up with Mobro Photography, while he was in the area so I walked back up Queen Street, got changed and then walked all the way back down again, this time wearing one of my Harley Quinn Birds of Prey outfits that I hadn’t yet worn in public but had made the year before also during lockdown. I didn’t have the time to do all my tattoos and I had the intention to photoshop them all on afterward but as you can see, that didn’t happen.

Mobro Photography 2021

Then I moved to Whangarei. The first week I was there, there was a tiny little local expo that Anna and I attended to promote cosplay in Northland. We thought it would be fun if we swapped costumes for it so she wore my Booby Trap Harley and I wore her Huntress costume from Birds of Prey. We kind of freaked ourselves out with how similar we looked in each other’s outfits and confused all our friends and family with it.

After the expo, Anna and I had organised a cosplay picnic to get to know the local cosplayers of Northland considering the both of us had just moved back after being away for a decade. Once again I wore one of Anna’s costumes, this time it being her Cinderella gown. I styled the wig myself out of my old Cinderella wig and I think it’s time for that wig to retire. It is not in good shape.

Anna Terwiel Photography 2021

After the picnic, I started working on several costumes all at the same time. This wasn’t my intention but we had entered another lockdown and so I ended up getting a lot of costume pieces delivered, they also all got stuck in the post. So to keep myself sane, I worked on multiple projects at once just to keep occupied.

I started off with my costumes for the upcoming Auckland Armageddon Expo. This was before it got postponed multiple times and eventually cancelled.

The first costume for Armageddon that I finished was Cruella because I had brought everything needed to finish her the day before the lockdown. I still haven’t done a proper photo shoot of her yet and I definitely need to restyle the wig as I made it way too poofy.

The second one I finished because their bits arrived in the post first (though I waited an age for the wig), was Harley Quinn’s battle damaged dress from the new film – The Suicide Squad.

Third up was a Morticia Addams costume. I thought I had everything I needed for her before the lockdown began but due to the direction of the fabric design, I ended up needing two extra meters than what I’d brought. It was the first costume that I shot once the lockdown had been lifted and I adore the photos Cam and I took at the Maunu cemetery.

After I’d finished all my Armageddon costumes, I rummaged around in my abandoned projects bin and rediscovered my old green Ariel costume. I decided to salvage what I could of it and turn it in to a Disneybound of the same costume using a vintage 1980s pattern. I love how it turned out so much and can’t wait to wear it to my next Disney World trip. I also re-discovered some colour shifting pink to blue fabric that I’d forgotten I’d brought and used the same pattern to make yet another Disneybound but this time of Princess Aurora.

Next up and my final completed costume for the year was Anna from Frozen 2. I haven’t seen the film and wasn’t that much of a fan of the first one but Anna (my friend not the character), asked if I’d be interested in making the Anna to her Elsa for no reason in particular. I’m always up to do group costumes with her and thought it would be so much fun to do sisters together as we often get mistaken for them in real life.

Anna gave me some black fabric that she’d previously brought to make the tunic from herself and then I gathered everything else myself. This costume was very much my own interpretation of the character and not exactly identical but I am very happy with how it looks.

Anna and I took some absolutely stunning photos together on a road trip up north to pick up some vintage sewing machines that she’d brought online.

Anna Terwiel Photography 2021

Honourable Mentions

These are the costumes I made this year that I never got around to taking photos with every part on and/or hair and makeup done.

The first of which is my remake of Lorraine Baine’s prom dress from Back to the Future. This time it’s so much more accurate especially in the bodice which was drafted myself. I also used a better polka dot tulle this time as the flocked one I used previously, the flocked dots began falling off after a while. I had this costume all teed up for a photo shoot in April with the same photographer from last time, in the same location and along with my friend Joel coming back to be George Mcfly but alas, lockdowns happened and we never got round to rescheduling.

Second, the three Babydolls. That’s right, three. I know I only have two pictured below but that’s because the second and third are almost identical. It was my goal this year to make an ultimate, as screen-accurate as possible Babydoll from Sucker Punch so I would be happy and never have to make one again. I started by drafting my own pattern for the whole costume and using that to finish off a denim one I’d started the year before as kind of a mock up. Once that one was done, I started on what was then meant to be my final version using linen but because I sewed the sleeve plackets on wrong, I then had to make a third and hence them almost being identical apart from the placement of the plackets.

Lastly was a Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus costume. Because Auckland Armageddon Expo is usually held around Halloween, I thought it would be fun to do a spooky costume for it. Anna asked me and another friend if we wanted to join her Sanderson sister group and I jumped at the idea. Our Winifred ended up bailing on us so Anna took over making that costume and we asked my mum if she wanted to be Mary, a costume which Anna had previously been making. I really like how this costume came together because everything used to make it came from the second hand store. Alas, we didn’t end up getting to wear our costumes because Armageddon got cancelled this year, but there’s always next time.

I think my favourite thing I made this year was Babydoll. It felt so good to finally get it exactly how I wanted it and 10 years after I made my first one too. Hopefully I’ll get to take some nice shots of it next year.

Which reminds me, stayed tuned to see what I’m planning to make in 2022!

Kealy Ann x

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