Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Up-Close and Personal with Merida (Brave)

Seeing as how EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER wants to be Merida for Halloween this year (which I think is totally the greatest thing ever btw), I wanted to toss out an up-close look at how I made my Merida costume.  As always, feel free to comment, email or tweet me any questions on the process.

Also, check out my Etsy listing for your own custom Merida costume including under dress, over dress, belt and free goodies! (I also offer special orders for the full dress and wig set)

I'm going to start this breakdown with a bit of a rant.  Anyone who follows me on Twitter or knows me personally has heard this already, but I want to reiterate it for those of you who have not yet made the mistake:


I apologize if it comes off harsh, but there are a frightening number of people out there who are still convinced that her archery/lounge dress is green and it most definitely is not.

To those who may wish to argue this with me, here's how I know it's blue:

1)  Observe the following still from the film:

that sure looks like blue to me, you?

2)  Observe the following character doll approved and released by Disney:

I'm pretty sure Disney's been doing this long enough to not release a doll with the wrong color dress...

3)  At the Comic-Con 2012 Brave panel, an audience member asked the panel of creators what color Merida's archery dress is.  Their answer?  Navy Blue.

I will acknowledge to a slight green tint in a few photos, but her dress is most definitely NOT forest green like it is being depicted by so many cosplayers.  PLEASE, COSPLAYERS, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!


Now that that's out of my system, on to the breakdown:

I started with the under dress.  I've seen a number of people create Merida's dress as one solid piece, which doesn't look terrible, but I like to strive for accuracy and since you can see that she has 2 separate layers on in many shots, I decided to do it a little different.

For the "bodice" part of the dress, I used the Under Dress A pattern from Simplicity 2573:

BUT, I replaced the sleeves of the dress with the B/C/D sleeves from Butterick B5008:

Merida's under dress has ruffles on the sleeve cuffs and neckline

I sewed the dress as instructed minus the neckline ruffles.  Then I sewed the sleeves with two alterations: I closed the wrist cuff so it made a small tube, leaving a space open for elastic and I folded the ruffles in half because the pattern calls for them to be too long.

Next I added the sleeves to the dress.  Once everything was lined up, I cut the sleeves to fit the shape of the dress and added the neckline ruffles and elastic:

Once that was complete, I moved on to the over dress.  For this, I used Butterick B4827:

For this part, I started by basically just following the pattern, except I left the sleeves off and closed up the sleeve edges:

I also added a little block to the middle of the upper edge lining in preparation for the opening later.

For the sleeves, I sewed them together so they fit and then lined out where I wanted to cut them.  I cut both sleeves into two pieces and used the sections I had cut out to make the little straps between the sleeve sections.

I attached those to the sleeve opening on the dress and cut the opening in the front:

In the film, Merida has lacing holding the opening in the front closed, so I poked a few holes and strung a little extra leather lacing through:

The belt was very easy.  I used the belt pattern included in Butterick B4827 with a brown faux leather.  Once the belt was sewed and clasps attached, I overstitched the edges with about 5 strands of a very dark brown thread to create the look from the movie.

The final step was to style my wig.  For my costume, I curled a straight orange wig I bought off eBay.  Stay tuned for that tutorial.

For shoes, I purchased a pair of brown leather flats from Payless and wore a pair of white stockings.  In some images, Merida's shoes look like flats and in others they look like boots, but they are definitely brown leather and she wears white stockings under her dress.

Hope y'all find this helpful!  Feel free to ask questions or send me pics of your version! :)

CosPlay with me

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats HOOO!!!!!

I'll be honest, I never really watched Thundercats til I was older.  There was too much guy happening on it for little me to stay interested.  But when my friend Constantine approached me with a request to cosplay Thundercats together, there was only one answer: OH MY GOD YES!!!!!!

A few weeks later, we found out about PowerCon/ThunderCon in Torrance, CA and the plan began to form.  Constantine had always wanted to cosplay Cheetara and I fell madly in love with Pumyra:

Since a lot of people aren't super familiar with Pumyra, I'll do a "Who Is" post in the near future, but for now, you just need to know she's awesome and her design is fabulous and I love her.

That being said, enjoy the following AMAZING photoshoot from our trip to ThunderCon last weekend.  (more to come soon)

Photography: Jonathon D. Courtot (fountains and field)
                      Shawn Bean (field)
Retouching:   Eric Swartz

To see more of Constantine's Cheetara costume, visit her blog at

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Monday, September 24, 2012


I am SOOO sorry and apologize PROFUSELY for neglecting my blog.  Things have been INSANE lately with so many conventions and a new endeavor with my new bestie Constantine.

I have a list of blogs I owe you darlings and I will be writing them in the speediest rush possible.

Stay tuned and thank you for all your support!


CosPlay with me

Who is Princess Merida?

I'll try not to ruin the movie for those that haven't seen it yet, but I do want to do a rundown of who Merida is for those attempting to cosplay her.

Merida is the headstrong protagonist of the feature film Brave released by Disney/Pixar in the summer of 2012.

Merida was born to royalty in the highlands of Scotland and was forced to adopt certain responsibilities and expectations as part of her upbringing.

From a young age, Merida tried to fight the role she was expected to fill.  She related much more to her brave, daring father than to her prim and proper mother, relishing the days when she was able to run free from the confines of the castle instead of learning to be a lady and future queen with her mother.

Merida is very much a free spirit and her character is reflected in every detail of her design from her wild, fiery red hair to her comfortable leather boots.  She's happiest on the back of her Clydesdale Angus, firing her bow into the distance and despises being forced to sit still.

Merida's one downfall is also the thing that makes her amazing; her free spirit.  She is so desperate to be free that it blinds her and leads to a life-changing event that threatens the safety and stability of not just her family, but the entire kingdom.

Merida is stubborn, hard-headed and determined.  She'll do whatever it takes to get what she wants and damn the consequences, but she's also able to begrudgingly learn a lesson, apologize for her mistakes and will do everything in her power to protect her family when the time comes.

Merida is the role model every little girl needs and the headstrong little brat in all of us.  She's the best and worst of every woman and someone we can all relate to.  To those out there cosplaying her, please keep this all in mind and help show the world that there's good and bad in all of us and we all have to learn from our mistakes and that's what makes us all human.

CosPlay with me