So listen. There was a plan. There was a great plan when I started this series that I was going to play the first game in January and casually work on my Visas Marr costume for Celebration at the same time. That? That went out the window around the time when I decided, “Hey what if I made the costume in time for Katsucon in February and got it 501st approved by then too?”
We’ll just consider this an interlude. All the cool writing projects have them now, right?
I’ve loved Visas ever since I first played the second KOTOR game over a decade ago because 1) Rule of Cool and 2) I just really liked her character and backstory. I think I played favorites with her, Atton, Mandalore, and HK-47 once I got the latter two. Visas has been on cosplay wish list for at least five years now and when I discovered during Dragon Con that some of my friends were still as into the KOTOR games as me… honestly, it was meant to be. (If only you could have seen the aggressive high fives that kept occurring that weekend once we decided to do this group for Celebration and Dragon Con next year…)
One of the best things about making a costume with the intent of submitting it to the 501st is that breakdown your research is done for you. You just have to look up the CRL, study the breakdown intensely, and then go from there. It’s just a matter of finding everything and making it. That’s the real struggle. Thankfully, I lucked out with finding my fabrics. For the leather, I already knew from a previous project that JoAnn’s carried one that would work and for the red, my magical fabric warehouse place came through and gave me what I needed for a good price.
The underdress was the easiest part even if hemming that monstrosity did take a little bit of time. Annoyingly enough, I didn’t take as much out of the full skirt as I’d thought I had while altering a pattern. I also lucked out with the leather overdress and had a dress pattern that worked except for a minor alteration to make the neckline smaller and add the color.
What sucked was painting all of the designs.
I wrote up a post yesterday for White Hot Room detailing my process for painting the leather. The short version is that I spent most of a Sunday tracing all of the circles with a paint pen and then drawing all the pinwheel lines after my attempt at making a stamp failed. Because I love living on the wild side, I didn’t measure anything and just went at it and hoped that everything looked mostly even/worked out. Was it a great idea? Probably not. Did I do it anyways to save my back/knees? Absolutely.
My stamp-making attempt also failed for the gold design and I freehanded every last bit of the gold designs on the veil and gloves. Was that a great idea either? Definitely not. (Just uhhh don’t look too closely at how thick the “trim” is on the back of the veil and we’ll be just fine.) When I sew/craft, I tend to measure projects in how many films/episodes I watch. Doing the gold designs on the veil took the entirety of the second Alice in Wonderland film and then some along with the majority of a bottle of gold fabric paint. I may have to redo some of the work too if I end up redoing the veil so it’ll sit right on my face.
Ultimately, once I actually sat down and worked on the costume, I think I spent about 6 days steadily working on this once you remove all the random workdays in the middle. That’s a fair number of hours but I think it’ll be totally worth it. The one thing that I’m really excited about is that I hit my sudden ‘get this done by Katsucon’ goal which means I can use that convention as a test run and fix anything that doesn’t work while I’m wearing this for more than just a few minutes before I take it to Celebration in April and Dragon Con in September.
Oh! And Visas is now my second approved costume with the 501st! Getting a costume approved on the first boost sure is a nice ego boost.
The real series will return… next week? Probably? Hopefully? Definitely. All of you can hold me to it on Twitter. 😉