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Archive for September, 2014

*Game of Thrones Spoiler Alert*

Soooo I forgot to do a post on this costume! Back in January of 2014 a few friends and I did a “Red Wedding” cosplay from Game of Thrones. If you don’t know what the red wedding is, I’m sorry. Stop reading and don’t look at any of the pictures. If you do know what the Red Wedding is, I hope you enjoy this costume as much as I did. Don’t worry, we waited a tasteful 6+ months to debut this costume after that sad episode aired; we figured anyone really interested in watching or reading up to that point would have done so already.

Game of Thrones makes for the perfect winter cosplay. Arisia is held in January in Boston, so it was a little cold outside…but we weren’t cold! Our medieval garb allowed full-coverage and lots of comfortable layers. Really, aside from the hair extensions and gore, I could sleep in this costume. Yes, those are hair extensions. On the left we have the freshly stabbed Talisa Stark (aka Jeyne Westerling), in the middle is an impaled Rob Stark, and on the right is his grieving, forever silent mother Catelyn Stark. The dresses themselves were very straight-forward and we easily found patterns to accommodate us. The gore on my Talisa costume is all acrylic paint and nail polish (so that I wouldn’t be sticky. There’s nothing worse than having sticky, unstable gore on a costume that could smudge on someone else). Catelyn used my gelatin wound technique and nail polish to create her neck gash.

The above photo is of a cool Game of Thrones group that we ran into at the convention.

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Recently I made a King’s Landing Handmaiden dress from the ever popular series Game of Thrones. To complete the look, I needed a leather hand-painted belt. This is my step-by step process on how to construct said leather belt. You will need copy paper, a pencil, 3-5oz veg tan leather, leather scissors or a sharp box cutter knife. A leather punch with multiple sizes, a mallet, leather rivets and a leather rivet-setter tool, grommets, a grommet setter, some cord, liquid acrylic paints, and acrylic varnish. Optional leather tooling stamps.

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Start by drafting a pattern with a piece of paper. You can customize the size and shape to accommodate your own measurements. This section represents HALF of the belt. One half, on me, was roughly 10 inches long and 3 inches tall. I recommend experimenting and holding it up to your waist to see what looks good on you. If you have a long torso like me, try a tall belt. If you have a short torso, a short belt may look best.

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Trace the two halves of your belt onto 3-5oz vegetable tanned leather. Cut out using leather scissors or a box-cutter knife. I find that Scissors are way easier to get a clean cut with. You must take extra care with a knife to keep your edges clean.IMG_1129.JPG

To connect the two halves in the middle, cut some connection pieces for the same leather. I chose to connect the two halves with two thin rectangular strips of leather, but you may choose to use one thicker strip.  Line all the pieces up and mark where to punch holes for your hardware. The smaller holes on the wide side of the belt are for rivets that will join the two halves together. You should punch a hole just big enough to slide a rivet through, and no larger! The larger holes on the thinner end of the belt are for grommets which you will use to lace up the belt when it is complete.

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At this stage you may add any decorative tooling. I’ve done a simple stippling stitch pattern, which I only loosely followed while painting. It adds an extra level of texture and intrigue to the belt but it is not an essential step.

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Time for hardware! Rivet the belt together and insert and secure grommets. You will need a rivet setter and a grommet setter. You can’t make it look pretty with make-shift tools.

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Begin painting and embellishing! I recommend painting before applying any studs or embellishments. I paint my leather with liquid all purpose acrylics, and seal with an acrylic varnish. They come in a range of finishes; I prefer glossy for most projects. The paint that I mixed for the center of the belt had a little shimmer to it, which I think looks nice on a feminine character, but some costumes do not want to look shimmery.

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Hand-painted details will make your belt really stand-out. Here I did a base coat (or two) of pink over the most of the belt and let it dry completely overnight before painting on the flowers. You can draw lightly over dry acrylics with a pencil to plan out your design. Then paint right over the pencil. When the design is completely dry, use a kneaded eraser to lift up any pencil that is still visible. It should come off pretty easily–don’t scrub too hard. Once all the pencil is gone you can varnish the whole belt.
IMG_1189.JPGHere is the belt with the completed handmaiden dress. It really pulls the look together, right?

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