Greetings once again Instructable-keteers!
As per usual, I am sleep deprived and over caffeinated again as I sit down to type up another costume adventure.
In the beginning there was a comic store
I know I have previously mentioned that I have a friend(s) who owns a comic shop, Brave New World Comics, in point of fact, located in Newhall, CA. Most of the costumes I have made have done double duty as Halloween costumes for office contests and parties as well as for comic shop events, when costumed characters are needed. One such event is Free Comic Book Day (always on the first Saturday in May) an event that has been going on for 15 years and is by far one of the biggest events at the shop every year. Last year I pulled out my 60’s batgirl for the event, and it was a big hit. This year I checked in with the shop owner(s) (the shop recently change ownership but as the new owner is also a close friend it’s really not that different, I digress.) and asked if they had any ideas on what character they wanted. I received a one word answer, Rey. I should have seen that coming, walked right into it like an idiot, because I know my friend is a HUGE Star Wars fan. Okay, challenge accepted.
I began doing my online research and pulling Rey reference pictures. I did luck out big time, my cousin actually works at the Star Wars costume display in Time Square and he was able to get me some amazing pictures of the costume! Even with that help, I still pulled a lot of images from the inter-webs. I researched not only images of the actual costume but, also what other people had done in making their own versions and reading a lot on www.therpf.com. Armed with my gallery of info I set out on my latest adventure into madness, errrr, costuming.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .
Step 1: Return of the Ebay Jedi (aka Ebay Queen)
I started sourcing the items I would need, first I looked into fabrics.
Tunic top: hemp/cotton jersey
Pants: Raw linen
Body Wrap: Viscose, Linen/Viscose blend or Cotton bubble gauze (there is much debate)
Arm Wraps: First Aid/Medical Cotton gauze (you can also get a poly blend, more later)
Boots: Stoopid expensive UK boots (or you can make your own, duh!)
Belt & Wrist bracer: Leather
Bag: Cotton Canvas
Even being in LA, having the fashion district and Mood to go to, I still tend to find better deals well away from those hubs of fashion. Once I sourced the costs of fabric to scratch make this costume I then looked into the costs to use pre-made items that I could alter, off I went to my favorite place, ebay! No real surprise, dear readers, but I was able to source pre-made shirts in cotton (I know it’s not the screen accurate hemp cotton blend but, it works) and raw linen pants for way cheaper than the fabric. I am always the gal trying to get what I need for as cheap as possible. I gotta pay rent after all.
So, here’s what I scored on ebay (unless otherwise noted).
Tunic top: Cotton V-Neck shirt in beige (Large)
Pants: Raw Linen pull on pants with elastic waist in Sage Green(Medium)
Body Wrap: White Cotton Bubble Gauze (5 yrds)
Belt/ Bracer: Leather (more details later)
Boots: Knock off Ugg boots in tan. (also got some fabric to transform them, more later)
Bag: Cotton Canvas military satchel bag. (reused one I had, yay free!)
Arm Wraps: 2 rolls of Poly blend medical gauze (purchased at my local CVS)
(FYI – my total cost for the completed costume was $171.00)
Once my items started coming in I set to work on redesigning them for my needs.
Step 2: The Sewing Machine Awakens
Tunic: I am in no way a size large, in our vanity sizing world I am a size 6. Depending on the store and style, I range from a small to medium shirt. This large shirt was the right price and had the neck line detail I was looking for, so I got the large and decided I would just take it in as needed. First things first, I needed a little more length so I removed the hem on the shirt and unfolded the fabric to the raw edge, it was exactly the amount I needed and the raw edge looked more authentic to Rey’s shirt. This shirt also had a chest pocket so I carefully removed that as well.
Next I pulled out my body form, re-checked the measurements I had dialed it too the last time I used it, (yup, still the same) and pulled the tunic on it inside out to start pinning. The shoulder spacing was good, didn’t have to worry about that so it was a matter of taking it in along the sides and into the arm hole/sleeve. Once I had the amount I felt was right I pulled out the sewing machine and set to work at my dining room table. Since this was a cotton jersey shirt I chose to use my double needle. (I also chose to do this because I had never used that needle before and that is always part of why I make a costume, trying something new.) It was awesome and was the perfect tool for the job. I really should go back and redo my Batgirl body suit with the double needle . . . sorry, off topic, back to the costume at hand.
In the end I took in a good 2+ inches on either side but tapered it out to match the original base width, making it more of an hour glass shape, to allow for a smooth fit over the pants. I then pulled the shirt on myself and figured out how much to take in for my arms. (I have spindly arms) I then pulled it off again and completed that alteration. I used a shirt of my own, that already had cap sleeves, as a template for cutting the sleeve on this shirt to be a cap sleeve too. I then rolled and hand stitched the bottom of the arm hole that would be visible due to the new cap sleeve design, giving it a smoother finished look.*
* In reality what I should have done was leave 1/2 inch of the original sleeve fabric along the bottom of the arm hole, and folded it over and stitched in the ditch (stitched into the original seam) to create a better finished sleeve. Hindsight is such a jerk! Oh well, chalk it up to another lesson learned.
I removed the decorative gold button on the neck, lined up the deep V to overlap more, narrowing the width and depth of the V, and stitched through the machined stitch work to hide my anchor stitches. This kept the neck line from opening too low. One more fitting, on my own body, and I checked the box on the tunic. Done.
Pants: The pull on pants I got were sage green, raw silk and the elastic waist was shot so I removed it completely. I folded over the fabric twice to create a new waist band, stitched that down and threaded new elastic into it. This helped me adjust the rise as it was way too high in its original state (think Ed Grimly or Steve Urkel, yeah, no thanks) Once I had a new waist I turned the pants inside out and stitched the side seam pockets closed , then removed them. I know that probably sounds weird, who removes pockets?! But I already knew my phone, etc. was going to be in my belt bag so, I had no need for pockets.
With pockets removed, it was time to decide how short to make the pant legs. I put them on and cupped my had around my leg below the knee, I knew Rey’s pants sort of billowed at the knee so; I pulled out a bit more fabric until I had the right look. I put a safety pin in the pant leg, to mark where the billowing portion ended, then removed the pants and took it back out my dining/sewing table. I used the pin as my guide and started adding an inch at a time to allow for making a new hem (folded twice, raw silk frays like mad so this is the only way to get a solid hem) and adding elastic. Once I was happy with that, I lined up the pant legs and cut them (w/pinking sheers) together to match. I quickly stitched the hems and added elastic to finish them off.
Behold! I have raw silk, cropped, harem pants.
I checked my reference materials again and Rey’s pants looked to be tied/wrapped around the leg at the base of her knee. Okay, minor detail, no one will notice that . . . I am my own worst enemy when it comes to making my costumes, at this point I was in the zone and so my stupid OCD took over and said, “Make it right!” My OCD is jerk. I quickly took some scrap from the pants and made two strips of raw silk, tack stitched them at the end of the outer pant seam on each pant leg and presto I had ties that covered the elastic on the pant legs and mimicked the look of the film pants. The next thing I had to do was work on taking the sage green color down to a more muted gray/green. More on that in the next step.
Bag: I had a bag from the military surplus store we had used as part of an Indiana Jones costume for my husband to wear to a costumed birthday party (I was Marion Ravenwood, of course, I pieced the costume together out of ebay items and only did minor alterations, thus no instructable about it, I digress . . . again, sorry). Since the hubby wasn’t using it again, I licked it and said it was mine. No, not really, I simply took it. I removed the front pocket and the shoulder strap. I left the attachments for the strap on one side of the bag; Rey had the same attachments on her bag, and carefully unpicked the stitches that attached the strap on the other side. I then addressed the flap top on the bag. Rey’s back had a more structure top so I created that by pinching the fabric together and running a stitch along the pinched fabric in two sections to make it more box-y. I then used the front pocket fabric I had removed, to add to the sides of the top, completing the box. These pieces were added with a combination of machine and hand stitching, when needed. I then took the strap piece and remaining hardware to create a new front closure strap for the bag. - Post dyeing - The hubby had an extra ALICE clip from his air-soft guns so I sewed that into place on the front of the bag and called it done.
The completed bag, pants and wrap fabric (5.5 yrds that I cut in half, lengthwise) went into my “to be dyed” pile and I went shopping for dye.
Step 3: Rit: a New Hope (Ba Dum Bum!)
Dye Baths are chemistry and I never took chemistry. (if I had, I probably would have been the kid that blew up the lab) I started out using scrap pieces of fabric and making mini baths to see how the fabric took dyes. I also bugged my costumer pals who do this for a living; they are good sports with my dumb questions. In the end I tested out 4 dyes at two different intervals for soaking (3 mins and 10 mins).
Back Tea – a good brown tone but, didn’t so much mellow the green raw silk the right way. It was good on the cotton bubble gauze.
Coffee – hello yellow! This is great for a sun bleached, tobacco stained, aged look. Saving that for later.
Red Tea – the red should have balanced the green but, it ended up giving the pants a very faint purple/pink tint, and required a ton of tea so this was out.
Rit Dye: Using the bucket method of hot friggin’ water (ouch!), salt and the Rit dye.
Pearl Gray – for the pants, this came out closer, I had to really play with the mixture, too little and it looked purple, too much and it was too dark of a gray.
Chocolate – this was purchased for the bag, but it came out way redder than brown, back to the store.
Dark Brown – take two on the bag, hallelujah! This came out so much better and richer.
Black – I purchased the black to use as an aging agent, thinking it might not pull as purple as the gray was doing in some of my tests. Strangely enough it still pulled purple, so it went on the shelf to use in other projects.
The 3 minute process showed nominal changes so I nixed that. I instead went for a 5 minute timed bath and then checked the item to see if it needed the full 10 minutes.
I made sure all the items I was dying were rinsed and wrung out per the instructions on the RIT bottle (I always use the liquid dye, the 3 times I have ever dyed anything in my life, the powder can be such a mess) then lowered the item(s) into the dye bath(s) and stirred constantly. After 5 minutes I pulled out a portion of the item, rinsed it with water to see what the true color was turning, because not all the dye sinks in, some just deposits on the surface.
When dying the pants, I wasn’t happy with the color after 5 minutes so I dunked it back and continued stirring for another 5 minutes. Then I carefully removed the pants, trying not splash my crappy counters that seem to love acquiring stains, and rinsed as previously mentioned. I kept rinsing and wringing it out, with cool water, until the water was coming out clear then hung them to dry in my shower.
The next dye bath was for my wrap material (bubble gauze) and I chose to go with the black tea bath in the stainless kitchen sink. I made 3 gallons of super strong black tea (Twinings English Breakfast Tea, loose leaf) and used almost all of my brand new 3.53 ounce tin. I then rinsed and wrung out my fabric and added it to the sink with the tea bath. It soaked for about 15 minutes total then I tested it with a cool water rinse on a small portion of the fabric and was happy with the results. I then repeated the steps, as above, for rising and wringing until the water ran clear. I then hung it up on 2 hangers (it was 5.5 feet of fabric) and let it dry on my balcony.
For the arm wraps (Poly blend medical gauze) since it was a synthetic blend and I didn't have any of the super RIT dye for synthetics, I went the natural route, made another (smaller) black tea bath and soaked the gauze in it overnight. It came out great!
The final dye bath was the Chocolate Brown for the belt bag. I prepped my bag with a water rinse as usual (this was cotton canvas) and then added it to the bucket dye bath. 10 minutes later it was red, back into the bath for another 10 minutes and it was still red. Weird. Soooo, I let it dry while I went back to the store and bought a new bottle of Rit in Dark Brown. The second time was the charm, the dark brown dye was so much better. Once it had bathed for 20 mins the bag took on a deeper, richer, brown that ended up matching my leather belt perfectly (more on the belt later).
When playing with dye, no matter if it is natural or not, always remember to wear an apron (I did) and gloves (I didn’t). My nails sucked up the dyes from everything I was playing with and looked weird. In the end I cleaned them with nail polish remover (a couple times) and a scrub brush with laundry detergent then cut them all down. Now I’m not girl who has great nails anyway, they are super bendy, like to peel and never hold nail polish but, it still kinda sucks to have to cut them down really short because you can’t remember to put on the gloves you had sitting on the counter right next you the entire time.
Step 4: The Empire Strikes Back or Why I Won’t Buy THE Boots From the UK.
It is totally possible to buy the actual style of boots used in the film direct from the UK Company that makes them. That being said, they are not cheap. £125.00 is roughly $180, depending on the conversion rate to US dollars, and then you have to account for shipping costs, which range from $30-$70 depending on how fast you want your item. So you are looking at $200+ to buy said boots (don’t forget about the tax). Some people are cool with spending that kind of money; I am not one of them. Sorry, I just cannot get on board with that kind of purchase. Thus I made my boots for this costume.
I did my research and the page for THE boots lists the materials used to make them which was very helpful because what I thought was leather was actually cork.
Cork! Ooo a new product I have never used, excuse me while I source some . . . from Portugal via Etsy. Done.
I purchased a knock-off pair of ugg style boots form ebay (of course) in tan. Why tan, you ask, when we know Rey’s boots are dark brown? Because the sole of Rey's boot is tan and I could not find brown boots with a tan sole so, tan boots. I was sourcing some vintage gray/brown nubby tweed fabric (the stuff they use on THE boots) via ebay but, it would have left no room for error and I always screw stuff up along the way. As much as I wanted to use it, I know my limits. I chose to get a wool felt, printed to look like a brown nubby tweed, it looked good up close and was 1/3 the cost. What’s not to love?! I also picked up a remnant scrap of gray felt from the fabric store, which would mimic the lining of THE boots. Then I set out to design my boot covers.
I measured the tan boots, traced them on parchment paper, sketched out a design mechanic, crunched numbers (math, ugh!) figuring out seam allowances, etc. After all that paperwork, I grabbed two stained napkins I had laying in the rag pile, and made a mock up. I stitched together the pieces as I had originally designed them, found some errors and altered as needed. I used a different stitch style on my machine each time so I could track and remember which stitch ended up with the perfect fit. Once I had the mock up fitting correctly, I unpicked the pieces and used them as a template/pattern. I then set to work with my real materials and got to cutting and sewing.
The boot cover consisted of 4 main pieces, 1 to cover the boot shaft, one to cover the toecap/instep area (the part that covers your toes and goes to the ankle), another piece to cover only the front of the shaft of the boot and a small piece to cover the heel (this section is the cork). Wait, I’m covering the shaft completely and then covering part of that cover with another piece of fabric??? Yup. . .
The design of THE boots has the front of the shaft cover as a separate piece which laces around the back of the boot allowing for adjustments to the fit. Since my boots had a solid shaft I had to cover the whole thing then add a front piece to mimic the look and function of THE boot.
Everyone confused by this please raise your hand . . .
I know it’s confusing in writing but, the pictures should help make sense of all that.
I started to assemble and stitch the pieces together. I was very careful to press every seam, something I constantly forget to do all the time. Have I mentioned I am WAY impatient? Shocking, I know. I made the mock front flaps (for lack of a better term) first; I used interfacing to help keep the gray lining fabric attached to the brown “tweed” felt and then I stitched all three pieces together, again altering as needed to fit over the boot. I kept the Main Shaft cover piece open in the back so I could pin it to fit just right. Once I was happy, I stitched up the back and added the gray lining fabric to the boot shaft cover so I would no longer see the faux lamb fluff the boot was lined in. At this point I had to take a break because the cork had not come in yet . . .
(insert annoying muzak version of the Girl from Ipanema for your waiting pleasure)
10 DAYS LATER . . . cork in hand I was ready to complete the boot. I cut out the heel pieces and slowly stitched them on to the boot covers. I used my leather needle on my machine to complete this task. I then went about creating the additional trim pieces; the strip that goes up the back of the boot shaft and the loops for the laces. I knew that could not use my machine to attach the long strip to the back of the boot shaft, simply too narrow to work with my machine, I was going to have to hand stitch it at least partly. To get the finished look of nice machine needlework, I stitch up each side of the cork strips. I then hand stitched the strip to the boot cover, hiding those stitches among the machined ones. This made hand stitching easier since I could go through the same holes and helped keep a nice clean look. I then made quick work of adding the loops for the laces to the sides of the front flap piece. It was time for the final fitting. I put the 99% finished cover on the boot and began folding up the bottom to be in line with the top of the tan rubber sole of the boots and hand stitched it in place. Boots were done! I did add an insole for arch support because cheap boots have no support and I knew I would be on my feet for a good 8 hours at the shop for Free Comic Book Day.
So, to review THE boots were a cost of $225+ (depending on shipping and tax) my knock offs came out to be $51.00, and I probably could have made them for less if I had more time to shop around for cheaper boots. (As is always the way you find cheaper stuffs after the fact)
Excuse me while I go do a very uncoordinated, happy dance of thriftiness.
Lessons Learned: (Dunce Cap Earned)
While working on the last portion of the boots, I got into the zone; and the zone is not always a good place to be. I was so focused on being finished with my boots I forgot to eat or drink anything for a day (actually it had been since the previous night so really looking at about 20 hours w/o food & drink) and that’s when the blinding migraine hit me! I crumpled like doll; the hubby had to remove the nearly finished second boot from my hands and forbade me to sew for the rest of the night. So yeah, don’t do that, it’s dumb.
Step 5: Revenge of the Filth or How to Make Things Dirty the Clean Way.
With pieces completed it was time to dirty up all my hard work. I have never purposefully made anything dirty so, I went back to the interwebs. I found some cosplayer videos that talked about different items they used, once I was inspired enough, I went about collecting items.
Fine grade Sand Paper, $3 - I used this to ruff up the fabric of my tunic, give it a worn in look, and the little rough patches really showed up once I started to spray it (see below). I also used the sand paper on the bubble gauze wrap, it helped blend the dip dyeing I had done to the bottom pieces to show fading a wear. I did this with the bottoms of my pants too for the same technique/results. I also rubbed it along the edges of my belt to scuff it up a bit.
Schmere Fullers Earth, $11 - This is a loose powder, clean “dirt” used in Film, TV, Stage, etc. You can also buy it online but, the shipping cost more than the item itself. Since I could source it locally, Western Costume, I sent the hubby to get it for me on his day off.
A couple spoons full added to a remnant piece of my bubble gauze and I had the perfect pounce bag to add that Jakku sand look to my boots, and other garments.
Salon Grafix Play it Big Dry Shampoo Spray in Brown, $8 – This is a dry shampoo spray for brunettes, it will also deposit color to help hide roots. I saw this used in a video of another person making a Rey costume and was so curious about it I had to check it out. It was by far my favorite item to use and it smelled so good. I used up the 5.3 oz can mostly on my tunic, I had to build up layers, rubbing it in by hand each time, a lot of it will come off (again, reference the wear gloves note above, yeah didn’t wear them this time either, I’m a dolt) but as you add layers it will start to set in and really look good. I had a lot of fun with this on the balcony. What little I had left I used on the bottoms of my pants, (I probably should have gotten two cans)
Espresso Concentrate (free), $1(for a spray bottle) – In the Dyeing section, I mentioned making an espresso concentrate. Although it did not work for dying any of my main pieces, it was totally perfect for that sweat stained look. I used this in a fine mist spray bottle along the neckline and under arm/sides of the tunic for a weathering/lived in look. I also used some of this on the bottoms of the pants and on the medical gauze arm wraps to dirty them up. The arm wraps took more of a yellow tone from the spray but I think I may go back and use a back dye in a spray bottle to tone that down later on. Or make them over again as I have 3 more rolls of medical gauze to play with.
Step 6: The Time Crunch Menace
It was the last weekend before FCBD . . . Week days are no good for construction, just not enough hours in the day with work eating up most of it and squeezing in 6 hours of sleep. So, it was crunch time and I had a belt and wrist bracer to make out of leather.
You can see from my past costumes that I have worked with leather before but, it was always in augmentation of a piece, not working from raw leather materials. I went to the handy interwebs of video tutorials and watched a few on leather working and belting making. I found a great ebay seller that was selling leather seconds; these are pieces of finished leather that have some imperfections to the tone/color after a dying process. Seconds are always cheaper because of this and since I needed my pieces to be distressed, I didn’t worry about the imperfections. So rather than paying $45+ dollars for a piece of 5oz leather, 3”W x 48”L, I got it for $26.
The piece I needed for the bracer was $18 because I needed it to be 6” wide and 6 -7oz weight. The seller actually sent me the wrong piece for the cuff the first time but, rather than make me send it back, they told me to keep it and rushed out the correct piece to me.(A+++ for the seller)
I purchased a leather cutting tool from Amazon, for the first time it was cheaper than ebay, go figure! And I did my online research. I was able to find a pattern that someone had created for making their own version of Rey’s belt; it was pretty awesome so I saved it as a reference piece.
The Belt: Before cutting my leather I used foam sheets to construct a mock up of the belt. (I didn’t want to risk my only piece of leather and screw it up.) The hubby helped me here, he is way better with Xacto-blades than I am. I first made a strip of foam the same width & length as my piece of leather (3x48). We then began figuring out of those 3 inches in width, what the top strip of the belt (the portion that goes around the waist) would be as well as the bottom. The bottom portion, the part that hangs over the hip, was wider for sure. We used pens and pencils to mark out different measurements, in the end we went with 1 ¼ inches for the waist (1 inch was just too thin) and 1 ¾ for the bottom piece. We cut the foam and fitted it to my body, trimming excess parts off and molding the strips to take on the shape of the belt. We used duct tape to add the hardware for a final test fit. When we were happy with the final fit I removed the tape and used the foam belt as my template.
I traced the shape onto the inside (suede sided) of the leather with a ball point pen. I then took out my leather cutter and had the hubby set the width at 1 ¼. (he has better eyesight and the measurements were hard to read on the wooden slide of the tool)
The tool is super easy to use, there is a blade between two pieces of wood and you can adjust the measurements by loosening a screw bolt and sliding it back and forth, tightening it when you have the right measurement. To cut; first make sure the leather you are working with has a straight edge, this will be what the tool glides along as a guide and if it isn’t straight your cut won’t be either. Then you gently feed the leather through until the blade catches and begins to cut, you then pull the tool through the leather nice and steady, do not try to do this fast, and cut the strip to the length required buy your project.
Once I have cut my strip to the desired widths I went back and cut any excess leather away to form the thinner end strips of the belt that I would be feeding through loops to secure.Okay, I had the hubby do that part, as I have previously stated it is not safe to give me Xacto knives.
Once everything was cut we did a test fit, using tape again to hold the belt rings in place, when I was happy with it we marked the placement and removed the tape. I tried to use my machine to stitch the rings into place but the leather was just too thick (busted a needle on the machine too) so, I ended up doing it by hand.
If you have read my Rocketeer instructable you know how much hand sewing of leather I have done . . . I still hate it, I still curse up a storm and stab my fingers, I still had to use pliers to feed the needle through the leather layers and yes, I did break a hand leather needle on this too. Two little things to sew on this belt and I managed to snap a hand needle!
With that done I cut 8 slits in the belt, 4 on the bottom strap ( II II ) and 4 on the top strap, to make loops for securing the belt ends properly. I wrapped some twine around the side of the belt, per my reference images, and tied it off. Thus the belt was done and my weekend was over.
Wrist Bracer: It was 7am on Free Comic Book Day and I had a bracer to make, once again I had found a really great pattern piece online that I liked the shape of but I didn’t have enough of the leather needed to make it as designed in said pattern, so I used it more for shape inspiration and then did my own thing.
I used a remnant of the leather I had from my belt, it was just enough to wrap around my wrist once, I then used a piece of the leather I had ordered, the color was supposed to be the same but the new piece was lighter. This turned out to be good because all my reference pictures showed the bracer to be two different colors. The darker piece really should have been wider but it was the day of and I worked with what I had. I cut the lighter colored leather down into an elongated triangle, then I trimmed off parts on the wider end to give it a more diamond shape, I trimmed a bit more to create a insert-able flap. I then cut a slit in the darker leather and fed the flap part of the light piece through, to secure it I used hot glue. I know not ideal but it worked. Once the glue was cooled I wrapped the bracer around my wrist and marked where I need to cut slits to feed the strip though to secure it. Once marked the Xacto knife came out again and cuts were made, then it was done.
All that was left was to do was put up my hair in the tri-bun hair style and get going!
Step 7: Attack of the Fans! FCBD and Post Construction Thoughts
Free Comic Book Day was a success, we had hundreds upon hundreds of people come through the shop. It was very busy but, that's a really good thing. I also talked with some of the members of the Rebel Alliance & 501st members that were also at the event. They all thought I was a member too, which was quite a compliment. I hadn’t thought of submitting my costume to one of the groups for membership before. But my Comic Shop owner Pal (and the reason I made Rey in the first place) and the members I did talk to all thought I should. The more I thought of it the more I figured, why not. I am now prepping this costume for submission to the Rebel Alliance group. We’ll see if they think what I have done is good enough to warrant membership.
Part of me is eager to see what they think; the other part of me hates the idea of being judged. I’m not a pro at this stuff. I make no attempt to claim I know what I’m doing, in point of fact, I don’t! I make it up as I go and learn new things all the time. I also ignore things I have learned and make a lot of the same mistakes again and again. I make my costumes as a creative outlet and sure, I get to wear them and pretend to be another person for a little while on Halloween or at events like FCBD,but it's the smiles on the little girls faces when they are talking to Batgirl or Rey that really make it so worth it to me. I do it for fun! I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around something I do, which brings me stress and joy and fun, being judged in a forum. Even with that slight reservation, I’m still going to try and see what happens.