Welcome to Straywind.com!
Welcome to my Cosplay home on the net. My name is Rebecca (aka Stray Wind online). I've been Cosplaying since late 2001. I love the fellowship, challenges and creativity involved in making costumes. My forte is Cosplaying from survival horror video games as well as characters from Anime and games that I grew up enjoying. Since I began Cosplaying, I have worn over 80 costumes and I've attended over 75 conventions and major events. Cosplaying is an exciting journey and I look forward to future projects and events as my journey in the world of Cosplay continues.
-+- Updates -+-
December 12th, 2017
The Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show has come and gone. It was a pretty casual event. A great chance to do some Christmas shopping, but this year I'm already pretty much done my Christmas shopping so I mostly browsed. My only purchases were a cute little plush strap of the planet Saturn and a Christmas Pokemon Center Alolan Vulpix plush. I'm still addicted to Pokemon Center plush toys! It all started at last year's Holiday Show when I first saw and bought the Pokemon Center Vulpix plush. Now I have 6 more Pokemon Center plush dolls. XD Thankfully I've covered most of my favourite Pokemon at this point so besides special holiday ones for Christmas or Halloween (mostly Halloween honestly) I can probably steer clear of them now, but maybe my addiction will not be swayed! They're so well made and cute!
I did end up having the energy to wear a costume on Saturday. I wasn't sure I would. Getting into the Christmas spirit this year has been quite taxing and difficult with the death in my family, but spending quality time with friends has been lifting my spirits. I did wear my Sailor Lolita outfit again. It's been over 6 years since I last wore it so I was a bit nervous about how it would fit, but thankfully it was fine and looked nice. I was hoping it would look good with my Madoka wig and it did look quite cute. I got a few compliments on the outfit and some people even recognized it as being for the character. Sadly I didn't run into any other Madoka Magica Cosplayers. It feels like Madoka is fading on the Cosplay scene. I did get a chance to do a shoot with my friend Amanda over at the Delta Hotel. I'm looking forward to seeing how those turned out because the preview shots looked quite pretty! I spent most of the day hanging out with my friends Pan, Adrien and Kira and Pan and I even stopped to get a photo with Santa and a legion of Star Wars characters. It was a really fun day. Before heading home Pan and Adrien took some photos of me and Pan at the little Union Station Christmas display, which was really nice. At that point I was wearing my winter coat, but it looked flattering with the wig and Lolita outfit peeking out so I've added a few photos of that to the Sailor Lolita outfit page. It's all an original character outfit choice so why not. (^_^) You can view the photos in the updated costume page here
. The photos from my shoot with Amanda should be coming in the next few weeks.
So that concludes my Cosplay events for the year. 2017 feels like it went by both painfully slowly and yet super fast as well. It seems like just yesterday it was early October. The last few months of any year always melt away. Before I know it the holidays will be here! Definitely somber this year, but I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends and kicking off a new year.
I am hoping to fix Kagome over the holidays and Sakura so I can start fresh with making costumes in 2018. Still debating about my Cosplay options and I don't have my heart set on any particular characters to Cosplay so maybe I'll try to spend some time over the holidays brainstorming Cosplay ideas. I'll try to update again at the end of the year or start of 2018 regarding my thoughts on the overall year in terms of my costumes and convention experiences and plans for next year. It was a fairly productive year and I'm pretty proud of what I was able to do. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
-+- Past Updates -+-
December 5th, 2017
It's been a while since my last update. This Saturday is Fan Expo's Fan Days Holiday Show. I'm planning to attend it although the colder weather that's coming up and a TTC partial subway shutdown is really putting a damper on my plans. I haven't really been working on Kagome. Originally I was considering wearing that costume again but with the weather I didn't really put too much effort into fixing up the costume. I don't exactly feel inspired to wear a long wig and a short skirt now that it's cold. The wig still needs to be styled and I still have to swap out the zipper on the skirt. I did buy a new zipper, but the colour still isn't a perfect match so I'm debating about waiting to change it until I can get a slightly better zipper. It really shouldn't be a hard fix. Just a couple of hours for the wig and skirt, but I've been enjoying a break from sewing. I'll probably aim to get it done over the holiday season hopefully along with some boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume. I still need to get black spandex fabric for that. I don't think I'll be sewing any new costumes over the next couple of months, but maybe I'll work on a Sailor Moon costume when spring gets a little closer (if I find fabric) for the Sailor Moon Celebration event. I think that might be my big costume for the year (if I find inspiration to sew that is). XD
I do think that I will Cosplay on Saturday. I'm thinking about wearing my Sailor Lolita outfit with my Madoka Kaname wig. When I finished Madoka earlier this year, I kept thinking that wig would probably look super adorable with that outfit because it has such a flattering fit and a cute design. Haven't really tried them together, but hopefully it will look nice. If not, I'll probably just attend the event dressed casually. It's really just a chance to shop, but if I do wear the Lolita outfit I may book a shoot with my friend Amanda for fun. The event does have an Artist Alley so that's a plus and I can see some of my friends so I think it'll be a fun afternoon and a nice way to kick off the holiday season. (^_^) After the event I'll post about experience here and if I do a costume shoot I'll be sure to update the Sailor Lolita outfit page and add photos in the coming weeks.
November 4th, 2017
I was able to go through the photos that I took during the Anime North Halloween Festival a week ago and I found a few highlight photos of my new Kagome costume that I could share here. Keep in mind that the costume is still a work in progress. I'm still making my bow and arrow prop, my actual wig needs to be styled and I need to fix the zipper on the skirt, but it was a pretty good test run. I added a costume page for my new Kagome costume which you can find here
. If you scroll to the beginning of my costume gallery, you can see my original Kagome costume from 2002. What a difference 15 years makes! I'll always look back fondly on my original Kagome costume because it was one of my first costumes and my mother helped me out so much with it. It feels great to re-make the costume, though, and really improve the design.
Halloween was earlier this week and I'm still recovering a bit from how hectic the day was. Pan and I decorated the front of her uncle's house in a very child friendly area. We spent about 3 and a half hours decorating (and about another hour and a half taking everything down) but we had a great afternoon and evening. We saw tons of trick or treaters. We probably gave out over 300 pieces of candy and we saw some adorable and creative costumes both handmade and store bought. Star Wars, Marvel (Hulk and Thor in particular) and animal themed onesies were popular costumes this year. I used my new AtmosFX projector, the Jack o Lantern Jamboree DVD in conjunction with 3 uncarved pumpkins to create a really cool display among a little graveyard. The DVD creates faces on the pumpkins which are animated and can talk and sing. We mystified quite a few kids and parents. One little kid dressed as a lion would not leave the display and sat for about 20 minutes watching the pumpkins sing. His dad kept trying to get him to leave, but he was glued to the display. It was adorable. XD It was a lot of work to move my decorations to a new location and I had to scale back my display, but it was a great neighbourhood that was really invested in the holiday. Better than my own area. It was just a shame that it ended so abruptly and fairly early. We had a huge rush of kids just before 8PM but after they left, the neighbourhood was quiet and every other neighbour had turned off their lights and gone inside. Everything ended so quickly, but it definitely was a really nice location to celebrate Halloween.
Next up is the December Fan Expo Holidays Show. I may re-wear Kagome to it. That's my big goal for the month. I would like to buy a new zipper for Kagome to fix the skirt and I want to work with Pan to style my wig. After that I need to make a new pair of boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume. I'm hoping boot covers over sandals will be more comfortable. I also would like to trim my Sakura wig. I'm not sure if I'll get Kagome fixed in time for the Holiday Show but we'll see. Otherwise, I'll probably fix it up and wear it to March Toronto Comicon. Not sure if I'll sew anything else over the winter break, but we'll see. Right now I'll probably do some video gaming. I have to tackle the stack of games that's been building up un-played since the summer....
October 28th, 2017
It's the day after the Anime North Halloween Festival. I thought I would update here really quickly with my thoughts on my Kagome costume and the event. The event was alright. It felt a bit fresher last year, but that's probably because last year was my first time going in close to a decade. I think it felt busier this year too. It was a bit disappointing that the gourmet desserts did not make a return this year although the snack table was nice. I did have a fun evening seeing some friends and Cosplaying again.
I did debut my new Kagome costume. It didn't go 100% according to plan. I forgot to take into consideration that I always wear shorts under short skirts and the shorts made my skirt a little slippery. The skirt ended up being about an inch too big so the shorts made them slide a bit. I ended up having to pin the waistband so it would hold up a bit better. A bit disappointing, but better this happen now then at a con. So I'll have to take out the zipper again, bring it down to below the waistband and put a snap in the waistband to get a slightly tighter fit. Should only take a couple of hours, but I'm debating about waiting until I can go to the leather surplus store downtown that sells hundreds of different zippers before working on this again. The emergency zippers I got from Fabricland are slightly too dark for my fabric. The one I bought downtown (that I ripped) was pretty much a perfect match. I think it would be better to match the material more exactly. Therefore, it might take me a month or two before I finish fixing Kagome. It's not really a huge rush, anyway, the next Cosplay event that I'll be attending is the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show in early December. I may or may not Cosplay to that so my next costuming event might be March Toronto ComiCon. I guess we'll see.
In terms of this site, I do plan to add my Kagome costume page in the next couple of weeks. Pan took a few photos of my costume on my phone from the Halloween event so I can share some highlights. Although I have to keep in mind that this is just version one and it'll look nicer with my new wig when Pan and I work on that in the next month or so. It was fun to Cosplay as Kagome again. I first Cosplayed the character in 2002 and my mother did most of the work on it. Back then we bought a shirt that we just added the collar and cuffs to. The green material was just broadcloth and the white ribbon was loosely sewn on so it looked a little rumpled. It took a ton of trial and error to make my new Kagome costume, but I'm pretty proud of what I accomplished and how crisp the details are on the blouse. The skirts a little meh, but hopefully with the new zipper it'll sit a little nicer. So until I work on Kagome again, I'm going to take a sewing break. Halloween is almost here so I need to find my decorations and organize them and then I can't wait to start video gaming again. It's been too long since I played anything. XD
October 26th, 2017
It's been a few weeks since my last update. I did intend to update here as I worked on my Kagome costume, but I've been so busy with sewing and other things that I've barely turned on my computer all month. I guess I shouldn't see that as a bad thing as I've been quite productive.
October has been pretty bittersweet. I'm still really looking forward to Halloween and I've been gearing up for the holiday by stocking up on candy, some new decorations and buying pumpkins for the big night. At the same time as I'm excited for Halloween, I'm still grieving for my mother. It hits me a little every day in different ways. In terms of sewing, I had to consolidate the various sewing baskets and supplies that were my mother's with my own. Every time I use a pair of sewing scissors that were my mother's specifically, it's a weird feeling and just brings me back to reality, but I'm trying to soldier on. I've spent at least a little bit of time most nights since the beginning of the month working on Kagome. When I first started working on the blouse for real it seemed so simple and straightforward but I've run into so many little issues. I suppose that's just pretty typical with my sewing style. It's one big reason why I like to work on costumes weeks or months in advance since I'm very slow and I have a tendency to measure wrong and make mistakes. I'm definitely more right-brained so I struggle a lot with making calculations and visualizing as I pattern and sew. I usually have to guess and I end up reworking parts several times. Something that should take maybe 10 minutes will take me an hour and probably won't be perfect. Sometimes I feel really sad that I struggle so much with sewing, but at the end of the day, when I actually finish a costume and wear it, I really do have a great sense of satisfaction.
I struggled a lot with getting the cuffs of the sleeves to the right length and getting a decent gathering on the sleeve edges leading into the cuffs. It took some finicking to get the collar the right size and shape and making the red scarf was some serious trial and error. In the end the scarf halves are two separate pieces that are strategically sewn down within the tie so it'll hang properly. I'm pretty happy with the final look. The blouse sizing is a bit weird. I had to work with an oversized shirt pattern which I mostly traced out to enlarge the v collar and make the back a single piece instead of having room for a zipper closure. I'm fairly happy with the shape I achieved, but it is still a bit overly large on me. Kagome's blouse is not meant to be fitted like Madoka's. It's loose fitted, but that's kind of harder than making something fitted because it's difficult to tell if you're going too loose. The pattern I used had very low set sleeves so I'm not super happy with how the sleeves sit, but I was afraid that if I modified the sleeve holes too much the shape and fit of the blouse would be lost. At least the sleeves took to the gathered edges pretty well.
The skirt was a HUGE pain in the butt. I first started working on the skirt back in July. I actually completely finished it over a weekend, but I realized once it was done that I had cut back the waistband too much and the skirt was now about an inch too tight. ~_~ I wasn't 100% sure if I liked my pleat thickness so I decided to put the skirt on hold until I finished the blouse to check the pleat depth. I started the skirt again over last weekend once the blouse was mostly done and I nearly finished it on Tuesday night. I was putting the finishing touches on by adding the zipper when the zipper got caught and ripped the zipper fabric beside the zipper teeth. The zipper got stuck in that spot and I had to cut the zipper teeth to actually get myself out of the skirt. Ugh. I was a bit panicked due to timing, but thankfully my friend Pan helped me out a ton by going with me on Wednesday to Fabricland to buy more thread and a new zipper so I could finish the costume for the Anime North Halloween Festival which is tomorrow night. It was pretty much down the wire! I still had to redo one of the cuffs on a sleeve too (for the 4th time) because the cuff was a bit bigger than the second cuff. Nothing went according to plan and the ruined zipper was the first time I made such a big mistake that I couldn't work around last minute without buying more supplies. That'll teach me to try sewing the week something was due! At least the costume came together in the end and hopefully it'll be fun to wear!
Having said that, the costume isn't really done. I'm still working on the bow. I bought a bow kit from a Chinese eBay store. Adrien helped me assemble it and I painted it red. I have medical tape to wrap around the middle and I bought elastic string that I need to add. I also need to figure out if I want to make arrows although I don't plan to make Kagome's quiver. I also don't actually have my wig done for the Halloween event. I bought an Arda wig, but it's too curly at the moment. My friend Pan is going to help me adjust the bangs and straighten it a bit, but it'll take a few hours that I don't have. So instead I'm borrowing a black straight wig from Pan for Friday and sometime in November I'll work with her on the wig. Finally, I thought it might look nice to have slouch socks with the costume so I ordered a pair, but I doubt I'll have them by tomorrow night. I have regular white knee high socks in the meantime, but hopefully I can wear the slouch socks next time.
So I'm pretty much giving Kagome a test run tomorrow night. Hopefully the sewing is at least done so I can just focus on the prop work and the wig. I'm actually really looking forward to taking a break from sewing after Kagome. I have a big stack of PS4 games that I haven't played that I want to catch up on. I haven't played a video game since before Fan Expo and I still need to help with a TON of cleaning around my family's home. I've really put that on hold lately so that I could sew.
My only big plans for partying this Halloween season is the Anime North Halloween Festival tomorrow. I'm not participating in any other costuming events although I will wear a store bought costume on Halloween night. Too bad it seems like it'll be cold next Tuesday! I just hope it doesn't rain! My usual Halloween tradition is to decorate my family's house extravagantly and hand out candy. I've been decorating my family's house for the last several years since I stopped going to Youmacon (which was often held during Halloween). This year, because of my mother's death, my father has requested that I don't decorate the family home. Instead my awesome friend Pan has found a relative's house in a very trick-or-treat friendly neighbourhood who has agreed to let me take over the front for the night. I am sad that I can't be at home this year, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of transforming this different property.
As for other Cosplay news, I unfortunately never had time to look into doing shoots so sadly this year was a bit of a bust. I did do a shoot of Madoka during Anime North and that's about the only shoot that I did this year. Hopefully I'm more successful with my plans in 2018. I'm definitely going to aim to get photos of Kagome, Dilandau, Sakura (Naruto), Super Sailor Chibi Moon and my Costume Quest Candy Corn costume. Hopefully I'll get photos of more costumes as well. I have a pretty big shoot backlog. I would like to work on another Sailor Moon alternate outfit for cons next year. I might look into starting that during winter this year, but for the time being I'm just super excited to have a sewing break. I am pumped for the Anime North Halloween event. I'll report back here afterward with my thoughts on how it went, but if it's anything like last year it's sure to be a great evening. (^^)
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