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 -+-

February 15th, 2018
Just a quick update after this website's hiatus. I totally forgot to pay to renew my domain. Oops. I try to pay for two or three years at a time and I was paying manually and this time it totally slipped my mind that I was due to pay for my domain renewal. Guess it was only down for a few days and thankfully no harm was done. I set it to auto renew so that shouldn't happen again.

My laptop had a meltdown a week ago and I had to get help reinstalling Windows so technology wise, things have been on the fritz for me. Thankfully all my files were recovered so I didn't lose my website files. Lately I've been staying away from my computer working on sewing. I've really been trying to focus on at least working for an hour a day on my Sakura Kinomoto costume. I actually have all of the materials now. The wig, school patch, shoes, buttons, undershirt and slip arrived. The wig could use some work. I bought a prestyled wig because I liked the colour and it arrived with the ahoge pointing the wrong direction. I had to try to soak and scrub out the layers of hairspray glue so I can restyle it. Still need to tackle trimming it so we'll see how that goes.

The blouse is getting there. It still needs the cuffs, the school patch, the buttons and hemming, but it's mostly little things left besides the cuffs. I'm currently working on the skirt to decide the hem for the shirt. I have the skirt cut out, hemmed and the red ribbon added. I'm trying now to decide the best way to add the pleats, but the skirt is nearly half done. So slowly, but surely I'm making progress on the costume. Still quite a bit to do, but I'm hopeful that I'll get it done for March Toronto ComiCon and it'll be set for Anime North as well. If things go according to plan then the skirt and blouse should be done by the end of the month and then I can work on the tie. Crossing my fingers that everything works out and that life stops throwing distractions my way!

-+- Past Updates -+-

January 31st, 2018
It's almost the start of another month and I've been super busy lately. Deciding to start working on a new costume (Sakura's school uniform from the new Card Captor Anime) has really added weight to my days so I'm finding myself feeling a bit frantic these last couple of weeks. I was able to go fabric shopping last Friday with my friend Pan and I picked up some white cotton fabric for the skirt, cuffs and tie of the costume. It's actually the same fabric that I used for Kagome's shirt. It was the nicest opaque white and for the best price in the fabric district. Hopefully it'll make for a nice pleated skirt! The green fabric for Kagome's skirt was the same type of material and it worked out alright so it should make for a nice skirt as well.

I cut out the black fabric that I had for the blouse last week and I started working on it. I currently have the main part of the top together and I'm working on the facing for the collar line. I still need to figure out the sleeves. I had to play around with the sleeve hole patterning when making the actual version of the blouse so I'm hoping it'll work with the sleeves when I cut the sleeves out. First thing is first, I need to finish the facing and add the zipper in the back. So far the blouse is coming along alright. I just hope that my buttons, wig, shoes and undershirt show up before March Toronto ComiCon! I should be on track to finish it by then if everything arrives.

My wonderful friend Amanda finished editing her shoots from the Fan Days Holiday Show last month and she sent me copies of the pics of my Lolita Madoka outfit. I love how they turned out! We took the photos in a beautiful hallway in the nearby Delta hotel. The curtains there were pretty and soft and she even got some cute pics with my plush Kyuubey. It may not be an official outfit, but it was tons of fun to Cosplay as the character again! You can check out the new photos here.

Hopefully I'll update here again in February as my Sakura costume starts to come together. I also picked up fabric last week to make new boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume so I'll have that to work on as well in the coming weeks. I should be plenty busy when it comes to sewing well into March and after that the madness of prep work for the Nominoichi begins again!

January 13th, 2018
We're into the new year now and I'm not going to lie, as much as I enjoyed taking a break from sewing, over the last couple of weeks I've found myself daydreaming about potential costume options to start working on in the next few weeks. It was actually hard. I've pretty much crossed off all my dream costumes from my wish list so I was kind of left thinking what now. That's when the new Card Captor Sakura Anime came along. I was actually considering making a battle costume of Sakura's from the original series. CCS is a series that I grew up with and is about the only series from my younger years that I really loved that I haven't done a costume from. That's not exactly true, my first ever costume was Li Syaoran from the series. Since that was baby's first costume, though, it wasn't exactly the most well crafted thing. It was almost entirely made by my mom and was from the days before wigs, contacts, binding and makeup so I don't really have many photos of it that I care to share. XD Syaoran is still one of my all-time favourite characters. I'm not much into Cosplaying as male characters anymore so now I'm interested in Cosplaying as Sakura instead. I was following news of the new series when I came across a splash image for Sakura in her new school uniform which shows many angles of it. The perfect Cosplay inspiration. It appears her skirt is a wide box pleated skirt and I had a lot of fun making the box pleated skirt for Madoka last year. I'm also thinking that the pattern that I used for my Battle of the Gods Bulma costume can work for her blouse with some alterations.

Over the last few days I started ordering materials for the costume. I have an undershirt collar coming in the mail along with buttons, a slip, mary jane shoes and a wig. I have a ton of black fabric leftover from my old Halloween Witch Rei costume that I can use for the blouse. I just need to get white fabric for the skirt, more red bias tape and a black zipper, but the costume should be pretty affordable and hopefully with two other recent school uniforms under my belt, I can get it done in just a few weeks. My aim is to get it done for March Toronto ComiCon or for Anime North. If everything I ordered shows up before March, I'm hoping that I can get it done fairly quickly. Hopefully I'm not cursing myself to mess up adjusting the pattern pieces, but I'll cross my fingers that it works out. (^_^)

December 27th, 2017
It's almost the start of a new year! It's been a pretty busy holiday break. Between finishing Christmas shopping, baking cookies and actually celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day, I haven't really had much time to take it easy. It's calmed down a bit since Christmas, but I seem to have caught a minor cold so I'm dealing with some tiredness and sneezing. Just what I needed for my holiday break. ~_~

Christmas went pretty well. It was a big change this year dealing with my first Christmas without my mom, but I didn't dwell too much and I had a nice time with my family. It still felt like a piece was missing and that void will never truly be filled, but we made the most of the day and made some nice memories. I still have new years to look forward to and hopefully this cold will be over by then. With how cold and snowy it's been lately, it's not like I'm going out much. >.<

Looking back on the year in terms of Cosplay now that we're mere days away from the start of 2018, it was all about quality over quantity this year. I handmade 3 costumes: Madoka Kaname's school uniform, a Wacky Inflatable Tube Man costume and Kagome Higurashi's school uniform. 2 major costumes and one silly side project. I was pretty ambitious this year. That Madoka costume has been on my to do list for several years and was really a dream costume. It was extremely daunting to take on, but I actually did it. I've always underestimated my sewing skills because I'm pretty weak at patterning, but I was able to adapt several commercial patterns to make Madoka work and it really felt like an achievement to finish it. The Wacky Tube costume was a silly side project with Pan that we tackled over a few meet-ups. It was purely for fun and we had a great time with it. It's a great memory for a year that's been marked with a lot of hardship and struggles. That's why making Kagome was a bit of a turning point for me. The fact that I worked on it just a few weeks after my mother passed away and I used the costume to help me cope, was useful for the grieving process. The costume was a bit of a legacy as I originally Cosplayed as Kagome back in 2002 and the costume was my second ever costume. It was 90% made by my mom and 15 years later I tackled the costume again on my own. It felt like a torch passing moment and going forward I'll continue with my mom's legacy through my sewing as she was the one who taught me everything that I know. Without her I wouldn't have been able to pick up the hobby.

In terms of costuming events, it was a fairly busy year. I attended the Toronto ComiCon in March for the first time in nearly a decade. It was nice to have another winter event. It was where I debuted my Madoka school uniform and it had a great reaction. Anime North was busy as usual and marked the last time I was able to get a hotel room for the con. Going forward I'll have to make arrangements later on or commute each day. I'm still bummed about that, but it is what it is. The Nominoichi was another highlight. I enjoyed participating for the 4th year. It's my big chance to sell a lot of Anime and Manga goods and lighten my load so I can fill up the space again. LOL Anime North is always my big con for the year and I had a good time. During the summer I attended Fan Expo which sadly fell a week before my mom passed. The con was a bit bleak because things at home weren't great, but it did lift my spirits. I was able to get a great projection system from AtmosFX for my Halloween decorations which I'm obsessed with now and the Wacky Wavy Inflatable Man costumes Pan and I made had a big reaction. I rounded out the year with the Anime North Halloween Festival at the JCCC and the Fan Expo Holiday Show. I debuted Kagome at the Halloween event and gave it a fun test run. I re-wore an old Lolita outfit with Madoka at the Christmas event. Got some fabulous photos of the outfit. It was fantastic working with Elemental Photography when I wore Lolita Madoka. I had a great experience shooting with Kris Byers at Anime North to get some beautiful photos of Madoka. Hopefully next year I can get more private shoots done of my costume photo backlog. Hoping for photos of Dilandau, Sakura Haruno and Super Sailor Chibi Moon for sure.

So it was overall a busy year. A sad one, but there were glimmers of brilliance to the year and some great success stories. I'm definitely excited to start off a new year with a clean slate. Not actually sure what I'll make next year though. I want to re-wear Sakura at AN as Pan plans to make Naruto to match with me. My friend Kevin has promised to fix up his Inuyasha costume to wear with my Kagome costume so I'm excited for that. I still have to wear the Wendy costume from Peter Pan that Ammie gifted me. Dilandau and Super Sailor Chibi Moon will definitely see the light of day next year... so it's already a pretty busy year. Just need to think what I want to focus on for sewing.

I have been working on some sewing projects this holiday season. I just finally finished swapping out the invisible zipper on the skirt of my Kagome costume. It should fit me better now. I finally finished wrapping my bow. I just need to tie the string. I need to create some arrows to go with the bow. Pan and I also still need to style my wig, but it's not a huge rush. I'm currently trying to create a base from some sandals to make boot covers for my Sakura Haruno costume. My old boots were SUPER painful so I'm hoping boot covers over sandals will save my feet. Hopefully I can get a test version done this week so I can buy black spandex to finish them soon. Usually at this point I would be sewing a new costume, but inspiration hasn't really struck me. Hopefully I'll figure something out in the next month or two. Sewing during the winter is a really productive way to pass the time.

2018 is shaping up to be an interesting year. Looking forward to another Nominoichi at Anime North and this year I'm hoping to attend the Sailor Moon Celebration event. Seems they'll be utilizing the Science Centre as part of the con so that's really exciting. Been meaning to go to that for years so hopefully the stars align so I can go this time. Otherwise my con schedule is pretty much the same as last year. Might pass on the Halloween event though. It was a little bland this year.

Kris Byers Photography snapped a few lovely shots of me at the Fan Days Holiday Show a few weeks ago. Honestly, I'm floored by how nice they are! I added them to my costume page so you can see them here. Hopefully in the next month or so I'll get the photos from my shoot with Elemental back. Looking forward to seeing how those turned out.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and wishing everyone all the best for a fun New Years and a wonderful 2018! I can wait to kick off a new year!

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!

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Copyright Rebecca 2008-2018

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