Sadie has been cosplaying since July 2014. Sadie by Design is the life Sadie is building for herself outside of her day-to- day job as an engineer. The majority of her passion and energy can be seen in her costumes and photos.
I had the pleasure of meeting Emily B. Martin at Electric City Comic Con 2017. Her books were an easy sale for me because they had female protagonists and were written by a local author, but she also makes her own cover art and fan art for her stories! I’m definitely guilty of buying books at conventions then taking forever to read them, but I devoured this story. It was agonizing waiting for the final installment, Creatures of Light, to come out. With her amazing storytelling skills, inspiring female leaders, and fantastic character design, I knew that I had to cosplay from her books. Thus the Mona project began.
Keep reading for a detailed breakdown on the making of my cosplay, and giveaway to follow the post!
Photo by Scott Thomason
Why Choose Mona?
You may wonder what made me settle on Mona over the other wonderful ladies in the novels. I think there is a bit of Gemma, Mae, and Mona inside all of us, but Mona really spoke to my soul. The inner growth that Mona experiences throughout the course of the trilogy is truly touching. I personally have not always been the greatest at expressing my personal feelings, and am still learning this. I also feel like I have gone through a wonderful journey of true self-discovery over the last five years of my life as well.
Original art by Emily B. Martin
There are so many versions of Mona being a Queen of Lumen Lake but also of fashion, and it took me a while to settle on her coronation gown as the design to bring to life.
Sourcing the material is often the most tedious part of making a cosplay. It is an emotional and budgetary investment that can take longer than creating the costume itself. Mona wears a lot of jewelry, and it took a lot of time to find the perfect material for each piece of this outfit. I did my best to link to the different websites or products that were used for this where applicable.
The bolero was the first bit of this costume that I tackled. Even though the dress is beautiful, I’ve had my eye on the fabric I made this from for over a year at All About Fabrics in Anderson, SC. It was so exciting to finally have an excuse to buy it.
The construction of this jacket was actually really simple. I used Simplicity 2442 for the base pattern, which had 4 pieces. The only modification I made was to lengthen the sleeves from a ¾ sleeve to a full length sleeve. The pattern calls for a lining, and since the fabric I chose was just opposite colors on the wrong side, I used the same fabric reversed to line the jacket.
This dress was a monster just from the sheer amount of fabric required for her train, which was not an optional feature. I spliced two patterns together to create this dress. I used the top of Simplicity 2442 and the skirt from Vogue 2788. The patterns actually didn’t need any modification to work well when attached to each other. I did lengthen the dress about 4 inches because I’m quite tall, 5’8”.
The real work on this dress came from adding the trims. The bodice pearls were easy to sew into the seams of the dress from the way they were constructed. The bottom pearl trim was extremely frustrating because the pearls got in the way of the needle, which caused us the breaking of about 8 needles during the process of adding this hem.
The final detail was the lace, which was my “challenge yourself to do something new” on this project. I really avoid hand sewing where I can, and this required a lot of it. Luckily, my friend Jon, owner of Jon Pierce Fasions, and Sybil, White Knight Cosplay, had a hand sewing party with me. They not only taught me how to apply a lace applique, but helped me get this detail knocked out as a team in about two hours.
No cosplay, but especially, no Mona cosplay is complete without accessories.
The item I spent the most time searching Etsy for was her signature pearl. The largest pearl ever found in Lumen Lake. I definitely wanted it to be real. I liked this process because through my searching I learned a lot about pearls that I didn’t know. I ended up purchasing a fireball pearl that is a freshwater pearl, and it is about the size of my large toenail (~17mm wide x 32mm long).
At the beginning of 2017, I wanted to add a new princess to my cosplay portfolio. Originally, I had planned on that princess being Ariel, but when the live-action Beauty and the Beast was announced I quickly changed my plans. Snow White and Cinderella This is how the long journey of creating Belle’s ball gown began. Belle is actually not my favorite princess, but I think it would be hard to argue that her yellow gown is not the grandest of Disney dresses. This is a dress that was designed to make jaws drop and beasts weak in the knees. Deciding to make this dress was no light undertaking for me.
If you’ve listened to my opinions on the live-action Beauty and the Beast then you’ll know that I felt that dress left a lot to be desired. The inspiration from this dress was taken mainly from the original animated film. Below are the two main images I used for reference. I will say I spent more time than I should admit re-watching the scenes with the dress in the original film to full understand what I wanted. I also really love Designer Daddy’s many Belle designs, but this dress especially spoke to me.
The Making of Belle
So when the Cinderella live-action came out I loved her dress, but I also wondered why the made it look so much like Belle’s dress. Today, I’m not complaining because it made it super easy to choose a pattern for my project. I used Simplicity Pattern 1026. I didn’t really know how I was going to make the modifications I needed, but I knew it was the perfect base.
I don’t even know how to begin to tell you how much fabric I bought for this project. I think I have enough left over to make a second dress. It’s a bit embarrassing, but it was so hard to find the right yellow fabrics. I didn’t want to chance not having enough. I always saw her dress as more gold than yellow, but I wanted elements of both in this creation. All of the material for this dress was purchased from JoAnn Fabrics. A hoop skirt was purchased from Amazon for the base of this dress.
I began with the skirt because I thought figuring out the ruching on the skirt would be the hardest part. I was so wrong. It was the easiest. I made the first layer identical to the pattern. I believe I lengthened it at least 4 to 6 inches longer than the pattern called for. The second layer I think I made the same pattern pieces about 20 inches longer than called for, and simply gathered them upward at the seams. This created the draped effect. In total this took about 10 hours.
I started this part of the dress in February, and didn’t touch it again for about 8 months. It was a very overwhelming project, and I started to second guess my fabric choices. Don’t leave pins in fabric for 8 months; they rust. I decided to order new fabric for the bodice while finishing the skirt. Getting the waistband sewn in properly probably took me another 10-12 hours, and all I did was follow the pattern. After the waistband I got to add the details.
I purchased about 6 yards of lace with a scalloped edge to create the lace detail at the bottom of the draped layer. The width of the lace is probably about 6 inches. I simply sewed it to the bottom of that layer. This finished the top layer of the skirt. For the bottom layer, I wanted to add some sparkle. Using the GlitterBug organza I created a large cylinder of fabric that I gathered at the top edge. I stitched it onto the bottom layer making sure that it was hidden by the top layer. I learned how to use my serger for this layer, so I could finish the edge of the organza. After this layer was attached I hemmed the main fabric, and serged the bottom of the organza and ironed it under to finish the skirt. Adding each of these details and hemming the dress probably took another 10 hours with the hemming itself probably taking about 3-4. Hemming large skirts sucks.
A while ago, Rolecosplay.com sent me a cosplay to review. I edited a few of the photos, but never got around to writing the review. I wanted to make sure that I followed through on an honest review for a great costume. I chose Sailor Mars’ school uniform for them to send to me. This costume was provided to me free of charge, but all opinions are my own.
Their website has actually undergone a transformation since the last time I looked at it, and they have really made some improvements. They have possibly the widest range of costumes and costume accessories from online retailers that I have seen. My favorite part of their website is that they have a large selection of items that can ship straight from the USA, which means faster shipping times to when you can wear your new cosplay.
The main reason that I am giving this costume a 4 rather than a 5 is because I gave them my custom measurements, and it was a bit too tight. I would still wear it to conventions, but sizing is really important to get right if you are paying someone else to deliver you a costume. Especially if you are paying shipping costs for your item that might be pricey. The costume itself came with her jacket and skirt. It was made out of a uniform style material, and the jacket was lined. It would definitely be durable for many time use, and it really looks great in materials because it isn’t shiny like some mass produced costumes.
Shipping Time (2/5)
I remember shipping time with this company was my most frustrating part of working with them. After the item had shipped I didn’t really hear from them again, and it took over a month for the costume to arrive. I believe this would be different if the costume wasn’t shipped to me for free, but I can’t be sure of that with only having worked with them once.
This costume is available on their website for $61.48. The material quality alone makes this a good deal for this product. I am not the biggest fan of pleated skirts. If I had to choose between making it and paying for the entire costume for little more than the cost of materials I would probably choose to buy this to save time for bigger projects. I would happily pay the price they are asking for this costume.
Overall, I would buy from them again. It isn’t the best experience that I have had, but the quality of their costume definitely makes up for it. I do have an affiliate link with them, so if you’re interested in buying from their massive selection of costumes please consider using this link. Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post!
Moviescostumes.com sent me a costume from their website to review. I was really excited for the opportunity to review something for them. I am working my way through my ballgown for Belle, so I thought it was appropriate to have her town dress as well. Here is an honest review from a girl who’s so peculiar. This costume was provided for free, but all opinions are my own.
Before we begin… in case you missed it, here is the unboxing video. Also, I took and edited all of these photos myself! Base wig from Pose Wigs.
I just want to start by saying that I love their website. They have tons to choose from, and they also have a website that specializes in pirate outfits, Piratecosplay.com. My favorite part of their website is that they tell you what you will get with each costume, and what type of fabric each costume is made with. This is a big plus for me because sometimes photos aren’t always enough to tell you what you need to know about what you will be receiving.
This costume is really more than I expected. The color is exactly how I would have made it, and the material is sturdy but comfortable. They actually included more than what was stated on the website (shirt, dress, and apron) because it came with a bow for her hair and a little underskirt to give it some volume. It fit me perfectly as well.
Shipping Time (3/5)
This is where they lost some points because it took them well over the timing given on their website for processing and shipping to arrive. I have actually had this costume for a bit of time, but since it did not arrive when I requested I was unable to have it ready for the events I was planning to wear it at. They do offer free shipping with their website though, and I do like that they tell you the processing time and shipping time for each item. I just don’t have confidence after my experience whether or not these would be upheld. It may be different for customer’s that are not getting a costume for free in exchange for a review.
Overall, I think their pricing is reasonable. This cotsume is $90. In order to make this costume myself I would probably be able to buy the fabric for under $50, but the hours I would have spent making it would make it worth it to purchase it at this price from this website. They also offer a custom sizing service for $27 (vairies depending on intricacy of the costume) if you don’t fit into their standard sizing. I feel like considering what you would pay a tailor to do this for you that is a steal.
If anyone buys from either of their websites in the future as a result of this post please share with me. If you could purchase a costume from these websites, which one would it be? If you have any feedback for my growing photography skills then I’d love to hear that too. Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post.