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Cosplay Contest

Did you know that I could make costumes? Neither did I!

This weekend, in Columbus, Ohio, there is a convention called Power-Con. Honestly, I had never heard of it until last year, when it was in Anaheim, and I got a Disney trip out of it while my boys had a convention day. My son had so much fun last year meeting animators and toy designers and more – mostly related to Masters of the Universe, and there was a costume contest.

This year, not solely focused on Masters of the Universe, but more a general toy convention, he still wanted to enter the Cosplay Contest – and he wanted to be Orko. As the self-proclaimed “Orko’s Biggest Fan”, I would have a hard time getting him to select something else, like – I don’t even know – something easy.

He had this vision in his head with a mash-up of different Orko designs he has seen. We went to Joann to select fabric – we ended up with red velvet, stretchy sparkly glitter, gold mesh, purple crushed velvet – some of the most difficult fabrics to work with. I have a decent sewing machine – it’s great for flat things like quilts. It is NOT an industrial sewing machine so it was pretty frustrating to put some of this together.

I made the robe first – I thought that might be the most difficult, and it would also be the majority of the look. I used a Harry Potter Wizard Robe pattern and modified it as needed. I think the robe could have been a little longer, but the velvet we found was not very wide so I had to improvise at the base – I added some more sparkly black to hide the wire in, helps to give it some volume, and help to see him as floating.

The purple scarf was next – we went back and forth with a long scarf to wrap around, or cut it short and add velcro to the back – we decided on a long scarf, and attach it to the nose.

The face cover was tricky in that you’re not supposed to see his eyes, but he still needed to see! Initially he was going to enter on a hoverboard, but that was scrapped at the last minute due to the limitations of the room. I had to double up some black mesh so he could see, but you couldn’t see his eyes, and then add to the yellow eyes, and then add to the stretchy face cover, that could tuck in under the hat, scarf and robe – with a scarf attached to the nose.

And finally, the hat. My husband found this perfect hat on Etsy, placed the order, left a note asking about rushing shipping to have it in time, she said it would be delivered in time, we waited. It never shipped. He contacted her – she said “Oh I thought you meant October, not August.” So I had to make a hat.

Making the hat was not fun – I found a basic hat design I could use, downloaded, turns out it was all in cm, but did have US Letter printing options. I printed that, followed the instructions – it didn’t fit! I mean it’s sewing in circles so things get off, I thought I had done something wrong. We backtracked and double checked – the initial pattern, even if everything was perfect, still would not have fit. So we made some modifications, and made it fit. The tricky part about the hat is the ears. We found some latex ears, painted them blue, and then sewed them in to keep them in place. Because of course he has to have ears sticking out of his hat. I was not a fan of making the hat, but I think it turned out pretty good – and it fit!

Going into this – first costume made – I didn’t actually think we’d win. Hopeful! But didn’t feel it. I did want him to have fun and kind of feel like Orko in it. They said they received a lot of compliments – from the general public, other cosplayers, and the judges, and a lot of people wanted a photo with Orko, so I think he had fun with that!

They called me after the contest – and we didn’t win. I guess the winner was transformative – it wasn’t a Transformer costume, but something like that where it came off in pieces and turned to something else? 3D printed I think. But we did get and Honorable Mention – one of the judges talked to them afterwards, and she said she really liked the fabrics we used, and how we tried to bring Orko to life.

Do I see more costumes in my future? I don’t know. I do need to focus on some Cosplay Disney Running Skirts though, I need to figure out my base shape and build on the design from there. Luckily those don’t have hats!

Super Tiny Baby Elf Costumes

Hello there! It is the end of July and I need to start thinking about Christmas. It is literally Feels like 97º at this very moment, and I’m deep in Fleece and red and green and costuming! And the cicadas are going crazy.

Are you planning for the Holiday season yet?

Among other things, I need to ramp up production on the Elf Emporium. I still have several more Elf Sweaters to make as options for this year, but costumes were popular last year, too! I thought I might whip up some Mini Baby Elf costumes first – the nice thing about these elves is that they are so so tiny, and for about $11 you can have 2 tiny elves and 2 sleeping bags. Here is a non-sponsored link on Amazon.

Last year I made the tiny pickle costume, the peanut, the snowman, and the poop and unicorn poop. This weekend I made several more! I may have more coming in the future in this size, but this is what I have available now. Some of these were easier to get into / out of than others. I may try and see if I can modify the final stitching so it is easier to costume the little elf.

See all available options in the Baby Elf Costumes category. Do you have an idea for another costume? Let me know below. Which one is your favorite?

After Washing Your New Embroidered Kitchen Towels for the First Time

I have been doing several new designs on Kitchen Towels lately, some with big, dense designs, others with a lot of text. Some also have appliqué designs with Vinyl or Fleece. Sometimes I wash them to get the back of the wash-away off, and see how they come out of the dryer. They aren’t always so fun when you first see them out of the dryer – but don’t fret!

For my kitchen towels, I primarily use a towel that is 100% cotton – though I have been trying new versions for more variety in texture and color. But this post is about the 100% cotton towels.

I have photos of two examples below – one with a very dense Lincoln face, the other with a fun, less dense but still scrunched up Live and Let Fry. And as you’ll see, in the end, good as new.

They look a little scary coming out of the dryer. Most of the time I just do a quick iron to the front of the towel, straighten out the edges and the corners, and we’re good to go.

In these instances (as shown below), I start by ironing the design on the back of the towel – iron set to cotton with steam on.

Iron the design portion on the back, maybe a little more if you want, but I stay in the middle of the towel so I don’t iron the hems on the back. Then, I flip it over, iron the front, the edges, the corners, and we’re good!

REMEMBER: If the design has vinyl on the front, like the green lawn chair below – DO NOT iron the vinyl on the front. You can iron the back of the design, just keep the iron moving so it doesn’t melt the vinyl. Sometimes I also use fleece, such as the clouds below – I would probably still iron the back of the design on this one, but I’m less concerned about the iron melting the fleece.

Iron the back first, Cotton setting with Steam.
Iron the Front.
Iron the back first, Cotton setting with Steam.
Chair with Vinyl Appliqué – do not iron the chair on the front!
Fleece Clouds

Embroidery Software

Hello there! It’s June, and I haven’t posted in awhile. I apologize for that if you were looking for some updates. Life is just so crazy – all the time – and I need to do better!

Do you embroider – anything – ever? Do you use software, or are you thinking of using software? This is NOT a sponsored post! Not trying to sell you anything, just trying to share some knowledge.

I bought my sewing machine about 10-11 years ago. It had an embroidery component, but I had never embroidered anything before. Wasn’t sure it would be something I would use – I just wanted to sew fabric together. So I tried one day, and then something else, and then I kept going.

After a few months I started looking into software; I was looking at Mac specific software, as I am a Mac. I am NOT a PC unless forced to be a PC. So the same store where I bought my machine, they had software, Mac compatible. I know Embrilliance seems to be a popular choice, and I haven’t tried it so I don’t know much about it – but I do know my software of choice, there isn’t much out there for information on tips and tricks, how to use certain features, etc.

When I was initially looking at software (10-ish years ago), it was very expensive to buy the box, and I think it was called TruEmbroidery, something like that. Then it changed to various levels of Premier, Premier+, Premier+2. About 3 years ago, I dove in and bought the software. I was clueless. I can usually figure out software without too much trouble, but not having any background in this software, or the type of software, I was a little lost. Yes there was a very long PDF download for an owner’s manual. Yes, I found this one website that was supposed to be helpful, but watching the videos, it was like you were a 100-year old person that had never seen a computer before and was painful to get through.

I found another website that told you how to click buttons – I figured that part out already – but not why you were clicking, where to click, what this accomplished, why do you click like this and not like that… I was so frustrated, and those around me that knew I had software couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t just take this super detailed artwork and “click” make a patch for someone – after all there is an auto digitizing function, LOL. After a long time of being frustrated and not finding resources, I went to my old stand-by: Break It and then Fix It. Then you’ll figure it out.

Very slowly, that is working for me. I’ve learned how to do several things – my favorite being import fonts (already digitized embroidery font letters) and not have jump stitches! And Combine and Align. A new favorite.

Let me know if there is any interest in some screen-shot tutorials of some basic things. I use MySewNet – there is a steep learning curve and I haven’t even tried everything yet, but I like it. Again not a sponsored post. The software is available for Mac and PC – there are more modules available on the PC so I have to use those on my Surface, but I do all the font work, combine and align, and more on my Mac.

I made these cuties with the software – they all have names.

PDF Project Downloads

There has been some confusion lately as to where you can find the PDF files. I have moved all of the PDF files to my Facebook Group, but you can still find the projects and photos on the site here, such as the Crafty Pixel Quilt that has been so popular over the last 7 years! All of the information is still on the page with photos.

And the Floriani – Madeira conversion PDF. Yes, all the Madeira colors in the PDF were available at the time of conversion – most if not all are still available on their website. This is a reference and should be used as a guide – a starting point. Use your thread stash, project, lighting, etc. to make your final thread selections.

I have plans to add more resources to the Group in the future – just need to figure out some free time to do so. Until then, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy creating your Rainy Day projects!

New Tin Sets

It seems like it has been a long time since an update! I have been busy behind the scenes, and in day-to-day life, that I have been bad about updating – sorry! First up are some new Tin Sets – these fun playlets have proven to be very popular. Do you remember the Pink Axolotls and the Rainbow Axolotls? I made a new Grey Series to match! More designs are on the way. If you have a specific request let me know in the comments. Find all of these in the Studio.

Arctic Animals
Melanoid Axolotls
On the Farm

New Elf Items

We have eleven days until Christmas – how is your Elf game? I’m having so much making these items and am running out of time! Here are some recent favorites, and find more here and here on Etsy.

Etsy Listings Feed

Did you see I have a new page on the blog? Etsy Listings – this will allow you to view my listings on Etsy, and some information, and you can add to cart and checkout on Etsy! It’s updated in real time so the information should be accurate. Check it out!

Holiday Sale 2021

Happy November! I have placed both the Etsy Shop and the Studio on sale for November, to help you get going on your holiday gifts! On Etsy the discount will show automatically – the main photo will also show the regular price, and the shown price will be the discounted price – this goes through Black Friday Weekend.

For the Studio, just enter coupon code HOLIDAY21 at checkout to take 15% off your entire purchase!

Welcome to the Holiday Season! Hope you had a good Halloween – let’s bring on Thanksgiving!!

As always – more items coming soon!