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!