Back in February, I decided to spend an entire week in fancy dress. I put together a different costume for every day and went to all my lectures, seminars and other university-related things dressed up as whatever I had chosen to be. One of my costumes was the Other Mother from Neil Gaiman’s ‘Coraline’, and I was astonished to find that Mr Gaiman had shared the picture I had sent him with all his followers. Once I had finished with my several minutes of frantic hand-flapping, I saw that many people were interested in seeing how I put my costumes together. This is the first of those posts.
My first costume had originally been planned to be Ramona Flowers from the Scott Pilgrim series, but due to unforeseen circumstances – which I shall cover in a later blog post – I had to switch at the last minute. The costume I ended up wearing on the first day of my fancy dress week was a generic pirate costume.
The costume was easy enough to put together. I didn’t take this one quite as seriously as some of the other costumes, and because I wasn’t making a replica that left a lot more open to interpretation. I looked to the spate of recent pirate movies and famous female pirates like Anne Bonney for inspiration, but eventually I chose something which was more practical than accurate. I wore a baggy white shirt (with vest underneath for added warmth/chastity), black trousers, black boots and a red scarf tied around my waist. I stuck a grey military jacket on top to keep me warm, but I forgot to include that in the picture. I only had to buy the shirt and I was able to pick it up pretty cheap. Everything else I found lying around my house (including the inflatable sword).
However, I wasn’t completely happy with this costume. It was actually pretty difficult for people to guess what I was dressed as due to my lack of pirate hat; I didn’t expect it to be quite as central to the costume as it turned out. Furthermore, I was absolutely freezing for the entire day. My shirt was clearly never intended to be worn as a shirt – perhaps as something that could be layered with rather than worn by itself – and also turned out to be a little bit see-through. The scarf I had tied around my waist also produced a rather large knot. For most of the time this wasn’t a problem, but when it was covered up with my coat it produced a highly-suspicious looking bulge so I had to move the knot to just above my hip-bone.
All in all, it was a decent costume. It wasn’t immediately obvious who I was, but that did mean that I could pass for a relatively normal-looking person if I wanted to. I didn’t end up spending a lot of money on this one, and the stuff that I bought can (and has) been worn again. It’d probably be a bit more suitable for a student party than for serious cosplay, but it did the job all right.
Next time I’ll be looking at the Other Mother costume. If you’d like to keep track of my progress – or better yet, to donate to my cause – you can do so here: https://www.myraising.com/jo-harwood/incatrek2013
Total so far: £750
Projected final total: £2850
Amount left to raise: £2100