I don’t remember if I’ve ever said this or not, but I’m saying it now. I like to go to comic conventions. I don’t even read a whole lot of comics (because my spare money is spent on games first and foremost), but that’s not the point because comicons are not really only about comics. They’re about all things great, like movies and TV shows and, most importantly of all, video games. I just love going and getting to see all the people dressed up in their costumes and finding awesome things to buy. (I bought the Master Sword from “The Legend of Zelda” series last I was there. Jealous? I bet you are….)
Well, while I love my current costume for the “Advent Children” version of Tifa from “Final Fantasy VII” (got it from Amazon for $100, and it’s really good quality, too, with some fake, but still good looking, leather), I recently played “Final Fantasy VI” and thought of how awesome it would be to cosplay (that’s right, I know my terms) as one of the best villains of all time, Kefka. Not only is he an awesome character that seriously needs some love (Who even knows who he is anymore? No one. Yeah, I know he’s from a game that came out in 1994, but nevertheless, such a lack of awareness of his existence is a crime quite possibly even worse than any of the atrocities he’s ever committed.), but if I dressed up as him, I would get to wear some rather ridiculous clothes (including a cape, which is always a plus; Tifa didn’t wear a cape), along with feathers in my hair and face paint. I’ve always wanted to be a character where I can wear face paint. (Tifa doesn’t wear face paint. Or feathers.) But, I really didn’t think I’d ever actually go through with doing such a thing. Me, the simple Duck, prancing about in makeup and feathers? Wait, I already wear feathers. Never mind.
But, during one of my spans of time spent on the world wide spider web, or whatever it’s called, I found images of people dressed as Kefka (there are some seriously beautiful costumes out there), and I even watched this great video on Youtube where two people cosplayed as Kefka and Terra (the latter being the game’s main protagonist) and did this awesome, little skit (which is below), and I just thought…I’m jealous. They looked so awesome in their ‘stumes (I just made that up), and I was as jealous as you all must be of my Master Sword, and before I knew it, I couldn’t get the idea of dressing up as Kefka out of my fluffy duck head. And then one morning, I woke up early and scoured the Internet for a costume I could buy, but none presented themselves. I mean, you could buy some that didn’t look all that good or were ridiculously priced, but that was it. And that was just not going to work.
Video from Youtube user: Laura Hernandez
Disappointed and downright sad, I went about my day, only to return to the computer once again, where I started researching what I would need if I just made the darn costume myself. Again, my efforts were squashed like an ant not practicing safe road-crossing techniques because, well, I don’t have the right hair color. My hair is fine for Tifa, but Kefka sports lovely blonde locks, and I do not have such locks. And it appears to be rather impossible to make my hair the correct color, and I found in the past that wigs don’t stay on and often look really creepy. Oh, what’s a duck to do?
So I left the computer again, extra sad this time, extra sad with a side of frowns, but it wasn’t terribly long before I returned to the computer and found an image of the character, deciding I’d see if I could still make this work. Okay, maybe my hair color will be off, no big deal. People can just deal with it! Okay, he has one white boot and one black one. I’ll just wear my black boots. It’s half right. After devising a cunning plan (“Black Adder” reference), I eventually decided I would just go for it. I had never made a costume before, but I did have a bunch of patterns, including patterns of shirts and pants. So I ran to several stores (I mean, I drove most of the way, but I did run through the parking lot, because walking through such places is boring and because they are prime murder spots) and procured what I needed. With monies. It took me a while to get what I needed, as simply picking out the many patterns of fabric took an hour or two, but I finally found basically what I would require to make my costume work, and I returned home and began toiling.
Now, if you’re unclear on what Kefka looks like, as you no doubt are, you can find images of him quite easily on Google images, if you want to see who I’m talking about. And once you do, you’ll likely take note of the fact that I clearly had a lot of work ahead of me. Because the guy seriously likes to layer (he has to get so hot in summer, but I guess he probably stays cozy in winter, at least). And he couldn’t wear matching patterns if his life depended on it. (Which puts me into a tirade inside my head, wondering if he makes his clothes himself or if he pays someone to do it. Because those really don’t look store-bought. I don’t know, he looks like he’d be pretty handy at sewing, doncha think?… Ahem.) Anyway, my point is, I had a rather overwhelming task ahead of me indeed, so I decided to start off easy.
My first task was to simply practice with the face paint, and I learned that drawing on one’s face isn’t terribly easy, and thinner lines are much better than thick ones. I also learned the white will likely take a few layers before I can get my face as pallid as his. After practicing several times thus far, my lines aren’t super neat, but I think they’re getting better. I have yet to see my face the way it ought to look the day of the convention, though, as I don’t want to waste all my white paint before the big day even arrives, but I do very much look forward to seeing how freaky I look….
Next, I started cutting out patterns and fabric based on those patterns. Seeing as I could find no red pants at the store, I began my sewing endeavors with making my own because pants look like a pretty tough venture, and I wanted to get this part over with. The pants ended up taking me a good 7 or 8 hours, I think, but they’re all done now. A little tight, especially since I forgot to take into consideration the thickness of the tights (that’s right, I’ll be wearing pants and tights), but they fit, and I no longer hear that ominous popping sound of threads snapping. Oh, what a horrific sound that is. And it works well enough, because my earlier efforts at pinning the pants when I was trying to decide on how best to sew them resulted in garbs that wouldn’t stay up. And we can’t have that. Very upsetting, that would be.
Next, I turned my attention to making the shirt, but since I either can’t see too well what his looks like underneath all that other stuff, or the patterns I needed were not available at the store, I had to largely make something up. The white with red dots on the front was at the store, so that part is pretty accurate. As for the rest, I thought I saw some blue in there, and I know the original design for Kefka had a lot of green, so I went with those colors for the rest. Sewing the main part of the shirt wasn’t too bad…until I tried it on and found it was rather right. While I did try it on several times throughout the process, I found out quickly that safety pins aren’t proper substitutes for actual stitches.
As a result, this turned out to be the worst part of the costume-making process because, well, you see, what happened is…the stitches popped. First, they popped around the collar. Because I guess I have a large head. But, I eventually got that issue under control, and no more popping occurred in that section of my shirt. Then, I tried it on again, and… I couldn’t get it off. I’m not joking. I couldn’t. And as you might imagine, this was a bad thing. So bad, in fact, that it wasn’t good. So I struggled and struggled, and I eventually just went for it, and the stitches popped down the side as I pulled my arm through. Ah, man!
So I reinforced the shirt below where the stitches split so it wouldn’t split further, which didn’t help, as they still split once again on my next attempt to get the shirt on and off. After much trouble, I decided, okay, fine, let’s make some changes. I got my scissors, and I cut the stitches. Not all the way, but a good several inches down on both sides (even if it was just getting the first arm out that was the problem), and once I made those sleeve-holes much larger, and with a little more practicing, I was able to get my arm out, though still with some trouble. Son of a submariner (Kefka quote, even if I don’t know what that even means)! Making clothes is the pits! To semi-quote Kefka, “I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate” making clothes! Phooey!
Ahem. So, I worried a great deal that the shirt would split further, but with some maneuvering, I did get my arm out more than once without any more issues, though I still didn’t know how well it would hold. Nevertheless, I started making the sleeves, and it is fortunate he has large, puffy sleeves, or else I just don’t know what the heck I’d do. I just don’t know. So I made the sleeves even larger than I needed, to encompass even more than just the hole for the sleeve, so if I had to cut more, it would already be within the sleeve. Because I sometimes plan ahead, even if more planning before I made the shirt too small would have been nice. The sleeves ended up successful, and I decided I would have to settle for hidden buttons to make the ends of the sleeves stay where they should on my arm, as I was not about to mess with the logistics of the shirt further and have it go back to not fitting again. The buttons have yet to be added as of writing this, though. Later, then.
And then there was the collar, which is quite a distinguishing feature of the costume, and thus, must be handled with care. It really needed to be good, and those darn stripes needed to face the correct direction. I thought long and hard and hard and long on this, and I finally decided I’d cut out a semi-circle with the stripes vertical, and that should allow all the stripes to face the correct way. I was right. For once. What a relief. But, I cut the collar too big at first, and then…I made it too small. And not only that, but it didn’t come down in the front nearly enough. With some more thinking, I then cut out another piece of fabric for my second attempt, but this time with the sides bulging out a lot more, as I thought that should be the part that hangs down in the front. I was right. For a second time. What a relief. I sewed the collar on, and aside from the finishing touches to the sleeves, the shirt was complete.
So all that’s left at this point is the cape, the glove, and any other finishing touches (including how I’ll get those scarves to stay on without getting in the way), and I will write more updates on the costume in the future. And something else is coming. Pictures. That’s right, a momentous day is approaching, the first day images of the Duck will appear on this blog.
And I would also like to announce that I will be entering the costume contest. I’m pretty excited, as you might expect, but I’m also quite nervous, as well, as I will apparently need to perform on stage. For a minute. What’s that, like…60 seconds? Are they kidding me? Anyway, the video of the entire masquerade should appear on Youtube at some point (if I even make it through the prejudging in order to appear in the final masquerade to begin with), so I’ll give you guys the link some time so you can see my performance. Though, I suppose performing shouldn’t be too bad, after all, as I’ve already decided on what I’ll be doing, and I have his theme song as my background music. (Kefka’s a rude, cocky thing that likes to dress up and look at himself in the mirror, so I think that’s some pretty good inspiration to make this performance a good one.) And when watching the contest for a previous year, someone dressed as Kefka won third place. Perhaps that’s a good sign…? Gah, so darn excited! Wish me luck, you guys!
So get ready, folks, because the Duck is bringing Kefka back. (Even if he was at the previous year’s comicon. But, still. Don’t contradict me!)
I Won’t Be Dressing Up as a Duck, Though I Think I’d Make a Good One