The Duck Hates Hates Hates Hates Sewing

I recently put up a post about a rather overwhelming project I started, a hand-made costume (and by that, I also mean hand-sewn!) for the most evil and most awesome Kefka, the villain from “Final Fantasy VI”. Well, I’m quite happy to report that the costume is now complete. It took, by my calculations, perhaps 40 hours or so.

Since my last post, I sewed together the cape (held on by a button I managed to keep nice and hidden), which didn’t take as long as I expected, and though I had some trouble at first with it covering up my arms too much (I can’t have my puffy sleeves squished down), I managed to round off the top corners of the cape and then arrange it in just a way that my sleeves are free to be as puffy as they please. And what’s better is the cape billows out wonderfully when I walk, and I found that my rehearsed cocky strut for the performance becomes so much easier when you’re wearing a cape. Seriously, it really helps. Try wearing a cape to a job interview, and you’ll have all the confidence you need.

I did end up deciding to forgo the glove and the scarves around his neck, the former because I have problems with getting things as tight as I need, so I can just see the glove being too lose and therefore, useless, and as for the later… How the darn do those even attach to his clothes? Seriously, I can’t even comprehend how those even work! I’ve looked at references of him, and I can’t, for the life of me, tell you how those things stay on. So I decided I just wouldn’t do it. That’s right, I refuse. Because they defy the natural laws of the earth. And I am too lazy to figure out how to make them stick up the way his do, and it is much cooler if they stick up.

So, after skipping a few things, all that left was the ends of the sleeves. Because, in order to ensure maximum puffiness, I made them longer than they needed to be, so that when I pulled them up to my elbows, they’d be puffy. Well, that worked out more or less the way I wanted. The lighter material of the blue sleeve puffed up much better than the heavier material of the red one (it needed to be heavier, as that material was also used to make the pants, even if buying two kinds of red material would have been smarter), but hey, the blue one’s cooler anyway. It has polka dots. But, the real problem was, the sleeves would just not stay up. They just wouldn’t. I was too lazy to use elastic in the ends, which would have been the correct method of going about this (plus, that might be starting to go above my skill level), so I just thought I’d button the ends of the sleeves all nice and tight, but to no prevail. No matter how tight I made the ends, they kept falling down my arms, making me a rather sad Duck indeed.

Most distraught by this failure, I rushed about the house trying to find some sort of a solution. I had hair bands, but those turned out to be far too tight, even if they were definitely a step in the right direction. (You’re probably thinking in your head, why doesn’t the Duck just buy elastic and do the sleeves properly already? Again, I’m lazy, and the store with sewing supplies is annoying to get to. And it also probably has to do with me being lazy.) So I headed next to Turget (spelled wrong on purpose, because it’s a reference to SNL…), where I perused their hair band collection. Most were exactly the same size as the ones I had at home, while others were far too big, and folding them in half didn’t seem to be a good solution. And then my peepers landed on some hair bands I had nearly missed. They were quite small, like I needed, but they were also just a tad (what’s a tad?) bigger than the regular hairbands. I tried one on my arm, and they were perfect! Huzaah! Laziness reigns supreme!

So I went home and tried on my shirt again (by the way, the stitches are no longer snapping), and I popped those bands over the ends of the sleeves to make sure they would hold. And they did. This was going to work. My sleeves stayed up so hardcore, and not only that, the way I put the bands on caused the ends of the sleeves to stick out beyond the band, giving it an extra poof at the end. I like it. I like it very much. And so you know what my lazy self is going to do? Since I have never sewed in elastic before, and I know for certain the bands work just fine sticking them on the outside of the sleeves (and I can’t guarantee they’ll work once I sew them in), not to mention this method adds the bonus puff, I’m going to just leave the bands separate and put them on my arms whenever I wear the costume in order to hold the sleeves in place. It might sound rather lazy, but it actually looks fine, as you can barely see the bands to begin with, and they’re nice colors anyway.

So that’s about it. I ordered a white ostrich plume online (as anyone wanting to cosplay as Kefka absolutely needs an enormous white feather), which didn’t turn out as poofy as I was hoping (and it wasn’t as long as the description online said it would be, as it’s closer to 11 inches than it is to 13-15), but there’s not much else I can do at this point (and it’s certainly better than nothing). I’ll just add my puffy black feather to make up for it. I also sewed on a string of beads I found at the sewing store onto the yellow scarf that goes around my waist just like he has to add some extra detail. I also practiced with the face paint more, and it’s looking much better. Still need to work on the mouth and keeping the lines thinner, but all in all, it’s looking good. I just need to practice for my performance and try to keep my nails from breaking any more than they already have. Because Kefka has long nails. Though, I remain undecided on whether or not I will file them into claws the way his are because, while it will look cool, I also run the risk of scratching up my clothes. What if my new talons catch in the fabric and my clothes are destroyed! Can that happen?

Ahem, so I’m all registered for the masquerade, and I have my audio ready, as well. It’s the original version of Kefka’s theme from the Super Nintendo (what else?), and I had to learn some new computer skills so I could cut it down to 1 minute and add a fade at the end. I also printed out several references so the judges know what I’m going for (there are a lot of versions of him before they decided on the more recent “Dissidia” version, even if they all pretty much feature a guy with so much clothes, you can hardly find him in all of it), and I’m working on practicing for my performance. Just practicing by myself makes me strangely nervous, which is going to be a problem when I’m on stage in front of (millions) of people, so I just have to force myself to practice anyway and make sure I’m all ready when the day comes. And hope that the confidence-boosting powers of my cape don’t wear off.

So with the convention approaching, I may as well summarize the process for you. There are currently 91 entrants thus far, more than any previous year (phooey, more competition!), and when I first arrive at the comicon, I will be going to the prejudging where the judges ask you questions about your costume and eliminate the people that won’t be making it to the masquerade. I very much hope that my costume is good enough to get through the prejudging, but I think this whole process is mainly to whittle away the people who are just being goofy. (Look, I wore some sweat pants and a T-shirt. I’m Master Chief taking a day off.) Eek, I sure hope I can make it to the masquerade! Anyway, after that, I’ll get to spend some hours at the comicon before the masquerade, which is at night, so I must take many naps in the morning so I won’t be sleepy. I’m not typically a nocturnal Duck. And as the masquerade nears, I’ll have to make sure I look good and touch up my makeup. Darn comicon taking place during summer. I hate hate hate hate hate the heat!

So, even though I’m quite spooked about the performance (why do I put myself through such unnecessary stress anyway?), I am just hoping I can get into character as soon as I arrive at the convention (except for the fact that I really shouldn’t be as mean and hateful as Kefka is, as I don’t possess the reputation that he has that allows him to get away with such things without getting punched in the face). Because I’m thinking that, if I can manage to strut about and pose even at the prejudging, not only will it show them that I am most worthy to make it through to the masquerade (not that Kefka has to prove anything to anyone), but it should be helpful in getting me comfortable in front of people. And I’m still relying on my lucky cape.

Well, the convention’s almost here, and I’m both nervous and ridiculously excited. And I have this awesome new phone that records videos, so I’m going to get lots of pictures and maybe some videos, too, both of my most evil self and of other things that are awesome there (even if I’ll be the greatest thing at the comicon by far). And I hope so badly that I’ll do well in the masquerade. Believe it or not (what a weird saying that is; forgive me for using a cliché), someone dressed as Kefka won third place in the novice category of last year’s masquerade (apparently us Kefka cosplayers are more common than I realized), and while their costume was much nicer than mine (and they were even brave enough to do his laugh), I wonder if this is a good sign that I might stand an actual chance at winning. You never know…. Wish me luck, everyone! I wants me a trophy!

A Duck With Many Needle-Inflicted Wounds from Countless Hours of Sewing (I’m not joking; there are red dots all over the ends of my fingers, but I guess it’s fitting that making a costume for Kefka involved lots of pain)

3 thoughts on “The Duck Hates Hates Hates Hates Sewing

    1. I hand-sewed the entire thing. I really need to learn how to use a sewing machine if I make any more costumes in the future. Hand-sewing takes a long time….

      The masquerade is now over. It was last night. And…I lost. Sniff. But, it was tons of fun. I loved performing on a stage, something I’ve never done before, and I loved how people would cheer extra during certain parts of my performance. I’m going to put up pictures and video(s) soon. Yay!


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