On Friday, I decided we were definitely going to go to Anime Banzai for most of Saturday. And I decided I would be going as Sakura from Naruto. So, Friday night (other than the time spent cooking and eating dinner) was dedicated to the process of costuming.
Step 1: Went through my sewing crap and dug out the stuff I bought back in July in anticipation of making a Sakura costume sometime. This consisted of a red collared v-neck t-shirt, some red yoga pants, and a short khaki skirt, and a pair of black boots, all purchased from DI for very cheap.
Step 2: Looked up a great many pictures of Sakura cosplayers and studied the fan-art that I had on my computer to determine precisely what I was going to do for the costume, and what I needed to get in order to do it all.
Step 3: Went to Jo-Ann's, and left Veng in a corner playing Metroid on his DS while I wandered through massive hordes of Halloween-costume-making women who were there for last minute costuming as was I. Found and purchased 1 peice of white felt (used), 1 box of hooks and eyes (unused), 1 long white sports zipper 18" (used), 1 package light-khaki-colored quilt binding (used), 1 package red quilt binding (used), 1 buckle thing (used), some white rib-knit fabric (used), some stiff green canvasy fabric (used), and some black fabric that was stretchy in one direction (unused).
Step 4: Costume assembly. I started on this after dinner, so it was already getting a bit late (9 o'clock-ish). I decided to start with the boots. I cut off the toes with a razor, which was kind of fun. Then I looked for my black foam-backed fabric that I was positive I had leftovers of (I was wrong). So I moved on. Next came the skirt. I figured out where all the slits should be, and cut them to the appropriate length. Then I began to sew on the khaki quilt-binding to edge the slits so they wouldn't fray horribly (because I did NOT want to hem them myself). Then I ran out of quilt binding at approximately 10:30. So, I sent Veng to Walmart to get me some more (which was very, very nice of him). I looked up the button-holing instructions in my sewing machine user's manual, and sewed in some long button-holes for the belt to go through. I should've ironed the skirt after all that, but I put it off and ended up running out of time. I sewed the little white elbow-covers (way easy), cut off the yoga pants into shorts and hemmed them (easy), and measured and cut-out the black stretchy fabric for the boot-top-covers. By the time I was done with all of that, it was approximately 1:30 in the morning or so. And I was still feeling reasonably awake, so I decided to do the shirt. I cut a big 0 out of the felt and sewed it on the back. I figured out where to cut the collar, and where the zipper ought to go. And I cut the front of the shirt in half, and cut half the collar off (it was like a polo-shirt collar, and I was turning into more of a mandarin-style collar). And because hemming sucks, I took the red quilt-binding and edged the whole cut part with that, which turned out looking pretty good, though I couldn't figure out how to get the binding to make a nice curve on the corners of the collar, so they turned into points. And then I got to add the zipper. I determined that it is hard to get zippers to curve. They just don't want to do it. So I looked up some suggestions on curving zippers online, and decided to just make some cuts in the zipper fabric on either side of the curve so that it could bend and still lie somewhat flat. It worked pretty well. And then the shirt was done and I decided to look up how to sew gloves online. Most of the instructions were long and complicated and involved gussets and crap. One instruction set said to just trace your hand, add a seam allowance, cut it out and sew it together. So I tried it with the black stretchy fabric (which I determined SUCKS to try and sew...it gets sucked into the hole that the needle goes through, which is never a good thing). The glove turned out okay, other than a few places where the sewing didn't really catch (because the fabric SUCKS) and so there were a couple holes along the seam. Too much work though, so I gave up and decided I would use my black one-size-fits-all stretchy knit Walmart gloves. And I looked at the clock, and it was 3:58 am, and thus time for the next step.
Step 5: Sleep. A lovely four hours.
Step 6: More costume assembly. No time for breakfast. I made the belt, and made the small bag, and made the headband (using some leftover sheet metal--yay!). I tried to make the boot-tops out of the black stretchy fabric, but it SUCKS, and so I gave up, and hijacked my leggings from my Tatiana costume, and chopped them off so they only went up to my knees. If I ever want to do Tatiana again, I will have to make new leggings. Shaved my legs. Then I dug out the gloves, and put everything on except the headband, and Veng sprayed my hair pink (I love colored hair spray, it's one of the best inventions in the world). Added the headband, and voila, one hot Sakura chick. Seriously, I was hot. I look good in pink hair. The costume turned out great for less than 24 hours of working on it and a mere 4 hours of sleep. Definitely (in my opinion) my best cosplay yet.
The con was fun. We got there at about noon (I did makeup in the car for the first time in my life...it's pretty hard to do, but it turned out well). It was at SLCC, which is not the greatest of venues, but it worked alright. Took awhile to find where we were supposed to register at. Once we had our badges, we ate our bento lunches that Veng had put together. He took pictures of me eating, which are probably cute, and which I will probably upload later. We wandered through the dealer's room several times throughout the day, and ended up with the complete Cowboy Bebop soundtrack (4 discs, limited edition, $35), and a red plaid kitty-eared hat ($10, super-cute), and some Ramune (tasty, tasty), and some pocky (had gotten all melted together, so it wasn't really your standard pocky-eating experience...too much chocolate at once). Went to a couple panels, which were about as interesting as I ever find panels to be (they were good, make no mistake, I'm just not a huge fan of anime-con panels in general). We went to the cosplay competition and watched all the skits, and Veng participated in the DDR competition. I found an incredibly cute tiny Totoro keychain, but it was $6 so I did not buy it (though...that was mainly just because Veng had the cash, and he wasn't with me at the time...otherwise I would probably have it right now). And we watched the first two episodes of Nana, which was fun.
Things that surprised me about the con: There was a disproportionally high percentage of cosplayers there, compared to AX where there's many people wearing normal clothes. At Anime Banzai it seemed that most everybody had a costume on, and the normally-dressed people were in the minority. There were maybe 3 Bleach cosplayers that I saw. Quite a lot more Fullmetal Alchemist cosplayers. And an INSANELY HUGE number of Naruto cosplayers. And lots of people that had Naruto headbands tied to their arms or something just for the heck of it. I was the only time-jump Sakura I saw there, though, which was cool. I suck at posing for pictures. Over 1,000 people attended (not bad at all for it being only the con's second year of existence), which means they may very well have enough money to do a 3-day con in a hotel next year. I am very impressed by these people's level of dedication to start a yearly anime con, in Utah of all places, and I am very impressed by the Utah anime-fanbase for so many of them showing up.
I looked good. The con was fun. On the way home we got Wendy's. I got very cold anytime we walked outside (if I ever do a con somewhere cold again, I will have to choose a cosplay with a jacket). Well worth $10 for a Saturday of fun and entertainment, and well worth the cost of the materials for my cosplay.
Pictures to be added later.
P.S. Due to the limited amount of sleep on Friday night, when we got home on Saturday we forgot to set the alarm and completely slept through church! Which wouldn't be a problem, except, you know, I was supposed to lead the music, and Veng was supposed to set up all the chairs. Oh well.