Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Megara Research

My next cosplay project is Disney’s Megara, because I love her.

Growing up I loved The Little Mermaid. I watched it so much I could recite it (and I still can). My favorite Disney character however was never Ariel. It was actually Belle, because she was the first Disney female I identified with but that ended abruptly when Meg came along. Of course it didn’t hurt that Meg was voiced by Susan Egan who originated the role of Belle in Disney’s Broadway run.

Meg is more me.  Meg is flawed and she is broken but still retains hope that she rejects.  She makes mistakes.  She struggles.  She is stubborn and forlorn.  She has a different kind of depth to her character then most of the Disney princesses.  The only other Disney heroine coming to mind that is remotely similar is Esmeralda (whom I also identified with).

I still love Meg. I love Hercules because even though it’s completely inaccurate, it’s a lot of fun. It does bother me that Meg is not recognized as a princess because in Mythology Megara actually was a princess (and Hercules kills her and their children but that’s a bit morbid for Disney). Oh and Hercules was a demi-god and not Hera’s son. Hera couldn’t stand him. Hates never wanted to take over Mount Olympus and the list goes on and on.

However, I always took it as her dress was purple because she actually was royalty though Disney never mentions that anywhere. So I call that a plus for the animators. I say that because purple fabrics and dyes were hard to come by and reserved for royalty. I am sure there are plenty of extras in Thebes wearing purple but I am going to ignore that.

Anyway, I am working on researching Meg and how I am going to go about creating this costume. I already bought the fabric on sale last year. Go me! I decided to go with linen. Linen would be period specific. I also hear it’s very breathable and easy to work with but those were not deciding factors. Originally I thought I was going to go with a broad cloth, but changed my mind when I saw the lush linen at the store.

Check it out... Megs dress is a Chiton
I am not sure where I got this image from.
It was part of research from long ago.
Makes me wish I still had my costume
history book.
So instead of hoping to it and starting to cut, sew and see how I want to make this costume, I decided to do some research on working with linen. It’s a really good thing I did, because I have learned that linen is super easy to work with but it needs to be stabilized. This means either sewing in underpinnings or washing the linen 3 times and drying it 3 times which causes the color to fade but makes the fabric stiffer. The problem with linen (even though I hear it’s wonderful) is that is LOVES to wrinkle. Wrinkles? NOOOOOOO!!!!! Since I do not have a washing machine (also not crazy about that fading part) and I don’t want to spend an entire day at the Laundromat washing and drying fabric, I will be underpinning.

Up until now, I didn’t know what underpinning was. Some sites suggested lining with the underpinning so I knew it was not a fancy term for lining. In fact, all along when I have been lining items I have actually been underpinning. A lining hangs free inside a garment where underpinning is sewed to the fabric to give it shape, remove transparency and add stability. I always hated having a free hanging lining in any of my clothes. So when I made Fluttershy’s skirt I added underpinnings.

This is the fun of costuming. Fun for me anyway. I love learning on my own. So learning about underpinnings and linen made me happy especially when I have been using the wrong term. Eh oh well. It’s just like how I almost always ask for interfusing at the store and they all look at me and say “interfacing?”… yeah… fusible interfacing, whoops.

Today I finished the brooches for Megs dress. Not completely finished but almost there. My original idea was to use clear painted buttons that were painted from the inside but being that the dress is linen to be period specific I didn’t think plastic buttons were the best choice (still my back up though). So I bought four wooden circles (they came in two packs, I have an extra if I mess up). I sprayed them with primer about four times on each side. These circles really absorbed the primer. I then went over it with the gold spray paint about three times on each side. Next I pulled out my Bic Mark-It markers and drew in the swirls on the disks. Then I needed to seal them…

I know from Black widow that the Sharpie marker was oil based (I believe it was the paint pen) and when I went to seal it the ink bled and it was not attractive. So I looked up what base the Mark-It is and it turns out they are alcohol based. Cool. It’s not oil. However, it also bleeds with sealers. After searching and searching I read enough reviews claiming success with a Matte Acrylic Sealer. I happened to have one. They lied a little. My circles all came out great so far but when I sprayed the sealer and saw the ink was not bleeding I went a little heavier with the spray. I went too heavy on one disk and the ink did start to bleed. I left it alone and let it dry. Now even though the ink bled on that circle it still looks pretty awesome. The way it bled removed the pen strokes and darkened the gold a bit but it’s not in streaks. It bled but I can still use it as is (if I need to). The other three came out great. I sprayed the backs and now I get to add the pins to the back.

I can’t wait to use my Dremel! No glue for this girl. I will be screwing the pins into the back. I like added security. I don’t trust glue. I already have the pin backs from when I worked on Fluttershy.

I have to get to the store to buy the underpinning fabric for Meg’s dress and I can start working on her. I could start the trim and the sash anyway because I do have fabric I can put underneath. The dress itself I want light purple underpinnings.

I also need to get some gold trim to make the hair band. I am so excited!