Sunday, June 7, 2015

How To Throw A Jurassic Park Dinosaur Party

Jurassic World comes out next week! This is an historic occasion deserving of a great premiere party to gear up for the next installment of the groundbreaking series known as Jurassic Park!



I threw my friends a party this weekend complete with a marathon of all 3 Jurassic Park movies, fun host costumes and an array of themed dishes sure to satisfy any hungry T-Rex. Check out some photos from the party and an explanation of the dishes to get some fun ideas!

Here's a video that summarizes everything we did. For more details, read on!



To dress my family up as Jurassic Park characters, I headed to the local Savers thrift store. I found everything I needed in one go (lucky!). Here's the breakdown of what you need to complete the look:



Dr. Alan Grant: cowboy hat, aviator sunglasses, classic red paisley scarf, blue denim button up shirt with breast pockets and rolled up sleeves, brown belt, khaki pants, comfy hiking boots

Dr. Ellie Sattler: wispy updo, medium blue shirt or tank, salmon pink large button up shirt rolled up at sleeves and tied at the waist, brown belt, khaki shorts, comfy hiking boots

Tim Murphy: orange striped shirt, blue paisley scarf, blue denim button up with short sleeves, khaki shorts, comfy hiking shoes

Check out our outfits! We had a blast being dressed up to greet our guests!


Next, you want to make sure you have a broad array of dishes both sweet and savory for all those carnivores and herbivores stomping into your kitchen! Here are some fun ideas!



Bugs in amber: lemon Jell-O with gummy bugs suspended inside. I messed up mine - I wanted those bugs right in the middle of two layers, but my first layer of Jell-O didn't set up as quickly as I thought and my bugs sank to the bottom. Oh well!


Triceratops Horns: your favorite flavor of Bugles snacks


Compy Droppings: chocolate and coconut covered almonds from Costco

Mr. DNA strands: cherry Pull N Peel Twizzlers

Brachiosaurus snot "God Bless You!": green pistachio pudding fluffy fruit salad (sometimes called ambrosia salad)


Montana Dig Parfaits: layers of chocolate gravel (found at WinCo's bulk section), chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos, marshmallows, whipped cream and some official Jurassic World gummies



Costa Rica Sorbets: these are the most amazing thing at Costco. Little tropical sorbets in real fruit rind cups! They're delicious!

"Spared No Expense" Ice Cream: basically any good ice cream bars. We chose the Magnum from Costco. Remember that scene in Jurassic Park where Ellie is talking to John Hammond and eats some ice cream? "It's good!" "Spared no expense."


Jurassic Pork Butt - Hold on to your butts!: this is pulled pork in a crock pot, easy peasy. Look for pork shoulder butt (whatever that is?!) and throw it in your crock pot for 7-8 hours on low with some Dr. Pepper. So good with some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce!


Stegosaurus Tails: Li'l Smokies in a small crock pot with grape jelly, BBQ sauce and ketchup for 1-2 hours. Then stick some toothpicks in the end and it's a Stegosaur Tail!


"It's a veggiesaurus, Lex, veggie!": for the obligatory veggie tray. I did carrots and Veggie Straws.

Official Jurassic World dinosaur gummies: found at any grocery store right now. They're great, get some!


Dilophosaurus Venom: any green drink, we chose Mountain Dew.

"Look at how much blood...": red strawberry Fanta. Tim says this, fascinated as he watches the T-Rex tear up a Gallimimus in the first movie.



Sandwiches with fun meats: Ham - John "Ham"mond, roast beef - raptor leftovers, turkey - "That doesn't look very scary. It looks more like a six foot turkey!" - some dumb kid from the Montana raptor dig in the first movie.


"Now that is one big pile of sh$!" or Dino Doos: no-bake cookies


Trilobite cookies: These were provided by my lovely friend Cassi, in 4 different fun flavors.

We also almost made "where's the goat?" salad by making a regular spinach salad with goat cheese but we ran out of time and room in our tummies. It was a great marathon and we still have tons of  leftovers. Guess we just need to hold another party! In the words of John Hammond after his friends witness a bull being demolished by raptors: "Who's hungry?"

Sunday, May 24, 2015

How to Make a Neo Queen or Princess Serenity Cosplay from Sailor Moon

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Photo by EGP Photography

Many girls dream of becoming a beautiful princess complete with crown, dress and glittering jewels. Here is how I made a Neo Queen Serenity cosplay from scratch. I hope this can help give you ideas on how to transform yourself from gorgeous gal to full-on Moon Goddess!


sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Neo Queen Serenity's dress is an empire waisted sleeveless gown with a large butterfly-like bow attached in the back and gold details on the top. It seems pretty Grecian in design (but I'm no fashion expert). It looks like a soft flowy material that may possibly be stretchy as it clings to her legs, then flows outward at the bottom. She also has a beautiful jeweled gold crown, a crescent moon on her forehead and swirly gold earrings. The whole design is simple yet extremely elegant and regal.

Dress

The pattern I used was the Kwik Sew 3400. It is a nice basic empire waisted dress with a train on the back, meant for wedding and formal gowns. The chest area fit me a little weird though so I suggest making a prototype from muslin and trying it on before you cut into your good fabric. This way you can adjust the pattern to fit you better.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to



I used a shiny satin for the chest area, then a bit more matte satin for the rest of the gown. My good friend Garnet Runestar suggested I use netting as a layer between the lining and the outer dress for shaping. It adds a little stiffness and wards off wrinkles. Look her up, seriously. She is my local expert for epic gown cosplays. She will be at Anime Expo as a guest this year!

The gown pattern has a simple A-line flow to the skirt but I wanted it to be a mermaid line skirt to more closely match the references. I put on my muslin mockup of the original pattern, inside-out, and pinned the dress down the sides and brought it in close to my knees. I cut off the excess fabric and picked apart the muslin pieces so that I now had a mermaid gown pattern. You can see in the below pictures how the final gown looked with the alterations.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

I was going to try putting a see through chiffon layer on top of the satin layer to create the gathers that are in the reference photos, but it just ended up looking really bad so I took that layer back out. If I ever make this dress again, I'm going to try a stretchy white pleated plisse fabric that is used in dance costumes.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Not as elegant as I was hoping. Plus I just have no idea what I'm doing XD

For the gold circles, I made a paper template using one of those compass/pencil things. Just a short chain of circles was all I needed.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Hurry, pattern while the baby sleeps!

Next I measured how many circles I would need to encircle my chest. I added a couple extra too, just in case. I traced the circles onto iron-on interfacing, then ironed that to my gold crepe back satin. It made it much easier to cut the shapes in the fabric!

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

After cutting all the inner circles out from the gold piece, I pinned a long strip of white satin behind the holes. Then I satin stitched the edges of the holes. My machine doesn't have a nice close satin stitch, so I just used a the tighest zigzag stitch I could manage and went around the holes 3-4 times each. It was really annoying to have to do so many, haha.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

After that step, I turned the fabric right side down onto the shiny side of a slightly larger strip of satin and stitched the edges of the big circles down. I cut off the excess fabric on the outside and turned the whole thing inside out. Now it has clean edges and can be sewn onto the gown.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

There she is, Miss America!

To further embellish the dress I added two rows of gold plastic beads from Hancock fabrics both right under the gold rings and at the waistline seam. I simply hand-sewed them on.

Accessories

Crown

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

For the crown I used a material called Worbla's Finest Art. It is well known on the cosplay scene nowadays. It comes in sheets and can be re-shaped using a heat gun. First I patterned out all the layers and details I would need, then transferred the patterns onto the Worbla.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

To shape the crown I used a bucket as a template for the curve. I then heated and added the different Worbla bits on. I also used Apoxie Sculpt to add some dimension to a few parts (the white parts in the photo). When that was cured I used several layers of white Gesso to prime the whole piece and sanded it as best I could. The texture of the Worbla unfortunately is very hard to cover up with Gesso but there may be other alternatives that work better.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

The next part was painting the crown with gold acrylic paint. The red parts are painted with nail polish, one of my favorite cheap ways to add accent colors. I also sprayed the whole thing in a clear gloss. I glued on jewels and added a little comb on the back with some Worbla so that it would slip into my wig or hair and could be secured.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

The first comb was this one, an actual comb with a handle that I cut off. I later switched to a few smaller combs with gripping tines that actually grab the hair. A couple bobby pins helped secure it even further.

Forehead Moon

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

I used Fimo bakeable clay to create the forehead moon. To make it that perfect, circular crescent shape I used a small circular cookie cutter. I painted it gold with acrylic paint and added clear gloss. To attach it to my forehead I applied a little spirit gum.

Earrings

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

I created the earrings from Fimo clay and some jewelry findings. I made a shape that looks like two leaves joined together and twisted it in the middle narrow part and curled the end. I also made the beads from Fimo. I painted them with gold acrylic paint and added clear gloss.

Wings

I had some see through pink material that I added wire to and created a fastening with snaps in the back of the dress so the wings would be removable. I also had the lower part of a back bow for Super Sailor Moon that I recycled to use with the wings.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Bolero/Sleeves

I made the bolero as a fun new take on the puff sleeves that Serenity has in princess form. I thought it would add a regal touch to the whole ensemble. I found this amazing silver brocade at Hancock Fabrics that I felt was just perfect for my vision.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Patterning out the puffy sleeves took forever because I didn't quite understand how to make the round 3D shape into a 2D one on paper. I tried several things and finally figured out something that would work.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

The patterning process...bleh.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

The brocade was very thin and frayed a lot so I had to be careful with it. I also lined it with quilt batting to help it stay puffier. The base bolero pattern came with the gown pattern so the torso part was easy. I also added a queenly collar accent by taking two long pieces of brocade and sewing them together with some batting in between. Then I sewed horizontal lines to create a quilted effect and sewed the collar onto the jacket.


sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to


Shoes

I found some really cool clear shoes with rhinestone accents at DWS, but white or silver and maybe even gold or pink shoes would go just as well. It's really up to you since the artwork never really shows her feet. Make sure they're comfy is all I ask!

Wig

Here's a video on the process of making the wig. It's very visual and should help you understand how to put everything together. For the verbal process, read below.



I pieced together the wig from a couple Arda Wig products. The base wig is a Chibi in 081 Platinum Blonde, but you can use any color you like. I bought two of their buns and one ponytail clip in the same color.

I styled the bangs first by cutting them, then separating them into 3 layers and curling each one, then blending them together. I also added a couple strands to the sides that are longer.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how tosailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Original Chibi bangs, before and after. Derp!

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Bangs curling process.

I stubbed the pigtails on the Chibi and glued them so they would stay together.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how tosailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Stubbing, before and after.

I cut the ponytail clip in half after taking out the clip and then tied one half around each stub.

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

This is what a disassembled ponytail clip looks like. It's basically a mini wig! I cut it in half, between the wefts, and preserved the elastic for each half so I could tie it around the stubs.

Then I took the buns and tightened them to be a little smaller and pinned them over the stubs using bobby pins. Bobby pins do get pushed out easily so I suggest hand sewing the buns on for a much more secure grip. It's a very easy process and looks very clean when all finished!

Here is the whole ensemble put together!

sailor moon neo queen princess serenity cosplay costume how to

Photo by EGP Photography

Have fun transforming yourself or your friend into the magical Moon Princess or Queen!