Welcome to Straywind.com!

Welcome to my Cosplay home on the net. My name is Rebecca (aka Stray Wind online). I've been Cosplaying since late 2001. I love the fellowship, challenges and creativity involved in making costumes. My forte is Cosplaying from survival horror video games as well as characters from Anime and games that I grew up enjoying. Since I began Cosplaying, I have worn over 80 costumes and I've attended over 75 conventions and major events. Cosplaying is an exciting journey and I look forward to future projects and events as my journey in the world of Cosplay continues.

-+- Updates -+-

May 14th, 2017
Anime North is just a couple of weeks away now. Crazy how time flies! Not a heck of a lot to report, but I believe I have settled on my costume plans. I'm going to be re-wearing my Young Bulma costume on Friday of the con and for the Nominoichi. It's fairly easy to wear for the event. I was anticipating it being another warm year, but maybe it'll actually be kind of chilly. XD I might have to wear a sweater. My Saturday plan is still to re-wear my new Madoka Kaname school uniform. In the evening I hope to actually use the hotel pool so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have the energy for that. Sunday, as tradition, will be casual wear. So not a lot of costumes from me this year, but I'm still pretty proud of my hard work over the winter on my Madoka Magica school uniform so I'm excited to wear it again. I just hope it's a fun year! The Nominoichi keeps me so busy in the days leading up to the con and for Friday. It's been a bit challenging to handle the logistics of it this year, but I think I have everything sorted out for the Nomi now. Hopefully my things sell well because my basement is quite full of stuff for this year's event. XD I always find it to be a lot of fun. Sure making money is definitely a huge part of it, but I find it to be a really social experience. It's quite a hectic and very exciting environment so it's never dull.

The rest of the con should be fairly relaxing. Saturday will be the day to actually check out the con events and dealer's room and as per tradition, Sunday is the opportunity to explore the crafter and artist areas. This will be my 16th Anime North. The con has a lot of heart and charm, which makes me really excited about it every year.

I'll post here after Anime North with an event report and hopefully in June I'll get a chance to go fabric shopping for my next costume project. I think I'll be able to get it done within a month so I'm itching to get sewing. Not working on a costume right now with AN fast approaching is making me feel ansty. I sort of feel like I'm missing something. Not that avoiding the sewing con crunch should be considered something to be missed, but I am feeling a bit unproductive. Granted I'm spending several minutes each day sorting boxes and writing price stickers for the Nomi so it's not like I'm doing nothing. XD

-+- Past Updates -+-

April 28th, 2017
It's almost May! The months are really flying by now. Things have been kind of interesting these last few weeks! All I can say is that I'm glad I made March Toronto ComiCon my goal for finishing my Madoka school uniform costume! I did get a table for the Nominoichi at Anime North. It's N117. You can view my table pre-sale list here in case anyone wants to browse. It's taking quite a bit of time to keep the list updated, but I hope I can clear out a lot of things from my basement and shelves. I have to push selling more stuff because I've been doing a lot of shopping lately. XD Out with the old and immediately things gets replaced with new stuff...

Beyond the Nomi table, things are pretty intense with my family right now. My older brother is getting married this weekend so getting ready for the weekend has been keeping me busy. Had to find and alter a dress and help my mother do the same. I'm not part of the wedding party, but I'm still obligated to go to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner before the big day on Sunday. I know I'm going to be super tired for a few days after this weekend!

In other more unexpected new, I actually got summoned for jury selection in May. I just so happened to be unlucky enough to get picked for May 24th. That was just two days before AN! As a potential juror you have to set aside up to five business days in a row for selection and with AN I really couldn't do that. I had to mail in a letter to get excused. Thankfully it was a quick process and I heard back earlier this week and I have been let off the hook. Granted I'll probably get called back in later this year. Hopefully not during Fan Expo, but I wouldn't be surprised with my luck!

So as you can see, I'm super glad I don't have sewing to bog me down right now. It feels a bit weird not to have a costume to work on just a few weeks before AN. I do still plan to re-wear my Bulma costume. I think it's in ok shape. My friend Pan is working on a Shippuden Naruto costume right now. Depending on how things go and if I have time for it, I'm tempted to bring Sakura to AN to match with her. Not sure how I could fit it into my Cosplay schedule, though. We'll see! I just hope once this weekend is over the next few weeks are fairly stress free. I'm planning to get back into sewing over the summer once I get a chance to go fabric shopping. At least I'm still excited to get back into the swing of sewing once AN is over! (^_^)

April 7th, 2017
It's almost time to submit applications for a Nominoichi table for Anime North and I'm getting pretty excited about it. I've pretty much prepped the first wave of stuff that I want to sell and my basement is pretty crammed full of goodies. Can't wait to free up some space in late May!

Over the last week I did start looking at my old costumes in the basement for Anime North options. I think I have settled on wearing Young Bulma for the Nominoichi. I pulled the costume from the basement to inspect it. I purchased a new watch from eBay for the costume. Hopefully that'll get here in time for AN. I spent about 3 hours over Saturday and over Monday night sewing down the lettering and numbers on the front and back of my Bulma dress. I used HeatnBond back in 2012 to secure the text details, but over the years the text started to come off. I didn't secure most of the lettering besides the white borders so I went around and sewed every letter and number down. Kind of tedious, but at least I don't have to worry about any parts sticking up now! I should have done that to begin with.

I was pretty proud of my costume back when I made it nearly 5 years ago, but it does have a lot of small sewing errors or details that weren't that well conveyed that seemed to not matter, but bother me more now. I did reinforce the blue pouch, but it feels a little overly large to me now so I might take out some of the cardboard that I'm using to hold the shape to see if it looks better in a more natural state. I'm also not super impressed by my gun holster. It looks a little misshapen and bulky, but since I'm wearing this costume to sit behind a table for several hours I probably won't bother to remake any parts from scratch. I am impressed that I serged all the edges of the dress which was pretty amazing when you consider the fact that I don't own a serger. lol I'm not sure which machine I used and managed to find a stitch that fakes a decent serge stitch, but I wish I could use that for more costumes! It will be pretty nice to bring out Bulma again. That costume gave me quite a bit of confidence with my sewing and I'm pretty happy with how far I've come since then.

Since I now plan to bring Bulma for Friday and my new Madoka school uniform on Saturday, that should be all my costume plans for AN. I'll probably wear a new Nightmare Before Christmas dress that I bought at Hot Topic last fall on Sunday of the con or maybe a geeky shirt. I guess I'll see how I feel closer to the con. Who knows maybe I'll even pack a 3rd costume! I think Pan is working on her Shippuden Naruto costume so that definitely means that I'll have to bring out my Sakura costume some time this year to wear with her. I do have my eye on a new costume to make over the summer. I have yet to actually buy materials for it, but when I do I'll post about it here. It's actually a remake of a really old costume that I made over a decade ago! I'm on a bit of a nostalgia kick right now so I'm pretty excited about this potential project. :D

March 25th, 2017
It took me a week, but I finally finished the written summary for my Madoka costume and it's a doozie! It's over 7 pages long in Word single spaced. XD I have quite a bit to say about this costume because it was in development for a really long time. I first fell in love with the school uniforms from Madoka Magica way back in 2011. I actually attempted to start working on the costume back in late 2014, but I had to give up back then because the pattern I was using for the blouse was way too big on me. It was my discovery of the great New Look sized for juniors pattern line that finally gave me a good base to work with and I'm really happy with the fit I was able to achieve with the blouse and the whole look of the costume. I added the costume page to the costume gallery (which you can view here) and I have a few photos from Toronto ComiCon on display. Pan graciously took some photos for me with my phone. They're not outstanding shoot quality pictures, but they're fun con pics and show the costume fairly well. I'm definitely planning to do a shoot of the costume later this year and of course again when Pan gets a chance to make a matching Homura costume. :3

I'm already in the thick of things with Anime North prep. I spent much of today taking photos of things to sell at the Nominoichi. I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks on and off taking pictures of things and editing the photos. I'm gearing up for April 9th when I'll be able to apply for a Nomi table. I sure hope that I don't miss out!

I also need to do some old costume repair work. I want to make little black armbands for Dilandau to wear under my gloves where the gloves meet the sleeves because the gloves are a bit short. I'm also debating about what costumes to bring to AN. Madoka is a given, but I'm considering wearing young Bulma for the Nominoichi because it's pretty comfy and stands out due to the blue wig and pink dress. It also wouldn't be too uncomfortable if it's another scorching year temperature wise. The costume does need some TLC, though, so I'll fix that up soon. Hopefully the next few weeks won't be too stressful! It feels like the time before AN is really flying by!

March 20th, 2017
Toronto ComiCon is now over. I did only attend the con yesterday, but it turned out to be quite a bit of fun. The weather tried to put a damper on my plans. I got up at 7:20 yesterday to start getting ready to wear my costume and by the time I was finishing putting on makeup at 9:30, it was snowing rather heavily outside. It definitely wasn't the best weather to travel to a con in, but thankfully I didn't have to go too far to catch a bus. Running to catch a bus in a skirt while wearing a wig that I didn't want to damage after corralling the family dog who had escaped, was not exactly how I expected yesterday morning to go. Things worked out fine and I was able to get to the con with my friends Pan and Adrien by 12. I was honestly surprised that getting ready went smoothly especially since the last time that I Cosplayed was in October so I'm a bit out of practice getting suited up in costume.

We had some fun adventures. We learned that the Power Rangers movie promo booth at the con was doing a ticket giveaway at 12:45 for a preview screening of the movie so I kept track of the time so Pan could get a crack at the giveaway. Lo and behold, she won the tickets. lol We spent the rest of the day wandering around. I bought some pretty art prints from the artist area. I got a gorgeous mermaid print, a lovely piece of Wonder Woman art that has the caption "Fight Like a Girl" and two Sailor Moon prints. My favourite jewellery vendor came to the con so I was able to buy another steampunk ring. \o/ My last major purchase was a Pokemon Center Dragonair plush that's super cute and has a wire in it so it's poseable. It was my first purchase early in the day so I had my friend Adrien carry it around by wearing it on his shoulders. The Dragonair was really eye catching so between Pan (who was dressed as Harry Potter minus the school robes), myself and Adrien wearing Dragonair, Dragonair got the most compliments. XD

Madoka went over pretty well. I was really impressed by how comfortable the costume was. I'm so happy that it turned out really nicely. Since I've been working on it for so long and fretting over every little detail, it was hard to see the overall picture and recognize my hard work. Every time I got a compliment on the costume it meant so much to me. Madoka turned out to be pretty complex to make so working on it really took a lot out of me. Thankfully wearing the end result really made me feel like a million bucks. I of course owe a huge thank you to Technoranma for selling me her beautiful Madoka wig, which really pushed the costume to a whole other level. It was such a comfy wig too! The only trouble that I had was that after a couple of hours of wearing them, my right contact was hurting a bit. I was wearing pink circle lenses. That was disappointing and it was a huge relief to take the contacts out at the end of the day. Hopefully that won't happen next time I wear the costume.

I didn't do a proper photoshoot of Madoka, but I did get my photo taken a few times by various people and my friend Ryan took a couple of hallway shoots that I may be able to post here eventually. Pan was awesome and took a few pictures on my phone so I'll probably post a few of my favourites in the next little while and write up the costume page. I'm pretty excited to share my experience with making Madoka since that costume has such a long history for me. I mean, I've been vaguely interested in Cosplaying the school uniform from Madoka for 5 years and I've been serious about it for 3 years. I slowly gathered materials and accessories for it over the years so it was a pretty cool feeling to finally put everything to use! I am looking forward to getting a shoot of the costume this year. Hopefully later this year or next year Pan will Cosplay as Homura to match with me. I'll be passing along my pattern to her. I may eventually get a black wig and Cosplay Homura as well. She was my second favourite character from the series and I wouldn't mind getting a lot of mileage out of this uniform.

Getting back to the con experience, I didn't attend any panels or see any guests, but I did see several friends who were running various tables and con activities or were also just wandering around. Sadly I wasn't able to see Amber, but I had a great time overall. Toronto ComiCon was a nice way to ease back into the convention season and given how productive I was with sewing leading up to the con, that's a good sign for the year to come. It was neat attending a March ComiCon event again. The last time that I went to one was back in 2009 and I think back then it was still only a two day event. It's now evolved into a three day con. Also back then the emphasis was more on being a smaller Fan Expo carrying forward all the major parts of the Fan Expo brand including Anime. Toronto ComiCon felt more like a general pop culture event and Anime was totally absent. I was also surprised that it wasn't super crowded on Saturday. I was bracing myself for wall-to-wall people, but it was much less crowded than the big summer convention so that was great. I'll probably try to attend the con for a day again next year.

I will be taking a break from major sewing projects for the next little while. I don't think I'll make anything else for AN. Madoka will be my major costume and I'll bring one or two other old costumes to the con. Pan and I were working on a silly costume project for AN, but we've run into some roadblocks so we might put that off. It's not a pressing costume anyway. Next up is prep work for the AN Nominoichi which looks to be time consuming. Out of one frying pan and into another! XD

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