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 70 costumes and I've attended over 65 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 -+-

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. Low 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

-+- Past Updates -+-

March 17th, 2017
I planned to post here with my Toronto ComiCon plans a few days ago, but I was working on my Madoka costume up until a couple of hours ago. Talk about cutting it close! I'm so excited that the costume is done. I'm not 100% happy with it. The lace on the hem doesn't quite lie flat right in the front where the blouse makes a v point, but I tried to adjust it to sit as nicely as possible. I also ran into some problems getting the undershirt into the proper position to sew to the collar line. I had to re-sew parts of it a couple of times because of bunching, but I think it's alright now. The cuffs gave me some problems as well because the white fabric I used is really thick and heavy and sewing the red bias tape on was really painful. I had a lot of trouble passing the needle through both sides. I even had to re-sew half of the bias tape on one cuff and that was no picnic. One cuff is slightly too big for the sleeve, but I didn't want to kill my fingers re-sewing it so I'll see how it looks and feels when I wear it.

I am pretty happy with how my red bow turned out. After some finicky work last night I was able to place the front and back bows so I could sew snaps on the bows to hold them in place. I think they're finally not crooked. XD I am so happy that I stuck it out and finished this costume. At times I wanted to give up knowing that I could buy a mass produced version of this costume for cheap. In the end the blood, sweat and tears was worth it to make sure I had a version that actually fit me and reflected the outfit details as accurately as possible.

So now that the hard part is done, time to wear my work. The plan is still to wear the costume at Toronto ComiCon. I know the con is now underway. I will not be at the con all three days. I mean, I already missed Friday, but I will be going tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will be alright tomorrow despite the chance of snow. I was really hoping for more spring like weather for ComiCon, but thankfully the con is all indoors. I'll just have to bundle up prior to going and probably use the coat check at the con if they have one. It's just too bad that Pan wasn't able to make Homura so I'll be solo. I do have a cute Kyubey plush to keep me company as a Cosplay prop. I don't have any planned shoots for the day so I'll see if I get any photos to post of Madoka. If I do get some photos of the costume I'll add the costume page in the next couple of weeks. This is a good trial run for the outfit, anyway. I can get a feel for it and make any alterations for Anime North. At least I'm starting off the con season with an accomplishment!

I'm hearing that my friend Ammie will be potentially going to the con tomorrow so I'm looking forward to seeing her. I really don't have any plans except to wander around, hopefully run into friends and to check out the vendors and artist areas. Crossing my fingers that it'll be an exciting day!

February 26th, 2017
It's almost been a full month since my last update. February has really flown by! That's pretty much the curse of getting older. You start to feel like time is accelerating. Anyway, I've been working on and off on my Madoka school uniform costume over the last few weeks. I've been slacking a bit since early on in February due to some events as well as playing through Resident Evil 7, but I finished RE7 and I've been getting back into the swing of things again with sewing. RE7 turned out to be a pretty good game, by the way. I do miss the classic RE characters and the 3rd person perspective, but the plot was interesting and some of the scares were pretty terrifying.

Anyway, The blouse for Madoka is more than half done now. I need to put all the bias tape detailing and the lace around the hem and the bias tape around the collar as well as making the oversized cuffs for the blouse. Then the last thing to do is to attach the white undershirt and make the red front bow and this costume will be totally finished. At least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now! XD I didn't quite reach my goal of finishing the blouse by the end of February, but it's coming together so I can't complain. If I'm sticking to my goal of hopefully wearing the costume to March Toronto ComiCon, then I still have three weeks to finish the costume. Unless I run into a serious issue, then that should be a viable goal. I'm also going to be starting to take photos and organize the things that I plan to sell at the Nominoichi at Anime North in the next week or so. It's actually kind of a time consuming process so that's why I want to get Madoka out of the way a.s.a.p.

I don't think I'm going to start on anything else major for AN before the con. I have a silly costume project that Pan and I did work on last Monday, but it's at a bit of a standstill due to issues with the weight of the fabric so we'll see if we can get that to work for the con. I'm still debating about what to wear to AN and when. I'm actually thinking about bringing out my old Ashley costume for an RE4 table theme for the Nominoichi. Kind of a fun idea, but it all depends if the weekend is atrociously hot again. The hall where the Nomi is always heats up like an oven on hot days so that'll probably kill the idea. We'll see what happens in that case.

I almost forgot to post about this, but back on January 29th Pan gave me a late Xmas present and it was a total surprise. She made me the Candy Corn costume from Costume Quest! I've mentioned wanting to work on that a few times before. I was actually going to work on it last fall and I looked downtown for materials with Pan, but we could not find the right colours of polar fleece for the orange and yellow. I put the idea aside, but apparently Pan found the perfect colours in a Jo-Ann's in the States so she made it in January after her trip as my gift. She also made me the cute little hair clip the girl protagonist wears. We know in the game technically the Candy Corn costume is painted cardboard, but for versatility and cuteness I really wanted to do it out of fabric. It was such a sweet gift and I'm excited to wear that later in the year! Looks like I have an excuse to organize another Halloween shoot this year! (^_^)

March Toronto ComiCon is still the next event on the horizon so I'll be sure to post here before the event with my final costume and event plans. As it stands right now I'm only planning to go for one day, but I have yet to figure out what day that'll be. Probably Saturday or Sunday. I'm definitely looking forward to the day when I can update here that Madoka is finished. XD That's the costume that never seems to end and just keeps dragging on. Honestly, it seemed so insurmountable when I first started patterning it back in December so it's a pretty awesome feeling to think that it should be done in another couple of weeks!

January 27th, 2017
We're almost one full month into 2017 now and I've actually made quite a bit of progress with my Madoka school uniform costume. I've nearly finished making a dickey shirt to go underneath the blouse. It's nearly done because I'm not sure if I want it to be attached to the blouse or not, but I haven't made the blouse yet. I did just finish making the box pleated skirt and I'm super happy with how it turned out. I started it on Saturday and finished it on Wednesday after work. Next up I plan to start the blouse, which is the major part of the costume. All the detailing like the fake pockets, the puff sleeves, the lace and bias tape trim and the back bow will definitely take some time, but I hope it all comes together. I'm still aiming to get it done for the March Toronto ComiCon and with just under two months to go until the con, it does seem likely that I'll be able to get it finished. Knock on wood of course! I'll update here again once I start to make serious progress on getting the blouse done.

January 1st, 2017
It has only been a few days since my last update, but I just wanted to make a post regarding my Cosplay and convention experiences of 2016. I already discussed in my last update about my hopes for things to make and wear for this new year, but I forgot to discuss my overall Cosplay experiences of 2016. It's kind of nice to reflect on the year so here goes.

It's been a few years since I've had a busy con schedule for the year. Ever since I stopped going to US cons in 2012 and travelling to Montreal for Otakuthon in 2013, I haven't been attending a lot of events. Mostly I would go to Anime North and Atomic Lollipop, but in 2016 Atomic Lollipop was cancelled. That left a gap in my con year. Anime North went pretty well last year. It was a big improvement over 2015 when I was sick for part of the con. The Nominoichi (despite being a sauna) was a lot of fun and I sold a big chunk of what I brought. It was a really hot year overall so it was bit tough to Cosplay. Still, it was a nice con. Last year was the first year that I attended Fan Expo for multiple days since 2011. It was also my first time volunteering at the convention and working the masquerade. That was a fun experience especially since the masq wasn't too long. It was nice to see how the backstage worked and how everything came together to make a great show. I also attended the JCCC and Anime North's Halloween event and Fan Expo's December con (now called the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show). It was like a blast from the past attending those events because the last time I went to a December con or a Halloween event at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was practically a decade ago. Both events were great. I didn't Cosplay for the Holiday show and I remixed an old costume for the Halloween event, which was a nice choice.

Cosplay wise, 2016 was a pretty productive year, especially considering I only made one costume (Bulma's Battle of the Gods dress) in 2015 (and I didn't really get around to fixing up and re-wearing Dilandau in 2016 after debuting it in 2015). I worked on my Inkling Kid costume from Splatoon early in the year. It was mostly store bought clothing with some alterations, but it was fun working on the little details like the writing on the shirt and the mask. My friend Sierra did an amazing job on the hair tentacles for that. I debuted the costume at AN and it was really well received. Plus it was a great costume for the sweltering heat of the Nominoichi. My big costume for the year was Sakura Haruno from Naruto Shippuden. It looks like such a simple costume, but trying to get a decent fit on the shirt and make the skirt was really tricky. I spent the tail end of winter and most of the spring finishing that costume for Anime North. In the end I'm pretty proud of it and it was great to wear (even though the boots were murder on my feet). XD

My other two costumes for the year were Barbara Gordon's casual outfit from DC Super Hero Girls and Hermione from Harry Potter. I made Barbara's costume over the course of the summer for Fan Expo. Sadly the outfit was too obscure for people to recognize at Fan Expo. It was a pretty comfy costume besides the wig, which was super not comfortable. I had fun getting photos of that from Amanda and I love Barbara so I enjoyed Cosplaying her again. I do dream of one day Cosplaying Batgirl properly! My final new costume, Hermione, was mostly just a re-wear of my old Harry Potter costume. Pan and I bought new Gryffindor sweaters at Fan Expo to upgrade the look and I borrowed her Hermione wig. I have a new wig and a skirt coming this year so I can Cosplay Hermione again. It's a pretty comfy costume and it was nice to have something warm to wear at the Halloween event.

I also did a wonderful shoot of my Shinku costume in early October with Amanda so I made a small dent in my Cosplay photoshoot backlog. Hopefully I'll have more luck getting photos of some of my older costumes in 2017!

That pretty much covers the year. I did finish off the year by finally working on the pattern for my Madoka Kaname school uniform costume. I feel like the number of times I've mentioned wanting to work on or attempting to work on that costume in this website diary are too numerous to count. XD This time I hope it sticks and I actually get it done. So far the mock is looking pretty good. I was attempting to craft the sleeves on the 30th and they look alright. I want to work on the undershirt next to solidify the collar line on the blouse. I hope it works out! If all goes according to plan hopefully I can start working on the blouse for real by the end of the month. At least I'm already starting off the year with sewing. It definitely bodes well for 2017!

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