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 -+-

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

-+- Past Updates -+-

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

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 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!

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