Thanks for the Fish

Another DragonCon is over and out! Four days of costumes, fandom and friends is really one of the highlights of my year.

This year was a little different in that I went solo Friday. My wonderful Honey had to work that day so we put Miss L on the bus Friday morning as usual, since he was working from home. It felt a little odd to head off without them and I was definitely glad it was just one day.

My professional commitments for the con were pretty minimal this year: two Costuming track panels, one Alternate History track panel, one fundraising event, a fashion show and judging a costume contest. Of course the hot summer weather that has been missing the majority of the season arrived just in time for DC. Yay?

Because I have been working on my next book, I majorly scaled back my costume plans. The only new costume I wore was the Snow Queen and my original plan was to wear my casual Wonder Woman on Friday, a geeky halter dress Sunday and the Snow Queen Saturday. (Most folks don’t costume Monday, me included.) Plans changed when I was invited to take part in the Vintage Vogue Fashion Show on Friday. I would have loved to include the Snow Queen in the show but it’s a major undertaking to put it on and I can’t do it without help. And it’s not exactly possible to drive while wearing it. I opted to reuse my aquanaut’s wife costume (updated with a new short-sleeve peasant top and my black wig) and managed to corral my son into lacing me up before he ran off to hang with his friends.

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Costuming is fun but costuming with your friends is even better! For me, the weekend really goes beyond that. Finding other people who love fabric and sewing as much as I do was so amazing and I feel so fortunate to have made friends who share that with me. Connecting with this crazy costuming bunch is like finding where I fit. I get to share this amazing career that I’m so passionate about where it intersects with these fandoms of so many things I love. I am constantly inspired and awed and able to help others achieve their goals, too. And this year I was able to spend even more time with some of my peeps, which made the weekend even more memorable (and maybe made for some unusually late nights, at least for me).

Saturday morning saw me hustling to get ready and into downtown far earlier than my body desired. It was painful but my sweet friend Meredith had connected me with her friend Pat so that I could get some nice pics in the Snow Queen. Worth it! (Photos by Pat Loika:)

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I lost track of how much time I spent on this costume. The basque, trained skirt ensemble, corset and bustle petticoat patterns I used are all from Truly Victorian. The Victorian Riding Hat is a pattern by Lynn McMasters. The coat is made with an aqua cotton no-wale corduroy from Joann with some Timeless Treasures Pearle on the faux vest. The skirt is a white cotton sateen (also from JA) with a gray apron. Faux fur accents on the collar and cuffs of the jacket and the hem of the skirt (15 feet of it!).

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My necklace is a one-of-a-kind piece by Andrea Wilkes of The Brass Button. I met Andi at last year’s Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain and was utterly captivated by her jewelry. I asked her at that time about possibly buying a necklace from her to wear with a costume. We emailed back and forth and I was overwhelmed with what she came up with. It’s stunning and just pulled together the look perfectly. (By the way, if you are local and planning to head out to Yellow Daisy Festival this weekend, she will be here, booth 78/79.)

Remember my comment about the weather? Yeah, it was 94 degrees on Saturday and the Con was packed. The Snow Queen all but melted. It was…uncomfortable. And also one of my longest days there: my last panel was not until 8:30. I love how it turned out and am so pleased with the ensemble but it was pretty miserable and I stripped down to my corset and petticoat for the walk back to the car. Yes, I walked through half of downtown Atlanta at nearly 10 p.m. on a Saturday night in my Victorian underwear. Keepin’ it classy.

My sweet girl did a little bit of costume wearing herself. On Sunday, she wore her Polly costume from the graphic novel, Polly & the Pirates by Ted Naifeh. It is one of her favorite reads and I knew the artist would be at the comic artist alley so we headed over first thing to see him and buy his newest comic, Princess Ugg.

photo 4 (1)He was so complimentary of her costume and happily signed the new comics we bought after he took a picture of her. And I was so happy he agreed to let me take a picture of the two of them. It made her day!

My wonderful publisher, C&T Publishing, has a cool product called kraft-tex that I thought would really inspire the folks who come to the Costuming track panels. I was able to get my hands on a few rolls, which I then passed on during one of my panels. I can’t wait to see what these folks come up with!

photo (12)One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing my young friend Caden on her first DragonCon panel. We met during DC last year, which was exciting for me because I had seen her winning entry in the Duck Tape Stuck at Prom contest and loved having the chance to tell her in person how awesome it was. I’m lucky to have gotten to know her over the past year and thought she did a fantastic job talking about working with duct tape (she’s second from left, flanked by thrifting costume babes Andrea Mast Kassel and Paige Gardner of CostumeArt).

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One Reply to “Thanks for the Fish”

  1. I went for the first time this year! Didn’t make it out to any costuming panels, but I had a blast seeing all of the creative things that other cosplayers came up with. Your snow queen is lovely, even though it was hot!

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