Queen Odette Making of Masterpost

Even to this day, I consider Queen Odette to be the most intense costume I've built AND worn. Just thinking about ever wearing this again gives me chills. I probably can't anymore, because my waist/torso will never be as small as they were when I tightened that corset all the way...

It used to be that in this blog, my progress and construction process for this costume was scattered in posts I made (almost in real time), but I'd rather have everything organized in one long post will all the construction details.

As I usually decide to do when it comes to complex costumes, I told myself to tackle the prop elements first. In this case, it meant the huge moon that is always hovering behind Odette. To get proportions right and all design details as accurately as possible, I trace the artwork from a reference picture to establish the shape.

tracing artwork in illustrator

I used blue insulation foam to build this prop. It's lightweight and had the right thickness so this moon wouldn't be flopping around. I printed the artwork, taped it all together (because I only have regular size paper sheets) and proceeded to pin the paper on the foam.

Unfortunately I couldn't have one huge solid piece to cut the shape from, and either way, I needed parts to be collapsible to ease transportation.

I used a hot knife/wand that is used to cut styrofoam. It's a slow process, but a little better than trying to cut this with a regular knife. Here you can see the pins I used to hold the paper template in place, and my cats making a mess of everything.

cat fight!

This is what the moon looks like after it's been assembled. The dark red lines mark where I will be chiseling away to give it a sculpted look.

Now it's time to paint, I gave it (at least 4) coats of gesso so the acrylic paint would actually stick to it. The topmost portion of the moon is attached with some wood sticks.

This is what my moon looks like after doing the basic coloring for it. I used metallic acrylic paints and in the final version put a sparkly gloss over it.

Well, what was going to be the next most difficult thing to tackle on this costume? The skeleton body. I had seen many other cosplayers tackle this part either by sculpting the bones themselves, or by stylizing this aspect of the character by making it part of the dress, painted or sequined on. I figured the only way for me to achieve a truly eerie and otherworldly effect was to get as close to human bones as possible.

Say hi to Bucky:
my bony friend, Bucky
Bucky is an anatomically accurate skeleton, the kind that is usually seen in classrooms or doctor's offices. One of these skeleton's runs about $80, and considering all the trouble it was going to save me, it was a worthwhile investment. The skeleton is fully articulated, it took some work detaching only the parts I needed.
Everything else I didn't use is still in storage, maybe one day you will be useful again Bucky-san...

I first gave the bones coat of glossy neon green acrylic. Here you can see the result:

 But of course, that wasn't enough, and I had to make the paint job extra creepy and eerie to match the artwork, like so:
it's all in the painting!
bonus cat sleeping in my work area
You probably didn't notice at first glance, but Queen Odette has two fancy ponytails on either side of her crown. I ordered two blond ponytail clips, so I could dye them a custom color. I think the reason I went about it this way, was because I could not find clips in the color I needed, but these days, there are more options.

I used Katie Blair's Petting Zoo Wig dye in Midnight blue.
wear gloves kids!
Now, although I ordered the clips from the same manufacturer, the shade was slightly different in both of them, and as result, the wig dye yielded different results. I worked around this by taking apart the wefts, and intermingling them when I was constructing the ponytails.

I wrapped a styrofoam piece with wefts from both clips, to even out the color, then wrapped them in this stretchy string so they would look as intended. All done! Except... how am I gonna attach them to the crown...? I'll worry about it later.

Speaking of the crown! I figured this piece should be pretty lightweight, but kind of sturdy, so while not yet figuring out how it will all work out in the end, I cut out the base shape from a huge sheet of craft foam/foamies. I only needed to trace one of the design elements to make my template (in yellow cardboard) and then I copied it onto the foamie sheet.

Well, here are all the basic shapes to the crown.

The scalloped edges were done simply with hot glue. I added a border of glue to the areas that needed that extra relief. I glued the ponytails to the side, and they magically stayed on. I used a little craft foam hat to attach the entire crown to, but it would flop down. I finally opted by buying a lamp shade that had a similar shape to what I needed, cutting it up, and using it as a support for the crown.

I could have made it with styrene, but it would've been too heavy. For some reason the lampshade was light and sturdy enough to keep the crown upright and rest on my head. It still gets pretty darn heavy after a few hours, and also because it has to be tightly secured on my head.

bonus cat on crown
Moving on to the sewing.
I spent a long time searching for the right fabrics for this costume. I decided to go with iridescent dupioni silk from SilkBaron. I had never spent so much money on textiles (about $200). The blue lace with triangular shapes, I found in the downtown fabric district, and was of course another good amount of $$$ but I fell in love with it and it was the perfect match, even if ultimately it was going to be trailing the bottom of the skirt.
I got a long sleeve black velvet shirt to use as the base body where they bones would be attached to.

The other blue decorations were made with foamies and painted.
my fabrics
Here are the cut up pieces for my corset cover. I was too inexperienced to make my own corset, and opted for buying an inexpensive (but great quality) one from TimelessTrends, which I would cover with a "faux" corset made from my fabric. I needed the corset to exaggerate my waist shape as much as possible.

Now I needed to tackle another point of Odette's design: her huge butt!!

This was achieved by wearing a bustle, which is an undergrament victorian ladies wore to have plump butts.

Of course, I couldn't buy such a thing, so I had to hand make my own using Laughing Moon's bustle pattern.

This kind of bustle was also lightweight, it didn't use any wires, I made it using only cotton batting and cheap muslin fabric. Definitely use a cheaper fabric, since it takes up quite a lot of material to construct.
bustle pattern

Now, this here is a pic I didn't want to post at the time, because it is so darn weird, but it's an important part of the costume: The humongous BREASTS. Scroll back up to the illustration to see how Odette's rack looks like she's growing watermelons on her undead chest instead of mammaries. As is usually the case with parts I completely lack knowledge, expertise, time and money in making myself, I decided to purchase a huge rack of tits.

make-up test
 These boobs are latex "implants" used by crossdressers; they are meant to be worn on top of the chest, but under clothes, under the right circumstances they look totally legit. I had to cut out some excess latex, and paint them blue to match, so while I was at it, I painted the nipples as well. My first time wearing this costume, my blue nipples were constantly exposed due to waldrobe malfunctions (poor construction), but at least they matched my face!

Junicorn working on her Mercedes costume
As the time for the event was fast approaching, cosplay workshop mode was permanently set up in my dining room, and Tewibewi started helping us all with getting things done

One of the costumes what was going to need plenty of assistance, was Inferno King Onyx. My boyfriend, who was cast as this chara, is pretty inept when it comes to being creative and figuring out cosplay. You can tell him what to do, and he will do it (painstakingly slow), so he struggled greatly in coming up with a pattern for the armor.

Inferno King Onyx!
The armor base is made with cardboard and then given thickness with layers of craft foam.

They were quickly painted with spray paint to give it a glowing effect.

After all our hard work, sweat, burned fingers and sleepless nights, this is what my dining room looked like the night before we left for the convention. We were ready to tackle Metrocon, but that turned out to be another ordeal and test of endurance...

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