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We had a smaller group of entries for Challenge #7, but they impressed our judges!  A big thank you to our wonderful judges:  Artemisia Moltabocca, Cindy Piselli and Liz Kearns!

And here are the winners:


Third Place:  ”Cyber Harley Quinn” by Leah “Lamia” Lloyd!

Leah's fantastic Cyber Harley Quinn

Leah’s fantastic Cyber Harley Quinn

Leah says:  “The shoes were $12.99, which I decorated with glitter $1.99 per color.

The black gloves I already owned, and had been used for a costume last year. Red gloves $3.99.

All of the black and red tulle was stash, a gift from a friend who had been clearing out her workroom.

The crinoline beneath it was a $1.99 monstrosity off ebay.

Amazing glitter covered shoes!

Amazing glitter covered shoes!

The white ankle socks were $1.25. All of the stockings were bought years ago, possibly over 10 years ago.

The corset was $13.99 (plus shipping). The rhinestone zipper was in stash from a fabric outlet that sadly went out of business last autumn.

Dreads were all from stash, red disassembled from a July 4 set, the candy stripes disassembled from a winter holiday set, and the remainder from never opened bags of crin stuffed onto shelves.

Close-up detail of the corset.

Close-up detail of the corset.

Stretch lace for cyberlox from stash.

Pompoms from stash, leftover from a White Bone Demon Chinese Opera costume.

Bells from stash, and the white spray paint liberated from the husband’s basement workspace.

The black rhinestones were ALL leftover from last year’s sexy Corinthian costume.

The large clear lozenge rhinestones were $4.38, and the red lozenge rhinestones were $4.23.

Collar was $.79 worth of tulle sewn onto a remnant of single fold white bias, and the velcro was from stash.

Sassy side view!

Sassy side view!

Bracelet from personal collection.

Total: $47.59

Judges’ comments:

“Very good use of personal stash! Recycling from older costumes, or shared costume pieces is a great way to stretch your budget. The sewer uses ebay for part of her pieces, a great way to purchase at lower prices. Making use of your friends’ giveaways is also a wonderful way to “shop” for free materials. I love the dreads, and reworking them from one costume to another is a brilliant way to save on wig prices.”

Proof that a lot of fun can be had without spending a fortune! The amount of detail that went into this costume is impressive, not to mention the very savvy shopping. Recycling and updating pieces you already have is very wallet- and eco-friendly. Bonus points for the double budge-friendly aspect of many of the pieces: the gloves can continue to be used for many different costumes, as can the ruff, the petticoat, and even the shoes (I can see those being worn as a touch of everyday geekiness). Ultimately, I am most impressed by how precisely the iconic Harley design was applied to the shoes and corset. Applying rhinestones and glitter cleanly takes a steady hand and abundant patience.  Best Use of Stash! I only wish I had raver dreds and oodles of rhinestones in mine.

“Excellent reuse of old costumes, and stash items. A very pretty interpretation of Harley Quinn. I’m most impressed by the beautiful and delicate $0.79 collar. I also love her expressive posing, as a good pose can elevate a costume’s grandeur tenfold.”

Congrats Leah!

Second Place:  ”Ringwraith” by Rose Jones!

Rose's creepy Ringwraith!

Rose’s creepy Ringwraith!

Rose says:  “This costume has been on my list to make for a very long time, mainly because I could never quite work out how to do it properly. I knew it had to have enough menacing presence to live up to the books, and still be practical enough to really do stuff in.

The ringwraiths from the latest Lord of the Rings films were my primary inspiration because I thought they were marvellously gothic. I also wanted it to be so black it as to almost eat the light.

My main problem was how to construct the thing without spending a fortune on meters of material or ending up with not enough fabric, so it resembled like a cheap Halloween costume.

Ringwraith pattern.

Ringwraith pattern.

The first part of the answer came when I was handed 12 m of loosely woven black cotton net, from my family. This fabric gave exactly the right matt black when layered, was translucent in single layers and frayed most satisfactorily at the hems. These effects can be seen in the first image, which is admittedly backlit. It was originally bought to make witch dresses, of which 0.5 m was used. This left me with 11.5 m.

The other materials used were: 2 m black cotton, which I ordered online but turned out to be unsuitable for its intended purpose (a harry potter robe), 0.5 m of a stiff polyester/nylon net I got in a bargain multi-pack at a fabric shop, leftovers of some synthetic velveteen and some black ribbon from my scraps bag, and the tail end of a coil of milinary wire.

Side pose!

Side pose!

The price breakdown is therefore as follows, taken entirely from leftovers from other projects:
11.5 m cotton net at £1 per m = £11.50
2 m cotton at £2.50 m (incl. shipping) = £ 5
0.5 m polyester net = £ 0.20
Oddments of ribbon, scraps of velveteen, 0.5 m wire, black thread = £ 0 (because they have lurked about for so long, I have forgotten what I paid for them. But they are small scraps, anyway)
Total cost: £ 16.20 (US $ 25.14 at today’s exchange rate)

I made it in the same way as one would make Viking tunics, with arm gussets to give an excellent range of arm movement. I gave it a back slit for the same reason. The outer hood and cloak layer were draped triangles. The inner hood was lined in the velveteen to give a light-absorbing effect. I’ve included a diagram of the layers in sequence (please excuse the shaky MS paint image), to give an idea of how it’s put together. All layers were attached at the neck only, so they move independently. The red line is a section of wire to support the hood.



The final part of the costume is a mask of the last of the velveteen (so the hood and face blend together), with a strip of the nylon net across the eyes and nose, and slits slashed to allow easy breathing. This results in a rather convincing illusion of darkness under most lighting (you can see a blank head under the rest, which doesn’t spoil the look, thankfully), but which is surprisingly easy to see out of (like looking through sunglasses). The last image is number 3 with the contrast ramped up so you can see more details. This is a close approximation of what it looks like under bright light. None of the other images have been manipulated in any way.

The result is a costume that is exactly what I wanted. It’s has a menacing, gothic presence and with layers that trail and flutter with movement while being easy to move in, easy to see out of, easy to breathe and will fit a large range of sizes. It can however get a bit hot, so I’m working on a cooling system for it.

Darker exposure.

Darker exposure.

This costume has already starred as a small pantomime ghost (with hems pinned up for the occasion), and a Dementor in a forest. It’s also surprisingly fun to play about with, especially when accessorised with flowers.

Special acknowledgements to Red Dragon longsword club for assistance in taking these epic pictures, including borrowing props.”

Judges’ comments:

Wonderful cosplay. I think it would be very hard to make this without looking like a solid black “ghost” costume. The sewer did a nice job layering the fabric, and has succeeded in a light, almost ethereal look, by choosing the correct material. The choice of velveteen for the inner hood was an excellent choice for a deep, dark effect. One pound per meter is a great price, keeping the budget low with room for other items. However, with the good use of scraps, not many additional purchases were needed. Half the budget was used, good job!

My favorite part of this cosplay is the careful planning and thoughtful construction. All of the many carefully crafted layers work together to give the silhouette shape, dimension, and movement. The artist succeeded: this is no average, nebulous “ghost” outfit! The final outfit has excellent presence and allows the iconic sword to pop. The effect is very eerie and in a dark hall, the cosplayer will just melt into the shadows. If I met this wraith along a wooded path, I would certainly think only of hiding and of crawling, and of death! I would love to see this in person so I could see how the costume moves.

“This is a great example of how a seemingly simple design can project emotion. Extra points for making the mask work perfectly with the robe. This costume not only makes me notice it, it makes me feel it. Also, extra, extra points for already reusing this budget-friendly costume.”

Congrats Rose – you have also won the prize for least amount of money spent!

First Place:  ”Joffrey Baratheon”  by Bethany Padron!

Bethany's Joffrey Baratheon, as modeled by a friend.

Bethany’s Joffrey Baratheon, as modeled by a friend.

Bethany says: “All Parts completed as of 1/3/2015
Tax included in retail prices.

The original Joffrey from "Game of Thrones."

The original Joffrey from “Game of Thrones.”

Gold and Red damask curtains from Goodwill Linens $5.98= $6.40
Bag of Christmas Trim from Goodwill (on sale) $0.75= $0.80
Velvet sash from garage sale = $12.00

Inspiration artwork.

Inspiration artwork.


Lannister Lion Pin
Decapitated Plastic Lion from Wal-Mart $1.77= $1.89
Triple-Ply cardboard from dumpster
Paper Doilies from Wal-Mart $4.97= $5.32
Metal yardstick from junk sale $1.00= $1.00
Sculpey (3 packages) from JoAnns $2.29= $7.35

View with crossbow.

View with crossbow.

Gold Spray Paint from Ace Hardware $4.99= $5.34
Large Amber ring from Goodwill $2.69= $2.89

Pensive side view.

Pensive side view.

From Stash:
Earrings for crown centerpiece from stash
Arrow, string and mylar tape from stash
Hot Glue from stash
Silver ring and red ring from stash
Leggings and Boots, models own.

Royal front view.

Royal front view.

Total: $42.99

Judges’ comments:

“I am impressed by the sewer’s creative eye while searching for thrifty components to this costume. Christmas trims and curtains from the Goodwill make a $19 royal robe. I like the use of the metal yardstick on the crossbow, and the decapitated lion head for the Lannister pin. Creating a crown from sculpty to the specifications needed for the character, shows good use of inexpensive materials.  True meaning of thrifty costume. From Goodwill, junk sales and even dumpster diving, the completed costume is something to be proud to wear. The crown was the most creative budget item and came out perfect. This costumer has an eye for finding little treasures to convert to needed accessories for the project at hand. Excellent depiction of the character.

“A perfect example of thrift and ingenuity! The interplay of textures is fabulous and the craftmanship of the crown is mind blowing– instantly recognizable and matches the inspiration image perfectly. The crossbow is especially clever. The overall effect is well thought out and complete–quite a feat for for spending less than $50 for the lot, including props!  Met and exceeded the spirit of the competition by using nearly ever thrifty trick in the book to create a complete, top-notch cosplay from start to finish. When I think of a well made, inexpensive homemade costume, this is precisely what I picture. I want to know what pattern was used for the tunic!

“I’m particularly impressed by the Sculpey crown. It goes to show that a custom detailed accessory CAN be had for less than $8. The fabrics play well together. I love how the attention to detail makes this costume come alive from the image.  Pro: Least amount of reused items. The amazing crown, and crossbow, are part of the cost of the costume. I love that I’m seeing a head to toe completed costume that can be recreated by anyone that DOESN’T have an extensive costuming stash. Con: I can’t find any fault with this costume.  Well done. ”

Congrats Bethany!


Thank you to everyone for making Challenge #7 such a success!  We are looking forward to seeing what you can come up with for Challenge #8!

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