Ahh, ye olde ren fest. So many jousts to see, turkey legs to sniff, ale to drink, an abundance of everything!
…Except for time if you only have a few months in order to put together a costume.
I am used to working through the winter on a comicon cosplay while collecting materials/making plans for the following Halloween’s costume. Then, after comicon, I spend all summer assembling my Halloween outfit while collecting/planning for next comicon. It’s a system! So adding in the challenge of a summer costume not only for me but also for my very-patient sister (who doesn’t usually cosplay but was nice to me and let me dress her up) made it a stretch. Needless to say, while these costumes are not my best work due to time constraints, I’m happy with the fact that I was able to put them together!
Now if you were alive during the nineties or are just a cool person, you’ll probably have heard of Xena: Warrior Princess. Set in the days of ancient Greece, this television series followed a repentant warlord, Xena, as she and her epic BFF Gabrielle, the Battling Bard of Potadia, went around the countryside righting wrongs and opening ass whooping on the bad guys. Personally, Gabrielle is my favorite. I love her character so much, not only because she is a writer (bard) but because she is kind, forgiving, and understanding. This character is definitely one of my role models and she has helped me salvage friendships and change my life for the better. Gosh, I love good characters.
So I designed her costume based off of my favorite look of hers: the classic Gabby, with a green crop top and a light brown skirt, accompanied by her trusty staff (aka the GabWhacker).
This costume seems simple at first glance, but the top of it gave me hell. It was easy enough to locate a green crop top, but I couldn’t seem to find the right fabric to make the light green corseting on the front of it. Everything was either too yellowish or too dark, or had a weird pattern on it. Eventually I ran out of time and just had to settle for felt that was easy to work with (recall that I suck at sewing, so this is a big priority for me). The skirt also had a few false starts because it also an odd color, but eventually I settled on a tan piece that was very flowy, which Gabrielle’s skirt definitely is in the series, allowing her greater movement.
One majorly important piece was her staff. I had no intention of paying the hundreds to thousands of dollars for a prop staff, so I went the crafty route. I paid my brother $1 to find a relatively straight walking stick in our bad woods, and he came through for me. I then gathered up twin, a blue sparkling piece of felt for the middle, faux fur and brown ribbon for the top, and I made that stick become a GabWhacker.
Step One: Lay the base piece of felt onto the stick and glue it all the way around. Step Two: Begin winding and gluing twine at the base of the felt, covering he bottom but leaving the middle open except for a criss-cross section. Repeat the winding and gluing at the top of the felt.
Step Three: Place the fauz fur at the top of the stick. Step Four: Use brown ribbon to seal the edges of the fur down.
Step Five: Treat your GabWhacker nicely and feed it three times a day with a mixture of ancient poetry and bad guy blood.
Skirt – Ebay (user debbiesperry) – $17.00
Shirt – Ebay (user thelovely2012) – $13.00
Materials (for the GabWhacker and the detailing on the crop top) – Meijers/Michaels Crafts/JoAnn’s Fabrics – abt. $15.00
Boots – (already owned) -$0.00
FINAL COST: $45.00
Of course, you can’t have a Gabby without a Xena, so I recruited by older sister to experience the joys of cosplay for the first time. Although I tried out some modeling clay to make her classic armor, I didn’t have enough time to get it to work and so it ended up falling apart. We decided that the two of us standing there together would get the image across even without the armor (and it did… one fan screamed and almost wet himself when he saw us walk by because he was so excited) so we went for a more streamlined version of Xena. This was relatively simple: a cheap corset off of ebay, a basic brown tank under that, a pair of costume gauntlets, a brown miniskirt, and a layer of faux leather fabric over the skirt to add length and mesh the colors together. My sister also ended up buying a set of brown bangs on amazon which really sealed the deal as far as the look… I don’t know how much they cost her, but it wasn’t very much.
Miniskirt – Ebay (user pinupgirlcloset) – $15.39
Corset – Ebay (user lynnstrawberrys) – $19.00
Boots – Already owned – $0.00
Gauntlets – Spirit Halloween (Summer Clearance Sale) – $10.00
Faux Leather Material – JoAnne’s Fabrics – abt. $20.00
FINAL COST: $64.39
My sister and Xena both share the “I’m just humoring this little person” look.