My First Time Sewing: Sailor Moon Cosplay Update

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Ever since I started watching Sailor Moon early in the morning before I went to school, I knew I wanted to dress up as her. These were the Neopets and LiveJournal days! This allowed me to discover the world of cosplay easily after a CompuServe search of ‘Sailor Moon Costume’. The fact that people were making their own Sailor Scout outfits was so awesome to me. My mom had the mystical power of knowing how to sew, but for some reason that didn’t seem like enough to me. I wanted to be the one who created Usagi. I wanted the glory.

This led to a Young Anne requesting sewing lessons.

Young Annes are renowned to get frustrated easily... I never completed a sewing project which ranged from Christmas stockings to quilts. Looking back, I’m sure that frustrated my family but they were always supportive. Thus, I received my very own sewing machine upon moving out. Life happened and I never opened it... until now.

Cosplay has always been fascinating to me. I creep almost every great cosplayer on Instagram and watch a large menagerie of cosplay YouTube videos. Despite devouring the media, I’ve never made anything even with super glue.

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Fate would have it that about two years ago, I was walking around WalMart and saw the best thing ever. A sewing section! The closest sewing/hobby store to me was Michaels and Joann’s and both were about one hour away. Shockingly, the first pattern I pull out of the WalMart sewing cabby is Simplicity S0254 with is obviously Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon.

It had to be a sign.

I didn’t start sewing until a few months ago and by sewing, I mean trying to cut out too many pieces of pattern and fabric!

You would think that’s the easiest part but you’d be wrong. I guess there are things called the nap of the fabric which I completely disregarded so all the stretch is all wrong. I had no idea what selvages were.

Thank god for Google and that’s assuming I was reading everything else right and not making assumptions. Sewing is a completely new language which us non-sewists have no idea about. There’s also a few unwritten rules which I’ve only scratched the service on.

1. Apparently, you’re supposed to pin your entire pattern first before you even think about cutting.

2. I am not completely convinced that you have to wash your fabric before you work with it. Project Runway doesn’t?

3. Just because I don’t understand what pinning with the nap of the fabric means, doesn’t mean I should gloss over that detail and not do it.

After what seemed like ages, I had finally finished cutting everything last week! The takeaway lesson from cutting is attention to detail. Yes, it may seem simple to follow the lines, but sorting out the material and keeping them in piles and in number order would’ve saved me time.

This week, I finally started sewing.

I’m actually getting the hang of it. There’s more vocabulary that I didn’t know. For example, don’t baste fabric the way you would a turkey.

Of course, I’ve ripped out almost every seam I’ve put in due to a few problems like sewing stuff upside down, inside out, etc but I can say with confidence this is the farthest I’ve ever gotten on any pattern ever. I guess the only way to learn for me is to be motivated by the end state. I am so excited to one day cosplay as Sailor Moon that I’m willing to go through the hustle of trying this pattern that is way too advanced for me.

I finished the top part of the body suit, but alas, it doesn’t fit over my head. Guess I will have to add in my own zipper or try to redo it or add in another panel? It’s all very unclear.

Sewing kind of feels like the test they made you take in grade school where they showed you images of a piece of paper being folded and then stapled, and you had to answer with the correct image of where the staple holes would be if you unfolded it again.

Mind is blown.

Wish me luck on this cosplay. Maybe I will finish it before Halloween?

One Day I Will Get This Blogging Thing Right

Celebrating my birthday in Iraq

Celebrating my birthday in Iraq

Every time I start to get into blogging, it feels like it’s when I’m the most healthy mentally. This isn’t meant to imply that when I’m not blogging I’m losing my mind, but in actuality, it means I am very tired. For example, this recent hiatus I will chalk up to having bad WiFi overseas. After deployment, life hit me hard.

I’m a Battery Executive Officer (XO) now which means I am assistant to the boss. Not the main boss of course. It is a lower level than the Battalion Commander. His ‘assistant’ is a Major who is also an XO. I refer to him as ‘Big XO’ as so others don’t think I’m talking about myself in the third person. I focus on things like supply, ordering, and maintenance. While I work later then I want (1900 ish?) I would say that my command climate is very healthy. The Soldiers get to leave way before me so it’s administrative office work I’m finishing up. Of course, every day is an unexpected struggle/experience but that’s part of the Army.

Matt is already in Colorado after having graduated from Captain’s Career Course. His life is more desk work and while he likes that, it actually reminded me that I do not. I’m okay with having a hybrid job of desk life and motorpool life. While I hate sweating for no reason, I also hate my windowless office. At the end of the day, firing artillery is so badass that it makes up for the sweat.

Despite all the normal and healthy stress I have going on, I do want to keep blogging through it. It might be some experimenting to see what that looks like for me in reality. Recently, I downloaded a ‘brain app’ on my phone to study. It had basic math and reading skills all the way up to college level skills. I got to advanced reading, intermediate writing, and just barely cracked intermediate math before I deleted it. It was tedious and made me panic about taking the GRE one day. We all know that is going to be an ~*Emotional Event*~.

Oddly, this silly phone app made me realize that everything is a perishable skill. Because of this, I need to start actually doing intellectual things like writing - even if blogs aren’t the equivalent of reading War and Peace.

The key is just doing something...anything.

When I first started Active Duty, I thought a huge mistake I had made was that I would work and come home and do nothing (IE eat and watch TV). I got through every episode of Pretty Little Liars as a 2LT.

My hypothesis was I got so wound up because all my success and life revolved around my job. I couldn’t reflect on the week with any sense of pride. I couldn't say, "I completed this drawing or wrote this post", instead it was, "omg I haven’t completed anything at work or at life or at all! I’m dying!"

Since then, I’ve tried to do an ‘Anne Thing’ every night but I’ve been falling into the TV pattern again, but this time feels healthier.

My best friend Jackie is a connoisseur of television - she works for The Ellen Show and majored in Television at Fordham. She humors me when I text her about the political implications of Brooklyn Nine Nine (noice noice) and offers her thoughts on Todd Offerman when I live text her about the show Making It. Before, I was keeping to myself. It wasn’t watching TV that was so bad, it was just living quietly. Now that I’m reaching out about what I am doing, even if it’s just a text, it feels so much more refreshing.

You could even say that watching TV is essential to anyone striving to be a good writer. Most of the writing I know takes some semblance of mainstream media as a reference and a way to connect with the reader. The biggest thing about only watching TV after work is that it depends on what you do with it.

Crafting and blogging is a natural way to reach out. After you make something, you want to show it to the world because you’re so proud. Blogging is writing and leaving your journal in a public bathroom and letting people view it.

Hopefully, I have a Brooklyn Nine Nine themed blog post soon.

Back Home In Time For Summer

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Getting back to the states has been amazing. It isn't just getting to do fun things like drink alcohol, but it's getting to simply relax. My job wasn't very hard at all - I wasn't lifting heavy things or having to go without a shower - but there is something to be said about having weekends completely free. As I worked more on call and made my own hours, I still worked everyday which meant no lazing around or being unavailable. Just the thought that someone can need you at any moment is a lot more stress than you'd think. Again, I'm not saying my job was ridiculously hard, but I certainly learned to enjoy the comforts I take for granted back home.

For example, I always wore a bra to bed just in case of indirect fire. I didn't want to run and take cover with nothing under my shirt. 

Sorry if that's TMI.

Once arriving home, after a week of reverse SRP (blood work, finance paperwork, etc for Army to file), I got to go to Arizona to see my fiance, parents, and cat!

The summer was pretty simple. Visited home which included getting to see some old friends from high school like Liz, Sara, and Sam. We played through an entire deck of cards.

We also got to visit Matt's family friend in Sedona which was awesome. We had good conversation with her and got to hike during the day time.

Since we were decently close to the Grand Canyon we also stopped by there where we didn't hike but just gawked around with the rest of the tourists. Instagram is really changing the game at National Parks. I once read an article that people think it's bad as the sudden influx of people is causing the growth along paths to be stunted and that enjoyed the quiet of the great outdoors is almost impossible now... check out this NPR article. While I understand the sentiment, I think it's unfair to say that. Sure, at the Grand Canyon it's almost comical to see hundreds of girls from around the world dressed like an Urban Outfitters front page instead of hiking boots walking around on the ledges but at the same time, if they are going where visitors are allowed to go, why not? The tone of those articles are always concerning to me because it implies that you have to be special visit national parks when that's the exact opposite of what national parks are supposed to be for. While that article mentions some really bad stuff (like waste disposal problems), maybe it's a call for national parks to build up their infrastructure. Apparently at Horseshoe Bend, they've started to build a fence around the area so visitors don't fall to their deaths. Is it annoying for photos? Probably, but they're ready and if you've been to the town around Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, I'm sure you can agree that the town is in love with the tourist revenue. And again, that's okay for them to be! 

I actually plan 90 percent of my vacations with Instagram. What better why then to find what their is to see then to see what others have already proven is awesome?

Me doing Savasana/Corpse Pose to join the yoga pose Instagram trend.

Me doing Savasana/Corpse Pose to join the yoga pose Instagram trend.

While in Arizona, Matt and I also got to do a lot of wedding planning which included: seeing the venue; meeting with our DC/MC and picking all our songs (we are still stumped on first dance song, any suggestions?!?!); and meeting with the florist. We also got a timeline which means I'm just one motivated Sunday away from actually ordering the formal invitations.

It's coming sooner than I think, I have a feeling. I still need to do dress fitting and buy things like shoes...real tempted just to wear flip flops since no one will see them but at the same time my brain really wants Louboutin shoes just because I can use the event as an excuse to spend all that money... we shall see. Probably not heels though because I'm not trying to fall down in front of my entire family.

While we were traveling, I managed to get Matt to start using my camera so I can be in artsy shots too! Here is his progression: