Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thanks, DragonCon! and Cosplay lessons I learned

This year was one of the best DragonCon events ever! I credit the cooler weather and great friends to my experience.

You always learn something new about yourself and your cosplay after several hours of wear. My lights Princess Serenity dress will be returning to the repair shop before Anime Weekend Atlanta. Here's what I learned to help you with avoiding these mistakes in your build.

This was a hands-on cosplay.
As in, I always was carrying my dress in my hands. I knew my dress was long and space is a commodity so there would be a lot of holding while walking. I did not estimate the difficulty of walking while holding my dress and a drink (a DragonCon staple, in my opinion). I also had to hold it up more chiffon very high to prevent accidental dress smashing.  I will investigate adding some holds to the dress for easier crowd navigation.

** Update! By shortening my chiffon train, it was much easier to move in a crowd. I also practiced holding my dress up so I could move in a crowd. Practice makes perfect.

I drain batteries...fast.
This could have easily been a charing mistake, but I ran through three battery packs in one night of wear. My first battery is a li-poly battery that's 3.7volts/2500mAh. After that I had the quick phone rechargers for backup (5volts/5000mAh). I think the phone rechargers are pushing too much too fast. Also, those phone rechargers did not fit in my battery pocket. I placed them in my purse and had a very visible wire show.  I'll add a second pocket that is tube shape to hold those in place. Good news is those tubes fit perfectly in my wristlet purse!

** Update! I purchased a larger battery size and made sure to charge everything the night prior. Between the extra cell size and adding a switch (see below) I only used two batteries for the entire 12 hour day.

My arms change size.
I never added the elastic band to my sleeve puffs as they stayed on fine in the house. They moved around a bit more when I was dancing all night. I've made a mental note to complete that part of the cosplay for a better fit.

Sharing your cosplay character's name is confusing.
My name is also Serena. I was often confused the first minute or two of conversation when people called me Serena and I wasn't sure if they were talking to me the real person or about the character me. It made it hard for me to know when it was a friend or a random person calling me from across the room.

I need a better switch.
While I certainly could reach my on/off switches, it was a bit of pain. I liked turning the dress off when in panels (distracting) and when in outside light (waste of batteries). I resolved to have a switch I could access without bending over backwards to hit it.

New butt switch!
** Update! Using some JST extenders, I hooked up a switch at my hip. I ran wiring and switch through a fabric tube that I sewed to the back. Now I can turn my lights on/off with a butt tap.