Morpheus - Ramadan and Dream Hunters
Worn at: Torcon 3 (Worldcon 2003), TT18
Awards won: Best Workmanship in Class (Journeyman) - Torcon 3; Most Beautiful Presentation (Journeyman) - Torcon 3
When I heard Worldcon was coming to Toronto, I knew I had to do something unbelievably fancy just to fit in. I'd seen pics of previous Worldcon masquerades, and the bar is pretty damn high.
Then the two-doll set of Dream Hunters and Ramadan Morpheus was released, and I knew I HAD to make them. ^_^ What followed was almost 2 years of planning and work. -.-;; And I don't even want to THINK about how much money I spent on these costumes....x_x;;
I used the dolls as my main reference, especially with Ramadan, but with Dream Hunters each illustration of Amano's is a bit different so I felt free to pick and choose elements and use artistic license.
We were really rushed getting ready for the Masquerade, of course, so the makeup isn't perfect, but we got compliments on it so I guess it was ok. -.-;;
Corset: The corset is made from scratch with a pattern I created. It took a lot of digging before I found just the right fabric--something blackish, but not just plain black. The fabric has a beautiful reddish shimmer and a neat crinkled effect.
Vest: Hand-sewn from rather expensive (but gorgeous) black lace. The front opening is wired, with black satin lapels and hand-beaded.
Leggings & sleeves: Made from black spandex. The sleeves have wire at the hand openings to keep the right shape, with hand-painted buttons and beaded edges.
Ruby: I searched for months in vain to find a large jewel that I could use for the ruby, to no avail. I ended up making a mold by hand and casting it in resin (with the help of my good friend Michael McMaster of Skullmoon.com) and polishing like a madwoman to get it nice and shiny.
Jewellery: The fox-head belt buckle was carved in wax and then cast in bronze. The bracelets were shaped out of sheet wax and I then melted holes randomly to give that lacy effect. Finding a casting house that would do bronze casting was an endeavour...most places looked at me like I was stupid or something. These pieces were NOT cheap; the price of having five pieces (each bracelet is two pieces) cast, even in an inexpensive metal like bronze, really added up. After casting, I had to saw off and grind down the sprues and then do a lot of polishing (courtesy of my trusty Dremel). The necklace, earrings and other jewellery are all hand-beaded. Despite the amount of beads in this costume, I still have a lot of beads left over. -.-;; I went kind of crazy at the bead store...
Wig: A punky/Tina wig from Witchwigs, unfortunately not the greatest quality as it was tangled horribly by the end of the night. Using the 10th Anniversary Sandman poster as reference, I braided beads and stuff into the wig and left it long.
Cloak: The shoulderpads are two layers of felt with wire mesh sandwiched in between, shaped and then hardened with white glue. I coloured them with metallic acrylics and they button onto the corset. The cloak is 3 layers--silver-spangled black velvet on the outside and silver/violet metallic crinkle in the middle. For the inner layer I used a technique featured in Threads magazine, in which you sandwich beads, ribbons, etc. between two layers of tulle, securing the items by sewing randomly around them. It worked nicely, but I ended up sewing it entirely by hand as I found that my machine puckered the tulle horribly. -.-;;
Boots: Bought from a thrift store, with extra bands and cuffs made from a thrift-store leather skirt and gold puff-paint. The additions are attached with elastics and velcro. These boots gave me a blister. -.-;;
This one, made for my husband Stuart, didn't have as many components as my Dream Hunters costume... but it was still a lot of work. The most time-consuming part of this costume was, of course, the massive cloak.
Cloak: It's completely hand-painted with silver fabric paint, and then I sewed sequins and beads to the centre of the 'flowers' so it would sparkle. This cloak represents at least 3 weeks of almost non-stop work. It's huge and extremely heavy (not to mention hard to walk around in) but it drapes beautifully and I'm very proud of it. When we saw the pictures on Monday Stuart peered at them and said "I can't believe you did that..." Actually, neither can I. *lol*
Gown: The gown is 2 layers--the underlayer is cornflower blue satin, with a dusty rose chiffon overlayer. I actually bought about 4 different fabrics for this robe as I kept changing my mind what I wanted to do...fortunately at least one of the extra fabrics ended up being used for something else (my cloak lining). I was quite meticulous and made a point of finishing my seams properly...which meant French seams for the chiffon layer and bias binding for the satin. The sleeves of the overlayer are embellished with gold and purple puff-paint spirals, which unfortunately you can't see in any of the pictures. The sash was made from a lavender dress I found at Value Village.
Shoes: I sewed black fabric onto plain cotton kung-fu shoes to make the pointy Ramadan shoes. They were a last-minute job but turned out quite nicely.
Wig: Another punky/Tina wig, this one better quality for some reason. I sewed streaks of blue into the wig (which you can't really see here), chopped it shorter and styled it with hair glue to get it spikier. This wig later became Hilda's wig.
Jewellery: The collar is just interfaced cloak fabric with big acrylic jewels attached and gold puff-paint. I wanted to put beads all around each jewel, but just didn't have time. The bracelets are mostly found here and there, with one that I beaded to be fancier. The gloves were bought for $10.
Pic#6 is from the official Torcon Masquerade pictures and may not be copied or distributed.
Pic#15 thanks to ikegami.