I am planning on attending a photoshoot that is coming up in early December at the Forks in Winnipeg. The theme is holiday/winter and based on the view out my window, having snow won’t be a problem. Currently, I do not have much in the way of cold-weather costumes, as most of the cons and events I attend happen in warmer weather or indoors. But we are Canadians, and an outdoor photoshoot in December is not unheard of. I am excited for this one and the cosplay opportunity it presents. Now that C4 is a year away, I’ve found myself struggling to find enough inspiration for projects to keep me busy. This event has renewed my motivation.
The first idea that immediately came to mind was Yue, from the animated Avatar series. I’ve wanted to cosplay her from the moment I saw her appear in the series. I love her sad story and self-sacrifice. She also has fantastic hair and fashion sense. A winter photoshoot would be the perfect excuse to make her character a reality. Excitement built as I looked at pictures and envisioned fabrics until I looked at my calendar and realized I had just under three weeks to do it in. This is definitely a costume I want to do well and put the time in to make it perfect. Three weeks is not enough time to satisfy my perfectionist attention to detail.
I was feeling a little crushed until I realized that I live in Manitoba and winter is the longest season of the year. I have plenty of time for another snowy photoshoot in the new year. Oddly consoled by our long winters, I began a furious google search for winter themed characters and outfits that were simple enough to satisfactorily complete in my short timeline. I stubbornly refused to do anything from Frozen for now because it’s everywhere and I prefer to stay in my lesser-known niche of comfort. Also, if I ever was to cosplay Elsa I would want my sister to be Ana, and she is currently in another province.
That is when I remembered that one of my favourite Disney characters, Belle, has a whole winter scene in her movie. I pulled up the google search and was delighted to find a sweet pink dress and luxe warm red cape.
Done. I’ve always identified with Belle’s character and she’s been on my cosplay list for a while. I’m not terribly fond of her yellow ballgown and have thought her blue dress to be rather plain. Looking at pictures of winter Belle, I felt new inspiration course through my thoughts. I already have some pink and red fabric laying around and several dress patterns that fit her style perfectly. I’m anticipating the hardest thing for me to obtain will be the white fur. Faux fur tends to run on the pricy side so I’m hoping for a seasonal sale or a lucky Value Village find.
I was so excited to start planning for this costume that I had trouble sleeping. I got up earlier than usual and dove into my fabric stash.
I knew I had picked up a beautiful red felt remnant from Value Village a couple months ago. Belle’s cape was the perfect use for it and it matched what I had pictured exactly. I even found a red bed sheet that would do nicely as a lining. However, I only have about two meters of it. Most cloak patterns require at least four to get the beautiful flow. Luckily, the cape only covers Belle’s back and upper shoulders in the pictures so I’m hoping to get away with making a rather skimpy cape. Otherwise I will have to go buy more fabric. I decided to start with the cape so that I can get a rough estimate of how much faux fur I will need when I go fabric shopping for a third shade of pink fabric for the dress. Also capes are supposed to be easy, right?
It is my plan to post my progress on this costume so that anyone who is curious can see my scattered process. It involves a lot of guessing, trial-and-error, and picking out seams. My hope is that you might learn something useful or at least be entertained.