Sunday, June 26, 2011

Otakon 2011: Improving on Mother Nature?

You might remember the Mother Nature costume I made for my daughter for last year's big Anime convention in Baltimore. She was delighted at how much it was admired. Well, she has asked me to create a new costume for this year's convention... and this time, she wants me to go with her, so I will need a costume as well.

During her visit home this weekend, she brought out the sketches of what she envisioned for this year. It was all inspired by a pair of earrings she found during a trip to Philadelphia last week:

These are especially appropriate for her, seeing as how she is doing an internship on the Eastern Shore, and is intimately involved with all things aquatic. So, as a follow up to last year's Mother Nature, she wants to go as Mother Ocean.

Here is her initial concept sketch:

The sketch on the left shows the underdress, which she hopes to be able to re-use as a non-costume dress in the future. So she doesn't want any adornments on it (like the leaves on last year's dress). The sketch on the right shows the proposed wrap, with strings of shells as the sleeves and the wrap closure embellished with a large scallop shell. She's also envisioning a cape made of fish netting, adorned with shells and crabs and perhaps strands of seaweed (fake, of course... we don't want to be attacked by the seagulls in the Inner Harbor!).

We went to Joanns for a quick fabric search, to at least figure out colors and drapes. Here are the three we came away with:

The center teal fabric would be the underdress; I'm envisioning it done with Fortuny-like pleats (perhaps using this method for the pleating). We also picked up a yard of the pale blue chiffon on the right, as well as some white organza.

I'm going to make a trial version in half scale, just to play around with the style.

What do you think? Remember that the goal is to be noticed, and stopped for photographs. And what do you suggest I make for myself as a costume? I was thinking of making a jumpsuit covered with plastic grocery bags and water bottles, and going as the Pacific Garbage Dump, but Diana says that political costumes tend to be avoided. Oh well.


  1. This might be the perfect time to hand paint/dye some silk in ocean colors. I'm still thinking about your costume. . . .

  2. Would it be possible to have the wrap come down into a train with some wire in it to shape it like waves. Maybe with something lighweight like the organza?? Maybe something complementary for you like a beach theme... Whites to tans with some shells..maybe some sea oats embroidered around the bottom??

  3. Your design for the overlay looks beautiful - leave off the shell and you could wear that anywhere. Would the draping hinder movement if it's not from a stretchy fabric? You could also sew the overlay as a tiered dress, with each tier having a rolled hem possibly a lettuce edge to give a fluttering movement.

  4. Kristy's idea of lettuce edge tiers is a good idea.
    You could use such a technique to create a flowing, fluttering, sea flower of some type.
    The idea of using a basic dress with an embellished wrap is a really good idea! I love that manner of thinking! You could do the same for yourself as for your daughter, only you could be sea flower.


I would love to hear your thoughts... Please share!