• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
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The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don.

More Blog Posts27

  • 22 weeks
    Come on Down to Ponyville and Meet Some Friends of Mine

    For about the last three years, the last line of my story ideas document has held five words. Right at the bottom, at the very end of the 'crossovers' section (I've never written a crossover, and have only enjoyed reading a single one, so you can see just how low-priority they are for me), it says:

    Twilight Sparkle in South Park

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    8 comments · 120 views
  • 31 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part IV

    Day One!

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    18 comments · 201 views
  • 33 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part III


    I wanted to do this whole blog thing in chronological order, but there was so much to say about making the costume I did, which I’m sure is quite the minority interest to people here mostly to hear of Aragon’s antics, that I thought it’d be better in a separate section.

    Read More

    20 comments · 233 views
  • 33 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part II

    Getting There!

    Travel insurance is a useful thing to have if anything bad happens to you. If your flights are messed up, if something goes wrong with the hotel, etc, it’s travel insurance that’ll get you your money back. Most importantly, it covers medical costs where you’d have to pay for that sort of thing.

    But I’d be fine. Nothing was going to go wrong.

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    12 comments · 186 views
  • 33 weeks
    The Great Bronycon Blog - Part I

    I felt that the last Bronycon deserved remembering, recalling and recording in detail. To preserve for posterity as full a picture of it as I can manage. Because its like will not come again. That doesn’t mean the fandom is done, or that there’s any less love involved. I will be here for years to come. So will you. For all I know, the best days of FIM fanfiction are yet to come. And, after the

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    13 comments · 243 views

The Great Bronycon Blog - Part III · 5:02pm Aug 15th, 2019


I wanted to do this whole blog thing in chronological order, but there was so much to say about making the costume I did, which I’m sure is quite the minority interest to people here mostly to hear of Aragon’s antics, that I thought it’d be better in a separate section.

So, on July 2nd, I started ordering costume stuff.

Choosing and buying the goggles took two minutes. The boots, a little longer, but there was still no stress with getting them. The wings I already had. And the ears I found from a seller on Etsy. Only time I’ve ever bought anything from Russia, and the customs and import charges cost more than the item itself. Won’t be doing that again.

The flight suit, though, that was a much bigger concern. I’d put off buying it, taking time to make sure I had the measurements exactly right and stuff. But I left it way too long, and the earliest possible delivery day was a day after I left for America. So I ended up frantically emailing back and forth to the seller in China, and paying an extra £23 for faster postage.

But I’m so glad I did, because it turned up with two weeks to spare. And I needed every minute of that time for sewing on the gold panels.

Anyway, let’s talk about penises.

If you’d rather not, you might want to skip down to the next picture below, that’s where the Valley of Penises ends. But there are penisy things to be said, and that only need be as awkward as you make it.

I didn’t want to look like Soarin in the wrong colours. Or a gender-flipped Spitfire. I wanted to look as close as I could to actual Spitfire, or at least her humanised variant, and that meant being a hot girl in a flight suit.

Especially as Wonderbolt suits don’t display their cutie marks, so that easy identifier of ‘Who’re you supposed to be?’ was out.

To that end, a heavily padded bra goes a long way just by itself, so I picked up a smooth nude T-shirt bra from Primark for very cheap. In a looser dress, that’s sometimes all you need for a more feminine silhouette. But in tighter clothes, you need something to add lower curves too. Hip pads would be ideal, but they’re also notoriously difficult to sculpt without making them lumpy.

And she’s an athlete, so would probably be fairly slender and toned, so I went for underwear with arse padding instead.

Not, like, padding as a euphemism as you see on the covers of ABDL stories. Never that.

Actual ovoid foam inserts, which sit in pockets built into the lining of the underwear over the arse. Took me a while to find some that looked like buttocks rather than eggs, but that was time well spent.

The other effort I made to ensure the silhouette was more feminine was ordering the catsuit from a different email address, under a female name, in case that influenced the cut of the suit being tighter in the waist or larger in the chest (I have no idea if it actually made a difference, with no male-name-ordered suit to compare it to). Made sure it had the female crotch zipper option, too, so the zip goes from the neck at the front, down the chest, the stomach, the groin, and right between the legs, ending kind of at the tailbone.

So it arrived, I tried it on with the new underwear, and the arse and tits looked great! There was just one problem.

Spandex stretches comfortably, so having extra body parts the manufacturers assumed you didn’t isn’t too much of a problem. The issue is that the zip, which runs right down the middle of those body parts, isn’t made of spandex and doesn’t stretch at all, and is cut to a length to be flush against the skin when no dangly bits are present.

It made the whole torso of the suit pretty tight, as the extra zip length taken up by the groin had to be made up elsewhere. I felt the strain of my junk pulling down my shoulders.

...Not something I ever thought I’d experience. Kind of flattering. Also kind of painful.

The tightness in the shoulders I could get used to, and wasn’t that visible. But it turns out that a zip being pulled tightly against sensitive bits for long periods rather hurts.

The only comfortable option was to dress very much to the left or the right, but that came with a couple of problems too. Firstly, you could see everything. In an ‘I had to email the con staff asking for guidance on just how tight a skintight suit would be allowed to be’ kind of way, for fear security wouldn’t let me in the building.

And secondly, it looked weird and lopsided; an irregular bulge, like I’d shat myself. Really not pretty. I could even it out artificially on the other side with rolled up socks or something, but, uh… Not only would that look doubly stupid, but also, if one has any basic standards at all as a man, one does not stuff the front of one’s trousers.

So, dressing to either side looked both silly and explicit, dressing to the centre was too uncomfortable, the drag trick of tucking has forever been beyond my skill level, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

I looked at a lot of mens’ crotches on the internet. Yep. All the male cosplayers I could find in tight suits, latex fetish shops, just, like, anywhere that would give some indication of how one could fit into such a thing without having that problem.

But I got some great help from an experienced (female) cosplayer, who suggested dance tights and shapewear. Tights I figured would lead to overheating, but shapewear – the kind of thing usually designed for holding in a pudgy stomach – sounded worth a try. I picked some up from Primark and wore them over the arse-enhancing underwear and straight away felt much better about the whole thing.

It held in the important bits and was firm enough to smooth out the contours, so one could dress to the middle but without such things having a visible outline. It also spread the pressure of the zip, so it didn’t feel it was cutting into anything. Even hid the lower outline of the bra strap. Would highly recommend.

It also squeezed everything enough that, after a few hours, there wasn’t much left there to make a bulge from anyway!

I also found out later that adding the gold panels to the suit went a long way towards disguising the remaining traces of such things.

Body shape finalised, next came measuring and cutting the gold bits. Tricky, but not too long a process. Sewing them on, though...

As mentioned above, spandex as a material is stretchy, so an outfit is made slightly too small, and therefore stretches to fit you so it’s as tight as it can be. No problem – the suit is made of spandex, the gold panels are made of spandex, just line them up, and–

Oh. Shit. The thread sewing them together is definitely not stretchy. Sew the outfit when not wearing it, and it won’t stretch to fit when you put it on.

So I had to learn how to do a stretch stitch. Apparently some sewing machines have that functionality, and I read a forum thread on using it and tried copying it by hand, since I don’t have a machine.

Normally, you sew in a straight line (called a running stitch). But that won’t stretch, since it’s already straight. So, to do a stretch stitch, you sew in a diagonal back and forth pattern, so that those diagonals straighten out more if the fabric is stretched tight.

I tried it on a short test section. Worked perfectly!

After breathing a huge sigh of relief, I factored in how much longer that would make everything take. Because the stitches go back and forth, rather than in a straight line, covering the same distance takes much, much longer.

Each of the two panels had a total edge length of 230cm. An average of about two stitches in each direction per cm (as in, straight down, diagonal up, straight down, diagonal up). And each panel needed hemming first all the way around, also with stretch stitch, so I basically had to do the whole thing twice.

I didn’t realise creativity would involve this much maths. Kind of glad I didn’t work that out at the time, because the mammoth task might have proven too intimidating to continue.

Furthermore, to get the panel flush with the suit, it first needed to be pinned in place. No problem, but that left rumples where the pins were, so it then needed sewing quickly and roughly, so the pins could be removed and the fabric would stay in place. Only then could it be sewn neatly, with the stretch stitch. And then the rough stitching would be removed, leaving only the pristine final product.

Let’s back up a moment and quickly talk about hemming. AcreuBall has the most amazing blog post on the basics of sewing and I can’t recommend it enough, but it’s huge. So, to summarise the relevant bit here:

Fabric, as we think of it, is a lot of parallel threads running left to right, really close to each other. These are interwoven with a copy of the same thing running top to bottom. One is called the warp, the other the weft, and I forget which is which.

It’s the fact that these two layers in perpendicular directions are intertwined that gives fabric its strength.

What this means is that if you just cut a piece of fabric and then sew it onto something, the edge where you cut it will fray and come apart over time, as the threads there aren’t held in place by others beyond them, so the warp and the weft start to separate.

This looks bad, if it’s on display. It’s also no good for sewing into, because it’s in the process of coming apart, and so won’t hold fast. Especially not if the garment is to be stretched.

So, what you have to do is cut your fabric slightly larger than required, and then fold a strip down the cut edge under itself. The best way to think of it is to feel the leg holes at the bottom of your jeans. The bottom half an inch feels thicker. That’s because the bottom half-inch of the denim has been folded under, back inside the trouser leg, and then stitched in place. So the edge where the fabric was cut is now tucked away out of sight and harm’s way, and isn’t used for any construction purpose in the garment.

This is called a hem.

Hence the term hemline, incidentally, being the lowest edge of a garment, such as a skirt. And therefore the name of the fashion judge in Rarity Takes Manehattan, Prim Hemline, refers to her preferring garments cut more conservatively on their lowest edge. She hates short skirts, basically. I wonder how she feels about explosions.

So, because doubling up the fabric around the edge means the material has twice the thickness there, the hemline of a panel sewn onto a larger piece of fabric can be seen as a bulge around its outline. This means it looks better if the hem – the piece of fabric folded underneath – is always the same thickness for the whole outline.

And that proved trickier to position than you might expect, especially with stretchy fabric in weird zigzag patterns. In practice, I found the easiest way to keep the folded length consistent was to cut strips of A4 paper lengthways, each about 5mm wide (about ⅛” – imperial measurements are stupid for small distances), sew them on the inside edge of where I wanted the hemline to be, fold the hem over it, sew that in place too, and then unpick the first set of stitches and pull the paper strips out from either end.

So it went:

  1. Pin the paper strip in place.
  2. Roughly sew the paper in place, using a simple running stitch, each stitch 1” long.
  3. Remove the pins.
  4. Sew the paper strip neatly in place, using a running stitch, each stitch 5mm long.
  5. Unpick the rough, large stitches from step 2.

This sounds like a lot of redundant sewing, but it left the smoothest result, with how each pin caused wrinkles around it. Then:

  1. Fold the hem over the paper and pin it in place.
  2. Sew the hem in place roughly (running stitch, 1”)
  3. Remove the pins.
  4. Sew down the hem with a stretch stitch, each stitch 5mm long.
  5. Tie that thread off neatly and snip the ends.
  6. Unpick the rough, large stitches from step 2.
  7. Unpick the first set of neat stitches, from step 4 on the previous list.
  8. Remove the paper.

This left a neatly-stitched hem in the right place, with no paper left in the garment, except for that one edge where I messed it up and tore the paper trying to remove it and it’s totally still in there.

As I said above, this needed doing for the entire 2.3m length of each panel (like, 8 feet), of which there were two. Lots of sewing. I didn’t start off with every single step listed; at first I just secured the paper with a rough running stitch, rather than then adding a neat one. But I refined the process as I went, and that’s what I ended up with as steps for delivering the best result.

In the end, I had one neatly-hemmed panel.

Sometime later, a second one to go with it.

That felt like a big milestone, but, the panels were no good if they weren’t attached to the suit. So that was the next order of business. Again, this would require a stretch stitch, and again it had to be secured firmly in place using running stitches first, which would later be removed. It went like this:

  1. Lay the suit flat and pin the panels in place, two pins per edge.
  2. Sew an edge roughly (running stitch, 1”).
  3. Remove pins from that edge.
  4. Sew it neatly (running stitch, 5mm).
  5. With it securely in place, and no wrinkles, sew it with the stretch stitch (5mm).
  6. Tie that thread off neatly and snip the ends.
  7. Unpick the rough, large stitches from step 2.
  8. Unpick the small, neat but still non-stretchy stitches from step 4.

It took a very long time, doing all that by hand.

I settled down on my sofa for the long haul, finding some sci-fi series on Netflix called Travellers, which looked good, but not that good, and so could be on to keep me entertained while I spent most of the time looking at my sewing.

I sewed through three seasons of it. 34 episodes, each 45 minutes long. As well as the latest Riddick movie, and a really good sci-fi film called Snowpiercer, from a Korean director.

I barely ever sew. Only when something urgently needs sewing. Hence the lack of a sewing machine. I think the last time I sewed anything was in June 2016, when I spent a week sitting on my sofa sewing a new zip into an old guitar case. I had the TV on then, too. That was the week I got into ponies.

So there was a nice symmetry to it, repeating the process but now making a costume for the last Bronycon. I can’t tell you how many times The Art of the Dress ran through my head.

Here you can see clearly the two lines of stretch stitches. The one nearest the edge holds the gold to the blue, while the inner one is purely for holding the hem in place. As you can see, there’d be a tiny ridge in the fabric between each stitch, but, when I got the stitches neat enough, I thought it actually looked quite good, adding an edging texture effect.

Once I had the hang of it, the sewing was fairly simple. Right up until I got the groin. That bit wasn’t fun, with how curves lie flat when not being worn. I had to go back and unpick it at least once, and stuck a lot of pins in myself. Given the problems that bit caused, I’m amazed it turned out looking alright, as I was despairing at the time.

This is the stage I got to the night before leaving for the con. All that was left to go were the gold stripes around the wrists.

I crudely measured my wrists and found each had about a 6” circumference, so the spikes of the lightning bolt design would have to be quite small to fit enough of them on. I drew a grid on a piece of paper and plotted out the pattern, each bolt going along an inch, up a centimetre, and back half of one. Then I cut it out, measured out an offcut long enough from the gold spandex fabric and cut out two copies of the template.

They then went in my backpack, along with the suit itself, and needle and thread in a little purse, as the rest would have to be done on the move.

The wrist pieces were similar in principle to the main panels on the suit, but much smaller and more detailed. They had a few special problems of their own, too:

  1. The body panels were on a section of suit that was mostly flat. These were on a curve, and that made attaching them more awkward to get in the right place.
  2. Since the suit unzipped down the middle, getting to the inside of it to sew the chest panels was easy. No such luck with the wrists, and sewing up inside the sleeve got tricky at times.
  3. No scissors to work with for seven hours, because of airport security. All new lengths of thread were separated by biting through them, and that made the ends more straggly, and therefore harder to thread through a needle. Made me feel quite pony, though, having to perform hand tasks with my mouth!
  4. No pins either, for the same reason, and nothing I could do about it. I might possibly have been allowed pins on the flight – they’re basically the same as needles, as far as safety concerns go – but I preferred not to push my luck.

I think, overall, the wrist bits took about ten hours. They needed hemming too, of course.

But that was mostly the easy bit, this time around. There just wasn’t room, on that small a scale, to use lengths of paper to space the hem, so I did it by eye. Each of the spikes were so short that no one would really notice any inconsistencies in hem thickness anyway.

I don’t think I needed to do huge, rough stitches on the hem first, but went straight to a small, neat running stitch. On one wrist I then went over that with a stretch stitch and unpicked the original, just as I had on the main panels.

But that took a long time, and I was only a day away from needing to wear the thing, so for the other wrist I didn’t bother. I left it with only the neat running stitch, figuring that the stretch stitch that would hold it to the suit would double for holding the hem in place too, and the running stitch could be unpicked last thing.

Then, with one wrist circlet properly hemmed and one temporarily, I set about attaching them to the suit.

Holding them in the right place to start off was a challenge, especially without pins. I sewed the join first, where one end meets the other, and I think I did that for both arms before moving onto the next step for either.

I then very loosely put a few big stitches right into the middle of the gold band, 180 degrees away from the join. With that in place, I added another few at 90 degrees, and again at 270. I then loosely running-stitched the edges, and then repeated the process neatly with smaller running stitches.

Did that for top and bottom edges for each arm. And then replaced those with stretch stitches, and unpicked everything else. It sounds so simple phrased like that, but yeah, about ten hours. The whole flight to the US, and then several hours in the hotel lobby to finish up.

The final thing for the Spitfire costume was realising I hadn’t tied off and trimmed some of the threads from the gold panels on the chest, so I woke up a bit earlier than planned on the first day of the con and got that done right before putting it on.

Then I just needed to spray my hair orange, apply some mascara and gold eyeshadow, and I was good to go.

In 2017, a couple of friends of mine got married. One of their common interests was cosplay, so they had a cosplay-themed wedding. The groom and all his men were in ghostbuster suits, the bride was a princess from I-forget-which fantasy novel series. Most of the guests really let the side down, with generic ‘a vampire’ or ‘a zombie’ costumes, but there was a convincing Cruella de Vil and Bellatrix Lestrange.

I went as Fluttershy. Most noteworthy costume there by far.

And, since for Bronycon I was going to the place with the ponies, it seemed a bit silly not to take the Fluttershy getup with me and wear that one day around the convention.

I first had the idea when I saw some beautiful butterfly christmas tree decorations in a shop that were the perfect size for a humanised pony’s cutie mark. They came in packs of four, and I found some pink ones, and that was that: bought and stashed away for the wedding that summer.

Let’s state one big, painful fact for the record right now: cosplayers painting their skin to match ponies’ exotic colouring almost never looks good. You can do that if you’re going for Zecora with a war paint vibe, perhaps, but otherwise…

Look, this is it done impeccably well, and it still looks weird:

If you’re going for Equestria Girls, all the best ones I’ve seen have ignored the skin colouring entirely and focused on recreating the outfits and hair. And if going for ponies, choose clothing that reflects the colouring of their coat, as well as suiting their style. So Rainbow Dash probably wouldn’t be wearing a sundress.

So I looked on Ebay for a pale yellow dress. Something cut above the knee, so it feels light and breezy, but also high-necked, so it feels demure and also doesn’t reveal a hairy man-chest (I tried shaving once, for wearing a lower-cut dress – it grew back darker and twice as thick, and I haven’t made that mistake again). I found the perfect one, and my Ebay history tells me I got it for only £2.75.

Also yellow feathered wings, which were about halfway between Fluttershy’s and Spitfire’s in colour, and so doubled for both. Those were £7.85, and white canvas shoes were £7.99.

I picked up some sachets of dye and some special kind of salt, I forget what exactly, added them to warm water in a washing up bowl and dyed the shoes yellow, throwing in some miniscule lacy white socks while at it. After a boring hour of continually moving them around in the water, for even dye coverage, they were done, and left to dry.

Primark provided perfect Fluttershy-coloured womens’ underwear – particularly important when the skirt was so short and I’d probably be dancing. I bought a pack of five, took out the yellow pair, and never touched the other four. I probably still have them in a drawer or box somewhere. I also picked up from there a simple but nice T-shirt bra, smaller than the one used for Spitfire, mint green but pastel and close enough in colour not to show through the dress.

Then there was a beautiful butterfly necklace in pink – not a match for Fluttershy’s Element by any means, but kind of a stylised take on it just as the dress doesn’t match a pony. That was on Ebay for £14.

And lastly the wig. That one did cost £24, from China, but it was for both hair and tail, and it’s still in pretty good shape (I wore the outfit for that wedding, for a day at Bronycon, and for a Pride festival in-between). The tail attached with a big grabby hair claw, which didn’t stay on the dress very well. But luckily the dress had a waist tie cord, the kind that runs inside the dress at the front but is exposed at the back for tying, so I tied it much looser than normal to hang down to tailbone height, and then attached the tail hair claw to that.

I also picked up a pack of cheap hairclips from Claire’s Accessories to give the wig a characteristic Fluttershy look but still keep it out of my eyes (I didn’t manage to style it so well at the con).

I straightened the paperclip-style hangers on the butterflies, pushed them through the dress and sewed them in place, and, as far as customisation goes, I think that was about it?

At home I didn’t have to do my own makeup, so that came out looking great. At Bronycon, not so much. Black mascara and pink eyeshadow, and that would have to do, because I cannot apply eyeliner to save my life.

Sometime around the start of June, perhaps when they announced the schedules, I got wind of the Gala. They have it every year at Bronycon, which I’m sure most of you already knew, but I didn’t. And it came with its own dress code.

I think The Best Night Ever is a truly great episode of MLP. I don’t really have much patience for those who insist the first series was the best – Pinkie Pie and Rarity took a while to hit their stride. But Bridle Gossip, Winter Wrap Up, Sonic Rainboom and The Best Night Ever, they’re some of the show’s strongest episodes.

And a couple of things the first season definitely can hold over its competition. The ponies do less with their hooves and more with their mouths, and it’s adorable. There’s more focus on how the ponies drive the seasons, with ideas like the Running of the Leaves. And, more than any other season, it has a common thread tying a lot of it together in a way that feels organic rather than tacked on to provide an arc, like the rainbow box keys of season 4.

So when the season finale rolls around, and Twilight says, “I can’t believe we’re finally here!” you really feel it with her.

They get the magical carriage, Rarity makes sure they hit the spa, they all get their special introduction shots in their wonderful new dresses, and the music starts.

I’m not sure there’s ever been a Pony song bigger in scope than At the Gala? The only thing I can think of size-wise that would compare is Welcome to the Show, and even that doesn’t have the massive choir of singers.

And I’ve seen others talk about how brave it was to make The Best Night Ever. It takes a very youthful approach of the girls going out to the fancy dance and having, well, the best night ever, and then grows up and ends the whole season on the theme of disappointment. And both of those moods are enjoyable to watch, and make a great episode.

So yeah, if Bronycon had a gala, that sounded pretty cool, and I wanted to go.

But there was a formal dress code. That meant the suitcase would need to fit another pair of shoes, as well as suit trousers, a shirt, a tie etc. And suit jackets really don’t pack well. They’re beautiful, and you don’t want to crease them, but taking a suit in a separate full-length bag on a flight sounds like a whole lot of hassle.

At the end of which, you end up in a suit, in Baltimore, in August. I know the convention centre is air-conditioned, but that still sounds disastrous. You’d smell like a locker room before you even reached the venue.

And then I spotted…

I like wearing dresses, and they’re much better ventilated than suits and fold up smaller too!

Problem solved. It needed to be something formal, and I had nothing like that, but you can get a great-looking dress for lots of occasions much cheaper than you can get a great-looking suit for them. So off to Ebay I trotted again.

A formal dress, so probably something long. Long enough, and it might even hide whatever shoes I’d be wearing underneath, meaning I wouldn’t need to take an extra pair just for that event. But my taste leans towards the exotic and colourful, and I gravitated towards something bright orange with a peacock feather motif.

But I checked with the con staff, and no doubts were raised that it was formal enough. I thought it better suited to a beach on the Indian Ocean, but apparently it would be fine for the gala, so...

£10.89 later, I had a beautiful orange dress being shipped my way from China.

There was a good chance, however, that it would be too short to hide my shoes, since it was one-size-fits-all and I’m probably taller than their average customer. Apparently no boots were allowed for the gala, ruling out both my Wonderbolt boots and my usual choice of footwear for dresses of black leather boots.

Advice from the con staff was dressy heels or flats. Dressing as Spitfire was my first time wearing heels, and trying out walking about in them proved surprisingly easy, but they were chunky and encased my whole lower leg for support and stability, where those for the dress would have to be much more spindly.

I went with flats, picking up a pair of plain gold ballet pumps for £12. I had not expected to pay more for them than I did the dress, but that’s how it turned out. They were huge when they arrived though, despite being the normal size, so the plan was to stuff them with an insole each, and sew in an elasticated gold strap over the top of the foot to hold them on. I also picked up some lacy nude barely-even-there low-rise socks to try to pad them out with.

And that was all I needed, really. I’d wear the underwear from one of the other outfits, though the dress was long enough that I could wear whatever I wanted under it in that respect.

The dress was a V-neck, and that neck dipped down to not far above nipple height. There was no avoiding hairy chest being on display with this one. So I figured better to embrace it, go without a bra (being completely flat-chested helped the hem reach my ankles better, too!), and be less ‘elegant heartbreaker’ and more ‘man in a dress but fuck you I’m technically eligible for entry into your soirée.’

And that’s about all I can think of to say about costumes, so let’s leave it there and return now to our main narrative, where I was just waking up for the first day of the con, with only two hours to go before meeting Naiad for the first time.

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Comments ( 20 )

The hugging LyraBon emojis in the Discord screenshot are so pretty! :raritystarry:

The general rule that struggling to learn to draw made me learn is that no process resulting in something pretty is at all easy--big props to you for managing to get through all this in time for the con when you were learning so much of it as you went!

At the Gala remains one of my favorite pony songs to this day :twilightsmile:

Also, wow, yeah, that skin-painted Fluttershy cosplay. Love the dress, but she looks like a mannequin :twilightoops:

5106552 So pretty! In about three different ways! :twilightsmile:

Very much so, yeah. Really glad I paid that extra £20 to ship the suit two weeks faster, or I would have got nowhere. And I couldn't tell anyone about the various trials of it at the time, so the end result could be a surprise :twilightsheepish:

It's still one of the best! And the comparison with Ever After (which apparently Disney cut from the film version :rainbowhuh:) makes it even better :pinkiehappy:

Yeah, it's one of the sharpest Equestria Girls cosplays I've ever seen. And the clothes don't have that home-made look about them that most other cosplays do. And hats off to the cosplayer in question for picking the one character from that set who didn't look totally hideous in those Battle of the Bands Final outfits. But I completely agree about the end result. Maybe if they took some advice from imDRUNKonTEA's panel, about using different shades of the same colours for highlights and shadows?

actually I liked the flutters cosplay with the body paint , I find it was show accurate ,no smudges that I can see she also has human fluttershys facial shape, in my opinion this is as close to actual human flutters as possible

5106561 :pinkiehappy: Not even kidding though! It was originally a thousand words within the lead up to the con in the first blog, and that said something about how it took three different undergarments to get the right silhouette, and that was about it.

After deciding to make the costume a separate bit, I thought, well, getting that right was the biggest panic of the whole thing, and did take a lot to sort out. So I went back and added more detail. And things grew a lot :trollestia:

soooo....whens the blogpost with the costume pics?


in my opinion this is as close to actual human flutters as possible

I mean, I would agree with that, but I'd also say that this is an instance of authenticity not lining up with appeal--to me, this is kind of like peppering dialogue in a story with ums and ahs and flubbed words and all those things that actually do happen but don't make for good storytelling. Yes, it looks quite authentic. I don't like it.

But you're welcome to! I do think it's quite impressive, all things considered :twilightsmile:

Author Interviewer

So that's why you had tiddies

The real reason actually occurred to me at one point, but I am of course too shy to ask about personal things of that sort, so I just spent the weekend in a state of constant bewilderment while in your presence. :B

5106568 Fair question! Unfortunately they all show my face, and facial recognition software will be here imminently if it isn't already, so I'm of two minds about having my face out there on the internet easily connectable to both ponies and real life :twilightsheepish:

You can see me in the video of the Royal Canterlot Library panel, though - my pony ears vibrate each time I clap and it's kind of adorable, in a looking-at-myself-from-behind-and-not-really-recognising-it-as-me sort of way :scootangel:

5106570 I do very definitely have bewildering tits :duck:

That changed size over the days of the con, no less!


Maybe if they took some advice from imDRUNKonTEA's panel, about using different shades of the same colours for highlights and shadows?

Hmm, possibly? If you were painting Fluttershy, you would absolutely want to use different shades like that, and maybe vary it further by making shadows warmer or highlights cooler or things like that.

But I don't know how well that would work with body paint, since unless the paint was just applied for a still photograph and that's it, you'd be walking around in various positions and so the shapes and intensities of the highlights and shadows would vary based on your pose and the current lighting. So I don't know that it wouldn't look weird coloring them statically ahead of time.

I say all this as someone with no bodypainting experience to speak of, though.

5106660 I think part of the problem is that the face is one solid colour with no variation of light and dark. You mentioned her looking like a mannequin, but actually I think it's the reverse problem? I remember the panel mentioning that if you made faces too reflective, as you might another solid object, then they would appear to be made of plastic. Whereas here, it's that the face isn't reflecting at all. So it kind of looks flat, like it's a 2D painting on top of a photo, or a person with no nose or curve to their cheeks.

I know exactly what you mean about the problem of the person then moving, but I'm reminded that contouring (the makeup technique) is a thing, and that doesn't seem to hit the same issues. There are apparently ways you can shade some bits darker so they always appear to be in shadow, like the flat of the cheeks so the cheekbones appear higher and more prominent, or the sides of the nose so the nose as a whole looks more slender and delicate, which are said to work whatever angle the face is observed from.

So I'd think something like that would be of great help here, to add some third dimension back into the face and make it look more human.

But likewise, I know very little about that or bodypainting :twilightsheepish:

Wow. I’m reasonably proud of a couple of my cosplays, but the level of care and time that you invested is on another level!

Okay now I need to see the final results because you have skills

5106833 Thanks dude! :yay: I think the key thing is not to realise until half way through what a stupidly huge undertaking it is, by which time you're much too attached to the idea to give up on it.

A bit like this series of Bronycon blogs, really :trollestia:

5109366 Thanks! :pinkiehappy:

I'm not at all sure about sharing photos here that have my face in, not when facial recognition software is just around the corner if it isn't here already. But I'll send you it on Discord! :twilightsheepish:

Wow, your cosplay looked really good during the con, no wonder given how much work it took! I really don't have the dedication to go through with all those details...

This is a remarkably educational blog. I was admiring the flightsuit at the con, but it's hard to tell from looking just how much work goes into it!

5114203 Thanks! I'm really glad I wore it out for two days rather than just the one I had planned. With me, costume making seems to be such a long process that I make one and then it has to last for ten years, because that's how long it takes for me to face the prospect of doing all that again. I still have the Viking furs in my cupboard from a Turisas gig in 2008... Maybe Spitfire needs to be out on the town for Halloween?

5115003 Thanks! I'm surprised and impressed by how fimfiction people have reacted to this entry, I thought it'd be way outside peoples' areas of interest. But I hoped if I went through it here, maybe others wouldn't have to spend as long researching and figuring things out as I did.

AcreuBall's How To Fashion blog has way more background information and is fascinating and makes me want to write Rarity.

I think much of it would have gone much faster if I'd had a sewing machine. The body panels, I think, would be large enough to do with one, but the wrist ones might be too small and delicate. Maybe I should pick one up sometime, when I'm living somewhere with more space :twilightoops:

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