London Comic Con Winter 2022

November 22, 2022

I just got back yesterday from London Comic Con Winter and this time, I’m doing my post con post immediately! 

In the week leading up to the event, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to go. I’ve been coughing and snuffy nosed since Yunicon last month, and although I don’t feel as bad anymore, I was worried that it would be an issue. Luckily, I felt ok to leave when it the day came, though I still have a bit of a cough going. I had a really hard time choosing my cosplays this time, because I wanted warm ones so as to not get myself more sick again. I ended up bringing my Holiday Doll Rapunzel and my Dreamwalker, which I repaired before the event with all new wires and plugs on the armor parts, since I’ve learned a lot since the first time around. Along with the new controller box Zibartas helped me make earlier this year, the lights worked very reliably and solidly all day while I wore the cosplay. Sadly, two of the 3 smoke machines I brought broke in transit – they’re still quite fiddly. I’ll try to make some more reliable ones.

Anyways – back to the event. We left at 4 in the morning Danish time friday and arrived at 8 English time – travelling back 1 time zone. The early arrival meant we were very tired, but also that we had time to explore London and meet up with Sameer Tikka Massala. He lives in India, but had an opportunity to extend his stay in London after a different convention, so we could meet up. We’ve spoken online for a while, so it was really great to finally have the opportunity to also meet up in real life. We saw a few of the traditional sights, and of course some of the Harry Potter ones, like Platform 9 3/4 and MinaLima shop. Sadly, we didn’t have enough time to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but my HP fangirl heart still was happy.

Saturday morning, Zibartas and I headed to the event with the last judge and other guests for a day full of events. We hosted a panel on cosplay electronics, and I was really surprised and happy to see how many came to hear what we had to say.

The contest had a wide variety of participants, both experienced and newcomers and it was fun to see all the creative people. 

It was also a fun experience to be guest at a Comic Con where there were so many guest stars. We were allowed in the same green room, and it was a bit of a surreal experience to eat chicken curry and hear Doctor Who-actors complimenting my night elf ears (of course, I’m totally clueless and didn’t recognize most of them until I was told who they were).

Sunday had almost as many viewers at our panel and even more participants in the contest.

Monday morning bright and early, we headed back to the airport with our noses towards Denmark. British airport security is definitely stricter than Danish, but after explaining why we had huge batteries and odd, greasy gadgets in our hand luggage, they let us go through without more issues. Our plane was delayed a bit, first because of snow at our destination and then because a medical helicoptor had to take off just as we were about to land. But in the end, we made it home with a great experience in the bagage and all costumes mostly survived the trip, with only some minor repairs needed.

This Bernina was my 2nd serger/overlocker and actually the first (and only) brand new machine I have bought. It works quite good and it’s a bit less noisy than my old one, which is great. One thing I miss from my old machine: It doesn’t have free arm capabilities. I don’t follow rules when I sew, so I like to overlock on my sleeves when I’m making clothes, which is harder when you can’t fit the fabric around the machine, especially when making mistakes and accidentally stitching through wrong layers will ruin the whole project, because the machine cuts while sewing. But it’s a minor thing that I work around, and overall, I’m really pleased with the performance!

My next machine was a very fancy christmas gift from my dad:

Pfaff Creative Vision sewing /embroidery machine

I have wanted an embroidery machine for years, but they are both quite expensive (though, more and more affordable models are being released) and also I had no idea what to look for. I thought each machine had their own software, and so I thought it was also a thing to consider. But it turns out it’s not. And while embroidery software (to make your own designs) is a whole topic of it’s own, it turns out the machines are quite “simple”. This one functions both as a sewing machine and an embroidery machine, and I have used it for sewing a little bit, but for that purpose, my old one still does better – it has a more powerful engine. This machine struggles with e.g. webbing. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s a bit of a chore to convert it between sewing and embroidery (the attachment + foot + needle needs to be replaced, and different types of threads on upper-and lower thread), so I just use it as embroidery machine. And for that, it works great. It supports quite large hoops – up to 360 x 350 mm. (though biggest I have is 360 x 200 mm). The standard hoops that were included were plastic ones that work by squeezing fabric between inner and outer hoop and tightening it. But I fairly quickly upgraded to metal hoops with magnets, because I find it easier to align designs like that. It’s a preference thing. It’s a single colour machine, so you have to replace the thread after each colour. But I think it’s fine. Some projects require you to babysit it, while others you can just leave it alone. It depends both on the file, the fabric and the thread. There’s a lot to learn when embroidering, but it’s quite fun. I haven’t used it for cosplay yet, but most things that sit still long enough in our house gets embroidered.

The latest machine I bought is this one:
Brother Coverstitch CV3550 coverlock machine

 

This machine is quite limited in it’s use. It’s something inbetween an overlocker and a regular machine. It has one bottom looper, and up to 3 upper threads. And this version also has an extra thread that is kind of like an over-looper. If you have a t-shirt on, I’m pretty sure there’s an edge of folded fabric that is stitched with a coverlock. On the visible side, it’s usually 2 straight, parallel seam-lines and on the underside, it’ll be kind of looping around. That’s a coverstitch. I got this, because I enjoy making clothes for myself and my family, and it makes that a lot easier. But it’s overkill for most people and probably not that relevant for cosplay. I just felt like splurging a bit and buying myself something nice. I did buy it used, though, because I figured I would get one that had all the possible features (including free arm for easier sleeve stitching).

So that’s basically all the machines I have! I would like to add one honorable mention, though:

 Husqvarna 5710 sewing machine

 

This was my very first sewing machine! My grandmother had it before me, and it’s from somewhere between 1976-1982 (I don’t know exactly when) It was actually a nice machine, but when I first got into cosplay and realized it was something I wanted to do a lot, I wanted something a bit more quiet with more features. But this machine isn’t gone. My mother-in-law didn’t have a sewing machine, so I brought it to Lithuania and now she uses it for little repairs and such. It makes me happy to know that after all this time, it still has a purpose and it still works just fine. Those old Husqvarna machines are work horses, and if your budget is small, go look for this kind of machine. The machines that were made back then were so simple that they don’t break that easy, and they were made with quality materials, so they last forever. They may not have lots of fancy seams, but my first Druid cosplay was made mostly with this red machine.

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