I told myself I wouldn’t add more cosplays to my list…then I went and added Qarth Daenerys and Margaery. I swore I wouldn’t add more than that…yeah, right.
I am late to the fandom, but I finally have jumped on the Firefly/Serenity bandwagon. I had seen the movie but understood little of it since I hadn’t seen the series. I decided to finally watch it on Netflix, if only to understand all the Firefly references that pop up on Castle. Once I watched it…well, cosplay wasn’t a far stretch.
I love all the female characters on Firefly. I love Zoe, Inara, Kaylee, and River all for different reasons. It’s difficult to pick a favorite; I think I’m a toss between Zoe and Inara. Since two of my best friends also love Firefly, I made the executive decision that we were going to cosplay from it. I would have made Shannon be Zoe, but she is not the cosplaying type and would rather be regulated to bag holder. Holley would love to cosplay Firefly but doesn’t sew. So that left me to do all the sewing and wig styling…and I’m okay with that.
It was easy to decide on the costume for Holley since her favorite character is Kaylee. But what would I cosplay? Originally I thought of River, but I am too attached to Inara’s pretty costumes…but I had to find one I was comfortable in and didn’t take a lot of research to figure out. I ended up deciding on her gold shawl and black pants combo from the Serenity movie. It was not overly difficult but still elaborate for Inara. Plus I had black sateen, the gold flats (from Daenerys and Margaery) and the black curly wig (from Katniss and Snow).
I started with Kaylee, and the first thing I did was to purchase the paper parasol from ThinkGeek. Next was the shirt. It was near impossible to find a decent replica, so I settled on a floral knit with big roses and Deer and Doe’s Plantain pattern. It’s a pretty pattern, but the knit fabric was thin and unraveled very easily. It stretches but then wrinkles when it bounces back. I also somehow managed to sew the front piece backwards but it’s not completely noticeable.
The coveralls was a combination pajamas top and bottom modified slightly with a strip of fabric for the waist. There are some pleats in the top part and gathers in the back of the bottom to accommodate a woman’s hips and bust. It’s a bit snug around the back when the arms are flexed around the chest, and a snug at the waist. Neither is uncomfortable, but I keep making these slight mistakes and not knowing how. One day I will learn.
My mother actually did all the character writing using a black fabric pen. I distressed the coveralls a little with sandpaper and faded some spots with water and a high steam iron setting. I attempted to stain them with soy sauce, which only worked minimally; going to try later with some watered down black fabric paint. Here’s a close up of the bear patch with the character for love.
My mother and I had this somewhat semi-heated argument over the characters. I wanted her to write them at slight angles since Kaylee’s are not exactly straight. However, the manner in which Asian students are taught how to write has them repeatedly write characters in a very straight fashion. I think I ended up confusing her and had to turn the coveralls in the direction I wanted the writing to go. There was also some debate over the characters on Kaylee’s left pocket. It is notoriously known that the characters on the left pocket are backwards/upside down so it didn’t matter if they made sense. I had my mom write the characters for Serenity and paused the DVD so she could see them. She proceeded to grumble about how the characters “don’t go together and make no sense” while writing them to please me.
I love my mother for putting up with my hobbies. :3
Inara was a bit more simple (not that Kaylee was overly difficult compared to other cosplays I have done). I used a wide legged pants pattern and black sateen. I used more of the black sateen for the faux obi belt which I drafted by draping and cutting; I used a scallop edge stitch in golden yellow to give the plain belt a little oomph. A simple stretch control top cami is underneath as the tank top. The gold shawl/wrap is dragonfly brocade (I could not find swirl brocade but the dragonfly one was gorgeous). I made it in two pieces: one piece to wrap around the shoulders and then a separate piece for the bottom drape, all sewed to the faux obi and edged in gold lame bias tape.
For the record, the shoulder wrap makes NO SENSE. I don’t know what the costume department did for the movie, but it does not lay right. Maybe I made mine too wide or the fabric is a heavier weight, but if I wear it one way I can’t move my arms but another way causes it to bunch around the neck. I mean, look at it!
The most difficult thing about Inara was finding jewelry that could work. But I managed to find dangle chandelier earrings and a double drop lariat necklace off Etsy for decent money. Since this outfit of Inara has less make up than some of her others, I am opting for a mostly bare faced look with sparkly taupe eyeshadow, semi-heavy eyeliner, and pink tinted lips.
I’ve got a photoshoot in Kaylee to get pictures and figure out any kinks before handing it over to Holley. I’ll probably have another photoshoot with Inara in the near future. These were probably two of the simplest cosplays I have ever made, time and construction wise. All total, I probably only spent about 4 days worth of work on two costumes. But they are going to be so fun, so comfortable, and so worth it to geek out with my friends. I cannot wait!