Name: Katy Gross
Facebook: Timeline Cosplay
Photos by Nicholas Cruz Cafaro – https://www.facebook.com/NickCafaroPhotography
Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?
.hack//sign – Tsukasa: .hack was one of my first anime that I watched. I enjoyed it so much and really wanted to cosplay the character. It was also one of the first few anime I bought, and I was excited to own all of it. I don’t remember now if I related to the character a lot or not, but it’s still one of my favorite cosplays of all time.
Drakengard – Lady Three: This was… the cosplay that saved me from giving up cosplay. Around the time of 2016, I was going downhill in a big bad way. Depression was sinking in and I was giving up on a lot of things. Then I saw one of my favorite youtubers playing Drakengard 3, and in particular the DLC about the sisters. I saw Lady Three and something in my brain clicked. Something just fell into place. I HAD to cosplay her and I had to do her outfit. I began gathering materials, items, figuring out how to do her as quickly as I could. For Anime Milwaukee 2016 I showcased her first version, and then I completely remade her for Sabakon 2016 and Daisho 2016. I tell everyone that this character literally saved my desire to cosplay when I was in such a slump. Not everyone gets that lucky.
How long did it take to make your Cosplay?
Tsukasa – It didn’t take me long to make this. I found everything at Goodwill, painted a sweatshirt and made the hat out of felt and Kleenex box tops. I got lucky on the boots too, and just had to add a button to close one of them.
Lady Three – I made it twice over 2016, so it took me the whole of that year for it. I did special fabric for the second version as well as investing in worbla and wood scissors.
What was your biggest challenge?
Tsukasa – The hat actually. And the wig. I had to remake both twice. The wig used to be a goodwill wig, and it lasted me for years. The hat I lost in 2013 at Anime Milwaukee and remade it to fit my head better. I still had materials left over from the first time.
Lady Three – The worbla armor. I had never worked with worbla before, and it was exactly what I wanted to make my armor out of and it turned out fantastic. I had to mold, shape, glue, paint everything. From making the cast to the foam to the worbla then, it was quite a challenge. I spent a lot of late nights trying to get everything just right. The second biggest challenge was the scissor blades. I had carved and traced smooth foam into the right shape and sanded it down to the right level. I was really happy with how those had turned out and in my ignorance; I had decided to spray paint them. I didn’t know what would happen and they melted beneath my eyes. I was surprised I didn’t cry, and I had a week to remake a pair which I made out of foam board and painted, and weren’t as nice but not too shabby. The third version of the scissors were made of wood, which I then sanded, painted, drilled a hole and put in a post so they opened and closed. I lovingly refer to it as my child.
What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?
Tsukasa – At most, $30 bucks. Most of it was from goodwill so I didn’t do much sewing.
Lady Three – I didn’t have a budget for this one and as I made two versions of it, I ended up spending a lot more than I thought I would. I think between the worbla ($86 jumbo sheet), special silk fabric ($80) and everything else I probably spent around $400 overall on this.
What special techniques did you use?
Tsukasa – If hot glue and simple painting was a technique, then this is it. I didn’t do a lot to get it to look how I wanted. It was a pretty simple cosplay all things considered and I make a lot more advanced looking ones now.
Lady Three – Working with worbla was a first for me. I rather enjoyed every bit of it. I’d sit there with a heat gun working on shaping and molding and watching youtube, it was rather soothing. I didn’t really use any special techniques but I watched as many tutorials as I could before I began so I at least had basic knowledge on what to do with the worbla as I was heating it up and shaping it.
What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?
Tsukasa – I enjoyed it immensely. It felt good to wear it (first time was in High School to school actually), and it was warm and comfortable. I was incredibly proud of the hat. When I wear it nowadays I like tickling people’s nostalgia.
Lady Three – The armor made me so happy with how it turned out. Seeing it come together on me for the first time I just could barely contain my excitement. It was a learning experience on how to walk in it but I LOVED it.
If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?
Tsukasa – I’d make everything from scratch this time and make the staff. I didn’t do that this time but I’m still in love with how I did it.
Lady Three – I’m going to be remaking it, and adding embroidery to the dress, bellowing out the skirt for some more twirl and potentially making the arm armor, which I didn’t before as I was worried about being able to move. I might also have to remake the leg armor as my body has changed a little bit and it was shaped to my legs as they were two years ago at this point.
How often do you Cosplay?
I cosplay all the time. Or as often as I can. I used to go to only a few conventions but I’ve expanded my range and gone to photoshoots and meet ups. I’ve been at this for about 18 years but I’ve really only gotten heavily involved in the community the past two years and I really feel at home. Last year I think including small cons made it to about 8 conventions, this year I might be at around 10, give or take what my schedule allows or what people want to drag me to.
How many cosplay do you do?
I do a lot. I have about 30ish outfits that I can choose from, though I can’t fit into all of them anymore. Working on remaking and upgrading some of them. A lot of them are obscure characters or horror characters and I love all of them. I have Sae Kurosawa from Fatal Frame 2, Reika Kuze from Fatal Frame 3; I have Sachiko from Corpse Party and Fran Bow from Fran Bow.
What do you want to make next?
I have a full body armor build planned as well as working through the costume materials I’ve been sitting on for years, including Magic Knight Rayearth and I have a Pokemon Go/Sailor Moon crossover group for Acen 2018. I’m sitting on so much of a stockpile it’s incredible so my goal is to work through those. I also want to make a Ballgown pokemon Gijinka.
Favorite cosplay moment?
This one is easy. It was Sunday of Anime Milwaukee, 2015, and I was walking around as Morgiana from Magi. There were two kids who all of a sudden went, “MORGIANA MORGIANA!” and they ran up to me with their mom. They were dressed as Ali Baba and Aladdin and they were so happy to see a Morgiana and I got my pic with them. That made me feel amazing to make those kid’s day.
Favorite fandoms to follow?
The Adventure Zone is actually one of my favorite fandoms to follow because everyone in it is so nice, and I’ve been getting into Ancient Magus’s Bride and am in love with the characters. My obscure fandoms are Fatal Frame and Valkyrie Connect and I do love those with all my heart. Also Monster Hunter, it’s amazing and I’ve made a few friends through it and it’s such an awesome game.
What sewing machine do you sew on?
I have a Brother machine. Its old but it works really well and I’m happy to have it. I sometimes have borrowed my Grandmother’s simplicity sewing machine as well, which has a lot more sewing options and a touch screen layout.
What materials do you like using?
I love Worbla. I really do. Worbla is amazing to work with and I love making armor. It’s really sturdy and I enjoy it. Prepping it with wood glue and painting it, it was amazing to watch it all come together and once its together its really sturdy and feels a bit like armor, though it isn’t metal. I also love just sewing basic cotton, watching the pieces come together into something magical. Gathered skirts are really time consuming but I enjoy every step of it because they have such nice flow and I just like watching them move.
What materials do you want to try?
I haven’t worked with fur yet in a major capacity but I will be making a big tail this year so I’m excited for it. I also want to experiment with some other kinds of foam and worbla just to see how they all function. I also really want to get more into LED lights and make things glow. I love to light things up.
What materials do you wish were easier to work with?
Stretchy fabric. Sewing stretchy fabric is such a pain to work with. I have a basic grasp on them but I still find myself having trouble with them no matter the outfit.
Thanks, Katy, for sharing your cosplay and photos with us! Want to be featured on our site? We would love to show your cosplay to the world! Check out our Submissions page and send us an email!