This was another one of those 'emergency costumes' where they tell me there's a con two weeks beforehand. For a two week costume though, I'm REALLY pleased with the way it turned out! I chose to do Nekozawa because I didnt want to wear a costume I'd done before, and Nekozawa was made up of items I already had (apart from the cloak and Bereznoff). I saw the blazer in a charity shop and bought it and put it away in case of such emergencies - so glad I did now! The wig I bought for another costume and worked out lovely for Nekozawa, but I do need to be careful to style it right, or else I end up looking like Snape!
This is my first crossplay too. I can't get my boobs completely flat, but the costume isn't tight so I think I can get away with it (in fact, in some of the photos in the gallery, I'm completely unbound and you can't tell that much, or at least I hope you can't!)
I was so happy with how quickly I managed to make this costume too! I've spent months on costumes in the past and still been working on it the day of the con, but with this one, made in two weeks, I was completely finished two days before! I've never been so organised!
I seem to be getting loads of questions on how I made Bereznoff, so I'll try and describe the process here! I started off with sewing the basic shape of it. You do need to make it a little bit bigger than what you need it to be so it'll be the right size when you turn it inside out to hide the stitches. Also, when doing the general shape of it, it's best to put your hand down on the fabric and use it as a guideline for the shape so that when you wear it it's comfortable and is easy enough to move the hands and head with your fingers. With mine, my little finger and thumb go in the hands, then the rest goes at the top.
Sew the points in the ears and the hands in a slight curve rather than a sharp point, and make sure you sew over these bits a few times to make sure they're strong. Cut off the excess very close in to the stitches to achieve those points when you turn it inside out. I'm sure there has to be a better way of doing this though, I'd be interested in hearing any!
The eyes and the mouth I drew on with pencil to begin with. I made myself a template which consisted of one eye and half the mouth, then reversed it on the other side when I was drawing on the fabric - this makes sure it's nice and symmetrical!
I then painted them on with acrylic paint, and it took a few layers. If I was to remake Bereznoff, I expect I'd mix a bit of PVA glue in with the paint to make it more resistant to stains - the white parts were very easy to get dirty. I also used masking tape to mark off the areas I was painting to make sure I got nice crisp lines. It's a bit difficult to do around the curved edges of the lines, but it's definitely worth it!
For the outlines, I used more acrylic paint. I had a few prototypes where I used a permanent marker, but it was very difficult to do, and when it came into contact with the fabric it bled which meant the lines were all horrible. So yeah, acrylic paint. Someone with a less steady hand than me might wish to use more masking tape to mark it off to get crisp lines again.
Joint first place - Tokyopop ReCon Torquay 17th April 2008