Thursday, September 5, 2013

Self-Imposed Deadlines

So I'm working along with two current challenges, this Historical Sew Fortnightly and the Accessorizing Head-to-Toe.  While these have been great for filling out my historical wardrobe, a recent conversation with my costuming accountability buddy made me realize how I've completely been ignoring the non-historical.  We've been lax at offering each other motivation now that Costume Con has come and gone, and that's going to have to change.  The next convention I'm attending isn't until January, but I'm planning a big entry for the masquerade and with Halloween, Longest Night Ball and winter holidays in between, I need to get on top of things if I want to make it happen.

Accountability buddy pointed out that something helpful I had told her once was to keep an electronic "to do" list for costumes and to break them down into components to make them seem more easily manageable.  Sounds simple, but sometimes it's hard to look at a complete idea and fully understand what's really going to have to go into getting it done.  I keep a master list saved as a draft email in my gmail account so that I can easily access it from work (where I spend a lot of my down time thinking about costuming) or on my cell phone, wherever I may be.  Instead of just listing the costume I want to complete, I break it down into component parts, and further into major tasks.  I have a terrible habit of not attempting to do things that I don't think I can accomplish, so looking at a list that says "Queen of Hearts' doesn't inspire me to want to pick up and work on it.  But seeing it broken down into parts ( bodice, skirt, underskirt, petticoat, bloomers, crown, scepter, earrings, shoes) and then even further into pieces (bloomers: draft pattern, dye lace, stamp fabric, assemble), makes it seem more doable.  Sure, I can't cross an entire costume off the list in one weekend, but I could dye a length of fabric or cut out pattern and have it ready for the next bit of free time that comes along.  The also helps me avoid another big bad habit of mine, putting things off to the last minute.  There are so many elements of a costume that are so asininely simple (paint a small prop, glue a flower to a hat, braid that belt) that I keep putting them off as being easy to bang out at the last minute.  Well, the last minute tends to get here and then simple things turn out not-so-simple, or so many simple things bury me in a pile oh-gods-I'll-never-get-it-all-done.

So I came up with a set of bi-weekly themes and deadlines geared more towards character costuming to help the both of us get back on track.  Shared here to both increase accountability to myself, and to hopefully inspire some of you to get cracking on your own projects.  I liked the bi-weekly deadlines of the HSF, so done the same here, staggering the deadlines.

9/16 - Cover your arse (pants, skirts, lower body prosthetics)
9/30 - Get invested (shirts, vests, jackets basically anything that covers the torso)
10/14 - Big-headed (hats, head coverings, horns, ears, facial prosthetics, neck-up jewelry)
10/28 - Getting handsy (gloves, rings, sleeves)
11/11 - Playing footsie (shoes, stockings, animal feet)
11/25 - Propped up (props and weapons)
12/09 - Painting the town (any project involving paint)
12/23 - Shiny! (anything with sequins, jewels shiny or light up)
1/06 - Get presentable (fill out forms, write scripts, work on your music)
1/20 - freebie/catch-up/crunch time (Arisia is the 17-20th)

What am I doing to cover my arse?  Well, it's my bff that's getting her bum covered with a dress for a character cosplay that's been on our to do someday list for a couple of years now.  Draping is done and mockup fully assembled, so we're rolling right along with it.  Even though we have months before it would be worn anywhere, I'm using the 16th as my deadline to try to get it done. 

Here, have a teaser:

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