Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty // Cosplayer : paisleyandglue // Photo : jayncoke

This is an original design of Disney’s Maleficent, using her classic silhouette of dagged sleeves and a horned headdress while drawing inspiration from high fashion, historical and fantasy armor designs and fantasy dragon art.

I’ve always loved Maleficent as a character but I haven’t loved any of her character designs in past movies. I thought I could create a design for her that had many elements to challenge myself between the underpinnings, wing building and armor making. It had a great balance of needlework and craftwork, which is perfect to keep me interested in a project.

I’ve made wings in the past and had a lot of issues with weight distribution so I knew that dealing with that was a priority. This was my first time using heat to form PVC pipe for the structure of the wings and it was super challenging to get the sides symmetrical and to figure out the harness situation and how that related to the rest of my costume. But my solution of using the spine armor piece to cover the harness attachment point ended up being my favorite part of the costume! I also managed to keep each wing to three pounds and they were fairly evenly distributed over my shoulders which helped the comfort factor.

At C2E2, I had a fantastic time. Due to the size of the costume, I wasn’t able to move around much inside the convention but the response I got from attendees was amazing. Everyone wanted to know specifically how I built the wings and headdress which was fun to chat about. I love to talk about construction techniques with people! I also had an amazing friend as my handler who helped wrangle my dress train. The reaction from kids is always my favorite part of conventions. I also had a great time in the Crown Championships (my first time competing) and will definitely be entering again in the future. Meeting all the other contestants and talking shop was so great!

The sheer number of skills that cosplayers have under their belts is astounding and I’ve used a lot of the techniques in my day job making theatre costumes. Cosplay has also helped me challenge myself both with learning new skills and achieving new goals in the scale of my builds. It’s also a great lesson in time-management and budgeting!

Currently, (May 2020) I’ve been let go from my theatre job as all the theatres are shut down indefinitely from Covid-19. I don’t know when or if I will have a steady job again in my field so I need to decide if I’m going to continue in that vein or try to branch out to other industries. One of the possibilities would be start to take on cosplay commissions for others but I’m hesitant to start down that road as I don’t want to burn out on my hobby! It’s understandably causing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in my life!