Well, That’ll Do: My Winter Soldier Hoodie

Guys. I have a real problem. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s somewhere between delusions of grandeur and over committing. Either way, I think I have the time and ability to do all sorts of magical things that I simply do not. Case in point? The Winter Soldier hoodie.

I was certain, absolutely certain that I’d be able to easily re-create a low-key winter soldier hoodie for myself. Did I flake out on the project? No. I made myself a damn hoodie, but it was at quite the personal cost. Here’s what I learned, and I’d like to impart that knowledge on to you.

Don’t Have a Sewing Machine? Rethink Your Lofty Plans…

Guys, sewing something without a sewing machine takes a lot of work. Trying to do something intricate without a sewing machine and solid sewing skills? Yeah, it’s kinda like this:

Cap.gif

The initial tutorial I linked to was fairly straight-forward with very little sewing. Take a gray hoodie arm, sew it onto a black hoodie, and draw on the black marks to make your arm look like Bucky’s. But this girl was like, “That’s too easy! I want it too look ~authentic~”. I decided I would leave the black hoodie arm on and sew on gray strips. It felt more authentic to me, but it really was just a pain in the ass that ended up leading to me drowning about 16 hours into a project that I ultimately scrapped and started from scratch.  If you’re a sub-par seamstress with no equipment, keep it simple, kids. Definitely measure and pin stuff, but keep the end goal easy to achieve.

Know Your Limits, and Bail When You Need To

bucky escape

Like I said, I definitely didn’t give up. I made myself a Winter Soldier hoodie, but after I realize what a dumpster fire my first attempt at a hoodie was, I just left it alone for a while.

Whether or not you need to bail on the project completely is up to you, but don’t be afraid to admit you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, and either scrap the project or just re-imagine it.

Get Advice and Support From Other People

besties.gif

If this is your first time sewing anything more complicated than, hypothetically, ribbons on your pointe shoes, seek out the advice of others who have done this before. Sometimes they’ll freely offer advice, sometimes you’ll have to ask for it, but either way glean as much experiential knowledge as you can. Learning from other people’s mistakes is way easier than learning from your own, right?

Don’t Freak Out If This First Project Knocks You Out Or Isn’t Perfect

black panther kick

I’ll be honest. This project was a lot of work, and the end result…it isn’t perfect, y’all. The red star isn’t centered enough, the stitching isn’t gorgeous, and I sort of lost steam when it came time to adding the lines. It’s just a straight up, two-toned gray arm. But I’m kind of unreasonably proud of it. Yeah, I know it’s not great, and the entire thing was a LOT harder than I expected for a result WAY below what I was hoping. But I did it! I completed a project, as crappy of a final result as it might be. Now I know what I can do better going forward, and I’ll always be able to look back on this first project fondly. Here’s how it turned out (and please enjoy my picture with Bucky-inspired eye makeup).

Winter Soldier Hoodie

So like I said, it isn’t perfect, but I sewed the entire thing by hand, and I’m pretty excited to say that I actually finished a project I wanted to attempt. My next project will be far better, and by then I’ll hopefully have a sewing matching that will keep me from wanting to kill something.

Tell me some of your less-than-perfect cosplay/sewing stories, and feel free to give me any tips and tricks in the comments!

Ways to Deal After the Captain America News

If you haven’t heard the news about the craziness Marvel is pulling with the Captain America comics, check out the write up I did about it over at Nerdist (did I mention I write for Nerdist now, too? Because I totally do…). If you don’t want to hear the big Cap twist, turn back now because I’m about to get into it. Spoilers ahoy, kids.

cap salute

Okay, so by now you’ve likely heard that Captain America is being revealed as a long-standing undercover agent for Hydra. Understandably, the internet is freaking out over Marvel taking the most noble, truly good, and brave character from it’s universe and completely ruining everything that we love about him. Cap has a long and storied history of being one of the few characters who is 100% good. Watching Marvel kind of ruin that legacy by putting him on Team Hydra has been hard to watch for all of us–even Chris Evans himself.

disappointed

Okay, so that wasn’t his actual reaction the Cap/Hydra news… This was Chris’ actual reaction to the complete destruction of the character of the First Avenger:

Of course there are loads of theories on why we don’t need to freak out about this whole Cap/Hydra business, but until reality is restored it’s gonna be tough for those of us on #TeamCap to deal with this heartbreaking reveal. So I’ve got some ways to help you handle Marvel’s decision to remind us all that we just can’t have nice things.

 Deny, Deny, Deny

gollum

Bad Cap can’t get you if you pretend he doesn’t exist…*rocks self and hums quietly*

Say It With Me: Not MY Cap!

Okay, but really, this is the Cap we all know and love, right?

Good Guy Cap

If you don’t even want to mess around with the new Hydra-Cap, and you don’t even want to see how Marvel tries to make this right, then just don’t even buy into it. Stick with MCU Cap and pre-Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 Cap. Sure, you know it exists, but just ignore it. You know, treat Hydra-Cap like an annoying person at a party and pretend to be on your phone when you pass it in the comic book store. That always works.

Re-Join the Hail Hydra Meme Train

Remember the hail Hydra memes that came out after Winter Soldier released?

hail hydra

Super fun, right? Well now that Marvel has cursed us with this abomination:

Captain-America-Hail-Hydra

Image credit: Marvel

…it looks has though the meme has been reborn from the pile of old meme ashes and fan tears. Why not jump on board and channel your rage and heartbreak into internet memes? I’m sure that’s healthy…

Enjoy the New “Let’s Ruin Cap Together” Meme

Since everything we love about Cap is arguably gone (I know, I know, his Hydra stint could be a ca-razzzayyy twist, but for now I’m allowed to feel sad), why not join together as an internet community and ruin Cap in a way that feels more palatable than having him revealed as a member of the group that tortured and brainwashed his best friend? Nothing is more beautiful than watching the internet is fight back to the whole Hydra business by joining hands to ruin him together:

Ultimately, whether it’s denial, ignoring, or humor, we can all get through this Darkest Timeline together. After all, supporting each other when our faves get ruined is what the internet is for, right?

Cap Internet.gif

How are you dealing with the Cap news? What do you think of the Hydra twist? Let’s have a Cap therapy session in the comments! 

The Search for the Perfect Winter Soldier Hoodie

Several months ago, I was sitting in my best friend’s parents house. Captain America: Winter Soldier had just recently come out, and my bestie and I were talking about the movie. Suddenly, she drops a BOMB on me (okay, it wasn’t that dramatic). When I started fangirling over Bucky/Winter Soldier,  she essentially responded like this:

who the hell is bucky.gif

She just didn’t understand how I could care or fangirl over Bucky when Captain America and his Dorito-shaped body were in the same universe. Meanwhile I couldn’t believe how she didn’t love Bucky. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like Cap. I love Cap, I’m unabashedly #TeamCap, and I’ve made the pilgrimage to my local Yankee Candle to check out his candle. But I can’t help it. I love Cap, but I’m a Bucky girl. Maybe it’s because I share his love of red and black, or maybe it’s because we both have a tough time with nailing that smoky eye look…

winter soldier

…whatever it is, he’s my fave, and I’m the type of chick who likes to get swag based on her faves. My extensive collection of Jordandene shirts alone will prove that. While I’ve got a Jordandene tank that has a red star and reads, “I’m with you till the end of the line”, I really wanted to get a Winter Soldier hoodie. You know, a cool-looking hoodie with a silver (or gray) arm that had a red star on the shoulder. Something badass-looking like my Her Universe Black Widow jacket. But in all of my searching, I couldn’t find anything. So I’m left with only one choice: I have to make my own Winter Soldier hoodie. I found a solid tutorial on DeviantArt from Unicat Studio. What is great about this tutorial is that one, the author recognizes that some of us might be terrible at sewing, and that it’s okay. But even better, there are tiers for how complex you want to make your hoodie. Here’s the easy, Level One version of the Winter Soldier hoodie:

winter_soldier_hoodie tutorial easy

Not too bad, right? I feel like this might be the perfect way for me to get my feet wet creating my own everyday cosplay wear (for you ambitious folk, here’s the link again for Unicat Studio’s full tutorial). Since I’m leaning heavily towards wearing outfits around my Jordandene shirts this year at Denver Comic Con, having a hoodie like this would go perfectly with my Till the End of the Line shirt.

What do you think of this tutorial? Have you ever tried to make your own fandom-wear? What tips or tricks do you have for me? Have you seen a Winter Soldier hoodie tutorial that you like more than the one I posted? Tell me about it in the comments! 

Denver Comic Con 2016: Seriously, What Should I Wear?

Okay, you guys. I’m having a bit of an outfit crisis up in here. I know that I’ve posted a few things of outfit options for Denver Comic Con and I’ve got LOADS of other everyday cosplay outfits, but I just can’t find something I love. Last year, I knew almost exactly what I wanted to wear to the con, but this year I’m not so sure. So one thing I’m considering is nixing everyday cosplay this year, and just wearing different outfits around the Jordandene tanks I own. Here’s what I’m thinking:

My Hamilton outfit:

I know you’ve already seen this one, but I love this outfit. I’ve been obsessed with the musical for a while, and equally obsessed with this shirt since it arrived. So I think this outfit is a DEFINITE contender for my Denver Comic Con 2016 look.

Everyday Low-Key Hamilton Trash

 

#TeamCap Style

I loved, loved, LOVED Captain America: Civil War, and I’m still riding that post-movie buzz, so I think it’d be the perfect time to style an outfit that gives a nod to Cap and his team. Also before you give me a hard time–and warning, a spoiler alert for Civil War below…
*I realize Nat starts out Team Iron Man, but she ultimately ends up switching teams, so I’m comfortable with including my Her Universe Black Widow jacket*

#TeamCap Style

 

Don’t Blink!

Of course I have to pay tribute to my favorite doctor with this “Don’t Blink” (it’s pictured in sweatshirt form here, but I’ve got it as a tank. And, of course, TARDIS blue nail polish.

Doctor Who Style

 

We’re All Stories in the End

This was the first tank I ever bought from Jordandene, and I LOVE it. It’s also one of my favorite lines from the Eleventh Doctor. I’m sticking with the TARDIS blue nail polish, as well as a “Hello sweetie” temporary tattoo I got from Jordandene.

We're All Stories In The End

 

What do you think of my Jordandene-styled convention style? I’m definitely feeling a lot of these outfits far more than any of my everyday cosplay outfits, but I’ll just have to wait to see what I decide. Do you have a fave look, or do you have a fave Jordandene shirt that I don’t (yet) own? Let me know your faves in the comments, and be sure to check out Jordandene for your own ADORABLE geek chic tanks, tees, and more! Also let me know if you’re coming to Denver Comic Con this year–be sure to buy your passes before they sell out! 

#TeamCap Civil War Premiere Outfit

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I am unabashedly #TeamCap for this Civil War business in the MCU.

cap salute.gif

So I want to be sure I show my party alignment when I go and see Captain America: Civil War this weekend. While there’s always options in the everyday cosplay realm (I made a few Civil War everyday cosplay outfits for Geek & Sundry), maybe you want to explore some different ways of expressing your side. Here are some options:

Nails and Makeup

I’ll be honest with you guys. I’m terrible at makeup. I wear as little as possible, and even then I’m pretty sure makeup gurus would tell me I’m applying the stuff wrong. So the thought of doing fancy makeup for a movie premiere makes me a bit itchy (I’ll stick to nails, really). BUT after watching this totally awesome makeup tutorial for Cap makeup, I couldn’t help feel a bit inspired. Her nail choices were also amazing.

Of course, in the video I posted above, she uses gel polish. Here’s a nail tutorial in case you’re not on the gel nails train:

Hair

If you’ve got longer hair, you’re not going to be able (and probably won’t want) to recreate Steve’s hairstyle. While you might be able to swing Bucky’s hair, ever since the whole Winter Soldier thing his hair is more bedhead-chic with an emphasis on bedhead. So instead of trying to copy Cap or Bucky, why not channel a more Peggy Carter-themed hairstyle and don a classic forties ‘do? Here’s a tutorial for some vintage waves:

Outfit

You didn’t think I’d actually leave you without a new everyday cosplay outfit, did you? Of COURSE you can’t go to the premiere in your regular old clothes! With this outfit, there will be no DOUBT that you’re 100% in on #TeamCap

Captain America Everyday Cosplay

 

 

Are you seeing Captain America: Civil War this weekend? What are you wearing to the movie? Tell me about it in the comments, and if you’re #TeamIronMan let me know! I promise I won’t be angry…

disappointed

Fandom Nails: Avengers!

It’s Ultron week, so I’ve been focusing pretty heavily on getting you ready for the premiere with tips on throwing an awesome watch party and some everyday cosplay suggestions. Of course I couldn’t let this week go by without doing some Avengers-inspired fandom nails, right?

The_Avengers_Yo

Weeellll, Avengers nails weren’t as easy as I thought they’d be. I began with these grand plans of putting very elaborate designs on my nails that would clearly and perfectly represent each Avenger. However, after the zillionth failed attempt at painting a tiny mjolnir on my nails…

i'm done

Still, I wasn’t ready to give up entirely. I packed up my nail polish for the night, and came back the next day to give it another try. Only this time I opted for some less-obvious tributes to my favorite group of superheroes. Here’s what I used (spoiler alert: I used a crapton of nail polish):

Nail Polish

OPI, Yoga-ta Get This BlueSalon Perfect, Black DiamondSalon Perfect, White OutNicole by OPI High Shine Top CoatPetites, Passion OrangeNYC, White Lights GlitterPure Ice, BewareSally Hansen, Slick SlateSally Hansen, Black HeartSally Hansen, Purple CrazeOrly, Teal Unreal

I got my inspiration from other nail designs I found online. However, most designs I found were super colorful. I decided that I didn’t want to have so many contrasting colors happening on my nails, so I opted for blue on my ring fingers, and then I alternated between the slate and the black on my other nails. I work in an office, y’all. I can’t go around work with bright red, green, purple, AND blue nails, yafeelme?

After picking base colors that would both serve my purposes and keep my bosses happy, I tackled the designs. For Thor, I opted for a lightning bolt rather than the mjolnir–way easier. I went for red (okay, dark orange–it was all I had), white, and blue stripes for Cap (I’ve seen several Captain America nails with stars, too, but I am so bad at drawing stars on paper, so I didn’t want to even attempt them on my nails). I created a arc reactor-esque design for Iron Man, and I drew a basic arrow for Hawkeye. Since I was quickly running out of fingers, I tossed symmetry to the wind and used my thumbs to rep Black Widow and Hulk. On one thumb, I drew purple and green (okay, teal–again, all I had) stripes for Hulk–I wasn’t even going to attempt to draw a DNA strand, radioactive symbol, or Hulk-face on my nails–and a red hourglass for Black Widow.

I added a green glitter to my Hulk nail to bring out the green, and on the other nails I added a silver glitter. I felt like a bit of glitter gave the nails a bit of superhero magnificence. Also, I just love glitter. Here’s how the nails turned out:

Avengers NailsWhat do you think? Have you tried any Avengers nail designs? Are you doing anything special for the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Let me know your premiere plans–be they watch parties, everyday cosplay, fandom nails, or something completely different–in the comments! 

Everyday Cosplay: The Avengers

avengers-gif
It’s just about time for Age of Ultron to hit theaters! Get excited, Marvel fans! Earlier in the week I wrote up a few tips to a killer Marvel watch party over at Geek & Sundry, and now I’ve got a few ideas for some Avengers-themed everyday cosplay. Check it out:
Everday Hulk/Bruce Banner Cosplay
Everyday Black Widow Cosplay
Everyday Captain America Cosplay
Everyday Thor Cosplay
Everyday Ironman Cosplay
Everyday Hawkeye

And, for those of you who can’t pick just one Avenger to emulate, I give you the generic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent everyday cosplay:

Everyday SHIELD Agent Cosplay

Of course, do be careful with this one. That tank top definitely might give away any Hydra-leaning tendencies you might have…

Are you going to be watching Avengers: Age of Ultron when it premieres this weekend? Let me know your premiere-viewing plans in the comments!

Avengers: Age of Ultron Teaser Trailer Released

UPDATE: In addition to the teaser trailer, Marvel has also released a trailer poster. Check it out!

***

Despite Marvel’s plans to release the first official trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron during next week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the trailer was leaked yesterday. While Marvel promptly pulled it down and made this official statement in regard to the leak…

…Marvel ultimately decided to give in to Hydra’s bullying and release the trailer earlier than planned. I’ll be honest, I’m not really complaining. Take a peek:

For those wondering, here is my official review of the Age of Ultron trailer:

jeremy renner

What do you think of the trailer? Are you as excited as I am for Age of Ultron? Let me know in the comments!

Captain America: Another Big Change in the Marvel Universe

Marvel is keeping us on our toes! A few days ago we heard the male Thor we all know and love will be deemed unworthy to wield the Mjolnir and posses the power of Thor (and apparently retain the name of Thor), and a woman will be deemed worthy instead. We also got our first glance at this new, female Thor: 

It seems the changes aren’t done yet. Last night on the Colbert Report, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada announced that Steve Rogers will no longer be Captain America come November. Instead, the new hero to stand for all things justice, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be The Falcon himself, Sam Wilson. Here’s a glimpse: 

The reasoning behind Sam taking over for Steve is a bit less dramatic than male-Thor’s exit (I am STILL not sure how to refer to “old Thor”–I really thought Thor was a name, not a title, but I digress). Steve Rogers’ body will simply not be able to take the physical demands of being Cap, and so he will pass the torch on to Sam. It sounds like Steve will still be around in this new chapter of Captain America, and he’ll be a sort of tutor for Sam (even teaching him how to toss the shield in that classic Cap way). So even though Steve might be done protecting our streets as Cap, it sounds like he isn’t going to be going anywhere. 

I’m also beginning to hear rumors that there is going to be a similar shake-up in the near future for Iron Man. I have absolutely nothing substantial to support that, but given Marvel’s changes to 2 out of the “Big Three”, it seems likely. 

It’s hard to know what to think about these changes. Part of what makes comic book characters great is that they are sort of “timeless”. They seem to abide by a different law of aging and time (even the human superheroes), and that is what makes them great–they are always around. To be fair, we’re not seeing the end of Thor or Captain America, we’re just seeing the end of familiar faces in those roles. Still, it will feel very weird at first not having Steve Rogers as the perennial Cap (even though others have stepped in that role) and Thor as…um…Thor (honestly, what are they going to call him now???). 

One thing I am proud of Marvel for doing is actively pursuing diversity in their superheroes. We have a female, Muslim superhero in Ms. Marvel, a woman in Captain Marvel and Black Widow (and now Thor), an African-American woman in Storm, and Captain America will now be an African-American man. I think that’s great, and really exciting. Comic book fans are incredibly diverse, and it will be really cool for a wider variety of readers to be able to look at Marvel superheroes and find one that looks like them. 

My only trepidation is that this new move will be nothing more than pandering to racial minorities and women, and general headline-grabbing. If this is truly the new direction Captain America and Thor are moving (not a temporary news-maker), and they have interesting and compelling story lines to follow, I think this could be something really exciting. It feels a little weird to watch Marvel take some of the oldest, most beloved superheroes and change them, and I do kind of wonder why they didn’t just add characters to the Marvel Universe. However, I am really excited to see this evolution in the Marvel Universe. If they can make these changes with the love for the characters and the readers, and not something to pat female readers or readers of color, I think this will signal the start to a very exciting and interesting character in the Marvel Universe and comics in general. 

Only time will tell! The new Thor comics will arrive in October, and the new Captain America comics will be dropping in November. Will you be picking up copies? What do you think about the changes Marvel is making? Tell me your opinion in the comments!