Bananya Cosplay

If you didn’t believe I was a total dork before now, you will after this post.

You see, I’m somewhat obsessed with Bananya. Don’t know what Bananya is? (You’re not alone.) A bananya is a cat….that lives in a banana. And it has many other Bananya friends (there’s baby bananyas, black bananya, vain bananya, tabby bananya…) Basically, they all live in bananas and they hang out on the kitchen counter when you aren’t watching. The episodes are less than 5 minutes long, so if you have a chance check out a few and come back. Its ok. I’ll wait.

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Thanks for coming back! Did you fall in love?

My friends know about my obsession, and when discussing potential cosplays for Florida Supercon one of my friends made the suggestion. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but I fell in love with the idea!

The pieces slowly came together in my head:

  • Cat headband (felt ears)
  • Tshirts
  • Yellow fleece pants
  • Yellow and white banana peels

The first item I tackled was the pants. I used Simplicity 2290 as the pattern and only changed the bottom hem by adding elastic to make sure they bunched up.

It took me a little bit longer to decide how to tackle the peels. I knew fleece on its own wouldn’t give me the drape that I wanted, but after a couple of trips to 2 different Joann’s I was able to find the perfect material, 1/2″ thick foam.

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For the peels I did use a tiny bit of math to figure out the width of each (widest waist measurement divided by 4 = Peel width). They are fluffy, so if you fudge the numbers a bit its not a big deal. Once I cut 4 rectangles in width needed, I drew a tapered peel shape and cut it out. I used that as the “pattern” for the remaining peels.

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I used that same pattern to cut out 4 pieces of yellow fleece and 4 pieces of white fleece.

To sew together I layered the fleece pieces on top of the foam (yellow on top, white in the middle, foam on the bottom) and sewed as close to the edge as possible with about 1/4″ seam allowance around the curved parts leaving only the straight bottom section without sewing. Once all 3 layers were sewn I turned it right side out, leaving the yellow fleece on the bottom, and the foam sandwiched in between the fleece layers.

I wanted the option to be able to take off the peels if they became a nuisance (since we’d be wearing them practically the whole day, plus, you know….bathroom breaks…). This also allows the pants to be worn again sans peels. In order to be able to get them on and off relatively easily, I attached them all to some webbing and attached a buckle that allows you to tighten as needed.

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I left the cat ears for last, since they would be fairly easy to make. (For reference, check out my post on making a unicorn headband!) All I needed was 2 headbands, which I already had, and some felt in black, pink, and white.

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I’m pretty darned happy with how this costume turned out, and that’s saying a lot! I tend to be very critical and tell myself everything looks like crap if it isn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfect, but I still loved it!

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A Bananya in its natural habitat.

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A big thanks to Will for indulging me and taking these pictures during a random trip to Fairchild Tropical Garden. (And yes, those are banana trees I’m sneaking behind!)

 

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Dino Planters

I have what one would call a “black thumb”. You know those articles about plants that anyone can keep alive? Yeah, I’ve killed them all.* So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been wanting to get myself an air plant. They’re supposed to be good for indoor air, and they’re impossible to kill.**

The only problem? I’m super cheap. I’ve seen the adorable planters and hanging planters in stores, but I can’t bring myself to spend double digits on them. Plus, I always get the nagging thought “you could totally make that yourself!”

When I finally spotted a couple cute dinosaurs at the Dollar Tree, I knew it was time to make myself a Dino Planter!

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Materials needed:

  • Cute rubber dino. It needs to stand on its own, so no squishy ones. Other figures work too, it doesn’t have to be a dinosaur!
  • Box Cutter (there may be a more elegant/efficient way to do this, but this is what I used.)
  • Spray paint. (any color! make sure it says it’ll adhere to plastic)
  • Pebbles/weights (Optional. to make sure your dino is stable and that your plants won’t drop all the way down)
  • Air Plants. They actually sell these on Amazon and even Target, but if you’re like me and live in South Florida you may be able to find some in the wild. (Might I recomment Matheson Hammock park? It may or may not be where I got mine…)

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Step 1: Cut an air plant sized hole into the top of your dino. Be careful to cut AWAY from yourself and watch where you have your fingers. You don’t want blood on your dino! You want to have your air plants in hand before doing this, to make sure they’re going to fit nicely. (Leave space for the air plants to “breathe”.)

Some tips: If you’re doing this project with kids….please don’t let them do the cutting! Depending on your dino it could be pretty tough. My technique for making the hole started with some gentle stabbing motions, followed by slicing. (Its must easier to slice through the plastic once you have the cutter in there.)

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Step 2: Spray paint your dino. (You know the drill….make sure you’re in a well ventilated area and protect anything in the vicinity that you don’t want painted. Like your grill, for example.) Wait the recommended drying time before handling again.

Step 3: Throw in some of those pebbles/weights into the dino hole. Doesn’t have to be filled all the way, just enough to keep the dino from toppling over.

Step 4: Nestle your air plant into its new home.

Place Air Plant in Dino

And voila! Your dino planter is done!

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*The zizi plant is an excellent suggestion for my fellow black thumbs. I’ve had two that have survived “droughts”, and they even do well in low light situations!

**As I have since learned, air plants need maintenance too….they need to be soaked and then dried every week or so. That sounds manageable, I think…

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Stranger Things Ugly Christmas Sweater

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll know that Stranger Things is life! While we could debate whether Season 2 was as good as Season 1 (it wasn’t, sorry), pretty much anyone will agree its a great show. Back in October Target released a line of Stranger Things themed apparel to herald in the new season of the show, including this winning Men’s sweater.

Target Mens Stranger Things Sweater

Ugly? Really?

I’ll be honest, I’ve gotten pretty tired of seeing cool sweaters being called “ugly” just because they look like they were knitted. Now, a tacky, truly ugly sweater? That is a thing to behold…and that is what I would make!

The image came to me right away….red sweatshirt (as big and awkward as I can get), felt Christmas light bulbs, and painted letters.

Supply List:

This project was suprisingly quick and easy. The hardest part was probably fitting all the bulbs onto the shirt.

Step 1: Cut out 26 bulbs out of the felt squares, alternating between pink, blue, green, and yellow. Cut out 26 small rectangles from the grey felt. (I don’t have a template to share for the bulbs, but you can freehand it.)

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Step 2: Arrange the bulbs on the sweatshirt in rows. They don’t have to be super straight, or even point in the same direction. Be sure to leave space underneath for the letters, and little bit more for the “string” if you want to make it loopy.

Step 3: Once you have your layout glue the bulbs and the grey caps to the sweatshirt using felt glue. If you really wanted to take it to the next level stitch them on! I think it would add a great touch.

Step 4: Write out that alphabet using the black paint. (Make sure to not get distracted and skip letters. Not that I speak from experience or anything….). Your goal is to have each bulb have a letter underneath. Crazy kindergartner looking letters are encouraged!

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Step 5: Connect your lights using the green paint. You can use a direct line or you can make it loop. Go crazy! Follow your heart!

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Step 6: Step back and admire your work. For 4 hours. Because that’s how long it takes for the paint to dry.

Its rare for my projects to turn out exactly how I envision them, but this one did! Best of all it was easy enough to do in a group, and we were done in a couple hours!

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Of course, once our ugly sweaters were dry, we couldn’t resist an 80’s inspired group photo….

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A big thanks to Nabila Verushka for bringing our cheesy 80’s family portrait dreams to life, and for taking all the photos included in this post!

Side note: This sweatshirt is SO comfy and cozy, don’t be surprised if you catch me wearing it during our next cold front!

 

 

 

Pawnee Goddesses

Leslie Knope is easily the best TV character of all time. Not only is she Feminist AF, but she’s a fantastic friend….even if a little over enthusiastic. When I grow up I want to be Leslie (or Anne, because how awesome would it be to have Leslie as my BFF?)

One of my favorite Leslie moments? Season 4, Episode 4, Wilderness Weekend with the Pawnee Goddesses. (This also happens to be Treat Yo’self 2011. Purely coincidence.) If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it right now. It’s on Netflix. I’ll wait.

So yeah, Pawnee Goddesses are freaking awesome. Which is why I had to make myself a Pawnee Goddess vest.

I purchased my iron-on patch on Etsy from FerdinandWorks, and the fabric and yellow trim (ric rac) can be found just about anywhere (I got mine from Joann’s). I used New Look 6036, model E, for the vest pattern.

Of course, our sewing session turned into a full-on sewing party….

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This is actually a great project for an advanced beginner! A little tricky with the curves, but you can either line it, or use bias binding to make it easier. None of my friends had ever sewn a garment before, and they turned out really great!

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I am a goddess

A glorious female warrior

Queen of all that I survey

Enemies of fairness and equality

Hear my womanly roar.

Up next: I make my very own Gertrude Stein!*

*That was a joke.

Photos by Nabila/One Tiny Dinosaur

LOTR Brunch: Gandalf the Grey-ish

Last Sunday’s Geek Girl Brunch had us making a visit to The Shire to hang out with our favorite hobbits, elves, and wizards. The theme: Lord of the Rings!

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Group shot! Photo courtesy of Geek Girl Brunch Miami

Aside from the great brunch (Thanks Ms. Cheezious!) GGB is always a fun opportunity to dress up, whether in casual cosplay, serious costuming and props, or anything in between.

I landed somewhere in between as Gandalf the Grey. I wanted to keep my costs low while still making an effort to get crafty. My solution: a grey dress I already had, a self-made fleece hat (Gandalf’s signature wardrobe piece, duh) and a grey “cloak”.

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That’s me! Gandalf, sans staff. Photo by Melificent

My so-called “cloak” was made by simply taking a rectangle of fleece, gathering the corners, and pinning them to my dress around the shoulders. Done! (#lazycosplay)

I put a bit more effort into the hat since I wanted it to be the defining piece of the outfit (although if someone shows up in grey to a LOTR event, you’re kinda going to guess that they’re Gandalf….) After reviewing several pictures of Gandalf from the movie and random cosplayers, I figured I could get the effect I wanted by making myself a “witch hat” and then bending/stuffing the cone to get the Gandalf look.

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I made the hat without a pattern, using only math as my guide…and the only math you really need to use is to determine a radius to make the brim.

While I used fleece, I’d actually recommend using something stiffer, like felt. For the brim I had to use an interfacing to keep the hat from becoming a floppy fleece beach hat.* And then because of the interfacing (it was white and wouldn’t look great exposed) I had to use a 2nd layer of grey fleece for the bottom of the brim. The trickiest part of the project was sewing the cone to the brim, but with plenty of pins and some patience (always my weak point) it didn’t turn out too terribly. 

In total I used about 2.5 yards, keeping my project under $12. I managed to wear the cloak a surprisingly long time, considering it was in the 90’s in the courtyard. I kept poking people and getting stuck in tree branches with my hat, so that was amusing.

To finish, I’ll leave you all with a picture of our swag from the brunch. Isn’t it awesome?!!

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*Now I can’t get the image of Gandalf sunbathing with his floppy fleece beach hat out of my head…

Amigurumi Baby Groot

One of the fun parts of moving is that the packing and unpacking phase can uncover stuff you forgot you ever had. (Sometimes fun, sometimes leads to anxiety.) While emptying yet another box in the craft room I discovered that I had printed off a GROOTORIAL from Twinkie Chan nearly 3 years ago!

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At the time Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1) had just come out and we were all about Baby Groot. Fast forward a few years; now GOTG Volume 2 is out, and we are still all about Baby Groot. (Well, Kid Groot. Was that not the best opening sequence to a movie…ever?? Kid Groot is the best.)

Finding this pattern was a sign that it was time to whip out that crochet needle and make me a Groot!

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This project wasn’t too difficult. I ended up ditching the written pattern and following her video tutorial instead. She made a few changes in the video that worked better for me….like the size of the base, and the final size of the head. My Groot ended up slightly larger than her potted version, but smaller than the one on the video. I also skipped the vine-y bits around the torso. The hardest part was making those skinny little arms. It was so hard for me to keep track of the stitches!!

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I didn’t put my Groot in a pot since I figured he would rather be free to wander out and about.

I was right!

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Ok Groot. Can we have our Bubble Teas back now???*

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Groot, that is NOT your sushi!!*

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Has anyone else made themselves a Baby Groot (or Kid Groot?!)

If not, check out Twinkie Chan’s instructions and let me know if you make your own!!

 

*Sushi and Bubble Tea from Lan Pan in Dadeland Station. Groot’s adventuring photo shoot (and spooning partner, Link) courtesy of Nabila from One Tiny Dinosaur.

That time I made Unicorn Headbands for a bunch of grown women…

What happens when a group of grown women get together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a magical friend?

We wear Unicorn Headbands!

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I recently volunteered to make Unicorn headbands for a magical themed bachelorette party. With the much appreciated help of a friend it wasn’t too difficult. By the end of the night we were Unicorn Headband making pros.

Supplies needed:

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  • Headbands (we used 1/4″ white plastic)
  • White felt (you can fit 2 horns onto one sheet)
  • Colored felt (we used 5 different colors, 1 sheet will get you 2, maybe 3 sets of ears)
  • Gold thread (we used embroidery floss, but recommend using something that won’t fray at the ends)
  • Glue Gun (and about 1 stick of glue per headband)
  • Tulle in assorted colors (6 – 3″x6″ strips for each headband)
  • Polyester fill/stuffing
  • Scissors

There are a few tutorials out there to make the horns using different methods. We ended up using the pattern from HowToGal’s Unicorn Headband tutorial and drew inspiration from a combination of headbands out there on the internets. You can improvise and make your own pattern, but having one premade sped things up (even though it took us a while to figure out exactly how to roll up those horns….)

The ear shape was drawn freehand and required one larger shape, and a smaller one to fit into the larger shape.

First step: Cut out the parts!

The white felt is used for the horn, the inner part of the ear (2 needed) and the base of the horn (2 needed).

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The colored felt is used for the outer part of the ear….so you need two! To minimize the amount of cutting the pattern is meant to be cut on the fold! If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to attach it easily to the headband.

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Be sure to cut on the fold so that both sides of the ear (front and back) are connected!!

Once you have all your parts cut out….

Step 2: The horn

This isn’t as complicated as I convinced myself it was…you basically apply a strip of glue to the edge of one side of the horn piece. Then you take the other edge, and rolling the piece, you place it over that glued edge.

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There’s probably a proper way to deal with the tip of the horn, but life is short, so most of them ended up with a little gap up top.

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Your horn is going to end up a little asymmetrical, so you just chop off that extra piece.

Step 3: Stuff and wrap! (Still working on the horn)

To properly stuff the horn you should use small pieces of fill to get to the very top of the horn. Then you gradually use larger pieces until the whole thing is firmly stuffed. Make sure to stuff the top well or your horn will droop later on.

To ensure that your horn does not look like a dunce cap, you can’t skip the gold thread! Start by tying the string as close to the top as you can. Then you bring the floss down in a spiral until you reach the bottom. The tighter you squeeze, the cuter it will look! Then you glue the end on the bottom, and tuck the loose end under.

Finally, apply glue to the bottom perimeter of the horn and attach to one of the circles. The circle is going to be bigger than the base of the horn so that you can trim it down once the glue has dried up.

Step 4: The Headband!

Now that you have a standalone horn, take the headband and find the center. Apply some glue (about 1-1/2″ wide), and stick that horn on! Then take the 2nd white circle, and glue that to the bottom so that the headband is sandwiched between the horn and the circle.

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Step 5: Ears!

Attaching the ears was my favorite part! Open up the “ear” piece, apply glue on the inside, and close it with the headband on the bottom edge. Make sure to leave room between the ear and the horn for the tulle!

Repeat that on the other side, and then glue on the inner ear.

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Step 6: Tulle!

The final step is adding the tulle strips! First you decide what order (yellow on the inside? blue  on the outside??), then you take one strip at a time and just tie it onto the headband!

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….and you’re done!

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The headbands were a HUGE hit at the party, to the point that we wore them again to the Bridal Shower (and I wouldn’t be surprised if some make an appearance at the wedding next month as well).

I’ve been asked a few times whether I will be selling these. While they will not be listed in my Etsy shop, I will accept custom requests! Contact me for more information.