Monday, October 22, 2012

Braving Babylon

I love Halloween. Next to Christmas and my birthday, it’s my favorite holiday. Yes, I love the candy and dressing up – not surprising for a theater girl – but I also love the idea that for one night, you can be anything you want. It doesn’t matter if it’s outlandish and strange (or slightly criminal), it’s perfectly acceptable.

Of course, having a theater background, I rarely limit my costumed shenanigans to October 31st. I’ve shown up to signings in costume, ushered a play in costume, and I’ve even done a photoshoot as a vampire (complete with live victims). But that means that on Halloween, I really have to pull out the stops.

This year’s masterpiece is the rebel alliance uniform from Babylon 5.

I bought the fabric two years ago with the intention of having in made in time for Dragon*Con. Unfortunately, my travel plans fell through so the costume construction was put of as well. This summer I finally grew tired of tripping over the bag of fabric (it’s a really big bag) so I’m finally tackling it. Part of the reason for the delay in making it was that it was such a daunting task. I’m making this from scratch from two different patterns with similar lines. It also requires me to work with leather, which is something I’ve never done before, and the braided trim has to be dyed and sewn on by hand. I’m no stranger to sewing but that was just too much for me to handle back then. I want this to be as accurate as possible and I didn't believe that my abilities were up to it. I don't feel that way anymore. Why? Because my perspective has changed. 

Two years ago, I decided to take writing seriously. When I had to cancel my Dragon*Con plans, I had yet to go to Dave's Writer's Death Camp -- where my creative eyes were opened -- and most importantly, I had yet to start work on the YA novel. My creative mettle hadn't been tested and therefore, I hadn't developed mental capacity to break down enormous tasks into bite size pieces. Not only did I find the determination to finish by my deadline, I found the perseverance to make the manuscript match my vision. Instead of saying "there's no way that's going to work" I can say "I can do that."

It's making this costume's construction so much easier. If a monkey is thrown into my plan, it's ok because I can deal with it once piece at a time. I can correct it and as Tim Gunn would say, "make it work." If for some reason I find myself over my head, I can go to the expert (my mom in this case) and get her advice on how to make it work. I don't have to wonder if I'm going to finish it in time for Halloween because I know I'll do what it takes to make it happen.

I love being an unstoppable force. It's empowering knowing that I can do anything I set my mind too and after doing it once with success, it's so easy to do it a second, third, and three-hundreth time. No mountain is too high, no task too big. I really can do anything (except kill large spiders and whistle, but that doesn't count).   :) 

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