The Convergence Report

I just got back from the 4 day Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Anime/Anything Goes convention here in Minnesota called “CONvergence.”  This year’s theme was Steampunk, and Princess (the VP) and I decided it would be a good networking opportunity for the Minnesota Society of Costumers.  We had a great time and got to wear all kinds of fun things and see all kinds of costuming, from the girls in the $50 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles skin-tight costumes to amazing embroidery and Stormtroopers!

My Dad had registered me for the Con as a gift, and when I went to get my badge it was discovered that the only name written on my badge was “Tim.”  It cost too much to change it and they said not to worry about it.  So the rest of the weekend was spent telling “There are those who call me TIM” jokes – particularly to the Black Knight who rode the Elevator with me.

I joined Princess at Con on Friday and we did our Steampunk Alice in Wonderland theme.  I wore my White Queen costume again and this was definitely the right venue for it.  Folks loved it, and other than one slightly creepy guy (who was REALLY serious about my needing to avoid the non-existant Red Queen), people were very friendly and having a great time.

Lee-lo Multipass!

The Alice costume that Princess wore had an unusual history.  The blouse was a thrifted J.Crew top, the skirt was two layers of gored skirts a la the Katafalk tutorial, and the leather bodice was originally a pair of tight leather pants.  We modified a belly dancing vest she bought at Bristol and lengthened it and added a lacing panel in front.  We covered the lacing with the bright white piece of leather with sparkly buttons to give the illusion of an apron.  Her spats (the best part) were sleeves from an old white leather Whitesnake style 80’s jacket that she attached at the top with garters.  We glued black flat rhinestones down the side with E-6000.

We ran into her friend D who is a member of the Minnesota Force and is very very good at becoming the character he is portraying.  Take his Westley, for instance:

Pretty perfect, right down to the smocked sleeves on the shirt made for him by a woman in Australia.  When they were posing for photos I suggested they pose “romance novel style” and this was the result.  Hee.

We ran into Rosie from the Jetsons:

I squealed out loud when I saw her.

Saturday was the Masquerade where we were going to present the MNSOC Hotdish Award, followed by a Steampunk/Victorian Ball.  During the day we wore our 18th century French.  I got a lot of “Pirates of the Caribbean?” questions from folks and just decided to go with it.  Princess and I hit the Dealers Room where she bought a lovely black hat from the Blonde Swan and walked around and drooled over the jewelry and corsets and leatherwork.

We also saw this guy:

Ah, my favorite Doctor.  There were TONS of 10’s and 11’s, some Daleks and a few Amy Ponds.  But only this guy was dressed as Tom Baker and I had to restrain myself from running off with his scarf.

For the evening Princess wore a vintage black early 1900’s jacket with a vintage black velvet skirt of her Mom’s.  We bustled up some purple silk in the back a la Threadbangers and she looked lovely.  I made a Parisian trained skirt with Bustle from Truly Victorian, and wore my black leather corset (hidden with black satin) and a green velvet version of my White Queen jacket.

I used a striped upholstery fabric for the skirt that I have had for several years (it was a gift from Santa) and the skirt felt like it weighed 40lbs.  I am hoping to get better pictures of it this week.  There are tiers of lace on the sides, and the two aprons with lace in the front.  I have discovered that I love my ruffler – I don’t know how I lived without it.

I wasn’t very happy with the jacket because the velvet was too stiff, and while the fit was very nice in the chiffon over a bustle, this did not work.  I was amazed by how many renditions of the jacket I saw on Saturday night, and all on various size people and in different variations.  It was pretty flattering on everyone.  My jacket?  The only non-flattering one, due to the fabric and drape over the bustle.  A note for the future if I make this again.  I am going to make a shorter jacket out of the striped fabric instead to go with it.

I did love my hair, which was quite possibly the most fun hairstyle I have ever had.  The Lacey Southern Belle attachment gave me lots of extra curls and the rest of my hair just added to it.  Unfortunately I tucked my hair back into a braided band and I got the “Five-Head” look again.  I think the Victorian Bangs style is more my friend.

We presented the Hotdish award to these guys:

How flipping cute are THEY?  Their Dad made their outfits (he got the StormTrooper outfit as a kit but had to modify it to fit and he MADE the Darth helmet from scratch!), and they helped with sanding, etc.  They were incredibly cute and did a great presentation.  When we gave them the award the Stormtrooper blew kisses to the audience.  Hee.

We wandered around seeing costumes before the ball started and saw all kinds of great stuff.

Indiana Jones and his Dad.

Todd from MNSOC in his black leather dragon outfit.  We have watched him build this over several Sewing and Crafting evenings.  The leather wings are incredible.

Anna made this entire outfit out of leather.

Stormtroopers in kilts!

This was the backpack of one of the judges. It lit up, moved, did all kinds of stuff. It was frankly pretty cool.

A lovely Edwardian style.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000!

And in the giddy party area of Con we found Ironman and Wolverine.  And lots of guys from the movie “500.”  The people watching was great fun up there.

The next morning we wore more Steampunk.  Princess was wearing her Mom’s old 80’s Gunne Sax dress that we shortened in front and an underbust corset, apron and bustle made of old valances.  I had a thrifted skirt and top, and an underbust corset that I bought at Teslacon, as well as my Blonde Swan hat and the bracers my sister made out of leather scraps and bits and pieces from Michaels and Ax-Man Surplus.

We checked out the dealers room again and bought presents for my girls and a buckram pith helmet that I am going to cover in silk to coordinate with my fancy silk Victorian.  As one does.

We also saw this lovely lady and her feather bustle:

 She said it was made from a number of feather boas that were $40 each.  It was really impressive from the back.

All in all a lot of fun.  Met so many people and saw so many kinds of costumes from so many different sources that it was a little mind-boggling.

I am looking forward to next year already.

4 thoughts on “The Convergence Report

  1. Gwen says:

    We watched the Masquerade on CC TV in a friend’s hotel room, and when you were on stage presenting the award I recognized the TV Parisian Trained skirt right away. I may have annoyed my companions by shouting that I knew that skirt. You looked great!

  2. Em says:

    LOL I was the Raph (the kinda stupid looking red one) of the TMNT group. That was the first con I’ve been to in over eight years, and the first one I’d ever dressed up in (I was roped into it by Mikey at the last minute – go fig). The entire experience was epic fun! I was blown away by all the amazing costumes, and the overall great job the organizers.

    The hairstyle you pictured in this entry is beautiful. How long did it take you to do?

    • Laura says:

      You guys looked very cute. The hairstyle was part my doing and part Princess. I curled my hair all over with my ribbon curling iron by Hot Tools (My hair is actually just below my shoulder blades, so longish). Then she ratted it a bit in front and started taking curls and twisting them into pin curls and curling them in place. She took the Southern Belle attachment and attached it fairly high on the back of my head with a ton of bobby pins. Then she pinned more curls around it to hide the join, and then left a few of my own curls in place to hang on top of the other curls. (The color match is pretty good!) The braid was a stretchy braided headband that I put on and slid my bangs under. (In retrospect I should have left them out – my forehead is a bit high…) And she pinned the feathers on one side to cover the elastic on it and the bows on the other. Essentially the curling took me 15 minutes (that curling iron gets super hot very fast), the ratting and curling took about 20 minutes and the repinning everything in place took about 20 minutes. So about an hour total?

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