Cosplay and Blerdery

Cosplayers mentioned in podcast

www.facebook.com/brichibicosplays/

Chocolate Covered Cosplay

https://twitter.com/tranquilashes

https://twitter.com/thatjayjustice?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

– Community Groups

https://www.facebook.com/groups/230325643710157/?ref=br_rs

https://blackcosplayersofficial.tumblr.com/

– # tags #BlackCosplayerhere

https://www.buzzfeed.com/ikrd/black-cosplayers-are-letting-people-know-they-do-exist-with

#28daysofblackcosplays

https://blacknerdproblems.com/tag/28-days-of-black-cosplay/

– Extras not discussed but something to browse

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/panvnm/meet-the-black-anime-cosplayers-blowing-up-on-instagram-1

About The NYC Village Halloween Parade (which is TOMORROW!)

http://halloween-nyc.com/

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Speaker 1: (00:05)
Um,

Lisa: (00:14)
hello Stitchers. Welcome to stitch please the official podcast of Black Women's Stitch, the sewing group where black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth generation sewing, enthusiastic with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax and get ready to get your stitch together.

Speaker 3: (00:54)
[inaudible]

Lisa: (00:55)
hello Stitchers thanks so much for joining us for the last episode of Blacktober on the stitch. Please podcast. I'm delighted to talk today with Ayesha Depay to talk a bit more about the differences between cosplay and just the regular costume. Tomorrow is Halloween and maybe many of us, at least to myself, had been working on Halloween costumes for friends or family or for ourselves. And I thought that a cosplay episode would be perfectly timed for the end of Blacktober. So let's see what Ayesha has to say.

Speaker 1: (01:36)
Um,

Lisa: (01:50)
I checked, Hey, yes, two times is a charm.

Ayesha: (01:58)
Sorry. Um, it was, I was there when the issue happened. I was sitting in the room and I heard this noise. It was like, it was like a countdown beep. Oh, okay, now cut off. And it was like, all right, thank you for using ringer. And I was like, Uh Oh,

Lisa: (02:19)
You're Welcome.

Ayesha: (02:23)
[Laughter]And I was like, well maybe I could come back in. And it was like, Nope, that was, that's over. You have used this. I think what I,

Lisa: (02:31)
I think that was my fault. I think what I did it said that you were connected and then I said your name a couple times and I didn't hear anything. And so I said, I wonder if she hung up or if I need to start over. So that's clearly operator error. But you sound, you sound great.

Ayesha: (02:47)
Yeah, this headset is good. It's, it's what I use for gaming. Um, good. But what I had, I had done, like I said, I sat on it, so I think I sat on it. I had, I popped the mic part off so I just put it back on with some tape for now. We don't,

Lisa: (03:08)
I, well we're about to see, because my boys both play games, video games like that. And both of them seem to have, the headsets should just come with tape because they, both of them and I, they weren't like inexpensive things, but they are, one of them has like a pound of blue painter's tape wrapped around it. And then the other boy, I don't know what, I don't know what they're using to hold these things up. Well thank you so much for joining today. I do appreciate you taking the time out. This episode will be our art. This conversation comes at the end of what we are calling it black women's stitch, Blacktober. And I thought since Halloween is tomorrow that this would be a great opportunity to talk about cosplay and what the differences are between cosplay and a regular costume and how you as a black woman have used your sewing as a way to kind of participate in unique and specific ways for your own cosplay. And just to talk a bit, well maybe can you just give us a little bit of a definition about what is cosplay and what's the difference between cosplay and just like a Halloween costume?

Ayesha: (04:24)
Um, short answer is nothing. Um,

Lisa: (04:27)
Oh,

Ayesha: (04:27)
Cosplay is short for costume play. So if you are wearing a costume and having fun, you are, you are enjoying cosplay. Um, so there's Halloween cosplay. Um, most people think of cosplay culture and they think of like anime' conventions and comic book interventions and certainly plenty of cosplay happens there. And that's more of a cosplay culture and a whole geek culture that's around that. But um, that word still encompasses. Yeah. You know, you want to be a sexy pizza for Halloween. You are a cosplay, you know, it was one of the, you know, all the female costumes are just like sexy versions of regular things.

Lisa: (05:19)
Yes, absolutely. There was a really funny episode of the show Community about this. Um, I used to watch this show community and I think it was about a community college and, um, it was really funny and they had this one episode, um, and this person was like a sexy ghost or something like that. Yeah. And how like this was such a, um, you know, that some people get a chance to kind of play in ways that they normally wouldn't. But what's so interesting about thinking about cosplay and as costumed play. I really liked this idea that there's really nothing different between the two. It's just that cosplay allows you the freedom and the flexibility and the imagination and creativity to do everyday or as often as you want, that some people only reserve for themselves for Halloween or for just one day. Right.

Ayesha: (06:10)
And that's as normal for us geeks, we take it to another level Blerds, we take it to another level. Okay. Wait, I should say what a Blerd is.

Lisa: (06:21)
Yes. Okay.

Ayesha: (06:23)
A Blerd is a Black Nerd.

Lisa: (06:26)
Holla! That's Me, I'm a black nerd.

Ayesha: (06:28)
That's you. Um, and it's just like we, um, yes, we want to inhabit certain characters. We think, okay, you think to yourself, who is your favorite character and that character doesn't even have to be human, but like something about them speaks to you and you're like, you know what, uh, if you, if I would like to be that this year or you know, or this day or whatever. Some people even do things called something called closet cosplay and they just find pieces in their outfits like places in their closet that just happened to look like a iconic character and there you go. You're done. You don't have to do any more steps. You know, you know Velma is literally an orange sweater and a red skirt and you are Velma like are you a, I mean a Velma?

Ayesha: (07:23)
Yeah. Oh yeah. Velma.

Lisa: (07:25)
Daphne's the one with the purple dress and the, yeah, no, I think I like that it'd be a closet cosplay because what it allows me to think about is the idea that all clothes are costumes and that this is something that people have been thinking about, like scholars have been thinking about as well as people who have been just doing this work through either in drag culture and other places. This notion that, that your clothes are a form of performance and fashion is related to that as well. Like all of these intersecting, um, modes of being and modes of dress and apparel, that all of that is a performance in one way or another. And what cosplay seems to be to me, just as someone who has participated as, you know, making, um, lots of Halloween costumes for example, it seems to be like that Halloween is like the time that most people allow themselves permission to do it. Whereas cos-players, um, and folks who perform, you know, dress in more deliberate ways through costume cosplay at other places or other things, they just do it. They, it's, they're brave enough to do it all the time.

Ayesha: (08:36)
Oh yeah. Uh, you know, some people, so like if you're,you know, into the like traditional, like cosplay from Japan, right. You know, it's, it's, there are people who just inhabit characters every day, you know, they like I'm wearing a Lolita outfit everyday. [laughter] you know, I am a Lolita who I am and that's just what I am. And after that, at that point, is it a costume? Even this is like philosophical, but like,

Lisa: (09:04)
but it's a good question.

Ayesha: (09:05)
If your everyday is a Lolita then. I don't think that's a costume anymore. That's who you are.

Lisa: (09:11)
Right. And I wonder if when you think about cosplay and when you choose or decide to dress up as a character, are you trying to inhabit the character or do you imagine it's the reverse that the character speaks to something in the performer or in the person that's wearing the costume? Um, that, that inspires them. You know what I mean? I'm trying to figure out like, is it like a chicken versus egg situation?

Ayesha: (09:35)
I see what you're saying. I, it's definitely both. Um, I know it's individual for each person. Some people, um, like the look of a certain character and they'll just like, they don't have to know much about the character. They're just like, I love the look of this character and I want to look like that. You know, I'm someone like me, I am very much character driven and like performance cause I come from an acting background and so, so I just enjoy, um, being.. So like doing my first cosplay was, um, was um, Mr T and Oh awesome. I just did the whole night going, "I pity the fool." I'm like, I just did that. I could not stop myself. I was [chuckling] Mr. T.

Lisa: (10:26)
Do you remember how old you are, how old you were, when you started doing this? Do you remember that.

Ayesha: (10:31)
I was 18. I was 18 at the time. And so you cos-played as Mr. T and for those of y'all who don't know who Mr T is, please Google and do yourself a favor, but maybe we'll drop some information in the show notes or maybe you can just have some fun and do a little bit of research. But Mr. T was, um, and I think he's still around, but he's in box. So he was a boxer. He was in the Rocky movies. He was in the show called the A- team. And he was a bouncer. He was a bodybuilder. Was he a bodybuilder? Well, I'm not sure. I know he did some photos with Arnold, so. Oh, okay.

Lisa: (11:10)
So, well, well, I don't know why I'm giving a summary of Mr T you were Mr T you'd want us to be given this information. Um, but one of his tagline was, "I pity the fool" and it was, it was delivered in a very serious way, but it was also pretty funny.

Ayesha: (11:25)
Yeah. I just, I just for a while I like for the whole night, I just, he took over. I did not even talk like myself. I was just like Mr T: "don't like no drugs. Kids don't, shouldn't do no drugs."

Lisa: (11:40)
I remember that. Oh my God, God bless the eighties. I mean, yes, a lot of problems as "a world of hurt." And remember all the gold chains he would wear in that and how that represented for him. Like it was, it was his way to tribute or to pay tribute to the enslaved ancestors. That's what I had read, that that was why he wore them. And he also wore his hair in, um, what's called by some a Mohawk. Um, and so yeah, I remember that very vividly. And so maybe Mr T is also cos playing Mr T. Um, and like, I mean, cause he's created a character, right. And the character had a story and, um, and was inspirational and aspirational of other people who wanted to aspire to be like him or imagine his strength as part of their strengths. So yeah, that's pretty cool. Um, so what has been your most favorite? So you said Mr T was your first cosplay. So what has been your most favorite or most recent version of cosplay that you've been doing? Or can we talk a bit, um, also as a second question about how sewing relates to that? But I, I think I want to hear the answer first. I want to hear what you are, what you're excited about now and then maybe we can kind of go backwards to thinking about why, how sewing is related to that.

Ayesha: (13:02)
So I was taking a long hiatus from cosplay because I was just finding it so inaccessible to me, I think that's the right word. And like every year I would get really excited, um, to like each Halloween that came around. I wanted to like do, um, Comic-Con than Halloween and it would take me pretty much the whole year to make an outfit. Um, I think my favorite was the queen of hearts cause that, that, uh, came after and I'm, I handmade a felt crown and put it in- hot glued it to a, a headband. But it just, it came out really cute and I started just like playing with the character. I didn't just, just do it. Uh, I kept on adding things. I'm like, it's the queen of hearts with like a Harijuku style with like thrown in the 80s. Like I just kept on mashing.

Lisa: (14:07)
Oh, it's like a big genre meld, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Yeah.

Ayesha: (14:11)
And I'll just like, I wanted it to not look like anybody else's queen of hearts and she didn't, she just looked like something different. I had like a Tutu that again, I did not, I didn't know how to sew yet. So again, I just, I just like, there's a no-sew tutu that you can make where you just wrapped a tool around a, a band. And I kept on wrapping the tool and made up really puffy. I still have it really puffy skirt then. Um, it had the hearts on it already. Um,

Lisa: (14:42)
Oh, that's nice.

Ayesha: (14:43)
But yeah, and I just made it, I didn't, it was a, it's a, it was a kid's tutu, so I added more tool in the back and gave her just a big poofy, butt

Lisa: (14:52)
like a bustle,

Ayesha: (14:55)
Yeah, like a big bustle. And I had at the time I worked for Claire's so I was able to get a lot of the accessories really easy. And also um, Mad Hatter, what was the movie Alison .... Alice in Wonderland had just come out a year or two ago. So all of that stuff was on clearance. Easy to get. Yeah. So I was able to like get the most of the accessories and then I got a shirt that had like a lot of frills on it so it looked a little bit regal and like suspenders with the heart. I mean I just really had a good time crafting her cause I even like again with my hot glue gun and like no sewing pretty much I was able to figure out some things unique to me that fit me, that looked good and was just cute and I thought it looked cute, you know?

Lisa: (15:56)
That's fantastic. So you're queen of hearts was a way that you were able to kind of build this really elaborate costume with very little or no sewing skill. Like no sewing machine was involved. You did hand sewing as well as the hot glue gun. The hot glue gun can be almost as good as a magic wand. Yeah, it really can do quite a lot. It really, it could be like a stapler. It can help to build three dimensional objects. You can do an I, one of my friends gave me one for my birthday. That's like some kind of industrial strength hot glue gun, girl. I burnt the hell out of myself with that thing. I mean, I was like, I'm gonna hot glue myself all the way into the emergency room. It was so hot. I'm like, I think they must use this to build televisions somewhere like this is like lava. But it worked. It worked. It was worth all the burns. Um, I'm talking today with, Ayesha Dupey about cosplay and celebration of Blacktober. Let's continue to talk with Ayesha and learn more about how sewing help keep cosplay accessible for her. So tell me a bit about how sewing and starting to sew has changed your cosplay and how you as speaking, we were speaking off off camera or off off mine about, um, about like sewing as a way for you to get into cosplay in a different way. Like to kind of supplement what you're already doing. Cause you were already doing it right before you started sewing, but sewing opened a door for you in a different open, you know, allowed you to do something a little bit. So cause I'd love to hear about that.

Ayesha: (17:51)
So, so sewing is a recent development for me, right? I'm only a new, a newbie sewist right. Um, but how I became, wanted to decide to sew is because, because of the cosplay, because cosplays took me so long and had, I had to have all these pieces and again, financially cosplay is expensive. I don't care what nobody tells you, it is not a cheap hobby. Okay. Um, so it's like, it became very inaccessible to me cause it's not like I could commission, um, outfits that I wanted or costumes that I wanted and I'm plus size. So it's not like the always gonna fit me either if I order something online or it looks kind of like it could fit kind of maybe. I'm not always sure. And how's it gonna fit? You know, I'm, I'm curvy. So is it going to be shaped all boxy and if you buy Halloween costumes from like a party city or something, that material is just, it's garbage.

Lisa: (19:00)
isn't it though? it's like, what, what was this meant to be? What were you using this for? If you decided not to make this party city costume, like was it going to be like a tablecloth for someone's table you didn't like very much? Like, and I'm sure all of it. Like, you know, don't smoke a cigarette nearby cause your whole thing's gonna go up and whoosh.

Ayesha: (19:24)
it smells like a factory, like they smell terrible. Like they just, yeah, it really does.

Lisa: (19:31)
It's, it's, it's quite flimsy and yeah, this is no dig to party city. But I mean, I think that lots of Halloween stores, a lot of these costumes that come folded in a bag with a hanger, um, the distance between the picture on the costume and what you actually put on your body is so far. It's just like, you know, they should just say, this is a suggestion. That's what the photo should say. this a suggestion. This is what you could look like if you were, if you put at proportion, if you bottle, if you were the exact proportions, if you put this on and um, it put this on, you can, you can try. But this is a suggestion as a suggested styling, but it's like, I saw this, um, this sign at my hairstylist once, and it says something like, "I'm a beautician, not a magician." And I think that those costumes really do the costumes, the marketing on the costume itself really does play on our sense of optimism. [laughter] You know, who I really have hopes that I'm going to get this, you know, I don't know, whatever this sexy pizza, I'm gonna be a sexy pizza. And then you put it on, it's like, Oh, like a pan of lasagna you know, this was not at all what I had planned.

Ayesha: (20:54)
Mm. I, I can't get over sexy pizza. Cause I'm like really anything I guess is sexy now. I, okay. So, so yeah, it just became so onerous to like try to make a costume and um, okay. I don't know if you know the character but from Full Metal Alchemists are really popular show. Right. Um,

Lisa: (21:21)
okay.

Ayesha: (21:22)
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Cause there's two Alchemist series. Anywho, um, the, the villain Homonculus Pride, um, has looks like a little school boy and then he has these very, uh, very dangerous shadows that you don't see, um, until you know, till the, until it's too late for you. Uh, he's very good and I'm always a fan of villains. Like I just, I'm, I love villains. Um, so I just thought, Oh man, I'm going to do this. I have the idea, I can make wings. What, you know, the traditional fairy wings instead of wings. I just use the wire cause I watched some YouTube videos and it's like, okay, instead of wings I'll make his shadows and then I just need a dress shirt and I need some men's shorts. I was looking for like suit pants that I could cut into shorts or some, um, or some khaki shorts that I could make.

Ayesha: (22:31)
And I had bought the shoes, the real from Payless before they went out of business, I bought the shoes, men's shoes. I still have those. So like this is my dream cosplay. I'm ready, you know. And I almost got everything together, got the wire, I got, got the shoes, got everything. Could not find these shorts. And the way I find shorts is like all my cosplay, most of them comes from either when I was working at Claire's, some pieces or I would, um, or I would um, go to thrift stores and find like something cheap that I could fashion into whatever. Um, and I just couldn't find them. I went to thrift store after thrift store and like the shorts were not fitting over my hips. Couldn't find them because,

Lisa: (23:21)
because these were men's shorts, right. And men's shorts, um, men tend not to have hips, like, um, like, you know, curvy in the same way. So I could see why that would be difficult to find a pair of tailored men's pants for someone with hips. Right.

Ayesha: (23:42)
So it was just ridiculous. And so it took me, and then again, time you realize how much time it takes to go to every thrift store and not just go once you got to go back because maybe this week, you know, you might find it and the energy and it's just like, I had school, I had work, there's just no way I could keep it up. Uh, so I get to comic con this year and I'm seeing these cosplayers and I, every time I go to conventions, I just love looking at other cosplayers, taking pictures of them. This just gets me so excited. Um, Deadpool's are awesome if you, if you ever get to the convention, Deadpools are just funny. They just all have jokes. They all have a cool one liners just before you take the picture. Like they're just,

Lisa: (24:36)
I do really like Deadpool. I enjoyed all the Deadpool movies. My son is a big fan of Deadpool and I bought, I think it was Simplicity that has a deal with Marvel because they had, um, they have a Deadpool sewing costumes that you can, that you can make. So I bought that costume pattern in the think, in the thoughts of making it for him, but he wasn't that interested, which was fine because it looked like pretty complicated and time intensive. So,

Ayesha: (25:02)
yeah. Um, I definitely think I might do a Deadpool one year because he's just a, he's a riot. I love the character. I love the characterization of him, but anywho, um, I'm having a good time this year and, uh, I'm looking at a cosplay or I'm in line for some other panel or whatever. And um, I said, can I take a picture of you? She's like, yeah, sure. I took a picture of her and I was like, "your costume's awesome. It looks great. "And she's like, okay, cool. Thank you. I was like, I love cosplay, man. This year I was planning to do something, but it didn't, I just couldn't quite, couldn't quite get it together. So she was like, "what?" As I told her the story about the shorts and she said, "you could sew those. You could absolutely make shorts. That's, that's one of the easier things to make shorts, man shorts and the reason you don't have a costume on right now is shorts?". She looked at me like, are you serious? And I'm like, I don't know how to sew anywho, um, fast forward about two or three years and I've been, this has been like meandering in my mind, like if I can sew, things would fit better. I could get a costume out quicker, you know, I wouldn't be trying to look for things. The time savings, you know, I'm just thinking about it like I could, I could do this. So, you know. Um, so I ended up buying a brother machine for like $125 and started teaching myself to sew.

Lisa: (26:42)
That's amazing. So when you were teaching, I think so many things I love about this story Ayesha, one of them is that you thought that the sewing would allow you to have the costumes that you wanted on your schedule instead of having to do all this research and all this thrifting and waiting on the whims of whatever happened to be at the thrift store when you happen to be there. So it gave you a bit more control over your look in cosplay but then it also could give you control over your look in terms of how things fit your body regularly. Just the clothes that you liked to wear and things you enjoy doing. So I really love that. I love it. I really love this story about how when you're at comic con, a woman was just like, "um, shorts should not be holding you back. You could make shorts. I hope to see you when the future with some shorts on"

Ayesha: (27:40)
Yeah, it was funny. Um, now looking back on it and especially like ready to wear doesn't always fit either. You know, like fit is a challenge just because,

Lisa: (27:54)
yes, it is. It's a challenge for sewing too. It is. Yes.

Ayesha: (27:57)
So, but you know, I think I sewing has opened up so many my sewing as it's getting better. It's just like I'm seeing all the things I can do short. I'm way past shorts now. Right. My mind is like, no, no. You know, evening gown girl, you, you know, tentacles for Ursula. Uh, like I am like I am like so past this...,

Lisa: (28:29)
it's like it's unlocked your imagination. It sounds like, you know, all the things that the costumes that you thought might've been like out of your reach or you know, when you have such a busy schedule and a busy life, you don't have time to run around to look for all these low-cost options and you, you know, and instead you can say, you know, I'll come home early and I'll sit down with this fabric that I got and I'm going to make it work that way.

Ayesha: (28:54)
It just gives you more options to play with. I can still thrift sure, I can still look for certain accessories and certain pieces to order. I can still, um, sew something, it just, it just opens up my tool in my toolkit, if that makes sense.

Lisa: (29:13)
It makes perfect sense and that's something that I love about sewing as well. And I don't cosplay, but I am of the belief that all clothes are costumes. And so very often on Halloween I'll have like some fabulous dress that I've made, but it's also a dress that I would wear, you know, Easter or for the one to court or for wherever I happened to be

Lisa: (29:47)
stitch please. The black women's stitch podcast talks a lot about sewing, but if you'd like to see some of what we're discussing, we invite you to follow us on the socials. On Facebook. You can find us at stitch please. And on Instagram you can find us at black women stitch. On Instagram you'll find a lot of great pictures and compelling social commentary. In addition, you can participate in a weekly live Instagram chat at 3:00 PM on Thursdays at Eastern standard time. So follow us on the socials, Facebook as Stitch please, and Instagram at black women stitch and get your stitch together.

Lisa: (30:34)
Hey stitchers I'm talking with Ayesha Depay about costuming and cosplay in honor of Blacktober. Let's, tune in now and see what Ayesha's going to be doing tomorrow for Halloween.

Lisa: (30:53)
Um, and I was thinking too about, I guess I'm really curious that again with Halloween coming up tomorrow, what are you going to be? Are you going to dress up for Halloween? Are you, do you have a costume that you are working on right now?

Ayesha: (31:08)
Yeah I'm really excited. Yeah. I want to be amethyst from Steven universe this year. I'm actually planning two or three costumes. Um, but um, it's only a one night. So, um, I usually in New York city, um, and the, the Village Parade is amazing night for me. I love this parade. Um, anyone wearing a costume can walk down the parade strip and just like interact with all the people in the crowd and it's just so much fun. And plus again, someone who's a fan girl, like I am, I get to see other cosplayers. Oh you know, that was the first uh, place that I, that's where I did mr T at when I was 18. Um, I also did Storm, I forgot about Storm. I still like Queen of Hearts more than storm, but uh, it was great because of that year that I had Storm on. I found a Gambit and a Jubilee and we took some pictures together and it was just like really great.

Lisa: (32:16)
Oh! That's amazing. It's a real community. It's a, it sounds like it's a real community when you go to cons and when you go to the parade. So when you say village parade, do you mean in Greenwich Village?

Ayesha: (32:27)
Yes. Um, I think it goes, it goes pretty far. I think it goes close to, I think it goes close to 34th or 14th street all the way down to like almost the tip of Manhattan down to fourth Ave. Um, and you just the, for me, I have literally, I don't even like parades like that cause of I'm short. I'm usually in the back of whoever's head, can't see. It's cold, you know, no, I'm tired. My back hurts. I just don't like the whole thing. But the village parade, because I can be in the parade and walk the parade route. I love you get space, you can like the whole street. There's a lot of, and because it's the village, there's a lot of great drag out that night and you just see some of the greatest things. Um, there's floats, it's, you're into that, but there's just a lot, you know, and I feel like I'm part of it. I'm contributing to it and you know, and it's just, just, it's just a great night. It's like my favorite night of the year.

Lisa: (33:42)
Oh, that's fantastic. Well, I will definitely put a link to the info about the village parade in the show notes so people can check it out, um, and learn about it if they've not participated. I have family that does live down there and I've made a costume for my nephew who was much very young and I think they walked in the parade and he got a lot of good comments on his costume. He was very young so he was sitting like on his dad's shoulders or something. Um, but he was able to like walk in that little part. Uh, right. You know, near where they live down there.

(34:14)
What was he?

Lisa: (34:16)
He was a lion.

Lisa: (34:18)
Yeah. And this, let me tell you about this lion and talk about costumes that take forever. And I was, I was pregnant, I was living in Cleveland, Ohio. My husband was in law school. He had an internship or something and I was working on my dissertation trying to finish up and was pregnant with my first and we had this house and it had this attic, which I, it was an attic you could actually use. I had never seen a house that had an attic you could go up in it and like be in like a little loft. Now. The thing about it is that it was hot, so hot, but I had a sewing room, so I didn't care if it was a thousand degrees. Um, so I sat up there that summer and I made a costume for my nephew who was about two at the time and it was so elaborate. It took me hours and hours and hours and hours. I mean it really took a long time, but it was beautifully detailed. And so I gave it to my sister for my nephew to wear and he wore it. And then I remember seeing it in the back of my mother's car in the trunk and the had like a meltdown. Like how did you, why would you put this back here, this, do you know how many hours of pregnant sweat was poured into this costume? And so then after that it was rescued. And then when my child was, born, my nephew, my nephew,

Lisa: (35:41)
yup,

Speaker 5: (35:41)
look for this lion. Really. Um, my nephew passed it down to my, my son and then he wore it for a while and then my other son wore it. And then I gave it to my other nephew to wear this one who wore it in the village. Hooray. And then now most recently its with my other sister cause she has a little one, but we're going to get it back because one of my nieces now wants to, so this costume has really, we, you know, I might've complained about making it, but it has been in our family for like 20 years. So, um, I really cannot complain anymore about this lion costume because it turned out pretty great overall. Um, so I think that that's, that's what he was and I'm hoping that I can reuse it so I don't have to make, um, super, super fresh costumes, but I'm going to be making some stuff for my nieces, um, and a couple of other things for my nephew. But no, everyone else seems to be growing out of it, you know, cause there's a big gap in age between our family, with the kids, somewhere in their twenties and some are just turned four. Well, I'm excited about Amethyst. So tell me what you've got for her. I know you and I, we went shopping when I came up there a few weeks ago and you were looking at these feathers and gems.

Ayesha: (36:54)
So yeah, that's a, I was looking at more than one costume. So for Amethysts, um, I'm going to order wig soon. I'm gonna order a purple bodysuit, which will keep me warm because I am, you know, I'm the type to just shiver in as a slightest wind blow. I'm like, Nope, I don't like to, now I have to put Amethyst, she has to, she needs to have the coat on. Um, but it like is,Amethyst, is pretty easy. I think this will be one of the easier tests of like what I've learned so far, even though it's still new. Um, because she just needs a gray tank top that kind of comes down, like rounded at the bottom. And I have, I finally found that fabric, that gray stretchy fabric. Um, so I know what I'm using, I just need to, I think, um, I found a YouTube video that teaches you how to, to make a bodice, uh, bodice block. Um, so I'm gonna make a bodice block and I'm going to try to like get that fit right. Um, and then it's just about getting the paint the body paint to be purple, um, which,

Lisa: (38:13)
Oh my goodness. And so how much body paint do you need to use just for your face and hands? Yeah, not much. Um,

Ayesha: (38:20)
just, I just, the face and hands. I've done face makeup before, uh, for, for the, it wasn't really a cosplay. I just wanted to try it out. I made like a, I did like half my, face a puzzle piece pattern one year for Halloween because I couldn't go out for Halloween that year. I was very sad as well. I was like, well, since I have to stay home, I'm gonna..I'm going to mess with makeup, a bit festive for the, for Halloween. Um, yeah, I just love this holiday. But um, but so I think I can pull this off. Um, if I can get some, what I use is like eye shadow makeup and kind of make a pigment with, with like, um, sometimes I'll use like face cream or a little bit of foundation and kind of mix them in until I get the color right. And that's how I did my face.

Ayesha: (39:28)
Uh, cause it's all makeups so it's all stuff that would belong on your face. So I don't think that you get, and I have sensitive skin so I wanna make sure I'm not going to break out. But for my hands I might order something that is for more sturdy, you know, for the hands that, than the, what would go on face. I feel like. Yeah, I feel like I'll be able to make a pigment for my face that's just like moisturizer. Don't you know, like that night no one can touch my face. I got to seal it with like powder. There's going to be an interesting thing, but the neck, I feel like the neck and the pretty much just the neck and the, um, hands aren't gonna be that much. I thought like a little tube. Can't be that expensive. Shouldn't take that much.

Ayesha: (40:19)
If I tried to do something like, um, she Hulk maybe. Right? Maybe. Yeah, maybe I need a lot more than would be a lot. Yeah

Lisa: (40:33)
we're getting near our time. And I wondered if you would, wouldn't mind giving a shout out to some other black women cosplayers that you like or follow on Instagram so that we can, um, highlight them a little bit. I, I'm following someone. I'm not sure if you told me about her, but Mighty Morphin Power Priestess,

Ayesha: (40:54)
I don't, but she sounds awesome.

Lisa: (40:57)
Yeah, she's got some great, I think she even has a couple of videos. Um, who else are you, do you like for cosplay?

Ayesha: (41:04)
Love, Tranquil Ashes . Love her, love her. Um, I met her in person one time and she's just really great. Um, she's also plus size. She just, she just, she just, she's really creative, you know, she takes the character and redesigns it to fit her. But you still know who she is. Right. She'll make a character who has like a bathing suit and her Rose Quartz is hands down the best Rose Quartz I've ever seen. It's just, it's just the best.

Lisa: (41:44)
And is Rose Quartz's a character from Steven Universe?

Ayesha: (41:47)
That's Steven's mom. Okay. Um, it's just, it's just good. It's just really good. Um, who else? Um, there's also chocolate covered cosplay, which um, I believe they're a cosplay team but could be wrong. Um, she does a really great Sailor Moon. Um, you're gonna put this in the show notes, right? Okay.

Lisa: (42:12)
Yeah. I will.

Ayesha: (42:13)
Who else? Um, there's one called, uh Cherobee. I'm not sure if I'm saying her name right, cause I've never heard her say it, so I might be saying it wrong, but um, it's like a, uh, wife duo and her wife sews these like full evening gowns for her that are, wow. You can commission her and you should, because these things are fantastic. And they're, each one is designed for whatever character she's playing. So she wants to be a Wonder Woman. She has a Wonder woman like evening gown that she wears. And then like, uh, when she wants to be like Peach, again, it's the evening gown, but it doesn't matter what the character is, she gets a full length gown that completely represents the character. It's wonderful.

Lisa: (43:15)
That's amazing. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing your Amethyst. I cannot wait and I can't wait to see your pics from the village parade and everything else. And I'm so thankful to you for taking the time to talk to us on this like very close end of Blacktober and it's like Halloween Eve and people are probably stitching away and sewing their last minute edits on their costumes. Um, and so this has been a wonderful way to close out the month and tell us where we can find you. I want to make sure that you get in the show notes too. How can we find your, um, your page on Instagram?

Ayesha: (43:57)
On Instagram, I'm ayeshamakes um, A Y E S H A makes M A K E S and I usually just put my sewing. I put a few of the, the pieces that um, I'm putting together for my cosplays and I update it not that regularly. I'm going to be, but you'll see some pictures of what I did.

Lisa: (44:24)
Well I am certainly looking forward to it and thank you again for taking the time. We've been talking with Ayesha Depay and talking about cosplay and I'm so grateful to close out Blacktober with you Ayesha and we'll talk again soon. Thank you so much for taking the time today.

Ayesha: (44:42)
Okay, bye. Bye.

Lisa: (44:46)
I really enjoyed talking with Ayesha Depay today about cosplay and costuming. It seemed an especially fitting way to close out Blacktober this year. Be sure to tune into the show notes that we have on our stitch please podcast.com website to find out more information about the people she was telling us about. I will also be sure to include them in their links in the show notes. Thank you for joining us for today's episode of stitch please the black women stitch podcast. Let's continue the conversation. Come find us on the socials. We're at black women's stitch on Instagram where we have a very active page and you can also find us on stitch please on Facebook. We also would love to hear from you, so feel free to email us at blackwomenstitch@gmail.com. There are three big ways you can support this project and one of them you're doing already. By listening to the podcast, you're really helping us, so thank you for doing that. In addition, if you rate review, subscribe and share the podcast with other folks, that helps the podcast to grow and it also gives the algorithm that managed podcast information that will also help our podcast thrive. The third way to help the podcast is for those of you all who happened to have a little extra change, burning a hole in your pocket and if you don't have any plans to use it to buy your 20th or in my case 378th big four pattern, that's how many I have in my top pattern drawer about 378 patterns. You could take that money that you would spend at the pattern sale and give it to us. We are accepting donations at our Patreon site where you can donate as little as $2 a month or you could buy us a coffee at K O. dot F I and small donations are greatly accepted and appreciated so thank you for considering that.

Lisa: (46:41)
If you would like a transcript of the episode, you can find that@ourwebsiteatstitchpleasepodcast.com and we also ask that you check the show notes where we have lots of additional information and supplemental information for what we discussed in the podcast. You can find affiliate links there for the products that we like. You can find web links to the black women that we've been talking about here on the show to elevate and center their work, and you can also find the info we mentioned about donations as well as our email link. All of that is available at stitchpleasepodcast.com thanks again for joining us today. We look forward to seeing you next time. Come back and we'll help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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