Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cosplay: Tamara from The Devil's Carnival

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In my cosplay series, I examine each costume I make, how I created it, what I would do differently, and so on! For more cosplay posts, just look in the cosplay tag here.

collage tamara
Tamara from The Devil's Carnival!

This is the first costume I've done from something that wasn't animated -- The Devil's Carnival is a horror musical by the same team that created Repo! The Genetic Opera. I used to shadowcast Repo! so when TDC came out, I knew I had to see it. I went to the original road tour and waited around to see what else would happen. Now, part two of TDC is in the works, and in the meantime, they had another road tour that was a double feature of TDC and Repo! I knew I wanted to make a costume for TDC, so this was the perfect opportunity.

The challenge? The second road tour was announced about it a month before the day of the show. I had a real time crunch in making this costume.

Tamara from The Devil's Carnival

Of all the characters in The Devil's Carnival, Tamara was one of my favorites, though she appears in the movie for a pretty short period of time. Her sin is being too trusting -- she plays the frog in the Aesop's Fable of "The Scorpion and the Frog."

The carnival that hell is set in is in some kind of alternative universe, and Tamara's outfit is very 1950s inspired. I love all the little details that make it more "frog" like. From the moment I saw her, I knew I was going to make her dress.

hoopin collage
Most of my photos of this costume are me hooping.


  • The Devil's Carnival and Repo! The Genetic Opera Road Tour


  • Wig: Arda Wigs Jeannie in Spanish Brown (not pictured)
  • Dress: Handmade, using a selfmade pattern
  • Saddle Shoes: Payless

I like...

This dress was a monster to sew. I made up my own pattern for the whole thing with some help from a friend and it took about a week of near constant work. The pattern I used was supposed to fit my measurements, but it really didn't and required a lot of constant adjustments, and I wound up having to make a lot up as I went along. It was really a pain to make my own pattern and I'm not sure I'll ever do it again.

At the same time, though, the dress came out totally cute. The anchors on the bodice are made with fabric paint, the froggies were cut out and will be ironed on... I think it looks a lot like her dress.

It's also got a HUGE skirt and was really fun to twirl around in!

She's also just a really fun character to play. I got to hand out ring pops and have people serenade me. It was great.
From earlier when I was getting ready... see you at the Lakewood! #tamara #tdc #devilscarnival #cosplay #retroBeing #Tamara at #devilscarnival and #repoopera double feature!! #hail #testify #cosplay

I don't like...

On the day of the show, my wig just wouldn't work out. I was bummed out because I bought the perfect wig, but the ponytail clip made it too heavy to stay on my head. (I found out later that I have to sew some clips in it. Who knew!) I think it turned out alright though -- movie audiences tend to be more tolerant of inaccuracies in costumes than convention audiences. At the same time, I really want to wear the wig next time!

I also want to finish up some of the pieces of the dress -- iron on the froggies, make a few corrections here and there, and so on.

Next time, I'll...

Fix the wig, finish up everything, and in general just have a more complete costume! I hope to wear this to a convention or two eventually.

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