Kaylee Frye Cosplay

Looking back at 2016, I realize I used other people as an excuse for costumes. I'm ok with that.

In this case, my good friend mentioned he was going as Jayne from Firefly to Dublin Comic Con. I instantly wanted to do a Kaylee costume. (On a side note, I had always expected I'd do an Inara, but when it came time for it to be a reality, Kaylee was what I jumped at. Funny that.)

While there was of course the temptation to make Kaylee’s frilly dress because she’s just so darn adorable in it, I am not a pink ruffles kind of girl. I'm with Zoe, in that I'd rather have my dresses with a little slink. So engine-grease monkey outfit it was.

Honestly, this was such an easy costume. The shirt I got for £5 on Amazon. It's not screen accurate, but I couldn't justify the cost of those when I could find ones like this for cheap, it came huge across the tummy, meant to be blousy,  but I just chopped off the excess. Then I changed the neckline and called it done. Took me less than 20 minutes.

I chose to alter an existing jumpsuit rather than make one from scratch for time reasons. I found one I liked the look (and price) of and ordered it. It arrived and was predictably large in the waist, and length.

The first thing I did was rip off the sleeves. This gave me enough spare material to make the pocket on the breast and a new waistband with some spare for trial and error later on.

I brought the waist up to my natural waist, ripping out the elastic. This solved the length completely, and I took the time to hide some darts in the front pockets help with the width. I had to remove the buttons down the front and replace them with a zip, and took out some of width as I did that. That helped with some of the width, but in the end I had to add a bunch of darts, mostly at the back.
In the end, I'm not sure I actually saved any time doing it this way, but I really like the result.

I had bought a set of Kaylee's patches from a Browncoat provider who longer exists. I did first buy one of the Altotux sets but the bear was only about 4 inches tall, which really isn't tall enough, so found a second set.

Hand stitching visibly is SO Kaylee I couldn't not do it.
I wanted to do the kanji she has too, and used the research from this blog post. Then I bought a couple of different fabric and permanent markers, and used scraps from the sleeves to test the markers out. In the end, I actually liked the basic permanent marker Sharpie better than the fabric ones. I practiced the signs on paper for a bit and then did it on the real thing, trying not to shake with the nerves.

Then I had an absolute blast weathering it. I went downstairs to the car park below and literally stamped it into the biggest oil patch I could find. Then I took it upstairs and added grease stains by dipping a basting brush in sunflower oil and flinging it all over the jumpsuit. Best part of the whole time.

I had been intending to get boots to go with it, but even trying the jumpsuit off and on I realised I was going to be pretty hot in it. So I decided to do flip flops instead. And being the lunatic I am, I actually bothered to make ones that looked like hers out of two pairs (one red, one black).

"Two become one..." - Spice Girls
Ok, technically we don't see her in this combination, but wearing those and shorts underneath meant that I didnt overheat on the day so I'm ok with it. Considering looking for a blue Chinese jacket for the next time, although I'd need a new top and I'm not sure I can be bothered.

I made a super quick necklace out of a bead I bought with a leather thong.

The last thing I did was Kaylee’s parasol. I’m super happy with this. It's just a painted white paper parasol, but I absolutely love it. I spent about two nights painting it and it was so relaxing and fun. In the end, I couldn't bear ripping it, but surely at some point she had one that was still in good nick, right?

My favorite final touch though was my greasepaint. Rather than smearing actual oil on my face, I took olive oil, crushed black eyeshadow into it, mixed it well, and glooped it all over my hands, arms, and face!

Photo by George Germaine
She's definitely one of the most comfortable costumes I’ve worn, and my favorite moment was when a young girl dressed as Kaylee ran up to me. Warms my heart to see Firefly fans that are young enough they wouldn't have seen it when it aired!

Jayne & Kaylee by Perps Portraits
I've since worn her with boots when it was not as warm outside, and man that makes a difference! This is so not a summer costume.


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