Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Figment of My Imagination

I'm still coming down from the internet Halloween high of the last few days, but I didn't want you guys to think I'd forgotten my promise to post Figment pictures! So here goes...

About a week after we started on John's Dreamfinder costume he insisted that *I* go in costume, too. (Wha??) Since I knew I could never look exactly like the actual dragon himself, I decided to try to make a pretty, girly version of Figment. And in keeping with the character, I aimed for something more little-girl girly than sexy girly, since I'm not out to ruin anyone's childhood. ;) (Not to mention it takes industrial strength corsets for me to pull off anything even remotely "sexy." Ha!)

We hit a lot of pitfalls and challenges along the way, and I'd by lying if I said I really liked this cosplay, but here it is, for better or worse:

Everything you see here is handmade, with the exception of the boots. It turns out you can't find lavender clothing ANYWHERE, so after weeks of fruitless searching we finally bought this stretchy lavender fabric, and John made me a skirt out of it. Yes, a skirt. But he made it so long that I was able to pull it up and use it as a dress. (Me: "Hey, now I don't need a shirt! BOOYA!!") The pink cummerbund (which closes with Velcro) holds it all together - take it off and I have the world's largest muumuu. Heh. The sleeves are just two long tapered tubes that I pull on like arm-warmers. (The great thing about t-shirt fabric? NO HEMMING REQUIRED. Woohoo!)   

The yellow sweater started out as an enormous pull-over from GoodWill which we cut and snipped and darted until it was about half its original size. I used iron-on hem tape to attach the red sleeve cuffs, and John made a lovely red band for the collar as well, but sadly it doesn't show at ALL with my hair down. At the last minute I used the remaining strip of red fabric as a neck tie, just so you could see some red around my neck that way.

Figment has teeny tiny wings, but I made the conscious decision to make mine extra large so they would show up from the front. In my mind, if it's not going to show when people take your picture, there's no point in making it. (Yep, I'm lazy!) That's also why I don't have a tail, even though I really did want to make one - it just didn't seem worth the effort if no one would see it!

Since my sweater was open in the front I couldn't have "Figment' written across my chest - so I decided to make a large necklace of his name instead.

To make it, I held Figment's t-shirt up to a window with a piece of paper over it, using it as a poor-woman's lightbox, and traced out the letters onto the paper:

Then I cut out the letters and used them as templates on a thickly rolled-out piece of black clay, which I cut and shaped with a craft blade:

I arranged the letters in a curved shape on a piece of paper, and then sketched out a shape around them. John then cut a scrap of thin aluminum he had in the garage into that shape for me, sanding it to give it a neat swirly texture:

 I glued on the clay letters, and then blinged everything up with cheap nail gems:

The aluminum is so lightweight that the necklace weighs next to nothing!

Originally I planned to paint a masquerade mask on my face, but after a few tries I realized I just wasn't skilled enough to pull it off - and even if I were, it'd take forever to do, and I didn't want that kind of stress!

So, I made that mask up there.

 I took the shape I'd planned to paint on my face and modified it to fit this plain masquerade mask:

I cut the top portion from a lavender craft foam, and painted the mask itself a darker purple:

Then I painted thin lines of glue around the edges and added loose glitter:

I felt like I was back in grade school, doing this! And I warned John we'd have glitter everywhere for weeks, but dangit, IT WAS FUN.

I wanted to keep the mask simple, so I just added darker purple glitter on the eyes (so it looked like eye shadow), and a center line down the nose for sparkle:

Lastly I went back with a wet paint brush and cleaned off the chalk lines you can still see here.

My design is supposed to look like stylized horns, but I realize it also looks a lot like a crown - so I guess if any of you need a Barbie princess mask...

Well, I've already covered how I made the wings and horns, so I guess that's everything! Obviously I should have had lavender boots, but all I could find online were dark purple ones, and I wasn't up for spending an extra $40 on footwear. :/ (And I don't do heels.)

As long as you crop off my feet, though, it looks Ok:

I keep holding my skirt out because I wanted a big poofy skirt. If I ever wear this again, I'll have to get a nice ruffly petticoat for it.

So that was my Halloween costume! All in all, I'm still glad I didn't wear it with John's Dreamfinder, since I liked having the focus just be on him that night. Besides, my costume is more of a creative interpretation of Figment than a literal one, while John's is pretty darn exact.

Which reminds me: would you guys believe that the original Dreamfinder himself commented on John's costume?! BECAUSE HE DID! And he said amazingly nice things about it! I've been reading his blog the past few days, so that was a major, MAJOR Dizgeek moment for me. I'm still not over it; I get all fangirly and shrieky inside every time I think about it. (EEEE!)

And finally finally, a lot of you have mentioned that you've never seen the original Journey Into Imagination ride that our costumes are based on, which is a tragedy I feel compelled to correct, in at least a small way. So here's the best video of it I've found:

This starts with a pretty comprehensive look at the area around the ride and the building itself, so the ride portion doesn't start until the 3 minute mark. And it's a pretty long ride, so you'll need to continue on to part 2 here (sorry, the embedding is disabled). The beginning of part 2 is my favorite part of the ride, though, and certainly the most beautiful, so please don't miss it!

Thanks for being so patient, guys, and for providing me with endless entertainment/distractions the past few days with all of your Halloween costumes and pumpkins and crafts! My inbox is overflowing, so I may never get back to you all, but please know that I am LOVING all of it!


  1. Un-hemmed T-shirt fabric will ravel given enough wear or running it through the wash. I'm guessing that's not an issue for this outfit, but something to keep in mind for the future.

  2. I love the creativity in your costume! I also love how crafty you and John both are. Thank you for sharing the video of the ride, as I'm one of the unlucky ones who never got to see it.

  3. I love your costume, I think you look adorable! :)

  4. OMG, JEN, THAT'S FANTASTIC!!! I would have known you were Figment without you telling us, and with John at your side, you two could NOT look more perfect!

    I DO remember the original Figment ride, and didn't know it had been changed until I took the boy to Disney this past Spring. "Where the heck is Dreamfinder???" says I upon completion of the ride. "Who?" asks perplexed CM. It's so hard to find good help these days...

  5. I think its a wonderful costume. Figment is one of my most clear memories as a child at Disney. Now that I am a grown up and the ride is different its still nice but not the same. I love your figment and may adapt it for next years halloween costume. I went Disney adjacent this year and did a female Captain America with retro dress. Thank you for coming up with such a cute figment idea!

  6. Fantastic costume! I haven't tried this yet but on Pinterest I found a way to make boots with duct tape. I figured for a one time wear it's worth a shot since boots can get pretty expensive.

  7. D'awww - so cute!!!

    I really love the link to the dreamfinder's blog - what an amazing collection of stories from a great period in theme parks!
    (and OH how I miss characters that are there to really interact not just stand around for photos!)

  8. Awww, has the Lady Vadore costume spoiled you from more simple costumes? This Figment costume was just adorable, reallyreally. I think you are holding yourself to such a high standard you couldn't enjoy this costume as much as we obviously do. Just amazed at what you two can do. I don't think you would have taken away from John's (admittedly amazing) Dreamfinder costume at all. I'm guessing since you had the spotlight at SW in Orlando, you wanted him to have the spotlight here. In any case I think they both turned out very very well. You guys rock!!!

  9. I first went to Disney World when I was about 7 or years old (so 1987 maybe?), and I terrified of all the characters. They were all just so bigger than me. I won't go near any of them or have my picture taken with them. Not even the princesses could sway me. When we approached Dreamfinder with puppet Figment for the first time, I held back when my sister went to them. Dreamfinder asked why, and my parents said I was scared. He coaxed me over and then Figment stole my hat with his mouth. Figment has been my favorite ever since. I still have the Figment doll we bought on that trip.

  10. You are a perfect Figment! Love, love love both of your costumes and you look amazing together!

  11. Jen,

    Love, love, LOVE your Figment costume -- you look absolutely adorable in it!

  12. Omg - adorable!
    You guys look so good together :)

  13. Jen you look beautiful. A perfect compliment to your lovely husband. I lovelovelove the dress. I think it would be super cute to wear it as you are with the cummerbund, a yellow cardigan, your Figment necklace and those boots. You know, I think we're roughly the same size, can I borrow? ;-)

  14. Aw, I love the costume. But YOU make it work!

  15. If you get a crinoline, has some wonderful colors and high quality ones for not to expensive! I have a black one, it comes in a tiny tiny package but a few good shakes and it poofs out perfect!!!

  16. Journey into the Imagination was probably my all time favorite thing at EPCOT and I was heartbroken when they replaced the Dreamfinder with Eric Idle. I love Eric but the new JitI just wasn't the same.

    You two are so adorable, and such amazingly great people. I can't tell you how many really terrible days were made better just by knowing people like you were out there.

    My best friend Psychotink got me into your blog. She and I share your stories, they're one of the highlights of our friendship. I want to thank you for giving us that, and for helping us explore our imaginations together.

    I wish you bost the best and thank you again for being so amazing!

  17. I've been to Epcot 3 times-and managed to time them so I've seen all three versions of this ride! The first is my fav - I still have my Figment toy!

    You make a wonderful Figment!!!

  18. Last time I went to WDW was in mid-february 1983. The ride was still under construction, although nearing completion.

  19. I actually really love your take on Figment. Very Cute and you should definitely wear it with John's costume at a later date. And you started me thinking about how I would go about making a Figment corset....Yeah, no, I have enough projects.

  20. How can you not love, love, love this cosplay? You are a-dang-dorable as a girlie Figment.
    Thanks for posting the video, too. I remember one night when the lines were really short, running around the building with my parents and riding Journey into Imagination several times in a row.
    I still have my original Figment plushie.

  21. Oh how I absolutely love it!!!! Figment has been my one true love for years. My parents had bought me a Figment my first trip to Disney, but sadly I lost him. I still get upset thinking about him "lost" out there......I only hope some other child found him and he brought joy to their lives......I say that now, of course, but back then I cried and cried for days.

  22. Oh Jen!!!! Thank you sooo much for finding those videos! It brought tears to my eyes, so many memories, so long ago.


    Yes. This required caps.

    Great job! I love it.

  24. Jen, how can you say for better or worse here it is?! It is AMAZING!! I NEVER could have envisioned turning a dragon into a costume without making it all stuffed animal like. I absolutely love and totally solute you for not making it all sexy. You made it very respectable and in doing so you really showed a love and level of respect to not only Figment but to Disney as well. The costume really looks amazing and you and John look great together. I really wish the weather would have allowed you to wear your costume as well, I think you would have found that people adored you both. You and John did an absolutely amazing job!! I have to say that even though the skirt/dress/mumu (as you called it) was a mistake, I think it fits really well and looks great. Also as for your boots, they're dragon claws ;) I dont think that lavender boots were really needed, the ones you wore looked great. Good job you guys. I absolutely love epbot, I get on at least once a day to check out all the fun stuff you've found or made, you guys are amazing!! I started as a cakewrecks fan, but my love for epbot has far surpassed my love for messed up cakes.

  25. Suddenly this character from South Park makes a lot more sense lol!

  26. OMG girl, look at YOU, Miss I-Can't-Sew, you guys have turned into actual COSTUMERS! You SO have the Costume Fever, darling; cure it now or give in to the madness! BWAHAHAHA!

    And you are extra-lucky beginners, because you have this Awesome Blog of Awesomeness, and all you have to do is ask "How would I...?", and a thousand costume freaks like me will gladly help. You're so much craftier than I at props and painting things and such; I've learned so much from you guys, not to mentioned been cheered and stengthened by this blog, I'd be only too happy to be able to help you back.

    Not that you'll likely need it; you're very a very clever designer, no bullshit, girl; it's sexy without being too sexy, and cute without being cute-sy, and you readily identified and utilzed the key iconic points of the character, so it comes across as the character quickly (VERY important, Young Ones; never make a person looking at a costume take more than 5 seconds to figure out who/what you are. If you have to explain it to more than a few people, you've missed something). When you first said you were doing Figment, I thought you meant some weird li'l Furry-type costume for some reason, so I was like "Oh, OK, I'm sure that'll be cute and all, but damn... doesn't she know how adorable she is? Why does she keep hiding?" SUCH a cute smile; no wonder you've got that man wrapped around your finger. ;)

    Cheers, thanks a lot


  27. Your costume is adorable!

    And that video - starting at 1:06 in Part 2, honestly made me choke up. That cut paper carousel was my favorite part. I know it's pathetic and drama queeny but what they did to that beautiful ride was criminal.

  28. I'm sad you don't like it because its super cute. I think you'd be better off trying to find lavender tights or leggings than pants, and they would look cute with this:

    And I would have worn the yellow boots with them!

  29. I was watching the video of the ride before work this morning, getting teary-eyed at all the memories (I went to Epcot and WDW several times all prior to 1998, so I haven't seen the new ride at all)when my husband wandered in to see what I was looking at.
    To my horror, I realized that he HAD NEVER SEEN THE ORIGINAL RIDE! His first trip to Disney was 1999. He recognized the tune, and had seen Figment, but didn't remember the Dreamfinder. Now I really want to go to Disney and see what's changed!

  30. LOVE the Figment costume! The necklace is a great touch, and everything else is really perfect, too: the horns, the wings, the sweater, the mask, it's ALL fantastic. And the skirt/dress/muumuu and cummerbund...WOW...John, you're a genius on that sewing machine! I've heard T-shirt fabric is hard to work with.

    Jen, you have really gorgeous legs. I'm glad you chose to show them off by pulling the long skirt up to make a short dress. If I had legs like that, I'd never wear long pants or long skirts. "Woooot-wooo!" (that's a wolf whistle, heh) John's a lucky guy. But, of course, you're a lucky girl.

    You two seem to complement each other perfectly. How wonderful that you found each other so early in your lives and that, even though you were so young, you were both wise enough to realize that what you had was worth holding on to. I'm extremely blessed to have found my soulmate, too, but I wish we'd found each other ten years earlier. It would've saved us both a lot of misery and heartbreak.

    Dreamfinder and Figment forever!

  31. Super cute! Maybe one of those no-sew tutus would work as a crinoline? That would be a lot of fabric for an adult size, but you *are* pretty tiny.

  32. I haven't been back to Epcot since I was 16 (I'm 41). I've been telling my kids I need to take them mainly because of this ride. I'm so disappointed it's not there anymore. Thanks for posting the video!

    By the way, in part 3 near the end of the ride you're taken into a room with Figment in the middle and a bunch of video screens in a circle overhead. I'm pretty sure that's where Psy learned Gangnam style.

    By the way, you looked adorable. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you to wear the costume with John as Dreamfinder.

  33. Thank you so much for posting that video! I went to Disneyworld for the first time last year and it was amazing. It is so sad that this ride is gone, you made me want to start planning a new Disney trip!

  34. It turned out amazing!! The perfect girly interpretation of Figment! I totally had the plushie version of him when I was a kid. :) I vote for a fluffy petticoat next time you wear this too, maybe purple high-top Cons instead of boots to keep it comfy? You guys have got to wear these if you go to D23 or something!

  35. I absolutely love this costume, especially the mask. You just wear the mask alone to some fancy masquerade party and fit right in.

  36. That is an absolutely adorable costume!! LOVE it!! Thanks for the Journay into Imagination trip down memory lane too.

  37. Jen - I read through Ron's site to find the comments about John's costume, but didn't find them. The last post I could find was from July 17, '12. Can you point me to the correct post?

  38. @ Beck - Ron actually left the comment here on Epbot, on the post with John's costume shots. He signed it as Ron Schneider, not Dreamfinder, so most folks didn't realize it was him!

  39. Lovely costume, Jen!

    For your future reference, with regard to boots: I have had *excellent* luck in taking a pair of Very Cheap Boots from Walmart or Payless, and painting them to the desired color using acrylic paint liberally mixed with fabric medium (which makes it flexible so it stays on when the pleather moves). I used this to make red boots when my son was the red Power Ranger; at the end of the night, there was some minimal cracking where the pleather creased, but no visible loss of color.

  40. WHAT???! LOVE LOVE LOVE Just came back from Disney and relived my favorite childhood memory of Epcot. Awesome.


    So totally need one of these under that skirt!

    They are so much fun, I have one and find myself spinning alot so it swings out.

  42. Jen -- Just found this page and the pictures of your Figment costume... That's just INSANE!! Your #1 Fan -- Ron Schneider, aka Dreamfinder


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