Dallas FanExpo 2016

alt title: The first time I cosplayed.


First and foremost I need to thank some people.

My Other Half – Matt: For being patient and so supportive of my cosplay endeavor. For making suggestions and listening to my rambles and oh so many other small and large things.

Rissa – without you there would not have been a Steampunk Harley for me to wear. You worked magic with a sewing machine. I’m so grateful for your help.

Callie and Dawn – I’ve been going to you for 5 years for my hair and when I suggested all the things for transforming my hair so I wouldn’t have to buy a wig, you pulled through. I don’t think I can thank you enough for doing that.

My niece, Izzy – Girl you have skill with a makeup brush. Thank you so much for doing a run through of what I wanted to do makeup wise with me. (I did end up replacing the base with something else!)



So if it isn’t obvious yet. I did my first Cosplay this year at the Dallas FanExpo this past weekend. I cosplayed Harley Quinn. Those that know me, know that this isn’t all that surprising.

I decided last year after attending FanExpo last year that I wanted to cosplay. Choosing Harley Quinn was a no-brainer for me.

I started out looking in my closet to see what I could use. I had a red dress that I had worn at wedding I was part of hanging there that looked vaguely steampunkish so I started with that. The wedding had been several years ago – long enough that the dress did not fit properly at the top. There was no way I would ever be able to zip the thing closed. A modesty panel would be required.

Rissa, a darling friend that has way to much going on in her life, took the time to help me with this project. And over the course of two days she not only attached a panel she made loops to lace me into the dress. It was fabulous.

I ordered a pair of women’s “combat boots” and a pair of goggles that had red and black lenses. I even purchased colored contacts in my prescription  turn my amber eyes blue and I would be able to see without having to wear my glasses. Then I chose the makeup I wanted to use. I used a lot of MAC, Urban Decay, and KatVonD.

The Steampunk dress wasn’t my only idea. I also decided to do a Tutu Harley Quinn. I purchased and obscene amount of tulle and in the end made two tutus. The first iteration was completely red and the same length all around.  The second was split red and black and much longer in the back than in the front. I chose to wear the second tutu.

For the Tutu Harley, I purchased an inexpensive corset online (and hoped for the best.) I also found an Etsy seller ( GoblinWorxLeather) that made the bell choker Harley wears with her Roller Derby outfit. (I love love love the collar.) I picked up a pair of fingerless motorcycle gloves that were on sale at a local bike shop.

For a prop, I decided to go with Harley’s Hammer. Usually it is depicted rather large. I decided to go the opposite way and use a croquet hammer. By adding black electrical tape to the red mallet I had an inexpensive prop that was easy to carry about. And it made sense to go with the steampunk feel of the first outfit.

My hair is relatively short since it still in the process of growing out from shaving it all off over a year ago, so I asked my two favorite hair stylist and colorist to give me their interpretation of Harley Quinn. (Work with what I have – especially since I had a scheduled hair appointment just a week prior to the convention.)  The result was amazing.

Dallas FanExpo June 2016

Friday I wore Tutu Harley. I loved the over all look. But the corset didn’t hold up very well. Without proper boning at the top my chest was just too much for it. Not even double sided tape could help the poor thing stay up properly. I found myself adjusting the corset more as the day went on.  I had hoped that the corset would at least last a single day. Sadly it didn’t. Lesson learned.

Dallas FanExpo June 2016

I wore the Steampunk dress on Saturday. Saturday is considered THE DAY…the number of compliments and kudos the dress garnered was quite impressive. But the biggest hit I think was my mallet. With all of the oversized mallets when mine was noticed there was always a smile. I even heard one cosplayer say that he was tickled that Harley was carrying a croquet mallet as we passed each other. Many of the vendors also made comments on it.

(not sure why it says the picture isn’t available I clicked on it and it’s still there…)

Sunday I dressed down but was still Harley Quinn. She was on a campaign spree. It was quite a lot of fun.

What I learned from my first Cosplay:

  1. No matter how much you try, you will always forget something. I had put several things out with the intentions of packing them – things like scissors, moisturizer, deodorant and a brush. All of these things I left at home….
  2. It’s great if you have a friend to help you get into your outfits, but if you don’t – it’s okay to ask someone to help. I needed assistance with the Steampunk dress and a kind lady in the hall helped me.
  3. Being stopped and asked to if someone can take a picture with you is an interesting experience.
  4. You will have blisters.



The FanExpo:

I can’t even begin to put into words how it felt to be walking around the con as Harley Quinn. It was scary and fun at the same time. I saw so many other great cosplays and was struck by the creativity and love that each and every one of the cosplayers had for their character.

As for loot that I picked up. The vendors naturally were many and I saw a lot that wanted to go home with me.

Here are a few that stood out and either managed to get me to purchase something or I was simply smitten and had to share.

  1. Ta Da Boutique – there was a pillow. It had words. I wanted it, but I was afraid the cats would claim it for their own.
  2. Kat of Wonders – she had Nuka Cola and Quantum bottles that were simply amazing. I suggested that she also try making some Vim bottles now that Far Harbor was out and apparently Nuka Cola and Vim were competitors. She thought it was a grand idea.
  3. Sasha R. Jones – Sasha was a delight to meet. I purchased some of his pieces as postcards to frame after we had a discussion about one of his pieces called “Holding Back Birds” Seriously go look.
  4. The Truffle Cottage – I never made it back to their booth on Sunday, but I am so glad I can order online. Seriously. They had a chocolate D20 filled with chocolate dice! How cool is that? And pokeballs that had Pokemon in it…that’s hardcore fandom…
  5. Silver Leaf Costumes – I saw them last year and held off on purchasing anything. This year I didn’t wait. I bought their Harley Quinn inspired corset (which could be used for other ideas as well)
  6. Matriart Studio -Jeanette had amazing artwork. Wood carved pictures that simply blew my poor little creative mind to pieces.
  7. The Blonde Swan – there was a hat that I so wanted to get. If they are at the next convention I go to I will certainly be making that purchase. Beautiful leather work.
  8. The Midsummer Knights Dream – Puppetry. The cats caught my eye then they showed me the owls. Yeah…I may have to cosplay someone that has a pet something in the future.


I sat in on several panels. And managed to meet the voice actor for Spike from Cowboy Bebop. I even ran across a friend I hadn’t seen since my wedding. The entire con was something I will never forget.

If you follow me on Facebook then you will have seen these pictures before but if don’t  you can take a look at my flikr photo album for more pictures from Dallas FanExpo 2016.

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