Baby Codex Version 2.0 at Dragon*Con 2011
The Nerdista really enjoys the web series The Guild about online gamers written by and starring uber renaissance nerd Felicia Day. If you’ve never watched The Guild, then you’re missing the web series that defined the whole genre. Stop what you’re doing right now and click the above link. We’ll wait for you right here.
Back? Fantastic! What could be a better tribute to neurotic Cyd’s uber suave fantasy avatar Codex than a chubby and totally pinchable miniature version!
The first step in creating a tribute costume is the consultation of source material. Inc the “Do You Want to Date My Avatar” video.
The Nerdista added substantially to the view count while rewatching to get details just right.
Judging by how the white portion of Felicia’s costume fits snugly under the bust-line even when she moves, I suspect hers is a body suit with a separate skirt, the waistband of which is hidden under the detachable corset. Felicia’s costume could also be a dress with a separate corset but this would be more likely to bunch up a bit while moving. Either way, I built Baby Codex’s costume with four objectives in mind: safety, baby comfort, ease of dress and removal, and washability.
Instead of a screen accurate recreation of Felicia’s costume, I decided to go the route of a distinctly Codex costume while being simultaneously baby-esqe. For the top portion of the costume, I modified a white Onesie – the quintessential baby garment – by cutting the sleeves and neckline into V-shapes and adding gold trim. Because babies are . . . let’s just say “accident prone,” I modified three Onesies so to triple my chances of getting an unsoiled version out of the house.
Baby Codex has a detachable skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband. I used double the amount of elastic necessary inside the waistband and plenty of gathers in the fabric so I could easily accommodate a sudden growth spurt from The Nerdling while the costume was still in progress. This foresight came in handy a year later when The Nerdista let out the waistband enough for The Nerdling to comfortably wear the same skirt in version 2.0.
It’s often the adult details rendered in wee miniature that make a baby costume squee worthy. Behold! Baby bracers with itty bitty hand-applied eyelets!
I searched long and hard for red rhinestones that could be sewn instead of applied with sharp metal prongs. Version 1.0 were painted red sparkle. Version 2.0 were the real deal. With both versions I used fishing line for extra strength and sewed them on as if The Nerdling’s life depended upon their attachment. Then, just for paranoia’s sake, The Nerdista used safety pins behind the rhinestones between the embellished portion and the corset itself.
Having said that, we never left The Nerdling in costume unless being directly supervised, i.e., held, and the costume was slipped off quickly for naps. The decorative front piece is detachable for washing, as is necessary for little-ones who can quickly ruin an outfit with a variety of bodily fluids.
Unless a bodice cinches or holds the torso in a specific shape and isn’t merely fitted to the body, it is known as a basque. Baby Codex’s squee-worthy corset-esque details on the back feature more of those tiny and meticulously hand-applied eyelets and working laces. The Nerdling’s laces were never pulled tight and the elasticity of the ties gave them even extra give. Seriously, how cute is this baby basque?
The edges of Baby Codex’s bodice fit more closely together when The Nerdling was an infant. I re-laced the eyelets with longer ties and let the bodice out a bit for her second wearing a year later when her tum tum was a bit bigger . . . just like you would on a real corset.
Baby Codex made her first appearance in costume version 1.0 for Dragon*Con 2010 and her second appearance a year later in 2011. We heard it all: “do you want to burp my avatar?” and “do you want to change my avatar?” everything except, “do you want to date my avatar?” because the answer to that question is absolutely no. Even Baby Codex says “nope” and shows off her most serious business face.
[Don't send me hate mail about her angry expression; I'm pretty sure it was just a quick pang of gas as it passed as quickly as it came. The rest of the time she was all smiles. PS, see what I did there?]
Love, The Nerdista
PS, Baby Codex isn’t complete without her Cleric staff. See The Nerdista’s Baby Codex Staff post here.