News Projects

Vul-Con Win for Betsuni!

Every year at Vul-Con (a Star Trek convention in Vulcan, Alberta), there is always something that surprises me and keeps me coming back – usually it is the people, but sometimes it’s just the pull of the little town feeling. Vulcan is  just outside Calgary and has a rich history dating back further than the Star Trek fanfare it is known for today.

So, after coming to the event for the last four years, I decided that it is probably time that I get into uniform – despite my sci-fi geekdom, I haven’t truly gotten into the spirit of this convention just yet but became inspired to cosplay when I came across a Starfleet jacket design on Pinterest (Original Artwork by GaugeX). This was the piece that called to me.  Sleek in design and subtle enough to be a jacket that I could wear even outside of my cosplay world. I just knew we had to make it.

It was a long process because we had to design this jacket from scratch. First, I drew it out in a sketch book to determine the pieces we would need – that part was the easiest.

Drafting wasn’t too hard either since we use the power of technology to speed our process. The problem was we have never made a jacket like this before, so we ran into a few hiccups with the measurements.  We crafted two draft patterns before starting on on the jacket itself.

If I had to speak out about one thing that I had to really focus on, it was sleeves.  Sleeve curves are one of the most difficult things that I have ever dealt with in sewing so far.  Though by the end of this, I think I got the hang of it.  Learning through deadlines really burns it into the brain.

May Anne featured on the Left in her vest and myself featured in the center

So, during the drafting and design process, I put my feelers out to see if any other club members were interested in having a costume piece made for Vul-con.

Almost immediately one of our members, May Anne reached out to us.  She commissioned us to have a vest made that resembled the vests from the Deep Space Nine series.  Suffice to say, the U.S.S. King Edward NCC-74206 was certainly looked sharp at the event this year.

Early Saturday morning, our crew met up for breakfast in our hotel. Outside, as we were eating, the local chapter of the Klingon Assault Group was swarming over and claiming the park, so my crew went to see what was happening.  As we walked up, we noticed a cluster of costumers ready for the costume contest. My crew gave me the gentle nudge I needed to step forward and represent my team.

betsuni - Star Trek Jacket by Ames Hagon
Project Lead: Ames Hagon

The costume contest judges approached and questioned each of the contestants and upon learning about the process of which Betsuni uses to cut our clothing patterns (ie. laser technology), it was clear that my design had a bit more of an edge.

I won second place in the contest
out of about thirty contestants.


Dilliam Ben Knauert, First place winning costume

First place winner of the Costume contest was Borg Fashonista, Dilliam Ben Knauert , a cosplayer who has been making costumes for himself for three years now.

Craftsmith Cosplay
Cindy Burkholder (Featured center right) and Clay DeBeurs (featured left second back)
Third place was shared between the loving couple, Cindy Burkholder and Clay DeBeurs – also members of the Klingon Assault Group and who have been cosplayers for as long as I’ve known them.

Vulcan is a place that I like to call a home away from home.  Great people, great food, and wonderful memories.  I can’t wait for next year.

Read More: Vul-Con Attracts An International Crowd – HighRiverOnline


The Maria Dress

Project Lead: Elle Nguyen
Project Assist: Ames Hagon

I picked up this project just after Ames and I started on Ames’ Pearl cosplay (Steven Universe). I was working alongside another fashion enthusiast, Maria of Make Fashion, and she mentioned that she wish she had time to make herself a dress to wear to the upcoming Make Fashion show (April 2017). I took that as an invitation and ask “Can I make you a dress?” and that was how it started.

Maria shared a inspiring Pinterest board with me and mentioned that her preferred color was Sunshine Yellow. She also loves the work of Frida Kahlo. Connecting the dots together, I sketched up a flowy shoulder-to-floor gown, accented with a satin black belt and hand painted floral designs. She gave the thumbs up and the dress making process began.

We also create the first draft on “scrap” cloth. I fitted the draft on Maria, marked the the alterations that need to be made, and altered the original design accordingly.

The funny thing about the whole process was dressing the mannequin between sewing sessions – the 6 foot mannequin has insanely slim, yet super busty measurements and the Maria dress was made for a little 5 foot lady. So parts of the dress were too short for the mannequin, leaving it look like the mannequin was getting party ready for the Calgary Stampede season 😀

A post shared by Betsuni Canada (@betsunicanada) on

I was the most anxious about hand painting the floral designs on the fabric. This was my first time painting on fabric and I rarely painted anything before – I have more experience painting walls than I do anything artistic. Hand painting the flowers, however, would really pull in Maria’s love for Frida Kahlo’s art – I needed to do this.

I used Jacquard fabric paint for all the artwork on Maria’s yellow chiffon fabric. I only painted with a medium sized pointed round paint brush and played around with different styles to create petals, leaves, and stems. I think I spent about four days figuring out how to place everything, dry and cure the paint, and fix/add more details. I obsessed and obsessed right until show day …

I’m assuming Maria was pretty happy with her dress 😀 She did a few twirls and she did wear it down the runway during the Make Fashion show – all good signs 😀