The adventures in making Fionna the human (so you want to make a Halloween costume in Korea?)

Language barrier. Uncertainty. Limited word-of-mouth potential to tap into. Inability to locate nearby craft and fabric shops with a quick Google search.

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Despite these hurdles, I persevered, and made a pretty kickin’ Halloween costume, if I do say so myself. Here’s what I discovered, so that you too many take up the challenge next year (or anytime cosplay is called for)!

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Algebraic!

As a hagwon teacher, I needed a costume for my school’s two-day Halloween event. I wanted something that would work equally well around children or at a bar, that wouldn’t cost a fortune, and that I could put together in a foreign country. (Although as it turns out, any costume becomes trickier in a country where Halloween isn’t a big deal at all.)

I already had a Finn the human-coloured shirt and pair of shorts, and my sewing skills are at a solid proficiency level. I found a pattern for a Finn hat and backpack and decided to tackle making my own costume pieces. (I certainly wasn’t going to come across specialty pre-made ones here).

If you’re wondering, ‘Who’s Fionna, Holly?’, then do look up episode 3×09– The Adventures of Cake the Cat and Fionna the Human. These gender-swapped characters exist in an alternate universe of sorts. 🙂

My first fabric stop was the Gwangjang market- but navigating racks of miscellaneous fabrics without a working comprehension of Korean proved challenging to say the least. I ended up with a chunk of nice cashmere fabric. It’s sitting unused in my closet, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it!

IMG_0290Fortunately, I lucked out when I discovered Dongbaek Hwabangmungu- a specialty crafts shop located right in my area! They had felt, velcro, cotton batting- and everything else one might need for craftin’- buttons, glue, glitter, oh my!

Dongbaek map

Making terrible maps on Paint since 2010 so you don’t have to! (Google Maps is not terribly useful in this country)

The store is located near Dongbaek station, in a complex found across the street from Emart. It’s in between the two main buildings, to the east of the man-made lake. If you’re a prospective crafter in the area, please do get in touch- it was quite tricky to locate craft supplies and I’d be happy to help you find this place!

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Final roundup of my costume-making supplies!

Emboldened, with felt and thread in hand, I tackled my sewing project gleefully- watching a LOT of Adventure Time as I dutifully cut, pinned, and sewed my pieces together.

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Who thought my costume progress was totally mathematical? This guy!

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End result of my sewing efforts! Not pictured: EXTREME PRIDE

End result? Well, a lot of the kids knew who I was. “Pinn! Pinn!” they exclaimed. I can hardly expect small children to distinguish between Finn and Fionna, and adorably, there is no “F” sound in the Korean language, hence their mispronunciation.

The Halloween party was a huge hit with the kids.

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This picture kind of sums up what the six-hour-long event was like.

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Oh my glob! I call it a success.

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Happy Halloween! (It’s Halloween year-round if you simply believe 😉

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2 thoughts on “The adventures in making Fionna the human (so you want to make a Halloween costume in Korea?)

    • Thank you for your kind words! It definitely involved a bit of trial and error- I ended up with some high-quality cashmere fabric I don’t quite know what to do with before I ended up with the inexpensive felt I was going for. I’ll figure something out; winter’s settling in here!

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