If you went to PAX East 2016 and saw me in my wheelchaired Temmie costume and myto-go Tem shop, come say hi! (If that’s you in the image, I want to credit you!)
Undertale is a lovely RPG with the stereotypical setup of a human among monsters, with many awesome spins on the usual game mechanics. You make choices in the game, and it affects things. It’s short, so go into this game blind (seriously, don’t don’t look up anything else to avoid spoilers) and go get the game.
While at the con and in my costume, I got asked a few questions like “Are youokay? Are you handicapped?”, and I figured that more people are curious. This post covers more of the circumstances and inspiration for this costume.
As a quick background, I broke all my ankle bones in one fell swoop a few monthsback. I had to stay in bed for months. Everything in my life stopped.
I knew I was going to PAX East, but I was going to work on costumes literally around the time I broke my ankle. I couldn’t do anything. Once I was off of medical leave, I wobbled to work on crutches. But since both my hands needed to be in holding crutches, I couldn’t stand, hold or carry things, much less do my usual crafting that definitely needs me standing, crouching to find stuff, and moving back and forth.
I later learned that I because I was taking the train, I could go to PAX East. To make things easier, my doctor strongly recommended me to go in a wheelchair.
I wanted to design a costume that took advantage of the wheelchair aspect. I was temporarily handicapped, so I wanted to have a unique design to that made the wheelchair a key element.
Now, I was suggested to do a costume from a wheelchaired Batman character or a Mario kart player, but I was only renting the wheelchair for a short time. They were rentals, so I could not permanently affix things. The rental fee was not so cheap, so I couldn’t get it weeks beforehand, measure out proportions, and figure out how to easily append things to the wheelchair.
The travel still wasn’t easy, from taking a car to the train station, then a 12
hour train ride to Boston. So whatever it was had to be light, portable, easy
to attach, and super collapsible.
And PAX East 2016 was slowly approaching.
TEMpting character choice
I had wanted to do some Undertale character. So it occurred to me, randomly, while standing outside, what costume would take advantage of the wheelchair: a costume with a table. Table props normally would be heavy to carry, but if it’s light, it can attach to a wheelchair.
A costume with a table. An incredibly crappy table. With a really crappy paint job. So maybe a shopkeeper…?
If you’ve played Undertale, you may have ran into the incredibly derpy shopkeeper, Temmie, who has ambitions to go to colleg(e), but with a bad spending habit of buying all your stuff.
Temmie was perfect.
I drew out some designs, and came up with sketches.
tEM-pting fate: The costume that almost did not happen
So, 9 days before the con (and 6 days before leaving the house for the con), I got the OK from my doctor to stand.
No more crutches. I can easily pattern, cut, go to thrift stores, hunt down what I needed and do all the things I wanted to.
But, I had a time limit. If my foot swelled up, I needed to pause for an hour or more. So, I had no choice but to take it slow, and I was running out of time.
Oh yeah, I had usual work research to do too. LOL
Really, don’t do what I did. I don’t usually just work on costumes less than a week before the con starts. But, hopefully, you see the logic and circumstances that made this happen (and almost not happen).
I hope that this frames the motivations and inspirations for this character, and hopefully give you some ideas on how to design your own costumes.