Photographer Credits: Ash Snap ‘Em
Completed: May 2018
Hours Spent: Approximately 10
Debuted: A-Kon 2018
Why This Costume: This was the main build my cosplay group, Cosmic Coterie, voted on making this year. We wanted to focus on a build that was relatively simple, since all of us had major life commitments to handle this year.
Our first priority in making these was ensuring that we were respectful to Japanese culture in the creation of these builds, so we spent a lot of time and energy making sure we were accurate to artbook designs of the inner senshi and following appropriate yukata-wearing protocol. The incredible Victoria Bane spearheaded this research. You can find our full notes here!
- Geta (shoes): Kimono Yukata Market Sakura
- Obi (belt): eBay
- Obidome (charm that can be attached to the obijime): Ichiroya
- Obijime (decorative cord that wraps around obi): Ichiroya
- Kitsuke pieces: Rakuten Global Market
- Fabric: Ichiroya
- Hair accessories: Daiso
Super Helpful Tutorials:
- Traditional yukata making: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~weyrbrat/Japan/yukata/
- Simplified yukata construction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOoS7dMHMmg&t=57s
- Hanjuban tutorial: http://kimonodecheapau.web.fc2.com/hajimenienglish.htm
- Susoyoke tutorial: http://bebetaian.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-make-susoyoke-under-juban-skirt.html
- Kitsuke tutorial: https://readysetkimono.com/2015/01/03/kitsuke-juban-and-padding/
Make sure to check out Cosmic Coterie for more helpful tutorials and information!
How I Made it:
WIP and materials photos
Yukata are honestly amazing beginner sewing projects. Creating a modern yukata is more or less sewing a series of rectangles with a few moderately tricky bits. However, if you prefer to work with a pre-made pattern, Simplicity and McCalls have you covered.
I primarily worked with the simplified yukata tutorial linked above, occasionally referring to the more traditional tutorial for measurement guides. My biggest issue with making the yukata was my height; the first tutorial is written for a traditional yukata, which assumes a height of 5’2″ – the average height of a Japanese woman. Even checking the alterations for men’s yukatas still the measurements way too short for my height of 5’10”. This lead to a lot of headache in my construction (not to mention some expensive material waste), but once I finally figured out the appropriate lengths to cut, all of the pieces came together more or less in a day.
Regarding materials waste, if you are very tall (see: over 5’7-8″-ish), you’ll need to either purchase Western-style fabric or get an extra long yukata bolt. I didn’t realize when I purchased my first fabric (which I loved, sob) that there wouldn’t be enough fabric on the bolt to create a full yukata. Even with an extra long one, I still barely squeaked out enough fabric, but I didn’t have enough leftover to make the extra collar or a matching bag. Sob. I’ll just have to find some coordinating fabric to make extra accessories!
Thoughts on this build:
Honestly, I had a lot more fun working on this project than I expected. I was kind of dreading pumping out two full new costumes for A-Kon while also working on commissions and my contest build, but this came together super fast once I figured out the proper lengths of everything.
The extra accessories are also super adorable! We really lucked out on several pieces, especially the hair accessories and the obijime. I can’t wait to wear these again!