Photographer Credits: Ash Snap ‘Em Photography
Completed: August 2018
Hours Spent: 35-ish? It took about 10 days start to finish.
Debuted: A-Fest 2018
Why This Costume:
Have you ever had friends who are really into a series, and it takes forever for you to jump on board? That’s how I was with Utena. I’d heard people talk about it for years, but I blew it off for the longest time. I decided at the end of July to watch a few episodes and quickly got hooked!
- French Seams
- Gravity Defying Bangs Tutorial
- Continuous Bias Tape
- Faux mitered corners
- How to Bag a Jacket Lining
- Duelist Utena Kit
- Sword of Dios Kit by Azure Props
- Shoes: Amazon
- Wig: Arda Venus in Baby Pink
- Contacts: Etia Coeur (purchased for Uranus)
- Stockings, shoe laces, and shorts fabric: We Love Colors
How I made it:
Blazer WIP collage! I tested a few sizes for the pockets since of course the anime has all sorts of varying sizes.
All in all, this was a pretty simple build since I had a couple of go-to patterns to help me with it. I used my tried-and-true princess seam top, McCall’s 7373, as the base for this pattern. I started with a quick mock-up, mainly focusing on the lower half of the jacket to make sure the shape was right. Once I made sure everything was good to go, I knocked out the base of the blazer using a black suiting and lining fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I stuck to the show’s 4 buttons on the blazer, but I used large snaps on the lining side to make sure the fabric didn’t gape. The bodice has a light interfacing to help keep its structure. Since I didn’t want to interrupt the lines of this design, I opted to make faux pockets rather than real ones. I might go back and re-do those at some point so that I have easier phone access.
Blazer progress with the bias tape!
All of my bias tape is made from scraps of Vickie Bane’s Anthy to make sure we’re extra matchy-matchy. I used a couple of flat shank buttons leftover from my Cornelia for this design. The cuffs are self-drafted, using Vickie’s Anthy cuffs as a springboard. I’d like to revisit these before I wear her again and make them detachable so I can easily switch between school and duelist uniforms.
I finished off the jacket with the Duelist Utena Kit from UniqueCosplayProps on Etsy since I was short on time with this build. I’m not a huge fan of the fringe used on the epaulets, but when I tried to take it off, the resin nearly cracked. I’ll probably 3D print another set of epaulets and use thicker cording next time. I’ll also likely use magnets instead of spin clips to attach the epaulets. One of the spin clips broke during my photoshoot, and they didn’t do a great job of holding the SUPER HEAVY epaulets in place. I’m hoping that a couple of rare earth magnets will work better.
Playing with 3d printing! I’ll post it to Thingverse soon!
I forgot to make sure the triangle neck pieces were included in the duelist accessory kit when I ordered it (they aren’t, if you want to order this set for yourself), so I quickly set out to make them. I designed the pieces in TinkerCAD and printed them off at my work’s Makerspace. After printing the triangles, I sanded them down to remove the 3d print lines, then primed and painted them. They attach to the collar with pin backs.
For Utena’s underskirt, I followed Vickie’s lead again and made a trapezoid out of chiffon and then box-pleated it. I used French seams on the edges and the skirt is held up with extra wide double-fold bias tape. The skirt connects with a hook and I also have snaps sewn on at the side seams of the shorts to keep it from shifting throughout the day.
Speaking of the shorts, they were a quick evening project. I used some credits sitting in my Seamwork account to get the Kaye shorts pattern and knocked them out using dull tricot from We Love Colors. The only alteration I made to the shorts was to add an elastic waistband for a little extra stability.
Again, since I was short on time for this build, I purchased a resin kit from Azure Props for the sword. This kit was absolutely gorgeous and the seller is such a sweetheart! Definitely hit her shop up if you need Utena resin pieces. Once my kit arrived, I assembled it and began sanding. Once I removed all the seam lines, I attached all the pieces with HobbyTown’s 5 minute Epoxy and primed and painted it.
When I have more free time, I’d love to do a bit more detail painting and maybe some work with Rub-n-Buff. But it turned out well enough for my first wear!
First wig that was sadly a bust (cries over time spent wefting). Be wary of cutting your wigs too short! I’m also terrible at cutting wigs in general, whomp whomp.
For the wig, I dug up my old Fluttershy wig from my cosplay closet. It was a great color, but it didn’t have quite enough volume for my taste. I filled it in with Rose Pink wefts from Arda. Unfortunately, I cut this wig a bit too short, so I had to replace it with a Baby Pink Venus from Arda.
Utena wig, take 2! So much better!
I gave the bangs and forelocks gravity-defying volume using the tutorial linked above. Thankfully, my Epic wig won’t go to waste. I’m going to hold on to it for movie Utena at some point in the future!
Thoughts on this Build:
This has honestly got to be one of my most comfortable costumes to date. Biker shorts, a fitted blazer, and comfy flats for the win! I was nervous about how a pink wig would look with my skin tone, but I honestly felt really pretty as Utena! This costume will very likely become a staple in my cosplay rotation. I can’t wait to do a shoot of her in a rose garden with Vickie!