Costume Notes: Nana Shimura (Boku no Hero Academia)

2018-09-29 14.07.59

Completed: September 2018

Debuted: Two Heroes viewing

Hours Spent: 20-ish

Why This Costume: 

Have I talked about how much I love spandex lately? Because I really, really do. As soon as I saw Nana on My Hero Academia, I knew I needed to make her. She’s super in line with my cosplay type. But what really triggered the inspiration for this costume was the need to remake the cape for my Saitama commission. The one I originally made was a few inches too short for my client, so I decided to use this cape for myself since I’m a few inches shorter than him and the cape worked almost perfectly for Nana. From there, it was pretty much a dive in my closet of what materials I had available (black spandex, check; wig from Angel Dust, check; yellow leftover spandex also from my Saitama commission, check; red mystery knit, check) and getting to work!

Purchased Pieces: 

  • Wedge heels: Amazon
  • Belt buckle: Etsy

Patterns Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 

Since the cape was already done (and my serger was threaded with red), I started with the skirt. For Nana’s skirt, I drafted a half circle skirt and tweaked the opening a bit. I wanted this to have some volume, so of course a circle skirt was the way to go! After letting it hang for a few days, I tapered the opening a bit and lined the skirt with the same fabric. The waistband has elastic in it and I sewed snaps at the sides and center back for extra support, much like I did with Utena.

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My next step was to work on Nana’s bodysuit. Her suit is pretty simple overall: just a single-color sleeveless form-fitting suit with a high collar. To make this, I turned to Yaya’s bodysuit pattern and made a mock-up in my size. From there, I tailored it to fit me while wearing my intended undergarments. My original plan was to eliminate some of the extra seamlines, but I quickly realized that wouldn’t work for the yardage I had on hand. So I stuck with the pattern as designed and managed to squeak out all the pieces!

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My dog does not appreciate my hand turkey shennanigans.

The gloves were… interesting. I forced myself to make them this time since I had a solid yellow on hand (hehehe) to match her design. I used the cheater’s method of sewing stretch gloves and made a hand turkey. These aren’t the prettiest, but they work!

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I started to make the buckle myself, intending to make it out of foam. A quick Etsy search revealed this lovely 3d printed option, though! I went ahead and purchased the buckle, then sanded it down and painted it.

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To make the boots, I chose to go a little outside the reference image and wear wedges instead of flats. Heels just make legs look better to be honest. I picked up a cheap pair on Amazon, stripped the varnish, and painted them white with Angelus. After several coats of paint, I sealed them up again using Angelus products and they were good to go!

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The last piece I styled was my wig. This is the same Arda wig I used for my Angel Dust cosplay! After giving the wig a thorough washing, I set out to re-style this wig. I used a couple of tricks from my wiggy senpai Victoria Bane to get the pieced bangs, then used the back portion of the wig to style a half-up messy bun.

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To finish everything off, I covered a few button kits with yellow spandex to match my gloves, added them to the cape, and also stitched on a gold chain.

Thoughts on this build: 

This was such a fun costume to wear, and it came together super fast! Honestly, I think I spent more time painting the boots than anything else. I was so glad I finished her in time for the Two Heroes movie debut and got to wear her with my awesome friend JWow! I can’t wait to shoot her and wear her at a con!

Have you seen Two Heroes yet? What did you think of it? 


Commission Notes: Saitama (One Punch Man)

Completed: August 2018

Hours Spent: 30-ish

Purchased Pieces: 

Patterns Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 

Ahhhh, this was such a fun build! My friend Ash (and one of my favorite photographers) is really into One Punch Man, and a few months ago she asked if any of her cosplay friends could help turn her dad into Saitama. I jumped at the opportunity, especially after I decided to watch the show (much to Koholint‘s delight).

I started with the base bodysuit for this build. It’s fairly straightforward, but because of that, I wanted to make sure all the details were correct and clean. I’ve used Kwik Sew 3029 several times at this point, so I was able to quickly note changes and modifications to the pattern (big shout-out to Victoria Bane for cutting these pieces for me!). The top just required adding a white collar portion and zipper. I chose to do the white portion as inset corners and also sewed in an exposed zipper. The rest was a very quick process. I zig-zag stitched the suit together, hit the seam allowance with my serger (overkill, but I like the final look), and added elastic to the ankles to give the pants more of a “puff” look.

The next piece was the cape. Again, big shout-out to Victoria Bane for cutting this for me! My go-to for any big cape is The Dangerous Ladies’ tutorial (linked above). After letting the pieces hang for a few days (let that bias settle, yo), I cleaned up the cape and stitched the fashion and lining layers together.

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First run at the cape. At least I can still use it for Nana Shimura!

What I failed to realize was that my client’s measurements exceeded the length available on 60″ wide fabric. Thankfully, this wasn’t a lost cause. The shape of this cape will work very well for one of my upcoming cosplays, Nana Shimura from My Hero Academia. I held onto the cape for myself since it was already complete, and ordered 120″ fabric from Online Fabric Store for a new one. I again followed the same process, but this time at the proper length. After the new cape was sewn up, I hand sewed snaps to attach to the base leotard and sewed on the giant grey buttons (made from scraps of my Arsene vest!).


The boots were fairly straightforward. I ordered a base pair from Funtasma in my client’s size, stripped the varnish, and painted them with about 10 layers of Scarlet and Fire red from Anglus. Once they were fully painted, I hit them with Angelus finisher.

The gloves were a little more challenging. I had this bright idea to get some Captain America gloves and paint them to match the boots. However, the gloves were… garbage quality. They didn’t take the paint at all and basically fell apart the second I looked at them. Instead, I made a pair of glove toppers using vinyl that matched the boots. I also realized that the dye I used for Makoto’s gloves was a good match for the boots and vinyl, so I set out to dye a pair of men’s gloves from We Love Colors. It took about 6 washes to get them fully dye free.

To create the belt, I found a Saitama cosplay belt on Amazon. The buckle was fairly accurate, but the belt itself was okay at best. I purchased the belt, stripped off the buckle, and made a new belt out of black vinyl I had on hand.

Thoughts on this build: 

This was such a fun build! I love how absurd this show is, and I’m glad I got the chance to make something from it. I can’t wait to see Ash’s dad as Saitama!

On Cosplay and Burnout (+ commission updates)

Man, oh man. This post… This post has been a long time in the making. I started writing it well over a year ago, and it’s taken a lot of time, distance, and reflection to find the words I want to express myself.

Over the last two years, I’ve had some of the best moments of my cosplay life along with some of the worst. I’ve cut out toxic people from my life who I once held dear, solidified friendships with people who are essentially my chosen family, published my work professionally, competed in competitions, judged in many others, guested at several cons, and lots more. And through it all, I’ve struggled with burnout and what it means for me going forward as a seasoned-but-not-quite-veteran cosplayer.

I first started noticing the worst burnout of my cosplay life to date around late February/early March of 2017, almost 5 years since I started cosplay. I was juggling several commissions while simultaneously trying to crank out multiple new costumes for a few of my favorite local cons, All-Con and Dallas Fan Expo, which were a little over two weeks apart. I’d dealt with con crunch before, and thought I had it all well in hand, but I also got sideswiped by an increased load at my 9-5 that had me staying at the office late and checking my work e-mails from home — a situation I promised myself I’d never be in again after leaving a horribly toxic work environment several years ago.

Combine all of that with being responsible for 1/3 of our Madoka build at Cosmic Coterie (FYI, organizing a large group build is a crazy amount of work, but that’s something to discuss later), and I crashed HARD the week before All-Con 2017. All the work I’d done to make sure my costumes were finished more or less went to waste; some of the builds I made are still waiting to be worn, a year and a half later. I attended the con for a day, out of costume, and only stayed for a few hours because I had to go back home and work on more commissions.

The whole ordeal was very sobering for me. I realized in that time frame that cosplay was turning into a job, and it was an unpleasant and poor paying one at that. By the time all was said and done, I was easily spending 20+ hours a week working on cosplay for other people in addition to my 40-hour a week job, and this left me with next to no time to work on my own builds, let alone this blog.

The idea of quitting cosplay replayed in my mind over and over during the next few months, compounded by heartache, exhaustion, and physical and mental consequences I’m still trying to fix. Most of my summer con season in 2017 was a blur and a repetitive cycle of work to the bone up until the very last second, then smile tiredly for pictures, and hustle back home to work on the next thing. Cosplay can be a rat race of churning out new content every week or even every day if you let it, and I definitely did for a while.

This year has been infinitely better for me in terms of workload, in large part thanks to the workflow changes we voted on over at Cosmic Coterie. In our very early years, only a handful of people handled technical construction, which was how I got involved with the group. With our Madoka build, we tried to move toward a model where all members were largely responsible for their own builds, but we appointed the strongest crafters as team leads to help tackle the trickier parts of the costumes. This didn’t work out quite the way we envisioned and the bulk of construction still fell on a handful of people. When planning for this year came around, we decided that each person should be 100% responsible for their own builds. We still help each other out when the need arises (such as with our Outer Senshi build this year), but ultimately every person handles their own stuff. This has GREATLY reduced my overall stress, but I’ve still been guilty of taking on more work than I can handle this year, specifically in the realm of commissions.

Moving forward, I’m re-focusing on my efforts on getting back to my cosplay roots: making for the joy of making. I love learning new skills, and I love emphasizing craftsmanship above all else in my work. Working at the speed of light over the last few years has forced me to sacrifice both, and I’m excited to get back to doing what I love.

As a result, I’m taking a brief hiatus from commissions, at least through the end of 2018. I love doing commissions and helping people become their favorite characters. But the reality is that I can’t continue at this pace, especially while working full-time.

All that said, I hope y’all will stick with me through this next year. I have a lot of exciting projects and creative endeavors planned for the coming months, and I can’t wait to get back to sharing them all with you here.

Costume Notes: Revolutionary Girl Utena

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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!


Helpful Tutorials: 

Purchased pieces:

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.

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Crummy bathroom shot trying everything on together!

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.

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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!

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Costume Notes: DSN Makoto Nijima (Persona 5)


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Photographer Credits: Michael Benedict LA, Wildstarjp Photography, Arlington Public Library

Completed: June 2018

Hours Spent: Less than 10

Debuted: ArlingCon 2018

Why This Costume: I mean… I’m pretty much obsessed with this game and still have a ton of plans for future P5 builds, especially with Koholint and AdventTraitor. I was so giddy when Atlus announced a stand-alone dancing game with new designs. I love this dancing version of Makoto and prefer it over her DAN DLC design.

Purchased Pieces: 

  • Base gloves: We Love Colors
  • Base t-shirt: Amazon
  • Jaquard paint: Amazon
  • Shujin fabric: Spoonflower
  • Base boots: Amazon
  • Wig: Arda Magnum in Spanish Brown with a clip-in braid
  • Contacts: Etia Coeur
  • Belt: Hot Topic

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 

This build was super simple. It’s borderline closet cosplay to be honest, especially since I’d already made Makoto’s skirt, though eventually I want to remake mine using some tips my Cosmic Coterie teammate Victoria Bane shared with us.


I pulled most of this together over the course of a few days. To start, I grabbed a pair of base boots I had in my closet from a Tifa costume I never got around to. I stripped the varnish and repainted them with a combination of Scarlet and Autumn Red Angelus leather paints. It took several layers to get to the shade I wanted, and once my final layer dried, I sealed the boots and swapped out the red laces for black ones.


In between my shoe painting, I also hit the shirt. For ArlingCon, I bought a basic grey shirt off of Amazon along with Jacquard paint. I literally dipped a brush in the paint jar and just went to town splattering the paint everywhere. The bigger splotches needed a full 24 hours to dry, and once that was done, I followed the manufacturers directions and heat set the paint on the reverse side of the fabric. Once the dye was dry and set, I took my fabric shears, cut a few openings in the shirt, and covered them in safety pins.


To create the gloves, I grabbed a pair of white wrist gloves from We Love Colors and dyed them with red iDye Poly. You can definitely use a pair of red gloves from them instead of dyeing, but I was mostly working with what I had on hand (huehuehue). I’ve covered dyeing spandex before, so I won’t address that here other than to say IT DOES NOT TAKE LONG TO GET THE COLOR YOU NEED. Seriously, I left the gloves in the dye pot for a minute and they’re still a little darker than I’d like. I wound up washing them 3 times before calling it quits and I still got red dye on my hands after a full day of wearing them. After dyeing the gloves, I grabbed a scrap of stretch vinyl and created a band to attach to the top of the gloves. Pretty easy and quick!

Wannabe grunge baby

For the arm band, I cut a rectangle on the bias of some red satin and gave it tapered points. My original intent was to have it as a single layer of fabric with a machine rolled hem, but then I decided to fold it in half and just stitch it up that way (much like my Ms. Marvel sash).

Truth be told, the belt was the biggest challenge I faced with this build. I needed something that fit my low hip rather than my waist, and I had trouble finding something on Amazon that didn’t cost $50+. I thought I’d be thrifty and make my own belt, but 3 columns into studding it by hand and I gave up. Instead, I hit my local Hot Topic, bought two belts, and spliced them together using contact cement. I made sure to cut carefully and overlap sections where the studs would disguise my hacking. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it works for this costume!

The rest of the costume was pulled together from pieces in my closet, including the stockings and garter belt I used for Lulu.

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Thoughts on this build: 

I had such a fun time with this costume! It’s a fantastic summer outfit with the skirt and t-shirt combination. I do have a few pieces I’d like to tweak as I mentioned above, but it’s such a chill costume that I honestly don’t mind if I take my time (huehuehue) with those updates. This will be a great costume for judging and chill con days!

Do you have a favorite closet cosplay? 


Commission Notes: Chun-Li (Street Fighter V)

Completed: March 2018

Hours Spent: App. 30

Purchased Pieces: 

Patterns Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 

I’ve honestly loved this design from the moment I saw it, so I was super happy when someone commissioned me for it! To start, I looked for a solid halter pattern. After wracking my brain for way too long, I realized that one of my favorite swimsuit patterns, The Bombshell swimsuit by Closet Case Patterns, was a perfect base. I made a mock-up of the lining for my client out of some black knit fabric I had on hand and used the mock-up to tweak the fit on her.

Once I identified where the lining needed to be modified, I set out to tweak the fashion layer of the dress. I used Yaya Han’s black stretch vinyl for the fashion layer because honestly I just love it. This pattern is fairly straightforward, even with modifying for a dress instead of the regular swimsuit, but the sew-along for this pattern really helped me out when I got stuck on a few smaller issues, like adding cups to the halter top (I used a different top version when I made this pattern for myself).

To make this costume more user-friendly, I added hook and eye tape to the crotch, much like I do with my senshi fukus. My client also has an extreme hourglass figure, so I added an invisible zipper at the center back to make it easier to get in and out of.

All of the edges are covered in strips of Yaya Han’s gold stretch vinyl, including the lining of the leotard, since that’s exposed during action shots. The most difficult part of this approach with this design was the scalloped portion at the bottom of the dress. The vinyl didn’t want to cooperate with me when I treated it as a bias tape around the edges, so I created a facing instead. It was an okay solution, but in hindsight, I think I might have preferred just doing a straight edge and sticking with the bias approach, even if it wasn’t quite as accurate.

I decided to get fancy with the appliques and use my newly purchased Cricut to help out! First, I sketched out the designs by hand. Once they were good enough, I scanned them into Photoshop for a little clean-up work and then saved them as JPGs. I then uploaded the file into Cricut Design Space and cut them out on vinyl backed with Heat’n’Bond. I had some trouble getting these to cut smoothly, and I realized in hindsight that I should have cleaned up my edges a bit with both the Refine Radius tool in Photoshop and the smoothing tool on Cricut Design Space. I ultimately cleaned these up by hand with my fabric shears. Live and learn!

Once the appliques were ready to go, I edge-stitched them to the dress with a chain stitch and my trusty Sulky Iron-On Tear-Away stabilizer.

The belt was fairy simple overall. It’s a straight rectangle with curved edges at the front. My client requested a corset-style backing, so I added some grommets and red parachute cord for lacing to tie in with the Chinese knot at the center front. The front of the belt also has grommets that connect to the gold circle in the center with excess cording from the Chinese knot. I strengthened this belt by underlining it with two layers of coutil and used small cuts of German plastic boning to keep it from collapsing on itself.

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To finish the knot, I threaded the bottom of the parachute cord through some tassels on purchased Chinese knots.

Speaking of the knot, that was an interesting challenge. Most of the knots I located online weren’t big enough or quite the right shape for this particular piece. So I looked up how to make one and fiddled with the shape until it was an appropriate size for a human being. Check out the link above if you’d like to make one for yourself!

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The shoes were fairly straightforward. I picked up a base pair of white ballet flats in my client’s size, then I taped off the gold design and hit it with Angelus paints. After a few layers of paint, I removed the tape, cleaned up my lines with white Angelus, and then covered my paint job with matte finisher.

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Prior to Plastidip and painting. I also used Kwik Seal to smooth out the gap between the spikes and the base bracelet.

The bracelets were a little out of the box for me. My client wanted more chunky, cartoon-esque bracelets, which meant that something like faux leather and screw in spikes were out of the question. Instead, I turned to EVA foam. I used a rectangle made of 10mm foam and heat formed it to curve. Then came the tedious part: forming spikes. I glued a few sheets of foam together with contact cement and carved out rectangle spikes first, as indicated in Evil Ted’s tutorial (linked above).

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From there, I dremmeled and sanded down the edges until the spikes were more or less smooth all the way around. I filled in gaps with Kwik-Seal. Once that was complete, I attached the spikes to the base with contact cement, then used a 3mm foam sheet to attach industrial strength Velcro. To prep the bracelets, I used 3 layers of spray Plastidip, then set out to paint everything. I found that the gold Angelus paint worked wonderfully for the spikes, even if it did take forever to paint.

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The wig was also a little outside my wheelhouse. I normally don’t offer wigs as part of commission packages, but I made an exception in this case since my client was local, had no hard deadline, and I wanted to push myself a bit outside of my comfort zone. I used a Jasmine in Spanish Brown from Arda wigs.

To start, I portioned out the side pieces as well as the bangs. I straightened out the rest of the wig and gave it a trim. From there, I braided the two side pieces and stitched up covers for the base out of leftover stretch gold vinyl. I hand stitched these closed around the base of the braids to prevent messiness while attaching them. To finish the wig, I lightly teased and heat formed the bangs, thanks to tips from my wiggy senpai Victoria Bane.

Thoughts on this Build: 

I really enjoyed working on this build! Chun Li is one of my favorite Street Fighter characters, and I’m thrilled that someone finally asked me to work on her. It’s also reignited my desire to make a Chun Li for myself! I’m leaning towards classic Chun Li, but after making this one… I might have to make another for myself. One day…

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Who’s your favorite Street Fighter character? 

Costume Notes: Momo Yaoyorozu (My Hero Academia)

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Photographer Credits: Kronos Otaku, edits by Daydreamer Nessa. Selfies also from Daydreamer Nessa

Completed: July 2018

Hours Spent: 2-ish

Debuted: Anime Expo 2018

Why This Costume: I’ve been on the MHA hype train for a while (me and the hubs love watching it together), but I’d never really thought about cosplaying from it. That changed when Daydreamer Nessa asked me and the Cosmic Coterie crew if we’d be interested in joining her group for fun times at AX! I immediately started rewatching the series with the CC crew, but this time I actively started looking for characters I wanted to cosplay. And… well, Yaoyorozu is basically my cosplay type: blunt, scholarly do-gooder and as an added bonus, she’s tall. So yay!

Purchased Pieces: 

  • Seifuku: Taobao
  • Wig: commissioned by Victoria Bane
  • Knee-high stockings: Stolen from my husband’s sock drawer
  • Loafers: Walmart


How I Made it: 

It should be pretty clear by the pieces listed above that I didn’t actively make anything from scratch on this build. I chose to keep life simple for myself and throw money at it since I had WAAAAYYYYY too much other work going on leading up to AX.

I ordered a tailored uniform for our group order rather than standard sizing and the fit was way better than I expected! Truthfully I was expecting to have to take the whole thing apart and re-sew it. The only thing I needed to tweak in terms of fit was shortening the skirt by about 2 inches. Because what are proportions in anime?

Trying on my uniform for the first time!

There are a few other things I’d like to do to this costume after wearing it at AX. I plan to replace all the buttons with sturdier ones, since one of my shoulder buttons snapped in half at AX. I had reinforced the stitching on these prior to AX, and amusingly enough it was just the top part of the button that snapped.

I’d also like to purchase or make a better tie, since the fake one included with this uniform has a zipper that broke on mine. Eventually I’d also like to actually cut off the excess hem on my skirt and use the fabric to convert the top to one that also works for the summer uniform. But, those are all things that can be addressed over time.

On the shuttle to AX! It was so stupidly hot…

Thoughts on this costume:

The materials on this uniform aren’t the greatest (everything down to the shirt is made of what feels like poly poplin), so I don’t expect it to last forever, but for a comfortable, stress-free and fun costume, it’s a great option!

Also, keep in mind that it’s perfectly fine to purchase costumes if you don’t have the skills, time, or desire to make a costume. I really dislike making seifuku. Basic knife-pleated skirts get boring to me after a while, so I was thrilled to have a costume that required only minor work.

The only thing to keep in mind with purchased pieces, whether it’s coming from a company or a commissioner, is to be sure to not take credit for work you didn’t do, implicitly (by not crediting) or explicitly (saying you did work that you didn’t do). Keep that in mind and  you’re golden! ❤

Friends who melt at AX together lol

Do you tend to make or purchase your costumes? Which do you prefer?

Costume Notes: Senshi Yukata (Sailor Moon Artbooks)

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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!

 Purchased Pieces: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

Make sure to check out Cosmic Coterie for more helpful tutorials and information!

How I Made it: 

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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!

Costume Notes: Belle’s Town Dress (Provincial Life)

Photographer Credits: Mehreen Rizvi

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Completed: April 2018

Hours Spent: 40-ish

Debuted: Dallas Fan Expo

Why This Costume: If it isn’t totally obvious yet, Belle has been my favorite Disney princess forever! As I went into this year, I knew that I needed a few simpler and, more importantly, comfortable costumes for chill con days as well as days when I judge costume contests.

I’ve wanted to remake my Provincial Town dress for years now that I have a better handle on sewing. My decision to re-maker her now was due in large part to timing: Paige O’Hara, the original VA for Belle, was announced as a guest for Fan Expo, and I was also invited to speak at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference on using Makerspaces for cosplay. My presentation for TLA was on the same day and in the same location as Fan Expo, so it was a match made in Nerd Heaven!

Purchased Pieces: 

Patterns Used: 

Fabrics Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 

Okay, she was bundled up because it was freakishly cold, but still adorable!

I took a lot of inspiration for this version of Belle from the Parks costumes I saw at Walt Disney World earlier this year. I loved the turquoise color of the parks dress, and it was a perfect match for the blue Victoria Bane used for her Sailor Mercury (which is from Mood Fabrics, btw).

I think eventually I’m going to have to make my husband Prince Adam’s outfit. Because… reasons.

I started by making the dress first. I went with the bodice of Simplicity 1606, which I used as the base for my wedding dress. Since I’d recently made this bodice, I had my alterations ready to go, with the exception of squaring up the neckline (check out the Sewaholic Cambie link above for a quick and easy way to do this).


Like my wedding dress, this is a very structured bodice: there’s an interfaced satin fashion layer, an interlining made from coutil with German plastic boning at each seam, and a lining layer made out of some fun Belle themed cotton from Jo-Ann’s (I picked it up on a whim several months ago). Once all the layers were assembled, I made some straps and stitched them in the bodice back between the fashion and lining layers, leaving gaps in the front of the bodice to slide the straps in and adjust the length before permanently stitching them down.

The skirt is a full circle skirt I drafted using Mood’s handy skirt calculator! I wanted something extra swishy and princess-y, and a full circle skirt was just the right solution. Since my skirt was so long, I had to cut it in two pieces, which gave me the perfect excuse to sew in in-seam pockets for my phone and other miscellaneous items I had on hand. Tip: make sure to press your pockets at every stage of construction or, quite frankly, they’ll look like ladies’ genitals. I finished my skirt with 1″ horsehair braid to give it a little extra body. I opted not to line the skirt since eventually I’ll get around to making a petticoat for this costume as well.

When you’re too time-pressed to make a craft store run, you make due with invisible zippers on hand!


The blouse is my go-to McCall’s pattern I’ve used for basically all my princess seam tops over the last year. I used white peachskin from Online Fabric Store, which is the same stuff I used for Mami last year. This fabric is pretty sheer, so I underlined all of my pieces with the exception of the sleeves. I made my standard length adjustments, and used the View A sleeve lengthened ever so slightly to accommodate a 3/8″ elastic casing. The sleeves are still a bit shorter than I’d like, so I’m going to add a longer elastic casing for a bit of extra length before I wear this again.


To get an appropriate neckline, I drafted a shawl collar. I like this so much better than my last version of Belle! Attaching the neckline was a bit finnicky, so be sure to check out a few tutorials on this if shawl collars are new to you.



For the apron, I made a lined rectangle made of the same peachskin I used for my blouse. After flipping it inside out and topstitching the edges, I butted the unfinished edge of the rectangle in an interfaced faux-belt and topstitched the edges. The belt closes with snaps, and I made a butt-bow using our Cosmic Coterie pattern and tutorial that also snaps onto the waistband. I recently had a client request a more canon set of Supers bow tails (i.e., without jabots), so I used the same tail pattern to create these for Belle. I might make the tails a bit shorter in the future. I haven’t decided if I like these or not.

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For the final touches, I made a bow using Cosmic Coterie’s Venus hair bow that snaps on a band around the ponytail.

While working on this, I also was mixing resin brooches for myself and Victoria Bane. I had a small jewelry mold, so I poured a few pieces to make some earrings for Belle. I also had a blue Beauty and the Beast book purse I picked up from Hot Topic for my WDW trip, so I used that as my prop in a few of the photos Mehreen took!

Final Thoughts: 

This was such a rewarding build, even if it was a speedy one (I knocked it out in about a week and a half). Meeting Paige O’Hara was a wonderful experience, and while I do have a few things I need to revisit with this costume, I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Me and Victoria Bane meeting Paige O’Hara! ❤

Who’s your favorite Disney Princess? 

Costume Notes: Sailor Uranus

Photographer Credits: Mehreen Rizvi


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Completed: April 2018

Hours Spent: 25-ish

Debuted: Fan Expo Dallas

Why This Costume: Space Cadet Cosplay and I have talked about making Sailor Uranus and Neptune since before either of us joined Cosmic Coterie. Late last year, our teammate Victoria Bane mentioned she wanted to make a new Sailor Pluto, then AdventTraitor mentioned she wanted to make a Sailor Saturn, so we kind of stumbled our way into a full outer senshi group!

Purchased Pieces: 

Fabric Used: 

  • Telio Navy Satin (donated by Koholint Cosplay)
  • Mystery poly satin from my fabric stash
  • Matte Casa Satin in Eclipse from Jo-Ann’s. I ran out of Telio satin when I got to my collar, so I found a close substitute!
  • Dull tricot from We Love Colors

Patterns Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 


I’ve made about a billion fukus at this point, so I’m not going to go crazy in-depth on this post other than to comment on a few special tweaks and challenges I encountered with this build.

The first pieces I made for this build were my bows! I adore this gorgeous Telio fabric.

One of my on-going issues with my builds (and specifically fukus) is that I tend to prioritize commissions and group builds for others over my own stuff, so as a result, a lot of my fukus haven’t turned out exactly how I wanted. This time around, I worked on pieces periodically between commissions and actually did a couple of mock-ups on pieces I’ve had issues with before.


To start, I knocked out the satin pieces. I almost always ease into a new fuku by starting with the bows and the collar, and this one was no exception. Victoria Bane drafted a new collar for us over at Cosmic Coterie, and, being the giant that I am, I had to make a few adjustments for it to fit on my frame. I *may* go back and make it a touch wider, but it’s close enough to my desired width that I’m not being too picky about it for now.

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Mocking-up my collar. I lengthened the tails by about 3″ and used the slash-and-spread method to widen the entire thing by another 1.5″. 


For this fuku, I lengthened my bodice by 2″ like normal, but I’ve had issues with it pulling in the past. This time, I also added an inch to my bloomers and it fits SO MUCH BETTER.


With my last Jupiter, I also cut my hip roll way too small. This time, to keep it more proportionate to my sizing, I cut the width at 5″ as opposed to 4″ used in the Coterie tutorial, giving me closer to 1.5″ width on my final hip roll. I like the look a lot better on me.


Probably the weirdest part of making classic Uranus and Neptune is their angled glove rolls. I have to give a massive shout-out to Katie Cosplays for her tips on this! She recommended cutting the angles on the true bias, and with some careful finangling, I was able to squeeze upholstery piping into the channels for my gloves. The only thing I’m not really happy with on these is how far they tend to stick out when wearing them. I may hand tack them to my gloves or see about re-making them at some point. Either way, tutorial coming soon!

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Base boots prior to painting and alterations.

To finish this build up, I bought a pair of boots from Sheikh shoes and painted them with a combination of navy and black paints from Angleus leather. The “belts” are scraps of stretch vinyl I had on hand that were a pretty close match. I made faux belts and glued them to the base shoe with Barge.


I also resin casted mine and Victoria Bane’s brooches using tips from the amazing Daydreamer Nessa’s tutorial! I need to re-cast these, unfortunately. The size is perfect, but my silicone mold was way to floppy, so the resin settled at the base and created a flat portion. The colors are perfect, though!


Also, shout-out to my teammate Victoria Bane for styling my wig so I could finish this costume as well as Belle!

Final Thoughts: 


There are definitely a few things I want to fix on this costume, namely buying some new boots that don’t murder my feet, shortening the skirt hem, and assembling my Space Sword kit from Rawrbomb, but overall I think this is one of my best fukus yet! I can’t wait to tweak her and wear her with my Cosmic Coterie ladies ❤

Who’s your favorite outer senshi?