Costume Notes: Updated Cornelia

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Photographer Credits: White Specs Photography

Completed: February 2019

Hours Spent: Between 15-20

Debuted: Katsucon 2019

Why This Costume: Me, Koho, and AdventTraitor are big Code Geass fans! This was the first group costume we decided on when we planned for Katsu, aided by our friend Jinxie Cosplay’s plans to make Suzaku! I had never worn Cornelia to a convention, so I took it as an opportunity to update pieces I was unhappy with.

How I Made it: 

Truth be told, the updates on this costume were pretty quick. As I mentioned in my original Cornelia write-up, the main things I was unhappy with were her coat tails, the fit of the pants, and the boot covers.

 

For the coat tails, I took a cue from Koholint’s Mew Lettuce build. To hold the crazy tails in place, Koho split and curved pieces of Rigeline and built them into the seam for a gravity-devying shape. I carefully seam ripped enough space on my tailcoat to get access to the interlining. From there, I stuck in 6 extra pieces of rigeline and sewed the coat up again. Once that was in place, I pressed the ever loving crap out of the boning and weighted it with heavy books until it cooled and held its shape. I still need my friends to check me for shoots, but the tails of the coat hold their shape much better now.

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To fix the pants, the first thing I needed to do was explore fit issues. I primarily had an issue with full thigh, so I carefully seam-ripped the pants and and adjusted them until I could remove the majority of the unsightly wrinkles. Unfortunately, they’re still not perfect, but Mood is sold out of this fabric, so I did the best I could with what was available to me. Additionally, I moved the zipper to the center back, reinforced it, and traded the pants waistband for a self-drafted facing to drop the overall height of the pants. Finally, I added bands to the bottom of the legs from scrap fabric so that I could tuck them into my boots easier.

The boot covers required a complete do-over. I decided this time around to build the covers over a pair of boots so that they wouldn’t flop over like my last pair. My Pluto boots are the perfect base shape, so I patterned these out by covering my foot in saran wrap and duct tape. After making a quick mock-up, I stitched these together with some white vinyl. The base of the shoe is glued on with contact cement, and the top is stitched over the boot itself. I changed the color of the sole with 4 layers of  white Plastidip, which was much faster (and durable) than the approach I used for Mami.

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The final piece I tweaked for this build was the wig. I was very pleased with the wig’s color, but I wanted more volume around the hair line. Unfortunately, I didn’t allow myself enough time to add wefts to this wig, but I did re-style it using gravity, a lot of teasing, and some helpful drag techniques. Sadly, it didn’t work out quite the way I’d hoped (these curlers were the worst and did not want to let go of my wig fibers), but there’s always next time!

Thoughts on This Build:

All in all, I’m much happier with this build. There are still some things I want to tweak, along with extra pieces I want to make (I’m talking about you, BS cape and gun blade). But it was so much fun running around with friends in Code Geass costumes! Honestly, this was probably the most fun I had in a costume at Katsu. We spent a large portion of the day replicating ridiculous memes and it was glorious. Here are a few of my favorites.

 

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Costume Notes: Sailor Pluto 3.0

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Photographer: Koholint Cosplay

Completed: August 2018

Hours Spent: Approximately 30

Debuted: N/A

Why This Costume: The initial idea for another Pluto came from plans with Koholint (as usual lol). I sold my last Pluto a little while back, but I still had the wig and accessories. Koholint made ChibiUsa for our Outer Senshi Cosmic Coterie group in 2018, and we wanted to do more duo shoots for our Caffeine Schemes account.

The final push to make this costume came from Pinecrest Fabrics, who asked me to review their tricot, which is available on Fabric.com. Many thanks to them for providing material that helped make this happen!

Purchased pieces: 

Helpful Tutorials:

How I made it: 

There are a few major variations on this suit compared to my last Pluto. As usual, I’ve been experimenting and tweaking my process for commissions, which impacts how I make my fukus as well. The first big difference on this fuku compared to my previous ones is the angle of the hip roll. I’ve been tweaking the plus-size pattern I use for myself and clients (I swear I’ll get around to digitizing this eventually), and one of the things I was unhappy with on Uranus 1.0 was how shallow the hip roll angle was. I raised the hip roll angle as outlined in the Cosmic Coterie tutorial (linked above) and I’m sooooo much happier with where it sits now.

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In the past, I’ve added all the length I need on my leotard to the bodice, but this time I split the length between the bodice and bloomer portion, which worked out much better for me.

Another major variation on this suit is the skirt. We’ve used 2 circle skirts over at Cosmic Coterie in the past, but when Koholint went back to look at her Mars, she realized she used 2.5 skirts, which prompted her to try 3 circle skirts for her ChibiUsa. I loved how fluffy the skirt looked (and how much easier it made pleating), so I did the same with this Pluto.

Once my base suit was done, I pulled out my old wig and accessories and touched them up. I also cast my resin brooch for this build using Daydreamer Nessa’s tutorial (linked above) as a guideline.

Review: Pinecrest Fabrics Tricot

Again, many thanks to Pinecrest Fabrics for providing the tricot for this build! I’m always on the hunt for good material to use for senshi fuku, and this material is officially on my list.

The white tricot they sent me is an 81% nylon/19% spandex blend, and it has great recovery. The moisture wicking is excellent, which is great for wearing fuku to hot Texas summer cons. This material IS rather shifty, so I highly recommend basting pieces if you’re nervous about anything slipping around.

As with many white fabrics, there is a degree of transparency to the material. I highly recommend a lining or underlining your spandex if you’re concerned about lines showing through.

Thoughts on this Build

I’m so happy to have a new Pluto! As I mentioned in my last Pluto post, I adore cosplaying her and feel surprisingly pretty as Pluto. She’s definitely my favorite of the Outer Senshi! I can’t wait to set up more shoots with Koholint as ChibiUsa and get all the Small Lady and Pluto pictures.

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Bonus selfies! Including some with AdventTraitor’s dog, Bruno. He’s the best magical doggo.

 

Costume Notes: Eternal Sailor Moon

 

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Photographer credit: Chez Photo

Oh man, talk about a big project! I decided to tackle this fuku for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve had several commission requests for Eternal fukus over the years, but I’ve never been comfortable making one for a commission without doing some trial and error first. Second, I wanted a big solo competitive piece, so I could use that as an excuse to go balls to the wall with this build and try out lots of new techniques. Third, I’ve had an interest in making several Sailor Moon accessories for my fuku commissions, which explains my rationale in how I approached a lot of these items, especially the smaller resin accessories.

So, let’s get this started!

Wig

 

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The wig is both fairly straight forward but also time-consuming. I’m not going to write a tutorial here on creating a Sailor Moon wig, since several folks have done that already and much better than I could. I used a Chibi from Arda in Fairy blonde along with 2 long ponytail clips and short wefts.

After fixing the bag hair, I tweaked the bang line, stubbed the ponytails, created the odango and styled the bangs.

Special shout-out to Vickie Bane for giving me lots of helpful tips and keeping me sane when I wanted to chuck this in the trash.

Here are a few helpful tutorials:

Wig Accessories

 

Here’s where we start getting to the fun stuff! As I mentioned above, I went into this build knowing that I wanted to create resin molds so to sell as part of my commissions. With that in mind, I started by creating odango shields in TinkerCAD. I made these as a two-part set: the base white layer and a top layer that I could cast with tinted resin. These are printed on PLA at my work (having easy access to a Makerspace is the best), then sanded and finished by me. Once the lines were SUUUUUUPER smooth, I took the pieces for the odango shields and created molds using Smooth-On products, specifically OOMOO 30.

Once the molds cured, I used Smooth-On 300 to cast the pieces. To create the white pieces, I “painted” white glittery powder from the Jacquard Pearl EX set into the mold, then poured in the resin, which cures in 10 minutes. For the red pieces, I “painted” Cast Magic Red Devil powder into the mold cavity and tinted the resin with a tiny bit of Red SO-Strong tint. I attached the pieces together with e6000.

The hair feathers were super fun! I traced the feathers from some ESM clipart I found online and created a vector of them in Inkscape. From there, I converted the files and cut them off on 2mm EVA foam using my Cricut Maker. I heat sealed the pieces prior, then glued them in a staggered pattern to match the pearl width. For the pearls, I found some flat back pieces on Amazon and glued them on the front and back of the feathers with hot glue. Once the full piece was dry, I glued the piece on a hair clip. This process is essentially the same for the other pearl/feather bits on her sleeves.

Again, here’s a helpful list of resources!

Base Fuku

 

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Ahhh, the big part of this. Thankfully, I have a lot of experience making fukus, so this part wasn’t too daunting, but there are some big differences between making these and making classic fukus.

Note: I’m going to do a more comprehensive “how-to” tutorial over on Cosmic Coterie for this build (eventually), so my discussion below will mostly detail my thought process as well as trial and error.

One of my big hold-ups with making an Eternal fuku was the sleeves. They’re such an odd shape in how they look like bubbles, but are often drawn clear in the manga. I wanted something that had that bubble shape, but wasn’t *just* gathering. I turned to this tutorial by Angelic Threads as my prototype. This process requires A TON of tulle stuffing (I used nearly 4 yards of tulle in each sleeve), but it’s by and far my favorite way to make the sleeves. In fact, these turned out so well that I ditched my other protype ideas and stuck with this one! For the bottom of the sleeves, I used our glove roll approach at Cosmic Coterie, but just tweaked the pattern so it was 2 rolls instead of 3.

Once I ironed out the sleeve issue, it was time to tackle the belts! Proportions on the Eternal leotards are essentially the same as the classic fukus, so I took the base leotard pattern I normally used and built the pink belt into the leotard. The pink “belt” is my normal hip roll pieces cut on the bias and treated essentially in the same manner as the hip roll for a classic fuku. I will note that you must be EXTRA careful with the bias cut satin to prevent weird pulling. I cut a strip of interfacing and fused it to the top layer of the “belt” and also was extra mindful of my pressing. Additionally, you will likely need to taper the belt in at the center back to prevent puckering (if you care about that and I did).

The gold belt was very similar. I again took my hip roll pieces, cut them on the bias, and interfaced them. Once they were stitched together, I tacked the center front onto the leotard, then used snaps to hold the belt in place. Cutting the belt on the bias helps it curve around the body and lay flat!

The skirts are treated in the exact same manner as the skirts we use over at Cosmic Coterie. I did 3 circle skirts for each layer, basted them together, and treated them as one before pleating and attaching them to the base leotard. Then came the ETERNALLY (I crack myself up) long process of cutting and hemming 30 yards of fabric *dies inside*.

The collar was the most straight-forward part of the base fuku. I used the collar pattern Vickie Bane drafted up for us with my giant person alterations. From there, I made bias tape from my scrap gold fabric to create the stripes.

For Katsucon, I opted to create a standard butt bow since I didn’t want to travel with large wings. I’ll add those on when I get ready to compete!

Helpful tutorials:

Chest Brooch

 

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This was another trial and error piece. I had a resin heart mold on hand that I love for my Super senshi. I experimented with some shimmery mixes for the resin casting before ultimately deciding on an opaque design with Cast Magic.

Like the hair feathers, I created a basic vector of the wing shape based on some artwork I found online and played with the sizing until I found the size I was most comfortable with and suited me proportionally. I then converted the files and cut the base shape out on my Cricut. As with the feathers, I heat sealed the pieces prior to moving on.

Once that was done, It was time to mount everything! The heart resin piece attaches onto the base wings with industrial strength Velcro and then attached the pearl feathers to the sides with e6000. For a little extra flair, I also glued a few fluffy feathers onto the base and also added some Swarovski crystals for extra sparkle.

To help keep all this nonsense on my chest, I attached 4 spin clips to the back that are held in place with Black Worbla.

Helpful Tutorials:

Gloves

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Ugh, I hate how inconsistently the Eternals especially are drawn. Sometimes Moon is drawn with the points on her gloves, sometimes not. My preference is with them, for a very specific reason: hand access.

For these gloves, I bought a base pair of white wrist gloves from We Love Colors. I then made arm stockings from the same material as my leotard for the top (the glove rolls were made using our normal approach over at Cosmic Coterie and then adding on the feather clips). To create the point, I made some bias cut satin strips and used the same angle I use for hip rolls (app. 90 degrees). I then treated this as really fancy bias binding and stitched it around the edge of the arm stockings, gluing crescent moons I cast out of resin on the tip.

Once the bias binding was on, I hand sewed snaps on the stocking and the base glove, enabling me to easily remove my glove while in costume without having to take the whole piece off.

Boots

There’s not a whole lot to say on these that hasn’t been approached in other Eternals write-ups. I bought a pair of base white boots, but unfortunately they weren’t quite large enough for my calves. This was a pretty easy fix, thankfully. The boots had a center seam in the back, so I opened it up down to the bottom of my calf and sewed in a wide pieces of elastic.

After cutting the boots at a 45 degree angle, I stitched more pink bias cut satin around the tops and then glued on more crescent moons that I cast out of resin. Easy peasy!

Other Accessories

 

A few years ago, my Cosmic Coterie teammate Space Cadet Cosplay had plans on making ESM, so she bought a ton of generic molds for this project. When I mentioned I wanted to do this build, she was super sweet and gave me the molds. I used the mold she gave me to create all the stars you see on this build. The crescent moon molds are from MoldsbyMia.

For the heart/moon piece, I built a small model in TinkerCAD and printed and cast them as I described above. These two pieces are mounted on the choker, which is also a piece of bias cut satin stitched at an angle.

Thoughts on this build:

I nearly talked myself out of wearing this build so many times, but its one of my favorites to date! I love how everything came together and how many new skills I picked up, which is refreshing after making so many Sailor Moon costumes. I do plan to add on to this build for competition later in the summer and will absolutely document the process to share with all of you.

In the name of the Moon, make gorgeous things! ❤

Anthony in the pool June 2016
Photographer credit: Chez Photo

Costume Notes: Nana Shimura (Boku no Hero Academia)

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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!).

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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!

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!

Patterns: 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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?

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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.

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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! ❤

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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!