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!

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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: 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

Final Thoughts: 

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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? 

 

Madoka Magica: Madoka’s Petticoat & Skirt

Almost as soon as Cosmic Coterie officially decided to tackle Madoka Magica for our big build this year, Koholint and I started brainstorming Madoka. We split the labor so that Koho took the upper half of Madoka and I took the lower half. I’ve followed several Madoka cosplayers over the years, and I was absurdly excited about making that ridiculous donut skirt.

The Petticoat

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My first step in tackling my portion of Madoka was the petticoat. That giant donut skirt needed a support structure for the floof, so I turned to Jessie Pridemore‘s Madoka petticoat tutorial as a starting point. There are 10+ fabric layers total in the petticoat: 5 layers of chiffon circle skirts with serger-gathered satin ribbon ruffles, a layer of cotton crinoline, and 5 layers of gathered double-circle skirts made from tulle. There are also 120 yards of satin ribbon attached to the hem which also add to the overall fluffiness.

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As Dani and I started leveling the hems, I realized I wasn’t getting the volume I wanted out of the petticoat, and I was worried the donut skirt would ultimately weigh the petticoat down. Koholint pointed me in the direction of some tutu research she’d done. Tutus layer shorter layers on top of longer layers to create a fuller silhouette, which was perfect for our needs. Plus, it was kind of a cool nod to the ballet inspiration behind Madoka!

Bulk at the waist was a major concern, especially since Dani has a fairly short torso and we needed the bodice to be snug, so I attached all the skirt layers to a short yoke with an elastic waistband (and some pink satin ribbon I had on hand just because).

The Donut Skirt

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Fun fact: the original had so much bulk that I had to use pliers to pull my needle through.
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Round 1

The donut skirt was way more of a challenge than I initially anticipated. I went back and forth on a couple of approaches, but ultimately wound up using The Dangerous Ladies guide to Madoka’s skirt as a starting point. I originally set out constructing it as a super long gathered rectangle on both the top and lining layers. I quickly realized this would create far too much bulk under the bodice. To counter this issue, I opted to just gather the fashion layer (underlined with tulle) and create a circle skirt lining. Both layers were attached via a waistband which went under the bodice. The gathered portions sat just beneath the bottom of the bodice. The skirt closes with a lapped zipper.

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Getting there…

Figuring out an appropriate length for the fashion layer took some trial and error. Ultimately the fashion layer was about 3-4″ longer than the lining, which gave me room to stuff the skirt with extra tulle for that ridiculous puff.

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Still trying to get that shape!

The ruffles on the skirt are made from 5″ bias cut peachskin. Since the magical girls in Madoka Magica don’t really have a uniform design, we decided to make sure we all had peachskin ruffles with rolled hems in our accent colors to bring a little uniformity to the designs. Koholint took care of the rolled hems, and I gathered them on my serger. The ruffles are sandwiched between the lining and fashion layers.

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You can see me stuffing the crap out of that donut skirt in the top left! Bows and bodice by the crazy talented Koholint.

The Top Skirt

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The pink top skirt was mostly handled by Victoria Bane. I drafted out the pink skirt based on the circle skirt we used for the petticoat and lining of the donut skirt. We had to remove a petal to get it to lay right on the donut skirt, so in hindsight, I would have drafted it as a 3/4 circle skirt instead.

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Vickie airbrushed the white gradient onto the petals using Creatix paint and sewed up the skirt (side note: I’m still dying over how smooth that gradient is. Vickie rocks). The gems were scrapbooking stickers we found at Jo-Ann’s and glued on.

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Other Pieces

Since the skirts are so ridiculously short, I made a quick set of bloomers using Colette’s free Madeline pattern. I kind of wish I’d added a higher waistband for these since they ride pretty low, but they do the job.

Dani’s stockings were generously donated by We Love Colors. To create the ruffles at the top of the stockings, I stitched some reject peachskin ruffles from Dani’s skirt onto elastic bands. We tried using 2″ ruffles for the skirt initially, but they were waaaaayyyy too short to show up properly. We added a little extra flair to the stocking ruffles by adding some leftover trim from Koholint’s fabric stash.

Final Thoughts

Despite the crazy amount of work that went into these skirts, I’m quite pleased with the final result. There are a few things that I’d go back and fix if I were doing it again (side eyes spots with uneven gathers), but the silhouette is pretty damn nice. On to the next build!

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Photos by Ash Snap Em Photography

Who’s your favorite character from Madoka? 

Costume Notes: Mami (Madoka Magica)

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Photographer Credits: 

Completed: May 2017

Hours Spent: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I kept track up until April, when A-Kon told us our group was too big to compete. After that I stopped caring.

Debuted: A-Kon 2017

Why This Costume: When the Cosmic Coterie crew decided to make Madoka as our major group build this year, I jumped at the chance to cosplay Mami. She’s by and far my favorite character and design, and had a couple of crazy design elements I wanted to jump at to improve my prop making and wig making skills.

Purchased Pieces: 

  • Contacts: Etia Coeur in Caramel Gold
  • Base gloves: We Love Colors solid wrist gloves in white (dyed and altered)
  • Soul gem base kit: The Dangerous Ladies
  • Wig: Arda Chibi and long clip in extensions in Fairy Blonde

Patterns Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

How I Made it: 

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To create the hat, I dug up some books on millinery. After looking at multiple reference sources (including my Mami figures. Knew they’d pay off eventually!), I realized that Mami’s hat isn’t a standard pillbox hat; it tapers in rather dramatically. I used the information found in Basic Millinery for the Stage to create a buckram base. The shell fabric is a chocolate velveteen from OnlineFabricStore.net with a matching lining. It stays in place with sewn in wig combs.

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My wig was an intense experience, which I detailed here. It took several tries to get right, but it’s one of the pieces I’m proudest of with this build! Sparkle Pipsi’s drill curl tutorial was an invaluable resource.

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Initially I wanted to make my own mold for Mami’s soul gem, but when I stumbled across the kits provided by TheDangerousLadies (I got the fabric for my stockings from them too!), I decided to save myself the trouble. The kits come unpainted, so I lightly sanded the base gem, primed and painted it, and then used jewelry wire I had on hand to create a flower backing. The wire is held in place with scrap Worbla, and I used e6000 to glue hair pins onto the back of the Worbla.

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My blouse was one of the easier parts of this build. Yaya’s peacoat pattern in my size required minimal alterations. I went with view A and used the puffy sleeves (shortened to appropriate Mami proportions). I decided to leave the peplum shape on this top since it was tucked into my skirt anyway, which meant that it acted as a slip. I created strips out of gold satin and attached those to the center front of the bodice before adding in my invisible zipper. For the neck piece, made the collar according to pattern instructions, then cut a small strip of gold on the bias to create the trim on her collar. The center front buttons on the blouse were a lucky find from Jo-Ann’s. They have adorable flowers embossed on them! The gold buttons on the sleeve cuffs were harvested from my old Captain Marvel, and the trim on the arms is the same velveteen I used for my hat. It’s a bias cut strip that I carefully pinned around the arm hole after attaching the sleeve. It’s edgestitched down. The sleeves are underlined with tulle to help them retain their puffy shape.

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The arm warmers are made from the same peachskin I used for the blouse. I drafted a bell-shape that started at my bicep and ended at the wrist. I left enough room at the bicep to create an elastic casing and gathered the base for puffy sleeves. As with my blouse sleeves, the arm warmers are underlined with tulle for maximum puff.

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My gloves were far more of a hassle than I anticipated. I picked up a base brown pair from We Love Colors, but they weren’t quite brown enough. I attempted to dye them, but the dye didn’t take AT ALL and actually made the gloves lighter. I picked up a white pair instead and dyed them to a deep brown (2 parts brown dye, 1 part black) and that did the trick. Once the gloves were dyed, I cut off the fingers at the knuckles and hand stitched gold neoprene bands on the ends.

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The corset was my showpiece, and I spared no expense. Since Mami’s design is relatively simple, I went for an embossed floral vinyl from Mood and stained it to a deep chocolate color using Eco-Flo. The patterning is a lot to explain in one post (don’t worry, a more detailed write-up is coming soon), but essentially I made a closure to cover the busk using information from Lucy’s Corsetry and made a hidden lacing panel in the back that closes with a separating zipper. I made 2 corsets total: one using a floating strength layer and another using the welt seam approach. The welt seam approach was my final corset, since I made the first one just a hair too big. It makes me so sad the first one didn’t work out, because I used adorable lining fabric designed by Sparkle Pipsi! Maybe one day I’ll feel up to adding a lining to my second corset and buy more fabric. Both corsets use cotton coutil as the strength layer and use a combination of spiral and flat steel boning.

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Mami’s skirt has very noticeable box pleats, so I combined two full circle skirts and marked off 4″ box pleats with full returns and then skipped 4″ sections between pleats. The hem has 1″ horsehair braid, and the brown strip is chocolate peachskin cut on the bias. It took a little math to figure out, but essentially what I did was completely encase the horsehair braid so it’s not visible from the top or bottom of the skirt. Super clean for the win!

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For Mami’s thigh-highs, I used Yaya Han’s stockings/bootcovers pattern and some lovely ribbed knit from The Dangerous Ladies. The tops and bottoms have elastic in them for a super secure fit. I still had issues with my stockings falling down at A-Kon, so I stitched them to my dance tights for AX.

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I was pretty darn pleased with how my boots came out. I had a pair of chunky heels sitting in my closet, so painted them gold with Angelus paints, painted the heel and sole white with acrylic paint and gesso, and then made boot toppers out of the same fabric as my corset. To create the boot toppers, I used the duct tape/saran wrap patterning method, then made a mock-up of my boots to tweak fit issues. Once that was complete, I created the toppers and lined them out of gold leftover from my skirt. I glued the boot toppers to the base shoes using Shoe-Goo, but then went back in and hand sewed the base for aesthetic appeal. The white strips at the top are vinyl bias tape I found on Etsy, and the gold tabs are leftover material from Hannah.

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Another reason I chose Mami for this build was the chance to work on prop making. I love Mami’s rifles and wanted to flex my prop muscles here, so I did a lot of research on creating weapons out of foam. Kamui’s eBooks were an invaluable resource, as was the pattern vectorized by The Dangerous Ladies. This is another lengthy upcoming post, so the short version is that I made it from an EVA foam base, covered it with Worbla, used PVC pipe for the barrel, then primed it. I was running short on time at this point, so Storietellers took over painting for me.

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The bow was self drafted and mostly made out of looped tubes. It snaps onto my choker!

Final Thoughts:

All in all, I’m very pleased with this build. There are a few things I might do differently now that it’s complete and I know more, but that’s true of any build. I’m a bit sad I didn’t get a chance to compete with it, since I built it with that in mind, but there’s always next time.

Who’s your favorite character from Madoka Magica? 

Skirt

I’m very excited to share a new tutorial with all of you! The Cosmic Coterie crew and I are super close to being finished with our Supers upgrades for ANT, and we also managed to get two tutorials published today. The one linked here is on how we construct our skirts, since that’s one of the topics we get the most questions on.

I hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me or Cosmic Coterie!

Materials Needed: 2.5 yds matte bridal satin Contrasting thread for basting Matching thread for hem Measuring tape Tailor’s chalk Optional: 7 yds 1/2″ horsehair braid Draft 2 full circl…

Source: Skirt

Bows Tutorial – Cosmic Coterie

Big news to share! I’ve been working with the Cosmic Coterie on creating a comprehensive fuku tutorial. We’re releasing it in increments over the next several weeks, and the first one up is our bow process! I digitized all of our patterns to take the guesswork out of creating these.

You can check out the full bow tutorial by clicking the link below. I hope you guys find this helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Cosmic Coterie!

Major credits go out to SparklePipsi. Her patterns and process gave us lots of ideas on how to tackle ours!

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Sailor senshi bow tutorial

via Bows —

Costume Notes: Super Sailor Chibi Moon

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All photos by Ash Snap ’em

Completed: August 2016

Hours Spent: About 40 hours

Debuted: AnimeFest 2016

Why This Costume: This was a Cosmic Coterie group effort to complete Super ChibiMoon for the lovely PockyPants! ChibiMoon is her favorite character, so when we had a chance to do some recasting, we decided that she should get a new fuku!

 How I made it: Since this is Yet Another Fuku (sorry in advance, but MORE ARE COMING!), I’m going to focus more on the elements that made Super ChibiMoon a challenge and set her apart from a standard fuku.
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Pro-tip: the gold roll is slightly smaller than the white one, so I used the largest and 2nd largest cording available at my local Jo-Ann’s as appropriate (I believe it was 1″ and 22/32). we also used the smaller cording for the glove rolls! Saturn is Pocket Sized Cosplay

One of the main differences Super Moon and ChibiMoon have compared to the other senshi is the double hip rolls. A single hip rolls is ALWAYS a challenge to get clean (especially when you work with foam), but the double approach added yet another wrinkle. With our Super Moon, we originally went with the same foam we used for the rest of the senshi, but it was literally impossible to sew by machine, and still an insane challenge to sew by hand. I pricked myself sooooooo many times. My thimble was a lifesaver!

To make life a little easier for myself this time around, I picked up some upholstery piping, covered it in a layer of quilt batting so that the ridges wouldn’t show through the spandex, and then covered the whole thing in gold and white spandex. To create the tapered points, I cut the ends of the piping at an angle and covered them with tape since this piping frays like the devil. Once both sets of rolls were complete, I hand basted them together, then basted them to the leotard. While I could get the hip roll combo through the machine, I ultimately opted to hand stitch it to get as close to the roll as possible and finished up the interior edges with my serger for durability.
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PockyPants’s husband, Mask Props, airbrushed the skirt and collar pieces I cut. This skirt proved an interesting challenge in terms of the hem. With circle skirts, you’re supposed to let them hang to allow the bias to stretch out (which we did prior to painting), then level the hem and finish it. Since we had to paint the skirt prior to sewing it, I had to take length off of the top of the skirt rather than the bottom while also making sure the gradient looked consistent. It’s definitely a challenge, and I still see spots that I’d like to go back and fix before our next group wear, along with the hem for our Super Moon.
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 Another issue we addressed with ChibiMoon is the paint on the collar. Our Super Moon’s collar paint bled horribly on her chest armor after a full day of wear at A-Kon. Fortunately, we got most of it out, but to help prevent that issue with ChibiMoon, we hit it with a few layers of Scotch Guard. So far it’s held up pretty well!
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I’m particularly pleased with ChibiMoon’s butt bow. We took our standard butt bow pattern and enlarged it by about 30%, and I also drafted the cascading tails. I picked up the same mirror organza we used for Super Moon and used French seams for durability. Super Moon’s butt bow utilized serged seams, and unfortunately the opalescence of the fabric shows all the overlock threads. A French seam this time around resulted in a much prettier and stronger finish! Can’t wait to get on a making one for Super Moon as well 🙂
We also wanted to take advantage of the sheer nature of the fabric to match the manga artwork, so we took a cue from Ohheyabear Cosplay and lined the bow with a thick vinyl. The result is lovely, albeit heavy, so it tends to droop throughout the day. Mask Props is going to rig us a clear U shape device to support the weight of the bow for next time.
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Couldn’t resist adding this one. Moon is Dani Peddington Cosplay!
 Thoughts on this build: All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out! I’m so happy I could help PockyPants embody her favorite version of her favorite character. There are some fit tweaks I want to make for next time, and I can’t wait to document those for an upcoming sailor fuku tutorial I’m working on with the Cosmic Coterie girls!
Which senshi form is your favorite (classic, Super, Eternal, etc.)?