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? 

 

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Costume Notes: Makoto Nijima (Persona 5)

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Photographer Credits: Ash Snap ‘Em

Completed: 

  • Summer Uniform: June 2017
  • Winter Uniform: November 2017

Hours Spent: 20-ish

Debuted:

  • Summer Uniform: AX 2017
  • Winter Uniform: Technically not yet? I’ve only worn it for a photoshoot.

Why This Costume:

I’ve been interested in Persona 5 ever since Atlus started teasing its release. When the concept art came out, I was certain that Futaba was going to be my main girl. I was mildly surprised when Makoto quickly snatched my heart (hehehe).

After my husband finished his run-through, I immediately started playing and got Koholint back for dragging me into Code Geass hell. AdventTraitor Cosplay also got into P5 around the same time, so we decided to bust out summer uniforms as chill costumes for Anime Expo!

But because one P5 costume isn’t enough, we also decided to make the winter uniforms once the craziness of summer con season was over.

Purchased Pieces: 

  • Contacts: Etia Coeur
  • Wig: Arda Magnum in Spanish Brown with clip-in braid
  • Loafers: Wal-Mart
  • Boots: Amazon
  • Turtleneck: Amazon
  • Patch: Etsy
  • Fabric: Spoonflower
  • Black leggings: Target
  • Black tights: Target
  • Shujin fabric: Luluko on Spoonflower

Patterns Used: 

  • Halter: McCall’s 7373 (heavily modified)
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Stalking them Phantom Thieves. Photo taken by Tani Cosplay at AX!

How I Made it: 

Let’s start with the skirt since that was the first piece I knocked out with this build. Koholint and I sampled several different fabric types from Spoonflower before ultimately settling on a heavy twill. We pre-shrunk the fabric by steaming to prevent crocking and dye fading, which is a common issue with Spoonflower prints.

One of the things I absolutely love about this fabric is that the grid lines create a great template for measuring and pressing pleats. It was really just a matter of matching up the stripes! I wanted a curved waistband for a better fit, so I snatched the waistband from the Colette Juniper pants.

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Hawaiian Vacation P5 at AX!

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My belt was a really quick project. I had some leftover black vinyl, so I folded the ends over, topstitched the lines (visible in some of the art books), and sewed it onto a fashion belt buckle that I spray painted gold.

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Joker leggie forever.

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For the summer top, I pulled a white button up top from my closet, hacked off the long sleeves and used the remaining sleeve to create cuffs. I made the neck logo out of some scrap vinyl and attacked it with fusible web. It was a little clunky, so I ordered a more accurate patch off of Etsy for future wears.

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Initial mock-up (and when I saw that I desperately needed to fill out my dress form)
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Much better on the body 🙂

To create Makoto’s winter uniform, I purchased a white turtleneck and made the vest using materials generously donated by Koholint Cosplay. I snagged the bodice portion off of McCall’s 7373, which has basically become my go-to pattern for a princess seam top. I also extended center front side over for the button holes. To make the top more accurate, I lopped off the halter piece and added the gold buttons and connectors.

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Almost there…
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Boots, boots, boots.

Thoughts on this build: 

Persona owns me LOL. This was such a nice break after the madness that was our Cosmic Coterie Madoka build last year. It was nice to have a project that was simple for AX, since we only had about 3 weeks between A-Kon and AX.

I’m also happy that we were able to cosplay from P5! This game has quickly become one of my top JRPGs (I’m about 120-ish hours in on NG+), and we have LOTS more cosplay plans for this coming year! To keep up with all of mine and Koholint’s P5 plans, be sure to check out our new duo account: Caffeine Schemes Cosplay. Now to start on the Phantom Thieves outfits… *panic sweats*

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Have you played Persona 5? Who’s your favorite character? 

Costume Notes: Margaret

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The Empress

Completed: May 2015

Hours Spent: Approximately 20 hours

Debuted: A-Kon 26

Why This Costume: One of my friends is a huge Persona fan, and asked if I’d join her and her boyfriend for a Velvet Room group at A-Kon. I had just finished playing though Persona 4 Golden when she asked, and thought it sounded like a fun opportunity!

Between shots with Aperture Ashley, so don't mind the derpy faces. Zwookiez got this photo!
Between shots with Aperture Ashley, so don’t mind the derpy faces. Zwookiez got this photo!

How I made it: Much like Batwoman, this wasn’t a particularly challenging build, but it did have a couple of unique elements to it.

The dress: 

My first step was to create a mock-up of the base dress. I used McCall’s 6028 as a starting point. After blending out the shoulder yoke, I did a 1.5″ FBA and raised the front of the neckline 3/4″ to allow for the collar. I made the center front of the base dress hip length to allow for that super high leg slit.

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Base dress. Don’t mind the other con chaos happening in the background.

I used quilted broadcloth for this dress from Fabric.com. Broadcloth is not my go-to fabric for garments since it’s overall very meh, but I knew going into this project that time was essential. So convenience trumped quality.

The front panel is an entirely separate piece made from a matching broadcloth. It’s 3 layers total: a lining, a heavily interfaced base, and a flat piped front. Once I sewed the front panel together, I very carefully sewed it to the front half of my dress by machine. I opted to top-stitch it instead of stitch-in-the-ditch to give it an extra visual pop. A huge thank-you to Yossi on Tumblr and Gen of Team Blase Cosplay for explaining how they made their Margarets!

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Front panel pinned in place.

All of the trim on the dress is bias tape and other bits made from my Batwoman cape scraps. I wish I’d gone with my gut and taken the extra step to make regular piping opposed to doing flat piping. My flat piping was not as even all around as I’d like. I also wish that I’d made the shoulder section a bit larger.

The collar gave me a small bit of trouble. Since this dress wasn’t drafted for a collar, I did have to play with the level of the neckline a bit to get it to work out. The gold buttons on the front were from my Captain Marvel boots, since I had to cut them off for Batwoman.

Accessories: 

My buttons were surprisingly fun to make! I have pretty shaky hands, so I didn’t trust myself to paint circles evenly. Instead, I picked up some jar toppers in the clearance aisle of Hobby Lobby, painted those gold, and topped them off with sticky-back resin domes that I painted blue. I didn’t trust the stick part of the domes to work after I painted them, so I used E6000 for added security. The smaller buttons are wooden buttons that I painted gold and blue. All of the buttons attach with Velcro. I used fabric fusible Velcro on the dress itself and industrial strength Velcro on the buttons. They held quite well after several hours of wear!

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Finished dress.

The belt is made from the same material as the front panel and also trimmed with scrap Batwoman vinyl. The buckle is the largest one I could find at Jo-Ann’s, and I painted it gold to match the buttons.The shoes were a reminder that monitor settings do not necessarily translate to real life. I started off painting my shoes in Angelus Dark Blue, but the first layer dried nearly black. So I ordered a second bottle of Sapphire (off of eBay since Dharma Trading Company’s shipping is insane), and that did the trick!

Props: 

Photo by Alan Tijernia.
Photo by Alan Tijernia.

The book was by far the most time-consuming part of this costume. It took nearly 2 full weeks of working every evening. I used Callula Cosplay‘s tutorial on her Elphaeba Grimmerie, and pestered her with a ridiculous amount of questions. I will say that taking the time to properly sand and prime your book is essential. My first go at the book was a horrible flop with lots of air bubbles because I rushed the priming stage.

I did notice some chipping on the edge of my book where the front flap opened, and Callula said it was probably due to the quality of my paint. Sad panda 😦 I’m looking into ways to mend (or at least disguise) the chipping on mine so I can use it again in the future.

Double Margaret! Photo by Payton Renee Photography.
Double Margaret! Photo by Payton Renee Photography.

Callula cut out the letters for her book, but my attempt at that did not work well. Instead, I bought some scrapbook letters and painted them gold. Worked like a charm!

The inside of my book is lined with blue and white thumb lights attached with industrial strength Velcro to give it that creepy magic vibe.

Photo by Alan Tijernia.
Photo by Alan Tijernia.

Finally, I made a set of magic cards after chatting with Riddle’s Messy Wardrobe at Dallas Comic Con. This is a super simple project, but people absolutely loved it. After getting my cards printed off from OfficeDepot (thanks to Gen and Fe for the files!), I threaded them with fishing wire and secured them with clear masking tape. Riddle used magnets to do her deck for Heroes of Cosplay, but since Margaret doesn’t wear gloves, I just made a loop at the top of my deck to run my finger through. Works well enough for photos! The base card is secured to the book with Velcro. I do need to work on posing with these, though.

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Photo by Payton Renee Photography. Both sets of magic decks made by me!

Thoughts on this costume: 

Overall, I absolutely loved this costume. Our group was very well received and it was great to get some shots with a full Velvet Room group! It’s also nice to have another comfortable costume in my arsenal, though I think I’ll save future wears on this one for cooler weather cons. After my experience with Batwoman at DCC, I only wandered outside for about 45 minutes, but even that was enough to turn me into a sweat monster!

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Velvet Room derpage. Clearly elder sister Margaret is not to be taken seriously.

All of that said, I’m really looking forward to turning my attention toward my individual costumes again. I’m bumping up some more weather appropriate costumes for the rest of the summer!

Have you ever made a costume that was totally inappropriate for the season you wore it? How did you handle it? 

WIP: March 2015

Hello, spring! Weather in my area has finally cleared up into something resembling a season between Hoth-like winter and Tattoine-esque summer.

I debated on putting up a WIP post this month. Aside from Belle, I haven’t done much crafting this month. February and March have been more than a little hectic for me professionally and personally, so I haven’t been able to get as much sewing done as I’d like. Especially non-cosplay stuff. I have a new work Cambie sitting in limbo right now, which is such a bummer. Hopefully I can knock it out when I get back from Portland!

Still, I have been making some slow but steady progress on my summer cosplays. In order of planned appearance:

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All the spandex!

Gotham Girls: I’m working on several catsuits for a Gotham Girls group in May, including a Batwoman for myself. The other suits are a Huntress for Callula Cosplay, a Stephanie Brown Spoiler, a Stephanie Brown Batgirl for Mia, and possibly a Harley Quinn. I finally got all the fabric in, so my plan is to set up shop and knock out the majority of the suits next weekend. We’ll see how it goes!

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My quilted fabric for Margaret and some sample swatches for Lulu.

Margaret from Persona 4: Early this year, I mentioned that I’m joining some friends for a Velvet Room group. I finally found some quilted blue fabric in a good color, and I ordered my wig and contacts. I’ve been talking to other Margaret cosplayers to figure out the front panel of her coat/dress. Some people do it as an entirely separate piece that attaches with snaps, while others actually hand stitched the front panel on. I’m still debating how I want to handle mine since I don’t want it to be too bulky. Either way, I’ll more than likely have to do some *shudder* dyeing. Blargh.

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Baby steps!

Lulu from FFX: It has officially started! I’m still mostly in the materials-gathering phase, but I’m trying to knock out some of the smaller pieces of this costume so that it’s not too overwhelming come summer. After months of searching, I finally found a faux fox fur for Lulu and made the stole last week. It’s lined with poly purple haubuti I snagged from Golden D’Or at their last sale. Since I couldn’t pack my sewing machine for my trip to Portland, I brought my jewelry supplies and started working on her necklaces and earrings. Next up is the moogle and raiding ALL the local thrift stores for belts!

What projects are on your craft table?