|Cost :||£40 per costume|
|Time Taken :||Everything I did for all the costumes was in around a week|
|I’ve been wanting to get a cheerleader group together since getting hooked on Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents. I enlisted Annette since she loves the games too, and bullied Eli as usual to get my trio together! The matching costumes were coordinated by me - I patterned them out, bought all the fabric and trims for everyone, made the pink and white trim, created t-shirt transfers for the skirt logos, bought and painted all the boots, ordered the pompoms, and styled two of the wigs. I made my costume first, and then gave patterns and materials to the others in the group for them to make their own costumes. We ended up matching pretty well, and had lots of fun running around with pompoms!|
I bought the blue fabric when I was in New York in 2008. At that time, the exchange rate was awesome, and aside from that, fabric is cheaper over there anyway, plus there was waaaay more selection than anything I’d ever encountered before! It’s a lovely cotton lycra, which has a nice sporty look for the uniforms. Stretch fabric wasn’t strictly necessary, but I think it works well for these costumes. Having got the fabric, I knew the group had to go ahead. I gave Annette her fabric at MinamiCon 2009, and later posted her everything else for the costume in the run-up to AyaCon. The boots and poms were too heavy and bulky to be worth posting, so I gave those at the con. As I see Eli much more frequently, I was able to just give her all her costume pieces in person
The pleated skirt was figured out with a little experimentation folding the fabric - I’d never made pleats which were partially sewn with a seam like that before! It turned out to be pretty simple. I then used spare white stretch fabric and elastic for the waistband, white bias tape on the side slits, and made the pink and white trim from white fabric and pink bias tape. In total, I used 18m of the pink bias tape for the group’s trim! I used wundaweb to help apply the trims to the stretch fabric, and also to assist with making all that pink and white trim. Sticking things in place with that tape first before sewing is a godsend. The Ouendan logo on the skirt is a t-shirt transfer which I created, trying to match the shade of blue to the fabric as best as possible. I hate hand painting neatly, and I knew I’d be rubbish at an intricate design like that; the transfers meant the design was guaranteed to be precise, and easy to do. I also made matching blue pants to go under the skirt, since it’s darn short!
I used an existing stretchy top as a pattern for the top, shortening and deepening the neckline. I chose to sew a cheap black bra into the top, so the white bias tape continues right the way round the neckline uninterrupted. Makes it a little awkward putting the top on and fastening the bra, but it’s not a real problem. The trim’s all applied the same way as on the skirt, but I struggled with sewing on the fringe for some reason.
I styled both the pink and brown wigs. The pink one I already had, it’s a lovely long wig from Maple Wigs . I didn’t want to do anything permanent to it since I use it for another costume. It was parted with zigzagging down the back, and put into two low ponytails. I then clipped the ponytails higher up on the wig. They fall so as to mostly hide the structure holding them up! Not an ideal way to style it, but it was easy and, reversible. I also didn’t cut in the short pieces at the front of the wig to preserve its versatility. The glasses are cheap reading glasses from Primark with the lenses popped out. They’re not accurate, but at least it gave me red glasses.
The brown wig is from CosplayWig , and is beautiful - I felt bad cutting it shorter! Eli and I had originally considered using our own hair for this character, perhaps with extensions, but it turned out to be quite difficult to do, since it takes so much hair to make the braids. For convenience and accuracy, a wig was best. I added extensions to the front to have enough hair for the braids. The extensions don’t quite match the wig, so some of the hair from the wig is mixed in to the braids to try to even out the colour.
The boots were a lucky eBay find, and they were super-cheap too! They were originally beige, but being canvas, it was easy to paint them all blue with fabric paint. Then the soles were painted white, and the laces replaced with white ones. The boots may seem a bit short, but they have the accurate number of lace holes - I think its just the crazy proportions the cheerleaders are drawn with that makes it hard to judge how far up the leg the boots should extend.
I ordered the pompoms from FirstPom.com which was the cheapest option I could find. They were super-fast to ship, and are awesome poms! I’d have preferred a paler yellow, but it wasn’t possible to get them affordably.