Costume :Oerba Dia Vanille
Source :Final Fantasy XIII / 13
Progress :Complete
Worn At :Hyper Japan Spring 2012

Costume Photos


See where the road would take us.

Baby chocobo's new home!

On Stage for ECG!


You can't wait for miracles.

Alternative References

High-Res Reference


Costume Information

Awards : Hyper Japan 2012 - European Cosplay Gathering UK Group Representative

When I first started playing Final Fantasy XIII, I really loved Lightning's character design and her personality, and I instantly decided I wanted to cosplay as her. However, as I continued playing and the story unfolded, I grew to really like Vanille, despite her somewhat questionable Australian accent. She has many cute moments and hillarious quotes like "Sooo let's run away! Ciao!" that make her quite endearing. Despite this, she's still really disliked in the English fandom due to her voice actress, so I guess she's an underdog. I've always had a soft-spot for underdog characters, so that might be why she's been growing on me so unexpectedly as well!

I'm actually really excited to make this outfit- the bead work looks like it will be really fun and it's something I haven't done before. I'm also looking forward to choosing a wand and making it as well, since they're all very unique looking.

I'm not looking forward to making her shoes- I think they're possibly the ugliest things to exist on feet besides Crocs. The biggest difficulty with this costume will be her earrings- my ears aren't pierced and I really don't want to pierce them for the sake of a costume. I'm going to have to experiment with adhesives, clips or magnets to see if I can find an alternative.

I have ideas for a FF13 group that I'd like to form, so if all goes to plan then we should have some pretty epic photos sometime next year!

****Update 17/01/2011****
Well now I can reveal who will be joining me for the FF13 group I've planned! I'm really excited about the shoot and working with these awesome people! :D

Lightning - Felixize: http://www.cosplayisland.com/costume/view/44102
Snow - Plummer: http://www.cosplayisland.com/costume/view/22332
Serah - SachikoYumi: http://www.cosplayisland.com/costume/view/36037
Vanille - me~!
Hope - Emzone: http://www.cosplayisland.com/costume/view/20624
Sazh - Nemesis-Yojimbo (Leon)
Fang - Sands


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No doubt it will look good! :D

by Kinreal on Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 - 22:20
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yay! i'm sure you'll look great!! :3

by montblanc on Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 - 00:06
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Awesome! I think you'll suit her!

by eternal_aranel on Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 - 01:22
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Squee *w*

by Emzone on Monday, 27 September, 2010 - 04:38
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As much as I utterly abhor this character, the outfit is wonderful and I can't wait to see your work on it.

by Angel_of_Algebra on Wednesday, 15 December, 2010 - 23:24
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Oooo never knew you where gunna cosplay this for May :)

If you could, i'd love to get some photos of you as my vanille since i'l be bringing my fang along ~

Your going to look wonderful, and also i understand your information on this so much, i also had my doubts about her but then loved her but then hated some factors, oh god thats ff characters for you~

by isamiaella on Monday, 27 December, 2010 - 13:07
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the collage is far too awsome, i actually cant wait to see it, id have loved to do Maqui at some point!

by ryaoki on Monday, 17 January, 2011 - 22:42
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Remote control Bhakti prop too? That sounds amazing. I'm actually really disappointed I won't get to see this.

by Angel_of_Algebra on Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 - 01:02
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Coolness. Manga can't wait to see this cosplay. ^o^

by Mangamad on Saturday, 22 January, 2011 - 16:42
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I'm looking forward to seeing this and the group. You are going to do this so well. You all are going to be brilliant.

by Sephirayne on Monday, 14 February, 2011 - 15:12
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You guys are all going to look amazing. Can't wait to see more progress!

by Thirteenthesia on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 15:32
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Your progress looks good, you have a relaly similar face shape to Vanille's as well! Looking forward to seeing this at Expo :)

by Kerhys on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 18:59
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OMG! You look just like Vanille and you look fantastic. ^_^ XD

by RebaSephiroth2 on Sunday, 20 March, 2011 - 22:10
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by KonohaKunoichi94 on Sunday, 3 April, 2011 - 16:32
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You're going to really suit Vanille! Looking forward to seeing progress!

by FuriePhoenix on Wednesday, 20 April, 2011 - 19:50
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The whole group is going to look amazing!!!

I'm not even an FF fan but this will rock!

by MangaChild on Monday, 25 April, 2011 - 13:09
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Ahhhhh your gonna look awesome :3 can't wait to see ya @ expo

by tousen_218 on Sunday, 8 May, 2011 - 11:38
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Oh wow! Love the test shot. You really look like her.

by Sephirayne on Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 - 19:15
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The test shot looks beautiful. Lovely wig as well!

by cowiee on Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 - 19:56
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looking good your going to pull this off so well ^__^

by SnowmanKline on Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 - 20:04
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Just read your info box and read your piercing concerns - just so you know, Claire's sell pierced earring converters. If you did find some earrings similar to Vanille's you would be able to wear them. The converters work like clip-ons. You push the pierced earring post into the converter and then the post is bent so that you can wear them as a clip-on earring.

Just putting an option out there for you :)

by Mungojerrie on Tuesday, 7 June, 2011 - 20:26
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Excited to follow your progress on this one, you look very like her and great journals.

With the eyebrows - putting a ref against your test photo I'd say try a browner shade rather than matching the wig, they seem much duller on the ref shot.

by Amy-Lou on Wednesday, 8 June, 2011 - 15:12
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K'ya! You suit her so well and the progress looks amazing!

by Uni on Wednesday, 15 June, 2011 - 10:24
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<3<3 Looking amazing as always!
keep at it!

by Emzone on Friday, 17 June, 2011 - 02:55
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You look so fantastic as Vanille!

by sjbonnar on Monday, 11 July, 2011 - 10:07
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Adorable Vanille! *_* I hope you post more photos soon! :3

by MoonLily on Monday, 11 July, 2011 - 10:58
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You make such a cute vanille!!

by isamiaella on Friday, 15 July, 2011 - 15:50
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You make such a GORGEOUS Vanille - The detail is just beautiful <3

by Pandora-Chi on Saturday, 16 July, 2011 - 21:16
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Beautiful Vanille. and can't wait to see the group photos :D

by Strawberry_Sprite on Monday, 8 August, 2011 - 19:56
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You really suit Vanille and I love the group preview.
It's great to see that you've managed to get all of the main characters together and hope I get to see them at Aya ^_^

by Tsuchinoko on Tuesday, 9 August, 2011 - 20:10
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Your group looks amazing!
This costume is fantastic ^^

by LinkyLex on Sunday, 14 August, 2011 - 21:06
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Well done on the masq performance, super bouncy Vanille action :D
The finished thing looks great and I can't wait for your group plans!

by Amy-Lou on Thursday, 25 August, 2011 - 13:03

Wow, absolutely beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to document in the journal - I've really enjoyed following your progress ^_^

by Donna on Friday, 26 August, 2011 - 17:43
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This suits you so much and looks fantastic! I love all the detail and I can't believe all the effort that went into those beads. Hope to see the your group together sometime in future :D

by Angelphie on Saturday, 27 August, 2011 - 21:22
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you suit this costume so much and you did a wonderful job! loved looking through the process in the journals too. i cant wait to see the full group :D

by Leolarua on Friday, 27 January, 2012 - 15:29
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Congratulations again on the ECG place! You did a fantastic job fixing up the weapon and Bhakti is so fun :D

by Amy-Lou on Monday, 27 February, 2012 - 18:24
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Wow! Vanille's outfit is my favourite of the FFXIII crew and this is near as damn perfect! I'm looking forward to hanging out with you in Paris and very much hope we can get to know each other before then ^_^

by Nomes on Monday, 27 February, 2012 - 19:26
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costume looks great! Seeing these photos confirms my suspicions that it was you as vanille who i walked past at hyper japan when I was Rapunzel ^_^

by FuriePhoenix on Monday, 27 February, 2012 - 20:01
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Brilliant costume and congrats on the ECG 2012 Team win :D.

by Sephirayne on Wednesday, 29 February, 2012 - 16:30
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Congratulations to you and dahlia! Well done!! And amazing Vanille love! You suit her so well

by Manticore on Thursday, 1 March, 2012 - 20:33
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Well done to you! A very well deserved win~ :D

by Ino on Thursday, 1 March, 2012 - 23:39
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Many congratulations on your win at HJ. You and Dahlia looked fabulous!

by sarmander on Monday, 5 March, 2012 - 15:57
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You make such a beautiful Vanille!
Seriously love your journal entries, they're really inspiring.. @__@; It's so interesting to see all the processes that this costume has gone through. Really shows how much hard work has gone into it! A deserved win for both of you. :)

by Natsumi on Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 - 00:51
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Excellent costume,i posted a a couple of shots from Hyper Japan on my site.

by TheSnake on Thursday, 12 April, 2012 - 13:45
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Way too pretty!

by MiniPlum on Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 - 00:59
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Aww y'got my picture in your gallery there ^_^ (HJ). You guys performed fantastically and looked awesome; glad you like the photo!

by Heorot on Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 - 02:42
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you look really great! :)

by cookie on Wednesday, 6 March, 2013 - 16:35
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All the yes for this showcase!

by Nomes on Monday, 23 December, 2013 - 20:35
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This costume is so beautiful and so are you! Congratulations on the showcase!

by Littlegeeky on Monday, 23 December, 2013 - 21:48
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Grats on the showcase :)

by Siouxsie James on Tuesday, 24 December, 2013 - 23:29

To-Do List

Necklace 3 (teal, white, brown and orange beads)HighComplete
Necklace 1 (Brown with teal/orange crosses)HighComplete
Necklace 2 (brown with orange loops)HighComplete
Style Wig and add yellow hair-tiesHighComplete
Pink TopHighComplete
Body Beads and Back OrnamentHighComplete
Side Bag w/ strap and yellow fabricHighComplete
Fur Cape and HolsterHighComplete
Gradient dyed Skirt w/ pink wrap and beadsHighComplete
24 wrist bangles + 2 white wrist bandsHighComplete
Earrings (magnetic)HighComplete
Green Contact LensesMediumComplete
Binding Rod (weapon)MediumIn Progress
BhaktiLowIn Progress
Remake pink topLowPlanned
Remake Necklace 2LowPlanned
Remake Necklace 1LowPlanned
Remake BeltLowPlanned

Shopping List

Wig (from cosplaywig)£27.83Bought
Fur for Boots£5.96Bought
1m brown leather for holster£10.49Bought
15 meters x 5mm Camping "Commando" Rope (for belt and back-piece)£5.95Bought
Orange Suede dye for Skirt£5.18Bought
2 pieces of Chamois (sheep) in yellow£26.28Bought
Jade Green Spray Paint£3.48Bought
Green "Eclipse" Contact Lenses£18.49Bought
Make Poverty History silicon band £2.45Bought
Import VAT and Clearance Fee for beads - FUCK YOU PARCEL FORCE£20.77Bought
Yellow Hair Ties£0.00Bought
Pink material for the top£0.00Bought
1/2 meter Brown Chevron Peacock Faux Fur£19.07Bought
Crayola Model Magic - 1.5kg (for earrings, necklaces, beads, belt and weapon)£19.21Bought
24 Indian Bangles (2.4 size)£3.48Bought
Neodymium Magnets (for earrings and possibly necklaces)£2.80Bought
Orange Wool Thong Cord 3mm (for necklaces)£1.50Bought
Faux Suede Thong Sage Green (for necklaces)£1.99Bought
21" Memory Wire necklaces£2.10Bought
"Sunshine Yellow" Spray Paint£3.48Bought


Pre-Aya paint job (Posted 20th February 2012)

This is the result of a 12 hour non-stop painting session. I literally sat down at 5pm to start painting this and didn't stop until 5am. Then I had to go pack for Aya and finish the paint job in my dorm room. LOL organisation???

Binding Rod Progress (Posted 20th February 2012)

Some more progress pics of the binding rod that I found. I think I made this prop in the most awkward fucking way possible. If I remake it, I'm going to do it completely out of wood instead. :/

Beads (Posted 20th February 2012)

I think I was so sick of looking at beads by the time I was done making this costume that I didn't remember to upload any of my progress shots.

Oh well. Have a metric fucktonne of beads!

Bhakti Progress (Posted 20th February 2012)

Installed the eyes and antennae, and then finished making the stickers and doing all the weathering. I've attached him to his base now and I just need to finish up the wheels and maybe give him one more coat of PVA to make him shiny and then he's done!

Bhakti progress (Posted 20th February 2012)

Spent the entire day painting this guy!

Bhakti progress (Posted 12th February 2012)

Just need to finish the eyes and then I can start painting him. :]

Bhakti (Posted 12th February 2012)

Found a better reference image to upload :)

Weapon modelling complete (Posted 15th August 2011)

That's me done doing the modelling for Vanille's weapon. Just need to wait for it to dry so I can poly-fill in all the cracks (there's none now but they'll form as it dries), sand it down and then paint it!

Torture device!! (Posted 14th August 2011)

Vanille's normally bizarre but relatively harmless looking binding rod now looks like a torture device...

Folding Fail (Posted 9th August 2011)

I've worked really hard to try to get this prop to have 5 points of articulation (2 for the top antlers to fold down, 2 for the base of the antlers to swing around and fold down, and 1 for the staff to fold in half) so my Binding Rod could fold up and go in Vanille's holster as it should.

Unfortunately it's not really turning out as planned. I'm considering scrapping the whole articulation aspect and just making it into a pretty stationary prop to hold, rather than stressing out trying to make something just so I can have one or two photos of it hanging from my butt. It wouldn't even be a convenient way to carry the prop as I'm horrendous for walking into things (spatial perception = zero) and I would end up smacking it into something or someone!

Weapon Progress (Posted 9th August 2011)

I've been taking loads of progress pictures while working on this but this is the only one really worth uploading at the moment. I used hollow PVC pipe as the base for the prop which I heat moulded into the curved shape for the bottom antlers. I then attached some carved styrofoam for the top antlers. I bulked it up with some insulation foam (slight failed experiment) and am now covering it with model magic which dries light-weight and fairly smooth.

Binding Rod References (Posted 8th July 2011)

Everyone in the group has decided to make the default weapons from FF13 so as such I'll be making Vanille's Binding Rod! Depending on how it goes I might make another weapon for a convention in the future but I quite like this one anyway. :D

Progress So Far.... (Posted 15th June 2011)

The gradient skirt is done bar the beads that I have to sew on to it. The holster is done bar a metal snap or two I want to add to the back. The pink top is done bar a string of pink cord that I need to add to the top, and the necklaces are done (although I would like to remake necklace 1 and 2). The shoes, bangles and earrings are also done, but not shown in this picture.

Fur Skirt and Holster (Posted 15th June 2011)

The fur I ordered was really expensive (but it's soooooo soooooft...) so I couldn't afford enough to make a full circle skirt. So I had to cut two half circle skirts out and sew them together. I decided to research how to cut fur before I started, because usually I go straight in there with scissors and then I wonder why the edges of my fur looks all choppy and crap. I found this excellent tutorial here: http://sewing.about.com/od/techniques/ss/sewingfur.htm which basically taught me to draw the pattern on the back of the fabric and then to cut it out using a stanley knife and gently pulling the fabric apart. It also taught me to brush fur after sewing it to get the fur to sit in the right direction.

After sewing together my circle skirt (the idea came from the-sushi-monster on deviantart who uploaded this useful diagram http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v318/plasticgrl/skirtlol.jpg), I made the holster design after looking at the in-game references closely, as I discovered that it's not symmetrical and is kinda lumpy on one side. Once I cut that out and sewed that on (along with my strap across the front to keep the whole thing attached to me), I made two loops for the holster straps and stitched them on and put a small buckle in the bottom. I want to still add some metal snaps to the back of the holster but it's pretty much done now!

Shoes (Posted 15th June 2011)

The closest shoes I could find to Vanille's were cowboy boots, and they had the perfect colour and heel- the only problem was the decorative stitching on the front. I've had to leave that, but I altered everything else I could to make them as accurate as possible.

First I masked off the leather of the shoe to protect it, and I used some dye darken the wood base as Vanille's shoes are quite dark. I actually used leather dye (that I bought for Yako a few years ago) and it worked surprisingly well! I did about 3 or 4 coats (the second picture shows the darkness comparison between coats) untill I was happy with how the bottoms looked.

I then worked out how high I wanted the boots and I cut them down to size. My friend Felixize gave me some fur she had left over from her Keiji costume (unfortunately the fur I ordered was too cream... damnit ebay and your crap colour comparisons!!) and I used that to make the fur cuffs, which I sewed to the top to keep them in place and then fixed underneath with some glue to stop them from slipping around.

Necklace 3 and Earrings (Posted 15th June 2011)

Vanille's third necklace looks like it's made from pony beads, but when I compared the size of pony beads with the other necklaces and with my body they looked far too small. I couldn't find any beads online that matched the right size and shape I needed so I decided to make my own.

First I rolled out a long tube of model magic into the diameter that I wanted for the beads, and then using a ruler I made a small score to mark the length of each bead. I left it overnight to harden, and in the morning I cut each bead off and rolled it inbetween my fingers to help it regain its round shape.

Then I painted some of the beads and let them dry. After they dried I strung them on to the memory wire necklace and then used plyers at the back of the necklace to curve the metal into a hook and eye clasp. Done!

You can also see the in-progress earrings in the middle picture. I made these out of model magic and inserted a small neodymium magnet inside where it would be attached to my ear. I then let it dry hard and I painted it. My friend Frazzy helped me mix together some paint for the earrings to get an Onyx-like effect.

Skirt Progress (Posted 7th June 2011)

So this is after I think about 3 dying attempts on all of the pieces? I want to darken the side piece even more, even out the gradient on the front piece (and possibly darken the very top slightly more), and defintely darken the back piece a lot more. Otherwise it's starting to come along and I'm quite happy with it at the moment :D

The skirt won't look a thing like this when it's sewn together btw, I just really quickly pinned it on to my mannequin so I could judge how well the dye was coming along.

P.S. If you ever use "Fiebing's Suede and Roughout Dye", USE GLOVES. It stings your hands like a bitch and I don't even normally have sensitive skin.

Dying the Skirt (Posted 7th June 2011)

Oddly enough when I searched the net for advice on how to dye fabric I came across this tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swl_JQ183J8 by Sands, the Fang in our Final Fantasy group! Although I was using different materials, the idea was very much the same.

I created a dying vat using a large plastic tub which I filled with water and my dye, which I made sure to mix well with the water so the colour would not streak on my fabric. I then rigged up a way to hold my large piece of fabric at once due to its irregular shape by using a pole from a wall-scroll, some scrap bias tape and safety pins. I then would dye the fabric for 15 minutes, inch it out of the water, let it dye for another 15 minutes, inch it out and so-on.

Afterwards I would hang it to dry. Once it was fully dry, I could assess the colour and then redye it if need be.

Necklace 2 - Cracking (Posted 26th April 2011)

I don't know if it's because I mixed acrylic paint into the model magic, or if because it was so thin, but for some reason it cracked in several places. You can't notice it as much when the orange loops are around it but I'd like to remake this necklace if I have time.

Necklace 1 (Posted 25th April 2011)

Time Taken: 1 hour 30 minutes

I'm not sure if this necklace looks too thick. I have loads of materials left over so I might remake this if I still don't like it when I've made the other two necklaces and I can compare them directly.

All thats left on this is to add some sort of closure at the back.

Necklace 2 - Mess (Posted 25th April 2011)

It also isn't cosplay unless your hands get covered in paint!

I used some black airbrush ink (Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Artists Ink) to dye the model magic a few shades darker for the second necklace. I'm going to wait for it to dry before I wrap the orange loops around it. This pic doesn't show even nearly how stained my hands were!

Necklace Maths (Posted 24th April 2011)

For me, it just isn't cosplay without copious amounts of math and weird diagrams.

Researching and Buying Materials (Posted 23rd April 2011)

I've probably spent at least 15-20 hours researching and trawling through eBay for materials; this is the first batch of items I've bought to start on Vanille. The orange and green cord, memory wire and model magic are all for Vanille's necklaces, and then the bracelets and shoes are self explanatory.

Next I'll be buying Vanille's beads, which at the moment are priced at £50.

Bead Counting (Posted 17th April 2011)

So this is how I somehow came to the conclusion that I need to order 1659 tiny beads to make Vanille, because I sure as hell aint making them by hand.

I need about 676 10mm x 5mm Pukalet beads
-> Pukalet White Bone Beads selling at £3.40 for 112 = £20.40

I need about 983 7mm x 3mm Pukalet beads
-> White Clam Pukalet Shell Beads selling at £1.38 for 150 = £9.66

This is ordering from US site... with the cheapest shipping the total will be £50.17. I'm gonna see if I can find a cheaper UK-based solution @_@

Btw, I discovered that good search terms for Vanille's beads include Donut, Spacer, Heishi, Pukalet and Rondelle.

Vanille Make-Up Test (Posted 20th March 2011)

Make-up test! The wig isn't styled yet, and I'll also be wearing green contacts next time. I'm considering shaping my eyebrows as well to match Vanille's a bit better. I appreciate any constructive criticism anyone has!

Bought the Wig (Posted 23rd February 2011)

I e-mailed cosplaywig on ebay asking about the vanille wig they used to have in stock. They said that the old wig was not heat resistant, and that they only stocked heat-resistant wigs now. I sent off a last ditch e-mail asking if there was any way to get ahold of that wig, and they finally sent me a reply a week later saying that they had found one "LAST WIG" in their stock. They set up a private sale with me so nobody else would buy it and it should now be on its way!

Ideally I would have liked to buy two of these wigs and then wefted one of them into the first one to make it a bit thicker, but due to the circumstances it looks like I can't. I'll see how it looks when it arrives :)