|Time Taken :||12 hours|
|This was Ayacon's Friday cosplay. Was recognised by at least *one* person, but I love wearing it regardless- it's very comfy whilst still looking all dressed-up.|
Girl!England usually wears the Gakuen Hetalia skirt or complete uniform but I like Arthur's Army togs better, so it's a variation on that. I've wanted a military-type jacket for a while (I actually really like khaki) so this is a good opportunity/excuse.
This is based on the British Army No.2 dress uniform (i.e. for best, what they have on parade), more like the officer's version, but with a few tweaks, rather than an exact replica. This is why I'm making it and not buying a second-hand uniform (I find alterations harder than doing it from scratch). The jacket has a similar cut, four spiffy gold buttons, scalloped pockets and topstitched seams like the real version, but is considerably more fitted and rather more frilly than the original. Unnecessary ruffles round the hem, for instance.
Fabric was quite hard to find. Khaki seems to be an awkward and unpopular colour despite its military use; also a vague term. Most fabrics I found were too brown, without that green tinge, more like beige. Specifically I wanted 100% wool flannel/coating or Melton. At one point I was about to order from Hainsworth, who supply the MOD- they have a good re-enactment range and give free samples, but would be stretching my budget. Eventually found some 100% wool suiting on eBay, miraculously in the exact colour.
And immediately after I'd bought that, actual no.2 dress wool magically appeared on eBay. I bought some anyway, just to test, and it's not that different; colour's about identical, but my wool is more springy (a bit harder to work with but not impossible).
The skirt is not at all like the real Army uniform. Not that it is fooling anyone... It's more like the school skirts in Battle Royale, pleated with a lace-edged underlayer. I'm using the khaki wool with vintage white cotton eyelet lace trim, and the pattern is the same as one of my general skirt designs, a la this. There's some khaki lace on there too.
There's a wee tie also, made of the same fabric. *BUT* I can never find the bloody thing when I'm cosplaying, hence so far it's been left out.
I got an olde vintagey Sam Browne belt (technically officers wear a different one, but them's useful). This was the most awkward bit, as on eBay they go for... lots. I was not about to explore leathercraft and riveting for one costume element, and it's actually really substantial and would require a lot of time and effort.
Also found some mad bright tartan ribbons for Igiko's pigtails. It's not exactly like the Gakuen tartan but is cheery enough on its own.
I skipped covering it with Union Jack badges etc. to make the character superobvious. (Might wear my 'Hated by the Daily Mail' one tho; oh look, a *subtle dig*.) I was tempted by some flag-pattern lining but that's a little too painful; I went for some subtle blue and gold paisley instead.
I'm using a short wig with clip-on pigtails rather than bother with all that stubbing-and-gluing business. Pigtails were an absolute monster to make/wear/attach, and for Aya they were sewn to the wig. I must have left a whole other me made of discarded hair. I've reworked them but they're still not completely acceptable.
Uses my usual cosplay glasses, boots, and blouse (same one as from my Prussia and Ukraine cosplay, and frequently used in general life).
Also got some circle lenses rather than my usual plain-colour ones; I have trouble enough with normal lenses, on my tiny little eyes, so I'm using ones that aren't actually bigger but just have the dark rings. They're not incredibly bright green but do show up.
Skipped the Flying Mint Bunny so far, tho I might take it to Fushi.