Exelia
 


Costume :Totooria 'Totori' Helmold
Source :Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland
Progress :Complete
Worn At :London MCM Expo May 2012


Costume Photos

Look Bright

Timepieces

Magic

Alanya

Bloom

Serenity Flower

Arland

The Adventurer of Arland

Totori To-to-ri

May MCM Expo

Reference

Reference

 


Costume Information

General
Cost : £276.60
Time Taken : 5 weeks

Description
Worn at London MCM Expo May 2012 and October 2012, too!

I love the recent Atelier games, the characters, the atmosphere and the artwork, and I really hope I've done Totori justice! Her costume is adorable with lots of attention to detail, and lots of whimsical and lush aspects. I adore a lot of the designs but Totoris is by far my favourite, even if it was a huge job to make!

This is easily the most time consuming and difficult costume I've ever made, even after Calamity Clara. While the costume itself looks quite simple, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye! Everything was a huge learning curve, so I tried my best to chronicle the work done on it in great depth, not only to show how it was made but also for my own reference, which is shown in the journal tab. It's a long read, but it chronicles pretty much every part of this costume's construction if you're interested in any techniques used.

Considering most costumes take me about a week to complete at most, spending 5, almost 6 weeks working daily for at least 8 hours each to get this completed at 4am the night before the Expo masquerade was a tough one!!

This was reworn to October MCM Expo 2012 with Emzone, SachikoYumi and MikeJenks as part of a Atelier Rorona group!! It was SO cute to have everyone together and we're hoping to get a Meruru on board for a bigger shoot! x)

Wearing it again also gave me enough time to tweak it and fix it to make it more accurate, and more comfortable. The petticoat made a huge difference and the dress was better fitted to make it sit properly. Sadly the petticoat was not as big as it should've been, mainly due to the weight of the dress but it looked so much better with the petticoat underneath and wasn't flat at all!

Comments

Avatar Image

soooooooo cute!

by otakugirl on Sunday, 5 February, 2012 - 20:14
Avatar Image

Oh man I'm loving your journal entries for this. I can't wait to see it finished <3

by Yuka on Wednesday, 2 May, 2012 - 12:27
Avatar Image

omg your progress is beautiful!!!! i cant wait to see it finished! x

by kaasutii on Thursday, 3 May, 2012 - 23:20
Avatar Image

I have no idea who this character is, but your progress is looking beautiful ^^

by TheStarlightFairy on Friday, 4 May, 2012 - 00:29
Avatar Image

Looks amazing so far! Totally jelly I wont get to see it finished in person D: lookin forward to seeing photos~

by Raine on Monday, 7 May, 2012 - 22:15
Avatar Image

I get so excited every time I see that you've updated this, I can't wait to see this in person, you're gonna look SO GORGEOUS <3 <3 <3

by Yuka on Wednesday, 16 May, 2012 - 13:14
Avatar Image

Amazing progress (:

by Viola on Wednesday, 16 May, 2012 - 19:19
Avatar Image

I can't wait to see this~

by Charny on Friday, 18 May, 2012 - 20:31
Avatar Image

This is looking too stunning for words! Amazing work!

by eternal_aranel on Friday, 18 May, 2012 - 20:42
Avatar Image

ahh you looked awesome! really love all the detail and effort you put into it.

by Leolarua on Monday, 28 May, 2012 - 23:16
Avatar Image

Thanks everyone for your support leading up to Expo! I'm so glad people enjoyed watching my progress and I hope the result doesn't disappoint. As I was working all of the lovely comments I received made the hard work worthwhile.

Thank you all ^^

by Exelia on Tuesday, 29 May, 2012 - 23:31

I love the colour scheme for this costume - it looked really lovely in person as well! :D

by madmazda86 on Thursday, 31 May, 2012 - 09:25
Avatar Image

Looking absolutely amazing. The hard work definitely paid off. Everything's so pretty and colourful.

by yukihotaru on Thursday, 31 May, 2012 - 10:42
Avatar Image

This was so gorgeous <3

by Emzone on Tuesday, 17 July, 2012 - 14:50
Avatar Image

so cute hope one day i can find or make this :D my self

by haruhi suzumiya on Saturday, 4 August, 2012 - 13:59
Avatar Image

Now that I know who this character is, I can say that you are a perfect Totori! I would love some Atelier pics with you <3

by TheStarlightFairy on Thursday, 30 May, 2013 - 22:30
Avatar Image

I only played this game this year. Aw, I want to do Sterk.
You look awesome as Totori!

by SlimDefinition on Monday, 30 December, 2013 - 17:59
Avatar Image

Ah I can't believe you made your own boots! They're seriously epic. Where do you find the skills?
And I love how detailed your journal is. I wish people did that more often (including me...)
And naturally, you look gorgeous ofc <3

by Stubbled Grapes on Tuesday, 31 December, 2013 - 14:56
 

Shopping List

Mixed Gems for Costume£2.07Bought
Fabric for Dress£16.00Bought
Fabric for Skirt, Bow & Headdress£38.75Bought
Gold Leather for Boots & Detailing£19.06Bought
Dyes for Gradient Dye£15.91Bought
Shell£5.00Bought
Ring for Bag£0.75Bought
Patterned Lining for Bag£3.60Bought
Glue£7.05Bought
Pole for Staff£4.95Bought
Fabric for Bolero, Trim & Lining£26.00Bought
Fabric for Blouse£3.00Bought
Dyes for Bottles/Gems£8.05Bought
Bottle Mould£1.00Bought
Embroidery Thread & Needles£12.47Bought
Brown Leather£23.00Bought
Wig£25.00Bought
Pink Leather£19.00Bought
Shoes to Modify£8.00Bought
Interfacing£5.00Bought
Resin Kit£16.49Bought
Siligum Moulding Kit£9.95Bought
Tulle for Petticoat£6.50Bought
Total£276.60

Journal

October Expo tweaks! (Posted 24th October 2012)

So, I'm suddenly rewearing Totori for Oct Expo with Emzone, SachikoYumi and MikeJenks as part of a Rorona group! <3

Sadly after May it needed some fixing, so last-minute plans were made to tweak.. biggest issue was the skirt and how flat it was, so the new and updated version will thankfully have a petticoat. It's huge and puffy and flares outwards at the sides, so it should create the right sort of shape!

The dress needs refitting to the sides, and refitting to the front. I'll be adding some hooks/bars at Expo to help it stay up and right, rather than floppy with poppers like it was last time. I'm hoping it'll really help...

Hopefully this time I'll get some good photos!! <3

Finally... (Posted 25th May 2012)

Totori is as done as it's getting before May Expo.

I'd post a more detailed journal about final pieces, but I'm far too tired! I'll post a more thorough update after Expo, but for now here's some progress pictures of various pieces, including Totori's pink panties, made today :P sadly the staff wasn't finished, but I wanted to get everything done to a good standard instead of half-finish them to have a finished staff so that'll unfortunately have to wait til next time!

Should be debuting on Saturday~!! This is my first Expo, I'm so nervoussss <3

The Final Straight (Posted 22nd May 2012)

The bolero is done!
The blouse is (very nearly) done!
The staff is.. started!!

...And that is the progress from today. Seriously, that's all I've spent today doing. Pinning frills and bows and things! Gawd

I bought a pole for the staff (at last), which I will hopefully finish just in time before Expo!! I sprayed it blue earlier and it's looking spiffy. The references show the staff as 120cm tall in total, but that's against Totori's shorty height of 146cm, so I'm making it a tad longer to compensate for my height. The pole itself is 125cm tall, so once everything is attached it should come in at about 140cm (hopefully) against my 165cm-ish height. So the ratio *should* stay accurate at least!

Middle image shows both the collar and the bow attached to the bolero; the colours look really messed up here, but in person it looks wonderful!! My cruddy handsewing is keeping it supported, and the tails seperate. It flows so nicely, and it's FINALLY done!

The final image is of the frills on the blouse; these are turning out SO well. I was unsure how to get the right ruffled effect, and through pure experimentation (read: laziness) it's turned out perfectly! The rest of them need starching, as only the left side of the image here shows them finished and pressed with the right still left to do, but that shouldn't take long!

I'm a tad miffed though, I had 6 buttons bought for this, which I have unfortunately lost.. and need to replace tomorrow. Guh. More expense! Stupid buttons!

In any case, famous last words; this should be finished soon! I'm taking a break from it tomorrow to work on Caitlyn, but it should be done on Wednesday... ;_;

Bits and Pieces (Posted 21st May 2012)

Some smaller bits of progress from today...

The shell for the bag finally has a gem on it! Cute little pink gem means the bag is 100% done! Thanks to the magic of Tesco, I finally found a gem suitable (after 2 days of searching - who'd have thought the kids aisle would finally come in handy, eh?)

And - at last - all of the embroidery for the collar is done!! It's not attached yet as it was only finished at about midnight tonight and I've misplaced by pinking scissors, which are vital for finishing off the patterning.. so.. until tomorrow, this is about as far as it goes!

I'm hoping to get everything on Totori done by the end of tomorrow, so I can have some time to finish other costumes for Expo.. though that was my hope earlier today, haha! Here's hoping.. ;_;

How to turn yourself insane in one easy lesson. (Posted 21st May 2012)

Make a headdress across 8 straight hours.
On next to no sleep.

I get the feeling my initially 'respectable' journal entries are deteriorating as I get less and less sleep when writing them and working on this costume...

Anyhow, I made the majority of the headdress today! The scale is insane. There is no way to get the scale accurate AND fit your head at all compared to the reference artwork; this is as close as I could get without tearing my hair out. Regardless, it looks pretty good! ...I hope. The biggest issue is the sides, which had to be taken in by 2 inches total to make it fit my head accurately, so some of the detailing was lost. But I think it looks nice enough regardless, even if some of the detail is missing, and the scale looks much better than having it stretch way past my ears.

The base is the same fabric as the bolero embroidery, a soft pink, which matches the boots too. Initially it was going to be leather on leather, but I ran out of the pink pieces so had to make do with fabric with the gold leather instead.

All of the pieces were mounted on a thick piece of interfacing, then edged with thin wire to make it flexible to match the shape of her headdress. It faces back a -lot-, which was difficult to achieve otherwise. It was tedious, but worth it! Most of it was made by gluing pieces together to avoid visible seam lines, besides the seam lines on the pink parts as shown in the reference. I hate using glue, but I can't exactly magic it together, can I? :P

All it needs now is securing so it's wearable, and the gold clip pieces at the side. I'm going to change the way the headdress fabric piece sits too, so the folds are more accurate!

More Boots (Posted 20th May 2012)

And yet more boot progress! Yes.. I am still sewing these. Still! These things have probably robbed about 20 hours of my life altogether -_-

But, at last, the final straight! The top panels have been cut out and pinned here, but will obviously have all of the detail stitching on and ties before they're finished. I think the scale is alright.. the boots are slightly longer than they should be (mainly to compensate for how much taller than Totori I am; also her stupidly long legs for being short, to make it more realistic), so the top panels had to be scaled accordingly. They're slightly longer than the boots themselves, but this means the ties will be functional and should look much better than having them sewn 100%!

You can see how uneven the fronts are here :'< thankfully it doesn't photograph that badly depending on how my feet are positioned, so fingers crossed it'll be fine in the end!

Yet Another Update (Posted 19th May 2012)

YESSSS
I am so happy to be making this entry!! The boots have WORKED omg

Here's a photo of the first one, attached to the shoe fully, and on my leg!! I've been so nervous that they wouldn't fit right, but they look exactly like I wanted them to!! The heel is totally cute underneath, and it fits with a slight bagginess just around the ankle (as in references)

They're glued for now, but will be hopefully be secured further if I get time (as they are now, that will be a last minute job).

The wig was trimmed earlier today, at last! It was an 80cm long one - now it's just past shoulder length with some layering. I'm awful at trimming wigs, but it looks like Totori's hair and isn't an ugly blunt cut, so I'm happy with it! I'm going to try do a makeup test before Expo, so I'll save uploading any images of it right now until then.

I also submitted my audio for the stage performance at Expo today! SO NERVOUS. ;_;

Progress ground to a halt yesterday after a needle tried to assassinate me, but I should still be on track to get this all done very soon!! I'm aiming for most of it to be complete tomorrow, but that may be wishful thinking..!

[EDIT] Well, looks like my celebration was a tad premature, seeing as the boot covers don't line up exactly. The pattern on the front is out by 1-2cm on the front of one of them.. all positivity is now pretty much gone -_- there's nothing I can do at this stage, so I'm just going to have to 'deal with it' unfortunately.. ugh, I wish I'd noticed this earlier.
At least I can just position my feet differently.. but man, this sucks.

Boots, revamped! (Posted 18th May 2012)

So, the boots are still underway.. STILL.. but I found a much better way to make them, so I unpicked the original zip and progress and have started them (kinda) again. They're not particularly difficult to sew, but really hard to put together! Changing the zip and cutting things down has taken about 5 hours and they're nowhere near done..

Once the zips are both in (only 1 so far), they need attaching to the shoe and then the gold panelling around the top with the leather tie. THEN they will be done! I'm hoping these will be as close to finished as possible today, ideally with all of the gold detailing attached, but they're taking forever :[

Slowly getting there.. still..! (Posted 18th May 2012)

Bit more progress from yesterday, with the first FINISHED part of this costume!! It's only taken like 3 weeks or something ridiculous...

The bag on the left is now finished, aside from 2 tiny bits of handsewing and the gem on the shell, which can be done in no time (and require finding a gem first, lol). But the bag itself is done!! It's sturdy and can hold at least my purse, an small notepad, pen, makeup, etc all quite easily. It snaps shut at the front and hangs to about my hip!

Middle is the cuffs on the bolero; finally got these done, a little less tidy than I wanted but I hate making bias haha. The gold looks really nice against all of the colours though, not too bright and not too shiny!

Right is the "petticoat" under the skirt, which is hemmed the same way as the skirt with a decorative overlock stitch. It shows through the skirt a little, but it adds a lot more volume to it and most of the petticoat will be covered by the dress on top anyway. I didn't want to add one in, but unfortunately needs must, and Totori's skirt is meant to flare out huge :X

Today is a day of working on her boots, bow and headdress, which should hopefully go smoothly.. once they're all sorted, there's.. surprisingly, not a lot left to do!

The embroidery for the collar yesterday was up to 9/12 panels too, SO CLOSE to completion :]

Skirt and Blouse Progress - uh, getting there.. (Posted 16th May 2012)

Skirt is coming along nicely, it has a waistband now and a zip ready to go in! But.. it is a bit flat.

SO, even though it's not in the designs, I'm unfortunately adding a short petticoat to foof it out some more :[ I don't want to, but having a flat skirt is most definately not accurate in the slightest, considering how big her skirt flares out in references! I'm thinking about 4 inches long at most, gathered and sewn into the skirt itself, and as much length as possible to make sure it actually flares out nicely!

Otherwise, blouse progress! The blouse is now hemmed at the bottom and has straps in progress from leftover bias. All it needs now is the button band, buttons sewing on and the frills around the top. It's cut quite short so it fits under the dress nicely, but will still tuck into the skirt comfortably.

I can't wait to get these all done!! As soon as I think I'm finished there's more and more to be added.. =__=

Bag Accessories - done (or at least, nearly)! (Posted 16th May 2012)

Finished all of the accessories for the bag over the weekend; the shell is done in two pieces, a front and back and glued around the edges. Both pieces had to be sanded down to fit together properly, to remove any excess shell inside. It still needs a gem on the outside, but I'll add that soon!

The bottle is made from clear resin, dyed with Vitrail ink in 3 shades to create the right look. I'm sure I've mentioned this before.. but eh. I added Mica powder to make it sparkle throughout as well, and then a coat of gloss was added to make it shine more like a bottle.

The tops of both of these are bells! I found them dotted around and they're perfect. The clanger was removed from both, adjusted inside and then glued onto the top. All they need now is a ring to attach them into the bigger ring on the bag strap and they're done! ...and the gem for the shell.

The glue bubbled a bit around the edges.. but hey, it's a bottle and a shell, and it's all about magic anyway! You can only tell up close too.

So far they're my favourite part of the costume, even if they are small :] probably because they're actually pretty much complete, hahaha

Dress - 80% complete? I think so! (Posted 16th May 2012)

Dress progress! At lastttt! It only took.. what.. months from starting this costume to actually get this far. And it's going surprisingly smoothly!

The reference artwork has clear lines as to where the seams are, making a sort of pointed formation across the front and then leading down into the petals/skirt at the bottom. It was patterned out on plain fabric then cut out of the pink lining to test it, then cut out of the final fabric (shown in the bottom left - it's the shinier stuff)!

The skirt is made bigger to accomodate for the slight poofiness it has in references, which also means it flares out over the skirt nicely!

It's actually closer to completion than in these pictures, with both sides of the skirt done besides bias and ready to be attached. Once the skirt is attached, all the dress needs is the gold bias around the top and the zip and it's done!

Bolero - 75% complete? Perhapsssss? (Posted 16th May 2012)

Ok, so I've been working for the past 3/4 days on this but been too goddamn tired to update CosplayIsland when I've been settling down so I'm going to update it in parts, rather than chronological chunks...

Embroidery for each cuff was done in 5 repeats, as per the design. They come in at just under 50cm wide altogether and each repeat took about 12-15 minutes.. ouch! There's still 12 more repeats to be done for the collar too!

Here you can see the bolero with the frills completed, they're a bit tighter on one side compared to the other but they sit nicely!

The middle images are of the completed cuffs, with the pointed patterns across the top, and then the gold buttons for under the sleeves. I had other buttons to paint, but found these in a box that were already painted for another costume and in the perfect shape - score!

Far right is a photo of the bolero so far with the cuffs attached on top of the blouse progress (it has the beginning of straps, at last!!). The cuffs are huge, but they're meant to be, and they sit comfortably when worn as well just above my hands.

Hoping to get this done asap. The gold trim for the cuffs I cut was a bit small, so that can be redone. After that once the collar is on, the bolero just needs the bow attaching and buttons and it's DONE!!

I Love Me Some Frills. Really. (Posted 12th May 2012)

I've pinned, unpinned, repinned, readjusted and fixed these frills 4 times now.. and I think I'm finally happy with them against the reference!

Here's the current pinning progress; it's a lot smaller than it was before, and seems to have a nice flare at the edges like in the reference artwork. Comparing it to the previous attempt this looks MUCH better and pinning it in one direction seems to be helping!

Once the edging is attached it should look spot on.. I hope!!

Couple of Small Issues... (Posted 11th May 2012)

So, the bag would be about 90% done tonight if I had realised I needed one vital tool: a hammer!
Until I hammer the snap fasteners in to close the bag, I can't finish it! Bummer. Here's a couple of progress pictures so far; the lining isn't in the bag yet but that's the progress so far, with a hole for the fastener to be added.

The image on the right is a pocket inside the lining of the bag, it's very small but it's big enough to hold a small pencil/cash/change etc, so it should prove useful! Just a little extra detail to it, and to make it more functional too!

Hoping to get this all finished asap; I'm so tired of everything on this costume being "in progress" and nothing being "complete"!! Guh -___-

Frills and Things (Posted 8th May 2012)

Here's a little bit of progress for the bolero! It shows off the fabric too - the blue fabric is a really nice lightly patterned fabric, with running lines down it. It's not 100% accurate, obviously, but it adds a nice detailed touch to the design.

Here's the frills pinned halfway, and looking rather nice! They look a bit big here, but the hem needs taking in for the lining, and the bias needs attaching on top, so they will be shorter at least. They're a bit wide as well.. not too sure. I might fix that later, since it is just pinned at the moment. In different references they're different sizes, it's just hard finding a size that looks flattering >.<

This pattern was pretty hard to figure out how to work it to fit off the shoulders, but when the sleeves are in it looks awesome and fits right ^^

Boots! Again! (Posted 7th May 2012)

So, more boot progress (after a while, lol) and.. this is the state of the first one so far!

Pinned, obviously, but on my leg it seems to fit nicely! All that's left is to sew the zip in, attach it to the shoe underneath and then add the gold detailing on the top of this one!

I hope they look alright.. these are SO hard to put together ;A;

More General Progress (Posted 6th May 2012)

As well as the bag I've been testing other things! Here's a couple of pictures to show some different progress that's been going on...

On the left is the skirt, pinned here but it has since been sewn! No waistband yet, but it's coming together! It also shows the dryed colour from the dye, since I didn't update about that... the purple blends into the pink very nicely, and then down into the white as in the reference ^^

On the right is a test panel for the bolero, which has since been corrected and cut out of the blue and pink fabrics ready to be sewn! All that it really needs now is the embroidery completing and the gold detailing; it's coming together nicely.

All that's really left, to be honest, besides finishing pieces off and putting things together is making the dress or patterning it, at least. The headdress also needs work, but most things are actually "in progress"!

My Little Brown Bag (Posted 6th May 2012)

Good grief, this costume is doing me in. My back is aching so badly after working non stop for the past 2 days.. and still nothing is actually finished!! Curses. Well, it's pulling together at least..

Here's some progress shots for the bag; I feel like pictures in this journal are getting smaller and smaller, haha. Either way, kinda self explanatory, but here's a summary anyway:

Top left - Bag mockup from the lining! It's small and cute! It should have 1 internal pocket once it's done and be fully lined. This was just the mockup, so the front pieces are a little more pointy than they should be here.
Bottom left - Pieces cut out of leather. The larger piece was left uncut to allow embroidery!
Top middle - Marking the pieces to be embroidered on the back of the leather.
Bottom middle - The pieces being embroidered! This was.. interesting! Fun? Maybe. Tedious? Sure. Frustrating? Of course! Even though it's being done by machine, the machine struggled with the leather and it had to be done twice (out of expensive leather, guh!). The patterns were vectored digitally then ported over, then sewn accordingly.
Top right - The back of the leather once it was sewn - the boxes are where the parts were marked on. Spot on! :)
Bottom right - The sun and moon emblems finished and the panel cut out!

The bag should be assembled tomorrow if all goes to plan - no idea how I'm going to put the strap together or seal it, but that's a problem for another day haha. As long as the main body is assembled tomorrow I'll be happy.

And Now For Something Completely Different... (Posted 3rd May 2012)

So, progress has ground to a slight halt due to hospital needs, but alas, some small progress today! I picked up this to line the bag with today.

Totori's bag has no reference for the inside. Even though she pulls items from her bag it doesn't actually open in-game, and there aren't any drawn references, so I settled on something that complimented the leather with a simple pattern. I think it's pretty cute!

I'm going to try pattern it out soon with pockets and things too on the inside, so it's cute *and* functional :]

Dye - Part Two (Posted 1st May 2012)

So, dye part two! Yesterday was a bit of an ordeal figuring out the skirt pattern, then applying the dye accordingly. In references, her skirt has a soft pink tint into white with a slight purple tint at the top, so, pink and purple it is!

Top left - skirt pinned as it'll be worn; it's gonna be nice and floaty, but still quite big! Totori's skirt is short but has a lot of volume to it, and this'll make adding the pleats/folds very easy.

Bottom left - dye for the pink. The skirt was folded x8 to fit in the tray for the dye, so it ended up nice and small but dyed a little uneven (exactly like I wanted) but it made it so heavy and hard to move!! A bit of it ran as well so it's a dyed little lower than I wanted, but it still looks nice and should dry lighter.

Top right - pink layer on the skirt once it was unfolded. Still 2x layers here (it's sewn at both edges), so it looks a tad darker here than it will be once it's dry!

Bottom right - same jobbie here, just with the purple. The purple dye is more lilac in person, and not anywhere near as dark as this either! I wasn't too happy with how the dye turned out on this, but hopefully it'll look better dry and folded as the skirt should be, instead of wet and layered like this haha.

The headdress also got done, but was pretty much just light purple.. had to be dyed twice as the first time it was too blue, but it worked out well on the second attempt.

As long as there are no major issues with these pieces that's all of the dye jobs done and ready to be put together; now to not mess it up! >_<

Dye - Part One (Posted 29th April 2012)

So, yesterday was pretty tedious all over, what with the embroidery, figuring out patterns and finally.. the first real batches of dye. And on the worst parts, no less! I did the bow and tails yesterday and it took forever!!

I must also recommend that when using Dylon water dyes, it says 'wear rubber gloves' for a reason - my hands are still purple. Ho hum.

The photo shows some of the progress - the bow tails freshly cut and overlocked (and wavy just like the reference - though there will be extra pleats in them too once they're done!), the dye progress and the final result. I also dyed the bow pieces but they're not photographed here.

There was a mix of light blue, dark blue, pink and purple used on the pieces to match the reference artwork - hopefully it's turning out well! ^^;

As for the pieces themselves, the overlocking used is a decorative one for the tails and skirt, where the rest will be hemmed as well. Both techniques compliment the designs really nicely.. or at least.. fingers crossed they will once they're all done!

The colour should be lighter than shown here too - bad camera, and they were still wet here.

Embroidery Test (Posted 29th April 2012)

The bolero is thankfully the only part of Totori that needs any major embroidery, so thank goodness for that. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of it :[

I tested the pattern I made for the bolero pieces yesterday on a small piece of the fabric. All things considered, it turned out quite nicely! This is a 2-part repeat of the pattern and lining it up was relatively simple as well, as it joins at the centre point on either side of the line.

The colour in the photo is a tad washed out, but shown next to the pattern is the dress fabric to show the colour comparison. The colours on the bolero embroidery are meant to be the same colour (darker line) and slightly lighter (filling), which seems to have worked out rather well!

Should be starting on this properly soon - I'm going to make the bolero first, then fit the embroidery around it to ensure it's the correct scale.

And Yet More Experimentation (Posted 27th April 2012)

So, with all of my tests I've been trying to kick smaller jobs out of the way early, rather than fiddling around before Expo.

One of my favourite (though small) parts of Totori's costume is the bag, and the trinkets hanging off it! Of course including the bottle. The shape is a little tricky, and to get it as an actual bottle proved impossible, so I'm casting it as a solid piece in blue-tinted resin.

Here's the progress so far, set to cure at 5pm today so it should be ready tomorrow! It's dyed with Vitrail ink in two shades with added sparkle from Mica powder. I really hope it works!! It looks so pretty in the cast! *A*

Nevertheless, this should be hung off the bag alongside the shell (currently not pictured) once the bag is done!

Experimentation Ahoy (Posted 27th April 2012)

Probably the most daunting part of this costume.. the dye.

I have £40 worth of fabric, £10 of dye materials, and one chance.

So, rather than being a class A imbecile and trying it on the actual fabric, I did a few tests earlier today to make sure /this is going to work/ instead of wasting £50 in one fell swoop!

These are the dye tests, and the final results; colours on the results are (top left->bottom right): Powder Pink, French Lavender, China Blue, Intense Violet and Ocean Blue.

I love all of the colours besides Intense Violet, which is, well, pretty intense! It's far too dark for the colours in Totori's outfit, so I'll be using less of that on the fabric methinks, haha. It's only used on the tails anyway, and not much of it, but I'm SO glad I tested it instead of just threw it on..

I should be putting the dye on some of the outfit tomorrow, hopefully all of it starting with the headdress and tail pieces. Gonna get the small and biggest pieces out of the way before dealing with the easier pieces!

It begins (Posted 24th April 2012)

Oh my word! Actual progress??

Yes, indeed. I started cutting out the pieces for the blouse yesterday, and started the behemoth I call the boots today. This is probably the most elaborate shoe/boot cover I've ever made.. it's going to be attached to the sole directly, with very little actual support around the calf, made entirely from leather (besides lining).

It looks a tad limp here, but it's being very badly held up by one arm as I hold the camera with the other :P

Cutting these out was horrible, I had literally *just* enough leather to do both boots. The fun image on the left is how these had to be arranged on one piece, haha.

Sewing leather seems pretty alright; sewing suede, however, horrible!! It catches on the feeding teeth really badly, haha. I'll be sewing everything leather-side down if I can help it!

So far it's been a pretty productive day, got one base boot cover about 60% done with the decal sewn and the main body sewn aside from the lining and zip, then all it'll need is the top decoration. Calling it a night for now, but these should be done in the next few days if all goes well!

Fabric! (Posted 21st April 2012)

Well, this is it. Aside from lining fabrics and the silk that's to be dyed, here's everything I have for Totori so far!

Everything is labelled. Today I picked up the blouse fabric - a tad dark for what I wanted, but it matches the references and seems to be a suitable weight too. I wanted it slightly more white/pale, but this is literally the best I've found. It blends nicely with everything else though so it should look nice altogether.

Also picked up the gold trim on the bottom left - typically the day after I shell out for leather! It matches the leather really well and will be used on the dress and bolero instead. This should make it much easier to sew and it's more accurate too!

Altogether my new additions cost me a grand total of £6.50! Finally a bargain for this damn costume!! Typically right towards the end of shopping, bah...!

Gold Leather - Part 2! (Posted 20th April 2012)

Following on from the previous entry, here's an update on the leather fiasco...

I went back to get the original leather, and found they had this replacement one (see image) with two much bigger pieces. The original bit was a bit small and a tad too optimistic to make the boot details, dress outlines, cuffs and headdress out of, whereas the two bigger pieces will cover that easily (and leftovers can be used for Caitlyn, too!)

The texture is a tad different, it's less 'grainy' than the previous piece, but it should do nicely and is about the same weight to be sewn.

Cost me around £20 including a ring for the bag, which is.. more than I wanted to spend, but I'd prefer to have too much than not enough!

Gold Leather (Posted 20th April 2012)

So, one of the last pieces left to find.. which is kind of vital before I start -anything-.. the gold leather! Ugh! This is proving such a pain already..

I found this leather earlier today, which is the closest to 'gold' I can find without it having a ridiculous shiny metallic finish (like cheap tacky gold). Everything else is tan or bright yellow.

You can see it compared to the pink for the boots (top left), pink for the dress (top right) and the bag leather (bottom).

It's like a soft, buttery colour with a gentle sheen.. not exactly what I'm looking for, but it seems to go with the rest of the colours nicely, and it's still quite thin and easy to work with. It needs to be used for trims on the boots, dress, bolero and the headdress, so it has to be workable.

Despite it being a tad light and not near gold enough, I'm probably going to settle on it if there's a big enough piece. It's the best I can find and against the pastel colours of the costume it seems to go quite nicely regardless.

That and if I choose this it won't be TOO shiny on the cuffs or dress, unlike most other Totoris I've seen >__<

Embroidery Threads! (Posted 19th April 2012)

So, Totori has a wee bit of embroidery on her outfit, and embroidery calls for embroidery thread... typically though it's one of the hardest things to find in stores around here, so I'm having to rely on the internet!

Pictured are the references the threads need to match (the bag is photoshopped darker; it's the only clear frontal reference I have and it's from a sketch, and it's closer to the in-game colour anyway), and the threads I've chosen. They're all Marathon embroidery threads, in colours 1032, 1035 and 1144.

I'm really nervous as to how they're going to look in person; the pinks need to match the fabric on the bolero and on the dress pretty much exactly, and not being able to pick them in person is really nerve-wracking!

The thread for the bag is quite a bit lighter than the references show, but to be fair, in no artwork is the design actually shown clearly. So I'm going to embroider it very thin to basically 'emboss' the design, rather than stitch it all on clearly in black like references suggest. I'm hoping it'll look better that way.. if not, I'm leaving plenty of time to get another colour and try it again later. The colour I've ordered is a similar colour to the leather I have, so at least it shouldn't stand out too glaringly and should match nicely, even if it is a tad inaccurate. If nothing else, it'll look SO much better than drawing the designs on, or having a big thick black line around the designs!

I also picked up the dyes for the silk today (5 of them! ugh!), some siligum for the gems, some more resin and some glass paint as resin dye. This costume is working out to be SO expensive... I hope it's worth it once it's done!! ;___;

Fabric for the Skirt, Bow & Headdress... (Posted 17th April 2012)

Well, the skirt and dye on this costume is easily my favourite part, but apparently also the most expensive...

After KitaCon I went into Birmingham to scout out some silk, seeing as it's expensive up here! I managed to get some Silk Habotai (100% silk, semi-opaque, and completely dyeable) for £5/m instead of £7.50/m up here, so that's the fabric sorted at least; it's gorgeous stuff, wonderful and floaty and ever so slightly seethrough - should be perfect once it's gradiented for the costume!!

Now I need to get all of the dyes ready and seperate it out. All of the pieces are going to be dyed seperately to ensure it's dyed accurately. I'm going off in-game artwork since physical artwork is very hit-and-miss on accuracy, whereas the game is always the same.

Headdress - purple and white
Skirt - pink and purple
Bow & Tails - blue, purple, pink and white

Dyes are so expensive when you need so many, though..!!

Kind of relatedly, I also bought the pink for the bolero recently. It's just lighter than the dress pink, and the boots pink. Should do nicely (I hope!) I can't wait to start all of the embroidery too, even if it will make me tear my hair out.

This costume is working out so expensive already.. I still need blouse fabric, the trim for the dress and boots and more resin amongst other things.. guhhh ;A;

A little snip here and there (Posted 12th February 2012)

So, I finally started trimming the wig! Usually I'm really impatient when styling wigs and cut them way too shoddily, so I've been taking this one slowly to not mess up on it..

Over 3 different days I've trimmed the fringe and a bit at the front.. I've yet to conquer the actual length of the wig which needs trimming right down (and the rest of the fringe). It looks alright so far though! I'm probably going to dye it a bit darker towards the bottom but I'll worry about that once it's trimmed. The fringe reaches just above my eyes, but enough so you can see my eyebrows through the fringe, as in the references. I'll probably do a makeup test once it's all trimmed down!

My only dislike aside from colour is that the fringe on this wig is a bit thin :/ depending on how it's swept, it can show the wefting underneath, which kinda sucks. Hopefully her headdress will cover that, but it's frustrating all the same! You can just see it in the photo, I might have to try and move some wefts to fix it if it's a big problem once I make the headdress..

Normally I get help with wigs I don't want to mess up but I'm determined to do this one myself! Fingers crossed I don't have a disaster on my hands!

More work! (Posted 3rd November 2011)

The wig arrived yesterday - it's a nice wig, but it's a bit longer than expected.. and it's also lighter than I'd expected, too.

That said, the colour -is- very nice! It's a really pale sandy colour; hopefully the photograph gives a good enough idea! I'll be learning how to dye wigs with Washu anyway, so if I can I'd like to gradient it with some more brown and maybe even a teeny bit of lilac to match references better and have a multi-tone look.

Even so, it'll do nicely as is, it's just a tad light!

Slow progress and such (Posted 1st November 2011)

At last I finally started playing the game after getting my hands on a PS3 again! Even if it is just for a couple of days :V I'd watched clips and knew the story before playing so I knew I liked Totori, but it's nice to actually play it (and see how the costume is meant to actually flow, too).

First thought: wow, I need to make sure I make matching panties since that skirt is definately see-through. I saw in some references it shows you what they look like, so that's just another thing to put in-progress for accuracy!

Second thought: her legs are about as long as Rorona's, those boots are no way calf-length, they look way knee-length, ahghfghg, this game makes no sense of anatomy at all.

Third thought: leather I got for the boots.. absolutely perfect!

I'm going to be playing some more tomorrow to get a better grasp of her character, but heck, she's as ditzy as Rorona, if not a bit more, haha.

Hopefully my wig should be showing up this week too!

The right leather (Posted 24th October 2011)

So, been a while, but I have been working~! ..ish..

I went to get the boots I found to use for Totori's soles today.. only to find they had 1 shoe in my size, but not the other! They had one shoe in size 6 and seven shoes in size 5.. looks like someone messed up and didn't realise XD; honestly, who buys 1 shoe in the wrong size?

Either way, here's a photo of the leather I have for Totori~! As labelled the brown is for the bag and the pink is for the boots. The pink isn't as bright as the photograph IRL, but I suppose it shows off the sheen on it nicely ^^

I ordered the wig yesterday too~! Ahhh *A* I can't wait for it to arrive. Once it's here I can work on the headdress too!

More boots! (Posted 5th October 2011)

So after deciding to make the boots from scratch and going on a recce to see what I could find I came back.. empty handed, but only until I get paid on Friday!

The leather shop had a perfect sheep leather in a light pearlescent pink. I didn't want pink at first but it's light enough to compliment the brown I already have and look almost light brown itself against the rest of the costume, which is absolutely perfect for what I need.

It's relatively thin (though sturdy) so it should be easy to sew and there were 2 pieces just big enough for me to make boots and the headdress out of successfully! Apparently if I attach some interfacing or strengthen it with a leather backing it should work fine for the boots.

Once I get it I'll post pics! It should be about £20 altogether for the two pieces - so exciting~!!

Wigs n' things (Posted 3rd October 2011)

Ok, so it's early days and I have no money to even start this, but I've been looking up different resources and things for Totori~! I can get excited even without fabric or materials to start it.. haha.. ha~ ;A;

So it seems none of the characters in the recent Atelier games ever seem to have normal coloured hair, I had this problem with Rorona when I was looking to cosplay her too. This time though instead of blonde-peach-pink hair like Rorona, Totori has really soft grey-brown hair, sometimes with a soft purple/blue undertone. I guess it depends on reference, but even so, it's not just grey, it's not just brown, and it's certainly not purple or blue.

After a quick hunt around my favourite sellers I did find this one from Ayanamisatoru, which compared to most references (and particularly in-game) is pretty spot on! Apparently it's "sand grey".. considering I was searching for "grey brown" or "silver brown" wigs, I think that'll do nicely!

So far I've researched some stuff regarding the bag (which ideally, I'll be making using the leather I bought for Rorona back in the day) and boots. So far.. it looks like I'll be making the boots from scratch.. ughhh, well, best time to become a cobbler I suppose!

Her boots look almost two-tone between brown and pink, or a very pale brown/white. I bought some pearlescent finish leather for Leon (Tales of Destiny) a while back and if I can find similar stuff in brown I think it'd be perfect to make the boots out of, even if I do have to make them myself!

This costume.. ;A; it's so beautifullll~ I really want to do it justice! Considering all of the detailing if I have a chance I might enter it for a competition or something - it's sure as hell going to test my skills (and patience)!

Boots and such (Posted 3rd October 2011)

A few different references (all artwork, no in-game) of Totori's boots.

So far the only "issue" between references is the lace at the front of the boot, which seems to come and go in artwork, but it's in the main "full" reference so it'll be added. On the majority of references and in-game the laces are there :P

I've had a quick look online at local retailers and so far found a few sets of boots I'll have a look at to work with. As much as I'd like to.. I don't think I'll be capable of making a shoe sole myself, so uh, that's 1 thing I'll be buying, then building on top of with leather. The heel has a slight taper from the top to the bottom with a curve, so I'll be looking for something as close to that as possible in brown to match the leather I already have.

Colour seems like an off-white, pinkish brown.. and in full colour references they seem to have a pink or purple tone to them. Ideally I'll be getting some pearlescent finish leather if I can find it in the right colour. It's thin but it's sturdy enough to hold, and if all else fails I can interface it to stay upright.

Design-wise there are no zips (guh) but visible seams up the back and front, then with the gold collar design attached at the top and toe. Not sure how I'll make these without any zips, but I'm hoping to find a way for accuracy's sake, haha. Especially considering they look fitted and I have chubby legs.. ;_;

For the gold pieces I'm going to see if I can find some brushed leather or suede to use, rather than foam or anything, to make it match the rest of the boot and also the toe detailing. The darker brown details like the loop at the front can be done with the same leather I have for the bag and the lace ties can be done with leather strapping.

I think they should be easy enough to do if I dedicate enough time to patterning and detailing; the design itself is simple enough to follow so fingers crossed!

Tomorrow I should be sourcing some materials (and boots) even if it is just a recce :x

Bags and trinkets (Posted 3rd October 2011)

Some references of Totori's bag~! One of the more difficult parts to find references for...

Her bag will be made from leather. I think the stuff I have is about the right colour, if not a tad light, but hey, I bought it, I'm going to use it! I haven't checked it against the references just yet. As for the bag itself, I'm going to line it with cotton and give it pockets and things to make it fully functional!

The shape of the bag is quite basic - I made Karol Capel's bag from the same sort of shapes and that turned out pretty well from fabric; even though this is much smaller, I don't think patterning it will be too hard. The hardest bit will be finishing the edges, I think, especially with the shaped edge.

The patterns on the front (sun and moon) will hopefully be embroidered on.. I don't know if I'll be able to embroider leather yet! Even so, I'll try it!

The front stud on the bag will be done with a normal popper clasp with an embellishment around the outside. I've helped do these before on some boots; they look awesome when they're done and should make it look big and embossed like the reference while staying functional! :O

The shell and bottle attached to the bag are going to be cast from resin (or y'know, made from an actual, factual, real natural shell). Hopefully all of the gems and things will cast properly and if all works out, the bottle should be gradiated and have the little sparkles in it, too by mixing the resin with some light glitter!

My main gripe is the shoulder strap.. the piece of leather I have isn't too wide.. trying to make the bag and strap might be hard. And colour matching leather is even more difficult, but I'll see! I haven't patterened it yet, so there's still time!

Again tomorrow I should be looking for materials and things for this! ^^