Karin Koenig - Shadow Hearts: Covenant


I love Shadow Hearts, and I was considering cosplaying Alice before I'd even had a chance to play the game. However, on starting to play the second game, I settled on Karin. I think it was those awesome boots that converted me, and overall I love the design. It's also a bit unlike costumes I'd normally choose (generally the happy cutesy characters), so it made a change to pick something different.

The base wig is a Alicia wig from CosWorx. I had to cut a few strands to supplement the thickness of the bangs, and also trim them a little. I was able to pull it up into a high ponytail mostly ok. However, I was thinking of adding extensions, mainly to lengthen and supplement the ponytail, but couldn't get any in the same colour. I ended up with an unexpected solution after getting a cheap, matching Cleo wig. I took some wefts from that, which are sewn into the hairline of the base wig for a neater look, and the remainder of the Cleo wig was added to the ponytail. It says a lot about the thickness of Karin's hair that using two wigs is actually gives an accurate effect! Of course, the end result is *heavy*, but I've mostly counteracted that by adding combs to the hairline which grip into my own hair. Not amazingly comfy to wear, but it stays on.

For the top, I used suedette since it was the only thing I could find in the right colour (and also happened to be on sale). I originally had a stretch fabric in mind, but I think non-stretch was better in the end. To continue the theme I bough black suedette too, and used spare pieces of dark brown I already had. So the entire top is fuzzy XD There's just a couple of darts, and the only seams where the black section at the back is. I did my best to conceal a zip in one of those seams too.

The gold trim is maybe sparklier than what I had in mind, but it was cheap, the best thing I could find locally, and I think it has the correct texture/weave look that Karin's has. It unravelled horrifically though, which was a pain. I got black lace fabric at Halloween time, and snipped out various shapes and designs to piece together and layer the shapes at the back of the top, as well as the top of the glove and skirt.

I bought a heap of the brown leatherette when it was on sale, and I also got hold of matching leather gloves, so combined one with the leatherette to lengthen it up my arm, with the cuff hiding the join forms. The cuffs were nice and simple, only thing of note is they have foam inside for them to keep their shape. The gold cuff on the upper arm is also craft foam covered in gold fabric. The fabric's so slippery that it totally fails to stay up on my arm, so I have to tape it there. I needed 23 gold buttons in total, which could have been very expensive. I managed to get studs instead (like I did for my Esther costume), which was much cheaper and quicker to attach.

For those doomful boots, I began with a cheap pair of Primark boots which had the correct heel and wood-effect sole, then covered them in my leatherette. Definitely easier said than done; it took quite a few mock-ups and adjustments. Firstly, the "foot" part of the boots were covered, using a pattern made from scrap fabric trial-and-error fitted over the boot. It was difficult since the leatherette doesn't have much stretch, so it was done in several pieces, mostly mimicking the structure of the original boot. The advantages of the leatherette was it doesn't fray, and I could layer pieces with the joins being near-invisible! I first used sandpaper on the patent surface of the boots, and then could easily hot glue the leatherette to them.

With the foot section covered, I made a "tube" part extending up my leg. I thought through the process so I could sew everything by machine before attaching the covers to the boots. The straps are leather cord, and the gold studs are cheap split pins! (I couldn't find any appropriate proper studs/snaps and sewing on 52 buttons would have been insane). The prongs of the pins are sandwiched in the hem, so aren't right against my skin. The base boots underneath were knee high, so had sections cut out of their sides where the gap needed to be. The cover is again attached to the boot with glue. I'm not incredibly happy with the boots since the cut-out section at the side made it harder to fit the covers and prevent wrinkling (especially at the ankle) but I was so fed up with working on the boots that they're staying as they are for now.

I used stretchy orange fabric for the skirt (left over from my Garnet bodysuit) so it just pulls on and off. The stretch made it a pain to sew the lace to though! I interfaced the areas where the lace would be to help, and the whole thing is lined as well since the fabric's fairly thin. The orange at the top of the boots is the same fabric as the skirt, interfaced again.

Finally the accessories to complete it. The necklace is sculpted from Fimo clay, but it's not that great since it was rushed. I got a cheap plastic sword as a prop, which is actually pretty good. There's some hidden velcro on the skirt which allows me to attach the sword sheath when I want to wear it.

Ranma1-2 posted on 25 January, 2009 - 00:05
I hope you don't mind me saying..you look really foxy with this brown hair. ^_^ I love how you styled and modified the wig. Really well done.

Lady Bahamut posted on 16 August, 2009 - 12:40
Wow! A Shadow Hearts cosplay :O You pull off Karin REALLY well! It looks great! Well done :D

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