Rinoa Heartilly (SeeD ball dress) - Final Fantasy VIII


Well after my attempt to re-create the famous "Waltz for the Moon" dance at The Grand International Cosplay Ball (2008) I realised this costume had to be done. It's kinda expected with my fandom of Rinoa and Final Fantasy 8 in general really.

This is the outfit Rinoa wears during the SeeD Graduation ball and the concert at Fisherman's horizon.


Fabric wise I was told to go with duchess satin but I found a cheaper satin (acetate) in a suitable cream colour and thought seeing as it's my first attempt at making a dress maybe I should start with the cheaper fabrics lol I can always re-make it if I wish too. In some lights the colour of the satin looks a kinda gold colour but the ivory chiffon I got for the top layer of the dress tones this down. Brought some basic ivory ribbon for the halter neck. Picked up some snap fasteners from my local market to make undoing the halter neck easier. Also had to get a concealed zip as I won't be able to just pull the dress on like I would if I used a stretch fabric.

Searched for ages for a dress patter, the halter neck is not the usual design so hard to come by. Had to order one from America in the end and the seams aren't right but they're needed to give the dress shape so oh well. I might remake it at some point with a more clingy fabric. My Grandma helped me a lot with the making of the dress and did the more tricky parts for me herself as I haven't had experience with using a pattern or sewing machine before.

I already have a wig and necklace with a ring on from my main Rinoa cosplay.

It's really hard to get a decent image of Rinoa's bracelet but it's clearly silver and a chain of some sort. I decided to match the figaro style chain that her ring hangs on and found something suitable on ebay. I'll probably get a few links taken out though as she seems to wear it quite tight on her wrist.

New Look sold a pair of cream double-strap heels very close in style to Rinoa's but when I decided to start work on this costume they had been discontinued. After over 4 months of searching on ebay I finally got a pair in my size.

Brought some brown contact lenses seeing as my natural eye colour is blue and I'm being a picky arse as usual. I really struggled with these, my eyes really dislike having strange objects poked in them (naturally)and my blink reflex is very strong. But I got there in the end! I've also got some false eyelashes as Rinoa's are really thick and dark. In general her eyes stand out so I want to make sure I draw attention to them.


This dress has been on my list since I first started cosplaying so I'm so glad to finally have it completed. I have a great sense of pride and achievement knowing it's completely hand made so I just hope it doesn't fall apart! Making this was a big learning curve as I hadn't used a pattern or sewing machine before so I feel I have gained something from making this and I hope to expand on it as I make other costumes. I have also learnt to make a better estimate of how much fabric I'm going to need (or get what the pattern says) as I have quite a lot leftover!

I first wore this cosplay to the May 2010 London MCM Expo and entered in the masquerade as part of a Final Fantasy girls group. I had a great response to the costume and had lots of compliments throughout the day yay! ^-^ However the heels hadn't be worn prior to the event so by the end of the day my feet had blisters and I was in a lot of pain =( Also my eyes were a bit irritated with the use of contacts and false eyelashes for a long period of time. But apart from my personal pains this cosplay was a success!

I re-wore this to the Amecon 2010 Cosplay Ball. It was fun dancing with Keekal in her Rinoa dress as we're roughly the same height and size so everyone was staring- cosplay twins! lol My heels didn't give me so much bother this time thankfully.

November 2011- Managed to get tickets to "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" and this costume seemed the most suitable to wear. However I have put on weight since I last wore this and found it a little tight =( Also the chiffon was caught in some places. I hope to remake the dress one day.

BlusterSquall posted on 4 December, 2008 - 11:09
Mhmm... words of advice: I wouldn't use stretch Satin, its far to shiny and looks cheap. I'd go for a more Duchess satin as it looks classier. Its more expensive, but it looks much better. Yes - go for a dress pattern. You should be able to find one for something very similar to this dress in the bridal or 'special occasions' sections of pattern books. (If you're using a pattern for the first time, go for Simplicity). Aside from that - good luck! Hope to see it done soon! ^^

sjbonnar posted on 18 January, 2009 - 22:51
You got them in then? ^_^

Leonie Heartilly posted on 18 January, 2009 - 23:16
After a long struggle yes ^-^ I'm not looking forward to the fun that is taking them out however haha

LittleMissChikorita posted on 16 March, 2009 - 19:29
The contacts really look awesome :) and i love the wig.xx

White Leviathan posted on 26 March, 2009 - 00:47
Good choice! I have been toying with Squall's ball cos for ages... best scene in the game!

Leonie Heartilly posted on 28 March, 2009 - 01:33
Ahhh I hope you do it someday. I'm always willing to encourage more Squall cosplays and I bet yours would be nice and detailed also =)

Ranma1-2 posted on 28 March, 2009 - 10:53
Wow I can't tell they are contcts at all, looks like you have brown eyes for real!

LittleMissChikorita posted on 25 April, 2009 - 05:58
Wow, those shoes are perfect :) they look exactly the same. nice find! x

Anonymous posted on 28 April, 2009 - 20:08
BEAUTIFUL! My favourite FMV from the game. Can't wait to see it realised by such a talented cosplayer. X

Leonie Heartilly posted on 28 April, 2009 - 22:59
*blush* "talented"? I wouldn't call myself that lol ^^' Half the stuff I buy or commission, I just have an eye for detail and a very picky nature aha. But thank you =)

letmelive posted on 15 November, 2009 - 14:48
I can't wait to see the progress of this one ^____^ Your Rinoa in humaan form X___X!

perfectly_purple posted on 7 May, 2010 - 22:37
That's a cool looking sewing machine. Love the colour on the fabric and those shoes are very cool! ^_^

Leonie Heartilly posted on 9 May, 2010 - 19:35
The machine is my Grandma's =) She said it does overlocking and other helpful things also. It's pretty old. I spent ages finding those shoes, bloody things lol

perfectly_purple posted on 9 May, 2010 - 19:45
Shoes are always one of the hardest things to find! But yours look perfect! A great find! ^_^

letmelive posted on 22 May, 2010 - 09:15
Looks so good well done! ^____^ xxx

Pez posted on 22 May, 2010 - 09:41
Awesome work! Your dress looks EXACTLY like Rinoa's!

SamanthaKaiba posted on 22 May, 2010 - 12:46
great dress...it looks really good...could you tell me what pattern you used as I didnt use one for mine and you can tell lol

Leonie Heartilly posted on 22 May, 2010 - 13:36
Butterick pattern (3366

sjbonnar posted on 22 May, 2010 - 15:04
You did a fantastic job on this!

Leonie Heartilly posted on 22 May, 2010 - 15:09
Thanks hun ^^

sjbonnar posted on 22 May, 2010 - 15:17
Definitely looking forward to seeing this!

PapercutPerfect posted on 23 May, 2010 - 09:37
Wow, looks beautiful! Can't wait to see :3

DuskatNight posted on 23 May, 2010 - 11:28
You look stunning ^^ Can't wait to see it in real at Expo :3

GraceyDarling posted on 23 May, 2010 - 12:53
you look lovely! amazing job on the costume :)

Leonie Heartilly posted on 23 May, 2010 - 20:07
Thank you everyone ^_^

FairyPorchQueen posted on 25 May, 2010 - 18:39
amazing! well done! :D cant wait to see it at expo!

Leonie Heartilly posted on 25 May, 2010 - 22:24
Thanks hun =)

leumas posted on 31 May, 2010 - 12:09
This looked great,I thought you looked really beautiful

Leonie Heartilly posted on 31 May, 2010 - 15:26
Thankies ^^

Mangamad posted on 31 May, 2010 - 15:29
Ballroom Rinoa. Pwiddy. ^o^

FusionRose posted on 1 June, 2010 - 13:25
I did love your rinoa hun, you looked amazing =] x

CrystalNeko posted on 1 June, 2010 - 23:27
I loved the chiffon overlay! This looks amazing on you!

Amy-Lou posted on 1 June, 2010 - 23:29
Such a cute costume, you really do look a lot like her when it's all put together (nearly thought the photo was a reference shot from the game), great work :)

Leonie Heartilly posted on 1 June, 2010 - 23:34
Thanks everyone =)

FairyPorchQueen posted on 2 June, 2010 - 20:02
seriously you looked so much like rinoa! so nice meeting you!

Leonie Heartilly posted on 2 June, 2010 - 21:14
Aww thanks hun ^^ It was great meeting you too, I loved Fang & Tifa

FairyPorchQueen posted on 3 June, 2010 - 22:53
aww thank you >__< your photos by silver look amazing! perfect setting!

Strawberry_Sprite posted on 2 October, 2010 - 12:40
This costume is stuning :)

CharlieDoryRose posted on 11 May, 2011 - 13:00
I really like this dress, it looks lovely.

High heels
Make up test (including false eyelashes)
Learn "Waltz for the Moon" dance
3 metres of cream acetate satin
3 metres of ivory chiffon
3 metres of ivory ribbon
Ivory polyester thread
Pale cream/ivory concealed zip
Snap fasteners
Butterick pattern (3366)
New Look cream double-strap heels
Silver Figaro bracelet
Freshlook Colorblends Brown contacts
Eylure Volume Plus false eyelashes

Total cost: £0.00

21st May 2010


My Grandma dropped the dress off for me today with all the sewing complete. I still wasn't quite happy with how the top layer hanged around my chest so I took it in at the sides a bit until it looked better. It was very awkward to do and it isn't a tidy job... but not very noticeable I hope. I then sewed the snap fastener to the halter neck. I'm going to do a make-up test tomorrow with the contacts and false eyelashes and then get some photos taken in the full outfit with wig and shoes.

21st May 2010

Coming together

Round my Grandma's again this evening for more progress on the dress. Over the last week she cut out the chiffon layer for me and starting tacking the dress together and adding the ribbon to the neckline and the zip ect. I tried it on and although the bottom half was a good fit the top was very loose (stupid size 12 pattern you lie!)So that had to be taken in quite a lot. The chiffon overlay was also too loose, said I wanted it slightly bigger than the lower layer so it floats over it but think I judged that bad. After sticking a load of pins in to get the top half fitting better the dress came off again and Grandma started un-stitching and re-sewing parts which took a good hour. After the adjustments were made I tried the dress on again and the top half fits loads better. The chiffon layer could do with being slightly more fitted but it looks better than it did and I don't want to make a fuss ^^' We worked out where the hem of the dress will be and that was pinned into place. It was getting late so we left it there. Grandma will sew the hem for me tommorow, attach a hook and eye above the top of the zip and if she get's time overlock the seams before dropping it off to me when I finish work. I will then just have to get the snap fastner sorted on the halter neck.

7th May 2010

First part of dress complete

Today I finally started work on the dress with my Grandma helping me along the way. First we sorted the pattern pieces out, pinned them to the fabric and worked out where to cut for the size we were aiming for. For this pattern I'm a US size 12 0_o My UK sizing is a 8-10 which is around a size 6 in the US so dunno how I managed a size 12 for this! We thought it was wrong but that's the size I needed according to my measurements apparently. Anyway. After cutting the fabric I was shown how to put tacks in for the darts and cut out some triangle markers at the sides (think they were just to help you line up the edges of the dress... I forgot ^^'). Then it was to the sewing machine! I didn't have any experience with one so Grandma started me off and sewed the curved edges and then let me do the straight lines. I was holding the material back a bit and so some of the stitching was too close together oopps but I'm learning! That was all for today. Grandma's going to overlock the seams for me and then when I next see her we'll work on the chiffon overlay and the neckline before putting it all together with the zip and raising the hem etc.

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