A Bride's Story (Otoyomegatari)

Cosplayer: Monkey

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

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23rd May 2014: Revamped wig Restyled the wig by adding a tonne of wefts which were heat styled into curls and then brushed into shape of the loose plaits. So much thick hair!

16th May 2014: Tunic Collar 5 Beading progress.

13th May 2014: Tunic Collar 4 I've finished the goldwork on Leyli and now it is onto the beading. The beads are small gold seed beads (the same that decorate the interlaced chain stitch around the edge of the collar). I wasn't able to find out how the particular cultures in this area do beading, however, doing research into my Native American Goku outfit, I found out they put the beads on one long string and then stitch the beads down, to get a lot of beads down in one place very quickly, so I am adopting this method and it should be done pretty quickly!

7th May 2014: Tunic Collar 3 Goldwork progress! Its being a long and tedious process, but I just love how different and pretty the goldwork looks! I would love to have a go on a big design using this in the future sometime.

Only 6 more gold bits to do, then just a load of beads to sew on and some more shisha over the rest of the tunic. THEN Leyli is officially finished. Expo is in about 2 weeks. I can get this done! RWAR!

25th April 2014: Tunic Collar 2 I've had the chance to sit down and have a go at some goldwork.

This is a type of process that uses gold wire wrapped around a silk core which uses the technique of 'couching' to stitch the wire directly to the fabric. The felt pieces are to give it a more 3D kind of look.

Considering this is the first time I'm attempting this process I actually think it looks pretty good! I just hope I have time to do the whole rest of the collar as well!

17th April 2014: Tunic Collar Working on the detailing for the collar.

Current stitches include: Gullion, interlaced chain stitch and two lines of interlaced back stitch. Additional details are made up of gold seed beads.

24th March 2014: Trousers 3 Trousers finished! Am on to the main collar of the tunic top.

17th March 2014: Trousers 2 I dyed the linen bottom bits a darker green and stitched these to the trousers. The trousers work on a draw string with gold aglets stitched on the thread.

The embroidery detail is made up of chain stitch, heavy chain stitch and twisted chain stitch.

9th March 2014: Shisha embroidery Adding additional details to the main outfit, I've started stitching shisha to the outfit, as is appropriate for outfits of the setting. Shisha originally comes from India, though in the 17th century it spread to Russia and Asia and became a common motif in this area of the world!

It uses a small reflective disk (in this case mussel shells) which is then attached to the garment via embroidery. I hope to attach lots of these to give it that extra detail and texture.

I have a tutorial here:

1st March 2014: Bangles WIP Worbla bangles. Need to finish giving them a base coat. Then more paint!

10th February 2014: Sleeves Today I ironed out all the wax from the fabric so now the fabric is officially batik'ed and finished! (woo!) I stitched the sleeves together and hemmed them, and decided to add some interlaced stepped running stitches along the hem of the sleeves just for some extra little detailing. I'm pretty happy with the result! It just makes the whole thing look like a bit more time and effort has been added and makes it feel more 'real'.

2nd February 2014: Main Outfit - Batik 5 - Top Layer Added more wax to get the right shapes on the fabric for the following layers - more red, plus additional blue and green. I'm looking forward to sewing the whole thing together!

29th January 2014: Trousers 1 I made a rough pair of trousers and dyed the fabric over a period of 24 hours to get the bold, rich red colour. The fabric is actually left over from a wad I bought in a charity shop a few years ago and used for my Fire Nation Toph cosplay.

I'm really happy with the colour and am looking to sort these out properly once they're dry.

18th January 2014: Main Outfit - Batik 4 - Red Layer Today I started painting the red dye on the yellow layer. I love the way the natural dye seeps into the fabric and edges out into the fibers to create the slightly jagged, uneven look like in ikat dying. I also love how the red colour now makes the white wax pop out of the fabric. I can't wait to add all the other colours to it!

15th January 2014: Boots 2 I bought a pair of tan suede boots off ebay that originally had a Native American style design to it. I'm going to work on fixing these up so they look as bright and colourful and as patterned as Uzbek boots are traditionally, regardless of the accuracy to the original source material.

I removed the suede lacing and loops from the boot, along with the suede fringe around the top. Though I shall keep these pieces as they will be useful for my Goku project.

Now that I have a base boot to work from, I can start adding additional details.

15th January 2014: Boots 1 Traditional Uzbek boots. I'm going to be basing my boots on various photographs of antique and traditional boots, while also using traditional Uzbek embroidery patterns, beading and addition of coins and jewelry to make them really fancy!

15th January 2014: Source Material Accuracy or Cultural Accuracy? One of the things I love about the culture and setting of Otoyomegatari is just how bright and colourful and detailed the clothes are. Clothes, embroidery, beads and textiles had a magic and power of their own which is seeped into tradtition and culture.

Because of this I've decided I'm going to bling up parts of the outfit that aren't necessarily all that blinging - things like the trousers and the boots especially. I know this will mean the outfit isn't necessarily accurate to the source material, but it will be more accurate to the real colour, patterns and clothing of traditional Uzbek and Turkmen cultures.

12th January 2014: Main Outfit - Batik 3 - White Layer Drying the dyed fabric. The white layer appears through the yellow colour, underneath the wax.

12th January 2014: Main Outfit - Batik 2 - White Layer Natural yellow cold-water dye for the first layer.

12th January 2014: Main Outfit - Batik 1 - White Layer The fabric I'm using is a fine 100% cotton, I've cut out all the pieces and have started the first layer of wax for batik.

Due to the nature of the fabric, the colours being part of the fabric rather than painted on top (because in real life the fibers of the fabric would have been dyed first so that together they would produce the pattern when woven together) I wanted to make it look like the colours were part of the fabric. I'm attempting to recreate this bye dying the fabric in several layers to create a similar effect.

To start with, there is white parts in the fabric, so for these small bits of the pattern I have covered in wax with the 'batik' technique. Once the fabric is dyed, these bits will stay white. I will proceed to keep layering wax and dye on top until hopefully there will be a fully patterned garment!

7th December 2013: Wig & Jewelry Finished I trimmed the fringe of the wig and tried everything I have made so far on together. I think it looks pretty good!

7th December 2013: Jewelry 2 Finished jewelry.

7th December 2013: Jewelry 1 Today I decided to make the jewelry.

The beads are made up of seashells, wood (painted red) and the white ones are made of solidified lava! The thread is made of 100% natural hemp. I wanted to go with as many natural products as possible because I wanted it to be accurate to the location/period. So onwards and upwards!

2nd December 2013: Headscarf 5 Drying the headscarf.

1st December 2013: Headscarf 4 Today I've dyed the fabric with a natural scarlet-red dye, mixed with a combination of salt and soda ash and have left the fabric to soak. Fingers crossed the wax has done its job and the fabric will remain only partially dyed once I soak all the excess dye off the fabric and leave it to dry.

26th November 2013: Headscarf 3 Tonight I started batik-ing the hemp fabric. Its quite a messy process as wax in a tjanting is a lot harder to control than paint on a paintbrush. I'm glad I'm using this as a tester though before I attempt to do the full cosplay.

I'm currently using an electric tjanting which is a modified soldering iron with a tjanting head attached to the top, so it continually melts the wax that is placed in it as you go. This makes things a little easier, but the process is still messy, so I commend anyone who can make nice, clean lines look so easy! I'm just going to have to practice more.

[Photos to come soon]

21st November 2013: Headscarf 2 All my tools have finally arrived to try and give batik-ing a go. I just need the time to do it now!

Until then I have set up my frame (which is very nice and allows me to do small or large batik projects, so I am looking to getting good use out of this. The frame is set up by slotting into itself, and then with numerous little pins wrapped with an elastic band which is hooked onto the hemp fabric to stretch it quite taught.

With the fabric taught it will mean the design on the batik should be neater and the wax will fill the holes a lot better and should avoid cracking so much. We shall see.

8th November 2013: Headscarf 1 I decided that instead of diving straight into doing the fancy design of the top in batik, I would work slowly and start with the headscarf instead. The characters in Bride's Story are of a Muslim denomination and as such their headscarves are important to them (plus it leads to some interesting scenes with the twins with them).

I bought some hemp fabric since a) the large fibers are supposedly very good for batik-work, and b) I wanted to use a fabric that would be similarly used in the period and area where the twins are from. Hemp is generally abundant around Asia and other parts of the world and is one of the oldest cultivated plants used for production of everything from fabric, cords, rope, paper, jewellery and so on. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to at least use the fabric for some part of the costume from both a cultural, historical and geographical standpoint.

I gave the hemp a light 'bleach bath' just to lighten the colour somewhat from its natural green-ish tinge. Ideally, if this was done traditionally, hemp would usually be left out in the hot sun during the course of a day or two to dry out and to be bleached naturally. Sadly, because this is Winter and England, such a process really isn't feesable, so I had to try and do this a less than traditional way, by putting it in a bucket with a little bit of bleach and leaving it for a bit.

I did not want to leave the fabric in the bucket for too long, due to the high concentration commercial bleach has, it can end up destroying the natural fibers of the hemp, rendering it useless.

Once dry, I will attempt to start the batik process.

7th November 2013: Ikat or Batik. After doing lots of research into ikat and the way it is produced, it seems that I just don't have the money, time and capabilities to reproduce the process to make ikat-dyed fabric. It is a process that requires each individual part of the fabric strands to be dyed into the pattern, before weaving the fabric together and the pattern appearing out of the individually dyed pieces.

So I decided I wanted to try and produce something that brought a similar-looking natural and culturally-appropriate way to make patterns through using dye techniques. After much thought and research I came across batik which I remember vaguely toying with in secondary school, and not thinking of it much more than that.

Batik is the process of dying fabric with intermittent uses of wax drawn onto the fabric to create layers, before dye is then placed over the top of the original dye. The wax is then boiled out and removed from the dyed fabric. It is a process which is more achievable for me, and at least I can buy all the pieces of equipment fairly easily, so I am quite excited to give it a go!

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Sephirayne - 13th January 2014
How random, looks like my last comment is missing. Anyway, love your progress on this. I can't wait to see it complete.

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MoonLily - 5th February 2014
This needs more comments. This is looking so gorgeous and BRIGHT and all the hard work is really showing. I can't wait to see it all together!

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InfiniteJester - 5th February 2014
This is looking amazing!

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KiraraYumi - 17th March 2014
This is looking incredible! o.o

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Siouxsie James - 3rd April 2014
This costume is so beautiful <3

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Sephirayne - 8th April 2014
Wow! You look amazing in the new photos. Fantastic costume.

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Kei Lin Sama - 11th May 2014
Aah so perfect!! Why is your work always so perfect?!
The goldwork is my favorite bit! It looks amazingly authentic and masterful.

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Anonymous - 23rd June 2014
This is such a beautiful costume, plus, I feel like I've learned something just reading your journal about it. So many lovely techniques. You've made me really want to try out gold work!

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WaterJewelEmi - 24th June 2014
Looks amazing!

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Amy-Lou - 14th July 2014
Such an interesting costume to read about, you put so many techniques into it and it looks fantastic!
Your faces are priceless XD

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Mighty Odango - 12th December 2014
I love the new photos, so colourful and evocative!

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Amy-Lou - 21st April 2015
Wonderful location shoot, so vibrant and on theme!