Secret of Mana

Cosplayer: Angelphie

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

2nd Place, WCS preliminaries, Play Expo 2013; Best Group in Show, Play Expo 2013

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9th October 2013: Jewellery The smaller red and blue gems are the glass cabochons I used previously, but this time I cast the larger blue gems myself using polyester clear-cast resin. I also cast the oval gem for the centre of the bodice at the same time to ensure it would match. The gems are backed in foil and all are applied with Araldite. For the green gems on the shoes, I wasn't happy with the results I got from casting these using green pigment to colour the resin, so I stuck with the cabochons I painted before.

I had go sculpting more accurate earrings this time inserting pairs of the gems I’d cast glued together back to back.

The gold coins strung on the bodice are blanks intended for engraving as keychains which I tracked down in the two sizes I needed. The gold cord is the thinnest available variety of the same metallic braid used throughout the costume. I carefully measured and hand stitched it into the zigzag pattern then attached the coins with jump rings.

I replaced the flower on the headpiece with one of the resin ones I’d cast for the belt.

9th October 2013: Jewellery I used Milliput as filler on some pieces then everything was sanded, primed and painted gold. I initially coated the pieces with gold acrylic spray paint, but wasn’t too happy with the colour so applied a second coat by hand using gold enamel. I then went over the pieces with some dark acrylic colours for a weathering effect and to bring out the details, finishing with a coat of clear varnish.

9th October 2013: Jewellery I had to carefully drill holes to thread jump rings through and link all the pieces together. In addition to my resin pieces, I made cylindrical beads from fimo clay, used some round wooden beads and incorporated some of the metal medallions from the belt I’d used previously after prising it apart with pliers.

8th October 2013: Jewellery I made a mould of these from RTV silicone rubber then cast the final pieces using a polyurethane fast-cast resin. The short (hour-long) curing time for the resin was helpful when making multiple copies of each piece from only one mould.

8th October 2013: Jewellery I redid the jewellery accurately this time rather than mostly cobbling it together from found pieces, beginning by sculpting 5 different pieces for the various medallions using oil-based clay.

8th October 2013: Wig I then wrapped broad strands around a toilet roll tube and put in the larger curls using a hairspray and a hairdryer.

8th October 2013: Wig Having added all the extra wefts, I trimmed the ponytail so all the lengths matched up then curled the ends. I wanted a mix of some smaller curls to add volume and create a bit more of a natural style so I first curled the ends with a curling iron and hairspray.

8th October 2013: Wig At the time I bought my wig I also got a second clip-on ponytail with the intention of making use of the extra matching wefts, but I was short on time and the existing ponytail looked fine and already seemed so heavy and awkward to wear that I didn't want to add any more weight! In pursuit of accuracy and since I already had the additional ponytail, I decided to now incorporate it into the wig.

I managed to fit both ponytails on to one clip and also sewed in some wadding at the back to adapt the shape. I wanted it to seem like a ponytail sticking out and not just a clip. I did consider stubbing the wig and wrapping the ponytail wefts around to make a proper ponytail, but it didn't seem worthwhile since the volume of hair would conceal my efforts and I found having the clip is really helpful for securing the wig and balancing its weight.

8th October 2013: Gauntlets I redid the Fosshape base for the gauntlets, it turned out a lot better now that I have more experience at working with it and I had a better idea of how to approach assembling them this time. I basted the lining to the Fosshape before assembly which was helpful. Experience also let me get the gold trim at the edges neater.

8th October 2013: Leotard I constructed the final bodice in the same way as before, but this time the gold trim was primarily hand sewn at the front for greater control over its positioning. There is also thin jewellery wire enclose in the edges of the “petal” shapes at the bust to ensure these would closely conform to my body.

I also inserted a length of wire underneath the central gold stripe on each of the purple hip petals to enhance the curled shape.

8th October 2013: Leotard I ensured the denim strength layer extended throughout the whole leotard this time. I didn’t find having it end at the hips helpful and it was a lot simpler to have it match the other layers.

I took the opportunity to order more spiral steel boning in all the correct lengths, rather than making do which whatever I happened to have to hand.

8th October 2013: Leotard I remade the leotard completely since I wasn’t happy with the fit and had ended up with all kinds of issues with it.

I took apart the version I’d made for Aya and used its inner bull denim layer as a mock-up to improve it, adding pieces on and adapting it until I had a better fitting pattern. I also I wrapped my lower half in clingfilm, covered it in masking tape, drew on the shape of the leotard to it and used as a basis to perfect that part of the pattern. I decided having 3 petals on each bra cup didn’t look right so this time I changed it to 4 – from the references it could be either given the angle she’s pictured at.

Photo is my final mock-up, no idea how many I ended up making in total…

7th October 2013: Remake time After rushing the costume for AyaCon in the midst of moving house, I got the costume finished but not to the standards I'd envisaged. On the Sunday of Aya, Maz asked me if I would team up with her for the World Cosplay Summit qualifiers in October at Play Expo, so that gave me great incentive to go back and do the costume properly this time!

I was pretty happy with the pantaloons overall, but having seen photos from Aya and now having more time to review the costume, I decided to experiment with padding out the legs to improve the shape. I inserted wadding between the lycra leggings that form a lining/stay and the loose outer fabric. It was one of these really simple, easy things to do that ends up making a great difference.

The shoes were alright but I took the opportunity to tidy them up a bit. I also inserted wire into the curly toe to help ensure it retains its shape.

I tried out Pros-aid to secure my ears and took more care blending them in with make-up.

Purim isn’t pictured with any notable make-up, but as it's such a bright, dance-inspired costume I felt I needed something vividly coloured to compete with all that pink fabric. I decided to try out pink eyeshadow and gold eyeliner, fuschia lipstick and I painted some false nails to match my fabric.

7th August 2013: Bunnysuit There’s Fosshape inside the petals to ensure they keep their curved shape, and when sewing them to the leotard, pulling the upper pink fabric slightly tighter than the purple lower section also helps ensure they curl upwards.

It’s nearly done apart from closing up the edges at the bottom, which I’ll do nice and invisibly by hand if I can be bothered to.

7th August 2013: Bunnysuit I chose to treat the hip petal things as separate pieces which seemed the easiest approach. I interfaced the purple lycra first and like the shoecovers and gauntlets, there’s gold bias tape topstitched on. Photo featuring sewing-tastic ironing board cover from Ikea!

7th August 2013: Bunnysuit That leotard thing was a patterning adventure, but wasn’t as bad as I expected. I started off with a bodice pattern, extended it and made refinements through mock-ups. I found referring to tutorials on bunny suits to be helpful for making sure I was on the right track (primarily this one: http://rufflebuttcosplay.deviantart.com/art/Tutorial-Bunny-Suits-Part-One-The-Suit-346132442). My pattern could definitely use further work, but since I’m wearing it over the pantaloons the fit didn’t need to be absolutely precise. And yes, amazingly it ended up ok wearing it over the pantaloons – I was sure they’d be too bulky and need to be cut down and sewn into the leotard’s leg holes, but they don’t cause any major problems.

Photo shows my newspaper pattern, stacks of the pink exterior/lining pieces and the assembled strength layer of bull denim (that denim layer is a bit shorter so is more an elongated bodice) to which the boning channels were sewn. I was able to make do with lengths of boning I already had so mostly used flat steel boning but also some lengths of spiral steel I had spare. I also sewed in bra cups. There’s zip down the back of the suit and all the gold trim is topstitched on.

7th August 2013: Shinies! For the jewellery, I mostly tried to find existing pieces to adapt because I hate making accessories from scratch and didn’t want to delve into casting resin gems again if I could help it. I found a floral medallion belt on ebay and sprayed it gold. For the larger medallions, I rolled out Fimo and cut the shape out with biscuit cutters! Clay worked well because I could press in detail before baking them.

I bought a string of little plastic medallions to go under the bust and have ended up incorporating them into the belt too. I also used some fleur de lys charms from ebay. Everything was spray painted before assembly so keep the colour consistent.

The smaller gems are coloured glass cabochons. For the larger ones, I painted the bottoms of some clear acrylic ones. I was also able to buy setting trays for the oval ones. The earrings are from Primark and had Fimo added to the bottoms and the gems glued on.

The bracelets are rigilene plastic boning covered in my sparkly gold trim. For the anklet I cut some plastic instead to get a wider width than the rigilene, and it’s attached to the pantaloons with clear thread.

7th August 2013: Shoes They were then covered in purple lycra which will be glued on with Shoe Goo, not vaguely pinned in place like in the photo. I chose lycra because stretchy covers are much easier and it neatly smooths over the transition between the shoe and the Fossahpe toe I’d added. The stripes on the sole are gold bias tape, folded in half to make narrow strips. I might coat the sole in glue or stick a protective sole on to try to prevent it all fraying, but I’m not too worried about damage to them. The shoes don’t fit me well (slip-on court shoes refuse to stay on my feet) so I don’t plan to ever walk about in them much!

7th August 2013: Shoes I found shoes on ebay with the right sort of conical heel and even similar shaped backs! I made an extension for the curly toe with Fosshape and hot glued it on.

7th August 2013: Arm thingies I also sewed on as much of the sparkly gold trim as possible before lining them, then finished the edges with more of the trim.

7th August 2013: Arm thingies They’re then covered in fabric inside and out. I did try painting the gold stripes on first because it had gone so well for the pantaloons, but I wasn’t getting a decent gold colour, so I ended up stitching down gold bias tape. I had plenty left from my Granado Espada costume so used it all up on this project.

7th August 2013: Arm thingies The gauntlet things are made from Fosshape, my first time trying it out. The photos show it before and after it was attacked with a heat gun.

7th June 2013: Pantalooooooons The cuffs are lined interfaced pieces with gold trim sewn on. The trim took some care to space precisely, but it didn’t take too long to apply it. It’s fairly easy stuff to manipulate and get the various corners/curves required, and sparkly is perfect for this bellydance-esque outfit. It’s also cheap and comes in various widths, so I bought heaps of it to use all over the costume.

7th June 2013: Pantalooooooons The pantaloons were then sewn up and gathered at the waist and legs. They weren’t quite staying in place on my calves so I’ve made a pair of leggings from some spare pink lycra and sewed these underneath the pantaloon legs. Their main purpose is to act as a stay and keep the trousers bunched up correctly (as in the photo on the right), just like when making puffy sleeves, but this approach would also let me insert some padding for the legs if I want – not experimented with this yet though.

Although I’ve made a full pair of trousers for simplicity and fitting purposes, they will need to be cut down and sewn into the leg holes of the leotard top thing once I make it because wearing the complete pantaloons underneath the leotard is going to be far too bulky.

7th June 2013: Pantalooooooons The paint is Marabu Textil Design Colorspray. It took a while to carefully measure the spacing and stick all the tape down, but spray paint made the actual painting really quick and neat. The colour’s not as bold as I might have liked, but I wanted to stick to using fabric spray paint as all the other paints I tried made the fabric go horrible and crispy.

7th June 2013: Pantalooooooons To sew the pantaloons, I looked up a few guides on bellydance costumes to get an idea of how to go about it and made a mock-up to figure out the right sort of volume, leg-length etc. I did think about continuing to refine my pattern to get as close to the shape in the references as possible, but I quickly realised that leaving each leg basically as a rectangle would be best for marking out all the stripes. I used a looooooot of masking tape!

Amy-Lou avatar

Amy-Lou - 25th November 2012
Very cute, I love those puffy trousers! Will be watching the progress :D

madmazda86 avatar

madmazda86 - 22nd January 2013

Ninodog avatar

Ninodog - 10th March 2013
Will make for an awesome group

Junta avatar

Junta - 10th March 2013
Awesome, more retro stuff!

KhaosKreator avatar

KhaosKreator - 11th June 2013
Love the use of spray on the fabric!

Littlegeeky avatar

Littlegeeky - 7th August 2013
Oh gosh! Such a blast from the past!
I loved this game as a kid! I can't wait to see this completed :D

Donna avatar

Donna - 9th August 2013
This is going to be so cute! :3

TheStarlightFairy avatar

TheStarlightFairy - 12th October 2013
Absolutely gorgeous! You look amazing and cute as a button in this, and I loved your skit at Play Expo <3

Exelia avatar

Exelia - 23rd October 2013
Absolutely love this costume to bits! Your makeup at Play Expo was beautiful too and so fitting for the design. Looove those curls <3

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 24th October 2013
Another Fab costume. Making everything from scratch. You have such amazing skills. :)

Sephirayne avatar

Sephirayne - 24th October 2013
Fantastic and cute costume. Loving the shoes and top.