Tales of the Abyss

Cosplayer: Lady Bahamut

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

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5th June 2014: Wig styling! What an experience this was! Despite cosplaying for about 5 years now, I have never once styled a wig!! >_>;;

I was incredibly scared about styling a wig so I brought one to practice on first and looked at loads of tutorials. There aren't that many tutorials around about slicking/pulling back a fringe so I had to follow the only good one I could find. it involved separating each weft from the top of the head and back combing and spraying it with Got2Be freeze hold hair spray so it stayed slicked back. This worked well enough!

When I got the real wig (I brought 2) I took the wefts out of one of them and sewed them into the other to make it a bit thicker. I then slicked the fringe back as I did on the practice wig... except with more hair spray this time! I then layered it so it looked a bit more like Asch's hair. I didn't have time to do the widows peak in the end so I sewed in a couple more wefts into the fringe to cover up more of the wig cap, because I thought it stood out ^^;

I cut the length of the wig to the right length and layered it a bit with the thinning shears and cutting vertically.

And that was about it! For my first wig styling adventure, I don't think I did too badly and in the end I rather enjoyed it! :D

5th June 2014: Tabard details These were done exactly the same way as the tunic details, except on a much larger scale!!

I cut out my paper templates and ironed the heat and bond onto my red fabric. Once it had cooled I drew around my templates onto the H+B. I then slooooowly and very carefully cut the details out. You have to be careful with it as it's pretty flimsy and will still fray a little untill you iron it onto the main fabric!

It's not very clear, but the image on the left shows the cut out back detail sat ontop of the un-cut front detail :)

Ironing the details onto the tabard went pretty smoothly apart from one little minor incident with one of the long front straight edges deciding it wasn't going to be straight anymore, but I sorted it! ^^;

5th June 2014: The tabard Oooooh boy. The tabard oTL

I'd actually started it part way through working on the tunic but kind of abandoned it because I didn't know what to do about the neck line area and it looked like a weird huge piece of fabric XD

Eventually though I did have to go back to it (I had to make it in parallel with the shoulder armour because of how the two of them needed to attach). I had to create a seam on the shoulder so that it would hang properly and be careful not to make the neck line too big or too small. Which was really difficult ^^; It can also come apart at one of the shoulders via press snaps. Once I'd done that and got the width the right size I sewed the velcro onto the shoulder area in conjunction with the armour.

The detailing came next. I measured how big I wanted them and scaled up my Illustrator drawings I'd made many, many months ago. I did have to alter them slightly (Asch must have been small but wide!). I printed them out and pinned them to the tabard so I could decide what I wanted to tabard shape to be and where the split in the front should go.

I could have done the next stage in several ways, but I decided in the end I should cut and sew the lining into the split first before ironing the details on. I did something I haven't done before which is "under stitching" the lining, it creates a really clean, nice edge and prevents the lining showing on the "right" side. I followed a tutorial I found online as describing it doesn't really make much sense to me XD So I won't attempt to here either!

So the split was cut and sewn and so I put the details on next. But it'll have its own journal so I won't go into that here. I also cut the angular edges at the bottom. Lastly I pinned the bias on (which I'd made myself earlier) along with the lining. Normally I would have sewn the lining on first THEN done the bias but since I was running out of time I did them both together oTL

It was then pretty much complete! I only needed to attach the belts which I'd already made earlier (also getting its own journal!)

Although the split never did hang properly when I wore it or on the mannequin, I swear it did when it was on a hanger or on the floor oTL

5th June 2014: The shoes I've made boot/shoe covers before but MAKING a pair of shoes? That was very new to me! Okay, maybe saying "making" is the wrong word, I really just built over a pair of boots ^^;

I brought the boots from ebay. I didn't really care what they looked like (because I was going to destroy them!) apart from the soles as I wanted them to be as light and as close to the shape as Asch's as possible. Once I got them I hacked off the top section leaving just the part that covered your feet. I then made paper templates for each segment, 4 in total: Toe, middle, top and heel.

Each segment was made out of heat formed craft foam. I carefully got each segment right before moving onto the one that would sit on top of it. They needed to be able to move somewhat over each other (At least that's what I guess they were meant to do, that's what it looked like XD) for when I walked/whatever. Once this was complete I cut off some more of the boots, this time on the sides around the ankle area as there's a gap there in the references.

The slow process of PVA-ing, painting the foam black, gluing the lycra fabric to the foam, then putting bias on the edges where required and then gluing it to the boot base began. I think it took me about a week and a half to complete them! The last thing I did was paint the soles the same colour of the bias (despite looking white in the images, it's actually a light grey)

Most impractical shoes ever! XD

5th June 2014: Shoulder armour This was difficult for me as I'd never made anything resembling armour before!! I'd asked another Asch cosplayer how they made theirs and suggested cardboard. I tried it and found that for me, it didn't really work. I felt it was too restricting and stiff. On the advise of another friend I tried heat forming craft foam.

To do this you get your foam, cover it over with a layer of newspaper and iron it for a few seconds. This makes it really floppy but you got to act fast. Hold it to the shape you want and it'll stay that way when it cools :) If the shape isn't right you can re-iron it and try again! I only needed curved shapes so it wasn't that hard.

Once I had my shapes I hot glued the sections together. There were 4 in total: 2 for the shoulders and 2 making up the collar (because the foam sheets weren't big enough to do it all in one, otherwise I would have!). I then cut a rough outline and kept trying it on to see if it was correct. Once I was happy with it I then got some flexible but stiff wire. This was to hold the foam in the correct shape as it would need some support for when it would attach to the tabard and general body movement!

Just because I was worried about it, I PVA glued the whole thing and then painted it black before putting on the fabric, just incase you could see that the foam was blue XD I then used small amounts of super glue to cover the inside of the armour with lycra fabric before sewing and gluing velcro to the inside. The velco would be how the tabard and the armour attach to each other and needed to be put on before the top layer of lycra so there wouldn't be any stitching visible :) There was velcro on the back, sides and front so it was secure.

All that remained then was to glue lycra onto the visible part of the armour, glue the bias binding on and paint and glue the buttons on! And then it was done! :D

Fun fact: I used over 6 tubes of super glue for this cosplay!

18th May 2014: Nearly there! I'll write proper journals for everything after expo. But for now: The tunic is done, the tabard is done, the shoulder armor just needs the buttons glued on and the belts are done!

The only thing left is the wig. I'm HOPING it won't take too long >_>

3rd May 2014: Tunic progress 2 Where did I leave off...? Oh yes! The hooks and eyes. Well I sewed them on and (after making the shoulder armor, but I'll get to that in another journal) was thus able to finish off sewing the rest of the bias binding onto the collar.

After that the tunic was pretty much finished apart from the red arm bands. For those I doubled up the red cotton I had brought (just incase), pinned them to the right shape and then sewed them. I then simply put the bias on both ends and sewed them onto the sleeves!

I also made the belt myself, but I'll again put that in it's own journal.

19th April 2014: Hiding the invisible zip in the bias You can hide sooooo many things in bias binding, it's amazing! 8D

I used an open ended invisible zip for this (again, yes, they DO exist! Here, I'll prove it to you: )

I first sewed the first half of the bias down for the whole tunic and then turned it over (like you would normally when sewing bias) and pinned it in place. DON'T SEW IT YET! We're only marking exactly where the center fold is for where you'll be putting the zip. I only merely made a crease to mark the center but you could mark it out with chalk or something if you wanted. Then unpin it and pin the invisible zip where you want it. You want the edge of the zip (the teeth) where you marked the center. Then fold the bias back over and make sure you've pinned the zip in the right place and that you can do it up etc.

If everything is okay, unpin it again and sew the zip on the bias with your invisible zipper foot with your machine! Then you can fold the bias back over again and pin in place (and maybe check again everything still works ^^; I do alot of checks!!) and sew the bias like you would normally!

And that's how I hid the zip on the bias! You can't hide the zip on the inside though however (at least with my method) but then again, hopefully no one is looking on the inside! Ahaha :)

11th April 2014: Ahhhhh Time is fast running out DX

I've got the basic structure of the shoulder armor done which means I can now get the tabard sizing sorted and finish off the tunic. And since I've got too many things going at once again I'm going to dedicate tomorrow to getting the tunic finished.

I've had a proper look at my wigs which arrived too. They're thinner than the practice one and the front hairline is different too. Which may mean I'll have to attempt the widows peak after all and put some more wefts in... which means even less time >_< Ahhhhh!!

4th April 2014: The arm length gloves These were pretty easy to put together. I used a stretch fabric other wise I wouldn't be able to move in them! All I did was simply wrap the fabric around my arm and pin it. It seemed like the easiest way to do it! I then sewed it and then tried it on again just to check it was okay. I trimmed the excess fabric and then sewed the black bias binding around the fingers/thumb by hand.

It has elastic at the top of the arm to keep it in place and stop it from slipping down my arm. Once that had been done I could then finally put the detailing on. I used heat and bond and ironed it in place!

I've yet to do the cuff, but I'll leave that untill the end and see how I'm doing time-wise =/

4th April 2014: Tunic Progress I finally feel like I have enough progress to write here now!

The tunic! I cut the pattern using the same jacket pattern I've used since I started cosplaying ^^; But I wasn't really thinking too much when I did it and cut it too short! Grrrr :< So I had to buy more fabric and actually cut it correctly the 2nd time. I pinned it together (using my new mannequin!!) and made sure it fitted before cutting the sleeves pattern and sewing and attaching them. At the same time I also cut the lining and sewed it at the same time.

Then came the collar. I haaaate collars so much DX I finallised where I wanted the two edges to meet in the middle, as well as the bottom edge so I knew where the collar would be ending. Cut it using my collar pattern (which I think needs altering), cut some interfacing and some lining and put them all together and sewed it to the tunic. Simple but... not when you're doing it =/

Next came the details! I was originally going to use bondaweb and then satin stitch the edges, but I realised if I did that then alot of the smaller details would be lost. After talking to my friends they recommended I use Heat and Bond Ultrahold as it wouldn't fray and didn't need stitching. I brought it and tested it and decided to go for it! I decided on the size of the details by printing it out and cutting it out (using my pre-drawn copied designs I did on Illustrator!). I then used the cut outs to draw on the heat and bond and then ironed it on the tunic! It looks rather spiffing if I do say so myself 8D

I made all of the bias binding myself at an earlier date using the same fabric as the detailing. The next issue was how to fasten the two edges together in the middle without it being seen. I was told that open ended invisible zips didn't exist... I found that they DO exist ;) I'm unsure as to whether I payed too much for it though... XD I hid this zip on the bias binding and I think this looks like how it should be :) the zip was too short though sadly (it only came in one size) so I am going to have to put a few hooks+eyes at the top near the collar to fill in the gap! ^^;

10th March 2014: Gloves - Attempt 2 This went MUCH better this time! I drew around my hand but this time made the outline bigger. Every other step was the same as the first time around! I have since hemmed the bottom since the photo was taken.

And as per the tutorial: Here is my MANLY FIST OF MIGHT!

20th February 2014: Gloves - Attempt 1 I wanted something "easy" to do so I decided to have a go at the black gloves and following Tabs tutorial for them

I ordered several samples of black lycra. I had a hard time deciding between a viscose lycra (thinner) or a jersey 4-way stretch (thicker). In the end, I decided to go for the thinner one because I'll be wearing this cosplay in May and thought it might be hot, so thinner would be better!

I followed the tutorial, drew around my hand on freezer paper, ironed it onto the lycra, sewed it using the chain stitch, took the paper off and tried it on... and it's far too tight!! XD I can barely get them on! It's funny really as it looks like I have some sort of deformed claw hand 8D

This is my first ever glove so I guess you live an learn! I'll know next time to draw around my hand a bit wider! I also learned that I don't really like this thinner lycra (since I can see my skin under it) so I'll now be getting the thicker stuff :)

18th February 2014: The shorts These were completed about 3 weeks ago but I've only just put together the accompanying image!

These are made the same as any of pair of trousers I've made. Cut out the panel pieces (following the unpicked trousers I use as my pattern), pinned it together and then try it on fifty million times untill I think it's right. Then I sewed it with the sewing machine and did the same with the lining.

The only thing different with these is that I've put in an invisible zip because I thought it would look neater. My first invisible zip! I was about to buy an invisible zipper foot untill I happened to discover that my sewing machine came with one, lucky! XD

13th January 2014: Shopping! Went to Fabricland today and brought red, grey and black lining, light grey polycotton, black cotton drill and light weight interfacing.

Still gotta decide what I'm using for the leggins/arm thingys though =/

Edit: Actually, turns out the Fabricland label lied to me, it's not cotton drill but rather just normal cotton. Never mind, I'll use it for the trousers anyway.

23rd December 2013: Stupidstupidstpuid Went to cut the tunic fabric today. But I wasn't thinking and haven't cut it long enough oTL

Now I need to buy more fabric D:

27th November 2013: Fabric samples Ordering all of the samples!

I've found a nice charcoal cotton drill (aka my off-black fabric) for the tabard. That was easier than I thought it was going to be (it was literally one of the first samples I ordered) and it means I don't have to do any dying!

I'm undecided yet as to whether I will use the lighter grey in the photo for the tunic. But I am leaning towards it.

Edit: In the end I did go for both samples. So here's an actual photo this time!

1st November 2013: Tunic details This was mostly finished months ago, I've just done the final few adjustments. This is the last of the details!

4th August 2013: Arm and leg details Just a simplified version of the tabard design really!

20th May 2013: Back tabard details Not entirely sure if I'm happy with it, but it'll do for now :)

16th May 2013: Front tabard details Seems doing a graphic design course with fancy programs comes in handy for cosplay! 8D This was drawn in Adobe Illustrator. I copy one half, copy/paste, reflect and attach all of the paths to make one whole object. This ensures it's perfectly symmetrical! I had to combine two references though because Asch's hair was in the way ^^;

So when I come to actually working on the cosplay I will scale it up to whatever size I want and print it off! Hurray for accuracy! 8D

KiraraYumi avatar

KiraraYumi - 13th April 2013
YEEEEES!! *express joy at this for the 346th time* I seriously cannot wait for you to do this yeeeees ;w;

May 2014...I totally have no booked slots then. I think I may definitely need to join you~

Yasmia avatar

Yasmia - 13th April 2013
Oooh, looking forward to this!
Tales of series is not loved enough!!

InfiniteJester avatar

InfiniteJester - 8th August 2013
Oh wow, can't wait to see this!

TheStarlightFairy avatar

TheStarlightFairy - 8th August 2013
omigod yes!

jaks-kingdom-dwarf avatar

jaks-kingdom-dwarf - 9th February 2014
You got to love the "Tales Of" series for the amount of detail they put into the character's outfits :) I'm really looking forward to seeing this :)

Emzone avatar

Emzone - 28th March 2014
This looks amazing!
The applique is so neat and grntgtrd <3

Kouji avatar

Kouji - 6th April 2014
great progress so far : D

J-Po avatar

J-Po - 15th April 2014
looking good

Peredhil avatar

Peredhil - 5th May 2014
Oh man, I'm so happy to see other tales of the abyss cosplayers for May! Hope to see you around that weekend :)

yami-no-neko avatar

yami-no-neko - 15th May 2014
wow thats looking really nice. Can't wait to see it finished.

ItRhymesWithAlayne avatar

ItRhymesWithAlayne - 18th May 2014
This is breathtaking! The detailing on the tabard is immaculate

Lady Bahamut avatar

Lady Bahamut - 19th May 2014
Thank you for the kind comments everyone :') I really appreciate it!

WhiteWraith avatar

WhiteWraith - 2nd June 2014
You were an AMAZING Asch and your cosplay was just so perfect! I had so much fun hanging out with you :3

Tsuchinoko avatar

Tsuchinoko - 4th June 2014
Well done on completing this, all your hard work paid off.
It was fun photoshooting with you ^^

Getti avatar

Getti - 4th June 2014
THis was a completely wonderful cosplay!

Ichigo-Chan avatar

Ichigo-Chan - 8th June 2014
I wish I was able to see this is real life. I have been following your progress on FB and your work is always amazing!

TheStarlightFairy avatar

TheStarlightFairy - 14th June 2014
You look amazing in this, so happy to be in the Abyss group with you!

InfiniteJester avatar

InfiniteJester - 14th June 2014
The photos look so epic!

KiraraYumi avatar

KiraraYumi - 15th June 2014
Your Asch was perfect beyond measure!! Still over the moon about the fact that you cosplayed him! More Tales together in the future yes? ;D

Lady Bahamut avatar

Lady Bahamut - 17th June 2014
Thank you everyone :')

Kirarayumi: Oh yes! Definitely!! X3

BladeyCakes avatar

BladeyCakes - 6th October 2014
Goddamn you did a stunning job on this one
Pics with you MUST happen plz <3 I'll work extra hard on my abs and everything ;A;

Dax79 avatar

Dax79 - 15th October 2014
Fantastic Job!! You have really done a great job with this!!