1st August 2014: Post Hyper Japan journal Well, we didn't place in ECG but I did have alot of fun doing it. Freyarule had to teach me alot about acting in one afternoon considering I've not done that type of performance before! XD
Overall here's the list of improvements I made since October expo up to HJ...
1. Completely remade the white shirt. This time with the cuffs and more accurate frogs (which I had to make myself)
2. Replaced the front collar detail on the tunic because the old one was rubbish!
3. Brought and spray painted new bells
4. Re-sewn the "sock things" on the trousers
5. Made my own hat instead of having to borrow one!
6. Smoothed out the details on the sword
7. Made the Element cards more accurate by adding in small details
8. Made the Rashinban Board.
9. Made new shoe covers since the old ones died in the rain
10. Removed the freezer paper from under the yin yang/sun. It was a stupid idea and I'm not sure why I ever did it in the first place!
23rd July 2014: The bells I brought a set of brand new bells as I couldn't get the horrible spray paint I used last time off the old bells. However I couldn't buy silver ones like I did before and had to have green ones. I sanded the edges (where the thread would go) a little so that they don't saw through the thread quite so much this time!
So this time I primed them in white. I did for for 2 reasons: 1. To cover up the green and 2. So the gold paint would stick better as I had issues with the paint chipping last time.
Once they were primed I sprayed them with the gold spray paint and then they were done!
23rd July 2014: Frog fasteners I went through a few cord samples before I finally settled on the ones I used for my frog fasteners. The others were either far too thin, thick or the wrong colour!
I followed a youtube tutorial on how to make the knots, this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQH2FnHoByc
I made enough for the shirt and the cuffs. 9 in total. I then made the little loops for them and stuck the loose edges together with very small amounts of fabric glue. I then sewed them onto the shirt with some embroidery thread I had left as it matched them well and you couldn't even see the thread when sewn :)
I made extra sure to make sure they were all straight and aligned... Not that you can see any of the others apart from the top one XD
19th July 2014: Hat details Now that the base was complete I could move onto the details!
I started off cutting out all of the fabric pieces I needed and then proceeded to pin and sew both the main green fabric and lining to the right sizes. I then sewed the base green onto the hat so it was secure.
Then came the yellow and orange details! I doubled up the yellow because otherwise you can see the green through it (I did this for the whole cosplay actually) I put them both on the hat and decided where the orange ends would meet (because I was making it out of one whole piece of fabric so it didn't have "end points" (two fabric ends meeting) everywhere). I decided the end point would be at the back where it's less noticeable. I then drew on where all of the details would go and sewed all of the block swirls details (like the rest of the cosplay, this was done in red thread). The block swirls were then had their edges folded over and bondawebbed down so they had a nice clean edge.
Then began the long slow process of sewing the orange onto the yellow by hand. That way I can make it stitch free! It took me about 4 days in total! Before I attached the buckram spikes I ironed on the orange circle for the gems using heat+bond ultra hold (Because it doesn't fray like bondaweb will). Only then did I attach the buckram spikes (with lining attached to the back of them so they look nice!).
Once the buckram spikes were on I could fold over the orange details on the spikes. These were glued down since i wouldn't have been able to sew through the buckram! That stuff is stronger than it looks when trying to put a needle through it! XD
I put the lining into the inside of the hat next. these were VERY lightly glued so that it didn't fly about loose on the inside. The yellow/orange details were then slipped onto the hat and glued on along the orange details. The bottom edge was folded over and it was complete!
Well, expect for the gems. I'll put them in their own journal :P
18th July 2014: Hat base I was really afraid the hat was going to go horribly wrong, thankfully it didn't!
I first started out with a paper template. I found out the shape I needed was a "truncated cone" (basically a cone with the top cut off) as Syaoran's hat gets bigger at the top. But I'm not a maths wiz so I had my friend Hannah-kiwi work it out for me 8D Once I had what I needed I followed her instructions and drew the template on newspaper and cut it out. I then adjusted it untill it fitted how I wanted it to. I drew the spikes on the hat on illustrator. I did try by hand but for some reason I just couldn't get it right ^^;
Once the template was done I cut it out of the buckram (which is used in making hats) and cut out a circle for the top. I sewed the two edges of the cone together so it actually made a cone shape! I then sewed in millinery wire so that it held its shape properly into the bottom of the cone (the part on my head, the smaller edge) and into the circle shape with a zig-zag stitch. I then hand sewed the circle onto the cone to make the basic hat shape. Hurray! :D
18th July 2014: The Shirt I never wrote a journal entry for the shirt, so here it is now!
I used the jacket pattern I use for everything to create 4 panels (2 for the front, 2 for the back) and pinned it together. Then tried it on and re-pinned untill it fitted nicely. I did the same for the lining. I then did the sleeves (making extra sure that they weren't going to be too tight this time!!) and attached them to the main shirt. Next I decided where I wanted the middle to be and sewed the main cotton to the lining and then understitched it so it had a nice and clean edge!
I did the cuffs next. I hadn't done cuffs before so I followed the tutorial in my sewing book. I basically sewed two pieces of fabric together (with a curve where the corner would be as per the references) and folded one of the edges up inside it. The longer edge I sewed onto the end of the sleeve and folded back ontop so it was facing the right way. At this point I also inserted some interfacing so it could hold its shape. All I had to do then was hand sew the other side down (the side I'd folded inside it earlier) and it was all done! :)
Next up was the collar. I did it differently this time and did it pretty much the same way as the cuffs. Sewed 2 pieces of fabric together, sewed one edge to the neckline and then folded back over and inserted some interfacing. I then hand sewed the loose lining on the neckline to the inside of the collar.
I then made the frogs and sewed them onto the shirt! All done! :D
23rd June 2014: Rashinban Board 6 Colouring begins...!
Just colouring the middle took me about 2 hours oTL I had to cut and shorten every single one of those lines multiples times ^^;
Reference image there so I can use exact colours (eyedropper tool yay!) for intense accuracy! 8D
20th June 2014: Rashinban Board 5 And the outline is complete! :D Now to try and colour it and probably find out all the layers are in the wrong order ^^;
17th June 2014: Rashinban Board 4 Added in corner symbols and chinese characters. Gotta do the ones in those circles now but they're a bit more er... stylised than the rest, plus they're outlined so I'll need to re-draw them. But I'm nearly there! :)
16th June 2014: Rashinban Board 3 Put the two parts together now and slowly adding in the last of the details. All of my guide lines can make it even more confusing to look at!
11th June 2014: Rashinban Board 2 That's alot of lines >_<
8th June 2014: Rashinban Board Constructing on Illustrator. I'm struggling on the computer, god knows how CLAMP draw this thing BY HAND?!
I've drawn the basic shape and trying to work in layers (starting from the bottom and working my way up) but I think I'm going to have to break it down further as it's getting complex now!
14th December 2013: The Element cards I never posted a journal for my element cards, oops!
I went through alot, and I mean, ALOT of trouble to make sure these had accurate Kanji... And I don't know any Kanji! I looked at many tiiiiny images from my manga to try and make out what radicals were being used and then find the whole kanji from this very useful website: http://jisho.org/kanji/radicals/
That way, I know that every single character actually means something and is actually what is written on them in the manga.
The only one I am not 100% sure on is the one right at the bottom, that's because Syaoran nearly always had his fingers covering it ¬_¬
The whole thing was completely drawn (once again) on Illustrator. It was more difficult still after finding out what the kanji were, then trying to find it written in a... hand written way so that I could copy it oTL
8th November 2013: The "Sun" This wasn't complicated since I've done this sort of thing before :)
Got my orange fabric, cut it in a circle, ironed the bondaweb on, drew the design on and cut it out. I then ironed it onto the yellow circle and since this time both fabrics were normal cotton I needed a stabilizer... in comes my trusty freezer paper again! This stuff has been a life saver ;-;
I then did the satin stitch around the edge in a lighter shade of orange. And I must say, it's the best and smoothest set of satin stitch I've ever done! My machine only had a fit ONCE. Normally it complains constantly so I was pretty happy!! :D
The Yin-yang was then sewn in the middle on top of it and the bias binding put around the edge :)
7th November 2013: Sleeve progress - Part 2 Here's where it starts to get complex and my explaining may not make much sense 8D
So one side of the orange is sewn down and attached to the yellow. And we've got the other edge/fold matching up... all I needed to do was fold both of these over and sew it onto the main green fabric. Once I'd done this I could finally sew down the length of the sleeve, sew it to the main tunic and insert the lining!
The last thing I did was fold over the yellow so that it covered the raw edge of the lining and sew it down. This bit I did do by hand because otherwise I was going to end up with the wrong coloured thread on one of the fabrics. Plus it looks nicer 8D
After an iron the sleeves were done! ^^
7th November 2013: Sleeve progress - Part 1 What fun these were, even if I had go about them in a VERY specific order!
First thing I did was to get my template/pattern that I had made right back in June and refine it. I made it shorter in length and width so that I didn't waste quite so much of my real fabric. I then went on and cut it out of the real fabric! (It looks like a really weird shape when laid out flat and almost 2 meters long! Yikes!)
Then I checked if it fitted on my arm okay and finalised the length/width. I also checked what size I wanted the yellow to be (starts in the middle of my arm and ends just over my wrists) as it was the next thing I had to do!
I marked the middle of all 3 parts (green, yellow, orange) so that everything could be put back in the right place later. Then worked out where I wanted the block swirls on the sleeves to be (they sit in about the middle) and cut that out to the right size.
I needed to sort out the block swirls next. In my effort to keep it as stitch free as possible I used bondaweb to fold and keep the edges down. The details were sewn with a darker thread with the sewing machine.
Now that that was done, part 1 of the orange needed attaching to the yellow. I'd already ironed where all the folds would be on both the orange and yellow, I simply matched them up. I folded over the orange fold so there wouldn't be a raw edge and sewed it with the machine (I would have done it by hand, but by this point I was running out of time and couldn't afford to be fussy).
5th November 2013: Tunic progress - Part 2 Once the details had been painted, cut to size and had the bias binding sewn onto them I attached them to the main tunic. I did this by hand so I could keep it as stitch free as possible and have a really clean look! I also did the collar int he same way (ish) but I was never happy with the collar and it will probably be re-done at some point. I had to put all of these on before I could sew the sleeves on. (The sleeves will have their own journal)
Once the sleeves were sewn on, only then could I insert the lining! I pinned the lining in place and cut it to the right size.
I next had to put the weird little yellow section on right at the bottom. It had to end right in the middle of the yin-yang/sun detail so that the orange bias would cover where it ended and the green started. Some artistic license was taken with the block swirl on the angle... it was impossible to keep my 45 degree angle AND have the yin-yang/sun sit on top of it without any weird gaps (CLAMP you can draw it that way, but it is impossible to do in real life! D:) so I simply moved the yin-yang/sun up a bit to make it look sensible.
The yin-yang was then sewn down and all of the bias binding put on and the tunic was doooone! Phew!
5th November 2013: Tunic progress - Part 1 Now that expo is over I'll actually post all of the journal entries!
I firstly got my green fabric (Bi-stretch suiting (I also brought FAR too much. I have enough left over to make this entire cosplay with again!)) and cut out the front and back panels. I'm a bit weird in that I use a basic jacket pattern for EVERY cosplay that I do, but for this I did have to combine the 2 separate panels into one. I used some white cotton for this which served as my pattern. I cut the top section out using the pattern and basically kept drawing/cutting down so I had enough length.
Then comes the boring process of pinning and trying it on untill it fits how I want! This was especially difficult since it had to be in the right place between fitting me and being a bit baggy (as per the references) so I could actually get the silly thing on and off! I used my obi from my Nihon!Syaoran cosplay to help determine where the split should be.
I moved onto the collar next as I needed to decide what size I wanted them to be before I could determine what size the main details would be. Trusty paper patterns gooooo!! I also put on the top I made for my artwork Watanuki cosplay (because it had the same collar as I would be making for this later) so I could see if the neck hole was big enough.
I next moved onto finalizing the bottom shape and the back bottom shape. Again it's a case of pinning it untill it's right ^^; I kept the bottom angles to 45 degrees as that seemed to be the sensible angle to go with!
Since now the size of mostly everything had been set I could finally test how big I wanted the details to be. I could then get on and start painting those sections.
21st October 2013: Sorry! I haven't been updating the journal for this oTL I will do after the expo. But for the record: The tunic is done, the trousers were done ages ago, the white shirt has been an extreme rush job by my standards (and will be remade at a later date) and the shoe covers have been hot glued.
I just need to finish the obi and give it all an iron. The bells will be attached when I get to the hotel on Friday for fear of the spray paint rubbing!
26th September 2013: Painted details I realise I haven't been putting up journals... This isn't because I haven't been doing anything. It's mostly because I haven't been able to muster up the effort to load up photoshop! ^^;
Right. So all of the painted details are done. As per my freezer paper test I did them all exactly the same way. Ironed the freezer paper down, painted several layers and took the paper off! Perfect :3
I then cut them to the right shape (using my paper templates), got my self made bias binding and sewed the first half of that on. I sewed the 2nd half on by hand so I could get clean look without any stitches! :)
31st August 2013: All fabric brought! Finally X.X This is the longest time ever I have ever taken to buy all of the fabric for a cosplay!! Please remind me not to do this for any other cosplay!
27th August 2013: In between playing Tales of Xillia...! I kinda have alot of things going on, but not alot to show for it ^^; All of the details have been painted (and I'm in the process of cleaning them up a bit). The sleeves are pinned but I can't go any further with them untill I have the lining and orange fabric. My yellow fabric arrived and I have cut most of the bits I needed out of it, but again, I can't do anything more untill I have the orange.
So for now, I've gone back to the hat again. I think I've finally got the pointy bit right after the hundredth try DX I gave up trying to do it by hand and resorted to illustrator once again. My savior!
But in sort: I really to hurry up and choose the orange fabric!!
13th August 2013: The trousers This was my first time making trousers with an elastic waistband and they were surprisingly easy (and quick) to make!
I started off with my usual trouser pattern (a pair of old trousers I unpicked) and cut all of the material (cotton and lining) out etc. Since I hadn't done these sorts of trousers before, I used my pajama bottoms as a guide as to where I should pin everything. It worked really well, the thing I was most worried about was how big to make the waist. I knew the waist had to be bigger so that the elastic could stretch but using my PJ's I had a guide to work by! The only thing I did do differently was that I made them baggier down by my legs.
For the elastic itself I followed a tutorial I had found on youtube. All I had to do was sew the elastic into a loop that fitted my waist and then pin that onto the trousers. I had to stretch and sew the elastic at the same time which was an interesting experience! Really hurt my hand! I then folded it over so that the elastic was covered and sewed again.
I did have trouble though figuring out how to do those weird bits at the bottom of the trousers by his ankles. It's not in all of the references but after asking opinions I decided I would. I couldn't gather the bottom of the trousers because then I wouldn't be able to get them on/off my feet. I eventually figured out (after staring at my socks) I would have to use some sort of stretch fabric and so I brought some cotton jersey. I made little tubes which when I wear them I just screw them up and I get the effect I'm going for! Hurray! :D I attached them to the bottom of the trousers and now it's all done!
My first completed part of Syaoran! :'D
24th July 2013: Whoops! Okay, I was making the white top, but I've made a stupid mistake with the sleeves and it's all a bit tight around my armpits and when I bend my elbow D; It's wearable but wouldn't be all that comfortable. So it's going on hold for now untill I've made the green tunic and I'll see if I have time to re-do it.
13th July 2013: Freezer paper test I have done some more things to the hat and gotten all of the white cotton prepared, but I'll leave that for now for their own journals 8D
Right! I needed a way to do the black and white details (the ones I've drawn up already) and I didn't want to applique them because
a.) I'm not sure how well that would work in black+white.
b.) There's alot of curves and circles involved and I'm not very good at doing a satin stitch that's on a curve
c.) There's pointy parts and there's no way I'd be able to get it pointy!
I had seen a tutorial before on using freezer paper as a stencil for fabric painting. I wasn't sure how well it actually worked though and made a thread here on CI asking about it... but no one replied oTL So I had to take the plunge and try it for myself!
I brought a roll of the stuff from Amazon and it arrived a few days later. It even comes with instructions on the box on how to use for sewing projects! I printed off one of the details I had drawn and cut it out with a craft knife. I then drew this onto the freezer paper and then had to cut it out again (I probably could have skipped a stage there!). The freezer paper was then ironed (shiny side down) onto the fabric. It immediately stuck down! I did accidentally rip the paper, but managed to get it to stick back down. oops!
I then put 3 coats of paint on it and allowed it to dry between layers. When I peeled the paper off... WOW! I am impressed! It's left beautiful crisp edges that I could never have achieved by hand. It did bleed slightly in a few places (most likely places I cut badly with the craft knife or didn't iron down properly) but it was really nothing major and I could pick off those bits with a pin. The paper also leaves no residue or marks on the fabric (and even did me the favor of removing all of the fluff and cat hairs!), so you really can't go wrong with it!
So this is now the method I will use to paint the test piece I just did, the yin-yang and the moon on the back! :D
10th June 2013: Back moon symbol Drawn in Adobe Illustrator.
Last one! :)
9th June 2013: Sleeve pattern This was pretty much done by me laying on the floor and pinning out a giant sleeve shape, then cutting it out. I've had it go down to around my ankle area for now. Also, that it not the final shape of it right now. I've still yet to decide on how I'm having the bottom look.
8th June 2013: Top symbol Drawn in Adobe Illustrator
Again, hard to tell how big everything should be. But this is how it will remain untill I know for sure. Since CLAMP aren't at all consistent, I've matched the white markings to the ones that I put on the sword. As I think they're meant to match... I think it looks better that way anyway! ^^;
I'm also a bit confused as to why alot of Syaoran cosplayers make the obi orange when it's yellow in the artworks... Is it orange in the anime?
Also, ignore the random black lines coming out either end. That's for my reference so I know where the middle is XD
5th June 2013: Bottom symbol Drawn up in Adobe Illustrator. Hard to tell how big each part of this should be since I can't seem to find a straight-on image for it. But when I've made the green top I'll print it out and see how it looks :)
charlieparrot - 26th September 2009
Omg I had no idea you were gona cosplay CCS Syaoran at some point too! :D You're definately gona b awesome!! ^__^
Einmyria - 5th November 2013
Really loved this costume! You looked amazing and it's so well made XD
BladeyCakes - 5th November 2013
You were perf hun 8D such an amazing Syaoran!
FenchurchBlue - 22nd November 2013
Hi! It was great to meet you too! I am super impressed with your sewing skills, your Syaoran was immaculate :D The Clow Card group looks FANTASTIC, so sad I couldn't make it on Sunday. (I finally joined the FB group, even if I am a bit late, oops)
Mothfox - 18th June 2014
This is pretty awesome :D you make a perfect Li!
Heorot - 28th July 2014
You were so confident on stage yesterday at HJ! I got quite a good pic of your performance if you're interested in seeing it?
Amy-Lou - 3rd August 2014
Really neatly made costume! Enjoyed reading the journal :)
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