Calamity Clara
Skies of Arcadia

Cosplayer: Exelia

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

Hyper Japan UK Cosplay Award - Third Place

9th October 2010: Clara I've put everything I can remember construction-wise in this journal that went into making Clara's costume.

Clara was an awesome experience in costuming and I really enjoyed making it. I hope you enjoy reading it and find some of it helpful ^^

9th October 2010: Construction - Earrings Cost of Earrings - £1.99 + £3

The references show her earrings as rounded at the bottom, so to match with everything else I made them hearts.. I thought it was a cute addition to the rest of her costume. The photograph doesn't show them off well, they're a lovely metallic dark blue. All of the buttons on the coat and gems on the shoes were spraypainted to match the earrings.

Sadly I don't have my ears pierced so instead I made my own magnetic earrings. I bought a small set of heart-shaped pin earrings in dark blue and a pair of magnetic earrings to use. I pulled the pins from the heart earrings and took the magnets off the other earrings, then glued them to the back of the hearts.

They were hard to get to sit correctly on my ears because the glue weakened the magnets, but once they were in place they stayed all day!

For anyone who doesn't have pierced ears I'd highly recommend magnetic earrings, as long as they're positioned right they're a relatively painless way to get the right effect and they were easy to make. ^^

9th October 2010: Construction - Shoes Cost of Shoes - £26.99 + £2.59 + £2

The shoes then had a small blue gem sewn onto the front of each, sprayed to match the buttons down the front of the coat. The laces were also replaced with black ones to stand out more like in the reference.

9th October 2010: Construction - Shoes Cost of Shoes - £26.99 + £2.59 + £2

The shoes were from eBay seller "ShoeHorne Shoes" and were a basic take on Clara's shoes. The only references show the very bottom with some lace detail but nothing beyond the ankles. I thought calf or knee high lace-up boots would've been too much for the rest of the design so I settled on a simpler style where they ended at the ankle, but still had some lace-up detailing and enough space for the gem on the front.

The colour of the boots was awesome, and pretty much matched the faux suede on the rest of the costume perfectly aside from some lighter detailing but because of the distance between the rest of the faux suede meant it wasn't *that* noticeable :)

9th October 2010: Construction - Gloves Cost of Gloves - £2 + £1.45

The gloves were made from the same faux suede as the trim on the coat, belt, etc and were made the day before we left for Hyper Japan.. last minute much! They were made from a pair of medium medical gloves, cut into pieces to create a basic pattern. Each of the pieces were cut from the suede and sewn together.

To match the design, the bottom of the gloves were extended and the top panel was adjusted to match the in-game gloves (see the in-game reference) to have the brick panels. The underside of the gloves was made from dark brown pleather that was used on Gilder's boots and coat. Then 4 studs were added to each glove to finish them off ^^

Thanks to Shido for some help with these, without her I probably would've tore my hair out sewing these >____<# but they turned out SO well, I'm really glad they were finished in time!

9th October 2010: Construction - Belt Buckle and Hairclip Cost of Belt Buckle - £3.60 + £1.79
Cost of Hairclip - £1 + £1.79

Both the belt buckle and hairclip were customised with Clara's flag emblem made from sculpey. To make them accurate the two sets were made together out of sculpey and baked at the same time.

The buckle was built on a base buckle decorated with a rope trim and flowers, which was stippled with silver and black paint to match the sculpey emblem. The original buckle is nickel and was attached to the belt.

The hairclip was modified from a £1 hairclip which was made of a faux suede (similar to the faux suede used on the dress), which was then stippled with silver and black paint to match the belt buckle.

Both sets of emblems were made in seperate pieces: the heart, left wing, right wing, hilt, handle and sword. Each piece was glued together, detailed with sharpie and then attached to the buckle/clip and glued into place. They're both quite fragile, but I think they look really nice and rustic for being made from sculpey!! :)

9th October 2010: Construction - Belt Cost of Belt - £5 (not including buckle)

The belt was made from the same fabric as the trim down the coat. Clara's belt is braided in 3 pieces with a single strip down either side, with the buckle in the centre. The strips were sewn onto 1 long piece of fabric with hems at the top and bottom, then lined in the same fabric to clean it up.

Because the belt was made from scratch, the buckle was hard to secure properly so the entire thing was hand sewn into place and then secured with a hook and bar. The buckle is still quite heavy though and it sags a little to one side... hopefully I'll fix this in the future ^^

9th October 2010: Construction - Hoop Skirt/Crinoline Cost of Crinoline - £5 + £1.29

I call it a 'crinoline' but in actuality it's a big bit of white fabric with a hoop in it... haha. I used white polycotton (the same as the main petticoat) with some plastic-coated steel boning inside with a basic hem, gathered at the waist.

There aren't any photos of it, but it makes a big difference to the dress when worn and puffs it out so it's more bell shaped than flat. The dress and coat are both quite heavy and despite only having a single hoop in the skirt, it gave the dress a lot of support and worked really nicely :)

4th October 2010: Construction - Bows Cost of Bows - £4.65 + £20 + £20.80

The bows I made for the dress were initially made from Velvet, but there wasn't enough and I had to replace it with Crushed Velour.. made it much easier to sew, but it also pushed the cost of this costume WAY up :(

The bows were made by cutting different rectangular strips for the tops and tails. Each of the tops were stuffed lightly with wadding to keep their shape correctly when on the costume whereas the tails were cut and sewn normally. Each of the bows were then attached in the centre by a small piece of the velour fabric and then sewn onto the dress.

The bow for the front of the dress was made by attaching lace inside of the bow, turning it inside out and then stuffing it with wadding. The tails also had lace attached to give a nice lacey edge. The edges were also tipped to give it a pointed edge accurate to the references.

The bow on the back was also made the same way as the bow on the front, but without the lace. The bow on the back had the tipped edges to match the in-game references but without the lace to match the official artwork.

Once all of the bows were sewn on, the coat was complete!

4th October 2010: Construction - Coat Cost of Coat - £24 + £16 (excluding bows)
Cost of Leather Trim - £5 + £7.50 + £11.60

Once the trim was completed it was attached to the coat and the bias was added around the edges. The sleeves were also sewn in and decorated with leather pieces above the elbows and studs as visible in the photograph.

The coat with the trim added was then sewn up and the collar was attached and the main body of the coat was finished.

The 12 buttons down the front had to be spraypainted but then were then sewn on to the trim. The rope cords down the front was attached with elastic on either side for easy wearing.

4th October 2010: Construction - Coat Cost of Coat - £24 + £16 (excluding bows)
Cost of Leather Trim - £5 + £7.50 + £11.60

The collar was also embroidered but had a slightly different pattern. It used the same basic shapes as the coat trim but had some filled in details at the front and a heart at the back of the neck as visible in the game references.

4th October 2010: Construction - Coat Cost of Coat - £24 + £16 (excluding bows)
Cost of Leather Trim - £5 + £7.50 + £11.60

The most important piece of the coat was the leather trim down the front, which was made from a suedette fabric and embroidered. The pattern was vectored out from the reference and then seperated into 12 seperate 10cmx10cm pieces for each side of the coat.

The embroidery was sewn in an 'old gold' colour which matched the bias I was going to use for the trim down the sides. The machine took approximately 3-4 hours to embroider each side for the coat, and had to be re-aligned for every piece which resulted in some small inconsistencies and misalignments when it was complete, but the overall look was perfect.

4th October 2010: Construction - Coat Cost of Coat - £24 + £16 (excluding bows)
Cost of Leather Trim - £5 + £7.50 + £11.60

The photo attached shows the coat before the sleeves or lining were added over the dress.

Once the basic shape of the coat was sorted, the lining was cut and sleeves were started. The sleeves were made from two panels designed to bevel outwards and create a cupped shape like Nanoha's sleeves. Inside the lining was two pieces of boning crossed over to support the shape and sewn inside which also made it more comfortable to wear.

4th October 2010: Construction - Coat Cost of Coat - £24 + £16 (excluding bows)
Cost of Leather Trim - £5 + £7.50 + £11.60

The coat took the longest to make. The coat and lining are made from poplin, a kind of polycotton which gave it a nice texture and weight to keep the coat in place without being so heavy it would weigh me down. Both the inside and lining were made from nearly 4 metres of fabric, which did make it heavy, but gave it the right look for the coat over the dress and crinoline.

The bodice was again made from McCall's 4948 Queen of Hearts pattern, using pieces A and B in size medium with some slight modifications. The front panels were reduced so it would stay open easier over the dress and the back was taken in slightly too.

The skirt for the coat was 3.5metres long and in 8 panels to match the in-game reference. Initially it was 4 panels but from the references, the skirt has visible seams at the back, front and two between the side so to add to extra accuracy I cut each piece in half and put it together that way.

The photo attached shows the coat before the sleeves or lining were added over the dress.

4th October 2010: Construction - Dress Cost of Dress - £22.50 + £11.60 + £3

The photo doesn't show this off too well... but it's the only photo I have of it completed!

Once the main body was completed the front of the bodice had to be made, which was made by ruffling more duchess satin down a central strip and adding bias and buttons. The reference shows 5 buttons but to even out the design I added 6, so one would appear just over the bow on the front.

Where the frills on the bodice ended the strip down the dress started. It's centered just between the two red strips down the front of the frills and goes over the bottom frill to match the reference. Getting it centered was difficult as it kept tapering off to the left or right, but it finally worked out!

On either side of the red strip is a grey strip of bias down to the bottom, as on the reference. Compared to the reference the red bias and buttons I used are more pink than red, but they looked nicer with the fabric I was using for the dress than a scarlet red.

4th October 2010: Construction - Dress Cost of Dress - £22.50 + £11.60 + £3

The dress was made duchess satin to get the right 'sheen' that's in the reference. In some pictures her dress looks anything from white to baby pink so I went for a soft powder pink where it would have a light white sheen. It was made from scratch aside from the bodice which was taken from McCall's 4948 Queen of Hearts pattern, using pieces A and B in size medium.

The skirt was a 2.5m rectangle, edged in 5 metres of ruffles from the same duchess satin. The waist was taken in to around 34 inches to allow space for a zip/lacing up, but wasn't sewn up until the extra trims and details were added to the front.

4th October 2010: Construction - Dress and Petticoat Cost of Dress - £22.50 + £11.60 + £3
Cost of Petticoat - £10 + £5.80 + £6 + £3.80

The petticoat for Clara was made from white polycotton. It's 3 metres wide with two layers of lace around the bottom, gathered at the waist and sewn into the dress itself so it hung correctly. The two layers of lace were just under 10cm tall, and not exactly the right shape, but gave the right effect for the lace around the bottom when worn. Finding diamond-shaped lace is impossible unless it's croched, so I used it was a more realistic alternative. Layering the lace made it look more detailed, as well, which I think helped.

4th October 2010: Construction - Wig Cost of Wig - £29.34 + £11.36

The wig is a Clover XL in #130 from Shop/CosWorx, and the colour is perfect! The front of the wig was cut and parted in the centre, and the end of the wig was shortened by around 3 inches to give the right length when tied up.

The bottom of the wig was tied loosely and then clipped up at the back, with the hairclip clipped on top. Every time it was tried on it had to be reclipped up because the hairclip was fragile, which was annoying and hard to keep central but the easiest way to get the wig accurate.

Ichigo-Chan avatar

Ichigo-Chan - 4th October 2010
The costume design is pretty and looking at your journal, the costume looks great. Can't wait to see pics.

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MangaChild - 7th October 2010
You looked FANTASTIC!!

An epic costume just like its reference, with an amazing amount of work

This Really brought back memories for me :)

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Storme - 7th October 2010
You guys looked fabulous!

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same_difference - 7th October 2010
Wow! Great colours and details! You both look very good! ^_^

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Zelda - 9th October 2010
it was so beautiful to see up close. just amazing work.

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Exelia - 9th October 2010
Thank you all for your wonderful comments ^^

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Debbie Ella - 9th October 2010
This is sooo pretty! :)

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NightmareWings - 19th December 2010
Ah I remember seeing you guys! You looked amazing!

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Raye-chan - 10th January 2011
This is a very beautiful costume shame we SOA cosplayers can't get together for a mass photo shoot! (I'm Fina!) Will you re-wear her? ;)

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Exelia - 11th January 2011
Thank you! <3
I'd love to rewear Clara for a bigger shoot, but there never seems to be any besides at Expos :( it'd be awesome to get a bigger SoA group together!

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Alyx - 13th January 2011
How have I not seen this before!! You've done a fantastc job!! SOA FTW!

Simply amazing <3

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TheSnake - 17th March 2012
Simply Gorgeous ,Love Skies of Arcadia.Played a friends copy ,but never completed it,Eventually bought it,but still have it sealed from new.

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Sephirayne - 30th November 2012
OMG! Yes! for Skies of Arcadia! Fantastic costume :D

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DefineImagineMJ - 19th May 2013
Ah, I think someone I know saw you and the Gilder!
We were doing SoA that October Expo. I did Belleza then.

Fantastic Clara!

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Moonlight_Requiem - 14th February 2014
You look very beautiful in this ^_^ Wonderful costume, adore the valentines pic

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Lulu Rose - 21st February 2014
asadajhfdsg! I loved this game so much! it needs more cosplay. You did this so well, lovely choices of colours and fabrics to!