Progress Journals

What do we love? Costumes! But what do we love even more? Seeing people making them! Here are the most recent progress updates from those working away on their costumes.

Wing progress


I have been working on the wings for rias, they are made from 2 sheets of poly props foam stuck together. I have dremeled around the edges to give a curved appearance and used flexi filler on any unsightly seams. They have an aluminium wire skeleton inside to help keep their shape. I've got so much more work to do on them!

Beeeeeads done


All of her beads are now done, I've temporarily strung them up and now they're put aside until I've done the fur collar that they attach to. (Will sit lower than pictured, as they'll start from a bit lower). Also made the beads for her braids and lower leg straps. Not sure if the blue is a bit bright, but I'll decide once I have all the colours and top put together, can always tone down / weather a bit if so! All the beads are resin clay from Coscraft, painted with acrylic inks with a varnish coat to hopefully protect them a bit.

Dyes, dyes and dyes!!!

White Tigress

Since my last entry the tail, sash and mask are almost done. I am about half way into the wig colouring progress. Most Volpina wigs in existence seem to be brown by default and have additional wefts attached and some even painted on at the ends. I decided that maybe gradient dying might be my most favorable method. I have never done any wig dying before, let alone creating ombre effects, and decided to challenge myself. The thing is Volpina's hair colours seems to change based on reference pics. Some pics her hair has orange and sometimes red. My gut instinct suggested that the best way around this is to have fun with it and mix the colours together as I am a sucker for wigs with many shades and highlights. I spent ages reading and watching videos about wig dying and made a start by buying a Alex wig from Coscraft in White and using Rit Dyemore in Racing Red to create a base for the rest of the colours to work on. I had a bit of a scare as I thought the wig was gonna be a irreparable mess due to the tangles but thankfully with the combination of a soak in fabric softener, a comb and a hairdryer it was saved. From there all of my dyes have been, and will be created by myself using the sharpie method that involves using sharpie cores and rubbing alcohol (there are many tutorials and are easy to make!). Currently the wig has orange and black and right now I have brown dyes and more black dye soaking in my studio right now. The wig itself is sectioned ready as I plan to 'paint' the rest rather than spray.

Fake animal hide test


So Aloy's outfit is mostly made out of animal pelts and skins, which for sake of cost and ethics I've replaced with synthetic versions. Mostly synthetics are easier to work with, however trying to get a raw edge that you see on hides is a bit tricky with woven materials mostly because they fray like hell. For the test piece below, I've backed the faux suede with light iron on interfacing, giving it a bit more structure and helping keep the threads together. That wasn't quite enough when I did some rough edge cutting though, and it started fraying - so I coated the back around a 1cm of the edge with PVA glue. Once that had dried, I could easily cut jagged edges in and fine-grit sand the very edge for a faded / weathered look. No fraying woo! Underneath the test piece is the blue material I'm going to edge it with (that the fake hide sits on top), but it needs some fading and weathering to match the colours right.



I've been having trouble finding the right kind of tartan for Aria so decided to look into getting it printed. I'm currently looking for a printer that isn't super expensive so if you know one please let me know! I did however finish the basic pattern, once I'm set on a printer I will change the colours to match their samples to make sure the colour comes out how I envisage it

Petticoat fit for an idol


Today I made the light up petticoat of my dreams. It's something I've wanted to do for ages but again always assumed it was really hard. But today I did it. I'm so happy with it, I'll wear it for a lot of different costumes but the main one I was making it for was Aria, so that I can shine as brightly as she does! If you'd like to see a more in-depth look into how I made it there is a ig story highlight on my page @nachtangel on ig.

Good start


So I've spent a couple hours on this so far, I have the skirt almost complete (i've learnt to leave waistbands until closer to when I'm going to wear them as I always make them too big or too small...) and I have started with the top! Hoping to get the top to a wearable level tomorrow so that I can start on the fun bit, the details!

The planning stage


I've finalised the fabrics I'm using for this costume, so excited to work with the sequin fabric again, it made such a difference to how my Shiny Trinity costume came out. I've also been doing a lot of research regarding the wings, which I am planning on making too, I made a size guide this evening and am pretty happy with that, now to just finalise what and how I'm making them. I'm working on my other colour version of Shiny Trinity at the moment but will be going full steam ahead with 2nd Anni once I'm back from my holiday next week. Hoping to debut this at Hibana con!

Necklace beads


For the ‘wooden’ ones, I found a wood texture imprint that you can use for icing, which works pretty well to get some texture! The paint marbling effect doesn’t work as well for these ones, so I’m going to have to spray a flat colour then do a black wash to try and highlight the grain detail. Annoying there’s twice as many of these ones, I’m about half way through moulding at the moment...

Necklace beads


Made a start on her many beads for various necklaces and decorations. From the slightly different rendering I’ve decided the pale smooth necklace is meant to be stones, and the slightly texturised red/brown is carved wood. Started with the ‘stone’ one, where I’ve used acrylic ink to marble some resin clay from coscraft, and kept them smooth but slightly wonky looking as in the reference. Because none of them need to be the exact same shape, size or colour they’re quite relaxing to make. Once dry I’ll give them a coat of varnish to get that polished look.

Knife pouch


At her back she has a decorated knife pouch, which I’ve made out of leatherette. I backed the top layer onto a thin piece of foam to give it a thicker feel and to give it more structure for the embroidery. Annoyingly the cord I have that matches super well was too thick and solid for any needles, so I had to punch holes in advance and then poke it through with a tool, making it take so much longer ;_; Once the main pattern was done I sewed it onto a matching back piece and turned inside out so it’s nice either side. I need some slightly lighter embroidery thread to finish off the edge detailing, then I can stick some studs on it. I’ll do the weathering all at once when I’ve made all the other pouches.

Finished knee armour (for now)


Added the colours and dry brushed battle damage and shading, then added the rope! I’ll add weathering to the rope, but will do it when I have all the armour pieces done so it’s consistently coloured and I can do them all at once saving time.

Necklaces & belt


Started on some of the decorative bits as they’re fun and fairly simple! I’m waiting on materials to make the beads, but I’ve done her other necklaces. The bright blue is a mini hose spray painted metallic, the other two are cord dyed with silk paints and the same hose as the bright blue but with bias binding wrapped around it. The belt I already had a brown heavy duty webbing thing, so I painted on the pattern with acrylic. I’m not sure the hose is thick enough for the ‘cable’ but going to see how it all looks with the fur & beads before I change it.

Knee armour


Finalised the paper templates and the layers! Chose to use 5mm foam, which I scored on the back to make the shape/curves. Decided to try and make the texture straight onto the foam, so I heated up the foam and pressed a variety of things onto it. Cheese grater, sieve and extractor fan mesh - the mesh gave the closest effect! I’ll dry brush it to make it stand out more once it’s painted. Added the details with extra bits of foam, drilled the holes and tidied up with sanding where I could. Now it’s just at the boring ‘many coats of primer’ stage :( It’ll be attached to the leg wraps by Velcro which I’ll glue onto the back. In theory.

Knee armour


Starting with something small but fun and crafty - bits of the armour! Going to use layers of EVA foam for this, but first is mocking up the templates. From the intial few I've done here, I need to make some slight tweaks around the scaling of some parts (making the middle top bit wider, etc), but nearly there. I am SO happy that none of her armour or indeed outfit is symmetrical, makes things so much easier :D

Suddenly, activity!


Actual activity for once! Amazing, I know.

With the centrepiece of my V cosplay being the jacket, most of the work has been on that.

Rather than modify an actual leather jacket and worry about having to match materials/colours, I decided to build it up mostly from scratch. The plan is to use a zip-fronted sweatshirt as both the lining for the jacket AND the base for the wiring that'll run between the LEDs and the power supply.

After digging up a PNG of the Samurai band logo, I got it enlarged/printed out as an A2 poster and have cut out all of the various pieces (nearly 60 of them!), ready to be used as templates to cut out of the back.

Add that to 12-volt LED strip lights (red and white for the back and, like a rebel, blue for the collar), powered by 24 AA batteries with coloured plastic office wallets to help diffuse them, and I've got the beginnings of V's jacket.

After that, will come printing (or cutting out with white material) the Samurai text on the back of the covered collar and getting all the patches/badges done!


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