Exelia avatar


I've been cosplaying since 2005 and making my own costumes since 2009!
I'm a total sucker for accuracy and I love adding every little detail to costumes!

I have represented the UK in a few international competitions: World Cosplay Summit (2013, with Yuka), Clara Cow's Cosplay Cup (2016, with PopcornKuma) and European Cosplay Gathering (2017, as the Solo rep)!

I love making costumes, learning new things and trying my hand with different competitions! I also love helping out at cons and events with panels and helping new people to get involved in this awesome hobby! ♥

Last online 3 months ago

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Joined: 21st Aug 2007

Completed costumes: 92

Photos uploaded: 405

Progress journals: 181

Events attended: 28




Now my broom is finished, I fixed some small details on the costume and did a little shoot with Arphrial! Here's one of the examples. From the last shoot I did, there's so much updated and I'm much happier with how the costume actually looks.

(Mostly done incase the broom gets damaged, I wanted at least SOME photos with it while it's still clean and kind of impressive >>)

Much nicer~! This is the cincher so far, with the outer interfaced layer over the structure with the boning. I really love the colours on this costume!

The bias is sewn down the seams of the cincher and pressed into place. It still needs bias around the top and bottom once the cincher layers are sewn together, but you get the idea by looking at it here.

The skirt is also visible here! Again not finished, it will have a nice gold trim once it's done and it's just pinned here, the final version will have a nice pleat. It's made from micro-satin with hand gathered trim made from navy drill to match the rest of the costume. The skirt is made from 2 full circles, so there's a lot of fabric in there, but the drape is lovely. Once the skirt is finished it will be attached to the bodice and make the full dress to go underneath the cincher.

There's still so much to do on this costume but it's already looking pretty nice!

Bones! Bones everywhere! There are 19 different bones in the cincher, 9 on either side and 1 in the centre. It has a lot of really nice structure which is exactly what I wanted - there isn't a specific "hourglass" shape on the artwork of the design, so I wanted something that would pull me in at the waist but without an extreme shape. The back has an angled opening to match the design, which should give the V shape without actually being loose when worn.

I made the structure using some heavy cotton canvas I had leftover from my standard Alisha dress, it doesn't have much give on the bias and it was cheaper than buying denim or coutil. Each bone channel is sewn down with bias, then the bones are inserted and sewn into place.

The turquoise fabric is duchess satin (lining is pictured) and you can see the bones through it, so the outer layer has 2 layers of interfacing to help stop them showing. All of the gold bias is made from silk satin using the matte reverse side.

Again very rough and no interfacing structure so it's a bit floppy but you can see the rough shape for the cincher here! It curves over the hips into the tails at the back, too, but it's kind of hard to see here. Made from duchess satin & drill, which will have a fully boned insert and then matching lining.

I'll also be tweaking the skirt; I actually think it's too big (usually impossible!), so I might be taking some fabric out. It's made from 2 full circle skirts at the moment from a beautiful micro satin. I did have a draft of the bodice done but it gave me grief so it's not visible here.

It's done!! At last!

The last jobs on the broom were adding the ribbon with the painted trim wrapped around the brush, the cushion attached to that and adjusting the old feathers. The ribbon is made from the same fabric as a lot of Shallie (used mostly for trims and her cuffs) to match, painted by hand. The designs changed from one reference to the next so I went for the designs on the clearest reference; a red heart, a green leaf, a yellow 8-point asterisk and a brown 6-point asterisk. For my shoddy hand painting and shaky hands it turned out kind of cute.

The "cushion" is actually solid and is round, again it differs from each reference, so I went with what I preferred. It's made from the top of an air freshener (lol) that had the perfect shape, covered with faux leather, some worbla, cord and green cotton. It's a bit of a mishmash and I'm not totally happy with it, but it definitely looks the part and I can always change it later if it bugs me.

I also added more raffia to the broom, 1 more pack (4 bales were used total) just to give it more bulk and also to help support the bottom of the broom. The previous shape kept collapsing and damaged the tip, so I removed some of the old stuff, added a short wooden dowel inside for support and then covered it with more raffia. It now means that it can stand up on the ground better and is also better for posing with than a flat gross little broom.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it and just super relieved it's finally done - weeks of patience have finally paid off!! Hoping to do a small shoot with the updated costume soon.

Very rough image of the pattern for the cincher. The final piece will have boning in different places for structure, yay! I have a lot of the bones left from Ramirez that are going in, with a few others on order for different lengths. How exciting!

The pattern incorporates the differences in colour and also the tails at the back. Patterning this with so few decent references was hard -___-

Almost there!! The main body is done, all that's left is to replace the feathers at the bottom (the cat kind of.. uh.. killed the last ones), and to add the little wrap with the cushion on it. Yay!

The top was tricky, the extra little details are tough to see so I kind of made up some of this but I like how it's ended up. Some of the detail is in the painting, but it's mostly close to the references and I'm happy with it. It was basically impossible to paint though, because the whole shape - the handle and the swirl - were attached before paint even went near it, so it's been hard to work with!

The swirl is made from classic worbla, which needed to be primed with wood glue. The handle is made from black worbla, which disagrees with wood glue and was primed with mod podge instead. The swirl was covered with around 8 coats of glue and sanded between different layers to get a nice smooth finish. It's still not perfect, but it's as close as I can get it with the skills I have.. not very good with props.

The swirl was painted with white pearlescent paint by hand, then finished with a semi-transparent white spray paint and satin sealant. A long and messy process, but I like the result a lot. The handle was dry brushed with a dark silver and touched up with little bits of the pearlescent white just to blend it more evenly. During the painting the poor cat charm got damaged so I had to replace him and the row of beads too, which are now all made from matching sculpey!

It's far from perfect, but, it's not bad! I'm pretty happy with it. Once it's finished with the feathers and cushion I might add some more raffia to the brush, but otherwise it'll be done at last!

Starting this at last! I'm hoping to have her done in time for EGX in September. Should be a nice little project!

The wig is a Ferrari from Arda in Dark Ash Blonde; the same wig I used for my revamped Alisha costume. I bought a second one on sale a while ago for this costume because her ponytail is much lower and my original wig has been trimmed too thin. It still needs styling for this outfit but it basically just needs a trim.

I picked up some of the fabrics I needed yesterday; the turquoise is duchess satin, navy is a great quality matte drill and I got some navy lining for the jacket, too. I already had the white which is a gorgeous micro satin which has great drape for the skirt and shoulder panels!

I still need to get some more thorough references for the back. I'll be reusing the boning I put into Ramirez for this costume to save some money on the cincher too.

Broomery and fancery and oh what fun I've had with worbla. By fun I mean not fun, I mean lots of stress and confusion.

The top detail on Shallie's broom is a bit odd to find references for, and it changes from one to the next so I've kind of adapted it into something that looks good in person as well as fits the reference, so it's not 100% accurate but.. it'll have to do. The cone is slightly too wide and the panel underneath separating the stack and the cone is too narrow, but it looks better in person than having a wide bar all the way up. The details are done with foam and black worbla.

I also tried to make the swirl for the top - TRIED - 3 attempts all failed thanks to plasterzote and worbla not being friends, so I'm going to take another look at it tomorrow. Good thing is the shape works, I just need to get it to a stage where it doesn't fall to bits first!

Broom is steadily looking more like a broom! Hurrah!! This is around 50% done now, the next jobs are all pretty time consuming and more difficult than this was, but I'm pretty happy with it so far.

The stick has been painted brown, small job but done. It also has small silver panels at the top, made from black worbla, primed and then brushed with silver acrylic.

The brush has been added, wooo! It's a little small compared to the reference, but I like the size of it. The brush is built over a bird roosting pocket I bought (also made from raffia) which gives the rounded shape and more structure than just the raffia fibres. The individual pieces of raffia were then folded in half and glued to the stick above the pocket, tied with extra pieces and then trimmed to length. Some of the pieces are also glued to the roosting pocket to keep the shape nice and smooth.

The cloth over the brush is now fully lined with green suedette (same as Shallie's bag) and edged, handsewn closed and positioned on the brush. The feathers are glued to the brush itself, and are made up of red marabou trim, green marabou feathers and turquoise quills which are coloured by hand to gradient into dark blue at the bottom. I love how vibrant the colours are!

Finally, the cat charm at the top - this will be secured when the top of the broom is finished, but I made it already. The cat is made from black premo sculpey and connects with a ring to a row of black and clear beads. The clear beads are added for spacing as they just float on the reference, but I thought it looked nicer with clear beads than leaving gaps with knots!

This is the fabric for the little cloth that wraps around the brush. It's made from a heavy canvas cotton, gradient dyed to a darker brownish red though that's not terribly visible in the photograph..

The shape is rough at the moment, but a good starting shape before patterning the brush underneath. The shape will be refined once the brush is made and then finished with a suedette trim edge to clean it all up!

The kitties are painted with black acrylic using a little stencil, placed on the fabric freehand and then detailed with little white eyes. Considering I did it all by eye, I think it turned out quite nicely!

For the brush on the bottom of the broom I'm going to be making a foam shape and covering it with layers of raffia for a nice brushy look without using sticks or solid bristles.

The only raffia I could find locally was natural (undyed), so I dyed it myself using a few different methods.. a mix of acrylic ink and paint in hot water, then tea dye with hot water, and finally using leftover Terracotta Brown Dylon fabric dye.

Most of it was dyed in all 3 and is darkest, and some was only dyed with the Dylon, so there's a nice blend of colours rather than one flat shade across the broom.

Materials for my broom! Some of them at least. I still have a lot to go, but, here's the basics!

I have a hardwood dowel for the main handle and thinner pine dowel to hold the stacking pile. The stacker is for the five rings towards the top of the handle - this was the first thing I thought of!

The 'broom' at the bottom will be made from foam, painted, and covered in raffia. I plan to dye or paint some of it to add a bit of depth, the natural raffia is a bit too light. There are feathers that stick out from the broom too - these ones are just to bulk it out, the actual feathers I'll be using will be dyed by hand in 4 colours (red, green, cyan and blue).

The fabric at the bottom is a heavy canvas cotton, gradient dyed to a darker brownish red. Once it's cut and shaped it will have little black kitty faces painted all over it, trimmed with a suedette edging!

Still a lot to go - at the moment I'm drilling the dowels to fit each other (my poor hands..) but it should look good once it's fitted. Yay!

Not the greatest photo, but for our performance I also made a couple of stage props. One of them was this blanket for Chii to sleep under inspired by the "A City With No People" books in the Chobits series. It's nothing too special but it's a cute reference to the series and we needed a blanket anyway, so why not!
All made from micro fleece with felt details, attached with bondaweb and then appliqued with a loose zigzag stitch.
I also painted a tambourine for myself! Sumomo has a 6-jingle red tambourine, but all I could find were plain ones so a quick dab of paint fixed that right up. For stage I glued all of the jingles together and to the tambourine to reduce noise, else it was way too loud for me to hear our audio and perform!

Well this was it! PopcornKuma and I wore Chii and Sumomo for the finals of Clara Cow's Cosplay Cup at AnimeCon in the Netherlands and we had a blast! The whole competition was EXCELLENT, so many amazing acts - as soon as there's a video I'll pop up a link!

Our costumes were both finished to a really nice standard and I'm really happy with them. Our performance also went really well - much smoother than I expected - and so many people responded to us, which was amazing!

We did get some feedback from one of the judges, which was positive and constructive. From their feedback, the main issue with my costume was that the colours didn't match the references 100% - which was actually intentional on my part, and I probably should have mentioned it on the day - but it's fair feedback! Otherwise they loved the shape and construction on the costume (phew)!

Feedback for the performance was that it "lacked punch" - which is also fair! XD We didn't want to do anything too ambitious, so we kept it simple and just had fun with it instead. We never ever expected to place or win, but to hear that they enjoyed our performance was really reassuring and I'm really grateful that they did. We both worked hard to go through the routine, discuss motions and what would look good on stage, so as long as people enjoyed it that's all that ever mattered.

I can't say working on Sumomo was always enjoyable - I almost tore my hair out and gave up on the competition completely at one point - but actually doing it and getting such a good response to our costumes made it all worthwhile. I hope we represented the UK well and people were proud of what we did on stage!

I wore Shallie on the Sunday of AnimeCon with my friend Lex at long last! I love how these costumes look together so so much and I'm so happy we wore them together. We did a small photoshoot at the event together too which I'm hoping to see soon!

Most of the tweaks I made to the costume paid off. I'm so happy I remade so many pieces because it wears so much nicer now!

There are only a few things I want to fix for the future;

- Hat needs longer braids - didn't have time to redo for AnimeCon
- Socks need elastic or glue - they kept slipping down
- Shoes need yellow strap adjusting - popper wasn't strong enough

I may be wearing her at SunnyCon this weekend, but after that I'll be fixing her up for EGX!

A quick selfie from AnimeCon. I barely wore this at the event (maybe 2-3 hours?), but had a total blast and it made a nice change from my other ridiculously pink costumes!

Costume wore nicely, I could make some tweaks in the future but it was good to throw on and relax in :)

PopcornKuma and I wore these together at AnimeCon and it was a blast! The costumes wore really well and I'm super happy with how they looked (and even though they were super rushed I think the wings were my favourite part..)!

Hopefully we'll be doing a shoot soon <3

Wings are go!! 4 different attempts at these things with fabric before finally giving up and just making them out of foam instead - but hey, they look much cleaner this way and are super light!

They're built on a basic frame made from wire coat hangers. Each hanger was bent into a deep U shape and then folded at the top to create the wing harness. The harness then slips under a bra strap (and can fold over if needed!) and pokes out of the back of the dress through 2 eyelets where the wings get slid into place.

The wings are made from 3 layers of foam - the inner layer is the main wing shape, then there are two smaller layers that form the curl and top feather (which also conveniently hide the wire inside). The middle layer has a thin channel cut into it where the wire can slide in securely, so the wings are easily removed, nice and 3D and also much easier to pack!

Once cut, shaped and glued the wings were sprayed with mica powder and sealed with a layer of mod podge to help keep them sturdy. They're sparkly and cute~!

Almost ready! Just some handsewing to go and two more buttons to be sewn on, then there's just the wings! Our shoes also arrived, yay!

The dress is made from Burda 6821, kindly adjusted by Bernie to have more of a flare in the skirt and have the pink panel, with redrafted puff sleeves too. Bernie made her dress first so a lot of mine was made by eyeballing her work and making mine match. The front pink panel secures on with buttons and a hidden popper, holding out the edges of the dress nicely. The main dress is made from bi-stretch, lined with anti-static lining and reinforced with bits of interfacing where needed.

The collar panel is made from Butterick B6097, again adjusted by Bernie to fit under the dress and secures with poppers. You can't really see it here but it has a cute little collar and fastens up the front.

For how much trouble this dress gave me - I swear it almost went in the bin about 4 times - it's actually turned out really cute! I can't wait to wear it with Bernie as Tomoyo!

Image is of an unfinished glove, the final ones have buttons up the side but you get the idea. The gloves are made from a lovely stretch jersey knit, only slightly darker than the rest of our fabrics, lovely and comfy!

Originally I did try to make our gloves from bi-stretch to match everything else, but the prototype glove just had too many issues to make it worth doing. So I tracked down this pink instead. As said it's slightly darker, but it's the same kind of pink and compliments the rest of the costume without being too noticeable.

Using jersey also cut the work on the gloves by about 12 hours.. these were made by literally drawing around my hand, scaling it up a little, sewing the edge and.. done. (I mean they're reinforced a bit more than that, but you get the picture)! No fiddly extra fourchettes and seams, just a nice comfy fitted glove.

I'm also making PopcornKumas pair, so.. 2 down, 2 to go! :D

First little job I had was to make our nurse's caps. The fabrics match the dress materials and are made from bi-stretch with interfacing and a thin layer of batting, finished with buttons and matching wing pins.

PopcornKuma had a pattern already from SWAG Cosplay (https://www.facebook.com/swagcosplay/) originally for Vocaloid "Love Ward" which I adapted into one piece, and it worked perfectly! There is also a step-by-step guide on how to fold them on their FB page, which was amazingly helpful when making these.

The wing pins are made from two layers of foam (the top layer forms the top feather and curl for depth), covered in black worbla, primed with PVA and then spray painted gold! On the back of each wing there is a gold brooch pin that makes them easy to position on the hats and dresses. There are also two tiny ones, one each for the back of the hats to close them.

You can also see my pile of fabrics here - the lightest pink is for the body of the dress, then darker pink lining, the front panel fabric and finally the fabric for the gloves on the right. Yay!

I titled this "blouse" but this shows most of the costume, heh. But she's (pretty much) done!! Just some teeny sewing jobs on the jacket and she's ready to go!

While fixing the costume in time for AnimeCon I tweaked a few things on the costume, which you can see here. I adjusted the jacket hem so it's a little shorter and more fitted, and it looks and feels much more comfortable.

The collar was remade completely, and attaches to the jacket with snap fasteners. The bead trim is also attached with a hook and eye and is detachable if required. The pattern on the back is a little bigger than it should be on the back, but I think it looks better for the proportions of the costume.

You can't see it but the book is also attached here at the back so the belt is complete too. Yay!

I used a bought shirt the first time I wore Shallie and hated it, even with darts it was horrid and badly fitted and gapped around the neck so I decided to make one myself!

I made this using Butterick 6070, which as patterns go is really ugly BUT was really easy to modify. The back has 2 darts, the front panels have a dart each and the sides have been tailored for a more comfortable fit. I also adjusted the collar so it overlaps and closes with a button. It also has sleeves but they're not pictured here...

The front closes with buttons but has a no-peep concealed band, so it's nice and clean! The top of the collar has a single decorative button. The bow hooks on to the front of the shirt so it's removable for washing!

Once again no make-up but IT IS DONEEEE

Sleeves sewn, everything positioned! This costume somehow magically makes me look tiny and stubby which is exactly what I wanted. Overall I'm pretty happy with it, and it moves really easily for being so big - fingers crossed it all goes well on stage at AnimeCon!!

Hat is now finished!! Excuse horrid make-up free face, but here's a selfie of the finished costume!

The hat has large cover buttons for the side toggles, and has the darker panel at the bottom attached. I'm really happy with it! It's been handsewn into the wig to keep it all in place and has the ponytail sewn in place on the back too. It's surprisingly not that heavy to wear either, yay!

Also featuring wig! (Still not quite finished but you get the idea). The curls in the ponytail are a work in progress, I've been testing different styles for Sumomo other than a cartoony drill curl.

Hat has been covered in the same pink fabric as everything else, then pinned into place. The hat is seamless in the art and while this means there is some gather around my head, it matches the look of the rest of the costume, and the wig should also help disguise it a little bit. It still has the darker pink detail to be attached and the buttons to the sides.

The hat will now be stuffed to help sit nice and full, the ponytail will be sewn into place on the back, pink details added and then that's it! Yayyyy

The beginnings of a hat! Hurrah! I wanted something light to sew into the wig for maximum security, so I used some leftover fosshape I had (a material designed for millinery - google it and check it out!)

Fosshape was heated over an old bevelled lamp fitting twice, then cut to shape, then sewn together. That is what you see here. The curve at the side isn't perfect, but I think this is a more realistic take on what her hat actually looks like, instead of a padded "roll" like most others seem to do - in back references it's an actual hat, so I'm gonna make it as one!!

After this bit was sewn some batting was sewn to cover it, then it was covered with fabric!

Here the legs are finished (AT LAST), with the first sleeve tacked on and the sash in place! WOOOO

The sleeves are made very similar to the legs, but needed a lot of tweaking. Again they are mostly handsewn in place, but thankfully the sleeves are much more forgiving than the legs and aren't as much work. The sleeves help keep the whole costume in place so it's important they have a lot of strength!

You can also see the sash here! The shorter edge is finished here with the beads sewn in place, and with the little tie secured at the side (though this will be at the back of the costume when it's finished - this is just to show the shape). The longer side still needs some work and all of it's beads yet but it shouldn't take too long!

The middle sash tie is sewn into place and will be sewn to a "cuff" around the middle to create the bow look. Then the longer sash will wrap around my waist and then fold through the cuff, securing with a hook and bar inside the cuff so it LOOKS tied but is actually much more secure when moving. It's a bit complicated (no kidding), but it's the easiest way to keep it looking perfect!

This costume is so exhausting but there's very little left to go now - once the sleeves and sash are done, there's just the wig, collar and props to go! Rejoice \o/

Not the most flattering photo ever, but costume progress! WOOOO

Here you can see the bodysuit fully sewn. The pink trim around the top was sewn by hand in place whilst the costume was worn, because it's basically impossible to sew anything to this without stretch. It was the bane of my LIFE but it's done now! It also looks odd here because the final costume will be worn without a bra underneath, which makes it sit funny for test shots.

The biggest job so far has been sewing the legs - these bad boys are HUGE. The top layer is 3m wide, with 3m wadding, and then 2.5m lining for each leg - all of it gathered by hand, and all of it secured... by hand. THEN machine sewn for extra strength because damn this costume is gonna move.

As with the top of the bodysuit, this was handsewn in place to get the correct fit and took an absolute age to do, but it looks amazing for it. My sister kindly helped with most of it and has the patience of a saint, clearly.

Here the legs are sewn with all 3 layers in place, but not gathered at the bottom just yet!

Both of the wig lace sections are done and sewn in, so all the base wig needs now is some styling! I added some rough curls with hairspray here, but it still needs some work - good news is, it looks pretty spot on for what I wanted, and just needs a bit more refining. Yay!

Hoping to start the drill curl tomorrow. Gulp

The sash is almost finished! The bottom edge on the opposite end is a little wonky so that will need some work before it's finished, but it's looking pretty ace.

This photo is of some of the beading I've been adding around the bottom of the shorter end. There are 10 beads on this edge and 11 on the opposite edge to fit with the proportions of the sash. I also managed to perfect the tie in the middle which needs some extra sewing and securing, but looks great so far. Not much more to go! :D

Here is an almost finished shoe. The cuff is still pinned and unfinished, but you get the idea!

There isn't meant to be fleece around the bottom but I thought it was cute so I left it as-is. Different references also show the yellow strip to have eyelets - but because the cuffs are narrower than they should be I've decided not to add them. The hearts secure on with two hook and eyes on the side so they're detachable.

The shoes also need straight stitch detailing, undecided whether I'll sew that or just draw it on. There's a lot of little inconsistencies to the references, but it's impossible for me to make these more accurate without physically making my own pair of shoes and.. yeah.. not gonna do that, else I'll probably go insane.

But yes! Shoes! Almost done! Once these bad lads are done, all that's left is to make a new blouse and eventually make her broom. Hurray!!

One of the next things to fix is the shoes! The last time I wore Shallie I had plain unmodified shoes, and they looked fine, but I wanted to really improve them for next time. Thus I created the Frankenshoes. These poor babies have been made from 6 pairs of shoes in total, butchered for their fabric. RIP shoes

Here you can see the top cuffs in progress. This is as wide as I could make them sadly, and they're not 100% but they look okay. I cut the tongues out of two pairs of shoes to create the main fabric body, then used extra fabric from the sides for the loops. Sandwiched together with some of the short curly fleece from the hat and I have cuffs!

The loops and hearts were bought then modified with worbla. The hearts originally had loops for lacing which were filled in, covered in black worbla, smoothed then spray painted gold. The yellow stripe is made from the same fabric as the hat.

All done now! The only thing left to do is trim some of the wig and add some layers, but that should be quick and easy.

Some little adjustments.. I took in the sides of the jacket by about 2-3 inches total after my test wear so it fits my shape better, and matches the reference better than a looking like a big empty sack. I also got smaller buttons to help with the proportions under the collar and added the buttonholes - it looks so clean!! A nice press and tidy, and the jacket looks much nicer than before.

Finally the cuffs went on last and closed up the jacket, they're probably a little narrower than they should be from the art but I think they look less dorky on my stubby arms. For such a simple, dumb costume project I'm really happy with how it's turned out and it should be a nice break from girly makeup at AnimeCon!

Mostly finished here - the buttons will be replaced with smaller gold buttons, and the cuffs still need to be added but you get the idea :]

You can also see the tie here! It was incredibly quickly made and is super lazy but looks pretty good. The stripes are wider than they are in the reference, but I think this looks a better scale on a person.

The materials for this were mostly free, since I had tons of navy suiting around. It's a tad dark but it looks nicer for a jacket, I think.

The check pattern for the collar and cuffs was made from a pyjama shirt I found in Tesco. It was the only one with no barcode so clearly it was a SIGN. The blue isn't exact, but I really liked it against the navy so hey ho. Sadly because I used a shirt for the pattern it means the jacket is a teeny bit shorter than it should be because there wasn't enough length in the fabric!

I vectored the 'D' emblem on the jacket to be embroidered. Here it issss. The tail on the D is slightly longer than the reference, but I really like it anyway.

The book is done~! My little adventure into decoupage actually turned out quite nicely. Here it is with the belt and bag, which is has now been sewn on to. It's not functional (the strapping is sewn in place) but it looks the part for sure!

Most of the book was covered with red card for the body, then with off-white for the 'pages'. I drew straight lines with a pencil to create the fake paper effect with individual lines then smudged and sealed with a layer of mod podge.

The gold corners are black worbla primed with 2 layers of mod podge. I masked the rest of the book off and sprayed them with the same gold as everything else. The buckle/lock is made from layers of foam and regular worbla, primed with wood glue, smoothed and sprayed before being glued onto the strapping. The strapping is made from the same brown polyester blend fabric as before, with 2 layers of interfacing to keep it sturdy!

It secures onto the belt with 2 poppers but will also be secured onto the jacket because of the weight of the book. It sags a little at the moment but that will be fixed for AnimeCon!

A small adventure into the world of decoupage for Shallie's book. Trying to find a nice red book for her belt was impossible so I'll just have to make one.

I got a small fold storage box from TK Maxx and covered it with mod podge and paper. It's my first time mod podging and I think I did it totally wrong, but the result seems to have worked! Some small bumps here and there, but no big nasty issues. The box is empty at the moment but it's nice to have some emergency storage if I need it!

The corners and 'lock' will be made from scraps of worbla, and the strapping will be made from the same brown trim I've used on the rest of the costume. Because it's made from a box it's really light, so it should be comfortable on the belt.

Something is happening WOOOO

This is the sash so far. The swirl panels are made from the same velvet as the bodysuit. They haven't been appliqued just yet, and I'm also hoping to add some decorative beading to them to add a little bling to the costume but they've turned out pretty nicely so far! The main sash will have some batting or interfacing inside to help with the and keep it nice and smooth.

The patterns were drawn by hand onto paper, then transferred to the fabric using bondaweb. Once transferred, they were then cut out and ironed onto the sash to end up like this. The bottom strip is also made from the same fabric and is bondawebbed on too. The patterns are a little inconsistent in references but I like what I've ended up with.

I'm really happy with the colours; I was worried the dye was too dark or too close to the fabric for the patterns, but after a couple of washes to clear the excess dye it turned out pretty much spot on. Hurrah!

The beads for the bottom have also had two coats of gloss and are drying - they look SO MUCH BETTER than the original dull ones! I also have the baby pink round beads to go with them along the bottom trim which matches the main pink on the costume. Hurray!

Here you can see the dyed sash! Very roughly tied, so do forgive but you get the idea. Either end was dip dyed to get the gradient effect, and though it's a little hard to see here the panel in roughly the middle that will form the tie for the bow is dyed too.

Using iDye for gradient was not easy nor fun and I wouldn't recommend it. Using Dylon is much much easier but sadly needs must when using 100% polyester!

The beads and iDye Poly packets arrived, so I got straight to testing the dye. The dye was to be used on the waist sash panel on both ends and also approx 1/3 in to match the gradients, but also on the beads if they didn't match too well.

The beads arrived and they were lush and rosy, but I wanted them to be a little closer so I dyed them anyway. The first attempt (pictured) turned out wonderfully, but when I actually dyed the rest of the beads.. around 22 of them.. they turned out far too dark and had to be stripped and redyed. Because of this they're matte now, but the colour is good and some gloss should fix them right up.

It felt like being some kind of alchemist, dyeing plastic beads hahah! MAGIC.

I also dyed the sash panel; I dyed it three times on each piece to create the splodgy, watercolour style shading in the artwork I'm using for reference. So far the colour is similar to the bodysuit but a bit lighter - perfect!

Once the beads are glossed and the fabric is dry I'll be sorting the length, adding applique detailing and putting the new shiny bead trim around the bottom. Yay!

I also ordered the beads for the fringing on the bottom of the sash recently! These are 40mmx10mm beads from "Yummy Treasures" on Etsy, imported from the USA. I wasn't sure whether to go for pink or red beads based on the references, so I kept putting off ordering them. I eventually caved and ordered 24 of the rosy pink beads pictured here, fingers crossed they match nicely.

Thankfully since I needed iDye for the fabric anyway... iDye can be used on acrylic, and these are acrylic beads so if they aren't quite right I can dye them a little bit. At least, that's the plan! Should be much tidier than painting them too, if I do need to adjust the colour.

I still need the smaller round beads to go with these, but I can get those locally so they're less urgent.

Here's all the pieces for Sumomo, finally cut out and ready!! Both fabrics are really slippery to cut, so it's taken forever. But it's all good now!

I also tried the Dylon dye - no good! The pink is pure polyester, so I've ordered some iDye Poly in Pink and Crimson to dye it with instead. Hopefully it'll arrive soon and I can get it patterned!

I cut out the rest of the fabric for the main costume today; the legs have approx 3 metres for the outer layer, 2 metres for the inner lining and 3 metres of wadding PER LEG so they are going to be the biggest pants EVER. I SWEAR. THE BIGGEST. They've also taken forever and a day to cut out and need to be gathered by hand (sob) but they should be worth it if they give me the shape I'm after!!

Also having some fun with dye tonight. For Sumomo's sash I want to use the same baby pink fabric as everything else, but gradient it to a darker pink as in the manga art. I'm not sure on the polyester/cotton blend ratio so I'm not sure Dylon will work, but I'm going to give it a go and if it's not suitable source some poly dye elsewhere.

Woooo wig progress. The first lace front section has been added and the second is underway!

The lace front section is sewn in by hand. The lace is actually away from the hairline (trimmed to allow extra space and less bulk under the panel), but once it is swept back it covers the gap completely and lines the lace with my forehead. Yay!

Admittedly I had a lot of help with the lacefronting, my hands aren't precise at all and I find it really tough. My sister taught me how to do it and started off a lot of the panel and though my bits are a little messy I'm really happy with the overall look so far!

Next up is adding the second section to the wig and then trimming and styling, yay! Once that's done, it'll all need smoothing and hairspraying, ready for the hat and ponytail once they're made. I can't wait to give it a test and see how it looks once the second lace panel is added!

..Or more appropriately, "sleeves!!"
As said in the last entry, after assuming Sumomo's sleeves sat on her upper arm I checked my references and actually, they fit over her shoulders. Which is perfect! From this, the whole bodysuit will be supported from the top and this is how I'm going to do it. At first I considered using nude fabric/netting to create a bodysuit to the neck, but with this structure I no longer need to.

The sleeves are made from 3 panels; the first 2 are the inner structure, made of a strap (1) and small puff sleeve (2). This will connect to the front and back of the bodysuit and provide an internal support and keep the sleeves held up in place.

1 connects to the front of the bodysuit and the back and measures around 15 inches, whereas 2 is a tad longer so it fits under the arm. I didn't want a full strap sitting inside, so it only extends where it needs to, to reduce bulk inside the arm. Testing it on the bodysuit I mocked up worked really well, so hopefully it will for the final version too. I'm also considering putting bra straps through 1 to give it more support, but that'll be added later. This "inner sleeve" is pictured at the top right.

The outer puff (3) is pinned in place here, connecting to the outer edge of 1 at the top and the outer edge of 2 at the bottom. It is slightly longer than 1 and 2 combined, so it also stands over the original shape and has space for a nice layer of wadding inside. As you can see in the bottom 2 pictures, it's a little flat overall at the moment, but has a great wide shape. The fabric needs to be a bit wider and have thinner wadding inside to help it sag like hers do in the artwork, I think, so I'll be fixing that up for the final version. I might also make them a little longer overall, since her arms are short and it'll help with the proportions a lot.

For a first attempt I think it turned out pretty nicely!

I labelled this as 'costume' because I have no idea how the heck else to describe it. The way I'm going to make Sumomo is as an all-in-one for ease of wearing it on stage; I've seen so many who do the trousers separately (ugly seam lines under bodysuit), and I want this to look clean and cartoony with as few lines as possible.

The sleeves will be attached to the bodysuit at the top, with hidden straps sewn in place. This means the sleeves will act as the support for the whole costume. At first I assumed the sleeves sat lower, but because they sit over her shoulders this makes planning much easier! The sleeves will be gathered and secured with elastic.

The bodysuit will have the legs sewn into place around each leg hole. The legs are being made similar to how you sew a sleeve; one large panel with an inner seam, to sit around the leg, rather than connecting at the crotch or inside leg to form trousers. It should make it much easier to move in, and there's less chance of the crotch sagging from the weight of each leg this way.

The legs are made from almost 3 metres of fabric EACH, gathered with 2oz wadding inside. The prototype pictured here was approx 2.5m wide with 4oz wadding, which was far too thick and collapsed a little when worn, so I'm opting for more fabric but thinner materials to help keep the shape puffy. The legs have also been adjusted to be longer, and the ankles will be gathered with elastic.

The final fabric for the bodysuit is like a low-pile stretch velvet, which at first I thought was totally inappropriate but I liked the texture - only to find a lot of gymnastic and dance leotards use this exact stuff. Winning!

For Sumomo's supplies, I started with the wig. I want all of the colours to match well and wigs are always the hardest to get to tie in so, why not start with it and build from there!

I'm also super picky with pinks, so I wanted something really cute for her and not too "hot pink" but also not too muted. The wig is a Katinka and Long Clip in Magenta from Arda Wigs - it almost looks metallic, which should help add to the persocom look of the costume.

The clip has been trimmed and will have a core added to create the drill curl. The rest of the wefts from the clip will be used to bulk out the ponytail itself, and as you can see here, to create lace patches. The front of her hair is swept up either side of the fringe, so I'm creating small sections (approx 1.5 inch wide) to create the fake hairline on either side. It's my first time lace fronting anything and it's been tedious, but it should be worth it!

So even though the costume isn't 100% finished, myself and Felixize did a small shoot for Shallie on 17/01/2016 to really test the costume out. A few details need remaking and some adding, but I'm really happy with the result so far.

Now I have some photos and can see that the costume ACTUALLY LOOKS OKAY I'm going to take a little step back from Shallie and make some easy stuff, because this costume has been super tiring to work on so much. But she'll be finished soon!

I'm hoping to do a shoot soon, so I nabbed these cute little bottles as props! Gotta have accessories!

Bag and belt basically done here - all that's left is to add the buckle & tip, and attach the book to the back. Yay!!

You can see the finished strap here too - the rings are glued together and then the fabric strip is woven through and fastened to the main strap with snap fasteners. Different references showed different ways the strap could 'close', so I went with the one I liked best, which is the seperate strap detail then an additional stud underneath. This bag/belt combination is the most inconsistent thing in references, so a lot of it has been personal preference for the smaller aspects, but I think it looks nice so far.

All that's left on Shallie now are the buckle/tip, collar panel, socks, shoes and her broom! That and lots of little handsewing jobs... sob.

The bag is finished here, yay! The belt is made from the same brown trim, with 5 eyelets hammered in place and with a functional buckle fastening. There are 10 eyelets down the back which correspond to eyelets on the belt, threaded into place with leather thonging. The strap I made earlier clips onto the bag on the sides and holds the whole thing up. Figuring out proportions and shapes for this thing to have enough support was tough!!

You can also see the little accessory bottles sewn to the belt here! They are glued into the little straps, then sewn to the belt by hand. Inside each bottle is a mix of coloured beads. I know they look flat in the art, but I thought this looked much more appropriate in person and this way they can move inside the bottles without using liquid!

The bag is made from a heavy olive green cotton canvas with a lovely thick weave, trimmed with the same brown polyester blend fabric from the jacket and belt, with a faux suede top panel. The gold embellishments are a lovely faux leather PVC and the whole thing is lined with a green swirl cotton.

This isn't the final pattern, it was tweaked and made longer in the body, but this is roughly how I made the bag. The little cutouts are folded and sewn to make the flat seam corners at the bottom of the bag seen in the artwork. It also helps give it body and shape!

At long last these gloves are finished!! I thought they'd be much simpler than normal gloves since they're cut off fingerless, but... nope. I made these a total of 8 times before finally making this final pair.

The main glove is made from a soft orange jersey so it stretches and fits more comfortably to my hands. The red trim is the same kind of liquid satin as the bow, used at the top and cuff of the glove. The brown trim is acetate ribbon and the palm is made from suedette, so it is soft and comfortable but also thin enough to cover the palm without being too bulky.

The cuffs aren't 100% accurate - technically they're meant to have 7 stripes (mine have 6) and the stripes are wider than they're meant to be, but I wanted them to stand out more. The cuffs are also shorter than they should be but I made them shorter to help with proportions on my stubby arms haha.

Good thing is that they're proper comfy and I'm really happy with the result!

The belt with the buckle and tip attached, and with eyelets hammered too! The belt is shaping up nicely. It still has a LOT to go (little bottles, bag, book) but it's looking pretty sweet!

I still need to make the peg for the buckle here and finish sewing a lot of the little details on the strap, but progress is progress! Hoping to have the belt and bag finished pretty soon!

The huge belt needs something else... a huge buckle! (And a belt tip too). The belt is approx 3.5 inches wide, so they're pretty big!

I'm not good with props or physical pieces so these were hard to make. They are made from 4 layers of foam each, glued together with trimmed foam for the embossed details, then covered in worbla and primed with layers of wood glue. The gem on the buckle is cast from resin, dyed with vitrail and a little bit of mica for added sparkle!

The wood glue is applied in layers then once dry sanded with 400 grit sandpaper to get a super smooth surface. This is the same way I made my sword for Sakura and it worked well so I'm hoping it will work here too!

The bag and belt are together so I'm lumping them together for now.

The bag and strap are made from a heavy olive green cotton canvas with a lovely thick weave. The strap had to match and was trimmed with the same brown polyester blend fabric I used on the cuffs of the jacket, so everything matches. Thankfully it has some stretch to it, so using it for bias has been pretty simple (even if it does keep shifting)

The front detail with the rings on the strap will be sewn in place and finished with gold studs. I love adding these sorts of details, it makes it look much more official!

The belt is made from a orange/tan suedette, trimmed with the same brown polyester blend fabric. It is made in 2 layers and lined with some thin bag batting to give it extra body and help it hold the shape as it hangs off the hip.

You can also see the bow at the collar here, now remade!

Not finished obviously, but a rough test with the jacket, skirt, hat and wig! Pretty happy with how it looks so far considering a lot of the costume isn't even here.

The bow and blouse here aren't final - just thrown on for the test to see how it all looked.

The cords for the hat being dyed. They are made from Anchor Tapisserie Wool in two shades of yellow. They were dyed with a mix of IPA 70% and 4 different shades of copic marker ink, then touched up by hand and sewn into the hat.

The hat sewn with copic details for the green patterns on the flaps. The eyes on the top are fleece attached with bondaweb and the 'bracelet' around the ear is sewn in place to ensure it doesn't shift when moving. Since this photo I added a red bead to the bracelet to make it more accurate.

The cords are made from wool and dyed - see "Hat - 3"

You can also see the wig here. The wig is a Jaguar from Arda Wigs in Laurel Green, pretty much the closest colour I could find for Shallotte. I trimmed the front in layers to get her choppy fringe.

The pattern for the hat. Made from a lush fleece-lined jersey and fully lined with a soft-pile fleece suedette with braided wool tails.

The original pattern was made by using an old pair of underwear to get the holes on top of the head right and to have as few seams as possible. The two cones are semicircles pinned to make the ears. There are seams behind the flaps on the side of the head where the hat closes.

Almost finished here! Fully lined here and trimmed with a brown suedette. The front of the jacket fastens with a hidden zipper and closes with poppers for extra security.

The pocket flaps are non functional and all of the buttons are just for decoration - no buttonholes are sewn to the costume. I did this to help keep the shape smooth, rather than pulling in places due to the nature of the fabric (it has a little stretch which would have adjusted with buttonholes).

The cuffs are made from a polyester blend and trimmed with the white lace. Around each cuff there are thin belts of the same suedette as the jacket's trim.

Patterned from scratch from the dyed polycotton to match the design. I made some small artistic adjustments to it, mainly adding a seam under the bust to help create the form fitting shape the jacket has - otherwise it was a bit of a potato sack, heh.

The sleeves were also patterned custom and are wider towards the bottom to create the slouch.

Some of the accessories/details for the jacket, hat and bag. The beads are from VJW Jewellery for the ear on the hat. The lace trim and patch are for the jacket and the rings/buckles are for the belt and bag.

The patch for the jacket was kindly made by Paper Cranes from a design I vectored - this is an image of the full digitally "embroidered" design. The final size is approx 8.5cm x 8.5cm.

The skirt is made from an upholstery tartan but it's nice and light and soft. The print was pretty much perfect (if a little big) but definitely the closest I'd find without printing it myself.

The skirt was made without a pattern and measured individually. The inside is interfaced and each pleat is part sewn at the top of the skirt to help it sit correctly and keep it's rigid shape. The skirt can stand by itself, yay!

The edge was trimmed with gold ribbon and is finished with a concealed zipper.

Figured I'd start adding some entries into the journal cause there's a lot going on with Shallotte, so here goes!

I'm very picky with fabric so I dyed the blue for the jacket and for the lining. The original fabric was a brushed polycotton because I wanted a plush texture to the fabric and to replicate the soft look. There was lots of experimenting with hand and machine dyes in Ocean Blue and Bahama Blue (Dylon) but it finally worked. The tartan was a lucky find, it's upholstery fabric but light enough to be suitable for the skirt.

So.. not many entries here but Madoka is finally done!
I'm hoping to write up how everything was made and post it all soon :D

Been getting some bits and pieces together for Elle already!

The wig is a Shinku wig and it's a little more golden than Elle's hair, but I realy like it :] the pigtails are thin and it even has her little curls at the front! I think cause it's a bit more golden it'll make the costume look a little more vibrant.

Ordered some incredibly attractive ~galaxy leggings~ (not pictured), goodness knows what they'll look like when they arrive but it was cheaper than sourcing and buying fabric to make my own.

Also ordered my fat little Lulu, who was extortionately priced but adorable <3 there is a larger version but he was quite a bit more expensive, and I couldn't resist the chibi version!

I'm going to get fabric for her hat, cardigan, dress and backpack today, hopefully! Her costume is super simple but I can't wait to get started :]

It begins!

Mostly cottons (pink, yellow, red, white), some polycotton (dark pink) and two different types of white organza. The white in the bottom left is 'fairy dust organza' I've wanted to use for about 4 years, and finally have an excuse to (even if nobody really sees it as it's for petticoats.. meh)!!

My machine atm is bust so there won't be any major progress for a while but I'm going to try patterning things like the petticoat and skirt very soon :)

So the wig is underway.. a small job, but progress nonetheless!

The wig started as a Chibiusa wig, but I didn't end up needing it. The clips were detachable which meant I could test different methods and dye colours easily, since I wanted a nice pink for Madoka without it being too bright or too dark, and I can make her pigtails as big or small as I want when styling.

First I tried copics, which looked great but took forever to colour on the test wefts. That and I had to mix 3 colours for the right blend, which would prove expensive. Instead I took what little isopropyl alcohol I had left and mixed it with pink and purple dye and sprayed it - voila!

I dyed the wig itself and the ponytail clips - hoping to style soon!

I'm currently netless so this update is coming from my phone, haha!

So, I rushed this for SunnyCon, and used fabric I had around the house. It looked alright but geez it wasn't accurate at all, so I'm totally remaking it. The corset is staying, but the dress, bolero, underskirt etc is all getting remade \o/

It'll be made from velvet and to match the game references, woop! And Booker can be fixed up and we can do an awesome shoot too before rewearing them for AyaCon!

Well, the first dye job was far too light imo, so I added some black to the sepia ink mix. And well, it came out looking like tar. It was sprayed in the dark as well (sun had gone down) and it looked awful... until it was washed off!

This is the result with the weft added; the top is really nicely gradiented down to the lighter blonde now, and it looks.. quite natural! I'm pretty happy with it so far. It's nice and fluffy too!

The green weft was added and sprayed a few times, but it's non-heat resistant so it's a bit tricky to style into her curl.. I'll probably just try to style it once it's on my head for ease, to be honest! The colour is great though!

I'll be doing another makeup test soon, hopefully with the curl added! So exciting!

Just some pictures of in-progress dye on the wig. It's still drying now and looks a lot lighter than when the dye was first applied! Exciting!!

So. Milla has a ton of layers in her hair. There are shorter pieces around her face, at the very front, around the sides, back, then stagnated in about 3 places toward the bottom (according to the original references).

Yeah.. got my work cut out, heh.

Nevertheless, even though I'm pretty terrible with wigs, I trimmed it into a few layers, added the flicks around the face, and it turned out quite nicely! There's a lot less hair now, but the layers give it a nice bit of volume, so it's a bit more Milla-ish. Her hair is such a big deal but in itself is quite busy, so hopefully it doesn't look too terrible!

The dye was applied this morning, and went.. hopefully pretty smoothly! The picture attached was mid-spraying and working so it's a tad uneven, but it looks much better in person. It was applied in layers and around the highlights, which may or may not have lit as much as I wanted once the colour was combed through but it's definitely noticeable, which is good enough for me!

Once it's all dried I'm going to add the green weft and do another makeup test! Hopefully it'll all turn out well!! \o/

The wig I bought was a 110cm long wave from Ayanamisatoru in a beautiful soft gold colour.. which was quite yellow when it turned up. Not a problem though, if anything it'll just make the tips stand out even more, heh!

The original wig was quite flat until the curled ends as shown in the stock photo, but it was nice and thick at least, so a good place to start.

The middle photo is a makeup test I did with it when it arrived. Even without the dye applied I think it looked quite nice for her costume.. but "nice" isn't good enough ;)

References! Wooo

Looking at her costume I'd say probably the biggest part of Milla's costume is her hair. Not only is it the most noticeable part of the costume but my main worry is that if it's done badly, it's going to make the rest of the costume look terrible too, no matter how good the costume itself is.. so it's top priority to do it right!

Her hair is a sort of dirty blonde leading to light blonde highlights/tips. It's done in layers and each layer's ends are highlighted too. And of course there's the green piece in her fringe!

The darker parts have been dyed with the good ol' FW ink technique using ink in Sepia and 70% rubbing alcohol, blending down into a softer edge on each layer. The green section will be added by sewing a green weft in to the wig.

From artwork and in-game references her hair is meant to be pretty big, but I'm going to go for a more natural take on it by building it up with some nice fluffy layers. It should mean it's more comfortable to wear, and should still have a similar effect.. hopefully!!

Yes I am hideously unattractive in these pictures

Just showing some last-minute progress on Booker! The shirt is modified to add the collar (which needs positioning upwards... and is inaccurate too guh) and the cuffs still need to be added too. The holsters also need making :( BOO

There's not even much to be done on these costumes, but it's taking ages!! I still need to fix the bodice and underskirt for Elizabeth too...

And thus the choker is done! After painstakingly drawing the patterns on the collar (and most of them looking alright...) it's about as done as it's going to get before SunnyCon at least!

It looks a lot nicer actually ON, and the uneven shapes are less noticable that way haha..

The choker was the bit I was dreading, but it's turning out alright!

The reference for the choker I was following was the large render artwork of Elizabeth, where it's a blue band with lace and a songbird emblem. Here's my attempt so far.. the band still needs painting with the white detailing, but it's getting there!

The emblem isn't exact, and the paint job is a bit meh due to my awful paint skills, but I think it looks alright so far! The cameo base isn't great either, but it was the best I could find on that scale without being an oval. I think it looks alright! The songbird was shoddily cut out with a pin in fimo :x

Hoping to get this done soon, then it's just a few touches on the dress and the petticoat to do for Elizabeth!

So, progress at last! A day's work but it's getting there..! Forgive the bad hair and lack of makeup, haha.

The bolero is done, just needs pressing and buttons on the cuffs. The skirt needs attaching to the bodice and it all needs hemming, lace adding then the zip fitting but once that's done the dress is finished!

All in all it's a bit rushed and it's not all that accurate, but I think it's came a long way from being a pile of not quite enough fabric like it was earlier, heh. The sleeves had to be made in 4 sections to ensure they'd FIT, since there were no pieces of fabric left big enough to get them out fully!

I still need to make a petticoat, but I need more lace for that ;x and the choker needs making, but I need the cameo base before I can start that.

So far it's not too shabby, now I just need to get a move on to work on Booker for Arphrial before the deadline!

Dis costume.

I thought I had about 2.5-3metres of blue fabric for the dress, but as it turns out, I only had about 2. When making a long blue dress and bolero, this is a bit of a disaster.

So somehow I've made the sleeves in 3 parts and I *THINK* it's going to work!!

That or it'll end up burned by the end of today. Yay

So, I'm suddenly rewearing Totori for Oct Expo with Emzone, SachikoYumi and MikeJenks as part of a Rorona group! <3

Sadly after May it needed some fixing, so last-minute plans were made to tweak.. biggest issue was the skirt and how flat it was, so the new and updated version will thankfully have a petticoat. It's huge and puffy and flares outwards at the sides, so it should create the right sort of shape!

The dress needs refitting to the sides, and refitting to the front. I'll be adding some hooks/bars at Expo to help it stay up and right, rather than floppy with poppers like it was last time. I'm hoping it'll really help...

Hopefully this time I'll get some good photos!! <3

At last, after a last-minute spur to get the blazers done it's all finished! Should be wearing these on Sunday at Expo <3

Yukino is finally nearing completion! Aside from finishing up the tie and making a blazer (..later) she's all sorted for now!

Finding a short sleeved pocketless shirt was nigh on impossible, save for the virtue we call Asda. I tried literally everywhere else with no luck but once again, Asda is a saviour, and at a reasonable 2 for £6 I'm not complaining. Relatively comfy too, as far as school shirts go. I'll miss having a handy pocket, but it's in the design so, sigh, for accuracy's sake it will be a small inconvenience.

The tie is a fabulous elasticated masterpiece, which I find shockingly apt. for Yukino and her notoriously fake exterior. It will look perfect whilst worn but secretly it's a cop out, just like everything else! Hurray for unintended accuracy! The elastic just needs sewing in and it's done.

Next on the list aside from finishing the tie is a couple of makeup tests and then finally the blazer, and of course, clothing Arphrial as Arima. He's easy though, just schoolwear, potentially a gakuran and some hairdye. Sorted!

So, as you can see the hairband is now done! I covered an old wide hairband I had for Komugi with a yellow lightly patterned fabric, and it looks super cute :] obviously modelled here by Pero Pero himself, eee!

Speaking of Pero Pero, his ears have been sewn down and his head is sewn on too (it was just pinned before). So he's complete now too and should be fine and ready to be carried around at Expo!

I also finished the skirt this week, so all of the lines are done and it's fully finished with the waistband and zip in place. I'm working on the tie today, so once that's made and I have a suitable short-sleeved shirt everything besides the blazer will be done~!

Feels good to have a costume done well in advance, makes a nice change haha :]

Been working away on the skirt here and there, and it's taking shape! Sewing the stripes on it took what felt like forever but they're done now! This took like 20m of ribbon oh my life.

Since this is only the.. second? maybe? pleated skirt I've ever made, I think the pleats look a bit big here so I might reiron them a bit smaller to make it sit better. It looks relatively accurate against references, though, which is always nice! Thankfully the ribbon looks much better ironed than it did when it was freshly sewn, much tidier than expected haha :V

Obviously when finished it'll have a nice tidy waistband, and won't be worn with my unflattering work shirt or jeans. Heh.

And thus my wig arrived! Totally not like the photo suggested and required much trimming and straightening, but alas, it is relatively done now. The colour is wonderful, not 100% accurate but it's a more natural shade for her hair to be than a brighter red.

I trimmed the fringe and thinned it a bit, but damn those wigs are thick! I still think this is a bit too "full" for Yukino since her hair is normally pulled back, but in some parts of the series it is fully forward so I'm going with that. Overall the wig is a teeny bit shorter than it should be as her hair is like a rounded bob, but I think it looks nice this way~!

Obviously not the hairband I'll be using, no makeup, guh, etc.

I've also been working on the skirt, but that's not done yet! Booo

The wig has been ordered~! Hopefully it should arrive soon and I can do some makeup tests and get a hairband sorted for it too!

Only major job left now is to finish working on the skirt :V

Well. Costumes from Kare Kano aren't particularly recognisable, but there's one little guy who is... Pero Pero! So a Pero Pero we shall have.

Sadly I think he looks a little wonky, but he shall do until I can make another! He's made from white and black fleece (for his eyes) and then red felt for his tongue. Took about 2 hours from start to finish to make him, and all he needs now is a few adjustments and some handsewing on his neck and ears (hence the pins)

Pero Pero is usually laid down so I made him quite flat, which will also make him easier to transport, haha. He's not huge, but he's about to scale. His arms are sewn seperately on the underside, so if you bend him around he does keep a different shape, but only just!

Otherwise, he will do nicely and hopefully when myself and Arphrial wear these someone should recognise us from Pero Pero if nothing else :]

...No kidding. This is probably the easiest thing I'll have made in years, lol

In any case, the version I'll be doing is based of the anime design for simplicity. The only major difference is Yukino's hair colour and skirt design, with little to no difference on Arima.

Attached is a photo of the wig I shall be ordering! It's a tad darker than her hair is meant to be, but I think it looks more flattering than a bright red wig or a ginger wig. That and it'll need very little styling/trimming to look accurate, since Miyazawa's hair is pretty much exact. All it really needs is a nice hairband and it's done!

The skirt in the manga is a blue tartan, whereas in the anime it's blue with some light blue lines on it. It's much easier to replicate with plain fabric and some ribbon, whereas finding a consistent pattern from the manga is not only stupidly hard but finding one that looks *nice* irl is even harder, so it's a happy compromise. The anime design was simplified a lot, but I prefer it.

I'll probably end up making her blazer but there's plenty time before October for that, and it shouldn't be too difficult to make one in good time! For now I'm just wanting to get the main costume done and dusted :P

Totori is as done as it's getting before May Expo.

I'd post a more detailed journal about final pieces, but I'm far too tired! I'll post a more thorough update after Expo, but for now here's some progress pictures of various pieces, including Totori's pink panties, made today :P sadly the staff wasn't finished, but I wanted to get everything done to a good standard instead of half-finish them to have a finished staff so that'll unfortunately have to wait til next time!

Should be debuting on Saturday~!! This is my first Expo, I'm so nervoussss <3

The bolero is done!
The blouse is (very nearly) done!
The staff is.. started!!

...And that is the progress from today. Seriously, that's all I've spent today doing. Pinning frills and bows and things! Gawd

I bought a pole for the staff (at last), which I will hopefully finish just in time before Expo!! I sprayed it blue earlier and it's looking spiffy. The references show the staff as 120cm tall in total, but that's against Totori's shorty height of 146cm, so I'm making it a tad longer to compensate for my height. The pole itself is 125cm tall, so once everything is attached it should come in at about 140cm (hopefully) against my 165cm-ish height. So the ratio *should* stay accurate at least!

Middle image shows both the collar and the bow attached to the bolero; the colours look really messed up here, but in person it looks wonderful!! My cruddy handsewing is keeping it supported, and the tails seperate. It flows so nicely, and it's FINALLY done!

The final image is of the frills on the blouse; these are turning out SO well. I was unsure how to get the right ruffled effect, and through pure experimentation (read: laziness) it's turned out perfectly! The rest of them need starching, as only the left side of the image here shows them finished and pressed with the right still left to do, but that shouldn't take long!

I'm a tad miffed though, I had 6 buttons bought for this, which I have unfortunately lost.. and need to replace tomorrow. Guh. More expense! Stupid buttons!

In any case, famous last words; this should be finished soon! I'm taking a break from it tomorrow to work on Caitlyn, but it should be done on Wednesday... ;_;

Some smaller bits of progress from today...

The shell for the bag finally has a gem on it! Cute little pink gem means the bag is 100% done! Thanks to the magic of Tesco, I finally found a gem suitable (after 2 days of searching - who'd have thought the kids aisle would finally come in handy, eh?)

And - at last - all of the embroidery for the collar is done!! It's not attached yet as it was only finished at about midnight tonight and I've misplaced by pinking scissors, which are vital for finishing off the patterning.. so.. until tomorrow, this is about as far as it goes!

I'm hoping to get everything on Totori done by the end of tomorrow, so I can have some time to finish other costumes for Expo.. though that was my hope earlier today, haha! Here's hoping.. ;_;

Make a headdress across 8 straight hours.
On next to no sleep.

I get the feeling my initially 'respectable' journal entries are deteriorating as I get less and less sleep when writing them and working on this costume...

Anyhow, I made the majority of the headdress today! The scale is insane. There is no way to get the scale accurate AND fit your head at all compared to the reference artwork; this is as close as I could get without tearing my hair out. Regardless, it looks pretty good! ...I hope. The biggest issue is the sides, which had to be taken in by 2 inches total to make it fit my head accurately, so some of the detailing was lost. But I think it looks nice enough regardless, even if some of the detail is missing, and the scale looks much better than having it stretch way past my ears.

The base is the same fabric as the bolero embroidery, a soft pink, which matches the boots too. Initially it was going to be leather on leather, but I ran out of the pink pieces so had to make do with fabric with the gold leather instead.

All of the pieces were mounted on a thick piece of interfacing, then edged with thin wire to make it flexible to match the shape of her headdress. It faces back a -lot-, which was difficult to achieve otherwise. It was tedious, but worth it! Most of it was made by gluing pieces together to avoid visible seam lines, besides the seam lines on the pink parts as shown in the reference. I hate using glue, but I can't exactly magic it together, can I? :P

All it needs now is securing so it's wearable, and the gold clip pieces at the side. I'm going to change the way the headdress fabric piece sits too, so the folds are more accurate!

And yet more boot progress! Yes.. I am still sewing these. Still! These things have probably robbed about 20 hours of my life altogether -_-

But, at last, the final straight! The top panels have been cut out and pinned here, but will obviously have all of the detail stitching on and ties before they're finished. I think the scale is alright.. the boots are slightly longer than they should be (mainly to compensate for how much taller than Totori I am; also her stupidly long legs for being short, to make it more realistic), so the top panels had to be scaled accordingly. They're slightly longer than the boots themselves, but this means the ties will be functional and should look much better than having them sewn 100%!

You can see how uneven the fronts are here :'< thankfully it doesn't photograph that badly depending on how my feet are positioned, so fingers crossed it'll be fine in the end!

I am so happy to be making this entry!! The boots have WORKED omg

Here's a photo of the first one, attached to the shoe fully, and on my leg!! I've been so nervous that they wouldn't fit right, but they look exactly like I wanted them to!! The heel is totally cute underneath, and it fits with a slight bagginess just around the ankle (as in references)

They're glued for now, but will be hopefully be secured further if I get time (as they are now, that will be a last minute job).

The wig was trimmed earlier today, at last! It was an 80cm long one - now it's just past shoulder length with some layering. I'm awful at trimming wigs, but it looks like Totori's hair and isn't an ugly blunt cut, so I'm happy with it! I'm going to try do a makeup test before Expo, so I'll save uploading any images of it right now until then.

I also submitted my audio for the stage performance at Expo today! SO NERVOUS. ;_;

Progress ground to a halt yesterday after a needle tried to assassinate me, but I should still be on track to get this all done very soon!! I'm aiming for most of it to be complete tomorrow, but that may be wishful thinking..!

[EDIT] Well, looks like my celebration was a tad premature, seeing as the boot covers don't line up exactly. The pattern on the front is out by 1-2cm on the front of one of them.. all positivity is now pretty much gone -_- there's nothing I can do at this stage, so I'm just going to have to 'deal with it' unfortunately.. ugh, I wish I'd noticed this earlier.
At least I can just position my feet differently.. but man, this sucks.

So, the boots are still underway.. STILL.. but I found a much better way to make them, so I unpicked the original zip and progress and have started them (kinda) again. They're not particularly difficult to sew, but really hard to put together! Changing the zip and cutting things down has taken about 5 hours and they're nowhere near done..

Once the zips are both in (only 1 so far), they need attaching to the shoe and then the gold panelling around the top with the leather tie. THEN they will be done! I'm hoping these will be as close to finished as possible today, ideally with all of the gold detailing attached, but they're taking forever :[

Bit more progress from yesterday, with the first FINISHED part of this costume!! It's only taken like 3 weeks or something ridiculous...

The bag on the left is now finished, aside from 2 tiny bits of handsewing and the gem on the shell, which can be done in no time (and require finding a gem first, lol). But the bag itself is done!! It's sturdy and can hold at least my purse, an small notepad, pen, makeup, etc all quite easily. It snaps shut at the front and hangs to about my hip!

Middle is the cuffs on the bolero; finally got these done, a little less tidy than I wanted but I hate making bias haha. The gold looks really nice against all of the colours though, not too bright and not too shiny!

Right is the "petticoat" under the skirt, which is hemmed the same way as the skirt with a decorative overlock stitch. It shows through the skirt a little, but it adds a lot more volume to it and most of the petticoat will be covered by the dress on top anyway. I didn't want to add one in, but unfortunately needs must, and Totori's skirt is meant to flare out huge :X

Today is a day of working on her boots, bow and headdress, which should hopefully go smoothly.. once they're all sorted, there's.. surprisingly, not a lot left to do!

The embroidery for the collar yesterday was up to 9/12 panels too, SO CLOSE to completion :]

Skirt is coming along nicely, it has a waistband now and a zip ready to go in! But.. it is a bit flat.

SO, even though it's not in the designs, I'm unfortunately adding a short petticoat to foof it out some more :[ I don't want to, but having a flat skirt is most definately not accurate in the slightest, considering how big her skirt flares out in references! I'm thinking about 4 inches long at most, gathered and sewn into the skirt itself, and as much length as possible to make sure it actually flares out nicely!

Otherwise, blouse progress! The blouse is now hemmed at the bottom and has straps in progress from leftover bias. All it needs now is the button band, buttons sewing on and the frills around the top. It's cut quite short so it fits under the dress nicely, but will still tuck into the skirt comfortably.

I can't wait to get these all done!! As soon as I think I'm finished there's more and more to be added.. =__=

Finished all of the accessories for the bag over the weekend; the shell is done in two pieces, a front and back and glued around the edges. Both pieces had to be sanded down to fit together properly, to remove any excess shell inside. It still needs a gem on the outside, but I'll add that soon!

The bottle is made from clear resin, dyed with Vitrail ink in 3 shades to create the right look. I'm sure I've mentioned this before.. but eh. I added Mica powder to make it sparkle throughout as well, and then a coat of gloss was added to make it shine more like a bottle.

The tops of both of these are bells! I found them dotted around and they're perfect. The clanger was removed from both, adjusted inside and then glued onto the top. All they need now is a ring to attach them into the bigger ring on the bag strap and they're done! ...and the gem for the shell.

The glue bubbled a bit around the edges.. but hey, it's a bottle and a shell, and it's all about magic anyway! You can only tell up close too.

So far they're my favourite part of the costume, even if they are small :] probably because they're actually pretty much complete, hahaha

Dress progress! At lastttt! It only took.. what.. months from starting this costume to actually get this far. And it's going surprisingly smoothly!

The reference artwork has clear lines as to where the seams are, making a sort of pointed formation across the front and then leading down into the petals/skirt at the bottom. It was patterned out on plain fabric then cut out of the pink lining to test it, then cut out of the final fabric (shown in the bottom left - it's the shinier stuff)!

The skirt is made bigger to accomodate for the slight poofiness it has in references, which also means it flares out over the skirt nicely!

It's actually closer to completion than in these pictures, with both sides of the skirt done besides bias and ready to be attached. Once the skirt is attached, all the dress needs is the gold bias around the top and the zip and it's done!

Ok, so I've been working for the past 3/4 days on this but been too goddamn tired to update CosplayIsland when I've been settling down so I'm going to update it in parts, rather than chronological chunks...

Embroidery for each cuff was done in 5 repeats, as per the design. They come in at just under 50cm wide altogether and each repeat took about 12-15 minutes.. ouch! There's still 12 more repeats to be done for the collar too!

Here you can see the bolero with the frills completed, they're a bit tighter on one side compared to the other but they sit nicely!

The middle images are of the completed cuffs, with the pointed patterns across the top, and then the gold buttons for under the sleeves. I had other buttons to paint, but found these in a box that were already painted for another costume and in the perfect shape - score!

Far right is a photo of the bolero so far with the cuffs attached on top of the blouse progress (it has the beginning of straps, at last!!). The cuffs are huge, but they're meant to be, and they sit comfortably when worn as well just above my hands.

Hoping to get this done asap. The gold trim for the cuffs I cut was a bit small, so that can be redone. After that once the collar is on, the bolero just needs the bow attaching and buttons and it's DONE!!

I've pinned, unpinned, repinned, readjusted and fixed these frills 4 times now.. and I think I'm finally happy with them against the reference!

Here's the current pinning progress; it's a lot smaller than it was before, and seems to have a nice flare at the edges like in the reference artwork. Comparing it to the previous attempt this looks MUCH better and pinning it in one direction seems to be helping!

Once the edging is attached it should look spot on.. I hope!!

So, the bag would be about 90% done tonight if I had realised I needed one vital tool: a hammer!
Until I hammer the snap fasteners in to close the bag, I can't finish it! Bummer. Here's a couple of progress pictures so far; the lining isn't in the bag yet but that's the progress so far, with a hole for the fastener to be added.

The image on the right is a pocket inside the lining of the bag, it's very small but it's big enough to hold a small pencil/cash/change etc, so it should prove useful! Just a little extra detail to it, and to make it more functional too!

Hoping to get this all finished asap; I'm so tired of everything on this costume being "in progress" and nothing being "complete"!! Guh -___-

Here's a little bit of progress for the bolero! It shows off the fabric too - the blue fabric is a really nice lightly patterned fabric, with running lines down it. It's not 100% accurate, obviously, but it adds a nice detailed touch to the design.

Here's the frills pinned halfway, and looking rather nice! They look a bit big here, but the hem needs taking in for the lining, and the bias needs attaching on top, so they will be shorter at least. They're a bit wide as well.. not too sure. I might fix that later, since it is just pinned at the moment. In different references they're different sizes, it's just hard finding a size that looks flattering >.<

This pattern was pretty hard to figure out how to work it to fit off the shoulders, but when the sleeves are in it looks awesome and fits right ^^

So, more boot progress (after a while, lol) and.. this is the state of the first one so far!

Pinned, obviously, but on my leg it seems to fit nicely! All that's left is to sew the zip in, attach it to the shoe underneath and then add the gold detailing on the top of this one!

I hope they look alright.. these are SO hard to put together ;A;

As well as the bag I've been testing other things! Here's a couple of pictures to show some different progress that's been going on...

On the left is the skirt, pinned here but it has since been sewn! No waistband yet, but it's coming together! It also shows the dryed colour from the dye, since I didn't update about that... the purple blends into the pink very nicely, and then down into the white as in the reference ^^

On the right is a test panel for the bolero, which has since been corrected and cut out of the blue and pink fabrics ready to be sewn! All that it really needs now is the embroidery completing and the gold detailing; it's coming together nicely.

All that's really left, to be honest, besides finishing pieces off and putting things together is making the dress or patterning it, at least. The headdress also needs work, but most things are actually "in progress"!

Good grief, this costume is doing me in. My back is aching so badly after working non stop for the past 2 days.. and still nothing is actually finished!! Curses. Well, it's pulling together at least..

Here's some progress shots for the bag; I feel like pictures in this journal are getting smaller and smaller, haha. Either way, kinda self explanatory, but here's a summary anyway:

Top left - Bag mockup from the lining! It's small and cute! It should have 1 internal pocket once it's done and be fully lined. This was just the mockup, so the front pieces are a little more pointy than they should be here.
Bottom left - Pieces cut out of leather. The larger piece was left uncut to allow embroidery!
Top middle - Marking the pieces to be embroidered on the back of the leather.
Bottom middle - The pieces being embroidered! This was.. interesting! Fun? Maybe. Tedious? Sure. Frustrating? Of course! Even though it's being done by machine, the machine struggled with the leather and it had to be done twice (out of expensive leather, guh!). The patterns were vectored digitally then ported over, then sewn accordingly.
Top right - The back of the leather once it was sewn - the boxes are where the parts were marked on. Spot on! :)
Bottom right - The sun and moon emblems finished and the panel cut out!

The bag should be assembled tomorrow if all goes to plan - no idea how I'm going to put the strap together or seal it, but that's a problem for another day haha. As long as the main body is assembled tomorrow I'll be happy.

So, progress has ground to a slight halt due to hospital needs, but alas, some small progress today! I picked up this to line the bag with today.

Totori's bag has no reference for the inside. Even though she pulls items from her bag it doesn't actually open in-game, and there aren't any drawn references, so I settled on something that complimented the leather with a simple pattern. I think it's pretty cute!

I'm going to try pattern it out soon with pockets and things too on the inside, so it's cute *and* functional :]

So, dye part two! Yesterday was a bit of an ordeal figuring out the skirt pattern, then applying the dye accordingly. In references, her skirt has a soft pink tint into white with a slight purple tint at the top, so, pink and purple it is!

Top left - skirt pinned as it'll be worn; it's gonna be nice and floaty, but still quite big! Totori's skirt is short but has a lot of volume to it, and this'll make adding the pleats/folds very easy.

Bottom left - dye for the pink. The skirt was folded x8 to fit in the tray for the dye, so it ended up nice and small but dyed a little uneven (exactly like I wanted) but it made it so heavy and hard to move!! A bit of it ran as well so it's a dyed little lower than I wanted, but it still looks nice and should dry lighter.

Top right - pink layer on the skirt once it was unfolded. Still 2x layers here (it's sewn at both edges), so it looks a tad darker here than it will be once it's dry!

Bottom right - same jobbie here, just with the purple. The purple dye is more lilac in person, and not anywhere near as dark as this either! I wasn't too happy with how the dye turned out on this, but hopefully it'll look better dry and folded as the skirt should be, instead of wet and layered like this haha.

The headdress also got done, but was pretty much just light purple.. had to be dyed twice as the first time it was too blue, but it worked out well on the second attempt.

As long as there are no major issues with these pieces that's all of the dye jobs done and ready to be put together; now to not mess it up! >_<

So, yesterday was pretty tedious all over, what with the embroidery, figuring out patterns and finally.. the first real batches of dye. And on the worst parts, no less! I did the bow and tails yesterday and it took forever!!

I must also recommend that when using Dylon water dyes, it says 'wear rubber gloves' for a reason - my hands are still purple. Ho hum.

The photo shows some of the progress - the bow tails freshly cut and overlocked (and wavy just like the reference - though there will be extra pleats in them too once they're done!), the dye progress and the final result. I also dyed the bow pieces but they're not photographed here.

There was a mix of light blue, dark blue, pink and purple used on the pieces to match the reference artwork - hopefully it's turning out well! ^^;

As for the pieces themselves, the overlocking used is a decorative one for the tails and skirt, where the rest will be hemmed as well. Both techniques compliment the designs really nicely.. or at least.. fingers crossed they will once they're all done!

The colour should be lighter than shown here too - bad camera, and they were still wet here.

The bolero is thankfully the only part of Totori that needs any major embroidery, so thank goodness for that. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of it :[

I tested the pattern I made for the bolero pieces yesterday on a small piece of the fabric. All things considered, it turned out quite nicely! This is a 2-part repeat of the pattern and lining it up was relatively simple as well, as it joins at the centre point on either side of the line.

The colour in the photo is a tad washed out, but shown next to the pattern is the dress fabric to show the colour comparison. The colours on the bolero embroidery are meant to be the same colour (darker line) and slightly lighter (filling), which seems to have worked out rather well!

Should be starting on this properly soon - I'm going to make the bolero first, then fit the embroidery around it to ensure it's the correct scale.

So, with all of my tests I've been trying to kick smaller jobs out of the way early, rather than fiddling around before Expo.

One of my favourite (though small) parts of Totori's costume is the bag, and the trinkets hanging off it! Of course including the bottle. The shape is a little tricky, and to get it as an actual bottle proved impossible, so I'm casting it as a solid piece in blue-tinted resin.

Here's the progress so far, set to cure at 5pm today so it should be ready tomorrow! It's dyed with Vitrail ink in two shades with added sparkle from Mica powder. I really hope it works!! It looks so pretty in the cast! *A*

Nevertheless, this should be hung off the bag alongside the shell (currently not pictured) once the bag is done!

Probably the most daunting part of this costume.. the dye.

I have £40 worth of fabric, £10 of dye materials, and one chance.

So, rather than being a class A imbecile and trying it on the actual fabric, I did a few tests earlier today to make sure /this is going to work/ instead of wasting £50 in one fell swoop!

These are the dye tests, and the final results; colours on the results are (top left->bottom right): Powder Pink, French Lavender, China Blue, Intense Violet and Ocean Blue.

I love all of the colours besides Intense Violet, which is, well, pretty intense! It's far too dark for the colours in Totori's outfit, so I'll be using less of that on the fabric methinks, haha. It's only used on the tails anyway, and not much of it, but I'm SO glad I tested it instead of just threw it on..

I should be putting the dye on some of the outfit tomorrow, hopefully all of it starting with the headdress and tail pieces. Gonna get the small and biggest pieces out of the way before dealing with the easier pieces!

Oh my word! Actual progress??

Yes, indeed. I started cutting out the pieces for the blouse yesterday, and started the behemoth I call the boots today. This is probably the most elaborate shoe/boot cover I've ever made.. it's going to be attached to the sole directly, with very little actual support around the calf, made entirely from leather (besides lining).

It looks a tad limp here, but it's being very badly held up by one arm as I hold the camera with the other :P

Cutting these out was horrible, I had literally *just* enough leather to do both boots. The fun image on the left is how these had to be arranged on one piece, haha.

Sewing leather seems pretty alright; sewing suede, however, horrible!! It catches on the feeding teeth really badly, haha. I'll be sewing everything leather-side down if I can help it!

So far it's been a pretty productive day, got one base boot cover about 60% done with the decal sewn and the main body sewn aside from the lining and zip, then all it'll need is the top decoration. Calling it a night for now, but these should be done in the next few days if all goes well!

Well, this is it. Aside from lining fabrics and the silk that's to be dyed, here's everything I have for Totori so far!

Everything is labelled. Today I picked up the blouse fabric - a tad dark for what I wanted, but it matches the references and seems to be a suitable weight too. I wanted it slightly more white/pale, but this is literally the best I've found. It blends nicely with everything else though so it should look nice altogether.

Also picked up the gold trim on the bottom left - typically the day after I shell out for leather! It matches the leather really well and will be used on the dress and bolero instead. This should make it much easier to sew and it's more accurate too!

Altogether my new additions cost me a grand total of £6.50! Finally a bargain for this damn costume!! Typically right towards the end of shopping, bah...!

Following on from the previous entry, here's an update on the leather fiasco...

I went back to get the original leather, and found they had this replacement one (see image) with two much bigger pieces. The original bit was a bit small and a tad too optimistic to make the boot details, dress outlines, cuffs and headdress out of, whereas the two bigger pieces will cover that easily (and leftovers can be used for Caitlyn, too!)

The texture is a tad different, it's less 'grainy' than the previous piece, but it should do nicely and is about the same weight to be sewn.

Cost me around £20 including a ring for the bag, which is.. more than I wanted to spend, but I'd prefer to have too much than not enough!

So, one of the last pieces left to find.. which is kind of vital before I start -anything-.. the gold leather! Ugh! This is proving such a pain already..

I found this leather earlier today, which is the closest to 'gold' I can find without it having a ridiculous shiny metallic finish (like cheap tacky gold). Everything else is tan or bright yellow.

You can see it compared to the pink for the boots (top left), pink for the dress (top right) and the bag leather (bottom).

It's like a soft, buttery colour with a gentle sheen.. not exactly what I'm looking for, but it seems to go with the rest of the colours nicely, and it's still quite thin and easy to work with. It needs to be used for trims on the boots, dress, bolero and the headdress, so it has to be workable.

Despite it being a tad light and not near gold enough, I'm probably going to settle on it if there's a big enough piece. It's the best I can find and against the pastel colours of the costume it seems to go quite nicely regardless.

That and if I choose this it won't be TOO shiny on the cuffs or dress, unlike most other Totoris I've seen >__<

So, Totori has a wee bit of embroidery on her outfit, and embroidery calls for embroidery thread... typically though it's one of the hardest things to find in stores around here, so I'm having to rely on the internet!

Pictured are the references the threads need to match (the bag is photoshopped darker; it's the only clear frontal reference I have and it's from a sketch, and it's closer to the in-game colour anyway), and the threads I've chosen. They're all Marathon embroidery threads, in colours 1032, 1035 and 1144.

I'm really nervous as to how they're going to look in person; the pinks need to match the fabric on the bolero and on the dress pretty much exactly, and not being able to pick them in person is really nerve-wracking!

The thread for the bag is quite a bit lighter than the references show, but to be fair, in no artwork is the design actually shown clearly. So I'm going to embroider it very thin to basically 'emboss' the design, rather than stitch it all on clearly in black like references suggest. I'm hoping it'll look better that way.. if not, I'm leaving plenty of time to get another colour and try it again later. The colour I've ordered is a similar colour to the leather I have, so at least it shouldn't stand out too glaringly and should match nicely, even if it is a tad inaccurate. If nothing else, it'll look SO much better than drawing the designs on, or having a big thick black line around the designs!

I also picked up the dyes for the silk today (5 of them! ugh!), some siligum for the gems, some more resin and some glass paint as resin dye. This costume is working out to be SO expensive... I hope it's worth it once it's done!! ;___;

Well, the skirt and dye on this costume is easily my favourite part, but apparently also the most expensive...

After KitaCon I went into Birmingham to scout out some silk, seeing as it's expensive up here! I managed to get some Silk Habotai (100% silk, semi-opaque, and completely dyeable) for £5/m instead of £7.50/m up here, so that's the fabric sorted at least; it's gorgeous stuff, wonderful and floaty and ever so slightly seethrough - should be perfect once it's gradiented for the costume!!

Now I need to get all of the dyes ready and seperate it out. All of the pieces are going to be dyed seperately to ensure it's dyed accurately. I'm going off in-game artwork since physical artwork is very hit-and-miss on accuracy, whereas the game is always the same.

Headdress - purple and white
Skirt - pink and purple
Bow & Tails - blue, purple, pink and white

Dyes are so expensive when you need so many, though..!!

Kind of relatedly, I also bought the pink for the bolero recently. It's just lighter than the dress pink, and the boots pink. Should do nicely (I hope!) I can't wait to start all of the embroidery too, even if it will make me tear my hair out.

This costume is working out so expensive already.. I still need blouse fabric, the trim for the dress and boots and more resin amongst other things.. guhhh ;A;

Well, in the last minute rush some corners have to be cut sadly ):

These are the bootcovers so far, not 100% accurate but if I get time later I'll fix them up a bit more with the front panel but if not they'll be staying like this. As is, the pieces are just not co-operating at all >_< but at least it has the brown piece on the back? More accurate than most!

The rest of the costume is now DONE (to an extent) and just needs ironing for packing! After a week of nothing but hassle this costume is finally DONE!!

So, some semblance of progress! The outfit is nearly done and I started work on the sword today- been busy working away on balsa wood and sculpey all day!!

So far it's just the main body, the handle/hilt piece will be made tomorrow! That's pretty much all that's left! it's pretty long (as per the reference) and the handle has all of the stem detailing and thorns. For my first real sword prop and first time working with wood I'm happy with this~! <3

I just hope I can get it all done in time.. ahahah! @_@"

Been working away on Anise.. so far, very little besides Tokunaga has gone well, but it should be finished for Kita regardless!

Here's some cape progress; looking alright so far, just needs the 4 buttons and the bias around the collar. The design on the front is kinda big but I think it looks ok (it shouldn't follow up to the edges, but heck, it looks alright)!

Looking at the references now I can see so many inconsistencies and inaccuracies and misfittings.. fingers crossed it looks ok when it's finished, ughhh!!

All that's left now is to finish the pink dress by adding the zipper and bias, to make the bootcovers and to modify the socks. I hope I can get all of it done in time ;A; !!

Bought materials for this little guy yesterday and made him up today~ :} he was time consuming, but surprisingly, not too hard! I had some assistance from Shido with sewing the head on but I patterned him from scratch and sewed him all up. For my.. third? plush, I think he's turned out really well!!

He's pretty big, and soft <3 he's probably a tad *too* big for Anise, but he turned out this way and I'm not changing him haha! I'll be attaching him to my back around Kita~

Sadly he does not feature a transforming feature, so I will not be resizing him and using him for my bidding. Maybe one day I'll learn how to do that eh?

Finished ring! I had some help from Shido with painting the motif since my hands are ridiculously shaky with details (and I'm terrible at painting) but it's all done now!

This is a sort of hybrid of the movie and series rings; the movie ring has some extra details (points at all 4 compass edges), which were added to the right and left of the ring. It's super hard finding any kind of silver signet ring -anywhere-, this was the only one I could find and modify and it left no space for the other points! But it's a nice compromise, I think!

Hopefully it looks alright though~ I'm really happy with it! <3

So, looking at art references the sword looked much easier.. but in the movie itself it's more like this.. seriously, the official art shows it looking more flat and with basic gems, not pretty rose details! More work more work!

It's so pretty though! I'm going to try make it for Kita (which hopefully I'll manage), it looks magnificent <3 the actual outfit still isn't done yet, but it should be for the con..! *fingers crossed*

So, even if I don't have time to make Washu A&B for KitaCon.. I need a mascot of some sort..

Aha! Ryo-Ohki! <3

I dug out my old Ryo-Ohki backpack a while ago and it'll be perfect to carry around (and keep my stuff in)! There's zippers in her back and ears and I'm going to remove the straps to make her look more like a plushie than a backpack in photos.

I've had this thing since I was 11 and used it pretty much daily! Poor little thing's eyes had practically rubbed off and it's tail came off years ago, so I fixed her up, gave her a wash and she's looking fine again (especially for her age, haha)

I always wanted the Ken-Ohki as well but never got him :'< so it'll be just little Ryo this time!

So, I did a test wear of Washu at SunnyCon and despite the event being.. basic.. it was a really good way to see what needs fixing before KitaCon when I wear this properly for the group!

I got a few quick photos thanks to Shido just outside the venue to try it out and show off the last few details. I made the cream shirt with the gathered collar and sleeves and attached the orange triangle pieces to the finished navy top, too. Also shows off the hair tie! <3

A few small things were missing (bows on shoes, poppers/hook and bars, some small details) and I want to try and fix up the front of the wig to make it slightly more accurate as well. I think it's a nice start, but if I can make it better I will do! A lot of it was safety pinned to save time, but that'll be fixed for KitaCon, obviously.

Otherwise, it's super comfy to wear so far, the only complaints were the wig which was a tad heavy and the shorts were a teeny bit tight but oh well :P sacrifices have to be made I suppose!

Everything's nearly done!! Aside from little handsewing jobs like the bows on her shoes, gem on her collar and poppers and such, the main costume is done!!

I finished the navy top and cream shirt today; both made from scratch and no real patterning, but good for first attempts! ^^; they fit comfortably and look accurate so fingers crossed it'll look good altogether~

Plans fell through last minute for promoting at SunnyCon with Utena, so seeing as I'm going -anyway- I'm going to test wear Washu instead. Hopefully I'll get some photos tomorrow to show it all together!

It'll probably be handy to know what needs editing or tweaking for Kita to make sure Washu will be at her best at the photoshoot :]

So, I've been working away, no pic this time but that's cause the light in my room is awfullllll.. that and it isn't done yet.

Cut out and sewn everything for the navy top over the past few days, all it needs now is hemming and some fastenings and it's done! The orange triangle pieces are ready to be attached too. All that's left now is the cream shirt, the bows on the shoes and finishing up the wig!

Happy days~ <3

So, before work (which I should be running to now..) I did a quick test for Washu. This has told me a few things: I need to figure out what colour for eyeshadow as NOTHING matches her pink hair, I need to toy with lipstick and the wig needs a bit more security before wearing at the con!

I'll be colouring my eyebrows at the con as well, this was before work. Last thing I want is pink eyebrows at work XD

The spikes aren't seperated here, but they still flare out a tad which I really like. With the ponytail I think it adds to the 'natural' style of the wig, instead of comic spikes. I can't decide what would be better for this at all.

It was only secured with bobby pins (no spray) so it should stand up better later. Any feedback would be awesome, though!

And so it continues... hopefully though this is the first half of the base wig sorted! With some help from Shido who has far more patience than I do, some extra wefts were added into the base wig sideways to add the crabby spikes on the sides of the wig; add some trimming and separating and this is what we ended up with!

I know Washu has huge spikes on her hair, but I think this looks much more natural (and manageable) and after looking up some other examples I much prefer this to solid OTT hair ^^;

Some references show 4 spikes and some show 5 - so for ease I'm going with 4 :V it looks a lot better as well. They still need a teeny bit of thinning out here, so they should look more accurate once they're trimmed some more.

Must say though I am pretty happy with it so far, once the base wig has been sorted all the extension needs is a few short wefts towards the top and that should be the monstrous wig done!!

So, next on the agenda was the hair tie.. and so, it begins! It's made from a stupidly long stretch of purple sateen stuff (on the less shiny side) and wrapped in the centre (to be sewn down) to give the illusion of it being tied, like Washu wears it. I figured sewing it down would be quicker (and easier) than having to keep retying it and not getting it looking right!

Pics hopefully show what I mean, incase the pins don't give it away. Quality sucks, but they were taken at 1am in a dark room! It also shows how it looks with the ponytail.. I think it definately needs some more volume.

Amongst other things, I made all of the orange triangles on her outfit (2 on each sleeve, 1 on her top, 1 on shorts) from fimo earlier and baked em so they're all ready. I hope they look alright.. I'm awful at sculpting with fimo/sculpey, but they LOOK like triangles so they'll do. I've attached the one onto the shorts and it looks pretty good so far!

Now the hairtie is done I can focus on getting everything else finished off and Washu should be done pretty quickly!

Been trimming down the ponytail and wrestling with the wig today.. wig isn't going well, but the ponytail is looking better than before! I think it needs more volume towards the top which I can hopefully add with some more wefts.

Realistically though, it was NEVER going to be as big as Washu's actual hair, was it :V I hope this is a good compromise.. it should still be big, but not as big as it should be!

Well, I swear this entry isn't just a showcase for my butt.. even though it -looks- that way..!

I finished these tonight! All that's left is a teeny bit of handsewing and the gem on the waistband. They're fully lined and the turnups are sewn on to make them look more accurate too!

They're a tad fitted but hopefully they should be fine once everything else is done. Though compared to the reference the waistband really ISN'T high enough, but on a person that'd look AWFUL. I'm hoping the ratio when they're worn with the top will look fine..! The last thing I want to do is remake these again with an even higher waist, sigh =___=

Actual progress?? Noooo.. can't be!

Anyhow, started on the shorts and despite cutting a nasty little hole in the butt of the shorts they're pretty much done! Only gripe is the fabric is a bit thin so it can appear a bit see-through, so if I get time (and enough cash) I'll probably remake them before the con if I'm still a bit worried :'<

But for now, here's a progress shot with the wig (still unstyled), hair tie (just the fabric - it'll be much longer!), the shorts, the tights and shoes (without their little bows)! It's all very much in progress but hopefully this shows off how it's pulling together at least :D

Now these are (nearly) done I'm going to try get the hair tie and tops done soon..!

My wig for Utena arrived yesterday! It's totally the wrong shade of pink.. but eh, I like it anyway! It'll do for my first wear of this anyway, until I snap and order a better colour.

It's from MoeMall and a really nice soft milkshake, bad light in the photo haha. It's nowhere near orange. I tried it yesterday and trimmed the fringe to have the flick in the middle like in the movie, and it seems to have worked nicely!

I didn't have any makeup on for the quick test but I should be doing a makeup test for Utena soon ^^

I also got her shoes yesterday; they're kinda inaccurate as well, haha. I just want to jazz up her design I guess! I got heeled shoes instead of flats, all they need is the white to the front and back and the laces replacing.

Rest of this costume is being dealt with by Paper Cranes (Shido) for her stall at SunnyCon for promotion!

My new wig arrived! I went for MoeMall's Stocking wig (Lucaille) because I love the colours! It's not too bright nor too dull, and it's really long as well but not too long to walk in. It's a bit thin but it wears nicely and spreads really well!

I tried it on yesterday and it didn't need any trimming at all, the fringe comes to just above my eyes which is perfect. No blunt cut trimming for me :]

The photo has no makeup (obviously, ugh, my skin!) but I'm going to try do a makeup test with it and maybe a few photos soon~

So, I finally started trimming the wig! Usually I'm really impatient when styling wigs and cut them way too shoddily, so I've been taking this one slowly to not mess up on it..

Over 3 different days I've trimmed the fringe and a bit at the front.. I've yet to conquer the actual length of the wig which needs trimming right down (and the rest of the fringe). It looks alright so far though! I'm probably going to dye it a bit darker towards the bottom but I'll worry about that once it's trimmed. The fringe reaches just above my eyes, but enough so you can see my eyebrows through the fringe, as in the references. I'll probably do a makeup test once it's all trimmed down!

My only dislike aside from colour is that the fringe on this wig is a bit thin :/ depending on how it's swept, it can show the wefting underneath, which kinda sucks. Hopefully her headdress will cover that, but it's frustrating all the same! You can just see it in the photo, I might have to try and move some wefts to fix it if it's a big problem once I make the headdress..

Normally I get help with wigs I don't want to mess up but I'm determined to do this one myself! Fingers crossed I don't have a disaster on my hands!

Here's a progress picture of the wig; one on the right is a photo of it drying 2 days ago, and it really shows off the new colour!

It's still a bit *PINK* instead of reddish pink but it's a lot better for her than before! Compared to the two references (two of the most different references I had) I think it'll do nicely ^^

Decided to try dye the wig again with some more red this time - at the moment it's drying and looks hot pink from a distance, but it's definately more red than it was before!

I think it's just the sunlight outside.. or at least.. I hope it is..

Either way, I'm out of rubbing alcohol now so it'll have to do! When I was spraying the wig it looked more red with pinky undertones (exactly like I want) so I'm hoping it'll dry as I want it :D

Dyed the wig for Washu today! It's currently drying on the washing line outside. It used a whole bottle of FW ink and about half a bottle of rubbing alcohol, hopefully it'll work out nicely once it's dry!

The inside is still a bit pink... fingers crossed it's not too noticeable! It should be fine though, it's not too much darker/too red from the original colour ^^;

The wig arrived yesterday - it's a nice wig, but it's a bit longer than expected.. and it's also lighter than I'd expected, too.

That said, the colour -is- very nice! It's a really pale sandy colour; hopefully the photograph gives a good enough idea! I'll be learning how to dye wigs with Washu anyway, so if I can I'd like to gradient it with some more brown and maybe even a teeny bit of lilac to match references better and have a multi-tone look.

Even so, it'll do nicely as is, it's just a tad light!

At last I finally started playing the game after getting my hands on a PS3 again! Even if it is just for a couple of days :V I'd watched clips and knew the story before playing so I knew I liked Totori, but it's nice to actually play it (and see how the costume is meant to actually flow, too).

First thought: wow, I need to make sure I make matching panties since that skirt is definately see-through. I saw in some references it shows you what they look like, so that's just another thing to put in-progress for accuracy!

Second thought: her legs are about as long as Rorona's, those boots are no way calf-length, they look way knee-length, ahghfghg, this game makes no sense of anatomy at all.

Third thought: leather I got for the boots.. absolutely perfect!

I'm going to be playing some more tomorrow to get a better grasp of her character, but heck, she's as ditzy as Rorona, if not a bit more, haha.

Hopefully my wig should be showing up this week too!

So, been a while, but I have been working~! ..ish..

I went to get the boots I found to use for Totori's soles today.. only to find they had 1 shoe in my size, but not the other! They had one shoe in size 6 and seven shoes in size 5.. looks like someone messed up and didn't realise XD; honestly, who buys 1 shoe in the wrong size?

Either way, here's a photo of the leather I have for Totori~! As labelled the brown is for the bag and the pink is for the boots. The pink isn't as bright as the photograph IRL, but I suppose it shows off the sheen on it nicely ^^

I ordered the wig yesterday too~! Ahhh *A* I can't wait for it to arrive. Once it's here I can work on the headdress too!

For Washu for Kita I'm going to do her default series outfit, the one with the shorts! Love those diagonal pockets (not so much the high waist, though..)

The shorts and top sleeves are different colours (even though in some references they look the same..) - the top is cream and the shorts are a light aqua so I'll be getting 2 different fabrics for them.

Also got my tights today, they're.. a bright mustard XD not 100% accurate, but I think they'll compliment the rest of the costume nicely instead of looking washed out like in the references - pretty much every other Washu I've seen has brighter tights anyway, and the last reference image on here shows them brighter (even with lighting effects).. so fingers crossed they should do nicely!

Hoping to order the wig this week! Ahhhh *A*

So finally I've decided which wig to get; Ayanamisatoru's Cure Blossom Pretty Cure wig! It's long and it's pink (though it will be dyed with red to make it more like Washu's hair anyway) and it should be stylable... fingers crossed, anyway!

The fringe will need major styling to even look like Washu's crab hair, but it should be long enough to style to something similar, at least. The curled fringe pieces will be styled into her little antennae too!

I'm going to be getting some help styling this (mainly because I'm so bad with wigs..) but if I can style the back ponytail to be more punky I think it'll work really well! And it's costing me half the price it was going to before by not needing to buy two wigs..

Should be ordering this when I can afford it, hopefully before Christmas and if I can afford to go to Kita it'll be worn then with the Tenchi group! So excited <333

So after deciding to make the boots from scratch and going on a recce to see what I could find I came back.. empty handed, but only until I get paid on Friday!

The leather shop had a perfect sheep leather in a light pearlescent pink. I didn't want pink at first but it's light enough to compliment the brown I already have and look almost light brown itself against the rest of the costume, which is absolutely perfect for what I need.

It's relatively thin (though sturdy) so it should be easy to sew and there were 2 pieces just big enough for me to make boots and the headdress out of successfully! Apparently if I attach some interfacing or strengthen it with a leather backing it should work fine for the boots.

Once I get it I'll post pics! It should be about £20 altogether for the two pieces - so exciting~!!

So, for the past 3 weeks or so I've been hunting for wigs for Washu. The colour is impossible. I did find one wig that was perfect (pictured) - it's punky and the right kind of reddish pink - just about 80cm too short to work, and not available in any other styles at all to even modify, guhhh -_-;;;

I'm going to ask around and see if I can get any advice on dying wigs, since my last attempt was pretty basic and I really want to do a good job with Washu. I think I've found an alternative using 2 wigs to make her hair work (from an original 3), but it depends if I can dye them properly and style it all up ^^

I can't wait til I can afford to start work on this monster <3

Ok, so it's early days and I have no money to even start this, but I've been looking up different resources and things for Totori~! I can get excited even without fabric or materials to start it.. haha.. ha~ ;A;

So it seems none of the characters in the recent Atelier games ever seem to have normal coloured hair, I had this problem with Rorona when I was looking to cosplay her too. This time though instead of blonde-peach-pink hair like Rorona, Totori has really soft grey-brown hair, sometimes with a soft purple/blue undertone. I guess it depends on reference, but even so, it's not just grey, it's not just brown, and it's certainly not purple or blue.

After a quick hunt around my favourite sellers I did find this one from Ayanamisatoru, which compared to most references (and particularly in-game) is pretty spot on! Apparently it's "sand grey".. considering I was searching for "grey brown" or "silver brown" wigs, I think that'll do nicely!

So far I've researched some stuff regarding the bag (which ideally, I'll be making using the leather I bought for Rorona back in the day) and boots. So far.. it looks like I'll be making the boots from scratch.. ughhh, well, best time to become a cobbler I suppose!

Her boots look almost two-tone between brown and pink, or a very pale brown/white. I bought some pearlescent finish leather for Leon (Tales of Destiny) a while back and if I can find similar stuff in brown I think it'd be perfect to make the boots out of, even if I do have to make them myself!

This costume.. ;A; it's so beautifullll~ I really want to do it justice! Considering all of the detailing if I have a chance I might enter it for a competition or something - it's sure as hell going to test my skills (and patience)!

A few different references (all artwork, no in-game) of Totori's boots.

So far the only "issue" between references is the lace at the front of the boot, which seems to come and go in artwork, but it's in the main "full" reference so it'll be added. On the majority of references and in-game the laces are there :P

I've had a quick look online at local retailers and so far found a few sets of boots I'll have a look at to work with. As much as I'd like to.. I don't think I'll be capable of making a shoe sole myself, so uh, that's 1 thing I'll be buying, then building on top of with leather. The heel has a slight taper from the top to the bottom with a curve, so I'll be looking for something as close to that as possible in brown to match the leather I already have.

Colour seems like an off-white, pinkish brown.. and in full colour references they seem to have a pink or purple tone to them. Ideally I'll be getting some pearlescent finish leather if I can find it in the right colour. It's thin but it's sturdy enough to hold, and if all else fails I can interface it to stay upright.

Design-wise there are no zips (guh) but visible seams up the back and front, then with the gold collar design attached at the top and toe. Not sure how I'll make these without any zips, but I'm hoping to find a way for accuracy's sake, haha. Especially considering they look fitted and I have chubby legs.. ;_;

For the gold pieces I'm going to see if I can find some brushed leather or suede to use, rather than foam or anything, to make it match the rest of the boot and also the toe detailing. The darker brown details like the loop at the front can be done with the same leather I have for the bag and the lace ties can be done with leather strapping.

I think they should be easy enough to do if I dedicate enough time to patterning and detailing; the design itself is simple enough to follow so fingers crossed!

Tomorrow I should be sourcing some materials (and boots) even if it is just a recce :x

Some references of Totori's bag~! One of the more difficult parts to find references for...

Her bag will be made from leather. I think the stuff I have is about the right colour, if not a tad light, but hey, I bought it, I'm going to use it! I haven't checked it against the references just yet. As for the bag itself, I'm going to line it with cotton and give it pockets and things to make it fully functional!

The shape of the bag is quite basic - I made Karol Capel's bag from the same sort of shapes and that turned out pretty well from fabric; even though this is much smaller, I don't think patterning it will be too hard. The hardest bit will be finishing the edges, I think, especially with the shaped edge.

The patterns on the front (sun and moon) will hopefully be embroidered on.. I don't know if I'll be able to embroider leather yet! Even so, I'll try it!

The front stud on the bag will be done with a normal popper clasp with an embellishment around the outside. I've helped do these before on some boots; they look awesome when they're done and should make it look big and embossed like the reference while staying functional! :O

The shell and bottle attached to the bag are going to be cast from resin (or y'know, made from an actual, factual, real natural shell). Hopefully all of the gems and things will cast properly and if all works out, the bottle should be gradiated and have the little sparkles in it, too by mixing the resin with some light glitter!

My main gripe is the shoulder strap.. the piece of leather I have isn't too wide.. trying to make the bag and strap might be hard. And colour matching leather is even more difficult, but I'll see! I haven't patterened it yet, so there's still time!

Again tomorrow I should be looking for materials and things for this! ^^

I've not done resin casting before but finding gems for Leon's cape is proving impossible, lol so I'm gonna try my hand at it at long last.

For the gems I cast a makeup lid with siligum, a silicon moulding kit. It takes about 10 minutes to set completely solid .. kinda daunting when it stays kinda squidgy as to when it's done, but it seems to have worked lol. I heard you can cast resin in artist palettes to get different size round gems but all the ones I found were either way too small or the wrong size completely, bah.

The resin kit I'm using is the standard Gebeo Clear Resin kit, comes in 2 parts and.. relatively easy and painless, lol. Put it together mix it up and cast away.

Since Leon's gems are blue, I dyed them with Vitrail 'Cobalt Blue' glass/metal paint I'm hoping I didn't put too much in.. it recommends a teeny drop and I put a couple of drops in, but I guess I'll see when it's finished casting.

Only thing I'm worried about is.. I have 1 mould.. I need 2 gems.. I need to mix this resin twice to get the same colour and cast it again exactly for the same size gems.. This will be interesting x__x

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 ^^

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. ^^

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.

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 :)

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!

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!! :)

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 ^^

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 :)

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cost of Wig - £29.34 + £11.36

The wig is a Clover XL in #130 from Cosplay.com 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.

Lambdadelta was worn all together with Beatrice (Hitachiin) and Bernkastel (Frazzy) for the Masquerade at AmeCon 2010 as a debut! We literally just arrived before we were due on stage.. awesome ;o

The socks for Lambdadelta proved to be impossible to find so I made some instead. They're made from pink and white jersey fabric and while they don't have an accurate size ratio for the stripes, I think they look awesome with the costume and they were as close as I could get without sewing pink to white to pink to white manually, which I didn't really have time for :(

I made the socks by wrapping fabric around my leg and pinning it. Once it was taken off it was cut to size and then sewn - simple as! They were a little tight around my feet, but that was hidden by the shoes and once they're on they're very comfortable.

The detailing around the top was made with leftover white polycotton from the petticoats and red suiting used for the bows. The white was frilled around the sock, pinned and then the red was pinned on top so all seams are hidden. Then they were sewn up and tested. They had to be taken in at the top once or twice which resulted in uneven stripes :(, but the dress is so long nobody notices.

All that was left were the bows which were sewn on by hand to the sock, above where the maryjane strap appears.

The wig was the same one I used for Billy Hatcher and had originally bought for Liechtenstein, but it was suitable enough without being a straight bob and looked great with the hat. It was swept to the side like Lambdadelta's and sprayed until it stayed in place. The bows in the wig were attached with small elastics and bobbypins.

The necklace was custom made for me in a local market shop and then customised with one of the bows. The necklace is 17 inches (I think so, anyway) and sits nicely with the dress. The bow was slipped onto the necklace and secured around a central pearl.

The gloves were bought online and are made from jersey instead of satin, so they have a more matte appearance to fit with the rest of the costume. They were taken in slightly at the top by around 3 inches on each glove and a small piece of lace was sewn around the top of each glove.

The pumpkin and leaves on the dress were made from felt and attached to the dress. The leaves were sewn down the centre in a straight line to give extra detail and the pumpkin was bondawebbed on to give a seamless look.

The pearl strip on the dress was made from a cheap necklace I bought, cut down and attached. There was a small 'pocket' on the front and back of the dress where 1 pearl was sewn in on either side to secure it to the dress without being too obvious or flimsy.

The shoes were bought and then had bows attached to them. It's surprisingly hard to find low-heeled red maryjane shoes in summer but I found some for a bargain and they worked perfectly :)

The dress on Lambdadelta was great fun to make, huge and floofy and it didn't take long either. It was made besides the trims from pink suiting, and the petticoats were made from white polycotton.

The bodice and sleeves were made using a fancy dress Alice in Wonderland pattern and was made the same way Frazzy's Bernkastel's bodice was made. The collar was modified to be more squared as in the design at the front and back and then the frills were added.

The sleeves were taken in slightly to add a little more puffyness to them, and a frill of pink fabric was added around the edges then sewn down.

The skirt was made without a pattern and is huuuuge~ it tapers from just above my knees to the back of my ankles. The apron was made seperately and attached on top. The apron has nearly 5metres worth of frill around the edges and is kind of heavy, but helps the dress keep it's shape. It folds around to the top of the skirt at the back and joins up, covering the end of the zipper and where the pearl trim attaches at the back.

The petticoats were made and attached inside of the dress. Each petticoat uses up nearly 2 metres of fabric and matches the shape of the dress itself to taper down. The edge of each petticoat was french seamed and has a small trim of lace to match the design.

All of the dress was french seamed where I could, so it has a nice, clean finish, and where it wasn't has been overlocked inside.

The bows were the most time consuming part of the outfit so I'm going to list them all here.. there is a total of 17 bows on the outfit itself, and each one was made to the design.

Because the bows are meant to be round and resemble candy the majority of them had a cover button sewn into the centre to give them the 'candy' look. Only 2 bows didn't have the buttons in the centre which were the ones in the wig, as they were different shapes.

There were 2 styles of bows on the dress, ones with and without tails. 8 bows (the large ones on the hat and dress, the small ones on the shoes and socks and the small ones in the wig) had tails whereas the 9 others only had the 'top' to the bow.

Pretty much all of the bows were different sizes besides the bows that matched (3 down the back, 4 on shoes/socks), and most of them were cut and sewn at whatever size I thought was suitable without measuring. It was difficult to get them all at the right ratio, and some had to be remade, but I think the end result looked good in proportion to the dress.

The 3 bows on the back of the dress were poppered onto the back so I could get in and out of the dress easier :)

The hat was made from scratch from a large circle of the pink suiting and a length of pink fabric. The circle was gathered around the edges to fit the length and then that was gathered to fit around the pink grosgrain headband. The entire hat was then sewn and overlocked to give it a nice clean and sturdy edge.

The hat has 3 bows attached to it on the front, 1 on the left and 1 on the right. They were attached by hand and sewn directly into the hat to keep them secured.

Lambdadelta was made of a lot of pieces and normally I narrate these in the costume description but I thought it would be more useful to journal it all. :)

The materials used on Lambdadelta are as follows.
- Pink suiting for dress, hat, frills (5 metres)
- Red suiting for bows and trims (1 metre)
- White polycotton for petticoats (4 metres)
- Pink and white stripe jersey fabric for socks (1 metre)
- Pink grosgrain ribbon for hat (1 metre)
- Felt - green, black, orange, red - for pumpkin (4 sheets)

- Pearl necklace (bought and modified)
- Pearl trim for dress (bought and modified)
- Red 1-inch heel maryjane shoes (bought and modified)
- Black gloves (bought and modified)

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