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Last online 2 years ago


Joined: 9th Dec 2007

Completed costumes: 85

Photos uploaded: 578

Progress journals: 163

Events attended: 34

Scarf made, dyed. Leather webbing weathered with sandpaper, leather dye and dark polish. Pauldrons painted and made detachable. Everything is coming together!

Several days of styling. So many spikes!

Base wig is a Saiyan from coscraft. Front wefts were removed and resewn forwards with additional wefts sewn in for added thickness. Styled with gel and spray.

Made of worbla, primed and given several coats of paint. Silver, metallic grey, black acrylic, silver acrylic and the addition of wood stain to create the rusted effect.

Finished webbing, including metal studs.

All of the webbing is made by me. It is partially handsewn and partially machine sewn. I am actually pretty happy with how well this is coming together!

The jacket is linen with a hidden zip and lined with cotton, while the trousers are dyed denim and sewn to include pockets, woo!

Resin gem - first attempt. Not bad!

Started the work on the red onesie including the giant zip!

The Photon debugger keyblade is made from a polystyrene ring, carved, primed, painted with purple underlays, with EL wire inserted into the carved grooves of the ring.

Clear plastic is placed over the top to create a more 'synthetic' and plastic look. The ring is then covered in worbla and primed again for sturdyness.

Gold rings that are made from gold shiney transfer (like on my Oichi cosplay). Currently 50 rings are cut out and will be transferred onto the overskirt.

The pink overskirt has an in-built petti sewn in to make it fluff out all cute. All the layers are finished now, the obi is done along with the obiage. The shoulder bit is almost done, it just needs to have the embroidery finished. Wrist-gloves are done as well. Only a few minor bits and pieces to go!

Obiage is made of cream chiffon with handpainted red dots on it to create a nice layered look of spotted silk.

The overskirt is made from kimono silk with gold transfer ironed on to create the band and pokeball detailing. I decided to use transfer because I wanted to get the shininess that appears in the reference art. I hope to be able to embroider around the edges of the gold to create a nice boarder between the two bits of material.

Finished headbow, the kanzashi falls have little bells attached to the bottom of them, and a comb is sewn into the bow to keep it attached to my head.

3 to make and attach to the headbow. They're made out of red duchess satin, folded appropriately into the correct shape and then attached to piping base. At the bottom I will attach some small bells. They look so cute and they're surprisingly easy to make! :D

I put together her headbow pretty quickly, the pink fabric is actually silk from a kimono bolt I've had sitting in my fabric box for a while - you can't see it very well in the photo but it has some gorgeous patterning on it!

Much worbla with many layers of gesso and so much sanding down. Plenty more to do before I roll onto painting.

Quick update! Having an engineer for a dad really helps when it comes to getting ahold of bits and pieces that aren't readily available to me. (Thank you dad!) These pipes are used in engines and although small and thin, they actually have a lot of strength in them. I'm going to be using them to produce my Seraphim wings.

I did a silly MSPaint drawing of what I imagine the wings to look like in relation to the first test part of the wing bits. The pipes will be shaped with a heat gun and attached by clips so they can be easily removed and transported. They'll be attached to a piece that will go around my waist and can be held in place by the armoured corset I'll wear over the dress.

Testing out the iron-on foil for the circles on the large white skirt.

Each 'piece' of the armour is made up of three layers of worbla, which is then painted with several layers of gesso and sanded down with each layer to create a smooth foundation.

Chiffon overlay gathered on top with gold scalloped trim.

Made out of white cotton with white tulle underlay.

Waistcoat is made of red linen and lined with cotton edged with gold bias tape which is handstitched with slip stitch.

Coat is cotton, interfaced and will be lined and edged with bias tape.

Done in an evening. Craft foam design covered in worbla, painted with a base coat, spraypainted then weathered. Attached to a pleather belt I quickly rustled up.

Finished shirt. It almost looks like it was just bought. On the one hand its a good thing, on the other hand sometimes I feel like I should have just bought a shirt. Oh well.

Even though you're allowed to enter the HJ WCS competition with 25% of the outfit bought, I can't bring myself to enter a competition with any items bought that I really should make. So even though you don't really see it, I bothered to make Roy's shirt that he wears under the uniform.

Wig styled. Has felt sewn into the wig and then used to style over the top to create more of an 'anime' look.

Sewing the tail bits onto the buttcape before stitching the belt on top.

Spraypainted buttons and stitched tail bits for the buttcape.

Ribbon bars are used to display the ribbons of medals that have been awarded to a soldier. The combination of colours and order display the types of conflicts a soldier has been involved with, as well as the type of medal they may have been awarded.

These 'ribbons' have been hand stitched and mounted onto real medal ribbon bars to be displayed.

Jacket with worbla'ed military braid.

Pinning and sewing the bias tape around the jacket edges. Underside of tape is handstitched.

Hand sewing the lining into the jacket.

Craft foam covered in worbla, painted in a base coat, then PVA glue. Spraypainted silver and then weathered with black paint.

Hand stitched shoulderpads added to give me a more 'masculine' looking figure and also to tailor the shoulders of the jacket a little better.

Stitched and sewn to the main jacket, with spray painted military stars pinned to them and attached via a gold button to the shoulders.

Jacket with sleeves, cuffs, collar and epaulets pinned together.

Epaulettes with ribbon lines and button holes.

Sleeve and cuff WIP with Bias Tape.

Collar progress - needs Bias tape.

Embroidery WIP. Using interlaced backstitch, satin stitch and circle stitch.

Making gloves inside out so they have lovely, neat lining. I'm going to make these the best damn gloves I can! Woo!

5 pieces of handmade applique stitched to the velvet. The 'R' is then outlined with goldwork (gold wire wrapped around a silk thread core). Additional embroidery-applique is stitched on top.

Organza is stretched in an embroidery hoop and painted with gold fabric paint. A layer of gold mesh is stitched on top. Around the edge of the gold paint gold chain stitch is embroidered on to make a boarder. The underside of the design is covered in PVA glue and left to dry. Once dry, the design is solid enough to be cut out and stitched onto the main body of the cloak.

The tunic was given the dye/paint wash (in the previous post) and trimmed with hand-sewn faux fur. It has bias tape edging and pink suede thonging for additional detailing.

Sleeves are also lined with faux fur and need to be sewn to the tunic before having the large fake stitching added around the seam lines.

Faking texture on faux suede with dye and a light wash of paint to give it a more realistic and 'natural' look.

Here's a pair of faux sheepskin-lined mittens I made today. The suede is also fake and given a bit of texture and colour (blue for the underside of the mittens) and both are given additional stitching detail around the seams as in the reference. They are actually very comfortable and warm! (I might have to make myself a pair in the Winter!)

Sleeve WIP with more stitches and added seed beads.

Restyled the wig by adding a tonne of wefts which were heat styled into curls and then brushed into shape of the loose plaits. So much thick hair!

I've finished the goldwork on Leyli and now it is onto the beading. The beads are small gold seed beads (the same that decorate the interlaced chain stitch around the edge of the collar). I wasn't able to find out how the particular cultures in this area do beading, however, doing research into my Native American Goku outfit, I found out they put the beads on one long string and then stitch the beads down, to get a lot of beads down in one place very quickly, so I am adopting this method and it should be done pretty quickly!

Goldwork progress! Its being a long and tedious process, but I just love how different and pretty the goldwork looks! I would love to have a go on a big design using this in the future sometime.

Only 6 more gold bits to do, then just a load of beads to sew on and some more shisha over the rest of the tunic. THEN Leyli is officially finished. Expo is in about 2 weeks. I can get this done! RWAR!

I've had the chance to sit down and have a go at some goldwork.

This is a type of process that uses gold wire wrapped around a silk core which uses the technique of 'couching' to stitch the wire directly to the fabric. The felt pieces are to give it a more 3D kind of look.

Considering this is the first time I'm attempting this process I actually think it looks pretty good! I just hope I have time to do the whole rest of the collar as well!

Working on the detailing for the collar.

Current stitches include: Gullion, interlaced chain stitch and two lines of interlaced back stitch. Additional details are made up of gold seed beads.

Trousers finished! Am on to the main collar of the tunic top.

I dyed the linen bottom bits a darker green and stitched these to the trousers. The trousers work on a draw string with gold aglets stitched on the thread.

The embroidery detail is made up of chain stitch, heavy chain stitch and twisted chain stitch.

Adding additional details to the main outfit, I've started stitching shisha to the outfit, as is appropriate for outfits of the setting. Shisha originally comes from India, though in the 17th century it spread to Russia and Asia and became a common motif in this area of the world!

It uses a small reflective disk (in this case mussel shells) which is then attached to the garment via embroidery. I hope to attach lots of these to give it that extra detail and texture.

I have a tutorial here:

Worbla bangles. Need to finish giving them a base coat. Then more paint!

Starting embroidery on the skirt. Here we go!

Today I ironed out all the wax from the fabric so now the fabric is officially batik'ed and finished! (woo!) I stitched the sleeves together and hemmed them, and decided to add some interlaced stepped running stitches along the hem of the sleeves just for some extra little detailing. I'm pretty happy with the result! It just makes the whole thing look like a bit more time and effort has been added and makes it feel more 'real'.

Added more wax to get the right shapes on the fabric for the following layers - more red, plus additional blue and green. I'm looking forward to sewing the whole thing together!

I made a rough pair of trousers and dyed the fabric over a period of 24 hours to get the bold, rich red colour. The fabric is actually left over from a wad I bought in a charity shop a few years ago and used for my Fire Nation Toph cosplay.

I'm really happy with the colour and am looking to sort these out properly once they're dry.

I started sewing the bias tape around the edge of the bodice, put boning into it and have sewn in eyelets.

Today I started painting the red dye on the yellow layer. I love the way the natural dye seeps into the fabric and edges out into the fibers to create the slightly jagged, uneven look like in ikat dying. I also love how the red colour now makes the white wax pop out of the fabric. I can't wait to add all the other colours to it!

I bought a pair of tan suede boots off ebay that originally had a Native American style design to it. I'm going to work on fixing these up so they look as bright and colourful and as patterned as Uzbek boots are traditionally, regardless of the accuracy to the original source material.

I removed the suede lacing and loops from the boot, along with the suede fringe around the top. Though I shall keep these pieces as they will be useful for my Goku project.

Now that I have a base boot to work from, I can start adding additional details.

Traditional Uzbek boots. I'm going to be basing my boots on various photographs of antique and traditional boots, while also using traditional Uzbek embroidery patterns, beading and addition of coins and jewelry to make them really fancy!

One of the things I love about the culture and setting of Otoyomegatari is just how bright and colourful and detailed the clothes are. Clothes, embroidery, beads and textiles had a magic and power of their own which is seeped into tradtition and culture.

Because of this I've decided I'm going to bling up parts of the outfit that aren't necessarily all that blinging - things like the trousers and the boots especially. I know this will mean the outfit isn't necessarily accurate to the source material, but it will be more accurate to the real colour, patterns and clothing of traditional Uzbek and Turkmen cultures.

Drying the dyed fabric. The white layer appears through the yellow colour, underneath the wax.

Natural yellow cold-water dye for the first layer.

The fabric I'm using is a fine 100% cotton, I've cut out all the pieces and have started the first layer of wax for batik.

Due to the nature of the fabric, the colours being part of the fabric rather than painted on top (because in real life the fibers of the fabric would have been dyed first so that together they would produce the pattern when woven together) I wanted to make it look like the colours were part of the fabric. I'm attempting to recreate this bye dying the fabric in several layers to create a similar effect.

To start with, there is white parts in the fabric, so for these small bits of the pattern I have covered in wax with the 'batik' technique. Once the fabric is dyed, these bits will stay white. I will proceed to keep layering wax and dye on top until hopefully there will be a fully patterned garment!

More progress!

Stitches so far: Stem stitch, fishbone stitch, heavy chain stitch and interlaced running stitch.

Progress on the bodice embroidery.

I drafted the pattern for the bodice myself, the bodice is made out of black velvet with a layer of interfacing - I will be lining it once it is done and will bone it as well, however until that point I will be embroidering the design on it.

I like the design and details on some of the concept art more than the final design so I've decided to steal the pattern on the concept art but use the final colours to make it still feel like I am cosplaying Anna.

Stitches so far: Stem stitch and heavy chain stitch.

I did a quickly styled wig and make-up test just to see what everything looked like. I'm looking forward to adding the decorations to the wig!

I trimmed the fringe of the wig and tried everything I have made so far on together. I think it looks pretty good!

Today I decided to make the jewelry.

The beads are made up of seashells, wood (painted red) and the white ones are made of solidified lava! The thread is made of 100% natural hemp. I wanted to go with as many natural products as possible because I wanted it to be accurate to the location/period. So onwards and upwards!

Today I've dyed the fabric with a natural scarlet-red dye, mixed with a combination of salt and soda ash and have left the fabric to soak. Fingers crossed the wax has done its job and the fabric will remain only partially dyed once I soak all the excess dye off the fabric and leave it to dry.

Tonight I started batik-ing the hemp fabric. Its quite a messy process as wax in a tjanting is a lot harder to control than paint on a paintbrush. I'm glad I'm using this as a tester though before I attempt to do the full cosplay.

I'm currently using an electric tjanting which is a modified soldering iron with a tjanting head attached to the top, so it continually melts the wax that is placed in it as you go. This makes things a little easier, but the process is still messy, so I commend anyone who can make nice, clean lines look so easy! I'm just going to have to practice more.

[Photos to come soon]

All my tools have finally arrived to try and give batik-ing a go. I just need the time to do it now!

Until then I have set up my frame (which is very nice and allows me to do small or large batik projects, so I am looking to getting good use out of this. The frame is set up by slotting into itself, and then with numerous little pins wrapped with an elastic band which is hooked onto the hemp fabric to stretch it quite taught.

With the fabric taught it will mean the design on the batik should be neater and the wax will fill the holes a lot better and should avoid cracking so much. We shall see.

The new sleeves have had the lace sewn around the bottom edge again and they have been stitched to the dress (and look very cute indeed!).

I've also hemmed and embroidered the little apron, while also stitching the pink lace on the bottom of this. Tomorrow I shall stitch it to the main skirt and gather it up so it looks like the dvd picture.

Due to the nature of the organza, after the beating the cosplay took after Ayacon, the fabric ended up fraying and tearing a little which is not good! So this time I’ve double-layered the fabric and will over-lock the edges in hopes it reduces the fray (I may also see about using some ‘non fray’ glue on the edges for extra safety).

Also, in the DVD version of the Coppelia dress, there are little flowers on the sleeves. I was thinking about embroidering them on, but changed my mind since I was worried too many stitches would cause holes in the delicate organza. So instead, I made little blossoms out of some leftover lace. Cut the pieces together into five-petal flowers and stitched them to the sleeves. I think they look quite cute!

I’m rewearing this cosplay for Birmingham Expo (and will be rewearing it again in the future!) and since I finally have a little bit of spare time I decided to go about fixing up and finishing bits on the cosplay I didn’t have time to do last time.

Considering how much I danced and threw myself around like a loon in this cosplay, the costume itself held up amazingly well, and I’m really pleased with just how sturdy the craftsmanship is in that only little fiddly things need sorting! It shows that even though I may not be wearing the most elaborate cosplay I’ve ever made, it certainly is one of the ones I’m most proud of in technical-mindedness!

I decided that instead of diving straight into doing the fancy design of the top in batik, I would work slowly and start with the headscarf instead. The characters in Bride's Story are of a Muslim denomination and as such their headscarves are important to them (plus it leads to some interesting scenes with the twins with them).

I bought some hemp fabric since a) the large fibers are supposedly very good for batik-work, and b) I wanted to use a fabric that would be similarly used in the period and area where the twins are from. Hemp is generally abundant around Asia and other parts of the world and is one of the oldest cultivated plants used for production of everything from fabric, cords, rope, paper, jewellery and so on. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to at least use the fabric for some part of the costume from both a cultural, historical and geographical standpoint.

I gave the hemp a light 'bleach bath' just to lighten the colour somewhat from its natural green-ish tinge. Ideally, if this was done traditionally, hemp would usually be left out in the hot sun during the course of a day or two to dry out and to be bleached naturally. Sadly, because this is Winter and England, such a process really isn't feesable, so I had to try and do this a less than traditional way, by putting it in a bucket with a little bit of bleach and leaving it for a bit.

I did not want to leave the fabric in the bucket for too long, due to the high concentration commercial bleach has, it can end up destroying the natural fibers of the hemp, rendering it useless.

Once dry, I will attempt to start the batik process.

After doing lots of research into ikat and the way it is produced, it seems that I just don't have the money, time and capabilities to reproduce the process to make ikat-dyed fabric. It is a process that requires each individual part of the fabric strands to be dyed into the pattern, before weaving the fabric together and the pattern appearing out of the individually dyed pieces.

So I decided I wanted to try and produce something that brought a similar-looking natural and culturally-appropriate way to make patterns through using dye techniques. After much thought and research I came across batik which I remember vaguely toying with in secondary school, and not thinking of it much more than that.

Batik is the process of dying fabric with intermittent uses of wax drawn onto the fabric to create layers, before dye is then placed over the top of the original dye. The wax is then boiled out and removed from the dyed fabric. It is a process which is more achievable for me, and at least I can buy all the pieces of equipment fairly easily, so I am quite excited to give it a go!

In the 19th century when dye techniques and new types of fabric were being produced one of the things that became popular was fabrics that looked different in different lighting styles. (For example lamps at the opera. A dress that looked black in daylight could look purple at night.) I like to think this is the sort of thing with the Assassin's symbol on the hip cape here.

The silver paint shimmers in the light and depending on how the light hits the fabric, the assassin's symbol is either visible or nicely blends into the pattern of the fabric and only the red star is seen.

Painted with cotton buds, toothpicks and a paintbrush for the star.

Sewn/Glued onto the main belt for extra support.

Made out of Fimo, painted with an undercoat and then repainted on top. Will need to attach to the rest of the belt (that is semi made) once its finished.

Today I made some pattern pieces for the coat out of calico, cut out the coat pieces from white cotton velvet. I'm still waiting on the lining to arrive in the post, so I'm not able to stitch everything together until then.

I started stitching together the bits and pieces for the coat collar and began embroidering the silver assassin symbols on the corner of the standing collar. They are stitched in heavy chain stitch and wrapped satin stitch in metallic silver thread.

Styling the plait (crazy anime hair!)

This tutu is obscenely big. It has several layers of tulle underneath to make the shape, then a layer of the same fabric used for the bodice gathered over the top. Over that is a layer of ice blue organza trimmed with white and silver trim gathered over that.

I have decided to leave the little apron until I finish my other costumes, because I don't think it would ruin the outfit if I ran out of time and couldn't finish it. However it would be nice to have it if I can!

The sleeves are made out of an ice blue organza and then with an added lace around the edge. I think they look cute all puffed up!

I've embroidered the front three flowers on the bodice (in simple chain stitch) and added sequins and beads to the front to give it a little sparkle and flair. I don't think this is going to be quite as blinging as my outfits usually are, but it should look pretty at least!

Started the bodice today with synthetic silk and lots of lace! I'm trying to keep the design close to the one on the DVD case but using elements from the real ballet outfit designs.

Made out of leftover bits of calico.

Coat progress. The fabric is a thick wool weave (£20 per meter!). Lining is a simple satin lining hand stitched to look a bit neater (and more historically accurate).

Made from an old dress I no longer wear and some spare fabric. Woo recycling!

Updates have been slow since I've taken on a whole batch of commissions, but I am progressing very slowly - I'm glad I didn't set a date for this cosplay to be finished by!

Each alternative line of stitching is done with heavy-chain stitch followed by herring bone stitch, followed by heavy-chain stitch and so on.

I've got to the 'disk' section of the design, and have to say I can't quite work out how to make the circular pattern look good or correct in relation to the design. Eventually I came across a type of stitch traditionally used to sew tiny bits of glass to fabric, and is generally used in traditional garments called 'shisha stitch'. Although not wholly accurate to Amir's design, it was a stitch I really wanted to try out, since it would still be a stitch likely used in the tribe and period that its set.

Shisha stitch is a bit like a looping backstitch motion that circles a piece of glass (or in my case a large mirror-sequin) in a circle to hold the sequin in place and also look decorative. I went around the shisha again with a chain stitch and went over the top with a basic running stitch in alternate thread just to give it a bit more of a design. Its a little fiddly to stitch, but I think the final thing looks really good, and I'm looking forward to working on the skirt section of the tunic with this type of stitch!

I've been sewing the sleeves for the tunic dress, which is pretty hard work! The pattern has to be replicated each side of the sleeve (because its double-sided) and then repeated on the second sleeve! I'm trying to keep the patterns neat and consistent creating a 'forwards-backwards' type pattern between each stitched line. (So many individual little stitches!)

Everything is pretty much stitched so far, each line is sewn in one stitch or another, including; heavy chain stitch, wrapped back stitch, herringbone stitch, zigzag stitch, running stitch.

(Photo coming soon!)

I've been working on a few things since the last update, and have started work on embroidering the sleeves, however that is a long process, so updates for that will be slow.

However, I've been in the process of working with the bow. I didn't want it to be a working bow due to numerous con-rules against them, so I decided just to have it as a large prop I can pose with for photos.

The bow is currently made of two sheets of thin wood with a foam insulation core held together with sealant. The wooden edges have then been sanded down, sealed again, before being duct-taped for additional strength and support. The foam core is intended to make the bow still very light and not be dangerous for anyone, and it seems to have worked!

After doing a whole load of research and deciding that America and his musket are indeed part of an infantry regiment rather than artillery, it looks like I'm going to have to go with a white lining on the uniform rather than the smexy red.

I can't help it, I'm a stickler for historical accuracy. Don't judge me.

Stitches include: Pekinese, running, cross, interlaced running stitch, interlaced back stitch, closed blanket stitch, open chain stitch, stem stitch, herringbone stitch, wheatear, circle stitch and Portuguese stem stitch.

All the embroidery on the hat is complete! I'm really pleased with how some of the stitches came out, especially as some of these were my first time using these particular stitches to fill in large spaces of fabric. I particularly liked using Pekinese and Herringbone stitch for this method. I tried to keep a similar variety of stitches on the top of the hat as with the hatband so the two pieces matched, and I even finished the piece off with some wheater stitches like on on the underskirt.

The hat is covered in bleached bone beads to give it a final overall finished look. I am very pleased with it and think it was a great test before I start making the tunic dress!

Top of the hat progress is coming along nicely. I'm trying out a variety of different techniques and am trying to branch out a little in the way I use the stitches involved. For example, I'm making a lot more use of whipped-back-stitch to create boarders and outlines, while using herringbone stitch and pekiniese stitch to fill in a large surface area neatly and effectively. I've even started making an attempt at doing a striped effect with a red and black thread in a herringbone stitch, similar to the example posted in the Pakistan example in my first underskirt journal.

Stitches include: Backstitch, whipped-back-stitch, threaded-double-stepped-running stitch, stem stitch, pekinese stitch, open chain stitch, closed blanket stitch and herringbone stitch. I'm beginning to get a firmer understanding of the effect different stitches can create.

Amir hat-crown progress. I started work on this the other day and am quite proud of how neat it looks already. I want it to look like a whole pattern when its done, but when you look on closer inspection, its got lots of detailed, intricate textures and stitches within it.

In the Bride's Story manga, you meet Amir’s brother who is still part of her old clan, and you see some of the patterns on his clothes (specifically the use of diamond motifs) that are akin to Amir’s clothes. There are common references throughout where characters from the clan Amir marries into often state that Amir’s clothes are strange or look different from what they are used to, and I believe this is also due to the patterns and motifs made in the embroidery.

Therefore I am trying to use a similar motif for the crown of Amir’s hat (since you can’t see what design she actually has on it).

Stitches included so far: cross stitch, Pekinese Stitch, whipped back stitch, stem stitch, open chain stitch, herringbone stitch and running stitch. I’m especially pleased with how neat the herringbone stitch has come out. From a distance it looks like a solid block of red fabric, not individual stitches!

Progress on the hat is now at around 80%. I've finished the initial collection of stitches, and now I'm onto stage two of the stitches, which consists of the use of metallic silver thread. This stage involves a row of portuguese stem stitch which is essentially a running stitch, with a backstitch and a loop about them both, creating a nice knotted-chain effect, I believe this also gives the hatband some needed texture, as the raised edge of the knot gives it a 3D element over the other 2D looking stitches.

In the center of each diamond of the hatband I have stitched a single woven circle. There are some discrepencies between the artwork of weather the center of the diamonds has a circle, or further triangles, but I decided with all the angles in the detail already (The triangles, diamonds, crosses, uses of cross-stitch, etc.) it would create an interesting and sudden element change to have a distinctive circle in the center of the diamonds of the hat. Once completed, I shall see about sewing a small circular bead in the center of each circle to finish the point. Then I intend to line the hat, and then start work on the crown of the hat!

I'm using the hat as a way of testing out which stitches I like and how to do them before I do the main tunic/dress. Its quite fun being able to experiment like this to try and create different effects!

The material is a thick weave wool since I wanted to try and be as accurate as possible. Wool would be good for all weathers, especially for Nomadic tribes such as the sort Amir is originally from.

The stitches included currently are: cross stitch, back stitch, satin stitch, interlaced-stepped-running stitch, interlaced running stitch and herringbone stitch.

The underskirt is finished! I did yet another line of heavy chain stitch (I think it looks so neat and attractive, and I think I've gotten better at doing it as it looks a lot neater than my first two lines of heavy chain stitch). I decided not to double it up this time, as a finer line looked nice, especially offset against the two heavier lines down below.

I was originally debating doing an oyster stitch for the lines/pods on the artwork, but in the end changed my mind and decided to go for a more 'arrow-like' stitch. In the end I went for a 'Wheatear' stitch which looks like a combination of an arrow stitch and a chain stitch. When put in long rows alongside each other they tend to look like rows of wheat (hence the name). I think these look really nice! From a distance they look like pointed lines/arrows like in the artwork, but when you get closer you can see the stitch is deceivingly detailed.

The underskirt is now finished! (I know I said that last time, but it really is this time!) I believe I shall move on to making the hat next, as a pre-cursor for the types of stitches I'm going to use on the main tunic.

After seeing a couple of cosplayers who had already completed Amir and debating between the discrepancies between the artwork (Volume 1 and 2 front covers, I blame you for inconsistencies) I've decided to do a bit more work to the underskirt. I've made the two already embroidered lines thicker by doing some more heavy chain stitch next to the stitch that is already there. (I think it looks better already!)

I then plan to do a third line on the underskirt, perhaps with an oyster stitch to create the obvious vertical lines/pods that seems to be evident at least in most of the artwork. More news as it comes!

I also decided to remove the Pekinese stitch from the skirt. I like the stitch a lot and hope to use it again! Just not on the skirt as it tends to look out of place with the herringbone/heavychain stitch combination.

Sewed some loop holes last night and embroidered them so they wouldn't tear. My sewing machine stopped working so the fabric threaded through the top is actually all hand stitched with no machine stitch at all! This consists of a white thread running stitch, interlaced with the off-pink thread, the same used for the bottom row embroidery.

I also decided to interlace the top row of cross-stitch (unfortunately my web-cam is rubbish and you can't see the interlaced thread, but I assure you its there - will get a better picture asap) with silver embroidery thread. Finally I decided to test out a bit of Pekinese stitch at the bottom hem of the seams just to see what it would look like - I might include this as a stitch in the rest of the outfit at a later date.

I might also add something to the tips of the waist-lacing, but I haven't decided yet. Other than that, the underskirt is complete!

The main decoration on the bottom of the skirt is complete. This was made up with the lower stitching being a backstitch, overlayed with a heavy chain stitch. The upper stitching was made by a heavy chain stitch again, and then a line of basque-stitches to make the loops around the bottom edge. In some designs it looks like she has a third row of stitching in the middle of the two rows, but I haven't decided if I want to do that or not yet.

The seams are finished now, though I may add more designs as I see fit. These are made up of interlaced herringbone stitches made of white embroidery and the lacing being silver thread. Around the edges at every other insert in the herringbone stitches are satin stitch arrow heads made of silver embroidery. I have considered perhaps adding touches of gold embroidery between these, but that hasn't been decided yet.

I'm going to start the waist tie today!

Due to the sheer importance of embroidery relating to a potential bride’s capabilities, most garments were inundated with a variety of different stitches for the women to show off their skill and craft. They range all over the embroidery stitch spectrum and often cover most areas of a garment. It has been seen in various cases throughout the Middle East and Western Asia that embroidery even goes so far as to cover and conceal the seams of a garment to enhance the appearance of a bride’s skill. The example shown here (on the left) is from Pakistan. For my under skirt (shown on the right) I have covered the seams with a horizontal double herringbone stitch which has then been laced with silver thread. On the top of the skirt, where the seam meets the gathers I have created a collection of cross-stitches and begun the main embroidery as shown in the outfit design. This so far includes a backstitch running over the hemlines with a heavy chain stitch next to it to thicken the line and make it appear like one whole piece of embroidery.

Started the lining and boning of the bodice today. I Frankensteined a pattern from an old corset pattern, then adjusted it and made my own version and shapes with calico. Had to take it in a few times until I was happy with it - I want the outfit to be as form-fitting as I can make it, like Lucille's is. I may not be a cartoon character with bizzare-looking proportions, but at least Lucille has a small waist and hips, so I want to make my small waist and hips look obvious too!

Another couple more hours and that should be done without a problem.

I couldn't find a good looking type of fabric strips to sew on for the front loops, so I went with velvet ribbon just to be snazzy. 8 metres of velvet ribbon has gone into this jacket so far! Craaaazy! I have also added the collar and black cuffs. I just have to add the braid and buttons, then its done. :)

(sorry for crummy webcam photo)

The hose were sewn from the pattern used in the book as before, though I shortened them somewhat so as to make them French Hose, which are considerably shorter than that of Venetian hose. They are made from gold silk dupion which shines blue in the light, the hose are stuffed with wadding to make them thick and stick out. The cannions are blue silk dupion with small slashes, stuffed with wadding with gold embroidery appliquéd on in a decorative manner. The lower britches are the underside of the fabric used for the doublet, a darker orange in colour with the yellow thread-swirls and patterns used on the underside to try and match the colours, but still have a bit of variety on par with the rest of the hose.

The sleeves are made of blue silk dupion with peach underlining and quilting for the lining. The blue is bright enough to make a stark contrast between the colours on the rest of the doublet, and matching the cannions on the hose. They are slashed so as to show the peach underlining, done in the style of the period and to match the rest of the doublet. Eyelets will be added around the edge of the upper sleeves to thread points through which would allow the sleeves to be attached to the doublet.

The Globe outfits had hand-stitched eyelets for which the points could be threaded through. These would be used to tie the various pieces of one’s outfit together, such as the doublet, hose and sleeves. (I unfortunately did not have enough time to put eyelets on the sleeves – but this will be rectified once I get the outfit back from assessment.) I did not have time to do my own hand-stitched eyelets, so instead I used grommets instead as a way of threading the points through. The points themselves are based off the points I saw used at the Globe. They are blue ribbon with metal corset nubs sewn onto the ends, which would then be threaded through the eyelets. [I need to sew a large collection of these to tie everything together.]

While researching at the Globe I also took note of the shoulder-arches on most doublets, used to define the shoulders, I made a pair of these out of the same bed-linen material, while using the lining of the bed linen as lining for the shoulder arches themselves. They are stuffed with wadding to give them the particular pronounced look of the period. As luck would have it, after I raided my gran’s sewing box for anything that could be useful to me, I came across some spare material which I believe might have been used to upholster an armchair. The material was a dark orange/brown colour, and had a rather ‘nubbly’-texture to it, which I felt was quite suitable for the period I was aiming for with my doublet. So along the edge of the shoulder-arches I have piped the material to again, give it a more defined quality.

I used the same upholstery material to make the collar for the doublet, the darker colour offsetting the lighter yellow of the pattern on the doublet very nicely. I felt the colours all easily complimented each other, and gave the doublet an almost continental look, with all the oranges, yellows and terracotta’s. However, in the design I wanted to make a stark contrast between colours, by using bright blue against orange. Clothing of the period was particularly bold and colours were often mixed and matched as people were far braver in trying out colour combinations which might not fully mix such as blues mixed with green and green and pink and so on. So to try and recreate this bravery with colours that people had of the time, I needed a good blue to offset with the oranges of the doublet. I had come across a lovely turquoise inkle braid which I have used as a trim on the edging of the entirety of the doublet. It is a different colour blue to that of the hose, but the fact that there is blue still included creates – I believe – a good balance between both matching the rest of the outfit, and also creating the stark contrast with the rest of it.

Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried I could not find any suitable buttons to be used that were the same as the sort I found up at the Globe. The buttons there were round wooden buttons that had then been covered with silk thread to match the doublet. I tried to find such round wooden buttons but to no avail, so I had to search for buttons which I felt would be just as suited to clothing of the period. I came across a collection of buttons that had the look of dark leather plaited together. Leather at the time was very easy to come by, and the pattern was simple, yet elegant and I felt it suited what I needed very well. Also, the darkness of the buttons I felt brought the doublet to life, considering the rest of the doublet colours are very light and bright. The button loops are simply plaited string sewn together.

[This is what I wrote up while making the costume, but I figured I might as well include it here too!)

The original pattern I made was based off the pattern printed in Historical Costumes and How to Make them, it was very useful in giving me the basic shapes I needed, and included patterns for a doublet, hose, sleeves and a cape. I adapted the patterns slightly, such as the hose in the book were specifically Venetian hose, which, after the research I did pertaining to the type of clothes young men such as Samuel Daniel might have worn was not suitable. So I adapted the pattern into making a pair of French hose with added cannions instead. Similarly, the style of sleeves in the book were for the larger, more pronounced and stuffed sleeves of the earlier period of the middle 1500s, whereas Samuel Daniel’s style of clothing is based more on the early 1600-style of clothing, in which the sleeves were significantly less stuffed and were much tighter on the arms, and around the wrists.

I started work on the doublet first; I had managed to come across a lucky find in a charity shop of finding an old bed linen set of the colour and pattern-style I wanted for Samuel’s doublet. It was 100% cotton and perfect for what I needed. In my design, the doublet is an orange colour, trying to bring out the bright, youthful colours gentlemen of the period might have worn. I was hoping to find something with a matching pattern so it would look detailed and to the period, rather than having to make a pattern entirely from slashing the doublet in the style of the Romeo doublet at in the Globe’s costume archives. (The black doublet with pink slashings). Thankfully, the fabric I found had an interesting mix of oranges, yellows and terracotta’s which suited the style I wanted, and so I felt that was all that was needed. I tried to keep in style with the Globe’s way of making doublets, it was my first attempt at using quilting for the inner-lining of the doublet. All doublets were generally lined with quilting, due to the nature of the British weather being significantly colder than what it is today – of course, should the weather ever have gotten too hot, again, points could be used to remove one’s sleeves, and make the outfit a lot cooler.

So I started making the pattern for my jacket. I wanted it to look like the design of the original 95th Rifles jacket, including the shape of the jacket and the site of all the seams. Unfortunately, it is impossible to find the exact pattern they have used for the original jackets, so instead I made my own.

The pattern I made was adapted from the Burda 2471 Napoleon jacket pattern, with the shoulder brought round and the back panel cut and shaped properly to fit the proper design. I hope the extra effort looks good when its finished!

I hate making trousers, though I find them fairly easy - if they're puffy trousers at least. Unfortunately for Watson, considering what he wears is a 3 piece suit, and those are expeeeeensive, I had to see about making one myself. Which included making trousers! OH NO!

Actually they didn't turn out too bad. I bought a pattern cos I had no idea how to make trousers that weren't puffy and they're not that difficult actually!. I even have working pockets! Huzzah!

Picture is included - just need to add the waistband then its done! After that, pockets and pocket flaps need to be sewn on the jacket and waistcoat, and buttons and buttonholes need to be done, but not much left to go now! Woo!

So the Jacket is about 3/4 finished, I'm pleased that nocturnal-blossom said it looked like 'real clothes' which is kinda important I guess! XD I still need to add the sleeves, do the pockets, buttons and a few fiddly bits of hand stitching but essentially the main body of the jacket is done. Then I just need to work onto making the trousers - which I *hope* I have enough material for. Its going to be tight I think.

Also I discovered that I'm going to have to line the waistcoat whether I wanted to or not because he has stupid pockets in his waistcoat to put his pocket watch in. Silly pockets. ¬¬ At least I already have a pocket watch to put in it. I think this is going to be the outfit with the most pockets ever! XD 6 real pockets (two in the waistcoat, two in the jacket, and two in the trousers) and one fake one - the breast pocket is a fake because I just didn't see the point!

I must hurry it all up because I want to try it on and see what it looks like!

Plus Nocturnal-blossom bought my facial hair for me today! I can't wait to try on my sideburns and moustache! XD

I have decided that suiting is now my new favourite fabric. It just works so well in my machine and does exactly what you tell it! Ah, I think I'm in love!~<333

Anyway, started Watson today with the waistcoat, the easiest part - I figured it would be cheaper just to make a nice tailored 3 piece suit rather than buying one, besides, I've never made a suit-type outfit before so I wanted to try something a bit different!

The shirt was kindly bought by Nocturnal-blossom's father from Ede and Ravenscroft with the proper detachable collar and pins that go with it (thank you!) - the collar isn't pinned on in this picture. Started work on the waistcoat today and made it surprisingly quickly. Decided not to line it, as I'm going to be lining the coat and I think if I have everything lined I'm just going to be far too hot! And Watson can't help Holmes in his investigations if he's sweltering from heat!

Still need to add buttons and buttonholes but am planning to do that later when I've made the rest of the outfit. :)


(photos to come soon!)

I have never ventured into the world of dye before now. I figured I should learn it and give it a go and it seemed surprisingly easy! It wasn't for anything difficult admittedly, but even so I'm quite pleased with it! I feel really happy that I can do it in the future too now ahaha! :D

I'll put photos up when I've finished the waist-skirt-sash-things. Shouldn't take too long I'm sure :)

Hat is coming along nicely. Will update with further pictures once at least the eagle is completely filled out. :D

Collar is finished and just needs to be sewn onto the coat, cuffs are sewn on but need their added details. Cummerbund needs adjusting and poppers added because its too big for me!

Am thinking about dropping the undershirt because I may be too damn hot in it. If that's the case I'll probably end up just wearing the cravat by itself with the binder underneath, unless I could find a fairly lightweight shirt to wear beneath it. I still need to decide hrm... >>

So I spent today sewing more things on to the jacket. I had hoped to get more done but apparently bias binding seems to take longer than it really should to get done >> Lots added, plenty of gold edging, white edging, red ribbons and so on. Even the beginning of some bling has turned up! (Huzzah!)

When I next get a brief respite in Uni and Work I shall hopefully be able to start work on A) the 'metal' chestplate and B)the over-sleeves and the rest of the skirt. I don't think it should take *too* long. Its mostly just annoying, that's all. :)

Well, the clothes are done - the basic body bits. Both fairly easy to make which was nice, the trousers are incredibly puffy! (Which is awesome!) and the sleeves on the top are also very puffy (and silly looking - which I love!) Added with the skirt-thing which I have hacked up and burnt - the fur needs a bit of nasty-ing up though - and its already looking good!

Currently in the process of making the armour. Pics. Etc. as I go on!

OKay, this is mostly my dad's work, but I figured I should write up how he did it in case anyone else should like to know.

Right, obviously the base of the Nyoi-Boi is made of a wooden broom pole (I actually stole it from a broken broom at my work). When given to my dad, he sawed it into three seperate peices and then drilled a penny-sized hole all the way through each peice of the broom pole.

This is then the tricky part, as I wanted the Nyoi-Boi to be both a staff when I wanted it, and then be able to twist it so that I could seperate it into three seperate peices, just as Goku's Nyoi-boi does depending on how he wishes to fight. So me and my dad found an old lamp that no longer worked in the house. The pole is in three parts which you screw together to make it into one tall lamp. Using the same idea, dad glued the three seperate pecies of the lamp into each of the drilled holes of the broom.

Now you can screw each pole together to make it into a single staff, or into three peices. Currently me and my dad are now trying to discuss a way on attaching the chain between the peices of the staff. Once we've worked out that, essentially the main work is done, it'll be the decorating that's next! :D

The shoulder armour was rather fiddly to make, and took me a while to work out how on earth I actually wanted to make it.

The base of the armour is made out of craft foam funnily enough, with cream fabric glued onto one side of it. The green around the edges is quite simply green bias binding, added on each side of the armour. The random bone bits were put together out of papier mache and then painted cream.

To make sure the armour would actually pin to my clothes I added poppers to each corner of the armour and then also to the undershirt that I will be wearing. I then glued the three bone bits on either end of the armour and then folded over the top of the armour so that it had the 3D look that the shoulder armour has in the anime and manga.

They're a little fiddly to put on but when you wear them they're very funny! I shall have to see about doing a full picture when the rest of the shirt part is finished :)

Gyaaaah! Goku! Why must your hair be so thick?!!! I'd say Goku's hair is in the 45% made section so far. The fringe is all styled and done (I styled it weft by weft - meticulous much? T.T) and then I tried to start work on the main body of the wig, namely the silly side parting which doesn't exist on these scruffy wigs. So, essentially I had to make one.

This involved using the real hair extensions I had left over from my Seiten Taisen extensions and using then as added wefts in the hair. I've sewn in about four wefts now, thankfully the hair is so close to the wig colour I don't think anyone could tell the difference! Now I just need the hair to stay in place while I style the random sticky-upy spikes that Goku has. I think this wig is going to possibly be the most work that's going to be put into this cosplay haha.

Whahahaa--! Does it count as cheating that I'm using the same wig for Goku as I am for Seiten Taisen? :p

I bought some hair extensions and have sewn them onto clips etc. and trimmed them where they need trimming so that the wig can be used for both Goku and Seiten Taisen (not bad really, means I can do more versions of his outfits depending on whether I wanna do long hair or not ^^.)

Once the main wig is finished being styled I'll take a photo with the extentions and stuff so you guys get an idea. Though this outfit won't be made until sometime late next year I'm thinking, I might as well start it up now!

Got the wig - woo! Another one of the scruffys from Cosworx - I think I'm gonna end up getting a collection of these wigs (used the same one to style the wig for Neku too, just in a different colour obviously). Also bought some long hair extensions and have sewed them onto clips, so they can be taken off or added to the wig depending on what version of Goku I decide to do (so I can be normal Goku one day, then add the extentions and be demon-Goku(!) the next ^^.

Haven't styled the wig yet, but will do asap! I can't wait!

[9th June]
More playing with craft foam resulted in me creating the gold bits on Goku's boots. I didn't want to glue them permenantly to the boots, so like the diadem they're adjustable and removable too. I want to start work on the main outfit soon... when I have money that is ^^;

[20th April]
Yeah, I was bored today and had nothing to do for a few hours and seeing as my Haruhi and Kiriyama cosplays were both completed I decided to go and crack out some of the craft foam and make new cosplay! So yup, Goku's diadem is finished - its amazing what a little craft foam and gold leaf can do! - the whole thing is adjustable, depending on the wig (when I get round to getting it).

Right, after Expo I have discovered several things about this costume which I need to take note of for future occasions upon when I wear it. Firstly, I must always bring a needle and thread with me, as it requires me needing to sew myself into the shoes (or in the Expo case, having Nocturnal do it for me - thank you!)

Also, avoid wearing the wig during cold/damp conditions as regardless of how much hairspray I use, it seems to want to let the spikes come out (although still a big thank you to Kimpey for letting me use his old Sora wig for this cosplay). Am considering re-making the jacket, or bits of the jacket as I wasn't happy with it, but other than that, a good, fun costume to wear, can't wait to put it on again!

The jacket is finally complete! Ugh! This took so long to do and became such an annoying mess, everything that could go wrong did! And it didn't help that I had to line it either (I figured seeing as the jacket is open it would look neater to line it on the inside). I'm just so glad that its finally over as I didn't have enough fabic to start all over again, eventually stitching it all together (Though without armholes first time around >.<) made it look more like a jacket, then cutting armholes in and adding the sleeves made me feel a lot better thank goodness.

This means the entire cosplay is done! Yay!

Yay! Finished my gloves! I know they don't technically take a long time but I've been busy! :P Also saw to attaching the belt chain to the belt, that's all done now too. So that means the outfit is almost complete! I'll do a full-costume one soon when I have the wig probably :)

Started the silly Sora shoes today, and they're so much fun!

Decided to go down the same route as I did with Neku's shoes and buy a pair of black trainers as a base and then build what I wanted off them. I always feel sad when I see Sora's without the silly big shoes, so I decided to make them big and silly! So I made them a little longer and wider by buying a cheap pair of plastic clown shoes which I cut up and attached to the ends of the trainers.

To make the bulbous toes I papier mached a big round bulb on the end of each shoe, so now they're big silly and round! Also started adding black fabric over the top of the shoe to start off with (and to hide the laces when I wear them) as well as making some new tongues for my shoes (basically sewed them on my machine quickly and then stuffed them with toy stuffing so they feel like real shoe tongues!

Have also painted some buckles silver to attach for the next bit, so they're all ready and under way!

Photos to come asap!

Just saying I've neatened the edges and re-did some sewing about the zip just to make sure it was a little stronger. Now that part of the outfit is all done! Woo! Photos will be up asap!

Now I need to wait for my paycheck to come in before I can see about buying fabric for Sora's Jacket. :)

Well, I've been working on this today and I must tell you it took far too much effort!!! Firstly I forgot to bring my chestbinder with me, so measuring things and trying things on was a complete pain to get it to my chest-bound measurements. In the end I spent the majority of the day with duct tape about me so I could try things on and off.

First attempt was a horrible disaster, and lets leave it at that. Second attempt however is made of win!!!

The torso part of the outfit I decided to make in the shape of a swimsuit, that was fun to play around with, especially as I had no pattern or swimsuit to use - lets just say I used plenty of pins. Secondly I decided to add the zip, so it would be easier to try on and off - Zip 0, me 1. Haha, it wasn't as hard as I thought thank goodness!

I then had my first attempt at gathering. Also not as hard as I thought, to attach the legs to the swimsuit bit of the outfit to make the legs appear puffy and stuff. Also at the bottom bit of the legs where the knees are I added some wire just so it sticks out a bit more.

The outfit is surprisingly comfortable! I just need to do some neatening bits about the edges and then its done! :D

Pictures when I next go home and steal a camera T_T

(Just testing this out more than anything, figured I should put this all in here ^^)

[31st August] Headphones are finished. Decided at the last minute to make them entirely from scratch, so they're in fact made of a hairband, lots of craft foam and an old sponge found in a cupboard. ^^ With the wig however, I think they look pretty awesome! Also, MP3 player is completed too. Woot! All done! Cannot wait to wear it all! :D

[27th August] Quick update, shoes are 100% complete (no pictures as of yet as I have no camera!) Belt is being painted black (alas, could not find a plain black belt in that style anywhere ><) and fimo mp3-player thingie has been sorted out and just needs to be baked. :)

[23rd August] Long time no update! Yes, finally after finishing everything for Amecon I am at last able to work on things ready for Alcon whoo! So anyway, bought the last few bits and bobs today, hopefully I'll be able to finish the whole outfit very soon. Shoes are well under way, one is almost finished, then I just have to do the other, I think they look very cool! Pictures to come soon!

[15th May]
The top is completed! Woo hoo! This was far more annoying than I expected it to be ^^; mostly because the first version I did for some totally bizzare reason came out too small, and the second one needed major surgical work done to it because it was too big! But anyway it is done now! I certainly think tops that are baggy and have sleeves are soooooo much easier than sleeveless tops, but this one turned out pretty good in the end. Phew... now to see about those shoes...

[10th May]
Finished the shorts! They were actually pretty easy, decided that I wanted them to look a little better and more 'real' than the shorts I made for my Celebi, so I bought some cheapy white trousers from Primark and hacked them up to make the shorts (the big pockets of joy were actually made out of the bits of trouser leg I got rid of! Wristband is also done, took like, five minutes, so that wasnt hard, haha!

[6th May]
Half an evening and most of a day's worth of styling resulted in the completion of the Neku Wig! I'm in love with it and think it came out really well, especially for my second real try at styling wigs. I think my favourite part is the fringe, but really I like it all! I just need orange eyebrows to go with it now >> Photos are now up! (Please ignore the wire coming out of the unfinished headphones! I have yet to start making them properly! ^^;)

[3rd May]
Wig arrived today! Its so thick and fluffy and ORANGE! I love it, and almost feel bad about having to style it... but oh well. I shall certainly make sure to take 'before' and 'after' pictures when I start styling - should begin to do it sometime on Monday I think seeing as it is bank holiday (yay!). Now that I have the wig, I can wor out the headphones properly once its styled, and from then on I can focus on the rest of the outfit and stuff like that. Probably will start sorting out the top next >> That'll be the hardest part methinks.

[29th April]
Bought the material and the wig today. Will probably start work on the trousers first as they will be the easiest thing to do. Am still currently trying to work out how to make the top work, especially working out how to put it on and off. Hrm... I'm sure I'll think of something. Wig is ordered too! Yay! Can't wait to start styling it! :D

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