Well, the convention is over, and again I managed to take almost no pictures of any of our costumes. Hmph. I do have a few, however, so here’s the first batch.
I’m getting excited – all of my costumes are nearly done!
I’m hopefully going to get everything finished and take some photos of each costume this week. Here’s the first installment: some photos of my Lucia cosplay, which might be my favorite thing ever.
I really just love this costume, now that it’s all come together.
The cape and jacket I covered in previous posts; the trousers I whipped up last week, and they were so much easier than I expected. I literally just traced around a pair of jeans I own that fit me really well, and used that as my pattern; I serged all the seams, put a couple of darts at the waist, and put a hook to close them in the front. They’re pretty utilitarian – nothing fancy (although I did mean to do pockets, but I forgot >_>) but they fit great and look great. So I’m quite pleased.
I still need to make the hat and gloves, and the armor, which I’m working on tonight with some craft foam. Also need to add a hook to the top of the jacket, because the neckline kind of flops open a little when I move around. The boots are a pair that I own already, and they look good enough that I’m not going to bother with boot covers or cuffs or anything like that. Although I’m a little miffed that I didn’t take into account the heels, and so the cape falls just a bit short of hitting the ground when I’m wearing it. But it’s so not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
I think I’ve got my makeup down for this cosplay, too; the wig still needs some work. I’ve used a number of cheap Ebay wigs over the years, but this one I think is the worst in quality I’ve ever had – it’s super thin and really unmanageable despite spending a week in a fabric softener bath to sleek it up. It came with a lot of built-in snarls, too, that I had to cut out they were so tangled. I’m hoping once I have the hat on it will disguise the fact that the wig sucks a little bit.
Well, I didn’t get nearly as much done this week as I thought I was going to. I had two extra days off for a total of eight days – which seems like a lot of time, but it vanished pretty quickly! Although, I lost two whole days to being sick and I had a lot of chores to do, which ate up most of another day.
I meant to get this whole uniform taken care of this week, but so far, I’ve only got one piece done – the jacket.
So, I studied Lucia’s uniform as best I could given there aren’t a lot of pictures of it and it doesn’t get a lot of screen time in the game. I came up with a list of items to make to complete the outfit: a jacket, pants, boots (or possibly boot cuffs if I have a pair that works,) gloves, and that belt/loincloth type thing she’s wearing. I began with the jacket.
For this project I bought some black stretch sateen, which is a nice looking fabric with a nice sheen, and, bonus, it stretches! I threw together a quick pattern by draping on my dress form, and got to work. There’s no visible opening on the jacket in the picture, but it looks to be double-breasted, so I designed it that way; it comes to about hip-length, and is slightly tapered to a point in the back.
This was my back piece pattern. I added a little extra room to have a pleat at the center back. No other reason than that I though it would look kinda cool.
My mum has a lovely little BabyLock serger, which I don’t often make use of – I put a lining in nearly everything that I make, which eliminates the need to finish the edges. But I didn’t have the time, energy, proper fabric, or desire to line this jacket (I have a feeling it’s going to be hot underneath this and that cape, and I didn’t want to add to that if I didn’t have to) so I opted out of lining it, and serged all the seams instead. So quick and easy!
I was lax with the picture-taking again, but the construction went mostly the same way it always does – I sewed the front and back pieces together, and then drafted a basic sleeve pattern, and attached sleeves. I made a facing for the neckline, and hemmed all the other edges. Then I tried it on to mark out where my button holes would be.
Sewing button holes. Mine are obviously far from perfect, but they serve their purpose. I don’t know if I’ll ever get good at doing button holes and eyelets; mine are always just… a little bit off-looking.
I couldn’t really tell what kind of buttons she’s got on her uniform – they look kind of like they might be gold/red toggles, but there’s no way to tell. So I just grabbed some nice silver military-looking buttons instead.
Here’s the finished jacket, complete with buttons! It turned out quite nice, for something which will mostly not be seen…
I also threw together this belt/skirt/whatever thing she wears around her waist. It’s made of the black stretch sateen and some scraps of the red sateen I used for the cape, and hooks in the back. I’m not sure yet how I’ll get that stripe design or whatever it is on the front of it – I thought of embroidering it, but I’m not sure it will look the way I want. More likely I’ll find some matching fabric or ribbon and just tack it on.
Also, I stumbled upon this really neat app lately for cosplayers – Cosplanner.
It helps you to keep track of your costumes and projects, and I’m finding I like it a lot – It’s clearly designed for cosplayers, but I have ideas of using it for all my costuming projects. And it’s free, so that’s a win! Anyhow, you can see the ones I’m currently working on – all of my and my sister’s Anime-Zap! costumes are there. You can also see how not close to finishing I am overall, considering that this convention is in January – yikes! Having lists and percentages really helps me keep track of things, though, so this app was a great find. Up until now I just had pages and pages of checklists on my phone that I was trying to keep track of, and it was kind of a mess.
I made a change to my line-up for the convention, and instead of doing the Dark Althena costume from Lunar: Silver Star Story, I’ll be doing Lucia from Lunar: Eternal Blue instead.
There were a lot of reasons for this decision:
1. Despite trying a number of times to redesign the Dark Althena costume for modesty in a way that pleased me, I couldn’t come up with something I really liked, and honestly I dislike the idea of changing a design just to suit myself.
2. It’s going to be January in Chicago, and I really don’t want to be wearing next to nothing even if I plan to be inside the whole time.
3. I own Lucia’s pendant – the PSOne re-release of Lunar 2 had arguably one of the coolest box sets of any video game ever, and inside that box set, along with a whole bunch of other goodies, was a life-size official replica of Lucia’s pendant, which just made me wonder why in the heck I never considered this cosplay before in my life!
4. Lucia is badass, is any other reason needed?
This costume required some thought before I went about actually starting to make it. She doesn’t wear it for very long in the game and there aren’t really any good pictures of what the whole thing looks like (the bromide above is the best image you get of what she’s wearing.) How the cape looks under the neck/shoulder thing she’s wearing and how it fastens together is not really clearly seen.
There’s obviously an opening in the front, however it seems to overlap quite a bit – shoulder to shoulder, at least, because when she stands with her arms inside, there is no obvious opening. I sketched some designs, and came up with a basic design for a cape that is made of straight panels, gathered at the shoulders to give it volume, with some kind of a collar, that overlaps from shoulder to shoulder. I played with some old sheets on my dress form, and came up with a basic working pattern.
I used red cotton sateen for this cape – not a choice I’m entirely happy with in retrospect; I think I might have preferred something even heavier. I traced my pattern pieces onto the fabric, and then extended the shoulder width, to allow for room for pleating.
I pleated the shoulders on the cape back panel, which was one piece, and the two front panels, and then sewed them all together with french seams. I had to take in the shoulders a number of times because they were too big and gave this weird sort of balloony effect that I didn’t like. I think a heavier fabric would have hung better. Anyway, I just kept taking in my seams until it fell nicely from my shoulders.
For the collar, I just wanted to make a simple standing collar – it won’t be seen anyway underneath the neck piece/shoulder armor thing, whatever it is.
I was going to line the collar with some stiff canvas I had, but lo and behold, it was nowhere to be found… naturally! So instead, I cut two more strips of the sateen and stitched them to the inside – the stitch line is on the inside of the collar so it doesn’t bother me. Then I attached the collar, and hand tacked it down on the inside. The extra layers of fabric help it to stand quite nicely without flopping around.
Here’s the top of the cape, all finished – doesn’t look like much, does it? I put hooks in two places on the collar to keep it shut, since it overlaps almost the entire front half of the collar.
And here’s me, tiredly modeling the cape! Right now, it’s only pinned where it overlaps in the front, but I’m going to put some buttons there, probably the same ones I’ll put on the rest of the costume when I get around to making it.
So, I got something accomplished today, even if it wasn’t what I planned to! It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment to finish things in one day – I’ve broken up all my costume lists into small tasks that can be done in a day. It’s back to work tomorrow, but next week I’ll be tackling the black uniform that Lucia wears.