Amami Haruka Postmortem

6 min read
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By animagic4u
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Amami Haruka Postmortem- From newbie cosplayer to idol

Experiencing my own Perfect Blue moment...
I have always been a huge fan of Amami Haruka since I first laid eyes on her back in 2007. I saw a fan made 'md' video of her dancing and singing to the song "Daisuki!". At that time I had no knowledge of The iDOLMster, but continued to find videos of her and the other idols from Live for You!. With the release of The iDOLMster 2 and consequently the new iDOLMster animation, affectionately referred to as anims, several cosplayers became new fans of the series and started the creation of their own costumes. On the official iDOLMster website, I became intrigued by Haruka's 'image outfit' which is the luxury outfit from The iDOLMster 2 called 'Scarlet Sprite'. After much admiration of the costume and imagining easy construction, I decided I wanted to cosplay as Haruka in this very costume. And thus my project began.

It all starts with 2 yards of flat fabric
One of the things I've come to love about sewing is seeing an outfit come to life out of a lot of flat fabric. Finding the right fabric for my costume was extremely simple this time and I'm glad it was! The skirt is made out of heavy cotton. I searched Joann's for a while to find exactly the right color. I came to learn that as much as I love this color pallet, 'Scarlet Sprite' is one of the hardest costumes ever when it comes to matching the right colors. The vest and boots are made out of a cotton based red sparkly dot material. It is lined with white cotton as Haruka's actual vest is lined but also because the material is extremely thin and a bit scratchy. The details like the cuffs and choker are from an extremely stiff silvery material which I cannot remember the name of. The problem with the fabric is that the grains are very sensitive and if sewn the wrong way will bunch up and wrinkle horribly with no way to fix it. Finally, the socks are made out of a stretchy silver fabric which is not unlike a cotton double knit in stretch but feels smooth and soft like satin. The top is from Charlotte Russe, cut down and ribbon attached. The boots are from Party City and boot covers added.

If at first you don't succeed...
One of the things I always do when sewing- make prototypes out of scrap material and then keep improving the prototype patterns until they are perfect. I was confident with the skirt pattern because box pleated skirts are simply one of my favorites to sew and design. I skipped prototyping and went straight to sewing this one with several mishaps. Pleats were sewn wrong. Skirt was too short. I liked it, but I decided to make another to see if I could do better. Second time was the charm here! Second skirt is the one currently being used in the cosplay and I love it to bits. The pleats seem very iconic of Haruka and since I'm really obsessed with detail there are exactly the same number of pleats as Haruka's actual skirt. The chain is actually attached to the skirt but as it is not heavy it still holds up. The back is finished with a zipper just like Haruka's skirt most likely is (the game shows this detail as a seam in the back). Content with the skirt's progress I moved on toward the vest, not knowing it would be one of the most difficult portions of this cosplay.
I'd like to say I went through five prototype vests when designing Haruka's. I'd like to say that, anyway. I don't even remember how many times I made that vest. My first rendition of the vest in the actual fabric was a disaster. The back was open too far, the sides revealed too much, and the collar was simply awful. Lining with satin is simply a horrible idea! It does not iron well and as a result the vest was bulky and horrid. I had given up on the vest for a while and obtained a pattern for a similar vest. I made a prototype of this pattern but was still unhappy with its result. However, I combined this pattern with the one I made to achieve the result that is now the vest. I love the result! The only thing I wish it had is the front collar seams, but I find it a small detail and my vest looks fine anyway.

Lessons Learned...
I think the most important lesson I learned during this project is always sewing loosely then tighten later. That way if you make a mistake you can still pull it apart and redo it. That was essential to details like the collar and zippers. I also learned how to make boot covers for the first time, and surprisingly the first ones I made fit and look great.

Debut and Reception- To be added post-convention

Looking ahead...
I'm confident now that if I like a character enough, I will be able to cosplay as them. This journey has really improved my sewing skills and I have had a lot of growth throughout the duration of this project. For now, I am going to step back from Haruka. She will always be my most loved character, but I wish to take a break from her for a while to revisit some of her other costumes in the future.

An idol is nothing without her fans...
I would like to thank everyone who helped me succeed on this project! You guys mean a lot!
Thanks to...
• Project-ims forums, for their continued support and watch of my project, and for some of the suggestions the members gave me
• My mom for helping me handsew the little details
• Namco Bandai for making such an adorable and loveable character
© 2012 - 2020 animagic4u
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Taikxo's avatar
Oh my goodness this is beautiful.
I have had similar experiences with sewing through the years with my cosplays as well.
<3 But its nice to find someone who has known about IM@S as long as I have!

I actually found them in my Freshman year in high school, 5 years ago, via Asama Shimoda. (Ami and Mami's VA.) (She also did the voices of Len and Rin Kagamine, from Vocaloid)

<3 I totally connected with Miki. I really need to re-vamp that cosplay...
^3^ I'm glad that you've learned so much from making Haruka! She's one of my favorite characters, and Idol M@STER: Zennoglosia made me fall in love with her. (Even if its not canon to the main story line...)
c: I really hope I can make it to PCC, because I would love to take photos with you. c:
animagic4u's avatar
animagic4uHobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much!! *o* Glad to find one more (I only know one) idolm@ster fan state side!! Please try and make it to PCC because it'd be awesome to take pictures together!! :D <3
If you don't I'll go Harukaka on you!!