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Hello Everyone!

I figured that since I added construction notes for my Artbook Sakura cosplay up on my cosplay.com account, it would only be fitting to do the same here. Most of this will be copy-paste, but I will be adding in some extra links to pictures of the costume while it was a WIP. There will also be Wing/Dream Staff notes! If anyone has any questions as to how I made something, don't hesitate to ask! I'm always open to questions, and I'm more than happy to share what I've learned during this experience.

fav.me/d4yia1f

I wanted to make this costume almost from day one. However, when I first started cosplaying, I really didn't have the skills to make it. So I stared longingly at the artbook picture for a few years, worked on other costumes in the mean time, and decided that someday it would come to pass.

It was late last year that I finally felt skilled enough to construct it. And I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out.

Costume Pieces

The bodice: The bodice was made from a modified corset pattern that I had lying around after Halloween. In fact, I used the exact same mock-up I made for Bertie's bodice here:

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…

Which I actually tried on to get a better feel for the dress as a whole before I finished it. Because I am impatient. To the extreme.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
Completely the WRONG COLOR.

The final bodice of the dress was made of white bridal satin which I lined with white cotton (cheap bedsheet from the thrift store!) The buttons were hand-sewn on. Due to absolute laziness, I did not add boning to the corset, mostly because I was intimidated by it at the time. It probably would have had cleaner lines had I done so as well.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
Photo by Fremen

The skirt was also white bridal satin. This was the simplest part of the whole costume. It's just a simple circle skirt I drafted from my own measurements, attached to the bodice, and hemmed around the edges. I followed a tutorial on youtube to learn how to make it, once again creating a mock-up before I even touched the real fabric. After the real thing was sewn together, I attached it to the bodice.

The skirt covers a 4-tier hoopskirt that I bought off eBay from PiggyTiggy. I was very particular about the shape I wanted the dress to have, so I did a good deal of shopping before deciding on which one to go for. I wanted a bell shape, and the 4-tier skirt worked perfectly. And it came with tulle already, so I didn't have to make any underskirts.

The cape was yet more white bridal satin. Actually, I ended up buying 7 yards in all for the whole costume, and the cape was made from the remnant of material I had left over after making the bodice and skirt. Seriously. It was a leftover rectangle that I straightened the edge of, pressed, and hemmed before attaching it to the decorative red and gold top. If I was a bit more of a perfectionist, I might have made a cape that was more circular and draped better around the dress. However, I am lazy. I didn't even hem the bottom of the cape. I left it with a salvage edge, as I knew it would get stepped on or dirty.

The top of the cape is a red satin if I'm not mistaken, but I'm not positive. I didn't want anything overly shiny, but I did want something with weight that matched the white fabric. It's lined with the same red fabric, and all the gold detailing was painted on with gold fabric paint over the course of two nights.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
This part required a lot of tea.

The paint was just a pot of metallic fabric paint I picked up at Joann's. I really liked working with it though, so I think I'll stick with it next time I need to paint any detailing on.

This stuff. Lumiere Fabric Paint. It comes in a whole slew of colors too.
www.joann.com/lumiere-2-25-oz-…


i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
The painting was definitely the most challenging, time-consuming part of the costume. But it was SO WORTH IT. Since the back design is never shown in the artbook, I had to make it up. That part was both fun and daunting at the same time. I needed it to match with the front half and keep with the wing motif that weaves its way throughout the entire series. I just sketched out designs on paper until I was satisfied with one, and then I penciled in the outline onto the real fabric before filling it in with paint.

The butterfly, necklace, and headpiece are all craft foam. I drafted the lines on paper, then traced over the lines after placing the design on top of the craft foam. After the main lines had transferred to the foam, I went over them again with a dull pencil to further strengthen the dents. The foam was then coated with a mixture of glue and water, left to dry, and then painted with the same paint used to make the designs on the cape. I used clear nail polish to seal everything and make it shiny.

The butterfly has a safety-pin glued to the back of it, and the hair piece has a clip. The jewel under the butterfly is just a clear teardrop pendant I bought at Joann's then painted with burgundy nail polish. It's being held up via the safety pin between two pieces of fabric. Nail polish is an underused resource when it comes to costumes I think, but it works really well.

The gloves were bought, though I plan on remaking them with the bridal satin at some point, because I'm not really satisfied with them. Basically, they're cheap. But they worked for the cons I took them to. I hand-sewed the buttons at the tops and added elastic so they wouldn't slide down my arms.

The staff is my pride and joy. Well...one of them. My uncle works in packaging, so I'm fortunate enough to have access to pretty tools. The design itself took 8 hours to draft onto the computer before being cut out via machine.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
This is the prototype, made up of two layers. The lower layer is basically flat and is comprised of any part of the staff that is connected. The top layer is where we started to add dimension, comprised of the circles and feathers. The upper most layers would be the feathers themselves, and they were individually placed.

The head as a whole was redesigned to accomodate a piece that was inserted into the pvc shaft for stability. My uncle and I are both perfectionists, so it's as artbook accurate as we could possibly make it. We -agonized- over curves. 8 hours of agonizing preceded the prototype piece.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
The staff head is comprised of 3 different types of pieces, all made from e flute cardboard. The center piece is fully flat. The pieces on either side add dimension and ridges, and the pieces on top of those build up the wings. E flute is very thin, but very strong if built up in layers. I chose it because it has less space between the edges, and is therefore easier to go over with glue later to fill in holes. By the time we were finished, the head was 5 layers thick at it's thinnest point near the base of the head, and 13 layers at its thickest.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
Cardboard is strongest in layers, so each piece is glued to the one below it and pressed with weights to keep it from warping as it dries. Cardboard is a very temperamental medium, but if you're patient, you can do just about anything with it. While not everyone has access to precision cutting boards like I do, the basic principals of the construction can still be applied.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…

After the piece was solid, we took glue and coated all the edges 3 times to fill as many gaps as we could. Next we primed it.
i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…

We let the primer dry overnight before starting the real painting. We chose a hammered gold spray paint for texture and dimension.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
I'll admit, I'd still love to go over it with highlighting at some point to give it more depth, but maybe someday I'll actually get around to it.

After a second coat of hammered gold, this is what it became:
i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…

The shaft is made of pvc. It's fully collapsible for travel. We cut it into three sections, then glued some draining pipe inside the pvc at two ends. It's a ridiculously snug fit.
i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…

cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0121…
The wig is a Sandy Brown Jaguar from Arda that I shaped and styled.

i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…

And eventually, the whole costume turned out like this:
i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19…
Photo by Fremen.

Like I said at the beginning, if there are any questions about how something was done, I'm more than happy to answer them! I hope these notes can help someone else out with making their own dress, and if you got this far, thanks for reading!
  • Listening to: Hazy by Rosi Golan ft. William Fitzsimmons
  • Reading: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievater
  • Watching: Eureka Seven
  • Playing: Final Cut Pro
  • Eating: French bread
  • Drinking: Water

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cian-fionn's Profile Picture
cian-fionn
Bree
Artist | Hobbyist | Artisan Crafts
United States
Hi.

I'm Cian Fionn. ^_^

Current Residence: Where the sun never sets...
deviantWEAR sizing preference: small?
Print preference: if we're talking 35mm film, it's pearl paper any day
Favourite genre of music: as long as it's got a good beat and melody with killer lyrics, I'm sold
Operating System: Macbook! ^_^
MP3 player of choice: green ipod mini (they're like an endangered species! 0.o)
Shell of choice: Well, if I was a crustacean, I'd have an answer for this question...
Wallpaper of choice: Sims 2 art created in photoshop
Skin of choice: I'm pretty dang happy with the one I'm wearing...
Favourite cartoon character: I'm gonna go old school and say Tweety Bird
Personal Quote: "It's a methodical madness..."
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:iconlizray:
LizRay Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015
you are very beautiful <3
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:iconstar-killer10:
Star-killer10 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
love your costumes! Merida looks great!
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:iconsaradarklight:
SaraDarkLight Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
Thank you for the :+fav: ^^
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:iconcian-fionn:
cian-fionn Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
no problem! those wings are absolutely stunning! it makes me want to cosplay that character just so I can do those fabulous wings! ^_^
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:iconelrowiel:
Elrowiel Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Thank you for the Watch! :heart: I hope I can manage to be interesting! :hug:
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:iconcian-fionn:
cian-fionn Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
hopefully Oscar will get a few of our shots up soon! They looked so awesome on the camera!
Reply
:iconelrowiel:
Elrowiel Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012
I know! I'm so excited to see them!! waah!! They are going to be sooooo amazing!
You were such a gorgeous sakura, It made my night to run itno you guys. Seriously! If we are ever at the same con again, I would love to Tsubasa/Holic with you some more!
Reply
:iconcian-fionn:
cian-fionn Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
From what I've seen straight out of the camera, they're already amazing. I don't know what Oscar will be able to do to them to make them more so. XD
Thank you so much! Running into you made my night as well! And your Yuuko was absolutely gorgeous. The craftmanship level was ridiculously high.
I'd totally be up for that! What cons do you normally go to?
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:iconbluessence:
bluessence Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for watching ^_^
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:iconcian-fionn:
cian-fionn Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
saw your work at fanime and snagged a card so I could watch you when I got home! ^_^
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