Sunday, 8 March 2015


This was a sort of last minute cosplay plan (and when I mean last minute cosplay plan, it was decided two months on advance of the con).  My friend Locobu and I were going to attend Frostcon in Toronto and we decided that we should get together a group cosplay.  We were debating on different pairings when one of her friends said that she was going to cosplay the Witch of the Waste which led us to choose a Howl (me) and Sophie (Locobu) pairing.  It was great fun to be a fabulous wizard for a day!


Shirt - Howl's shirt is really large and billowy about him so I decided to use a men's medium sized pattern to make the shirt.  I chose to use Butterick's B4574 pattern.  I used a white poly cotton material that I got for a super cheap price.  I followed the pattern instructions all the way to the last sleeve step.  Instead of adding an elastic cuff, I added an interfaced cuff using this tutorial here.  The cuffs are kept closed by large hooks and eyes.  I also added a ruffle on the blouse following the edge of the interfacing on the inside of the shirt.  The ruffles was finished by sewing a white ribbon over the top to keep it from fraying.

Adding the collar
Jacket - Having never made a jacket before I started off by looking through my patterns to work off of. I took Simplicity's 5840 view B as a base for the jacket.  I modified the robe pattern so that I would have a shoulder seam rather than a yoke seam along the front and back.  I also adjusted the length of the pattern so that it ended at around my hip level.  Then I added a collar to the pattern and modified the sleeve to have a false cuff on the outer layer.

Base of jacket
The main body of the jacket was made from a pink fabric of unknown fibers and grey polyester fabric.  I hand sewed each grey diamond applique using a slip stitch.  I figured that I would got for a quilting type of applique because I didn't want my stitches to be obvious (such as satin stitching).  The applique took the majority of the time constructing the jacket.  I had to sew over twenty individual diamonds!  The end look was totally worth it though.  The sleeves were constructed with the same pink fabric, a white poplin and a yellow poplin.  The yellow "trim" was treated as a sewn in stripe for the sleeve.

Adding the applique
The lining was made from a red stretch material and it was attached to the jacket before the collar was attached.  The neckline was left open on the jacket.  The collar was also lined with the bottom seam left open to match the jacket.  The collar was sewn to the jacket matching the outside layers together, then pressed and slip stitched closed on the lining side.  The yellow bias along the collar and opening of the jacket was sewn on last.

Pants - I was lazy and bought the pants.  Unfortunately the zipper doesn't work so well so I had to sew a Velcro strip in the front to keep it from opening up.  They are so comfy though!

Boots - These were also bought.  At first I thought they were super comfy but I realized that after wearing them for a day that my feet would start hurting.  I guess I might have to invest in an insole for those boots.  They were so perfect for the character though, I just had to get them!

Boots and pants
Jewel - It just so happened that I owned a blue jewel necklace for the longest time and I never wore it.  I kept it for some reason and it eventually ended up being the best jewel for Howl!

Wig - I used Arda Wigs' Inigo in light blonde for Howl.  It had some weird curls at the bottom of the wig so I decided to try the hot water method for straightening a wig.  It worked great and my wig is pretty straight now!  I messed up with cutting the bangs because for some reason it looked straight on my wig head but when I would try it on the bangs were never straight.  I eventually had to finish the bangs while wearing the wig.

Cutting the bangs
Completed costume (I forgot the jewel!)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Sakura Hime - Tsubasa Shunraiki

I love the story of Tsubasa and I love the character designs. Sakura Hime has so many different outfits it was so hard to choose the first one to cosplay!  I decided on her Nihon kimono from the Shunraiki OVA.  I love the simplicity of the design and the colours!  It isn't a well known or often cosplayed outfit so I wanted to share some love for it.


Tunic - The tunic was made by modifying and combining two different patterns, one for the body of the tunic and one for the sleeve.  I used Simplicity's 5840 view D for the body.  I modified the neckline of the body so that the tunic crossed over until my bust line then went straight down to my waist instead of it crossing over the entire way down to my waist line.  The collar that runs along the neckline was reinforced with interfacing and pleated every few inches to give it a more "wavy" shape.
Tunic Construction
The sleeves were made using McCall's M4491 view D pattern (It is not being printed anymore).  They are fully lined.  The sleeve hole was adjusted before cutting the fabric out so that attaching the sleeves wouldn't be a hassle and a half.  To help keep the shape of the neckline I added some snaps and velcro to act as closures.  The tunic is put on first and to help it stay closed I tie a white cord around my waist.

Pleating the collar
Under skirt - The skirt was made from the same white ponti di roma material as the tunic.  I lay down my fabric and drew a half circle in chalk.  I then drew in the waist line and cut out the skirt (one layer only).  The back seam was sewn, then the elastic waistband was attached and finally the hem was finished with a blind hem stitch.  The skirt if put on second over the tunic.  Once the skirt and tunic are in place the cord used earlier is removed.

Measuring the hem
Kimono - I used McCall's M4953 kimono pattern as the base for Sakuras.  Since her kimono is sleeveless I only took the body portion of the pattern and modified it to have the special curvature of the hem.  The appliques were added after the kimono was pieced together but before the lining was put together.  They were made from a pink satin and were bonded to the fabric using Heat'n'Bond.  I only later realized that you can't iron satin on the right side...   Once the appliques were fused to the fabric, they were stitched in place using a satin stitch.  I used a flattened out coffee filter as reinforcement for my stitches.  I learned the hard way that the Heat'n'Bond glue sticks to the needle and this causes a lot of threads to break or the machine to skip stitches.  I was recommended to used fusible interfacing next time).

Satin stitches seen on the coffee filter
The kimono is completely lined and made out of a light purple fabric.  The fibers were unknown but I think they had a polyester base since that was the ironing temp that I ended up using :P  The edging along the neckline and sleeves was made using a purple poplin fabric.  The ruffle was made using a white satin and it was attached to the hem via a dark purple single fold bias tape.  To keep the kimono from moving around too much I take the white cord and tie it closed around my waist.  I keep it in place under my obi.

Attaching the ruffle
Obi - I wanted the obi for Sakura Hime to be an actual obit that I could tie and have a pretty bow in the back.  I used the measurements for a traditional Nagoya obi and tried to the best of my abilities to make it work when I only had one meter of fabric to work with.  The obi is reinforced with interfacing and lined with a semi rigid cotton.  The final product is slightly smaller than the traditional Nagoya obi should be and I personally feel that it isn't as stiff as it should be but it still works.  I fold it in half along the length and then tie it in a bow.  I pass a purple cord through the bow and tie it in front to keep it in place.

Sash - The sash was made with a white, gauzy curtain material.  It frayed really badly so I ended up having to fray check the entire thing!  Since the sheer width of the cut was huge (I would say between 2.5 - 3 m) I didn't have to piece anything together.  I just sewed it up along the sides and the top, leaving just enough room to turn it inside out.  I was lazy and I just sewed it shut with my machine rather than slip stitching it :P  The entire thing was pressed using the synthetic setting on my iron.

Wig - Instead of spending money and time on buying and styling a new wig, I just reused my Sakura Kinomoto wig from last summer.  Actually it was my intention to use it again :)  They are essentially the same character anyways so it works out.

Sakura wig
Shoes - I still have to find shoes that would match this character.... maybe over the summer I'll purchase some geta :P

Completed costume (photo by Cyberfox007)