The March Hare (Sakizo): Progress Post 2-- Bustle Skirts and Accessories!

Images are up!! 
Ahhh, what a busy month! In September/October I finished my corset for The March Hare, but made very little progress until towards the end of December. Since these 2 costumes are for Katsucon in February, I've been busting my ass every free minute to get everything done in time.

Unfortunately, after I finished the corset, I saw a peek of the full body shot of The March Hare on Instagram, and basically had a heart attack. I hunted down the full-sized image and uploaded it to Zero Chan, hopefully no one else will make the same mistake if they decide to cosplay her!

I haven't been using my DSLR much either, in MN winter means no natural light after 4pm, and the photos just look bad with a flash, so I've been taking pictures with my cell phone... Anyways, off to cosplay! (Going to update with more pictures in a few hours)

Part 1- The Ruff

I had a lot of trouble figuring out how I wanted to approach this, I was thinking I would have to make it a weird shape with wire supports or Worbla and really put a ton of hours into it. To start, I drew a pattern onto craft paper, and pinned it to my form. Turns out that a horseshoe-ish shape works perfectly for ruffs, and that was basically the end of that.

I modified the pattern a bit and cut out 2 layers of super thick interfacing. I sewed them together, then sewed a layer of white canvas onto each side. I then sewed on the ivory pintuck fabric that I had added black studs to. At this point, the ends were unfinished but it was covered on the front/back.

I created some ruffles, and sewed them to the top of the ruff on the back side. The black Venice lace was sewn on, and the black poufs attached. The black part was made by gathering fabric at 5" intervals, then sewing the top to the ruff. Once they were in place, I filled the poufs with fabric batting and glued it shut. I glued ruffle and lace onto the back to hide the seams, and sewed double fold bias tape onto the inside neck area to finish it off.

It is attached to the corset at the front with Velcro. 

Part 2- The Skirt & Support

To start with, I had to figure out the supports that were under the skirt. They are a bit wrong since I started with half of a reference image, but I like it anyways.

The bottom most layer is a hoop skirt made out of 1/2" tube from Home Depot. It's held together with strips of muslin, and the front is duct-taped in place to hold the front open (real quality, I even used bright green duct-tape). It's covered with a layer of muslin to keep everything as clean as possible.

Next is a 3 tier petticoat, this literally took me forever since it was so awful to do. If I had my Serger when I started, it would have taken 1/3 of the time :(

The base of the petticoat is made of muslin, then 3 layers of tulle sewn on (accidentally purchased tulle instead of crinoline, oops). The fabric is about 6 yards wide at the bottom of each layer, so that means 18 yards of fabric was needed for each layer. 54 yards to double hem, ruffle, then sew onto the petticoat... Like I said awful. Looks awesome though! *sobs into beautiful petticoat*

Next is the bustle skirt itself. I'm pretty horrible at construction, so I made all the pieces and pinned them together, then just sewed that shit down (so yeah, the inside looks... really... nice...) Each "piece" is just a square of fabric that is ruffled with cording. Some of them have ivory ruffles and/or lace sewn to them, some are just naked. The waistband is a strip of the same black fabric sewn on, and it closes with Velcro.

The last part was the inside skirt/ train. The inside is 3 layers of ivory pintuck with ivory ruffles. Each pintuck has a 4-prong stud added to it (just like the ruff), but rhinestones glued onto the back to hide the prongs. The bottom 2 layers of the skirt have a bit more decoration, the front has tassel trim, and the back has featherweight boning (for shape) and ruffles. 

The train is made out of white fleece and faux fur, and is attached to the main skirt with Velcro.

Part 3- Accessories

Whew! Now onto the accessories. From what I saw there are 3 pieces on the head: ears, the main "hat" headdress, and a headdress on the side. The ears are made of craft foam and wire, glued onto a headband made of heavy gauge wire. The fabric is pink minky on the inside, and faux grey fur on the outside - both were also hot glued to the ears. The ends are covered in hot glue and smoothed out so they can just kind of poke into the wig.

For headdress 1 on top of the ears, I decided to use hair instead of a feather because I thought it would look cooler (it does). The hair is a curly clip from Arda in pure white, with the clip part removed (after hair-spraying it a million times). It is glued to a little hat piece made out of worbla, and then the ruffles, netting and cameo were glued on. The netting has rhinestones individually super glued, which took far too long. It ended up being kind of the wrong shape, so there is foam-board on the inside to make it tall enough, and it is attached to the ears with Velcro and prayers (don't turn your head!). 

Headdress 2 is just a small piece of worbla with ruffles, netting, rhinestones, rooster feathers and a cameo glued on. It is attached to a multi-prong hair pin that sticks into the wig.

The necklace is made of rhinestones with a bow and cameo glued on, pretty basic.

The shoes are basic heels from Go Jane (I ordered them before I had the whole reference art) but they look pretty nice. Unfortunately they were a bit big, so I added insoles and no-rub shoe tap to the back. The shoe decor is also a piece of worbla with ruffles and a pouf glued on. I added 4 prong silver studs to the pouf to give it texture, and it is attached to the shoe with Velcro (so we can have multi-purpose shoes!)

Next up, tights & sleeves... Then KATSUCON 2014!!

Taokaka Revamp: Anime Fusion 2013

Towards the beginning of October, I decided that I'd be going to Anime Fusion, a small, local convention here in Bloomington, MN. Instead of whipping together a new costume, or rushing to finish The March Hare, I figured I'd just wear 2 that I've already made: Queen Guinevere (2013) and Taokaka (2012).

I took my Taokaka cosplay out of storage with the intent to fix up some of the issues I had with it, but once I had a good look at it... Well... Let's just say that the person who made it *coughs* was clearly incapable of sewing a straight seam to save her life.

The inside looked *awful*, the seams were super crooked and wonky -which made me look lumpy last time I wore it- , the tail was all matted and gross, and the ears were (honestly, wtfh) safety pinned to the hood :|
After much crying, and about 45 seconds of deliberation, I took apart the entire costume and started remaking it. The only thing I didn't completely remake is the paws, simply because they were a huge pain in the ass last time, and I didn't have enough leftover fabric (they were made using Heat n' Bond!). I did, however, add invisible zippers to the inside seams of the paws, so that I can have use of my hands when required. I re-made the body by tracing the old one, except with straight seams. I shortened it about 4 inches from the old one, and added bias tape to the bottom inside for the hem. The back side where the tail comes out is more pointed and accurate to the reference, and the zipper covers were re-made to have heat n' bond on the inside, instead of 1 layer of interfacing.

I was in a huge hurry, so I didn't take very many progress pictures :(

I made the tail with a small amount of black and white fur from Hancock Fabrics, filled with a coat hanger and -honest to god- the batting from the old, gross Halloween tail.. What can I say, I'm thrifty. The hood took a while because I added the top details that I didn't have before, and I re-made the ears to be more accurate (and not safety pinned).

The zipper pull and mask were made of worbla, and although I'm not 100% happy with them, they are lot better than the originals. This was my first time working with worbla, and it was complicated and easy at the same time. I used wood glue to smooth it out, and painted with acrylics. The new mask has red LEDs inside of the eyes to make them glow.

I waited until last minute to re-do the wig, because I was debating if I wanted to make it thicker or just leave it braided like it was. I ended up re-doing the wig with a piece of fabric batting glued in-between each braid strand (so 3 per braid) which again, was a pain in the ass. It ended up looking pretty nice, and I like it more than some of the other styles I've seen, such as yarn.

In order to get the fat wig through the giant grommets in the hood, I wrapped it in saran wrap and gently pulled it through. It got a bit messed up coming off though.

Because I had initially purchased so much extra fabric, it ended up costing me less than $20 to fix this whole costume. I had to purchase fabric glue, quilt batting, wood glue and 2 invisible zippers, everything else I already had lying round. 

Before & After

My adorable friend Tak wore my Tao around for a bit and modeled for some super adorbs photos... Sorry we don't have any with the mask! 

Supplies & Purchases
TaokakaFabric/Notions $18