Hana (Gate 7) Progress Write-Up

I've wanted to do Hana for quite a while, but I didn't really start until the 2nd week of March (March 10th) for a con that was the first weekend in April. Basically I made the whole thing in 3 weeks. I left a few parts out for time's sake (the ankle and thigh jewelry, painting the inner kimono) and the red waist cincher (obi-jime) broke and I didn't have the time to re-make it.


Part 1- Kimonos

I started with 18 yards of Kona cotton from fabric.com, 6 yards per kimono. This is more than you'd normally need for a "costume" kimono but I needed them to drag. I made 2 white kimono and 1 red in an evening. I use Simplicity 4080 for the pattern pieces, but I don't follow the instructions (leave open sleeves and a hole on the body near the sleeves, you can find instructions for traditional kimono making online).

I left the neck bands off and went on to dyeing. The first time I dyed them was too light, so everything was done twice. I found my color combos off of the Rit Dye website, and just kind of winged it with mixing dye.

After everything was rinsed, dried and properly ironed, I painted on the sleeve detailing and sewed on the neck bands. The last thing I did was push wire through the neckband seam of the outermost kimono, and add ribbons to the sleeves.

Part 2- Accessories

The only real accessory here is the obi-belt. I made it like a giant belt, lined with denim. The flower is Kona cotton fused to Heat n' Bond, then painted with acrylics. After that I simply cut it out and ironed it to the obi. I inserted grommets and laced it with red ribbon.

Part 3- Armor

The armor was pretty straightforward, she has a shoulder piece and a wrist piece, the leg jewelry (which I left out for this part, I'll add it later!) and the headdress.

The wrist piece was layered craft foam covered in Worbla, I completely neglected to take pictures of this! The shoulder was 4 separate pieces, the bottom 3 were connected and the top one was connected by braided cording. I really wanted to make holes for the cording to go through, but when I tried to punch the holes it cracked my wood glue, so I just glued them on.

I opened each bell and re-shaped them (and removed the jingly bit) but they were still loud because they hit each other X3

Next, the headdress. I need to find a better solution to keeping it on my head! Everything went so smoothly  (and late at night) that I forgot to take pictures of most of it... It seriously looked like an artichoke until I painted it... I started by cutting out a bunch of petals (it was 2 pieces of Worbla fused together) and heating them together. Next was the large back section, this was also 2 pieces of Worbla. The petal pieces that stick out were pretty interesting, I wanted to save weight so I only did 1 piece of Worbla, but you have to work really fast and delicately when you only do 1. I heated them up and draped them over a skewer and they  hung until they were stiff but still malleable, and I formed the dents in. I carefully attached them to the main piece and started re-shaping the petals.

The center front moon/starburst was cut out of Worbla and spray-painted & plasti-dipped (new method, didn't work out so well).

I added a circle around the bottom, and started adding the cording details. The danging crystals I picked up at Michael's and painted the correct color, the cording was purchased on Amazon. I also added the gradient-dyed bow with a large snap. I glued the whole thing to a headband (awful idea) and well, it kinda worked! Just kinda.

I re-did the chin strap but didn't take any pictures~

Final Photos

Photos by Siffy

Photos by Sun Suki

Supplies & Purchases
HanaWig/Wefts $45, Contacts $21, Fabric $100, Notions/Misc $65
Total Cost: $231

Kamael Majestic Light Armor (Lineage 2)-- Progress 1/2

Even though this costume isn't complete, I've had a blog post written up about it since I started it in early January. I like to keep track of my progress and write down how I made certain pieces, etc, but the stress started to pile up and honestly, I had to step back from this costume. I plan to finish it sometime this year.

I started this costume the second week in January with hopes of getting it done in time for Katsucon. I had just over a month to go from nothing (not even having the fabric yet) to having a finished product I was proud of. It started out pretty well, but when I was under 2 weeks in, my sewing machine stopped working. After having a mini (okay, huge) freak-out and about an hour of trying to fix it myself, I decided to bring it in to Hancock for repair, and grab a cheap machine for the time being. It's technically still under warranty, but it seemed to be just a tension issue, and I'd rather have it back within a week than gone for however long for a warranty replacement.

The new non-computerized machine was quite the headache, it didn't have any of the features that I was used to and a tenancy to chew up my fabric... Sewing with this machine feels like it takes 3 times as long as normal and I thought it was going to die the first time it went through the suede :'(

To top it off, my heat gun died on the 2nd of February, just 2 weeks before Katsucon and 3 days outside of the return policy. I got the heat gun for Christmas, and it didn't even make it a whole month before it bit the dust. Luckily my dad had one in his shop, so I had to run and get that. It works brilliantly, but it sucks to have my tools failing when I feel like I need them the most.

I literally poured every free minute I have into this costume. I didn't hang out with my friends, go on dates or really leave the apartment - except for work - since I started this cosplay. Once my machine died I honestly felt like giving up, but I kept telling myself "you're almost there", "just a few things left" and I kept powering through to finish. Although it's a bit rushed, I don't feel like I sacrificed too much on the quality of my construction, and I'm pretty satisfied with what I have so far. I learned a lot from making this cosplay, despite the string of bad luck. >> The reason I paused work on this costume is because I couldn't finish the wing for Katsucon. Everything else is mostly done, it just needs some touch-up work.

I don't even really want to write these progress posts, looking back I can just feel the stress of trying to get everything done on time... If it wasn't for the support of my friends, I don't even think anything would have been finished. I constantly had people telling me that they knew I could finish, and even had friends that would come over and hang out while I worked. The support is really what drove me to get this bitch done...

I do have to say though, Worbla is not my strong suit... There are a number of things I'd like to change/ improve, but we'll see.

Let's start at the beginning. I actually had this costume planned for Katsucon for a while, but it didn't really occur to me to start until a friend said to me "Katsucon is just a month and a half away, are you ready?!" And my world came to a screeching halt. I'd already been pouring my soul into making The March Hare, and suddenly I had to split my time between 2 costumes.

The fist thing I did was gather as many references as possible. I was able to find 2 figurines of the cosplay I wanted to do, and the photos helped a ton.

So pretty :D Anyways, I ordered my fabric off of Fabric.com, plus 2 sheets of XL Worbla, and started on the gun while I waited for those to arrive.

Part 1 - Armor & Accessories

The gun was the very first thing I made. To start with, I traced my Nerf gun onto foam board, and started modifying the shape to match my reference images. Once I had it down, I cut out 3 foam board "guns" and glued them together. I used my X-Acto knife to clean up some parts that didn't match, then glued craft foam around the outside, to cover the really ugly edges. I also added the gun's "grip" with a layer of craft foam, and the barrel area with foam board.

Once all the edges were smoothed, I covered the whole thing in worbla, and cleaned up all the edges. I used Friendly Plastic to fill in some problem areas, then drew the designs on with sharpie. The details are done in Friendly Plastic (it's a liar, FP is really a douche to work with, lots of burns were had) and the larger pieces are done in worbla. I also added the trigger and the other pieces that stick out.

Friendly Plastic takes a bit of practice to get good at. I used a large metal serving spoon to melt the pellets in simmering water, but had to constantly reheat them with my heat gun. If the FP is too hot, it gets stringy and messy, but if it's too cold it won't form right. It probably took me like 15 tries to really figure out the perfect temp and what not. I also used a cheap set of clay sculpting tools to clean up the designs. 

I'm not 100% happy with the way the details turned out, but I think I'm happy enough with my first ever prop weapon that I'll probably never remake it.

Next I started on the arm pieces. The left arm has a wrist gauntlet, which is made out of craft foam and worbla, and closed with Velcro & d-rings (not a lot to say about this one~!)

The right arm has a shoulder piece, then a wrist guard. The shoulder piece is made out of several layers of worbla. The inner most piece is quite round, and is moulded over my boob globe. The details are all worbla, and it is hooked to the shirt the same way (Velcro and d-rings, baby!)

The wrist guard was pretty fun, the outside facing piece is a large piece of worbla that goes over the hand, with a second piece at the top that points inwards (who needs to actually straighten their arms, pft). The underside is a large piece of worbla that holds everything together with Velcro.

For the shoes, I decided to use wedges since they are more comfortable (plus I like being tall). The wedges I used are plain back ones I picked up cheap at Go Jane. I've never made armor over shoes, so it doesn't look the best - but no one should be that close to my feet! The armor is made out of several pieces of worbla, all held together in the back with Velcro.

The chest armor was pretty interesting. I ended up buying glass replacement globes from Menards in a 4" and 6" diameter (I used the 4" ones) and forming the Worbla over that. I cut out the shape of each and attached them together. From there I drew on the design and started making the details out of Worbla. They are reinforced in several places on the inside to keep them strong and hold the shape. It's kept on with elastic that buckles on each side.

The side/hip armor is made out of Worbla, and attached to the bodice with Velcro.

Unfortunately she has hip spike things that come out from the white armor pictured above, but I ran out of time to make them.

The thigh armor is the stupidest thing ever, and I didn't completely think it through. Because it wraps around mu entire leg, I have extremely limited movement. When I remake this part it will be fabric half pants and Worbla on the outside.

The thighs close with Velcro and are suspended by magic (aka a belt around my waist). The gold stripes are friendly plastic and look like shit cause I forgot them (added them after the wood glue step Q-Q)

The wig began it's life as a Jasmine in Pure White from Arda. I immediately stubbed the wig and used it as wefts for the hair piece. 

I made the base of the bun out of foam, and used school glue to attach hair to it. It's glued onto the wig stub so I don't have to worry about it coming lose. The bangs are styled into swirls on the side of the head, like in the reference images.

(Apparently I didn't take a picture of the finished wig before I packed it up...)

The ears are "Large Elf Anime Ears" from Aradani Costumes. I tested both spirit gum and prosthetic adhesive, though I preferred the spirit gum. 

The necklace is simply Worbla with friendly plastic designs on the front.

Part 2 coming after I finish the costume ^^

The March Hare (Sakizo): Final Progress Post 3-- Tights, Sleeves & Wig

Images are up!! 
Yikes, I'm a little behind on this one! I don't have a lot left to write, basically just sleeves and tights? Anyhow, Katsucon was amazing and I got tons of fantastic photos! Probably gonna kill this blog soon cause I only use it for progress write-ups.

Part 1- Sleeves & Tights

Anyhow, they were both made the same way. I pinned the sleeves/ tights on me to get the fit, then serged the seams. All the trims are sewn and glued on... Super basic!

Part 2- The Wig 

This is definitely the most intense wig I've ever styled! To start with, I purchased a Candy Stiper in Purple Rain from Arda Wigs and straightened it, and put wig clips on the front to support the weight. This made me sad cause the wig is sooo pretty >w<

Anyways, after I massacred this gorgeous wig, I sewed in silver and purple wefts, I think 7-8 of each of them. The wig was SUPER heavy after this. I made the pouf thing out of 2 layers of foam, with muslin sewn around, then was glued and sewn into the wig. I started pulling hair up in small pieces, and used clear school glue to keep everything in it's place. I only did a few at a time because there got to be too many clips on the top of the wig.

After all the hair was pulled up (and in a pony tail) I started on the bangs. Unfortunately I do not own rollers (or a curling iron at the time) so I - being the clever person I am - used tp rolls as rollers, I rolled the bangs and heated them up. Once they were nice and curly I pinned them in place, and used a combination of Got2Be Blasting Freeze Spray and school glue to keep everything nice. (PS- look how ghetto my wig stand is! Works amazingly well though...)

After  the bangs were done, I hot glued around the ponytail to keep it in place. Then I took the rest of the purple/grey extension and hot glued them around the ponytail. I sectioned out the hair and started curling it with my newly acquired curling iron. I shit you not, I am such a horrible girl that I had to YouTube how to curl a wig with a curling iron... It took a while to figure it out, but I got it down. While I was curling it, I was gluing the curls in place with school glue. 

After everything was glued, I hair sprayed it about 49 times and added more glue. I also glued some rhinestone strips to the back to give it the beaded look from the art.

Supplies & Purchases
The March HareWig/Wefts $77, Contacts $26, Fabric $180, Notions/Misc $183
Total Cost: $470