Cosplayer: Angelphie

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

MinamiCon 2018

Showcased 23rd April 2018

22nd July 2018: Gauntlets The final pieces on the fingers are cut from black worbla which I heated to shape on my hands while wearing the gloves. This was my first time using worbla and I chose it for the claws since I'd only need a small amount and I thought it’d hold up better than foam to wear and tear – foam claws would just bend and get bashed too easily. However, for the larger knuckle/back of hand section, I did use craft foam because I didn’t have enough worbla (I only bought a A4 sheet from Coscraft) and it was probably a lot easier anyway to shape foam freehand for this. I scored the back of the foam to help create the zig-zags, folded it up into pleats and blasted it with a heat gun.

Everything was primed with layers of mod podge, painted with black enamel and glued on with E6000. I realised the only decent glues I already had required significant drying time so I wanted to buy some that would form an initial bond quickly enough to allow me to attach everything while wearing the gloves (before then taking them off and leaving it to cure), so I took the opportunity to order some off Amazon after having heard so much about it from cosplayers across the pond.

After all that, the gauntlets have ended up much shinier than the bracers. I’ll need to see how it photographs altogether when I wear the costume and decide then if I need to tone down the shiny paint or maybe remake my leatherette pieces in a shinier vinyl or something.

22nd July 2018: Gauntlets I spent some time patterning out the gauntlets. I struggled with variable references and determining exactly what is going on here, so I ended up with a mix of what I could glean from references and what was practical.

I first cut pieces from craft foam and tested them out using some double-sided tape stuck to a disposable plastic glove. This made it easy to stick pieces on, move them about, and experiment with trimming and shaping them to fit my fingers and ensure I’d still have reasonable movement. I could also easily write on them to label them, which was very important! Before I cut out my final pieces, I also taped the craft foam ones to one of my actual gloves (shown in photo) to be completely certain that they would fit.

22nd July 2018: Bracers revisited I had already made the base for the bracers sans armour plating so added this in time for AmeCon 2018.

For the long section on the right arm, I used craft foam covered in leatherette again to make the four plates and glued them on with Araldite. I also made a second tube shape to go around my arm. This slots inside the first one and extends above it to create the trim around the top edge.

15th July 2018: Bow revisited After snapping it at Minami, I outsourced fixing the bow to my dad (who is far too nice to me). Originally it was one whole big piece of foamboard. To keep it compact enough to fit in my suitcase, it needed to come apart into 3 pieces: a central handle connecting two long parts. He made a handle by sandwiching some wood around a steel ruler. The ruler slides into slots in the foamboard. There are also perpendicular lengths attached to brace the bow, so that when I pull back the string it can't bend too far. I replaced the bowstring with a looser length of elastic as well so I'm unlikely to cause any damage. Finally, my dad also made an arrow from a dowel rod, silver card and a swan feather.

10th June 2018: Top revisited I needed to adjust the fit of the top since it was gaping at the back, so I opened up the lining and embarked on a lot of trial and error taking it in. It’s still not perfect (notably, despite understitching, the lining still peeks out depending on my posture) but I got rid of the major wrinkles and I had to stop working on the fit at some point, especially since the back just isn’t going to be seen under the wig!

Next were the yellow v-pieces. I made these from craft foam since they needed to stick up above the edge of the top. I maybe could have incorporated them into the design of the top earlier, but the reference I was using shows a gap between these yellow pieces and the turquoise part, so I interpreted them as separate pieces. I used bondaweb to stick yellow lycra to the foam and topstitched the edges. This was partially to ensure the fabric wouldn’t peel off the foam and so it’d match the applique on the rest of the costume, but the stitching along the lower edges actually attaches them to the top. I then closed up the lining again by hand.

10th June 2018: Top revisited I found some motivation and got around to completing the back of the top.

The decorative plate thing was straightforward since I was using the same approach as for the front of the top. Drawing out the shape and the designs took the most time, then I traced the design on to the black fabric and some bondaweb, cut the applique from yellow lycra with the red parts sponge-painted, ironed them on then topstitched. I lined it then stuck some craft foam inside for it to keep its shape. It’s attached with snaps so that I can still access the (super-short) separating zip at the centre back which is the closure for the top.

30th March 2018: Improvements Overall the first wear of the costume at Minami was fine so I don’t have any upgrades planned for the pieces I’ve completed.

However, I didn’t have time to make the armour plates on the bracer and gloves so will be adding these for AmeCon as well as the detail on the back of the top. Neither of these things mattered to me for Minami though –the back is covered by the wig and the bracers look complete on the face of it.

I’m very glad I made the bracers though as at Minami, Tiran surprised me with a bow that he’d made…which I promptly broke – a moment immortalised in Nert’s photos! No other photo of this costume is going to surpass my face there. The bow made it through the rest of the con with some duct tape and the silver lining was that it then fitted in my suitcase so I was able to take it home and I can fix it up for AmeCon. I hope to make it (intentionally) dismantle-able for future so that I can transport it to and from cons myself. I’m so grateful for the gift since props are really not my thing and I wasn’t even contemplating making it myself.

17th March 2018: Bracers These were the last thing I made since I could happily wear the costume without them if it came to it (and I hate making gloves). I’d chosen stretch leatherette to try to make the glove-making process easier. I bought the black fabric from Minerva Crafts then for the palms I managed to find red sold in small quantities on ebay.

I used a pattern based on leather gloves that I’d sacrificed some time ago as my fabric didn’t have that much stretch. I kept the gloves as a separate piece since I thought it might be easier to be able to just remove the hand section rather than removing the entire thing on my arms.

The bracelets are thick foam with cord glued on top (see photo). I used a couple of layers of fabric to cover them so that the texture of the cord wouldn’t show through.

The bracer on the right arm has a thin craft foam base and the straps on the sleeves are also craft foam covered in the same leatherette (the fabric was too flimsy alone so needed the foam insert) and I bought the buckles on ebay. The straps are hand sewn to the sleeves and the lower strap has a few stitches securing it to the upper one so that it won’t fall down. The lower two straps on the left arm stay in place fine by themselves - advantages of stretch fabric.

3rd March 2018: Top I traced the design on to the top to ensure everything would be positioned correctly, then ironed on all the pieces. Since I didn’t think the bondaweb alone didn’t seem quite secure enough, I straight-stitched around all the edges and this also matches how I’d applied the scuba elsewhere on the costume.

That’s the top wearable for Minami! You can see in the picture that it fits loosely at my hips as it has to fit over the skirts I’ll be wearing which add some bulk due to the wire framework.

I will see how much more of the costume I can do before the con. Next goal is the straps on the sleeves and the bracers. As the detail I’m missing on the back won’t be seen, it’s less of a priority.

3rd March 2018: Top I spent some time thinking about different techniques for the designs on the front: I don’t like painting and for applique I was not confident about getting all the points and corners neat with satin stitching. I eventually chose to use some yellow lycra I had spare as it would be similar in appearance to the turquoise scuba I’d been using and wouldn’t fray so I didn’t need to worry about stitching over the edges.

After drawing out the design, I traced it on to bondaweb and carefully cut out all the pieces. I painted the red and orange pieces before applying them, using a sponge with acrylic paint to get the mottled effect. The other pieces are made from the scuba which was also painted to get the blue and green shades. Picture shows all the pieces before and after painting.

3rd March 2018: Top The turquoise details around the collar are carefully cut from the scuba fabric and topstitched on. The larger neck section was just stitched down with a little wundaweb to help, but to make the thin zig-zag lines I traced the shapes on to bondaweb. The neck applique helpfully conceals nearly all of the seams and I also added a piece of black fabric to cover the centre front too so the only seams left showing are small lengths on the shoulders.

Photo of the back of the top as it is so far. I still need to add the detail at the back of the waist, but as it will be entirely hidden by the wig I am not concerned about doing it in time for Minami.

3rd March 2018: Top I started work on the top first because I expected it to be complex and I thought the designs on the front would be time-consuming (I was correct). Even before getting to the point of applying the trim and designs, just the basic pattern proved to be complicated. I particularly struggled with fitting the backless-back as I don’t have a dressform and this still needs some work.

I used New Look 6567 as a starting point to give me a simple top with sleeves. I also used a puffy sleeve pattern that I’d drafted myself for earlier costumes. I made quite significant alterations, notably creating the high collar without a neck seam (not sure how wise that was), adding the cut-outs and incorporating the two different coloured fabrics. A few mock-ups were involved, that at least was more practise for sewing those inset corners.

After I had something I was happy with, I made a version in the final fabric. There I ran into some problems since I had patterned everything out for non-stretch fabric and needed to make more adjustments for the stretchy scuba I’d ended up with (I'd begun the pattern before I found the fabric), but ultimately having the stretch was helpful and a fabric that doesn’t fray was great for all the matching trim involved.

Once I’d procrastinated for a while working on the rest of the costume, I came back to the top, finished my alterations and made the final version. When I had the pattern finalised, I could order the zips I needed - I used dynamic_perversity on ebay who stock a lot of diverse zips. I have one short separating zip at the back of the neck, which matches the references, then another one at the centre back waist with the idea that the decorative plate thing will fasten separately over it. I’d considered a side zip instead, but I don’t actually have a side seam that extends far enough up as I ended up cutting the turquoise piece without one.

The lining was another challenge. The top definitely needed to be lined to finish the cut-outs so I had to think through how to assemble everything and also create separate pattern pieces for the lining as there was no need to have the two different fabrics on the inside. I stitched around the cut-out on the front first and understitched. I also lined the long tail at the front at this stage and sewed along the hem as far as the side seams. I similarly applied the lining pieces to the back by sewing the edges first and understitching where possible. Once both front and back lining pieces were attached, I sewed their side and shoulder seams together. I set in the sleeves which act as a stay for the puffy outer ones and allowed me to sandwich some tulle inside. The top edge of the collar is finished with bias binding and I’d left a section of the hem at the back open which was closed up by hand.

3rd March 2018: Wig & Ears On to the rest of the wig, I cut it shorter since the darker blonde needed to end around my waist, and I thinned the ends for the transition to the paler blonde. I sewed in a mix of the pale blonde and white extensions, mostly at the nape of the neck but also some throughout to make the distribution more even, but I tried to ensure the lighter extensions wouldn’t show anywhere but at the tips.

I used one pack of long wefts to make the braids and sewed used the other pack throughout the wig for a few purposes: to add some volume so that I could cut in the short blonde pieces on the sides, conceal the join with the ears, hide the braids at the back and prevent the paler extensions layers underneath from showing. There are clips sewn in at the front to secure the wig since it is, unsurprisingly, heavy after all that.

3rd March 2018: Wig & Ears I also started covering the foam ears in hair to match the wig. I initially used some of the hair I’d cut off the wig when I trimmed it shorter as an initial layer to get the foam mostly covered. After that I applied neater layers of hair on top using the short wefts I’d bought. I took more care to stick this final layer on without heaps of glue and tried to rely mainly on hairspray so it’d look nicer and match the rest of the wig. There is also some of the same fur fabric from the tail glued to the inside. Once they were dry I sewed them to the wig.

3rd March 2018: Wig & Ears The adhoge is a separate piece with a base of wire and clear tape to support it. I then covered it in hair using some of the clear sealant left from Millia.

3rd March 2018: Wig & Ears I was quite picky about the shade of blonde for this and also knew I’d need some matching extensions, so after some browsing I decided to try Epic Cosplay. The wig is the Persephone in caramel blonde which is a colour I’m really pleased with. I also ordered two packs of long wefts and one of their short wefts. For the lighter blonde section at the ends, I used pale blonde extensions from CosCraft leftover from Millia and bought some white ones as well to mix in.

I cut in the fringe and sewed in some of the short extensions to get the volume required for the sections around the face. I used Copic markers to colour this section green, I nearly got away with one pen but just needed to buy a second. I had styled the fringe a bit with a hairdryer before colouring this since I thought the final shape of the style might affect exactly where the green started. I then had to rinse it to get any excess ink out and re-style once it was dry. At that point I could use hairspray on the ends to finish it.

The ears were patterned with some experimentation in paper than I made a craft foam version to act as the base.

9th February 2018: Halfway there Lower half of the costume complete! Top, wig and bracers still to go.

9th February 2018: Tail The tail is based off Pluto Knights’ tutorial:

I found long pile fur on ebay that matched my wig fairly well (it also matches my carpet according to the photos!) and I used some streaks of gold pen to get the colour a little closer. I also bought a small amount of white fur for the tip. I mixed in some of my pale blonde extensions to the white fur too in order to try to match it to the wig more closely, although I don’t think this was very successful.

I only bought a small amount of fur fabric so needed to piece it together to make it long enough, and there’s also a seam where the white fur was joined on. After I’d reached the stage of the photo on the left, it was then sewn into a tube and inside I used the same wire as for my skirt but doubled it up to make it tougher. This wire is taped inside some spare fun fur fabric I had which is rolled up and makes the padding for the core of the tail. I sewed up the ends by hand.

The tails of the wire were enclosed inside some webbing and to make an attachment, the wire runs up and over the skirt waistband where it hooks over the belt for the turquoise skirts with some velcro to keep it secure.

9th February 2018: Shoes/Stockings I finalised the turquoise design on my paper pattern and traced it on to the fabric with Clover Chacopy tracing paper then it was painted with several coats of Marabu Textil fabric paint leftover from my Bianca costume. The colour wasn’t quite a precise match for my turquoise fabric so I finished with a final coat of some Angelus leather paint from my Eureka costume which happened to match – it didn’t work well when I tried it on the fabric directly, but the base of the fabric paint allowed me to apply it fine on top and get a close colour match.

I painted the soles gold using a few coats of gold acrylic (a leftover from Margaery continuing the spirit of recycling!) mixed with pva glue then stuck the cover on using shoe goo.

The reference faintly shows some lace at the tops of the stockings. It’s a bit too subtle for me to be overly concerned with initially, but it’s something I might eventually add. I also want to see how it goes wearing the costume as I’m not sure how well the stockings will stay in place so I might sew in some sticky stocking tops.

9th February 2018: Shoes/Stockings I found some suitable shoes on ebay (pictured), they’re slip-on and very comfy, if not attractive. I made the pattern for the stocking/shoe covers by drawing on an old pair of leggings plus covering one shoe and my ankle in clingfilm and masking tape then drawing on the shape for the pattern to cover it. After testing out the pattern and refining it in some spare fabric, I made a paper template and used that to cut the final garment from black ponte knit like I’d used on the turquoise skirt. It met my requirements of being stretchy, matte, not fraying and smooth enough to take paint nicely.

The final thing is essentially a pair of leggings with cutouts at the thighs, so it has a built-in pair of shorts which hold up the stockings. There’s an elastic waistband to keep it secure and I overlocked it all together. I had to cut the fabric very carefully as I wasn’t hemming the edges. I tried to keep the seams to a minimum, there’s just an inside leg seam and where it had to become more complicated for covering the shoes, the centre front seam I needed there only starts at the ankle. I also had to cut a portion of the shoe cover separately for cutting layout reasons, so there’s an additional seam for that, but I at least managed to avoid having a seam all the way up the front of the legs.

9th February 2018: Turquoise Skirts The final step was the wire framework. There is a strand of wire in every seam and when I patterned out the skirt I’d made sure to extend the top enough so it could be folded around a belt, so the wire is braced against that and duct taped in place. The fabric was then gathered and sewn in place, neatly covering the wire/tape mess. The belt is a length of webbing and I have a rucksack-style clip at the centre back fastening it. It was important to me that if I was going to include the potentially annoying wire framework that it be easily removeable.

I’ve managed to also secure the tail to the same belt but it’s a little awkward as it needs to go under the pleated skirt and the turquoise skirts need to go over it. The wire from the tail therefore extends up and hooks over the belt, which is fairly secure alone, but I also used some velcro to ensure it stays in place. I don't know how much sense the photo makes, but that's what it's attempting to show.

9th February 2018: Turquoise Skirts When I finally completed the black pieces, I sewed them to the turquoise skirts along the hem so that when the applique was flipped up the raw edges were enclosed. The photo shows it with its right side facing the wrong side of the skirt.

I had to grade the seam allowances and clip the curved edges, understitch and then could turn it up and iron down the applique. While a bit of a roundabout route, that gave me a nicely finished hem, closed off the seams so the wire wouldn’t poke out and let me apply the black designs all in one.

9th February 2018: Turquoise Skirts For the black detail at the hem I appliqued some black ponte knit from Minerva Crafts because I already had some spare and could use it for the stockings too. I wanted something that wouldn’t fray to avoid having to satin stitch the applique. I still secured the edges but did it much more quickly with a wider zig-zag stitch and I didn’t need to go around the internal cutout shapes.

I’d given some thought to how best to hem the skirt and essentially chose to use the applique as a facing. I first cut panels from the black fabric and sewed them together so they’d have the same seams as the rest of the skirt (unfortunately the seams in the artwork are shown continuing on to the black section so I couldn’t just cut it all in one whole piece).

I spent some time perfecting a template for the design then traced it on to bondaweb. I then painstakingly cut it out. I had to buy new little scissors for this since I was struggling with the cutout sections. I used a craft scalpel to cut the tiny squares. Photo shows one piece complete and the other still awaiting the fiddly cutouts.

9th February 2018: Turquoise Skirts The turquoise skirts were patterned out with a little trial and error using spare fabric, I started with a half circle skirt and adjusted the length and volume a little from there. I was keen to try to mimic the floaty effect Atalanta’s always has so experimented with using some wire to have the skirt stick out. This was also why I wanted to keep this skirt separate rather than sew it to the top or pleated skirt as I need a belt to anchor the wire framework and I liked the idea of making this piece easily removeable so I could take it off to sit down. Once I was happy with my mock-up I marked out the seams for the different panels and made a paper template with seam allowance to use as my final pattern.

Scuba fabric was ideal since it makes the seams quite prominent like the artwork. Although there wasn’t a need to finish the seams, I made French seams to act as channels for wire. The outermost edges of the skirt aren’t hemmed though since I didn’t need to insert wire there and the raw edge looks fine.

9th February 2018: Pleated Skirt I did start work on the top first, rightly assuming it'd be time-consuming, but got frustrated and took a break to work on other parts of the costume. I picked the black pleated skirt since I knew what I was doing there and liked the idea of working on something where I could easily make some progress. It was still useful to have made some initial progress on the top first as it let me determine where the black skirt’s waistband should sit without having it show, then I basically figured out the skirt’s length by seeing the shortest I could possibly make it.

The black fabric is a slightly stretchy black suiting from Mandors in Glasgow, which I’m also using for the top, and the trim is turquoise scuba I found in Goldhawk Road in London which will be used on the rest of the costume too.
Since scuba doesn’t fray (and it’s too bulky to turn under anyway) I just cut strips of it for the trim. I am planning to do the same for the top so this was a good trial run. I could cut it accurately with my rotary cutter although that meant having to join together several shorter strips limited to the length of my cutting mat, but the seams thankfully weren’t too bulky.

The skirt is a couple of rectangles, I overlocked all the edges, sewed one side seam, hemmed it and topstitched down the trim. After pleating, I sewed up the other seam, inserted the zip, applied the waistband and finished it with a hook and bar.

Amy-Lou avatar

Amy-Lou - 10th February 2018
The wired skirt looks so good! Looking forward to this :D

Amy-Lou avatar

Amy-Lou - 3rd April 2018
So happy I got to see this in person, it’s so detailed and fun!

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 1st March 2018
Good progress. You are such a neat worker!

Mana avatar

Mana - 18th March 2018
The wig and ears are incredible!