Zidane Tribal
Final Fantasy IX

Cosplayer: M.Kesaiyn

Variant: Original FF9

Status: In Progress

Condition: Not Set

27th May 2022: Here's a shot of the harness so far from the front. The left side is meant to be shorter than the right, and at the moment it's pinned to roughly where it fits comfortably on me. The plan is to use velcro on the straps so I can loosen or tighten it (it IS a posture correction harness by the way - I know, I use one being hypermobile, and so the headcanon is Zidane is as well), and I've already got a buckle ready for the right side. Hopefully I can trim down the piping and use what remains of that for the crosses.

27th May 2022: Here's a shot taken of the harness so far from the back. It's still a little flimsy as it needs a bit more body with the interfacing and backing fabrocs. Also, the mannequin it's sitting on is smaller than I am, so it doesn't sit correctly on it.

27th May 2022: I've done the piping all the way around the harness now. Unfortunately, now what I've gone and done is made it harder to draw around so I'll be going back to the mock up in order to do the rest of the interfacing and the backing fabrics. It's getting there bit by bit, and it fits like a glove.

23rd May 2022: A shot of the harness from the front. I made the straps a little longer the front so I had a little extra to make any potential adjustments. I'm just waiting on interfacing and trying to work out what backing fabric I want to put on it. I already have some wadding to pad it out with, and the piping to go around the edges. As for the straps, I'm planning on using eyelets and hopefully I can find a buckle of a suitable size for the right side.

23rd May 2022: The top layer of the harness is now done. Now to strengthen it with layers/padding before the decorating. Honestly, I was rather worried about getting this right, and making the mock up was a good idea as it came out slightly differently from how I'd drawn it out using the paper template. All in all, it fits well and I think it's looking the part. I'm not so stressed about it now.

23rd May 2022: I finally got around to acting on getting the harness cut out using the mock up. I'd been procrastinating over it for a while due to not really being sure I had everything drawn out correctly and not wanting to mess up. It wasn't all that different from the paper template, but was different enough to make me glad that I made the mock up first and made the necessary adjustments. Trying to get the measurements to match up correctly was a pain (shown in all the lines drawn), but it finally got done.

22nd May 2022: I spent a good while deliberating over how best to do the collar "tags" on the waistcoat, and in stumbling upon bamboo silk bridal bias binding, I had an idea. So, I cut out triangles in both that and a thicker cotton/linen fabric, stitched two sides, turned them outside in and then added a piece at the top to stitch on to the underside of the collar. It seems to have worked better than expected as those tags do stick out a bit. That's one more thing done. All that's left really are the white tassels on the right rear side of the belt and the harness (the latter is going to be quite a pain, but we're almost there costume wise).

15th May 2022: I'm going with the base and mythril daggers, with a view to possibly doing the mage masher as well if I find time (I also have one of the dual thief swords planned, so we'll see). Given these chunky daggers are about the size and shape of butterfly swords, I decided using my Kung Fu ones to draw around was a good plan.

15th May 2022: I've started drawing out the template for some of the daggers. The left one remains consistent when dual-wielding, and it's got an odd sort of mechanical steampunk/flintlock design. This one is going to be the most fiddly to create, but I've got ideas for how I'll be doing it. The blade is actually longer and will need extending when made, but the cardboard sheets I am using were a bit too short for this one.

15th May 2022: View of the harness mock up from the front. Getting the shape of the front of the straps right, including the left side being shorter than the right was a bit awkward, as was getting the straps underneath to match up.

15th May 2022: I've now made a mock up of Zidane's "posture" harness (it is exactly the shape of a type of posture corrector) from the haphazard pattern I made. It's been quite the pain to sort out, but it's getting there. The fabric I used was a faux leather I'd bought years ago to do a scabbard for Richard (Tales of Graces f), but it turned out to be rather horrible material and was too flimsy; so it's serving another purpose now.

(View from the back).

10th May 2022: These are going to be tricky, especially given the trousers have an elasticated waist. They would hang too low as they are, so the metal loop at the top will be folded over the top of the waistband, and sewn with a piece of fabric on to the underside of it. This should hold the belt down, and the poppers mean I can undo them in order to perform... necessary manoeuvres (the tail will also make that 'fun' but hey, cosplay right?).

10th May 2022: The belt is almost finished. There are just a few adjustments that need doing. I'm having to use velcro to hold it on in order to wrap it around for the tuck-flip-tuck to be possible at the front. The white buckle also needs to be better secured, and the loops on the back of the trousers should hopefully hold things in place, once those have been sorted. As for the white tassel at the back, I'm working on the best way to keep that in place so it doesn't shift around.

5th May 2022: This is the leather fabric and piping for the harness held next to the waistcoat for comparison. As the template is more or less finished now, I can finally get started on making it.

5th May 2022: I have more or less finished the template/pattern for the harness now. It's a haphazard design, and so any dressmaker would likely have a fit if they knew how I put that together, but it looks and feels like a good enough template for me to work to. Much of the time, whatever I work on has a messy approach to it, but once refined it generally works out. I will definitely have to cut out each of the fabric pieces for the harness as a single unit to ensure it is easier to put together. As the piping needs to go around the entire thing, it would be too problematic to do the layers of fabric all as separate pieces.

2nd May 2022: Pouncy has very kindly made this tail for me. The intent was to make a couple of spares in case of dirt or any accidents, but due to some personal circumstances this is on hold for a bit. At the very least I have a tail for him. I did have to shorten it slightly as he made it a bit overlong, but at the very least he's now really starting to look the part.

2nd May 2022: I've started trying to make a pattern for the harness. I was going to try making it in parts, but as there needs to be piping going around all the edges, that would be problematic when trying to pad it and adding a backing fabric as well. Yes, it will mean fabric wastage (though I'd try to make use of that for other things), but it will be easier to make it as one item, which is how it looks to be anyway.

27th April 2022: I'm currently trying to figure out how to do the bow which sits above and over the brooch, along with the little collar tips. I've got fabric and some sewing tracing paper to figure out the harness, and bought a precision knife and fabric scissors as part of figuring that out. With the waistcoat on a mannequin (I finally dug it out from the depths of the chaos of the shed where most of my cosplay stuff has been stored for years), I can better work out both of these parts.

Just finished sewing the ribbon in half for the bow and added an image. It's not tied on right but this is the provisional look until I figure that out. I'll need to put loops on the cravat attachment so it can thread around my neck as it's a bit too long otherwise.

12th April 2022: The ponytail on the wig has proven to be a bit of a pain. I have a clip-on extension for it, but it extends a bit lower than the main wig, but starts close to the wig base. It means that it's awkward trying to put my own hair up inside it without it being pushed at a weird angle (I am working on figuring this out). The hair tie has also being a bit of a pain with this, in getting the bow to sit straight. Trial and error! I'm getting there with it.

12th April 2022: The cuffs are now finished. It was difficult finding a fabric colour to closely match the trousers; the only one I could find was in a stretch fabric. With mum's help, we put that together with felt, wadding and a backing fabric. And I found those perfect buttons on Etsy.

9th April 2022: Well, here's his tail (made by Pouncy, because I have no idea how to make furry things). A big thanks goes to Pouncy for doing this for me. It might look slightly dark due to the lighting, but I did try to up the brightness - and might have brightened too much. I haven't received it as Pouncy is also making a spare, just in case of any mishaps. I just need to figure out how the main belt works (it's rather an awkward design), get the buttons on the cuffs and make the harness. Then, he's pretty much finished, save for his weapons.

3rd April 2022: It took a while to find some faux leather binding tape that was the right shade and width, because after a long time searching, it became clear I was going to have to make the belt (which, I might add, is rather odd - trying to figure out the length and how it attaches was "fun"). I got some beige linen binding of the same width for the back, and got some white faux leather piping. I don't get on with sewing machines (they confuse my autistic mind), so I resolved myself to sew it by hand. Yes. I am sewing it by hand. All (approximate) 2.5 metres of it... BOTH sides. At the time of writing this I've done one side, and am almost a metre into the second side.

The end tip came from an Etsy seller in Sweden. I had to pay a little extra for the postage, but I think it's worth it. I also searched belt end tips for quite some time and was coming up with pieces for webbing. Decorative belt end tips seem to be only really be a thing in the US and Australia, but I found this Etsy seller and found one that looked appropriate of the right size and it recently turned up. When it's done, I'll post up the finished belt, along with details of how I'm attaching it.

3rd April 2022: It wasn't too much of an issue finding some gloves that matched the colour of the boots, though there was a bit of faff with sellers sending me the wrong colour. I ended up with two pairs in the end, which is fine as spares are always a good thing. I had got the lace part of the cuffs along with a cravat (the latter of which turned out to be too big) as they came with it. At present, my mother is assisting me with making the cuffs.

3rd April 2022: The wig, ohh the wig. Aren't these things fun? I've been meticulously cutting the layers into the wig for a while, and I think it's just about there now. It's also been a bit awkward trying to get it to puff out as Zidane has quite "bouffy" looking hair (very nice hair though mind you). The amusing (though irksome) thing that keeps happening though, is that both the wig and the clip-on extension for his ponytail (more often than not it's the extension) like to kink while in storage despite me having tried to avoid this happening. Nothing seems to work. I don't remember other wigs ever doing this to me, so I'm just putting it down to his personality. :-p

The other issue has been trying to sort out the tie for the ponytail. It seems the colour of it changes in different cutscenes, but I chose to go with the brown one we see in the tower cutscene at the beginning. That said, trying to get something that works for the bow in conjunction with an actual tie has been problematic. I wanted to be able to just tie cord around it, but it won't grip well enough, which is why I need a tie. It's a faff in progress, but I'm close to finding a solution.

3rd April 2022: The waistcoat was a rather difficult find. I was adamant that I wanted to get something that looked and felt close to the fabric in Zidane's cgi render, but finding something with the high collar took hours of trawling eBay. Eventually I found a green velvet bolero jacket with a high collar, but it was a bid item only. I asked the seller if they would consider adding a "make an offer" button, and they agreed, saying they'd accept offers a little way over the bid price, so I made an offer and it was accepted. The sleeves were then removed (with mother's assistance), the arm holes sewn up and I stitched the sage green piping all the way around it. My mother then helped by sewing on some hooks and eyes.

3rd April 2022: I had meant to start this journal earlier, but mental health and autistic burnout/TMI etc meant my head was too crowded to even think about it. Anyway, I started a few months ago and I can honestly say everything for the main costume is close to being finished.

I found the boots in off-white on eBay, and bought both olive and white leather dye to colour them. I then used white faux leather to make the folds. This makes them a little awkward to get on and off, but it's only a minor irk. The folds are attached with velcro, and I just fold them over after zipping them up. I also painted the wooden soles and heels with white eco-friendly water and chalk-based furniture paint and sealed with clear enamel.

Ranma1-2 avatar

Ranma1-2 - 1st May 2022
This is shaping up well. I espcially bow to yr wig styling. The spiked separation you have achieved looks like real life rendition of the CG and artwork. Beautifull colour too. I think you are gonna rock this. I am a little envious you are going to Kitacon. I have such fond memories of Kita. May I say also that I think you look great in all your cosplays!

M.Kesaiyn avatar

M.Kesaiyn - 2nd May 2022
Many thanks Ranma1-2. It's very much appreciated. It is my aim to do a character justice as much as I can, and I'm happy if I'm able to make the days of other fans. Hope to see you at a convention some time in the near future.