You can do this with 4-way stretch if you do a few things to it first. Given the nature of the outfit, I am assuming this is a stretch fabric that has very good recovery, like a mid-weight spandex knit. If the fabric doesn’t have good recovery (the ability to snap back into shape easily after it has been stretched), then sagging will be more of an issue.
The first thing I would do is add fusible interfacing to the back of each fabric piece. This will help hold the fabric in place without stretching so that when you sew it, you won’t have to worry as much about sagging. Don’t get an interfacing that is too stiff, but just enough to give a bit of body to the fabric and to prevent stretch. Test a few out to see how the adhesion is to a stretch fabric (you may end up using a stretch interfacing with the less stretchy direction going vertically to help with adhesion and to prevent it from stretching under its own weight).
The next thing I would do is flat line all of the pieces in a non-stretch fabric. This is a process where you sew an exact duplicate of your pieces to the back, keeping your stitching inside the seam allowance and being sure to sew all the way around. It is commonly used to add a bit of body or structure to lightweight fabrics, and here, it will prevent your fabric from stretching.
Once you sew the jacket, I would recommend lining it in a non-stretch fabric as well. This will make it so that when you put the jacket on and take it off, the stress of that will largely be going towards that non-stretch fabric, and the outer fabric will stay intact.
Be careful when washing as to not stretch the garment too much, and lay it flat to dry. If you feel the need to reinforce any seams, you can add twill tape or ribbon to them while sewing, which will prevent the seams from stretching out.
One would be to get a black wig and add the blue wefts to the underside, making sure to trim the black hair in a way that allows the blue hair to show in a gradient like the reference. This would be the easiest way to do it if you don’t want to deal with dyes and would create a very clean-looking effect, but wouldn’t be 100% accurate because of the layering required.
The other would be to dye the wig by hand. You would start with a blue wig and then either dip dye it to get the black on the top or you would hand color it with alcohol ink or alcohol-based markers. Dip dye would be a more stable way of dyeing the wig and could potentially produce a darker/truer black, but would potentially be difficult to control, and you may run into issues with the amount of heat and time that dyeing wigs with polyester-safe fabric dye requires. Hand coloring the wig has the possibility of the dye rubbing off or staining, especially if you use any sort of styling products on the wig after, but would allow you to have more control over where the color goes.
If you do the dye method, be sure to get a wig that can handle whatever dye method you choose, as some fibers don’t accept some types of dye, and you don’t want to accidentally frizz your wig by sticking it in dye that is hotter than the fibers can take.
There are two major ways to go about making cosplay boots: one is to paint an existing pair of boots, and the other is to make bootcovers. For this project, I would recommend bootcovers, since you can get the correct seaming.
There are a large number of bootcover tutorials on the website, but I’ll briefly go over the method that I would recommend for this.
For something with complicated seaming like this, I would recommend doing the leg wrap method of patterning. You will cover your leg and your base shoe in a layer of saran wrap and then a layer of duct tape (or just a few layers of Glad Press N Seal wrap, if you don’t need it to be super sturdy). Once your leg is wrapped, draw your seamlines on the duct tape with a permanent marker. I would recommend doing the purple seamlines and ignoring the blue swirl for now, unless you feel confident enough to do the more complicated seaming required. You will end up with a toe piece, the top band, a front piece, and a back piece, likely with a seam up the back so it can fit around your ankle. Label these and cut them apart.
You will then add seam allowance to the pieces and cut them out of your fabric – light blue for the toe (which may require a seam or a dart up it to get the curve), light purple for the band and for the back, and dark purple for the front. I would recommend a stretch fabric that doesn’t fray, like a matte miliskin.
If you are attaching the shoes inside permanently, you can simply keep some of the length at the bottom around the sole. If you want to be able to slip out your shoes, be sure that your pattern includes the sole, as well.
Sew these pieces together, and attach your sole as needed. If you are glueing the covers to your shoes, slash the bottom like you are clipping curves while sewing and glue, and then glue a separate sole piece on top. If not, you can add non-slip fabric (often sold in the baby section of the fabric store – this is the stuff for making sure footie pajamas don’t slip) to the bottom, add a dense foam or leather sole piece (glued on), or you can add puffy paint or hot glue dots and swirls for grip.
For the blue swirl up the leg, if you are confident in piecing the bootcovers together, you already included them in the pattern and they are done. If not, you will create a separate pattern for them and attach them on top. Personally, I would glue them, but you can also applique them (sew them on top) once the bootcovers are mostly assembled but the sole is not finished yet. Do the same for the crescent moons.
And congrats! You will have some nice bootcovers for your costume! It may take a bit of practice, so if this is your first time making something like this, I would recommend getting extra fabric so you can make a mockup.
For the horn, you are going to want something lightweight that can be glued directly to your skin. Since you will be using adhesives, the lighter the weight on the horn, the better.
I’ll start with the adhesives before brainstorming horn materials. Spirit gum is popular for small items that need to be attached to skin. This is a resinous adhesive with a bit of a smell to it that remains tacky. I would think that it would not be strong enough to hold an object like this, but the advantage is that it is easy to find in local costume shops if you don’t want to purchase online.
ProsAide is an adhesive specifically for prosthetics that is a bit stronger and what I would recommend for this. It is latex-free, if that is a concern.
If you don’t mind having a small strap that you have to hide, you may also be able to use a bit of mesh fabric that matches your skintone to attach to the front of the wig so that it helps hold the horn up, and you would just need to worry about gluing it down so it doesn’t move around. This is the method that I would recommend for the most security, since you wouldn’t have to worry about it as much and the horn is close enough to the hairline that it would hide quite well.
For the horn itself, however you end up making it, be sure to take the center of gravity into consideration. I would recommend making the center of gravity as close to your forehead as possible, so that the added weight towards the tip doesn’t cause it to fall or droop.
Some materials options: – Sculpt out of lightweight air-dry clay. Be sure to specifically get the lightweight type, not the regular type. This would be easy to smooth and sculpt, though isn’t sandable if that is a concern. I would recommend a foil and wire armature inside for added stability. Be sure that if you do this route, you press it against your forehead before it dries so you can make sure it has a good base and fits your face. Paint the clay once it is fully dry, and add a clear coat for shine.
– 3D printing. You would either need to model it yourself or have someone do so for you. This advantage of this is that you can make it hollow, reducing the weight some. This will still be a bit weighty, however.
– Foam clay. This is a newer product that is basically an air-dry clay that dries into EVA foam. You can sand, shape, and paint the foam once dry. Lightweight and sculptable. Follow the same general procedure as the air-dry clay. Will be a bit more expensive than the lightweight clay.
– Paper mache. Very lightweight and cheap and able to be made hollow. Harder to make smooth than some of the other methods.
– Insulation foam. This could be either the expanding type in a can (would need to be filled in with another material for smoothness) or XPS foam/”pink” insulation foam. This can be carved into shape and is lightweight. Would need sealing of some type – I like lightweight spackle that is then sanded down.
For the shirt, you have a couple of options as well.
One would be to remove the collar of a shirt/make just a collar and shoulders and attach that to the inside of the blazer
The other would be to pattern the shirt (or modify a shirt) so that it is open around the chest. This would be done by making the visible part of the neck shaped with straight lines like a regular shirt, but then creating a diamond-shaped boob window that would allow the rest of the shirt to remain hidden. If you are using a storebought shirt, try experimenting with simply unbuttoning it and pinning it so it opens at the sides of your breasts rather than the center and seeing if that gets you the look you want.
Honestly, I would be very worried about you wearing dangling glass ornaments in a con setting, even if you modified them. I would also look at you local con’s policies on cosplay, as many cons ban glass on cosplays (for good reason).
That said, if you were very careful and not going to wear these to a con, you have a few options I can think of:
– Coat the ornaments in a protective layer of resin – Fill the ornaments with something that can absorb shock
Really, neither of these are better solutions than finding plastic ornaments, though.
As for string, thin jewelry chain, embroidery floss, or regular twine would all work, depending on the look you are going for. The manga version appears to have beaded strings, but I know you’re going for the anime version. I would recommend, if using a string rather than a chain, using a double length and looping it around the ornament and back up rather than trying to attach a cut end at both sides. This will be a bit more stable.
I can’t find references of the particular swords, so I’ll give advice based on what a feather looks like.
What I would recommend is using a wooden dowel for the center shaft. Lightweight, cheap, easily obtainable, and able to be carved. If you take a coarse grit (low number) sandpaper to the dowels, while wearing an appropriate respirator and eye protection, you can sand the dowels down into a fine enough point for your needs. Be sure to round the tip as to not have a dangerous prop!
Once you get the general shape of the shaft, you can work your way towards finer grits (higher numbers) of sandpaper to smooth the wood. If you want a very smooth piece with no wood grain, I would recommend smoothing the wood with sandpaper and then using filling primer over it, sanding it down, priming again, etc., until you have a perfectly smooth piece. You can paint over this (if you want EXTRA smoothness, repeat the process with your paint) and use a gloss coat to add shine.
If you wanted to 3D print, you could, but keep in mind that for a project of this size, you would likely have to print the piece in sections and glue them together. 3D printed objects are also not perfectly smooth out of the printer, so you would still need to finish the plastic for smoothness.
Welcome to the hobby! Breaking up a cosplay into manageable parts is a really great first step, you’re off to a great start!
This is my process for breaking down a costume:
Print out a picture of the character or draw it out
Look at all the parts involved in the costume and break it down into major parts: Wig, Contacts, Makeup, Vest, Shirt, Pants, Belt, Socks, Shoes, Prop, Etc.
Look at your major parts and break what you need to down into minor parts. For example Makeup: Blush, Lipstick, Mascara, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow. Or Vest: Base Vest, Lining, Embroidered Design, Custom Buttons
Next, you want to start planning out how to achieve each part of the costume. This takes some research. This is my research process:
Google for pictures of the character and save them to a folder on my desktop. I try to get at least one good front, back, and side view.
Google for pictures of other cosplayers and see what they did well. I also save their pictures to my reference folder
Look up tutorials for things I don’t know how to do, or things that I am not 100% sure about. I save links in my bookmarks.
Go to a fabric store and look at fabrics in person, seeing what will work for the character. If I have a fabric choice in mind or want to do preliminary research, I may look it up online.
Look through sewing pattern books in-store and online
Check out thrift stores, local stores, and online stores to see if there are clothes I can alter for the costume
Research other materials, tools, techniques and references as needed
As I build my knowledge base with research, I start building out my costume plans. Looking at the Vest: I might find the sewing pattern in-store or find a drafting tutorial online. I might reference an embroidery tutorial to add the details. I might research fabrics online and purchase them at the store.I might research and find out that the best way to do the buttons within my budget is to sculpt them out of bakeable clay. So I write this all down on my printout, so I can build the plan and refer to it as I go.
You don’t have to have the whole plan right away! You might know how you will tackle a few aspects and have to research or experiment as you go. The initial breaking down process is to help make this as easy for you as possible. A whole costume is intimidating, one part of a costume is easier.
I did a very very rough version below, to help you get started:
For the earlobe itself, you could probably modify some actual earphone jacks. ask your friends to donate their damaged earphones or pick up an extremely cheap pair from the dollar store. Give them a coat of paint to match your skin tone. If you want to create them from scratch you could cast it in latex or silicone, or get a wire/tube and construct the end piece with foam, paperclay, foam clay, thermoplastic, 3D printing or another lightweight material.
If your ears are hidden by the wig you could clip the earlobes to your wig. if your ears are visible, or if you want another solution, you can attach the ear lobes to earrings (clip ons or studs). The weight may become bothersome with the earring method, so give your ears a break when needed!
Another option might be making a liquid latex …uhh… venus fly trap shape? Clamp? Clip? That can be glued (spirit gum/pros aide) onto your earlobe. This might distribute the weight better than an earring and be easier to blend in.
The big thing with vinyl is that holes stay, so you can’t pin it. Instead use tape, magnets, binderclips or other clips to hold it in place. Your ease should be in the seam allowance so it shouldn’t cause any visible puncture holes or structural issues. Just make sure everything looks good before you sew it, vinyl isn’t something you can seam rip.