This is my first time documenting a costume as it was being made. I forgot to photograph several steps and a lot of my photos are less than ideal. Bear with me through these first couple posts; I promise my next documentation will be more organized and comprehensive.
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I recently got a PS3 and I knew the first game I needed to play was Eternal Sonata. The lavish costumes and rich storyline make this game a cosplayer’s dream.
The making of this costume was unlike anything I have ever attempted before. The biggest challenge was actually figuring out how I was going to build it with no visible closures, but still be able to get into it. The second problem was that I knew I wanted the tails of the coat to stand out but had no idea how.
Cosplayers are always presented with an interesting challenge: How to make something that defies all laws of gravity, physics and known methods of garment construction?
To start, I pinned some super stiff interfacing (The stuff that is almost like buckram) to my mannequin in the shape of the tale that I wanted. I then draped my coat pattern over that.
When I drape I typically focus on the seams of the garment first, then I will mark where I want the edges to be. This jacket took a few tries and even after I thought I had the shape I wanted I ended up changing my pattern pieces and making another mock-up.
To keep the tails sticking out I had to make a structure that could keep shape on its own and not be damaged by average wear and travel. I opted to use the thickest, stiffest interfacing I could get my hands on and made a base.
Unfortunately the tales didn’t want to keep any type of curve without additional support to hold shape so I opted to cut long, wide strips of Wonderflex and hand sew them to the inside of the interfacing. The reason I chose Wonderflex and not a cheaper material, such as wire, was that I didn’t want to use anything that could get bent or misshapen from transportation or a crowded convention hallway.
I melted hundreds of holes along the edges of my strips using a wood burner and then sewed them onto the interfacing using heavy-duty thread.
I was then able to pin the support onto my mannequin and heat the strips of wonderflex one at a time and hold them until they cooled. Once cooled wonderflex will hold its shape reasonably well but still flex and bend. Once the wonderflex was shaped the tails looks exactly as I had hoped!
I made a similar structure for the bodice, as the finished jacket would have no front, and thus no closures, I needed to make sure my underlying support structure was perfectly fitted and stiffened. Essentially I created a fully boned corset type shape, with no front panel which I basted the tail structure to and….
It’s beginning to take shape!
At this point in construction I was overjoyed that the shape looked more magical than comical.
That’s a general summary of how I created the base structure of my jacket. A second post on the creation of the sleeves and some other details can be found [here].
Thanks for reading!